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CHRIST-CHURCH COLLEGE. Ralph Button, B. D. Canon, and Orator to the University ; froin both which places he was turned out in 1660, and was succeeded by Dr. South. He was educated at Merton Col. He was an excellent scholar ; a most humble man; of a plain sincere heart, and was a great sufferer for Nonconforinity. Besides a great loss in his estate, he was six months in gaol for teaching privately the sons of two knights near Brentford, who persuaded him to undertake this office. He died at Islington, where he was a tutor to young men in his own house, October 1680. He wrote a Hebrew and Latin Poein on the Restoration, in Brit. Rediv. :: · Henry CORNISH, B. D. He might have been created D. D. but refused. There were many scholars who were very thankful to God and to him for his public sermons at Oxford, both before the war, and after that city was surrendered to the parliament. He was displaced by K. Charles's commis.
court, of Stanton-Harcourt in Oxfordshire ; preaching occasionally about the country and in Oxford. In 1690, he settled at Bicester. Wood says, “Such was the poor spirit of the person, that being about 80 years old, he preached there in a barn for profit-sake, to silly women, and other obstinate people.” But the author, who had the happiness of being at that time well acquainted with hiin, can attest, that he was a man of a very generous and public spirit; having never met with inore sincerity, inore eminent piety, more cordial love to God and man, than was discernable in him. It was the good of souls, and the service of his master, he aimed at. As for profil, he was above it: he had an estate of his own. Neither was his income from his people great. As for them, they were as intelligent, good-tempered, judicious and affectionate a people as a minister need desire. The good old gentleman was as tender of them as a father ; and they carried it to him with the respect and tenderness of children; and vital religion exceedingly flourished among them. He left this life for a better, Dec. 18, 1698, in the 85th year of his age.
His funeral sermon was preached by a worthy conforming clergyman, Mr. John Olyffe, Rector of Dutton, Bucks ; in which he declares, “ He had always observed in him a great kindness and benignityr of disposition, joined with an undissembled integrity and uprightness, whereby he plainly
discovered discovered that he rejoiced in all mens welfare and happiness, and was glad when he could any ways promote it. He possessed great calmness of temper, but was fervent in spirit in the service of his God. And his long and continued labour in that service, even to extreme old age, was a striking proof of his delight in it, of his pious zeal for the promoting of religion, and his earnest desire of the eternal welfare of men. He was one of eminent piety, of exact walking, of an hea!ing spirit, and full of love to God and good men of different denominations. He was not for a wrangling or disputative divinity, which tends to gender strife, but for plain practical godliness in its life and power, &c.” This worthy man's candour occasioned the publication of a pamphlet, full of angry reflections, though the truth of the character which he gave of Mr. Cornish could not be denied. Mr. Olyffe made a very handsome and ingenious reply, in a preface to his ser. mon, which, had it not been for those reflections, had not seen the light.
· Mr. JOHN POINTER, of Bras. No. Col. Canon. A close student, a grave preacher, and a man of considerable worth. His mother devoted lrim to the ministry from the womb. She dying when he was about eight years old, he was taken by Mr. W. Hancock his brother-in-law, a mercer in Coventry, to be educated in the great school there. A very considera. ble estate was left to enable his guardian to give him a liberal education. At about eighteen years of age he was sent to the university. When he left Oxford, he boarded with old Mr. Dodd at Ashby, where he had his son Mr. Timothy Dodd (a pious and learned man) for his companion. Here he studied about three quarters of a year, after which Mr. T. Dodd going to Leyden to live with Dr. Ames, Mr. Pointer accompanied him, and continued there almost a year, till an ague seized him, which caused him to return home. Some time after, he undertook a lecture in London, at St. Mildred's, Bread-street, where he preached twice every Lord's-day. After two years labour there, he was forced, by the incumbent, to quit, and returned to Hanwell ; from whence, after a year and a half, he was called to be lecturer at Wooton-Waven in Warwickshire, but he was forced to leave this situation through the opposition of the papists, and went to Hornton near Hanwell, which place he also left in a year's time, because of a pestilential fever, and went with his family to Warwick :
· Having spent a year and a half there, he obtained froin the company of Mercers in London, a lecturer's place in Huntingdon, though he had eleven competitors. He preached the lecture there on Saturday (which was the market day) for the benefit of the country people, and gave the town a sermon every Lord's day in the great church, gratis. Some years afterwards, the lecture being supplied by neighbouring ministers, he preached twice every Lord's day. In this place he continued eleven years, till the troubles of the war forced him to London, from whence, after a year and a half, he was called to Buers in Essex, where he continued six years ; till a fever, (which afterwards returned every spring and fall.) occasioned him to remove with his family to Oxford. There he continued three years without any stated employment, being unwilling to accept any sequestered living, though he had the offer of about twenty of that sort. At length he preached for Dr. French in his turn at Whitehall. When the doctor died, . Cromwell, without any application, put him into the vacant canonry of Christ Church, Oxford, making him promise that he would take as much pains in the ininistry here as he had done at Huntingdon; which he did, by preaching once in six weeks in the college, and every Lord's-day at St. Thomas's church gratis. He kept his turn also at St. Mary's, and in four towns in the country. After the Restoration, he was cast out, and he never preached afterwards ; but he visited the sick with great assiduity. He died Jan. 2, 1683, in his 84th or 85th year. $ Mr. Pointer left two sons who were clergymen, settled near Oxford; one of them rector of Slapton, Northamptonshire: the other, the author of a treatise on the weather. They were both good men. Mr. Orton.
GEORGE PORTER, B. D. Canon; and Proctor of the University in the second year of Dr. Owen's vice-chancellorship. In 1662, he was cast out from his fellowship in MagdalenCollege. He was a man of good learning, great gravity, integrity, self-denial and charity. In church-government he was what might be called a sort of an Interpendent. He could not allow that the ruling of church affairs should be by popular suffrage; or that the people should govern their officers. And yet he held that the people had just rights and privileges which must not in the least be infringed; and that therefore the due satisfaction of the church would and ought to be sought by every wise and just governor. In a word, he held that it was the pastor's or elder's part to rule, and the people's part to obey; but both “ in the Lord.” He took
notice that this was thrice commanded in one chapter, Heb. xiii. 7, 17, 24. He was greatly pleased with Mr. Giles Firmin's Weighty Questions Discussed. He was a great enemy to highflown expressions in sermons, and would say to those who used them, to discover their learning, that “ Learning did not consist in hard words, but in depth of matter." He was of a me!ancholy constitution, which sometimes prevailed to such a degree, that for several years he had little enjoyment of his friends, himself, or his God: but at length he had comfort. He resided some tiine at Lewcs in Sussex, and afterwards freely preached the gospel at East-Bourn in the same county, near the place of his nativity. He was at last pastor of a church at Clare in Suffolk ; where he died, July 1697, in the 74th year of his age. He was a very devout man, and had a due respect both to the substance and circumstances of worship. He used to speak of common sleepers at sermons with great severity, as equally criminal with swearers or drunkards. There are three letters of his in Mr. T. Rogers's Discourse of Trouble of Mind.
Mr. John Singleton, Student. He was turned out after he had been at this college eight years, by the cominissioners, in 1660. He then went into Holland and studied physic. It is not certain whether he took his degree in that faculty or not, but he was always afterwards called Dr. Singleton ; though he did not practise any farther than giving his advice to particular friends. He lived with Lady Scot in Hertfordshire, and preached to soine Dissenters at Hertford, before Mr. Haworth fixed there. He was afterwards pastor to a congregation in London : and when the meetings there were generally suppressed, and there was a breach among his people, he went into Warwickshire, and lived with his wife's brother, Dr. Timothy Gibbons, a physician, a pious man, who had been educated at Christ Church in Oxford. Upon king James's giving liberty to the Dissenters, he preached at Stretton $, a small hamlet about eight miles from Coventry, to a congregation that came from different places in the neighbourhood. From thence he removed to Coventry to be pastor to the Independent congregation there, who had been under Mr. Basnet, and afterwards under Mr. Boon *. From
Coventry $ “ I have often heard some good people in Northamptonshire (from " whence Stretton is not far distant) speak of him with great respect." Mr.
* Mr. Boon was a pious and learned gentleman of a good estate, who had been educatod in Eman, Col. Camb. and followed the law; but being cbosca
Coventry he was again called to London, to be pastor to a congregation there in the room of Mr. Thomas Cole. He has a sermon in the Morning Exercises.
JOHN THOMPSON, M. A. Student, A native of Dorchester. He had spent nine years in Oxford, and was well esteemed for learning and virtue by his contemporaries. He was as willing to have kept his place as others, if he could with a safe conscience have conformed. He studied the points in debate with great deliberation, conversed freely with such as were most likely to increase his light, and seriously begged divine direction; but upon the whole he could not 'comply with what was required through fear of offending God. He thereupon quitted the university and all hope of preferment, and returned to Dorchester, where he applied himself diligently to the study of divinity. He married the daughter of worthy Mr. Benn the ejected minister of that place, and often preached for him with great acceptance. In 1670, upon the call of a congregation in Bristol, he removed to that city, where he exerted himself in his ininisterial
unblameable conversation ; none being able to lay any thing to bis charge but his Nonconformity. In 1675, he was apprehended upon the Corporation-act, and carried before the mayor, at whose house he found the Bishop of the diocese and several justices, who treated him roughly, which he bore with great meekness. Refusing to take the Oxfordpath, he was committed to gaol, Feb. 10th, and about the 25th of that month began to be indisposed. A physician whom he consulted, seeing a fever coming on, advised to attempt a removal; the place where he was being annoyed by a nasty privy, besides other inconveniencies. A person of quality went to the sheriffs, and offered a bond of 500l. for security. Application was also made to the Bishop, but no removal could be obtained. He languished there till March 4, (though not without all the help the place would afford) and then expired.
He was chearful in his sickness, and well satisfied in his sufferings and the cause of them. He declared " that from pastor to that people, he gave himself wholly to the work of the ministry was an excellent practical preacher, and exposed himself to much danger of sufferings : but some who came with a design to inform against him, were affected and awed with his preaching, so as not to offer him any harm. He was descended from some who were martyrs in queen Mary's days. His principles were congregational, but his zeal was for the great things of reli. gion, faith and holiness.