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..Spauddin Vrem, Cole
2-16-29
204 38

BIOGRAPHICAL

AND

HISTORICAL MEMOIR

OF

JOHN CORBET,

The subject of the present biographical sketch, though of humble origin, was one of the many who, in the most memorable of our revolutionary conflicts, attracted the notice of their countrymen, and raised themselves from obscurity by the outcry of “ persecution," and by an unshaken adherence to their religious and political sentiments through every change of fortune. In these sentiments the mistaken rigour of their opponents did but the more confirm them, giving to their resolution the merit of consistency, and the renown of martyrdom, in “ times deluded with imaginary inspiration*." John Corbet, the son of Roger Corbet, a shoemaker, was born in the city of Gloucester, in the year 1620, and having received his

* Atkyns.

education at a grammar school there, became, at the early age of sixteen, a batteller of Magdalen Hall, Oxford. Three years afterwards, in 1639, he was admitted bachelor of arts. After he had taken holy orders he preached at Gloucester, where we find him in the following year incumbent of St. Mary de Crypt, one of the city lecturers, and usher of Crypt grammar-school; in the latter office he was for some time the coadjutor of the still more celebrated, but less fortunate John Biddle, the distinguished Socinian, who was appointed master of the same school in 1641. When the civil war commenced, and the city was garrisoned, according to the revolutionary phrase, “ for the king and parliament,” Corbet, recommended by the antimonarchical principles he had already ventured to profess, was nominated domestic chaplain to the new governor, Colonel Edward Massey; and the doctrines he promulgated leave no doubt of the sincerity and perfect devotedness with which he laboured in his vocation, The pulpit became the oracle of disloyalty: he lost no occasion of decrying the royal party, and several times declared, even on the most solemn occasions, that “nothing had so much deceived the world as the name of a king, which was the “ ground of all mischief to the church of Christ.” Yet much allowance is assuredly to be made for the season in which such rebellious feelings were suffered to prevail, religious fanaticism and political zeal being at that period universally prevalent. Much also may be fairly ascribed to the ill-advised and irritating measures of a government,

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