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begun to fail him more remarkably than ever. This convinced him that his dissolution was at no great distance, and he often spoke of it himself, but always with great composure; while he omitted none of the precautions which, from his skill in physic, he knew had a tendency to prolong his life. At length his legs began to swell; and that swelling increasing every day, his strength visibly diminished. He therefore prepared to take leave of the world, deeply impressed with a sense of God's manifold blessings to him, which he took delight in recounting to his friends, and full of a sincere resignation to the divine will, and of firm hopes in the promises of future life. As he had been incapable for a considerable time of going to church, he thought proper to receive the sacrament at home; and iwo of his friends communicating with him, as soon as the ceremony was finished, he told the minister, " that he was in perfect charity with all men, and in a sincere communion with the church of Christ, by what name soever it might be distinguished.” He lived some months after this; which time he spent in acts of piety and devotion. On the day before his death, lady Masham being alone with him, and sitting by his bed-side, he exhorted her to regard this world only as a state of preparation for a better; adding that he had lived long enough, and that he thanked God he had enjoyed a happy life; but that, after all, he looked upon this life to be nothing but vanity." He had no rest that night, and resolved to try to rise on the following morning, which he did, and was carried into his study, where he was placed in an easy chair, and slept for a considerable time. Seeming a little refreshed, he would be dressed as he used to be, and observing lady Masham reading to herself in the Psalms while he was dressing, be requested her to read aloud. She did so, and he appeared very attentive, till, feeling the approach of death, he desired her to break off, and in a few minutes expired, on the twenty-eighth of October, 1704, in the seventy-third year of his age. He was interred in the church of Oates, where there is a daceas monument erected to his memory, with a modest wiele D in Latin, written by himself.
CONDUCT OF THE UNDERSTANDING.
Quid tam teinerarium lamque inclignum sapientis gravi. tate atque constantia, quam aui faisum sentire, aut quod nou satis explorate perceptum sit et cognitum sine ula dubitatione defendere ? Cic. de Natura Deorum, lib. 1.
§ 1. Introduction. The last resort a man has recourse to in the conduct of himself, is his understanding : for though we distinguish the faculties of the mind, and give the supreme command to the will, as to an agent; yet the truth is, the man who is the agent determines himself to this or that voluntary action, upon some precedent knowledge, or appearance of knowledge in the understanding:
No man ever sets himself about any thing but upon some view or other, which serves him for a reason for what he does : and whatsoever faculties he employs, the understanding with such light as it has, well or ill informed, constantly leads; and by that light, true or false, all his op ive powers are directed. The will itself, how absolute and uncontrollable soever it may be thought, never fails in its obedience to the dictates of the understanding. Tem
ples have their sacred images, and we sce what influence they have always had over a great part of mankind. But in truth, the ideas and images in men's minds are the invisible le powers that constantly govern them
; and to these thty ait universally pay a ready submission. It is, therefore, of the highest concernment, that great care should be taken of the understanding, to conduct it right in the search of knowledge, and in the judgments it makes.
The logic now in use, has so long possessed the chair, as the only art taught in the schools for the direction of the mind in the study of the arts and sciences, that it would perhaps be thought an affectation of novelty to suspect, that rules, that have served the learned world these two or three thousand years, and which without any complaint of defects, the learned have rested in, are not sufficient to guide the understanding.–And I should not doubt but this attempt would be censured as vanity or presumption, did not the great lord Verulam's authority justify it: who, not servilely thinking learning could not be advanced beyond what it was, because for
it had not been, did not rest in the lazy approbation and applause of what was, because it was ; larged his mind to what it might be. In his preface to bis Novum Organum concerning logic, he pronounces thus: Qui summus dialecticos