Pearson, Edward

Pearson, Edward D.D., a learned English divine, and the great champion of Arminianism in the Church of England near the close of last century and the opening of this, was born about 1760 at Ipswich, Sussex, and educated at Sidney College, Cambridge. He was for a while fellow and tutor of Sidney College, and afterwards master (1808), and was elected the Christian advocate in 1809. He was also appointed rector of Rempstone, in Nottinghamshire. He died August 17, 1811. Dr. Pearson was considered an excellent preacher, and one of the most learned men of his times. Besides numerous single sermons preached by him on public occasions, he was the author of a volume of Thirteen Sermons addressed to Academic Youth (delivered in St. Mary's Church, Cambridge). He published also A Collection of Prayers for the Use of Families: — Twelve Lectures on the Subject of the Prophecies relating to the Christian Church; being a portion of the Lectures founded at Lincoln's-Inn Chapel by the late Bishop Warburton (Lond. 1811, 8vo), and various tracts in divinity not professedly controversial. But his fame chiefly rests on his controversial writings against antagonists of necessitarian proclivities. There are two treatises of his against those who adopt Dr. Paley's views on the general theory of moral obligation, and those who follow him in some of the practical conclusions to which that celebrated divine and moralist conducts his readers. These treatises, entitled Annotations on the Practical Part of Dr. Paley's Moral and Political Philosophy (Ipswich, 1801, 8vo): — Remarks on the Theory of Morals: in which is contained an Examination of the Theoretical Part of Dr. Paley's Moral and Political Philosophy (ibid. 1800, 8vo), excited, when first published, great-attention, and well deserve to be read by all in connection with the treatise on Moral and Political Philosophy to which they relate. On the other side, Dr. Pearson was among the first to sound an alarm respecting the danger to which the Church was exposed by the spread in it of Calvinistic views of Christian doctrine. On this subject he published various tracts at the beginning of the present century, several of which were expressly directed against Mr. Simeon, who was the great maintainer of Calvinism in the university to which Dr. Pearson belonged. In fact, Dr. Pearson was the champion of the Arminian clergy in the Church, and the champion of the Church itself against whatever seemed to threaten its integrity and its perpetuity. The most important on this subject are, Remarks on the Doctrine of Justification by Faith; in a Letter to the Rev. John Overton (Lond. 1802, 8vo): — Remarks on the Controversy subsisting, or supposed to subsist, between the Arminian and Calvinistic Ministers of the Church of England; in a second Letter to the Rev. John Overton (ibid. 1802, 8vo). We have not room, nor does it seem necessary, to give the titles of all his writings; but it may be useful to say that a complete list, arranged chronologically, may be seen in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1811. where it is also said of him that he was a good man, of gentle and benevolent manners, kind and charitable, easy and pleasant in conversation, modest, unassuming, much respected, and beloved. See also Hunt. Memoirs of the Life of E. Pearson (1845); English Review, 3:441; Collier, Eccles. Hist.; Darling, Cyclop. Bibliog. vol. 2, s.v.

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