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COPY OF A LETTER
WRITTEN TO MR. WALTON,
BY DR. KING, LORD BISHOP OF CHICHESTER.
Though a familiarity of forty years continuance, and the constant experience of your love, even in the worst times, be sufficient to endear our friendship; yet I must confess my affection much improved, not only by evidences of private respect to those very many that know and love you, but by your new demonstration of a public spirit, testified in a diligent, true, and useful collection, of
SO many material passages as you bave now afforded me in the life of venerable Mr. Hooker ; of which, since desired by such a friend as yourself, I shall not deny to give the testimony of what I know concerning him and his learned books; but shall first here take a fair occasion to tell you, that you have been happy in choosing to write the lives of three such persons, as posterity hath just cause to honour; which they will do the more for the true relation of, them by your bappy pen ; of all which I shall give you my unfeigned censure.
I shall begin with my most dear and incomparable friend, Dr. Donne, late dean of St. Paul's church, who not only trusted me as his executor, but three days before his death delivered into my hands those excellent sermons of his which are now made public; professing before Dr. Winniff, Dr. Montford, and I think yourself, then present at his bed-side, that it was by my restless importunity that he had prepared them for the press; together with which (as his best legacy) he gave me all his sermon-notes, and his other papers, containing an extract of near fifteen hundred authors. How these were got out of my hands, you, who were the messenger for them, and how lost both to me and yourself, is not now seasonable to complain ; but, since they did miscarry, I am glad that the general demonstration of his worth was so fairly preserved, and represented to the world by your pen in the history of his life ; indeed so well, that, beside others, the best critic of our later time (Mr. John Hales, of Eton-college) affirmed to me, he had not seen
a life written with more advantage to the subject, or more reputation to the writer, than that of Dr. Donne's.
After the performance of this task for Dr. Donne, you undertook the like office for our friend Sir Henry Wotton, betwixt which two there was a friendship begun in Oxford, continued in their various travels, and more confirmed in the religious friendship of age, and doubtless this excellent person had writ the life of Dr. Donne, if death had not prevented him: by which means, his and your precollections for that work fell to the happy manage
your pen: a work, which you would have declined if imperious persuasions had not been stronger than your modest resolutions against it. And I am thus far glad, that the first life was so imposed upon you, because it gave an unavoidable cause of writing the second : if not, it is too probable we had wanted both, which had been a prejudice to all lovers of honour and ingenious learning. And let me not leave my friend Sir Henry without this testimony added to yours, that he was a man of as florid a wit, and elegant a pen, as any former, or ours, which in that kind is a most excellent age, hath ever produced.
And now having made this voluntary observation of our two deceased friends, I proceed to satisfy your desire concerning what I know and believe of ihe ever-memorable Mr. Hooker, who was schismaticorum malleus, so great a champion for the church of England's rights, against the factious torrent of separatists that then ran high against church discipline, and in his unanswerable books continues still to be so against the unquiet discipline of their schism, which now under other names carry on their design; and who (as the proper heirs of their irrational zeal) would again rake into the scarce-closed wounds of a newly-bleeding state and church.
And first, though I dare not say I knew Mr. Hooker, yet, as our ecclesiastical history reports to the honour of Ignatius, that he lived in the time of St. John, and had seen him in his childhood ; so I also joy, that in my minority I have often seen Mr. Hooker, with my father, then lord bishop of London; from whom, and others at that time, I have heard most of the material passages which you relate in the history of his life ; and from my father received such a character of his learning, humility, and other virtues, that, like jewels of invaluable price, they still cast such a lustre as envy or the rust of time shall never darken. From my father I have also heard all the circumstances of the plot to defame him; and how Sir Edwin Sandys outwitted his accusers, and gain. ed their confession; and could give an account of each particular of that plot, but that I judge it fitter to be forgotten, and rot in the same grave with the malicious authors. I may not omit to declare, that my father's knowledge of Mr. Hooker was occasioned by the learned Dr. John Spencer, who after the death of Mr. Hooker was so careful to preserve his invaluable sixth, seventh, and eighth books of Ecclesiastical Polity, and his other writings, that he pro. cured Henry Jackson, then of Corpus Christi-college, to transcribe for him all Mr. Hooker's remaining written papers, many of which were imperfect; for his study had been rifled or worse used by Mr. Chark, and another of principles too like his: but as these papers were, they were endeavoured to be completed by his dear friend, Dr. Spencer, who bequeathed them as a precious legacy to my father; after whose death they rested in my hand, till Dr. Abbot, then archbishop of Canterbury, commanded them out of my custody, authorizing Dr. John Barkham (his Lordship’s chaplain) to require and bring them to him to Lambeth; at which time I have heard they were put into the Bishop's library, and that they remained there till the martyrdom of Archbishop Laud, and were then by the brethren of that faction given with the library to Hugh Peters, as a reward for his remarkable service in those sad times of the church's confusion : and though they could hardly fall into a fouler hand, yet there wanted not other endeavours to corrupt and make them speak that language for which the faction then fought; which was, to subject the sovereign power to the people. I need not strive to vindicate Mr. Hooker in this particular; his known loyalty to his prince whilst he lived, the sorrow expressed by King James for his death; the value our late sovereign (of ever-blessed memory) put upon his works, and now the singular character of his worth given by you in the passages of his life (especially in your Appendix to it), do sufficiently clear him from that imputation : and I am glad you mention how much value Robert Stapleton, Pope Clement the Eighth, and other eminent men of the Romish persuasion, have put upon bis books, having been told the same in my youth by persons of worth that have travelled Italy. Lastly, I must again congratulate this undertaking of your's, as now more proper to you
other person, by reason of your long knowledge and alliance to the worthy family of the Cranmers (my old friends also), who have been men of noted wisdom, especially Mr. George Cranmer, whose prudence, added to that of Sir Edwin Sandys, proved very useful in the completing of Mr. Hooker's matchless books; one of their letters I herewith send you to make use of, if you think fit. And let me say farther, you merit much from many of Mr. Hooker's best friends then living; namely, from the ever-renowned Archbishop Whitgift, of whose incomparable worth, with the character of the times, you have given us a more short and significant account than I have re. ceived from
You have done much for Sir Henry Savile, his contemporary and familiar friend; amongst the surviving monuments of whose learning (give me leave to tell you so) two are omitted ; his edition of Euclid; but especially his translation of King James's Apology for the Oath of Allegiance, into elegant Latin : which flying in that dress as far as Rome, was by the Pope and conclave sent unto Franciscus Suares to Salamanca (he then residing there as president of that college), with a command to answer it. When he had perfected the work (which he calls Defensio Fidei Catholicæ), it was transmitted to Rome for a view of the inquisitors ; who, according to their custom, blotted out what they pleased, and (as Mr. Hooker hath been used since his death) added whatsoever might advance the Pope's supremacy, or carry on their own interest, commonly coupling together deponere et occidere, the deposing and killing of princes; which cruel and unchristian language Mr. John Saltkell (his amanuensis, when he wrote at Salamanca; but since a convert, living long in my father's house) often professed the good old man (whose piety and charity Mr. Saltkell magnified much) not only disavowed but detested. Not to trouble you farther, your reader (if, according to your desire, my approba. tion of your work carries any weight) will find many just reasons to thank
any other pen.
you and for this circumstance here mentioned (not known to many) may happily apprehend one to thank him, who is,
Your ever faithful and affectionate old friend,
HENRY CHICHESTER. Chichester, Nov. 12, 16.
L I F E
MR. RICHARD HOOKER.
I have been persuaded by a friend, that I ought to obey, to write the life of Richard Hooker, the happy Author of five (if not more) of the eight learned books of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity. And though I have undertaken it, yet it hath been with some unwillingness, foreseeing that it must prove to me, and especially at this time of my age, a work of much labour to inquire, consider, research, and determine, what is needful to be knowo concerning him. For I knew him not in his life, and must therefore not only look back to his death (now sixty-four years past), but almost fifty years beyond that, even to his childhood and youth, and gather thence such observations and prognostics, as may at least adorn, if not prove necessary for the completing of, what I have undertaken.
This trouble I foresee, and foresee also that it is impossible to escape censures; against which I will not hope my well-meaning and diligence can protect me (for I consider the age in which I live), and shall therefore but entreat of my reader a suspension of them, till I have made known unto him some reasons, which I myself would now fain. believe, do make me in some measure fit for this under. taking: and if these reasons shall not acquit me from all censures, they may at least abate of their severity; and this is all I can probably hope for.
My reasons follow.
About forty years past (for I am now in the seventieth of my age) I began a happy affinity with William Cranmer (now with God), grand nephew unto the great Archbishop of that name; a family of noted prudence and resolution : with him and two of his sisters I had an entire and free friendship: one of them was the wife of Dr. Spencer, a bosom-friend, and sometime com-pupil with Mr. Hooker, in Corpus Christi-college, in Oxford, and after president of the same I name them here, for that I shall have occasion to mention them in this following discourse; as also their brother, of whose useful abilities my reader may have a more authentic testi