Member of the Belgian Senate
Translated with Documentation
(Francis Graem Davis)
The Aries Press Chicago
Francis Bacon brought form to experimental science and predicting what it would become in the future.
The inscription full of promise on the border of the vignette of the the title-page of of The New Atlantis was suggestive : Tempora patet occulta Veritas (with time, the hidden truth will appear). Hidden Truth brought forth by Time
The learned men of "Nova Atlantis" make use of the telephone (means to convey sound in trunks and pipes in strange lines and distances) and of the phonograph (sound houses, where we practise and demonstrate all sounds and their generation; also diverse strange and artificial echoes, yea some rendering of the voice), of machines of locomotion, of aeroplanes and submarines, of zoological gardens and anatomical museums, of telescopes and microscopes--very primitive in those times--of condensed water, of motive force produced by means of water, of apparatus for intensifying the force of wind, etc. Bacon made himself known, by this description, as an extraordinary physicist.
This "House of the Learned" represents also a society of the Rose-Croix. The chief of the savants has upon his turban a small red cross; the learned men wear a red mantle. The likeness between them and the Rosicrucians was so well understood that those who were strangers to the Order, like John Heydon, (born in 1629) a great apologist of the latter, although not belonging to it, who wrote a work entitled : A Voyage to the Land of the Rosicrucians which is but a literal transcription of the Nova Atlantis, in which he limited himself to replacing the word Savants with that of Rosicrucians.
W.F.C. Wigston, author of several works upon the Baconian question, the principal of which is Bacon-Shakespeare and the Rosicrucians (London,1888), concludes that Heydon's book is not a literary fantasy, and he sees in the story of "Nova Atlantis" that of the Secret Society of Rosicrucians of Bacon, of which he was the real head, the "Tirsan" of Nova Atlantis.
Bacon created in his Nova Atlantis a "model of a society, which would produce great works and marvels for the good of humanity." And he was not satisfied with describing it, but, according to Joseph Glansville, chaplain to James I, he really founded an association for the purpose of testing this work. The latter was probably a Rose-Croix society, of which Bacon is known to have been the renovator. He dedicated his life to the chief aim of the Rosicrucians : the spiritualising of humanity and the fight against the existing abuses. He wrote however
"that wisdom should be communicated only in a veiled way, because one is refractory before hard lessons, but they are accepted when they are presented in a pleasing way."
The ideal of the Rosicrucians, the reconstruction of science, is found fully set forth in the works of Bacon : Instauration Magma (1605). Advancement of Learning (1605) and Novum Organum (1620). Aristotle's works of logic are called Organon; by entitling his book Novum Organum Bacon expressed his intention of wanting to follow an entirely new direction.
The system of Bacon rests upon two methods : the model "inductive philosophy", or interpretation of nature, and the "anticipation of mind," as a source of discovering the inner nature of things. The first method approaches what we call today knowledge by deduction; induction proceeds from the particular to attain the general; deduction proceeds from the general to the particular. Bacon is, for this reason, regarded, with Telsio and the discipline of the latter, Descartes, as one of the chief founders of experimental science.
As his views are found separated from every religious question, his philosophy was named "empirical"; he had as successors Hobbes (1588- 1679), Locke (1632-1648), and Berkeley (1684-1753), whilst Descartes began the series of the "rationalists", who make no distinction between theology and philosophy, as Spinoza (1632-1677), Malebranche (1638-1715) and Leibnitz (1646-1716).