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1. The celebrated - “ Essay on Human Understanding,” is the work by which Locke is most distinguished in the republic of letters. The plan of it was laid in 1670; though as the author met with many interruptions, it was not finished till 1636. About the same time he also published an abridgment of it. It were needless to add more of this work, as it is already in the hands of most who have any interest iu such subjects.

2. In 1689, he published his first Letter on Toleration. Locke is said to have borrowed the plan of his Letters on Toleration, partly from the 44th section or discourse of Jeremy Taylor, and partly from Stillingfieet's Irenicum.

3. In 1690, came out his '“ Two Treatises of Civil Government,” in defence of the revolu. tion.

4. The same year he wrote his “ Letter on Education," addressed to Edward Chissley, esq. which was not published, however, till 1693.

5. Some Considerations of the Consequences of the Lowering of Interest, and raising the Value of Money, in a letter sent to a Member of Parliament, 1691.

6. The Reasonableness of Christianity, as delivered in the Scriptures, 1695. This trea

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tise incurred the charge of Socinianism in a tract by Mr. Edwards, entitled “ The Socinian Unmasked,” published in 1696, which drew from Mr. Locke,

7. Two “ Vindications" of his doctrine, published the sarne year.

8. In 1697 and 1698, Locke entered into another theological controversy with Dr. Stillingfleet, chiefly on the subject of the Trinity; which occasioned two letters from the bishop, and three from himself; which were the last compositions published during his life-time.

His posthumous works were published in 1607, octavo ; and contain the five following tracts :

1. The Conduct of the Understanding One of the topics of this admirable little work will furnish a complete and appropriate

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Of Practice and Habits.

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We are born with faculties and powers capable of almost any thing, such at least as would carry us farther than can be easily imagined: but it is only the exercise of those powers which gives us ability and skill in any thing, and leads us towards perfection.

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A middle-aged ploughman will scarce

ever be brought to the carriage and language of a gentleman, though his body be as well proportioned, and his joints as supple, and his natural parts not any way inferior. The legs of a dancing-master, and the fingers of a musician, fall as it were naturally, without thought or pains, into regular and admirable motions. Bid them change their parts, and they will in vain endeavour to produce like motions in the members not used to them, and it will require length of time and long practice to attain but some degrees of a like ability. What incredible and astonishing actions do we find rope-dancers and tumblers bring their bodies to; not but that sundry in almost all manual arts are as wonderful; but I name those which the world takes notice of for such, because on that very account they give money to see them. All these admired notions, beyond the reach and almost the conception of unpractised spectators, are nothing but the mere effects of use and industry in men, whose bodies have nothing peculiar in them from those of the amazed lookers on.

As it is in the body, so it is in the mind; practice makes it what it is, and most even of those excellencies which are looked on as natural endowments, will be found, when examined into more narrowly, to be the product of exercise, and to be raised to that pitch only by repeated actions. Some men are re

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Inarked for pleasantriess in raillery; others for apo-
logues and apposite diverting stories. This is apt to
be taken for the effect of pure nature, and that the
rather, because it is not got by rules; and those who
excel in either of them, never purposely set them-
selves to the study of it as an art to be learnt. But
yet it is true, that at first some lucky hit which took
with somebody, and gained him commendation, en-
couraged him to try again, inclined his thoughts and
endeavours that way, till at last he insensibly got a
facility in it without perceiving how; and that is at-
tributed wholly to nature, which was much more the
effect of use and practice. I do not deny that natu-
ral disposition may often give the first rise to it; but
that never carries a man far without use and exercise,
and it is practice alone that brings the powers of the
mind, as well as those of the body; to their perfection.
Many a good poetic vein is buried under a trade, and
never produces any thing for want of improvement.
We see the ways of discourse and reasoning are very
different, even concerning the same matter, at court
and in the university. And he that will go from
Westminster Hall to the Exchange, will find a dif-
ferent genius and turn in their ways of talking; and
one cannot think that all whose lot fell in the city,
were born with different parts from those who were
bred at the university or inns of court.
To what purpose all this, but to shew that the dif-

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ference so observable in men's understandings and parts, does not arise so much from the natural faculties, as acquired habits. He would be laughed at that should go about to make a fine dancer out of a couutry hedger, at past fifty. And he will not have much better success who shall endeavour at that age to make a man reason well or speak handsomely who has never been used to it, though you should lay before him a collection of all the best precepts of logic or oratory. No body is made any thing by hearing of rules, or laying them up in his memory; practice must settle the habit of doing, without reflecting on the rule; and you may as well hope to make a good painter or musician extempore by a lecture and instruction in the arts of music and painting, as a coherent thinker or strict reasoner, by a set of rules, shewing him wherein right reasoning consists.

This being so that defects and weakness in men's understandings, as well as other faculties, come from want of a right use of their own minds, I am apt to think the fault is generally mislaid upon nature, and there is often a complaint of want of parts when the fault lies in want of a due improvement of them. We see men frequently dexterous and sharp enough in making a bargain, who, if you reason with them about matters of religion, appear perfectly stupid.

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