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1. To the Essay on Human Understanding is prefixed a correct analysis, which has been of considerable service by reducing that essay into some better method, which the author himself shows us, (preface and elsewhere) that he was very sensible it wanted, though he contented himself with leaving it in its original form, for reasons grounded on the prejudices then prevailing against so novel a system; but which hardly now subsist.

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The Works of John Locke, vol. 1 (An Essay concerning …

In 1675 he travelled into France, on account of his health. At Montpelier he staid a considerable time; and there his first acquaintance arose with Mr. Herbert, afterward Earl of Pembroke, to whom he dedicated his ‘Essay on Human Understanding,’ having the highest respect for that noble lord. From Montpelier he went to Paris, where he contracted a friendship with Mr. Justel, whose house was at that time the place of resort for men of letters: and there he saw Mr. Guenelon, the famous physician of Amsterdam, who read lectures in anatomy with great applause. He became acquainted likewise with Mr. Toignard, who favoured him with a copy of his ‘Harmonia Evangelica,’ when there were no more than five or six copies of it complete. The earl of Shaftesbury being restored to favour at court, and made president of the council in 1679, thought proper to send for Mr. Locke to London. But that nobleman did not continue long in his post; for refusing to comply with the designs of the court, which aimed at the establishment of popery and arbitrary power, fresh crimes were laid to his charge, and he was sent to the Tower. When the earl obtained his discharge from that place, he retired to Holland; and Mr. Locke not thinking himself safe in England, followed his noble patron thither, who died soon after. During our author’s stay in Holland, he renewed his acquaintance with Mr. Guenelon, who introduced him to many learned persons of Amsterdam. Here Mr. Locke contracted a friendship with Mr. Limborch, professor of divinity among the remonstrants, and the most learned Mr. Le Clerc, which he cultivated after his return into England, and continued to the end of his life.

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In 1670, and the year following, our author began to form the plan of his ‘Essay on Human Understanding,’ at the earnest request of Mr. Tyrrell, Dr. Thomas, and some other friends, who met frequently in his chamber to converse together on philosophical subjects; but his employments and avocations prevented him from finishing it then—About this time, it is supposed, he was made a fellow of the Royal Society.

John Locke, The Works of John Locke, vol. 1 (An Essay concerning Human Understanding Part 1) [1689]

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8. We cannot in this place forbear lamenting the suppression of some of Mr. Locke’s treatises, which are in all probability not to be retrieved. His Right Method of searching after Truth, which Le Clerc mentions, is hardly to be met with; nor can a tract which we have good ground to believe that he wrote, in the Unitarian Controversy, be well distinguished at this distance of time; unless it prove to be the following piece, which some ingenious persons have judged to be his; and if they are right in their conjecture, as I have no doubt but they are; the address to himself that is prefixed to it must have been made on purpose to conceal the true author, as a more attentive perusal of the whole tract will convince any one, and at the same time show what reason there was for so extremely cautious a proceeding. Part of the long title runs thus: ‘The Exceptions of Mr. Edwards in his Causes of Atheism, against The Reasonableness of Christianity as delivered in the Scriptures, examined and found unreasonable, unscriptural, and injurious, &c. London, printed in the year 1695, 47 pages, 4to.

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13. Connected in some sort with the forementioned essay, and in their way equally valuable, are his tracts on Education and the early Conduct of the Understanding; both worthy, as we apprehend, of a more careful perusal than is commonly bestowed upon them, the latter more especially, which seems to be little known and less attended to. It contains an easy popular illustration of some discoveries in the foregoing essay, particularly that great and universal law of nature, the support of so many mental powers, (v. g. that of memory under all its modifications) and which produces equally remarkable effects in the intellectual, as that of gravitation does in the material world;—I mean the association of ideas: the first hint whereof did not appear till the fourth edition of his essay, and then came in as it were by the by, under some very peculiar circumstances, and in comparatively trivial instances; the author himself seeming not to be sufficiently aware of its extensiveness, and the many uses to which it is applicable, and has been applied of late by several of our own writers. The former tract abounds with no less curious and entertaining than useful observations on the various tempers and dispositions of youth: with proper directions for the due regulation and improvement of them, and just remarks on the too visible defects in that point; nor should it be looked upon as merely fitted for the instruction of schoolmasters or nurses, but as affording matter of reflection to men of business, science, and philosophy. The several editions of this treatise, which has been much esteemed by foreigners, with the additions made to it abroad, may be seen in Gen. Dict. Vol. VII. p. 145.

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The first lord Shaftesbury has written a most excellent treatise on the same subject, entitled, An Essay concerning Toleration, 1667, which, though left unfinished, well deserves to see the light; and, as I am assured, in due time will be published at the end of his lordship’s life, now preparing.