Parsons, Jonathan

Parsons, Jonathan an American Presbyterian minister, was born at West Springfield, Mass., Nov. 30, 1705. He was educated at Yale College, class of 1729. As a student at New Haven he gave many indications of uncommon genius. Soon after graduation Parsons began to preach. He was ordained minister in 1731 of Lyme, Conn., where he continued until 1745. The last thirty years of his life were spent at Newburyport, in one of the largest congregations in America. His labors were incessant, and he sometimes sank under his exertions. During his last sickness he enjoyed the peace of a Christian. He expressed his unwavering assurance of an interest in the favor of God through the Redeemer. He died July 19, 1776, at Newburyport. As a preacher he was eminently useful. During some of the first years of his ministry his style was remarkably correct and elegant; but after a course of years, when his attention was occupied by things of greater importance, his manner of writing was less polished, though perhaps it lost nothing of its pathos and energy. In his preaching he dwelt much and with earnestness upon the doctrines of grace knowing it-to be the design of the Christian religion to humble the pride of man and to exalt the grace of God. His invention was fruitful, his imagination rich, his voice clear and commanding, varying with every varying passion, now forcible, majestic, terrifying. and now soft and persuasive and melting. He was eminent as a scholar, for he was familiar with the classics, and he was skilled in the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew languages.. He was accounted a dexterous and masterly reasoner. He published at Boston, Letters in the Christian History (1741): — a Lecture (1742): — Lectures on Justification (1748): Good News from a Far Country, in seven Discourses (1756): — Observations, etc. (1757i): — Manna Gathered in the Morning (1761) — Infant Baptism from heaven, in two Discourses (1765): — A Sermon on the Death of G. Whitfield (1770): — Letters of Baptismn (1770): — Freedom firom Civil and Ecclesiastical Tyranny the Purchase of Christ (17:74); — Sixty Sermons on various Subjects (1780,2 vols. 8vo), See Searls Sermon preached at the funeral obsequies; Allen, Amer. Biogr. Dictionary, s.v.; Sprague, Annals of the Amer. Pulpit, 3:47-52 Amer. Qu. Rev. 14:109.

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