Of Adversity – Francis Bacon
Numerous authors have written about adversity in life and how to cope with it. Of Adversity’ demonstrates Bacon’s sharp and critical insight into human nature, as well as his unwavering confidence in Providence. Regarding admiration for adversity, Seneca is correct in asserting that the good things associated with prosperity are to be desired, while the good things associated with adversity are to be appreciated. The term “miracle” refers to victory against nature. Such miracles have occurred in the face of adversity.
True grandeur entails balancing man’s fragility with God’s security. God’s security is a state of carelessness. This occurs only during times of adversity, while man is lost in materialism during times of success.
The sweetness of adversity is best expressed in poetry, ‘where transcendence is more permissible and poets have been quite active with it. The ancient poets dealt extensively with the issue of adversity.
To possess both human frailty and God-like carelessness is ultimate greatness. This type of situation occurs during times of adversity. Hercules’ quest to free Prometheus exemplifies the great and heroic endeavours of which a frail human being is capable when confronted with overwhelming circumstances.
Temperance is the prosperity virtue, whereas fortitude is the adversity virtue. Fortitude is a hero-like quality. Prosperity is the Old Testament’s blessing. Adversity is the New Testament’s blessing. However, it cannot be argued that Adversity is absent throughout the Old Testament.
Testament. Rather than that, adversity appears alongside prosperity in David’s Old Testament songs and psalms. Job’s afflictions or misfortunes are linked in the Old Testament with Solomon’s wisdom and majesty.
Prosperity, too, has fears and dislikes or disagreeable characteristics. Thus, it can be asserted that immaculate success, or wealth devoid of even the slightest trace of suffering, is not achievable. Likewise,
Adversity is not entirely painful and terrifying; ‘adversity is not devoid of consolation and hope.’ In other words, adversity is alleviated by numerous hopes and comforts. As seen in needlework and embroidery, it is more pleasing to have a lively work set against a sad and solemn background than it is to have a dark and melancholy work set against a light-some background.
Prosperity reveals man’s vices, but adversity displays man’s virtues and virtues. Virtue is comparable to priceless smells. They are at their most aromatic when inflamed or crushed. Thus, when man is grounded between the stones of Adversity, his natural virtues are revealed.