A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF CHRISTOPHER NESS
Christopher Ness (1621-1705) was an English Nonconformist preacher and author.
He wrote "A History and Mystery of the Old and New Testaments," a work to which Matthew Henry is thought to owe much of his most valuable material for his commentary; "A Protestant Antidote Against the Poison of Popery;" "The Crown and Glory of a Christian;" "A Christian's Walk and Work on Earth;" "A Church History from Adam," and "A Scripture Prophecy to the End of the World;" "A Discovery of the Person and Period of AntiChrist;" and "An Antidote Against Arminianism," a small work embodying in a brief form the doctrines on election, predestination, etc., as taught by John Owen, Toplady, and others.
Ness was born on December 22, 1621 at North Cave, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, the son of Thomas Ness, a husbandman there. He was educated at a private school at North Cave, under Lazarus Seaman, and entered St. John's College, Cambridge, on May 17, 1638, where he graduated B.A. and M.A. When 23 years old he retired into Yorkshire, where he became a preacher of independent tenets successively at Cliffe, or South Cliffe Chapel in his native parish, in Holderness, and at Beverley, where he taught a school. On Dr. Winter's election as provost of Trinity College, Dublin, in 1651, Ness was chosen as his successor in the living of Cottingham, near Hull, though it does not appear that he ever received Episcopal orders.
In 1656, he became a preacher at Leeds, and in 1660 he was a lecturer under the vicar, Dr. Lake, afterwards Bishop of Chichester; but his Calvinism clashed with the Arminianism of Dr. Lake, and on St. Bartholomew's day in 1662 he was ejected from his lectureship. After this he became a schoolmaster and private preacher at Clayton, Morley, and Hunslet, all in Yorkshire. At Hunslet he took an indulgence as a Congregationalist in 1672, and a new meeting-house was opened by him on June 3, 1672.
He was excommunicated no less than four times, and when in 1674 or 1675 a writ de excommunicato capiendo was issued against him, he removed to London, where he preached to a private congregation in Salisbury Court, Fleet Street. In 1684 he had to conceal himself from the officers of the crown, who had a warrant for his arrest on the charge of publishing an elegy on the death of his friend John Partridge, another Nonconformist minister. He died on December 26, 1705, aged exactly 84 years, and was buried at Bunhill Fields Cemetery.
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