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usually proposed by Mr. Thomas Smelt, Master of the Free Grammar School at Northallerton, as an example to his other scholars. He was admitted of Clare Hall, Cambridge, in 1651, under the tuition of Mr. Tillotson, afterward Archbishop of Canterbury, who honoured him with his friendship. On the transfer of Dr. Cudworth from the Mastership of Clare Hall to that of Christ's College, he also removed to the same College, where he was elected Fellow in 1657. He did not enter, however, into holy orders, until he succeeded to the Mastership of the CharterHouse in 1685. With the unshaken attachment to the Protestant cause so honourably characteristic of many of his contemporaries, he resolutely opposed the designs of James II., who attempted to place one Popham a papist as a pensioner on the foundation of the Charter-House. He was Chaplain in Ordinary, and also clerk of the Closet, to King William. Some passages in his Archeologice Philosophicæ (a work of great erudition) in which he expressed his doubts concerning the literal history of the fall, and the introduction of a dialogue between Eve and the serpent, exposed him to censure; and it has been said, probably without much authority, that his hopes of obtaining the highest preferment in the Church on the demise of Dr. Tillotson were destroyed by it. He was certainly deprived of his

employments at Court, and died in a good old age September 27, 1715.

With the exception of Roger Ascham, there are few of our modern writers who surpass Dr. Burnet in the elegance of Latin composition.

His system has been animadverted upon by Dr. Keil and others, and probably with justice. All hypothetical disquisitions, with whatever diffidence they are proposed, excite curiosity and promote examination.

Hence it was easy to foresee, that a theory so comprehensive as that of Dr. Burnet would incur many objections. But we must always admire those sentiments of piety, which pervade his writings ; his animated descriptions of Providence-the world arising out of Chaos-Paradise--the universal Deluge--the general Conflagration--the Millennium, or happy Renovation of the Earth and the Heavens—subjects discussed by him in a stile truly magnificent and sublime.

His whole time he devoted to his improvement in classic literature. From the dedication of the first two books of his · Sacred Theory' to the Earl of Wiltshire, it appears that he composed great part of the work while he was attending that nobleman on his travels. The third and fourth books are inscribed to James Duke of Ormond, who had been his pupil, and by whose interest he was chosen Master of the CharterHouse.


Mr. Addison, from his Spectator, No. 146. and an Ode in the • Musce Anglicanæ*,' seems to have been an enthusiastic admirer of the writings of Dr. Burnet.

Of the “Sacred Theory' some have entertained a very favourable opinion, while others consider it as unphilosophical, or rather as a philosophical

An account of it is given in the Ancient Universal History.

From his English translation of it, if we may call that a 'translation' which has all the beauties and excellences of an original composition, it is difficult to determine whether he writes best in the Latin or in his own native language.

He was author of three small anonymous tracts, entitled : 1. • Remarks upon an Essay concerning Human Understanding, in a letter addressed to the author.' London, 1697, 4to. 2. • Second Remarks, being a Vindication of the first Remarks against the Answer of Mr. Locke at the end of his Reply to the Lord Bishop of Worcester, 1697; and, 3. Third Remarks, &c. 1699. To these publications Mrs. Catharine Trotter (afterward married to the Rev. Mr. Cockburne, and well known by her writings) replied, when she was only twentythree years of age, in her defence of Mr. Locke's Essay. London, 1702.—(See Nichols' Lit. Anecdotes, II. 194, 195.

* See British Plutarch, V, 141.

His Latin Works are,

1. Telluris Theoria Sacra. Libri IV. 1702, 4to.

2. Archæologiæ Philosophicæ, sive, Doctrina Antiqua de Red rum Originibus, 1692. In the dedication of this work, King William's character is drawn with great strength and elegance.

3. De Statu Mortuorum et Resurgentium Tractatus. Adjicitur Appendix de futurá Judæorum Restauratione. 2nd Edit. 1733. .

4. De Fide et Officiis Christianorum Liber, 1727.

The two last volumes were published after his death. I cannot forbear to express my wish, that the latter of them might be introduced into the higher classes of our schools, or among the the junior scholars in our Universities. The doctrines and duties of Christians are there explained in easy, clear, and expressive language.

His Boyle-Lectures, delivered in 1724, and 1725, were published in two volumes 8vo, in 1726.

Dr. Jortin applies to Dr. Burnet, what Quinc tilian says of Seneca, * Multæ in eo claræque Sententiæ : sed in eloquendo corrupta pleraque, atque perniciosissima, quòd abundant dulcibus vitiis.

His Life was written by Dr. Ralph Heathcote, at the request of Mr. Whiston, and prefixed to the edition of his works in two volumes 8vo, 1759.—(See Nichols' Literary Anecdotes, IV. 717., VI. 221.)


Was born at Birdsall in the East Riding, in 1579, and educated at St. John's College, Cambridge. Being appointed tutor to the sons of Robert Carey, of Leppington in the same Riding (who in 1625 was created Earl of Monmouth, and died in 1639) he conducted himself with so much propriety that, through the recommendation of that nobleman, he was made Clerk of the Closet to Prince Henry; and, after his demise, to Prince Charles. In 1623, having completed the necessary preparations for attending his royal master into Spain, he received an unexpected order not to proceed in the journey. On the death of James I., he flattered himself with the hopes of obtaining the office of Clerk of the Closet to the King. But Neile, Bishop of Durham, who had enjoyed that office under the late sovereign, was continued in it. Upon this occasion, Mr. Burton expressed his sentiments with the utmost severity of invective against the Bishops. He even ventured, in a letter addressed to the King, April 23, 1625, to represent the two prelates Neile and Laud as strongly attached to popery ; in consequence of which, he was dismissed from the Court. In the same year, he was presented to the rectory of St. Matthew's in Friday Street, London. Here he seems to

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