« AnteriorContinuar »
in clauses and words, infinite springs and streams | God consisteth of three persons in unity of Godof doctrine to water the church in every part. head. The attributes of God are either common The And, therefore, as the literal sense is, as it were, to the Deity, or respective to the persons. the main stream or river; so the moral sense works of God summary are two, that of the creachiefly, and sometimes the allegorical or typical, | tion, and that of the redemption; and both these are they whereof the church hath most use: not works, as in total they appertain to the unity of that I wish men to be bold in allegories, or indul- the Godhead, so in their parts they refer to the gent or light in allusions; but that I do much con- three persons: that of the creation, in the mass demn that interpretation of the Scripture which is of the matter, to the Father; in the disposition only after the manner as men use to interpret a pro- of the form, to the Son; and in the continuance and conservation of the being, to the Holy Spirit: fane book. so that of the redemption, in the election and counsel, to the Father; in the whole act and consummation, to the Son; and in the application, to the Holy Spirit; for by the Holy Ghost was Christ conceived in flesh, and by the Holy Ghost are the elect regenerate in spirit. This work likewise we consider either effectually, in the elect; or privately, in the reprobate; or according to appearance, in the visible church.
In this part, touching the exposition of the Scriptures, I can report no deficience; but by way of remembrance this I will add; in perusing books of divinity, I find many books of controversies, and many of commonplaces and treatises, a mass of positive divinity, as it is made an art; a number of sermons and lectures, and many prolix commentaries upon the Scriptures, with harmonies and concordances: but that form of writing in divinity, which in my judgment is of all others most rich and precious, is positive divinity, collected upon particular texts of Scriptures in brief observations; not dilated into commonplaces, not chasing after controversies, not reduced into method of art; a thing abounding in sermons which will vanish, but defective in books which will remain; and a thing wherein this age excelleth. For I am persuaded, (and I may speak it with an "Absit invidia verbo," and noways in derogation of antiquity, but as in a good emulation between the vine and the olive,) that if the choice and best of those observations upon texts of Scriptures, which have been made dispersedly in sermons within this your majesty's island of Britain by the space of these forty years and more, leaving out the largeness of exhortations and applications thereupon, had been set down in a continuance, it had been the best work in divinity which had been written since the apostles' times.
The matter informed by divinity is of two kinds; matter of belief and truth of opinion, and matter of service and adoration; which is also judged and directed by the former; the one being as the internal soul of religion, and the other as the external body thereof. And therefore the heathen religion was not only a worship of idols, but the whole religion was an idol in itself; for it had no soul, that is, no certainty of belief or confession; as a man may well think, considering the chief doctors of their church were the poets: and the reason was, because the heathen gods were no jealous gods, but were glad to be admitted into part, as they had reason. Neither did they respect the pureness of heart, so they might have external honour and rites.
For Manners, the doctrine thereof is contained in the law, which discloseth sin. The law itself is divided, according to the edition thereof, into the law of nature, the law moral, and the law positive; and according to the style, into negative and affirmative, prohibitions and commandments. Sin, in the matter and subject thereof, is divided according to the commandments; in the form thereof, it referreth to the three persons in Deity: sins of infirmity against the Father, whose more special attribute is power; sins of ignorance against the Son, whose attribute is wisdom; and sins of malice against the Holy Ghost, whose attribute is grace or love. In the motions of it, it either moveth to the right hand or to the left; either to blind devotion, or to profane and libertine transgression; either in imposing restraint where God granteth liberty, or in taking liberty where God imposeth restraint. In the degrees and progress of it, it divideth itself into thought, word, or act. And in this part I commend much the deducing of the law of God to cases of conscience; for that I take indeed to be a breaking, and not exhibiting whole of the bread of life. But that which quickeneth both these doctrines of faith and manners, is the elevation and consent of the heart: whereunto appertain books of exhortation, holy meditation, Christian resolution, and the like.
For the Liturgy or service, it consisteth of the reciprocal acts between God and man: which, on the part of God, are the preaching of the word, and the sacraments, which are seals to the covenant, or as the visible word; and on the part of man, invocation of the name of God; and under the law, sacrifices; which were as visible prayers or confessions: but now the adoration being "in spiritu et veritate," there remaineth only "vituli labiorum;" although the use of holy vows of thankfulness and retribution may be accounted
But out of these two do result and issue four main branches of divinity; faith, manners, liturgy, and government. Faith containeth the doctrine of the nature of God, of the attributes of God, and of the works of God. The nature of also as sealed petitions.
And for the Government of the church, it con- the Intellectual World, as truly and faithfully as sisteth of the patrimony of the church, the franchises of the church, and the offices and jurisdictions of the church, and the laws of the church directing the whole; all which have two considerations, the one in themselves, the other how they stand compatible and agreeable to the civil estate. This matter of divinity is handled either in form of instruction of truth, or in form of confutation of falsehood. The declinations from religion, besides the privative, which is atheism, and the branches thereof, are three; heresies, idolatry, and witchcraft; heresies, when we serve the true God with a false worship; idolatry, when we worship false gods, supposing them to be true; and witchcraft, when we adore false gods, knowing them to be wicked and false for so your majesty doth excellently well observe, that witchcraft is the height of idolatry. And yet we see though these be true degrees, Samuel teacheth us that they are all of a nature, when there is once a receding from the word of God; for so he saith, “Quasi peccatum ariolandi est repugnare, et quasi scelus idololatriæ nolle acquiescere.
These things I have passed over so briefly, because I can report no deficiency concerning them: for I can find no space or ground that lieth vacant and unsown in the matter of divinity; so diligent have men been, either in sowing of good seed, or in sowing of tares.
I could discover; with a note and description of those parts which seem to me not constantly occu pate, or not well converted by the labour of man. In which, if I have in any point receded from that which is commonly received, it hath been with a purpose of proceeding in melius, and not in aliud; a mind of amendment and proficience, and not of change and difference. For I could not be true and constant to the argument I handle, if I were not willing to go beyond others; but yet not more willing than to have others go beyond me. again: which may the better appear by this, that I have propounded my opinions naked and unarmed, not seeking to preoccupate the liberty of men's judgments by confutations. For in any thing which is well set down, I am in good hope, that if the first reading move an objection, the second reading will make an answer. And in | those things wherein I have erred, I am sure I have not prejudiced the right by litigious arguments; which certainly have this contrary effect and operation, that they add authority to error, and destroy the authority of that which is well invented: for question is an honour and preferment to falsehood, as on the other side it is a repulse to truth. But the errors I claim and challenge to myself as mine own: the good, if any be, is due "tanquam adeps sacrificii," to be incensed to the honour, first of the Divine Majesty, and next of your majesty, to whom on earth I am
THUS have I made as it were a small Globe of most bounden.
NOTES TO THE ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING.
which dedications at that time abounded, and, secundum ma jus et minus, will at all times abound: epistles dedicatory and epitaphs, being, it is said, the proper places for panegyric.-See as specimens, Dryden's dedications to the Earl of Abingdon and to the Duke of Ormond. See Locke's dedication to Lord Pembroke of his Essay on the Human Under
Or the miseries attendant upon this doctrine of stooping to occasions, Bacon was, perhaps, a sad instance. It may be true, to use the words of old Fuller. "To blame are they whose minds may seem to be made of one entire bone with-standing, in which there are some passages in the same style out any joints; they cannot bend at all, but stand as stiffly in things of pure indifferency, as in matters of absolute necessity:" but how distant is this inflexibility in trifles, from the stooping to occasions recommended by Bacon.-(See page 169.)
How unlike to Solon! who, when Æsop said to him, "O Solon! either we must not come to princes, or else we must seek to please and content them," answered, "Either we must not come to princes at all, or else we must needs tell them truly and counsel them for the best."-How unlike to Seneca speaking to Nero! "Suffer me to stay here a little 'longer with thee, not to flatter thine ear, for this is not my custom; I had rather offend thee by truth, than please thee by flattery."
There is in this part of the work, (see page 169,) an observation upon dedications, which, except by this doctrine of the necessity of stooping to occasions, it seems difficult to reconcile with Bacon's dedication to the king. Some allowance may, possibly, be made for the exuberance of expression with
of adulation. See also Addison's dedication to the Earl of Wharton, in Spectator, vol. v.-To Mr. Metheuen, vol. vii., and to Lord Somers, vol. i. See also Middleton's dedication of his Life of Cicero to Lord Hervey, in which he, as usual, ascribing every virtue to his patron, says, "I could wish to see the dedicatory style reduced to that classical simplicity, with which the ancient writers used to present their books to their friends or patrons." Some allowance too may be made for the style in which princes have, at all times, been addressed, and particularly in the reigns of Elizabeth and James, when Sir Nicholas Bacon, after the queen's departure from Gorhambury, caused the door to be closed that no other step might pass the same threshold; and when a dedication to the king in the style of the dedication of the Spanish Grammar of the Academy, "La Academia Castellana," which begins simply Senor, and ends only Senor, would have partaken almost of the nature of treason. Some allowance may be made for Bacon's anxiety that his work should be protected by the king, from a supposition that this
protection was necessary for the advancement of knowledge. In his letter of the 12th of October, 1620, to the king, he says, speaking of the Novum Organum: "This work is but a new body of clay, whereunto your majesty, by your countenance and protection, may breathe life. And, to tell your majesty truly what I think, I account your favour may be to this work as much as an hundred years' time: for I am persuaded, the work will gain upon men's minds in ages, but your gracing it may make it take hold more swiftly; which I would be very | glad of, it being a work meant, not for praise or glory, but for | practice, and the good of men."
If this opinion of the necessity of the king's protection, or of any patronage, for the progress of knowledge, be now supposed a weakness: if in these times, and in this enlightened country, truth has nothing to dread: if Galileo may now, without fear of the inquisition, assert that the earth moves round; or if an altar is raised to the "unknown God," he who is ignorantly worshipped, we may declare; let us not be unmindful of the present state of the press in other countries, or forget that, although Bacon saw a little ray of distant light, yet that it was seen from far, the refraction of truth yet below the horizon. Let us not forget that he had neither schools nor disciples. "We," he says, “judge also, that mankind may conceive some hope from our example, which we offer not by way of ostentation, but because it may be useful. If any one, therefore, should despair, let him consider a man as much employed in civil affairs as any other of his age, a man of no great share of health, who must therefore have lost much time, and yet, in his undertaking, he is the first that leads the way, unassisted by any mortal, and steadfastly entering the true path that was absolutely untrod before, and submitting his mind to things, may thus have somewhat advanced the design." Let us, remembering this, not withhold from him the indulgence which he solicits for the infirmities from which even philosophy is not exempt. "I am not ignorant what it is that I do now move and attempt, nor insensible of mine own weakness to sustain my purpose; but my hope is that if my extreme love to learning carry me too far, I may obtain the excuse of affection; 'that it is not granted to man to love and to be wise.'"
Among the promoters of frivolous studies, may be reckoned the modern Latin poets, of various nations: the making verses in a dead language was the prevalent taste and occupation of the learned world, at the revival of letters, and produced almost infinite attempts of an inferior order, for a very few good poets. Those, in fact, who possessed the powers of imagination and judgment, displayed them successfully in whatever language they wrote: as Politan, Fracastilo, Vida, Criton, (whose two remaining poems have great merit,) Mantuan, and some others. The rest attained the language, and were elegantly dull. Such were Vaniere and Rapin the jesuits, Barbeirni, (D'Urban,) and even Casimir with some exceptions.-Anon. MSS. Notes.
Referring to page 139.
In the Novum Organum this sentiment is repeated. "The opinions which men entertain of antiquity, is a very idle thing, and almost incongruous to the word; for the old age and length of days of the world, should in reality be accounted antiquity, and ought to be attributed to our own times, not to the youth of the world, which it enjoyed among the ancients: for that age, though with respect to us it be ancient and greater, yet, with regard to the world, it was new and less And as we justly expect a greater knowledge of things, and a riper judgment, from a man of years than from a youth, on account of the greater experience, and the greater variety and number of things seen, heard, and thought of, by the person in years; so might much greater matters be justly expected from the present age, (if it knew but its own strength, and would make trial and apply,) than from former times; as this is the more advanced age of the world, and now enriched and furnished with infinite experiments and observations."
Sir Henry Wotton, in his answer to Bacon's presentation of the Novum Organum, says, "Of your Novum Organum I shall speak more hereafter; but I have learnt thus much already by it, that we are extremely mistaken in the compufortation of antiquity by searching it backwards; because, in deed, the first times were the youngest.'
In addition to these reasons, the explanation to the penetration and judgment of the reader in the body of the treatise of the object of the address with which it opens, ought not to be forgotten; and some caution ought, it should seem, to be used in not suffering our judgments to be warped when examining a charge of indignity offered by such a philosopher to philosophy; but, after every caution which can in justice be used, and after every allowance which can in charity be made, it cannot but be wished that this work, which will be consecrated to the remotest posterity for its many excellencies, had not in any part or for any purpose, been wanting in that dignity for which, as a whole, it stands so proudly emi
As to prevalence of delicate learning. "After the barbarism of the feudal times, the only politeness of conversation, as the only knowledge, was among the clergy. Tournaments, hunting, hawking, &c. made the sole occupation of the nobility. Upon the revival of the humanity studies, they were eagerly followed, to polish as well as to inform. They answered that end which keeping good company does at this day; they gave an habitual elegance to the conversation and sentiments of those who cultivated them, and were therefore, at that time, of much more positive import than at present, or even in Bacon's time. As society became improved, and its intercourse became more frequent, the nicety and time bestowed in these pursuits became a frivolous vanity: the end was otherwise answered. Hence may be deduced their gradual decline, till at length they serve now for the first institutions of schools, and, perhaps, for the occasional amusement of a few persons of just taste, who read them not for information, but through indolence.
"Of the renovation of the humanity studies, in Europe, particularly the Greek language, vid. Hody de Græcis illustribus, &c., who has given the lives of Leon. Pilatus, who was master to Boccace, of Crysolorus, Gaza, Trapezuntius, Bessarion, and others, who passed into Europe, and lectured on the Greek language, both before and after the taking of Constantinople.
Referring to page 139.
Bacon, in various parts of his works, expresses his disapprobation of method and arrangement, but acknowledges the necessity of attention to style, for the purpose of rendering philosophy acceptable to heedless or unwilling ears.-See page 214 of this volume, where he explains the preference of writing in aphorisms to methodical writing: for as to writing in aphorisms, he says; 1st. It trieth the writer whether he be superficial or solid. 2d. Methods are more fit to win consent or belief, but less fit to point to action. 3d. Aphorisms generate inquiry. And again, see page 241, when speaking of interpretation of Scripture, he says,
"It is true that knowledges reduced into exact methods have a show of strength, in that each part seemeth to support and sustain the other; but this is more satisfactory than substantial: like unto buildings which stand by architecture and compaction, which are more subject to ruin than those which are built more strong in their several parts though less compacted."
And again he says,
"The worst and most absurd sort of triflers are those who have pent the whole art into strict methods and narrow systems, which men commonly cry up for the sake of their regularity and style.
Knowledge is uttered to men in a form, as if every thing were finished: for it is reduced into arts and methods which in their divisions do seem to include all that may be. And how weakly soever the parts are filled, yet they carry the show and reason of a total; and thereby the writings of some received authors go for the very act; whereas antiquity used to deliver the knowledge which the mind of man had gathered in observations, aphorisms, or short or disposed sentences, or small tractates of some parts that they had diligently meditated and laboured; which did incite men both to ponder that which was invented and to add and supply farther.”
Rawley, in his preface to the Sylva Sylvarum, says, "I have heard his lordship often say, that, if hee should have served the glory of his owne name, hee had beene better not to have published this naturall history: for it may seeme an indigested
heape of particulars, and cannot have that lustre, which bookes cast into methods have: but that he resolved to preferre the goode of men, and that which might best secure it, before any thing that might have relation to himselfe. I have heard his lordship say also, that one great reason, why hee would not put these particulars into any exact method (though hee that looketh attentively into them shall finde that they have a secret order) was, because he conceived that other men would not thinke that they could doe the like; and so goe on with a further collection; which if the method had beene exact, many would have despaired to attaine by imitation." "
His opinion of the necessity of attention to style is stated in pages 169, 170 of this work, in his dissertation upon Delicate Learning. To these opinions of Bacon's, we are most probably indebted for the symmetry and beauty in the Advance- | inent of Learning. They have been, as Bacon foresaw they would be, causes, and only temporary causes, of the preference which has been given to the Advancement of Learning. He was too well acquainted with what he terms the idols of the mind to be diverted from truth either by the love of order or by the love of beauty. He knew the charms of theories and systems, and the necessity of adopting them to insure a favourable reception for abstruse works, but he was not misled by them. It did not require his sagacity to predict such observations as, two centuries after his death, have been made upon his classification by the philosophers of our times. The noble temple which he raised may now, perhaps, be destroyed and rejected of the builders altogether, but though it should be levelled to the ground, the genius of true philosophy will stand discovered among the ruins.
may well be counted in the number of Mathematical Arts,
So, in another work, "Descriptio Globi intellectualis," he says, "We must, however, openly profess, that our hope of discovering the truth, with regard to the celestial bodies, depends not solely upon such a history, raised after our own manner; but much more upon the observation of the common properties, or the passions and appetites of the matter of both globes. For as to the separation that is supposed betwixt the ætherial and sublunary bodies, it seems to us no more than a fiction, and a degree of superstition, mixed with rashness: for it is certain, that numerous effects, as expansion, contraction, impression, yielding, collection, attraction, repulsion, assimilation, union, and the like, have place, not only here upon the surface, but also in the bowels of the earth, and regions of the heavens. And no more faithful guide can be used or consulted, than these properties of matter, to conduct the understanding to the depths of the earth, which are absolutely not seen at all, and to the sublime regions of the heavens, which are generally seen, but falsely; on account of their great distance, the refraction of the air, the imperfection of glasses, &c. The ancients, therefore, excellently repre
Professor Stewart, after various observations upon the arrangements of Bacon and D'Alembert, says: "If the foregoing strictures be well founded, it seems to follow, that not only the endeavours of Bacon and D'Alembert to classify the sciences and arts according to a logical division of our faculties, is altogether unsatisfactory, but that every future attempt of the same kind may be expected to be liable to similar objections."-Bentham in his Chrestomathia, speaking of Ba-sented Proteus as capable of various shapes, and a most excon's arrangement says, "Of the sketch given by D'Alembert the leading principles are, as he himself has been careful to declare, taken from that given by Lord Bacon. Had it been entirely his own, it would have been, beyond comparison, a better one. For the age of Bacon, Bacon's was a precocious and precious fruit of the union of learning with science: for the age of D'Alembert, it will, it is believed, be found but a poor production, below the author as well as the age."-The "The Chrestomathia then contains various objections to these systems of arrangement, and suggests another system which, perhaps, after the lapse of two more centuries, will share the same fate. No man was, for his own sake, less attached to system or ornament than Lord Bacon. A plain, unadorned style in aphorisms, in which the Novum Organum is written, is, he invariably states, the proper style for philosophy
Referring to page 140.
Amongst the many "idols of the understanding," as they are termed by Bacon; amongst the many tendencies of the mind to warp us from truth, the most subtle seem to be those which emanate from the love of truth itself, undermining the understanding, as ruin ever works, on the side of our virtues. The love of truth, the desire to know the causes of things, is, perhaps, one of our strongest passions; and, like all strong passion, it has a tendency, unless restrained, to hurry us into excess. From an impatience to possess this treasure we are induced to assent hastily, and accept counterfeits as sterling coin :-we are induced to generalize hastily, and to abandon universality, to suppose that we have attained the truth in all the extent in which it exists. The idols of the understanding from the love of truth which generate haste, seem therefore to be
traordinary prophet, who knew all things, both the past, the future, and the secrets of the present. For he who knows the universal properties of matter, and by that means understands what may be, cannot but know what has been, is, and shall be the general state and issue of things. Our chiefest hope and dependence in the consideration of the celestial bodies, is therefore placed in physical reasons; though not such as are commonly so called; but those laws, with regard to the appetites of matter, which no diversity of place or region can abolish, break through, disturb, or alter."
See also the fable of Proteus, in his Wisdom of the Ancients. See also the beginning of the tenth century of the Sylva Sylvarum; and in his Aphorisms concerning the composure of History, he says: "In the history which we require, and purpose in our mind, above all things it must be looked after, that its extent be large, and that it be made after the measure of the universe, for the world ought not to be tied into the straitness of the understanding (which hitherto hath been done) but our intellect should be stretched and widened, so as to be capable of the image of the world, such as we find it; for the custom of respecting but a few things, and passing sentence according to that paucity and scantness hath spoiled all."
Upon the same principle, he says, I think in his history of Life and Death, "All tangible bodies contain a spirit cover ed over, enveloped with the grosser body. There is no known body, in the upper parts of the earth, without its spirit; whether it be generated by the attenuating and concocting power of the celestial warmth, or otherwise for the pores of tangible bodies are not a vacuum; but either contain air, or the peculiar spirit of the substance, and this not a vis, an energy, a soul, or a fiction; but a real, subtile, and invisible body, circumscribed by place and dimension.” "Such was
the language of Bacon two centuries ago; the same senti
"To every form of being is assigned
That paves the brooks, the stationary rocks,
Referring to page 140.
To this tendency to hasty assent, which is one of the idols of the understanding, originating in a love of truth, (see ante note E) it may seem that Bacon ought to have traced the evils of credulity, which he has classed under Fantastical Learning. (page 171.) Bacon, also says,
“The mind of man doth wonderfully endeavour and extremely covet that it may not be pensile : but that it may light upon something fixed and immoveable, on which, as on a firmament, it may support itself in its swift motions and disquisitions. Aristotle endeavours to prove that in all motions of bodies, there is some point quiescent: and very elegantly expounds the fable of Atlas, who stood fixed and bare up the heavens from falling, to be meant of the poles of the world, whereupon the conversion is accomplished. In like manner, inen do earnestly seek to have some atlas or axis of their cogitations within themselves, which may, in some measure, moderate the fluctuations and wheelings of the understanding, fearing it may be the falling of their heaven."
Beware of too forward maturation of knowledge, which makes man bold and confident, and rather wants great proceeding than causeth it."
"Such a rash impotency and intemperance doth possess and infatuate the whole race of man: that they do not only presume upon and promise to themselves what is repugnant in nature to be performed: but also are confident that they are able to conquer, even at their pleasure, and that by way of recreation, the most difficult passages of nature without trouble or travail.”
"Stay a little, that you may make an end the sooner," was a favourite maxim of Sir Nicholas Bacon.
In Locke's Conduct of the Understanding, there are some observations upon the evils of haste in the acquisition of knowledge, in departing from the old maxim that "the sinews of wisdom are slowness of belief." So true it is,
"We must take root downwards, if we would bear fruit upwards; if we would bear fruit and continue to bear fruit, when the foodful plants that stand straight, only because they grew in company; or whose slender service-roots owe their whole steadfastness to their entanglement, have been beaten down by the continued rains, or whirled aloft by the sudden hurricane."Coleridge.
So true is it, that
"The advances of nature are gradual. They are scarce discernible in their motions, but only visible in their issue. Nobody perceives the grass grow or the shadow move upon the dial till after some time and leisure we reflect upon their progress."-South.
Although the love of excelling is the motive by which in our public schools, and our universities, youth is stimulated, and is in the common world a very common motive of action, yet this intellectual gladiatorship does not and never did influence the noblest minds: it is only a temporary motive, and fosters bad passion. The love of excellence on the other hand, is powerful and permanent, and constantly generates good feeling. That the love of excelling does not influence philosophy, is an opinion so prevalent that, assuming it to be the motive by which men are generally induced to engage in public life, it has been urged by politicians as an objection to learning, "that it doth divert men's travails from action and business, and bringeth them to a love of leisure and privateness."* The error of the supposition that the love of excelling can influence philosophy, may be seen in the nature of the passion, in the opinions of eminent moralists, and in the actions of those illustrious men, who, without suffering worldly distinctions to have precedence in their thoughts, are content without them, or with them, when following in the train of their duty.
With respect to the nature of the passion, it is difficult to suppose that it can influence any mind, which lets its hopes and fears wander towards future and far distant events. "If a man," says Bacon, "meditate much upon the universal frame of nature, the earth with men upon it, (the divineness of souls except,) will not seem much other than an ant-hill, where as some ants carry corn, and some carry their young, and some go empty, and all to-and-fro a little heap of dust." So says Bishop Taylor, "Whatsoever tempts the pride and vanity of ambitious persons is not so big as the smallest star which we see scattered in disorder and unregarded upon the pavement and floor of heaven. And if we would suppose the pismires had but our understanding, they also would have the method of a man's greatness, and divide their little mole-hills into provinces and exarchats: and if they also grew as vitious and as miserable, one of their princes would lead an army out, and kill his neighbour ants, that he might reign over the next
handful of a turf."
The same lesson may be taught by a moment's self-reflection.
"I shall entertain you," Bishop Taylor, in the preface to his Holy Dying, says, "in a charnel-house, and carry your meditation a while into the chambers of death, where you shall find the rooms dressed up with melancholick arts, and fit to converse with your most retired thoughts, which begin with a sigh, and proceed in deep consideration, and end in a holy resolution. The sight that St. Augustin most noted in that house of sorrow was the body of Cæsar clothed with all the dishonours of corruption that you can suppose in six
"I have read of a fair young German gentleman, who living, often refused to be pictured, but put off the importunity of his friends' desire, by giving way that after a few days' burial, they might send a painter to his vault, and, if they saw cause for it, draw the image of his death unto the life. They did so, and found his face half eaten, and his midriff and backbone full of serpents; and so he stands pictured amongst
his armed ancestours "
With respect to the opinions and actions of eminent men, Bacon says, "It is commonly found that men have views to fame and ostentation, sometimes in uttering, and sometimes in circulating the knowledge they think they have acquired. But for our undertaking, we judge it of such a nature, that it were highly unworthy to pollute it with any degree of ambition or affectation; as it is an unavoidable decree with us ever to retain our native candour and simplicity, and not attempt a passage to truth under the conduct of vanity; for, seeking real nature with all her fruits about her, we should think it a betraying of our trust to infect such a subject either with an ambitious, an ignorant, or any other faulty manner of treating