Thomas Parker, A. M.—This excellent divine, the son of Mr. Robert Parker, the famous old puritan, was born in the year 1595, and admitted into Magdalen college, Oxford, before his father's exile. His rather being driven out of the land for nonconformity, he removed to Ireland, where he pursued his studies under the famous Dr. Usher. Thence he went to Leyden in Holland, where he enjoyed the assistance of the learned Dr. Ames. His labours were indefatigable, and his progress answerable to his exertions. Before the age of twenty-two he received the degree of master of arts with universal admiration and applause. He was greatly beloved and admired by the renowned Maccovius. Afterwards he returned to England to pursue his theological studies; and he settled at Newbury in Berkshire, where, for some time, he preached and kept a school. Here he appears to have been assistant to the celebrated
Dr. Twisse. Being, however, dissatisfied with the arbitrary and cruel proceedings of the ruling prelates, he removed to New England, with a number of christians from Wiltshire, in the year 1634. He went in the same ship with Mr. James Noyes, another puritan minister, with whom the greatest intimacy and affection subsisted as long as they lived.
Mr. Parker, and about one hundred of his friends, upon their arrival in the new plantation, sat down at Ipswich. In this situation they continued about a year, then removed to Quafcacunquen, which they now called Newbury. The beautiful river, on whose hanks they settled, was, in honour to their revered pastor, called Parker's river: tradition says, "because he was the first who ascended it in a boat."* Mr. Parker was chosen pastor of the church, and Mr. Noyes teacher. There Mr. Parker, by the holiness and humility of his life, for many years, gave his people a lively commentary of his doctrine. But, by his mcessant application to study, he became blind several years before his death; yet, even then, he taught Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. The loss of both his eyes was certainly very painful; yet he bore the cross with becoming submission to the ,*ill of God, and would sometimes pleasantly say, " Well, they will be restored shortly, in the day of the resurrection." He departed to the world of light in the month of April, 1677, in the eighty-second year of his age, and the fifty-Second of his mmistry. He was exceedingly charitable, a bard student, an excellent preacher, and one of the best scholars and divines of the age. He considered the sabbath as beginning on the Saturday evening, yet kept the sabbath evening as his people did. When he was asked why he adopted a practice different from bis opinion, he replied, " Because I dare not depart from the footsteps of the flock for my own private opinion." When he kept a school he refused any reward, saying, "he lived for the sjfke of the church; therefore he was unwilling to receive any scholars, besides those who were designed for the ministry." His whole life was employed in prayer, study, preaching, and teaching school.i He published " Meditations on the Prophesy of Daniel;" and " De Tractatione Peccatoris;" and left behind him many volumes of manuscripts.
• Morse and Parish's Hist. p. 43,44.
+ Mather's Hist, of New hog. b. iii. p. 143, 144.—Mone and Parish's Hist, of New Eng. p. 46.