John Conder was born at Wimpole in Cambridgeshire on June 3, 1714. At the time the Nonconformists were in great fear because of Parliament's Schism Bill under Queen Anne, passed as the Schism Act 1714. Following the accession of George I a degree of religious toleration was won for nonconformists, though with a number of legal restrictions and disadvantages that continued into the nineteenth century.
Conder's first sermon as an Independent was preached in 1738 and he developed a successful ministry at Cambridge, at the Hog Hill church. In 1754 he left to take up an appointment as President of the Independent College at Homerton, near London. In 1762, he was accepted as pastor of a chapel at Moorfields in the City of London, where he served for a twenty-one years as minister.
Conder wrote a number of works and hymns, including Christ watches o'er the embers..., although his grandson Josiah Conder was the more prolific hymn writer in the family. Conder composed the last part of the epitaph for his own headstone. This was duly erected at Bunhill Fields, the Independent burial-ground on the edge of the City of London, on his burial, following his death at Hackney in 1781, aged 67 years.
His self penned epitaph read:
- Peccavi, Resipui, Confidi, Amavi, Requiesco, Resurgam. Et ex gratia Christi, ut ut indignus, regnabo.
References↑Jump back a section
- Briggs, J. H. Y. "Conder, John". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/6058. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
- J. H. Y. Briggs, ‘Conder, John (1714–1781)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004