Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Rust, George

RUST, GEORGE (d. 1670), bishop of Dromore, was a native of Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. from St. Catharine's Hall early in 1647. He became a fellow of Christ's College in 1649, and proceeded M.A. in 1650. His reputation for learning was considerable even in youth. In 1655 he delivered a Latin discourse in St. Mary's, Cambridge, in answer to Pilate's question, ‘What is Truth?’ At the commencement of 1658 he maintained in the same place the thesis that scripture teaches the resurrection of the body, and that reason does not refute it. He belonged to the Cambridge Platonist school (Masson, Life of Milton, vi. 307), and among his friends at Christ's were Sir John Finch (1626–1682) [q. v.] and the learned Henry More (1614–1687) [q. v.] He was also intimate with Joseph Glanvill [q. v.], an Oxford man, but closely associated with More. He gave up his fellowship in 1659.

Soon after the Restoration, Rust was invited to Ireland by his fellow-townsman Jeremy Taylor [q. v.], ordained deacon and priest on the same day, 7 May 1661, and made dean of Connor in August. In 1662 he was presented by the crown to the rectory of Island Magee. On 20 Oct. 1663, preaching at Newtownards at the funeral of Hugh Montgomery, first earl of Mount Alexander [q. v.], Rust remarked, ‘New presbyter is but old priest writ large.’ Milton, whose sonnet containing the same line, probably written in 1646, was not published till 1673, was a Christ's man, and Rust perhaps derived the phrase from him. For himself, said Rust, he had studied all creeds, and preferred the church of England. In 1664 Rust was rector of Lisburn, where Lord Conway lived. He naturally became the friend of Taylor's friends, and in 1665 he visited Conway in England, when Valentine Greatrakes [q. v.] was trying to cure Lady Conway's headaches (Rawdon Papers, pp. 206, 213). Jeremy Taylor died at Lisburn on 13 Aug. 1667, and Rust preached a well-known funeral sermon. In succession to Taylor, Rust was appointed bishop of Dromore by patent in November 1667, and consecrated in Christ Church, Dublin, on 15 Dec. He died of fever in the prime of life in December 1670, and was buried in the choir of Dromore Cathedral in the same vault with his friend Taylor. No monument was erected there to either of them, and the bones of both were disturbed a century later to make room for another prelate. Bishop Percy of the ‘Reliques’ collected the remains of his two predecessors and restored them to their original resting-place.

Joseph Glanvill [q. v.] says Rust gave a new turn to Cambridge studies: ‘he had too great a soul for trifles of that age, and saw clearly the nakedness of phrases and fancies; he outgrew the pretended orthodoxy of those days, and addicted himself to the primitive learning and theology in which he even then became a great master.’ Rust's works are: 1. ‘A Letter of Resolution concerning Origen,’ &c., London, 1661, 4to. 2. ‘Sermon on ii. Tim. i. 10, preached at Newtown, 20 Oct. 1663, at the Funeral of Hugh, earl of Mount Alexander,’ Dublin, 1664, 4to. 3. ‘Sermon at Jeremy Taylor's Funeral,’ Dublin, 1667, 4to; numerous later editions; it was included by Heber in vol. i. of Taylor's ‘Works.’ 4. ‘A Discourse of Truth,’ London, 1677, 12mo; another edition, with copious notes and a preface by Joseph Glanvill, was published by James Collins, London, 1682; this is not identical with Rust's discourse delivered at Cambridge in 1655. 5. ‘A Discourse of the Use of Reason in Matters of Religion, showing that Christianity contains nothing repugnant to Right Reason, against Enthusiasts and Deists,’ London, 1683, 4to; this comprises the Latin original edited by Henry Hallywell, with a translation, copious notes, and a dedication to Henry More. 6. ‘Remains,’ edited by Henry Hallywell and dedicated to his diocesan, John Lake [q. v.], bishop of Chichester, London, 1686, 4to.

An account of Rust is given in Cooper's Annals of Cambridge, iii. 545–6; see also Ware's Bishops and Writers of Ireland, ed. Harris; Worthington's Diary and Corresp. (Chetham Soc.), pp. iii, 118, 134, 301, 305, 312, 339; Cotton's Fasti Ecclesiæ Hibernicæ, vol. iii.; Berwick's Rawdon Papers; Jeremy Taylor's Works, ed. Heber; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss; Cooper's Memorials of Cambridge; notes supplied by the master of Christ's College.]

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