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EDITOR’S PREFACE. - Richard Hooker, The Works of Richard Hooker, vol. 1 
The Works of that Learned and Judicious Divine Mr. Richard Hooker with an Account of His Life and Death by Isaac Walton. Arranged by the Rev. John Keble MA. 7th edition revised by the Very Rev. R.W. Church and the Rev. F. Paget (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1888). 3 vols. Vol. 1.
Part of: The Works of that Learned and Judicious Divine Mr. Richard Hooker with an Account of His Life and Death by Isaac Walton, 3 vols.
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Editor’s Preface.THE first object of the present publication is, to exhibit the remains of the great and venerable writer (all, unfortunately, more or less imperfect) in as correct a form as could be attained, by reference, throughout, to the original editions; and in some few cases, to MS. copies.
1. In respect of the Life of Hooker, by Walton—which has a sort of customary right to appear first in all collections of his remains, and a right, surely, which no one would wish to disturb, who can enter into the spirit either of the biographer, or of his subject—the reader will find some considerable variations from the copy which appears in most former editions: of which the following is the account. The life was first written at Archbishop Sheldon’s suggestion to correct the errors of that by Bishop Gauden, which had come out in 1662. The first edition bears date 1665; the date of the Introduction is fixed to the year before, by the expression, “I must look back to his death, now sixty-four years past:” for Hooker died Nov. 2, 1600. In 1670, it was reprinted, together with the lives of Donne, Wotton, and Herbert, and the collection was dedicated, as the separate life had been, to Walton’s intimate friend (if he might not be called his patron) Bishop Morley. It was so popular as to reach a fourth edition in 1675: and from that, which was the last that had the author’s corrections, the present reprint has been made. To the best of the Editor’s knowledge, the copy of the Life prefixed to the editions of Hooker since 1666, was taken from Walton’s first edition. For although there were at least two reprints of Hooker before Walton’s death, one in 1676 and one in 1682, (he died Dec. 15, 1683,) the Life remained uncorrected: and this circumstance not being observed by Dr. Zouch led him to select for his edition a text which undoubtedly Walton himself had discarded. Dr. Wordsworth in his Ecclesiastical Biography saw and corrected the mistake. It is remarkable that it should have escaped Strype’s notice when he inserted his corrections and additions in the reprint of 1705. Some of the principal variations are set down in the notes to the present edition: but without exact collation of the two texts.
The general result, in the Editor’s opinion, is favourable to Walton’s veracity, industry, and judgment. The advantage he possessed was great in his connexion1 with the Cranmer family, Hooker’s near neighbours and most intimate friends. Of this connexion Walton’s biographers do not appear to have thought much, if it was at all observed by them; though it was this in all probability which gave the colouring to his whole future life, introducing him into societies and pursuits from which otherwise he seemed far removed. At the same time the Editor has no wish to deny, that which is apparent of itself to every reader—the peculiar fascination, if one may call it so, by which Walton was led unconsciously to communicate more or less of his own tone and character to all whom he undertook to represent. But this is like his custom of putting long speeches into their mouths: we see at once that it is his way, and it deceives no one. Perhaps the case of Hooker is that in which the biographer has on the whole produced the most incorrect impression of his subject. He seems to have judged rather from anecdotes which had come to his knowledge, than from the indications of temperament which Hooker’s own writings afford. Otherwise he might perhaps have seen reason to add to his commendation of him for meekness and patience, that those qualities were by no means constitutional in him. Like Moses, to whom Walton compares him, he was by nature extremely sensitive, quick in feeling any sort of unfairness, and thoroughly aware of his own power to chastise it: so that his forbearance (which those only can judge of, who have acquainted themselves with the writings of his opponents) must have been the result of strong principle, and unwearied self-control. Again, Walton or his informants appear to have considered him as almost childishly ignorant of human nature and of the ordinary business of life: whereas his writings throughout betray uncommon shrewdness and quickness of observation, and a vein of the keenest humour runs through them; the last quality we should look for, if we judged only by reading the Life. In these respects it may seem probable that if the biographer had been personally acquainted with his subject, the picture would have been somewhat modified: in no others is there any reason, either from his writings or from contemporary evidence, to doubt the accuracy of his report.
It will be observed that in the Notes and Appendix to the Life, some use has been made of the collections of Mr. Fulman, which are preserved in C. C. C. Library, to the number of twenty-two volumes; of which an account may be seen in Dr. Bliss’s edition of the Athenæ Oxonienses, iv. 242: as also an account of the collector, who had been the alumnus and amanuensis of Hammond, and was the friend and literary adviser of Antony Wood. He was also acquainted with Walton, as appears from his Appendix to the Life of Hooker, p. 89 n.2; and from an indorsement in Fulman’s hand, on some papers which will be found, vol. iii. p. 108 of this edition. All therefore that he knew about Hooker he had communicated to Walton, no doubt, before 1675: and therefore little or no direct additional information was to be expected, or occurs, in his papers.
The chief use now made of them has been to extract a few passages relating to Reynolds, Hooker’s tutor, and undoubtedly the leader of the Moderate Puritanical party in the University at that time. A specimen of his tone and principles may be seen in the Further Appendix to the Life, N°. ii: which letter, with all that we read of Reynolds, tends to put in a strong light his pupil Hooker’s entire independence of thought, and the manner in which he worked his way towards other views than those in which he had been trained. For it may be observed that his uncle, John Hooker or Vowel, was rather a keen partisan, as he had been at one time an associate, of Peter Martyr and others of the more uncompromising foreign Reformers: as his historical fragments, inserted in Holinshed, may shew. Hooker’s connexion again with Bishop Jewel; with Dr. Cole, President of C. C. C., who had been forced on the society by the Queen’s government1 ; and with Cole’s party in the College; were all things calculated, as far as they went, to give him a bias towards the extreme which was accounted most contrary to Romanism. And indeed the deep and sincere dread with which he regarded the errors and aggressions of Rome, is apparent in every part of his writings: and so much the more instructive will it prove, should we find him of his own accord embracing those catholic opinions and practices, which some in their zeal against popery may have too lightly parted with, but which Rome alone could not give, neither should we allow her indirectly to take them away.
The other short pieces, subjoined to the Life in this edition, are accounted for by notes as they severally occur.
2.If Hooker’s works were arranged in the order of their composition, (a course which is so far preferable to any other, as it gives the completest view of the progress of the writer’s own mind, and any modifications which his opinions may have undergone,) the Sermons relating to the controversy with Travers, 1585-6, would naturally come first in order. For that controversy not only preceded the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity in order of time, but actually led to the first idea and undertaking of the great work2 . However, in the present publication, the precedent of all former ones has been respected; but it will be for future editors to consider whether they may not advantageously invert this order.
The statement of Walton, that the dispute in the Temple led immediately to the design of Hooker’s Treatise, is incidentally confirmed by a passage in the Sermon on pride, which appears from internal evidence to have been a subsequent part of the same course, to which the discourses censured by Travers belonged. The passage occurs in a portion of the Sermon now for the first time printed3 . He is speaking of the difference between moral or natural, and positive or mutable law: “which difference,” he says, “being undiscerned, hath not a little obscured justice. It is no small perplexity which this one thing hath bred in the minds of many, who beholding the laws which God himself hath given abrogated and disannulled by human authority, imagine that justice is hereby conculcated; that men take upon them to be wiser than God himself; that unto their devices His ordinances are constrained to give place; which popular discourses, when they are polished with such art and cunning as some men’s wits are well acquainted with, it is no hard matter with such tunes to enchant most religiously affected souls. The root of which error is a misconceit that all laws are positive which men establish, and all laws which God delivereth immutable. No, it is not the author which maketh, but the matter whereon they are made, that causeth laws to be thus distinguished.” Such as are acquainted with the argument of the first three books of Ecclesiastical Polity, will perceive at once in the paragraph just cited the very rudiment and germ of that argument: which, occurring as it does in a sermon which must have been preached within a few months of the discourse on Justification, shews how his mind was then employed, how ripe and forward his plans were, and how accurate Walton’s information concerning them.
Accordingly, the summer of 1586 may be fixed on as the time of his commencing the work: and after six years and more, i. e. on the 9th of March, 1592-31 , the four first books were licensed to “John Windet2 , dwelling at the signe of the Crosse Keyes near Powle’s Wharffe.” Most of the work was therefore composed in London, amidst the annoyance of controversy, and the interruption of constant preaching to such an audience as the Temple then furnished. For it was only in July 1591, that he obtained what he had so long wished for, a quiet home in the country, viz. at Boscomb near Salisbury.
Four days after the entry at3 Stationers’ Hall, the MS. was sent to Lord Burghley: and it is not unlikely that the delay which ensued in the printing was occasioned by him. For the first edition bears date 15941 . There is a MS. note of Hooker’s on a pamphlet called “the Christian Letter,” &c. (hereafter to be spoken of) which would lead to the supposition that Burghley as well as Whitgift had seen and approved the unpublished work. The writers or writer of the Letter, having brought sundry doctrinal exceptions to the books of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, had appealed to the author2 , as to what he thought in his conscience would be the sentence of bishops and divines, were his work, and two others just then published3 , to be authoritatively examined by such and such persons, and compared with the formularies of the Church. To this challenge part of Hooker’s reply is, “The books you mention have been perused. They were seen and judged of before they came abroad to the open view of the world. They were not published as yours is. As learned as any this nation hath saw them and red them before they came to your hands. And for any thing that I could ever yet learn, the learneder they are that have given sentence concerning the same, the farder they have differed from this your virulent, uncharitable, and unconscionable sentence.”
Besides Whitgift and Burghley, we know that Hooker availed himself of the judgment of his two friends, Cranmer and Sandys4 , (if they were within reach;) and there is much reason to suppose that Dr. Reynolds also was consulted5 . With Saravia he was unacquainted, until he went into the neighbourhood of Canterbury6 .
As for assistance in the way of books, there is every mark of his having been abundantly supplied during the preparation of his work. In several cases he quotes foreign productions, which from the dates of their publication could have been only just out of the press in time to be so cited. Every thing probably was sent to Whitgift: and his stores, it may be supposed, were placed at Hooker’s command.
He observes a remarkable accuracy in citation, especially of the passages which he means to refute. Sometimes indeed he abridges, where Cartwright is unnecessarily verbose (a fault against which that writer was not much on his guard): but there is not (as the Editor believes after minute examination) a single instance of unfair citation. That the reader may judge of this for himself, the rule of the present edition has been, scrupulously to point out all particulars in which the passages produced to be refuted, or otherwise in the way of argument, at all vary from their originals. We learn from a note of Sandys1 , on the sixth Book, that Hooker’s “discourse had credit of sincerity in the former books especially by means of setting down Mr. Cartwright’s and W. T[ravers]’s words in the margent wheresoever they were impugned.” As an instance of his care we may observe, that the copy of the Christian Letter, on which his notes are made, has nearly all the errata, which are marked at the end, corrected in the body of the pamphlet by his own hand.
The Editio Princeps2 itself is a small folio, very closely, but clearly, and in general most accurately, printed. The present edition professes to be a reprint of it, except in some matters of punctuation, and in many of orthography. As to the former: amidst great general exactness (to which also the little remaining MS. bears witness) there occur sometimes whole pages in which almost all the smaller stops are omitted in a manner which could scarcely be intentional: and there the liberty has been taken of arranging them in the way which seems most agreeable to the author’s general system of punctuation. Care however has been taken not unwarrantably to determine by this process the meaning of clauses, which might fairly be left ambiguous. However, both in this question and still more in that of spelling, the Editor acknowledges that he should himself prefer an exact reprint of the original, excepting of course palpable errors of the press. In one respect especially, i. e. as a specimen and monument of language, ancient books lose very much of their value by the neglect of ancient orthography. But this, it was feared, could not be remedied without making the work less fit for general use. All that remained was to take care that no word should be lost, added, or mistaken: and this it has been endeavoured to ensure by more than one exact collation.
In verifying the quotations, there has been occasional difficulty; first, from their being very often no otherwise appropriated to a particular spot in the text, than as standing opposite to it in the margin, without any letter or mark of reference: a circumstance which has caused them to be misplaced in subsequent editions, not unfrequently by whole pages. The author seems to have become aware of the inconvenience before he published the fifth book; for in that, with few exceptions, letter of reference are inserted. It is remarkable amidst so much accuracy that the titles of books quoted should have been given in many cases so very erroneously and imperfectly, as to lead to the supposition that the press was not corrected by the author, nor by any scholar on his behalf. This has added considerably to the labour inseparable from the task of verifying quotations of that date, when “Chrysostom saith,” “Augustine saith,” or the like, was the received method of alleging the Fathers and Schoolmen. And in more cases than the present Editor could have wished, his endeavours to trace the quotation have as yet proved fruitless: a thing particularly to be regretted in such a writer as Hooker, much of whose argument depends on authority, and on the exact wording and context of passages produced. Where tracing the reference was not beyond his skill, the Editor has with few exceptions thought it right to insert the whole passage referred to in the notes: and in doing so, has been almost invariably impressed with admiration, not only at the depth and fulness of the writer’s knowledge, but also at his fairness as well as skill in the conduct of his argument. It will be found of course, that in disputing with Romanists, he generally alleges by preference Roman Catholic authorities; and with Puritans, the writings of the reformers of Zurich and Geneva. And in some cases, where his authorities at first sight might be accounted but a gratuitous ostentation of learning, it may appear that they were severally representatives of so many classes or schools whose agreement in some common point it was of consequence to exhibit. An example may be seen in b. vii. c. xi. 8 (iii. 209 n.1): and another in b. i. c. viii. 3 (i. 227 n.3); where an array of quotations is produced in support of what appears at first sight a truism, but it will perhaps be found that the writers quoted are in fact, as has just been said, representatives of those systems in philosophy and theology which are most opposed to each other, and that it might be of use to shew them expressly assenting in common to that one principle of natural reason at least.
The greatest liberty taken with the text by the present Editor has been the breaking it up into numbered paragraphs and sections, and inserting, by way of running title, the chief topics of as many paragraphs as the space would conveniently receive. In doing this he is well aware that he has to a certain extent taken on himself the duties of a commentator. As such he has endeavoured to execute his task faithfully: but he cannot flatter himself that in so long a work (the arrangement of which, in many places, is rather fine and subtle, than easy and prominent) he has always succeeded in drawing his partition-lines exactly, or in hitting and describing precisely the characteristic topic of each paragraph. However, it was but a choice of two evils: and it seemed better that critical students should occasionally have to correct such errors for themselves, than that popular readers should be altogether deterred by the wearisome uninviting form of the text.
3. These remarks apply as well to the second portion of the work as to the first. That second portion, containing the fifth book alone, came out, as is well known, in 1597, altogether in the same form as its predecessors. It seems to have excited great and immediate attention; one result of which was the appearance of a pamphlet often to be mentioned in the notes to the present edition, of which therefore in this place it is necessary to give some account. It is entitled, “A Christian Letter of certaine English Protestants, unfained favourers of the present state of Religion, authorised and professed in England: unto that Reverend and learned man, Mr. R. Hoo. requiring resolution in certain matters of doctrine (which seeme to overthrow the foundation of Christian Religion, and of the Church among us) expreslie contained in his five books of Ecclesiastical Policie. 1599.” It is a small 4to. of 49 pages, and bears no printer’s name. Some account of it may be seen appended to the Life of Hooker in Dr. Wordsworth’s Ecclesiastical Biography; and the whole has been annexed, in the form of notes, to Hanbury’s edition of Hooker, London, 1831. Its general drift may be gathered from the opening sentences1 .
“2 When men dreame they are asleepe, and while men sleepe the enemie soweth tares, and tares take roote and hinder the good corne of the Church before it be espied. Therefore wisemen through silence permitt nothing looselie to passe away as in a dreame. Your offer then, Maist. Hoo. is godly and laudable, to enforme men of the estate of the church of God established among us. For the teachers of righteous things are highlie to be commended. And he that leadeth men rightlie to judge of the church of God is to be beloved of all men. Howbeit sometimes goodlie promises are meere formal, and great offers serve onely to hoodwinke such as meane well. And as by a faire shew of wishing well, our first parents were fowlie deceaved; so is there a cunning framed method, by excellencie of wordes, and intising speeches of man’s wisdome, to beguile and bewitch the verie Church of God. And such as are used for this purpose come in sheepes clothing. For he translateth himself into an angel of light, who blindeth all men with utter darkness.
“When we, therefore, your loving countrymen, (unfaynedlie favouring the present state, and embracing from our heartes the gospel of Christ, as it is preached and professed in England, being readie every hower to give up our lives for God’s glorie and the honour of our Queene1 ,) having so goodlie a champion to offer combat in our defence, were made verie secure, and by the sweete sounde of your melodious stile, almost cast into a dreaming sleepe: wee happelie remembring your preface that there might bee some other cause, opened at the length our heavie eyes, and casting some more earnest and intentive sight into your manner of fight, it seemed to us that covertlie and underhand you did bende all your skill and force against the present state of our English church, and by colour of defending the discipline and governement thereof, to make questionable and bring in contempt the doctrine and faith itselfe. For we saw the theme and the cause you have in hand to be notable simples, whereof a skilful popishe apoticarie can readilie make some fine potion or sweete smelling ointment, to bring heedlesse men into the pleasant dreame of well-weening, while they closelie set on fire the house of God. And may wee not trulie say that under the shewe of inveighing against. Puritanes, the chiefest pointes of popish blasphemie are many times and in many places by divers men not obscurelie broached, both in sermons and in writing: to the great griefe of many faithful subjectes, who pray for the blessed and peaceable continuance of her most gracious Majestie, and of the estate of the Church of Jesus Christ as it is now established among us? And verelie such a thing offered itselfe unto our eyes in reading your bookes, and we had not skill howe to judge otherwise of the handling of your penne and of the scope of your matter.” Then, challenging him to reconcile his positions with the Thirty-nine Articles, and the Apologies and other writings of the defenders of the Anglican Church, they produce their charges against him, to the number of twenty-one; of which the following are the heads. 1. The Deity of the Son. 2. The Coeternity of the Son, and proceeding of the Holy Ghost. 3. The Holy Scriptures contain all things necessary to Salvation. 4. Holy Scripture above the Church. 5. Of Free-Will. 6. Of Faith and Works. 7. The virtue of Works. 8. Works of supererogation. 9. None free from all Sin. 10. Predestination. 11. The visible Church, and the Church of Rome. 12. Of Preaching. 13. Of the Minister’s Office. 14. Of the Sacraments. 15. Of Christ’s Institution. 16. Necessity of Baptism. 17. Of Transubstantiation. 18. Of speculative Doctrine. 19. Of Calvin and the reformed Churches. 20. Schoolmen, Philosophy, and Popery. 21. The Stile and Manner of writing. Specimens of the method of attack adopted on most of these heads will be found in the notes to this edition, appended to those passages in the Ecclesiastical Polity, which drew forth the several criticisms. It was considered unnecessary to reprint the whole pamphlet; enough appearing in this way to inform the reader’s judgment concerning it, and to enable him to decide whether there be much probability in a notion which some entertained at the time, that the appearance of so formidable an antagonist actually hastened the death of Hooker.
On this point, over and above the presumption arising from the pamphlet itself, we possess the unquestionable evidence, curious on many other accounts, of Hooker’s own MS. memoranda towards a vindication of himself, entered, as above stated, on the margins and fly-leaves of a copy of the “Christian Letter,” now preserved in the library of C. C. C. Oxford. These memoranda are in a very rough state, having been evidently set down at various times, some of them quite on the spur of the moment, and all clearly without the smallest intention of their ever meeting any eye but his own. So that the Editor for some time had serious doubts of the propriety of making them public. Some of them however are intrinsically so valuable; others so curious, as affording specimens of the way in which important discussions begin as it were to germinate in such a mind as that which planned and executed the Books of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity; a third sort again such perfect samples (so to speak) of his manner and sentiments, that inserting them seemed on the whole more just to the truth, and to the Author’s memory. Accordingly almost all of them will be found in locis among the notes to this edition: and amongst other things, it is apprehended they will clearly shew, whether any annoyance which he may have felt was at all mixed up with the notion, that he had a dangerous adversary to encounter, or whether it arose simply from disgust at what he considered to be malicious and unfair treatment: although in general his tone is rather playful than angry. It is clear that he knew, or strongly suspected, who the writer of the pamphlet was. For in p. 44, making answer to a passage which challenged him to submit his books to revision by authority, and which designated them as “notable bellows to blow up the coals of sedition and fiery civil war between all Christian churches, and to make all people who read them to fall either flatly to atheism or backward to popery;”—in answer to this, which he calls a “virulent unconscionable and uncharitable sentence,” having stated, as before, p. xiv of this Preface, that his work had already undergone such a revision as was demanded, he proceeds as follows: “But the best is, they are not many that sate on the bench from which this sentence hath proceeded. It is your owne. As for them against whom you give it, I think they take you for no competent judg.” In the same page, they call on him to “tell them roundly and soothly, If the reverend Fathers of our Church, assisted by some of the approved divines of both universities, did reade, peruse and examine your bookes and those two other bookes1 , whether they would not judge in their conscience and give sentence with their mouthes, that by those three writinges the Church of England, and all other Christian churches are undermined.” His note is, “Why assisted? Are your reverend Fathers insufficient to judg of such a matter without assistants from the universities. Besides, what a wise question this! I must tell you what other men will speake and think in their consciences touching bookes which you condemne.” “Again I must tell you whether I have not as bad an opinion of myself and mine own writings, as you have of both. Did ever man heere such questions proposed by one that were (sic) in his right witts? But see how coler and rage doth make you forget your self. You plainly avouch that all the ministers which be godly and all the churches which be Christian are in those three books traduced openly and notoriously detected: and all the articles of our religion checked.
“You have asked my judgment of three books. Let me ask yours touching three other, and as I find your answere reasonable so I will accordingly frame mine own. I pray sir what sentence will you give concerning M. Calv. Lectures upon Amos1 , touching the booke called Vindiciæ contra Tyrannos2 , and of the Ecclesiastical History3 almost fully printed out in the Blackfriers4 ?”
From this and other portions of the memoranda which will be found here and there in the present edition, it is manifest that the author considered himself as dealing with a single opponent in the name of many: and that he did not rate that opponent very highly in any respect: in short, that there is no reason to question the statement of Dr. Covel, in his reply to the Christian Letter, dedicated to Archbishop Whitgift, and published by authority, 1603. Covel was patronised by Whitgift, and seems to have undertaken the Defence at his suggestion. In his address to the reader, he says, “Our Church hath had some enemies, more openly discontent in the case of discipline, than they now appeare; whom to satisfie with reason, Maister Hooker indevoured with much paines: that which might have contented all, was in divers a spurre to a more violent coler: for medicines how profitable soever worke not equally in all humours. From hence proceeded a desire in some to make a question of things whereof there was no doubt, and a request for resolution of some points wherein there was no danger: to this end a Letter (which heere is answered) was published by certaine Protestants (as they tearme themselves) which I heare (how true I know not) is translated into other tongues: this they presume hath given that wound to that reverend and learned man, that it was not the least cause to procure his death. But it is farre otherwise; for he contemned it in his wisdome (as it was fit) and yet in his humility would have answered it, if he had lived.” He adds, “I staid the time, and a long time, until some elder and of riper judgment might have acquitted me from all opinion of presumption in this cause; which being not done by them whom many reasons might have induced to this defence, I could not for that part which I beare in that church, whose government was defended by Maister Hooker, with patience endure so weake a letter anie longer to remaine unanswered. And herein I have dealt as with men (although to me unknown) of some learning and gravitie, to whom peradventure in manie respects I am farre inferiour; and yet for anie thing I know, or appeareth in this letter, they may be clothed with the same infirmities that I am. But if this had beene by himself performed (which I heare he hath done, and I desire thee to expect it) thy satisfaction (gentle reader) would have beene much more; yet vouchsafe in thy kindnesse to accept this.” In p. 9, Covel begs the writers of the letter to receive from him what they had required from Hooker: “a charitable, direct, plain, and sincere answer: which, no doubt of it, from himselfe had bin far more learned and more speedy, if he could either have resolved to have done it, or after he had resolved could have lived to have seen it finished. But first of all, he was loath to entermeddle with so weake adversaries, thinking it unfit (as himselfe said) that a man that hath a long journey should turne backe to beate everie barking curre; and having taken it in hand, his urgent and greater affaires, together with the want of strength, weakened with much labour, would not give him time to see it finished. Yet his minde was stronger than his yeares, and knew not well how to yeeld to infirmitie. Wherein if he had somewhat favoured himselfe, he might peradventure have lived to have answered you; to the benefite of the Church, and the comfort of a great number.”
Evidently the writer of these sentences had no access to Hooker’s papers, and his general reasonings shew as much: for he is commonly content to clear up the points objected to by production of his author’s context, and collections from other parts of his writings. However, the same impression seems to have been made on him as on Hooker, by the perusal of the Christian Letter: viz. that it was the production not of many, but of one; and that one, a person before versed in the Puritan controversy, and now desirous, under cover of anxiety for evangelical doctrine, to insinuate the principles of the Genevan discipline in all their disturbing force. Thus in p. 3, Covel says, “It is much easier to answer those shadows of reason, wherein these admonishers do please themselves, than by their silence to make them confess that they are fully answered:” where the word “admonishers” printed in Italics evidently points at the compilers of the famous Admonition to the Parliament. Again, p. 5; “Those whom we must make adversaries in this cause are men not known either by name, religion, or learning. . . .It may be peradventure the zeal of some one, who desirous to gain an opinion among his followers undertaketh to speak as from the minds of many . . . .Whosoever they are, as I cannot easily conjecture, so I am not curious to know.” In p. 46, he speaks to the unknown compilers of “the rest of their writings in that kind:” and in p. 136, tells them, “themselves were able to witness that Hooker had not shunned to encounter the best of the Disciplinarian faction in our land.”
Covel, therefore, as well as Hooker himself, countenances the idea that the pamphlet proceeded from some veteran or veterans in the cause of Puritanism, afraid to speak out, for what reason is not hinted, but probably because of late the government had been acting decisively against that party: and also on account of the great effect on men’s minds, which had been produced by the publications as well of Hooker himself, as of others hereafter to be specified. On the whole, it seems very clear that the Christian Letter may be regarded as a kind of document, expressing the views and feelings of the Puritans of that generation: which being understood, the question as to the author’s name, however curious, is comparatively of little moment. Cartwright and Travers were both living at the time, the one in Warwick, master of the hospital, the other in Dublin, Provost of Trinity College; but both of them apparently had finally retired from the controversy; and the style of the letter will be found on examination very unlike either of theirs. John Field, another leading admonitioner, had been dead since 15881 .
Hooker’s notes on this pamphlet are here printed from the original, preserved (as above mentioned) in the library of C.C.C.; and collated with two transcripts, in interleaved copies of the tract, the one also in C. C. C.2 , the other in Trinity College, Dublin (A. 5. 22): for which latter collation, as for all that comes from the Dublin library, the reader will understand that he is indebted to Dr. Cotton, the present Dean of Lismore. These transcripts have been eminently useful in supplying portions where the original had worn out, and in confirming readings which might have been otherwise doubtful. On comparing the two, they appear to have been made independently of each other: that in C. C. C. seems the earlier and more accurate. In one instance, the Dublin copy inserts a note, of which no vestige occurs in the original. A few of the memoranda, which the Editor conceived might be worth preserving, but for the insertion of which in the notes no convenient place had occurred, will be found at the end of this Preface.
4. But Hooker’s preparations in his own defence had proceeded further than these brief and scattered hints. In the library of Trinity College, Dublin, (MS. B. 1. 13) is what is described in the catalogue as “a Treatise by Hooker, on Grace, the Sacraments, Predestination, &c.:” which in three passages3 clearly indicates itself to have formed part of the intended reply to the Christian Letter. It contains much valuable matter, although in a very undigested and imperfect form: with the exception perhaps of the portion concerning Predestination, which is much the largest of the three, containing in the MS. twenty closely written folio pages, whereas the other two, on Grace and on the Sacraments, contain but six and four respectively. We may conjecture that this more finished part was not now for the first time written, but rather that the revival of the dispute on Predestination led the author to revise papers which he had prepared more than ten years before, when Travers first attacked him on the subject. For in the Answer to Travers’s Supplication, § 23, he states himself to have “promised at some convenient time to make the points then agitated clear as light both to him and to all others.” Now the points were the very same which the Christian Letter had now called in question. If this conjecture be warrantable, it will follow, that we cannot certainly reckon upon these fragments as exhibiting Hooker’s latest and most matured judgment on all the mysterious topics introduced in them: although the distinct reference to the Lambeth Articles at the end must undoubtedly be regarded as a deliberate summary of the general conclusions at which he had then arrived. Of the second fragment, that on Sacraments, it may seem questionable whether it is rightly placed as part of this controversy. As far as it goes, it is wholly defensive, against Romanists; but it might be intended as introductory to a view of the question from the other side. The whole of these fragments will be found in the Appendix to the fifth book. Their genuineness is morally demonstrable. The writer uses the first person in speaking of the books of Ecclesiastical Polity, and refers to the Christian Letter in a way which coincides remarkably with Hooker’s own MS. memoranda. Compare (e.g.) the mention of aptness and ableness in the Fragment, p. 538, with a note in p. 11, of the pamphlet, which will be found in this edition, E. P. i. vii. 6. But indeed it is hardly necessary to dwell on minute marks of this kind, so strong and clear is the internal evidence throughout. To say nothing of favourite idioms, and turns of language; the views themselves, philosophical and theological; the mode of developing those views; the allegations from the Fathers and Schoolmen, and the way of translating them; the introduction and management of rapid historical sketches; the quiet and sustained majesty of style; and more perhaps than all, the deep awe with which sacred things are approached: are so many tokens of ownership, impossible to be counterfeited. One quality indeed is wanting: there are few if any traces of that instinctive playfulness of humour, which breaks out so often in his former controversial writings. It would seem as if he had determined to be more than usually guarded in his manner of speaking of his adversaries on this occasion: a circumstance not a little remarkable, when compared with the notes on the Christian Letter, many of them so keenly expressive of his first sharp sense of their unfair usage of him.
5. The Appendix to the fifth Book contains moreover the letter of George Cranmer to Hooker, which in all editions since 1666 immediately follows the life by Walton. Being in a great measure historical, it was judged more convenient to place it in the order of time; and so placed, it bears a striking testimony to the effect of Hooker’s labours even at that early period, and to the apparently declining condition of the Puritan interest1 ; and we may judge a little of the support and encouragement which it must have afforded to his wearied and anxious mind, when he found his old friend and pupil, now rapidly rising, in the expectation of all their contemporaries, to the highest places of the state2 , yet unchanged in affection for him, and bringing his varied experience and independent judgment to the zealous support of the views to which he was himself devoted.
This letter is reprinted from the original, first published in 1642: the year in which, as may be gathered from Wood, Ath. Oxon. iii. 577, the parliamentarians plundered the library of Henry Jackson, rector of Meysey Hampton, Gloucestershire, who had had the care of Hooker’s remains committed to him by Dr. Spenser1 . In that way possibly some loyal person might get hold of the letter, and publish it as a seasonable warning. That Jackson himself was not the publisher is evident from the mistakes in the prefixed advertisement2 , which he could not well have passed over: that Walton was not, may be gathered from his silence on the subject, where he introduces the letter at the end of the Life of Hooker. At the same time, connected as he was with the Cranmers, such introduction on his part undoubtedly proves the document genuine. Some remarkable differences appear on collating the letter as printed by him (1675) with the edition of 1642, which would lead to a suspicion that he was not aware of that publication. The result of the collation the Editor proposes to give at the end of this preface; where whoever will take the trouble of examining it will see, it is hoped, sufficient reason for the preference given to the text of 1642 above that of Walton’s copy.
6. So far, the task of verification has proved easy: but on proceeding to the sixth book, the ground, as is well known, entirely changes. The clearest way perhaps of exhibiting the whole case, will be first to recapitulate all that is known of the fate of the three last books in common, and then to explain the course taken in the present edition severally with each of the three: for it so happens that they stand respectively upon distinct and very unequal grounds of evidence.
First, there can be no reasonable doubt that the author left them completed for publication. Of this fact, we have two, if not three, contemporary statements, independent of each other: first, that of Dr. Spenser in his preface to the first edition of the collected five books; “1 He lived till he saw them perfected:” secondly, that of Covel, (Just and Temp. Defence, p. 149;) “Those three books of his, which from his own mouth, I am informed that they were finished.” To which in all probability might be added the testimony of the Cranmer family, of whom, it may be supposed, Walton received the anecdote related in the Life, p. 84.
Next, his papers with the rest of his chattels were given by his last will to his wife, whom he left sole executrix under the supervision of a person of the name of Churchman, probably her father, (see Bishop Andrewes’ Letter, p. 91 n.7) in conjunction with his own friend and pupil, Sandys. The will is dated Oct. 26, and Hooker died Nov. 2. Only five days afterwards Dr. Andrewes, being then at the court, wrote to Dr. Parry, who was, as it may seem, intimate with the Churchman family, and near at hand, requesting him to provide without delay for the security of the papers. He writes in a tone of the greatest anxiety, and regrets that he should be so late in giving this hint, having but just been informed of Hooker’s death. Inquiry, it may be presumed, was made accordingly, and nothing satisfactory elicited from the widow. For the next thing we are told is, that at the end of a month, the archbishop sent one of his chaplains to inquire after the three remaining books, “of which she would not, or could not, give any account:” but that after an interval of three months more, suspicions having arisen, she was summoned before the privy council, and in a preliminary examination confessed to the archbishop, that many of her husband’s writings had been burned and torn by a Mr. Charke, (probably the same who married her daughter,) and another minister who dwelt near Canterbury. Here her statement closes; for she died suddenly before the examination could be resumed.
Such is the narration of Walton, communicated to him about the year 1624, “by one that well knew Mr. Hooker and the “affairs of his family:” i. e. apparently, by William the brother of George Cranmer, or by one of his sisters: the father and aunts of Walton’s first wife. To which must be added the statement of Bishop King, also a contemporary of Hooker’s, communicated through the Bishop’s son to Walton, with the express intention of its being made public in his name. See hereafter, p. 103. This evidence is surely distinct enough, and has as much claim to be attended to as contemporary evidence has in general. Of course it does not prove that the widow’s account was true, but it does prove that the papers were not forthcoming, that she was called on to undergo official examination regarding them, and that such and such was the result of the examination, according to the belief of those who were most concerned to know. It is true, no record of the transaction remains in the council books; but it does not appear from Walton’s account that it ever came officially before the council. On the whole, the conclusion is irresistible: that the completed books were irrecoverably gone; and all that remained was to secure and arrange what was left of the rough draughts. These, it may be supposed, Mrs. Hooker gave up to the archbishop, on occasion of the aforesaid inquiry, i. e. about March, 160. And he committed them to the care of Dr. Spenser, not only, doubtless, as an intimate college friend of the author, but also as one of the nearest surviving representatives of George Cranmer, who of all others would have been fittest for the trust, had he been alive. But he unfortunately had fallen at the battle of Carlingford, Nov. 13, 1600, only eleven days after his friend and tutor, and in all probability before he could be aware of his death.
To Spenser then, who had married Cranmer’s sister, and who afterwards became President of the college, the task of editorship was by preference intrusted: the rather, as it may seem, because he was one of those with whom Hooker had most freely communicated on his great work, during its progress. And the single remaining composition of Spenser himself (single, if we except his preface to his edition of the Polity) is quite sufficient to evince his entire sympathy with Hooker’s views; at least, his thorough aptness as a learner in that school. It is a posthumous publication, a sermon at St. Paul’s Cross on Isaiah v. 2, 3: full of eloquence and striking thoughts; the theological matter almost entirely, and sometimes the very words, being taken from those parts of Hooker, in which he treats of the visible Church. It may be added, that Spenser from the beginning appears to have belonged to that party in his college, which feared Puritanism as well as Romanism, and that his appointment to the office of Greek Lecturer, in 1577, had been vehemently opposed by Reynolds1 . Both he and Bishop King were at the time of their common friend Hooker’s death resident in London, and neighbours, Spenser vicar of St. Sepulchre’s, and King rector of St. Andrew’s, Holborn. The first step the former took in fulfilment of the archbishop’s charge regarding Hooker’s remains, was the republication of the five Books of Polity, with a preface (reprinted in this edition): in which he distinctly announces the purpose of giving to the world the three remaining books, dismembered and defaced as they were. This took place, according to Wood, in 1604. The edition contained the five books, “without any addition or diminution whatsoever.” But the editor’s labours that year began to be interrupted by the new Translation of the Bible, in which he was engaged as one of the Westminster committee: and no progress appears to have been made with Hooker until his return to Oxford again. But in 1607, on the death of Reynolds, he was elected President of C. C. C., his and Hooker’s friend King having been made Dean of Ch. Ch. in 1605.
He found in the college a young scholar of the name of Henry Jackson, of the city of Oxford, skilful and industrious in translating, arranging, and compiling: him Spenser employed, as Walton says, “to transcribe for him all Mr. Hooker’s remaining written papers;” and he evidently entered on the work with an editor’s partiality, and was disposed to take to himself the editor’s credit, which indeed Spenser, as far as appears, was in no wise inclined to deny him. He began with what may be called the Opuscula: publishing in the years 1612, 13, 14, several of the Sermons, to be noticed hereafter in their places: among which that on Justification had so rapid a sale, that a new edition was required in a few weeks. It seems to have been intended that the eighth book of the Polity, for whatever reason, should appear first, by itself: and Fulman has preserved three fragments of letters by Jackson, all dated 1612; the first, as it seems, early in the year, stating that the President had put the eighth book into his hands, and that he was entirely taken up with the task of “polishing” and arranging it. The second letter, dated in September, represents him as just putting the last hand to the same book: and the third, of Dec. 21, complains “that the President, as he, Jackson, had reason to think, meant to edit it in his own name, although its revival (for he could call it no less) was the work of him, Jackson, alone: a plain case of one man bearing off another man’s honours.”
Thus far the business of publication had advanced when Dr. Spenser died, 3 April, 1614. At his death, he bequeathed Hooker’s papers “as a precious legacy” to Dr. King, who in 1611 had been made Bishop of London. Thus they were taken out of Jackson’s custody, at a time when he was not very kindly affected towards any one who might interfere with the interest in them which he considered himself to have acquired. The rest of their history, as a collection, is soon told. Bishop King’s son informs Walton, that his father preserved them until his death, which happened March 30, 16211 . Afterwards they continued in his, Henry King’s hand, till Archbishop Abbot claimed them for Lambeth Library. They were conveyed to him by Dr. Barkham his chaplain, who, being dean of Bocking, was probably a neighbour of King, then archdeacon of Colchester. This must have taken place before September 1633. It is remarkable, that while they were under Laud’s custody, no thought of completing the edition seems to have been entertained. The reports on the state of the MSS. were probably discouraging, and a false notion might prevail, of undue countenance likely to be afforded to the innovators by certain portions. However, the papers remained undisturbed, except by occasional copyists, (with whom the eighth book seems to have been most in favour,) until Dec. 28, 1640, when the Archbishop was committed for high treason, and his library was made over to the custody of Prynne1 . From him it passed to Hugh Peters, by a vote of the Commons, June 27, 1644. Nothing more is known of the fate of the original papers: and certainly it is no great wonder, if whilst they remained in such hands, the friends of the Church looked suspiciously at the publication of any thing which professed to have formed part of them.
7. To record those publications in their order: The first occurs as early as 1641, from the Oxford press, under the sanction of no less a person than Archbishop Ussher. Of this an account will be given in speaking of the Appendix to Book Eight in this edition.
The second of the Hooker Fragments which appeared was the letter of George Cranmer already mentioned, in 1642. Reasons have been given above, against ascribing the editorship of this either to Jackson or to Walton: but it may have passed through the hands of Ussher; who appears to have spent the whole of that year, either in Oxford or in London: and ground may perhaps appear by and by for a reasonable conjecture as to the channel by which he became possessed of this and some other pieces.
The third was a far more important relic. In 1648, according to Wood, (Ath. Oxon. i. 695,) but according to the copy2 which has been used in correcting the press of this edition, in 16513 , came out “Of the Lawes of Ecclesiasticall Politie, the Sixth and Eighth Books. By Richard Hooker. A work long expected, and now published, according to the most authentique copies. London, printed by R. B. [Richard Bishop,] and are to be sold by [John Crook, 1648] George Badger in St. Dunstan’s Churchyard in Fleet-street.” small 4to. pp. 2264 . An account of the authorities from which this publication was professedly made may be seen in the Life, p. 95 n.1. Six MSS. are there mentioned: but it may be suspected that the statement relates to the eighth book only. At least, the Catalogus MSS. Anglic. mentions but one copy of the sixth book, nor have the researches made with a view to the present edition succeeded in producing any more: whereas of the eighth no fewer than four have been examined. The text, therefore, of the two books, though accidentally published together at first, must be severally accounted for.
To speak at present of the Sixth only: Dr. Cotton has collated for this edition a MS. (B. 1. 13) in the library of Trinity College, Dublin: which has proved of very great service, not only in correcting the many and often palpable errors of the first printed copy, but also in arranging the whole with a view to the argument. “The MS.,” Dr. Cotton says, “is evidently written by an amanuensis; but there are every where marks that Archbishop Ussher had read it over most carefully, as he has corrected with his own hand the errors of the copier, even in the most minute particulars. You will perceive, besides the verbal discrepancies, considerable difference in the punctuation, many sentences being materially altered in sense by it. Also, that the book is divided into sections, as are the first five: which adds to the lucidity of the work, as does likewise the breaking of it into several paragraphs.” Dr. Elrington, to whom the Editor is obliged for the first notice of these important fragments at Dublin, adds, that “in the catalogue is the following note,” relating to the marginal remarks of Ussher; “The editor of the printed copy has seen these notes, but has made some small omissions.” Dr. Elrington further remarks, that the MS. had the appearance of being written out for the press. It may be proper to add, that in this edition the arrangement thus sanctioned by Ussher is generally adopted as to the leading divisions, though not always as to chapters or sections: and that in all cases of departure from the reading of the first edition, (except matters of mere punctuation and obvious errors of the press,) the change is made on authority of the Dublin MS.
8. But concerning this Sixth Book, a very material inquiry remains. At first sight, of all the three questionable books, this is in one respect by far the most perplexing. As it stands at present, it is an entire deviation from its subject. For whereas the plan of the whole treatise required in this part a full discussion of the claim of lay elders to a part in church jurisdiction; and whereas the title distinctly propounds that subject; it is clear and certain, that of the whole book as it stands the two first chapters only and the first section of the third chapter have any relation to that subject. The remainder, being nineteen twentieths of the whole, is a series of dissertations on Primitive and Romish Penance, in their several parts, confession, satisfaction, absolution. This anomaly, which every reader must have observed, and which in any writer carried so far would be extraordinary, but in Hooker of all writers is quite unaccountable, is explained at once by a document, which the present Editor has had permission to copy from the original in C. C. C. library: and which he has subjoined as an appendix to the sixth book. It appears that Hooker, having finished the treatise on lay elders, forwarded it, as had been his custom with former portions of his work, to his friends and confidential advisers, Cranmer and Sandys: and the paper alluded to gives the result of their criticism. It is in their own handwriting; Cranmer’s part (which was afterwards reviewed by Sandys) filling twenty-four folio pages, and Sandys’ part, which is more closely written, occupying six pages more. Its genuineness is ensured, not only by internal evidence, (for who would ever have thought such a paper worth forging?) but also by the attestations of Walton and Fulman, which the reader will find, vol. iii. p. 108 n.1. This document would have been worthy of preservation, were it only for the good sense and accurate reasoning, by which, even in such disjointed fragments, the writers have contrived to throw light on many parts of a curious and important subject: or again as a pleasing monument of the entire, affectionate confidence, which subsisted between Hooker and his two pupils: occupied as they were in lines of life very far removed from his, Cranmer as a diplomatist, Sandys as a member of parliament: but as a document in the question of the genuineness of the (so called) sixth book, these notes are in truth quite decisive. First, it will be found that among them all there are not so many as four instances, in which the catchwords at the beginning of the note occur in the text as it stands. Next, the whole subject-matter of their remarks, the scriptural and other quotations referred to, indicate an entirely different work. There is not a word about penitency, auricular confession, absolving power: but (in the third place) the frame of the whole, and each particular as far as it can be understood, implies the annotators to have had before them a work really addressing itself to the question of lay Elders, and meeting all the arguments, which, as we know from contemporary writers, the upholders of the Puritan platform were used to allege.
As far as can be gathered from the very scanty notices remaining, it may seem that Hooker, entering as Sandys thought rather too abruptly on his subject, treated of these following heads. 1. Of the natural connection between the two powers, of Order and of Jurisdiction. 2. Of the best way of drawing the line between Ecclesiastical and Civil Causes. 3. Of the principle of Courts Ecclesiastical, and the meaning of, “Tell the Church.” 4. Of the Church’s Anathema: in which he seems to have made three degrees, and to have considered St. Paul’s expression, Rom. ix. 3, as referring to excommunication. Cranmer’s remark on this is very striking, and very much in unison with the little that remains of him besides. 5. What offences are excommunicable; under which head the question recurred of the limits of church and state power, and Sandys lays down that it is an error to make the sovereign a mere lay person. 6. Effects of excommunication (probably against Erastus). Distinction between the Church’s anathema and that of a mere ecclesiastical judge. Whether temporal judgment on the excommunicated person might ever be expected to ensue. The case of Victor cited; probably to moot the question of the effect of a wrong excommunication. The Epicurean tendency of slighting excommunication was pointed out in the next place; and frivolous proceedings in ecclesiastical courts deprecated as leading to such contempt. 7. The interference of presbyterial jurisdiction with sovereign authority was next urged against Beza. 8. The precedents of Jewish Polity were considered; (on which head down to the time of Jehoshaphat a valuable abstract of the discourse is given in one of Cranmer’s notes.) 9. The pleas were examined, which the defenders of the eldership were accustomed to urge from the New Testament: especially Rom. xii. 8; 1 Cor. xii. 28; Acts xiv. 23; 1 Tim. v. 17. 10. He proceeded to the precedents usually alleged on this subject from the Fathers: having both in this and the part next before an eye particularly to T. C. part iii. tract 8. The book appears to have concluded as it began; rather too abruptly for the taste of the friendly revisers. Each of them recommends an appropriate conclusion: Cranmer suggesting that it might be well to add some remarks on the indirect political incoveniences of the lay eldership; Sandys, on the other incongruities of the Geneva platform; the essential distinction of pastor from teacher; the arrangements of their consistories, their synods, and the like.
Somewhat after this sort, judging by the fragments which remain, did the argument of the sixth book proceed: and every one who has read Whitgift, Bancroft or Bilson on the one hand, Beza or Cartwright on the other, will be aware that these are the topics which Hooker must have introduced in order to perform the service which he had undertaken. It now appears, in point of fact, that he did so. But the treatise which embodied his views on the subject, and which one may collect from these indistinct notices to have been more valuable by far in its constructive than in its destructive part, has disappeared, even in its rough outline, with the exception perhaps of a few sentences near the beginning.
The question has been asked1 , “If it be true, as is alleged, that different MSS. of the last books did not agree, if even these disagreements were the result of fraud, why should we conclude that they were corrupted by the Puritans rather than by the Church?” It is presumed that the fact now demonstrated, namely the suppression of the entire book on lay elders, supplies of itself an answer to this question. For if there was one point in their system, on which the Puritans of the sixteenth century were more sensitive, and piqued themselves more2 than on the rest, this of lay elders was that point. Suppose a party of them in Hooker’s study, according to the report made to Walton; the sixth book was that which they would first lay violent hands on. A churchman would be under no temptation of the sort: if he wanted to tamper with any part, he would sooner select parts of books vii. and viii., in which he might think unguarded concessions made to the prejudice of regal or episcopal authority. As it is, there can be no question that far “other than verbal changes have been made in the loose draught which the author left;” and surely there are also very considerable appearances of the MS. having been once in the hands of Puritans. Bishop Andrewes’s letter proves how much he apprehended such a thing at the time; we know from a statement of Travers, and by the pedigree subjoined to this preface, that his kindred, in all likelihood Puritans, were connected with the Hookers by marriage: there is also reason to believe that Hooker’s own daughter married into a Puritan house: add to this only so much of the Cranmer family’s statement to Walton, as it was impossible for them to be mistaken in: and whether we believe the widow Hooker’s account of the Puritan ministers’ interference or no, it cannot be said that the case is clear of all suspicion of the kind.
But to return to the Sixth Book. As has been said, with regard to nineteen twentieths of it the case is made so clear by these notes, that it might perhaps have been more consistent with the duty of an editor, had the whole of it after c. iii. § 1, been separated entirely from the Books of Ecclesiastical Polity, of which, undoubtedly, the author never meant it for part. The reasons or impressions which told against such an arrangement will be found in the second note on this sixth book. But the change may perhaps be made with advantage in a future edition, i. e. by far the greater portion of the book may be separated, not from Hooker’s remains altogether, but from forming part of the Ecclesiastical Polity. For although it be found in the wrong place, yet is there no cause whatever to account it ascribed to a wrong author. It is full of instruction, piety, and eloquence; it has every internal proof of being Hooker’s. Its appearing where it does may be reasonably accounted for, without supposing any further liberties taken by the Puritans, if we only imagine it in a heap of papers, accidentally coming next to a sketch of the preamble of the Sixth Book. Any one eager to publish might seize on it, and with no deliberate purpose of deceiving, or as is most likely for mere purposes of trade, might send it abroad with the misnomer now detected. The wonder is that such a critic as Ussher should have corrected it, as it seems he had done, for the press, without being aware of its total deviation from the question: and that Walton, and perhaps still more that Fulman, should have had the notes of Cranmer and Sandys in his possession, without discovering the interpolation in the sixth book.
9. On the Seventh Book, and the evidence for its genuineness, a very few words may suffice. The first publishers of the sixth and eighth in 1648 and 1651, state those two books to have been preserved in the hands of Andrewes and Ussher, “with great hopes the seventh would have been recovered, that they might have been published to the world’s view at once: but,” they add, “endeavours used to that purpose have hitherto proved fruitless.” In fact, no trace of the book appears until 1662, when Gauden, just then promoted to the see of Worcester, (the person whose name appears in so questionable a light in the affair of the Εἰκὼν Βασιλικὴ,) set forth a new edition of Hooker, augmenting it by this seventh book and some paragraphs at the end of the eighth. In his titlepage and preface he uses very sounding language, and even gives his readers to understand, that the work was now entirely recovered1 to the state in which Hooker left it. He distinctly says, “The seventh book, by comparing the writing of it with other indisputable papers, or known MSS. of Mr. Hooker’s, is undoubtedly his own hand throughout. The eighth is written by another hand, as a copy, but interlined in many places with Mr. Hooker’s own characters, as owned by him. The best and surest test of the genuineness or legitimacy of these three now added books, will be the weight, or learned solidity of the matter, also the grave, but eloquent and potent manner of handling each subject; . . . This only may be suspected (as is said) that in some places he had not put to his last polishing or consummating hand.” And, p. 40: “When these excellent books shall obtain their deserved place in men’s heads and hearts, . . . . I shall have no cause to repent of the pains, yea pleasure, I have taken in giving the world this renewed view of Mr. Richard Hooker, and his now completed works.”
On examining the sixth and eighth books in Gauden’s impression, no material improvement occurs. What MSS. he had appear to have agreed on the whole with the printed text: excepting the aforementioned addition to the eighth book, of which something will be said in its place. It is extraordinary that in speaking of the seventh he should, as will have been seen, omit altogether to say where he found the M.S., how he came by it, and what he did with it: nor does he leave any clue whatever for the guidance of future inquirers. For the genuineness, then, of this portion of the work, our only direct testimony is the affirmation of Dr. Gauden. In other words, we are left to make up our minds by internal evidence only. Not that Gauden had, as far as is known, any political or theological views, which would lead him to take liberties with the MSS., nor that there is any appearance of their having been tampered with on any such ground: the suspicion which occurs is rather, that forgery or at least interpolation may have been practised, in order to promote the sale of the work.
Under such circumstances it is satisfactory to find, that the internal evidence of this seventh book is on comparison even more decisive than either that of the sixth or of the eighth. The course of argument and flow of style are more sustained, and more decidedly characteristical. The translations from the Fathers are of the same stamp: and this is a point of extreme delicacy, a point in which Hooker perhaps is unequalled amongst English writers. It is true that in certain portions, especially towards the end, there is some verbosity, and a considerable degree of repetition1 . But this may be thought to arise in part from the editor’s uniting, as members of a continuous treatise, what were in fact independent sketches of matters to be somewhere introduced. Such sketches, if not checked by comparison, would incidentally run into each other.
From the manner in which the pages of Gauden’s edition are numbered, it would seem that this seventh book must have come into the editor’s hands after the sixth and eighth books, and subsequent parts of the volume, had gone to the press2 . For the paging goes regularly on to the end of the fifth book, p. 345: the sixth commences, in a way not easily accounted for, at p. 137, and goes on to p. 183; the seventh is interposed, paged from 1 to 75; and then the former reckoning is resumed, the eighth commencing at p. 184, and so on to the end of the volume. The printing is full of errors: but that is common to the whole edition.
Now all these marks of unskilful editorship, however unpleasant to the reader, supply in reality no mean argument in favour of the genuineness of the composition. For who would think it worth while to forge blunders? who for example, employed in setting off a spurious copy to the best advantage, would ever have left such an error as that1 , so well known to all unfriendly critics on Hooker, where in discussing the opinion of St. Jerome on the divine right of Bishops, he or some one else had made a private note on the MS. and the printers have inserted it, incoherent as it is, in the body of the text? Such carelessness in the mode of publication, although it may render particular expressions more doubtful, certainly goes far to negative all idea of deliberate forgery on a large scale. Added to the mass of internal evidence, it may warrant us in accepting this seventh book, hastily written as it is in many parts, for a real though mutilated and otherwise imperfect relic.
It may further appear to have the implied sanction of Walton himself, and of Archbishop Sheldon, inasmuch as the one having by the other’s direction undertaken to correct some of Gauden’s principal mistakes, no charge is insinuated of want of fidelity in this, the most material part of his task: on the contrary the whole is reprinted without hesitation in the next edition, 1666; the Life by Walton being for the first time prefixed.
10. We come now to the Eighth Book: on the subject of which (no doubt from its immediate bearing on the political questions of the time) most curiosity seems to have been felt, and to have led to a greater multiplication of copies or extracts. As stated above, it was first published, but avowedly in a mutilated form,  1651. It broke off at the words “to give judgment,” vol. iii. p. 438, of this edition. But as far as it went, it concurred in the sequence of its parts with the text which Gauden afterwards gave, and with three out of the four now existing MSS.
Dr. Bernard in his Clavi Trabales2 , 1661, published some additional fragments out of the papers of Archbishop Ussher, occupying that work from p. 64 to 94. These fragments relate, the first, p. 64—71, to the Jewish polity, as affording a precedent for something like the Anglican supremacy; which notion is maintained against the objections of Stapleton; the second, p. 71, 72, to the King’s claim of a share in church jurisdiction; the third, p. 73—76, to his prerogative in church legislation; the fourth, p. 77—86, to the appointment of Bishops by the king; the fifth, p. 86—92, to the same subject as the second, jurisdiction; the sixth, p. 92—94, is the opening of a treatise on the King’s exemption from church censure. With these were printed short marginal notes, and what Dr. Bernard calls “confirmations and enlargements,” under the archbishop’s own hand. In one or two of these entries, he says in the margin, “This is,” or “This is not, in the common books or copies of Mr. Hooker’s MS.:” meaning by the “common” books or copies, not those in print, 1651, (as is evident from his affirming in one instance the “common books” to have a passage which the printed copies then had not,) but his meaning was to refer to the ordinary Manuscripts of b. viii: and the passage is mentioned here simply for the purpose of remarking, that copies must have been rather frequent at that time, in order to justify such an expression.
Gauden next year confirmed the publication of Bernard by adding the passage which begins, “As therefore the person of the King,” &c. (p. 438,) and ends in p. 444, at the words “the truth therein:” and also that on the power of Legislation, which begins in Clavi Trabales at “The cause (case) is not like;” and ends, p. 76, abruptly in the middle of a sentence at the words “hath simply.” Gauden’s edition, adopting this paragraph, completes it: and thereby shews that itself was not in these portions borrowed from the Clavi Trabales, but had other copies to rely on; which also is evident from the omission of much important matter found in the pamphlet. The comparison strengthens the idea of Gauden’s good faith, while it lessens that of his industry and skill in such work. He subjoined also another fragment, on the limits of obedience to sovereigns; which the present edition transfers to an appendix, for reasons to be assigned in their place. All succeeding editors have followed him. The text now given will be found, in very many material points, widely at variance with either of these: many portions added, some few omitted, and the parts which remain transposed in such a manner, as to form on the whole an entirely new arrangement. It is the Editor’s duty now to account for these changes. And as in so doing he will have to mention the names of more than one friend, to whose assistance he is deeply indebted, and of more than one public body, who have liberally granted him the most unreserved use of their stores of information; he is desirous here of expressing, once for all, his gratitude for such kind permission and invaluable assistance.
The MSS. of the eighth book, which have been collated for this edition, are four in number: and the Editor is not aware of any others now existing. The first (Q), in the library of Queen’s College, Oxford (R. 29. i.), was the property of Dr. Thomas Barlow, Provost of that College, and Bishop of Lincoln from 1675 to 1691; in whose handwriting appear a few corrections and insertions, chiefly in the way of collation with the printed text. He was an intimate friend of Bishop Sanderson; so that possibly this may be the very MS. mentioned as having been seen by Sanderson, in the Appendix to Hooker’s Life by Walton, p. 97. It coincides indeed, except in minutis, with the received text; and this at first sight may appear not to have been the case with the MS. of which Walton is there speaking; or rather Fabian Philips as quoted by Walton. But Sanderson’s expression is on the whole not inapplicable to the received text; although Walton seems to have judged otherwise. It is simply this: that “he had seen a copy, in which no mention” (i. e. of course, no approving mention) “was made of the supreme governor’s being accountable to the people.” Is any such doctrine taught in the received text? It speaks indeed positively of the people’s implied consent being in theory the origin of government, but it expressly denies in one place1 the practical accountability which some would infer from this; nor is that denial withdrawn or qualified in any other part of the book. All things considered, it seems a fair conjecture, that Mr. Philips may have mistaken what he heard Bishop Sanderson say, which as reported by him comes to very little: and that the Bishop may rather have remarked on the positive inconsistency of Hooker’s doctrine with the conclusion on behalf of which it was alleged. If he did, his remark would be amply borne out by the place referred to, which occurs in Barlow’s MS. as well as in the rest; and therefore Barlow’s MS. may be that which Sanderson professed to have seen: though it certainly never could have had much pretension to the honour of being an autograph.
The second copy (L) is in the library of the Archbishop of Canterbury, at Lambeth, (MS. 711. N°. 2) and was, by permission of his Grace, most carefully collated for this edition by the Rev. C. A. Ogilvie, of Balliol College, Oxford, his Grace’s chaplain. Nothing is known of the history of this copy. Of its date thus much is ascertained, that it must have been later than 1624. Like the Queen’s MS. it differs from the old printed text only in minute verbal points.
The third MS. (C) is in the library of Caius College, Cambridge; and for the collation of it the Editor is indebted to the Rev. Thomas Thorp, fellow and tutor of Trinity College; a favour of which those only can judge who know how irksome the task of collating is, and to what a load of pressing avocations it was in this instance voluntarily superadded. This Caius MS. appears to be in some respects a less careful transcript than either of the two before mentioned; and there are a few variations in critical passages, which a fanciful person might imagine to have been made intentionally: but on the whole it belongs to the same class as the others. All three are in fact different copies of the received text.
But the same repository to which every part almost of the present edition is so largely indebted, the library of Trinity College, Dublin, has supplied a fourth MS. of this eighth book, far more nearly approaching to completeness than the printed copies as they stand at present, or as they might be amended from the other three MSS. It is designated in the Dublin Catalogue, MS. C. 3. 11, and in the notes to this edition by the letter (D). The important service of collating it has been performed by Archdeacon (now Dean) Cotton. The result is (to use his own words) “a great number of variations from the printed text of most important character; even so far as to assert for denial, and to deny for assertion, and to make sense where was none, and better sense where was indifferent. Besides these, and considerable improvement in punctuation, division into sections and paragraphs, &c. (such as was noticed in the sixth book,) you have a considerable accession of new matter, together with a totally different arrangement of the several portions of the book. Doubtless, we are still far from having the book as Hooker himself would have published it; yet by the aid of this our MS. the disjecta membra are somewhat more decently arranged than before.” On this opinion of a most competent judge, as well as on his own conviction, (in which he feels morally certain that every person on inquiry will concur,) the Editor has felt himself justified in acting so far as to adopt the Dublin MS. for the basis of this edition: noting carefully at the foot of the page every variation from the original edition and other MSS. which at all affects the sense, and inserting in the Appendix a Table, which will bring into one view the difference of arrangement between this and former editions, and will shew what quantity of additional matter has been supplied.
The concluding portion of this eighth book, as it stood in Gauden’s edition, which has been followed in all subsequent reprints, was a fragment on the Divine sanction under which human laws are to be obeyed, beginning at “Yea, that which is more,” and ending at “if so be we can find it out.” The Editor has now taken the liberty of separating this portion from the body of the book, and throwing it into the Appendix, No. 1: for although it occurs in all the MSS. he is convinced that it is no part of the treatise, but belonged most probably to a sermon or sketch of a sermon on obedience to authority, which Jackson, or some other arranger of the papers, erroneously annexed to the chapter on Ecclesiastical Legislation, which it immediately follows in the Dublin MS., as well as in the received text, although from the altered arrangement of the former it occurs in the fifth chapter instead of the conclusion of the book. It commences with two or three sentences which are found verbatim in the third book, c. ix. § 3; a circumstance decisive, as it may seem, against its being a part of the eighth book. For although a writer may silently transfer a passage from one work of his own to another, or from a printed work to a mere sermon, it is hardly conceivable that he should repeat a whole paragraph, without notice, in a subsequent part of the same work. This fact, then, and the little coherence of the whole with the course of discussion in the book where it has appeared, determined the Editor to remove that portion into the Appendix: its case being the same with that which bears the name of the sixth book: no reason to doubt that it is the production of Hooker, only wrongly assigned to a place in the Ecclesiastical Polity.
The Clavi Trabales may also be considered as an independent authority for those portions of the text which occur in it: i. e. it clearly was not printed from any of the existing MSS. Not from either of the three English ones, because two thirds of its contents are absent in them all: not from the Dublin MS., for the following reasons, which are given in the words of Dr. Cotton, the collator. “It is certain that besides the copy now collated, Archbishop Ussher once possessed another, and almost equally certain that that other (as likewise the seventh book) was also in Trinity College library. 1. The Dublin MS. has not the marginal notes, ‘Copied from Ussher’s own hand,’ which Bernard gives, marked with an asterisk. 2. At p. 76, Bernard says, ‘Here this breaks off abruptly;’ whereas our MS. does not break off here, but pursues the argument farther. 3. Again, at p. 94, our MS. adds one more sentence to the part with which Bernard finishes:” (which is, “On earth they are not accountable to any.”) “4. It moreover contains many pages not formerly printed, nor yet printed by Bernard: who, we must therefore suppose, did not find these in his MS. But there once was another copy, even in Trinity College library. In the Catalogus MSS. Angliæ, &c. fol. 1696, is a list of the Dublin MSS. sent in by Provost Brown. This mentions, marked I. 50, “Books 6, 7, 8. of Mr. Hooker’s Eccl. Polity.’ On looking to an old catalogue preserved in the library, I find the same entry. Now at present, book vi. is bound with several other pieces, by Hooker and others, and on one of the blank covers is marked I. 50. This is in folio. But book viii. is a small quarto, bound by itself; lettered ‘Church Government;’ and entered in the catalogue not under Hooker, but as ‘a Discourse against Cartwright and others;’ and never could have formed part of 50; nor is it written in the same kind of hand. The books appear to have been rebound about 100 or 120 years ago.”
However, the hope thus occasioned of recovering, not only an additional copy of the eighth book, but also a MS. of the seventh, has unfortunately proved vain. After the most exact inquiry, none such appear to exist in the Dublin library. Whether therefore the copy of the eighth used by Bernard was the same with that indicated in the above paragraph, must remain doubtful: it may however be added, that the facts to a certain extent tally with the statement, made on the appearance of the first edition, that “two copies in the hands of the Lord Archbishop of Armagh had been compared before publication.”
11. There is one short paper more, which may by possibility have relation to this eighth book, as the conclusion of the whole work: and which the reader will therefore find inserted in the Appendix, N°. ii. It was put out at Oxford, 1641, by Leonard Lichfield, printer to the University; with the title: “A Discovery of the Causes of these Contentions touching Church Government, out of the Fragments of Richard Hooker.” It stood as preamble to a Collection of Tracts or Extracts, by Andrewes, Ussher, Reynolds, and others; the general drift of the publication being to recommend a sort of compromise in Church government, of the kind to which Ussher is believed to have been favourable. The immediate occasion in all likelihood was the discussions which led to the University Remonstrance for the Church, presented to parliament1 , Apr. 27, 1641. Ussher was at that time in Oxford or in London, having come to England for refuge from the troubles in Ireland: and it seems nearly certain that he sanctioned this publication; although his biographer2 do not directly assert it. But in Trinity college library (D. 3. 3) is a MS. copy of this paper, which Dr. Cotton has collated with the printed text; adding to his collation the following statement. “The above is in the handwriting of some person unknown. The marginal references to Scripture are in Ussher’s hand, as likewise are several slight corrections in the text. It is highly probable that this is the very MS. from which the printed copy was taken: more especially as at p. 5. line 22. (of the printed copy) Ussher has added a sidenote to the printer; ‘A larger space betwixn these;’ which has been followed: the space left there being wider than between any other two paragraphs of the tract.” This seems decisive as to the fact, that Ussher originally edited the collection in question. Of course he must have believed this fragment to be really Hooker’s. If such were the case, it may have been a sketch for a conclusion to the whole eight books: in accordance perhaps with the plan which Cranmer in the last paragraph of his letter recommended. The use of the second person (“ye are not ignorant,” p. 4; “you do hear and read,” p. 6) would seem to indicate that the conclusion was meant to be addressed, as the Preface had been, by way of expostulation, to the seekers of reform. But in truth the internal evidence is not strongly in favour of the genuineness of this piece. In substance it has nothing to recall so great a name, and there is a kind of point in its turns and transitions, ingenious enough, but in nowise characteristic of Hooker. The remark on Alexander Bishop of Alexandria, and his proceedings against Arius, is little in harmony with Hooker’s known approbation of the policy of Archbishop Whitgift, and with his tone and manner, where in the fifth book he has to speak of the very same part of history. No doubt the paper was found in Hooker’s study, but if it was not found in his own handwriting, its authorship may well be doubted of. Still, in deference to Archbishop Ussher, it was judged right to insert it in this edition.
12. The reader has now before him an account of the materials, by the aid whereof it has been endeavoured to present this immortal but yet imperfect work, in a form somewhat more accurate, and more inviting to common readers, than it has hitherto worn. On the history of the MSS. since nothing distinct is told us, it is in vain to speculate much: but there are one or two obvious conjectures, which it may be right just to mention, if only for the chance of giving hints, which (it is barely possible) may lead to more successful researches in the same or in other quarters.
It will be remembered that the first person who appeared as taking interest, at least as feeling alarm, concerning the Hooker papers, was Bishop Andrewes in his letter to Parry. It seems not unlikely, that in course of transmission from Hooker’s study through Lambeth to Dr. Spenser, some of them, or transcripts from them, may have lingered in Andrewes’s hands. One sermon we know was found in his study, and published for the first time by Walton long after; and it seems on the whole not to be doubted, that if any one was allowed to take copies of the rough draught of the missing books at that time, Andrewes would have been anxious to do so. Accordingly we find that among the copies stated to have been compared before the first publication, one had been in his possession: and we are afterwards given to understand that either the sixth or the eighth book, or both, were actually printed from a copy preserved in his hands, of which copy afterwards Ussher had obtained the custody. For that Ussher had in some way access to Andrewes’s papers, the publication by him of the Summary View of Church Government out of Andrewes’s rude draughts, 1641, may evince beyond all question. Not that Ussher was then the actual editor; for he would not of course call himself, as he is called in the Address to the Reader, “a Mirror of Learning;” but that he permitted the books to be printed from his MSS. And thus we seem to have arrived at a tolerable ground for considering the received text as so far guaranteed to us by Andrewes and by Ussher.
This publication took place in 1651 : when of course the Primate as yet knew nothing of the far more correct and enlarged copy now existing in Dublin: of which however there can be no doubt that it was at some time in his possession. He died in 1656: therefore this MS. must have fallen into his hands within those five [seven] years: a time during which, as he found by unpleasant experience, the treasures of retired students were not unfrequently wandering about for sale, having formed part of the spoil of the civil war in various quarters. Now in the course of the war, as before mentioned, one of the libraries which had suffered in this way was that of Henry Jackson, the rector of Meysey-Hampton, and original editor, under Spenser, of Hooker’s remains. It is possible, therefore, that a MS. from Jackson’s library might fall into Ussher’s hands. But is there any ground for imagining that such a MS. as the amended copy of the eighth book existed there? There is just ground enough, the Editor apprehends, for a plausible conjecture, and no more. The conjecture is this: that when Jackson delivered up the papers after Spenser’s death into the custody of Bishop King, he may have retained the completer copy of the last book, (which he represents in a fragment preserved by Fulman as being absolutely “restored to life” by him,) and that he may have handed over to the executors only the rough draught, from which, in course of time, so many transcripts have been made. His own expressions shew that he was precisely in the frame of mind which would make a person likely to take such a step: and perhaps it must be owned that the temptation was not inconsiderable. He writes in December, 1612, “Puto Præsidem nostrum emissurum sub suo nomine D. Hookeri librum octavum, a me plane vitæ restitutum. Tulit alter honores.” And in April, 1614, Spenser dies, and the MSS. are reclaimed. Is it doing Jackson any great injustice to suppose that in his pique he retained his more finished copy: being, as Antony Wood says, “of a cynical” as well as “of a studious temper?” And if he did, the mode has already been pointed out, how that copy or a transcript of it might fall into Ussher’s hands; and consequently might come to be deposited in the library of Trinity College, when the remains of the Primate’s books and MSS. were lodged there after the restoration. This, it is repeated, is no more than conjecture: but such as it is, it may give a possible explanation of the great superiority of that single copy; leading us to suppose, that it is either Jackson’s own, or one taken from his.
As to the seventh book, if it ever existed (as it certainly appears to have done) among Ussher’s MSS., he must clearly have acquired it within the last five years of his life: but where it could have been preserved, we have no means of ascertaining. This only is evident; that it formed no part of the collection of Bishop Andrewes. It might have been in Lambeth, where at that time Ussher would hardly have found access: or it might have formed part of Jackson’s store, as was just now conjectured with regard to the eighth book. In any case, to prove it genuine, we must come back to internal evidence.
13. The few remaining Opuscula of Hooker may be arranged in two classes: the first comprising the Sermons on Habakkuk, and the controversy with Travers which arose out of some of them; the other, what may be called Miscellaneous Sermons. In the present edition, the order in which they stand has been a little changed, with a view to this arrangement. First in the first class is placed the Sermon on the Certainty and Perpetuity of Faith in the Elect: which appears, both from the mention of it by Travers and Hooker in their dispute, and from the order of the texts, to have preceded the famous discourse on Justification; itself being preceded by one on Predestination, which has not come down to us. This sermon on Assurance was originally published by Jackson, under Spenser’s guidance, [at Oxford] in 1612. The Editor regrets that he has not been able to procure a copy of that date: but the inconvenience is the less, as this and other of the sermons, regarding which he labours under the same disadvantage, viz. those on St. Jude and that on Pride, were reprinted with the whole of Hooker’s works then extant, in 16221 , by William Stansby, a London bookseller, apparently under the superintendence of Jackson himself. So Wood expressly affirms; and the preface with Stansby’s initials subscribed is not unlike Jackson’s manner of writing. To the edition of 1622, therefore, in default of an earlier one, recourse has been had for correcting the present impression.
Next comes the famous discourse on Justification, the curiosity excited by which at the time of its delivery is so vividly described by Walton and Fuller: and when it was published, so many years afterwards, we learn by a fragment of a letter of Jackson’s, that the first impression was exhausted in a few days2 . “Edidi ante paucos dies tractatus quosdam D. Richardi Hookeri, qui omnium applausu (excipio Puritanos ut vocant) ita excepti sunt, ut necesse jam sit typographo nostro novam editionem parare, quæ prima illa emendatior, mea cura, Deo volente, proditura est.” Accordingly the Sermon on Justification was reprinted in the course of the following year, 1613; from a copy of which reprint, in C. C. C. library, the press has now been corrected. On comparison with a copy of the former year, preserved in St. John’s College, it seems that Jackson had kept his word, and that considerable emendations were made. Moreover, Dr. Cotton has discovered and collated for this edition a good and old MS. of this sermon, among the relics of Ussher in Trinity College Dublin, A. 5, 6, 4°. It was entered in the catalogue under the word “Sermon,” not being known to be Hooker’s. Dr. Cotton describes it as “contemporary, seemingly written in the same hand as is the Answer to Travers’ Supplication,” presently to be mentioned. It contains several good readings, and some notes in an unknown handwriting: but what is remarkable, it omits all the notes which are printed with the sermon, although many of them seem to carry strong internal evidence of their being Hooker’s.
This sermon gave immediate occasion for “Walter Travers’ Supplication to the Council,” which therefore comes next in the volume. It is a reprint of the first edition, by Joseph Barnes, Oxford, 1612, 4°: corrected from a MS. in the Bodleian (Mus. Bodl. 55. 20) evidently the work of a copyist, with some careless omissions. Much the same may be said of Hooker’s Answer, which was published by Jackson along with Travers’ attack. But the text of the Answer has now the additional benefit of a MS. (A. 5, 22. fol. 37) apparently contemporary, in Trinity College, Dublin; collated also by Archdeacon Cotton. It is said in the catalogue to be Hooker’s own handwriting: but this point surely is more than doubtful. However, there are readings in the MS. which it is hoped will be found real improvements.
The sermon “of the Nature of Pride,” the last remaining of the supposed series on Habakkuk, will also be found in this edition corrected from a MS. (B. 1. 13. folio) preserved in the same library, and supposed, like the last, but on no good ground, to be in Hooker’s own handwriting. In this copy, at the end of the sermon as it was published by Jackson, appears the following note: “Huc usque excusum exemplar: sequentia in eo non habentur.” What follows, is a continuation of the sermon, described in the Dublin catalogue as being “five times so much in quantity as that which is already printed.” Of the genuineness of this portion, never till now published, there can be no doubt. The internal evidence alone would be almost decisive: and in addition, there is the express testimony of Archbishop Ussher. For it appears that “he procured this unprinted portion to be copied in a very fair hand as if for publication, or at least better preservation.” Such is the statement of Dr. Cotton, who transcribed the whole from the copy so made, taking care afterwards carefully to collate every part with the original, which is in a most cramped and difficult hand. In the course of transcribing he found that “several words had not been read at all by the original copier; others he had read wrong, and some few short clauses he had omitted.” On the whole, although the Editor has failed to procure a copy of the editio princeps, as well of this sermon as of those on St. Jude, and on the Certainty and Perpetuity of Faith, yet by the aid of Dr. Cotton and this Dublin MS. he hopes that it will be presented to the reader in a tolerably correct form. It is much to be regretted that the fragment proceeds no further, breaking off as it does, at a most interesting and critical point of one of the chiefest controversies between this church and Rome. But the loss, it should seem, is irrecoverable: and perhaps under all the circumstances, we ought, instead of repining, to congratulate ourselves that so much yet remains.
14. This additional portion of the Sermon on Pride is the last unprinted fragment of Hooker which the Editor has been able to recover. The remaining contents of the volume are the Funeral Sermon, called a Remedy against Sorrow and Fear; printed from the original edition of 1612: the Sermon on St. Matthew vii. 7, printed also from the original edition, viz. as it was published by Walton at the end of his Life of Bishop Sanderson, 1678; in the titlepage to which he describes it as “found in the study of the late learned Bishop Andrewes1 :” and the two Sermons on part of St. Jude, printed, not from the original edition, which the Editor after much inquiry has failed in procuring a sight of, but from the reprint of 1622. This failure he the more regrets, as there may appear on minute examination more internal reason for questioning the genuineness of these two sermons than of any thing besides which bears the name of Hooker. For, first, the style of writing and tone of argument are in many places marked by a kind of sharpness and quickness, and here and there by a vagueness of phraseology, far removed from the sedate majesty which reigns in all Hooker’s known compositions1 : secondly, there runs through the whole a vein of heightened rhetorical expression2 , quite opposite to his usual guarded way of dealing with all delicate points of doctrine: and thirdly, the appeal made here3 to men’s consciousness on their own spiritual condition, cannot easily be reconciled with the doctrine of the Sermon on the Certainty of Faith, or with the jealousy expressed in the fifth book of Ecclesiastical Polity regarding the rule of men’s private spirits. On the whole, if the sermons be Hooker’s, which the Editor is far from positively denying, they must be referred to a date in his life earlier than any other of his remains; to a time when he may have hardly ceased to affect the tone of others, both in composition and in doctrine, instead of writing and thinking for himself. There is a date given in one of them, which would harmonize well enough with such a conjecture. “I must,” says the preacher, “advertise all men that have the testimony of God’s holy fear within their breasts to consider, how injuriously our own countrymen and brethren have dealt with us by the space of twenty-four years from time to time, . . . never ceasing to charge us, some with heresy, some with schism, some with plain and manifest apostasy.” There are, it would seem, but two dates, from which these twenty-four years can be reckoned; viz. 1558, when Queen Elizabeth came to the throne; and 1569 or 1570, when the bull of Pius V. declaring her excommunicate and deposed, was issued and sent into England. This latter would bring down the date of the sermon in question to 1593-4: a time, at which, for the reasons above assigned, it seems most improbable that Hooker could have written them. It remains that if they be indeed his, they were preached in the 24th or 25th of Elizabeth, 1582-3: when he was not quite thirty years old, having commenced preacher at St. Paul’s Cross, as Walton informs us, in 1581. If the other supposition be preferred, viz. that the two sermons are not Hooker’s, it is not necessary to charge Jackson, their original editor, with intentional fraud. They might be found among Hooker’s papers1 , might even be corrected with his own hand, (of which there are considerable indications,) without being his own compositions. But a critic like Jackson, more zealous than refined, himself evidently of the Reynolds school in theology, might excusably overlook or undervalue objections of that nature. In sum, thus much appears unquestionable: that we should not be safe in referring to these two sermons, for the matured and deliberate judgment of the Author of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, concerning any great point.
The several contents of these volumes being thus accounted for in their order, it remains for the Editor, first, to record his respectful gratitude to the many friends and helpers, who either out of their private stores, or as having custody of public or collegiate repositories, have aided him one and all with the most unreserved kindness1 , many of them with no small labour to themselves; and next, to express an unaffected wish, that the task of arranging materials so provided had fallen into the hands of some person of more editorial skill, more leisure from unavoidable interruption, and far more historical, and theological reading. Such as the volumes are, they exhibit, he believes, in some form or other, all that remains of the venerable and judicious Hooker: and it is pleasant and reasonable to hope that their many defects will be hereafter supplied by some one more amply qualified for the task.
It may be useful in this place, and also just and fair to preceding labourers in the same field, if some notice be inserted of the former editions of Hooker: although the Editor has reason to fear that his list, even as a list, is imperfect, and he certainly has no intention of pronouncing any judgment on their comparative merits.
Of the books which came out in the Author’s lifetime an account has already been given. The first reprint was that of the four first Books, by Dr. Spenser, in 16042 . Wood, in his account of Spenser3 , says, “He did about four years after Hooker’s death publish the five books of Ecclesiastical Polity together in one volume, with an Epistle before them, subscribed I. S.” The truth seems to be that Spenser only reprinted the four first books, to bind up with the remaining copies of the fifth. It is remarkable that the titlepage4 of this edition promises the whole eight books: the remains of the three last being then in Spenser’s custody, waiting to be arranged and published in a second volume. The five books were reprinted, as above stated, in 16171 ; the Preface to which calls it the fourth edition; reckoning probably the two publications in Hooker’s lifetime as the first and second. To these in [1618 and] 1622 Henry Jackson added the second volume, comprising Travers’s Supplication with Hooker’s Answer, the Sermons on Habakkuk, the Funeral Sermon, and those on part of St. Jude. All these he had before edited separately. There was a reprint in 1632, which speaks of itself as the sixth edition: that in 1622 having been the fifth. These are all which the Editor has met with of what may be called Dr. Spenser’s editions2 : and they appear on the whole more free from gross blunders than most of those which came after. Nothing more need be said here of Gauden’s edition of 1662, which added the seventh book, besides a life of Hooker and a Dedication to King Charles II. (the latter prefixed to most of the following editions.) Gauden’s too was the first collection which contained the other two imperfect books. It is unfortunate, considering the little pains taken to correct it, that this edition should have been acquiesced in as a basis, by subsequent publishers, to the end of the 17th century: only with the substitution of Walton’s Life, which at once superseded Gauden’s on its first appearance. Editions of this description came out, all in folio, in 1666, 1676, 1682. In 1705, Strype revised the Life for the publishers, and made some improvements; but there is no appearance of his having done much to Hooker’s works. However, there were several corrections made, and the series of editions which may be called Strype’s, of which in the last century there were many, are on the whole greatly superior to Gauden’s: i. e. the copies of 1705, 17193 , 1723, (which is generally pointed out as the best edition of all,) 1739, &c. In 1793, the first 8vo. edition issued from the Clarendon Press, under the superintendence of Bishop Randolph. The only material variation made in it was the insertion of Andrewes’s letter to Parry, which the Bishop had found in the Bodleian. Other editions in the same form have appeared since, but there are only two which require particular notice. The one in two volumes, (London 1825,) by the Rev. W. S. Dobson, of St. Peter’s College, Cambridge: a great improvement on all that had been done since Gauden, especially in the laborious task of verifying quotations. The present Editor is particularly bound to acknowledge his obligations to this useful but unpretending publication, having taken it as the groundwork on which to introduce the readings from the MSS. or original editions. The only remaining edition which requires to be mentioned was executed in 1831, by Mr. B. Hanbury, with considerable spirit and industry, but in some parts with a degree of haste, and in many with an expression of party feeling, tending to lessen its usefulness greatly. It is corrected from the Editiones Principes, where the Editor had access to them; and, besides many notes, contains an enlarged Index, Hooker’s Letter sent to Burghley with a copy of his work, as given by Strype, a Life of Cartwright by the Editor, the whole of the “Christian Letter,” distributed in the notes, and the “Just and Temperate Defence” by Covel, annexed to the fifth book.
Here, it may be, strictly speaking, the task of the present Editor ought to terminate. But there are two large subjects intimately connected with it, to which it appears desirable to invite particular attention. One, the state of the Puritan controversy just at the time when it was taken up by Hooker, and the mode in which it was conducted by him and his contemporaries: the other, his views on certain questions in theology, collateral indeed to that controversy, but at least equally momentous with any thing in it, questions apparently beyond his original anticipation, at which in course of discussion he successively arrived, and kept them in sight afterwards with a religious anxiety proportioned to his deep sense of their vital importance.
In the annals of the Church, with more certainty perhaps than in those of the world, we may from time to time mark out what may be called turning points; points in which every thing seems to depend on some one critical event or coincidence, at the time, possibly, quite unobserved. It is awful, yet encouraging, to look back on such times, after the lapse of ages and generations, and to observe the whole course of things tending some one evil way, up to the very instant when it pleased God in His mercy to interfere, and by methods of which we now can see more than contemporaries could, to rescue, it may be, not only that generation, but succeeding times also, and among the rest, ourselves and our children, from some form of apostasy or deadly heresy.
One of these critical periods in our own church history, if the Editor mistake not, is the latter portion of the sixteenth century: and the character and views of Hooker mark him (if we may venture to judge of such a thing without irreverence) as one especially raised up to be the chief human instrument in the salutary interference which Divine Providence was then preparing. In order to have a clearer notion of the peril in which he found the truth, and of the process by which he was trained to be its defender, it may be well if we first consider the previous position of the governors of this church, relatively to the Genevan or Puritan party.
Now the nucleus of the whole controversy was undoubtedly the question of church authority: not so much the question as to the reach and limits of that authority, (which subject he fully discusses in the early part of his great work,) as that which takes up the latter part of the treatise, and which he himself denominates the “last and weightiest remains of this cause1 :” the question, namely, with whom church authority resides. On this point, in Hooker’s time, as now, the Christian world in Europe (speaking largely) was divided into three great parties. The first, that of the ultramontane Roman Catholics, who judging that consent of Christian antiquity in any rule was equivalent to an universal sanction of authority, only second (if it were second) to express enactment of holy Scripture; and wrongly imagining that they could establish such consent for the paramount authority of their popes and councils; refused the civil government any further prerogative in church matters, (i. e. as they interpreted, in all matters of conscience,) than merely that of executing what the said popes and councils should decree.
The second party was that of the Ghibellines in the empire, of the prerogative lawyers in the kingdom of France, of Henry the Eighth in England, and generally of all in every country who maintained more or less expressly the claims of the local governments against the papacy: their common principle (with innumerable shades of difference, and some of them very deeply marked) being this; that church laws and constitutions are on the whole left by Providence to the discretion of the civil power. To this latter party, whether on principle or on account of the exigency of their position, most of the early reformers attached themselves. Its theory was implied in the general course of proceeding, both of the Lutherans in Germany, of the Zuinglians in Switzerland, and of Archbishop Cranmer and other chief leaders of the separation between England and Rome: in their general course of conduct, not in all their measures; for in such extensive and complicated movements thorough consistency is out of the question, without some visible authority more entire and permanent than any which existed for the reformers, as a body, to acknowledge.
To these two parties, which had subsisted in much the same form, at least down from the age of Gregory VII, the events of the Genevan Reformation and the character and views of Calvin had added a third, about thirty years after the rise of Luther; a party which agreed with the Roman Catholics in acknowledging a church authority independent of the state, but differed from them as to the persons with whom such authority was intrusted; assigning it, not to the successors of the Apostles as such, but to a mixed council of Presbyters, lay and spiritual, holding their commission, not as an inward grace derived from our Lord by laying on of hands, but as an external prerogative, granted (so they thought) by positive enactment of holy Scripture. The rapid progress of this system, wherever it was introduced at all under favourable circumstances, proves that it touched some chord in human nature which answered to it very readily: while the remarkable fact, that not one of the reformers besides ever elicited the same theory for himself, but that it is in all instances traceable to Calvin and Geneva, would seem to be very nearly decisive against its claim to scriptural authority. Its success is in fact neither more nor less than a signal example of the effect producible in a short time over the face of the whole church, by the deep, combined, systematic efforts of a few able and resolute men. For that their efforts were combined and systematic, not in Geneva and France only, but as far as ever they could extend the arms of their discipline, no one can doubt, who is at all acquainted with the published correspondence of Calvin first, and in the next generation, of Beza. Two such men following each other, and reigning each his time without a rival in their own section of Christendom, went far towards securing to their party that unity of proceeding, in which, as was just now remarked, Protestants generally were in that age very deficient. This has been remarked by Hooker himself, in the course of his unpublished memoranda above mentioned, where he proposes a comparison between Calvin and Beza1 . “Hereby,” says he, “we see what it is for any one church or place of government to have two, one succeeding another, and both in their ways excellent, although unlike. For Beza was one whom no man would displease, Calvin one whom no man durst.” He goes on to specify some particulars of Calvin’s influence: “His dependants both abroad and at home; his intelligence from foreign churches; his correspondence every where with the chiefest; his industry in pursuing them which did at any time openly either withstand his proceedings or gainsay his opinions; his writing but of three lines in disgrace of any man as forcible as any proscription throughout all reformed churches; his rescripts and answers of as great authority as decretal epistles.” Thus far Hooker, speaking of Calvin. And any one who will consult Strype’s Annals will find incidentally very sufficient proof of the same kind of authoritative interference in English affairs on the part of Beza, throughout Queen Elizabeth’s reign.
There were predisposing circumstances, which made England at that time a promising field for the efforts of the foreign presbyterians. Some of these are touched on by Hooker himself in his Preface, and by G. Cranmer in his Letter on the Discipline. It may be useful here to mention a few others, which could not be so clearly discerned, at least not discussed so freely, by contemporaries. First and most obviously, the unpopularity of the Romish party, through the cruelty of Queen Mary and her advisers, and their total disregard of English feelings and opinions. One very striking proof of the extent to which this prevailed is the publication of the well-known pamphlets by Knox1 and Goodman2 , in which, with a view to the case of England even rather than of Scotland, it was maintained that royal authority could not be vested in a female, and that, wherever vested, it might be forfeited, by maladministration, into the hands of the people. A person of the acuteness and vigilance of the Scottish reformer, (for with all his vehemence no one knew better how to take the tide of popular opinion,) a dexterous politician like Knox would never have ventured on such a step, without good grounds for supposing that the old feeling of hereditary loyalty was fast giving way before the gathering discontent. The same remark in some measure applies to Whittingham, who seems to have been as much as any one responsible for Goodman’s book, to which he wrote a Preface. He was of a temper sufficiently cool and calculating, and not likely to commit himself in such a cause without good grounds for expecting it to be popular. And it is not perhaps easy to say how far their efforts might have succeeded, had not the failure of issue from Queen Mary, and her early demise, given a new turn to the opinions and movements of men. It would almost seem as if providentially the leaders of the Puritans had been led on to suffer these indications of their real views to escape them in good time, and so to give Elizabeth a warning, which all her life long cooperated with her natural disposition and theological opinions, in keeping her on her guard against them. But however the publications might be counteracted, the mere fact of their appearing shews to what an extent, in the judgment of competent observers, the English protestants of that day were disposed to acquiesce in whatever movement appeared to take them farthest from Rome.
Another feeling, which to the end of the century continued acting in the same direction, was sympathy with the foreign protestants; not the foreign protestants generally, for the Lutheran and Zuinglian sections of Germany and Switzerland were then in comparative peace, and presented little to excite much interest on the part of those who watched them at a distance. The struggle, the excitement, the suffering, and the ardour, were all in those countries where the reformation had taken its line in obedience to Geneva: in France, namely, and in the Netherlands. It is well known what sympathy was kindled in Elizabeth’s court by the first news of the massacre of St. Bartholomew; which, it may be remarked, took place the very year when the English Puritans began to be more open and combined in their efforts, first in parliament for legalizing the discipline, and afterwards in their several districts, for establishing it without law. And Hooker’s own works have many incidental marks of the great and increasing interest, which was naturally felt here in the varying fortunes of the Hugonots. Of course it will be seen that such interest, as far as it had any bearing on the differences among protestants themselves, would strengthen most effectually the hands of that party, which had the perfectest agreement with the persecuted abroad, and seemed at first view most irreconcilable with the persecutors.
And as the fortunes of Genevan protestantism in France would secure for it that fellow-feeling here, which attaches itself to a band of confessors and sufferers for the truth, so its fortunes in Scotland would attract such as love to be on the winning side. We have it on very high authority, the authority of Dr. Thomas Jackson1 , that the first impulse towards puritanism in his neighbourhood, Newcastle, was given by Knox himself, acting in King Edward’s time as a kind of missionary under the direction of the council. Afterwards, when the door had been opened to change in his own country, neither he nor his successors in the management of the Kirk ever lost sight of their kindred party in England. In Bancroft’s Dangerous Positions may be found repeated assertions, and several instances, of the support which the Puritan agitators constantly received from that quarter: such as their procuring one Waldegrave, a printer devoted to their cause, to be king’s printer in Edinburgh, in the minority of James VI. And it is known that Penry, the author of the Marprelate libels, when he was most active in that line, resorted to Scotland for refuge and cooperation. The course of the new reformation in short was notoriously such as Bancroft has expressed, quaintly but not unaptly, in the titles of his sections: first comes “Scottish Genevating,” and then “English Scottizing, for Discipline.”
In aid of all these feelings, after a while, came the resentment occasioned by the dethroning bull of pope Pius, which made it seem a matter of plain loyalty and patriotism, to secede from the Romish Church in every thing as completely as possible.
Accordingly, we find that not only in the parliaments of Elizabeth, but also in her cabinet, at least for the first thirty years of her reign, there existed a very strong bias in behalf of the Puritan party. Not only such persons as Knolles and Mildmay, and others who were Calvinists and Low Churchmen on principle; nor again only such as Leicester, who may be suspected of looking chiefly to the spoils which any great church movement might place at his disposal: but even Burghley and Walsingham, it is well known, were continually finding themselves at issue with the Archbishop of the day concerning the degree of discouragement due to the reformers. So that as far as the government was concerned, nothing but the firmness of the Queen herself, supporting first Parker and afterwards Whitgift, prevented the adoption of the new model, at least in those parts of it which did not apparently and palpably intrude on royal authority. To our argument it does not much matter, whether this tendency in such men as Burghley and Walsingham, were occasioned by any supposed necessity for conceding to popular opinion, or whether it were really the conscientious bias of their minds: but one symptom of the latter we may here observe, viz. that in their appointments, when left to themselves, they evidently gave a preference to the Puritan side. Thus Walsingham having provided a divinity lecture at Oxford, with the sole declared view of resisting and discrediting Romanism, nominated Reynolds the first reader of his lecture: indeed it seems to have been endowed expressly for him. And Burghley employed as domestic chaplain and tutor to his children, Walter Travers, the well-known antagonist of Hooker, and author of the book de Ecclesiastica Disciplina, not the least able and influential of the treatises which Geneva was continually pouring into this country.
Without investigating more deeply laid grounds of error, principles which must make the struggle with Puritanism at all times painful and arduous, even such a superficial view as has now been attempted may serve to give some idea of the amount of disadvantage under which they laboured, who had to conduct that controversy on the side of the existing Church down to the middle of Elizabeth’s reign. There is hardly need to add express mention of the certainty, under such circumstances, that whatever they said and did would be tainted with the name and suspicion of papistry; so easily affixed, and so hard to shake off, wherever men demur to the extreme of what are denominated protestant opinions.
Our argument now requires a brief account of the mode in which those who preceded Hooker had considered it best to meet the invasion from Geneva: confining attention still to the question, in whom church authority is properly vested: which question, as was remarked in the outset, forms a kind of centre around which the other points of the controversy gradually came to arrange themselves. It is evident, (speaking largely,) that there were but two ways of meeting the claim of the New Discipline: the one, the way of the early Church, of which the doctrine of papal supremacy is a perversion and excess: the other, the way which in modern times has been very generally denominated Erastian; though far indeed from being an invention of Erastus, since in every kingdom of Europe the Roman claims had been resisted on the like principles for centuries before he was born. The peculiarity of Erastus’ teaching lay rather in his refusing all right of excommunication to the Christian Church. However, it has become usual to designate from him the theory in question, which would rest the government of the Church, spiritual as well as civil, altogether in the Christian magistrate: thus entirely denying the principle, on which the Genevan innovation proceeded; whereas the High Churchmen (as they were called) of a later age, would grant the principle, but deny the application: they would allow that a succession of governors exists in the Church, of apostolical authority, not to be superseded by man; but they would deny the claim of Geneva to that succession; maintaining, what undoubtedly prima facie church history would seem to teach, that the Bishops are the true heirs of the apostles in their governing powers as well as in their power of order.
Now, since the episcopal succession had been so carefully retained in the Church of England, and so much anxiety evinced to render both her liturgy and ordination services strictly conformable to the rules and doctrines of antiquity, it might have been expected that the defenders of the English hierarchy against the first Puritans should take the highest ground, and challenge for the Bishops the same unreserved submission, on the same plea of exclusive apostolical prerogative, which their adversaries feared not to insist on for their elders and deacons. It is notorious, however, that such was not in general the line preferred by Jewel, Whitgift, Bishop Cooper, and others, to whom the management of that controversy was intrusted, during the early part of Elizabeth’s reign. They do not expressly disavow, but they carefully shun, that unreserved appeal to Christian antiquity, in which one would have thought they must have discerned the very strength of their cause to lie. It is enough, with them, to shew that the government by archbishops and bishops is ancient and allowable; they never venture to urge its exclusive claim, or to connect the succession with the validity of the holy Sacraments: and yet it is obvious that such a course of argument alone (supposing it borne out by facts) could fully meet all the exigencies of the case. It must have occurred to the learned writers above-mentioned, since it was the received doctrine of the Church down to their days; and if they had disapproved it, as some theologians of no small renown have since done, it seems unlikely that they should have passed it over without some express avowal of dissent; considering that they always wrote with an eye to the pretensions of Rome also, which popular opinion had in a great degree mixed up with this doctrine of apostolical succession.
One obvious reason, and probably the chief one, of their silence, was the relation in which they stood to the foreign protestant congregations. The question had been mixed up with considerations of personal friendship, first by Cranmer’s connection with the Lutherans, and after King Edward’s death, by the residence of Jewel, Grindal, and others at Zurich, Strasburgh, and elsewhere, in congregations which had given up the apostolical succession. Thus feelings arose, which came, insensibly no doubt, but really and strongly, in aid of the prevailing notion that every thing was to be sacrificed to the paramount object of union among protestants.
To these theological sympathies with the German reformers must be added the effect of political sympathies with the imperialist party, and generally speaking with the advocates of civil interference in the Church in the several nations of Europe. Some who cared little for religion at all, and others who had no objection to the doctrines of Rome, had united nevertheless with the zealots of the new opinions in promoting changes which they considered necessary for the deliverance of their respective countries from priestly usurpation. In England, as in other countries, the leading protestant divines had availed themselves largely of the cooperation of these numerous and powerful parties: and had occasionally committed themselves to statements and principles, which would stand greatly in their way, if ever they found it requisite to assert the claims of apostolical episcopacy.
Add to this, what the papacy itself had done, and was daily doing, to weaken all notions of independent authority in Bishops: of which policy the full development may be seen in the proceedings of the Italian party at Trent, and their efforts to obtain an express declaration from the council, that no prelate had any power in the Church, except what he received through the successors of St. Peter. So that on the one hand a large section of the reformers had a direct interest in making light of apostolical claims, and on the other, no inconsiderable portion of the opponents of innovation were prepared beforehand to concede this point. Indeed, when we consider the joint effect of all these interests, so various in themselves, yet concurring to disparage primitive episcopacy, the wonder will be, not that apostolical claims were not advanced to the full extent by the opponents of the Puritans in England, but rather that any thing like apostolical succession is left amongst us. It is indeed, throughout modern English history, a continually recurring theme of admiration and of thankfulness.
Should it be asked, how such accomplished divines, as Jewel and others of his class undoubtedly were, could permit themselves, for any present benefit to the Church, so to waver in so capital a point, with the full evidence of antiquity before their eyes; it may be replied, first of all, that in some sort they wanted that full evidence with which later generations have been favoured. The works of the Fathers had not yet been critically sifted, so that in regard of almost every one of them men were more or less embarrassed, during the whole of that age, with vague suspicions of interpolation. The effect of this is apparent in various degrees throughout the controversies of the time; but on no question would it be more felt than on this, of the apostolical succession and the frame of the visible Church: because that was a subject on which, more continually perhaps than on any other, temptations to forgery had arisen: and also because the remains of St. Ignatius in particular, for a single writer the most decisive of all who have borne witness to apostolical principles, were all that time under a cloud of doubt, which was providentially dispelled in the next age by the discovery of a copy unquestionably genuine. This consideration, as it accounts (among other things) for the little stress which Hooker seems to lay on quotations from St. Ignatius, to us most important and decisive: so it must in the nature of things have placed his predecessors, of whom we are now speaking, under a considerable disadvantage, as compared with the writers of the following century: and in all candour should be taken into account, on the one hand by those who would take advantage of the silence of the reformers to disparage the apostolical succession; on the other hand by the advocates of that doctrine, to prevent their judging too hardly of the reformers themselves for their comparative omission of it.
Further; it is obvious that those divines in particular, who had been instrumental but a little before in the second change of the liturgy in King Edward’s time, must have felt themselves in some measure restrained from pressing with its entire force the ecclesiastical tradition on church government and orders, inasmuch as in the aforesaid revision they had given up altogether the same tradition, regarding certain very material points in the celebration, if not in the doctrine, of the holy Eucharist. It is but fair to add, that the consideration last suggested, viz. indefinite fear of interpolation in the early liturgies, may have told with equal or more force in justifying to their minds the omissions in question. This subject also since their time has been happily and satisfactorily cleared up1 . But whether it were this, or extreme jealousy of practices which had been made occasions of abuse, or whatever the cause might be, the fact is unquestionable, that certain services had been abandoned, which according to the constant witness of the remains of antiquity had constituted an important portion of the Christian ritual: e.g. the solemn offering of the elements before consecration for the living and the dead, with commemoration of the latter, in certain cases, by name. It should seem that those who were responsible for these omissions must have felt themselves precluded, ever after, from urging the necessity of Episcopacy, or of any thing else, on the ground of uniform Church Tradition. Succeeding generations obviously need not experience the same embarrassment to the same extent: since they have only to answer for bearing with the innovation, not for introducing it.
To all these causes of hesitation we must add the direct influence of the Court, which of course on this as on all similar occasions would come strongly in aid of the Erastian principle. It is well known to what an extent prudential regards of this kind were carried by the several generations of the Anglican Reformers.
On the whole, (and the remark is made without any disrespectful thought towards them,) it was very natural for them to waive, as far as they did, the claim of exclusive divine authority in their defences of episcopal rights; nor ought their having done so to create any prejudice, in such as deservedly hold them in respect, against that claim itself.
Lest it should be imagined that we are here conceding more than we really mean to concede regarding the views of the writers in question, two propositions are subjoined, as comprising the substance of the argument by which they resisted the demands of the Puritans.
1. The whole Church, being naturally the subject in which all ecclesiastical power resides, may have had originally the right of determining how it would be governed.
2. Inasmuch as the Church did determine from very early times to be governed by Bishops, it cannot be right to swerve from that government, in any country where the same may be maintained, consistently with soundness of doctrine, and the rights of the chief magistrate, being Christian.
This statement, of Whitgift’s opinions in particular, it were easy to verify by extracts from his Defence against Cartwright. His object was, evidently, to maintain the episcopal system, i.e. the government of the Church by three orders, without at all entering on the matter of apostolical succession. Natural reason, and Church history, spoke, he thought, plainly enough. There was no occasion to settle the question, whether the charter granted by our Lord to the Twelve, was granted to them and the whole Church, or to them and the heirs for ever of their spiritual power, set apart by laying on of their hands.
Practically, perhaps, and in reason, even such a mode of arguing ought to have prevailed against the arrogant innovations which it was intended to meet. But being as it was far from the whole truth, (was it ever stated as such by those who advanced it?) it could not either correspond to the standard, which those would naturally form to themselves who looked much to Christian antiquity; or satisfy those feelings and expectations in mankind generally, which the true church system was graciously intended to supply. Cartwright therefore, inconclusive as his reasoning was, and unsubstantial his learning, appeared to maintain his ground against Whitgift. About the same time the death of Archbishop Parker made room for Grindal in the metropolitical see; whose connivance at the conduct of the Puritans is well known, and generally alleged as not the least of the causes which contributed to the increase of their influence. When the Queen interfered to repress them, and chastise him, it was in such a manner as to give the whole an air chiefly of political precaution, and to encourage the idea that the defenders of the Church were in fact identifying her almost entirely with the state. About this juncture came out Travers’s famous Book of Discipline; very much superior to Cartwright’s publications in eloquence and the skill of composition, though not at all more satisfactory in argument. Altogether the current was setting strongly in favour of the innovators, up to the time when Whitgift became Archbishop. Acute and indefatigable as he was in his efforts to produce a reaction, not only by his official edicts and remonstrances, but by his disposal of preferment also, and the literary labours which he encouraged, there was no one step of his to be compared in wisdom and effect with his patronage of Hooker, and the help which he provided towards the completion of his undertaking. It is true that in the course of the ten years which preceded that publication many things happened which had the same tendency. Abundant experiment was made elsewhere of the mischief occasioned by extreme protestant principles: and at home, the Marprelate libels and Hacket’s conspiracy had disgusted all reflecting and conscientious men. A new generation had arisen both in Oxford and Cambridge, which by the comparative tranquillity of the times enjoyed more leisure from pressing disputes, and had a better chance of considering all points thoroughly, than any one could have during the hurry of the Reformation. And (what was most important of all) the feverish and exclusive dread of Romanism, which had for a long time so occupied all men’s thoughts as to leave hardly any room for precautions in any other direction, was greatly abated by several intervening events. First, the execution of Queen Mary, though at the cost of a great national crime, had removed the chief hope of the Romanist party in England; and had made it necessary for those, who were pledged at all events to the violent proceedings of that side, to disgust all British feeling by transferring their allegiance to the king of Spain. And when, two years afterwards, his grand effort had been made, and had failed so entirely as to extinguish all present hope of the restoration of Popery in England; it is remarkable how immediately the effect of that failure is discernible in the conduct of the church controversy with the Puritans. The Armada was destroyed in July. In the February following was preached and published the famous Sermon of Bancroft at St. Paul’s Cross, on the duty of trying the spirits; which sermon has often been complained of by Puritans and Erastians as the first express development of high church principles here. It may have been the first published: but there is internal evidence of the same views having existed long before, in some of the Treatises which appeared successively on that side of the question during the four or five subsequent years.
For example, Saravia in his three Tractates gives proof that the sentiments complained of in Bancroft’s sermon had been long familiar to him, and that their being unacceptable to his countrymen abroad was one chief reason of his finally establishing himself in England1 . Now Saravia’s judgment of the divine right of Bishops was such as is expressed in the following passages; a few out of many which occur in his first treatise. The title of that treatise is, “Concerning the various degrees of Ministers of the Gospel, as they were instituted by the Lord, and delivered on by the Apostles, and confirmed by constant use of all Churches.” In his dedication, after exposing the error of those who would make church goods public property, he mentions as one thing which tended to encourage that error, the notion that the superiority of Bishops over presbyters was not of any divine institution: and adds, “Our fathers and all the old theologians believed that the controuling prudence of one man was divinely appointed in the church of each city or province, for avoiding schism and repressing the rashness of the many.” Thirdly, and especially, in his Address to the Reader he speaks thus fully to the point: “There are some” (the Erastians) “who think that all controul of manners is to be left entirely to the civil magistrate, and confine the ministry of the Gospel to bare preaching of the word of God and administering the Sacraments; which being impossible to be made out by the word of God, or by any example of the Fathers, I wonder that such a thought could ever enter into the mind of a theologian. Others there are who assign the power of church censures to Bishops, and to Presbyters who are both called and really are such, with that authority which God gave to the Apostles and to those who after them should be Bishops of the Church. The third sort are those who rejecting the order of Bishops, join to the pastors elders chosen for a time, to whom they commit the whole government of the churches, and discipline ecclesiastical.” Then he proceeds to enumerate the forms of civil polity, and adds, “To no nation did God ever appoint any certain and perpetual form of government, which it should be unlawful to alter according to place and times. But of this government whereof we are now discoursing the case is different, for since it came immediately from God, men cannot alter it at their own free will. Nor is there any occasion to do so. For God’s wisdom hath so tempered this polity, that it opposes itself to no form of civil government . . . Bishops I consider to be necessary to the Church, and that discipline and government of the Church to be the best, and divine, which religious Bishops, with Presbyters truely so called, administer by the rule of God’s word and ancient councils.”
Saravia, then, is a distinct and independent testimony to the doctrine of exclusive divine right in Bishops. He had worked it out, as appears, for himself; he had made material sacrifices for its sake; and he seized the first opportunity of making it public allowed him by the caution of the English government, hitherto so scrupulously sensitive in, behalf of the foreign reformers. And since Saravia was afterwards in familiar intercourse with Hooker, and his confidential adviser when writing on nearly the same subjects, we may with reason use the recorded opinions of the one for interpreting what might seem otherwise ambiguous in the other.
The same year and the year following (1591), Matthew Sutcliffe, afterwards Dean of Exeter, an acute and amusing but not always very scrupulous controversialist, published several treatises against the Puritan discipline; the tone of which may be judged of by the following complaint of Penry; (Petition to the Queen, 1590 or 1591.) “Mat. Sutcliffe hath openly in Latin defaced foreign churches, of whom D. Whitgift and others have always written honourably. Whereby it is likely there will arise as dangerous troubles to the churches about discipline as hath grown by the question of consubstantiation.” He probably alludes to the Tract “De Presbyterio,” in which Sutcliffe had handled the subject of lay elders with small veneration for the French and Genevan arrangements.
Next to Sutcliffe in order of time comes an anonymous Latin treatise, entitled “Querimonia Ecclesiæ;” a work more particularly to be noticed here, because it should seem from a passage in the Christian Letter, that Hooker himself was at that time suspected of having some concern in it. The passage in the Letter occurs in p. 44. “We beseech you therefore in the name of Jesus Christ, and as you will answer for the use of those great gifts which God hath bestowed upon you, that you would return and peruse advisedly all your five books, compare them with the articles of our profession set out by public authority, and with the works apologetical and other authorized sermons and homilies of our Church, and of the reverend Fathers of our land, and with the holy Book of God, and all other the Queen’s Majesty’s proceedings, and then read and examine with an indifferent and equall mind a book set out in Latin, called Querimonia Ecclesiæ, and another in English late come abroad, speaking of Scotizing and Genevating, and Allobrogical discipline: . . . and tell us . . . whether the reverend Fathers of our Church would not give sentence . . . that by those three writings the Church of England and all other Christian churches are undermined.” Hooker’s reply to this challenge (which has been given above, p. xxii) consists in a similar challenge to his adversary to give his opinion of three Calvinistic works, in two of which the royal supremacy in religion, and in the third the very principle of irresponsible authority in Kings, had been expressly controverted. He does not, it will be observed, at all disavow the connection, or at least the strong sympathy, which had been hinted at as subsisting between him and the author of the “Querimonia Ecclesiæ.” That tract, it may be worth remarking, was printed by Windet, the person whom Hooker himself employed for both portions of the Ecclesiastical Polity, and Saravia for the first edition of his three treatises; which Windet in all probability was the same who appears in the pedigree of the Hooker family as the eldest son of an aunt of Hooker’s. Be that as it may, the coincidence between the views of Hooker and those of the anonymous pamphlet is very striking on many topics, while on others there is quite variation enough to prove the two testimonies independent of each other.
Now on the point of church government, the “Querimonia” is, if any difference, even more express than Hooker in insisting on the divine origin and indispensable necessity of the episcopal order. The writer (speaking, as throughout, in the person of “Ecclesia”) enumerates the want of discipline as the second of four grave defects, by which, he says, our western reformation has been generally blemished; the first being, disparagement of the fasts of the Church. His language concerning episcopacy, and those who had so irreverently dispensed with it, is such as the following (speaking of Aërius and his followers ancient and modern): “Optimæ illi disciplinæ reciderunt nervos, qui . . . eam, quæ sæpe mihi salutem attulit, episcopalem auctoritatem improbe violarunt.” Again, referring as it seems to an expression of Beza, which had obtained great currency; “Aërius . . . presbyterum episcopo dignitate adæquandum censuit: episcopatum nostri a Diabolo institutum contendunt.” In the sketch which he draws of the fallen state of the Church in all parts of Christendom, when he comes to the protestants, he says, “Ita episcoporum ambitionem reprehendunt, ut episcopalem interdum ordinem repugnent: ita superstitionem condemnant, ut permulta simul religionis tollant ornamenta.” When he comes to particular countries it is remarkable that he says not a word of Scotland. In p. 81, he affirms, “Princeps ille noster Christus, etiamsi non omnes disciplinæ partes præscripsit, communes tamen proposuit regulas, quas in regenda Ecclesia semper intueri oportet.” In p. 83, he gives specimens of things, “quæ tota observat Dei Ecclesia, et instituta sunt ab Apostolis vel apostolicis viris, et perpetuo prosunt Christianæ societati:” which therefore “religiose ubique retinenda judico;” and his examples are, Lent; the holidays of our Saviour; different offices in the Church, and degrees in the ministry, including not only diocesan Bishops, but Archbishops, Primates or Metropolitans, and Patriarchs. Here then is another strong instance of the alteration in tone on which we are remarking: and the writer, whoever he might be, was no common person; as will further appear when reference is made to him, for illustration of Hooker’s opinions on other matters, some of them even more important than this of episcopacy.
The last writer now to be mentioned is one whose work came out in the very same year with the first part of Hooker’s, 1593-4: Bilson, then Warden, afterwards Bishop of Winchester, author of “the Perpetual Government of Christ’s Church:” a more elaborate and complete work than either of the former, full of good learning and sound argument, regularly arranged and clearly expressed. He, it may be observed, makes in his Preface an acknowledgment similar to that which will be presently quoted from Hooker himself; “the credit of the first devisers” of the new discipline “did somewhat deceive me.” His principles of church government are such as follows: “The power of the keys was first settled in the Apostles before it was delivered unto the Church; and the Church received it from the Apostles, not the Apostles from the Church:” p. 104. And, p. 106. “The authority of their first calling liveth yet in their succession, and time and travel joined with God’s graces bring pastors at this present to perfection; yet the Apostles’ charge to teach, baptize, and administer the Lord’s Supper, to bind and loose sins in heaven and in earth, to impose hands for the ordaining of pastors and elders: these parts of the apostolic function are not decayed, and cannot be wanted in the Church of God. There must either be no Church, or else these must remain; for without these no Church can continue.” And, p. 107. “As the things be needful in the Church, so the persons to whom they were first committed cannot be doubted. . . The service must endure as long as the promise; to the end of the world. . . Christ is present with those who succeed his Apostles in the same function and ministry for ever.” And, p. 244. “Things proper to Bishops, that might not be common to them with presbyters, were singularity in succeeding, and superiority in ordaining.” 247. “The singularity of one pastor in each place descended from the Apostles and their scholars in all famous churches in the world by a perpetual chair of succession, and doth to this day continue, but where abomination or desolation, I mean knavery or violence, interrupt it.” From p. 108 to 112 is a course of direct reasoning to the same purpose.
It were easy to multiply quotations: but enough perhaps has been advanced to justify the assertion, that while Hooker was engaged on his great work, a new school of writers on church subjects had begun to shew itself in England: men had been gradually unlearning some of those opinions, which intimacy with foreign Protestants had tended to foster, and had adopted a tone and way of thinking more like that of the early Church. The change in the political situation of the country gave them opportunity and encouragement to develope and inculcate their amended views. At such a time, the appearance in the field of a champion like Hooker on their side must have been worth every thing to the defenders of Apostolical order: and that he was then considered as taking the field on their side is clear from the manner in which, as we have seen, he was attacked, and from the names with which his was associated, by the Puritans. In later times, a different construction has very generally been put on his writings, and he has commonly been cited by that class of writers who concede least to church authority, as expressly sanctioning their loose and irreverent notions. And yet he has distinctly laid down, and adopted as his own, both the principles and the conclusion of the stricter system of antiquity. The principles, where he asks so emphatically, “What angel in heaven could have said to man, as our Lord did unto Peter, ‘Feed my sheep; preach; baptize; do this in remembrance of me; whose sins ye retain, they are retained, and their offences in heaven pardoned whose faults you shall on earth forgive?’ What think we? Are these terrestrial sounds, or else are they voices uttered out of the clouds above? The power of the ministry of God translateth out of darkness into glory; it raiseth men from the earth, and bringeth God himself down from heaven; by blessing visible elements it maketh them invisible grace; it giveth daily the Holy Ghost; it hath to dispose of that flesh which was given for the life of the world, and that blood which was poured out to redeem souls; when it poureth malediction upon the heads of the wicked, they perish, when it revoketh the same they revive. O wretched blindness, if we admire not so great power; more wretched if we consider it aright, and notwithstanding imagine that any but God can bestow it1 !” Can we help wondering, that the author of these sentiments should be generally reckoned among those, who account the ministry a mere human ordinance? Again, it is certain from Hooker’s own express statement, that the ministry of which he entertained these exalted ideas was from the beginning an episcopal ministry. “Let us not,” he says, “fear to be herein bold and peremptory, that if any thing in the Church’s government, surely the first institution of bishops was from heaven, was even of God; the Holy Ghost was the author of it.” Nay, he has marked his opinion yet more forcibly, by stating elsewhere, that he had not thought thus always1 . “I myself did sometimes judge it a great deal more probable than now I do, merely that after the Apostles were deceased, churches did agree amongst themselves for preservation of peace and order, to make one presbyter in each city chief over the rest, and to translate into him that power by force and virtue whereof the Apostles . . . did preserve and uphold order in the Church.” This he calls “that other conjecture which so many have thought good to follow,” whereas “the general received persuasion held from the first beginning” was, “that the Apostles themselves left bishops invested with power above other pastors.”
There is something very significant in the list of authorities, from whose opinion or conjecture of the equality of bishops and presbyters he here specifies his own dissent. They are first the Waldenses; then Marsilius the jurist of Padua, an extreme partizan of the imperial cause against Rome; then Wicliffe, Calvin, Bullinger, (as representing the Zuinglians,) Jewel, who had tolerated, and Fulke who had maintained, the presbyterian principle in their controversies with the Romanists. By Hooker’s distinctly specifying all these authorities, every one of whom stands, as it were, for a class or school, and putting on record his dissent from them, all and each, it should seem as if he were anxious to disengage himself openly from servile adherence to any school or section of Protestants, and to claim a right of conforming his judgment to that of the primitive or catholic Church, with whomsoever amongst moderns he might be brought into agreement or disagreement.
The passages above cited are such as cannot well be explained away: and if (as many will be ready to assert) they are expressly or virtually contradicted by other passages of the same author, the utmost effect of such contradiction must be to neutralize him in this controversy, and make him unfit to be quoted on either side. But is it so certain, that his reasonings and assertions elsewhere are at variance with these unequivocal declarations? Appeal would probably be made, first of all, to the line which he has adopted in his second and third books: whereof the second is taken up with sifting that main principle of the Puritans, that nothing should be done without command of Scripture; the third, in refuting the expectation, grounded on that principle, that in Scripture there must of necessity be found some certain form of ecclesiastical polity, the laws whereof admit not any kind of alteration. But it may be replied, that all his reasonings in that part of the treatise relate to the a priori question, whether, antecedently to our knowledge of the fact, it were necessary that Scripture (as a perfect rule of faith) should of purpose prescribe any one particular form of church government. The other question, of history and interpretation, how far such a form is virtually prescribed in the New Testament, he touches there only in passing, not however without very significant hints which way his opinion leaned1 . “Those things,” says he, “which are of principal weight in the very particular form of church polity (although not that form which they imagine, but that which we against them uphold) are in the Scriptures contained.” And again, “If we did seek to maintain that which most advantageth our own cause, the very best way for us, and the strongest against them, were to hold even as they do, that there must needs be found in Scripture some particular form of church polity which God hath instituted, and which for that very cause belongeth to all churches, to all times. But with any such partial eye to respect, ourselves, and by cunning to make those things seem the truest which are the fittest to serve our purpose, is a thing which we neither like nor mean to follow. Wherefore that which we take to be generally true concerning the mutability of laws, the same we have plainly delivered.” This passage is perhaps one of the strongest which the adversaries of ancient church order could adduce in support of their interpretation of Hooker. But what does it amount to? Surely to this, and no more: that he waives in behalf of the episcopal succession the mode of reasoning from antecedent necessity, on which the Puritans relied so confidently in behalf of their pastors, elders and deacons. Here, as in all other cases, he recommends the safe and reverential course of inquiring what the New Testament, as interpreted by natural reason and church history, contains, rather than determining beforehand what in reason it ought to contain. But even in this place he not obscurely implies, and in other parts of the same dissertation he expressly affirms, that the result of such reverential inquiry into the meaning of God’s later revelation would be in favour of the episcopal claims1 . “Forasmuch as where the clergy are any great multitude, order doth necessarily require that by degrees they be distinguished; we hold there have ever been and ever ought to be in such case at leastwise two sorts of ecclesiastical persons, the one subordinate unto the other; as to the Apostles in the beginning, and to the Bishops always since, we find plainly, both in Scripture and in all ecclesiastical records, other ministers of the word and sacraments have been . . . So as the form of polity by them set down for perpetuity is . . . faulty in omitting some things which in Scripture are of that nature; as namely the difference that ought to be of pastors, when they grow to any great multitude.” His manner of speaking of the foreign protestants tallies exactly with this view2 . “For mine own part, although I see that certain reformed churches, the Scottish especially and the French, have not that which best agreeth with the sacred Scripture, I mean the government that is by bishops, . . . this their defect and imperfection I had rather lament in such case than exagitate, considering that men oftentimes, without any fault of their own, may be driven to want that kind of polity or regiment which is best.” There is nothing here to indicate indifference in Hooker with regard to the apostolical succession; there is much to shew how unwilling he was harshly to condemn irregularities committed under the supposed pressure of extreme necessity.
On the whole, it should seem that where he speaks so largely of the mutability of church laws, government, and discipline, he was not so much thinking of what may be called the constitution and platform of the Church herself, as of the detail of her legislation and ceremonies: although it has become somewhat hard for a modern reader to enter into this construction of his argument, because the notion which he had to combat, of every the minutest part of discipline being of necessity contained in Scripture, has now comparatively become obsolete; whereas the episcopalian controversy is as rife as ever. We are therefore unavoidably apt to survey with an eye to that controversy portions of his argument, in which, if we were better acquainted with the notions of the first Puritans, we might perceive that he was not thinking at all about it. If we take this observation along with us, and weigh well the amount of the statements above quoted on the episcopal side, we shall not perhaps hesitate to set down Hooker as belonging to the same school in ecclesiastical opinions with Bilson and the author of the “Querimonia:” and for those times undoubtedly the weightiest, although not perhaps the most open and uncompromising advocate of their views: the substance of those views being, that episcopacy grounded on apostolical succession was of supernatural origin and divine authority, whatever else was right or wrong.
If moreover we would fully estimate the value of Hooker’s testimony in particular to the divine right of Bishops, we must add the following considerations. First, that such opinions were contrary to those in which he had been brought up. For his uncle, who had the entire superintendance of his education, was an intimate friend of Peter Martyr, and as his remains shew, likely in all questions to take that side which appeared most opposite to Romish tradition. And of his tutor Reynolds we have already spoken; he was a leader in the Puritan cause, and no doubt did his very best to leaven such a mind as Hooker’s, a mind naturally full of affectionate docility, with Genevan notions in preference to those of antiquity. On this particular point, the exclusive divine right of episcopacy, there are extant letters and remonstrances from Reynolds, occasioned by the preaching of Bancroft’s sermon above mentioned, sufficient by themselves to shew how deeply he was imbued with doctrines most abhorrent from those of his great pupil.
Secondly, that may be remarked here, which must be remembered throughout in reading Hooker by those who would weigh and measure his expressions truly; viz. that whatever he wrote was more or less modified, in the wording of it if not in the substance, by his resolution to make the best of things as they were, and in any case to censure as rarely and as tenderly as possible what he found established by authority.
These two feelings will account in some good measure for the admission in the seventh book1 , an admission, which, after all we have seen, may appear somewhat anomalous; that “there may be sometimes very just and sufficient reason to allow ordination without a bishop.” The excepted cases, according to Hooker, are two: first that of a supernatural call, on which little needs now to be said, although some of the leading foreign reformers, Beza for one, were content to have it urged on their behalf; thereby, as it may seem, silently owning an instinctive mistrust about the reality of their commission. The other “extraordinary kind of vocation is, when the exigence of necessity doth constrain to leave the usual ways of the Church, which otherwise we would willingly keep: where the Church must needs have some ordained, and neither hath nor can have possibly a bishop to ordain: in case of such necessity the ordinary institution of God hath given oftentimes and may give place.” Here, that we may not overstrain the author’s meaning, we must observe first with what exact conditions of extreme necessity, unwilling deviation, impossibility of procuring a bishop to ordain, he has limited his concession. In the next place, it is very manifest that the concession itself was inserted to meet the case of the foreign Protestants, not gathered by exercise of independent judgment from the nature of the case or the witness of antiquity. Thirdly, this was one of the instances in which unquestionably Hooker might feel himself biassed by his respect for existing authority. For nearly up to the time when he wrote, numbers had been admitted to the ministry of the Church in England, with no better than Presbyterian ordination: and it appears by Travers’s Supplication to the Council, that such was the construction not uncommonly put upon the statute of the 13th of Elizabeth, permitting those who had received orders in any other form than that of the English Service Book, on giving certain securities, to exercise their calling in England. If it were really the intention of that act to authorize other than episcopal ordination, it is but one proof more of the low accommodating notions concerning the Church which then prevailed; and may serve to heighten our sense of the imminent risk which we were in of losing the Succession. But however, the apparent decision of the case by high authority in church and state may account for Hooker’s going rather out of his way, to signify that he did not mean to dispute that authority.
At the same time it is undeniable, that here and in many other passages we may discern a marked distinction between that which now perhaps we may venture to call the school of Hooker, and that of Laud, Hammond, and Leslie, in the two next generations. He, as well as they, regarded the order of Bishops as being immediately and properly of Divine right; he as well as they laid down principles, which strictly followed up would make this claim exclusive. But he, in common with most of his contemporaries, shrunk from the legitimate result of his own premises, the rather, as the fulness of apostolical authority on this point had never come within his cognizance; whereas the next generation of divines entered on the subject, as was before observed, fresh from the discovery of the genuine remains of St. Ignatius. He did not feel at liberty to press unreservedly, and develope in all its consequences, that part of the argument, which they, taught by the primitive Church, regarded as the most vital and decisive: the necessity, namely, of the apostolical commission to the derivation of sacramental grace, and to our mystical communion with Christ. Yet on the whole, considering his education and circumstances, the testimony which he bears to the bolder and completer view of the divines of the seventeenth century is most satisfactory. Their principles, as we have seen, he lays down very emphatically; and if he does not exactly come up to their conclusion, the difference may be accounted for, without supposing any fundamental variance of judgment. It seems to have been ordered that in this, as in some other instances, his part should be “serere arbores, quæ alteri sæculo prosint.” His language was to be ϕωνα̑ντα συνέτοισιν, more than met the ear of the mere ordinary listener, yet clear enough to attract the attention of the considerate; and this, it will be perceived, was just what the age required.
As to the relation of the ecclesiastical to the civil power: the proposition, that the whole body of the Church is properly the subject in which power resides, is repeatedly acknowledged, in terminis, by Hooker himself1 : as indeed it was the received doctrine of all protestants in his time, and also of that numerous section of Romanists, which maintained the prerogative of councils as against the Pope. It seems to have been borrowed by analogy from the Roman Law, of which the fundamental proposition is2 , “Quod principi placuit, legis habet vigorem: utpote cum lege regia, quæ de imperio ejus lata est, populus ei et in eum omne suum imperium et potestatem conferat.” Those who are familiar with the reasoning of Hooker on the origin of civil government, in the first and eighth books, will at once recognise the elements of that reasoning in those few words of Justinian. A remarkable fact, that the liberal politics of modern days should delight to base themselves on the very same tenet, which was the corner stone of the Cæsarean despotism of old. By Hooker, however, it was so completely assumed as an axiomatic principle of all government, that he transferred it without scruple to ecclesiastical legislation, and as long as he could have the benefit of it in support of the system which he wished to uphold, was little anxious to dwell even on the apostolical charter, which he has himself elsewhere asserted, in behalf of that system. As therefore in respect of kingly power he sufficiently secured existing authority by calling it, once conferred, irrevocable, although it were at first a trust from the body of the people, so in respect of episcopal power it ought, by his rule, to make practically little difference, whether it were appointed by Christ Himself to certain persons, or whether3 “they from the Church do receive the power which Christ did institute in the Church, according to such laws and canons as Christ hath prescribed, and the light of nature or scripture taught men to institute.” In either case, whatever other portions of the Church system might continue voluntary, this part of it, the hereditary monarchy of the Apostles’ successors, ought on Hooker’s principles to be accounted indefeasible, where it could be had. As far as regards their power of order, he allows, nay strongly enforces this; but when he comes to their power of dominion, feeling himself embarrassed by the received notion of the supremacy, he changes his ground, and recurs to the prime theory of government; according to which, the Christian state being one with the Church, and the sovereign by irrevocable cession the representative of the whole state, the same sovereign must necessarily, in the last resort, represent the whole Church also, and overrule even the Apostles’ successors as well in legislation and jurisdiction as in nomination to offices.
It is true, that in these large concessions to the civil power, Hooker always implies, not only that those who exercise it are Christians, but also that they are sound and orthodox churchmen, in complete communion with the Church which they claim to govern. Where that condition fails, on his own principles the identity or union of Church and state is at an end; and the Church, as a distinct body, is free without breach of loyalty to elect officers, make laws, and decide causes for herself, no reference at all being had to the civil power.
It were beyond the scope of this Preface to inquire, whether this limitation amount, even in theory, to a real safeguard; since all questions relating to the churchmanship of the sovereign are by the supposition in every case to be ultimately decided by the same sovereign himself: or again, practically, whether it have not terminated in rendering the Church throughout protestant Europe too much a slave of the civil power: neither is this the place to dwell on the grave reflection which naturally arises, how dangerous it is trusting in human theories, where God has so plainly spoken out by the voice of His ancient Church; nor to expatiate on the peril in which the very power of order in bishops is involved, as soon as their inherent powers of ecclesiastical jurisdiction and dominion are surrendered: both resting, to so great an extent, on the same Scriptures and the same precedents. But it may be allowable just to point out one fallacious proposition, which seems to have had a great share in making such a reasoner as Hooker thus inconsistent with himself and with antiquity. It is simply this, the notion which his reasoning, and all Erastian reasoning, implies, that coordinate authorities are incompatible; that the sovereign is not a sovereign, if the Church is independent. Surely this is as untenable, as if one denied the sovereignty of the king under the old constitution of England, because the houses of lords and commons had certain indefeasible privileges, independent of him. If their veto, for example, on acts of civil legislation, did not impeach the king’s temporal sovereignty, why should the Church’s veto impeach the same sovereignty, in case a way could be found of giving her a power over any proposed act of ecclesiastical legislation? Hooker himself supplies, obviously enough, this correction of his own argument, where he reasons concerning civil power, that it must be limited before it be given; and concerning ecclesiastical, that though it reside in the sovereign as the delegate of the whole Church, yet it must always be exercised “according to such laws and canons as Christ hath prescribed, and the light of Nature or Scripture taught men to institute.”
Thus much on the point of church government, the immediate matter of controversy between Hooker and the Puritans. But there is cause to regard his appearance in the Church as most timely on other grounds, some of them yet higher and more sacred. Beginning as he did, from a point not far short of what may be truly called extreme protestantism, he seems to have been gradually impressed with the necessity of recurring in some instances to more definite, in others to higher views, to modes of thinking altogether more primitive, than were generally entertained by the Protestants of that age. Circumstances (fully related in his life) having determined him to undertake his large treatise, and the character of his mind and studies having determined him to lay the foundation deep, and begin far back, he found there, as he went on, opportunities of inculcating his gradually improving views, (the more effectually perhaps because not obtrusively) concerning one after another of almost all the great controversies. This may be the true account of many dissertations, or parts of dissertations, which might otherwise appear to be introduced on insufficient grounds. From time to time he lays hold of occasions for establishing rules, and pointing to considerations, by which the mind of the reformed church might be steadied against certain dangerous errors, which the opinions of some early reformers, too hastily adopted or carried too far, were sure to produce or encourage. At the same time he desired to shew Roman catholics (for whose case especially we may constantly discern him providing with charitable and anxious care) that there might be something definite and primitive in a system of church polity, though it disavowed the kind of unity on which they are taught exclusively to depend.
Of these collateral subjects, the first to be mentioned on all accounts is the Catholic doctrine concerning the Most Holy Trinity. Hooker saw with grief and horror what had taken place in Geneva, Poland, and elsewhere: how crude notions of the right of private judgment, and of the sufficiency, to each man, of his own interpretations of Scripture, had ended in the revival of the worst and wildest blasphemies. He saw in the writings of that reformer especially, whose influence was greatest in this and the neighbouring countries, he saw in Calvin a disposition to treat irreverently, not only the Creeds, the sacred guards provided by the Church for Christian truth, but also that holiest truth itself, in some of its articles1 . He knew who had called the Nicene Creed “frigida cantilena;” had treated the doctrine expressed in the words, “God of God, Light of Light,” as a mere dream of Platonizing Greeks; and had pressed, in opposition to that formula, for the use of the word αὐτόθεος, in relation to the Son. These, it may be presumed, were some of the reasons why Hooker so anxiously availed himself of the opportunity which the question of the sacraments afforded him for entering at large on the sacred theology of the Church, and exhibiting it in its primitive fulness. The controversy in which he was directly engaged required no such discussion. But when these alarming symptoms are recollected, we cease to wonder at his pausing so long upon it.
It is observable that the author of the Christian Letter, a person evidently most jealous of Calvin’s honour, has selected for the very first point of his attack on Hooker a passage in which the subordination of the Son is affirmed. “We crave of you, Maister Hoo. to explaine your owne meaninge where you saye, (b. v. p. 1132 ,) ‘The Father alone is originallie that Deitie which Christ originallie is not.’ Howe the Godhead of the Father and of the Sonne be all one, and yet originallie not the same Deitie: and then teach us how farre this differeth from the heresie of Arius, who sayeth of God the Sonne, ‘There was when he was not,’ who yet graunteth that He was before all creatures, ‘of thinges which were not.’ Whether such wordes weaken not the eternitie of the Sonne in the opinion of the simple, or at the least make the Sonne inferior to the Father in respect of the Godhead; or els teach the ignorant, there be many Gods.” On which Hooker’s note is, “The Godhead of the Father and of the Sonne is no way denied but graunted to be the same. The only thing denied is that the Person of the Sonne hath Deitie or Godhead in such sort as the Father hath it.” Again, Christian Letter, p. 7. “We pray your full meaning where you say, ‘The coeternitie of the Sonne of God with His Father, and the proceeding of the Spirit from the Father and the Sonne, are in Scripture nowhere to be found by express literal mention’. . . Whether such maner of speeches may not worke a scruple in the weak Christian, to doubt of these articles; or at the least to underproppe the popish traditions, that menne may the rather favour their allegations, when they see us fain to borrow of them.” This complaint they support by citing various texts of Scripture, which as they supposed express the doctrines in question. Hooker remarks in the margin, “These places prove that there is undoubted ground for them in Scripture, whence they may be deduced, as is confessed in the place cited (lib. i. n. 131 ): but that they are literally and verbatim set down you have not yet proved2 .”
The attack, the reply, and the principle on which the reply turns, are all worthy of the gravest consideration on the part of those who are at all tempted to disparage the authority of primitive interpretation through excessive dread of Romish inventions.
The like reverential care and watchful forethought is most apparent in all that has fallen from Hooker’s pen on the Incarnation of the Most Holy Son of God. While the apprehensions of other theologians, contemplating the growth of Puritanism, were confined to points of external order and the peace of the visible Church, Hooker considered the very life and substance of saving truth to be in jeopardy, as on the side of the Romanists, so on that of the Lutherans also, by reasonings likely to be grounded, whether logically or no, on the tenet which they taught in common of the proper ubiquity of our Saviour’s glorified body in the Eucharist1 . Evidently it was a feeling of this kind, rather than any fear of exaggerating the honour due to that blessed Sacrament, which reigns in those portions of the fifth Book, where he lays down certain limitations, under which the doctrine of the Real Presence must be received. The one drift and purpose of all those limitations is, to prevent any heretical surmise, of our Lord’s manhood now being, or having been at any time since His Incarnation, other than most true and substantial. Whatever notion of the real presence does not in effect interfere with this foundation of the faith, that, the genuine philosophy of Hooker, no less than his sound theology, taught him to embrace with all his heart. No writer, since the primitive times, has shewn himself in this and all parts of his writings more thoroughly afraid of those tendencies, which in our age are called Utilitarian and Rationalist. If at any time he seem over scrupulous in the use of ideas or phrases, from which the early Fathers saw no reason to shrink, it is always the apprehension of irreverence, not of the contrary, which is present to his mind. For example, let the three following passages only be well considered and compared: i.e. as they stand with their context; for in these critical parts more especially, no separate citation can ever do Hooker justice.
1. “1 Christ’s body being a part of that nature, which whole nature is presently joined unto Deity wheresoever Deity is, it followeth that His bodily substance hath every where a presence of true conjunction with Deity. And forasmuch as it is by virtue of that conjunction made the body of the Son of God, by whom also it was made a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, this giveth it a presence of force and efficacy throughout all generations of men.” 2. “2 Doth any man doubt, but that even from the flesh of Christ our very bodies do receive that life which shall make them glorious at the latter day, and for which they are already accounted parts of his blessed body? Our corruptible bodies could never live the life they shall live, were it not that here they are joined with His body which is incorruptible, and that His is in ours as a cause of immortality; a cause by removing through the death and merit of His own flesh that which hindered the life of ours. Christ is therefore, both as God and as man, that true vine whereof we both spiritually and corporally are branches. The mixture of His bodily substance with ours is a thing which the ancient Fathers disclaim. Yet the mixture of His flesh with ours, they speak of, to signify what our very bodies, through mystical conjunction, receive from that vital efficacy which we know to be in His; and from bodily mixtures they borrow divers similitudes, rather to declare the truth than the manner of coherence between His sacred and the sanctified bodies of saints.” 3. “3 As for any mixture of the substance of His flesh with ours, the participation which we have of Christ includeth no such kind of gross surmise.”
A striking exemplification of the difference of doctrine between Hooker and those who preceded him occurs on comparing the second of the above-cited passages with the language of Bishop Jewel on the same subject4 . “Ye” (Harding) “say, ‘The raising of our flesh is also assigned in the holy Scripture to the real and substantial eating of Christ’s flesh.’ But whence had ye these words, M. Harding? Where found ye these Scriptures? Dissemble no longer: deal plainly and simply: it is God’s cause. For a show ye allege these words of Christ written by St. John: ‘He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath life everlasting; and I will raise him up again at the last day.’ These words we know, and the eating of Christ’s flesh we know, but where is your ‘real’ and ‘substantial,’ and ‘carnal1 ’ eating? . . . . . . Neither these words nor the former (‘except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you’) pertain directly to the Sacrament.”
In treating on this subject of the Incarnation, that which comes next in order has been in some respects unavoidably anticipated; i. e. Hooker’s doctrine concerning the holy Sacraments. Here he saw reason to practise the same circumspection, in regard of the Sacramentarians, as before, on the question of ubiquity, in regard of the Romanists and Lutherans. The erroneous theory to be obviated was one most seducing to the pride of human reason; the construction, namely, which would explain away, first, the Communion of Saints itself, and secondly, the instrumentality of sacramental signs in that Communion, so as to dispense with every thing supernatural in either.
The germ of the first error is probed2 (as it were) in the following remarkable passage. “It is too cold an interpretation, whereby some men expound our being in Christ to import nothing else, but only that the selfsame nature which maketh us to be men is in Him, and maketh Him man as we are. For what man in the world is there, which hath not so far forth communion with Jesus Christ? It is not this that can sustain the weight of such sentences as speak of the mystery of our coherence with Jesus Christ.” Whether the particular misinterpretation here specified were common in those days, or no3 , certainly it is in unison with that mode of thinking, which inclines men to be uneasy, until they have rid their creed as they think, as nearly as possible, of all mysterious meaning. Such persons, having been even constrained by inevitable force of Scripture to adopt one great mystery, the proper Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, endeavour at least to obviate the necessity of the other, the real, substantial Participation of Christ by His saints.
It is only a part of the same general view, that the Sacrament should be regarded simply as expressive actions; or tokens, morally at most, but in no wise mystically, conducive to the complete union of the renewed soul with God: a heresy, the disavowal of which by Hooker1 is, as might be supposed, express, reiterated, and fervent, in proportion to his deep sense of its fatal consequence, and to the probability which he saw of its one day generally prevailing. Whatever such anticipations he might form, have been fully and fatally confirmed by subsequent experience.
But not only does this great writer with religious horror disavow the Zuinglian notion, that the sacraments are only valid as moral aids to piety; he is also very full and precise in guarding against another theory, less malignant, but hardly less erroneous and unscriptural, (though unhappily too much countenanced in later days;) the theory which denies, not indeed the reality, but the exclusive virtue, of the Sacraments, as ordinary means to their respective graces. He hesitates not to teach, with the old Christian writers, that Baptism is the only ordinary mean of regeneration, the Eucharist the only ordinary mean whereby Christ’s body and blood can be taken and received. He is far from sanctioning the too prevalent idea, that every holy prayer and devout meditation renders the faithful soul a partaker of Christ, in the same sense that His own divine Sacrament does. His words concerning Baptism are: “1 As we are not naturally men without birth, so neither are we Christian men in the eye of the Church of God but by new birth; nor according to the manifest ordinary course of Divine dispensation new born, but by that Baptism which both declareth and maketh us Christians.” Concerning the Eucharist and Baptism both; “It is not ordinarily His will to bestow the grace of sacraments on any, but by the sacraments2 .” He expounds the awful declarations in the sixth chapter of St. John, without all controversy, of that heavenly feast1 ; considering our Saviour to have spoken by anticipation of what He meant ere long to ordain. A mode of interpretation the more remarkable on Hooker’s part, as in embracing it he was contradicting an authority which he held in most especial reverence; that of his own early patron, Bishop Jewel, whom he designates as “the worthiest divine which Christendom hath bred by the space of some hundreds of years2 .” This is therefore as strong an example as could be given of the freedom and courage of Hooker’s theological judgment: nor will it be unprofitable to compare his tones of unaffected reverence with the peremptory language, almost amounting to scornfulness, of Jewel on the same subject. One instance, from the Defence of the Apology, has already been quoted. Others may be found in the following places: Part ii. c. 12. div. 3. “The Sacrament is one thing, and Christ is another. We eat Christ only by faith; we eat the Sacrament only with the mouth of our body. When Christ spake these words, ‘He that eateth me, shall live by me;’ he spake only of himself to be eaten spiritually by faith: but he spake not one word there of the Sacrament. He that knoweth not this, knoweth nothing.” And Reply to Harding, art. viii. div. 16. p. 292. “Christ in these words, as is witnessed by all the holy Fathers, speaketh not of the Sacrament, but of the spiritual eating with our faith; and in this behalf utterly excludeth the corporal office of our body.”
The opinions we form on the Sacraments are sure to mingle, insensibly perhaps to ourselves, with our views of every part of practical religion. Hooker’s judgment on the reality and exclusiveness of the spiritual grace of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper being thus distinct and unquestionable, we are prepared to find him speaking of church ceremonies in general, and of every part and instrument of communion with the visible Church, in a very different manner from that which now commonly prevails. More especially in regard of those observances, which, though not strictly sacraments, according to the more precise definition of the word, have yet in them somewhat of a sacramental nature, and were ever accounted, in the early Church, means toward several graces. Take, for example, the sign of the cross in Baptism1 . He dwells indeed much on its use by way of instruction; whether “to put us in mind of our own duty, or to be a memorial, sign or monument of God’s miraculous goodness towards us:” which is much the same definition as a rationalist would give of Baptism or the Eucharist itself. But Hooker has other expressions, which imply that for aught we know it may be more than this. He calls the cross, “in some sense a mean to work our preservation from reproach.” He likens it to God’s mark set on the forehead of His chosen in the vision of the Prophet Ezekiel. He approves of the custom adopted by the primitive Christians, of referring to it, as they did by constant crossing, whenever their baptismal integrity was in danger, and refreshing it as it were and burnishing it up in those foreheads, in which it had been impressed as God’s own signature at Baptism. In other words, he makes it one among many things, which may be, if God so please, supernaturally as well as morally means of grace; and what more would Zuinglius or Hoadly have allowed concerning the blessed Eucharist itself?
Again, to imposition of hands in confirmation, in receiving penitents, or in other solemn acts of blessing, he scruples not to attribute the same virtue which the Fathers every where acknowledge. “2 Our warrant,” he says, “for the great good effect thereof is the same which Patriarchs, Prophets, Priests, Apostles, Fathers, and men of God have had for such their particular invocations and benedictions, as no man, I suppose, professing truth of religion, will easily think to have been without fruit.”
In respect therefore of these things, which (to use Hooker’s own expression) though not sacraments, are as sacraments, and which perhaps it might not be amiss to denominate sacramentals, it will be seen that Hooker, liberal as he is sometimes accounted, was at least as far from proud and faithless indifference as he was from irrational superstition. Even of those parts of the ancient ritual, which he dared not wish to restore, he makes mention in such a tone, as to shew that he deeply lamented the necessity of parting with them. He compares them to the rank growth of over fertile grounds: he acknowledges that although “now superstitious in the greater part of the Christian world,” yet in their first original they sprang from “the strength of virtuous, devout, or charitable affection,” and “could not by any man be justly condemned as evil.” In a word, his language regarding them comes to this: that the Church is fallen and become unworthy of them, instead of their being in themselves unmeet for the Church.
Nor can such sentiments on his part be summarily disposed of by calling them “errors of that day,” “relics of Romanism, not yet throughly purged out.” For, as we have had occasion more than once to remark, Hooker’s bias by education and society, the bias “of the day” as it was likely to influence him, lay quite on the other side. Every sentiment like that just quoted was a return to something which had grown out of fashion, an attempt, if the expression may be allowed, to “lock the wheel” of extreme innovation. It is certain that the divines most approved in Hooker’s time go far beyond him in a seeming willingness to explain away every thing of deeper meaning in Church services. The common topics of Jewel for example, and Cranmer, when they treat of ceremonies, are the supposed origination of some of them from heathen or Jewish customs, or from mere childish fancy; the absolute indifferency of those even which are more properly Christian; and the arbitrary power of national churches over them, which they press, not in the guarded tone of our thirty-fourth article, but without any kind of scruple or remorse. We nowhere find in the Ecclesiastical Polity such contemptuous mention of the old usages of the Church, as in that writer, who being asked by a Romanist, how he could prove from St. Augustine, that altars might be pulled down, and vows of poverty disallowed, as also the keeping of Lent and the use of consecrated oil, made this short reply, “His altars, his vows, his Lents, and his oils, be answered sufficiently otherwheres.” How different from Hooker, who earnestly bespeaks our reverence for primitive ordinances, not only “as betokening God’s greatness and beseeming the dignity of religion,” but also “as concurring with celestial impressions in the minds of men:” a phrase which implies that such ordinances may be real means of sundry graces, though not of those vital graces which are appropriate to the two blessed Sacraments; nor of any graces, certainly, or by virtue of express promise.
The truth is, Hooker’s notion of ceremonies appears to have been the legitimate result of a certain high and rare course of thought, into which deep study of Christian antiquity would naturally guide a devout and reflective mind. The moral and devotional writings of the Fathers shew that they were deeply imbued with the evangelical sentiment, that Christians as such are living in a new heaven and a new earth; that to them “old things are passed away,” and “all things are become new;” that the very inanimate creation itself also is “delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Thus in a manner they seem to have realized, though in an infinitely higher sense, the system of Plato: every thing to them existed in two worlds: in the world of sense, according to its outward nature and relations; in the world intellectual, according to its spiritual associations. And thus did the whole scheme of material things, and especially those objects in it which are consecrated by scriptural allusion, assume in their eyes a sacramental or symbolical character.
This idea, as it may serve to explain, if not to justify, many things, which to modern ears sound strange and forced in the imagery of the Fathers and in their interpretations of Scripture; so it may be of no small use in enabling us to estimate rightly the ceremonials of the Church. The primitive apostolical men, being daily and hourly accustomed to sacrifice and dedicate to God even ordinary things, by mixing them up with Christian and heavenly associations, might well consider every thing whatever as capable of becoming, so far, a mean of grace, a pledge and token of Almighty presence and favour: and in that point of view might without scruple give the name of μυστηρία or sacraments to all those material objects which were any how taken unto the service of religion: whether by Scripture, in the way of type or figure; or by the Church, introducing them into her solemn ritual. In the writings of St. Cyprian1 , for example, to go no further at present; we have the homer full of manna, gathered by each of the Israelites, denominated “the sacrament of Christ’s equal and impartial grace;” the words of the Pater noster, considered as meaning far more than at first meets the ear, are “the sacraments of the Lord’s Prayer;” the Church’s rule for keeping Easter, with many other like points, are so many “sacraments of Divine service;” the cross is “a sacrament of salvation;” St. Cyprian, having collected a number of what would now be called fanciful allusions, to console and encourage certain martyrs in their sufferings, is thanked by those martyrs for “his constant care to make known by his treatises hidden and obscure sacraments.” In these and innumerable similar applications of the term, it will perhaps be found that such words as “figure,” “symbol,” “emblem,” do by no means come fully up to the force annexed to it by the Church and ecclesiastical writers. God omnipresent was so much in all their thoughts, that what to others would have been mere symbols, were to them designed expressions of His truth, providential intimations of His will. In this sense, the whole world, to them, was full of sacraments.
No doubt such a view as this harmonizes to a considerable degree with Platonism; no doubt, again, it has much in common with the natural workings and aspirations of poetical minds under any system of belief. Still, should it appear, on fair inquiry, to have been very early and very generally diffused; should we find unconscious disclosures of it among Christian interpreters and moralists quite down from St. Clement and St. Ignatius; these things would seem to indicate that it may have been a real part of the very apostolical system; grounded as it plainly might be on such scriptures as were just now mentioned.
Thus then we seem to discern a kind of theory, silently pervading the whole language and system of the Church, much to this effect: that whereas all sensible things may have other meanings and uses than we know of; spiritual and heavenly relations, associations, resemblances, apt to assist men in realizing Divine contemplations; the Church (no one of course can say how far by celestial guidance at first) selected a certain number and order of sensible things; certain actions of the body, such as bowing at the name of Jesus, and turning towards the east in prayer; certain forms of matter, such as the cross and ring; generally or always significant in themselves, and very instructive, one might almost say needful, to children and men of childlike understanding and knowledge; such things as these the Church of God instinctively selected for her ceremonies, and combined them by degrees into an orderly system, varying as circumstances might require in different dioceses, but every where constituting a kind of perpetual sacrifice; offering to the Most Holy Trinity so many samples (if we may so call them) or specimens of our common hourly actions, and of the material objects in which we are most conversant, as tithes are a sample and specimen of our whole property, and holy-days, of our whole time: likely, therefore, as tithes and holy-days are, by devout using to bring down a blessing on the whole.
Hence it would follow, that those fragments of the primitive ritual, which are still, by God’s providence, allowed to remain amongst us, are to be cherished as something more than merely decent and venerable usages. They are authorized, perchance divinely authorized, portions of the Church’s perpetual spiritual sacrifice; and the omission of such ceremonies, how imperative soever on individuals, acting by authority of their own particular church, must needs bring a grave responsibility on the churches themselves which may at any time direct such omission. Unquestionably circumstances might arise to justify them, such as are mentioned in the short discourse on ceremonies, prefixed to our Common Prayer: but the burden of proof in every case would lie on those omitting, not on those retaining the usage.
It is not affirmed that this view of Church ceremonies is any where expressly set down, either by Hooker or by his guides, the early Fathers. But surely something like it lies at the root of their mystical interpretations of Scripture, and of their no less mystical expositions of many portions of their ritual. Nay, it may have given many hints towards the framing that ritual itself, as far as we can judge of it after so many transformations. Surely also, on this point as on many others, Hooker’s sympathy with the fourth century rather than the sixteenth is perpetually breaking out, however chastened by his too reasonable dread of superstition.
Fasting, which may in some respects very well stand for one of the sacramentals just mentioned, affords a very prominent and decisive instance. For although the Church of England, by God’s favouring providence, has retained the primitive system of fasting in greater perfection than any other among those bodies which have come to be separated from the Roman communion; yet even here also, at a very early period of the reformation, that evil tendency began to be disclosed, which in our days, we see, has led too generally to the undisguised abandonment of this part of Christian discipline. Now the Querimonia Ecclesiæ, which for reasons above stated may be regarded as a kind of exponent of the views of Hooker and his school in theology, expatiates, as one of its leading topics, on the prevalent neglect of Church fasts, and the revival of Aërius’ error in the reformed churches. It should seem that the Utilitarians of those days could only imagine one moral use of fasting: they could not approve of it as a periodical expression of penitence, or as helping to withdraw the mind from earth, and supply it with heavenly contemplations. Consequently, prescribed universal fasts were to them unmeaning superstitions. And the result was, as Hooker not obscurely hints1 , and the writer of the Querimonia more openly affirms, that among protestants religious abstinence was becoming rather discreditable than otherwise. Here we seem to perceive the reason why Hooker thought it needful in his fifth book to go so far back in vindication of fasting itself. And we know that his course of life bore continual witness to his deep sense of the importance of that duty.
He differs indeed from the writer of the Querimonia, as to the apostolical institution of Lent. The pamphlet is very full for the affirmative; but the Ecclesiastical Polity says, “It doth not appear that the Apostles ordained any set and certain days to be generally kept of all.” This is noted here by the way, as decisive against making Hooker responsible for the Querimonia, as the authors of the Christian Letter tried to do; unless we suppose him to have changed his opinion about Lent between 1592, the date of the Querimonia, and 1597, when the fifth book was published. This however is no difference in principle, since both agree in adopting St. Augustin’s rule, that what is universally observed in the Church, yet not commanded in Scripture nor in any general council, cannot well be of less than apostolical origin. The variance therefore about Lent amounts only to this; that the Querimonia considers the historical evidence sufficient to prove reception by the whole Church, Hooker not so.
There is another branch of the same subject, on which their agreement is more complete; though here also the anonymous author speaks out more clearly sentiments, of which Hooker, coming after, is content to imply rather than express his approbation. In each we find a parallel between the heresy of Aërius on fasting, and the low disparaging notions of that duty, becoming at that time prevalent among many Protestants. This comparison is distinctly made in the Querimonia, as indeed there was ample reason: Beza having gone so far, in one of his tracts against Saravia, as to take part avowedly with Aërius, and endeavour to exculpate him from the charge of heresy. The controversy having proceeded so far, it is obvious that Hooker, writing as he does of Aërius, must have had an eye to Beza as well as to Cartwright. Evidently his wish was to hold up Aërius, as a warning in terrorem to Protestants generally, so far as they were tempted to fall into errors like his: only to make the warning more impartial and instructive, he subjoins tacitly, and by implication, another and an opposite parallel, viz. between the error of Tertullian in his Montanizing days, and some errors of the church of Rome in her rules on the subject of Fasting.
The last thing now to be observed in this very important portion of Hooker’s Treatise, is the thorough practical good sense which the conclusion of it evinces. Among other benefits of fasting he enumerates the following; “That children, as it were in the wool of their infancy dyed with hardness, may never afterwards change colour; that the poor, whose perpetual fasts are necessity, may with better contentment endure the hunger, which virtue causeth others so often to choose,” &c. This is a specimen of the way in which Hooker, in the midst of his lofty and sometimes subtle speculations, observed and entered into men’s daily pursuits and feelings; how he contrived (if one may so speak) to know what all sorts of persons are really about: a merit the more needful to be remarked in him, as it is one for which his readers and the readers of his Life have generally been apt to give him but little credit; but, certainly one of the highest merits which can be attributed to a practical divine, and not one of the least rare. In the eyes of plain unlearned persons, who read merely for practical improvement, this is what will ever give Hooker a peculiar value, as compared with many of no small name in theology; with Hall for instance, with Barrow, or with Warburton. He enters into the real feelings of men, and balances the true relative importance of things, in a manner which no depth of learning, or power of language, no logical or rhetorical skill could insure; and without which, to persons of the description now mentioned, no talent or energy can make theology interesting.
On festival days the opinion of Hooker is well known. He urges the perpetual observance of the Lord’s day (carefully separating from it the name of Sabbath) on a mixed ground of ritual and of moral obligation; considering the general requisition of natural piety to be determined to a seventh part of time by the Decalogue. For saints’ days again he regards the same obligation as being in like manner determined, only not by God’s own voice, but by the authorized legislation of His Church. Praise, Bounty, and Rest, according to the law of nature, and the analogy of holy Scripture, constitute the proper elements of each kind of festival. Thus diametrically are the views of Hooker opposed, on the one hand, to the profane and insolent indifference of some following generations towards all festivals but Sunday; on the other, to the affectation of respect, almost more insolent and profane, which some persons are in the habit of bestowing on the Sunday itself. The rest of that blessed day is now too commonly enforced on reasons of mere economy and expediency, far indeed removed from Hooker’s representation of it as a sacrifice of one-seventh part of our time to God; just as in those days to such a degree had popular opinion swerved from the primitive rules, that many, and among them even a writer in our own Homilies, were fain to plead, in behalf of fasting, the supposed preservation of pasturage, and encouragement of fisheries1 , instead of simply referring the duty to its own high and spiritual grounds. Admirable as these two chapters are throughout, in no respect do they call for more attentive consideration, than as a melancholy testimony to the total decay of religion properly so called, i.e. of the service of God, in an age so boastful of its own religion as the present.
Another development of the same principle occurs, in passing from the consideration of festivals and fasting days to that of churches, church lands, and tithes. Hooker evidently delights in resting the claim of both on one and the same ground of natural piety, warranted rather than expressly ordained by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “Sith we know2 that religion requireth at our hands the taking away of so great a part of the time of our lives quite and clean from our own business, and the bestowing of the same in His; suppose we that nothing of our wealth and substance is immediately due to God, but all our own to bestow and spend as ourselves think meet? Are not our riches as well His, as the days of our life are His?” A tenth of our substance, no less than a seventh of our time, is, in Hooker’s judgment, part of the grand sacrifice which we all owe to God continually, and the payment whereof is the great business of our lives.
Again; whatever has been once so dedicated, be it land, or house, or treasure, or church furniture, that Hooker regards as absolutely devoted and inalienable. The diverting it wilfully away from sacred purposes he deems no less than plain sacrilegious impiety: the same kind of sin as profaning holy days; or as if a clergyman should abandon God’s special service, and try to become a mere layman again, after his solemn vow of dedication to the altar. It is very observable on what principle Hooker defends the English reformation from this charge of sacrilege, to which it would seem at first sight liable, on account of the unsparing plunder of monastic property. He is far from acquiescing in the ordinary political plea of “changed circumstances,” “comparative uselessness,” and the like. His sentence (right or wrong) is, that the property in question was never, strictly speaking, clerical. He professes it not to be his meaning “to make the state of bishopric and of those dissolved companies” (the monasteries) “alike; the one no less unlawful to be removed than the other. For those religious persons were men which followed only a special kind of contemplative life in the commonwealth, they were not properly a portion of God’s clergy, (only such amongst them excepted as were also priests,) their goods (that excepted which they unjustly held through the Pope’s usurped power of appropriating ecclesiastical livings unto them) may in part seem to be of the nature of civil possessions, held by other kinds of corporations, such as the city of London hath divers. Wherefore, as their institution was human, and their end for the most part superstitious, they had not therein merely that holy and Divine interest which belongeth unto Bishops, who being employed by Christ in the principal service of His Church, are receivers and disposers of His patrimony, . . . which whosoever shall withhold or withdraw at any time from them, he undoubtedly robbeth God Himself1 .” According to this statement, the goods of the religious houses under Henry VIII. were lay corporate property, forfeited (as was judged) by abuse. To resume it, therefore, and apply it to other lay purposes, might be dishonest or arbitrary, but could not well be sacrilegious. Should this view appear paradoxical, it will but the more amply illustrate Hooker’s deep conviction of the impiety of alienating things once hallowed. That being granted, the following dilemma ensued. He must either expressly condemn a principal part of the settlement at the reformation in England, confirmed and carried on as it had been by subsequent monarchs; or else (which he chose to do) must deny the sacredness of the confiscated property. So evident to Hooker’s mind was the proposition, that whatever has been once dedicated to Almighty God can never cease to be His, but by His own cession.
It is but a continuation of the same process of thought, where Hooker expresses his sense of the real sanctity of consecrated places, and his horror at the hard and profane notions of the Brownists or Independents on that subject, which were just then beginning to prevail among some of the reformed, though far from the alarming acceptance which they find at present. And again, where he dwells so long and so earnestly on the great mistake which the Puritans committed in their estimate of the relative importance of the parts of public service; where he shews himself so full of regret at their presumption in undervaluing scriptures and written prayers, and their fond superstition in reckoning sermons only “the quick and forcible Word of God1 :” wherever, in short, he inculcates more or less directly the momentous truth, that a church is a place of solemn homage and sacrifice, not only nor chiefly a place of religious instruction; a place of supernatural even more than of moral blessings. For although he disclaim the existence of any sacrifice, properly so called, in the ritual of the Church, it is clear enough that this expression must be restrained to expiatory sacrifices. Take the word sacrifice in its other senses, for eucharistical or penitential homage, and it is very plain that by Hooker’s own account, prayers, tithes, festival days, church ceremonies, are so many sacrifices, truly and properly so called. Nay, the very establishment of a national church, instead of being merely, as modern theorists hold, a national expedient for securing instruction to the people, ought also on Hooker’s principle to be regarded as a grand public sacrifice: a continued act of religious worship and homage, offered to God on the part of kings and states.
So far, the Catholic Church has been considered as a channel of supernatural grace; in which light chiefly Hooker regards it all through the fifth book. Again, his doctrine concerning the Church, considered as a witness to the truth, that is to say, in her relation to the rule of faith, may be found at large in the three first books. His principle is that of the sixth article of our Church, so admirably developed by Laud in his conference with Fisher: viz. that in doctrines supernatural, holy Scripture is paramount and sole: reason and Church authority coming in as subsidiary only, to interpret Scripture or infer from it; but in no such point ever claiming to dictate positively where Scripture is silent1 . Nevertheless they teach, that in regard of rites and customs, which are a sort of practical deductions from truths supernatural, apostolical tradition, derived through Church records, if any can be proved really such, must be of force no less binding, than if the same were set down in the very writings of the Apostles. “For both,” says Hooker, “being known to be apostolical, it is not the manner of delivering them unto the Church, but the author from whom they proceed, which doth give them their force and credit.”
On Hooker’s doctrine concerning the covenant of grace, a very few words must here suffice. His compositions on that subject are mostly of an early date, when, as has been exemplified, he hardly seems to have acquired the independence of thought, which appears in the Polity. And the writer to whose interpretations he had been taught to defer most constantly, and with deepest reverence, undoubtedly was St. Austin. In treating of justification, his great care was, of course, to exclude all notion of merit: of merit, i. e. as a ground of dependence, not as a qualification for supernatural blessings, divinely given to the baptized as members of Christ, for in that sense he himself allows the name, and hints no ambiguous censure on the affectation of shrinking from it, sanctioned as it is by the constant use of antiquity2 . This exclusion of our own desert he represents, as many writers before and since have done, by the things which Christ did and suffered being imputed to us for righteousness: and in this sense earnestly presses against the schoolmen and the council of Trent, that justifying righteousness is not inherent. But whilst he thus separates justification from sanctification in re, he is careful (plainly with an eye to Antinomian abuse) to maintain that the two are always united in tempore. “The Spirit, the virtues of the Spirit, the habitual justice which is engrafted, the external justice of Jesus Christ which is imputed, these we receive all at one and the same time; whensoever we have any of these, we have all; they go together1 .” He allows that the word justification is sometimes used (e. g. by St. James) so as to imply sanctification also; that in this sense we are justified by works and not by faith only; and that this is essential, and inseparable, as a result and evidence of the former; so that however “2 by the one we are interested in the right of inheriting,” yet without the other we must not look to be “brought to the actual possession of eternal bliss.” On the whole, the differences, which at first sight would appear considerable, between Hooker’s teaching, and that of Bishop Bull on this subject, will be found on examination rather verbal than doctrinal: turning upon their use of certain modes of expression, and upon their interpretation of particular texts, rather than on their conceptions of the process itself and order of Divine mercy in the salvation of sinners. Hooker, for instance, adopts without scruple the phrase of Christ’s imputed righteousness: which Bull disavows and argues against as unscriptural. Hooker again reconciles St. James with St. Paul by making the one speak of the righteousness of justification, the other of that of sanctification: a distinction which seems to correspond nearly with the first and second justification of some other protestant commentators, and is disapproved by Bull, whose mode of harmonizing the two Apostles is to shew, that the works rejected by St. Paul are not Christian works, not those required by St. James, but that these on the contrary are included in St. Paul’s faith; as all right principles include and imply corresponding practice, when occasion arises. But since Hooker on the one hand makes the two justifications which he insists on inseparable and contemporaneous; and Bull, on the other, disclaims with all possible earnestness all notion of condignity, in faith alike and in works, and in every thing else that is ours; it should seem that, really and practically, there is no such great difference between them.
With regard to the points usually called Calvinistic; Hooker undoubtedly found the tone and language, which has since come to be characteristic of that school, commonly adopted by those theologians, to whom his education led him as guides and models; and therefore uses it himself, as a matter of course, on occasions, where no part of Calvinism comes expressly into debate. It is possible that this may cause him to appear, to less profound readers, a more decided partisan of Calvin than he really was. At least it is certain that on the following subjects he has avowed himself decidedly in favour of very considerable modifications of the Genevan theology. First, of election; the very ground of his original controversy with Travers was his earnestly protesting, in a sermon at the Temple, against irrespective predestination to death: a protest which he repeated in the Ecclesiastical Polity1 ; and afterwards drew out at large in the fragment of an answer to the Christian Letter. The sum of it is this: “The nature of God’s goodness, the nature of justice, and the nature of death itself, are all opposite to their opinion, if any will be of opinion, that God hath eternally decreed condemnation without the foresight of sin as a cause. The place of Judas was locus suus, a place of his own proper procurement. Devils were not ordained of God for hell-fire, but hell-fire for them; and for men so far as it was foreseen that men would be like them.”
But the extent to which, on this and some other topics, Hooker was willing to admit modifications of Calvinism, may be judged of accurately by the conclusion of the fragment just quoted, which consists of eight propositions, so worded, as to shew clearly that they are altered from the famous articles of Lambeth; so that on comparing the two, the degrees by which Hooker stopped short of extreme Calvinism will become apparent even to the very eye. Now the first article of Lambeth affirms eternal predestination and reprobation both: Hooker’s, predestination only, omitting all mention of reprobation. The second Lambeth article is not only negative, denying the foresight of any good in man to have been the ground of predestination to life; but also affirmative, that its only ground is the will of the good pleasure of God: Hooker omits the affirmative part, and sets down the negative only. The third Lambeth article states the number of the elect to be definite and certain, so that it can be neither increased nor diminished: Hooker, far less hard and peremptory in tone, says, “To him the number of his elect is definitely known.” The fifth pair of articles relates to perseverance in grace, and presents so remarkable a difference, that it may be right to insert both here, for avoiding of apparent or inadvertent misrepresentation.
Lambeth Art. 5.
Vera, viva, justificans fides, et Spiritus Dei sanctificans non extinguitur, non excidit, non evanescit in electis aut finaliter aut totaliter.
That to God’s foreknown elect, final continuance of grace is given.
It could hardly be without meaning, that he omitted those expressions of the article, which seemed to imply that justifying faith and sanctification, where real, must of course be indefectible. Yet this of all the tenets, commonly designated as Calvinistic, was that which in his earlier productions he seems to maintain with least hesitation. For example; in the sermon on the Certainty and Perpetuity of Faith; “In this we know we are not deceived, neither can we deceive you, when we teach that the faith whereby ye are sanctified cannot fail; it did not in the prophet, it shall not in you.” Also (inter alia) in the Discourse of Justification1 : “If he which once hath the Son, may cease to have the Son, though it be for a moment, he ceaseth for that moment to have life. But the life of them which have the Son of God is everlasting in the world to come. Because as Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more, death hath no more power over Him; so justified man, being allied to God in Jesus Christ our Lord, doth as necessarily from that time forward always live, as Christ, by whom he hath life, liveth always1 .” And even in the Ecclesiastical Polity2 he uses the following strong expressions concerning a believer’s first participation of Christ’s grace. “The first thing of his so infused into our hearts is the Spirit of Christ: whereupon . . . the rest of what kind soever do both necessarily depend and infallibly also ensue.” It is not quite clear why a person holding such an opinion as this should scruple to receive the fifth Lambeth Article: yet Hooker it seems had such a scruple3 . It may be, that when he came to weigh more exactly his own doctrine of the Sacraments, he felt that it could not well stand with the supposed indefectibility of grace. For how could or can any person, beholding what numbers fall away after Baptism, hold consistently, on the one hand, that real sanctifying grace can never be finally forfeited; on the other, that it is given at Baptism? which latter, Hooker unquestionably holds: for these are his words4 : “Baptism is a sacrament which God hath instituted in his Church, to the end that they which receive the same might thereby be incorporated into Christ, and so through his most precious merit obtain as well that saving grace of imputation which taketh away all former guiltiness, as also that infused Divine virtue of the Holy Ghost which giveth to the powers of the soul their first disposition towards future newness of life.” This is one passage among many attributing to baptism when not unworthily received, and therefore in all cases to infant baptism, no less than justifying or pardoning grace, together with the first infusion of that which sanctifies. It is for those who suppose the writer an uncompromising Calvinist, to explain how these representations can be reconciled with Calvin’s doctrine, of the absolute perpetuity of justifying and of the first sanctifying grace. It is not here meant to deny that such reconciliation may be possible: but the Editor has never yet met with it. And until some way be discovered of clearing up this difficulty, it will be at least as fair in the advocates as they are called of free-will, to quote Hooker’s doctrine of the sacraments, as in predestinarians to insist on his doctrine of final perseverance. The rather, as the next, the sixth Lambeth article, which lays it down that all truly justified souls have full assurance of faith concerning their own pardon and salvation; this article is totally omitted by Hooker: no doubt for the same kind of reasons as induced him, writing on the Certainty and Perpetuity of Faith, to make so large allowance for the little understanding men have of their own spiritual condition. The modifications of the three remaining articles are much less considerable; they are, first, “that inward grace whereby to be saved is deservedly not given to all men:” where the word “deservedly” is an insertion of Hooker’s, anxious to counteract all notions of arbitrary punishment. Secondly, that “no man can come to Christ, whom God by the inward grace of his Spirit draweth not.” Hooker contents himself with this anti-Pelagian proposition: whereas the Lambeth divines added, “Not all men are drawn by the Father to come to his Son.” Next, whereas they nakedly affirm, “It lies not in the will or power of each individual to be saved or lost:” Hooker, charitably and cautiously, guards the assertion; “It is not in every, no not in any man’s own mere ability, freedom or power, to be saved; no man’s salvation being possible without grace.” And lastly, he adds a distinct reserve in behalf of the claim of practical obedience on every soul of man. “God is no favourer of sloth: and therefore there can be no such absolute decree touching man’s salvation as on our part includeth no necessity of care and travail.” On this there is a deep silence in the Lambeth propositions.
So much for the points which it was considered material to enumerate, as best exemplifying the gradual but decisive change which English Theology underwent in the hands of Hooker. The results of his publications were great and presently perceptible: a school of writers immediately sprung up, who by express reference, or style, or tone of thought, betray their admiration of Hooker; Covel, Edwin Sandys, Field, Raleigh1 , and others; and what was infinitely more important, Hooker had his full share in training up for the next generation, Laud, Hammond, Sanderson1 , and a multitude more such divines: to which succession and series, humanly speaking, we owe it, that the Anglican church continues at such a distance from that of Geneva, and so near to primitive truth and apostolical order. There have been and are those, who resort, or would be thought to resort, to the books of Ecclesiastical Polity, for conclusions and maxims very different from these. King James II, it is well known, ascribed to Hooker, more than to any other writer, his own ill-starred conversion to Romanism: against which, nevertheless, if he had thought a little more impartially, he might have perceived that Hooker’s works every where inculcate that which is the only sufficient antidote, respect for the true Church of the Fathers, as subsidiary to Scripture and a witness of its true meaning. And the rationalists on the contrary side, and the liberals of the school of Locke and Hoadly, are never weary of claiming Hooker as the first distinct enunciator of their principles. Whereas, even in respect of civil government, though he might allow their theory of its origin, he pointedly deprecates their conclusion in favour of resistance. And in respect of sacramental grace, and the consequent nature and importance of Church communion, themselves have never dared to claim sanction from him.
It is hoped that this republication of his remains, by making them in certain respects more accessible, will cause them to become more generally read and known: and surely the better they are known, the more entirely will they be rescued from the unpleasant association, and discreditable praise, just now mentioned; the more will they appear in their true light, as a kind of warning voice from antiquity, a treasure of primitive, catholic maxims and sentiments, seasonably provided for this Church, at a time when she was, humanly speaking, in a fair way to fall as low towards rationalism, as the lowest of the protestant congregations are now fallen, Bold must be he who should affirm, that great as was then her need of such a defender, it at all exceeded her peril from the same quarter at the present moment. Should these volumes prove at all instrumental in awakening any of her children to a sense of that danger, and in directing their attention to the primitive, apostolical Church, as the ark of refuge divinely provided for the faithful, such an effect will amply repay the Editor, not only for the labour of his task, which to one more skilful would have been comparatively nothing, but for that which must otherwise be always a source of some regret to him—the consciousness, namely, of having undertaken an office, for which in many respects he knew himself to be so very imperfectly prepared.
The chief circumstance important to be stated on this reprint of the edition of 1836, is, that the whole of the Dublin MSS. of Hooker have been carefully collated for it a second time by Dr. Todd and Mr. Gibbings; and all the resulting variations of any importance will be found inserted in their proper places. They have ascertained what it is on many accounts satisfactory to know; that the notes on the Sermon on Justification, supposed to be Archbishop Ussher’s, and given as his in the former edition, are unquestionably by another hand. Mr. Young, of the College of Arms, has kindly revised the Pedigree of the Hooker family, and corrected it from documents in the library of that institution: towards which object valuable information has been furnished by Mr. Dalton, of Dunkirk House in Gloucestershire. The Editor gladly avails himself of this mode of acknowledging the obligation he feels to all these gentlemen for their valuable and friendly aid.
APPENDIX TO PREFACE.—No. II.
APPENDIX TO PREFACE.—No. III.
Titlepage.] The title of my answere this. To the Penman of a Letter intitled Christian2 , [and published with his name against whom it is writ,] in the name of certain English Protestants.
Ibid.] “Credo Apostolos nostros, nec cum suspicerentur ab hominibus inflatos fuisse, nec cum despicerentur elisos. Neutra quippe tentatio defuit illis viris; nam et credentium celebrabantur præconio, et persequentium maledictis infamabantur.” Aug. Doct. Christ. iii. c. 20. [t. iii. 54.]
“Prorsus si quid veri me tenere vel scio vel credo vel puto, in quo aliter sentis; quantum dat Dominus, sine tua injuria conabor asserere.” Aug. ad Hieron. Ep. 15. [t. ii. 167.]
As hitherto I have alwaies framed my selfe to respect truth with reverence, and error with compassion, soe I would be loath to begin in you a chaunge of that course, wherein I could never yet find any inconvenience.
It appeareth cleare throughout the course of his whole booke that this fellow did in no one point of doctrine understand either what he pretendeth the Church of England to establish, or what he allegeth as said by the adversarie; or what he would beare men in hand to be contradicted by the one and craftily upheld by the other; but sheweth such pittiful and palpable ignorance even in every article, as for mine own part I am ashamed that the common enemy of us both should see, being forward enough thereby to imagine that great blindnes must needs reign there where such a champion as this fighteth without eyes.
P. 2.] “Pericles convitiis certare recusat, quod qui vincat victo deterior sit.” Phil. Jud. p. 138. De Agricult. p. 133.
“Veritas est lux quam Sophistæ, consuetudo, conjectura, et falsus testis corrumpunt.
“Deus rerum omnium certissimus, et similis incerto.” Tertul. p. 635.
“Sapiens in eo quod est sapiens, intentio ejus est perquirere veritatem, non facere dubitationes, et ponere involutiones in opinionibus.” Aver. Disp. Metaph. fol. 148. p. 1.
“Qui falsum aliquid in principio sumunt, verisimilitudine inducti, necesse est eos in ea quæ consequuntur incurrere.” Lactant. p. 178. (l. 3. c. 24.)1 .
“Necesse est falsa esse quæ rebus falsis congruunt.” p. 178.
“Cum primis habuerint fidem, qualia sunt ea quæ sequuntur non circumspiciunt, sed defendunt omni modo, cum debeant prima utrumne vera sint an falsa ex consequentibus judicare.” p. 178.
“Sermo de scientia quam Deus gloriosus de se et de aliis habet est prohibitus. Quanto magis ponere eum in scriptis. Nam non pervenit intelligentia vulgi ad tales profunditates: et cum disputatur ab eis, in hoc destruitur divinitas apud eos. Quare disputatio eis de hac scientia prohibita est, cum sufficiat in fælicitatem eorum ut intelligant id quod potest percipere intelligentia eorum. Quare lex cujus intentio prima fuit docere vulgus non defecit circa intelligentiam harum rerum ex iis quæ sunt in homine, sed ad faciendum intelligere aliqua de Deo indiguit assimilatione ejus, instrumentis humanis. Ut dixit, ‘Manus ejus fundavit terram, et dextra ejus mensuravit cœlum.’ Et hæc quidem quæstio est propria sapientibus, quos dedicavit Deus veritati.” Aver. fol. 208.
“Aliquando est opinio, quæ erit venenum in aliquibus hominibus, et nutrimentum in aliis.” fol. 209.
“Cum impossibile sit quin loquamur in hac quæstione, dicimus de ea secundum quod requirit vis loquelæ de ea, et apud eum qui non est assuefactus in rebus in quibus se debet exercere ante considerationem in hac quæstione.” fol. 209.
Γνω̑μαι αἱ μὲν τω̑ν ἄρτι μανθάνειν ἀρχομένων ἄστατοι καὶ ἀνίδρυτοι.
P. 36. “Where is it revealed . . . . that angels’ perpetuity is the hand that draweth out celestial motion! . . . Do you not mean the angels which kept not their first estate,” &c.] What a misery is it to be troubled with an adversary into whom a man must put both truth and wit.
Ibid. On “warrant of present grace in the very work wrought of baptism.”] See Mornæus, Misc. p. 773.
P. 40. “When those officers” (of Geneva, who had expelled Calvin) “like unto filthy froth, were cast out, the one accused of sedition going about to escape through a window, falling down headlong, by the pease” (weight) “of his body, was so hurt that within few days he died: another for murder was put to death, and the two other being accused for ill government in a certain embassage, forsook the country, and were condemned being absent,” &c.] Not unlikely but men, when they fail of their hope, and are at a stop in their purposes, may grow desperate; as Achitophel, Hacquet, Coppinger, and such like melancholiques.
P. 45. “In all your bookes . . . the ingenuous schoolemen almost in all points have some finger.”] As if you should say, the brave and courtly husbandmen, the high spirited shepperds, the victorious friars, the brave and prudent scullers on Thamesis, or any other the like unfit and mischosen titles. A term as fit as is a saddle for a cow’s back. Were it fit for me to say of reformers, they are hir majestie’s fair and well favoured [subjects]?
P. 46. “As a man afar off beholding a briar tree all blown over with his flowers, with great desire approacheth near unto it, and findeth himself deceived; so the delight of reading your book,” &c.] What a goodly show there is in the blossoms of a briar tree. No tree in all the field or forest fit to serve your turn in this comparison, but the briar tree only? Indeed the briar is noted for a proud aspiring tree, carrying a more ambitious mind than either the olive tree or vine, although it bring forth nothing worthy to be accounted of. But, good sir, the heart of the tree you see not; it may be the kind you also mistake; and as for the fruit, you are not ignorant how distasteful all fruits are when the tongue is scorched and blistered with heat.
Ibid. “Sometime it seemeth to us that we perceive great flourishing of warlike and glistering weapons, and to hear the loud outcries and noise of them which pursue their enemies in battle, thundering, gunshot, tossing of spears, and rattling of harness,” &c.] O brave gallant! This martial spirit of yours doth surely deserve a knighthood, but that you are a man more willing to be heard than known in the field; neither do you, like a Pyrgopolimius, swell, and so break, but from big words you proceed, as a valiant champion should do, to deadly blows.
P. 47.] I doubt not but if you once attain to understand the rudiments and principles of Christian religion, which with good helps may be done in reasonable time; those other gifts of speech and writing, wherewith it hath pleased God to indue you in very good handsome measure, may do good for the edifying of poor country people, in case you apply your talent that way, and leave the controversies of religion to other men that have bestowed their time on them.
Ibid. “That you would be careful not to corrupt the English Creed,” &c.] Be you careful to understand the English Creed, which as yet you do not. Read some good Catechism, and take the help of divines allowed by authority, that they may a little better make it sink into your head, before you meddle again with matters of religion.
Add here such sentiments as the Fathers use for admonition to shallow witted men, and consolation, although they be not able to argue and dispute in matters of doctrine: which thing belongeth not to them, but to others, whom God hath more enabled for that purpose.
P. 48.] “Now in all these things, good Maister Hoo. though we thus write, we do not take upon us to censure your books, neither rashly to judge of you for them; but because . . . . he that toucheth our faith toucheth the apple of our eye; we could not but utter our inward grief, and yet in as charitable manner, as the cause in hand would suffer.”] As if Cassius and Brutus, having slain Cæsar, they should have solemnly protested to his friends, they meant him nothing but mere good-will and friendship. Only they feared lest the commonwealth should take harm by his means. Was there any friend he had so ill-minded, as not to believe such honest protestations?
An imitation of this conclusion in the person of Cassius and Brutus. You have given me as many stabs as my body could receive at your hands: although in effect, I praise God for it, none of them deadly, whatsoever your intent were. But for this once I will take your word without further reply; and am content to let the world think, if it will, that as you have done me, so likewise you have meant me no evil in any thing hitherto written; not in traducing me as an underminer, not in, &c.
Forget not here to use that of Solomon, Prov. xxvi. 18, “As a madman who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, so is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?”
P. 49. At the foot of their conclusion.] “Hæc pro animi nostri pura conscientia et Domini ac Dei nostri fiducia rescripsi. Habes tu literas meas et ego tuas. In die judicii ante tribunal Christi utraque recitabuntur.” Cyprian. ad Papin. [Pupian.] Ep. 66. in fine.
[1 ]This marriage of the Archbishop’s great-niece with a simple London shopkeeper would seem to shew that Hooker’s own marriage, however ill-assorted in other respects, would not be considered as disparaging to his station in society. The woman might be, as Antony Wood describes her, “clownish and silly;” but in point of rank and education, according to the fashion of that time, there was no reason why she might not become the wife of a country clergyman, though of an old family, and nephew of a member of parliament. Churchman, her father, had been wealthy, and the family bore arms, as appears by the Hookers’ pedigree.
[1 ]Strype, Parker, i. 528.
[2 ]See Life, p. 65, 66.
[3 ]See vol. iii. p. 618.
[1 ][So stated by Walton. But in the Stationers’ Registers published by Mr. Arber (II. 295), the entry is “John Windet, 29 Januarie, [159⅔] entred for his copie, The lawes of ecclesiasticall policie, eight bookes, by Richard Hooker. Aucthorized by the lord archbishop of Canterburie his grace under his hand.”] 1886.
[2 ]Windet was one of the publishers commonly employed by persons of Hooker’s way of thinking: we find him about this time publishing a work of Dr. Bridges, and the tract called “Querimonia Ecclesiæ.”
[3 ][Supposing the entry was March 9th. But it was really January 29th.] 1886.
[1 ][The title-page is without any date in the Bodleian and other copies. Walton says 1594 (p. 69 infra), and this date is sometimes inserted in contemporary handwriting.] 1886.
[2 ]Page 44.
[3 ]“Querimonia Ecclesiæ;” and “Bancroft’s Dangerous Positions.”
[4 ]See Life, App. p. 104; and vol. iii. notes on B. vi.
[5 ]B. vi. App. in vol. iii. 109, 112.
[6 ]Life, p. 74.
[1 ]Vol. iii. 136.
[2 ]The Editor takes this opportunity of acknowledging his obligations to the Rev. Dr. Bliss, Registrar of the University of Oxford, for the use of a copy of this rare volume, including also the fifth Book, first edition, in correcting the press: and also for the following note regarding the two. “The four first books were, according to Maunsel, printed in 1592-3. Walton however (and he is probably right) says that they did not appear till the year 1594. The fifth was published by itself in 1597, the printer being the person who executed the first part in 1594. It is singular that neither Ames nor Herbert” (who notice the first part, Typograph. Antiq. vol. ii. p. 1230,) “knew any thing of the fifth book. What they say of the four first, is quoted from Maunsel” (Catalogue, part i. p. 59) “and the Stationers’ Register.”
[1 ]Here and elsewhere the copy of the “Christian Letter” referred to is one in the Library of C. C. C. Oxon; with the use of which the Editor has been most kindly favoured by the President: a copy enriched with a good many notes in Hooker’s own handwriting. Nearly all these notes will be found in this edition, subjoined (with so much of the pamphlet itself as seemed necessary to make them intelligible) to those portions of the work respectively to which the pamphlet in each case referred.
[2 ]Hooker, marg. note. “That it was not my purpose though it were my profession to write for men’s information concerning the state of the Church of England. That they which are sincere minded men indeed were almost deceyved by the fair speeches wherewith I cloke and coulor mine intent. That calling at the length their wittes unto them they saw very great presumptions whereby I might be taken for a close enimy to the faith and doctrine of this Church, in shew a mainteiner of the government of God’s house, indeed an incendiarie, one set to fier the house of God for other men’s better opportunitie to rifle it.”
[1 ]Hooker, marginal note. “Who driveth you to this profession?”
[1 ]“Querimonia Ecclesiæ,” and Bancroft’s “Dangerous Positions.”
[1 ]Specified no doubt on account of the famous passage on c. vii. 13; in which the royal supremacy was attacked by Calvin: see E. P. viii. iv. 8.
[2 ]For some account of this book see E. P. viii. ii. 8 (iii. 347 n.1). It may seem by the manner in which the mention of it is here introduced, that Hooker was inclined, with Bancroft, to ascribe it to Beza. The argument however depends not on who was the writer, but on the acceptation which the book obtained among the reformers both here and abroad: which seems to have been at any rate very considerable.
[3 ]On this work the editor has not been able to obtain any information. If it were a translation, abridgment, or reprint of the Magdeburgh Centuries, it would come under the same description as the two former; see b. viii. ubi supra.
[4 ]This instance may shew how well informed Hooker was about works in the press, &c.; no doubt by Whitgift’s means. See p. xiv of this.
[1 ]Dr. Wordsworth in his Christian Institutes, i. 90, states the writer of the Pamphlet to have been Dr. Andrew Willett, Author of the Synopsis Papismi.
[2 ]Thus described in the Catalogue of MSS. C. C. C. 1682. “215.” (now E. i. 15.) “A Letter against Mr. Hooker’s Polity, printed in the year 1599, interleaved, with some part of an Answer to it of Mr. Hooker’s. Sed hic videtur esse exemplar recentius, ipsum vero autographum est penes me Tho. Norgrove.”
[3 ]Compare in this edition, vol. ii. 538, with i. 222, n.2; and ii. 556 with p. 216, n.1, and Chr. Letter 15-17; and see ii. 542, n.3.
[1 ]The conclusion is particularly calculated to excite serious reflections on the possible cause of the revival of that interest, in so fearful a way, within the very next generation. “The clergy,” says Cranmer, “especially those of both universities, are to be exhorted to preach Christ crucified, the mortification of the flesh, the renewing of the spirit: not those things which in time of strife seem precious, but passions being allayed, are vain and childish.” There is a remarkable coincidence between this and the language of King Charles I. about thirty years after, when being at Woodstock he commended to the faculty of divinity at Oxford, as the best subject whereof to treat, “Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” See Jackson’s Works, ii. 565.
[2 ]“Queen Elizabeth, confiding in her own princely judgment and opinion, had formed so favourable an opinion of Cranmer’s worth and conduct, that she would have him and none other, to finish and bring the Irish war to a propitious end: which not deceiving her good conceit of him, he nobly achieved, though with much pains and carefulness.” Lloyd’s State Worthies, p. 665, as quoted by Dr. Bliss, in his edition of the Ath. Oxon. i. 701.
[1 ]See Life of Hooker, Further Appendix, No. i. p. 103.
[2 ]Life, p. 17. It may be as well to specify the corrections there made by Walton in the extract from the version of Camden. The Advertisement says, “In C. C. C. he proceeded and continued M.A. of six years standing before he removed:” Walton, “he continued M.A. for some time before,” &c. The Advertisement, “He then betook himself to secretary Davison:” Walton, “He then betook himself to travel, accompanying that worthy gentleman sir E. Sandys,” &c. The Advertisement, “After sir H. Killigrew’s death, he accompanied sir E. Sandys, &c. and after his return was sought after by the most noble lord Mountjoy:” Walton, After sir H. Killigrew’s death he was sought after by the most noble lord Mountjoy.” These corrections, which Walton must have obtained from the Cranmers, seem to shew that they were not, any more than Jackson, concerned in the original publication of the letter.
[1 ]See hereafter, p. 97.
[1 ]See Further Appendix to the Life of Hooker, No. iv. p. 114.
[1 ]Ath. Oxon. ii. 296.
[1 ]See H. Wharton’s Preface to the Troubles, &c. of Archbishop Laud.
[2 ]From the Library of C. C. C. with a few marginal notices and corrections by Fulman.
[3 ]Wood however was right: as appears by a copy with which the Editor has been favoured, since the first publication of this Preface, by the Rev. J. S. Brewer, of Queen’s College, Oxford.
[4 ][Designated in Mr. Keble’s notes by the sign E. vol. iii. p. 1. n. [Editor: illegible character]]
[1 ]Hallam’s Constitutional Hist. of Engl. c. iv. vol. i. p. 236. 4to. 1827. note.
[2 ]See E. P. Pref. iv. 5, and note; and Querimonia Ecclesiæ, p. 219. “Non tam bonis displicet novum hoc seniorum genus, quam placet Puritanis. Nam cum omnia quæ nobis proponunt plurimum semper dilaudant, . . . præclarum tamen hunc seniorum consessum tanti faciunt, ut eo uno totius Ecclesiæ salutem niti existiment.”
[1 ]Titlepage: “The works of Mr. Richard Hooker, (that Learned, Godly, Judicious, and Eloquent Divine.) vindicating the Church of England, as truely Christian, and duly Reformed: in Eight Books of Ecclesiastical Polity. Now compleated, as with the Sixth and Eighth, so with the Seventh, (touching Episcopacy, as the Primitive, Catholic, and Apostolic government of the Church,) out of his own MSS. never before published. With an account of his Holy Life, and Happy Death, written by Dr. John Gauden, now Bishop of Exeter. The entire Edition dedicated to the King’s most excellent Majesty, Charles II: by whose Royal Father (near his Martyrdom) the former Five Books, (then only extant) were commended to his dear children, as an excellent mean to satisfy private scruples, and settle the public Peace of this Church and Kingdom.” Dedication to the King: “I know not what to present more worthy of your Majesty’s acceptance, and my duty, than these elaborate and seasonable works of the famous and prudent Mr. Richard Hooker, now augmented, and I hope compleated with the three last books, so much desired, and so long concealed. The publication of which volume so entire,” &c. And below: “To this compleated edition, I have added such particular accounts as I could get, of the author’s person,” &c. Preface: “By the care of some learned men, especially of the Right Reverend Father in God, Gilbert, now Lord Bishop of London, those genuine additions are now made of the three last books, promised and performed by him, but long concealed from public view, not without great injury to the public good.” And, p. 23, “Himself expired amidst his great undertakings to the impotent joy of his antagonists: who finding themselves worsted and sorely wounded . . . by this great archer, in his five first books, yet received some comfort in this, that they escaped the shot of his last three, which he never published, and which they hoped he had never finished; or if he did complete them, they found (as is by some imagined) some artifice so long to smother and conceal them from the public, till they had played such an after-game, as they thought was only able to confute Mr. Hooker, and to blot out by the sword the impressions of his pen. But Providence in time hath not only confuted those men’s projects and confidences, but also brought forth those esteemed abortions, the three last books, with such lineaments of their father’s virtue and vigour on them, that they may be easily and justly owned for genuine, although (perhaps) they had not the last politure of their parent’s hands. Their strength shews them to be a legitimate progeny, however they may seem to want something of that beauty and lustre which always attended Mr. Hooker’s consummation.” He next goes on to give what seems by its form intended as a sort of analysis of the three last books, but from its matter one might almost conjecture, that he had hardly read more of them than their titles. He then proceeds, p. 26: “Such as they are, it is thought meet to present them to the reader; each of them is by learned critics judged to be genuine or authentic, though possibly not so complete or exact as the curious author intended.”
[1 ]Compare e. g. the corresponding part of the fifth book.
[2 ]Or he may have employed two Printers, as in his Hieraspistes: see that work, p. 320. ed. 1653.
[1 ]Vol. iii. p. 164.
[2 ]See App. by Walton, p. 95.
[1 ]E. P. viii. ii. 10.
[1 ]Wood, Hist. and Antiq. Univ. Oxon. i. 350. ed. 1674.
[2 ]Parr, Life of Ussher, p. 44, “1641. This year there was published at Oxford (among divers other treatises of Bishop Andrewes, Mr. Hooker, and other learned men, concerning Church government) the Lord Primate’s ‘Original of Bishops and Metropolitans.’ ”
[1 ][First in 1618, with Books i-iv. (fourth ed.) 1617.]
[2 ]Ap. Fulm. x. 86. The letter is dated Sept. 1612. The Tracts were at first published with Wickliffe’s Wicket.
[1 ]Walton, Preface to Sanderson’s Life. “As in my queries for writing Dr. Sanderson’s Life, I met with these little Tracts annexed; so in my former queries for my information to write the Life of venerable Mr. Hooker, I met with a sermon, which I believe was really his, and [it is] here presented as his to the reader. It is affirmed, (and I have met with reason to believe it,) that there be some artists that do certainly know an original picture from a copy, and in what age of the world, and by whom drawn. And if so, then I hope it may be as safely affirmed, that what is here presented for theirs is so like their temper of mind, their other writings, the times when, and the occasions upon which they were writ, that all readers may safely conclude, they could be writ by none but venerable Mr. Hooker, and the humble and learned Dr. Sanderson.”
[1 ]E. g. 1 Ser. § 1. “a sweet lesson.” § 4. “The prophets were not like harps or lutes: they felt, they felt, the power and strength of their own words.” (Compare Spenser’s “God’s love to His Vineyard,” p. 7. “As for that old vineyard, it is burnt, it is burnt with fire.”) § 6. “If any man doth love the Lord Jesus (and woe worth him that loveth not the Lord Jesus) hereby we may know that he loveth him indeed.” § 7. “A mingle-mangle of religion and superstition, ministers and massing priests, light and darkness, truth and error, traditions and scriptures.” § 9. “The maddest people under the sun.” Serm. ii. § 10. “How suddenly they pop down into the pit.” “O then to fly unto God.” § 11. “Is there not a taste, a taste of Christ Jesus in the heart of him that eateth?” § 22. “He was able to safe conduct a thief from the cross to Paradise.”
[2 ]E. g. § 12. “If these men had been of us indeed (O the blessedness of a Christian man’s estate) they had stood surer than the angels that had never departed from their place.” § 14. “It is as easy a matter for the spirit within you to tell whose you are, as for the eyes of your body to judge where you sit, or in what place you stand.” ii. § 18. “If I break my very heart with calling upon God, and wear out my tongue with preaching; if I sacrifice my body and soul unto Him, and have no faith, all this availeth nothing.”
[3 ]Serm. i. § 13, 14. Compare Serm. on Certainty, &c. p. 474; and E. P. v. 9.
[1 ]If a conjecture might be ventured, Reynolds, or Spenser perhaps himself in his early days, was not unlikely to have written such discourses.
[1 ]Several names have been mentioned; that of one to whom the publication is more deeply indebted than to any except Dr. Cotton, is omitted from scruples of private feeling: but one, the Editor must here take the liberty of adding, that of the President of Hooker’s college, Dr. Bridges, whose friendliness in intrusting the Editor with the valuable relics of Hooker there preserved has been felt all along as an additional call for every effort to do justice to his sacred memory.
[2 ]The Editor has never met with a copy, but has been favoured with an account of one by the Rev. T. Lathbury, of Bath.
[3 ]Ath. Oxon. ii. 146. [Signed T. S. ed. 1604. J. S. ed. 1617.]
[4 ][But so on titlepage of the first ed. 1594.]
[1 ][The fifth book has a separate title, 1616, but paging continuous.]
[2 ]He has since been informed of a seventh reprint in 4to, by Bishop, of London, 1639.
[3 ]There was also an edition in large folio printed at Dublin, by subscription, 1721. It does not appear that the publisher was at all aware of the remains of Hooker in Trinity College library. The only addition to Strype’s of 1705 is the Preface by Dr. Spenser.
[1 ]Book vi. near the beginning.
[1 ]See vol. i. p. 134, of this edition.
[1 ]“The first Blast of the Trumpet against the monstrous Regiment of Women.” 1556 or 1557.
[2 ]“How Superior Powers ought to be obeyed.” 1558.
[1 ]Works, iii. 273 [fol. 1673].
[1 ]See Palmer’s Origines Liturgicæ.
[1 ]In his first Treatise, (1590,) Preface to the Reader, he says, “Sæpius his 26 annis, quid sentirem de episcoporum ordine, in familiari colloquio amicis exposui.” In his Dedication, (to Whitgift, Hatton, and Burghley,) “Ego ab ecclesiis Belgicis hinc evocatus, illic vixi diversis in locis totos decem annos, quo tempore duo quædam maximi momenti illis ecclesiis deesse judicavi, quæ a me pie dissimulari non possunt: nempe honorem et convenientem dignitatis gradum ministerio, evangelio jam authoritate publica recepto, non dari; deinde opes in societate civili æstimationi retinendæ necessarias negari.” Afterwards, “De his malis non raro conquestus sum apud eos quibuscum familiaris eram . . . Tandem mei officii esse judicavi, quæ exactius consideranda tum ipsis ecclesiarum ministris, tum imprimis ordinibus Belgicis proponere aliquando cogitaveram, nunc his tribus libris Latino sermone vulgare.” In his address to the Ministers of Lower Germany he begins thus: “Non raro cum plerisque vestrum, cum Leidæ agerem, deploravi ecclesiarum quæ istic sunt statum,” &c. And below, “Constitueram, si apud vos mansissem, super hac re Dominos Status convenire . . . Sed meum consilium primo mors Dom. Principis Aurantiæ remorata est, deinde Dom. Comitis Leicestriæ gratia, ne id facere viderer aut alieno tempore, in summa consternatione reip. aut fretus favore et consilio Dom. Comitis.” And again, “Apud meos fratres et collegas, et nonnullos ex magistratu urbis Gandavi, meam sententiam dissimulare non potui. Sed fateor me non ita libere fuisse locutum, ut in hac disputatione facturus sum; verebar enim ne nuper ad Christi fidem conversos offenderem.”
[1 ]E. P. V. lxxvii. 1.
[1 ]E. P. VII. xi. 8.
[1 ]E. P. III. x. 8.
[1 ]E. P. III. xi. 18.
[2 ]E. P. III. xi. 14.
[1 ]Ch. xiv. 11.
[1 ]E. P. VIII. vi. 1.
[2 ]Dig. i. iv. 1 [Inst. i. ii. 6] quoted by Hooker, E. P. VIII. vi. 11.
[3 ]E. P. VIII. vi. 3.
[1 ]See Bishop Bull, Def. Fid. Nic. iv. i. 8.
[2 ]Of the original edition; in this, ch. liv. 2.
[1 ]Chap. xiv. 2.
[2 ]This note is preserved only in the Dublin Transcript of the notes on the Christian Letter.
[1 ]There is a remarkable passage in the eighth book, in which he betrays the same jealousy, not without reason, of some incautious positions of Cartwright. That diligent copyist of the foreign reformers had borrowed, probably from Beza, the strange notion, that our Lord in the government of His Church has a superior, viz. His Father; but in the government of kingdoms is merely alone and independent; a notion which, carried out as far as it will go, has an evident tendency towards Nestorian error. So Hooker appears to have felt: and accordingly, without saying as much, he disposes of it by simply repeating the catholic doctrine, and challenging the authors of the questionable position to produce their authority for it, either in Scripture or in the nature of the case. Nor was this any new feeling, but it was an apprehension which he had conceived or adopted from the very beginning of his theological career. See a very significant note (if it be his) on the Sermon of Justification: where he charges both Papists and Lutherans with “denying the foundation by consequence” on this point.
[1 ]E. P. V. lv. 9.
[2 ]Ibid. V. lvi. 9.
[3 ]E. P. V. lvi. 13.
[4 ]Def. of Apol. part 2. c. 21. div. 1.
[1 ]The word “carnal,” it will be observed, is added by Jewel to the quotation from his opponent.
[2 ]E. P. V. lvi.
[3 ]The following appear to be instances of it. Cranmer, Doctrine of the Sacrament, Works, vol. ii. p. 406. “Hilary . . . . . . although he saith that Christ is naturally in us, yet he saith also that we be naturally in Him . . .He meant that Christ in His incarnation received of us a mortal nature, and united the same unto His divinity, and so we be naturally in Him.” And again, Answer to Gardiner, b. iii. in vol. iii. 263. “As the vine and branches be both of one nature, so the Son of God taking unto Him our human nature, and making us partakers of His divine nature, giving unto us immortality and everlasting life, doth so dwell naturally and corporally in us, and maketh us to dwell naturally and corporally in Him.” And p. 265. “Where you say that Christ uniteth Himself to us as man, when He giveth His body in the Sacrament to such as worthily receive it; if you will speak as Cyril and other old authors used to do, Christ did unite Himself to us as man at His incarnation.” So determined was Cranmer in this interpretation, that even in such passages as the following he expounds the μυστικὴ εὐλογία, not of the blessing in the Eucharist, but of Christ’s taking our flesh. “The Son is united unto us,” says St. Cyril, “corporally by the mystical benediction, spiritually as God.” “In that place,” says Cranmer, “the mystical benediction may well be understood of His incarnation.” vol. iii. 264.
[1 ]E. P. V. lvii. 1. “It greatly offendeth, that some, when they labour to shew the use of the holy Sacraments, assign unto them no end but only to teach the mind, by other senses, that which the word doth teach by hearing,” ibid. 5. “We take not Baptism nor the Eucharist for bare resemblances or memorials of things absent, neither for naked signs and testimonies assuring us of grace received before, but (as they are indeed and in verity) for means effectual whereby God, when we take the Sacraments, delivereth into our hands that grace available unto eternal life, which grace the Sacraments represent or signify.”
[1 ]E. P. V. lx.
[2 ]Compare (inter alia) the following passages: Cranmer, Defence, &c. b. iii. c. 2. vol. i. p. 357. “They say, that good men eat the body of Christ, and drink His blood, only at that time when they receive the Sacrament; we say, that they eat, drink, and feed, of Christ continually, so long as they be members of his body.” And Jewel, Reply to Harding, art. 5. div. 2. p. 238, 9. “Our doctrine, grounded upon God’s holy word, is this: that as certainly as Christ gave His body upon the cross, so certainly He giveth now the selfsame body unto the faithful; and that not only in the ministration of the Sacrament, . . . but also at all times, whensoever we be able to say with St. Paul, ‘I think I know nothing but Jesus Christ, and the same Christ crucified upon the Cross.’ ” Should it occur to any one that the doctrine blamed in the text, is but in accordance with that of the church of England, in her rubric concerning spiritual communion, annexed to the Office for Communion of the Sick: he may consider whether that rubric, explained (as if possible it must be) in consistency with the definition of a sacrament in the Catechism, can be meant for any but rare and extraordinary cases; cases as strong in regard of the Eucharist, as that of martyrdom, or the premature death of a well-disposed catechumen, in regard of Baptism.
[1 ]As did St. Augustine, (among other places,) in his sermon on the 54th verse. “Corpus dixit escam, sanguinem potum; Sacramentum fidelium agnoscunt fideles; Audientes autem quid aliud quam audiunt.” t. v. 640.
[2 ]E. P. II. vi. 4.
[1 ]E. P. V. lxv.
[2 ]E. P. V. lxvi. 7.
[1 ]Ed. Baluz. p. 157; 206; 144; 159; 161.
[1 ]E. P. V. 2. lxxii. “The world being bold to surfeit doth now blush to fast, supposing that men when they fast, do rather bewray a disease, than exercise a virtue.”
[1 ]Compare E. P. V. lxxii. 1.
[2 ]V. lxxix. 1.
[1 ]E. P. VII. xxiv. 23. Contrast with this, Cranmer’s Answer to the Devonshire Rebels, art. xiv. vol. ii. p. 242. And vol. i. p. 319, where he silently sanctions Henry the Eighth’s usurpations, not only of monastic but of cathedral property.
[1 ]E. P. V. xxii. 10.
[1 ]See especially i. 14.
[2 ]E. P. V. 72. 9. “I will not dispute . . . whether truly it may not be said that penitent both weeping and fasting are means to blot out sin, means whereby through God’s unspeakable and undeserved mercy we obtain or procure to ourselves pardon, which attainment unto any gracious benefit by him bestowed the phrase of antiquity useth to express by the name of merit.” Comp. Disc. of Justification, § 21.
[1 ]Disc. of Justif. § 21.
[2 ]Ibid. § 6.
[1 ]V. xlix. 3.
[1 ]§ 26. In these, (by the way,) as in all Hooker’s earlier works, it is observable that he employs undoubtingly the phraseology appropriate to the Christian covenant to express the spiritual condition of Jews and Patriarchs: just as Bishop Jewel and others continually affirm the spiritual graces of the Sacraments to have been the portion of such as Abel, Abraham, or David, as truly as of the saints of the new covenant. This was one dogma of the school of extreme protestantism, from which Hooker began afterwards gradually to withdraw himself: and as a symptom of his doing so may be remarked, that in no part of his dissertation on Sacraments in the fifth book of the Ecclesiastical Polity does he argue at all from this supposed identity of the Jewish with the Christian Sacraments; rather his whole train of thought is such as strictly to confine the sacramental grace of Christ to the heavenly kingdom which He set up after his incarnation.
[1 ]Comp. St. Aug. De Peccat. Merit. &c. i. 26, 27. t. x. p. 15.
[2 ]V. lvi. 11.
[3 ]In which he would be confirmed by that writer of whom among human authorities he speaks most highly, St. Augustin: who undoubtedly held baptismal justifying grace, and as undoubtedly considered it as capable of forfeiture; ascribing perseverance to a supervening special gift. See De Corrept. et Grat. c. 18—21. t. x. 759.
[4 ]E. P. V. lx. 2.
[1 ]The following sentences from the History of the World, which must have been finished before 1615, may serve to illustrate this observation: “This was the order of the army of Israel, and of their encamping and marching; the tabernacle being always set in the middle and centre thereof. The reverend care, which Moses the Prophet and chosen servant of God had, in all that belonged even to the outward and least parts of the tabernacle, ark and sanctuary, witnessed well the inward and most humble zeal borne towards God himself. The industry used in the framing thereof and every and the least part thereof; the curious workmanship thereon bestowed; the exceeding charge and expense in the provisions; the dutiful observance in the laying up and preserving the holy vessels; the solemn removing thereof, the vigilant attendance thereon, and the provident defence of the same, which all ages have in some degree imitated, is now so forgotten and cast away in this superfine age, by those of the Family, by the Anabaptists, Brownists, and other sectaries, as all cost and care bestowed and had of the Church, wherein God is to be served and worshipped, is accounted a kind of popery, and as proceeding from an idolatrous disposition; insomuch as time would soon bring to pass (if it were not resisted) that God would be turned out of churches into barns, and from thence again into the fields and mountains, and under the hedges; and the offices of the ministry (robbed of all dignity and respect) be as contemptible as those places; all order, discipline, and church government, left to newness of opinion and men’s fancies; yea, and soon after, as many kinds of religions would spring up, as there are parish churches within England; every contentious and ignorant person clothing his fancy with the spirit of God, and his imagination with the gift of revelation; insomuch as when the truth, which is but one, shall appear to the simple multitude no less variable than contrary to itself, the faith of men will soon after die away by degrees, and all religion be held in scorn and contempt.” b. ii. c. 5. § 1. Elsewhere (c. 4. § 4.) Sir Walter Raleigh quotes Hooker by name for his definition of law: one among the many incidental proofs of the great authority which Hooker’s work had acquired in so very few years.
[1 ]See especially Hammond, Works, vol. i. p. 669; and Pierce’s Letter at the end of Walton’s Life of Sanderson.
[1 ]The references are to the pages of the printed Letter on which the original memoranda occur.
[2 ]The portion in brackets has a line drawn across in the original, and consequently omitted in the Dublin and C. C. C. Transcripts.
[1 ]The reference in (!) seems to be entered in the original in Fulman’s hand.