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This was his constant behaviour both at Bourne, and in all the places in which he lived: thus did he walk with God, and tread the footsteps of primitive piety; and yet, as that great example of meekness and purity, even our blessed Jesus, was not free from false accusations, no more was this disciple of his, this most humble, most innocent, holy man. His was a slander parallel to that of chaste Susannah’s by the wicked Elders; or that against St. Athanasius, as it is recorded in his life,–for this holy man had heretical enemies,–a slander which this age calls _trepanning_.[31] The particulars need not a repetition; and that it was false, needs no other testimony than the public punishment of his accusers, and their open confession of his innocency. It was said, that the accusation was contrived by a dissenting brother, one that endured not Church-ceremonies, hating him for his book’s sake, which he was not able to answer; and his name hath been told me; but I have not so much confidence in the relation, as to make my pen fix a scandal on him to posterity; I shall rather leave it doubtful till the great day of revelation. But this is certain, that he lay under the great charge, and the anxiety of this accusation, and kept it secret to himself for many months; and, being a helpless man, had lain longer under this heavy burthen, but that the Protector of the innocent gave such an accidental occasion, as forced him to make it known to his two dearest friends, Edwin Sandys and George Cranmer, who were so sensible of their tutor’s sufferings, that they gave themselves no rest, till by their disquisitions and diligence they had found out the fraud, and brought him the welcome news, that his accusers did confess they had wronged him, and begged his pardon. To which the good man’s reply was to this purpose: “The Lord forgive them; and the Lord bless you for this comfortable news. Now have I a just occasion to say with Solomon, ‘Friends are born for the days of adversity;’ and such you have proved to me. And to my God I say, as did the Mother of St. John Baptist, ‘Thus hath the Lord dealt with me, in the day wherein he looked upon me, to take away my reproach among men. ‘And, O my God! neither my life, nor my reputation, are safe in my own keeping; but in thine, who didst take care of me when I yet hanged upon my mother’s breast. Blessed are they that put their trust in thee, O Lord! for when false witnesses were risen up against me; when shame was ready to cover my face; when my flights were restless; when my soul thirsted for a deliverance, as the hart panteth after the rivers of water; then thou, Lord, didst hear my complaints, pity my condition, and art now become my deliverer; and as long as I live I will hold up my hands in this manner, and magnify thy mercies, who didst not give me over as a prey to mine enemies: the net is broken, and they are taken in it. Oh! blessed are they that put their trust in thee! and no prosperity shall make me forget those days of sorrow, or to perform those vows that I have made to thee in the days of my affliction; for with such sacrifices, thou, O God, art well pleased; and I will pay them.”[32]

[Sidenote: His charity]

Thus did the joy and gratitude of this good man’s heart break forth; and it is observable, that as the invitation to this slander was his meek behaviour and dove-like simplicity, for which he was remarkable; so his Christian charity ought to be imitated. For though the spirit of revenge is so pleasing to mankind, that it is never conquered but by a supernatural grace, revenge being indeed so deeply rooted in human nature, that, to prevent the excesses of it,–for men would not know moderation,–Almighty God allows not any degree of it to any man, but says “vengeance is mine:” and though this be said positively by God himself, yet this revenge is so pleasing, that man is hardly persuaded to submit the manage of it to the time, and justice, and wisdom of his Creator, but would hasten to be his own executioner of it. And yet nevertheless, if any man ever did wholly decline, and leave this pleasing passion to the time and measure of God alone, it was this Richard Hooker, of whom I write: for when his slanderers were to suffer, he laboured to procure their pardon; and when that was denied him, his reply was, “That however he would fast and pray that God would give them repentance, and patience to undergo their punishment.” And his prayers were so far returned into his own bosom, that the first was granted, if we may believe a penitent behaviour, and an open confession. And ’tis observable, that after this time he would often say to Dr. Saravia, “Oh! with what quietness did I enjoy my soul, after I was free from the fears of my slander! And how much more after a conflict and victory over my desires of revenge!”

[Sidenote: A long sickness]

About the year 1600, and of his age forty-six, he fell into a long and sharp sickness, occasioned by a cold taken in his passage by water betwixt London and Gravesend, from the malignity of which he was never recovered; for after that time, till his death, he was not free from thoughtful days and restless nights: but a submission to His will that makes the sick man’s bed easy, by giving rest to his soul, made his very languishment comfortable: and yet all this time he was solicitous in his study, and said often to Dr. Saravia,–who saw him daily, and was the chief comfort of his life,–“That he did not beg a long life of God for any other reason, but to live to finish his three remaining books of Polity; and then, ‘Lord, let thy servant depart in peace;'” which was his usual expression. And God heard his prayers, though he denied the Church the benefit of them, as completed by himself; and ’tis thought he hastened his own death, by hastening to give life to his books. But this is certain, that the nearer he was to his death, more he grew in humility, in holy thoughts, and resolutions.

[Sidenote: Approaching end]

About a month before his death, this good man, that never knew, or at least never considered, the pleasures of the palate, became first to lose his appetite, and then to have an averseness to all food, insomuch that he seemed to live some intermitted weeks by the smell of meat only, and yet still studied and writ. And now his guardian angel seemed to foretel him that the day of his dissolution drew near; for which his vigorous soul appeared to thirst.

In this time of his sickness and not many days before his death, his house was robbed; of which he having notice, his question was, “Are my books and written papers safe?” And being answered that they were; his reply was, “Then it matters not; for no other loss can trouble me.”

[Sidenote: Closing hours]

[Sidenote: Last words]

About one day before his death, Dr. Saravia, who knew the very secrets of his soul,–for they were supposed to be confessors to each other,–came to him, and, after a conference of the benefit, the necessity, and safety of the Church’s absolution, it was resolved the Doctor should give him both that and the Sacrament the following day. To which end the Doctor came, and, after a short retirement and privacy, they two returned to the company; and then the Doctor gave him and some of those friends which were with him, the blessed Sacrament of the body and blood of our Jesus. Which being performed, the Doctor thought he saw a reverend gaiety and joy in his face; but it lasted not long; for his bodily infirmities did return suddenly, and became more visible, insomuch that the Doctor apprehended death ready to seize him; yet, after some amendment, left him at night, with a promise to return early the day following; which he did, and then found him better in appearance, deep in contemplation, and not inclinable to discourse; which gave the Doctor occasion to require his present thoughts. To which he replied, “That he was meditating the number and nature of Angels, and their blessed obedience and order, without which, peace could not be in Heaven: and Oh! that it might be so on Earth!” After which words, he said, “I have lived to see this world is made up of perturbations; and I have been long preparing to leave it, and gathering comfort for the dreadful hour of making my account with God, which I now apprehend to be near: and though I have by his grace loved him in my youth, and feared him in mine age, and laboured to have a conscience void of offence to him, and to all men; yet if thou, O Lord! be extreme to mark what I have done amiss, who can abide it? And therefore, where I have failed, Lord, shew mercy to me; for I plead not my righteousness, but the forgiveness of my unrighteousness, for His merits, who died to purchase pardon for penitent sinners. And since I owe thee a death, Lord, let it not be terrible, and then take thine own time: I submit to it: let not mine, O Lord! but let thy will be done.” With which expression he fell into a dangerous slumber; dangerous as to his recovery, yet recover he did, but it was to speak only these few words: “Good Doctor, God hath heard my daily petitions, for I am at peace with all men, and he is at peace with me; and from that blessed assurance I feel that inward joy, which this world can neither give nor take from me: my conscience beareth me this witness, and this witness makes the thoughts of death joyful. I could wish to live to do the Church more service; but cannot hope it, for my days are past as a shadow that returns not.” More he would have spoken, but his spirits failed him; and, after a short conflict betwixt Nature and Death, a quiet sigh put a period to his last breath, and so he fell asleep. And now he seems to rest like Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom. Let me here draw his curtain, till with the most glorious company of the Patriarchs and Apostles, the most Noble Army of Martyrs and Confessors, this most learned, most humble, holy man shall also awake to receive an eternal tranquillity, and with it a greater degree of glory than common Christians shall be made partakers of.

[Sidenote: A prayer]

In the mean time, Bless, O Lord! Lord, bless his brethren, the Clergy of this nation, with effectual endeavours to attain, if not to his great learning, yet to his remarkable meekness, his godly simplicity, and his Christian moderation; for these will bring peace at the last. And, Lord, let his most excellent writings be blest with what he designed, when he undertook them: which was, glory to thee, O God! on high, peace in thy Church, and goodwill to mankind. Amen, Amen.


[Footnote 1: Dr. John Jewel was born in the Parish of Berry Narber, in Devon, May 24th, 1522. He was educated at Merton, and Corpus Christi Colleges, Oxford, and in the reign of Edward VI, he publickly professed the Reformed Religion. During the reign of Mary he remained abroad; but on the accession of Elizabeth, he returned, and was made Bishop of Salisbury, in 1559. In his controversy with the Roman Catholics, he published his famous “Apology for the Church of England,” which was translated into several languages, although it was greatly opposed by the Papists. His fatigues abroad, and his incessant study, so much impaired his constitution, that he died, Sept. 21st, 1571.]

[Footnote 2: Dr. William Cole, 1599, exchanged with Dr. Reynolds the Presidentship of Corpus Christi College for the Deanery of Lincoln, which he did not long enjoy. He fled into Germany in the time of Queen Mary, and Anthony Wood names him as one of the exiles of Geneva engaged with Miles Coverdale in a new translation of the Bible.]

[Footnote 3: He was professor of Divinity in Oxford, and died May 21st, 1607. It has been said that he was brought up in the Romish faith, and that he was afterwards a strong supporter of the Puritans; but Fuller supposes that it was only for the sake of giving satisfaction to some of the more tender consciences of the Non-conformists, since the virtue of Reynolds was almost proverbial.]

[Footnote 4: One of Translators of the Bible of 1565, born at Hawkshead in Lancashire in 1519, and educated at St. John’s College, Cambridge, where he embraced the Protestant faith. He was committed to the Tower and Marshalsea for having preached in favour of Lady Jane Grey; and on his release he left the kingdom, till the accession of Elizabeth, by whom he was made Bishop of Worcester. In 1570, he was translated to London, in 1576 to York, and in 1588, he died: his sermons are still admired, and a most virtuous character is given him by Fuller. His son, Sir Edward Sandys, Prebendary of York, was born about 1561, and is well known as the author of the tract entitled, “Europae Speculum,” a view of the State of Religion in the Western parts of the World. He thus describes the various contrarieties of the state and church of Rome. “What pomp, what riot, to that of their Cardinals? What severity of life comparable to that of their Heremits and Capuchins? Who wealthier than their Prelates? who poorer by vow and profession than their Mendicants? On the one side of the street, a cloister of Virgins: on the other a stye of courtezans, with public toleration. This day all in masks, with all looseness and foolery: to morrow all in processions, whipping themselves till the blood follow. On one door an excommunication throwing to Hell all transgressours: on another a Jubilee, or full discharge from all transgressions. Who learneder in all kinds of sciences than their Jesuits? what thing more ignorant than their ordinary mass-priests? What prince so able to prefer his servants and followers as the Pope, and in so great multitude? Who able to take deeper or readier revenge on his enemies? What pride equal unto his, making Kings kiss his pantofle? What humility greater than his, shriving himself daily on his knees to an ordinary priest?”]

[Footnote 5: The name of this well-known English Cardinal is omitted in the later editions.]

[Footnote 6: Dr. Jackson was born at Wilton on the Wear, in Durham, in 1579, and was educated at Queen’s and Corpus Christi Colleges, Oxford. He was made Prebendary of Winchester in 1635, and Dean of Peterborough in 1638; he died in 1640, and his principal work is a “Commentary on the Creed.”]

[Footnote 7: Dr. Thomas Harding, educated at Winchester school, became Fellow of New College, Oxford, in 1536. He was the first King’s Hebrew Professor in that University, and in the reign of King Edward VI. he displayed great zeal for the Reformed Religion. Under Queen Mary he abandoned his principles, and obtained considerable preferment; a Prebend in the Church of Winchester, and the Treasurership of Salisbury. On the accession of Queen Elizabeth he adhered to the religion to which he had recently conformed, and fled beyond sea to Louvain, where he distinguished himself by writing against Bishop Jewel’s “Challenge.” He had been Chaplain to the Duke of Suffolk, father of Lady Jane Grey.]

[Footnote 8: John Hart, a Jesuit, was educated in the University of Oxford. In 1571 he was admitted to the English College at Douay, and in 1578 was ordained priest. Returning in 1580 to England, he was apprehended, tried, and condemned to death; but on the day of his execution he was reprieved, and sent back to the Tower, where he remained three years. It was during his confinement in the Tower that he held a disputation with Dr. Reynolds. In 1584, being banished from England, Hart proceeded to Verdun and joined the Society of Jesus. He died at Jarislau, in Poland, on 19 July, 1594.]

[Footnote 9: A man of great piety of life, and such gravity, that he was scarcely ever seen to laugh. He was a native of Westphalia, in Germany: was Canon of Christ Church, Vice-Chancellor of the University, and in 1585-86, was consecrated Bishop of Hereford.]

[Footnote 10: Sir H. Savile was born at Over Bradley, near Halifax in Yorkshire, Nov. 30th, 1549, and was entered of Merton College, Oxford. He was Greek and Mathematical Preceptor to Queen Elizabeth, and was one of the Translators of the Bible, under James I., who knighted him in 1604. He died Feb. 19th, 1621-22.]

[Footnote 11: Mr. Morrison, Secretary to Lord Mountjoy, and author of “An Itinerary, containing his ten Years Travels through the twelve Dominions of Germany, Bohmerland, Switzerland, Denmark, Poland, England, Scotland, and Ireland; divided into three Parts. London, 1617.” Fol. Published after his death, and originally written in Latin.]

[Footnote 12: The later editions of the Life of Hooker omit the account of this expulsion.]

[Footnote 13: A pulpit cross formed of timber, covered with lead, and mounted upon stone steps, which stood in the midst of the Church-yard of the Cathedral; in which Sermons were preached by eminent Divines every Sunday in the forenoon, when the Court, the Magistrates of the City, and a vast concourse of people usually attended. There is notice of its use so early as 1259, but it was not finished in its final form until 1449, by Kemp, Bishop of London, and it was finally destroyed by order of Parliament, in 1643. The Corporation of London ordained that all Ministers who came from a distance to preach at this Cross, were to have lodgings and provision for five days; and the Bishop of London gave them notice of their place of residence.]

[Footnote 14: The excellent Aylmer, was born at Aylmer-Hall, in Norfolk, in 1521, and was Tutor to Lady Jane Grey; he left England, during the reign of Mary, and went to Zurich. He returned on Elizabeth’s accession, and was made Bishop of London in March, 1576–7, strictly governing the Puritans throughout his Prelacy. He died in 1594.]

[Footnote 15: Two wretched fanatics; the first died in prison, and the second was hanged in 1591. Hacket was called by his followers “the supreme Monarch of the world from whom all Princes of Europe hold their sceptres,” and was held “to be a greater prophet than Moses or John Baptist, even Jesus Christ, who was come with his fan in his hand to judge the world.” Fuller says that Hacket was of so “cruel and fierce a nature that he is reported to have bit off and eat down the nose of his schoolmaster.”]

[Footnote 16: Edward Dering, a Puritan Divine, and a native of Kent, educated at Christ College, Cambridge. He was suspended from his Lectureships on account of his nonconformity, but he is commended as a truly religious man, whose pure and virtuous life was followed by a happy death, in 1576. He wrote some Sermons, and a Defence of Bishop Jewel’s Apology for the Church.]

[Footnote 17: A mild and beneficent man burned by the Papists at Smithfield, July 1, 1555.]

[Footnote 18: Edmund Grindal, Archbishop of Canterbury, born in 1519, at Hinsingham, in Cumberland, and educated at Cambridge. In 1552 he became Prebendary of Westminster, but on the death of King Edward he retired to Strasburg. Here he continued to reside till the accession of Elizabeth, who nominated him in 1559 to the See of London, whence, in 1570, he was translated to York, and in 1575, on the death of Parker, to Canterbury. His indulgence to the Puritans procured him the Queen’s displeasure, and for some time he was sequestered and confined to his house, but in 1582 he resigned his office, and died July 6th, 1583.]

[Footnote 19: Thomas Cartwright was born in Hertfordshire in 1535, and was educated at Cambridge. In 1567 he graduated B.D., and was appointed Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity. Having vigorously assailed the Church Establishment in his lectures, he was deprived of his professorship; whereupon he went to Geneva, and made the acquaintance of Beza. In 1572 he revisited England, and entered into a long controversy with Whitgift; in 1573 he went to Heidelberg, and afterwards served as minister to the English congregations at Antwerp and Middleburg. On returning to England, in 1585, he was imprisoned by order of Bishop Aylmer, but was soon released at the instance of Lord Burghley. In 1595 he accompanied Lord Zouch to Guernsey, remaining on the island till 1598. He died at Warwick on 27th December, 1603 (not, as Walton says, 1602). Among his works are a Latin Harmony of the Gospels, Commentaries on the Colossians, &c.]

[Footnote 20: Walter Travers, who had been Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, to which Cartwright removed, and he was also his intimate friend, and joint preacher with him in Antwerp. When Travers came to England, he was made Chaplain to Lord Burghley, whose interest procured him to be Lecturer at the Temple.]

[Footnote 21: Dr. RICHARD ROWLAND, Master of St. John’s College in Cambridge, and the fourth Bishop of Peterborough, died in 1600. It does not appear that he was the preacher on this occasion, for Gunton, in his “History of the Church of Peterborough,” states that it was Wickham, Bishop of Lincoln.]

[Footnote 22: In 1588, many satirical libels were published against the Bishops, written principally by a Society of men assuming the name of Martin Mar-Prelate; some of them were entitled, _Diotrephes, the Minerals, the Epistle to the Convocation-House, Have you any work for a Cooper?_ and _More work for a Cooper_, referring to the Defence of the Church and Bishops of England, written by Cowper, Bishop of Winchester. The real authors of these tracts, were John Penry, a Welchman, John Udall, and other ministers.]

[Footnote 23: Thomas Nashe, an English Satirical writer, baptized in 1567 at Lowestoffe, in Suffolk, and educated at St. John’s College, Cambridge. As a master of invective he has no superior; he died in or before 1601.–_An Almond for a Parrot_, was probably by Lyly the Euphuist. _A Fig for my Godson_, and _Come, Crack me this Nut_, are the after-titles of _Pappe with an Hatchet_, another tract of Lyly’s (if we may believe the testimony of Gabriel Harvey).]

[Footnote 24: In some of the later editions of the Life of Hooker, this paragraph is thus altered–“And in this examination: I have not only satisfied myself, but have begun a treatise in which I intend the satisfaction of others, by a demonstration of the reasonableness of our Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity; and therein laid a hopeful foundation for the Church’s peace; and so as not to provoke your adversary, Mr. Cartwright, nor Mr. Travers, whom I take to be mine–but not mine enemy–God knows this to be my meaning. To which end I have searched many books, and spent many thoughtful hours; and I hope not in vain, for I write to reasonable men. But, my Lord, I shall never be able to finish what I have begun, unless I be removed into some quiet country parsonage, where I may see God’s blessings spring out of my mother earth, and eat mine own bread in peace and privacy. A place where I may, without disturbance, meditate my approaching mortality and that great account, which all flesh must at the last great day give to the God of all Spirits. This is my design; and as those are the designs of my heart, so they shall, by God’s assistance, be the constant endeavours of the uncertain remainder of my life.”]

[Footnote 25: He was for some time Fellow of Oriel College, and principal of St. Mary Hall. He was made a Cardinal by Pope Sixtus V. in 1587. In 1589, he was appointed Archbishop of Mechlin in Brabant, and died on 6th October, 1594.]

[Footnote 26: It is ascertained by Bishop King’s letter to Walton, that it was Dr. Stapleton who introduced the works of Hooker to the Pope. Thomas Stapleton was a Romish Divine, born in 1536, at Henfield, in Sussex, and educated at Winchester, and New College, Oxford. In the reign of Mary he was made Prebendary of Chichester; but at the accession of Elizabeth he left England, and became Professor of Divinity at Douay. He died at Louvain, in 1598, and his works form four volumes in folio.]

[Footnote 27: 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. At the Restoration he was made Dean of Westminster, in 1662 was consecrated Bishop of Worcester, and in 1663 was translated to Salisbury. He died at Oxford, 1665. His translation of Hooker’s Polity was never printed.]

[Footnote 28: 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. For some time he was master of the Free Grammar School of Southampton. 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.]

[Footnote 29: 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 1734-1741, in 17 vols. fol.]

[Footnote 30: 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 parish-clerk was Sampson Horton. It appears from the parish-register of Bishop’s-Bourne, 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.”]

[Footnote 31: “Can there be any of friendship in snares, hooks and _trepans_?”

“Nothing but gins, and snares and _trapans_ for souls.”–_Dr. South_.]

[Footnote 32: “A certain lewd woman came to his chamber, and solicited his charity under this cogent argument, ‘that if he should deny her, she would lay base attempts to his charge;’ and by this means, at several times, she had gotten money from him; until at last Providence was pleased to concern itself for the righting wronged innocence. It so fell out, that this woman came to him when his two dear friends Mr. Sandys and Mr. Cranmer were with him: wondering to see such a person come with so much confidence, they inquired of their tutor the occasion of it, who in a little time tells them the truth of the whole abuse. Upon which they contrive a way to be present in his chamber, where they might hear the whole discourse at her next coming. An opportunity soon offered, and the lewd woman persisting in her threats of laying ill things to his charge, if she was denied what she came for, money, his two friends stepped forth from behind the curtains to her confusion and the shame of those who had employed her in so vile an action; for his slanderers were punished for this their vile attempt, who at their suffering shewed a penitent behaviour, and made an open confession.”–_Prince’s Worthies of Devon_.]

[Sidenote: Cowper’s epitaph]

This following Epitaph was long since presented to the world, in memory of Mr. HOOKER, by Sir WILLIAM COWPER, who also built him a fair Monument in Bourne Church, and acknowledges him to have been his spiritual father.

Though nothing can be spoke worthy his fame, Or the remembrance of that precious name, Judicious Hooker; though this cost be spent On him, that hath a lasting monument[1] In his own books; yet ought we to express, If not his worth, yet our respectfulness. Church-Ceremonies he maintain’d; then why Without all ceremony should he die?
Was it because his life and death should be Both equal patterns of humility?
Or that perhaps this only glorious one Was above all, to ask, why had he none? Yet he, that lay so long obscurely low, Doth now preferr’d to greater honours go. Ambitious men, learn hence to be more wise, Humility is the true way to rise:
And God in me this lesson did inspire, To bid this humble man, “Friend, sit up higher.”

[Footnote 1: On this monument is a bust of Hooker, representing him in his cap and gown.]


[Sidenote: Other details]

And now, having by a long and laborious search satisfied myself, and I hope my Reader, by imparting to him the true relation of Mr. Hooker’s life, I am desirous also to acquaint him with some observations that relate to it, and which could not properly fall to be spoken till after his death; of which my Reader may expect a brief and true account in the following Appendix.

[Sidenote: Date of death]

And first, it is not to be doubted but that he died in the forty-seventh, if not in the forty-sixth year of his age: which I mention, because many have believed him to be more aged: but I have so examined it, as to be confident I mistake not: and for the year of his death, Mr. Camden, who in his Annals of Queen Elizabeth, 1599, mentions him with a high commendation of his life and learning, declares him to die in the year 1599; and yet in that in of his Monument, set up at the charge of Sir William Cowper, in Bourne Church, where Mr. Hooker was buried, his death is there said to be in anno 1603; but doubtless both are mistaken; for I have it attested under the hand of William Somner, the Archbishop’s Registrar for the Province of Canterbury, that Richard Hooker’s Will bears date October 26th in anno 1600, and that it was proved the third of December following. [And the Reader may take notice, that since I first writ this Appendix to the Life of Mr. Hooker, Mr. Fulman, of Corpus Christi College, hath shewed me a good authority for the very day and hour of Mr. Hooker’s death, in one of his books of Polity, which had been Archbishop Laud’s. In which book, beside many considerable marginal notes of some passages of his time, under the Bishop’s own hand, there is also written in the title-page of that book–which now is Mr. Fulman’s–this attestation: Ricardus Hooker _vir summis doctrinae dotibus ornatus, de Ecclesia praecipue Anglicana optime meritus, obiit Novemb. 2, circiter horam secundam post-meridianum_, Anno 1600.]

[Sidenote: His daughters]

And that at his death he left four daughters, Alice, Cicely, Jane and Margaret; that he gave to each of them an hundred pounds; that he left Joan, his wife, his sole executrix; and that, by his inventory his estate–a great part of it being in books–came to L1,092 9_s_. 2_d_., which was much more than he thought himself worth; and which was not got by his care, much less by the good housewifery of his wife, but saved by his trusty servant, Thomas Lane, that was wiser than his master in getting money for him, and more frugal than his mistress in keeping of it. Of which Will of Mr. Hooker’s I shall say no more, but that his dear friend Thomas, the father of George Cranmer,–of whom I have spoken, and shall have occasion to say more,–was one of the witnesses to it.

One of his elder daughters was married to one Chalinor, sometime a School-master in Chichester, and are both dead long since. Margaret, his youngest daughter, was married unto Ezekiel Charke, Bachelor in Divinity, and Rector of St. Nicholas in Harbledown, near Canterbury, who died about sixteen years past, and had a son Ezekiel, now living, and in Sacred Orders; being at this time Rector of Waldron, in Sussex. She left also a daughter, with both whom I have spoken not many months past, and find her to be a widow in a condition that wants not, but very far from abounding. And these two attested unto me, that Richard Hooker, their grandfather, had a sister, by name Elizabeth Harvey, that lived to the age of 121 years, and died in the month of September, 1663.

For his other two daughters I can learn little certainty, but have heard they both died before they were marriageable. And for his wife, she was so unlike Jephtha’s daughter, that she staid not a comely time to bewail her widowhood; nor lived long enough to repent her second marriage; for which, doubtless, she would have found cause, if there had been but four months betwixt Mr. Hooker’s and her death. But she is dead, and let her other infirmities be buried with her.

Thus much briefly for his age, the year of his death, his estate, his wife, and his children. I am next to speak of his books; concerning which I shall have a necessity of being longer, or shall neither do right to myself, or my Reader, which is chiefly intended in this Appendix.

[Sidenote: His books]

I have declared in his Life, that he proposed Eight Books, and that his first Four were printed anno 1594, and his Fifth book first printed, and alone, anno 1597; and that he lived to finish the remaining Three of the proposed Eight: but whether we have the last Three as finished by himself, is a just and material question; concerning which I do declare, that I have been told almost forty years past, by one that very well knew Mr. Hooker and the affairs of his family, that, about a month after the death of Mr. Hooker, Bishop Whitgift, then Archbishop of Canterbury, sent one of his Chaplains to enquire of Mrs. Hooker, for the three remaining books of Polity, writ by her husband: of which she would not, or could not, give any account: and that about three months after that time the Bishop procured her to be sent for to London, and then by his procurement she was to be examined by some of her Majesty’s Council, concerning the disposal of those books: but, by way of preparation for the next day’s examination, the Bishop invited her to Lambeth, and after some friendly questions, she confessed to him, that one Mr. Charke, and another Minister that dwelt near Canterbury, came to her, and desired that they might go into her husband’s study, and look upon some of his writings: and that there they two burnt and tore many of them, assuring her, that they were writings not fit to be seen: and that she knew nothing more concerning them. Her lodging was then in King street in Westminster, where she was found next morning dead in her bed, and her new husband suspected and questioned for it; but he was declared innocent of her death.

[Sidenote: Those of Polity]

And I declare also, that Dr. John Spencer,–mentioned in the Life of Mr. Hooker,–who was of Mr. Hooker’s College, and of his time there, and betwixt whom there was so friendly a friendship, that they continually advised together in all their studies, and particularly in what concerned these books of Polity–this Dr. Spencer, the Three perfect books being lost, had delivered into his hands–I think by Bishop Whitgift–the imperfect books, or first rough draughts of them, to be made as perfect as they might be by him, who both knew Mr. Hooker’s handwriting, and was best acquainted with his intentions. And a fair testimony of this may appear by an Epistle, first, and usually printed before Mr. Hooker’s Five books,–but omitted, I know not why, in the last impression of the Eight printed together in anno 1662, in which the Publishers seem to impose the three doubtful books, to be the undoubted books 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.

[Sidenote: “J.S.,” his Epistle]

“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 evil-disposed 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 wars.”–J.S.

[Sidenote: The Three Books]

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 perfect 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: “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, in 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.

[Sidenote: “Clavi Trabales”]

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 of some of the said omissions.

[Sidenote: 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. “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 hand-writing 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.


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.”

[Sidenote: King Charles on Hooker]

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 Three pretended 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.”

[Sidenote: To the Reader]

In this relation concerning these Three doubtful books of Mr. Hooker’s, my purpose was to enquire, 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 ’tis 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. I.W.

[Footnote 1: A Barrister of eminence, particularly noted for his loyalty, born at Prestbury, in Gloucestershire, in 1601. He died in 1690; and was the Author of several excellent Law Tracts, as well as one asserting that Charles I. was a martyr for his people.]


_February_, 1598.[1]

[Sidenote: New Church Discipline]

[Sidenote: Change in opinion]

What posterity is likely to judge of these matters concerning Church-discipline, we may the better conjecture, if we call to mind what our own age, within few years, upon better experience, hath already judged concerning the same. It may be remembered, that at first, the greatest part of the learned in the land were either eagerly affected, or favourably inclined that way. The books then written for the most part savoured of the disciplinary style; it sounded every where in pulpits, and in common phrase of men’s speech. The contrary part began to fear they had taken a wrong course; many which impugned the discipline, yet so impugned it, not as not being the better form of government, but as not being so convenient for our state, in regard of dangerous innovations thereby likely to grow: one man [John Whitgift, the Archbishop] alone there was to speak of,–whom let no suspicion of flattery deprive of his deserved commendation,–who, in the defiance of the one part, and courage of the other, stood in the gap and gave others respite to prepare themselves to the defence, which, by the sudden eagerness and violence of their adversaries, had otherwise been prevented, wherein God hath made good unto him his own impress, _Vincit qui patitur:_ for what contumelious indignities he hath at their hands sustained, the world is witness; and what reward of honour above his adversaries God hath bestowed upon him, themselves,–though nothing glad thereof,–must needs confess. Now of late years the heat of men towards the discipline is greatly decayed; their judgments begin to sway on the other side; the learned have weighed it, and found it light; wise men conceive some fear, lest it prove not only not the best kind of government, but the very bane and destruction of all government. The cause of this change in men’s opinions may be drawn from the general nature of error, disguised and clothed with the name of truth; which did mightily and violently possess men at first, but afterwards, the weakness thereof being by time discovered, it lost that reputation, which before it had gained. As by the outside of an house the passers-by are oftentimes deceived, till they see the conveniency of the rooms within; so, by the very name of discipline and reformation, men were drawn at first to cast a fancy towards it, but now they have not contented themselves only to pass by and behold afar off the fore-front of this reformed house; they have entered it, even at the special request of the master-workmen and chief-builders thereof: they have perused the rooms, the lights, the conveniences, and they find them not answerable to that report which was made of them, nor to that opinion which upon report they had conceived: so as now the discipline, which at first triumphed over all, being unmasked, beginneth to droop, and hang down her head.

[Sidenote: Causes]

[Sidenote: Gregory Martin]

The cause of change in opinion concerning the discipline is proper to the learned, or to such as by them have been instructed. Another cause there is more open, and more apparent to the view of all, namely, the course of practice, which the Reformers have had with us from the beginning. The first degree was only some small difference about the cap and surplice; but not such as either bred division in the Church, or tended to the ruin of the government established. This was peaceable; the next degree more stirring. Admonitions were directed to the Parliament in peremptory sort against our whole form of regiment. In defence of them, volumes were published in English and in Latin: yet this was no more than writing. Devices were set on foot to erect the practice of the discipline without authority; yet herein some regard of modesty, some moderation was used. Behold at length it brake forth into open outrage, first in writing by Martin;[2] in whose kind of dealing these things may be observed: 1. That whereas Thomas Cartwright and others his great masters, had always before set out the discipline as a Queen, and as the daughter of God; he contrariwise, to make her more acceptable to the people, brought her forth as a Vice[3] upon the stage. 2. This conceit of his was grounded–as may be supposed–upon this rare policy, that seeing the discipline was by writing refuted, in Parliament rejected, in secret corners hunted out and decried, it was imagined that by open railing,–which to the vulgar is commonly most plausible,–the State Ecclesiastical might have been drawn into such contempt and hatred, as the overthrow thereof should have been most grateful to all men, and in a manner desired by all the common people. 3. It may be noted–and this I know myself to be true–how some of them, although they could not for shame approve so lewd an action, yet were content to lay hold on it to the advancement of their cause, by acknowledging therein the secret judgments of God against the Bishops, and hoping that some good might be wrought thereby for his Church; as indeed there was, though not according to their construction. For 4thly, contrary to their expectation, that railing spirit did not only not further, but extremely disgrace and prejudice their cause, when it was once perceived from how low degrees of contradiction, at first, to what outrage of contumely and slander, they were at length proceeded; and were also likely to proceed further.

[Sidenote: Hacket and Coppinger]

A further degree of outrage was also in fact: certain [Hacket and Coppinger] prophets did arise, who deeming it not possible that God should suffer that to be undone, which they did so fiercely desire to have done, namely, that his holy saints, the favourers and fathers of the discipline, should be enlarged and delivered from persecution; and seeing no means of deliverance ordinary, were fain to persuade themselves that God must needs raise some extraordinary means; and being persuaded of none so well as of themselves, they forthwith must needs be the instruments of this great work. Hereupon they framed unto themselves an assured hope, that, upon their preaching out of a peascart in Cheapside, all the multitude would have presently joined unto them, and in amazement of mind have asked them, _Viri fratres, quid agimus?_ whereunto it is likely they would have returned an answer far unlike to that of St. Peter: “Such and such are men unworthy to govern; pluck them down: such and such are the dear children of God; let them be advanced.”

Of two of these men it is meet to speak with all commiseration; yet so, that others by their example may receive instruction, and withal some light may appear, what stirring affections the discipline is like to inspire, if it light upon apt and prepared minds.

[Sidenote: Bancroft’s book]

Now if any man doubt of what society they were; or if the Reformers disclaim them, pretending that by them they were condemned; let these points be considered. 1. Whose associates were they before they entered into this frantic passion? Whose sermons did they frequent? Whom did they admire? 2. Even when they were entering into it, Whose advice did they require? and when they were in, Whose approbation? Whom advertised they of their purpose? Whose assistance by prayer did they request? But we deal injuriously with them to lay this to their charge; for they reproved and condemned it. How! did they disclose it to the Magistrate, that it might be suppressed? or were they not rather content to stand aloof off, and see the end of it, as being loath to quench that spirit? No doubt these mad practitioners were of their society, with whom before, and in the practice of their madness, they had most affinity. Hereof read Dr. Bancroft’s book.[4]

[Sidenote: Brownists and Barrowists]

A third inducement may be to dislike of the discipline, if we consider not only how far the Reformers themselves have proceeded, but what others upon their foundations have built. Here come the Brownists[5] in the first rank, their lineal descendants, who have seized upon a number of strange opinions; whereof, although their ancestors, the Reformers, were never actually possessed, yet, by right and interest from them derived, the Brownists and Barrowists[6] have taken possession of them: for if the positions of the Reformers be true, I cannot see how the main and general conclusions of Brownism should be false; for upon these two points, as I conceive, they stand.

[Sidenote: Their two points]

1. That, because we have no Church, they are to sever themselves from us. 2. That without Civil authority they are to erect a Church of their own. And if the former of these be true, the latter, I suppose, will follow: for if above all things men be to regard their salvation; and if out of the Church there be no salvation; it followeth, that, if we have no Church, we have no means of salvation; and therefore separation from us in that respect is both lawful and necessary; as also, that men, so separated from the false and counterfeit Church, are to associate themselves unto some Church; not to ours; to the Popish much less; therefore to one of their own making. Now the ground of all these inferences being this, That in our Church there is no means of salvation, is out of the Reformers’ principles most clearly to be proved. For wheresoever any matter of faith unto salvation necessary is denied, there can be no means of salvation; but in the Church of England, the discipline, by them accounted a matter of faith, and necessary to salvation, is not only denied, but impugned, and the professors thereof oppressed. _Ergo_.

Again,–but this reason perhaps is weak,–every true Church of Christ acknowledgeth the whole Gospel of Christ: the discipline, in their opinion, is a part of the Gospel, and yet by our Church resisted. _Ergo_.

[Sidenote: Essential discipline]

Again, the discipline is essentially united to the Church: by which term essentially, they must mean either an essential part, or an essential property. Both which ways it must needs be, that where that essential discipline is not, neither is there any Church. If therefore between them and the Brownists there should be appointed a solemn disputation, whereof with us they have been oftentimes so earnest challengers; it doth not yet appear what other answer they could possibly frame to these and the like arguments, wherewith they may be pressed, but fairly to deny the conclusion,–for all the premises are their own,–or rather ingeniously to reverse their own principles before laid, whereon so foul absurdities have been so firmly built. What further proofs you can bring out of their high words, magnifying the discipline, I leave to your better remembrance: but, above all points, I am desirous this one should be strongly enforced against them, because it wringeth them most of all, and is of all others–for aught I see–the most unanswerable. You may notwithstanding say, that you would be heartily glad these their positions might be salved, as the Brownists might not appear to have issued out of their loins: but until that be done, they must give us leave to think that they have cast the seed whereout these tares are grown.

[Sidenote: “Godless politics”]

Another sort of men there are, which have been content to run on with the Reformers for a time, and to make them poor instruments of their own designs. These are a sort of godless politics, who, perceiving the plot of discipline to consist of these two parts, the overthrow of Episcopal, and erection of Presbyterial authority; and that this latter can take no place till the former be removed; are content to join with them in the destructive part of discipline, bearing them in hand, that in the other also they shall find them as ready. But when time shall come, it may be they would be as loath to be yoked with that kind of regiment, as now they are willing to be released from this. These men’s ends in all their actions is distraction; their pretence and colour, reformation. Those things which under this colour they have effected to their own good, are, 1. By maintaining a contrary faction, they have kept the Clergy always in awe, and thereby made them more pliable, and willing to buy their peace. 2. By maintaining an opinion of equality among ministers, they have made way to their own purposes for devouring Cathedral Churches, and Bishops’ livings. 3. By exclaiming against abuses in the Church, they have carried their own corrupt dealing in the Civil State more covertly. For such is the nature of the multitude, that they are not able to apprehend many things at once; so as being possessed with a dislike or liking of any one thing, many other in the mean time may escape them without being perceived. 4. They have sought to disgrace the Clergy, in entertaining a conceit in men’s minds, and confirming it by continual practice, That men of learning, and especially of the Clergy, which are employed in the chiefest kind of learning, are not to be admitted to matters of State; contrary to the practice of all well-governed commonwealths, and of our own till these late years.

[Sidenote: Atheists]

[Sidenote: Causes of Atheism]

A third sort of men there are, though not descended from the Reformers, yet in part raised and greatly strengthened by them; namely, the cursed crew of Atheists. This also is one of those points, which I am desirous you should handle most effectually, and strain yourself therein to all points of motion and affection; as in that of the Brownists, to all strength and sinews of reason. This is a sort most damnable, and yet by the general suspicion of the world at this day most common. The causes of it, which are in the parties themselves, although you handle in the beginning of the fifth book, yet here again they may be touched: but the occasions of help and furtherance, which by the Reformers have been yielded unto them, are, as I conceive, two; namely, senseless preaching, and disgracing of the Ministry: for how should not men dare to impugn that, which neither by force of reason, nor by authority of persons, is maintained? But in the parties themselves these two causes I conceive of Atheism: 1. More abundance of wit than judgment, and of witty than judicious learning; whereby they are more inclined to contradict any thing, than willing to be informed of the truth. They are not therefore men of sound learning for the most part, but smatterers; neither is their kind of dispute so much by force of argument, as by scoffing; which humour of scoffing, and turning matters most serious into merriment, is now become so common, as we are not to marvel what the Prophet means by the seat of scorners, nor what the Apostles, by foretelling of scorners to come; for our own age hath verified their speech unto us: which also may be an argument against these scoffers and Atheists themselves, seeing it hath been so many ages ago foretold, that such men the latter days of the world should afford: which could not be done by any other spirit, save that whereunto things future and present are alike. And even for the main question of the resurrection, whereat they stick so mightily, was it not plainly foretold, that men should in the latter times say, “Where is the promise of his coming?” Against the creation, the ark, and divers other points, exceptions are said to be taken, the ground whereof is superfluity of wit, without ground of learning and judgment. A second cause of Atheism is sensuality, which maketh men desirous to remove all stops and impediments of their wicked life; among which because Religion is the chiefest, so as neither in this life without shame they can persist therein, nor–if that be true–without torment in the life to come; they therefore whet their wits to annihilate the joys of Heaven, wherein they see–if any such be–they can have no part, and likewise the pains of Hell, wherein their portion must needs be very great. They labour therefore, not that they may not deserve those pains, but that, deserving them, there may be no such pains to seize upon them. But what conceit can be imagined more base, than that man should strive to persuade himself even against the secret instinct, no doubt, of his own mind, that his soul is as the soul of a beast, mortal, and corruptible with the body? Against which barbarous opinion their own Atheism is a very strong argument. For, were not the soul a nature separable from the body, how could it enter into discourse of things merely spiritual, and nothing at all pertaining to the body? Surely the soul were not able to conceive any thing of Heaven, no not so much as to dispute against Heaven, and against God, if there were not in it somewhat heavenly, and derived from God.

[Sidenote: Papists]

The last which have received strength and encouragement from the Reformers are Papists; against whom, although they are most bitter enemies, yet unwittingly they have given them great advantage. For what can any enemy rather desire than the breach and dissension of those which are confederates against him? Wherein they are to remember that if our communion with Papists in some few ceremonies do so much strengthen them, as is pretended, how much more doth this division and rent among ourselves, especially seeing it is maintained to be, not in light matters only, but even in matters of faith and salvation? Which over-reaching speech of theirs, because it is so open an advantage for the Barrowist and the Papist, we are to wish and hope for, that they will acknowledge it to have been spoken rather in heat of affection, than with soundness of judgment; and that through their exceeding love to that creature of discipline which themselves have bred, nourished, and maintained, their mouth in commendation of her did so often overflow.

[Sidenote: Points of controversy]

From hence you may proceed–but the means of connexion I leave to yourself–to another discourse, which I think very meet to be handled either here or elsewhere at large; the parts whereof may be these: 1. That in this cause between them and us, men are to sever the proper and essential points and controversy from those which are accidental. The most essential and proper are these two: overthrow of the Episcopal, and erection of Presbyterial authority. But in these two points whosoever joineth with them, is accounted of their number; whosoever in all other points agreeth with them, yet thinketh the authority of Bishops not unlawful, and of Elders not necessary, may justly be severed from their retinue. Those things, therefore, which either in the persons, or in the laws and orders themselves are faulty, may be complained on, acknowledged, and amended, yet they no whit the nearer their main purpose: for what if all errors by them supposed in our Liturgy were amended, even according to their own heart’s desire; if non-residence, pluralities, and the like were utterly taken away; are their lay-elders therefore presently authorized? or their sovereign ecclesiastical jurisdiction established?

[Sidenote: Faults of the complainants]

But even in their complaining against the outward and accidental matters in Church-Government, they are many ways faulty. 1. In their end, which they propose to themselves. For in declaiming against abuses, their meaning is not to have them redressed, but, by disgracing the present state, to make way for their own discipline. As therefore in Venice, if any Senator should discourse against the power of their Senate, as being either too sovereign, or too weak in government, with purpose to draw their authority to a moderation, it might well be suffered; but not so, if it should appear he spake with purpose to induce another state by depriving the present. So in all causes belonging either to Church or Commonwealth, we are to have regard what mind the complaining part doth bear, whether of amendment or innovation; and accordingly either to suffer or suppress it. Their objection therefore is frivolous, “Why, may not men speak against abuses?” Yes; but with desire to cure the part affected, not to destroy the whole. 2. A second fault is in their manner of complaining, not only because it is for the most part in bitter and reproachful terms, but also it is to the common people, who are judges incompetent and insufficient, both to determine any thing amiss, and for want of skill and authority to amend it. Which also discovereth their intent and purpose to be rather destructive than corrective. 3. Those very exceptions which they take are frivolous and impertinent. Some things indeed they accuse as impious; which if they may appear to be such, God forbid they should be maintained.

[Sidenote: “Doubly Deceived”]

Against the rest it is only alleged, that they are idle ceremonies without use, and that better and more profitable might be devised. Wherein they are doubly deceived; for neither is it a sufficient plea to say, this must give place, because a better may be devised; because in our judgments of better and worse, we oftentimes conceive amiss, when we compare those things which are in devise with those which are in practice: for the imperfections of the one are hid, till by time and trial they be discovered: the others are already manifest and open to all. But last of all,–which is a point in my opinion of great regard, and which I am desirous to have enlarged,–they do not see that for the most part when they strike at the State Ecclesiastical, they secretly wound the Civil State, for personal faults; “What can be said against the Church, which may not also agree to the Commonwealth?” In both, Statesmen have always been, and will be always, men; sometimes blinded with error, most commonly perverted by passions; many unworthy have been and are advanced in both; many worthy not regarded. And as for abuses, which they pretend to be in the law themselves; when they inveigh against non-residence, do they take it a matter lawful or expedient in the Civil State, for a man to have a great and gainful office in the North, himself continually remaining in the South? “He that hath an office let him attend his office.” When they condemn plurality of livings spiritual to the pit of Hell, what think they of the infinity of temporal promotions? By the great Philosopher, _Pol. lib. ii. cap. 9,_ it is forbidden as a thing most dangerous to Commonwealths, that by the same man many great offices should be exercised. When they deride our ceremonies as vain and frivolous, were it hard to apply their exceptions even to those civil ceremonies, which at the Coronation, in Parliament, and all Courts of Justice, are used? Were it hard to argue even against Circumcision, the ordinance of God, as being a cruel ceremony? against the Passover, as being ridiculous–shod, girt, a staff in their hand, to eat a lamb?

[Sidenote: Conclusion]

To conclude: you may exhort the Clergy,–or what if you direct your conclusion not to the Clergy in general, but only to the learned in or of both Universities?–you may exhort them to a due consideration of all things, and to a right esteem and valuing of each thing in that degree wherein it ought to stand. For it oftentimes falleth out, that what men have either devised themselves, or greatly delighted in, the price and the excellency thereof they do admire above desert. The chiefest labour of a Christian should be to know, of a Minister to preach Christ crucified: in regard whereof, not only worldly things, but things otherwise precious, even the discipline itself, is vile and base. Whereas now, by the heat of contention, and violence of affection, the zeal of men towards the one hath greatly decayed their love to the other. Hereunto therefore they are to be exhorted to preach Christ Crucified, the mortification of the flesh, the renewing of the Spirit; not those things which in time of strife seem precious but–passions being allayed–are vain and childish. G.C.

[Footnote 1: This admirable dissertation originally appeared in 1642, entitled, “Concerning the New Church Discipline; an excellent Letter written by Mr. George Cranmer, to Mr. R.H.”]

[Footnote 2: Gregory Martin, born at Maxfield, near Winchelsea, admitted of St. John’s Coll. Oxford, 1557, embraced the Roman Catholic Religion and was ordained priest at Douay, 1573. The Rheims translation of the Vulgate has been ascribed entirely to him. He died at Rheims in 1582.]

[Footnote 3: Vice was the fool of the old moralities, with his dagger of lath, a long coat, and a cap with a pair of ass’s ears.]

[Footnote 4: Entitled “A Survey of the pretended holy Discipline, to which is prefixed a Sermon, preached against the Puritans, at St. Paul’s Cross, Feb. 9, 1588-9, from the following text: ‘Dearly beloved, believe not every Spirit, but try the Spirits whether they be of God, for many false Prophets have gone out into the world.’ I John iv. 1.”]

[Footnote 5: Robert Brown, a native of Northampton, educated at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge, was the founder of a sect of Puritans, who took their name from him. He wrote several tracts in support of his opinions, and sustained various persecutions, having been committed at different times to thirty-two prisons, in some of which he could not see his hand at broad day. Before his removal with his followers to Middleburg in Zealand, he became disgusted with their divisions and disputes; and though he had gone a further distance than any of the Puritans did, he renounced his principles of separation, being promoted by his relation, Lord Burghley, to the benefice of Achurch in Northamptonshire. He died in Northampton Gaol in 1630, in the 80th year of his age, having been sent thither by a justice of the peace for assaulting a constable, who was executing a warrant against him.]

[Footnote 6: So denominated from Henry Barrow, a layman, and noted sectary, who was executed at Tyburn on 6th April, 1593, for publishing seditious books against the Queen and the State.]


[Sidenote: Hooker’s Works]

The Works of Mr. Hooker, exclusive of the Books of Ecclesiastical Polity, are,

I. “ANSWER to the SUPPLICATION that Mr. TRAVERS made to the COUNCIL. _Oxon_. 1612.” 4to.

II. “A learned DISCOURSE of JUSTIFICATION, WORKS, and how the FOUNDATION of FAITH is overthrown: on _Habak_. i. 4. _Oxon_. 1612.” 4to.

III. “A learned SERMON of the NATURE of PRIDE: on _Habak_. ii. 4. _Oxon_. 1612.” 4to.

IV. “A REMEDY against SORROW and FEAR, delivered in a FUNERAL SERMON: on _John_ xiv. 27. _Oxon_. 1612.” 4to.

V. “A learned and comfortable SERMON of the CERTAINTY and PERPETUITY of FAITH in the ELECT: especially of the PROPHET HABAKKUK’S FAITH: on _Habak_. i. 4. _Oxon_. 1612.” 4to.

VI. “TWO SERMONS upon part of ST. JUDE’S EPISTLE. _Epist. Jude_, ver. 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, _Oxon_. 1613.” 4to.

VII. In 1641, a volume was published under the following title: “A SUMMARIE VIEW of the GOVERNMENT both of the OLD and NEW TESTAMENT; whereby the EPISCOPAL GOVERNMENT of CHRIST’S CHURCH is vindicated,” out of the rude draughts of Launcelot Andrews, late Bishop of Winchester.

To this volume is prefixed, as a preamble to the whole, “A DISCOVERY of the CAUSES of these CONTENTIONS touching CHURCH GOVERNMENT, out of the FRAGMENTS of RICHARD HOOKER.”

This volume contains certain brief treatises, written by divers learned men, concerning the ancient and modern Government of the Church. The treatises are seven in number, of which this posthumous work of Mr. Hooker is one, and as it stands before the rest it is therefore called a Preamble to the whole.

VIII. THREE TREATISES inserted in the “CLAVI TRABALES,” viz. 1. “On the KING’S POWER in Matters of RELIGION.” 2. “Of his POWER in the ADVANCEMENT of BISHOPS to their ROOMS of PRELACY.” 3. “The KING’S EXEMPTION from CENSURE and other JUDICIAL POWER.”

It will not be improper to notice a publication of great merit, entitled “A FAITHFUL ABRIDGMENT of the WORKS of that learned and judicious Divine, Mr. RICHARD HOOKER, in eight books of ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY, and of all the other Treatises which were written by the same Author. With an Account of his Life. By a Divine of the Church of England. _London_, 1705.”


“Where with a soul composed of harmonies, Like a sweet swan, he warbles as he dies His Maker’s praise, and his own obsequies.”



[Sidenote: A box of ointment]

In a late retreat from the business of this world, and those many little cares with which I have too often cumbered myself, I fell into a contemplation of some of those historical passages that are recorded in Sacred Story: and more particularly of what had passed betwixt our blessed Saviour and that wonder of Women, and Sinners, and Mourners, St. Mary Magdalen. I call her Saint, because I did not then, nor do now consider her, as when she was possessed with seven devils; not as when her wanton eyes and dishevelled hair were designed and managed to charm and ensnare amorous beholders. But I did then, and do now consider her, as after she had expressed a visible and sacred sorrow for her sensualities; as after those eyes had wept such a flood of penitential tears as did wash, and that hair had wiped, and she most passionately kissed the feet of her’s and our blessed Jesus. And I do now consider, that because she loved much, not only much was forgiven her: but that beside that blessed blessing of having her sins pardoned, and the joy of knowing her happy condition, she also had from him a testimony, that her alabaster box of precious ointment poured on his head and feet, and that spikenard, and those spices that were by her dedicated to embalm and preserve his sacred body from putrefaction, should so far preserve her own memory, that these demonstrations of her sanctified love, and of her officious and generous gratitude, should be recorded and mentioned wheresoever his Gospel should be read; intending thereby, that as his, so her name, should also live to succeeding generations, even till time itself shall be no more.

[Sidenote: Reasons for this Life]

Upon occasion of which fair example, I did lately look back, and not without some content,–at least to myself,–that I have endeavoured to deserve the love, and preserve the memory, of my two deceased friends, Dr. Donne, and Sir Henry Wotton, by declaring the several employments and various accidents of their lives. And though Mr. George Herbert–whose Life I now intend to write–were to me a stranger as to his person, for I have only seen him; yet since he was, and was worthy to be, their friend, and very many of his have been mine, I judge it may not be unacceptable to those that knew any of them in their lives, or do now know them by mine, or their own writings, to see this conjunction of them after their deaths; without which, many things that concerned them, and some things that concerned the age in which they lived, would be less perfect, and lost to posterity.

For these reasons I have undertaken it; and if I have prevented any abler person, I beg pardon of him and my Reader.


[Sidenote: Birth and family]

George Herbert was born the Third day of April, in the Year of our Redemption 1593. The place of his birth was near to the Town of Montgomery, and in that Castle[1] that did then bear the name of that Town and County; that Castle was then a place of state and strength, and had been successively happy in the Family of the Herberts, who had long possessed it; and with it, a plentiful estate, and hearts as liberal to their poor neighbours. A family, that hath been blessed with men of remarkable wisdom, and a willingness to serve their country, and, indeed, to do good to all mankind; for which they are eminent: But alas! this family did in the late rebellion suffer extremely in their estates; and the heirs of that Castle saw it laid level with that earth, that was too good to bury those wretches that were the cause of it.

[Sidenote: Father and mother]

The Father of our George was Richard Herbert, the son of Edward Herbert, Knight, the son of Richard Herbert, Knight, the son of the famous Sir Richard Herbert of Colebrook, in the County of Monmouth, Banneret, who was the youngest brother of that memorable William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, that lived in the reign of our King Edward the Fourth.

His Mother was Magdalen Newport, the youngest daughter of Sir Richard, and sister to Sir Francis Newport of High-Arkall, in the County of Salop, Knight, and grandfather of Francis Lord Newport, now Controller of his Majesty’s Household. A family that for their loyalty have suffered much in their estates, and seen the ruin of that excellent structure, where their ancestors have long lived, and been memorable for their hospitality.

[Sidenote: Lord Herbert of Cherbury]

This Mother of George Herbert–of whose person, and wisdom, and virtue I intend to give a true account in a seasonable place–was the happy Mother of seven sons and three daughters, which she would often say was Job’s number, and Job’s distribution; and as often bless God, that they were neither defective in their shapes, or in their reason; and very often reprove them that did not praise God for so great a blessing. I shall give the Reader a short account of their names, and not say much of their fortunes. Edward, the eldest, was first made Knight of the Bath, at that glorious time of our late Prince Henry’s being installed Knight of the Garter; after many years’ useful travel, and the attainment of many languages, he was by King James sent Ambassador resident to the then French King, Lewis the thirteenth. There he continued about two years; but he could not subject himself to a compliance with the humours of the Duke de Luisnes, who was then the great and powerful favourite at Court: so that upon a complaint to our King, he was called back into England in some displeasure; but at his return he gave such an honourable account of his employment, and so justified his comportment to the Duke and all the Court, that he was suddenly sent back upon the same Embassy, from which he returned in the beginning of the reign of our good King Charles the First, who made him first Baron of Castle-Island, and not long after of Cherbury, in the County of Salop. He was a man of great learning and reason, as appears by his printed book “De Veritate,” and by his “History of the reign of King Henry the Eighth,” and by several other tracts.[2]

[Sidenote: Other Herberts]

The second and third brothers were Richard and William, who ventured their lives to purchase honour in the wars of the Low Countries, and died officers in that employment. Charles was the fourth, and died fellow of New College in Oxford. Henry was the sixth, who became a menial servant to the Crown in the days of King James, and hath continued to be so for fifty years; during all which time he hath been Master of the Revels; a place that requires a diligent wisdom, with which God hath blessed him. The seventh son was Thomas, who, being made captain of a ship in that fleet with which Sir Robert Mansell was sent against Algiers, did there shew a fortunate and true English valour. Of the three sisters I need not say more, than that they were all married to persons of worth, and plentiful fortunes; and lived to be examples of virtue, and to do good in their generations.

[Sidenote: George Herbert]

I now come to give my intended account of George, who was the fifth of those seven brothers.

George Herbert spent much of his childhood in a sweet content under the eye and care of his prudent Mother, and the tuition of a Chaplain, or tutor to him and two of his brothers, in her own family,–for she was then a widow,–where he continued till about the age of twelve years; and being at that time well instructed in the rules of Grammar, he was not long after commended to the care of Dr. Neale,[3] who was then Dean of Westminster; and by him to the care of Mr. Ireland,[4] who was then Chief Master of that School; where the beauties of his pretty behaviour and wit shined, and became so eminent and lovely in this his innocent age, that he seemed to be marked out for piety, and to become the care of Heaven, and of a particular good angel to guard and guide him. And thus he continued in that School, till he came to be perfect in the learned languages, and especially in the Greek tongue, in which he after proved an excellent critic.

[Sidenote: At Cambridge]

About the age of fifteen–he being then a King’s Scholar–he was elected out of that School for Trinity College in Cambridge, to which place he was transplanted about the year 1608; and his prudent Mother, well knowing that he might easily lose or lessen that virtue and innocence, which her advice and example had planted in his mind, did therefore procure the generous and liberal Dr. Nevil,[5] who was then Dean of Canterbury, and Master of that College, to take him into his particular care, and provide him a tutor; which he did most gladly undertake, for he knew the excellencies of his mother, and how to value such a friendship.

This was the method of his education, till he was settled in Cambridge; where we will leave him in his study, till I have paid my promised account of his excellent mother; and I will endeavour to make it short.

[Sidenote: Lady Magdalen Herbert]

I have told her birth, her marriage, and the number of her children, and have given some short account of them. I shall next tell the Reader, that her husband died when our George was about the age of four years: I am next to tell, that she continued twelve years a widow; that she then married happily to a noble gentleman, the brother and heir of the Lord Danvers,[6] Earl of Danby, who did highly value both her person and the most excellent endowments of her mind.

[Sidenote: Her character]

[Sidenote: Dr. Donne]

In this time of her widowhood, she being desirous to give Edward, her eldest son, such advantages of learning, and other education, as might suit his birth and fortune, and thereby make him the more fit for the service of his country, did, at his being of a fit age, remove from Montgomery Castle with him, and some of her younger sons, to Oxford; and having entered Edward into Queen’s College, and provided him a fit tutor, she commended him to his care, yet she continued there with him, and still kept him in a moderate awe of herself, and so much under her own eye, as to see and converse with him daily: but she managed this power over him without any such rigid sourness as might make her company a torment to her child; but with such a sweetness and compliance with the recreations and pleasures of youth, as did incline him willingly to spend much of his time in the company of his dear and careful mother; which was to her great content: for she would often say, “That as our bodies take a nourishment suitable to the meat on which we feed; so our souls do as insensibly take in vice by the example or conversation with wicked company:” and would therefore as often say, “That ignorance of vice was the best preservation of virtue; and that the very knowledge of wickedness was as tinder to inflame and kindle sin and keep it burning.” For these reasons she endeared him to her own company, and continued with him in Oxford four years; in which time her great and harmless wit, her cheerful gravity, and her obliging behaviour, gained her an acquaintance and friendship with most of any eminent worth or learning, that were at that time in or near that University; and particularly with Mr. John Donne, who then came accidentally to that place, in this time of her being there. It was that John Donne who was after Dr. Donne, and Dean of St. Paul’s, London: and he, at his leaving Oxford, writ and left there, in verse, a character of the beauties of her body and mind: of the first he says,

No Spring nor Summer-beauty hath such grace As I have seen in an Autumnal face.

Of the latter he says,

In all her words to every hearer fit, You may at revels, or at council sit.

The rest of her character may be read in his printed poems, in that Elegy which bears the name of “The Autumnal Beauty.” For both he and she were then past the meridian of man’s life.

This amity, begun at this time and place, was not an amity that polluted their souls; but an amity made up of a chain of suitable inclinations and virtues; an amity like that of St. Chrysostom’s to his dear and virtuous Olympias; whom, in his letters, he calls his Saint: or an amity, indeed, more like that of St. Hierome to his Paula; whose affection to her was such, that he turned poet in his old age, and then made her epitaph: wishing all his body were turned into tongues, that he might declare her just praises to posterity. And this amity betwixt her and Mr. Donne was begun in a happy time for him, he being then near to the fortieth year of his age,–which was some years before he entered into Sacred Orders;–a time when his necessities needed a daily supply for the support of his wife, seven children, and a family. And in this time she proved one of his most bountiful benefactors; and he as grateful an acknowledger of it. You may take one testimony for what I have said of these two worthy persons, from this following Letter and Sonnet.

[Sidenote: Letter and Sonnet]


“Your favours to me are every where: I use them and have them. I enjoy them at London, and leave them there; and yet find them at Mitcham. Such riddles as these become things inexpressible; and such is your goodness. I was almost sorry to find your servant here this day; because I was loath to have any witness of my not coming home last night, and indeed of my coming this morning. But my not coming was excusable, because earnest business detained me; and my coming this day is by the example of your St. Mary Magdalen, who rose early upon Sunday to seek that which she loved most; and so did I. And, from her and myself, I return such thanks as are due to one, to whom we owe all the good opinion, that they, whom we need most, have of us. By this messenger, and on this good day, I commit the inclosed Holy Hymns and Sonnets–which for the matter, not the workmanship, have yet escaped the fire–to your judgment, and to your protection too, if you think them worthy of it; and I have appointed this inclosed Sonnet to usher them to your happy hand.

“Your unworthiest servant,
Unless your accepting him to be so have mended him, Jo. DONNE.

“Mitcham, July 11, 1607.”


Her of your name, whose fair inheritance Bethina was, and jointure Magdalo,
An active faith so highly did advance, That she once knew more than the Church did know, The Resurrection! so much good there is Delivered of her, that some Fathers be Loth to believe one woman could do this: But think these Magdalens were two or three. Increase their number, Lady, and their fame: To their devotion add your innocence:
Take so much of th’ example, as of the name; The latter half; and in some recompense That they did harbour Christ himself, a guest, Harbour these Hymns, to his dear name addrest. J.D.

These Hymns are now lost to us; but doubtless they were such as they two now sing in Heaven.

[Sidenote: Her Funeral Sermon]

There might be more demonstrations of the friendship, and the many sacred endearments betwixt these two excellent persons,–for I have many of their letters in my hand,–and much more might be said of her great prudence and piety: but my design was not to write her’s, but the life of her son; and therefore I shall only tell my Reader, that about that very day twenty years that this letter was dated, and sent her, I saw and heard this Mr. John Donne–who was then Dean of St. Paul’s–weep, and preach her Funeral Sermon, in the Parish Church of Chelsea, near London, where she now rests in her quiet grave: and where we must now leave her, and return to her son George, whom we left in his study in Cambridge. And in Cambridge we may find our George Herbert’s behaviour to be such, that we may conclude he consecrated the first-fruits of his early age to virtue, and a serious study of learning. And that he did so, this following Letter and Sonnet, which were, in the first year of his going to Cambridge, sent his dear Mother for a New-year’s gift, may appear to be some testimony.

[Sidenote: A Letter]

–“But I fear the heat of my late ague hath dried up those springs, by which scholars say the Muses use to take up their habitations. However, I need not their help to reprove the vanity of those many love-poems, that are daily writ, and consecrated to Venus; nor to bewail that so few are writ, that look towards God and Heaven. For my own part, my meaning–dear Mother–is, in these Sonnets, to declare my resolution to be, that my poor abilities in Poetry, shall be all and ever consecrated to God’s glory: and I beg you to receive this as one testimony.”

[Sidenote: and Sonnets]

My God, where is that ancient heat towards thee, Wherewith whole shoals of Martyrs once did burn, Besides their other flames? Doth Poetry Wear Venus’ livery? only serve her turn? Why are not Sonnets made of thee? and lays Upon thine altar burnt? Cannot thy love Heighten a spirit to sound out thy praise As well as any she? Cannot thy Dove
Outstrip their Cupid easily in flight? Or, since thy ways are deep, and still the same, Will not a verse run smooth that bears thy name? Why doth that fire, which by thy power and might Each breast does feel, no braver fuel choose Than that, which one day, worms may chance refuse? Sure, Lord, there is enough in thee to dry Oceans of ink; for as the Deluge did
Cover the Earth, so doth thy Majesty; Each cloud distils thy praise, and doth forbid Poets to turn it to another use.
Roses and lilies speak Thee; and to make A pair of cheeks of them, is thy abuse. Why should I women’s eyes for crystal take? Such poor invention burns in their low mind Whose fire is wild, and doth not upward go To praise, and on thee, Lord, some ink bestow. Open the bones, and you shall nothing find In the best face but filth; when, Lord, in Thee The beauty lies in the discovery.

This was his resolution at the sending this letter to his dear Mother, about which time he was in the seventeenth year of his age: and as he grew older, so he grew in learning, and more and more in favour both with God and man: insomuch that, in this morning of that short day of his life, he seemed to be marked out for virtue, and to become the care of Heaven; for God still kept his soul in so holy a frame, that he may, and ought to be a pattern of virtue to all posterity, and especially to his brethren of the Clergy, of which the Reader may expect a more exact account in what will follow.

[Sidenote: College honours]

I need not declare that he was a strict student, because, that he was so, there will be many testimonies in the future part of his life. I shall therefore only tell, that he was made Minor Fellow in the year 1609, Bachelor of Arts in the year 1611; Major Fellow of the College, March 15th, 1615: and that in that year he was also made Master of Arts, he being then in the 22nd year of his age; during all which time, all, or the greatest diversion from his study, was the practice of Music, in which he became a great master; and of which he would say, “That it did relieve his drooping spirits, compose his distracted thoughts, and raised his weary soul so far above earth, that it gave him an earnest of the joys of Heaven, before he possessed them.” And it may be noticed, that from his first entrance into the College, the generous Dr. Nevil was a cherisher of his studies, and such a lover of his person, his behaviour, and the excellent endowments of his mind, that he took him often into his own company; by which he confirmed his native gentleness: and if during his time he expressed any error, it was, that he kept himself too much retired, and at too great a distance with all his inferiors; and his clothes seemed to prove, that he put too great a value on his parts and parentage.

[Sidenote: Orator]

This may be some account of his disposition, and of the employment of his time till he was Master of Arts, which was anno 1615, and in the year 1619 he was chosen Orator for the University. His two precedent Orators were Sir Robert Naunton,[7] and Sir Francis Nethersole.[8] The first was not long after made Secretary of State, and Sir Francis, not very long after his being Orator, was made Secretary to the Lady Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia. In this place of Orator our George Herbert continued eight years; and managed it with as becoming and grave a gaiety, as any had ever before or since his time. For “he had acquired great learning, and was blessed with a high fancy, a civil and sharp wit; and with a natural elegance, both in his behaviour, his tongue, and his pen.” Of all which there might be very many particular evidences; but I will limit myself to the mention of but three.

[Sidenote: Letter to King James]

And the first notable occasion of shewing his fitness for this employment of Orator was manifested in a letter to King James, upon the occasion of his sending that University his book called “Basilicon Doron;”[9] and their Orator was to acknowledge this great honour, and return their gratitude to his Majesty for such a condescension; at the close of which letter he writ,

Quid Vaticanam Bodleianamque objicis, hospes! Unicus est nobis Bibliotheca Liber.

This letter was writ in such excellent Latin, was so full of conceits, and all the expressions so suited to the genius of the King, that he enquired the Orator’s name, and then asked William Earl of Pembroke, if he knew him? whose answer was, “That he knew him very well, and that he was his kinsman; but he loved him more for his learning and virtue, than for that he was of his name and family.” At which answer the King smiled, and asked the Earl leave that he might love him too, for he took him to be the jewel of that University.

[Sidenote: Andrew Melville]

[Sidenote: Herbert’s answers]

[Sidenote: Lady Arabella Stuart]

The next occasion he had and took to shew his great abilities, was, with them, to shew also his great affection to that Church in which he received his baptism, and of which he professed himself a member; and the occasion was this: There was one Andrew Melvin,[10] a Minister of the Scotch Church, and Rector of St. Andrew’s; who, by a long and constant converse with a discontented part of that Clergy which opposed Episcopacy, became at last to be a chief leader of that faction; and had proudly appeared to be so to King James, when he was but King of that nation, who, the second year after his Coronation in England, convened a part of the Bishops, and other learned Divines of his Church, to attend him at Hampton-Court, in order to a friendly conference with some dissenting brethren, both of this and the Church of Scotland: of which Scotch party Andrew Melvin was one; and he being a man of learning, and inclined to satirical poetry, had scattered many malicious, bitter verses against our Liturgy, our ceremonies, and our Church-government; which were by some of that party so magnified for the wit, that they were therefore brought into Westminster School, where Mr. George Herbert, then, and often after, made such answers to them, and such reflections on him and his Kirk, as might unbeguile any man that was not too deeply pre-engaged in such a quarrel.–But to return to Mr. Melvin at Hampton-Court Conference;[11] he there appeared to be a man of an unruly wit, of a strange confidence, of so furious a zeal, and of so ungoverned passions, that his insolence to the King, and others at this Conference, lost him both his Rectorship of St. Andrew’s and his liberty too; for his former verses, and his present reproaches there used against the Church and State, caused him to be committed prisoner to the Tower of London; where he remained very angry for three years. At which time of his commitment, he found the Lady Arabella[12] an innocent prisoner there; and he pleased himself much in sending, the next day after his commitment, these two verses to the good lady; which I will underwrite, because they may give the Reader a taste of his others, which were like these.

Causa tibi mecum est communis, carceris, Ara- Bella, tibi causa est, Araque sacra mihi.

I shall not trouble my Reader with an account of his enlargement from that prison, or his death; but tell him Mr. Herbert’s verses were thought so worthy to be preserved, that Dr. Duport,[13] the learned Dean of Peterborough, hath lately collected and caused many of them to be printed, as an honourable memorial of his friend Mr. George Herbert, and the cause he undertook.

[Sidenote: In favour with James]

And in order to my third and last observation of his great abilities, it will be needful to declare, that about this time King James came very often to hunt at Newmarket and Royston, and was almost as often invited to Cambridge, where his entertainment was comedies,[14] suited to his pleasant humour; and where Mr. George Herbert was to welcome him with gratulations, and the applauses of an Orator; which he always performed so well, that he still grew more into the King’s favour, insomuch that he had a particular appointment to attend his Majesty at Royston; where, after a discourse with him, his Majesty declared to his kinsman, the Earl of Pembroke, that he found the Orator’s learning and wisdom much above his age or wit. The year following, the King appointed to end his progress at Cambridge, and to stay there certain days; at which time he was attended by the great Secretary of Nature and all learning, Sir Francis Bacon, Lord Verulam, and by the ever-memorable and learned Dr. Andrews, Bishop of Winchester, both which did at that time begin a desired friendship with our Orator. Upon whom, the first put such a value on his judgment, that he usually desired his approbation before he would expose any of his books to be printed; and thought him so worthy of his friendship, that having translated many of the Prophet David’s Psalms into English verse, he made George Herbert his patron, by a public dedication of them to him, as the best judge of Divine Poetry. And for the learned Bishop, it is observable, that at that time there fell to be a modest debate betwixt them two about Predestination, and Sanctity of life; of both of which the Orator did, not long after, send the Bishop some safe and useful aphorisms, in a long letter, written in Greek; which letter was so remarkable for the language and reason of it, that, after the reading of it, the Bishop put it into his bosom, and did often shew it to many Scholars, both of this and foreign nations; but did always return it back to the place where he first lodged it, and continued it so near his heart till the last day of his life.

[Sidenote: His friends]

To this I might add the long and entire friendship betwixt him and Sir Henry Wotton, and Dr. Donne; but I have promised to contract myself, and shall therefore only add one testimony to what is also mentioned in the Life of Dr. Donne; namely, that a little before his death he caused many Seals to be made, and in them to be engraven the figure of Christ, crucified on an Anchor,–the emblem of Hope,–and of which Dr. Donne would often say, “_Crux mihi anchora_.”–These Seals he gave or sent to most of those friends on which he put a value: and, at Mr. Herbert’s death, these verses were found wrapt up with that seal, which was by the Doctor given to him;

When my dear friend could write no more, He gave this _Seal_ and so gave o’er.

When winds and waves rise highest I am sure, This _Anchor_ keeps my faith, that, me secure.

[Sidenote: His attainments]

At this time of being Orator, he had learned to understand the Italian, Spanish, and French tongues very perfectly: hoping, that as his predecessors, so he might in time attain the place of a Secretary of State, he being at that time very high in the King’s favour, and not meanly valued and loved by the most eminent and most powerful of the Court Nobility. This, and the love of a Court-conversation, mixed with a laudable ambition to be something more than he then was, drew him often from Cambridge, to attend the King wheresoever the Court was, who then gave him a sinecure, which fell into his Majesty’s disposal, I think, by the death of the Bishop of St. Asaph.[15] It was the same that Queen Elizabeth had formerly given to her favourite Sir Philip Sidney, and valued to be worth an hundred and twenty pounds per annum. With this, and his annuity, and the advantage of his College, and of his Oratorship, he enjoyed his genteel humour for clothes, and Court-like company, and seldom looked towards Cambridge, unless the King were there, but then he never failed; and, at other times, left the manage of his Orator’s place to his learned friend, Mr. Herbert Thorndike, who is now Prebend of Westminster.[16]

[Sidenote: His health]

I may not omit to tell, that he had often designed to leave the University, and decline all study, which he thought did impair his health; for he had a body apt to a consumption, and to fevers, and other infirmities, which he judged were increased by his studies; for he would often say, “He had too thoughtful a wit; a wit like a penknife in too narrow a sheath, too sharp for his body.” But his Mother would by no means allow him to leave the University, or to travel; and though he inclined very much to both, yet he would by no means satisfy his own desires at so dear a rate, as to prove an undutiful son to so affectionate a Mother; but did always submit to her wisdom. And what I have now said may partly appear in a copy of verses in his printed poems; ’tis one of those that bear the title of Affliction; and it appears to be a pious reflection on God’s providence, and some passages of his life, in which he says,

[Sidenote: “Affliction”]

Whereas my birth and spirit rather took The way that takes the town:
Thou didst betray me to a lingering book, And wrapt me in a gown:
I was entangled in a world of strife, Before I had the power to change my life.

Yet, for I threaten’d oft the siege to raise, Not simpering all mine age;
Thou often didst with academic praise Melt and dissolve my rage:
I took the sweeten’d pill, till I came where I could not go away, nor persevere.

Yet, lest perchance I should too happy be In my unhappiness,
Turning my purge to food, thou throwest me Into more sicknesses.
Thus dost thy power cross-bias me, not making Thine own gifts good, yet me from my ways taking.

Now I am here, what thou wilt do with me None of my books will show.
I read, and sigh, and wish I were a tree, For then sure I should grow
To fruit or shade, at least some bird would trust Her household with me, and I would be just.

Yet, though thou troublest me, I must be meek, In weakness must be stout,
Well, I will change my service, and go seek Some other master out;
Ah, my dear God! though I am clean forgot, Let me not love thee, if I love thee not.


[Sidenote: Retires into Kent]

In this time of Mr. Herbert’s attendance and expectation of some good occasion to remove from Cambridge to Court, God, in whom there is an unseen chain of causes, did in a short time put an end to the lives of two of his most obliging and most powerful friends, Lodowick Duke of Richmond, and James Marquis of Hamilton; and not long after him King James died also, and with them, all Mr. Herbert’s Court-hopes: so that he presently betook himself to a retreat from London, to a friend in Kent, where he lived very privately, and was such a lover of solitariness, as was judged to impair his health, more than his study had done. In this time of retirement, he had many conflicts with himself, whether he should return to the painted pleasures of a Court-life, or betake himself to a study of Divinity, and enter into Sacred Orders, to which his dear mother had often persuaded him. These were such conflicts, as they only can know, that have endured them; for ambitious desires, and the outward glory of this world, are not easily laid aside; but at last God inclined him to put on a resolution to serve at his altar.

[Sidenote: Holy Orders]

He did, at his return to London, acquaint a Court-friend with his resolution to enter into Sacred Orders, who persuaded him to alter it, as too mean an employment, and too much below his birth, and the excellent abilities and endowments of his mind. To whom he replied, “It hath been formerly judged that the domestic servants of the King of Heaven should be of the noblest families on earth. And though the iniquity of the late times have made clergymen meanly valued, and the sacred name of priest contemptible; yet I will labour to make it honourable, by consecrating all my learning, and all my poor abilities to advance the glory of that God that gave them; knowing that I can never do too much for him, that hath done so much for me, as to make me a Christian. And I will labour to be like my Saviour, by making humility lovely in the eyes of all men, and by following the merciful and meek example of my dear Jesus.”

[Sidenote: Layton Ecclesia]

This was then his resolution; and the God of constancy, who intended him for a great example of virtue, continued him in it, for within that year he was made Deacon, but the day when, or by whom, I cannot learn; but that he was about that time made Deacon, is most certain; for I find by the Records of Lincoln, that he was made Prebend of Layton Ecclesia, in the Diocese of Lincoln, July 15th, 1626, and that this Prebend was given him by John,[17] then Lord Bishop of that See. And now he had a fit occasion to shew that piety and bounty that was derived from his generous mother, and his other memorable ancestors, and the occasion was this.

[Sidenote: Church-building]

This Layton Ecclesia is a village near to Spalden, in the County of Huntingdon, and the greatest part of the Parish Church was fallen down, and that of it which stood was so decayed, so little, and so useless, that the parishioners could not meet to perform their duty to God in public prayer and praises; and thus it had been for almost twenty years, in which time there had been some faint endeavours for a public collection to enable the parishioners to rebuild it; but with no success, till Mr. Herbert undertook it; and he, by his own, and the contribution of many of his kindred, and other noble friends, undertook the re-edification of it; and made it so much his whole business, that he became restless till he saw it finished as it now stands; being for the workmanship, a costly Mossaic; for the form, an exact cross; and for the decency and beauty, I am assured, it is the most remarkable Parish Church that this nation affords. He lived to see it so wainscotted, as to be exceeded by none; and, by his order, the Reading pew and Pulpit were a little distant from each other, and both of an equal height; for he would often say, “They should neither have a precedency or priority of the other; but that prayer and preaching, being equally useful, might agree like brethren, and have an equal honour and estimation.”

Before I proceed farther, I must look back to the time of Mr. Herbert’s being made Prebend, and tell the Reader, that not long after, his Mother being informed of his intentions to rebuild that Church, and apprehending the great trouble and charge that he was like to draw upon himself, his relations and friends, before it could be finished, sent for him from London to Chelsea,–where she then dwelt,–and at his coming, said, “George, I sent for you, to persuade you to commit Simony, by giving your patron as good a gift as he has given to you; namely, that you give him back his prebend; for, George, it is not for your weak body, and empty purse, to undertake to build Churches.” Of which, he desired he might have a day’s time to consider, and then make her an answer. And at his return to her the next day, when he had first desired her blessing, and she given it him, his next request was, “That she would at the age of thirty-three years, allow him to become an undutiful son: for he had made a vow to God, that, if he were able, he would rebuild that Church.” And then shewed her such reasons for his resolution, that she presently subscribed to be one of his benefactors; and undertook to solicit William Earl of Pembroke to become another, who subscribed for fifty pounds; and not long after, by a witty and persuasive letter from Mr.