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Source: 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.
THE LIFE OF MR. RICHARD HOOKER BT ISAAC WALTON.
I have been persuaded by a friend , whom I reverence, and ought to obey, to write The Life ofRichard Hooker, the happy author of five (if not more) of the eight learned books of The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity. And though I have undertaken it, yet it hath been with some unwillingness, because I foresee that it must prove to me, and especially at this time of my age, a work of much labour to inquire, consider, research, and determine, what is needful to be known concerning him. For I knew him not in his life, and must therefore not only look back to his death, (now sixty-four years past,) but almost fifty years beyond that, even to his childhood and youth, and gather thence such observations and prognostics, as may at least adorn, if not prove necessary for the completing of what I have undertaken.
This trouble I foresee, and foresee also, that it is impossible to escape censures; against which I will not hope my well-meaning and diligence can protect me, (for I consider the age in which I live,) and shall therefore but entreat of my reader a suspension of his censures, till I have made known unto him some reasons, which I myself would now gladly believe do make me in some measure fit for this undertaking: and if these reasons shall not acquit me from all censures, they may at least abate of their severity; and this is all I can probably hope for.
My reasons follow.
About forty years past (for I am now past the seventy of my age ) I began a happy affinity with William Cranmer, (now with God,) grand nephew unto the great archbishop of that name; a family of noted prudence and resolution; with him and two of his sisters I had an entire and free friendship: one of them was the wife of Dr. Spencer, a bosom friend, and sometime com-pupil with Mr. Hooker in Corpus Christi college in Oxford, and after, President of the same. I name them here, for that I shall have occasion to mention them in this following discourse; as also George Cranmer their brother, of whose useful abilities my reader may have a more authentic testimony than my pen can purchase for him, by that of our learned Camden and others.
This William Cranmer, and his two forenamed sisters, had some affinity, and a most familiar friendship with Mr. Hooker, and had had some part of their education with him in his house, when he was parson of Bishop’s-Borne near Canterbury; in which city their good father then lived. They had (I say) a part of their education with him, as myself, since that time, a happy cohabitation with them; and having some years before read part of Mr. Hooker’s works with great liking and satisfaction, my affection to them made me a diligent inquisitor into many things that concerned him: as namely, of his person, his nature, the management of his time, his wife, his family, and the fortune of him and his. Which inquiry hath given me much advantage in the knowledge of what is now under my consideration, and intended for the satisfaction of my reader.
I had also a friendship with the reverend Doctor Usher, the late learned Archbishop of Armagh; and with Doctor Morton, the late learned and charitable Bishop of Durham; as also with the learned John Hales, of Eton College ; and with them also (who loved the very name of Mr. Hooker) I have had many discourses concerning him; and from them, and many others that have now put off mortality, I might have had more informations, if I could then have admitted a thought of any fitness for what by persuasion I have now undertaken. But, though that full harvest be irrecoverably lost, yet my memory hath preserved some gleanings, and my diligence made such additions to them, as I hope will prove useful to the completing of what I intend. In the discovery of which I shall be faithful, and with this assurance put a period to my introduction.
It is not to be doubted, but that Richard Hooker was born at Heavy-tree , near, or within the precincts, or in the city of Exeter; a city which may justly boast, that it was the birthplace of him, and Sir Thomas Bodley; as indeed the county may, in which it stands, that it hath furnished this nation with Bishop Jewel, Sir Francis Drake, Sir Walter Raleigh, and many others, memorable for their valour and learning. He was born about the year of our redemption 1553 ; and of parents that were not so remarkable for their extraction or riches, as for their virtue and industry, and God’s blessing upon both ; by which they were enabled to educate their children in some degree of learning, of which our Richard Hooker may appear to be one fair testimony; and that nature is not so partial, as always to give the great blessings of wisdom and learning, and with them the greater blessings of virtue and government, to those only that are of a more high and honourable birth.
His complexion (if we may guess by him at the age of forty ) was sanguine, with a mixture of choler; and yet, his motion was slow even in his youth, and so was his speech, never expressing an earnestness in either of them, but an humble gravity suitable to the aged. And it is observed (so far as inquiry is able to look back at this distance of time) that at his being a schoolboy he was an early questionist, quietly inquisitive, why this was, and that was not, to be remembered? why this was granted, and that denied? This being mixed with a remarkable modesty, and a sweet serene quietness of nature; and with them a quick apprehension of many perplext parts of learning imposed then upon him as a scholar, made his master and others to believe him to have an inward blessed divine light, and therefore to consider him to a little wonder. For in that, children were less pregnant, less confident, and more malleable, than in this wiser, but not better, age.
This meekness, and conjuncture of knowledge with modesty in his conversation, being observed by his schoolmaster, caused him to persuade his parents (who intended him for an apprentice) to continue him at school, till he could find out some means, by persuading his rich uncle, or some other charitable person, to ease them of a part of their care and charge; assuring them, that their son was so enriched with the blessings of nature and grace, that God seemed to single him out as a special instrument of His glory. And the good man told them also, that he would double his diligence in instructing him, and would neither expect nor receive any other reward than the content of so hopeful and happy an employment.
This was not unwelcome news, and especially to his mother, to whom he was a dutiful and dear child; and all parties were so pleased with this proposal, that it was resolved, so it should be. And in the mean time, his parents and master laid a foundation for his future happiness, by instilling into his soul the seeds of piety, those conscientious principles of loving and fearing God; of an early belief that he knows the very secrets of our souls; that he punisheth our vices, and rewards our innocence; that we should be free from hypocrisy, and appear to man what we are to God, because first or last the crafty man is catcht in his own snare. These seeds of piety were so seasonably planted, and so continually watered with the daily dew of God’s blessed Spirit, that his infantvirtues grew into such holy habits, as did make him grow daily into more and more favour both with God and man; which, with the great learning that he did after attain to, hath made Richard Hooker honoured in this, and will continue him to be so to succeeding generations.
This good schoolmaster, whose name I am not able to recover, (and am sorry, for that I would have given him a better memorial in this humble monument, dedicated to the memory of his scholar ,) was very solicitous with John Hooker , then chamberlain of Exeter, and uncle to our Richard, to take his nephew into his care, and to maintain him for one year in the university, and in the mean time to use his endeavours to procure an admission for him into some college, though it were but in a mean degree; still urging and assuring him, that his charge would not continue long; for the lad’s learning and manners were both so remarkable, that they must of necessity be taken notice of; and that doubtless God would provide him some second patron, that would free him and his parents from their future care and charge.
These reasons, with the affectionate rhetorick of his good master, and God’s blessing upon both, procured from his uncle a faithful promise, that he would take him into his care and charge before the expiration of the year following, which was performed by him, and with the assistance of the learned Mr. John Jewel; of whom this may be noted, that he left, or was, about the first of Queen Mary’s reign, expelled out of, Corpus Christi college in Oxford, (of which he was a fellow,) for adhering to the truth of those principles of religion, to which he had assented and given testimony in the days of her brother and predecessor Edward the Sixth; and this John Jewel having within a short time after a just cause to fear a more heavy punishment than expulsion, was forced, by forsaking this, to seek safety in another nation; and, with that safety, the enjoyment of that doctrine and worship, for which he suffered.
But the cloud of that persecution and fear ending with the life of Queen Mary, the affairs of the church and state did then look more clear and comfortable; so that he, and with him many others of the same judgment, made a happy return into England about the first of Queen Elizabeth; in which year this John Jewel was sent a commissioner or visitor of the churches of the western parts of this kingdom, and especially of those in Devonshire, in which county he was born; and then and there he contracted a friendship with John Hooker, the uncle of our Richard .
About the second or third year of her reign, this John Jewel was made Bishop of Salisbury ; and there being always observed in him a willingness to do good, and to oblige his friends, and now a power added to this willingness: this John Hooker gave him a visit in Salisbury, and besought him for charity’s sake to look favourably upon a poor nephew of his, whom nature had fitted for a scholar, but the estate of his parents was so narrow, that they were unable to give him the advantage of learning; and that the bishop would therefore become his patron, and prevent him from being a tradesman: for he was a boy of remarkable hopes. And though the bishop knew, men do not usually look with an indifferent eye upon their own children and relations, yet he assented so far to John Hooker, that he appointed the boy and his schoolmaster should attend him about Easter next following at that place; which was done accordingly; and then, after some questions and observations of the boy’s learning, and gravity, and behaviour, the bishop gave his schoolmaster a reward, and took order for an annual pension for the boy’s parents, promising also to take him into his care for a future preferment; which he performed; for, about the fifteenth year of his age, which was anno 1567, he was by the bishop appointed to remove to Oxford, and there to attend Dr. Cole , then president of Corpus Christi college; which he did; and Doctor Cole had (according to a promise made to the bishop) provided for him both a tutor (which was said to be the learned Doctor John Reynolds ) and a clerk’s place in that college: which place, though it were not a full maintenance, yet with the contribution of his uncle, and the continued pension of his patron, the good bishop, gave him a comfortable subsistence. And in this condition he continued unto the eighteenth year of his age, still increasing in learning and prudence, and so much in humility and piety, that he seemed to be filled with the Holy Ghost, and even like St. John Baptist, to be sanctified from his mother’s womb, who did often bless the day in which she bare him.
About this time of his age he fell into a dangerous sickness, which lasted two months: all which time his mother, having notice of it, did in her hourly prayers as earnestly beg his life of God, as the mother of St. Augustin did that he might become a true Christian; and their prayers were both so heard, as to be granted. Which Mr. Hooker would often mention with much joy, “and as often pray that he might never live to occasion any sorrow to so good a mother; of whom, he would often say, he loved her so dearly, that he would endeavour to be good, even as much for her’s, as for his own sake.”
As soon as he was perfectly recovered from this sickness, he took a journey from Oxford to Exeter, to satisfy and see his good mother, being accompanied with a countryman and companion of his own college, and both on foot; which was then either more in fashion, or want of money, or their humility made it so: but on foot they went, and took Salisbury in their way, purposely to see the good bishop, who made Mr. Hooker and his companion dine with him at his own table; which Mr. Hooker boasted of with much joy and gratitude when he saw his mother and friends: and at the bishop’s parting with him, the bishop gave him good counsel, and his benediction, but forgot to give him money; which when the bishop had considered, he sent a servant in all haste to call Richard back to him; and at Richard’s return, the bishop said to him, “Richard, I sent for you back to lend you a horse which hath carried me many a mile, and, I thank God, with much ease;” and presently delivered into his hand a walking staff, with which he professed he had travelled through many parts of Germany . And he said, “Richard, I do not give, but lend you my horse; be sure you be honest, and bring my horse back to me at your return this way to Oxford. And I do now give you ten groats to bear your charges to Exeter; and here is ten groats more, which I charge you to deliver to your mother, and tell her, I send her a bishop’s benediction with it, and beg the continuance of her prayers for me. And if you bring my horse back to me, I will give you ten groats more, to carry you on foot to the college: and so God bless you, good Richard.”
And this, you may believe, was performed by both parties. But, alas! the next news that followed Mr. Hooker to Oxford was, that his learned and charitable patron had changed this for a better life . Which may be believed, for that as he lived, so he died, in devout meditation and prayer; and in both so zealously, that it became a religious question, Whether his last ejaculations, or his soul, did first enter into heaven ?
And now Mr. Hooker became a man of sorrow and fear: of sorrow, for the loss of so dear and comfortable a patron; and of fear, for his future subsistence. But Mr. Cole raised his spirits from this dejection, by bidding him go cheerfully to his studies, and assuring him he should neither want food nor raiment, (which was the utmost of his hopes,) for he would become his patron.
And so he was for about nine months, and not longer; for about that time, this following accident did befall Mr. Hooker.
Edwin Sandys (sometime bishop of London, and after Archbishop of York ) had also been in the days of Queen Mary forced, by forsaking this, to seek safety in another nation; where for some years Bishop Jewel and he were companions at bed and board in Germany; and where, in this their exile, they did often eat the bread of sorrow, and by that means they there began such a friendship as lasted till the death of Bishop Jewel, which was in September 1571. A little before which time the two bishops meeting, Jewel began a story of his Richard Hooker, and in it gave such a character of his learning and manners, that though Bishop Sandys was educated in Cambridge, where he had obliged and had many friends; yet his resolution was, that his son Edwin, should be sent to Corpus Christi college, in Oxford, and by all means be pupil to Mr. Hooker, though his son Edwin was not much younger than Mr. Hooker then was: for, the bishop said, “I will have a tutor for my son, that shall teach him learning by instruction, and virtue by example; and my greatest care shall be of the last; and (God willing) this Richard Hooker shall be the man into whose hands I will commit my Edwin.” And the bishop did so about twelve months, or not much longer , after this resolution.
And doubtless as to these two a better choice could not be made; for Mr. Hooker was now in the nineteenth year of his age; had spent five in the university; and had by a constant unwearied diligence attained unto a perfection in all the learned languages; by the help of which, an excellent tutor , and his unintermitted studies, he had made the subtilty of all the arts easy and familiar to him, and useful for the discovery of such learning as lay hid from common searchers; so that by these added to his great reason, and his industry added to both, he did not only know more of causes and effects; but what he knew, he knew better than other men. And with this knowledge he had a most blessed and clear method of demonstrating what he knew, to the great advantage of all his pupils, (which in time were many,) but especially to his two first, his dear Edwin Sandys, and his as dear George Cranmer ; of which there will be a fair testimony in the ensuing relation.
This for Mr. Hooker’s learning. And for his behaviour, amongst other testimonies this still remains of him, that in four years he was but twice absent from the chapel-prayers; and that his behaviour there was such as shewed an awful reverence of that God which he then worshipped and prayed to; giving all outward testimonies that his affections were set on heavenly things. This was his behaviour towards God; and for that to man, it is observable that he was never known to be angry, or passionate, or extreme in any of his desires; never heard to repine or dispute with Providence, but, by a quiet gentle submission and resignation of his will to the wisdom of his Creator, bore the burthen of the day with patience; never heard to utter an uncomely word; and by this, and a grave behaviour, which is a divine charm, he begot an early reverence unto his person, even from those that at other times, and in other companies, took a liberty to cast off that strictness of behaviour and discourse that is required in a collegiate life. And when he took any liberty to be pleasant, his wit was never blemished with scoffing, or the utterance of any conceit that bordered upon, or might beget a thought of looseness in his hearers. Thus mild, thus innocent and exemplary was his behaviour in his college; and thus this good man continued till his death, still increasing in learning, in patience, and piety.
In this nineteenth year of his age, he was, December 24, 1573, admitted to be one of the twenty scholars of the foundation ; being elected and so admitted as born in Devon or Hantshire, out of which counties a certain number are to be elected in vacancies by the founder’s statutes . And now, as he was much encouraged, so now he was perfectly incorporated into this beloved college, which was then noted for an eminent library, strict students, and remarkable scholars. And indeed it may glory, that it had Cardinal Poole, but more, that it had Bishop Jewel, Dr. John Reynolds, and Dr. Thomas Jackson, of that foundation . The first famous for his learned Apology for the Church of England, and his Defence of it against Harding. The second, for the learned and wise menage of a public dispute with John Hart (of the Romish persuasion) about the head and faith of the church, then printed by consent of both parties. And the third, for his most excellent Exposition of the Creed, and other treatises: all, such as have given greatest satisfaction to men of the greatest learning. Nor was Doctor Jackson more noteworthy for his learning, than for his strict and pious life, testified by his abundant love and meekness and charity to all men.
And in the year 1576, Febr. 23, Mr. Hooker’s grace was given him for Inceptor of Arts; Dr. Herbert Westphaling, a man of note for learning, being then vice-chancellor; and the act following he was completed Master ; which was anno 1577, his patron Doctor Cole being vice-chancellor that year, and his dear friend Henry Savill of Merton College being then one of the proctors. It was that Henry Savill that was after Sir Henry Savill, Warden of Merton college, and Provost of Eton: he which founded in Oxford two famous lectures, and endowed them with liberal maintenance. It was that Sir Henry Savill, that translated and enlightened the History of Cornelius Tacitus with a most excellent comment; and enriched the world by his laborious and chargeable collecting the scattered pieces of S. Chrysostome, and the publication of them in one entire body in Greek; in which language he was a most judicious critick. It was this Sir Henry Savill, that had the happiness to be a contemporary, and familiar friend to Mr. Hooker, and let posterity know it.
And in this year of 1577, he was so happy as to be admitted fellow of the college : happy also in being the contemporary and friend of that Dr. John Reynolds, of whom I have lately spoken, and of Dr. Spencer; both which were after, and successively, made Presidents of Corpus Christi college : men of great learning and merit, and famous in their generations.
Nor was Mr. Hooker more happy in his contemporaries of his time and college, than in the pupilage and friendship of his Edwin Sandys and George Cranmer, of whom my reader may note, that this Edwin Sandys was after Sir Edwin Sandys, and as famous for his Speculum Europæ , as his brother George for making posterity beholden to his pen by a learned Relation and Comment on his dangerous and remarkable travels; and for his harmonious Translation of the Psalms of David, the Book of Job, and other poetical parts of Holy Writ, into most high and elegant verse. And for Cranmer, his other pupil, I shall refer my reader to the printed testimonies of our learned Mr. Camden, of Fines Morison, and others .
“This Cranmer, (says Mr. Camden, in his Annals of Queen Elizabeth ,) whose Christian name was George, was a gentleman of singular hopes, the eldest son of Thomas Cranmer, son of Edmund Cranmer, the archbishop’s brother: he spent much of his youth in Corpus Christi college in Oxford, where he continued master of arts for some time before he removed, and then betook himself to travel, accompanying that worthy gentleman Sir Edwin Sandys into France, Germany, and Italy, for the space of three years; and after their happy return he betook himself to an employment under Secretary Davison , a privy counsellor of note, who for an unhappy undertaking, became clouded and pitied; after whose fall, he went in place of secretary with Sir Henry Killegrew in his embassage into France; and after his death he was sought after by the most noble Lord Mountjoy, with whom he went into Ireland, where he remained until in a battle against the rebels near Carlingford, an unfortunate wound put an end both to his life and the great hopes that were conceived of him : he being then but in the thirty-sixth year of his age .”
Betwixt Mr. Hooker, and these his two pupils, there was a sacred friendship; a friendship made up of religious principles, which increased daily by a similitude of inclinations to the same recreations and studies; a friendship elemented in youth, and in an university, free from self-ends, which the friendships of age usually are not: and in this sweet, this blessed, this spiritual amity they went on for many years: and, as the holy Prophet saith, so “they took sweet counsel together, and walked in the house of God as friends.” By which means they improved this friendship to such a degree of holy amity as bordered upon heaven: a friendship so sacred, that when it ended in this world, it began in that next, where it shall have no end.
And, though this world cannot give any degree of pleasure equal to such a friendship, yet, obedience to parents, and a desire to know the affairs, manners, laws, and learning of other nations, that they might thereby become the more serviceable unto their own, made them put off their gowns, and leave the college and Mr. Hooker to his studies; in which he was daily more assiduous: still enriching his quiet and capacious soul with the precious learning of the philosophers, casuists, and schoolmen; and with them, the foundation and reason of all laws, both sacred and civil; and indeed, with such other learning as lay most remote from the track of common studies. And as he was diligent in these, so he seemed restless in searching the scope and intention of God’s Spirit revealed to mankind in the sacred scripture: for the understanding of which, he seemed to be assisted by the same Spirit with which they were written; He that regardeth truth in the inward parts, making him to understand wisdom secretly. And the good man would often say, that “God abhors confusion as contrary to his nature;” and as often say, that the scripture was not writ to beget disputations and pride, and opposition to government; but moderation, charity, and humility, obedience to authority, and peace to mankind: of which virtues,” he would as often say, “no man did ever repent himself upon his death-bed.” And, that this was really his judgment, did appear in his future writings, and in all the actions of his life. Nor was this excellent man a stranger to the more light and airy parts of learning, as musick and poetry; all which he had digested, and made useful; and of all which the reader will have a fair testimony, in what will follow.
In the year 1579, the chancellor of the university was given to understand, that the public Hebrew lecture was not read according to the statutes; nor could be, by reason of a distemper that had then seized the brain of Mr. Kingsmill , who was to read it; so that it lay long unread, to the great detriment of those that were studious of that language: therefore, the chancellor writ to his vice-chancellor, and the university, that he had heard such commendations of the excellent knowledge of Mr. Richard Hooker in that tongue, that he desired he might be procured to read it: and he did, and continued to do so, till he left Oxford.
Within three months after his undertaking this lecture (namely, in October 1579 ) he was, with Dr. Reynolds and others, expelled his college; and this letter, transcribed from Dr. Reynolds his own hand, may give some account of it.
To Sir Francis Knolles .
“I am sorry, right honourable, that I am enforced to make unto you such a suit, the which, I cannot move it, but I must complain of the unrighteous dealing of one of our college; who hath taken upon him, against all law and reason, to expel out of our house both me and Mr. Hooker, and three other of our fellows, for doing that which by oath we were bound to do. Our matter must be heard before the Bishop of Winchester , with whom I do not doubt but we shall find equity. Howbeit, forasmuch as some of our adversaries have said, that the bishop is already forestalled, and will not give us such audience as we do look for; therefore I am humbly to beseech your honour, that you will desire the bishop by your letters to let us have justice; though it be with rigour, so it be justice: our cause is so good, that I am sure we shall prevail by it. Thus much I am bold to request of your honour for Corpus Christi college sake, or rather for Christ’s sake; whom I beseech to bless you with daily increase of His manifold gifts, and the blessed graces of His Holy Spirit.
in Christ to command,
“London, October 9, 1579.”
This expulsion was by Dr. John Barfoote , then vice-president of the college, and chaplain to Ambrose earl of Warwick. I cannot learn the pretended cause; but, that they were restored the same month is most certain.
I return to Mr. Hooker in his college, where he continued his studies in all quietness for the space of three years ; about which time, he entered into sacred orders, being then made Deacon and Priest; and, not long after, was appointed to preach at St. Paul’s Cross .
In order to which sermon, to London he came, and immediately to the Shunammite’s house; (which is a house so called, for that, besides the stipend paid the preacher, there is provision made also for his lodging and diet for two days before, and one day after his sermon.) This house was then kept by John Churchman, sometime a draper of good note in Watling-street, upon whom poverty had at last come like an armed man, and brought him into a necessitous condition: which, though it be a punishment, is not always an argument of God’s disfavour, for he was a virtuous man: I shall not yet give the like testimony of his wife, but leave the reader to judge by what follows. But to this house Mr. Hooker came so wet, so weary, and weatherbeaten, that he was never known to express more passion, than against a friend that dissuaded him from footing it to London, and for finding him no easier an horse; supposing the horse trotted, when he did not: and at this time also, such a faintness and fear possest him, that he would not be persuaded two days’ rest and quietness, or any other means could be used to make him able to preach his Sunday’s sermon; but a warm bed, and rest, and drink, proper for a cold, given him by Mrs. Churchman, and her diligent attendance added unto it, enabled him to perform the office of the day, which was in or about the year 1581.
And in this first public appearance to the world, he was not so happy as to be free from exceptions against a point of doctrine delivered in his sermon, which was “That in God there were two wills; an antecedent, and a consequent will: his first will, that all mankind should be saved; but his second will was, that those only should be saved, that did live answerable to that degree of grace which he had offered, or afforded them .” This seemed to cross a late opinion of Mr. Calvin’s, and then taken for granted by many that had not a capacity to examine it, as it had been by him before, and hath been since by Master Henry Mason , Dr. Jackson , Dr. Hammond , and others of great learning, who believed that a contrary opinion entrenches upon the honour and justice of our merciful God. How he justified this, I will not undertake to declare: but it was not excepted against (as Mr. Hooker declares in his rational answer to Mr. Travers) by John Elmer , then Bishop of London, at this time one of his auditors, and at last one of his advocates too, when Mr. Hooker was accused for it .
But the justifying of this doctrine did not prove of so bad consequence, as the kindness of Mrs. Churchman’s curing him of his late distemper and cold; for that was so gratefully apprehended by Mr. Hooker, that he thought himself bound in conscience to believe all that she said: so that the good man came to be persuaded by her, “that he was a man of a tender constitution;” and “that it was best for him to have a wife, that might prove a nurse to him; such an one as might both prolong his life, and make it more comfortable; and such an one she could and would provide for him, if he thought fit to marry.” And he not considering that “the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light;” but, like a true Nathanael, fearing no guile, because he meant none, did give her such a power as Eleazar was trusted with, (you may read it in the book of Genesis,) when he was sent to choose a wife for Isaac; for, even so he trusted her to choose for him, promising upon a fair summons to return to London, and accept of her choice; and he did so in that or about the year following. Now the wife provided for him, was her daughter Joan, who brought him neither beauty nor portion; and for her conditions, they were too like that wife’s, which is by Solomon compared to “a dripping house :” so that the good man had no reason to “rejoice in the wife of his youth,” but too just cause to say with the holy Prophet, “Wo is me, that I am constrained to have my habitation in the tents of Kedar!”
This choice of Mr. Hooker’s (if it were his choice) may be wondered at; but let us consider that the prophet Ezekiel says, “There is a wheel within a wheel;” a secret sacred wheel of Providence (most visible in marriages), guided by his hand, that “allows not the race to the swift,” nor “bread to the wise,” nor good wives to good men: and he that can bring good out of evil (for mortals are blind to this reason) only knows why this blessing was denied to patient Job, to meek Moses , and to our as meek and patient Mr. Hooker. But so it was; and let the reader cease to wonder, for “affliction is a divine diet;” which, though it be not pleasing to mankind, yet Almighty God hath often, very often imposed it as good, though bitter physick to those children whose souls are dearest to him.
And by this marriage the good man was drawn from the tranquillity of his college ; from that garden of piety, of pleasure, of peace, and a sweet conversation, into the thorny wilderness of a busy world; into those corroding cares that attend a married priest, and a country parsonage; which was Draiton Beauchamp in Buckinghamshire (not far from Ailesbury, and in the diocese of Lincoln); to which he was presented by John Cheny, esq. then patron of it, the 9th of December 1584, where he behaved himself so as to give no occasion of evil, but (as St. Paul adviseth a minister of God) “in much patience, in afflictions, in anguishes, in necessities; in poverty, and no doubt in long-suffering;” yet troubling no man with his discontents and wants.
And in this condition he continued about a year, in which time his two pupils, Edwin Sandys and George Cranmer , took a journey to see their tutor; where they found him with a book in his hand (it was the Odes of Horace), he being then, like humble and innocent Abel, tending his small allotment of sheep in a common field, which he told his pupils he was forced to do then, for that his servant was gone home to dine, and assist his wife to do some necessary household business. When his servant returned and released him, then his two pupils attended him unto his house, where their best entertainment was his quiet company, which was presently denied them; for “Richard was called to rock the cradle ;” and the rest of their welcome was so like this, that they stayed but till the next morning, which was time enough to discover and pity their tutor’s condition; and they having in that time rejoiced in the remembrance, and then paraphrased on many of the innocent recreations of their younger days, and other like diversions, and thereby given him as much present comfort as they were able, they were forced to leave him to the company of his wife Joan, and seek themselves a quieter lodging for next night. But at their parting from him, Mr. Cranmer said, “Good tutor, I am sorry your lot is fallen in no better ground as to your parsonage: and more sorry that your wife proves not a more comfortable companion after you have wearied yourself in your restless studies.” To whom the good man replied, “My dear George, if saints have usually a double share in the miseries of this life, I that am none, ought not to repine at what my wise Creator hath appointed for me, but labour (as indeed I do daily) to submit mine to his will, and possess my soul in patience and peace.”
At their return to London, Edwin Sandys acquaints his father , who was then Archbishop of York, with his tutor’s sad condition, and solicits for his removal to some benefice that might give him a more quiet and a more comfortable subsistence; which his father did most willingly grant him, when it should next fall into his power. And not long after this time, which was in the year 1585 , Mr. Alvie (Master of the Temple) died, who was a man of a strict life, of great learning, and of so venerable behaviour, as to gain so high a degree of love and reverence from all men, that he was generally known by the name of Father Alvie. And at the Temple reading, next after the death of this Father Alvie, he the said Archbishop of York being then at dinner with the judges, the reader and benchers of that society, met with a general condolement for the death of Father Alvie, and with a high commendation of his saint-like life, and of his great merit both towards God and man; and as they bewailed his death, so they wished for a like pattern of virtue and learning to succeed him. And here came in a fair occasion for the bishop to commend Mr. Hooker to Father Alvie’s place, which he did with so effectual an earnestness, and that seconded with so many other testimonies of his worth, that Mr. Hooker was sent for from Draiton Beauchamp to London, and there the mastership of the Temple proposed unto him by the bishop, as a greater freedom from his country cares, the advantage of a better society, and a more liberal pension than his country parsonage did afford him. But these reasons were not powerful enough to incline him to a willing acceptance of it: his wish was rather to gain a better country living, where he might “see God’s blessing spring out of the earth, and be free from noise” (so he exprest the desire of his heart), “and eat that bread which he might more properly call his own in privacy and quietness.” But, notwithstanding this averseness, he was at last persuaded to accept of the bishop’s proposal; and was by patent for life made Master of the Temple the 17th of March, 1585 , he being then in the thirty-fourth year of his age.
Endeavours for Travers to be Master of the Temple. [But before any mention was made of Mr. Hooker for this place, two other divines were nominated to succeed Alvey; whereof Mr. Walter Travers, a disciplinarian in his judgment and practice, and preacher here in the afternoons, was chief, and recommended by Alvey himself on his deathbed, to be master after him: and no marvel, for Alvey’s and Travers’s principles did somewhat correspond. And many gentlemen of the house desired him; which desire the lord treasurer Burghley was privy to, and by their request, and his own inclination towards him, being a good preacher, he moved the queen to allow of him; for the disposal of the place was in her. But Archbishop Whitgift knew the man, and his hot temper and principles, from the time he was fellow in Trinity college, and had observed his steps ever after: he knew how turbulently he had carried himself at the college, how he had disowned the English established church and episcopacy, and went to Geneva, and afterwards to Antwerp, to be ordained minister, as he was by Villers and Cartwright and others, the heads of a congregation there; and so came back again more confirmed for the discipline. And knowing how much the doctrine and converse of the master to be placed here would influence the gentlemen, and their influence and authority prevail in all parts of the realm, where their habitations and estates were, that careful prelate made it his endeavour to stop Travers’ coming in;Opposed by the archbishop. and had a learned man in his view, and of principles more conformable and agreeable to the church, namely one Dr. Bond, the queen’s chaplain, and one well known to her. She well understanding the importance of this place, and knowing by the archbishop what Travers was, by a letter he timely writ to her majesty upon the vacancy, gave particular order to the treasurer to discourse with the archbishop about it.
The lord treasurer, hereupon, in a letter, consulted with the said archbishop, and mentioned Travers to him as one desired by many of the house. But the archbishop in his answer, plainly signified to his lordship that he judged him altogether unfit, for the reasons mentioned before; and that he had recommended to the queen Dr. Bond as a very fit person. But however she declined him, fearing his bodily strength to perform the duty of the place, as she did Travers for other causes. And by laying both aside, she avoided giving disgust to either of those great men. This Dr. Bond seems to be that Dr. Nicholas Bond that afterwards was President of Magdalen college, Oxon, and was much abused by Martin Mar-prelate.
These particulars I have collected from a letter of the archbishop to the queen, and other letters that passed between the archbishop and the lord treasurer about this affair, while the mastership was vacant. The passages whereof, taken verbatim out of their said letters, may deserve here to be specified for the satisfaction of the readers.
And first, in the month of August, upon the death of the former master, the archbishop wrote this letter unto the queen:
The archbishop to the queen concerning the vacancy of the Temple.“It may please your majesty to be advertised, that the mastership of the Temple is vacant by the death of Mr. Alvey. The living is not great, yet doth it require a learned, discreet, and wise man, in respect of the company there: who being well directed and taught may do much good elsewhere in the commonwealth, as otherwise also they may do much harm. And because I hear there is a suit made unto your highness for one Mr. Travers, I thought it my duty to signify unto your majesty, that the said Travers hath been and is one of the chief and principal authors of dissension in this church, a contemner of the book of Prayers, and of other orders by authority established; an earnest seeker of innovation; and either in no degree of the ministry at all, or else ordered beyond the seas; not according to the form in this church of England used. Whose placing in that room, especially by your majesty, would greatly animate the rest of that faction, and do very much harm in sundry respects.
“Your majesty hath a chaplain of your own, Dr. Bond, a man in my opinion very fit for that office, and willing also to take pains therein, if it shall please your highness to bestow it upon him. Which I refer to your most gracious disposition; beseeching Almighty God long to bless, prosper, and preserve your majesty to his glory, and all our comforts.
“Your majesty’s most faithful servant and chaplain,
the day of August, 1584.”
Next, in a letter of the archbishop to the lord treasurer, dated from Lambeth, Sept. 14, 1584, he hath these words:
The archbishop to the lord treasurer.“I beseech your lordship to help such an one to the mastership of the Temple, as is known to be conformable to the laws and orders established; and a defender not a depraver of the present state and government. He that now readeth there is nothing less, as I of mine own knowledge and experience can testify. Dr. Bond is desirous of it, and I know not a fitter man.”
The lord treasurer in a letter to the archbishop, dated from Oatlands (where the queen now was), Sept. 17, 1584, thus wrote:—
The lord treasurer to the archbishop.“The queen hath asked me what I thought of Travers to be master of the Temple. Whereunto I answered, that at the request of Dr. Alvey in his sickness, and a number of honest gentlemen of the Temple, I had yielded my allowance of him to the place, so as he would shew himself conformable to the orders of the church. Whereunto I was informed, that he would so be. But her majesty told me, that your grace did not so allow of him. Which I said might be for some things supposed to be written by him in a book intituled, De Disciplina Ecclesiastica. Whereupon her majesty commanded me to write to your grace to know your opinion, which I pray your grace to signify unto her, as God shall move you. Surely it were great pity that any impediment should be occasion to the contrary; for he is well learned, very honest, and well allowed and loved of the generality of that house. Mr. Bond told me, that your grace liked well of him; and so do I also, as one well learned and honest; but, as I told him, if he came not to the place with some applause of the company, he shall be weary thereof. And yet I commended him unto her majesty, if Travers should not have it. But her majesty thinks him not fit for that place, because of his infirmities. Thus wishing your grace assistance of God’s Spirit to govern your charge unblameably,
“Your grace’s to command,
- “From the court at Oatlands,
the 17th Sept. 1584.”
Part of the archbishop’s letter in answer to this was to this tenor:
The archbishop in answer to the letter of the lord treasurer.“Mr. Travers, whom your lordship names in your letter, is to no man better known, I think, than to myself. I did elect him fellow of Trinity college, being before rejected by Dr. Beaumont for his intolerable stomach: whereof I had also afterwards such experience, that I was forced by due punishment so to weary him, till he was fain to travel, and depart from the college to Geneva, otherwise he should have been expelled for want of conformity towards the orders of the house, and for his pertinacy. Neither was there ever any under our government, in whom I found less submission and humility than in him. Nevertheless if time and years have now altered that disposition (which I cannot believe, seeing yet no token thereof, but rather the contrary), I will be as ready to do him good as any friend he hath. Otherwise I cannot in duty but do my endeavour to keep him from that place, where he may do so much harm, and do little or no good at all. For howsoever some commend him to your lordship and others, yet I think that the greater and better number of both the Temples have not so good an opinion of him. Sure I am that divers grave, and of the best affected of them, have shewed their misliking of him to me; not only out of respect of his disorderliness, in the manner of the communion, and contempt of the prayers, but also of his negligence in reading. Whose lectures, by their report, are so barren of matter, that his hearers take no commodity thereby.
“The book De Disciplina Ecclesiastica, by common opinion, hath been reputed of his penning, since the first publishing of it. And by divers arguments I am moved to make no doubt thereof. The drift of which book is wholly against the state and government. Wherein also, among other things, he condemneth the taking and paying of first fruits, tenths, &c. And therefore, unless he will testify his conformity by subscription, as all others do, which now enter into ecclesiastical livings, and make proof unto me that he is a minister ordered according to the laws of this church of England, as I verily believe he is not, because he forsook his place in the college upon that account; I can by no means yield my consent to the placing, him there, or elsewhere, in any function of this church.”]
And here I shall make a stop; and, that the reader may the better judge of what follows, give him a character of the times, and temper of the people of this nation, when Mr. Hooker had his admission into this place: a place which he accepted, rather than desired: and yet here he promised himself a virtuous quietness, that blessed tranquillity which he always prayed and laboured for; that so he might in peace bring forth the fruits of peace, and glorify God by uninterrupted prayers and praises: for this he always thirsted and prayed: but Almighty God did not grant it: for his admission into this place was the very beginning of those oppositions and anxieties, which till then this good man was a stranger to; and of which the reader may guess by what follows.
In this character of the times, I shall, by the reader’s favour, and for his information, look so far back as to the beginning of the reign of Queen Elizabeth; a time, in which the many pretended titles to the crown, the frequent treasons, the doubts of her successor, the late civil war, and the sharp persecution for religion that raged to the effusion of so much blood in the reign of Queen Mary, were fresh in the memory of all men; and begot fears in the most pious and wisest of this nation, lest the like days should return again to them, or their present posterity. And the apprehension of these dangers begot a hearty desire of a settlement in the church and state; believing, there was no other probable way left to make them sit quietly under their own vines and fig-trees, and enjoy the desired fruit of their labours. But time, and peace, and plenty, begot self-ends; and these begot animosities, envy, opposition, and unthankfulness for those very blessings for which they lately thirsted, being then the very utmost of their desires, and even beyond their hopes.
This was the temper of the times in the beginning of her reign : and thus it continued too long: for those very people that had enjoyed the desires of their hearts in a reformation from the church of Rome, became at last so like the grave, as never to be satisfied, but were still thirsting for more and more: neglecting to pay that obedience, and perform those vows which they made in their days of adversities and fear: so that in short time there appeared three several interests, each of them fearless and restless in the prosecution of their designs; they may for distinction be called, the active Romanists, the restless Nonconformists (of which there were many sorts), and, the passive peaceable Protestant. The counsels of the first considered and resolved on in Rome: the second in Scotland, in Geneva, and in divers selected, secret, dangerous conventicles, both there, and within the bosom of our own nation: the third pleaded and defended their cause by establisht laws, both ecclesiastical and civil; and, if they were active, it was to prevent the other two from destroying what was by those known laws happily establisht to them and their posterity.
I shall forbear to mention the very many and dangerous plots of the Romanists against the church and state; because what is principally intended in this digression, is an account of the opinions and activity of the Nonconformists; against whose judgment and practice, Mr. Hooker became at last, but most unwillingly, to be engaged in a book-war; a war which he maintained not as against an enemy, but with the spirit of meekness and reason.
In which number of Nonconformists, though some might be sincere, well meaning men, whose indiscreet zeal might be so like charity, as thereby to cover a multitude of their errors; yet, of this party, there were many that were possest with a high degree of “spiritual wickedness;” I mean, with an innate restless pride and malice. I do not mean the visible carnal sins of gluttony and drunkenness, and the like, (from which good Lord deliver us,) but sins of a higher nature, because they are more unlike God, who is the God of love and mercy, and order, and peace; and more like the Devil, who is not a glutton, nor can be drunk, and yet is a devil; but I mean those spiritual wickednesses of malice and revenge, and an opposition to government: men that joyed to be the authors of misery, which is properly his work, that is the enemy and disturber of mankind; and thereby greater sinners than the glutton or drunkard, though some will not believe it. And of this party, there were also many, whom prejudice and a furious zeal had so blinded, as to make them neither to hear reason, nor adhere to the ways of peace: men, that were the very dregs and pest of mankind: men whom pride and self-conceit had made to overvalue their own pitiful, crooked wisdom so much, as not to be ashamed to hold foolish and unmannerly disputes against those men whom they ought to reverence, and those laws which they ought to obey; men that laboured and joyed first to find out the faults, and then to “speak evil of government,” and to be the authors of confusion: men, whom company, and conversation, and custom had at last so blinded, and made so insensible that these were sins, that, like those that “perisht in the gainsaying of Core,” so these died without repenting of these “spiritual wickednesses,” of which the practices of Coppinger and Hacket in their lives, and the death of them and their adherents, are God knows too sad examples; and ought to be cautions to those men that are inclined to the like “spiritual wickednesses.”
And in these times which tended thus to confusion, there were also many of these scruplemongers that pretended a tenderness of conscience, refusing to take an oath before a lawful magistrate : and yet these very men, in their secret conventicles, did covenant and swear to each other, to be assiduous and faithful in using their best endeavours to set up the presbyterian doctrine and discipline; and both in such a manner as they themselves had not yet agreed on , but, up that government must. To which end there were many that wandered up and down, and were active in sowing discontents and sedition, by venomous and secret murmurings, and a dispersion of scurrilous pamphlets and libels against the church and state; but especially against the bishops; by which means, together with venomous and indiscreet sermons, the common people became so fanatic, as to believe the bishops to be Antichrist, and the only obstructors of God’s Discipline; and at last some of them were given over to so bloody a zeal, and such other desperate delusions, as to find out a text in the Revelation of St. John, that “Antichrist was to be overcome by the sword.” So that those very men , who began with tender and meek petitions , proceeded to admonitions , then to satirical remonstrances , and at last having like Absalom numbered who was not, and who was, for their cause, they got a supposed certainty of so great a party, that they durst threaten first the bishops, and then the Queen and parliament ; to all which they were secretly encouraged by the earl of Leicester, then in great favour with her majesty, and the reputed cherisher and patron-general of these pretenders to tenderness of conscience; his design being, by their means, to bring such an odium upon the bishops, as to procure an alienation of their lands, and a large proportion of them for himself; which avaricious desire had at last so blinded his reason, that his ambitious and greedy hopes seemed to put him into a present possession of Lambeth-house .
And to these undertakings the Nonconformists of this nation were much encouraged and heightened by a correspondence and confederacy with that brotherhood in Scotland ; so that here they became so bold, that one told the Queen openly in a sermon, “She was like an untamed heifer, that would not be ruled by God’s people, but obstructed his discipline.” And in Scotland they were more confident, for there they declared her an Atheist , and grew to such a height as not to be accountable for any thing spoken against her; nor for treason against their own king, if it were but spoken in the pulpit ; shewing at last such a disobedience to him, that his mother being in England, and then in distress, and in prison, and in danger of death, the church denied the King their prayers for her ; and at another time, when he had appointed a day of feasting, their church declared for a general fast in opposition to his authority .
To this height they were grown in both nations; and by these means there was distilled into the minds of the common people such other venomous and turbulent principles, as were inconsistent with the safety of the church and state: and these opinions vented so daringly, that, beside the loss of life and limbs , the governors of the church and state were forced to use such other severities, as will not admit of an excuse, if it had not been to prevent the gangrene of confusion, and the perilous consequences of it; which, without such prevention, would have been first confusion, and then ruin and misery to this numerous nation.
These errors and animosities were so remarkable, that they begot wonder in an ingenious Italian, who being about this time come newly into this nation, writ scoffingly to a friend in his own country, to this purpose, “That the common people of England were wiser than the wisest of his nation; for here the very women and shopkeepers were able to judge of predestination, and determine what laws were fit to be made concerning church-government; and then, what were fit to be obeyed or abolisht: That they were more able (or at least thought so) to raise and determine perplext cases of conscience, than the wisest of the most learned colleges in Italy: That men of the slightest learning, and the most ignorant of the common people, were mad for a new, or super, or re-reformation of religion; and that in this they appeared like that man, who would never cease to whet and whet his knife, till there was no steel left to inake it useful.” And he concluded his letter with this observation, “That those very men that were most busy in oppositions, and disputations, and controversies, and finding out the faults of their governors, had usually the least of Humility and Mortification, or of the power of Godliness.”
And to heighten all these discontents and dangers, there was also sprung up a generation of godless men; men that had so long given way to their own lusts and delusions, and so highly opposed the blessed motions of his Spirit, and the inward light of their own consciences, that they became the very slaves of vice, and had thereby sinned themselves into a belief of that which they would, but could not believe; into a belief which is repugnant even to human nature (for the heathens believe that there are many gods), but these had sinned themselves into a belief, that there was no God; and so, finding nothing in themselves but what was worse than nothing, began to wish what they were not able to hope for, namely, “that they might be like the beasts that perish;” and in wicked company (which is the atheist’s sanctuary) were so bold as to say so, though the worst of mankind, when he is left alone at midnight, may wish, but is not then able to think it; even into a belief that there is no God. Into this wretched, this reprobate condition, many had then sinned themselves .
And now when the church was pestered with them, and with all those other forenamed irregularities; when her lands were in danger of alienation, her power at least neglected, and her peace torn to pieces by several schisms, and such heresies as do usually attend that sin, for heresies do usually outlive their first authors; when the common people seemed ambitious of doing those very things that were forbidden and attended with most dangers, that thereby they might be punished, and then applauded and pitied; when they called the spirit of opposition a tender conscience, and complained of persecution, because they wanted power to persecute others; when the giddy multitude raged, and became restless to find out misery for themselves and others; and the rabble would herd themselves together, and endeavour to govern and act in spite of authority: in this extremity of fear, and danger of the church and state, when, to suppress the growing evils of both, they needed a man of prudence and piety, and of an high and fearless fortitude; they were blest in all by John Whitgift his being made Archbishop of Canterbury; of whom Sir Henry Wotton that knew him well in his youth, and had studied him in his age, gives this true character: “that he was a man of reverend and sacred memory; and of the primitive temper; a man of such a temper, as when the Church by lowliness of spirit did flourish in highest examples of virtue .” And indeed this man proved so.
And though I dare not undertake to add to this excellent and true character of Sir Henry Wotton; yet, I shall neither do right to this discourse, nor to my reader, if I forbear to give him a further and short account of the life and manners of this excellent man; and it shall be short, for I long to end this digression, that I may lead my reader back to Mr. Hooker, where we left him at the Temple.
John Whitgift was born in the county of Lincoln, of a family that was ancient, and noted to be both prudent and affable, and gentle by nature; he was educated in Cambridge; much of his learning was acquired in Pembroke-hall, (where Mr. Bradford the martyr was his tutor); from thence he was removed to Peter-house; from thence to be Master of Pembroke-hall; and from thence to the Mastership of Trinity college: about which time the Queen made him her chaplain; and not long after, Prebend of Ely , and then Dean of Lincoln; and having for many years past looked upon him with much reverence and favour, gave him a fair testimony of both, by giving him the bishopric of Worcester, and (which was not with her a usual favour ) forgiving him his first-fruits; then by constituting him Vice-president of the principality of Wales. And having experimented his wisdom, his justice, and moderation in the menage of her affairs, in both these places; she in the twenty-sixth of her reign made him Archbishop of Canterbury, and not long after of her privy council; and trusted him to manage all her ecclesiastical affairs and preferments. In all which removes, he was like the ark, which left a blessing upon the place where it rested ; and in all his employments was like Jehoiada, that did good unto Israel .
These were the steps of this bishop’s ascension to this place of dignity and cares; in which place (to speak Mr. Camden’s very words in his Annals of Queen Elizabeth ) “he devoutly consecrated both his whole life to God, and his painful labours to the good of his church.” And yet, in this place he met with many oppositions in the regulation of church-affairs, which were much disordered at his entrance, by reason of the age and remissness of Bishop Grindal , his immediate predecessor, the activity of the Nonconformists, and their chief assistant the Earl of Leicester; and indeed, by too many others of the like sacrilegious principles. With these he was to encounter; and though he wanted neither courage nor a good cause, yet he foresaw, that without a great measure of the Queen’s favour, it was impossible to stand in the breach that had been lately made into the lands and immunities of the Church, or indeed to maintain the remaining lands and rights of it. And therefore by justifiable sacred insinuations, such as St. Paul to Agrippa, (“Agrippa, believest thou? I know thou believest,”) he wrought himself into so great a degree of favour with her, as, by his pious use of it, hath got both of them a great degree of fame in this world, and of glory in that into which they are now both entered.
His merits to the Queen, and her favours to him, were such, that she called him her little black husband, and called his servants her servants : and she saw so visible and blessed a sincerity shine in all his cares and endeavours for the Church’s and for her good, that she was supposed to trust him with the very secrets of her soul, and to make him her confessor: of which she gave many fair testimonies; and of which one was, that “she would never eat flesh in Lent without obtaining a license from her little black husband;” and would often say, “she pitied him because she trusted him, and had thereby eased herself, by laying the burden of all her clergy-cares upon his shoulders, which he managed with prudence and piety.”
I shall not keep myself within the promised rules of brevity in this account of his interest with her majesty, and his care of the Church’s rights, if in this digression I should enlarge to particulars; and therefore my desire is, that one example may serve for a testimony of both. And, that the reader may the better understand it, he may take notice, that not many years before his being made archbishop, there passed an act or acts of parliament , intending the better preservation of the church-lands, by recalling a power which was vested in others to sell or lease them, by lodging and trusting the future care and protection of them only in the crown: and amongst many that made a bad use of this power or trust of the Queen’s, the Earl of Leicester was one ; and the bishop having, by his interest with her majesty, put a stop to the earl’s sacrilegious designs, they two fell to an open opposition before her; after which, they both quitted the room, not friends in appearance: but the bishop made a sudden and a seasonable return to her majesty, (for he found her alone,) and spake to her with great humility and reverence, to this purpose:
“I beseech your majesty to hear me with patience, and to believe that your’s and the Church’s safety are dearer to me than my life, but my conscience dearer than both: and therefore give me leave to do my duty, and tell you, that princes are deputed nursing fathers of the Church, and owe it a protection; and therefore God forbid that you should be so much as passive in her ruins, when you may prevent it; or that I should behold it without horror and detestation; or should forbear to tell your majesty of the sin and danger of sacrilege. And though you and myself were born in an age of frailties, when the primitive piety and care of the Church’s lands and immunities are much decayed; yet, madam, let me beg that you would first consider that there are such sins as profaneness and sacrilege; and that, if there were not, they could not have names in Holy Writ, and particularly in the New Testament. And I beseech you to consider, that though our Saviour said, ‘He judged no man;’ and to testify it, would not judge nor divide the inheritance betwixt the two brethren, nor would judge the woman taken in adultery; yet in this point of the Church’s rights he was so zealous, that he made himself both the accuser and the judge, and the executioner too, to punish these sins; witnessed, in that he himself made the whip to drive the profaners out of the temple, overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and drove them out of it. And I beseech you to consider, that it was St. Paul that said to those Christians of his time that were offended with idolatry, yet committed sacrilege, ‘Thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?’ supposing, (I think,) sacrilege the greater sin. This may occasion your majesty to consider that there is such a sin as sacrilege; and to incline you to prevent the curse that will follow it, I beseech you also to consider, that Constantine the first Christian emperor, and Helena his mother , that King Edgar , and Edward the Confessor , and indeed many others of your predecessors, and many private Christians, have also given to God, and to his Church, much land, and many immunities, which they might have given to those of their own families, and did not; but gave them for ever as an absolute right and sacrifice to God: and with these immunities and lands, they have entailed a curse upon the alienators of them ; God prevent your majesty from being liable to that curse, which will cleave unto church-lands, as the leprosy to the Jews.
“And, to make you that are trusted with their preservation, the better to understand the danger of it, I beseech you forget not, that to prevent these curses, the Church’s land and power have been also endeavoured to be preserved (as far as human reason, and the law of this nation, have been able to preserve them) by an immediate and most sacred obligation on the consciences of the princes of this realm. For they that consult Magna Charta shall find, that as all your predecessors were at their coronation, so you also were sworn before all the nobility and bishops then present, and in the presence of God, and in his stead to him that anointed you, ‘to maintain the church-lands, and the rights belonging to it;’ and this you yourself have testified openly to God at the holy altar, by laying your hands on the Bible then lying upon it. And not only Magna Charta, but many modern statutes have denounced a curse upon those that break Magna Charta: a curse like the leprosy, that was entailed on the Jews ; for as that, so these curses have and will cleave to the very stones of those buildings that have been consecrated to God; and the father’s sin of sacrilege hath and will prove to be entailed on his son and family. And now, madam, what account can be given for the breach of this oath at the last great day, either by your majesty, or by me, if it be wilfully, or but negligently violated, I know not.
“And therefore, good madam, let not the late lord’s exceptions against the failings of some few clergymen prevail with you to punish posterity for the errors of this present age; let particular men suffer for their particular errors, but let God and his Church have their inheritance: and though I pretend not to prophecy, yet I beg posterity to take notice of what is already become visible in many families; that church-land added to an ancient and just inheritance, hath proved like a moth fretting a garment, and secretly consumed both; or like the eagle that stole a coal from the altar, and thereby set her nest on fire, which consumed both her young eagles and herself that stole it .
“And, though I shall forbear to speak reproachfully of your father; yet I beg you to take notice, that a part of the Church’s rights, added to the vast treasure left him by his father, hath been conceived to bring an unavoidable consumption upon both, notwithstanding all his diligence to preserve them. And consider that after the violation of those laws, to which he had sworn in Magna Charta, God did so far deny him his restraining grace, that as king Saul after he was forsaken of God fell from one sin to another; so he, till at last he fell into greater sins than I am willing to mention. Madam, religion is the foundation and cement of human societies: and when they that serve at God’s altar shall be exposed to poverty, then religion itself will be exposed to scorn, and become contemptible; as you may already observe it to be in too many poor vicarages in this nation. And therefore, as you are by a late act or acts of parliament entrusted with a great power to preserve or waste the Church’s lands; yet dispose of them for Jesus’ sake, as you have promised to men, and vowed to God; that is, as the donors intended; let neither falsehood nor flattery beguile you to do otherwise: but put a stop to God’s and the Levite’s portion, I beseech you, and to the approaching ruins of His Church, as you expect comfort at the last great day; for, Kings must be judged. Pardon this affectionate plainness, my most dear sovereign, and let me beg to be still continued in your favour, and the Lord still continue you in his.”
The Queen’s patient hearing this affectionate speech, and her future care to preserve the Church’s rights, which till then had been neglected, may appear a fair testimony, that he made her’s and the Church’s good the chiefest of his cares, and that she also thought so. And of this there were such daily testimonies given, as begat betwixt them so mutual a joy and confidence, that they seemed born to believe and do good to each other: she not doubting his piety to be more than all his opposers, which were many; nor doubting his prudence to be equal to the chiefest of her council, who were then as remarkable for active wisdom, as those dangerous times did require, or this nation did ever enjoy. And in this condition he continued twenty years , in which time he saw some flowings, but many more ebbings of her favour towards all men that had opposed him, especially the Earl of Leicester: so that God seemed still to keep him in her favour, that he might preserve the remaining church-lands and immunities from sacrilegious alienations. And this good man deserved all the honour and power with which she gratified and trusted him; for he was a pious man, and naturally of noble and grateful principles: he eased her of all her church cares by his wise menage of them; he gave her faithful and prudent counsels in all the extremities and dangers of her temporal affairs, which were very many; he lived to be the chief comfort of her life in her declining age, and to be then most frequently with her, and her assistant at her private devotions; he lived to be the greatest comfort of her soul upon her death-bed, to be present at the expiration of her last breath, and to behold the closing of those eyes that had long looked upon him with reverence and affection. And let this also be added, that he was the chief mourner at her sad funeral; nor let this be forgotten, that within a few hours after her death, he was the happy proclaimer, that King James (her peaceful successor) was heir to the crown.
Let me beg of my reader, that he allow me to say a little, and but a little, more of this good bishop, and I shall then presently lead him back to Mr. Hooker; and, because I would hasten, I will mention but one part of the bishop’s charity and humility; but this of both : he built a large almshouse near to his own palace at Croyden in Surrey, and endowed it with maintenance for a master and twenty-eight poor men and women; which he visited so often, that he knew their names and dispositions; and was so truly humble, that he called them Brothers and Sisters: and whensoever the Queen descended to that lowliness to dine with him at his palace in Lambeth, (which was very often,) he would usually the next day shew the like lowliness to his poor brothers and sisters at Croyden, and dine with them at his hospital; at which time, you may believe, there was joy at the table. And at this place he built also a fair free-school, with a good accommodation and maintenance for the master and scholars; which gave just occasion for Boyse Sisi , then ambassador for the French king, and resident here, at the bishop’s death, to say, “The bishop had published many learned books; but a free-school to train up youth, and an hospital to lodge and maintain aged and poor people, were the best evidences of Christian learning that a bishop could leave to posterity.” This good bishop lived to see King James settled in peace, and then fell into an extreme sickness at his palace in Lambeth ; of which when the King had notice, he went presently to visit him, and found him in his bed in a declining condition, and very weak; and after some short discourse betwixt them, the King at his departure assured him, “He had a great affection for him, and a very high value for his prudence and virtues, and would endeavour to beg his life of God for the good of his Church.” To which the good bishop replied, Pro ecclesia Dei, Pro ecclesia Dei: which were the last words he ever spake; therein testifying, that as in his life, so at his death, his chiefest care was of God’s Church.
This John Whitgift was made archbishop in the year 1583. In which busy place he continued twenty years and some months; and in which time, you may believe, he had many trials of his courage and patience; but his motto was, Vincit qui patitur: and he made it good.
Many of his many trials were occasioned by the then powerful Earl of Leicester, who did still (but secretly) raise and cherish a faction of Nonconformists to oppose him; especially one Thomas Cartwright, a man of noted learning; some time contemporary with the bishop in Cambridge, and of the same college, of which the bishop had been master: in which place there began some emulations, (the particulars I forbear ,) and at last, open and high oppositions betwixt them; and in which you may believe Mr. Cartwright was most faulty, if his expulsion out of the university can incline you to it.
And in this discontent after the earl’s death (which was 1588,) Mr. Cartwright appeared a chief cherisher of a party that were for the Geneva church-government; and, to effect it, he ran himself into many dangers both of liberty and life; appearing at the last to justify himself and his party in many remonstrances, which he caused to be printed, and to which the bishop made a first answer, and Cartwright replied upon him: and then the bishop having rejoined to his first reply, Mr. Cartwright either was, or was persuaded to be, satisfied: for he wrote no more , but left the reader to be judge which had maintained their cause with most charity and reason. After some silence, Mr. Cartwright received from the bishop many personal favours, and betook himself to a more private living, which was at Warwick, where he was made master of an hospital, and lived quietly, and grew rich ; and where the bishop gave him a license to preach, upon promise not to meddle with controversies, but incline his hearers to piety and moderation: and this promise he kept during his life, which ended 1602, the bishop surviving him but some few months, each ending his days in perfect charity with the other.
J. S.[It is true, the archbishop treated Cartwright with such civility as gained much upon him, and made him declare unto his patron, the Earl of Leicester, how much the archbishop’s humane carriage had endeared him to him; and withal shewed his desire that he might have liberty sometimes to have access to him; professing that he would seek to persuade all with whom he had concern and converse, to keep up an union with the church of England. This, I say, is certain; but it is not so certain, that the archbishop gave Cartwright a license to preach. It appears, that in the year 1585 he refused to grant it him, however solicited by Leicester’s own letter to do it; and notwithstanding Cartwright’s promises, he required more space of time to be satisfied of his conformity. For the elucidation whereof, and some further light into this matter, let both these letters be read and considered; the former of the earl to the archbishop; the latter of the archbishop to the earl.
“My good Lord,
The Earl of Leicester to the Archbishop concerning Mr. Cartwright.“I most heartily thank you for your favourable and courteous usage of Mr. Cartwright, who hath so exceeding kindly taken it also, as, I assure your Grace, he cannot speak enough of it. I trust it shall do a great deal of good. And he protesteth and professeth to me, to take no other course, but to the drawing of all men to the unity of the Church: and that your Grace hath so dealt with him, as no man shall so command him, and dispose of him, as you shall: and doth mean to let this opinion publicly be known, even in the pulpit, (if your Grace so permit him,) what he himself will, and would all others should do, for obedience to the laws established. And if any little scruple be, it is not great, and easy to be reformed by your Grace; whom I do most heartily entreat to continue your favour and countenance towards him, with such access sometimes as your leisure may permit. For I perceive he doth much desire and crave it, &c. Thus, my good lord, praying to God to bless his Church, and to make his servants constant and faithful, I bid your Grace farewell.
“Your Grace’s very assured friend,
“At the court, this 14th of July.”
To which letter the archbishop returned this answer:
“My singular good Lord,
The Archbishop to the Earl.“Mr. Cartwright shall be welcome to me at all times, and using himself quietly, as becomes him, and as I hope he will, he shall find me willing to do him any good: but to grant unto him, as yet, my license to preach, without longer trial, I cannot; especially seeing he protesteth himself to be of the same mind he was at the writing of his book, for the matter thereof, though not for the manner; myself also, I thank God, not altered in any point by me set down to the contrary; and knowing many things [in his book] to be very dangerous. Wherefore, notwithstanding I am content and ready to be at peace with him, so long as he liveth peaceably; yet doth my conscience and duty forbid me to give unto him any further public approbation, until I be better persuaded of his conformity. And so being bold to use my accustomed plainness with your good lordship, I commit you to the tuition of Almighty God; this 17th of July, 1585.”]
And now after this long digression made for the information of my reader concerning what follows, I bring him back to venerable Mr. Hooker, where we left him in the Temple; and where we shall find him as deeply engaged in a controversy with Walter Travers , a friend and favourite of Mr. Cartwright’s, as the bishop had ever been with Mr. Cartwright himself; and of which I shall proceed to give this following account.
And first this; that though the pens of Mr. Cartwright and the bishop were now at rest , yet there was sprung up a new generation of restless men, that by company and clamours became possest of a faith which they ought to have kept to themselves, but could not: men that were become positive in asserting, “that a Papist cannot be saved:” insomuch, that about this time, at the execution of the Queen of Scots , the bishop that preached her funeral sermon (which was Dr. Howland , then Bishop of Peterborough) was reviled for not being positive for her damnation. And besides this boldness of their becoming gods, so far as to set limits to His mercies; there was not only one Martin Mar-prelate , but other venomous books daily printed and dispersed; books that were so absurd and scurrilous, that the graver divines disdained them an answer. And yet these were grown into high esteem with the common people, till Tom Nash appeared against them all; who was a man of a sharp wit, and the master of a scoffing satirical merry pen, which he employed to discover the absurdities of those blind, malicious, senseless pamphlets, and sermons as senseless as they; Nash his answers being like his books , which bore these titles, An Almond for a Parrot , A Fig for my God-son, Come crack me this Nut, and the like: so that his merry wit made some sport, and such a discovery of their absurdities, as (which is strange) he put a greater stop to these malicious pamphlets, than a much wiser man had been able .
And now the reader is to take notice, that at the death of Father Alvie, who was master of the Temple, this Walter Travers was lecturer there for the evening sermons , which he preached with great approbation, especially of some citizens, and the younger gentlemen of that society; and for the most part approved by Mr. Hooker himself, in the midst of their oppositions: for he continued lecturer a part of his time: Mr. Travers being indeed a man of competent learning, of winning behaviour, and of a blameless life. But he had taken orders by the presbytery in Antwerp , (and with them some opinions, that could never be eradicated,) and if in any thing he was transported, it was in an extreme desire to set up that government in this nation: for the promoting of which he had a correspondence with Theodore Beza at Geneva , and others in Scotland ; and was one of the chiefest assistants to Mr. Cartwright in that design.
Mr. Travers had also a particular hope to set up this government in the Temple, and to that end used his most zealous endeavours to be master of it; and his being disappointed by Mr. Hooker’s admittance, proved the occasion of a public opposition betwixt them in their sermons. Many of which were concerning the doctrine and ceremonies of this church: insomuch that as St. Paul withstood St. Peter to his face, so did they withstand each other in their sermons; for as one hath pleasantly exprest it, “The forenoon sermon spake Canterbury, and the afternoon, Geneva .”
In these sermons there was little of bitterness, but each party brought all the reasons he was able, to prove his adversary’s opinion erroneous. And thus it continued a long time, till the oppositions became so visible, and the consequences so dangerous, especially in that place, that the prudent archbishop put a stop to Mr. Travers his preaching by a positive prohibition; [and that chiefly because of his foreign ordination :] against which Mr. Travers appealed, and petitioned her Majesty’s Privy Council to have it recalled, where besides his patron the Earl of Leicester , he met also with many assisting friends; but they were not able to prevail with or against the archbishop, whom the Queen had entrusted with all church-power; and he had received so fair a testimony of Mr. Hooker’s principles, and of his learning and moderation, that he withstood all solicitations.
But the denying this petition of Mr. Travers was unpleasant to divers of his party, and the reasonableness of it became at last to be so publicly magnified by them and many others of that party, as never to be answered: so that, intending the bishop’s and Mr. Hooker’s disgrace, they procured it to be privately printed , and scattered abroad; and then Mr. Hooker was forced to appear and make as public an answer: which he did, and dedicated it to the archbishop; and it proved so full an answer, an answer that had in it so much of clear reason, and writ with so much meekness and majesty of style, that the bishop began to have him in admiration , and to rejoice that he had appeared in his cause, and disdained not earnestly to beg his friendship, even a familiar friendship, with a man of so much quiet learning and humility .
To enumerate the many particular points, in which Mr. Hooker and Mr. Travers dissented, (all or most of which I have seen written,) would prove at least tedious: and therefore I shall impose upon my reader no more than two, which shall immediately follow, and by which he may judge of the rest.
Mr. Travers excepted against Mr. Hooker, for that in one of his sermons he declared, “That the assurance of what we believe by the word of God is not to us so certain as that which we perceive by sense.” And Mr. Hooker confesseth he said so, and endeavours to justify it by the reasons following :
“First, I taught, that the things which God promises in his word are surer than what we touch, handle, or see: but are we so sure and certain of them? If we be, why doth God so often prove his promises to us as he doth, by arguments drawn from our sensible experience? For we must be surer of the proof, than of the things proved; otherwise it is no proof. For example, how is it that many men looking on the moon at the same time, every one knoweth it to be the moon as certainly as the other doth? But many believing one and the same promise, have not all the same fulness of persuasion. For how falleth it out, that men being assured of any thing by sense, can be no surer of it than they are; when as the strongest in faith that liveth upon the earth hath always need to labour, strive, and pray, that his assurance concerning heavenly and spiritual things may grow, increase, and be augmented?”
The sermon that gave him the cause of this his justification, makes the case more plain, by declaring, “that there is besides this certainty of evidence, a certainty of adherence.” In which, having most excellently demonstrated what the certainty of adherence is, he makes this comfortable use of it: “Comfortable (he says) as to weak believers, who suppose themselves to be faithless, not to believe, when notwithstanding they have their adherence; the Holy Spirit hath his private operations, and worketh secretly in them, and effectually too, though they want the inward testimony of it.”
Tell this, saith he, to a man that hath a mind too much dejected by a sad sense of his sin; to one that by a too severe judging of himself, concludes that he wants faith, because he wants the comfortable assurance of it; and his answer will be, “Do not persuade me, against my knowledge, against what I find and feel in myself: I do not, I know I do not, believe.” Mr. Hooker’s own words follow: “Well then, to favour such men a little in their weakness, let that be granted which they do imagine; be it, that they adhere not to God’s promises, but are faithless, and without belief: but are they not grieved for their unbelief? They confess they are. Do they not wish it might, and also strive that it may be otherwise? We know they do. Whence cometh this, but from a secret love and liking that they have of those things believed? For no man can love those things which in his own opinion are not; and if they think those things to be, which they shew they love, when they desire to believe them; then must it be, that by desiring to believe, they prove themselves true believers: for without faith no man thinketh that things believed are: which argument all the subtilties of infernal powers will never be able to dissolve.” This is an abridgment of part of the reasons Mr. Hooker gives for his justification of this his opinion, for which he was excepted against by Mr. Travers.
Mr. Hooker was also accused by Mr. Travers, for that he in one of his sermons had declared, “That he doubted not but that God was merciful to many of our forefathers living in popish superstition, forasmuch as they sinned ignorantly:” and Mr. Hooker in his answer professeth it to be his judgment, and declares his reasons for this charitable opinion to be as followeth.
But first [because Travers’s argument against this charitable opinion of Hooker was, that they could not be saved, because they sought to be justified by the merit of their works, and so overthrow the foundation of faith] he states the question about justification and works, and how the foundation of faith without works is overthrown; and then he proceeds to discover that way which natural men and some others have mistaken to be the way, by which they hope to attain true and everlasting happiness: and having discovered the mistaken, he proceeds to direct to that true way, by which, and no other, everlasting life and blessedness is attainable. And these two ways he demonstrates thus (they be his own words that follow): “That, the way of nature; this, the way of grace: the end of that way, salvation merited, presupposing the righteousness of men’s works; their righteousness, a natural ability to do them; that ability, the goodness of God which created them in such perfection. But the end of this way, salvation bestowed upon men as a gift: presupposing not their righteousness, but the forgiveness of their unrighteousness, justification; their justification, not their natural ability to do good, but their hearty sorrow for not doing, and unfeigned belief in Him, for whose sake not doers are accepted, which is their vocation; their vocation, the election of God, taking them out of the number of lost children; their election, a Mediator in whom to be elected; this mediation inexplicable mercy; this mercy supposing their misery for whom he vouchsafed to die, and make himself a Mediator.”
And he also declareth, “there is no meritorious cause for our justification but Christ; no effectual, but His mercy;” and says also, “we deny the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, we abuse, disannul, and annihilate the benefit of His passion, if by a proud imagination we believe we can merit everlasting life, or can be worthy of it.” This belief (he declareth) is to destroy the very essence of our justification, and he makes all opinions that border upon this to be very dangerous. “Yet nevertheless” (and for this he was accused) “considering how many virtuous and just men, how many saints and martyrs, have had their dangerous opinions, amongst which this was one, that they hoped to make God some part of amends, by voluntary punishments which they laid upon themselves: because by [of?] this, or the like erroneous opinions which do by consequence overthrow the merits of Christ, shall man be so bold as to write on their graves, ‘Such men are damned, there is for them no salvation!’ St. Austin says, Errare possum, hæreticus esse nolo. And except we put a difference betwixt them that err ignorantly, and them that obstinately persist in it, how is it possible that any man should hope to be saved? Give me a Pope or a Cardinal, whom great afflictions have made to know himself; whose heart God hath touched with true sorrow for all his sins, and filled with a love of Christ and his Gospel; whose eyes are willingly open to see the truth, and his mouth ready to renounce all error, this one opinion of merit excepted, which he thinketh God will require at his hands; and because he wanteth, trembleth, and is discouraged, and yet can say, ‘Lord, cleanse me from all my secret sins!’ shall I think, because of this, or a like error, such men touch not so much as the hem of Christ’s garment? If they do, wherefore should I doubt but that virtue may proceed from Christ to save them? No, I will not be afraid to say to such a one, ‘You err in your opinion, but be of good comfort, you have to do with a merciful God, who will make the best of that little which you hold well, and not with a captious sophister, who gathereth the worst out of every thing in which you are mistaken.’
“But it will be said, (says Mr. Hooker,) ‘The admittance of merit in any degree, overthroweth the foundation, excludeth from the hope of mercy, from all possibility of salvation.’ ” (And now Mr. Hooker’s own words follow.)
“What, though they hold the truth sincerely in all other parts of Christian faith; although they have in some measure all the virtues and graces of the Spirit; although they have all other tokens of God’s children in them; although they be far from having any proud opinion that they shall be saved by the worthiness of their deeds; although the only thing that troubleth and molesteth them be a little too much dejection, somewhat too great a fear arising from an erroneous conceit, that God will require a worthiness in them, which they are grieved to find wanting in themselves? although they be not obstinate in this opinion? although they be willing and would be glad to forsake it, if any one reason were brought sufficient to disprove it? although the only cause why they do not forsake it ere they die, be their ignorance of that means by which it might be disproved? although the cause why the ignorance in this point is not removed, be the want of knowledge in such as should be able, and are not, to remove it? Let me die (says Mr. Hooker) if it be ever proved, that simply an error doth exclude a Pope or Cardinal in such a case utterly from hope of life. Surely I must confess, that if it be an error to think that God may be merciful to save men even when they err, my greatest comfort is my error: were it not for the love I bear to this error, I would never wish to speak or to live.”
I was willing to take notice of these two points, as supposing them to be very material; and that as they are thus contracted, they may prove useful to my reader; as also, for that the answers be arguments of Mr. Hooker’s great and clear reason, and equal charity. Other exceptions were also made against him by Mr. Travers, as, “That he prayed before and not after his sermons; that in his prayers he named bishops; that he kneeled both when he prayed and when he received the Sacrament; and” (says Mr. Hooker in his defence) “other exceptions so like these, as but to name, I should have thought a greater fault than to commit them.”
And it is not unworthy the noting, that in the manage of so great a controversy, a sharper reproof than this, and one like it, did never fall from the happy pen of this humble man. That like it was upon a like occasion of exceptions, to which his answer was, “Your next argument consists of railing and of reasons: to your railing, I say nothing; to your reasons, I say what follows .” And I am glad of this fair occasion, to testify the dovelike temper of this meek, this matchless man; and doubtless, if Almighty God had blessed the dissenters from the ceremonies and discipline of this church with a like measure of wisdom and humility, instead of their pertinacious zeal; then, Obedience and Truth had kissed each other; then peace and piety had flourished in our nation, and this church and state had been blessed like “Jerusalem that is at unity with itself;” but this can never be expected, till God shall bless the common people of this nation with a belief “That schism is a sin, and, they not fit to judge what is schism:” and bless them also with a belief, “that there may be offences taken, which are not given;” and, “that laws are not made for private men to dispute, but to obey.”
J. S. The articles of false doctrines objected by Travers to Hooker.[Before we pass from these unhappy disceptations between Hooker and Travers, as we have heard two articles of pretended false doctrine objected by the one to the other, so it is pity the rest should be wholly lost, and for ever buried in silence: therefore, for the making this considerable part of the reverend man’s life and history complete, and to retrieve whatsoever may be gotten of the pen and mind of so learned and judicious a person, take this further account, not only of two, but of all the articles that his before-mentioned adversary had marshalled up against him, collected from a sermon or sermons he had heard him preach at the Temple: together with his endeavoured confutation of them; and likewise Hooker’s own vindication of himself to each of these articles. These articles seem to have been delivered by Travers to the Lord Treasurer. The same lord delivered them to Hooker to consider of, and to make his reply to. And of these articles the archbishop also was privy, and briefly declared his judgment and determination of them. I shall set all down exactly from an authentic manuscript.
Doctrines delivered by Mr. Hooker, as they were set down and shewed by Mr. Travers, Mar. 30, 1585, under this title ;
A short Note of sundry unsound Points of Doctrine at divers times delivered by Mr. Hooker in his public Sermons.
1. The church of Rome is a true church of Christ, and a church sanctified by profession of that truth, which God had revealed unto us by his Son, though not a pure and perfect church.
2. The fathers which lived and died in Popish superstition were saved, because they sinned ignorantly.
3. They which are of the church of Rome may be saved by such a faith as they have in Christ, and a general repentance of all their sins.
4. The church of Rome holdeth all men sinners, even the Blessed Virgin, though some of them think otherwise of her.
5. The church of Rome teacheth Christ’s righteousness to be the only meritorious cause of taking away sin.
6. The Galatians which joined with faith in Christ, circumcision, as necessary unto salvation, notwithstanding be saved.
7. Neither the church of Rome, nor the Galatians, deny the foundation directly, but only by consequent: and therefore may be saved. Or else neither the Lutherans, nor whosoever hold any error (for every error by consequent denieth the foundation), may be saved.
8. An additament taketh not away that whereunto it is added, but confirmeth it. As he that saith of any, that he is a righteous man, saith, that he is a man: except it be privative; as when he saith, he is a dead man, then he denieth him to be a man: and of this sort of [privative] additaments neither are works, which are added to Christ by the Church of Rome; nor circumcision, added to him by the Galatians.
9. The Galatians’ case is harder than the case of the church of Rome; for they added to Christ circumcision, which God had forbidden and abolished: but that which the church of Rome addeth, are works which God hath commanded.
10. No one sequel urged by the Apostle against the Galatians, for joining circumcision with Christ, but may be as well enforced against the Lutherans holding ubiquity.
11. A bishop or cardinal of the church of Rome, yea, the Pope himself, denying all other errors of popery, notwithstanding his opinion of justification by works, may be saved.
12. Predestination is not of the absolute will of God, but conditional.
13. The doings of the wicked are not of the will of God positive, but only permissive.
14. The reprobates are not rejected, but for the evil works which God did foresee they would commit.
15. The assurance of things which we believe by the Word, is not so sure, as of those which we perceive by sense.
Here follows an Account, given in by Mr. Hooker himself, of what he preached, March 28, 1585 . And then of what Travers in his Lectures excepted thereunto. And lastly, of Hooker’s Reply and Vindication of himself and his Sermons.
Hooker’s own relation of his assertions, and vindication of them against Travers.“I doubted not but that God was merciful to thousands of our fathers, which lived in popish superstition: for that they sinned ignorantly. But we have the light of the truth.
“Which doctrine was withstood, because we are commanded to depart out of Babylon, else we should be partakers of those plagues there denounced against such as repent not of their superstitions: which they cannot who know them not.
“I answered, that there were thousands in our days who hate sin, desiring to walk according to the will of God; and yet committing sin which they know not to be sin. I think, that they that desire forgiveness of secret sins, which they know not to be sins, and that are sorry for sins, that they know not to be sins, [such] do repent.
“It is replied, that without faith there is no repentance. Our fathers in desiring mercy did but as divers pagans; and had no true repentance.
“They thought they could not be saved by Christ without works, as the Galatians did: and so they denied the foundation of faith.
“I answered, although the proposition were true, that he who thinketh he cannot be saved by Christ without works, overthroweth the foundation; yet we may persuade ourselves that our forefathers might be saved. 1. Because many of them were ignorant of the dogmatical positions of the church of Rome. 2. Albeit they had divers positions of that church, yet it followeth not that they had this. 3. Although they did generally hold this position, yet God might be merciful unto them. No exception hath been taken against any one of these assertions. 4. I add, that albeit all those, of whom we speak, did not only hold this generally, but as the scholars of Rome hold this position now, of joining works with Christ; whether doth that position overthrow the foundation directly, or only by consequence? If it doth overthrow the foundation directly, &c. To make all plain, these points are to be handled. First, what is meant by the foundation. Secondly, what it is to deny the foundation directly. Thirdly, whether the elect may be so deceived, that they may come to this, to deny the foundation directly. Fourthly, whether the Galatians did directly deny it. Fifthly, whether the church of Rome, by joining works with Christ in the matter of salvation, do directly deny it.
I. To the first I answer: “The foundation is, that which Peter, Nathaniel, and the Samaritans confessed; and that which the Apostles expressly [affirm,] Acts iv. [12.] ‘There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.’ It is, in fine, this, Salvation is by Christ only. This word only, what doth it exclude? [As when we say,] ‘This judge shall only determine this matter:’ this only doth not exclude all other things, besides the person of the judge; as, necessary witnesses, the equity of the cause, &c. but all persons: and not all persons from being present, but from determining the cause. So when we say, ‘Salvation only is by Christ,’ we do not exclude all other things. For then how could we say, that faith were necessary? We exclude therefore not those means whereby the benefits of Christ are applied to us; but all other persons, for working any thing for our redemption.
“II. To the second point: We are said to deny the foundation directly, when plainly and expressly we deny that Christ only doth save. By consequence we deny the foundation, when any such thing is defended, whereby it may be inferred, that Christ doth not only save.
“III. To the third: The elect of God cannot so err that they should deny directly the foundation: for that Christ doth keep them from that extremity: and there is no salvation to such as deny the foundation directly. Therefore it is said, that they ‘shall worship the beast, whose names are not found in the book of life.’ Antichrist may prevail much against them [viz. the elect], and they may receive the sign of the beast in the same degree, but not so that they should directly deny the foundation.
“IV. To the fourth: Albeit the Galatians fell into error; but not so that they lost salvation. If they had died before they had known the doctrine of Paul, being before deceived by those that they thought did teach the truth: what do you think? should they have been damned? This we are taught, that such errors [as are damning] shall not take hold, but on those that love not the truth. The Galatians had embraced the truth; and for it had suffered many things, &c. There came among them seducers that required circumcision. They being moved with a religious fear, thought it to be the word of God, that they should be circumcised. The best of them might be brought into that opinion; and dying before they could be otherwise instructed, they may not for that be excluded from salvation. Circumcision being joined with Christ doth only by consequence overthrow the foundation. To hold the foundation by an additament is not to deny the foundation; unless the additament be a privative. He is a just man, therefore a man: but this followeth not; he is a dead man, therefore he is a man. In the 15th chapter of the Acts they are called credentes [i. e. such as believed] that taught the necessity of circumcision. That name could not have been given unto them, if directly they had denied the foundation. That which the Apostle doth urge against the Galatians, in respect of circumcision, may be urged against the Lutherans in respect of their consubstantiation. [But they do not directly deny the foundation.] So neither did the Galatians directly deny it.
“V. Lastly: Whether doth the church of Rome directly deny the foundation, by joining Christ and works? There is a difference between the papists and the Galatians: for circumcision, which the Galatians joined with Christ, was forbidden, and taken away by Christ. But works are commanded, which the church of Rome doth join with Christ. So that there is greater repugnancy to join circumcision with Christ, than to join works with him. But let them be equal. As the Galatians only by consequent denied the foundation, so do the Papists. (Zanchy, Calvin, Mornay; I need not go so far as some of these.) But this I think, if the Pope, or any of the Cardinals, should forsake all other their corruptions, and yield up their souls, holding the foundation again but by a slender thread, and did but as it were touch the hem of Christ’s garment, believing that which the Church of Rome doth in this point of doctrine, they may obtain mercy. For they have to deal with God, who is no captious sophister, and will not examine them in quiddities, but accept them if they plainly hold the foundation.
“This error is my only comfort as touching the salvation of our fathers. I follow Mr. Martyr. I know Ignorantia non excusat in toto, but in tanto. It maketh not a fault to be no fault, but that which is a fault to be a less one.”
The Archbishop’s judgment of those controversies.At length, thus did the Archbishop of Canterbury discreetly and warily correct and moderate these articles between them both:
I. “Papists living and dying Papists may notwithstanding be saved. The reason; ignorance excused them. As the apostle allegeth, 1 Tim. i. 13. ‘I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly.’
The Archbishop’s Judgment.
“Not Papists, but our fathers. Nor they all, but many of them. Nor living and dying Papists, but living in popish superstitions. Nor simply might, but might by the mercy of God, be saved. Ignorance did not excuse the fault to make it no fault: but the less their fault was, in respect of ignorance, the more hope we have, that God was merciful to them.”
II. “Papists hold the foundation of faith: so that they may be saved, notwithstanding their opinion of merit.”
Archbishop. “And Papists overthrow the foundation of faith, both by their doctrine of merit, and otherwise many ways. So that if they have, as their errors deserve, I do not see how they should be saved.”
III. “General repentance may serve to their salvation, though they confess not their error of merit.”
Archbishop. “General repentance will not serve any but the faithful man. Nor him, for any sin, but for such sins only as he doth not mark, nor know to be sin.”
IV. “The Church of Rome is within the new covenant.”
Archbishop. “The Church of Rome is not as the assemblies of Turks, Jews, and Painims.”
V. “The Galatians joining the law with Christ might have been saved, before they received the Epistle.”
Archbishop. “Of the Galatians, before they were told of their error, what letteth us to think, as of our fathers, before the Church of Rome was admonished of her defection from the truth?”]
And this also may be worthy of noting, that these exceptions of Mr. Travers against Mr. Hooker proved to be felix error, for they were the cause of his transcribing those few of his sermons, which we now see printed with his books; and of his Answer to Mr. Travers his Supplication: and of his most learned and useful Discourse of Justification, of Faith and Works; and by their transcription they fell into such hands as have preserved them from being lost, as too many of his other matchless writings were; and from these I have gathered many observations in this discourse of his life.
After the publication of his Answer to the Petition of Mr. Travers, Mr. Hooker grew daily into greater repute with the most learned and wise of the nation; but it had a contrary effect in very many of the Temple that were zealous for Mr. Travers and for his Church-discipline; insomuch, that though Mr. Travers left the place , yet the seeds of discontent could not be rooted out of that society, by the great reason, and as great meekness, of this humble man: for though the chief benchers gave him much reverence and encouragement, yet he there met with many neglects and oppositions by those of Master Travers’ judgment; insomuch that it turned to his extreme grief: and that he might unbeguile and win them, he designed to write a deliberate sober Treatise of the Church’s power to make canons for the use of ceremonies, and by law to impose an obedience to them, as upon her children; and this he proposed to do in eight books of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity; intending therein to shew such arguments as should force an assent from all men, if reason delivered in sweet language, and void of any provocation, were able to do it: and that he might prevent all prejudice, he wrote before it a large Preface or Epistle to the Dissenting Brethren, wherein there were such bowels of love, and such a commixture of that love with reason, as was never exceeded but in Holy Writ; and particularly by that of St. Paul to his dear brother and fellow-labourer Philemon: than which, none was ever more like this Epistle of Mr. Hooker’s: so that his dear friend and companion in his studies, Dr. Spenser, might after his death justly say , “What admirable height of learning and depth of judgment dwelt in the lowly mind of this truly humble man, great in all wise men’s eyes except his own; with what gravity and majesty of speech his tongue and pen uttered heavenly mysteries; whose eyes, in the humility of his heart, were always cast down to the ground: how all things that proceeded from him were breathed as from the spirit of love; as if he, like the bird of the Holy Ghost, the Dove, had wanted gall: let those that knew him not in his person, judge by these living images of his soul, his writings.”
The foundation of these books was laid in the Temple; but he found it no fit place to finish what he had there designed; and he therefore earnestly solicited the archbishop for a remove from that place, to whom he spake to this purpose: “My Lord, when I lost the freedom of my cell, which was my college; yet, I found some degree of it in my quiet country parsonage: but I am weary of the noise and oppositions of this place, and indeed God and nature did not intend me for contentions, but for study and quietness. My Lord, my particular contests with Mr. Travers here have proved the more unpleasant to me, because I believe him to be a good man ; and that belief hath occasioned me to examine mine own conscience concerning his opinions; and, to satisfy that, I have consulted the scripture, and other laws both human and divine, whether the conscience of him and others of his judgment ought to be so far complied with as to alter our frame of Church-government, our manner of God’s worship, our praising and praying to him, and our established ceremonies, as often as his and others’ tender consciences shall require us: and, in this examination, I have not only satisfied myself, but have begun a Treatise, in which I intend a justification of the Laws of our Ecclesiastical Polity; in which design God and his holy Angels shall at the last great day bear me that witness which my conscience now does; that my meaning is not to provoke any, but rather to satisfy all tender consciences, and I shall never be able to do this, but where I may study, and pray for God’s blessing upon my endeavours, and keep myself in peace and privacy, and behold God’s blessing spring out of my mother earth, and eat my own bread without oppositions; and therefore, if your Grace can judge me worthy of such a favour, let me beg it, that I may perfect what I have begun.”
About this time the parsonage or rectory of Boscum, in the diocese of Sarum, and six miles from that city, became void. The Bishop of Sarum is patron of it: but in the vacancy of that see (which was three years betwixt the translation of Bishop Pierce to the see of York, and Bishop Caldwell’s admission into it) the disposal of that and all benefices belonging to that see during this said vacancy, came to be disposed of by the Archbishop of Canterbury; and he presented Richard Hooker to it, in the year 1591. And Richard Hooker was also in this said year instituted, July 17, to be a minor prebend of Salisbury, the corps to it being Nether-Havin , about ten miles from that city; which prebend was of no great value, but intended chiefly to make him capable of a better preferment in that church . In this Boscum he continued till he had finished four of his eight proposed books of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, and these were entered into the Register-book in Stationers’-hall, the 9th of March, 1592 , but not published till the year 1594, and then were with the before-mentioned large and affectionate preface, which he directs “to them that seek (as they term it) the Reformation of the Laws and Orders Ecclesiastical in the Church of England;” of which books I shall yet say nothing more, but that he continued his laborious diligence to finish the remaining four during his life (of all which more properly hereafter) but at Boscum he finisht and publisht but only the first four, being then in the thirty-ninth year of his age.
He left Boscum in the year 1595, by a surrender of it into the hands of Bishop Caldwell, and he presented Benjamin Russel, who was instituted into it the 23d of June in the same year.
The parsonage of Bishopsborne in Kent, three miles from Canterbury, is in that archbishop’s gift; but, in the latter end of the year 1594, Dr. William Redman the rector of it was made Bishop of Norwich ; by which means the power of presenting to it was pro ea vice in the Queen; and she presented Richard Hooker, whom she loved well, to this good living of Borne the 7th of July, 1595, in which living he continued till his death, without any addition of dignity or profit .
And now having brought our Richard Hooker, from his birthplace to this where he found a grave, I shall only give some account of his books, and of his behaviour in this parsonage of Borne, and then give a rest both to myself and my reader.
His first four Books and large Epistle have been declared to be printed at his being at Boscum, anno 1594. Next, I am to tell, that at the end of these four Books, there was when he first printed them this Advertisement to the Reader: “I have for some causes thought it at this time more fit to let go these first four Books by themselves, than to stay both them and the rest, till the whole might together be published. Such generalities of the cause in question as are here handled, it will be perhaps not amiss to consider apart, by way of introduction unto the books that are to follow concerning particulars; in the mean time the reader is requested to mend the printer’s errors, as noted underneath.”
And I am next to declare, that his fifth Book (which is larger than his first four) was first also printed by itself anno 1597, and dedicated to his patron (for till then he chose none) the archbishop. These Books were read with an admiration of their excellency in this, and their just fame spread itself also into foreign nations. And I have been told more than forty years past, that either Cardinal Allen, or learned Dr. Stapleton (both Englishmen, and in Italy about the time when Hooker’s four Books were first printed) meeting with this general fame of them, were desirous to read an author that both the reformed and the learned of their own Romish Church did so much magnify, and therefore caused them to be sent for to Rome; and after reading them, boasted to the Pope, (which then was Clement the Eighth,) “That though he had lately said he never met with an English book whose writer deserved the name of an author; yet there now appeared a wonder to them, and it would be so to his Holiness, if it were in Latin; for a poor obscure English priest had writ four such Books of Laws and Church-Polity, and in a style that expressed such a grave and so humble a majesty, with such clear demonstration of reason, that in all their readings they had not met with any that exceeded him;” and this begot in the Pope an earnest desire that Dr. Stapleton should bring the said four books, and looking on the English read a part of them to him in Latin; which Dr. Stapleton did, to the end of the first book; at the conclusion of which, the Pope spake to this purpose: “There is no learning that this man hath not searcht into; nothing too hard for his understanding: this man indeed deserves the name of an author; his books will get reverence by age, for there is in them such seeds of eternity, that if the rest be like this, they shall last till the last fire shall consume all learning.”
Nor was this high, the only testimony and commendations given to his Books; for at the first coming of King James into this kingdom, he inquired of the Archbishop Whitgift for his friend Mr. Hooker that writ the Books of Church-Polity; to which the answer was, that he died a year before Queen Elizabeth, who received the sad news of his death with very much sorrow: to which the King replied, “And I receive it with no less, that I shall want the desired happiness of seeing and discoursing with that man, from whose Books I have received such satisfaction: indeed, my Lord, I have received more satisfaction in reading a leaf, or paragraph, in Mr. Hooker, though it were but about the fashion of Churches, or Church-musick, or the like, but especially of the Sacraments, than I have had in the reading particular large treatises written but of one of those subjects by others, though very learned men; and, I observe there is in Mr. Hooker no affected language ; but a grave, comprehensive, clear manifestation of reason; and that backed with the authority of the Scripture, the fathers and schoolmen, and with all law both sacred and civil. And though many others write well, yet in the next age they will be forgotten; but doubtless there is in every page of Mr. Hooker’s book the picture of a divine soul, such pictures of Truth and Reason, and drawn in so sacred colours, that they shall never fade, but give an immortal memory to the author.” And it is so truly true, that the king thought what he spake, that as the most learned of the nation have and still do mention Mr. Hooker with reverence; so he also did never mention him but with the epithet of learned, or judicious, or reverend, or venerable Mr. Hooker.
Nor did his son, our late King Charles the First, ever mention him but with the same reverence, enjoining his son , our now gracious King, to be studious in Mr. Hooker’s books. And our learned antiquary Mr. Camden mentioning the death, the modesty, and other virtues of Mr. Hooker, and magnifying his books, wisht “that for the honour of this, and benefit of other nations, they were turned into the universal language.” Which work, though undertaken by many, yet they have been weary, and forsaken it; but the reader may now expect it, having been long since begun, and lately finisht by the happy pen of Dr. Earl, now Lord Bishop of Salisbury, of whom I may justly say, (and let it not offend him, because it is such a truth as ought not to be concealed from posterity, or those that now live, and yet know him not,) that since Mr. Hooker died, none have lived whom God hath blessed with more innocent wisdom, more sanctified learning, or a more pious, peaceable, primitive temper: so that this excellent person seems to be only like himself, and our venerable Richard Hooker; and only fit to make the learned of all nations happy, in knowing what hath been too long confined to the language of our little island .
There might be many more and just occasions taken to speak of his books, which none ever did or can commend too much; but I decline them, and hasten to an account of his Christian behaviour and death at Borne; in which place he continued his customary rules of mortification and self-denial; was much in fasting, frequent in meditation and prayers, enjoying those blessed returns, which only men of strict lives feel and know, and of which men of loose and godless lives cannot be made sensible; for, spiritual things are spiritually discerned.
At his entrance into this place, his friendship was much sought for by Dr. Hadrian Saravia, then or about that time made one of the prebends of Canterbury, a German by birth , and sometimes a pastor both in Flanders and Holland , where he had studied and well considered the controverted points concerning episcopacy and sacrilege, and in England had a just occasion to declare his judgment concerning both, unto his brethren ministers in the Low Countries; which was excepted against by Theodore Beza and others ; against whose exceptions, he rejoined , and thereby became the happy author of many learned tracts writ in Latin; especially of three; one of the Degrees of Ministers, and of the Bishop’s Superiority above the Presbytery; a second against Sacrilege; and a third of Christian Obedience to Princes; the last being occasioned by Gretzerus the Jesuit . And it is observable, that when in a time of church-tumults, Beza gave his reasons to the Chancellor of Scotland for the abrogation of episcopacy in that nation, partly by letters, and more fully in a treatise of a threefold episcopacy, (which he calls divine, human, and Satanical,) this Dr. Saravia had by the help of Bishop Whitgift made such an early discovery of their intentions , that he had almost as soon answered that treatise as it became publick, and he therein discovered how Beza’s opinion did contradict that of Calvin and his adherents; leaving them to interfere with themselves in point of episcopacy ; but of these tracts it will not concern me to say more, than that they were most of them dedicated to his and the Church of England’s watchful patron, John Whitgift, the archbishop, and printed about the time in which Mr. Hooker also appeared first to the world, in the publication of his first four Books of Ecclesiastical Polity .
This friendship being sought for by this learned doctor, you may believe was not denied by Mr. Hooker, who was by fortune so like him, as to be engaged against Mr. Travers, Mr. Cartwright, and others of their judgment, in a controversy too like Dr. Saravia’s; so that in this year of 1595, and in this place of Borne, these two excellent persons began a holy friendship, increasing daily to so high and mutual affections, that their two wills seemed to be but one and the same: and, their designs both for the glory of God, and peace of the Church, still assisting and improving each other’s virtues, and the desired comforts of a peaceable piety. Which I have willingly mentioned, because it gives a foundation to some things that follow.
This parsonage of Borne is from Canterbury three miles, and near to the common road that leads from that city to Dover: in which parsonage Mr. Hooker had not been twelve months, but his Books, and the innocency and sanctity of his life became so remarkable, that many turned out of the road, and others (scholars especially) went purposely to see the man, whose life and learning were so much admired; and alas! as our Saviour said of St. John Baptist, “What went they out to see? a man clothed in purple and fine linen?” No, indeed; but an “obscure, harmless man; a man in poor clothes, his loins usually girt in a coarse gown, or canonical coat; of a mean stature, and stooping, and yet more lowly in the thoughts of his soul; his body worn out, not with age, but study, and holy mortifications; his face full of heatpimples, begot by his unactivity and sedentary life.” And to this true character of his person, let me add this of his disposition and behaviour: God and nature blessed him with so blessed a bashfulness, that as in his younger days his pupils might easily look him out of countenance; so neither then, nor in his age, “did he ever willingly look any man in the face; and was of so mild and humble a nature, that his poor parish-clerk and he did never talk but with both their hats on, or both off, at the same time:” and to this may be added, that though he was not purblind, yet he was short or weak-sighted; and where he fixt his eyes at the beginning of his sermon, there they continued till it was ended; and the reader has a liberty to believe, that his modesty and dim sight were some of the reasons why he trusted Mrs. Churchman to choose his wife.
This parish-clerk lived till the third or fourth year of the late long parliament: betwixt which time and Mr. Hooker’s death, there had come many to see the place of his burial, and the monument dedicated to his memory by Sir William Cooper, (who still lives,) and the poor clerk had many rewards for shewing Mr. Hooker’s grave-place, and his said monument, and did always hear Mr. Hooker mentioned with commendations and reverence; to all which, he added his own knowledge and observations of his humility and holiness; and in all which discourses, the poor man was still more confirmed in his opinion of Mr. Hooker’s virtues and learning: but it so fell out, that about the said third or fourth year of the long parliament, the then present parson of Borne was sequestred, (you may guess why,) and a Genevian minister put into his good living. This, and other like sequestrations, made the clerk express himself in a wonder, and say, “They had sequestred so many good men, that he doubted, if his good master Mr. Hooker had lived till now, they would have sequestred him too.”
It was not long, before this intruding minister had made a party in and about the said parish, that were desirous to receive the sacrament as in Geneva; to which end, the day was appointed for a select company, and forms and stools set about the altar or communion-table, for them to sit and eat, and drink; but when they went about this work, there was a want of some joint-stools, which the minister sent the clerk to fetch, and then to fetch cushions (but not to kneel upon). When the clerk saw them begin to sit down, he began to wonder; but the minister bade him “cease wondering, and lock the church door;” to whom he replied, “Pray take you the keys, and lock me out: I will never come more into this church; for all men will say, my master Hooker was a good man, and a good scholar, and I am sure it was not used to be thus in his days.” And, report says, the old man went presently home, and died; I do not say died immediately, but within a few days after .
But let us leave this grateful clerk in his quiet grave, and return to Mr. Hooker himself, continuing our observations of his Christian behaviour in this place, where he gave a holy valediction to all the pleasures and allurements of earth, possessing his soul in a virtuous quietness, which he maintained by constant study, prayers, and meditations: his use was to preach once every Sunday, and he or his curate to catechise after the second lesson in the evening prayer; his sermons were neither long nor earnest, but uttered with a grave zeal, and an humble voice; his eyes always fixt on one place to prevent his imagination from wandering, insomuch that he seemed to study as he spake ; the design of his sermons (as indeed of all his discourses) was to shew reasons for what he spake; and with these reasons, such a kind of rhetorick, as did rather convince and persuade, than frighten men into piety ; studying not so much for matter (which he never wanted) as for apt illustrations to inform and teach his unlearned hearers by familiar examples, and then make them better by convincing applications; never labouring by hard words, and then by needless distinctions and subdistinctions, to amuse his hearers, and get glory to himself; but glory only to God. Which intention, he would often say, was as discernible in a preacher, “as a natural from an artificial beauty.”
He never failed, the Sunday before every Ember week, to give notice of it to his parishioners, persuading them both to fast, and then to double their devotions for a learned and pious clergy; but especially the last; saying often, “That the life of a pious clergyman was visible rhetorick, and so convincing, that the most godless men (though they would not deny themselves the enjoyment of their present lusts) did yet secretly wish themselves like those of the strictest lives.” And to what he persuaded others, he added his own example of fasting and prayer; and did usually every Ember-week take from the parish-clerk the key of the church-door; into which place he retired every day, and lockt himself up for many hours; and did the like most Fridays, and other days of fasting.
He would by no means omit the customary time of Procession , persuading all both rich and poor, if they desired the preservation of love, and their parish-rights and liberties, to accompany him in his perambulation; and most did so: in which perambulation, he would usually express more pleasant discourse than at other times, and would then always drop some loving and facetious observations to be remembered against the next year, especially by the boys and young people; still inclining them and all his present parishioners, to meekness, and mutual kindnesses, and love; because “love thinks not evil, but covers a multitude of infirmities.”
He was diligent to inquire who of his parish were sick, or any ways distrest, and would often visit them, unsent for; supposing that the fittest time to discover to them those errors to which health and prosperity had blinded them; and having by pious reasons and prayers moulded them into holy resolutions for the time to come, he would incline them to confession, and bewailing their sins, with purpose to forsake them, and then to receive the Communion, both as a strengthening of those holy resolutions, and as a seal betwixt God and them of his mercies to their souls, in case that present sickness did put a period to their lives.
And as he was thus watchful and charitable to the sick, so he was as diligent to prevent lawsuits, still urging his parishioners and neighbours to bear with each other’s infirmities, and live in love, because (as St. John says) “he that lives in love lives in God, for God is love.” And to maintain this holy fire of love constantly burning on the altar of a pure heart, his advice was to watch and pray, and always keep themselves fit to receive the Communion; and then to receive it often, for it was both a confirming and strengthening of their graces; this was his advice: and at his entrance or departure out of any house, he would usually speak to the whole family, and bless them by name; insomuch, that as he seemed in his youth to be taught of God, so he seemed in this place to teach his precepts, as Enoch did by walking with him, in all holiness and humility, making each day a step towards a blessed eternity. And though in this weak and declining age of the world, such examples are become barren, and almost incredible; yet let his memory be blest with this true recordation, because he that praises Richard Hooker praises God, who hath given such gifts to men; and let this humble and affectionate relation of him become such a pattern, as may invite posterity to imitate these his virtues.
This was his constant behaviour both at Borne and in all the places in which he lived: thus did he walk with God and tread the footsteps of primitive piety; and yet, as that great example of meekness and purity, even our blessed Jesus, was not free from false accusations, no more was this disciple of his, this most humble, most innocent, holy man; his was a slander parallel to that of chaste Susannah’s by the wicked elders; or that against St. Athanasius, as it is recorded in his life , (for that holy man had heretical enemies,) a slander which this age calls trepanning ; the particulars need not a repetition; and that it was false, needs no other testimony than the public punishment of his accusers, and their open confession of his innocency. It was said that the accusation was contrived by a dissenting brother, one that endured not church-ceremonies, hating him for his Books’ sake, which he was not able to answer; and his name hath been told me, but I have not so much confidence in the relation, as to make my pen fix a scandal on him to posterity; I shall rather leave it doubtful till the great day of revelation. But this is certain, that he lay under the great charge, and the anxiety of this accusation, and kept it secret to himself for many months; and being a helpless man, had lain longer under this heavy burden, but that the Protector of the innocent gave such an accidental occasion as forced him to make it known to his two dear friends, Edwin Sandys and George Cranmer: who were so sensible of their tutor’s sufferings, that they gave themselves no rest, till by their disquisitions and diligence they had found out the fraud, and brought him the welcome news, that his accusers did confess they had wronged him, and begged his pardon: to which the good man’s reply was to this purpose, “The Lord forgive them;” and, “The Lord bless you for this comfortable news. Now I have a just occasion to say with Solomon, ‘Friends are born for the days of adversity,’ and such you have proved to me: and to my God I say, as did the mother of St. John Baptist, ‘Thus hath the Lord dealt with me, in the day wherein he looked upon me, to take away my reproach among men.’ And, O my God, neither my life nor my reputation are safe in mine own keeping, but in thine, who didst take care of me, when I yet hanged upon my mother’s breast: blessed are they that put their trust in thee, O Lord; for when false witnesses were risen up against me; when shame was ready to cover my face, when my nights were restless, when my soul thirsted for a deliverance, as the hart panteth after the rivers of waters; then thou, Lord, didst hear my complaints, pity my condition, and art now become my deliverer; and as long as I live I will hold up my hands in this manner, and magnify thy mercies, who didst not give me over as a prey to mine enemies, the net is broken and they are taken in it. O blessed are they that put their trust in thee; and no prosperity shall make me forget those days of sorrow, or to perform those vows that I have made to thee in the days of my affliction; for with such sacrifices, thou, O God, art well pleased; and I will pay them.”
Thus did the joy and gratitude of this good man’s heart break forth. And it is observable, that as the invitation to this slander was his meek behaviour and dovelike simplicity, for which he was remarkable; so his Christian charity ought to be imitated: for, though the spirit of revenge is so pleasing to mankind, that it is never conquered but by a supernatural grace, revenge being indeed so deeply rooted in human nature, that to prevent the excesses of it (for men would not know moderation) Almighty God allows not any degree of it to any man, but says, “Vengeance is mine:” and though this be said positively by God himself, yet this revenge is so pleasing, that man is hardly persuaded to submit the menage of it to the time, and justice, and wisdom of his Creator, but would hasten to be his own executioner of it: and yet nevertheless, if any man ever did wholly decline, and leave this pleasing passion to the time and measure of God alone, it was this Richard Hooker of whom I write; for when his slanderers were to suffer, he laboured to procure their pardon; and when that was denied him, his reply was, “That however he would fast and pray, that God would give them repentance, and patience to undergo their punishment.” And his prayers were so far returned into his own bosom, that the first was granted, if we may believe a penitent behaviour, and an open confession. And it is observable, that after this time he would often say to Dr. Saravia, “O with what quietness did I enjoy my soul after I was free from the fears of my slander! and how much more after a conflict and victory over my desires of revenge!”
About the year 1600, and of his age forty-six, he fell into a long and sharp sickness, occasioned by a cold taken in his passage by water betwixt London and Gravesend; from the malignity of which he was never recovered; for, after that time till his death he was not free from thoughtful days and restless nights: but a submission to His will that makes the sick man’s bed easy by giving rest to his soul, made his very languishment comfortable: and yet all this time he was solicitous in his study, and said often to Dr. Saravia, (who saw him daily, and was the chief comfort of his life,) “That he did not beg a long life of God for any other reason, but to live to finish his three remaining Books of Polity; and then, Lord, let thy servant depart in peace;” which was his usual expression. And God heard his prayers, though he denied the Church the benefit of them, as completed by himself; and it is thought he hastened his own death, by hastening to give life to his Books. But this is certain, that the nearer he was to his death, the more he grew in humility, in holy thoughts and resolutions.
About a month before his death, this good man, that never knew, or at least never considered, the pleasures of the palate, became first to lose his appetite, and then, to have an averseness to all food, insomuch, that he seemed to live some intermitted weeks by the smell of meat only, and yet still studied and writ. And now his guardian Angel seemed to foretell him, that the day of his dissolution drew near; for which, his vigorous soul appeared to thirst.
In this time of his sickness, and not many days before his death, his house was robbed; of which he having notice, his question was, “Are my books and written papers safe?” and being answered, that they were, his reply was, “Then it matters not; for no other loss can trouble me.”
About one day before his death, Dr. Saravia, who knew the very secrets of his soul, (for they were supposed to be confessors to each other,) came to him, and after a conference of the benefit, the necessity, and safety of the Church’s absolution, it was resolved the doctor should give him both that and the Sacrament the day following. To which end, the doctor came, and after a short retirement and privacy, they two returned to the company; and then the doctor gave him and some of those friends which were with him, the blessed Sacrament of the body and blood of our Jesus. Which being performed, the doctor thought he saw a reverend gaiety and joy in his face; but it lasted not long; for his bodily infirmities did return suddenly, and became more visible; insomuch that the doctor apprehended death ready to seize him: yet, after some amendment, left him at night, with a promise to return early the day following; which he did, and then found him better in appearance, deep in contemplation, and not inclinable to discourse; which gave the doctor occasion to inquire his present thoughts: to which he replied, “That he was meditating the number and nature of angels, and their blessed obedience and order, without which, peace could not be in heaven; and oh that it might be so on earth!” After which words he said, “I have lived to see this world is made up of perturbations, and I have been long preparing to leave it, and gathering comfort for the dreadful hour of making my account with God, which I now apprehend to be near; and, though I have by his grace loved him in my youth, and feared him in mine age, and laboured to have a conscience void of offence to him, and to all men; yet, if thou, O Lord, be extreme to mark what I have done amiss, who can abide it? And therefore, where I have failed, Lord shew mercy to me, for I plead not my righteousness, but the forgiveness of my unrighteousness, for His merits who died to purchase pardon for penitent sinners; and since I owe thee a death, Lord let it not be terrible, and then take thine own time; I submit to it! Let not mine, O Lord, but let thy will be done!” With which expression he fell into a dangerous slumber; dangerous, as to his recovery; yet recover he did, but it was to speak only these few words: “Good doctor, God hath heard my daily petitions, for I am at peace with all men, and He is at peace with me; and from that blessed assurance I feel that inward joy, which this world can neither give nor take from me: my conscience beareth me this witness, and this witness makes the thoughts of death joyful. I could wish to live to do the Church more service, but cannot hope it, for my days are past as a shadow that returns not.” More he would have spoken, but his spirits failed him; and after a short conflict betwixt nature and death, a quiet sigh put a period to his last breath, and so he fell asleep. And now he seems to rest like Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom; let me here draw his curtain, till with the most glorious company of the Patriarchs and Apostles, the most noble army of Martyrs and Confessors, this most learned, most humble, holy man, shall also awake to receive an eternal tranquillity; and with it, a greater degree of glory than common Christians shall be made partakers of.
In the mean time, bless, O Lord, Lord bless his brethren, the clergy of this nation, with effectual endeavours to attain, if not to his great learning, yet to his remarkable Meekness, his godly Simplicity, and his Christian Moderation: for these will bring peace at the last! And, Lord, let his most excellent writings be blest with what he designed when he undertook them: which was, “Glory to thee, O God on high, peace in thy Church, and good-will to mankind!”
The following epitaph was long since presented to the world, in memory of Mr. Hooker, by Sir William Cooper, who also built him a fair monument in Borne church, and acknowledges him to have been his spiritual father.
- Though nothing can be spoke worthy his fame,
- Or the remembrance of that precious name,
- Judicious Hooker; though this cost be spent
- On him that hath a lasting monument
- In his own Books, yet ought we to express,
- If not his worth, yet our respectfulness.
- Church ceremonies he maintained, then why
- Without all ceremony should he die?
- Was it because his life and death should be
- Both equal patterns of humility?
- Or that perhaps this only glorious one
- Was above all to ask, why had he none?
- Yet he that lay so long obscurely low
- Doth now preferr’d to greater honours go.
- Ambitious men, learn hence to be more wise;
- Humility is the true way to rise:
- And God in me this lesson did inspire,
- To bid this humble man, Friend, sit up higher .
AN APPENDIX TO THE LIFE OF MR. RICHARD HOOKER.
AND now having by a long and laborious search satisfied myself, and I hope my reader, by imparting to him the true relation of Mr. Hooker’s life: I am desirous also to acquaint him with some observations that relate to it, and which could not properly fall to be spoken till after his death; of which my reader may expect a brief and true account in the following Appendix.
And first it is not to be doubted, but that he died in the forty-seventh, if not in the forty-sixth year of his age; which I mention, because many have believed him to be more aged; but I have so examined it, as to be confident I mistake not; and for the year of his death, Mr. Camden, who, in his Annals of Queen Elizabeth, 1599, mentions him with a high commendation of his life and learning, declares him to die in the year 1599; and yet in that inscription of his monument set up at the charge of Sir William Cooper in Borne church, where Mr. Hooker was buried, his death is there said to be in anno 1603 , but doubtless both mistaken; for I have it attested under the hand of William Somner the archbishop’s register for the province of Canterbury, that Richard Hooker’s will bears date Octob. 26th, in anno 1600, and that it was proved the third of December following . And that at his death he left four daughters, Alice, Cicily, Jane, and Margaret; that he gave to each of them an hundred pound; that he left Joan his wife his sole executrix; and that by his inventory, his estate (a great part of it being in books) came to 1092l. 9s. 2d. which was much more than he thought himself worth; and which was not got by his care, much less by the good housewifery of his wife, but saved by his trusty servant Thomas Lane, that was wiser than his master in getting money for him, and more frugal than his mistress in keeping of it: of which will of Mr. Hooker’s I shall say no more, but that his dear friend Thomas, the father of George Cranmer, (of whom I have spoken, and shall have occasion to say more,) was one of the witnesses to it .
One of his elder daughters was married to one Chalinor, sometime a schoolmaster in Chichester, and are both dead long since. Margaret his youngest daughter was married unto Ezekiel Chark , bachelor in divinity, and rector of St. Nicholas in Harbledown near Canterbury, who died about sixteen years past, and had a son Ezekiel, now living, and in sacred orders, being at this time rector of Waldron in Sussex; she left also a daughter, with both whom I have spoken not many months past, and find her to be a widow in a condition that wants not, but very far from abounding; and these two attested unto me, that Richard Hooker their grandfather had a sister, by name Elizabeth Harvey, that lived to the age of 121 years, and died in the month of September, 1663 .
For his other two daughters, I can learn little certainty, but have heard they both died before they were marriageable; and for his wife, she was so unlike Jephtha’s daughter, that she stayed not a comely time to bewail her widowhood; nor lived long enough to repent her second marriage, for which doubtless she would have found cause, if there had been but four months betwixt Mr. Hooker’s and her death. But she is dead, and let her other infirmities be buried with her.
Thus much briefly for his age, the year of his death, his estate, his wife, and his children. I am next to speak of his Books, concerning which I shall have a necessity of being longer, or shall neither do right to myself, or my reader, which is chiefly intended in this Appendix.
I have declared in his Life, that he proposed Eight Books, and that his first four were printed anno 1594, and his Fifth Book first printed, and alone, anno 1597, and that he lived to finish the remaining three of the proposed eight; but whether we have the last three as finisht by himself, is a just and material question; concerning which I do declare, that I have been told almost 40 years past, by one that very well knew Mr. Hooker, and the affairs of his family, that about a month after the death of Mr. Hooker, Bishop Whitgift, then Archbishop of Canterbury, sent one of his chaplains to inquire of Mrs. Hooker for the three remaining Books of Polity, writ by her husband; of which she would not, or could not give any account: and that about three months after that time the bishop procured her to be sent for to London, and then by his procurement she was to be examined, by some of her Majesty’s council, concerning the disposal of those Books; but by way of preparation for the next day’s examination, the bishop invited her to Lambeth; and, after some friendly questions, she confessed to him, “that one Mr. Charke, and another minister that dwelt near Canterbury, came to her, and desired that they might go into her husband’s study, and look upon some of his writings; and that there they two burnt and tore many of them, assuring her, that they were writings not fit to be seen; and that she knew nothing more concerning them.” Her lodging was then in Kingstreet in Westminster, where she was found next morning dead in her bed, and her new husband suspected and questioned for it; but he was declared innocent of her death.
And I declare also, that Dr. John Spencer, (mentioned in the Life of Mr. Hooker,) who was of Mr. Hooker’s college, and of his time there, and betwixt whom there was so friendly a friendship, that they continually advised together in all their studies, and particularly in what concerned these Books of Polity: this Dr. Spencer, the three perfect books being lost, had delivered into his hands (I think by Bishop Whitgift) the imperfect Books, or first rough draughts of them, to be made as perfect as they might be, by him, who both knew Mr. Hooker’s handwriting, and was best acquainted with his intentions , And a fair testimony of this may appear by an Epistle first and usually printed before Mr. Hooker’s five Books (but omitted, I know not why, in the last impression of the eight printed together in anno 1662, in which the publishers seem to impose the three doubtful Books to be the undoubted Books of Mr. Hooker) with these two letters J. S. at the end of the said Epistle, which was meant for this John Spencer: in which Epistle the reader may find these very words, which may give some authority to what I have here written of his last three Books.
“And though Mr. Hooker hastened his own death by hastening to give life to his Books, yet he held out with his eyes to behold these Benjamins, these sons of his right hand, though to him they proved Benonies, sons of pain and sorrow . But, some evil-disposed minds, whether of malice, or covetousness, or wicked blind zeal, it is uncertain, as soon as they were born, and their father dead, smothered them; and, by conveying the perfect copies, left unto us nothing but the old imperfect mangled draughts dismembered into pieces; no favour, no grace, not the shadow of themselves remaining in them. Had the father lived to behold them thus defaced, he might rightly have named them Benonies, the sons of sorrow; but being the learned will not suffer them to die and be buried, it is intended the world shall see them as they are: the learned will find in them some shadows of resemblances of their father’s face. God grant, that as they were with their brethren dedicated to the Church for messengers of peace; so, in the strength of that little breath of life that remaineth in them, they may prosper in their work, and by satisfying the doubts of such as are willing to learn, they may help to give an end to the calamities of these our Civil Wars!
And next the reader may note, that this epistle of Dr. Spencer’s was writ and first printed within four years after the death of Mr. Hooker, in which time all diligent search had been made for the perfect copies; and then granted not recoverable, and therefore endeavoured to be completed out of M. Hooker’s rough draughts, as is exprest by the said D. Spencer, since whose death it is now 50 years .
And I do profess by the faith of a Christian, that Dr. Spencer’s wife (who was my aunt , and sister to George Cranmer, of whom I have spoken) told me forty years since, in these, or in words to this purpose, “that her husband had made up, or finisht Mr. Hooker’s last three Books; and that upon her husband’s death-bed, or in his last sickness, he gave them into her hand, with a charge they should not be seen by any man, but be by her delivered into the hands of the then Archbishop of Canterbury, which was Dr. Abbot, or unto Dr. King then Bishop of London, and that she did as he enjoined her.”
I do conceive, that from D. Spencer’s, and no other copy, there have been divers transcripts, and I know that these were to be found in several places, as namely, Sir Thomas Bodlie’s library, in that of D. Andrews, late Bishop of Winton, in the late Lord Conway’s, in the Archbishop of Canterbury’s, and in the Bishop of Armagh’s, and in many others ; and most of these pretended to be the author’s own hand, but much disagreeing, being indeed altered and diminisht, as men have thought fittest to make Mr. Hooker’s judgment suit with their fancies, or give authority to their corrupt designs; and for proof of a part of this, take these following testimonies.
Dr. Barnard, sometime chaplain to Dr. Usher, late Lord Archbishop of Armagh, hath declared in a late book called Clavi Trabales, printed by Richard Hodgkinson, anno 1661 , that in his search and examination of the said bishop’s manuscripts, he there found the three written Books, which were supposed the 6, 7, and 8, of Mr. Hooker’s Books of Ecclesiastical Polity; and, that in the said three Books (now printed as Mr. Hooker’s) there are so many omissions, that they amount to many paragraphs, and which cause many incoherencies; the omissions are by him set down at large in the said printed Book, to which I refer the reader for the whole; but think fit in this place to insert this following short part of some of the said omissions.
“First, as there could be in natural bodies no motion of any thing, unless there were some first which moved all things, and continued unmoveable; even so in politic societies there must be some unpunishable, or else no man shall suffer punishment; for such [sith] punishments proceed always from superiors, to whom the administration of justice belongeth, which administration must have necessarily a fountain that deriveth it to all others, and receiveth not from any, because otherwise the course of justice should go infinitely in a circle, every superior having his superior without end, which cannot be; therefore, a well-spring, it followeth, there is, a supreme head of justice whereunto all are subject, but itself in subjection to none. Which kind of preeminency if some ought to have in a kingdom, who but the king shall have it? Kings therefore, or no man, can have lawful power to judge .
“If private men offend, there is the magistrate over them which judgeth; if magistrates, they have their prince; if princes, there is Heaven, a tribunal, before which they shall appear; on earth they are not accountable to any.” “Here,” says the doctor, “it breaks off abruptly .”
And I have these words also attested under the hand of Mr. Fabian Philips, a man of note for his useful books. “I will make oath, if I shall be required, that Dr. Sanderson, the late Bishop of Lincoln, did a little before his death affirm to me, he had seen a manuscript affirmed to him to be the handwriting of Mr. Richard Hooker, in which there was no mention made of the king or supreme governors being accountable to the people ; this I will make oath, that that good man attested to me.
So that there appears to be both omissions and additions in the said last three printed Books; and this may probably be one reason why Dr. Sanderson, the said learned bishop (whose writings are so highly and justly valued) gave a strict charge near the time of his death, or in his last will, “that nothing of his, that was not already printed, should be printed after his death.”
It is well known how high a value our learned King James put upon the Books writ by Mr. Hooker, as also that our late King Charles (the martyr for the Church) valued them the second of all books, testified by his commending them to the reading of his son Charles, that now is our gracious king ; and you may suppose that this Charles the First was not a stranger to the pretended three Books, because in a discourse with the Lord Say, in the time of the long parliament, when the said lord required the king to grant the truth of his argument, because it was the judgment of Mr. Hooker, (quoting him in one of the three written Books,) the king replied, “they were not allowed to be Mr. Hooker’s books;” but, however, “he would allow them to be Mr. Hooker’s, and consent to what his lordship proposed to prove out of those doubtful Books, if he would but consent to the judgment of Mr. Hooker in the other five that were the undoubted Books of Mr. Hooker .”
[In this relation concerning these three doubtful Books of Mr. Hooker’s, my purpose was to inquire, then set down what I observed and know, which I have done, not as an engaged person, but indifferently; and now, leave my reader to give sentence, for their legitimation, as to himself; but so, as to leave others the same liberty of believing or disbelieving them to be Mr. Hooker’s; and it is observable, that as Mr. Hooker advised with Dr. Spencer, in the design and manage of these books, so also, and chiefly with his dear pupil George Cranmer , (whose sister was the wife of Dr. Spencer,) of which this following letter may be a testimony; and doth also give authority to some things mentioned both in this Appendix and in the Life of Mr. Hooker, and is therefore added .
|Subdeans of Sarum.
|Ric. Hooker per Lit. mandat. Archiepi
||23 Julii 1591.
|Thos. Coldwell per Resign. Ric. Hooker
||16 Feb. 1594.
In Sir Thomas Phillips’s Book of Wiltshire Institutions (taken from the Archives of the Registry) is the following entry, under the title, Registrum Johannis Coldwell:
|Ric. Hooker per Resign.
||23 Julii 1591.
|Thos. Joy per Resign.
||6 Feb. 1594.
In this, the description of Hooker as patron is an error, unless he was so for one turn, as it is said in some other instances, “ex concessione Episcopi.” The patronage of Boscomb has been in the bishop from the very earliest period. Between the years 1584 and 1591, Bishop Pierce’s Register is lost: consequently Hooker’s institution does not appear.
||Ricardus Hooker, clericus.
||Benjamin Russell per resign. dicti Ric. Hooker.
The above particulars were kindly communicated to the editor by a member of the Chapter. That Hooker was really the patron by concession pro ea vice seems the more probable, as the person presented had been a scholar of C.C.C. and possibly one of Hooker’s own pupils. “Benj. Russell, discipulus. Feb. 6, 1579.” From the President’s Register.]
From Nares’s Glossary.]
- ‘As timorous larks amazed are
- With light and with a low-bell.’“Percy’s Reliques, III. 321.”)
“Salutem in Christo.
“I CANNOT choose but write though you do not: I never failed since I last saw you, but dayly prayed for him till this very instant you sent this heavie news. I have hitherto prayed, Serva nobis hunc: now must I, Da nobis alium. Alas for our greate loss; and when I say ours, though I meane yours and myne, yet much more the common: with [which?] the less sense they have of so greate a damage, the more sad wee neede to bewayle them and ourselves, who knowe his workes and his worth to be such as behind him he hath not (that I knowe) left anie neere him. And whether I shall live to knowe anie neere him, I am in greate doubt, that I care not how manie and myself had redeemed his longer life to have done good in a better subject then he had in hand, though that were very good. Good brother, have a care to deal with his executrix or executor, or (him that is like to have a greate stroke in it) his father in lawe, that there be special care and regard for preserving such papers as he left, besides the three last books expected. By preserving I meane, that not only they be not embezelled, and come to nothing, but that they come not into greate hands, whoe will only have use of them quatenus et quousque, and suppresse the rest, or unhappily all: but rather into the hands of some of them that unfeinedly wished him well, though of the meaner sort; who may upon good assurance (very good assurance) be trusted with them; for it is pitie they should admit anie limitation. Doe this, and doe it mature: it had bin more then time long since to have bin about it, if I had sooner knowne it. If my word or letter would doe anie good to Mr. Churchman, it should not want. But what cannot yourself or Mr. Sandys doe therein? For Mr. Cranmer is away; happie in that he shall gaine a weeke or two before he knowe of it. Almightie God comfort us over him! whose taking away I trust I shall no longer live then with grief I remember; therefore with grief because with inward and most just honour I ever honoured him since Iknew him.
“Your assured Poore loving friend, L. ANDREWES.” “At the Court, 7 Nov. 1600.”
For some account of Dr. Parry, see p. 109, note 3. The Editor has not yet been able to meet with the above letter in the Bodleian library.] [“Copy, Rawl. MSS. D. 404. (112).” MS. note in Bodleian copy of ed. of 1793.] 1886.