PARKER, THEODORE, an American theologian; born in Lexington, Mass., in 1810. He entered Harvard College in 1830, continuing, however, for a time to work on his father's farm; afterward teaching school at Boston. In 1834 he entered the Theological School. He was chosen, in 1837, minister of a Unitarian congregation at West Roxbury. He had there leisure for study, and read exten sively, enjoying the society of Dr. Chan ning. His views of Christianity had diverged considerably from the standard of his sect, and great excitement was occasioned by his sermon "On the Transient and Permanent in Christi anity," preached in 1841. Wearied in with the bitterness and opposition of his ad versaries, he visited Europe 1843. The prejudice against him led to his quit ting West Roxbury, and settling at Roston in 1846, as minister of the Twenty-eighth Congregational Society. In the following year he became joint editor with Emerson and Cabot of the "Massachusetts Quarterly Review." He
distinguished himself as the fearless op ponent of the Fugitive Slave Law and sheltered slaves in his own house. He was very active as a public lecturer on various political and social topics, and was the correspondent of many eminent men. Early in 1859 he was compelled to relinquish his duties and seek health in France and Italy. His earliest pub lished work was the "Discourse of Mat ters Pertaining to Religion" (1847). It has been widely read in Europe as well as in America, and is one of the most important contributions to religious philosophy. Among his other works are: "Critical and Miscellaneous Writings"; "Theism, Atheism, and the Popular The ology"; "Discourses of Politics"; "Ex periences as a Minister," etc. He died in Florence in 1860.