Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

THE Works of Mr. Hooker, exclusive of the Books of Ecclesiastical Polity, the different editions of which are enumerated in a subsequent page, 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. ïi. 4. Oxon. 161 2.” * 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 EPISTLES. Epift. Jude, ver. 17, 18, 19, 20, 21. Oxon. 1613.”.4to.

These Sermons were originally published by Mr. Henry Jackson, with“ Wickliff's Wicket," and afterward reprinted without that tract. What reception they met with from the public we learn from one of his letters preserved in Fulman's papers in the library of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. “ Edidi ante paucos dies tractatus quofdam D. Richardi Hookeri, qui omnium Applaufu, excipio Puritanos ut vocant, ita excepti sunt, ut necesse jam sit typographo noftro novam Editionem parare, quæ primâ illâ emendatior meâ curâ, deo volente, prostitura est. Cum itaque prodierit, expecta bina exemplaria una cum Wiclefi-Tractatų, quem edidi eodem Tempore.”

VIII. 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 EPISCOPALL GOVERNMENT of CHRIST'S CHURCH is vindicated,” out of therude 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.” X X:2

This 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. Many circumstances contributed to excite a suspicion, that an attempt would be made to fuppress or destroy his manuscripts. This appears from a Letter written by Dr. Launcelot Andrews, who was then Master of Pembroke Hall in Cambridge, to Dr. Parry.

IX. 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 EXEMPT 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."

In “ Fulman's Manuscript History of Corpus Christi College, Oxford,” the time and birth of Mr. Hooker, with some other particulars relative to him, are ascertained.

« Richardus Hooker apud Heavy-tree juxta Civitatem Exoniam natus est circa finem Martii Mensis, Anno 1554 ineunte.”

“ He was admitted Scholar of C. C. C. Dec. 24, 1573, being twenty years old the Eafter following; and admitted Probationer, Sept. 16, 1577, being 23 years old the Easter preceding."

* See page 506 of this work.

OF THE AUTHENTICITY OF

The three laft Books of ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY.

THE writings of the learned and judicious Mr. Richard Hooker have so deservedly ob

1 tained the character of fupcrior exceilency, that it becomes a matter of no little contequence to distinguish his genuine works from any suppofitious productions that have appeared in his name. Of the authenticity of the three lait Books of Ecclefiaftical Polity, much doubt. has been entertained. As I am not inclined to hope that it is in my power to throw new light upon the subject, I shall merely suggest some few observations that obvioully occur on a plain representation of the case.

The four first books of this celebrated work were first printed in 1594, and the fifth in 1597. While they were admired and applauded by wise and good men both at home and abroad, they gave great offence to that numerous band of puritanical writers, whose unremitting zcal, in opposing our ecclefiaftical establishment, uniformly displayed itself on all occasions. In fact this performance of Mr. Hooker foon engaged the attention of those writers. They treated him with much asperity in a tract entitled " A Christian Letter of certain English Protestants, unfained Favourers of the present State of Religion, authorised and profefled in England, unto that reverend and learned man Mr. R. HOO. requiring resolution in certaine matters of doctrine (which seeme to overthrow the foundation of Christian Rcligion, and of the Church among us) expresslie contained in his five books of Ecclefiafticall Policie. 1599.” This tract is said to have given that wound to Mr. Hooker, “ that it was not the least cause to procure his death.” But, “it was far otherwise,” according to Dr. Covel", who, withi equal modefty and learning, has discussed all the positions advanced in the Cloristian Letler; .“ for he contemned it in his wisdom; and yet in his humilitie would have answered it, if he “ had lived.”

It cannot be denied that Mr. Hooker completed eight books. The accomplishment of this work was the wish nearest to his heart. He had formed in his vastly comprehensive mind a noble and magnificent plan. Having lived to see that plan perfected, he died with complacency and contentment..

Many

. See “ A Just and Temperate Defence of the Five Books of Ecclesiastical Policie, written by Mr. Richard Hooker, against an uncharitable Letter of certain English Protestants (as they tearme theinselves), craving Resolution, &c. Written by William Covel, Doctor in Divinitie. London, 1603."

Of this circumstance Dr. Gauden seems not to be apprised. He tells us that they were esteemed abore tives, with such lineamients of their father's virtue and vigour in them, that they may be easily and justly owned for genuine, although perhaps they had not the last politure of their parent's head: Their strength News them to be a legitimate progeny, however they may seem to want something of that beauty and luttre which always attended Mr. Hooker's consummation.” (Dr. Gauden's Life, &c. of Mr. Richard Hooker, p. 14.)

[ocr errors]

"SALUTEM IN CHRISTO, .“I cannot choose but write though you do not: I never failed since I last saw you, but 66 dayly prayed for him till this very inftant you sent this heavie news. I have hitherto prayed, ferva nobis bune : now must I, da nobis alium. Alas for our greate loss! And when I say “ours, though I meane -yours and myne, yet much more the common : with the lofle since 6 they have of so greate a damage, the more fad wee neede to bewayle them and ourselves, « who knowe his workes and his worth to be such, as behind him he hath not (that I knowe) “ left anie neere him. And whether I shall live to knowe anie neere him, I am in greate “ doubt, that I care not how manie and myself had redeemed his longer life to have done “ good in a better subject than he had in hand, though that were very good. Good brother, " have a care to deal with his executrix or executor, or (him that is like to have a greate w itroke in it). his father in lawe, that there be special care and regard for preserving such “ papers as he left, besides the three last books expected. By preserving I meane; that not « only they be not-embezelled, and come to nothing, but that they come not into greate “ hands, whoe will only have use of them quatenus et quousque, and supprefle the rest, or un“ happily all : but rather into the hands of some of them that unfeinedly. wished him well, “ though of the meaner sort; who may upon good assurance (very good assurance) be trusted “ with them ; for it is pitie they should admit anie limitation. Do this, and do it mature: “ it had bin more than time long since to have bin about it, if I had sooner knowne it. If “ my word or letter would doe anie good to Mr. Churchman, it should not want. But what “cannot yourself or Mr. Sandys doe therein ? For Mr. Cranmer is away; happie in that he « shall gaine a weeke or two before he knowe of it. - Almightie God comfort-us over him! “ whose taking away I trust I fall no longer live, then with grief. I remember; therefore with “ grief, becausewith inward and most just honour I ever honoured him fince I knew him.

" Your assured

." Poore loving Friend, At the Couit, 7 Nort, 1600.

..“ L. ANDREWES.

We learn from the Latin epitaph inscribed on the monument which was erected in 1631, to the memory of Mr. Hooker, above thirty years after his death, that the suspicion was not groundless, and that three books were actually wanting. “ Scripfit, octo Libros Politiæ Ecclefiafticæ Anglicanæ, quorum tres desiderantur."

Within From a MS. in the Bodleian Library, and inserted in the Oxford edition of Mr. Hooker's works. Dr. Henry Parry, to whom this letter seenis to have been addressed, was educated in Corpus Christi College, Oxford. In 1607, be was appointed Billiop of Gloucefter, and in 1610, Bishop of Worcester. He was reputed by all of his cinic, an able divine, well read in the Fathers, a thorough-paced disputant, and so eloquent a preacher, that King James 1. “ who did ken a man of merit as well as any prince in Christendom," always midfessed he feldom heard a better. See" Wood's Ath. Ox,” Vol. I. col. 416."

Within four years after the death of this venerable man, the most strict and diligent inquiry was made after them without success. Anthony Wood announces the publication of all the eight books, with certain tractates and sermons, so early as in 1617. The titlepage of the edition of that year, on which he establishes his opinion, utters a glaring falsehood; the volume containing only five books, as well in this edition of 1617, as in the subsequent ones of 1621 and 1631. The compilers of “The General Dictionary,” and of “ The Biographia Britannica," relying on the authority of Wood, have fallen into the same error. Without condescending to examine the contents of the volume, they very injuriously charge Dr. Gauden with ignorance or confidence, when he insinuates that the Seventh Book was first . published in 1662..

The Sixth and Eight Books were printed at London in 1648, 4to, under the title of “ The Lawes of Ecclesiasticall Politie, the Sixth and Eight Books : By Richard Hooker. A work long expected, and now published according to the most authentique copies.” In this edition it is afferted that they were compared with five copies extant, in different libraries; in the Bodleian Library, in that at Lambeth, and in those of Bishop Andrews, Archbishop Uther, and Lord Edward Conway. With regard to the degree of credit due to these copies, a profound silence is observed.

Fourteen years after, namely in 1662, the Seventh Book (touching Episcopacy, or the Primitive, Catholick, and Apostolick Government of the Church) said to be completed out of his own manuscripts, was published by Dr. Gauden, then Bishop of Exeter, along with Mr. Hooker's other worksd.

It seems reasonable to expect that the fullest and most convincing proofs should have beert adduced to substantiate these books as authentic. A cautious editor, when he presents to the public light a choice and precious manuscript, that had' long been buried in obfcurity, will not content himself with mere afiertions: He will endeavour to inform his readers when and where it was discovered: "He will endeavour to establish its authority with all poulible precision, so as to banish every doubt concerning its genuineness.“. On the present occasion nothing of this kind has been attempted. When asseverations are urged without any attendant arguments to confirm their validity, the mind is left to fluctuate in uncertainty and per- . plexedness. It is declared by Dr. Gauden, that "s these three last books were never finished." The truth of this declaration is expressly contradicted, both by the above cited epitaph, and .. by Isaac Walton's narrative. ·

It is added, that “they had been for many ages suppreifed." Was it not, therefore, highly requisite to advance fome evidence of their originality after this long suppression; to ascertain the place where they had eluded all inquiry; to instruct us by what means they were brought from their dark abode? A treasure so inestimable, a deposit so dear to every good man, . would surely have been preserved with the utmost fidelity and caution; and, when ushered

into :

a Dr. Gauden published " Hooker's Works," in 1662, fol. A second edition, with “ The Life of Mr. Hooker, by Isaac Walton," appeared in 1666. fol. A third in 1676. 10l. A fourth in 1682. fol. A fifth in 1723, fol. And a sixth in 1793, printed at Oxford in three volumes, 8vo. .

...

• See" Dr. Gauden's Life, &c. of Mr. Richard Hooker,”..

« AnteriorContinuar »