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especially Chillingworth and Leslie. the benefit in full. In a happy , I apprehend our Dissenters are not hour for all “ lives of good men sufficiently acquainted with these and for “letters,” Izaak Walton was antique gentlemen. Perhaps, we persuaded by a friend to write are mortified at their striking supe- Hooker's life. Although “past the riority over all the Noncons. of that seventy of his age,” the work was or the subsequent age.”
undertaken and accomplished as a However it
be accounted “labour of love." With garrulous for, there is little reason to question simplicity, and fond reverence for Mr. Foster's accuracy in this opi- his friend's friend, the nion; only it might perhaps be eloquent” lingers over his task, added with fairness that these
these filling in the few and plain lines of "mighties are not much better the picture, with a patience and fulknown within the pale of the Na- ness of interest in his work such tional Church. Only the few, have as became a veteran angler. All any considerable acquaintance with accessible sources of information them. Especially is this true con- were laboriously searched, and the cerning the first-named and “mighti- smallest fragments of authentic tesest” of them all. The judgment timony gathered up with unsparing of the learned and unprejudiced of industry and zeal. Among biograhis own age has been endorsed by phies, Walton's "Lives” have taken every succeeding generation, and yet rank with the master-pieces; miniaRichard Hooker and his great work tures, indeed,—but of rich and rare are not much heard of beyond excellence. study-walls or college lecture-rooms. Richard Hooker was - born at The nature and the range of his Heavitree, near Exeter, and consegreat argument may perhaps ac- quently is to be numbered amongst count to some extent for this scant those illustrious Devonshire men of though most honourable fame. A the sixteenth century who made controversial work upon the ritual their native county proud of her and government of the Church, sons. Walton ascertained the
year which left the beaten track of ec- of his birth apparently with some clesiastical polemics and soared into difficulty, but it was" about the year the heights of philosophy, was not of our redemption, 1553," the year likely to become popular even of Queen Mary's accession to the in a disputatious age. But, never- throne. His parents and his schooltheless, it is somewhat singular master early perceived the promise that the man whose intellect has of greatness in the boy, but the furnished the most powerful de- straightness of his father's means fence of the Church of England forbad the indulgence of their hopes. ever written, and who did more The good schoolmaster, however, than all her sons of that time to prevailed with the parents to give keep her frame intact, should be úp the design of apprenticing him, now scarcely more than a name, and to keep him at school for some and even indebted for this, in part, time longer, until a way might be to King James's epithet-" the found for sending him to the Univerjudicious Hooker.”
sity. Providence favoured the good If, however, it may be some com- man's efforts for his beloved pupil, pensation to an unappreciated ge- and under the generous patronage nius to find a good biographer, of another noted Devonshire worHooker has unquestionably enjoyed thy of that age, Bishop Jewel,
Hooker was entered at Corpus “the holy estate of matrimony." Christi College, Oxford, in his The tenure of a fellowship is tertifteenth year. His progress at the minable by the marriage of the feluniversity fully justified the fond low as irrevocably as by his death; hopes of his friends. He was and it is reckoned, therefore, the elected a scholar of his college in part of a wise man to postpone 1573, and four years afterwards, fel. marriage until he can vacate his low; having meanwhile taken the fellowship for a snug rectory in the usual degrees, and distinguished gift of his College. It does not aphimself so highly that he was re- pear that Hooker behaved with computed “not only to know more mendable prudencein this particular; of causes and effects; but what he he seems to have been wanting in knew, he knew better than other proper regard for so wholesome a men.” The death of Bishop Jewel, doctrine. Most certainly his choice in 1571, was a great grief and loss of a wife is one of the numerous to the poor student, for the place lamentable illustrations of the unhe then held in the college was not wisdom of wise men. But how he equal to his maintenance. But he came to marry at all, is first to be was soon relieved from the neces told. Not long after his entrance sity of depending upon a patron. into holy orders he was appointed to A few months after Bishop Jewel's preach at St. Paul's Cross. What death, he was invited to become procured him this distinction, whetutor to Edwin Sandys, afterwards ther it was his spreading reputation Sir Edwin, the son of Archbishop as a theologian, or the friendship Sandys. The closest friendship of Sandys, is unknown. That old sprang up between the wealthy pulpit was then the centre of atstudent and his juvenile tutor, and traction to all Londoners, high and thenceforward Hooker's Oxford life low alike; for nobles and commonwas undisturbed by fears of pecu- ers, and even royalty itself, acknowDiary troubles. Other pupils sought ledged the spiritual eminence of his instructions, one of whom, Paul's Cross. It was natural that George Cranmer, a grand-nephew of the most suitable provision should the famous Archbishop, became his be made for the comfort of the life-long friend and of Sandys also. preachers who came up from the The emoluments of his teachings, country to fulfil their appointments; increased afterwards by those of and a house, called the Shunamite's his fellowship, enabled him to en house (perhaps so named at first by rich himself with varied stores of some humourous divine), was prolearning, gathered from all sources, vided for them with fitting enterand from regions "remote from the tainment for two days before, and track of common studies” during one day after the sermon. How several years. His reputation as a arduous and exhausting the service scholar obtained for him in 1579 was deemed, these arrangements the appointment of deputy-profes- show. But it must be remembered sor of Hebrew, and in the course of that an Oxford Fellow of that time the two following years he was or- had no means of getting to Paul's dained deacon and priest, being then Cross except on horseback or about twenty-eight years old. afoot ; and if the weather proved
It is generally understood that stormy or wet, a day or two of rest bethe "learned leisures” of a college fore preaching would be absolutely fellowship are incompatible with necessary. Hooker unhappily had
to make his way to London in bad am constrained to have my habitation weather, and upon the back of a in the tents of Kedar." horse whose going” was so un- Hooker's presentation to a liv. pleasant to his rider, that the good ing did not take place until some man's temper was ruffled beyond time after his marriage, and Draymeasure towards the friend who had ton Beauchamp, near Aylesbury, dissuaded him from walking the was then scarcely worthy to be journey. In this sad plight, men- called a “living.”
His friends, tally, as well as, bodily indisposed, Sandys and Cranmer, visited him he arrived at his lodgings, and re- here not long after his coming, and ceived the kind and assiduous at- were surprised to find their quontentions of the lady of the house, dam tutor in the field-Horace, inMrs. Churchman. Much to his deed, in his hand-tending his few own astonishment, he was enabled sheep, while his servant was gone throngh her care of him, to dis- to the house to assist Mrs. Hooker charge his duty at the set time, in some household business. But and such was the impression which his visitors were not only grieved her kindness made, and so grateful to see his poverty—the unhappiwas he for it, that, according to the ness of his domestic life was evirich description of Walton, he dent also. The cheerful flow of thought himself bound in conscience friendly converse was rudely interto believe allshe said, so that the good rupted by his wife's calling him man came to be persuaded by her away "to rock the cradle," and “that he was a man of tender con- their reception was in general so stitution, and that it was best for uncomfortable that they departed him to have a wife to be a nurse to as quickly as possible, sad at heart him, such an one as might both for the evil days upon which their prolong his life and make it more beloved tutor had fallen. comfortable; and such an one she In 1585 the Mastership of could and would provide for him, if the Temple became vacant, and he thought fit to marry.” And he, through his friend, Sandys, Hooker not considering that the children of was appointed to the office, not, this world are wiser in their genera- however, without some reluctance tion than the children of light; but, on his part to exchange the quietlike a true Nathanael, fearing no ness of the country for the exciteguile, because he meant pone, did
ment of London life. There were give her power to choose for him, also other reasons which caused the promising upon a fair summons to mild and the thoughtful man to return to London and accept of her shrink from the burdensome honours choice; and he did so, in that, or his friends wished him to wear. about the year following. Now, The Church of England was at the wife she provided for him was that time in one of the great crises her daughter Joan, who brought him of her history. The Anglican secneither beauty nor portion, and for tion and the Puritan section were her conditions, they were too like at open feud with each other, and that wife's which is by Solomon there was no third party of any compared to a dripping house; so importance to moderate between that the good man had no reason to them. The Queen was, of course, rejoice in the wife of his youth; zealously in favour of the Anglibut too just cause to say with the cans; her zeal being assiduously holy prophet, “Woe is me, that I fanned by the favourite ecclesiasti.
cal councillor, Archbishop Whitgift. tors, it was unjustly censured for But several of the great statesmen being perplexed, tedious, and obwho surrounded her were as friendly scure.—Mr. Travers his utterance as they dared to be with the Puritans, was graceful-gesture plausible, and owing to this strong position -matter profitable-method plain, at court, the contest between the and his style carried in it indolem hostile parties was warm and ob- pietatis, a genius of grace flowing stinate. In London, the Puritans from his sanctified heart.” The were very numerous and influential; Temple congregation must have even the Temple pulpit itself was been composed of choicer elements partially in their hands, Mr. Walter than the London churches generally Travers, one of the chiefs of the party, could boast of, but who can wonder being afternoon Lecturer. It was that it ebbed and flowed as it inevitable that the new Master of did ? the Temple would be forced into the But, while Hooker and Travers controversy with them upon matters were disputing warmly, although of church government and disci. not bitterly, over the whole field pline, particularly as it was under of controversy, the authorities in stood that Hooker's preferment to Church and State looked on, with the mastership was a disappoint growing uneasiness. It was evident ment to Travers. Occasion was that some mischief would be brewed soon found for opening a dispute, eventually if the Temple pulpit conand Travers had no difficulty in tinued to speak, as Fuller puts it, widening it to embrace all the "pure Canterbury in the morning, points of difference between the and Geneva in the afternoon.” Archtwo great parties in the Church. bishop Whitgift, therefore, summaBeing one of the most popular rily ended the strife by prohibiting preachers of the day, and a great Travers from preaching. The Puritan favourite with the Temple congre- leader, however, did not succumb gation, crowds came to the afternoon without a struggle. He stirred the Lecture, while the morning sermon friends of his party by appealing to drew comparatively few hearers.. the Privy Council for a reversal of Witty Thomas Fuller's sketches of the Primate's prohibition. Although the rival preachers bring the scene unsuccessful in this effort, which vividly before us. “Mr. Hooker elicited an answer from Hooker inbis voice was low, stature little, tended for the same dignified body, gesture none at all ; standing stone- such a storm was raised against still in the pulpit, as if the posture Hooker that, “weary of the noise of his body were the emblem of and contentions” of the Temple, his mind, immoveable in his opi. he begged the Archbishop to renions. Where his eye was left move him to some country parsonfixed at the beginning, it was found age, where, as he said, “I may fixed at the end of the sermon; in study and pray for God's blessing a word, the doctrine he delivered upon my endeavours, and keep had nothing but itself to garnish it. myself in peace and privacy, and His style was long and pithy, driv- behold God's blessing spring out of ing on a whole flock of clauses my mother-earth, and eat my own before he came to the close of a bread without opposition; for, insentence; so that, when the copi- deed, God and nature did not ousness of his style met not with intend me for contentions, but for proportionable capacity in his audi- study and quietness.” Such plead
ing as this for a lower place could live to do the Church more service ; scarcely be denied, and the Arch- but cannot hope it, for my days are bishop was the more disposed to past as a shadow that returns not.” listen to it, because he was informed To form a just conception of the of the projected treatise upon our part Hooker took in the great ecEcclesiastical Polity.” Hooker's de- clesiastical conflict to which our sire was speedily gratified, he being present religious condition as a presented to the living of Boscombe, nation is largely due, we must near Salisbury, in 1591. Here, in observe the position of the hostile a house still occupied by the rectors parties at the time. The controversy of Boscombe, he found seclusion had passed from a dispute about and leisure to think out maturely vestments, “those relics of the the plan of the treatise which his Amorites,"
Amorites," as Bishop Jewel called controversy with Travers had sug- them, to one of greater moment by gested to him, and which, during far. The Puritans had never looked the troublous times of his London with favour upon the halfway relife, he had partially prepared. The formation which Queen Elizabeth first four books of the eight he pro- and her leading councillors had posed to write upon the Laws of authoritatively completed. When Ecclesiastical Polity were published then, it appeared that no concessions in 1594. In the following year his were to be made respecting cerepowerful friends secured his ap- monies and vestments; that "finalpointment by the Queen to the richerity
the doctrine of the living of Bishopsbourne, near Can- powers that be;" and, moreover, terbury, where he lived out the that non-observance of the prefew years of life that remained to scribed forms of worship was him in the honour, reverence, and penal offence, the whole Puritan love, of many. While performing body in the Church united to his ministerial duties here, with demand a thorough reformation. exemplary diligence and fidelity, he There had been ardent, eager spirits brought out the fifth book of his advocating this course before, but great work, and prepared the re they were few and comparatively maining three; but his death, has. unsupported. “Bit by bit reform" tened, as some believed by the had been hitherto counted good labours he imposed upon himself, policy by most of the party. This prevented the full accomplishment hope being extinguished, the men of his purpose. A long and severe of extreme views became the recogsickness seized him about the year nized leaders, and the principle was 1600, and he gradually sunk under maintained with the whole strength it, finishing his earthly course in of the party that “those things his forty-seventh year with this only are to be placed in the Church testimony upon his lips :-"God which the Lord Himself in His Word hath heard my daily petitions, for I commanded.” Their opposition was am at peace with all men, and He is now directed against the entire at peace with me; and from which fabric of the Anglican Churchblessed assurance I feel that inward polity, as being at variance with joy, which this world can neither Scripture. give nor take from me; my con- It was during this stage of the science beareth me this witness, struggle that Hooker entered the and this witness makes the thought field with his first four books, pubof death joyful. I could: wish to lished soon after the preachings at