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and, that a fmattering in it, naturally produces fuch a race of despicable infidels, as the little profligate writers of the prefekt age, whom, I must confefs, I have always accufed to myself, not so much for their want of faith as for their want of learding. I was infinitely pleased to find, among the works of this extraordinary man, a prayer of his own compofing; which, for the elevation of thought, and greatnefs of expreffion, feems rather the devotion of an angel than of a man. His principal fault feems to have been the excels of that virtue which covers a multitude of faults: this betrayed him to fo great an indulgence towards his fervants, who made fuch a corrupt use of it, that it stripped him of all thofe riches and honours which a long series of merits had heaped upon him.”
The fecond is that short character of his writings given us by the pen of the most noble John Sheffield, duke of Buckinghamfhire, who afferts, That all his works are, for expreffion, as well as thought, the glory of our nation and of all latter ages.
The laft authority we hall cite on this fubject, fhall be Mr. Voltaire, who very juftly tiles him the father of experimental philofophy; and enters into abundance of very judicious reflections on his discoveries and writings; owning, at the fame time, that what furprized him molt, was, to find the doctrine of attraction, which is looked upon as the foundation
foundation of another philofophy, exprefly fet down in lord Bacon's, in words not to be controverted or mistaken.
We shall not take upon us to decide how far this may be juft or not; but leave it to the fearch of the learned and ingenious reader. Only give us leave to fay, We have always fufpected that the Novum Organum hath been fo little commended by the moderns for two reafons: first, that it requires a deep head and a strong attention to become fully master of it, and fo has been thoroughly understood by few: fecondly, that thofe few who have fully penetrated it, ufed it to raise ftructures of their own, and not to finish Bacon's palace of wifdom.
It was peculiar to this great man to have nothing narrow and selfish in his compofition; he gave away, without concern, whatever he poffeffed; and, believing other men of the fame mould, he received with as little confideration nay, even as to fame, he had the like notion; he was defirous to enjoy it, but. in the fame way; not from his knowledge, but from his free and liberal communication of that knowledge: fo that it may be truly, and without flattery, faid, his worst qualities were the exceffes of the moft exalted virtues.
His glory cannot be blafted by the flashes of envy ; his failings hurt only his contemporaries, and were expiated by his fufferings; but his virtue and knowledge, and, above all
all, his zeal for mankind, will be felt while there are men; and, consequently, while they have gratitude, the name of Bacon, Verulam, or St. Albans, can never be mentioned but with admiration!
END OF THE FIFTH VOLUME: