Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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McSPARRAN, James, clergyman, born in Ireland about 1680; died in South Kingston, Rhode Island, 1 December, 1757. He was educated at the University of Glasgow, and received the degree of M. A. in 1709. He was made deacon, 21 August, 1720, by the bishop of London, and priest, 25 September, 1720, by the archbishop of Canterbury. The next year he was sent by the Society for propagating the gospel as a missionary to Bristol, Rhode Island, and neighboring towns. He received the degree of D. D. from Oxford in 1731. He visited England twice in 1736 and 1754, and was for thirty-seven years minister of St Paul's church, Narragansett, which is shown in the illustration. Dr. McSparran was an energetic defender of his church. He published numerous sermons, of which that oil "The Sacred Dignity of the Christian Priesthood Vindicated" is noteworthy, and excited much opposition. His chief work is entitled "America Dissected, being a Full and True Account of the American Colonies" (Dublin, 1752). His aim was to warn poor people against emigrating to America, on account of bad climate, bad money, danger from enemies, pestilent heresies prevailing, and the like. This curious work was reprinted in an appendix to Wilkins Updike's "History of the Episcopal Church in Narragansett " (New York, 1847).
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