« AnteriorContinuar »
I. An Analysis of Mr. Locke's Doctrine of Ideas, 2 IV. Some Thoughts concerning Reading and
II. A Defence of Mr. Locke's Opinion concern- : W. Elements of Natural Philosophy.
III. A .* on the Conduct of the Under- : VI. A new Method of a Common Place Book.
Extracted from the Author's Works.
LIFE OF THE AUTHOR.
1N Two volumEs.
- VOL. I.
PUBLISHED BY CUMMINGS & HILLIARD AND J. T. BUCKINGHAM.
LIFE OF THE AUTHOR.
JOHN LOCKE, an illustrious philosopher, was born 1632, at Wrington, near Bristol, of a respectable family. He was educated at Westminster school, and in 1651 was elected to Christchurch, Oxford, where he took regularly his degrees in arts. Already distinguished by his great proficiency in polite literature, he now applied himself to physic, but though he obtained some reputation at Oxford, he soon found his constitution inadequate to the fatigues of the profession, and gladly accepted the of fice of secretary to sir William Swan, sent envoy to the elector of Brandenburg, 1664. Two years after, he became acquainted with lord Ashley, afterwards earl of Shaftesbury, and not only by curing him of a dangerous abscess in the breast, but by the intelligence of his conversation, and the great powers of his mind, he deserved and obtained his lasting friendship. At the recommendation of this noble patron he relinquished medicine for the study of politics, and of civil and ecclesiastical history, and soon after employed himself in drawing up constitutions for the government of Carolina, of which his friend, now chancellor of the exchequer, and other lords, had obtained a grant from the crown. In 1672 on the elevation of Shaftesbury to the office of lord chancellor, Locke was made his secretary of the presentations, but on the disgrace of his patron the next year he lost his appointment, though he still continued secretary to the board of trade, where the earl was a commissioner, and enjoyed it with an annexed salary of 500l. per year till the dissolution of the commission in 1674. Soon after he went to Montpellier, for the benefit of his health, as he was apprehensive of a consumptive attack, and here he devoted himself partly to medical pursuits, and to the composition of his Essay on Human Understanding, till in 1679 his patron, raised to be president of the council, recalled him home. His prospects of preferment were transitory; the earl in six months was disgraced and imprisoned, and in 1682 escaped for fear of being prosecuted for high treason, to Holland, where Locke, equally faithful to him in adversity as in prosperity, followed him. There, by his intercourse with some suspected person after the death of his patron, the exiled philosopher drew upon himself the resentment of the government; he was not only removed from his studentship at Christ-church, which he had hitherto kept as an honorable literary retreat, but he was accused by the English envoy before the States General, and his person claimed as guilty of treasonable correspondence in favor of Monmouth's invasion. Thus persecuted, Locke concealed himself for twelve months, devoting his time to literary labors, and two years after, when he returned to England in consequence of the revolution, he published his celebrated essay which had engaged him nine years in the composition. As he was considered a sufferer for political opinions he was rewarded with the place of commissioner of appeals, worth 200l. a year, and he was offered the honorable office of envoy to some foreign courts, but this he declined, ambitious only after that tranquillity and retirement, which he found in the friendly invitations of sir Francis and lady Masham at Oates. In 1695 he was prevailed upon to accept the place of commissioner of trade and plantations, for which he was so well qualifica by information and knowledge, but this he resigned five years af. ter, on account of the delicate state of his health, which did not permit him with safety to breathe the air of the capital. The latter part of life was usefully employed in the exertion of his talents on political subjects, and also in reading and commenting with all the zeal and humility of a true christian on the holy