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haps, is but an act of justice to his character, I shall now proceed to state in what we were agreed :-generally speaking, in all the fundamental doctrines and essential principles of the gospel of Christ. To use his words, in his excellent Letters to the Bishop of St. David's, wherein he not only defends his secession, but contends with his usual ability for the right (as he considered it the duty) of every Christian, to inquire freely and fully into the meaning of the Scriptures, and remonstrates with his Lordship on the impropriety of persons being exposed to those penalties and disabilities, the loss of which, by the repeal of the persecuting laws respecting Unitarians, his Lordship deplored, and contended ought to be revived. The existence of one God, by whom all things were created; the divine mission, death and consequent resurrection of Christ; the divine authority of his precepts, revealed in the gospel; and the hope of immortality in the resurrection of the dead.' These opinions, together with considering the Father as the sole object of religious worship, and his free, unpurchased grace to the penitent, and the necessity of personal obedience to the precepts of the gospel, as indispensable to insure a good conscience, and a well-grounded hope in the Divine mercy; and a future state of rewards and punishments according to the deeds of men in the present life.

"While he defended these opinions, with a demonstration seldom equalled, he could also offer the best reasons why men should live in charity aud good-will. For, not to mention his political opinious, he had the most enlarged views of religious liberty; and, from the increasing liberality of the times, confidently anticipated the destruction of every species of intolerance and persecution; for, as he used to say, what has genuine Christianity to fear from its enemies? And if it had, the means taken to support it are by no means suitable to its spirit and character, which enjoins upon its followers, to do unto all men as they wish others should do towards them.

"These enlightened views of the Christian religion saved him from the

baneful influence of vulgar errors. His ideas of the Divine character and government were most extensive and exalted; and while he was neither enthusiast nor fanatic, yet his religious views were to him a fund of happiness and pleasure, which, added to the natural cheerfulness of his temper, gave a cheerful and agreeable turn to his conversation, a quality seldom combined with the character of studious men.

"To these remarks I shall only add his golden rule in ascertaining reli gious truth: What is clearly and explicitly taught in the Scriptures, or is the plain and undoubted inference therefrom, ought to be considered as the fundamental principle and ground of interpretation for that which is less explicit or more difficult.' For, as he used to say, no religious opinion should contradict the general current of the Scriptures.'

"With respect to the social and relative duties, the public respect, in addition to what I have stated, bears ample testimony to the one, and his attention to his mother and sisters, their union and felicity, sufficiently speak the other. They will severely feel his loss. We can only offer our sincere condolence, and pray the God of all consolation to support them under this bereavement. And we hope it will be no small alleviation of their affliction, that his mortal career, though short, was with credit and honour.

"I have thus stated a few particulars respecting the religious course of this excellent man. It remains for us to shew the same manly and decided character. Let our minds be free to the impressions of truth, and eagerly seek for it. When found, let us honestly confess it, and dissent upon principle: at the same time forgetting not to cultivate Christian charity towards those who differ from us, as well as amongst ourselves. Pursuing this path, let us strive to perfect the Christian character, and cherish the hope that, at another day, according to the promises of the gospel, all the good and virtuous of every nation and sect shall be re-united in a holy, happy and immortal state, where separation will be no more."





Clapton, January 10, 1819. SEND you a continuation of the translation of Locke and Limborch's letters. Some of those which will probably appear in your present Volume, contain profound discussions of metaphysical questions; on which a translator is in no small danger of sometimes misunderstanding his original. Should any of your Correspondents detect such mistakes, I shall be obliged by their sending you their corrections.


stead of controverting, in the Introduction, the vulgar notion of Original Sin, he had left that opinion untouched, or at least not made it so prominent, in his Treatise. For now many who are strongly attached to that doctrine, stumble at the threskhold, before they reach the main argument of the book. They, indeed, entertain such prejudices against the Author that they cannot read, with the calm consideration required, his further arguments, and thus become hostile. Their good-will should rather have been conciliated, that they might

The Correspondence between Locke and have come with an unbiassed judgment


Limborch, 1685-1704.

(Continued from p. 675, Vol. XIII.)

No. 34.

Amsterdam, Oct. 8, 1697. Philip à Limborch to John Locke. MY WORTHY FRIEND,

to consider an opinion, which,however true, yet little accords with the sentiments of most theologians. These generally desire to add something of their own to the Christian faith, which they regard as the exclusive property of their party. To disabuse them of WROTE you, in March last, a this error, it is necessary to allure very long letter. During the them, instead of alienating their minds summer I have conversed with some by at once proposing some dogma, of our principal literati, on various which they regard as highly disputopics. Among these the conver- table. I freely tell you what passed sation turned on the Treatise, of on this subject. which you have already received my opinion. They all highly commended it. One, indeed, was dissatisfied with the title, as not commensurate to the dignity of the subject. He said, that the Author had pursued a different course to that of most writers, who gave magnificent names to works of little importance. He, on the contrary, had prefixed a very unassuming title to a book of weighty argument. Yet, surely, the title should rather correspond to the importance of the work, that it may invite a perusal.

Another person (the same who formerly introduced to you, our Slade, this 1 hint only to yourself) said that he had read that Treatise twice. He praised it highly, and declared that the Author had satisfactorily proved, what was the principal argument of his book-the design of the Christian Revelation. He only wished, that in

* Reasonableness of Christianity. See Vol. XIII. pp. 610, 612.



Our discourse, as frequently happens, turned on other topics; among the rest, by what arguments the unity of God could be most satisfactorily established.

That eminent person, whom I last mentioned, declared that he wished to see some irrefragable arguments, by which it might be proved that an eternal, self-existent and all-perfect Being, can be only one. He wished to see something in the manner of Hugo Grotius, in his first book

on the Truth of the Christian Religion; adding, that he had heard of a French translation of your Essay on the Human Understanding, which he wished very much to see, as he had a great opinion of your judgment. He inquired of me, whether in that Essay you had established

Sect. iii. Deum esse unum.

This was afterwards executed, under the Author's inspection, by Coste, and will be further noticed in this correspondence.


the Unity of a self-existent Being. confessed my ignorance, as I had never read the Essay, being unacquainted with the language in which it is written. He then desired me seriously to urge you, if the question has not been considered in your Essay, to enlarge it, by introducing that subject, and firmly establishing the Unity of an independent Being, (Entis independentis). It seems manifest that an independent Being, comprehending in himself all perfection, can be only one; yet he wished to have this so fully proved as to exhaust the argument.

Within the last three days he inquired if I had written to you, and what answer I had received. I did not think him so much in earnest, but seeing how he has the affair at heart, I can no longer defer writing. I therefore request, if your engage ments will allow, that you send me an answer which he can read. Your letter should be so managed that he may not suspect my having given you his name. You can answer, as if I had written to you, that some learned persons discussing this subject, one of them, who much esteemed you, wished to know your opinion, and desired that you would consider it in your Essay on the Human Understanding. You see how plainly I deal with you, and what I venture to expect from your friendship.

I was lately at the Hague, and visited the most Honourable the Earl of Pembroke, with whom I had an hour's conversation on various topics, some of them theological. 1 greatly admire to see a man of such high rank so attentive to religion. His conversation was indeed so interesting, that I seemed scarcely to have passed half an hour with him, when, on taking leave, I found that a whole hour had elapsed. † I pray for that most ex

*This request produced the following letter, written in French :

+ It is surprising that this nobleman, of whose intellectual attainments Mr. Locke, in his Dedication of the Essay, in 1689, had taught the public to form, so high an estimate, should now be remembered only by that Dedication, and his place, which the accident of birth has given him, in the peerage. The Author of the Essay was careful not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but it may be

cellent man, a long-extended life, that he may prosperously administer the affairs of the kingdom of England; and for you, uninterrupted health, that you may communicate your thoughts to the learned world.

Farewell, most worthy friend; make my best wishes acceptable to Lady Masham. My wife and daughter present their respects.

Yours, affectionately,

No. 35.

John Locke to Philip à Limborch, (Lettre de M. Locke à M. Limborch.) London, Oct. 29, 1697.


IF my name has been mentioned to those learned persons with whom you sometimes converse, and if they condescend to speak of my writings, in your conversations, I owe the favour entirely to you. The good opinion which you entertain of one, whom you have honoured with your friendship, has prejudiced them in my favour.

standing were written in a language I wish that my Essay on the Under

reasonably doubted, whether he was equally solicitous to think soberly in comparing himself with his noble patron. Who can forbear to smile, or rather to blush, for condescends to remind, or rather to inform, man at his best estate, when John Locke the Earl of Pembroke, of his Lordship's "large and comprehensive discoveries of truths, hitherto unknown ;" and when the Essay on Human Understanding is described by its Author as a present, "just such as the poor man makes to his rich and flowers or fruit is not ill taken, though he great neighbour, by whom the basket of has more plenty of his own growth, and in much greater perfection;" or as one of those "worthless things" which "receive a value, when they are made the offerings of respect, esteem and gratitude"? Even Mr. Locke could scarcely fail to become a contributor to what would be an amusing and not uninstructive work, a critical history of Epistles Dedicatory.

The Earl of Pembroke was now Am. bassador extraordinary to the States Ge neral. He afterwards filled several considerable posts in Eugland, became Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and immediately preceded Prince George of Denmark, as Lord High Admiral. The Earl died in 1733.

with which those excellent men are acquainted; for by the correct and candid judgment which they would form of my work, I might determine what was true, what erroneous, and what tolerable. It is now seven years since that book was published. The first and the second editions had the good fortune to be, in general, favourably received. The last edition has not fared so well. After a silence of five or six years, I know not what faults are discovered which were not perceived before; and what is singular, subjects of religious controversy are found in that work, where I only designed to treat questions of speculative philosophy. I have determined to make some additions, a

large part of which is already prepared. These will appear in their proper places in the fourth edition, which the bookseller intends to publish. I shall also readily satisfy your wish, or that of any of your friends, by inserting the proofs of the Unity of God, which present themselves to my mind; for I am inclined to believe that the Unity of God may be as clearly demonstrated as his existence, and that it may be established on evidence completely satisfactory. But I love peace, and there are so many in the world who love clamour and vain controversies, that I doubt whether I ought to supply them with new subjects of dispute.

The remarks you send me, which those learned persons made upon The Reasonableness of Christianity, &c., are doubtless very just, and it is certain that many readers have been shocked at some opinions which they met with, at the beginning of the book, and which, by no means, accord with the doctrines commouly received. But on this subject I must refer those gentlemen to the Two Defences of his work, which the Author has put forth. For having published that small volume, as he says himself, principally with a design of convincing those who doubt the truth of Christianity, he was led, unavoidably, to treat those subjects, for to render his book useful to Deists, he could not pass over in silence those articles on which they insist, whenever they

* See Vol. XIII. pp. 671, 672, Note.

examine the truth of the Christian Religion.

1 am, Sir,

Your very humble and most
obedient Servant,


[The above was in French: what follows, in Latin.]


BE not surprised that I answer in French your very acceptable Latin letter of the 8th of this month. I might plead a number of engagements, which have denied me much leisure, and my want of practice in the Latin tongue, which forbids my writing with expedition. But I learn from yours that this letter of mine will be read or shewn to others, and I cannot venture to subject my negligent style to the censure of such judges. For, whatever your candid, friendly consideration always accepts from me, with others it might create disgust, or, at least, a weariness, not easily excused. I therefore wrote what I had to say, rapidly, in my own language, and employed a Frenchman to render it into his.

Since the controversy has commenced between me and the Bishop of Worcester, (who was indeed the aggressor,) the Reverend gownsmen (gens theologorum togata) are marvelously excited against my book, and that Essay, which was hitherto approved, is now at length discovered, by the pious care of these Doctors, to abound with errors, or at least to contain a hiding-place for errors, and the very grounds of scepticism.


Respecting the Unity of God, I confess that the arguments of Grotius, in the place you cite, are not quite satisfactory. Can you suppose that any one who acknowledges a God, can possibly doubt that his Deity is one? I indeed never doubted this; yet I confess that it appears to me, on reflection, that the mind must be somewhat elevated, and separated from the common method of philosophizing, to prove this, philosophi cally, or, if I may so speak, physically; but I say this only to you.

My kindest regards to your dear wife and children.

* See Le Clerc's Notes on Sect. iii. Ed. Hage Comitis, 1734, pp. 8, 9.

No. 36.
Philip à Limborch to John Locke.
[No Date.]

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MY WORTHY FRIEND, I DULY received your very ac ceptable letter of 29th October, and read it to that eminent person whose request I communicated to you. The subject on which he proposed the inquiry seems scarcely possible to be questioned by any sound mind, for the notion of Deity involves unity, nor allows us to imagine it communicable to several. Wherefore, in my judgment, no one who attentively considers what we mean by the term God, can possibly maintain the notion of a plurality of Gods. Yet as we see it maintained by the Heathens, with whom we cannot argue from the authority of Scripture, they must be convinced by considerations deduced from nature. Wherefore that eminent person wishes to see arguments of that description, by which it may be clearly demonstrated that a Being, independent and perfect, can be but one. The Unity of the Divine Essence being once firmly established, it becomes an easy task thence to deduce all the Divine attributes, and our duty towards God and our neighbour. He says that Descartes has not proved the Unity, but assumed it. He once drew up a demonstration for himself, but says it was too subtle; and because he defers much to your judgment, he earnestly desires to see your arguments. When I read your letter to him he rejoiced, because you say that you can do what he requires, and now he is more importunate than ever, to have your thoughts on the subject.

He is sorry to find you dragged into a controversy, and suspects that you may be averse to publish your opinions, lest undesignedly you should afford an occasion for new debates and insinuations. He requests that you would write to me privately, under the assurance of secrecy; as he has no wish to divulge your sentiments, but only asks them for his own instruction and confirmation in the truth. Besides himself and two intimate friends of mine, who took part in our first conversation, M. de Hartage, Advocate of the Dutch Exchequer, and Mr. Advocate Van den Ende-besides these 1 shall communicate what you

write to no human being, unless, perhaps, you will allow me to read it to Mr. Le Clerc, which may be as you please, for he is at present quite ignorant of my correspondence with you on these subjects. By compliance® with the request of that eminent person, you will highly gratify him; and as your paper will be communicated only to a very few confidential friends, to none of whom I shall give a copy, it cannot come abroad. That I may more peremptorily deny a copy, I wish you would lay that restraint upon me, strictly, in your letter. I am unwilling that you should become still more suspected by the gownsmen (genti togata) of encouraging scepti cism. Many of these, I have no doubt, are ready, eagerly, to bestow applause or censure, however undeserved, under the guidance of another's judgment, just as a log is moved by powers not its own.

When I read your letter, a pleasant story of Thomas More, in his Utopia, occurred to me. Raphael Hythloday learnedly dis He says, that when coursed concerning the Republic, before the Cardinal [Morton] Archbishop of Canterbury, a certain learned lawyer, by shaking his head and distorting his countenance, expressed an entire disapprobation of all he said. The whole company, treading in the steps of the learned lawyer, presently avowed the same opinion. But when the Cardinal declared his concurrence with Hythloday's opinion, immediately they who had despised it, when uttered by him, now bestowed on it their highest commendations. † Such has been the fate of your Essay. It was received for six years with general approbation, till a bishop of great name appeared against it, when it was discovered to abound in errors, and to contain the secret springs of scepticism. Thus the common herd of theologues rely not on their own,

It is the passage in which Sir Thomas More, under the disguise of his Utopia, declared against the sanguinary complexion of his country's criminal law, which three centuries of civilization have only served written the Utopia about 1516, while he to aggravate. More is supposed to have

was under-sheriff of London.
Warner's edition, 1758, Adver. and p. 27.
See Dr.
+ Ibid. p. 50,

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