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long subject increasing with his years, began now to subdue his constitution, and rendered him very infirm. He therefore, determined to resign his post of commissioner of trade and plantations; but he acquainted none of his friends with his design, till he had given up his commission into the king's own hand. His majesty was very unwilling to receive it, and told our author, that he would be well pleased with his coutinuance in that office, though he should give little or no attendance; for that he did not desire him to stay in town one day to the injury of his health. But Mr. Locke told the king, that he could not in conscience hold a place to which a considerable salary, was annexed, without discharging the duties of it; upon which the king reluctantly accepted his resignation. Mr. Locke's behaviour in this instance discovered such a degree of integrity and virtue, as reflects more honour on his character than his extraordinary intellectual endowments. His majesty enter tained a great esteem for hirn, and would sometimes desire his attendance, in order to consult with him on public affairs and to know his sentiments of things. From this time, Mr. Locke continued altogether at Oates, in which agreeable retirement he applied himself wholly to the study of the sacred Scriptures. In this employment he found so much pleasure, that he regretted his not having devoted more of his time to it in the former part of his life. And his great regard for the sacred writings appears from his answer to a relation, who had inquired of him what was the shortest and surest way for a young gentleman to attain a true knowledge of the Christian religion. “Let him study,” said Mr. Locke, “the holy Scripture, especially in the New Testament. Therein are contained the words of eternal life. It has God for its author; salvation for its end; and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter."' Mr. Locke now found his asthmatic disorder growing extremely troublesome, though it did not prevent him from enjoying great cheerfulness of mind. In this situation, his sufferings were greatly alleviated by the kind attention and agreeable conversation of the accomplished lady Masham, who was the daughter of the learned Dr. Cudworth; as this lady and Mr. Locke had a great esteem and friendship for each other. At the commencement of the summer of the year 1703, a season which, in former years, had always restored him some degrees of strength, he perceived that it had begun to fail him more remarkably than ever. This convinced him that his dissolution was at no great distance, and he often spoke of it himself, but always with great composure ; while he omitted none of the precautions which, from his skill in physic, he knew had a tendency to prolong his life. At length his legs began to swell; and that swelling increasing every day, his strength visibly diminished. He therefore prepared to take leave of the world, deeply impressed with a sense of God's manifold blessings to him, which he took delight in recounting to his friends, and full of a sincere resignation to the divine will, and of firm hopes in the promises of future life. As he had been incapable for a considerable time of going to church, he thought proper to receive the sacrament at home; and iwo of his friends communicating with him, as soon as the ceremony was finished, he told the minister, “That he was in perfect charity with all men, and in a sincére communion with the church of Christ, by what name soever it might be distinguished.” He lived some months after this ; which time he spent in acts of piety and devotion. On the day before his death, lady Masham being alone with him, and sitting by his bed-side, he exhorted her to regard this world only as a state of preparation for a better; adding “ that he had lived long enough, and that he thanked God he had enjoyed a happy life; but that, after all, he looked upon this life to be nothing but vanity.” He had no rest that night, and resolved to try to rise on the following morning, which he did, and was carried into his study, where he was placed in an easy chair, and slept for a considerable time Seeming a little refreshed, he would be dressed as he used to be, and observing lady Masham reading to herself in the Psalms while he was dressing, he requested her to read aloud. She did so, and he appeared very attentive, till, feeling the approach of death, he desired her to break off
, and in a few minutes expired, on the twenty-eighth of Oclober, 1701, in the seventy-third year of his age. He was interred in the church of Oates, where there is a dece it monument erected to bis memory, with a modest inscription in Latin, written by himself..
Quid tam teinerarium tamque indignum sapientis gra.l. tale atque constantia, quam aut falsum sentire, aut quod non satis explorate perceptum sit et cognitum sine ulla dubitatione defendere ? Cic. de Natura Deorum, lib. 1.
§ 1. Introduction. The last resort a man has recourse to in the conduct of himself, is his understanding : for though we distinguish the faculties of the mind, and give the supreme command to the will, as to an agent; yet the truth is, the man who is the agent determines himself to this or that voluntary action, upon some precedent knowledge, or appearance of knowledge in the understanding. No man ever sets himself about any thing but upon some view or other, which serves him for a reason for what he does : and whatsoever faculties he employs, the understanding with such light as it has, well or ill informed, constantly leads ; and by that light, true or false, all hi? operative powers are directed. The will itself, how absolute and uncontrollable soever it may be thought, never fails in its obedience to the dictates of the understanding. Tem