Of Goodness and Goodness of Nature by Francis Bacon
The essay discusses various aspects of goodness. Bacon appears as a moralist or preacher who teaches us that there is no limit to our goodness or charity. He emphasises that the Deity’s character is one of goodness or charity. Goodness is concerned with the well-being of men. Goodness is defined as generous behaviours, whereas goodness of nature is defined as the desire or propensity to undertake such actions. The highest of all human attributes is goodness or kindness. According to Bacon, “The desire of power, in excess, caused the angels to fall: the desire of knowledge, in excess, caused man to fall; but in charity, there is no excess; neither can angel or man come in danger by it.“
Because they were envious of God’s infinite power, the angels in heaven revolted against him. As a result, these angels were exiled from paradise. Man disobeyed God’s instruction by eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge, and he, too, was exiled from the Garden of Eden. In this scenario, man’s insatiable thirst for knowledge proved to be his undoing. But, according to Bacon, there can be no excess in charity. We can not criticise a man for being too charitable in this subject, no matter how charitable he is. Men cannot suffer any punishment as a result of what is considered excessive generosity. Bacon demonstrates an in-depth insight of human nature. He claims that the spirit of goodness is firmly ingrained in us. If a man is not kind to his fellow humans, he will be kind to animals such as the Turks. Turks are a harsh people. They are unkind and uncharitable to their fellow humans. But even they are kind of beasts, and they feed dogs and birds out of this sense of generosity. That is, in the practice of charity, one should give to others what they truly require. There are, however, people who are vicious or spiteful by nature. Malicious people find joy in exacerbating the plight of others. They are like the flies that tormented Lazarus by landing on his wounds. A malicious man seeks only to harm others. Men of this type are well-suited to careers as politicians, where they must deal with a wide range of uncertainty and danger. Several acts of kindness are mentioned by Bacon. They are stranger politeness and courtesy, a global outlook, sympathy for others’ misfortunes, a spirit of forgiveness, and a desire for others’ salvation.
The essay has a wide audience. What Bacon wishes to convey through this essay is practical and thought-provoking. It is too comfortable and ethical. The topic matter is excellent. Our minds are drawn to the essay. Bacon attempts to persuade us to be kind and charitable. He speaks with the logic of a logician. The rationale, on the other hand, is sound and faultless. The essay’s most notable feature is its use of few words to convey thoughts. It is a feat of condensation. Allusions, quotations, and pictures make moral perceptions more fascinating and entertaining. The essay makes great use of rhetorical language.