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Gilbert Burnet

1643-1715. Bishop of Salisbury. Born in Edinburgh, he entered Marischal College, Aberdeen, in 1653, studying arts, law, and divinity, and seldom working less than fourteen hours a day. After continental travel he was episcopally ordained and became minister in 1665 of Saltoun, East Lothian. While there he published A Memorial of Diverse Grievances, which attacked both bishops and clergy for the low moral state of the land-and nearly led to his deposition and excommunication. In 1669 he took the chair of divinity at Glasgow, a post to which he gave characteristic zeal. His moderation in an age of extremes, however, was resented by both Presbyterian and Episcopalian parties and (having twice refused bishoprics offered for political reasons) finally he resigned and settled in London, where he became chaplain of the Rolls Chapel and lecturer of St. Clement's (1675-84). Initially a royal chaplain, Burnet rebuked Charles II for his way of life, was subsequently dispossessed by him, was outlawed by James II (1687), and became adviser and staunch supporter in Holland of William of Orange. Appointed bishop of Salisbury in 1689 under William III, he was a faithful counselor to high and low. He preached the sermon at William's coronation, and attended his deathbed. Burnet's other writings include a History of the Reformation in England (3 vols., 1679- 1714); Exposition of the Thirty-Nine Articles (1699); and History of His Own Time (1723-34).