Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Gell, Robert

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GELL, ROBERT, D.D. (d. 1665), divine, was a member of the family of Gell at Hopton, Derbyshire. He appears to have been educated at Cambridge, and after that to have held the living of Pampisford in Cambridgeshire. He was for some time one of the chaplains to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and frequently preached before the university of Cambridge, in 1631 before Charles I, and in 1641 before the lord mayor and aldermen of London in the Mercers' Chapel. About this time he appears to have been appointed to the rectory of St. Mary, Aldermanbury, London, which he held till his death on 20 March 1665. He seems to have taken much interest in astrology, and at least twice (1649 and 1650) preached before the Society of Astrologers. His works exhibit wide and varied learning, much wit, considerable critical power, and a fund of curious allegorical illustrations; the ‘Remaines’ are especially valuable as a collection of most ingenious skeleton discourses. He wrote:

  1. ‘Ἀγγελοκρατία Θεοῦ, or a Sermon (Deut. xxxii. 8, 9) touching God's Government of the World by Angels,’ 1650.
  2. ‘Noah's Flood returning,’ a sermon (on Matt. xxiv. 37–9) preached before the lord mayor, &c., 1655.
  3. ‘Stella Nova, a new Starre leading wise Men unto Christ,’ a sermon (Matt. ii. 2), no date.
  4. ‘An Essay towards the Amendment of the last English Translation of the Bible. The first Part, on the Pentateuch,’ 1659.
  5. ‘Gell's Remaines: or Several Select Scriptures of the New Testament opened and explained; collected and set in order by R. Bacon,’ 1676.

[Baker's Hist. London, art. ‘St. Mary, Aldermanbury;’ Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, iii. 562; Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. iii. 19.]

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