Parry, William

Parry, William some time president and theological tutor at Wymondley Academy, Herts, was born in the year 1754 at Abergavenny, in Monmouthshire. He was the eldest of twelve children, most of whom died young. When he was about seven years of age he removed with his father to London, where he attended the ministry of Dr. Samuel Stennett. At the age of seventeen he publicly professed his attachment to Christianity by becoming a member of the Church at Stepney, then under the pastoral care of Mr. Brewer, by whom, at the age of twenty, he was introduced to the academy at Homerton. Under the instructions of Drs. Condor, Gibbons, and Fisher, Mr. Parry remained during six years, pursuing, with unremitting ardor and persevering industry, the studies to which he had devoted himself. He was ordained at Little Baddow, Essex, in the year 1780. To his suggestion and benevolent activity while resident at Baddow may be attributed the formation of "The Benevolent Society for the Relief of Necessitous Widows and Children of Protestant Dissenting Ministers in the Counties of Essex and Herts," also "The Essex Union," whose object is to promote the extension of the Gospel in the county. In the year 1791, when an opposition was made to an application of the' Dissenters for a repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, more especially by the noblemen, gentlemen, and clergy of the county of Warwick, he animadverted with great eloquence and force on their resolutions in three letters addressed to the earl of Alyesford. The pamphlet on the Inspiration of the New Testament appeared in the year 1797, and has obtained for its author an extensive reputation. Shortly after its publication proposals were made to Mr. Parry, by the trustees of W. Coward, Esq., to become theological tutor in the dissenting academy which had for some years been conducted at Northampton and Daventry by Drs. Doddridge and Ashworth. An earnest desire of extended usefulness led Mr. Parry to accept those proposals, and in the year 1799 he took an affectionate farewell of his beloved flock at Baddow, after having labored among them for twenty years with great acceptance and fidelity. Mr. Parry entered on his new and important office at Wymondley (to which place the academy was removed) with all that intense application which naturally resulted from the high sense he entertained of its responsibility. As a lecturer Mr. Parry was distinguished by perspicuity and classical simplicity; and by a happy union of dignity and affection he secured the love and veneration of the students entrusted to his care. In undertaking the office of tutor, Mr. Parry did not resign that of a minister of Christ. Immediately after his settlement at Wymondley a small chapel was erected. on the premises, where a congregation was raised and a Church formed, over which he presided as pastor till the time of his decease. With: the exception of a charge delivered at the ordination of one of his students, Mr. Parry appeared but once:in the. character of an author after his removal to Wymondley, which was in a work of a controversial kind with Dr. Williams, of Rotherham, On the Origin of Moral Evil. It had been his intention to write a history of the Dissenters, a work for which he was well qualified, and for which he had made considerable preparation; but a painful nervous affection coming on, his design was interrupted, and never afterwards resumed. He died in November, 1818. The death-bed of Mr. Parry was one of calm and. holy triumph; he rested' with unshaken confidence on the rock of ages, and entered with .a smile the gloomy valley which was to conduct him to the regions of everlasting;day. The writings of Mr. Parry are characterized by clearness of conception, with great accuracy and felicity of expression.

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