NATURE IS A BOOK OF GOD "Thy creatures have been my books, but Thy Scriptures much more.
I have sought Thee in the courts, fields, and gardens, but I have found
Thee in Thy temples."--A Prayer by Lord St. Alban, April, 1621 "This primary history is the book of God's works, and a kind of
second Scripture." "He makes the Heaven his book, His wisdom earthly things."-Verses by Francis Bacon "Are not these woods More free from peril than the envious courts?.... And this our life exempt from public haunt, Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones, and Good (or God) in everything." --As You Like It ii. 1 In Nature's infinite Book of secresy A little I have read."--Antony & Cleopatra i.2
       
   Bacon's fragmentary work titled "The Alphabet of Nature" happened to be 
published by a somewhat curious chain of events. When Bacon died in 
1626 he left behind quite a few manuscripts in various stages of 
completion. These entered the possession of his chaplain, Dr. William 
Rawley, after his death. Rawley, died in the 79th year of his age on 
June 18th, 1667. Rawley had in his keeping all those years since 1626 
the considerable collection of manuscripts that had been left by 
Francis Bacon. When Dr. William Rawley died his son John Rawley was 
Executor of his estate. John Rawley and his brother William Rawley 
both were close friends of Dr. Thomas Tenison who was interested in the 
works of Bacon. John Rawley presented to Tenison all of the papers and 
manuscripts of Bacon, and in 1669 Tenison published some of these 
writings in a book he titled, "Baconiana". Included in this book was 
the short, incompleted work, "The Alphabet of Nature."

Thanks to Mather Walker for providing the Digitalized Text
                  
                  Francis Bacon's
"The Alphabet of Nature."
From the book:
Baconiana  
first published in 1669 by Thomas Tenison 

               
               

"Seeing so many things are produced by the earth and waters;
So many things pass through the air, and are received by it;
So many thing are changed and dissolved by fire; other
Inquisitions would be less perspicuous, unless the nature
Of these masses which so often occur, were well known and 
Explained.  To these we add inquisitions concerning celestial
Bodies, and meteors, seeing they are of greater masses, and
Of the number of catholic bodies.
   
Inquiries concerning Greater Masses:
   
67th Inquisition    Earth                    Threefold Tau
68th Inquisition    Water                    Threefold Upsilon
69th Inquisition    Air                      Threefold Phi
70th Inquisition    Fire                     Threefold Chi
71st Inquisition    Heavens                  Threefold Psi
72nd Inquisition    Meteors                  Threefold Omega
   
Conditions of Entities.
   
There yet remain, as subjects of our inquiry, in our alphabet,
The conditions of beings, which seem, as it were, transcendentals,
And as such touch very little of the body of nature.  Yet, by
That manner of inquisition which we use, they will considerably
Illustrate the other objects.
   
First, therefore; seeing (as Democritus excellently observed)
The nature of things is in the plenty of matter, and variety
Of individuals large, and (as he affirmeth) infinite; but in
Its coitions and species so finite, that it may seem narrow
And poor; seeing so few species are found, either in actual
Being or impossibility, that they scarce make up a muster of
A thousand; and seeing negatives subjoined to affirmatives,
Conduce must to the information of the understanding: it is
Fit that an inquisition be made concerning being, and not
Being.  
   
Inquiries concerning conditions of Transcendental Beings:   
   
73rd Inquisition    Existence/Non-Existence   Fourfold Alpha
74th Inquisition    Possibility/Impossibility Fourfold Beta
75th Inquisition    Much and Little           Fourfold Gamma
76th Inquisition    Durable & Transitory      Fourfold Delta
77th Inquisition    Natural & Unnatural       Fourfold Epsilon
78th Inquisition    Natural & Artificial      Fourfold Zeta
   
We have not subjoined examples in the explication of the 
Order of this our alphabet: for the inquisitions themselves
Contain the whole array of examples.
   
It is by no means intended, that the titles, according to
Which the order of this alphabet is disposed, should have
So much authority given to them, as to be taken for true
And fixed partitions of things. That were to profess we
Already knew the things after which we inquire; for no man
Does truly dispose of things into their several classes,
Who does not beforehand very well understand the nature
Of them. It is sufficient, if these titles be conveniently
Adapted to the order of inquiry; the thing which is at 
Present designed.
   
The Rule or Form of the Alphabet
   
After this manner we compose and dispose our alphabet:
   
We begin solely with history and experiments.  These, if
They exhibit an enumeration and series of particular things,
Are disposed into tables; otherwise, they are taken separately
And by themselves.
   
But, seeing we are often at a loss for history and experiments,
Especially such as are luciferous, or instructive, and, as we
Call them instances of the cross; by which the understanding
Might be helped in the knowledge of the true causes of things:
We propose the task of making new experiments. These may 
Serve as a history in design. For what else is to be done
By use who are but breaking the ice?
   
For the mode of any more abstruse experiment, we explain it,
Lest any mistake arise about it; and to the intent, also, 
That we may excite others to excogitate better methods.
   
Also, we interspect certain admonitions, and cautions 
Concerning such fallacies of things, and errors in invention,
As we meet with in our way.
   
We subjoin our observations upon history and experiments,
That the interpretation of nature may be the more in
Readiness and at hand.
   
Likewise, we lay down canons (but not such as are fixed and
Determined) and axioms which are, as it were, in embryo:
Such as offer themselves to us in the quality of inquirers,
And not of judges.  Such canons and axioms are profitable,
Though they appear not yet manifest, and upon all accounts
True.
   
Lastly: we meditate sometimes certain essays of interpretation,
Though such as are low and of small advance, and by no means
To be honoured (in our opinion) with the very name of
Interpretation.
   
For, what need have we of arrogance or imposture, seeing we
Have so often professed that we have not such a supply of
History and experiments as is needful; and that, without
These, the interpretation of nature cannot be brought to
Perfection. Wherefore, it is enough for us if we are not
Wanting to the beginning of things.
   
Now, for the sake of perspicuity and order, we prepare our
Way by avenues, which are a kind of prefaces to our

Inquisitions. Likewise, we interpose bonds of connection,

That our inquisitions may not seem abrupt and disjointed.
   
Also, we suggest for use some hints of practice.  Furthermore,
We propose wishes of such things as are hitherto only desired
And not had, together with those things which border on them,
For the exciting the industry of man's mind.
   
Neither are we ignorant that those inquisitions are sometimes
Mutually entangled; so that some things of which we inquire,
Even the same things belong to several titles. But we will
Observe such measure, that (as far as may be) we may shun
Both the nauseousness of repetition, and the trouble of
Rejection, submitting notwithstanding, to either of these,
When, in an argument so obscure, there is necessity of so
Doing, in order to the more intelligible teaching of it.
   
This is the form and rule of our alphabet.
   
May God, the creator, preserver, and renewer of the universe,
Protect and govern this work, both in its ascent to his glory,
And in its descent to the good of mankind, for the sake of
His mercy and good will to men, through his only Son, 
Immanuel, God with us."
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