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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 revolus tion.
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 Understanding. One of the topics of this admirable little work will furnish a complete and appropriate extract:
Of Practice and Habits.
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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.
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Lady Russel to Dr. Fitzuilliam*.
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 happiriess, 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 Rusgel, her husband, was executed, or rather mur. dered, July 21, 1683.
blow, till by the mighty aids of his Holy Spirit, we will let the gift of God, which he hath put into our hearts, interpose? That reason which sets a measure to our souls'in prosperity, will then suggest many things which we have seen and heard, to moderate us in such sad circumstances, as mine. But alas! my understanding is clouded, my faith weak, sense strong, and the devil busy to fill my thoughts with false notions, difficulties, and doubts as of a future condition of prayer: but this I hope to make matter of huiniliation, not sin. Lord, let ine understand the reason of these dark and wounding providences, that I sink not under the discouragements of my own thoughts: I know I have deserved my punishment, and will be silent under it; but yet secretly my heart mourns, too sadly I fear, and cannot be comforted, because I have not the dear companion and sharer of all my joys and sorrows. I want him to talk with, to walk with, to eat and sleep with; all ihese things are irksome to ine now; the day unwelcome, and the night so too; all company and meals I would avoid, if it might be; yet all this is, that I enjoy not the world in my own way, and this sure hinders my comfort; when I see my children before me, I remember the pleasure he took in them; this makes my heart shrink. Can I regret his quitting a lesser good for a bigger? Oh!
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if I did stedfastly believe, I could not be dejected; for I will not injure myself to say, I offer my mind any inferior consolation to supply this loss. No; I most willingly forsake this world, this vexatious, troublesome world, in which I have no other busi. ness, but to rid my soul from sin, secure by faith and a good conscience my eternal interests, with patience and courage bear my eminent misfortunes, and ever hereafter be above the smiles and frowus of it. And when I have done the remnant of the work appointed me on earth, then joyfully wait for the heavenly perfection in God's good time, when by his infinite mercy I may be accounted worthy to enter into the same place of rest and repose where he is gone, for whom only I grieve I do*
fear. From that contemplation must come my best supo port. Good doctor, you will think, as you have reason, that I set no bounds, when I let myself loose to my complaints; but I will release you, first fervently asking the continuance of your prayers for
Your infinitely afflicted,
" A word torn of.