Burnet, Thomas (d.1750) (DNB00)

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BURNET, THOMAS, D.D. (d. 1750), rector of West Kington, Wiltshire, of New College, Oxford, became D.D. in 1720, and was prebendary of Salisbury from 1711 till his death on 28 May 1750. He wrote: 1. ‘An Essay upon Government,’ 1716. 2. ‘The Scripture-Trinity intelligibly explained,’ 1720, published anonymously. 3. ‘The Demonstration of True Religion,’ in sixteen sermons (Boyle lecture), 1726. 4. ‘The Argument set forth in a late book entitled Christianity as old as the Creation, reviewed and confuted,’ 1730. 5. ‘The Scripture Doctrine of the Redemption of the World by Christ,’ 1737. Kippis in the ‘Biographia’ mentions ‘Scripture Politics,’ which seems to be merely a misdescription of No. 1. Burnet is a fair and candid, but by no means a lively writer. In his treatises on the Trinity and atonement and redemption, he endeavours to mediate between orthodox and Arian views. In his defences of revelation, as well as in his political treatise, he tries to reason logically from propositions assumed as axiomatic. In the dedication of his ‘Scripture Doctrine’ to the Bishop of Salisbury, he says: ‘It was composed by broken snatches, and at such leisure time as I could steal from a life encumbered with disagreeable business, and embarrassed with care and difficulties.’

[Biog. Brit. under ‘Gilbert Burnet;’ Gent. Mag. 1750, p. 284.]

R. G.