« ZurückWeiter »
oooks 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 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 evildisposed 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 and 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
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 per
fect copies; and then granted not recoverable, and therefore endeavoured to be completed out of Mr. Hooker's rough draughts, as is expressed by the said Dr. Spencer in the said epistle, since whose death it is now fifty 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 :
66 That her husband had made up or finished 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, that 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 Dr. 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 Bodley's Library; in that of Dr. 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 diminished, 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 found the three written books, which were supposed
the sixth, seventh, and eighth 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 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 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 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 pre-eminency, if some ought to have in a kingdom, who but a 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. 66 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.
66 FABIAN PHILIPS.”
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; and known 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.