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fěred him a benefice ; but he rofused to ac.
In 1663, about two years after the death of his father, he came into England ; and after six months stay at Oxford and Cambridge, returned to Scotland : which he soon left again to make a tour for some months, in 1664, in Holland and France. At Amsterdam, by the help of a Jewish Rabbi, he perfected himself in the Hebrew language ; and likewise became acquainted with the leading men of the different persuasions tolerated in that country ; as Calvinists, Arminians, Lutherans, Anabaptists, Brownists, Papists, and Unitarians ; amongst each of which, he used frequently to declare, he met with men of such unfeigned piety and virtue, that he became fixed in a strong principle of universal charity, and an invincible abhorrence of all severities on account of religious dissensions.
Upon his return from his travels, he was ad. mitted minister of Salton; in which station he served five years in the most examplary inanner. He drew up a memorial, in which he took notice of the principal errors in the conduct of the Scots bishops, which he observed not to be conformable to the primitive institution ; and sent a copy of it to several of them. This exposed him to their resentment: but to show that he was not actuated with a spirit of ambiţion, he led a retired course of life for two years, which so endangered his health, that he
was obliged to abate his excessive application to study. In 1669, he published his Modest and free Conferrence between a Conformist and a Non-Conformist.” He became acquainted with the Duchess of Hamilton, who communicated to him all the papers belonging to her father and uncle ; upon which he drew up the « Memoirs of the Dukes of Hamilton." The Duke of Lauderdale hearing he was about this work, invited him to London, and introduced him to King Charles 11.
He returned to Scotland, and married the lady Margaret Kennedy, daughter of the Earl of Cassils, a lady of great piety and knowledge, highly estcemed by the Presbyterians, to whose sentiments she was strongly inclined. As there was some disparity in their ages,
that it might remain past dispute, that this match was wholly owing to inclination, and not to avarice or ambition, the day before their marriage our author delivered the lady a deed, whereby he renounced all pretensions to her fortune, which was very considerable, and must otherwise have fullen into his hands, she herself having no intention to secure it.
The same year he published his Vindication of the Authority, Constitution and Laws of the Church and State of Scotland;" which, at that juncture, was looked upon as so great a service, that he was again offered a bishopric, and a promise of the next vacant archbishopric, but he did not accept it, because he could not.
approve of the measures of the court,the grand view of which he saw to be the advancement of popery.
Mr. Burnet's intimacy with the Duke of Hamilton and Lauderdale, occasioned him to be frequently sent for by the king, and the Duke of York, who had conversations with him in private. But Lauderdale, conceive ing a resentment against him, on account of the freedom with which he spuke to him, represented at last to the king, that Dr. Burnet was engaged in an opposition to his measures. Upon his return to London, ho perceived that these suggestions had entirely thrown him out of the king's favour, though the Duke of York treated him with greater civility than ever, and dissuaded him from going to Scotland, Upon this, he resigned his professorship at Glasglow, and staid at London. About this time the living at Cripple-Gate being vacani, the dean and chapter of St. Paul's, (in whose gift it was) hearing of his circumstances, and the hardships hc had undergone, sent bim an offer of the benefice; but as he had been informed of their first intention of conferring it on Dr. Fowler, he generously declined it. In 1675, at the recommendation of Lord Hollis, whom he had known in France, ambassador at that court, he was, by Sir Herbolile Grinistone, master of the rolls, appointed preacher of the chapel there, notwithstanding the opposition
of the court. He was, soon after, chosen a lec. turer of St. Clement's, and became one of the preachers that were most followed in town. In 1679, he published his “History of the Reformation,” for which he had the thanks of both houses of parliament. The first part of it was published in 1679, and the second in 1681. The next year, he published an abridgment of these two parts.
Mr. Burnet, about this time, happened to be sent for to a woman in sickness, who had been engaged in an amour with the Earl of Rochester. The inanner in which he treated her during her illness, gave that lord a great curiosity for being acquainted with him : whereupon, for a whole winter, he spent one evening in a week with Dr. Burnet, who discoursed with him upon all those topics, upon which skeptics and men of loose morals attack the Christian religion. The happy effect of these conferences occasioned the publication of the life and death of that earl. In 1682, when the adıninistration was changed in favour of the Duke of York, being much resorted to by persons of all ranks and parties, in order to avoid retui ning visits, he built a laboratory, and went, for above a year through a course of chemical experiments. Not long after, he refused a living of 3001. a year offered him by the Earl of Essex, on the terms of his not residing there, but in London. When the inquiry concerning the popish plot was on foot, he was frequcntly sent for and
consulted by King Charles, with relation te the state of the nation. His Majesty offered him the bishopric of Chichester, then vacant, if he would engage in his interests; but he refused to accept it on these terms He preached at the rolls till 1684, when he was dismissed. by order of the court. About this time he published several pieces.
On King James' accession to the throne, having obtained leave to go out of the kingdom, he first went to Paris, and lived there in great retirement, till, contracting an acquaintance with brigadier Stouppe, a Protestant genticman in the French service, he made a tour with him into Italy. He met with an agreeable reception at Rome. Pope Innocent II. hearing of our author's arrival, sent the captain of the Swiss guards to acquaint him he would give him a private audience in bed. to avoid the ceremony of kissing His Holines's slipper. But Dr. Burnet excused himself as well as he could. Some disputes which our author had here, concerns ing religion, beginning to be taken notice of, made it proper for him to quit the city : which, upon an inimation given him by the Prince Borghese, he accordingly did.
He pursued his travels through Switzerland and Germany. In 1688, he came io Utrecht with an intention to settle in some one of the Seven Provinces. There he received in invi. tation from the Prince and Princess of Orange (to whom their party in England had recom.