New Atlantis by Franics Bacon

focus on the new scientific method is on orderly experimentation. For Bacon,

experiments that produce results are important. Bacon pointed out the need

for clear and accurate thinking, showing that any mastery of the world in

which man lives was dependent upon careful understanding. This understanding is based solely on
the facts of this world and not as the ancients held it in ancient philosophy. This new modern
science provides the foundation for modern political science. Bacon\'s political science completely

religion and philosophy. For Bacon, nothing exists in the universe except

individual bodies. Although he did not offer a complete theory of the nature

of the universe, he pointed the way that science, as a new civil religion,

might take in developing such a theory.

Bacon divided theology into the natural and the revealed. Natural

theology is the knowledge of God which we can get from the study of nature and

the creatures of God. Convincing proof is given of the existence of God but

nothing more. Anything else must come from revealed theology. Science and

philosophy have felt the need to justify themselves to laymen. The belief

that nature is something to be vexed and tortured to the compliance of man

will not satisfy man nor laymen. Natural science finds its proper method when

the \'scientist\' puts Nature to the question, tortures her by experiment and

wrings from her answers to his questions. The House of Solomon is directly

related to these thoughts. "It is dedicated to the study of Works and the

Creatures of God" (Bacon, 436). Wonder at religious questions was natural,

but, permitted free reign, would destroy science by absorbing the minds and

concerns of men. The singular advantage of Christianity is its irrationality.

The divine soul was a matter for religion to handle. The irrational soul was

open to study and understanding by man using the methods of science.

The society of the NEW ATLANTIS is a scientific society. It is

dominated by scientists and guided by science. Science conquers chance and

determines change thus creating a regime permanently pleasant. Bensalem,

meaning "perfect son" in Hebrew, has shunned the misfortunes of time, vice and

decay. Bensalem seems to combine the blessedness of Jerusalem and the

pleasures and conveniences of Babylon. In Bacon\'s NEW ATLANTIS, the need for

man to be driven does not exist. Scarcity is eliminated thereby eliminating

the need for money. "But thus, you see, we maintain a trade, not for gold,

silver or jewels... nor for any other commodity of matter, but only for God\'s

first creature which was light" (Bacon, 437). This shows a devotion to truth

rather than victory and it emphasizes the Christian piety to which the

scientist is disposed by virtue of his science. As man observes and brings

the fruits of his observations together, he discover likeness\' and

differences among events and objects in the universe. In this way he will

establish laws among happenings upon which he can base all subsequent action.

Bacon realized that sometimes religious ideas and the discoveries of nature

and careful observations were contradictory but he argued that society must

believe both.

The NEW ATLANTIS begins with the description of a ship lost at sea.

The crew "lift up their hearts and voices to God above, who showeth his

wonders in the deep, beseeching him of his mercy" (Bacon, 419). Upon spotting

land and discerning natives the sailors praise God. When a boarding party

comes to their ship to deliver messages, none of the natives speak. Rather,

the messages are delivered written on scrolls of parchment. The parchment is

"signed with a stamp of cherubins\' wings... and by them a cross" (Bacon, 420).

To the sailors, the cross was "a great rejoicing, and as it were a certain

presage of good" (Bacon, 420). After the natives leave and return to the

ship, they stop and ask "Are ye Christians?" (Bacon, 421). When the sailors

confirm that they are, they are taken to the island of Bensalem. On Bensalem,

the sailors are \'confined\' to their resting place and are attended to

according to their needs. The sailors reply, "God surely is manifested in

this land" (Bacon, 424). Upon talking to the governor the next day, he

exclaims "Ye