Page images

then prevailing against so novel a system; but which hardly now subsist.

This map of the intellectual world, which exhibits the whole doctrine of ideas in one view, must to an attentive reader appear more commodious than any of those dry compends generally made use of by young students, were they more perfect than even the best of them are found to be.

2. There is also annexed to the same Essay a small tract in defence of Mr. Locke's opinion concerning personal identity; a point of some consequence, but which many ingenious persons, probably from not observing what passed between him and Molyneux on the subject, [letters in September and December, 1693, and January, February, May, 1694,] have greatly misunderstood.

It may perhaps be expected that we should introduce this edition of Mr. Locke's Works with a particular history of the author's circumstances and connexions; but as several narratives of this kind have been already published by different writers, viz. A. Wood, [Ath. Ox. Vol. 2]; P. Coste, [character of Mr. Locke here annexed]; Le Clerc, [first printed in English before the Letters on Toleration, 1689, but more complete in the edition of 1713, from whence the chief part of the subsequent lives is extracted); Locke's Article in the Supplement to Collier Addend.; and-by.the compilers of the General Dictionary, Biographia Britannica Memoirs of his Life and Character, 1742; &#. &c. and since most of that same account which has been prefixed to some late editions, by way.of Life: Aslikewise here annexed; there seems to be little oceášĩor-for transcribing any more of such common occurrences, as are neither interesting enough in themselves, nor sufficiently characteristic of the author. We have therefore chosen to confine the following observations to a critical survey of Mr. Locke's writings, after giving some account of his literary correspondence, and of such anonymous tracts as are not commonly known to be his, but yet distinguishable from others that have been imputed to him. Besides those posthumous pieces which have been already collected by Des Maizeaux, and joined with some others in the late editions, there is extant,

1. His Introductory Discourse to Churchill's Collection of Voyages, (in 4 vols. fol.] containing the whole History of Navigation from its Original to that Time, (A. D. 1704) with a Catalogue and Character of most Books of Travels *.

These voyages are commonly said to have been published under his direction. They were presented by him to the university of Oxford (v. Collier's Dict.] That he was well versed in such authors is pretty plain, from the good use he has made of them in his essays; and the introductory discourse is by no means unworthy of him, though deemed too large to be admitted into this publication: whether it may be added, some time hence, in a supplemental volume, along with some of his other tracts hereafter mentioned, must be submitted to the public, and those who are styled proprietors.

2. For the same reason we are obliged to suppress another piece usually ascribed to him, and entitled, The History of our Saviour Jesus Christ, related in the Words of Scripture, containing, in Order of Time, all the Events and Discourses recorded in the Four Evangelists, &c. 8vo. printed for A. and J. Churchill, 1705, concerning which a learned friend, who has carefully examined it, gives the following account: “I am inclined to think that this work is the genuine production of Mr. Locke. It is compiled with accuracy and judgment, and is in every respect worthy of that masterly writer. I have compared it with Mr. Locke's Treatise on the Reasonableness of Christianity, and find a striking resemblance between them in some of their expressions, in their quotations from scripture, and in the arrangement of our Saviour's discourses." Under each of these heads this ingenious writer has produced remarkable instances of such resemblance, but too particular and minute to be here recited: on the last he adds, that whoever reads the Treatise on the Reasonableness of Christianity with the least attention, will perceive that Mr. Locke has every where observed an exact chronological order in the arrangement of his texts, which arrangement perfectly corresponds with that of the History. It would have been very difficult to throw a multitude of citations from the four Evangelists into such a chronological series without the assistance of some Harmony, but Mr. Locke was too cautious a reasoner, to depend upon another man's hypothesis ; I am therefore persuaded that he compiled this Harmony, the History of Christ, for his own immediate use, as the basis of his Reasonableness of Christianity. And though the original plan of this history may have been taken from Garthwaite's Evangelical Harmony, 4to. 1633, as Dr. Doddridge supposes, yet the whole narrative and particular arrangement of facts is so very different, that Mr. Locke's History in 1705 may properly be termed a new work.

* To the present edition this work is added.

3. Select Moral Books of the Old Testament and Apocrypha, paraphrased, viz. Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Wisdom, and Ecclesiasticus, in one vol. 12mo. 1706. This useful work is given by tradition to Mr. Locke, and his name often written before it accordingly. It was printed for his old booksellers A. and J. Churchill, and is thought by some good judges to bear evident marks of authenticity: of which I shall only observe farther, that by the method there taken of paraphrasing these writers in one close, continued discourse, where the substance is laid together and properly digested, a much better connexion appears to be preserved, and the author's sense more clearly expressed, than it can be in any separate exposition of each verse with all the repetitions usual in eastern writings, and all the disadvantages arising from the very inaccurate division of their periods, as is hinted in the judicious preface to that work.

4. A letter to Mrs. Cockburn, not inserted before in any collection of Mr. Locke's pieces. It was sent with a present of books to that lady, on her being discovered to have written a Defence of his Essay against some Remarks made upon it by Dr. T. Burnet, author of the Theory of the Earth, &c. Dr. Burnet's Remarks appeared without his name in three parts, the first of which was animadverted on by Mr. Locke at the end of his Reply to Bishop Stillingfieet in 1697; the two others were left to the animadversion of his friends. Mrs. Cockburn, to whom the letter under consideration is addressed, finished her Defence of the Essay in December, 1701, when she was but twenty-two years old, and published it in May, 1702, the author being industriously concealed: which occasioned Mr. Locke's elegant compliment of its being “ a generosity above the strain of that groveling age, and like that of superior spirits, who assist without showing themselves.” In 1724 the same lady wrote a letter to Dr. Holdsworth on his injurious imputations cast upon Mr. Locke concerning the Resurrection of the same Body, printed in 1726; and afterwards an elaborate Vindication of Mr. Locke's Christian Principles, and his controversy on that subject, first published, together with an account of her works, by Dr. Birch, 1751, and the fore-mentioned letter added here below, Vol. x. p. 314.

5. Of the same kind of correspondence is the curious letter to Mr. Bold, in 1699, (which is also inserted in the tenth vol. p. 315), as corrected from the original. Mr. Bold, in 1699, set forth a piece, entitled, Some Considerations on the principal Objections and Arguments which have been published against Mr. Locke's Essay; and added in a collection

of tracts, published 1706, three defences of his Reasonableness of Christianity; with a large discourse concerning the Resurrection of the same Body, and two letters on the Necessary Immateriality of created thinking Substance.

Our author's sentiments of Mr. Bold may be seen at large in the letter itself, Vol. x. p. 315.

6. Mr. Locke's fine account of Dr. Pococke was first published in a collection of his letters, by Curl, 1714, (which collection is not now to be met with) and some extracts made from it by Dr. Twells, in his Life of that learned author, [Theol. Works, Vol. I. p. 83.] The same is given at full length by Des Maizeaux, as a letter to ****, (intending Mr. Smith of Dartmouth, who had prepared materials for that life) but without specifying either the subject or occasion.

7. Thelarge Latin tract of Locke's, De Toleratione, was first introduced in the late 4to. edition of his works; but as we have it translated by Mr. Popple to the author's entire satisfaction, and as there is nothing extraordinary in the language of the original, it was judged unnecessary to repeat so many things over again by inserting it. Perhaps it might afford matter

of more curiosity to compare some parts of his Essay with Mr. Burridge's Version, said to be printed in 1701, about which he and his friend Molyneux appeared so extremely anxious, but which he tells Limborch (Aug. 1701) he had not then seen; nor have we learnt the fate of this Latin version, any more than what became of a French one, (probably that of P. Coste, mentioned under Locke's article in the General Dictionary) in correcting which he (Mr. Locke) had taken very great pains, and likewise altered many passages of the original, in order to make them more clear and easy to be translated *. Many of these alterations I have formerly seen under

* Biogr. Britan. p. 2999.

« PreviousContinue »