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of his age
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
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 Hampshire; 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 manage of a public dispute with John Hart, of the Romish persuasion, about the head and faith of the Church, and after 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 Dr. 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, February 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, Dr. Cole, being Vice-Chancellor that year, and his dear friend, Henry Savil of Merton College, being then one of the Proctors. It was that Henry Savil
, that was after Sir Henry Savil, 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 Savil 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 St. Chrysostom, and the publication of them in one entire body in Greek; in which language he was a most judicious critic. It was this Sir Henry Savil 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 Edward 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 Morrison 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 Councillor of note, who, for an unhappy undertaking, became clouded and pitied; after whose fall, he went in place of Secretary with Sir Henry Killigrew in his embassy 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 conceived of him, he being then but in the thirtysixth 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
“ That the Scripture was not writ to beget disputations, and pride and opposition to government; but charity and humility, moderation, obedience to authority, and peace to mankind;” of
which virtues, he would as often say, no man ever did repent himself on 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 music 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's 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, which I cannot move, 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