Burnet, Gilbert

, the bishop’s second son, had the same advantages of education with his elder brother, having a distinct tutor both at home and the university. He pursued his studies, likewise, for two years at Leyden. At Oxford he was admitted a commoner of Merton college; but how long he studied there we are not informed, nor what degree he took. Having entered into holy orders, we find him a chaplain in ordinary to his majesty so early as in 1718, when he could not be thirty years of age. He is said to have been a contributor to Hibernicus’s Letters, a periodical paper carried on at Dublin in the years 1725, 1726, and 1727: and we believe there is no doubt of his having been one of the writers of another valuable paper, entitled “The Free-thinker,” which was afterwards collected into three volumes, 12mo. In the Hoadlian controversy he was an able assistant to the eminent prelate from whom that controversy received its denomination. Three pieces were published by Mr. Burnet on this occasion, the first of which was, “A Letter to the rev. Mr. Trapp, occasioned by his Sermon on the real Nature of the Church and Kingdom of Christ;” the second, “An Answer to Mr. Law’s Letter to the Lord Bishop of Bangor;” and the third, “A full and free examination of several important points relating to Church-Authority, the Christian Priesthood, the positive | Institutions of the Christian Religion, and Church-Communion, in answer to the notions and principles contained in Mr. Law’s second Letter to the lord bishop of Bangor.” Dr. Hoadly considered our author as one of his best defenders. In 1719 Mr. Burnet published an abridgment of the third volume of his father’s History of the Reformation. If he had not been cut off in early life, there is no doubt but that he would have made a distinguished figure in the literary world; and it is probable that he would have risen to a high rank in the church. The Gilbert Burnet who abridged the Boylean Lectures was another person. 1


Big. Brit.