« ForrigeFortsæt »
will be instead of God, and a new principle and kind of usurping God. And therefore that opinion is rightly rejected as
is treason against the majesty and power of God. And yet for all that it is very truly said that God is not the author of evil; not because he is not authur, - but because not of evil.
OF THE CHURCH AND THE SCRIPTURES.
Thou shalt protect them in thy tabernacle from the conPRAYERS.
all say —
tradiction of tongues. Contradictions of tongues are found everywhere out of the tabernacle of God: turn which way you will therefore, you will find no end of controversies unless you betake yourself thither. True, namely to the unity of the Church. But observe. In the tabernacle was the ark, and in the ark was the testimony or tables of the law. Why do you talk to me of the tabernacle, which is the shell; without the testimony, which is the kernel ? The tabernacle was ordained for the custody and handing down of the testimony. In like manner to the Church is committed the custody and handing down of the Scriptures : but the soul of the tabernacle is the testimony.
Of the three prayers which follow, the two first come from the Baconiana, and would be accepted as genuine compositions of Bacon's on Tenison's authority, even if we did not find Latin versions of them in works published by himself. The third is of more doubtful authenticity; being attributed to Bacon on no better authority (so far as I know) than that of the unknown editor of the Remains ; who prints it at the end of the volume, immediately after the Confession of Faith. That Dr. Rawley makes no mention of it, is not perhaps to be taken as a proof that he thought it not genuine ; because it belongs to a class of compositions which he did not consider proper for publication ; and Tenison's silence may mean no more than that he had no evidence that it was genuine; for if he had found any copy of it among Bacon's papers, he would probably either have printed it with
, the other two, or referred to it as already printed. The external evidence therefore cannot be considered conclusive either way ; but inclines if anything against it. Nor does the internal evidence help much to settle the question. The language of devotion is a common language and tends to drown the distinctions of personal style. I cannot say that there is
any thing in it which strikes ine as decidedly unlike Bacon; and my chief reason for doubting that it is his, is that neither does it contain anything which strikes me as decidedly like him. And with this mark of doubt upon it, it may take its place with the others.
A fourth prayer of Bacon's there is, of the authenticity of which I have no doubt. But as its peculiar significance depends upon the occasion on which it was composed, I reserve it for its place among the Occasional Works.