Daniel Brevint was the grandson of a Huguenot refugee to Jersey, Cosme Brevint. Cosme was chosen by Helier De Carteret to be the first rector of Sark after he colonised it. He remained there for 35 years, His eldest son Daniel, father of the Dean, was Rector of St John for 46 years from 1604. He married Elizabeth Lee Sebirel, widow of Guillaume Le Goupil, and their son, Daniel, was born in 1617 in St John, and baptised in the parish church on 11 May.
He studied, like his father before him, at the Protestant University of Saumur, and graduated in 1634. He spent some time teaching in Poitou. When King Charles I created three fellowships for Channel Islanders at Jesus College, Oxford in 1636, Brevint and Jean Poingdestre were chosen from Jersey. He held this position until 1649, when his fellowship was removed by Parliamentary commissioners. By then, after a period of imprisonment, he had returned to Jersey, and was appointed Rector of Grouville.
In February 1649 Josué de Carteret charged him before the Royal Court with disaffection and sedition, but he was acquitted. A report on the case was sent to the King:
- "Mr Daniel Brevint gave a warning to Mr Joshua de Carteret to abstain from presenting himself for Holy Communion, unless first reconciled to a person against whom he had uttered publicly in Court passionate expressions of revenge. Carteret in consequence prosecuted Brevint before the Justices. The Commissioners report that they find no ground whatsoever for the charges. They have received good evidence of the integrity and ability of Brevint, and are satisfied that Carteret's carriage was scandalous and offensive".
He was ordained an Anglican deacon and priest in Paris in 1651 by Bishop Thomas Sydserf. John Evelyn's diary recorded the event:
- "1650 June 12. Being Trinity SUnday the Dean of Peterborough (Cosin) preached: after which there was an ordination of two Divines, Durell and Brevint. The Bishop of Galloway officiated with great gravity. They were presented by the Dean in their surplices before the altar, the Bishop sitting in a chaire at one side: and so were made both Deacons and Priests at the same time in regard to the necessity of the times. This was all performed in Sir Rich Browne's Chapell at Paris."
Brevint resumed his work as Rector of Grouville, but went to France in 1652, the year afte Parliamentary forces took control in Jersey. When King Charles II was restored in 1660, he returned to England, becoming prebendary of Durham Cathedral and rector of Brancepath in December 1660. He was appointed Dean of Lincoln on 7 January 1682.
Brevint married Anne de Carteret, daughter of Philippe de Carteret, Bailiff and Lieut-Governor and they had a daughter Charlotte, who married Sir Edward Hussey. Brevint died in the deanery at Lincoln in 1695 and was buried in the cathedral.
From the Biographical Dictionary, edited by the Rev Hugh James Rose:
- "Brevint, (Daniel) a learned divine, born in Jersey, in 1616. Before the revocation of the edict of Nantes, and till Charles I, by Archbishop Laud's persuasion, founded three Fellowships in the Colleges of Pembroke, Exeter, and Jesus, at Oxford, for Jersey and Guernsey alternately, young men of those islands, designed for the ministry, were sent to study among the Protestants in France, particularly at Saumur. Here Brevint studied logic and philosophy. In 1638 he was incorporated Master of Arts at Oxford, as he stood at Saumur; and the same year was chosen to be the first Fellow at Jesus College, upon the foundation just mentioned.
- Being ejected from his Fellowship by the Parliament-visitors, for refusing to take the covenant, he withdrew to his native country; and, upon the reduction of that place by the Parliament forces, fled into France, and became pastor of a Protestant congregation in Normandy. Soon after the Viscount de Turenne, afterwards Marshal of France, whose lady was distinguished for her piety, appointed him to be one of his chaplains. At the Restoration, Brevint returned to England, and was presented by Charles II, who had known him abroad, to the tenth prebend in the Cathedral of Durham. Dr. Cosin, Bishop of that See, who had been his fellow-sufferer, also collated him to a living in his diocese.
- In February 1661 he took the degree of Doctor of Divinity at Oxford; and in December 1681, he was promoted to the deanery of Lincoln. He died in 1695.
- He wrote, Missale Romanorum, or the Depth and Mystery of the Roman Mass laid open and explained, for the use of both Reformed and Unreformed Christians. And the next year, The Christian Sacrament and Sacrifice, by way of Discourse, Meditation, and Prayer, upon the Nature, Parts, and Blessings of the Holy Communion, reprinted on the recommendation of Dr Waterland, in 1739. And in 1674, Saul and Samuel at Endor, or the New Ways of Salvation and Service, which usually tempt men to Rome, and detain them there, truly represented and refuted; reprinted 1688; at the end of which is A Brief Account of R F, his Missale Vindicatum, or Vindication of the Roman Mass, being an answer to The Depth and Mystery of the Roman Mass, before-mentioned. Besides the above works, he published in Latin, Ecclesiae primitivae Sacramentum et Sacrificium à Pontificiis corruptelis, et exinde natis Controversiis liberum, written at the desire of the Princesses of Turenne and Bouillon. Eucharistiae Praeesentia realis, et Pontificia ficta, luculentissimis non Testimoniis modo, sed etiam Fundamentis, quibus fere tota SS. Patrum Theologia nititur, haec explosa, illa suffulta et asserta. Pro Serenissima Principe Weimariensi ad Theses Jenenses accurata Responsio. Ducentae plus minus Praelectiones in S. Matthaei xxv. capita, et aliorum Evangelistarum locos hisce passim parallelos. He also translated into French, the Judgment of the University of Oxford concerning the solemn League and Covenant."
Brevint's works included anti-Catholic writings and devotional works.
Fifty years after his death, extracts from The Christian Sacrament and Sacrifice (1673), prepared by John Wesley, became Methodism's core "authoritative doctrine on the Sacrament" and remains so today.