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especially in that place, that the prudent Archbishop put a stop to Mr. Travers his preaching, by a positive prohibition. 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 intrusted 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 imme. diately 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 one and the same fulness of persuasion. For how falleth it out that men being assured of any thing by sense, surer of it than they are; when as the strungest in faith that liv. eth 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,”
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 in. ward 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 fol. low.—“ 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 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 show 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 abridgement 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, 66 That he doubted not but that God was merciful to many of our forefathers living in Popish superstition, for as much 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, 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 discov. ered 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, pre-supposing 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: pre-supposing 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 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
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 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. Hook. er'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 an. swers 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 Ser. mons; 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 dove-like temper of this meek, this matchless man. And doubtless, if Almighty God had blest the Dissenters from the ceremonies and discipline