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(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 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 searched 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 com
mendations 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-music, 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, wished, “ 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 finished, 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
1 In his Annals, 1599.
Canterbury; a German by birth, and sometime 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 of 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 Bishops' 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 churchtumults, Beza
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 public; and he therein discovered how Beza's opinion did contradict that of Calvin's 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 Whitgilt, 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 heat pimples, 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