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ing parliament men, where every one endeavours to cry loudest. Besides the men, there were a company of little choristers. I thought, when I saw them at first, they had danced to the other's music, and that it had been your Gray's-Inn revels; for they were jumping up and down, about a good charcoal fire, that was in the middle of the quire (this, their devotion, and their singing, was enough, I think, to keep them warm, though it were a very cold night); but it was not dancing, but singing they served for: when it came to their turns, away they ran to their places, and there they made as good harmony as a concert of little pigs would, and they were much about as cleanly. Their part being done, out they sallied again to the fire, where they played till their cue called them, and then back to their places they huddled. So negligent and slight are they in their service, in a place where the nearness of adversaries might teach them to be more careful; but I suppose the natural tendency of these outside performances and these mummeries in religion, would bring it every where to this pass, did not fear and the severity of the magistrate preserve it ; which being taken away here, they very easily suffer themselves to slobber over their ceremonies, which, in other places, are kept up with so much zeal and exactness; but methinks they are not to be blamed, since the one seems to me as much religion as the other.”' pp. 13–15.
Locke returned to England in February 1665. An offer of going into Spain in the public employment, kept him for some time in suspense, but was, soon after his arrival at Oxford, declined by him; as was a similar proposal in the autumn of the same year. Preferment in the Church was offered him, through the medium of a friend, in 1666: his reply has been preserved, and is inserted at p. 27. Before this time, the Act of Uniformity had been passed, and that secession from the Church had been compelled by the terms of it, in respect to which, at a subsequent period, Locke remarked, that Bartholomew day was fatal to our Church and religion, in throwing out a very great number
of worthy, learned, pious, and orthodox divines. What were his impressions of this transaction at the time of its occurrence, we have no means of ascertaining. Among the reasons which he assigns to his friend as determining him against entering into the Church, we find no reference to the demands of the ecclesiastical laws which were established by that Act, and to which it is scarcely to be imagined that Locke could have, even then, been prepared to submit his understanding and his conscience.
That he could have approved of the doctrine and discipline of the Church so entirely, as to give solemnly his unfeigned assent and consent to all and every thing contained in the Book of Common Prayer, is not to be believed ; and the terms of the Oxford oath, to which a similar assent and declaration were required, that it is not lawful, upon any pretence whatsoever, to take arms against the king, or attempt any alteration in the government', were too abhorrent to the spirit which dictated
and controlled his opinions, to receive his sanction. The seeds of those great principles which were afterwards so fully developed in his writings, had long been germinating, and were expanding and becoming strong in his mental conceptions and determinations; nor is there any room to suppose, that implicit submission to church authority and passive obedience to despotic rulers, were, as practical maxims, at any time consonant with his opinions. The applications, however, which were addressed to him, and the offers of church preferment which he received, were not to him the occasion of a ' fiery trial': his principles and his inclination were at peace with each other. 'I am sure', he says, “I cannot content myself with being undermost, possibly
the middlemost of my profession; and you will allow, on consideration, care is to be taken not to engage in a calling, ' wherein, if one chance to be a bungler, there is no retreat.' We subjoin Lord King's reflections on the correspondence.
· Had he accepted this offer of preferment; had he risen beyond the middlemost station in the Church, which his own modesty made him assign to himself, and to which his virtues must have condemned him ; had he even risen to the highest station in that profession, he might have acquired all the reputation which belongs to a divine of great talents and learning, or the still higher distinction of great moderation, candour, and Chistian charity, so rare in a high-churchman; but most certainly he would never have attained the name of a great philosopher who has extended the bounds of human knowledge.
• There occurred, in the course of Locke's life, the choice of three distinct roads to fortune, and perhaps to celebrity, either of which was capable of influencing most powerfully, if not of totally changing his future destiny. The temptation of considerable preferment in the Church, already mentioned, the practice of physic as a profession, or the opportunity of engaging in diplomatic employments, from which last he seems, by his own account, to have had a narrow escape. It would have been unfortunate for his own renown, had he been swayed by the advantages which at different times were held out to him; it would also have been unfortunate for the progress of knowledge in the world, if he had placed himself under the influence of circumstances so capable of diverting the current of his thoughts, and changing his labours from their proper and most useful destination ; namely, the lifting of the veil of error: because an age might have elapsed before the appearance of so bold a searcher after truth. pp. 28, 29.
Physical and chemical studies engaged much of Locke's attention at Oxford. In 1666, he began to keep a register of the state of the air; which he continued, with many interruptions, till his final departure from the University. He corresponded with Boyle, who urged him to search into the nature of minerals,' and proposed to send him some sheets of articles of in
quiry into mines. But in this year an incident occurred, which was decisive in fixing the inclinations of Locke, and by which the course of his future life was very materially affected. This was his acquaintance with Lord Ashley, afterwards the celebrated Earl of Shaftesbury. The circumstances in which it originated, were of the most accidental and trivial kind; but to events which in themselves are too insignificant to be recorded, the most important consequences are frequently to be traced; and in the history of the great actors on the stage of human life, as well as in those of the most humble, little things are * sometimes great.' Lord Ashley, we are informed, was suffering from an abscess in his breast, the consequence of a fall from his horse; and, intending to drink the water of Astrop, he had written to Dr. Thomas to procure him the necessary accommodations on his arrival at Oxford. This physician, being called away, desired Locke to execute the commission. On Lord Ashley's arrival, the waters, by some accident, were not ready, and Locke waited upon him to apologize for the disappointment. His apology was satisfactory, and his conversation so much interested the noble visiter, that he desired to improve the acquaintance thus commenced, and the parties were thenceforth most intimate friends. Lord King describes this attachment as alike honourable to both parties; and he has accompanied his account of the connection between them with some remarks in vindication of Locke, against the strictures of Mr. Fox on Shaftesbury's political dishonesty. His Lordship's remarks satisfactorily prove, that Locke was not implicated in the transactions which attach so much odium to the character of Shaftesbury; nor were they necessary indeed for this purpose, since Locke is not charged with the guilt of being his coadjutor in those proceedings; but they have not at all altered our feelings as to the questionable propriety of the connection thus formed with a man by no means the most distinguished for virtuous principle, and who had so very recently placed himself in a situation of mean and base degradation. Shaftesbury had taken up arms against Charles the First, was a republican, supported Cromwell, and then, after the Restoration, sat on the trial of the regicides, the very men whose measures he had himself promoted, and whose associate he had been. It is impossible for a candid and upright mind to avoid Mr. Fox's conclusion, that the splendid qualities of Shaftesbury imposed upon Locke, and prevented his political delinquencies from inducing in his new acquaintance, the hesitation and caution naturally to be expected in an ingenuous mind admitting another to its confidence.
• In 1675, Locke went to reside in France for the benefit of his health. From the time of his landing at Calais, he kept a daily journal, in which he recorded his observations on the state of the country, and the various objects which appeared most interesting to him as a stranger; and he also inserted notes and dissertations on medical, metaphysical, and theological subjects. From this journal, a copious selection of extracts is introduced into the Life,' which will afford the reader instruction as well as amusement.
• In general, the particulars which have been inserted from the journal, are such as are either curious and interesting, as records of former times, or as they afford a contrast between the present prosperous state of France and its former condition; where the extremes of splendour and misery marked the nature of the old and despotic government, the paradise of monarchs and courtiers, but the purgatory of honest and industrious citizens and peasants, whom French lawyers were pleased to describe, and French nobles to treat, as “ tailleable et corvéable" animals, who lived, and moved, and had their beings only for the benefit of the privileged orders. pp. 39, 40.
The Edict of Nantz was not revoked till ten years after this period; but the journal contains some entries relative to the persecution of the French Protestants, from which we may partly learn the nature and extent of the injuries which they sustained from the bigotry and barbarity of the Most Christian King,' Lewis XIV.
• January 3, 1676. To Nismes. • The Protestants at Nismes have now but one temple, the other being pulled down by the King's order about four years since. Two of their consuls are Papists, and two Protestants, but are not permitted to receive the sacrament in their robes as formerly. The Protestants had built themselves an hospital for their sick, but that is taken from them ; a chamber in it is left for their sick, but never used, because the Priests trouble them when there; but notwithstanding their discouragement, I do not find that many of them go over : one of them told me, when I asked him the question, that the Papists did nothing but by force or money.
• Uzes, a town in the province not far from Nismes, was wont to send every year a Protestant Deputy to the Assembly of the States at Montpellier, the greatest part being Protestant; but they were forbid to do it this year, and this week, the Protestants have an order from the King to choose no more consuls of the town of their religion. And their temple is ordered to be pulled down, the only one they have left there, though three quarters of the town be Protestants. The pretence given is, that their temple being too near the Papist church, their singing of psalms disturbed the service. *
Feb. 5th. The Protestants have here (Montpellier) common jus
tice generally, unless it be against a new convert, whom they will favour; they pay no more taxes than their neighbours, but are incapable of public charges and offices. They have had, within these ten years at least, 160 churches pulled down.
· Montpellier has 30,000 people in it, of whom there are 8,000 communicants of the Protestant church. They tell me, the number of Protestants within the last twenty or thirty years has manifestly increased here, and do daily, notwithstanding their loss every day of some privilege or other. Their consistories had power formerly to examine witnesses upon oath, which within these ten years has been taken from them. 21st. The King has made a law that persons
of different religions shall not marry, which often causes the change of religion, especially sequioris serus.
Paris. A devout lady being sick, and besieged by the Carmes, made her will, and gave them all: the Bishop of Bellay coming to see her after it was done, asked whether she had made her will ; she answered
and told him how: he convinced her it was not well, and she desiring to alter it, found a difficulty how to do it, being so beset by the friars. The Bishop bid her not trouble herself for it, but presently took order that two notaries, habited as physicians, should come to her, who being by her bed-side, the Bishop told the company it was convenient all should withdraw ; and so the former will was revoked, and a new one made and put into the Bishop's hands. The lady dies, the Carmes produce their will, and for some time the Bishop lets them enjoy the pleasure of their inheritance; but at last, taking out the other will, he says to them, “ Mes frères, you are the sons of Eliah, children of the Old Testament, and have no share in the New.”. This is that Bishop of Bellay who has writ so much against monks and monkery.'
An excellent article on 'Study', begun in March 1677, continued at intervals, and finished in May, apparently during a journey, is inserted at pp. 90-108. It is quite worthy of its Author, and evinces the same spirit of inquiry and caution, and the same determination in the pursuit of the objects of knowledge, that distinguish the Essay, the rudiments of' which, indeed, it comprises. We can scarcely permit ourselves to separate any part of this discourse from its connection; but, as an inducement to our readers to peruse the whole, we present them with the following extracts.
• 1677, March 6th. The end of study is knowledge, and the end of knowledge, practice or communication.
* But if it were fit for me to marshal the parts of knowledge, and allot to any one its place and precedency, thereby to direct one's studies, I should think it were natural to set them in this order.
'1. Heaven being our great business and interest, the knowledge which may direct us thither, is certainly so too, so that this is without.