Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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NORRIS, Edward, clergyman, born in Gloucestershire, England, in 1589; died in Salem, Massachusetts, 10 April, 1640. He was a teacher and preacher in his native town until 1640, when he emigrated to the Massachusetts colony, and from 18 March of that year till his death was pastor of the church in Salem. He was one of the most tolerant men of his age, declined to join in the persecution of the Gortonists or Anabaptists, and, when a severe platform of church discipline was adopted by the assembly of ministers in 1648, persevered in his own rules of conduct, for the Salem church, and in consequence of his moderation was greatly revered by all his fellow-townspeople. He appeared as a, writer on the political events of the day in 1653, and favored the war with the Dutch settlers as a "just and proper undertaking." During the witchcraft delusion he withstood popular clamor and used his influence to resist the persecutions. He published a treatise on "Asking for Temporal Blessings" (London, 1636); a "Reply to John Task's True Gospel Vindicated" (1637) ; and "The New Gospel not the True Gospel" (1638).
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