Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BARNARD, John, clergyman, born in Boston, 6 November 1681; died 24 January 1770. He was baptized on the day of his birth, and was from the very first destined for the pulpit by his parents. He entered the class of 1700 at Harvard, and was graduated in due course. His biographers guardedly intimate that he was "thoughtless" during his College career; but he was converted before graduation, and began at once to study theology. He preached his first sermon within a year of receiving his degree, and became temporarily the assistant of Dr. Coleman, of the Brattle street Congregational Church, Boston. In 1707 he was appointed by Governor Dudley chaplain to one of the regiments sent to reduce the forts at Port Royal, Nova Scotia (now Annapolis), then held by the French in defiance of the British crown. A warlike expedition precisely suited Barnard's temperament, and his personal bravery made him useful aside from his clerical capacity. He visited England in 1709, where his person and accomplishments made such a favorable impression in court circles that he was offered an official chaplainry under Lord Wharton, but declined, not being able to accept the 39 articles. Returning to America, he preached as a candidate in many pulpits; but being, in a sense, under the patronage of the very unpopular Governor Dudley, he encountered public disfavor, and could not find a congregation that would accept him until 1716, when he was ordained as the assistant of the Rev. Samuel Cheerer, at Marblehead. There he remained during the rest of his life. In the bitter ecclesiastical controversy that arose throughout New England about 1741, mainly in consequence of Whitefield's powerful advocacy of Calvinistic Methodism, Mr. Barnard took a middle course, and he is by some authorities credited with being the first of the Trinitarian Congregationalists to deviate from Calvinism. He published a large number of sermons; "A History of the Strange Adventures of Philip Ashton" (1725) ; "A Version of the Psalms" (1752); and an edition of the first Dudleian (Harvard) lecture ever published (1756). He is described in the funeral discourse as a man of extraordinarily impressive personality. "His presence," said the speaker, "restrained every imprudent sally of youth, and when the aged saw him they arose and stood up." By aI1 accounts he was a fine type of the dignified New England minister, who exacted and received all the punctilious respect then so generally accorded to the clergy.
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