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which I sit; but to conceal it, would be to aggravate the folly for which I ought to atone, to endanger innocence, and to countenance superstition. This bauble, which you suppose to have the power of life and death, is a senseless scrawl which I wrote with my own hand, and gave to this woman, whom for no other cause you accuse as a witch.” He then related the particulars of the transaction, with such an effect upon the minds of the people, that his old landlady was the last person tried for witchcraft in that county.
The second is as follows: Being once upon the bench at the Old Bailey, he convicted of a robbery a fellow, whom he remembered to have been one of his old companions. Moved by curiosity to ascertain the fortune of his early contemporaries, he inquired • what was become of Tom Such-a-one, and Will Such-a-one, and the rest of the party to which they belonged ?' Upon which the fellow, with a deep sigh and a low bow, replied, “ Ah! my Lord, they are all hanged, except your Lordship and I.”
GILBERT BURNET was born at Edinburgh, September 18, 1643. His father, the younger brother of an ancient family in Aberdeenshire, was bred to the civil law; in which, though his modesty | too much depressed his abilities, he attained so high a reputation, that on the Restoration he was appointed one of the Scottish Lords of Session by the title of Lord Cramond. His mother was sister to
* AUTHORITIES.' Judge Burnet's Life of his Father; Biographia Britannica ; and Rapin's History of England.
† It was his fixed practice, “ never to take a fee from the poor, nor from a clergyman suing in the right of his church; and he bestowed a great part of his profits in acts of charity and friendship. As he censured the conduct of the governing Bishops of the day, he was generally called 'a Puritan.' But when he saw that the order itself was struck at, he adhered to it with great zeal and constancy, as he did to the rights of the crown: not once complying with that party, which afterward prevailed in both nations. For though he agreed with Barclay and Grotius, with the latter of whom he had been intimately acquainted, as to their notions of resistance when the laws are broken through by a limited sovereign, yet he did not think that was then the case in Scotland.” (Chalmers.) The passage referred to in Grotius occurs in his De Jure Belli ac Pacis, I. iv. 7. 3. &c. Dicat aliquis, 'rigidam illam obligationem, &c.'
the celebrated Sir Alexander Johnstoun, called Lord Waristoun, and a warm zealot for Presbytery.
His principles, however, as he refused to acknowledge Cromwell's authority, having thrown him out of employment during the Interregnum, he took upon himself the charge of his son's education. Even at Aberdeen, whither he sent him with a perfect knowledge of Latin at ten years of age, he still continued his principal instructor; and by rousing him to his studies at four o'clock every morning, gave him the habit of early rising, which he only discontinued a few years before his death. At this University he acquired the Greek language, and went through the usual course of Aristotelian logic and philosophy with signal applause. At fourteen, he commenced M. A. After he had taken his degree, his father, though he had designed him for the church, was unwilling to divert him from indulging his passion for the civil and feudal law, to which he applied himself a whole year; receiving from it, as he was often heard to declare, «juster notions concerning the foundations of civil society and government than are maintained by some divines. After this, he altered his purpose, and with his father's warm approbation engaged in the study of theology.
In his hours of amusement, he ran through many volumes of history; and, as he had a strong constitution with a prodigious memory, made himself master of an immense extent of learning, which he thus had ready for use upon all occasions. : At eighteen, he was admitted a probationer, or expectant preacher; and, soon afterward, received
the offer of a good benefice from his cousin Sir Alex ander Burnet, which in consideration of his youth, however, he declined. On March 23, 1663, he was 'elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.
In 1669, about two years after the death of his father, he visited England; and after six months stay at Cambridge* and Oxford, and a visit to London, returned to Scotland. In 1674, he set off upon a tour of some months in Holland and France. At Amsterdam, by the help of a Jewish Rabbi, he not only perfected himself in the Hebrew language, but likewise formed an intimacy with the principal Calvinists, Arminians, Lutherans, Anabaptists, Brownists, Papists, and Unitarians; among whom he used frequently to affirm, he met with men of such piety and virtue, that he became fixed in a strong principle of universal charity, and an invincible abhorrence of all severities on account of differences of religious opinion. At Paris he became acquainted with the two celebrated ministers of Charenton, Daillé and Morus : and he was treated with great kindness by Lord Hollis, then English Embassador at the French Court. :
Upon his return to Scotland in 1665, he was ad. mitted into holy orders by the Bishop of Edinburgh, and presented to the living of Saltoun, which had
:: * At Cambridge, he had an opportunity of conversing with
Drs. Cudworth, Pearson, Thomas Burnet, and Henry More: and at Oxford, his accurate knowledge of the Councils and the Fathers strongly recommended him to Drs. Fell, Pocock, and Wallis. The latter giving him a letter of introduction to the Hon. Robert Boyle, he was introduced in London to Tillotson, Stillingfleet, Patrick, Lloyd, Whichcot, and Wilkins, of the clergy; and, of the laity, to Sir Robert Murray.
been kept vacant during his absence, by Sir Robert Fletcher.* In 1666, the conduct of the Scottish Bishops seemed to him so unworthy of the episcopal character, that he drew up a mémorial of their abuses. This, Archbishop Sharp considered as a high indignity, and proposed his deprivation and excommunication : but the spirit, with which Burnet defended himself, protected him from so violent a retribution.'
During the five years which he spent at Saltoun, he preached twice every Sunday, and once on one of the week-days: he catechised three times a week, so as to examine every parishioner, old and young, thrice a year: he went round the parish from house to house, imparting instruction, reproof, or comfort as occasion required: the sick he visited twice a day: and he administered the sacrament four times a year, personally instructing all such as gave notice of their intention to receive it. The surplus of his income, after a very frugal expenditure, he bestowed in charity.
In 1668, he was employed, on the suggestion of his friend Sir. Robert Murray, in negotiating a scheme of accommodation between the Episcopal and Presbyterian parties : and, by his advice, many of the latter were put into the vacant churches. That measure, however, he himself subsequently condemned as indiscreet.
* He had previously declined it, probably as thinking himself still too young.. Though he was at this time the only clergyman in Scotland, who read the Church of England Liturgy, yet so exemplary was he in the discharge of his parochial duty, that he gained the esteem even of the Presbyterians. It was, indeed, a radical part of his character, to spare no pains in the performance of every function that devolved upon him.