Author:Gilbert Burnet

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Gilbert Burnet

Scottish theologian and historian, and Bishop of Salisbury

Gilbert Burnet


The following is extracted from The History of his Own Time'' (1823 ed.), Volume vi. pp.331–52.

History and Historical Tracts[edit]

  • Memoirs of James and William dukes of Hamilton (1676)
  • The history of the reformation of the church of England (1679; 1681; 1714), in 3 vols.
  • An abridgment of the History of the reformation (1719), in 3 vols.
  • Reflections on Mr. Varillas's history of the revolutions that have happened in Europe in matters of religion, and more particularly in his ninth book, that relates to England (1686)
  • A defence of the reflections on the ninth book of the first volume of Mr. Varillas's history of heresies; being a reply to his answer (1687)
  • A continuation of reflections on Mr. Varillas's history of heresies; particularly on that which relates to English affairs, in his third and fourth tomes (1687)
  • A relation of the barbarous and bloody massacre of about an hundred thousand protestants, begun at Paris, and carried on over all France, by the papists, in the year 1572. Collected out of Mezeray, Thuanus, and other approved authors (1678)
  • The last words of Dr. Lewis du Moulin; or his retraction of all the personal reflections he had made on the divines of the church of England (1680)
  • Some passages of the life and death of the right hon. John Wilmot earl of Rochester, who died 26 July, 1680, written by his lordship's direction on his death-bed (1680)
  • The conversion and persecution of Eve Cohan, now called Elizabeth Verboon; a person of quality of the Jewish religion (1680)
  • An account of the confessions of lieutenant John Stern and George Borosky, executed for the murder of Thomas Thynn, esq. 10 March, 1681/2 (1682)
  • News from France: in a letter, giving a relation of the present state of the difference between the French king and the court of Rome; to which is added, the pope's brief to the assembly of the clergy, and the protestation made by them in Latin, together with an English translation of them (1682)
  • The history of the rights of princes in the disposing of ecclesiastical benefices and church lands ; relating chiefly to the pretensions of the crown of France to the regale, and late contests with the court of Rome. To which is added, a collection of letters written upon that occasion: and of some other remarkable papers put in an appendix (1682)
  • An answer to the "Animadversions on the history of the rights of princes," &c. (1682)
  • The life and death of sir Matthew Hale, knt. sometime lord chief justice of the king's bench (1682)
  • The life of Dr. William Bedel, bishop of Kilmore in Ireland ; together with the copies of certain letters which passed between Spain and England, in matters of religion, concerning the general motives to the Roman obedience, between Mr. James Wadsworth, a late pensioner of the holy inquisition in Sevll, and the said William Bedel, then minister of the gospel in Suffolk (1685)
  • Three letters in defence of some passages in the history of the reformation, in answer to the reflections of the reverend Mr. Simon Lowth, vicar of Cosmus Blene, in his book of the subject of church power (1685)
  • A letter written to Dr. Burnet, giving some account of cardinal Pole's secret powers; from which it appears that it was never intended to confirm the alienation that was made of the abbey lands. To which are added, two breves, that cardinal Pole brought over, and some other of his letters, that were never before printed (1685)
  • Travels through France, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland; describing their religion, learning, government, customs, natural history, trade, &c. written in letters to the honourable Robert Boyle, esq. To which is added, an appendix, containing remarks on Switzerland and Italy, by a person of quality (1687)
  • A relation of the death of the primitive persecutors. Translated from the Latin of Lactantius. With a large preface concerning persecution, in which the principles, the spirit and practice of it are freely censured and condemned. (1687).
  • A letter to Mr. Thevenot, containing a censure of Mr. le Grand's history of king Henry the eighth's divorce. To which is added, a censure of Mr. de Meaux's [John Benigne Bossuet, late bishop of Condom] history of the variations of the protestant churches; together with some further reflections on Mr. le Grand. (1689)
  • A letter to Dr. William Lloyd, lord bishop of Coventry and Litchfield, concerning a book lately published, called "A specimen of some errors and defects in the history of the reformation of the church of England," by Anthony Harmer (1693)
  • An essay on the memory of queen Mary (1695)
  • Reflections on a book, entitled, "The rights, powers, and privileges of an English convocation stated and vindicated," by Francis Atterbury, M. A. afterwards bishop of Rochester and dean of Westminster (1700)
  • The history of his own time, (1723, 1734) in 2 vols.
  • A letter from the bishop of Salisbury to the clergy of his diocese. To be read at the triennial visitation in April and May, 1708.
  • A letter to a lord, upon his happy conversion from popery to the protestant religion. By G. Burnet, D. D. (1688)
  • Thoughts on education, by the late bishop Burnet. (1761)


  • 'Utopia' (1683) by Thomas More. Includes a preface concerning translations. Transcription is 1901 edition of the 1516 Latin original


  • Subjection for conscience sake asserted; at Covent Garden, 6 Decem. 1674, on Rom. xiii. 5. (1675)
  • The royal martyr lamented; at the Savoy, 30 Jan. 1674/5 2 Sam. i. 12. (1675)
  • Before the lord mayor and aldermen, at St. Mary-le-Bow, 2 Sept. 1680, the fast-day for the fire of London. Amos iv. 11, 12. (1680)
  • Before the house of commons, at St. Margarets, Westminster, 22 December, 1680, the fast-day. Rev. iii. 2, 3. (1681)
  • Before the court of aldermen, at St. Lawrence-Jewry, 30 Jan. 1680/1. Zech. viii. 19. (1681)
  • An exhortation to peace and union; before the lord mayor, aldermen, &c. at St. Lawrence-Jewry, 29 Sept. 1681, the day of electing the lord mayor. Matth. xii. 25. (1681)
  • At the funeral of Mr. James Houblon, at St. Mary Woolnoth, 28 June, 1682. Psalm xxxvii. 37. (1682)
  • At the chapel of the Rolls, 6 Nov. 1684. Psalm xxii. 21.(1684)
  • Before the prince of Orange, at St. James's, 23 Dec. 1688. Psalm cxviii. 23. (1689)
  • Before the house of commons, 31 Jan. 1688/9|-, the day of thanksgiving for the deliverance of this kingdom from popery and arbitrary power, by his highness the prince of Orange's means. Psalm cxliv. 15. (1689)
  • At the coronation of king William and queen Mary, at Westminster Abbey, 11 April, 1689- 2 Sam. xxiii. 3, 4. (1689)
  • Before the house of peers, at Westminster Abbey, 5 Nov. 1689. Micah vi. 5. (1689)
  • An exhortation to peace and unity, at St. Lawrence-Jewry, 26 Nov. 1689. Acts vii. 26. (1689)
  • Before the king and queen, at Whitehall, on Christmas day, 1689. 1 Tim. iii. 16. (1689)
  • Before the court of aldermen, at St. Mary-le-Bow, on the fast-day, 12 March, 16 89/90. Luke xix. 41, 42. ((1690)
  • Before the queen, at Whitehall, on the fast-day, 16 July, 1690. Psalm Ixxxv. 8.(1690)
  • Before the king and queen, at Whitehall, on the day of thanksgiving, 19 Oct. 1690. Psalm cxliv. 10, 11. (1690)
  • At the funeral of the right honourable Anne lady dowager Brook, at Breamor, 19 Feb. 1690/1?. Prov. xxxi. 30,31. (1691)
  • Before the king and queen, at Whitehall, on the fast-day, 29 April 1691. Psalm xii. 1. (1691)
  • Before the king and queen, at Whitehall, on the day of thanksgiving, 26 Nov. 1691. Prov. xx. 28. (1691)
  • At the funeral of the honourable Robert Boyle, esq. at St. Martin's in the Fields, 7 Jan. 1691/2 Eccles. ii. 26. (1692)
  • Before the queen, at White Hall, the third Sunday in Lent, 11 March, 1693/4. 1 Cor. i. 26. (1694)
  • Before the queen, at Whitehall, 29 May, 1694. Psalm cv. 5. (1694)
  • At the funeral of the most reverend Dr. John Tillotson, late archbishop of Canterbury, at St. Lawrence-Jewry, 30. Nov. 1694. 2 Tim. iv. 7. (1694)
  • Before the king, at St. James's, the first Sunday in Lent, 10 Feb. 1694/5 2 Cor. vi. 1. (1695)
  • Before the king, at Whitehall, on Christmas-day, 1696. Gal. iv. 4. (1696)
  • Before the king, at Whitehall, the third Sunday in Lent, 7 March, 1696/7 Ephes. v. 1. (1697)
  • Before the king, at Whitehall, 2 December, 1697, the day of thanksgiving for the peace. 2 Chron. ix. 8. (1697)
  • Of charity to the household of faith; before the lord mayor, aldermen, &c. at St. Bride's, on Easter Monday, 25 April, 1698. Gal. vi. 10. (1698)
  • Charitable reproof; before the societies for reformation of manners, at St. Mary-le-Bow, 25 March, 1700. Prov. xxvii. 5, 6. (1700)
  • At St. James's church, upon reading the brief for the persecuted exiles of the principality of Orange, Jan. 1703/4. 1 Cor. xii. 26, 27. (1704)
  • Before the society for the propagation of the gospel in foreign parts, at St. Mary-le-Bow, 18 Feb. 1703/4. Malachii.ll. (1704)
  • At Salisbury, (and some other places,) at the triennial visitation, Oct. 1704. Phil. ii. 1, 2. (1704)
  • At St. James's, 10 March, 1705/6, the fifth Sunday in Lent. Psalm xlix. 20. (1706)
  • Before the lord mayor, aldermen, &c. at St. Sepulchre's on Easter Monday, 25 March, 1706. Matth. xxiv. 12. (1706)
  • On the day of thanksgiving, 27 June, 1706. Deut. iv. 6. 7, 8.
  • Before the queen, and the two houses of parliament, at St. Paul's, 31 Dec. 1706, the day of thanksgiving for the wonderful successes of that year. Psalm Ixxii. 4. (1707)
  • At Salisbury, 29 May, 1710. Matth. xxii. 21. (1710)
  • At Salisbury, 5 Nov. 1710, and 7 Nov. 1710, the day of thanksgiving. Psalm cxliv. 15. (1710)
  • Before the lord mayor, aldermen, &c. at St. Bride's, on Easter Monday, 2 April, 1711. Psalm cxxii. 6, 7, 8, 9. (1711)
  • Before the lord mayor, aldermen, &c. at St. Bride's, on Easter Monday, 29 March, 1714. Daniel iv. 27. (1714)
  • At Salisbury, at the triennial visitation, 1714. Acts XX. 28.
  • Before the king, at St. James's, 31 Oct. 1714. Psalm ii. 10, 11. (1714.)
  • Before the king and queen, at Hampton-Court, on the first fast-day, 5 June, 1689. 2 Chron. xv. 2.
  • Prepared by queen Mary's order for the day of thanksgiving, 27 Oct. 1692, for the victory at sea, near La Hogue. Exod. iv. 13.
  • Before queen Anne, upon her accession to the throne, at St. James's, 15 March, 1701/2, the fourth Sunday in Lent. Isaiah xlix. 23.
  • Against popery, at St. Clement's, near the end of king Charles IId's reign. Ephes. i. 3.
  • Before the lord William Russel, in Newgate, 20 July, 1683, the day before he suffered. Rev. xiv. 13. Psalm xxiii. 4.
  • Upon death, in the cathedral church at Salisbury, on occasion of the death of the reverend Mr. Edward Young, dean of Salisbury, who died 7 Aug. 1705. Eccles. xii. 7.
  • Upon the love of God. Matth. xxii. 35, 36, 37, 38.
  • Upon the love of our neighbour. Matth. xxii. 39, 40.
  • Against perjury. Levit. xix. 12.
  • Of the nature of oaths, and against profane swearing. James v. 12.
  • Upon keeping holy the sabbath-day. Exod. xx. 8, 9, 10, 11.
  • Against adultery and uncleanness. Heb. xiii. 4.
  • Against drunkenness. Ephes. v. 18.

Discourses and tracts in divinity[edit]

  • On the importance of substantial piety and vital religion ; a preface to a book entitled, "The life of God in the soul of man ; or, the nature and excellency of the Christian religion; by Henry Scougal, M. A. sometime professor of divinity in the university of Aberdeen." (1688)
  • Instructions for the archdeacons of the diocese of Salisbury, to be delivered by them to the clergy in their Easter visitations; together with a letter from their diocesan, dated 22 April, 1690. (1690)
  • A short directory, containing proper rules how to prepare young persons for confirmation. (1690)
  • A discourse concerning the pastoral care. (1692)
  • Four discourses delivered to the clergy of the diocese of Salisbury, concerning, I. The truth of the Christian religion. II. The divinity and death of Christ. III. The infallibility and authority of the church. IV. The obligations to continue in the communion of the church; with a large prefatory epistle to the clergy of the said diocese.
  • A letter to the reverend Dr. John Williams, in defence of the "discourse concerning the divinity and death of Christ" (1695)
  • Animadversions upon a late book, written by Mr. Hill, falsely called, "A vindication of the primitive fathers against the imputations of Gilbert lord bishop of Sarum." (1695)
  • Reflections upon a pamphlet entitled, "Some discourses upon Dr. Burnet and Dr. Tillotson, occasioned by the late funeral sermon of the former upon the latter." (1696)
  • An exposition of the thirty-nine articles of the church of England (1699)
  • Remarks on the examination of the second article of our church. (1702)
  • A charge given at the triennial visitation of the diocese of Salisbury, in Oct. 1704, prefixed to a sermon preached at the same visitation. (1704)
  • An exposition of the church catechism, for the use of the diocese of Salisbury. (1710)
  • A charge given at the triennial visitation of the diocese of Salisbury, 1714; published together with a sermon preached at the same visitation. (1714)

Tracts against popery[edit]

  • The mystery of iniquity unveiled; in a discourse, wherein is held forth the opposition of the doctrine, worship, and practices of the Roman church to the nature, designs, and characters of the Christian faith (1673)
  • Rome's glory; or a collection of divers miracles wrought by popish saints, collected out of their own authors, with a prefatory discourse, declaring the impossibility and folly of such vain impostures. (1673)
  • An account given by J. Ken, a Jesuit, of the truth of religion examined. (1674)
  • A rational method for proving the truth of the Christian religion, as it is professed in the church of England, in answer to "A rational, compendious way to convince, without dispute, all persons whatsoever dissenting from the true religion, by J. Ken." (1675)
  • A relation of a conference held about religion at London, 3 April, 1676, by Edward Stillingfleet, D. D. and Gilbert Burnet, with some gentlemen of the church of Rome, [Mr. Edward Coleman, a Jesuit, secretary to the duchess of York, and others.] At the end of the " relation of the conference," are added two discourses : I. To shew how unreasonable it is to ask for express words of scripture, in proving all articles of faith. II. To shew by what means the doctrines of the real presence and transubstantiation were introduced into the church. (1676)
  • A vindication of the ordinations of the church of England ; in which it is demonstrated, that all the essentials of ordination, according to the practice of the primitive and Greek churches, are still retained in our church ; in answer to a paper written by one of the church of Rome, to prove the nullity of our orders ; and given to a person of quality. [Sir Philip Terwhit's lady, at whose house the conference about religion was held, 3 April, 1676.] (1677)
  • A letter written upon the discovery of the late plot. (1678)
  • The unreasonableness and impiety of Popery, in a second letter written upon the discovery of the late plot. (1678)
  • A decree made at Rome, 2 March, 1679, condemning some opinions of the Jesuits and other casuists. (1679)
  • The infallibility of the Romish church examined and confuted. (1680)
  • The policy of Rome, as delivered by cardinal Palavicini, in his history of the council of Trent, with a preface, by G. Burnet, D. D. (1681)
  • The letter writ by the last assembly general of the clergy of France to the protestants, inviting them to return to their communion, together with the methods proposed by them for their conviction, translated and examined. (1683)
  • A letter containing remarks on the two papers, writ by his late majesty king Charles the second, concerning religion. This letter was written 1685, but not published till 1688.
  • An inquiry into the reasons for abrogating the test imposed on all members of parliament, offered by Dr. Samuel Parker, bishop of Oxford. (1688)
  • A second part of the inquiry into the reasons offered by Dr. Samuel Parker, bishop of Oxford, for abrogating the test: or an answer to his plea for transubstantiation, and for acquitting the church of Rome of idolatry. (1688).
  • A continuation of the second part of the inquiry into the reasons offered by Dr. Samuel Parker, bishop of Oxford, for abrogating the test: relating to the idolatry of the church of Rome. (1688)
  • Reflections on "the relation of the English reformation, and the theses relating to it," lately printed at Oxford, by Obadiah Walker, master of University college (1688), in two parts.

Tracts polemical, political and miscellaneous[edit]

  • A modest and free conference between a conformist and nonconformist, in seven dialogues. (1669)
  • A vindication of the authority, constitution, and laws of the church and state of Scotland : in four conferences, wherein the answer to the dialogues betwixt the conformist and the nonconformist is examined. (1673)
  • Observations on the first and second of the canons commonly ascribed to the holy apostles; wherein an account of the primitive constitution and government of churches is contained. Drawn from ancient and acknowledged writings. (1673)
  • A resolution of two important cases of conscience: question the first. Is a woman's barrenness a just ground for divorce or for polygamy? Question the second. Is polygamy in any case lawful under the gospel? Both which cases the author resolved in the affirmative.
  • A modest survey of a discourse, entitled, "The naked truth; or the true state of the primitive church, by an humble moderator," (1676)
  • Reasons against the repealing the acts of parliament concerning the test: humbly offered to the consideration of the members of both houses, at their next meeting, on the twenty-eighth of April, 1687. (1687)
  • Some reflections on his majesty's proclamation of the twelfth of Feb. 1686/7, for a toleration in Scotland: together with the said proclamation. (1687)
  • A letter containing some reflections on his majesty's declaration for liberty of conscience, dated April 4, 1687.
  • An answer to Mr. Henry Payne's letter concerning his majesty's declaration of indulgence, writ to the author of a letter to a dissenter. (1687)
  • An answer to a paper printed with allowance, entitled a new test of the church of England's loyalty, (1687)
  • The earl of Melfort's letter to the presbyterian ministers in Scotland, writ in his majesty's name upon their address: together with some remarks upon it. (1687)
  • Reflections on a pamphlet, entitled, "Parliamentum pacificum," licensed by the earl of Sunderland, and printed in London, in March, 1688.
  • An apology for the church of England, with relation to the spirit of persecution for which she is accused. (1688)
  • Some extracts out of Mr. James Stewart's letters from 12 July to 19 Nov. 1687, which were communicated to Mynheer Fagel, the States' pensioner of the province of Holland: together with some references to Mr. Stewart's printed letter. (1688)
  • An edict in the Roman law, [de inspiciendo ventre, custodiendoque partu,] concerning the visiting a woman with child, and the looking after what may be born of her; with observations from Aristophanes and Cicero, relating to the like cases. (1688)
  • An inquiry into the measures of submission to the supreme authority, and of the grounds upon which it may be lawful or necessary for subjects to defend their religion, lives, and liberties. (1688)
  • A review of the reflections on the prince of Orange's declaration, printed at Exeter in Nov. 1688.
  • The citation of Gilbert Burnet, D. D. to answer in Scotland on 27 June, old style, 1687, for high treason; together with his answer, and three letters writ by him upon that subject to the right hon. the earl of Middletoun, his majesty's secretary of state. (1688)
  • Dr. Burnet's vindication of himself from the calumnies with which he is aspersed in a pamphlet, entitled, "Parliamentum pacificum," licensed by the earl of Sunderland, and printed in London, March 1688. (
  • An inquiry into the present state of affairs: and in particular, whether we owe allegiance to the king in these circumstances? And, whether we are bound to treat with him, and call him back again, or not? (1688)
  • Reflections on a paper, entitled, "His majesty's reasons for withdrawing himself from Rochester." (1688)
  • A pastoral letter, writ by Gilbert lord bishop of Sarum, to the clergy of his diocese, concerning the oaths of allegiance and supremacy to king William and queen Mary; dated 15 May, 1688.
  • A speech in the house of lords, December 1708, upon the bill, entitled, "An act for preventing occasional conformity." (1703)
  • A speech in the house of lords, 16 March 179/10, upon the first article of the impeachment of Dr. Henry Sacheverell. (1710)
  • Four letters between Gilbert lord bishop of Salisbury and Mr. Henry Dodwell, on occasion of Mr. Dodwell's resolution to leave the nonjurors, and return to the communion of the church of England. (1713)

Works about Burnet[edit]

Some or all works by this author were published before January 1, 1928, and are in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago. Translations or editions published later may be copyrighted. Posthumous works may be copyrighted based on how long they have been published in certain countries and areas.

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