This stopping at second causes, the property of animals and of ignorance, always diminishes as knowledge advances. (a) Great intellect cannot be severed from piety. It was reserved for the wisest of men to raise a temple to the living God.

The philosopher who discovered the immediate cause of lightning was not inflated by his beautiful discovery: he was conscious of the power "which dwelleth in thick darkness, and sendeth out lightnings like arrows." (b)

The philosopher who discovered the immediate cause of the rainbow did not rest in the proximate cause, but raised

possible, that any one of good understanding should reject the 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."

So, too, Browne in his beautiful work on Cause and Effect, says, "Wherever we turn our eyes, to the earth, to the heavens, to the myriads of beings that live and move around us, or to those more than myriads of worlds, which seem themselves almost like animate inhabitants of the infinity through which they range; above us, beneath us, on every side, we discover with a certainty that admits not of doubt, intelligence and design, that must have preceded the existence of every thing which exists. The power of the Omnipotent is indeed so transcendent in itself, that the loftiest imagery and language which we can borrow from a few passing events in the boundlessness of nature, must be feeble to express its force and universality."

(a) See note (a), preceding page.-Men will, therefore, always exist who may conceive themselves to be the most important beings in the universe; the fern is a forest to the insect below it.

(b) Dr. Franklin, speaking of conductors, says, "A rod was fixed to the top of my chimney, and extended about nine feet above it. From the foot of this rod, a wire the thickness of a goose-quill came through a covered glass tube in the roof, and down through the well of the staircase; the lower end connected with the iron spear of a lamp. On the staircase opposite to my chamber door the wire was divided; the ends separated about six inches, a little bell on each end, and between the little brass bells a ball suspended by a silk thread, to play between and strike the bells when clouds passed with electricity in them."


his thoughts to him who placeth his bow in the heavens. Very beautiful it is in the brightness thereof: it compasseth the heaven about with a glorious circle, and the hand of the Most High hath bended it.”

Hence, therefore, Bacon said in his youth, and repeated in his age, (a) "it is an assured truth, and a conclusion

(a) His sentiments were formed at an early period of his life, and continued to his death.

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In a small volume which he published when he was thirty-seven years of age, there is a meditation upon Atheism. It was published in Latin in 1597, and in English in 1598. The work is "Meditationes Sacræ." A portion of his meditation on Atheism is as follows: "The fool hath said in his heart there is no God.' First, it is to be noted, that the scripture saith, The fool hath said in his heart, and not thought in his heart.' It is a fool that hath so said in his heart, which is most true; not only in respect that he hath no taste in those things which are supernatural and divine, but in respect of human and civil wisdom: for first of all, if you mark the wits and dispositions which are inclined to atheism, you shall find them light, scoffing, impudent, and vain; briefly of such a constitution as is most contrary to wisdom and moral gravity. Secondly, amongst statesmen and politics, those which have been of greatest depths and compass, and of largest and most universal understanding, have not only in cunning made their profit in seeming religious to the people, but in truth have been touched with an inward sense of the knowledge of deity, as they which you shall evermore note to have attributed much to fortune and providence. Contrariwise, those who ascribed all things to their own cunning and practices, and to the immediate and apparent causes, and as the prophet saith, 'have sacrificed to their own nets,' have been always but petty counterfeit statesmen, and not capable of the greatest actions. Lastly, this I dare affirm in knowledge of nature, that a little natural philosophy, and the first entrance into it, doth dispose the opinion to atheism; but on the other side, much natural philosophy and wading deep into it will bring about men's minds to religion; wherefore atheism every way seems to be joined and combined with folly and ignorance, seeing nothing can be more justly allotted to be the saying of fools than this, 'There is no God."

The first edition of his Essays, which was published with the Meditationes Sacræ, in 1597, does not contain any essay upon Atheism. The next time the subject is mentioned by Lord Bacon is in 1605, in the passage which I have cited from the Advancement of Learning.

In 1612 Lord Bacon published an enlarged edition of his Essays, and


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 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.” (a)

The testimony of his friends is of the same nature. His statement. chaplain and biographer, Dr. Rawley, says, "That this lord was religious and conversant with God, appeareth by several passages throughout the whole current of his writings. 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." (b)

in this edition there is an essay on Atheism, containing the very same sentiments. In 1623, he repeats it in his treatise De Augmentis; and in 1625, the year before his death, he published another edition of his Essays, in which there are additions and alterations, and considerable improvement of the essay on Atheism, but a repetition of the same opinion: "I had rather believe all the fables in the legend, and the Talmud, and the Alcoran, than that this universal frame is without a mind; and, therefore, God never wrought miracle to convince atheism, because his ordinary works convince it. It is true that a little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion; for while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them confederate and linked together, it must needs fly to providence and deity."

(a) 8 Iliad.

(b) Life by Rawley.

His will thus opens: "I bequeath my soul and body His will. into the hands of God by the blessed oblation of my Saviour; the one at the time of my dissolution, the other at the time of my resurrection."-Such are the proofs of his religious opinions.

His version of the Psalms was the last of his literary labours.

In the autumn, he retired to Gorhambury.

In the latter end of October he wrote to Mr. Palmer.

Good Mr. Palmer,—I thank God, by means of the sweet air of the country, I have obtained some degree of health. Sending to the court, I thought I would salute you; and I would be glad, in this solitary time and place, to hear a little from you how the world goeth, according to your friendly manner heretofore. Fare ye well, most heartily. Your very affectionate and assured friend, FR. ST. ALBAN.

Gorhambury, Oct. 29, 1625.

In November he wrote to the Duke of Buckingham. (a) The severe winter which followed the infectious summer of this year brought him very low.

On the 19th of December he made his will.

(a) Excellent Lord, I could not but signify unto your grace my rejoicing, that God hath sent your grace a son and heir, and that you are fortunate as well in your house, as in the state of the kingdom. These blessings come from God, as I do not doubt but your grace doth, with all thankfulness, acknowledge, vowing to him your service. Myself, I praise his divine Majesty, have gotten some step into health. My wants are great; but yet I want not a desire to do your grace service; and I marvel, that your grace should think to pull down the monarchy of Spain without my good help. Your grace will give me leave to be merry, however the world goeth with me. I ever rest, &c.

A. D. 1626.

Æt. 66.

In the spring of 1626 his strength and spirits revived, and he returned to his favourite seclusion in Gray's Inn, Cause of from whence, on the 2nd of April, either in his way to his death. Gorhambury, or when making an excursion into the country, with Dr. Witherborne, the King's physician, it occurred to him, as he approached Highgate, the snow lying on the ground, that it might be deserving consideration, whether flesh might not be preserved as well in snow as in salt; and he resolved immediately to try the experiment. They alighted out of the coach, and went into a poor woman's house at the bottom of Highgate Hill, and bought a hen, and stuffed the body with snow, and my lord did help to do it himself. The snow chilled him, and he immediately fell so extremely ill, that he could not return to Gray's Inn, but was taken to the Earl of Arundel's house, at Highgate, where he was put into a warm bed, but it was damp, and had not been slept in for a year before. (a)

His last


Whether Sir Thomas Meautys or Dr. Rawley could be found does not appear; but a messenger was immediately sent to his relation, the Master of the Rolls, the charitable Sir Julius Cæsar, then grown so old, that he was said to be kept alive beyond nature's course, by the prayers of the many poor whom he daily relieved. (b) He instantly attended his friend, who, confined to his bed, and so enfeebled that he was unable to hold a pen, could still exercise his lively fancy. He thus wrote to Lord Arundel:

"My very good Lord,

"I was likely to have had the fortune of Cajus Plinius the elder, who lost his life by trying an experiment about the burning of the Mountain Vesuvius. For I was also

(a) Aubrey.

(b) See Wotton's Remains.

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