Front Page Titles (by Subject) APPENDIX, No. I. [ Supposed Fragment of a Sermon on Civil Obedience, hitherto printed as part of the Eighth Book. ] - The Works of Richard Hooker, vol. 3
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APPENDIX, No. I. [ Supposed Fragment of a Sermon on Civil Obedience, hitherto printed as part of the Eighth Book. ] - Richard Hooker, The Works of Richard Hooker, vol. 3 
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. 3.
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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APPENDIX, No. I.
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BOOK VIII. Appendix, No. 1.Yea that1 which is more, the laws thus made, God himself doth in such sort authorize, that to despise them, is to despise in them him. It is a loose and licentious opinion, which the Anabaptists have embraced, holding that a Christian man’s liberty is lost, and the soul which Christ hath redeemed unto himself injuriously drawn into servitude under the yoke of human power, if any law be now imposed besides the Gospel of Christ, in obedience whereunto the Spirit of God, and not the constraint of men, is to lead us, according to that of the blessed Apostle2 , “Such as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God,” and not such as live in thraldom unto men. Their judgment is therefore that the Church of Christ should admita no lawmakers but the evangelists, no courts but presbyteries, no punishments but ecclesiastical censures.
As against this sort, we are to maintain the use of human laws, and the continual necessity of making them from time to time, as long as this present world doth last; so likewise the authority of laws so made doth need much more by us to be strengthened against another sort, who, although they do not utterly condemn the making of laws in the Church, yet make they a greatb deal less account of them than they should do. There are which think simply of human laws, that they can in no sort touch the conscience; that to break and transgress them cannot make men in the sight of God culpable as sin doth; only when we violate such laws, we do thereby make ourselves obnoxious unto external punishment in this world, so that the magistrate may in regard of such offence committed justly correct the offender, and cause him without injury to endure such pain as the lawc doth appoint; but further it reacheth not. For first, the conscience is the proper court of God, the guiltiness thereof is sin, and the punishment eternal death: men are not able to make any law that shall command the heart, it is not in them to make thed inward conceit a crime, or to appoint for any crime other punishment than corporal: their laws therefore can have no power over the soul, neither can the heart of man be polluted by transgressing them. St. Austine1 rightly defineth sin to be that which is spoken, done or desired, not against any lawe , but against the law of the living God. The law of God is proposed unto men, as a glass wherein to behold the stains and spotsf of their sinful souls. By it they are to judge themselves, and when they findg themselves to have transgressed against it, then to bewail their offences with David2 , “Against thee only, O Lord, have I sinned, and done wickedly in thy sight;” that so our present tears may extinguish the flames, which otherwise we are to feel, and which God in that day shall condemn the wicked unto, when they shall render account of the evil which they have done, not by violating statute laws and canons, but by disobedience unto his law and wordh .
For our better instruction therefore concerningi this point, first we must note, that the law of God himselfk doth require at our hands subjection. “Be ye subject3 ,” saith St. Peter; and St. Paul, “4 Let every soul be subject; subject all unto such powers as are set over us.” For if such as are not set over us require our subjection, we by denying it are not disobedient to the law of God, or undutiful unto higher powers; because though they be such in regard of them over whom they have lawful dominion, yet having not so over us, unto us they are not such5 .
Subjection therefore we owe, and that by the law of God; we are in conscience bound to yield it even unto every of them that hold the seats of authority and power in relation unto us. Howbeit, not all kindl of subjection unto every such kind of power. Concerning Scribes and Pharisees, our Saviour’s precept was1 , “Whatsoever they shall tell youm , do it;” was it his meaning, that if they should at any time enjoin the people to levy an army, or to sell their lands and goods for the furtherance of so great an enterprize; and in a word, that simply whatsoevern it were which they did command, they ought without any exception forthwith to be obeyed? No, but “whatsoever they shall tell you,” must be understood in pertinentibus ad Cathedram, it must be construed with limitation, and restrained unto things of that kind which did belong to their place and power. For they had not power general, absolutely given them to command ino all things.
The reason why we are bound in conscience to be subject unto all such powerp is, because all “powers are of God2 .” They are of God either instituting or permitting them. Power is then of divine institution, when either God himself doth deliver, or men by light of nature find out the kind thereof. So that the power of parents over children, and of husbands over their wives, the power of all sorts of superiors, made by consent of commonwealths within themselves, or grown from agreement amongst nations, such power is of God’s own institution in respect of the kind thereof. Again, if respect be had unto those particular persons to whom the same is derived, if they either receive it immediately from God, as Moses and Aaron did; or from nature, as parents do; or from men by a natural and orderly course, as every governor appointed in any commonwealth, by the orderq thereof, doth: then is not the kind of their power only of God’s institutionr , but the derivation thereof also into their persons, is from him. He hath placed them in their rooms, and doth term them his ministers; subjection therefore is due unto all such powers, inasmuch as they are of God’s own institution, even then when they are of man’s creation, omni humanæ creaturæs : which things the heathens themselves do acknowledge:
As for them that exercise power altogether against order, although the kind of power which they have may be of God, yet is their exercise thereof against God, and therefore not of God, otherwise than by permission, as all injustice is.
Touching such acts as are done by that power which is according to his institution, that God in like sort doth authorize them, and account them to be his; though it were not confessed, it might be proved undeniablet . For if that be accounted our deed, which others do, whom we have appointed to be our agents, how should God but approve those deeds, even as his own, which are done by virtue of that commission and power which he hath given. “Take heed,” saith Jehoshaphat unto his judges2 , “be careful and circumspect what ye do; ye do not execute the judgments of men, but of the Lord.” The authority of Cæsar over the Jews, from whence was it? Had it any other ground than the law of nations, which maketh kingdoms, subdued by just war, to be subject unto their conquerors? By this power Cæsar exacting tribute, our Saviour confesseth it to be his right, a right which could not be withheld without injury; yea disobedience herein unto him had beenu rebellion against God. Usurpers of power, whereby we do not mean them that by violence have aspired unto places of highest authority, but them that use more authority than they did ever receive in form and manner beforementioned: (for so they may do, whose title unto the rooms of authority which they possess, no man can deny to be just and lawful: even as contrariwise some men’s proceedings in government have been very orderly, who notwithstanding did not attain to be made governors without great violence and disorder;) such usurpers thereforex , as in the exercise of their power do more than they have been authorized to do, cannot in conscience bind any man unto obedience.
That subjection which we owe unto lawful powers, doth not only import that we should be under them by order of our state, but that we shew all submission towards them both by honour and obedience. He that resisteth them, resisteth God:BOOK VIII. Appendix, No. 2. and resisted they arey , if either the authority itself which they exercise be denied, as by Anabaptists all secular jurisdiction isz ; or if resistance be made but only so far forth as doth touch their persons which are invested with power (for they which said, Nolumus hunc regnare, did not utterly exclude regiment; nor did they wish all kind of government cleana removed, which would not at the first have David governb ): or if that which they do by virtue of their power, namely, their laws, edicts, sentencesc , or other acts of jurisdiction, be not suffered to take effect, contrary to the blessed Apostle’s most holy preceptd , “Obey them that have the oversight of you1 .” Or if they do take effect, yet is not the will of God thereby satisfied neither, as long as that which we do is contemptuously or repiningly done, because we can do no otherwise. In such sort the Israelites in the desert obeyed Moses, and were notwithstanding deservedly plagued for disobedience. The Apostle’s precept therefore is, “Be subject even for God’s cause; be subject, not for fear, but fore mere conscience, knowing, that he which resisteth them, purchaseth unto himself condemnation.” Disobedience therefore unto laws which are made by menf is not a thing of so small account as some would make it.
Howbeit, too rigorous it were, that the breach of every human law should be held a deadly sin: a mean there is between those extremities, if so be we can find it out.
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[5 ]“Verum ac proprium civis a peregrino discrimen est, quod alter imperio ac potestate civili obligatur; alter jussa principis alieni respuere potest. Illum princeps ab hostium æque ac civium injuria tueri tenetur; hunc non item nisi rogatus et humanitatis officiis impulsus,” saith Bodin, de Rep. lib. i. cap. 6. non multum a fine p. 61 B. edit. Lugd. in fol. 1586.* [Bodin was a French jurist, and secretary to the duke of Alençon, brother to Henry III. His work “de Republica” had such credit as to be used for a text book in lectures at Cambridge. Biog. Univ.]