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by frequent conference with a pious ininister, it pleased God to recover him to a full composure, and he died with good hope through grace of eternal life. * Mr. John Gay*. He had not preached when the Uniformity-act took place. He left the university because he could not submit to the terms imposed. He lived afterwards at Barnstaple in Devonshire, and was useful there. - Mr. John CUDMORE. He was an intimate friend of Mr. Gay, and left the university at the same time, not being satisħed with the declarations and subscriptions required in or. der to take his degree. He was of a good family, and was brother to Daniel Cudmore, Esq. of Loxbeare; a singular scholar, and an eminently holy man; content with a small estate, and a small congregation in Chumleigh, where he settled in 1694, succeeding Mr. Thomas Hart. In the lat. ter part of his time he was crippled with the gout, and died in Oct. 1706. In his last sickness he said to a minister who was with him, “ Nonconformity is the right; continue in it.'' A son of his was in the ministry among the Dissenters some. where in the West of England.
* * John CONANT, D. D. He was Rector of Exeter College at the time when the Uniformity-act passed, and he left his place on account of it. Of this learned and excellent person some memoirs are contained in Prince's Worthies of Devon, he being a native of that county. We are there informed that “ He greatly distinguished himself while hę was a student in the university, insomuch that the learned Rector, Dr. Prideaux, applauded him by the following wit. ticisım upon his mame: CONANTI nihil difficilet." It ap. pears from some original papers f, dated in the year 1640, that he had been some years Rector of Limington, in the diocese of Dr. Pierce, bishop of Bath and Wells; from whom, for want of strict conformity, and on account of some zealous exertions in his ministerial work, he met with much opposition. He was puritanical in his principles, and afterwards became a member of the Westminster Assembly, and one of the Commissioners at the Savoy; but when he took
This name and the next are transposed from Devonshire, * " To him that endeavours nothing is difficult."
i These papers, now in the Editor's possession, are in Dr. Conant's own hand-writing. They were communicated by the Rev. Dr. FURNEAUX. As they are curious and interesting, a copy of them shall be given at the end of this article.
DESTEZS & EJECTED
ution as shewed lim to be set very warmly at
of Lords. Wlien fie appeared before the Commi
John Cona After lteliad been a Nonconformist about seven years cantame, and became wicar of All Saints in Northam This may be thought an objection to his being placed on list. But as the bad continued with the Nonconformist Tomg, he may be faintly embered among the ejected minis especially as in his temper and strain of preaching he was Dr. Callamy observes,) so much like the rest of his breth hat both by those that were in the church, and those gere out of it, he was generally ranked with the Presbyter 1 his days. Mr. Prince, in the memoirs of his Life, seems to be
to account for his Nonconformity. But all things red, it is more surprising that he should ever have ced to conforin. Probably he might subscribe the : &c. of the church on the same principles that he t sugement to the Commonwealth; and in the samen admitted, any one might subscribe almost any thing sche of his spirit and temper, as well as of his hist
t he met with in his ministerial labours,
A.D. 1633, first once every fortnight, and afterwards weekly without any considerable intermission, without any prohibition or the least discouragement from Bp Lakes and his successors, until Bp Pierce his coming into this Diocesse, & after his the sayd Bp Pierce his coming to Wells, I being told that he was an adversary to Lectures that a storm was coming, and having heard that some more publick Lectures were already suppressed, I thought it a ineete and inoffensive way to repayre unto the sayd Bishop and to crave his leave and liking for the continuance of my Lecture wch accordingly I did, taking with me a grave and orthodox Minister of myne ancient acqvaintance, viz. Mr. John Vivian then Vicar of Banwell that he might if neede required give testimony unto such passages as , should intercede betweene the Byshop & my selfe. But the Bp taking me into an inner roome beckened unto the said Mr. Vivian (as he himself told me) sig. nifying that he should stay behind, notwithstanding wch I yet earnestly and humbly intreated the said Bp Pierce to afford me his approbation and incouragement in my said Lecture, alledging to this purpose that I was Batchelor in Divinity, & a preacher licenced by the university, also that the Lecture was within myne own parish, & upon a day appointed for Common Prayer by our church, and that I was wil ling to imploy the tyme and talent wch God had vouchsafed me for the benefitt and instruction of my people, who much needed the same. Yet the sayd Bp utterly denied mę any such leave or approbation, telling me that such as came to my Church on Wednesdays should heare the Litany and so be gone, withal requiring me once & againe not to proceed any once more in my said Lecture or Exposition, (wch he called preaching) on Wednesdays, as I would answer the contrary. And when I huinbly desired to understand the reason why he should so strictly prohibit me beyond some others, who as then continued their wonted weekly preaching in their own churches, & within the same Diocesse without any such restraint, alledging no reason for his so doing, he answered, That it was in his power to inhibit or to licence whom hc would, tho' within their owne cures, to preach any such weekly Lecture within his diocesse, & therewith promised me as a pretended favour that if any else within his said Diocesse did continue any such Lecture I should enim. like liberty : but added withall, That his pur- guy permit any. That this was the sum
puse was not
mnie of my suite unto Bp careful. Edmund, who was one of the youngest, was sent early to Oxford, where he applied so close to study, and got such applause, that while he was an under-graduate he was chosen a probationer fellow before eighteen of his seniors. At about eighteen years of age he had a threatening illness, from which he was remarkably recovered, when through the drunkenness of the surgeon who blooded him, his life was in imminent danger. He was another time as remarkably preserved from being diowned. These merciful deliverances were preparatory to that good work which, about this time, God began in his heart, as they led him to serious thoughts concerning his spiritual and eternal state, to close self-examination and fervent prayer. Having been about two months under a spirit of bondage, so that many times, as he says, he durst not close his eyes in the night lest he should awake in hell, he at length, being very earnest with God in prayer for the manifestations of his love, was immediately filled with a strong persuasion of it, and with joy unspeakable and full of glory.'
From this time he applied himself to the diligent reading of the scriptures, and the study of divinity, and determined upon the work of the ministrý; telling his father, (who had given him his choice of the three learned professions) that “ He esteemed the turning of souls to righteousness the most desirable work in the world, and attended with the greatest reward hereafter, though the others might bring in more wealth and honour here." He first preached a lecture on the Lord's-day afternoon at Witney in Oxfordshire, about six months, and had encouraging seals of his ministry. His labours were so acceptable that people flocked froin all parts to hear him. This was not pleasing to the incumbent, who took the more time in reading prayers, that this novel lecturer might have the less time for preaching, and then left the church; but he was followed by none but his clerk, whom he would not suffer to give out the psalm. Mr. Staunton had preached several times on that text, Buy the truth, and sell it not; upon which the incumbent, when he met any coming into the church as he went out, would say with a sneer, What, are you going to buy the truth?"
His friends having got a living for him at Bushy in Hertfordshire, he removed thither, and had a welcome reception, especially from those who had any savour of religion. Here he preached and catechized on the Lord's-day, and at other times with great success, with respect to many who came from adjacent places, as well as his parishioners.' But after he had been here about two years, Dr. Seaton, of Kingston in Surrey, having a inind to this living, and either finding, or making a flaw in this title, soon dispossessed him of it. The Dr.'s attorney, thinking highly of Mr. Staunton's ingenuity, proposed an exchange, to which both parties agreed. But the Dr. when he had got Bushy, would not part with Kingston. However Mr. Noy, his attorney, abhorring this baseness, threatened to find a flaw in his title to Bushy, and many of the inhabitants of Kingston who prized Mr. Staunton's ministry, so worked the Dr. that he soon resigned, and Mr. Staunton took his place. He here continued about twenty years, endeavouring to fulfil his n:inistry, not only preaching twice on the Lord's day, but catechizing the younger and ignorant sort of people, and teaching them from house to house. He also set up a weekly lecture, which was supplied by several eminent ininisters in their turns. By these means, together with the holiness of his life, he wrought a general reformation in the town, both among the magistrates and the people. He was beloved by all the godly, and feared by the wicked. Nor did he only produce an external reformation; for when he left this place in 1648, there were thirty persons who gave him a paper in which they owned him as their spiritual father, and doubtless many more could have added their names to the list.
In 1635, when the Book of Sports came out, he was one among many who were suspended for not reading it. During his suspension he took his degree of D. D. at Oxford, which he says he did to put the greater honour upon his sufferings. His exercise was greatly applauded. But there were several doctors in the university whose fingers itched to be dealing with him because he was a Puritan; among whom was one who was so miserably nonplussed by Dr. Staunton in the dis. putation, that the auditors hissed him, and one called for a candle, that the Dr. might see his arguments.
Dr. Staunton was a member of the Assembly of divines, and was in such esteem, that he was appointed one of the six morning preachers in Westminster-abbey. In 1648, when the visitors discharged Dr. Newlin from the headship of this college, Dr. Staunton succeeded him. Here he continued about twelve years, in which time his whole deportment was very exemplary. He at first put in execution all such statutes as tended most to the advancement of learning and religion, and was frequently present at the lectures and other exercises,