Bacon's Essays, Volume 1

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Longmans, Green, and Company, 1881
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Page 58 - It were better to have no opinion of God at all, than such an Opinion as is unworthy of him : for the one is unbelief, the other is contumely : and certainly superstition is the reproach of the Deity. Plutarch saith well to that purpose :
Page xxi - WHAT is truth ?" said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer. Certainly there be that delight in giddiness, and count it a bondage to fix a belief, affecting free-will in thinking as well as in acting. And though the sects of philosophers of that kind be gone, yet there remain certain discoursing wits which are of the same veins, though there be not...
Page 2 - But howsoever these things are thus in men's depraved judgments and affections, yet truth, which only doth judge itself, teacheth that the inquiry of truth, which is the love-making or wooing of it; the knowledge of truth, which is the presence of it; and the belief of truth, which is the enjoying of it, is the sovereign good of human nature.
Page 4 - It is worthy the observing, that there is no passion in the mind of man so weak, but it mates and masters the fear of death ; and therefore death is no such terrible enemy when a man hath so many attendants about him that can win the combat of him. Revenge triumphs over death ; love slights it ; honour aspireth to it ; grief flieth to it; fear pre-occupateth it...
Page 2 - Doth any man doubt that if there were taken out of men's minds vain opinions, flattering hopes, false valuations, imaginations as one would, and the like, but it would leave the minds of a number of men poor shrunken things, full of melancholy and indisposition, and unpleasing to themselves...
Page 56 - They that deny a God destroy man's nobility, for certainly man is of kin to the beasts by his body, and, if he be not of kin to God by his spirit, he is a base and ignoble creature.
Page 3 - If it be well weighed, to say that a man lieth, is as much as to say that he is brave towards God and a coward towards men. For a lie faces God, and shrinks from man.' Surely the wickedness of falsehood and breach of faith cannot possibly be so highly expressed, as in that it shall be the last peal to call the judgments of God upon the generations of men: it being foretold, that, when 'Christ cometh,' he shall not 'find faith upon the earth.
Page xxv - But power to do good is the true and lawful end of aspiring; for good thoughts (though God accept them,) yet towards men are little better than good dreams, except they be put in act; and that cannot be without power and place, as the vantage and commanding ground.
Page 2 - The first creature of God, in the works of the days, was the light of the sense: the last was the light of reason; and His Sabbath work ever since, is the illumination of His Spirit. First, He breathed light upon the face of the matter, or chaos; then He breathed light into the face of man; and still He breatheth and inspireth light into the face of His chosen.
Page 15 - Certainly virtue is like precious odours, most fragrant when they are incensed or crushed ; for Prosperity doth best discover vice, but Adversity doth best discover virtue.

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