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forms, increasing insight adding ever new vigor and breadth to experiment. But Bacon well knew that many obstacles stood in the way

of the reception of his new philosophy, and that he must first remove these obstacles. The greater portion of his "Novum Organum" is accordingly occupied with polemịcs.

Idols and false notions, he says here, govern the human understanding to that degree that, before the introduction of any positive system of truth, they must all be cleared away, and men be warned against them. There are four kinds of idols.

Idols of the Tribe; or generic, and founded in the universal nature of mankind.

Idols of the Cave; or specific, growing out of the diversities of individual character.

Idols of the Forum ; or such as proceed from the social relations

of men.

says, “to

Idols of the Theater; or those which have been forced into the human mind by successive schools of philosophy, creating, as it were, fictitious or scenic representations of life.

I will now extract, from Bacon's exposition of these various idols, some remarks, bearing upon education. “It is false,” he assert that our senses are the ultimate measure of the world; all the perceptions of the senses, as well as all the conceptions of the mind, find their correspondences in the nature of man, not in the being of the universe. The human understanding receives the rays that stream from created objects, as an uneven mirror, which mingles its own nature with that of the object it reflects, giving to them false shapes and colors."

Bacon here disclaims that absolute knowledge of objects, which penetrates to the essence of their being; for such all-sufficient knowledge is the prerogative of God alone. Our point of view is forever outside of the center of the universe. But yet he does not appear to realize the intimate connection of this view with the fall of man, and the conditions affixed, in consequence thereof, to human learning. For even were the knowledge possible to man radical and complete, yet it reaches only to the border-land, beyond which lie the inscrutable mysteries of the Deity. These mysteries man can prefigure and believe, but never fathom.

“ The human intellect is led by its very essence to assume a greater order and equality in nature than it actually finds.” In another place he says, "The light of the understanding is not a clear light, but it is clouded by the will and the affections. Hence man rejects that which is difficult, because it calls for patient inquiry; that which is moderate, because it narrows his hopes, &c." How appropriate is this remark in the education of the young, and how little is instruction based upon just views of the relation between the will and the understanding, and upon the taste or distaste of pupils for given pursuits ; and how evident it is, that the will must be animated by the conscience, where the gifts of intellect have been sparingly bestowed !

“Some minds are lost in admiration of antiquity, others in the passion for novelty, but only the select few are so well balanced as to keep a medium course, and neither to pull down that which has been skilfully built up by the ancients, nor to despise that which has been well done by the moderns.”

This remark should serve to encourage teachers, especially at the present day, when a superstitious reverence for antiquity is engaged in active conflict with a superstitious regard for whatsoever is new. Further on, Bacon attacks the various philosophies which have been in vogue at different periods. “The devotees of science have been either empiricists or dogmatists. The empiricist, like ants, have heaped up only that which they could put to use; and the dogmatists, like spiders, have spun threads out of their own bowels. The bees, on the contrary, hold a course midway between these two; for they sip of the flowers of the field and garden, and the nature of these they change and distil, by virtue of the force that is in them. So a true philosophy is not effective alone, or chiefly, by the power of thought which it contains, nor does it proceed out of a memory filled with the results of observation and experiment, but all its stores are changed and assimilated by the understanding." He likewise censures “an undue respect for authorities, and that too common error of opinion, that nothing new remains to be found out.” He condemns sin as the bane of all knowledge. He says, “ men have entered into a desire of learning and knowledge, not for the benefit and use of their fellows, but from a natural curiosity and inquisitive appetite, for victory of wit and contradiction, or for lucre and profession." Most sharply does he castigate liars. “Knowledge is nothing else than a representation of truth; for the truth of being and the truth of knowing are one, differing no more than the direct beam and the beam reflected."

Highly instructive to us also are his repeated attacks upon the Greeks. “ The wisdom of the Greeks,” he says, was rhetorical, expended itself upon words, and had little to do with the search after truth." Their philosophers, according to him, even Plato and Aristotle, were altogether sophists; a few of the graver and more earnest spirits of an earlier period, like Empedocles, Anaxagoras, &c., excepted. True, indeed, was that saying of the Egyptian priests, " the Greeks continue children forever, having neither an antiquity of science, nor a science of antiquity. For they have the nature of boys, inasmuch as they are full of loquacity, but incapable of reproduction, and their wisdom is therefore rich in words but poor in deeds."

Elsewhere, he says, " To speak truly, 'antiquitas seculi, juventus mundi,' and these times are the ancient times, when the world is ancient. Hence those elder generations fell short of many of our present knowledges; they knew but a small part of the world, and but a brief period of history; we, on the contrary, are acquainted with a far greater extent of the old world, besides having uncovered a new hemisphere, and we look back and survey long periods of history."

This passage is the embodiment of that ultra anti-classical view, against which, in Bacon's own day, Bodley, and, in our own times, Goethe, bave so earnestly protested. How prejudicial to the cause of education it must be we can readily imagine, for it sounds in our ears with the authority of a voice from the past, cheering on our narrow-minded realists in their opposition to the study of the ancients.

But though it is not possible for us entirely to exculpate Bacon in this his judgment of antiquity, yet, in strict justice, we ought to make all due allowance for his point of view. His was the philosophy of nature; a knowledge of nature, and power over her by virtue of that knowledge, were his aim. “ What have the ancients done in this particular," he asked; but gave no thought to Homer, Sophocles, Demosthenes, and Phidias; and seeing, as in a vision, the air-pumps, electric telegraphs, and steain-engines, the seventy-eight thousand species of animals, the seventy-eight thousand species of plants, of our day,—seeing all these rewards of knowledge and power, which were to flow from the adoption of his method, he looked upon the ancients with indifference. But even from this point of view, he should have conceded to them far more than he did. It is enough that we mention the determinations of latitude and longitude, the length of a meridian, the precession of the equinoxes ; enough that we speak of the great Hipparchus, of Archimedes, and Apollonius of Perga, of Hippocrates, of Aristotle's “ History of Animals," and the “Garden of Plants” of Theophrastus. And how much more could I bring forward in proof of the greatness of the Greeks, even in natural philosophy! And, more than all, what shall we say of those great fundamental thoughts, which have tested the human intellect for more than two thousand years ?

Bacon's hostility to Aristotle was mainly to be ascribed to the scholastics, who called themselves his disciples, though their master's works were not known to them, save through the medium of unfaithful translations. He concedes to them “sharp wit" indeed, but adds " that it only worked upon itself, as the spider worketh her web, and brought forth mere cobwebs of learning, and nothing more."

But we find him no more favorable to the anti-scholastics, whom we may style the philologists of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. “At the time of Martin Luther, an affected study of eloquence began to flourish. There arose a great enmity and opposition to the scholastics, because they considered no whit the pureness of their style, but took the liberty to coin and frame new and barbarous terms of art, to express their own sense, and to avoid circuit of speech. This enmity speedily ended in producing the opposite extreme ; for men began to hunt more after words than matter, and more after the choiceness of the phrase, and the round and clean composition of the sentence, than after the weight of matter, sounddess of argument, life of invention, or depth of judgment. Then did Sturmius spend such infinite and curious pains upon Cicero and Hermogenes. Then did Erasınus take occasion to make the scoffing echo, 'Decem annos consumpsi in legendo Cicerone,' and the echo answered in Greek, ''Ove,' asine." “In sum,” he concludes, "the whole inclination and bent of those times was rather toward copia than weight.”

We have now sufficiently characterized Bacon's polemics. The foregoing paragraph proves that he regarded what the philologists of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries styled realism, as wholly distinct from the realism that his philosophy required. This latter I have ventured to call “ real realism," in contrast with the verbal realism of the philologists, who knew roses and wine only as they were described in the verses of Anacreon and Horace.

Though there were many before Bacon, especially artists and craftsmen, who lived in communion with nature, and who, in manifold ways, transfigured and idealized her, and unveiled her glory; and though their sense for nature was, in a measure, highly cultivated, so that they attained to a practical understanding of her ways, yet this understanding of theirs was, so to speak, at its highest, merely instinctive; for it led them to no scientific deductions, and yielded them no thoughtful, sure, and legitimate dominion over her.

To the scholars of that day Bacon's doctrine was wholly new. It summoned them to leave for a while their books, which had been their vital element,

“And with untrammeled thought
To talk with nature, face to face."

Thus Bacon was the father of the modern lcalists, and, as I shall take occasion to show hereafter, of realistic principles of instruction. Traces, moreover, are to be found in him of the harsh and repulsive features which characterize our modern matter-of-fact philosophy. As an instance in point, consider the sentence which he pronounced against the ancients; how he weighed them in the scales of his own philosophy, and found them wanting; how low an estimate he set upon what they did bring to pass, counting it all as the result of pure accident, because not arrived at by means of systematic induction. The exquisite sense of beauty, and the high culture of art of the ancients, seemed, in fact, to have been wholly ignored by the prosaic Bacon, as it is by the realists of the present age.

His method itself, likewise, and still more that which by virtue of this method he accomplished, in the way of observation and experiment, are open to many objections. He tells us that he is about to wed the human intellect to nature, and on this announcement we look to see a joyful marriage and a union of love. But, instead of this, he presents us with a slow and wearisome plan of a siege, for the reduction of the stronghold of nature, whom he apparently desires us to starve into a surrender. For proof of this we need only turn to his "History of the Winds," written upon this plan, to say nothing of numerous kindred paragraphs, scattered throughout the second book of his “Novum Organum." He had evidently convinced himself that, with the aid of his method of induction, men could as intelligently and surely advance to the accomplishment of their aims, in the subjection of nature, as an able general predicts, to a certainty, that a fortress, to which he has laid siege, will surrender within a given time. If earlier observers, without such method, had made any progress in the investigation of nature, this, according to Bacon, should be ascribed to accident. “ But this method makes us independent of accident, for it is all-comprehending and infallible. Nay, it is a way in which the blind can not err, a way too which places the man of bumble capacity on a level with the genius.”

These words appear addressed to us by Pestalozzi and the Pestalozzians. But such a view is derogatory to the gifts which God has

his chosen children. What though Bacon, by the use of his method, has built a solid waggon track to Helicon? The soaring intellects of a Kepler and a Galileo need no such beaten course; they are already upon the mountain-top, before the waggoners are ready to set forth.

This anti-genial element of the Baconian method Goethe has treated with a well-merited severity. When a man of fertile imagin

lavished upon

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