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literally a way or path of transit. Thus we extol the elements of Euclid, or Socrates's discourse with the slave Menon in Plato, as methodical, a term which no one who holds himself bound to think or speak correctly would apply to alphabetical order or arrangement of a common dictionary. But as without a continuous transition there can be no method, so without a preconception there can be no transition with continuity. The term method cannot, therefore, otherwise than by abuse, be applied to a mere dead arrangement, containing in itself no principle of progression." This is deeply and truly said; and some of the introspective tendency of Coleridge would have given more completeness even to Bacon. In that case, Bacon would have done more justice to the metaphysical and logical elements of philosophy. For there is metaphysic in method, and there is logic, syllogistic logic, in induction. The doctrine of method was an important part of ancient logic, but it was applied only to the workings of intellect. Bacon applied it mainly to the laws of observation and experiment; but he seemed to overlook the fact, that these laws have by the mind itself their order and validity. Assuredly it is by the mind, by its own inherent spiritual activity and organism, that we have the idea of law, to whatever kind of relations we apply the term. It is by a mental organism that we can even have experience; for experience is the coinage of fact into thought.
It is therefore only through mental organism that observation and experiment are even possible. This is no transcendental idealism, but a simple statement of the truth. We only impose on ourselves if we think that any relations are merely outward, and altogether independent of the inward faculty, which has cognition of them. The very conception. of relation is necessarily a fact of consciousness, and in all conditions and arrangements this fact must be presupposed. Method is therefore essentially a creature of the mind. There is no physical inquiry that is not conducted by a metaphysical process; but the process goes on unconsciously, and is lost in the object of inquiry; whereas in pure metaphysics the process goes on consciously, and turns in reflectively on thought. In any method of natural science there must be necessarily
two elements, the one mental, the other material;-or, differently expressed, the subjective element and objective element; the mental or subjective element, the ideal form or plan, and the inward procedure; the material or objective element, the operations or phenomena to which the attention is directed, the conditions or changes that are to be observed, and the ends that are to be attained.
It was on the objective and material element that Bacon laid the greatest stress, and almost to the entire exclusion of the other. Yet Bacon's own mind and method were profoundly metaphysical. In like manner, he did not give their due to logic and the syllogism. Mr. Lewes says that he did admit the syllogism as a form of ratiocination, but not as a means of investigation. Well, that is nearly all that the most zealous Aristotelian could ask for it, and all that truth can fairly allow it. The syllogism is not an instrument of search or of discovery; but it does represent a process of mental analysis, comparison, and judgment, and it is often an effective epitome of statement and exposition. Many of Bacon's most enthusiastic admirers now admit that he did not attach sufficient value to deductive reasoning. Yet it is hard to see how any reasoning can be carried far without deduction. Deduction of the utmost boldness and grandeur enters into all the higher generalizations of our later science. Without deduction, induction would be limited and imperfect, and deduction itself, except possibly in pure mathematics, implies or involves induction.
But when we have said all, we have at last only to declare that it was in no technical way Bacon acted most effectively on modern science. His most impressive influence on science was by the vitalizing power of his genius, the force of his eloquence, and the weight of his authority; for even great minds, though preaching innovation, become themselves rulers and lawgivers to those whom they turn from olden and traditional prescription. It is by the wholeness of their momentum and of their might that such minds as Bacon's influence thought, action, and character. It is not by special instruction or definitive invention that they increase the wealth of mind or enlarge the boundaries of knowledge; it is by the deep and
wise intellectual excitement which they communicate; by the suggestive and creative inspiration which lives ever in their thought. In any age Bacon's would have been a commanding mind. He was born at a time when new forces were called into action. He was the Herculean child of his age, and he undertook, with giant strength, but with goodly purpose, to organize these forces. If his success had been immeasurably less than it has been, still the grandeur of his aim and the beneficence of his philosophic spirit would have entitled him to all his fame. His was no vain, selfish, or arrogant philosophy. Philosophy, in his view, was not for the exaltation of the individual, but for the comfort and improvement of all men. The secrets of Nature- as the secrets of Heaven
not given to the proud, but to the humble and the dutiful; and therefore those who would learn of Nature must not anticipate, but interrogate her. Yet, while they study nature, they must not forget God or man; for "the true end of knowledge," as Bacon holds, "is the glory of the Creator, and the relief of man's estate."
It is often said that no man of original and decided genius, with sufficient opportunity and means of culture, ever missed or mistook his proper destination. We can hardly help thinking that Bacon did. His proper destination was the contemplative, not the active life, and whatever beguiled or forced him so much away from the contemplative life, and so much into the active life, was injury to himself and loss to mankind. He must have felt often in his own mind that he was not in his true vocation in waiting on a cold and capricious Queen; in wasting days and years in the slow and late-rewarded work of counsellor or courtier; in mocking his own nobleness by doing humiliating but unwilling homage to envious and selfish kindred. He must have often felt, in moments of reflection, that it was not for such a work Heaven blessed him with so plenteous an endowment of gifts and graces. There are tones in his meditative writings that seem to imply that he did thus feel. With his vastness of comprehension he could not have believed that he was of the order of men who rise by patronage, but have no dignity to lose in such promotion; he could hardly have considered that to be Solicitor-General, AttorneyVOL. LXXII. 5TH S. VOL. X. NO. II.
General, or even Lord Chancellor of England, if he could even have the office without suing or solicitation, was to be compared with being the teacher of the world's teachers. We look with sadness on Bacon in his worldly career, and this sadness is equally deep whether he was driven into it by early poverty or by mistaken ambition. But we think more sadly still on the loss which the literature of power and of philosophy has suffered. Bacon, though of huge measure in any sphere, was peculiarly fitted for literature and philosophy; and, though always making his greatness evident, he was not so well fitted for politics and business. With such matters the constitutional temper of Bacon was as much out of keeping as that of Hamlet appears to be, in the drama, with the bloody vengeance which the ghost of his father commissions him to execute. Letters and thought should have been the occupation of Lord Bacon; and then he would have left us more than fragments, for magnificent fragments are all that he has left. It may be that no human powers of execution could have completed such plans as his; not all of them, indeed, but some of them would have been so far embodied as to give us specimens of his perfected workmanship. He might have written the history of a grand period, and then we should have had some of the noblest lessons of wisdom that history has ever taught. He might have written the history of philosophy, then we should have had such a union of criticism, of poetry, and of eloquence, as only his genius could have given us. He would have brought into finished shape some of those gigantic schemes of thought which he was obliged to leave in outline and indications, and we should have possessed in their wholeness some rounded examples of Bacon's power. But we must not be presumptuous or covetous; we should rather be humbly grateful and content. We have enough to quicken and to fill our minds; when we have mastered and exhausted all that he has bestowed, we may then complain that we have no more. Bacon's writings were honestly intended for men's improvement; and he that modestly "reads, marks, learns, and inwardly digests them," cannot fail to gather from them the ripest and the richest fruits of mind.
1862.] The Wesleyan Doctrine of Christian Perfection. 183 M. Steele.
- THE WESLEYAN DOCTRINE OF CHRISTIAN
1. The Works of the REV. JOHN WESLEY, A. M., sometime Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford. Third American Complete and Standard Edition, from the latest London Edition, with the last Corrections of the Author. Comprehending also numerous Translations, Notes, and an Original Preface, etc., by JOHN EMORY. In Seven Volumes. New York: Carlton and Phillips. 1853. 8vo. 2. Checks to Antinomianism. By REV. JOHN FLETCHER. Last Check. A Polemical Essay on the Twin Doctrines of Christian Imperfection and a Death Purgatory. New York: Carlton and Porter.
3. Theological Institutes: or a View of the Evidences, Doctrines, Morals, and Institutions of Christianity. By RICHARD WATSON. A new Edition, with a copious Index, and an Analysis, by J. M'CLINTOCK. New York: Lane and Scott. 1850. 2 vols. 8vo. 4. The Scripture Doctrine of Christian Perfection Stated and Defended: with a Critical and Historical Examination of the Controversy, Ancient and Modern. By GEORGE PECK, D. D. New York Lane and Scott. 1850. 12mo.
THE religious movement of the last century, in which the Wesleys were the prominent agents, is very well known to have been spiritual rather than doctrinal. It had reference to life and character, not to dogma nor symbol. Men were exhorted to "seek first the kingdom of God," and no tests were used to determine the subjects of this kingdom, save those of evangelical repentance and a life corresponding to the requirements of the Gospel. Yet this very freedom in respect of doctrinal views became the occasion of important theological developments. There was first a very general repudiation of some of the chief elements of the Calvinistic system, and then the adoption of certain practical opinions germane to the newly awakened religious life. Then there arose what was termed the "Wesleyan Theology," containing much that was common to it with Calvinism, and having many elements crudely stated, and imperfectly adjusted to each other, yet presenting certain features which are of no small importance and which have attracted considerable attention.