"For the natural tendency of the Mind being towards Knowledge; and finding if it should proceed by, and dwell upon only particular Things, its Progress would be very slow, and its Work endless: Therefore to shorten its way to Knowledge, and make each Perception the more comprehensive; the first Thing it does, as the Foundation of the easier enlarging its Knowledge, either by Contemplation of the things themselves, that it would know; or conference with others about them, is to bind them into Bundles, and rank them so into sorts, that what Knowledge it gets of any of them, it may thereby with assurance extend to all of that sort; and so advance by larger steps in that which is its great Business, Knowledge."
— Locke, John (1632-1704)
(II.xxxii.6, p. 178 in 1690 ed.)
I find over 25 entries in the ESTC (1690, 1694, 1695, 1700, 1706, 1710, 1715, 1721, 1726, 1731, 1735, 1741, 1748, 1753, 1759, 1760, 1765, 1768, 1775, 1777, 1786, 1788, 1793, 1795, 1796, 1798). See also the many abridgements issued in the period.
First published as An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding. In Four Books. (London: Printed by Eliz. Holt, for Thomas Basset, at the George in Fleetstreet, near St. Dunstan's Church, 1690). <Link to EEBO><EEBO-TCP>
Searching first in a Past Masters edition based on the 12th Edition of Locke's Works and proofread against the 1959 Fraser edition. More recent searches in EEBO-TCP.
Reading John Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, ed. Peter Nidditch (Oxford, Oxford UP, 1975)--against which I have checked the text searched in Past Masters. Note, Nidditch's text is based on 4th ed. of 1700.