Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BURNS, Robert, Canadian clergyman, born in Borrowstounness, Linlithgowshire, Scotland, 13 February, 1798 ; died in Toronto, 19 August, 1869. He was graduated in arts at Edinburgh University in 1805, and in divinity in 1810. He was minister of St. George's church, Paisley, from July, 1811, till the disruption which, in May, 1843, resulted in the secession of the Free Church from the Established. He came out with the Free Church, and in March, 1845, removed to Canada, and the same year became minister of Knox church, Toronto, a charge which he retained till 1856. In that year he was appointed professor of church history and apologetics in Knox College, Toronto, retiring in 1864. He penetrated the remotest bush-regions in the land of his adoption, so that his name was familiar throughout Canada. When pastor in Paisley he, for fourteen years, occupied the same pulpit as Dr. Witherspoon, the only clergyman whose name was affixed to the "Declaration of Independence." In 1838-'9 he edited the Edinburgh "Christian Instructor." His publications include "Letters to Dr. Chalmers on the Protestant and Roman Catholic Religions" (Paisley, 1818); "Historical Dissertation on the Law and Practice of Great Britain, and particularly of Scotland, with regard to the Poor" (2d ed., Edinburgh, 1819); "Woodrow's History of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland " (4 vols., Glasgow, 1830); "Treatise on Pluralities" (1824); and a "Life of Dr. NcGill." His
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