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and other German princes. The following year he returned to Oxford, when he accidentally became acquainted with lord Ashley, afterwards earl of Shaftesbury, who honoured him with his patronage, and took him into his house. At the instance of his lordship, Locke now directed his chief attention to politics; and on the elevation of his patron to the post of lord chancellor, he was appointed secretary of the presentations. His lordship, however, being removed the following year, Locke shared his fortune; though he soon after held, for a short time, a secretaryship to a commission of trade. In 1673, being apprehensive of a consumption, he went to Montpellier, where he became acquainted with Mr. Thomas Herbert, subsequently earl of Pembroke, to whom he communicated his design of writing his Essay on Human Understanding, which had long employed his thoughts. He quitted Montpellier for Paris.
The earl of Shaftesbury, on the discovery of the popish plot, rising again into favour, was made president of the new council, in 1679, when he sent for Mr. Locke; who, as his patron was removed again in less than half a year, obtained no post on the present occasion,
In 1682, his lordship fled to Holland from a prosecution of high treason, and Locke accompanied him in his flight. Here, after his lordship's death, which happened soon after, he was accused at the English court, of having written certain tracts against the government. This accusation was unfounded; but it being discovered that he sided with some English mal-contents at the Hague, the English government procured his expulsion from the university of Oxford. In conjunction with Messrs. Limborch and Le Clerc, he formed a philosophical society at Ainsterdam, for the purpose of discussing philosophical and literary subjects. He returned to England in 1689, in the fleet which brought over the princess of Orange; and by the interest of lord Mordaunt, afterwards earl of Monmouth, he now obtained the post of commissioner of appeals. Offers of far greater value were made him; but it accorded best with his literary habits to accept an apartment in the country seat of sir Francis Masham, at Oates in Essex. Here he 'spent a great part of the remainder of his life. He was, however, appointed in 1695, by king William, one of the commissioners of trade and plantations. He died at Oates in 1704.
1. The celebrated - “ Essay on Human Understanding,” is the work by which Locke is most distinguished in the republic of letters. The plan of it was laid in 1670;, though as the author met with many interruptions, it was not finished till 1636. About the same time he also published an abridgment of it. It were needless to add more of this work, as it is already in the hands of most who have any interest in such subjects.
2. In 1689, he published his first Letter on Toleration. Locke is said to have borrowed the plan of his Letters on Toleration, partly from the 44th section or discourse of Jeremy Taylor, and partly from Stillingfleet's Irenicum.
3. In 1690, came out his “ Two Treatises of Civil Government,” in defence of the revolution.
4. The same year he wrote his “ Letter on Education," addressed to Edward Chissley, esq. which was not published, however, till 1693.
5. Some Considerations of the Consequences of the Lowering of Interest, and raising the Value of Money, in a letter sent to a Member of Parliament, 1691.
6. The Reasonableness of Christianity, as delivered in the Scriptures, 1695. This trea
tise incurred the charge of Socinianism in a tract by Mr. Edwards, entitled “ The Socinian Unmasked," published in 1696, which drew from Mr. Locke,
7. Two “ Vindications" of his doctrine, published the same year.
8. In 1697 and 1698, Locke entered into another theological controversy with Dr. Stillingfleet, chiefly on the subject of the Trinity; which occasioned two letters from the bishop, and three from himself; which were the last compositions published during his life-time.
His posthumous works were published in 1607, octavo ; and contain the five following
) tracts :
1. The Conduct of the UnderstandingOne of the topics of this admirable little work will furnish a complete and appropria
Of Practice and Habits.
We are born with faculties and powers capable of almost any thing, such at least as would carry us farther than can be easily imagined: but it is only the exercise of those powers which gives us ability and skill in any thing, and leads us towards perfection.
Lady Russel to Dr. Fitza illiam.
I need not tell you, good doctor, how little capable I have been of such an exercise as thist. You will soon find how unfit I am still for it, since my yet disordered thoughts can offer me no other than such words as express the deepest sorrows, and confused, as niy yet amazed mind is. But such men as you, and particularly one so much my friend, will, I know, bear with my weakness, and compassionate my distress, as you have already done by your good letter, and excellent prayer.
I endeavour to make the best use I can of both; but I am so evil and unworthy a creature, that though I have desires, yet I have no dispositions, or worthiness, towards receiving comfort. You, that knew us both, and how we lived, must allow I have just cause to bewail my loss. I know it is common with others to lose a friend; but to have lived with such a one, it may be questioned how few can glory in the like happiliess, so consequently lainent the like loss. Who can but shrink at such a
A divine for whom lady Russel had a great esteem and friendship; he had been chaplain to her father, as he was af terwards to the duke of York; rector of Cottenham in Cam. bridgeshire, and canon of Windsor; which preferments he lost after the revolution, upon refusa of the oaths.” Birch'. Life of Tillotson.
+ Lord Russel, her husband, was executed, or rather mur. dered, July 21, 1683.