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have their profit and advantage. But it is ridiculous in any man to say in general your book is dangerous; let any fair contender for truth sít down and show wherein it is erroneous. Dangerous is a word of an uncertain signification; every one uses it in his own sense. A papist shall say it is dangerous; because, perhaps, it agrees not so well with transubstantiation; and a lutheran, because his consubstantiation is in hazard; but neither consider, whether transubstantiation or consubstantiation be true or false; but taking it for granted that they are true, or at least gainful, whatever hits not with it, or is against it, must be dangerous. · I am extremely obliged to you for your introducing a correspondence between Dr. Sloane and me, and it would be the greatest satisfaction imaginable to me, could I but promise myself materials, in this place, fit to support it. However I shall soon begin it, by sending him an account of the largest quadruped that moves on the earth, except the elephant, with which this country has anciently been plentifully stocked, but are now quite perished from amongst us, and is not to be found, for aught as I can learn, any-where at present, but about New England, Virginia, &c.
And now I come to that part of your letter relating to Mons. Le Clerc, which grieves me every time I think on it. There are so many difficulties, in what you pro. pose concerning him, that I know not how they will be surmounted. The clergy here have given that learned, pious, and candid man, a name that will frighten any bishop from serving him, though otherwise inclinable enough in his own breast. I know but two or three that are in any post in the church capable to help him ; on whom I could rely to do it; but, at the same time, I know them to be such cautious wary men, and so fearful of the censure of the rest of the tribe, that they would hardly be brought to it. I take Mons. Le Clerc to be one of the greatest scholars in Europe; I look on him as one of the most judicious, pious and sincere Christians that has appeared publicly; and it would be an infinite honour to us, to have him amongst us, but, I fear, an ecclesiastical preferment will be very difficult to
be obtained for him. And indeed, when I troubled you to give me some account of him, it was in prospect of bringing him into my own family, could his circumstances have allowed it, for I took him to be a single man, and one of the refugees in Holland, and wholly unprovided for. On his own account, I am heartily glad he has any settlement there ; but, for my own sake, I could wish he were in other circumstances. But, notwithstanding these difficulties, I have ventured to break this matter to a clergyman here in a considerable post, Dr. .......... dean of ........., a gentleman who is happy in your acquaintance, and is a person of an extensive charity and great candour. He relished the thing extremely, but moved the forementioned difficulties, and raised some farther scruples concerning Mr. Le Clerc's ordination ; for ordained he must necessarily be, to capacitate him for an ecclesiastical preferment; and he questioned whether he would submit to those oaths, and subscription of assent and consent, that are requisite thereto. But he promised me that when he attends the king this summer into Holland, as his chaplain, he will wait on Mons. Le Clerc at Amsterdam, and discourse with him farther about this matter. This gentleman is the likeliest ecclesiastic in Ireland to effect this business, for he is a rising man in the church; and though he be very żealous in his own principles, yet it is with the greatest charity and deference to others; which, I think, is the true spirit of Christianity. I have not mentioned you in the least to him, in all this matter. · I am extremely obliged to you for the good offices you have done me to Mr. Methwin our lord chancellor. I promise myself a great deal of satisfaction in the ho. nour of his lordship's acquaintance. And, I could wish, if it were consistent with your convenience, that you would let me know the person you desired to mention my name to his lordship. ,
I am heartily glad to understand that you have taken notice of what the bishop of Worcester says, relating to your book. I have been in discourse here with an ingenious man, upon what the bishop alleges; and the
him, in all this mely obliged to Join our lord char
gentleman observed, that the bishop does not so directly object against your notions as erroneous, but as misused by others, and particularly by the author of “ Christi« anity not mysterious;" but I think this is no very just observation. The bishop directly opposes your doctrine, though, it is true, he does it on the occasion of the foresaid book. I am told the author of that discourse is of this country, and that his name is Toland, but he is a stranger in these parts; I believe, if he belongs to this kingdom, he has been a good while out of it, for I have not heard of any such remarkable man amongst us.
I should be very glad to see Mons. L.'s paper concerning your Essay. He is certainly an extraordinary person, especially in mathematics; but really to speak freely of him, in relation to what he may have to say to you, I do not expect any great matters from him; for methinks (with all deference to his great name) he has given the world no extraordinary samples of his thoughts this way, as appears by two discourses he has printed, both in the “ Acta Erudit. Lipsiæ," the first Anno 1694, p. 110. “ De primæ Philosophiæ Emen“ datione,” &c. the other Anno 1695, p. 145. “ Spe“ cimen Dynamicum,” which truly to me is, in many places, unintelligible; but that may be my defect, and not his.
I beg you would excuse me to my lady Masham, for the errour I committed relating to her ladyship. I ever looked on Mr. Norris as an obscure enthusiastic man, but I could not think he would knowingly impose on the world so notorious a falsity in matter of fact. I wish authors would take more pains to open than to shut men's eyes, and then we should have more success in the discoveries of truth. But I have almost outrun my paper. I am,
Mr. MOLYNEUX to Mr. LOCKE.
Honoured Sir, Dublin, April 6, 1697. IN my last to you of March 16, there was a passage relating to the author of “ Christianity not mysterious." I did not then think that he was so near me, as within the bounds of this city; but I find since, that he is come over hither, and have had the favour of a visit from him. I now understand (as I intimated to you) that he was born in this country; but that he has been a great while abroad, and his education was, for some time, under the great Le Clerc. But that for which I can never honour him too much, is his acquaintance and friendship to you, and the respect which, on all occasions, he expresses for you. I propose a great deal of satisfaction in his conversation; I take him to be a candid free-thinker, and a good scholar. But there is a violent sort of spirit that reigns here, which begins already to show itself against him; and, I believe, will increase daily; for I find the clergy alarmed to a mighty degree against him. And last Sunday he had his welcome to this city, by hearing himself harangued against out of the pulpit, by a prelate of this country.
I have at last received my most esteemed friend's picture; I must now make my grateful acknowledgments to you, for the many idle hours you spent in sitting for it, to gratify my desire. I never look upon it, but with the greatest veneration. ' But though the artist has shown extraordinary skill at his pencil, yet now I have obtained some part of my desire, the greatest remains unsatisfied ; and seeing he could not make it speak, and converse with me, I am still at a loss. But I find you are resolved, in some measure, to supply even that too, by the kind presents you sent me of your thoughts, both in your letters and in your books, as you publish them. Mr. Churchill tells me, I am obliged to you for 'one or two of this kind, that you have been pleased to favour me with; they are not yet come to hand, but I return
you my heartiest thanks for them. I long, indeed, to see your answer to the bishop of Worcester ; but for Edwards, I think him such a poor wretch, he deserves no notice. 'I am,
Most worthy Sir,
Mr. LOCKE to Mr. Molyneux..
Oates, April 10, 1697., THOUGH I do not suspect that you will think me careless or cold in that small business you desired of me, and so left it in negligent hands, give me leave to send you a transcript of a passage in my friend's letter, which I received last post.
" It is a great while since that Mr. P--undertook " to tell you that I had spoken to Mr. Methwin about " Mr. Molyneux, and that he received your recommen“ dation very civilly, and answered, he should always « have a great regard for any body you thought worthy
of your esteem; and you gave so advantageous a « character of Mr. Molyneux, that he should covet « his acquaintance, and therefore he must desire the fa. “ vour of you to recommend him to Mr. Molyneux."
Thus, my friend, whose words, though in them there be something of compliment to myself, I repeat to you
just as they are in his letter, that you may see he had i. the same success I promised you in my last.
In obedience to your commands, I herewith send you a copy of Mr. L-'s paper. The last paragraph, which you will find writ in my hand, is a transcript of part of a letter, writ lately to his correspondent here, one Mr. Burnet, who sent it me lately, with a copy of Mr.