HARRIS, SOLOMON (1726 - 1785), Arian minister and Academy tutor

Name: Solomon Harris
Date of birth: 1726
Date of death: 1785
Gender: Male
Occupation: Arian minister and Academy tutor
Area of activity: Education; Religion
Author: Thomas Oswald Williams

Born at Cilgwyn, Cardiganshire, 21 February 1726. He was educated under Timothy Davis (1709 - 1771) of Cilgwyn and Caeronnen who was in all probability his minister, and at Carmarthen Academy (1746-50), being assisted there by the Congregational Fund Board. In 1750 he accepted a call to the Presbyterian church, Swansea, where he was ordained 4 September 1751. In 1753, with the help of John Bache, he opened a school which he kept going almost throughout his ministry. When Carmarthen Academy (then at Rhyd-y-gors) closed down he was appointed tutor, and the Academy was moved to him at Swansea. The students were, however, very few in number and Harries died within a year.

It has been argued that he was the first to cause his congregation to veer towards Unitarianism. He is said to have been a Calvinist at first but neither Timothy Davis nor the churches at Cilgwyn and Caeronnen were Calvinistic in their views. Accordingly, it is suggested that he was an Arian before 1776 when he co-operated with Lewis Rees of Mynydd-bach in founding the Welsh Independent church in Swansea. In one of the Trevecka letters (at N.L.W.) Solomon Harris is said to have implied that reason, if illuminated by the gospel, is sufficient to ensure the salvation of men. He published a Welsh sermon — Ystyriaethau ar anchwiliadwy olud Crist 1774, and an English one in 1783. He died 15 August 1785.

Author

Published date: 1959

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