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Nor was this high, the only testimony and commendations given to his books; for at the first coming of King James into this kingdom, he enquired 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 af. fected 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 gra. cious King, to be studious in Mr. Hooker's books. learned antiquary Mr. Camden,* mentioning the death, the modes. ty, 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 for.
* In his Annals, 5299.
saken it: but the Reader may now expect it, having been long since begun and lately finished, by the happy pen of Dr. Earle, * 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 Bourne ; 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,t then, or about that time, made one of the Prebends of 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 Episco
* Dr. John Earle, Author of the “ Microcosmography, or a piece of the World, discovered in Essays and characters," was born at York, in 1601; was educated at Oxford, and was Tutor to Prince Charles. In the Civil Wars, he lost both his property and preferments, and attended the King abroad as his Chaplain. In 1662, this very amiable man was consecrated Bishop of Wor. cester. He died at Oxford, 1665. His translation of Hooker's Polity, was never printed.
Ť A Protestant Divine, and Professor of Divinity at Leyden, born at Artois in 1531, came to England in 1587. He was the bosom friend of Whitgift, and, having been master of the Free Grammar School of Southampton, produced some of the most eminent men of his time. Dr. Saravia was one of the Translators of King James's Bible, and died in 1613. His Tracts have been printed, both in Latin and English.
pacy 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 church-tumults, Beza gave 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 three-fold 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 Whitgift, 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. Cart. wright, 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 Bourne, 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
* A most learned Jesuit. He read theological lectures at Ingolstadt, where he died in 1625, aged 63 years. His works were published at Ratisbon, in 1734, in 13 vol. fol.
peaceable piety; which I have willingly mentioned, because it gives a foundation to some things that follow.
This Parsonage of Bourne 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 sc remarkable, that many turned out of the road, and othersscholars 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 he was not purblind, yet he was short or weak-sighted ; and where he fixed his eyes at the beginning of his sermon, there they continued till it was ended : and the Reader has a liberty to believe, that his modesty and dim sight were some of the reasons why he trusted Mrs Churchman to choose his wife.
This Parish-Clerk lived till the third or fourth year of the late Long Parliament; betwixt which time and Mr. Hooker's death there had come many to see the place of his burial, and the Monument dedicated to his memory by Sir William Cowper, who still lives; and the poor Clerk had many rewards for shewing Mr. Hooker's grave place, and his said Monument, and did always hear Mr. Hooker mentioned with commendations and reverence: to all which he added his own knowledge and observations of his humility and holiness; and in all which discourses the poor man
was still more confirmed in his opinion of Mr. Hooker's virtues and learning. But it so fell out, that about the said third or fourth year of the Long Parliament, the then present Parson of Bourne was sequestered, you may guess why,--and a Genevan Minister put into his good living. This, and other like sequestrations, made the Clerk express himself in a wonder, and say, “ They had sequestered so many good men, that he doubted, if his good master Mr. Hooker had lived till now, they would have sequestered him too !"
It was not long before this intruding Minister had made a party in and about the said Parish, that were desirous to receive the Sacrament as in Geneva ; to which end, the day was appointed for a select company, and forms and stools set about the altar, or communion-table, for them to sit and eat and drink : but when they went about this work, there was a want of some joint-stools, which the Minister sent the Clerk to fetch, and then to fetch cushions,—but not to kneel upon.—When the Clerk saw them begin to sit down, he began to wonder ; but the Minister bade him " wondering, and lock the Church-door :” to whom he replied,
Pray take you the keys, and lock me out: I will never come more into this Church ; for all men will say, my master Hooker was a good man, and a good scholar; and I am sure it was not used to be thus in his days:” and report says the old man went presently home and died; I do not say died immediately, but within a few days after.*
But let us leave this grateful Clerk in his quiet grave, and return to Mr. Hooker himself, continuing our observations of his Christian behaviour in this place, where he gave a holy valedic. tion to all the pleasures and allurements of earth; possessing his soul in a virtuous quietness, which he maintained by constant study, prayers, and meditations. His use was to preach once every Sunday, and he, or his Curate, to catechise after the sec
* Our biographer has lamented that it was not in his power to recover the name of Mr. Hooker's worthy school-master. That of his grateful parishclerk was Sampson Horton. It appears from the parish-register of Bishop'sBourne, that “ Sampson Horton was buried the 9th of May 1648, an aged man who had been clarke to this parish, by his own relation, threescore yeares.