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whereby it may be transposed to another in the old words, and because upon true and erroneous same manner as it was collected, to the end it may grounds men may meet in consequence or conclube discerned both where the work is weak, and sion, as several lines or circles that cut in some one where it breaketh off. That this latter method is point. That the greatest part of those that have not only unfit for the former end, but also impos- descended into search have chosen for the most sible for all knowledge gathered and insinuated by artificial and compendious course, to induce prinanticipations, because the mind working inwardly of ciples out of particulars, and to reduce all other itself, no man can give a just account how he came propositions unto principles; and so, instead of the to know that knowledge which he hath received, nearest way, have been led to no way, or a mere and that therefore this method is peculiar for know- labyrinth. That the two contemplative ways have ledge gathered by interpretation. That the discre- some resemblance with the old parable of the two tion anciently observed, though by the precedent of moral ways, the one beginning with uncertainty and many vain persons and deceivers disgraced, of pub- difficulty, and ending in plainness and certainty ; lishing part and reserving part to a private succes- and the other beginning with show of plainness and sion, and of publishing in a manner whereby it shall certainty, and ending in difficulty and uncertainty. not be to the capacity nor taste of all, but shall as it of the great and manifest error and untrue conceit were single and adopt his reader, is not to be laid or estimation of the infin ness of particulars, aside, both for the avoiding of abuse in the excluded, whereas indeed all prolixity is in discourse and deand the strengthening of affection in the admitted.rivations; and of the infinite and most laborious exThat there are other virtues of tradition, as that pense of wit that hath been employed upon toys and there be no occasion given to error, and that it matters of no fruit or value. That although the carry a vigour to root and spread against the vanity period of one age cannot advance men to the of wits and injuries of time; all which, if they farthest point of interpretation of nature, except the were ever due to any knowledge delivered, or if work should be undertaken with greater helps than they were never due to any human knowledge here- can be expected, yet it cannot fail in much less space tofore delivered, yet are now due to the knowledge of time to make return of many singular commodipropounded.
ties towards the state and occasions of man's life.
That there is less reason of distrust in the course of CHAPTER XIX.
interpretation now propounded, than in any know
ledge formerly delivered, because this course doth Of the impediments which have been in the affec- in sort equal men's wits, and leaveth no great adtions, the principle whereof hath been despair or vantage or pre-eminence to the perfect and excellent diffidence, and the strong apprehension of the diffi- motions of the spirit. That to draw a straight line, culty, obscurity, and infiniteness which belongeth to or to make a circle perfect round by aim of hand the invention of knowledge, and that men have not only, there must be a great difference between an known their own strength ; and that the supposed unsteady and unpractised hand and a steady and difficulties and vastness of the work is rather in show practised ; but to do it by rule or compass, it is much and muster, than in state or substance, where the alike. true way is taken. That this diffidence hath moved and caused some never to enter into search, and
CHAPTER XXI. others, when they have been entered, either to give over, or to seek a more compendious course than can Of the impediments which have been in the two stand with the nature of true search. That of those extreme humours of admiration of antiquity and love that have refused and prejudged inquiry, the more of novelty; and again, of over-servile reverence, or sober and grave sort of wits have depended upon over-light scorn of the opinions of others. authors and traditions, and the more vain and credulous resorted to revelation and intelligence with
CHAPTER XXII. spirits and higher natures. That of those that have entered into search, some having fallen upon some Of the impediments which have been in the affecconceits, which they after consider to be the same tion of pride, specially of one kind, which is the which they have found in former authors, have sud- disdain of dwelling and being conversant much in denly taken a persuasion that a man shall, but with experience and particulars, especially such as are much labour, incur and light upon the same inven- vulgar in occurrency, and base and ignoble in use. tions which he might with ease receive from others, That besides certain higher mysteries of pride, and that it is but a vanity and self-pleasing of the generalities seem to have a dignity and solemnity, in wit to go about again, as one that would rather have that they do not put men in mind of their familiar a flower of his own gathering, than much better actions, in that they have less affinity with arts gathered to his hand. That the same humour of mechanical and illiberal, in that they are not so sloth and disidence suggesteth, that a man shall but subject to be controlled by persons of mean observarevive some ancient opinion, which was long ago tion, in that they seem to teach men that they know propounded, examined, and rejected. And that it is not, and not to refer them to that they know. All easy to err in conceit, that a man's observation or which conditions directly feeding the humour of notion is the same with a former opinion, both be- pride, particulars do want. That the majesty of cause new conceits must of necessity be uttered in generalities, and the divine nature of the mind in
taking them, if they be truly collected, and be indeed plicity and ignorance, as ascribing ordinary effects the direct reflexions of things, cannot be too much to the immediate working of God, is adverse to magnified. And that it is true, that interpretation knowledge. That such is the religion of the Turk, is the very natural and direct intention, action, and and such hath been the abuse of christian religion progression of the understanding, delivered from at some several times, and in some several factions. impediments. And that all anticipation is but a And of the singular advantage which the christian deflexion or declination by accident.
religion hath towards the fartherance of true know
ledge, in that it excludeth and interdicteth human CHAPTER XXV.
reason, whether by interpretation or anticipation,
from examining or discussing of the mysteries and Of the impediments which have been in the state principles of faith. of heathen religion, and other superstitions and errors of religion. And that in the true religion
CHAPTER XXVI. there hath not, nor is any impediment, except it be by accident or intermixture of humour. That a re- Of the impediments which have been in the naligion which consisteth in rites and forms of ado- ture of society, and the policies of state. That there ration, and not in confessions and beliefs, is adverse is no composition of estate or society, nor order or to knowledge ; because men having liberty to in- quality of persons, which have not some point of quire and discourse of theology at pleasure, it com- contrariety towards true knowledge.
That moneth to pass that all inquisition of nature endeth and archies incline wits to profit and pleasure, and comlimiteth itself in such metaphysical or theological dis-monwealths to glory and vanity. That universities course; whereas if men's wits be shut out of that incline wits to sophistry and affectation; cloisters port, it turneth them again to discover, and so to to fables and unprofitable subtilty; study at large seek reason of reason more deeply. And that such to variety; and that it is hard to say, whether mixwas the religion of the heathen. That a religion ture of contemplations with an active life, or retiring that is jealous of the variety of learning, discourse, wholly to contemplations, do disable and hinder the opinions, and sects, as misdoubting it may shake the mind more. foundations, or that cherisheth devotion upon sim
1. Francis Bacon thought in this manner. The lar traditions; or else a failing in the true proportions knowledge whereof the world is now possessed, and scruples of practice, which maketh him renew especially that of nature, extendeth not to magni- infinitely his trials; and finding also that he lighttude and certainty of works. The physician pro-eth upon some mean experiments and conclusions nounceth many diseases incurable, and faileth oft in by the way, feedeth upon them, and magnifieth the rest. The alchemists wax old and die in hopes. them to the most, and supplieth the rest in hopes. The magicians perform nothing that is permanent The magician, when he findeth something, as he and profitable. The mechanics take small light from conceiveth, above nature effected, thinketh, when a natural philosophy, and do but spin on their own breach is once made in nature, that it is all one to little threads. Chance sometimes discovereth inven- perform great things and small; not seeing, that tions; but that worketh not in years, but ages. So they are but subjects of a certain kind, wherein he saw well, that the inventions known are very magic and superstition hath played in all times. unperfect, and that new are not like to be brought | The mechanical person, if he can refine an invento light, but in great length of time; and that those tion, or put two or three observations or practices towhich are, came not to light by philosophy. gether in one, or couple things better with their
2. He thought also this state of knowledge was use, or make the work in less or greater volume, the worse, because men strive against themselves to taketh himself for an inventor. So he saw well, save the credit of ignorance, and to satisfy them that men either persuade themselves of new invenselves in this poverty. For the physician, besides tions as of impossibilities; or else think they are the cauteles of practice, hath this general cautele of already extant, but in secret and in few hands; or art, that he dischargeth the weakness of his art that they account of those little industries and ad. upon supposed impossibilities; neither can his art ditions, as of inventions: all which turneth to the be condemned, when itself judgeth. That philoso- averting of their minds from any just and constant phy also, out of which the knowledge of physic labour, to invent farther in any quantity. which now is in use is hewed, receiveth certain po- 3. He thought also, when men did set before sitions and opinions, which, if they be well weighed, themselves the variety and perfection of works pra induce this persuasion, that no great works are to duced by mechanical arts, they are apt rather to adbe expected from art, and the hand of man; as in mire the provisions of man, than to apprehend his particular, that opinion, that “ the heat of the sun wants; not considering, that the original inventions and fire differ in kind;" and that other, " that com- and conclusions of nature, which are the life of all position is the work of man, and mixture is the that variety, are not many, nor deeply fetched; and work of nature," and the like : all tending to the that the rest is but the subtile and ruled motion of the circumscription of man's power, and to artificial de instrument and hand; and that the shop therein is spair; killing in men not only the comfort of ima- not unlike the library, which in such number of gination, but the industry of trial: only upon vain- books containeth for the far greater part, nothing glory, to have their art thought perfect, and that all but iterations, varied sometimes in form, but not is impossible that is not already found. The al- new in substance. So he saw plainly, that opinion chemist dischargeth his art upon his own errors, of store was a cause of want; and that both works either supposing a misunderstanding of the words and doctrines appear many, and are few. of his authors, which maketh him listen after auricu- 4. He thought also, that knowledge is uttered to
nen in a form, as if every thing were finished; for large empire needed the service of all their able it is reduced into arts and methods; which in their men for civil business. And the time amongst the divisions do seem to include all that
And Grecians, in which natural philosophy seemed most hov weakly soever the parts are filled, yet they to flourish, was but a short space; and that also carry the show and reason of a total ; and thereby rather abused in differing sects and conflicts of the writings of some received authors go for the very opinions than profitably spent. Since which time, art: whereas antiquity used to deliver the knowledge natural philosophy was never any profession, nor which the mind of man had gathered, in observa- never possessed any whole man, except perchance tions, aphorisms, or short and dispersed sentences, some monk in a cloister, or some gentleman in the or small tractates of some parts that they had dili- country, and that very rarely ; but became a science gently meditated and laboured; which did invite of passage, to season a little young and unripe wits, men, both to ponder that which was invented, and and to serve for an introduction to other arts, espeto add and supply farther. But now sciences are cially physic and the practical mathematics. delivered to be believed and accepted, and not to be he saw plainly, that natural philosophy hath been examined and farther discovered; and the succes- intended by few persons, and in them hath occupied sion is between master and disciple, and not between the least part of their time; and that in the weakest inventor and continuer or advancer; and therefore of their age and judgment. sciences stand at a stay, and have done for many 7. He thought also, how great opposition and ages, and that which is positive is fixed, and that prejudice natural philosophy had received by superwhich is question is kept question, so as the columns stition, and the immoderate and blind zeal of reliof no further proceeding are pitched. And there- gion; for he found that some of the Grecians, which fore he saw plainly men had cut themselves off from first gave the reason of thunder, had been confarther invention ; and that it is no marvel, that that demned of impiety; and that the cosmographers, is not obtained which hath not been attempted, but which first discovered and described the roundness rather shut out and debarred.
of the earth, and the consequence thereof touching 5. He thought also, that knowledge is almost the antipodes, were not much otherwise censured generally sought either for delight and satisfaction, by the ancient fathers of the christian church; and or for gain or profession, or for credit and ornament, that the case is now much worse, in regard of the and that every of these are as Atalanta's balls, which boldness of the schoolmen and their dependences in hinder the race of invention. For men are so far the monasteries, who having made divinity into an in these courses from seeking to increase the mass art, have almost incorporated the contentious philoof knowledge, as of that mass which is they will sophy of Aristotle into the body of christian religion : take no more than will serve their turn : and if any and generally he perceived in men of devout simone amongst so many seeketh knowledge for itself, plicity this opinion, that the secrets of nature were yet he rather seeketh to know the variety of things, the secrets of God; and part of that glory wherethan to discern of the truth and causes of them; into the mind of man, if it seek to press, shall be and if his inquisition be yet more severe, yet it tend- oppressed; and that the desire in men to attain to eth rather to judgment than to invention ; and so great and hidden knowledge, hath a resemblance rather to discover truth in controversy, than new with that temptation which caused the original fall; matter; and if his heart be so large as he propound and on the other side, in men of a devout policy, he eth to himself farther discovery or invention, yet it noted an inclination to have the people depend upon is rather of new discourse and speculation of causes, God the more, when they are less acquainted with than of effects and operations. And as for those second causes; and to have no stirring in philosothat have so much in their mouths, action and use phy, lest it may lead to an innovation in divinity, or and practice, and the referring of sciences there else should discover matter of farther contradiction unto; they mean it of application of that which is to divinity. But in this part, resorting to the known, and not of a discovery of that which is un. authority of the Scriptures, and holy examples, and known. So he saw plainly, that this mark, namely, to reason, he rested not satisfied alone, but much invention of farther means to endow the condition confirmed. For first he considered that the knowand life of man with new powers or works, was al- ledge of nature, by the light whereof man discerned most never yet set up and resolved in man's inten- of every living creature, and imposed names action and inquiry.
cording to their propriety, was not the occasion of 6. He thought also, that, amongst other know- the fall; but the moral knowledge of good and evil, ledges, natural philosophy hath been the least fol- affected to the end to depend no more upon God's lowed and laboured. For since the christian faith, commandments, but for man to direct himself. the greatest number of wits have been employed, Neither could he find in any Scripture, that the inand the greatest helps and rewards have been con- quiry and science of man in any thing, under the ferred upon divinity. And before-time likewise, the mysteries of the Deity, is determined and restrained, greatest part of the studies of philosophers was con- but contrariwise allowed and provoked. For consumed in moral philosophy, which was as the cerning all other knowledge the scripture pronouncheathen divinity. And in both times a great part eth, " That it is the glory of God to conceal, but it of the best wits betook themselves to law, pleadings, is the glory of man (or of the king, for the king is and causes of estate; specially in the time of the but the excellency of man) to invent;” and again, greatness of the Romans, who by reason of their “ The spirit of man is as the lamp of God, where
with he searcheth every secret ;” and again most sible in his creatures. So as he saw well, that nseffectually, " That God hath made all things beau- tural philosophy was of excellent use to the exalt. tiful and decent, according to the return of their ation of the Divine Majesty ; and, that which is seasons; also that he hath set the world in man's admirable, that being a remedy of superstition, it heart, and yet man cannot find out the work which is nevertheless a help to faith. He saw likewise, God worketh from the beginning to the end :" that the former opinions to the prejudice hereof had showing that the heart of man is a continent of that no true ground; but must spring either out of mere concave or capacity, wherein the content of the ignorance, or out of an excess of devotion, to have world, that is, all forms of the creatures, and what- divinity all in all, whereas it should be only above soever is not God, may be placed, or received; and all ; both which states of mind may be best parcomplaining, that through the variety of things, doned; or else out of worse causes, namely, out of and vicissitudes of times, which are but impediments envy, which is proud weakness, and deserveth to be and not impuissances, man cannot accomplish his despised; or out of some mixture of imposture, to invention. In precedent also he set before his eyes, tell a lie for God's cause; or out of an impious difthat in those few memorials before the flood, the fidence, as if men should fear to discover some things Scripture honoureth the name of the inventors of in nature which might subvert faith. But still he music and works in metal; that Moses had this saw well, howsoever these opinions are in right addition of praise, that he was seen in all the learn- reason reproved, yet they leave not to be most ing of the Ægyptians; that Solomon, in his grant of effectual hinderances to natural philosophy and wisdom from God, had contained, as a branch thereof, invention. that knowledge whereby he wrote a natural history 8. He thought also, that there wanted not great of all verdure, from the cedar to the moss, and of all contrariety to the farther discovery of sciences in that breatheth: that the book of Job, and many regard of the orders and customs of universities, and places of the prophets, have great aspersion of na- also in regard of common opinion. For in univertural philosophy; that the church in the bosom and sities and colleges men's studies are almost confined lap thereof, in the greatest injuries of times, ever to certain authors, from which if any dissenteth or preserved, as holy relics, the books of philosophy propoundeth matter of redargution, it is enough to and all heathen learning; and that when Gregory, make him thought a person turbulent; whereas if the bishop of Rome, became adverse and unjust to it be well advised, there is a great difference to be the memory of heathen antiquity, it was censured for made between matters contemplative and active. pusillanimity in him, and the honour thereof soon For in government change is suspected, though to after restored, and his own memory almost perse the better ; but it is natural to arts to be in perpetual cuted by his successor Sabinian; and lastly, in our agitation and growth. Neither is the danger alike times, and the ages of our fathers, when Luther and of new light, and of new motion or remove; and for the divines of the protestant church on the one side, vulgar and received opinions, nothing is more usual, and the Jesuits on the other, have enterprised to or more usually complained of, than that it is imreform, the one the doctrine, the other the disci- posed for arrogancy and presumption, for men to pline and manners of the church of Rome, he saw authorize themselves against antiquity and authors, well how both of them have awaked to their great towards whom envy is ceased, and reverence by time honour and succour all human learning. And for amortised: it not being considered what Aristotle reason, there cannot be a greater and more evident himself did, upon whom the philosophy that now is than this, that all knowledge, and especially that of chiefly dependeth, who came with a professed connatural philosophy, tendeth highly to the magnify- tradiction to all the world, and did put all his opiing of the glory of God in his power, providence, nions upon his own authority and argument, and and benefits, appearing and engraven in his sworks, never so much as nameth an author, but to confute which without this knowledge are beheld but as and reprove him; and yet his success well fulfilled through a veil: for if the heavens in the body of the observation of Him that said, " If a man come them do declare the glory of God to the eye, much in his own name, him will you receive.” Men think more do they in the rule and decrees of them declare likewise, that if they should give themselves to the it to the understanding. And another reason, not liberty of invention and travail of inquiry, that they inferior to this, is, that the same natural philosophy shall light again upon some conceits and contemplaprincipally amongst all other human knowledge, tions which have been formerly offered to the world, doth give an excellent defence against both extremes and have been put down by better, which have preof religion, superstition, and infidelity; for both it vailed and brought them to oblivion ; not seeing, freeth the mind from a number of weak fancies and that howsoever the property and breeding of knowimaginations, and it raiseth the mind to acknow- ledges is in great and excellent wits, yet the estiledge that to God all things are possible ; for to mation and price of them is in the multitude, or in that purpose speaketh our Saviour in that first canon the inclinations of princes and great persons meanly against heresies, delivered upon the case of the re- learned. So as those knowledges are like to be surrection, “ You err, not knowing the Scriptures, received and honoured, which have their foundation nor the power of God;" teaching that there are but in the subtilty or finest trial of common sense, or two fountains of heresy, not knowing the will of God such as fill the imagination, and not such knowledge revealed in the Scriptures, and not knowing the as is digged out of the hard mine of history and expower of God revealed, or at least made most sen- | perience, and falleth out to be in some points as ad