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. inculcated ; as will perhaps be fully made appear on any farther provocation.
15. Nor was the religious liberty of mankind less dear to our author than their civil rights, or less ably asserted by him. With what clearness and precision has he stated the terms of it, and vindicated the subject's just title to it, in his admirable letters concerning Toleration! How closely does he pursue the adversary through all his subterfuges, and strip intolerance of all her pleas!
The first lord Shaftesbury has written a most excellent treatise on the same subject, entitled, An Essay concerning Toleration, 1667, which, though left unfinished, well deserves to see the light; and, as I am assured, in due time will be published at the end of his lordship's life, now preparing.
16. From one who knew so well how to direct the researches of the human mind, it was natural to expect that Christianity and the scriptures would not be neglected, but rather hold the chief place in his inquiries. These were accordingly the object of his more mature meditations ; which were no less successfully employed upon them, as may be seen in part above. His Reasonableness of Christianity, as delivered in the Scriptures, is a work that will richly repay the labour of being thoroughly studied, together with both its Vindications, by all those who desire to entertain proper notions concerning the pure, primitive plan of Christ's religion, as laid down by himself: where they will also meet with many just observations on our Saviour's admirable method of conducting it. Of this book, among other commendations, Limborch says, 'Plus verae * Theologiae ex illo quam ex operosis multorum Sys'tematibus hausisse me ingenue fateor.' Lett. March 23, 1697.
In his Paraphrase and Notes upon the epistles of St. Paul, how fully does our author obviate the erroneous doctrines (that of absolute reprobation in particular), which had been falsely charged upon the apostle! And to Mr. Locke's honour it should be remembered, that he was the first of our commentators who showed what it was to comment upon the apostolic writings : by taking the whole of an epistle together, and striking off every signification of every term foreign to the main scope of it; by keeping this point constantly in view, and carefully observing each return to it after any digression; by tracing out a strict, though sometimes less visible, connexion in that very consistent writer, St. Paul; touching the propriety and pertinence of whose writings to their several subjects and occasions, he appears to have formed the most just conception, and thereby confessedly led the way to some of our best modern interpreters. Vide Pierce, pref. to Coloss. and Taylor on Rom. No. 60.
I cannot dismiss this imperfect account of Mr. Locke and his works, without giving way to a painful reflection; which the consideration of them naturally excites. When we view the variety of those very useful and important subjects which have been treated in so able a manner by our author, and become sensible of the numerous national obligations due to his memory on that account, with what indignation must we behold the remains of that great and good man, lying under a mean, mouldering tomb-stone, [which but too strictly verifies the prediction he had given of it, and its little tablet, as ipsa brevi peritura] in an obscure country church-yard'—by the side of a forlorn wood—while so many superb monuments are daily erected to perpetuate names and characters hardly worth preserving!
Books and treatises written, or supposed to be written, by Mr. Locke.
Epistola de Tolerantia.
Introductory Discourse to Churchill's Collection of
Exceptions of Mr. Edwards to the Reasonableness of Christianity, &c. examined.
Vol. i. b
Pieces groundlessly ascribed, or of doubtful authority.
Occasional Thoughts in Reference to a Virtuous and
Common Place-Book to the Bible.
P. S. Having heard that some of Mr. Locke's Mss. were in the possession of those gentlemen to whom the library at Oates belonged, on application made to Mr. Palmer, he was so obliging as to offer that a search should be made after them, and orders given for communicating all that could be found there; but as this notice comes unhappily too late to be made use of on the present occasion, I can only take the liberty of intimating it along with some other sources of intelligence, which I have endeavoured to lay open, and which may probably afford matter for a supplemental volume, as abovementioned.
LIFE OF THE AUTHOR.
MR. JOHN LOCKE was the son of John Locke, of Pensford, a market-town in Somersetshire, five miles from Bristol, by Ann his wife, daughter of Edmund Keen, alias Ken, of Wrington, tanner. He was born at Wrington, another market-town in the same county. John Locke, the father, was first a clerk only to a neighbouring justice of the peace, Francis Baber, of Chew Magna, but by col. Alexander Popham, whose seat was at Hunstreet, hard by Pensford, advanced to a captain in the parliament's service. After the restoration he practised as an attorney, and was clerk of the sewers in Somersetshire. This John the father was son of Nicholas Locke, of Sutton Wick, in the parish of Chew Magna, but a younger brother of the Lockes of Charon Court in Dorsetshire*- The late Mr. Locke's age is not to be found in the registers of Wrington, which is the parish church of Pensford; which gave umbrage to a report that his mother intending to lie in
* Dr. Birch's papers in the Museum. This account is there stated as coming from Mr. John Heal, a relation, and well acquainted with the family, a person studious in pedigree. On the back of it is this label: 'Mr. Locke's pedigree, taken from a MS. at Chipley, June 23, 1737.' Frequent notice is likewise taken of Mr. Locke's wife, in his letters to Mr. Clarke, (for the use of whose son Mr. Locke drew up most of th« Thoughts on Education) between 1692 and 1702, ibid.
at Wrington, with her friends, was surprized in her way thither, and putting into a little house, was delivered there. Mr. Locke had one younger brother, an attorney, married, but died issueless, of a consumption. By the interest of col. Popham, our author was admitted a scholar at Westminster, and thence elected to ChristChurch in Oxon. He took the degree of batchelor of arts in 1655, and that of master in 1658*. But though he made a considerable progress in the usual course of studies at that time, yet he often said, that what he had learned there was of little use to him, to enlighten and enlarge his mind. The first books which gave him a relish for the study of philosophy, were the writings of Des Cartes: for though he did not always approve of that author's sentiments, he found that he wrote with great perspicuity. After some time he applied himself very closely to the study of medicine ; not with any design of practising as a physician, but principally for the benefit of his own constitution, which was but weak. And we find he gained such esteem for his skill, even among the most learned of the faculty of his time, that Dr. Thomas Sydenham, in his book intitled,' Observa
*tiones medicse circa morborum acutorum historiam et . curationem,' gives him a high encomium in these words: 'You know,' says he, 'likewise how much my 'method has been approved of by a person, who has 'examined it to the bottom, and who is our common
*friend; I mean Mr. John Locke, who, if we consider * his genius, and penetrating and exact judgment, or 'the purity of his morals, has scarce any superiour, 'and few equals, now living.' Hence he was very often saluted by his acquaintance with the title, though he never took the degree, of doctor of medicine. In the year 1664, sir William Swan being appointed envoy from the English court to the elector of Brandenburgh, and some other German princes, Mr. Locke
* In 1672, among his college or university execrises, there is a thesis under his own hand on the following question: An Jesus Christus fait verus Messias Patribus promissus. Aft.