You are on page 1of 394

ESSAYS OR COUNSELS

CIVIL AND MORAL.


I. OF TRUTH.
WHAT is Truth t
1
said jesting Pilate; and would
not stay for s.n answer. Certainly there be that
delight in giddiness; and count it a bondage to fix
a belief; 2

free-will in thinking, as well as
in acting. And though the sects of philosophers of
thafkind be gone, yet there remain certain discours-
ing' wits which are of the same veins, though there
be not so much blood in them as was in those of the
ancients. But it is not only the difficulty and labour
which men take in finding out of truth; nor again
that when it is found it imposeth upon men's
thoughts; that doth bring lies in favour; but a
John :r:viii. 88.
Bacon probably had in mind here the sceptical philosophy of
Heraclitus of Ephesus, born about 585 B.c., died about 475 B.c.
Pyrrho, 860(!)-270( f) B.c., and Carneades, 218 ( f)-129 B.C.,
maintained that certainty could not be affirmed about anything. The
reference may be to Democritus, 'the Abderite,' born about 460
B.C., died about 857 B.C., called 'the laughing philosopher.'
"Flea! Heraclitw, an rideat Democritw1 .. shall I laugh with
Dmaocrih or weep with Heraclitwt" Robert Burton. The ..tnat
omv of Melancholv. Partition B. Section 4. Member 1..
tion 8.
1
..ttect. To make a how of, be foniL of.
Dwcourlling. Possibly in the sense of iLYcurllive; I.e. roving,
uuettleiL. But the word may mean debating, arguing.
1
Impue. To exert an influence on,
a
4
BACON'S ESSAYS
" natural though corrupt love of the lie itself. One
of the later school of the Grecians examineth the
matter, and is at a stand to think what should
I
be in it, that men should love lies, where neither
they make for pleasure, as with poets,! nor for ad-
vantage, as with the merchant; but for the lie's
sake. But I cannot tell: this same truth is a naked
J _ y and open day-light, that doth not shew the masks
and mummeries and triumphs of the world, half so
stately and daintily
2
as candle-lights. Truth may
perhaps come to the price of a pearl, that sheweth
best by day; but it will not rise to the price of a
diamond or carbuncle, that sheweth best in varied
lights. A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure.
Doth any man doubt, that if there were taken out
of men's minds vain opinions, flattering hopes, false
' valuations, imaginations as one would,
8
and the like,
but it would leave the minds of a number of men
poor shrunken things, full of melancholy and indis-
position, and unpleasing to themselves f One of
the Fathers, in great severity, called poesy 'Vinum
damomtm' because it fi.lleth the ; and
it is but with the shadow of a lie. But it is
not the lie that passetli through-the mind, but the
lie that sinketh in and settleth in it, that doth the
hurt; such as we spake of before. But howso-
' "There should always be some foundation of fact for the most
airy fabric, and pure Invention is but the talent of a liar." B11ron.
Letter to John Jlurra11. AprilS, 1817. Letter and Journal. T. Moore.
DaintU11. Delicatel11, elegantly, gractfully.
1
A one would. That is, as one willed, or wished. The verb will
has here its preaentive sense, as in Philippiano ii. 18, "For it is God
which worketh in you both to wiU and to do of his good pleasure."
wine of deuilB. Used by St. Augustine, 854-480 A.D., Bishop
of Hippo Regina in Numidi11. The Oonfealliono of Augtcotine.
I. :rvi. 118.
..
-
..
-
OF TRUTH
5
ever
1
these things are thus in men's depraved judg-
ments and affections, yet trtrth, wW,sh only dgj;h
ju.dge itself. teacheth that the inquiry of truth, which
is the love-making orwooingof it, thekilowleogeOl * v
truth,. which is the presence of it, and the belief of
truth, which is the enjoying of it, is the sovereign _good
o(friman nature. The first creature of God, inthe
works orthe days, was the light of the sense; the
last was the light of reason; and his sabbath work
ever since, is the illumination of his Spirit. First
he breathed light upon the face of the matter or
chaos ; then he breathed light into the face of man ;
and still he breatheth and inspireth light into the
face of his chosen. The poet that beautified the
sect that was otherwise inferior to the rest,
2
saith
yet excellently well: It is a pleasure w stand upon
the shore, and w 'see ships tossed upon the sea; a pleasure
to stand in the window of a castle, and w see a battle
and the adventures
3
thereof below: but no pleasure is
comparable w the standing upon the vantage ground of
Truth, (a hill not to be commanded,' and where the
air is always clear and serene,) and tQ see the errors,
and wanderings, and mists, and tempests, in the t'ale
below; so
5
always that this prospect
6
be with pity,
1
Howoever. Notwithtltanding that, albeit. "And so will he do;
for the man doth fear God, howoever it seems not in him by some
)urge jests he will make."
Shakpere. Much Ado A.bout Nothing. ii. 8.
The poet is Titus Lucretius, born 99 or 98 B. O., died 55 B.O. J
The sect is the Epicureans. Bacon quotes the thought, not the exact
language, of the beginning of the second book of Lucretius's De .
Rerum Natura. Compare the A.dvancement of Learnin . I
1
Adventure. 0 ance, ap, , .
In military tactics a high hill command a lower one near it.
1
8o. Provided, or on condition.
Pro,ect is active in sense, and means overlooking, looking down
UJIC)n,
o g''"d by Goog [ e
.....
"
"
-....... 1
...
"
,
--l.$
I
6
BACON'S ESSAYS
and not with swelling or pride. Certainly, it is
fleaven upon earth, to havea man's mind move in
charity, rest in providence, and turn upon the poles
of truth.l
'!'o Jl!ISS from
to the truth of civil business ; it will be acknowl-
edged. even by those that practise it not, that clear
and round
2
dealing is the honour of man's nature ;
and that mixture of falsehood is like allay
3
in coin
of gold and silver, which may make the metal work
better, but it it. For these winding
and crooked courses are the goings of the serpent ;
which goeth basely upon the belly,
5
and not upon
the feet. There is no vice that doth so cover a
man with shame as to be found false and perfidious.
And therefore oJ;ltaigne
6
saith prettily, when he
inquired the reason, why the word of the lie should
be such a disgrace and such an odious charge 7
Saith he, If it be well weighed, to say that a man lietk,
1
"The basis of all excellence Ia truth." Dr. JoiiMon.
Lif of Oowlq. bv Jlr . .4.. Nofl(". Bolin. l890. fl. 8.
1
Bound. Ploin, downright, straightforward.
"I will a round, unvarniah'd tale deliver
Of my whole course of love."
Shakrpere. Oth.Uo. ' 8.
Allov. Old form of 'allov,' on metal mized with ons of

"For fools are stubborn in their way,
As coins are harden'd by th' allov."
Butler. HtuUbr48. Port III. Canto II. 481-48B.
To rduc from o to o lower otworth or
puritv; to dlbGBe.
"And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast
done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of
the lleld: upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all
the days of thy life." GeneBiB iii. U.
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, the celebrated French essayist, was
born in 1588 and died in 1592. The llrat edition of the Es.au ap-
peared in 1580. Montalgne'a thought will be found in the B..U,
II. 18, where he quotes Plutarch's L'f of Lvatlder.
1
I
r
l
OF DEATH
7
is as muck to say, as that ke is bra?Je towards God and v
a coward towards men. For a lie faces God, and
sbrinks from man. Surely the wickedness of false-
hood and breach of faith cannot possibly be so
highly expressed, as in that it shall be the last pe&l.
to call the judgments of God upon the generations
of men ; it being foretold, that when Christ cometh,
ke shall not find faith upon tke earth.l
II. OF DEATH.
MEN fear Death, as children fear to go in the
dark; and as that natural fear ia children is in-
creased with tales, so is the other. Certainly, the
contemplation of death, as the wages of sin
2
and
passage to another world, is holy and religious; but
the fear of it, as a tribute due unto nature, is weak. "
Yet in religious meditations there is sometimes mix-
ture of vanity and of superstition. You shall read
in some of the friars' books of mortiftcation,
8
that
a man should think with himself what the pain is
if he have but his finger's end pressed or tortured,
and thereby imagine what the pains of death are,
when the whole body is corrupted and dissolved ;
when many times death passeth with less pain than
the torture of a limb : for the most vital parts are not
the quickest of sense. And by him that spake only
' "Neverthelesa when the Son of man c o m e ~ h shall he 4nd faith
on the earth f" Luke .niii. 8.
"l!'or the wages of sin ia death." RomatU m. s.
1
Jlorti/lcation. Humiliation, pen11nce.
o g''"d by Goog [ e
8
BACON'S ESSAYS
as a philosopher and natural man, it was well said,
Pompa mortis magis terret, quam mors ipsa:
1
Groans
and convulsions, and a discoloured face, and friends
weeping, and bla.cks
1
2
and obsequies, and the like,
shew death terrible. It is worthy the observing,
that there is no passion in the mind of man so
weak, but it mates
3
and masters the fear of death;
and therefore death is no such terrible enemy when
a man hath so many attendants about-:hliii"iliit can
win theCOmbat of him. Revenge triumphs over
death; Love Sllghls it ; Honour aspireth-tO it;
Grief ffietli.Tolfi-""Tear pre-oocupatetli
4
1tiJiiY""'"_!!e
readt after Otho
5
the emperor had slain himself,
Pity (which is the tenderest of affections) provoked
6
many to die, out of mere compassion to their sov-
ereign, and as the truest sort of followers. Nay
Seneca adds niceness and satiety : Oogita quamdiu
eadem feceris; mori velle, non tantum fortis, aut miser,
1
The surroundings of death strike more terror than death itaelf.
I
1
1
L . ..tnnaei Senecae ad LucUium Epistularum Moralium L>er III.
Eputula III. Seneca lived 4-65 A.D.
1
Blacks. Black clothing for mourning; hanging of black cloth I
ueed in churches, etc., at funerals. In Shakspere's time the upper 1
part of the stage, technically caJled 'the he a vena, was hung with
black when tragedies were performed.
"I would not hear of blacks, I was so light,
But chose a color orient like my mind:
For blacks are often such dissembling mourners,
There is no credit given to 't; it has lost
All reputation by false sons and widows."
Middleton. The Old La1D. 4\. 1 .
1
Mate. To daunt; to tupefy.
"JII!y mind she has mated and amazed my aight."
Shakspere. Macbeth. v. 1.
Preoccupate. To occupy before; to anticipate.
Marcus Salvius ()tho, Roman emperor, 82-69 A.D.
Provoke. To 1timulate to action; to to e:J:cite. "And let
ua consider one another, to provoke unto love and to good worka."
2:. 14.
i
I


I
OF DEATH
9
sed etiam jastidiosus potest.
1
A man would die,
though he were neither valiant nor miserable, only ..,
upon a weariness to do the same thing so oft over
and over. It is no less worthy to observe, how
little alteration in good spirits the approaches of
death make; for they appear to be the same men
till the last instant. Augustus Cresar
2
died in a
compliment; Livia,
3
conjugii nostri memor, tlive et
vale:' Tiberius
5
in dissimulation; as Tacitus
6
saith of him, Jam Tiberium vires et corpus, non dis-
simulatio, deserebant:
7
V espasian
8
in a jest; sitting
upon the stool, Ut pttto Deus fio:
9
Galba
10
with a sen-
tence ; Feri, si ex re sit populi Romani:
11
holding forth
1
Think how often you do the same things. A man may wish to
die, not so much because he is brave or miserable, as that he is tired
of living. L . .d.nnari Senecas ad Lucilium Epi8tularum Moralium
Liber X. Epietula I.
"It is a brave act of valour to contemn death; but where life is
more terrible than death, it is then the truest valour to dare to live."
Sir Thomas Browne. Religio Medici. Part I. Sution 44.
1
Cains Octavius, called later, Caius Julius Caesar OctaV'lanus
Augustus, greatnephew of Julina Caesar, and ftrst Roman emperor,
lived 68 D.O. to U A.D.
1
Livia Druailla was the mother of Tiberius and the third wife of
.Aupstus. 'Caesar .Augustus died in a compliment.-! hope 't was a
sincere onel--quoth my Uncle Toby.-'T was to his wife,--sald my
father.' Sterne. Tristram 8hand11. V. 8.
Livia, mindful of our union, live on, and farewell. 0. Sue-
toni TranquiUi De XII Oaesan'bus Liber II. D. Octavius Oaesar
.d.ugustus. 100.
1
Tiberius Claudius Nero Caesar, stepson of .Augustus and Roman
emperor, lived 42 D.O. to 37 A.D.
Cornelius Tacitus, Roman historian, lived from about 55 to
about 117 A.D. He wrote De vita et moribus Ju!ii Agricolae; Germania;
Hietoriae, accounts of the reigns of Galba, Otho, Vitelliua, Vespasian,
Titus, and Domitian; and 4nnal68, a history of the Julian dynasty
from the death of Augustus.
1
His strength and vitality were now deserting Tiberius, but not
hie dissimulation. P. Oorntlii Taciti Annalium Liber VI. Oaput ISO.
1
Titul Flavius Sabin us Vespasianus, Roman emperor, 9-79 A.D.
'I euppose I am becoming a god. 0. Suetoni TranquiUi De XII
OIUiaribua Liber VIII. T. Flavius Vesparianu1 Augustus. 118
.. Servius Sulpicius Galba, Roman emperor, lived a D.O. to 69 A.D.
11
Strike, if it be for the good of the Roman people. Oomelii
TaciU HNtoriarum Liber I. Oaput 41..
10
BACON'S ESSAYS
his neck. Septimius Severus
1
in despatch; Adeste
si quid mihi restat agendum:
2
And the like. Certainly
the Stoics bestowed too much cost upon death, and by
their great preparations made it appear more fear-
ful. Better saith he, qui jinem mtm extremum inter
mttnera ponat naturm.
3
It is as natural to die as to
be born ; and to a little infant, perhaps, the one is as
1
painful as the other. He that dies in an earnest
pursuit, is like one that is wounded in hot blood;
who, for the time, scarce feels the hurt; and
. j therefore a mind fixed and bent upon somewhat
that is good doth avert the dolours
4
of death. But
above all, believe it, the sweetest canticle is, Nunc
dimittis;
5
when a man hath obtained worthy ends
and expectations. Death hath this also ; that it
openeth the gate to good fame, and extinguisheth
envy. Extinctus amabitur idem.
6
1 Lucius Septimius Severus, Roman emperor, 146-211 A.D.
1
Make haste, if anythinr remains for me to do. Dion CG81rim.
Lib or LXXVI. 17.
1
Who considers the end of life as one of nature's blessings. The
thourht Ia Juvenal'a, D. lunii luven4li$ Aquirnzti$ 8GtirGrvm
Libor IV. Satira X. 8ts8-81S9. Bacon quotes the verse again In
the Advancement of Loarning. II. a:xi. IS.
Dolour&. Grief&, Borrow&. "About this time I did lirht on a
dreadful story of that miserable mortal, Francia Spira; a book that
was to my troubled spirit, as salt when rubbed into a fresh wound:
every sentence in that book, every groan of that man, with all the
rest of his actions In his doloura, as his tears, his prayers, his
gnashing of teeth, his wringing of hands, his twiatlng, and Jan
guishing, and pining away under that mighty hand of God that waa
upon him, were as knives and dargers to my soul." BunJian.
Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinnf.rl. The Worb of that emi-
nont aervant of Chmt, John Bun11an, Jlini$ter of the Go6pel; Gnd
formorlJI Pa&tor of a Congregation at Bedford. Vol. I. p. 4fl.
(New Haten. 1881.)
1
Nunc dimitti$, or the Song of Simeon. Luke ii. 119-81. "Lord,
now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace." It is one of the
canticles for Evening Prayer in the Church of England.
1
The same man, dead, will be loved; i.e., he who Is envied and
suffers from detraction in life, may become a hero after death.
Q. Horatio Flacci E,vtolllrvm Liber II. E,vtolll I. All At&
gurit&tll. 14.
OF UNITY IN RELIGION
11
ITI. OF UNITY IN RELIGION.
RELIGION being the chief band of human society,
it is a happy thing when itself is well contained J
within the true band of Unity. The quarrels and
divisions about religion were evils unknown to the
heathen. The reason was, because the religion of
the heathen consisted rather in rites and ceremonies, '
than in any constant belief. For you may imagine
what kind of faith theirs was, when the chief v
doctors
1
and fathers of their church were the poets.
But the true God hath this attribute, that he is a
jealous God;
2
and therefore his worship and religion
will endure no mixture nor partner. We shall
therefore speak a few words concerning the Unity
of the Church ; what are the Fruits thereof; what
the Bounds ; and what the Means.
The Fruits of Unity (next unto the well pleasing
of God, which is all in all) are two ; the one to- V'
wards those that are without the church, the
other towards those that are within. For the
former; it is certain that heresies and schisms are
of all others the greatest scandals; yea, more than "'
corruption of manners. For as in the natural body
a wound or solution of continuity
3
is worse than a
1
D o ~ t o r Teocher, innrvctor. "And it came to pass that after
three days they found him In the temple, aitting in the midet of the
4octora, both hearing them, and asking them question&." Luke" 46.
1
"For thou shalt wonhip no other god: for the Lord, whoae
name is Jealoua, is a jealoua God." Exodul xxxiv. 14. Oompare
aleo the Second Commandment, Exodus xx. IS.
A wound makes a 11olu!ion of continttitJI by aeverinc muscles,
nenea, arteries, and the like.
\
12
BACON'S ESSAYS
corrupt humour; so in the spiritual. So that noth-
J
ing doth so much keep men out of the church, and
drive men out of the church, as breach of unity .
.And therefore, whensoever it cometh to that pass,
that one saith Ecce in deserto,
1
another saith Ecce in
penetralibus ;
2
that is, when some men seek Christ
in the conventicles of heretics, and others in a.n out-
ward face of a. church, that voice had need continu-
ally to sound in men's ears, Nolite exire,-Go not
out.
3
The Doctor of the Gentiles' (the propriety
5
of whose vocation
6
drew him to have a special care
of those without) saith, If an heathen come in, and
hear you speak with several tongues, will he not say
that you are mad 1
7
And certainly it is little better,
when atheists and profane persons do hear of so
many discordant and contrary opinions in religion ;
it doth avert
8
them from the church, and maketh
them to sit down in the chair of the scorners.
9
It is
but a light thing to be vouched
10
in so serious a
matter, but yet it expresseth well the deformity.
There is a master of scoffing, that in his catalogue
1
"Behold, he is in the desert." Matthew x:riv. ll6.
"Behold, he is in the secret chambers." Matthew x:riv. ll6.
8
"Go not forth." Matthew x:riv. ll6.
The Apostle Paul is the 'Doctor of the Gentiles.' In .d.ct.t
x:rii. Ill, Paul relates how he was specially caJled to his apostleship
among the Gentiles: "And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send
thee far hence unto the Gentiles."
1
ProprietJI. Peculiar qualitv, especial concern.
V ocat(on. OaUing in life.
' "If therefore the whole church be come together into one place,
and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are un
learned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad!" I.
Corinthiana :riv. 28.
8
.d. vert. To turn from; to repel.
"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the un
godly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of
the scornful." P a alms i. 1.
'"Vouch.. To bear witneaa to; to confirm.
I
j
OF UNITY IN RELIGION
13
of books of a feigned library sets down this title
of a book, The morris-dance of Heretics.! For in- \'
deed every sect of them hath a diverse
2
posture or
cringe
3
by themselves, which cannot but move de-
rision in worldlings and depraved politics,' who are
apt to contemn holy things.
As for the fruit towards those that are within ; it
is peace ; which containeth infinite blessings. It V
establisheth faith. It kindleth charity. The out-
ward peace of the church distilleth into peace of v
conscience. And it turneth the labours of writing
and reading of controversies into treatises of mor-
ti.ftcation and devotion.
Concerning the Bounds of Unity; the true placing v
of them importeth exceedingly.
6
There appear to be
two extremes. For to certain zelants
6
all speech of
pacification is odious. Is it p'eace; Jehu1 What hast
1
Bacon aDudea to Rabelais, born about 1'88, died
April 9, 1558. Among the boaks which Pantagruel, aon of Gar '
1antna, found In the Library of St. Victor In Paris waa, LtJ
Jlorillque 4 hiritiquea. (LeB Oinq Livre de P. Rabelaie. Tome I.
p. 115/S. JouaUBt. Pam. 188/S.) The morris, or morrla
dance, ia a dance performed with bells, castanets, or tamboura. n
comes from the Spanish mo.Vco, a Moorish dance; from moro, a
KDoll.
Viver Dilerent. "And four great beasts came up from the
sea, diverBe one from another." Daniel vii. 8.
1
Cringe. A deferential, &ervile, or fawning obeiBance; deririvelv,
tJ bow. "Why should history go on kneeling to the end of time!
I am for having her rise oft her knees, and take a natural poature:
not to be forever performing cringe and congees like a eourt
chamberlain, and shutlllng backwards out of doora In the presence
of the sovereign. In a word, I would have history familiar rather
than heroic: and think that Mr. Hogarth and Mr. Fielding will give
our children a much better Idea of the manners of the present age
in England, than the Oourt Gazette and the newspapers which we
get thence." !l'htJCkerav. Hen1'1J Eamond. I. 1.
Politic&. Politician.
1
Importeth exceedingll(. That Ia, In modern phrase, w _....
i1411l11 important.
ZelllnU. Zealotl.
14
BACON'S ESSAYS
tlwu to do with peace 1 turn thee behind me.
1
Peace
is not the matter, but following and party. Con-
trariwise, certain Laodiceans and lukewarm.
2
per-
sons think they may accommodate
3
points of re-
ligion by middle ways, and taking part of both,
and witty
4
reconcilements; as if they would make
an arbitrement
5
between God and man. Both
these extremes are to be avoided i which will be
done, if the league of Christians penned by our
Saviour himself were in the two cross clauses
thereof soundly and plainly expounded : He that is
} 'Mt with us is against us;
6
and again, He that is not
against us is with us;
7
that is, if the points funda-
mental and of substance in religion were truly dis-
cerned and distinguished from points not merely
8
f of faith, but of opinion, order, or good intention.
This is a thing may seem to many a matter trivial,
and done already. But if it were done less partially,
it would be embraced more generally.
Of this I may give only this advice, according to
' my small model. Men ought to take heed of rend-
1
"So there went one on horseback to meet him, and said, Thus
saith the king, Ia it peace I And Jehu said, What hast thou to do
with peace! turn thee behind me." II. Kings ix. 18.
"And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; .
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will
spue thee out ot my mouth." Revdation iii. 14, 16.
8
Aecommodate. To adjmt, reconcile (things or persons that
differ) ; to bring into harmony or agreement.
'Witty. IngeniOt<s.
Arbitrement. Compromise, friendly agreement.
'"He that is not with me is against me." Matthew ll:ii. 80 and
Luke xi. 28.
1
"For he that is not against us is on our part." Mark ix. 40.
1
Merely. Absolutel11, wholly, completely.
"l wish ye all content, and am aa happy,
In my friend's good as if 't were merely mine."
ana Fletcher. The Honest Man's Fortune. v. 8,
OF UNITY IN RELIGION
15
ing God's church by two kinds of controversies.
The one is, when the matter of the point contro-
verted is too small and light, not worth the heat and V
strife about it, kindled only by contradiction. For
as it is noted by one of the fathers, Christ's coat in-
deed had no seam, but the church's vesture was of divers
colours;
1
whereupon he saith, In veste varietas sit,
scissura non sit:
2
they be two things, Unity and
Uniformity. The other is, when the matter of the
point controverted is great, but it is driven to an
over-great subtilty and obscurity; so that it be- "'
cometh a thing rather ingenious than substantial.
A man that is of judgment and understanding shall../
sometimes hear ignorant men differ, and kuow well
within himself that those which so differ mean one
thiug, and yet they themselves would never agree.
And if it come so to pass in that distance of judg-
ment which is between man and man, shall we nota
think that God above, that knows the heart, doth
nota discern that frail men in some of their contra-
dictions intend the same thing; and accepteth ofi
both T The nature of such controversies is excel.
1
The allusion is to Paalm8 a:lv. 14. "She shall be brought unto
the King in raiment of needlework," but the phrase In raiment of
needlework is in the Vulgate, circumamicttJ vtJrietatlbua, 'enveloped
with varieties.'
Let there be many colors in the garment, but let there ~ no
rending of it. St. Bern.ard. Letter OOOXXXIV. To Gull of Pia.
AgtJinBt the aame Abaelard. Life and Work of Saint B.,.,.ard.
Edited b11 Dom John Jlabalon. 1'rtJnBlated b11 Samuel J. Ealea.
II. BIJIJ.
So in the original. One of the not should obviously be struck
out; the reader can choose which. S.
Accept. To receive (a thing or peraon) with tJpproval; fre-
quentlll followed b11 'of.' "And ye say moreover, Behold, thy servant
Jaoob Is behind us. For he said, I will appease him with the pres-
ent that goeth before me, and afterward I will see his face; per-
l!dventure he will accept of me.'' GeneBiB :r:=i. 110.
16
BACON'S ESSAYS
lently expressed by St. Paul in the warning and
precept that he giveth concerning the same, Devita
profanas voettm novitates, et oppositiones falsi nominis
scientire:
1
Men create oppositions which are not;
I and put them into new terms so fixed, as
2
whereas
\ the meaning ought to govern the term, the term in
effect governeth the meaning:] There be also two
false peaces or unities: the one, when the peace is
grounded but upon an implicit ignorance; for all
colours will agree in the dark : the other, when it
vis pieced up upon a direct admission of contraries
in fundamental points. For truth and falsehood,
in such things, are like the iron and clay in the toes
of N abuchadnezza.r's image;
3
they may cleave, but
they will not incorporate.
Concerning the Means of procuring Unity; men
must beware, that in the procuring or muniting'
/ of religious unity they do not dissolve and deface
the laws of charity and of human society. There
)>e two swords amongst Christians, the spiritual and
: /temporal; and both have their due office and place
in the maintenance of religion. But we may not
take up the third sword, which is Mahomet's sword,
or like unto it; that is, to propagate religion by
I
wars or by sanguinary persecutions to force con-
sciences ; except it be in the cases of overt scandal,
blasphemy, or intermixture of practice against the
state; much less to nourish seditions; to authorize
1
"Avoid profane and vain babbling&, and oppoeitiona of science
falsely eo called." I. Timothil vi. 110.
2
A. That.
"His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay."
Daniel ii. 88.
.Muniting. From the Latin munio, tortifl/ing,
OF UNITY IN RELIGION
17
conspiracies and rebellions; to put the sword into I
the people's hands; and the like ; tending to the
subversion of all government, which is the ordi-\
nance of God. For this is but to dash the first table
against the second ;
1
and so to consider men as j
Christians, as we forget that they are men. Lu-
cretius the poet, when he beheld the act of Agamem-
non,2 that could endure the sacrificing of his own
daughter, exclaimed :
Tantum Relligio potuit suadere malorum :S
What would he have said, if he had known of the
massacre in France," or the powder treason
5
of Eng-
land f He would have been seven times more Epi-
cure6 and atheist than he was. For as the temporal ".
sword is to be drawn with great circumspection in
1
"And It came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp,
that he aaw the calf, and the dancing: and Mosea' anger waxed hot,
and he cast the tables out of his hands, and broke them beneath
the mount." E:rod!U :r:rrii. 19.
1
Agamemnon, leader of the Greeks before Troy, made a vow to
Artemis that he would olrer up to her the deareat possession that
came to him within the next twelvemonth. This happened to be II.
child, hie daughter, Iphigeneia. When, some years later the Trojan
lleet W&l windbound at Aulis, Oalchas, the priest, said it was on
account of the wrath of the goddess because Agamemnon had not
kept his vow. lphigeneia was thereupon bound to the altar to be
sacrificed, but Artemis substituted a hind in her stead and carried
otr' the maiden to Tauris to become her priesteu. Note the likeness
of the story to that of Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac, Gem&V ui.
1-19; and to Jephthah's vow, Judgu ri. SD--40.
lphigeneia's story was treated by Euripides, in his tragedy, IphC
in Tauria, and by Goethe, in auf Tau.V.
To ills eo dire could religion prompt. T. Lucreti Oari De R"um
Natura. Liber I. 101.
The maesacre of the Huguenots in France on St. Bartholomew's
day, August 24, 1572, by the order of Oharles IX. and his mother,
Oatharine de' Medici.
1
The Gunpowder Plot, of Guy Fawkes (1570-1606) and other
conspirators, who proposed to blow up the House of Lords at the
opening of Parliament, Nov. 5, 1605, when the King, the royal
family, and the House of Oommone would be present.
Bpkur,, EpkurHn.
18
BACON'S ESSAYS
I) cases of religion; so it is a thing monstrous to
put it into the hands of the common people.
Let that be left unto the Anabaptists,
1
and
other furies. It was great blasphemy when the
devil said, I will ascend and be like the Highest;
2
but
it is greater blasphemy to personate God, and bring
him in saying, I will descend, and be like the prince of
darkness: and what is it better, to make the cause of
religion to descend to the cruel and execrable ac-
tions of murthering princes, butchery of people,
and subversion of states and governments 7 Surely
this is to bring down the Holy Ghost, instead of
the likeness of a dove,
3
in the shape of a vulture
or raven ; and set out of the bark of a. Christian
church a flag of a. bark of pirates and assassins.
Therefore it is most necessary that the church by doc-
trine and decree, princes by their sword, and all
1
learnings, both Christian and moral, as by thair
'V Mercury rod,
4
do damn and send to hell for ever
those facts and opinions tending to the support of
1
AnabapU.ts. The followers of John Matthiesen and John Book
old, or John of Leyden, who attempted to set up a socialistic kingdom
of New Zion or Mount Zion at lllllnster in Westphalia, about
1530-1535. Anabaptize means to baptizl again; an Anabaptut in
the literal sense is one who believes in re-baptism, or adult baptiam.
Bacon compares the Anabaptists to furies from their vicious doc
trines, one of which was polygamy.
1
"I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like
the most High." Isaiah ceiv. 14. "For so we see, aspiring to be
like God in power, the angels transgressed and fell; Ascendam,
et ero nmiliz altunmo." Advancement of Learning. II. : ~ : c e i i
16.
1
"And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out
of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he
saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and ligMing upon
him." Matthew iii. 16.
Mercuf11 rod. Til caduceus, a f"Od entwined with two sn-
pents and .tUrmotmted bl/ two winos. With It Mercury, the me.
-ger of the gods, summoned souls to Hadel.
OF REVENGE
19
the same ; as hath been already in good part done.
Surely in counsels concerning religion, that coun-
sel of the apostle would
1
be prefixed, Ira kominis
non implet ju.stitiam Dei:
2
And it was a notable ob-
servation of a wise father, and no less ingenuously
confessed; that those held and persttaded
3
pres-
sure of consciences were commonly interessed' therein
themselves for their own
IV. OF REVENGE.
REVENGE is a kind of wild justice; which the more
man's li&t;;;e runs to, lhe more ought law to weed it v
out. For as for the first wrong, it doth but offend
the law; but the revenge of that wrong putteth \
the law out of office. Certainly, in taking revenge,
a. man is but even with his enemy ; but in passing
it over, he is superior; for it is a prince's part to
pardon. And Salomon, I am sure, saith, It is the
glory of a man to pass by an offence.
5
That which is
past is gone, and irrevocable; and wise men have '-
enough to do with things present and to come ;
therefore they do but tri1le with themselves, that
1
W ovld = hould, aa frequently in Elizabethan English.
1
"For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousneas of God."
JatM t 110.
1
Per.uade. To commend a tatement or opinion to acceptance;
to inculcate, "And he went into the synagogue, and spa:.e boldly
for the apace of three months, disputing, and per.uading the things
oonceming the kingdom of God." Act m. 8.
Interetl. Earlier form of
1
''The dlaeretlon of a man deferreth his anger; and it i1 his
Pol'7 to pau over a transgression." Proverb """' 11.
Digitized by Goog [ e