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they being but few, and there appearing nothing so extraordinary in the composure of them, as is found in his Lordship's other labours, they have not obtained an earlier mention. They are only these :-“ His Confession of Faith, written by himself in English, and turned into Latin by Dr. Rawley, (a) the questions about an Holy War, and the Prayers, in these Remains ;(c) and a translation of certain of David's Psalms into English verse. With this last pious exercise he diverted himself in the time of his sickness, in the year twenty-five. When he sent it abroad into the world, he made a dedication of it to his good friend, Mr. George Herbert, for he judged the argument to be suitable to him, in his double quality of a divine and a poet.”
In the life of Lord Bacon, by Dr. Rawley, “ his lordship's first and last chaplain," as he always proudly entitles himself, there is the following pas
“ This lord was religious: for though the world be apt to suspect and prejudge great wits and politics to have somewhat of the Atheist, yet he was
(a) 1658, in the Opuscula.
(c) Baconiana 72. In p. 99, Tenison says, “ Under the fourth head of Theological Remains are contained only a few questions about the lawfulness of a holy war; and two prayers, one for a philosophical student, the other for a writer. The substance of these two prayers is extant in Latin in the Organon, p. 19, ad Calc partis primæ, and Scripta, p. 451, and after title page. See postea of this preface vii.
In page 181, of Baconiana, are the Students and Writers Prayers.-See this vol, page 7.
conversant with God, as appeareth by several passages throughout the whole current of his writings ; otherwise he should have crossed his own principles which were, that a little philosophy maketh men apt to forget God, as attributing too much to second causes; but depth of philosophy bringeth men back to God again. Now I am sure there is no man that will deny him, or account otherwise of him, but to have him been a deep philosopher. And not only so, but he was able to render a reason of the hope which was in him, which that writing of his, of the confession of the faith, doth abundantly testify. He repaired frequently (when his health would permit him) to the service of the Church; to hear sermons ; to the administration of the sacrament of the blessed body and blood of Christ; and died in the true faith established in the Church of England.”
The passage to which Dr. Rawley alludes, is in the “Advancementof Learning,”(d) where he says,“ It is an assured truth, and a conclusion of experience, that a little or superficial knowledge of philosophy may incline the mind of man to Atheism, but a farther proceeding therein doth bring the mind back again to religion ; for in the entrance of philosophy, when the second causes, which are next unto the senses, do offer themselves to the mind of man, if it dwell and stay there, it may induce some oblivion of the highest cause ; but when a man passeth on farther, and seeth the dependence of
(d) Vol. II. p. 13.
causes, and the works of Providence; then, according to the allegory of the poets, he will easily believe that the highest link of nature's chain must needs be tied to the foot of Jupiter's chair. To conclude, therefore, let no man, upon a weak conceit of sobriety, or an ill-applied moderation, think or maintain, that a man can search too far, or be too well studied in the book of God's word, or in the book of God's works Divinity or Philosophy.” The same sentiment, and almost the same words, may be found in his “ Meditation on Atheism," in the “ Meditationes Sacræ,”(f) and in his “Essay on Atheism” in his Essays.(g)
The several passages throughout the current of his writings, in which it appears that Lord Bacon was conversant with God, it would not, I fear, be proper for me in this place to do more than enumerate. They may be found in two volumes, entitled, “ Le Christianisme de Francois Bacon, (h) and there is scarcely
(f) Vol. I. p. 215. (8) Vol. I. p. 53.
The following similar sentiment is in the general corollary to Hume's Essays : “ Though the stupidity of men, barbarous and uninstructed, be so great, that they may not see a sovereign Author in the more obvious works of nature, to which they are so much familiarised; yet it scarce seems possible, that any one of good understanding should reject that idea, when once it is suggested to him. A purpose, an intention, a design is evident in every thing; and when our comprehension is so far enlarged as to contemplate the first rise of this visible system, we must adopt, with the strongest conviction, the idea of some intelligent cause or Author.”
(h) Published at Paris, An. VII.
a work of Lord Bacon's, in which his religious sentiments may not be discovered. Amongst his minor productions, they may be seen ; in the “ Meditationes Sacræ:"(i) in the “Wisdom of the Ancients;"(k) in the "Fables of Pan, (L) of Prometheus, (m)of Pentheus,(n)and of Cupid:(0) in various parts of the Essays, but particularly in the Essay on Atheism (2) and Goodness of Nature,” (p)in the“New Atlantis,”(9) animaginary college amongst a Christian people, full of piety and humanity, whose prayer is—“Lord God of heaven and earth, thou hast vouchsafed of thy grace, to those of our order, to know thy work of creation, and the secrets of them; and to discern, as far as appertaineth to the generations of men, between divine miracles, works of nature, works of art, and impostures and illusions of all sorts. I do here acknowledge and testify before this people, that the thing which we now see before our eyes, is thy finger, and a true miracle ; and forasmuch as we learn in our books, that thou never workest miracles, but to a divine and excellent end, for the laws of nature are thine own laws, and thou exceedest them not but upon great cause, we most humbly beseech thee to prosper this great sign, and to give us the interpretation and use of it in mercy; which thou dost in some part secretly promise by sending it unto us;" and the conditions of entities (r) in the Baconiana, thus concludes: This is the Form and Rule of our Alphabet. May God, the Creator, Preserver, and Renewer of the Universe, protect and govern this work, both in its ascent to his glory, and in its descent to the good of mankind, for the sake of his mercy and good will to men, through his only Son [Immanuel] God-with-us.”
(i) See Vol I. p. 203, and preface to Vol. I. xxiii. (k) Vol. III. p. 1, and preface, p. 2. (1) Vol. III. p. 11. (0) Vol. III. p. 43.
(n) Vol. III. p. 29. (m) Vol. III.
(p) Vol. I. p. 40. (9) Vol II. p. 336,
(x) Vol I. p. 53.
These sentiments are not confined to the minor productions of Lord Bacon but pervade all his works. They may be seen in his tract,—“ De principiis atque originibus secundum fabulas Cupidinis et Cæli: sive Parmenidis et Telesii, et præcipue Democriti philosophia, tractata in fabula.” The introduction to his “ Historia naturalis et Experimentalis, Quæ est Instaurationis magna pars tertia,” concludes thus : “ Deus Universi Conditor, conservator, Instaurator, hoc opus, et in ascensione ad Gloriam suam, et in descensione ad bonum humanum, pro suâ erga Homines, Benevolentiâ, et Misericordia, protegat et regat, per Filium suum unicum, Nobiscum Deum."(s) And in the conclusion of the Preface to the Instauration he says, “ Neque enim hoc siverit Deus, ut phantasiæ nostræ somnium pro exemplari
(T) Baconiana, 91.
(8) May God the Creator, Preserver, and Restorer of the universe, out of his kindness and compassion towards mankind, protect and govern this work, both when ascending towards his glory, and descending to the improvement of man, through his only son,* God with us.
* Translation of Immanuel.