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four, added to the incapacity of the mind, and 'the vanity and malignity of the affections, leave nothing but impotency and confusion. A recital of the par. ticular kinds of these four idols, with some chosen examples of the opinions they have begot, such of them as have supplanted the state of knowledge most.
Or the errors of such as have descended and applied themselves to experience, and attempted to induce knowledge upon particulars. That they have not had the resolution and strength of mind to free themselves wholly from anticipations, but have made a confusion and intermixture of anticipations and observations, and so vanished. That if any have had the strength of mind generally to purge away and discharge all anticipations; they have not had that greater and double strength and patience of mind, as well to repel new anticipations after the view and search of particulars, as to reject old which were in their mind before; but have from particulars and history flown up to principles without the mean degrees, and so framed all the middle generalities or axioms, not by way of scale or ascension from particulars, but by way of derivation from principles, whence hath issued the infinite chaos of shadows and moths, wherewith both books and minds have been hitherto, and may be yet hereafter much more pes. tered. That in the course of those derivations to make them yet the more unprofitable, they have used, when any light of new instance opposite to any asser, tion appeared, rather to reconcile the instance than to amend the rule. That if any have had, or shall have the power and resolution to fortify and inclose his mind against all anticipations, yet if he have not been or shall not be cautioned by the full understanding of the nature of the mind and spirit of man, and therein of the states, pores and passages both of knowledge and error, he hath not been nor shall not be possibly able to guide or keep on his course aright. That those that have been conversant in experience and observation, have used, when they have intended to discover the cause of any effect, to fix their consi. deration narrowly and exactly upon that effect itself, with all the circumstances thereof, and to vary the trial thereof as
many ways as can be devised; which course amounteth but to a tedious curiosity, and ever breaketh off in wondering, and not in knowing. And that they have not used to enlarge their observation to match and sort that effect with instances of a diverse subject, which must of necessity be before any cause be found out. That they have passed over the observation of instances vulgar and ignoble, and stayed their attention chiefly upon instances of mark; whereas the other sort are for the most part more significant, and of better light and information. That every particular that worketh any effect, is a thing compounded, more or less, of diverse single natures, more manifest and more obscure, and that it appeareth not to whether of the natures the effect is to be ascribed; and yet notwithstanding they have taken à course without breaking particulars, and reducing them by exclusions and inclusions to a definite point, to conclude upon inductions in gross; which empirical course is no less vain than the scholastical. That all such as have sought action and work out of their inquiry, have been hasty and pressing to discover some practices for present use, and not to? discover axioms, joining with them the new assigna-: tions as their sureties. That the forerunning of the mind to frame recipes upon axioms at the entrance, ist like Atalanta's golden ball that hindereth and inter-> rupteth the course; and is to be inhibited till you 1 have ascended to a certain stage and degree of ge.. rreralities; which forbearance will be liberally re.. compensed in the end; and that chance discovereth new inventions by one and one, but science by knots 2 and clusters. That they have not collected sufficient quantity of particulars, nor them in sufficient cera tainty and subtilty, nor of all several kinds, nor with those advantages and discretions in the entry and sorting which are requisite; and of the weak man-ner of collecting natural history, which hath been
used. Lastly, that they had no knowledge of the formulary of interpretation, the work whereof is to abridge experience, and to make things as certainly found out by axiom in short time, as by infinite experiences in ages.
CHAP. XVIII. THAT the cautels and devices put in practice in the delivery of knowledge for the covering and palliating of ignorance, and the gracing and over-valuing of that they utter, are without number; but none more bold and more hurtful than two: the one, that men have used of a few observations upon any subject to make a solemn and formal art; by filling it up with discourse, accommodating it with some circumstances and directions to practice, and digesting it into method, whereby men grow satisfied and secure, as if no more inquiry were to be made of that matter; the other, that men have used to discharge ignorance with credit, in defining all those effects which they cannot attain unto, to be out of the compass of art and human endeavour. That the very styles and forms of utterance are so many characters of imposture, some chusing a style of pugnacity and contention, some of satire and reprehension, some of plausible and tempting similitudes and examples, some of great words and high discourse, some of short and dark sentences, some of exactness of method, all of positive affirmation; without disclosing the true motives and proofs of their opinions, or free confessing their ignorance or doubts, except it be now and then for a grace, and in cunning to win the more credit in the rest, and not in good faith. That although men be free from these errors and incumbránces in the will and affection, yet it is not a thing so easy as is conceived, to convey the conceit of one man's mind into the mind of another, without loss or mistaking, especially in notions new and differing from those that are received. That never any knowledge was delivered in the same order it was invented, Do not in the mathematics, though it should seem
otherwise, in regard that the propositions placed last do use the propositions or grants placed first for their proof and demonstration. That there are forms and methods of tradition wholly distinct and differing, according to their ends whereto they are directed. That there are two ends of tradition of knowledge, the one to teach and instruct for use and practice, the other to impart or intimate for re-examination and progression. That the former of these ends requireth a method not the same, whereby it was invented and induced, but such as is most compendious and ready, whereby it may be used and applied. That the latter of the ends, which is where a knowledge is delivered to be continued and spun on by a succession of labours, requireth a method whereby it may be transposed to another in the same manner as it was collected, to the end it may be discerned both where the work is weak, and where it breaketh off. That this latter method is not only unfit for the former end, but also impossible for all knowledge gathered and insinuated by anticipations, because the mind working, inwardly of itself, no man can give a just account how he came to that knowledge which he hath received, and that therefore this method is peculiar for knowledge gathered by interpretation. That the discretion anciently observed, though by the precedent of many vain persons and deceivers disgraced, of publishing part and reserving part to a private succession, and of publishing in a manner whereby it shall not be to the capacity nor taste of all, but shall as it were single and adopt his reader, is not to be laid aside, both for the avoiding of abuse in the excluded, and the strengthening of affection in the admitted. That there are other virtues of tradition, as that there be no occasion given to error, and that it carry a vigour to root and spread against the vanity of wits and injuries of time; all which, if they were ever due to any knowledge delivered, or if they were never due to any human knowledge heretofore delivered, yet are now due to the knowledge propounded.
CHAP. XIX. Of the impediments which have been in the affections, the principle whereof hath been despair or diffidence, and the strong apprehension of the difficulty, obscurity, and infiniteness which belongeth to the invention of knowledge, and that men have not known, their own strength; and that the supposed difficulties and vastness of the work is rather in shew and muster, than in state or substance, where the true way is taken. That this diffidence hath moved and caused some never to enter into search, and others, when they have been entered, either to give over, or to seek a more compendious course than can stand with the nature of true search, That of those that have refused and prejudged inquiry, the more sober and grave sort of wits have depended upon authors and traditions, and the more vain and credulous resorted to revelation, and intelligence with spirits and higher natures. That of those that have entered into search, some having fallen upon some conceits, which they after consider to be the same which they have found in former authors, have suddenly taken a persuasion that a man shall but, with much labour, incur and light upon the same inventions which he might with ease, receive from others, and that it is but a vanity and self-pleasing of the wit to go about again, as one that would rather have a flower of his own gathering, than much better gathered to his hand. That the same humour of sloth and diffidence suggesteth, that a man shall but revive some ancient opinion, which was long ago propounded, examined, and rejected. And that it is easy to err in conceit, that a man's observation or notion is the same with a former opinion, both because. new conceits must of necessity be uttered in old words, and because upon true and erroneous grounds men may meet in consequence or conclusion, as several lines or circles that cut in some one point. That the greatest part of those that have descended into search have chosen for the most artificial and compendious course, to induce principles out of particulars,