The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Jay, William (clergyman)

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JAY, William, English Congregational clergyman and writer: b. Tisbury, Wiltshire, 8 May 1769; d. Bath, 27 Dec. 1853. After studying for the Congregational ministry, he officiated at Hope Chapel, near Bristol, and became pastor in 1789 of Argyle Chapel, Bath, where he remained till 1853. As a preacher he not only enjoyed a high celebrity in his own denomination, but won the applause of fastidious critics like John Foster, Sheridan and Beckford. His sermons are esteemed as well for their catholic spirit as their practical earnestness and simplicity of style, and have passed through many editions. His collected works were published in 12 volumes between 1842-48, and his autobiography in 1854.