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MRS. COBB, late wife of Francis Cobb, Esq., from whose Diary and Select Letters this volume is extracted, was born at St. Peter's, in the isle of Thanet, Kent, on the 22d of November 1773.—She was educated by her parents, Thomas and Mary Blackburn, with strict attention to her morals; and in her youth resided sometimes at St. Peter's, and sometimes in London; where, for three years, when very young, she attended the ministry of the Rev. R. Cecil.
But, though from a very early period, her mind appears occasionally to have
been under the influence of religious impressions: she does not seem to have been deeply and permanently affected with the great concerns of her soul till the year 1787.—At that time, being induced to attend at the adult baptism of two persons, administered at Shallows, near Margate, by the Rev. W. Purchis, baptist minister of that place; she was so much impressed by the sermon, on John xiv. 21, and by the administration of the ordinance; that from thence her thoughts were chiefly occupied by the subject of religion, and she gradually lost her relish for those pleasures and pursuits which had before engaged her attention.
A considerable time elapsed, in which, like most young converts, she was alternately the subject of hopes and fears, of
joys and sorrows; sometimes more, at others less, diligent in seeking the blessings of eternal life.--At length, however, she was brought to establishment in the christian faith; and having, from the first of her religious impressions, been fully satisfied that adult baptism was agreeable to scriptures, she was, by this ordinance, received into the church at Margate, and continued a member of it till her death. It seems necessary to state explicitly that Mrs. C. was a Dissenter and a Baptist to the last: indeed, her sentiments on this subject appear to have been unwavering; but her candour to those who were of a different opinion, shone forth more and more during her course: and in all respects it may be truly said, that she was an honour to the religious society to which
she was united, as doubtless she must have been to any other christian society; for, “she adorned the doctrine of God, “her Saviour, in all things.”
Many difficulties and painful trials preceded her union with Mr. C; and several extracts are made from her diary during that period, which evince a peculiar degree of confidence in GOD, and calm submission to his will, in the most perplexing circumstances; together with the most cautious fear of incurring his displeasure, or dishonouring his name.
At length, in a remarkable manner, the LORD was graciously pleased to interpose, and remove hindrances, which, a short time before, appeared almost insurmountable; and her marriage took place at Margate, on the 18th of December 1794.
The greater part of the diary and letters which are printed, were written after this event, and (in the opinion at least of the editor ;) become more and more interesting to the last. As the state of her mind and the grand outlines of her life, are more clearly discovered from the perusal of her writings, than from any thing that could be offered in the way of narrative; little more will here be required. The reader, however, will observe that both the diary and the letters seem to break off somewhat abruptly; and, as we naturally wish to learn the closing scene of those, whose excellencies of character and conversation have peculiarly excited our attention and esteem, will, of course, be led to desire some further information respecting her.