Try out the new BibleStudyTools.com. Click here!

Edward Corbet

Edward Corbet, D. D.—This worthy person was born at Pontesbury in Shropshire, iu the year lb02, descended from the ancient family of Corbets in that county, and educated in Merton college, Oxford, where he was chosen iellow. He was made proctor of the university; but, refusing conformity in certain points, he was called before the vice-chancellor. He was no enemy to the church of England, but could not with a good conscience observe all its superstitious ceremonies. And while the vice-chancellor laid bis case before Archbishop Luul, chancellor of the university, he petitioned his lordship for relief; but it was not likely he could obtain the least redress* The civil war having commenced, and Oxford being garrisoned by the king's forces, he was deprived of his fellowship, and expelled from the collpge, for refusing to espouse the royal cause.t Archbishop Laud, being atterwards prisoner in the Tower, refused him the rectory of Chatham in Kent, because he was a puritan; and when he was appointed rector of that place, by order of parliament, his lordship still refused his allowance; but his refusal was to no pu rposc.J He was witness against the archbishop at his trial, and deposed "that, in the year 1/538, his grace visiting Merlon college, by his deputy, Sir John Lamb, one article propounded to the wardens and follows was, 'Whether they made due reverence, by bowing towards the altar, when they came into the chapel.'—That he and Mr. Cheynel w'ere enjoined by the visitors and commissioners to use this ceremony; but they refused; for which, though he assigned his reasons for refusing, he was particularly threatened.— That, after this, Dr. Frewin, the vice-chancellor, told him that he was sent to him by the archbishop, requiring him to use this ceremony.—That the archbishop atterwards sent injunctions to Merton college, requiring them to bow towards the altar, and the visitors questioned (hose who refused.— And that in Magdalen college there was a crucifix placed over the communion table, and pictures in the windows; and a new crucifix was set up in Christ's church, none of which innovations were ever heard of before the time of this archbishop."^

Mr. Corbet was chosen one of the assembly of divines, one of the committee for the examination and ordination of t

• Wharton's Troubles of Land, vol. ii. p. 15S, 156.
+ Wood's Alhenai Oxon. vol. ii. p. 88.
J Prjnne's Breviair of Laud, p.27,28.
\ Prynne's Cant. Ooome, p. 71.

ministers, and one of the preachers before the parliament. He was appointed one of the preachers to reconcile the Oxford scholars to the parliament, one of the visitors of that university, and orator and canon of Christ's Church, in the room of Dr. Hammond. It is observed, " that, though he was one of the visitors, he seldom or never sat among them. And when he usually preached at St. Mary's church, ihe year hefbre the king was beheaded, he would, in his long prayer before sermon, desire 'that God would open the king's eyes to lay to heart all the blood that he had spilt. And that he would prosper the parliament and their blessed proceedings.' He was an easy man," it is added, "and apt to be guided by the persuasions of others; and, therefore, by Cheynel and Wilkinson, two violent and impetuous presbytcrians, he was put into the roll of visitors, merely to make a nose of wax. '* However, he did not continue long in this situation; but, being made rector of Great Hasely in Oxfordshire, he removed to the charge of his flock, where he continued to the end of his days. He took his doctor's degree in 1648, and died in London, in January, 1657, aged fifty-five years; when his remains were conveyed to Great Hasely, and interred in the chancel of the church.i He was a good divine, a valuable preacher, and a person remarkable for integrity. His wife was daughter of Sir Nathaniel Brent, and grand-daughter of Dr. Robert Abbot, bishop of Salisbury.; She was a lady of most exemplary piety. Pier funeral sermon was preached by Dr. Wilkinson, and afterwards published, with some account of her excellent character.^ Dr. Corbet appears to have been author of " The Worldling's Looking-glass; or, the Danger of losing his Soul for Gain," 1630. "God's Providence, a Sermon before the House of Commons," 1642. And most probably some others. Some of Bishop Abbot's manuscripts fell into his hands, particularly his Latin Commentary upon the whole Epistle to the Komans. This learned and laborious work, in four volumes folio, Dr. Corbet deposited iu the Bodleian library, Oxford, where it still remains.

* Grey'* Examination of Nval, vol. ii. p. 300.
+ Wood's Athena: Oton. vol. ii. p. 749.
1 Biog. Brilan. vol. i. p. 23. Edit. 1770.

$ Kennel's Chronicle, p. 72.—Clark's Lires annexed to Martyrolnjie, V- 414. | Biog. Brilan. ibid. p. 34.