The only course remaining was to try the thing again from the start with better means, and make a general Renewal of the sciences and arts and of all human learning, beginning from correct foundations. This might seem, on approach, to be something illimitably vast and beyond mortal strength, and yet in the treatment, it will be found to be sane and sensible, more so than what has been done in the past. For one can see an end to it. Whereas in what is currently done in the sciences, there is a kind of giddiness, a perpetual agitation and a going in a circle.
This quotation, from the very beginning of the work, sets out Bacon's ambitions for the New Organon. He hopes to erase all the philosophical errors of the past and, on the basis of his inductive method, begin again with a Great Renewal. There is a degree of pride, and perhaps even arrogance, in his claims. Bacon was never one to underestimate his own philosophical or political abilities; the project may seem enormous, but he feels that it is within his grasp. Actually, in his plan for a natural history Bacon is more circumspect, hoping that other educated men will assist him in the immense task of information-collection that he proposes. The final sentence is both a critique of contemporary scientific practice and a sly Biblical reference. Elsewhere in the work, Bacon quotes a prophecy about the Last Days from the book of Daniel, "many shall come and go, and knowledge shall be increased". The "agitation" in this passage links to the imminent Second coming (or the end of the world) that many contemporaries found in the Daniel passage. Millennial prophecies were commonplace in the seventeenth century, and it was not at all unusual to link knowledge and science to prophecy. Many scholars have explored the link between science and millennial prophecies in this period.