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Occasion and Progress of the Ecclesiastical Polity.



“ difference,” he says, “ being undiscerned, hath not a little EDITOR'S “ obscured justice. It is no small perplexity which this one

thing hath bred in the minds of many, who beholding the “ laws which God himself hath given abrogated and disan“ nulled by human authority, imagine that justice is hereby “ conculcated; that men take upon them to be wiser than “ God himself; that unto their devices His ordinances are “ constrained to give place : which popular discourses, when “ they are polished with such art and cunning as some men's “ wits are well acquainted with, it is no hard matter with “ such tunes to enchant most religiously affected souls. The “ root of which error is a misconceit that all laws are positive “ which men establish, and all laws which God delivereth im“ mutable. No, it is not the author which maketh, but the “ matter whereon they are made, that causeth laws to be thus “ distinguished.” Such as are acquainted with the argument of the first three books of Ecclesiastical Polity, will perceive at once in the paragraph just cited the very rudiment and germ of that argument: which, occurring as it does in a sermon which must have been preached within a few months of the discourse on Justification, shews how his mind was then employed, how ripe and forward his plans were, and how accurate Walton's information concerning them.

Accordingly, the summer of 1586 may be fixed on as the time of his commencing the work : and after six years and more, i. e. on the 9th of March, 1592-3, the four first books were licensed to “John Windet 5, dwelling at the signe of the “ Crosse Keyes near Powle's Wharffe.” Most of the work was therefore composed in London, amidst the annoyance of controversy, and the interruption of constant preaching to such an audience as the Temple then furnished.

For it was only in July 1591, that he obtained what he had so long wished for, a quiet home in the country, viz. at Boscomb near Salisbury.

Four days after the entry at Stationers' Hall, the MS. was sent to Lord Burghley: and it is not unlikely that the delay which ensued in the printing was occasioned by him. For

5 Windet was one of the publishers him about this time publishing a work commonly employed by persons of of Dr. Bridges, and the tract called Hooker's way of thinking: we find Querimonia Ecclesiæ."


Aids to Hooker in completing his Treatise.


EDITOR'S the first edition bears date 1594. There is a MS. note of

Hooker's on a pamphlet called “the Christian Letter," &c.
(hereafter to be spoken of) which would lead to the supposition
that Burghley as well as Whitgift had seen and approved
the unpublished work. The writers or writer of the Letter,
having brought sundry doctrinal exceptions to the books of
the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, had appealed to the au-
thor, as to what he thought in his conscience would be the
sentence of bishops and divines, were his work, and two
others just then published?, to be authoritatively examined by
such and such persons, and compared with the formularies of
the Church. To this challenge part of Hooker's reply is,
“ The books you mention have been perused. They were seen
“and judged of before they came abroad to the open view of
“ the world. They were not published as yours is. As
“ learned as any this nation hath saw them and red them
“ before they came to your hands. And for any thing that I
could ever yet learn, the learneder they are that have given
“ sentence concerning the same, the farder they have differed
“ from this your virulent, uncharitable, and unconscionable
6 sentence.”

Besides Whitgift and Burghley, we know that Hooker availed himself of the judgment of his two friends, Cranmer and Sandys, (if they were within reach ;) and there is much reason to suppose that Dr. Reynolds also was consulted. With Saravia he was unacquainted, until he went into the neighbourhood of Canterbury10.

As for assistance in the way of books, there is every mark of his having been abundantly supplied during the preparation of his work. In several cases he quotes foreign productions, which from the dates of their publication could have been only just out of the press in time to be so cited. Every thing probably was sent to Whitgift: and his stores, it may be supposed, were placed at Hooker's command.

He observes a remarkable accuracy in citation, especially of the passages which he means to refute. Sometimes indeed

6 Page 44•

notes on B. vi.

9 B. vi. App. in vol. iii. 109, 112.

7 “Querimonia Ecclesiæ ;” and “ Bancroft's Dangerous Positions.”

8 See Life, App. p. 104 ; and vol. iii.

10 Life, p. 74.


Account of the original Edition.

vii he abridges, where Cartwright is unnecessarily verbose (a EDITOR'S fault against which that writer was not much on his guard): but there is not (as the Editor believes after minute examination) a single instance of unfair citation. That the reader may judge of this for himself, the rule of the present edition has been, scrupulously to point out all particulars in which the passages produced to be refuted, or otherwise in the way of argument, at all vary from their originals. We learn from a note of Sandys 11, on the sixth Book, that Hooker's “dis“ course had credit of sincerity in the former books especially

by means of setting down Mr. Cartwright's and W. T[ra“ vers]'s words in the margent wheresoever they were im“ pugned.” As an instance of his care we may observe, that the copy of the Christian Letter, on which his notes are made, has nearly all the errata, which are marked at the end, corrected in the body of the pamphlet by his own hand.

The Editio Princeps12 itself is a small folio, very closely, but clearly, and in general most accurately, printed. The present edition professes to be a reprint of it, except in some matters of punctuation, and in many of orthography. As to the former : amidst great general exactness (to which also the little remaining MS. bears witness) there occur sometimes whole pages in which almost all the smaller stops are omitted in a manner which could scarcely be intentional: and there the liberty has been taken of arranging them in the way which seems most agreeable to the author's general system of punctuation. Care however has been taken not unwarrantably to determine by this process the meaning of clauses, which might fairly be left ambiguous. However, both in this question and still more in that of spelling, the 11 Vol. iij. 136.

" that they did not appear till the year 12 The Editor takes this opportunity 1594. The fifth was published by of acknowledging his obligations to the “ itself in 1597, the printer being the Rev. Dr. Bliss, Registrar of the Uni


who executed the first part in versity of Oxford, for the use of a copy 1594. It is singular that neither of this rare volume, including also the “ Ames nor Herbert" (who notice the fifth Book, first edition, in correcting first part, Typograph. Antiq. vol. ii. p. the press : and also for the following 1230,)“knew any thing of the fifth note regarding the two. “ The four « book.

What they say of the four “ first books were, according to Maun « first, is quoted from Maunsel" (Ca. “ sel, printed in 1592-3. Walton bow talogue, part i. p. 59) "and the Sta. “ ever (and he is probably right) says

“ tioners' Register."



Hooker's Orthography, Punctuation, Citations. EDITOR'S Editor acknowledges that he should himself prefer an exact

reprint of the original, excepting of course palpable errors of the press. In one respect especially, i. e. as a specimen and monument of language, ancient books lose very much of their value by the neglect of ancient orthography. But this, it was feared, could not be remedied without making the work less fit for general use. All that remained was to take care that no word should be lost, added, or mistaken: and this it has been endeavoured to ensure by more than one exact collation.

In verifying the quotations, there has been occasional difficulty ; first, from their being very often no otherwise appropriated to a particular spot in the text, than as standing opposite to it in the margin, without any letter or mark of reference: a circumstance which has caused them to be misplaced in subsequent editions, not unfrequently by whole pages. The author seems to have become aware of the inconvenience before he published the fifth book; for in that, with few exceptions, letters of reference are inserted. It is remarkable amidst so much accuracy that the titles of books quoted should have been given in many cases so very erroneously and imperfectly, as to lead to the supposition that the press was not corrected by the author, nor by any scholar on his behalf. This has added considerably to the labour inseparable from the task of verifying quotations of that date, when “ Chrysostom saith,” “ Augustine saith,” or the like, was the received method of alleging the Fathers and Schoolmen. And in more cases than the present Editor could have wished, his endeavours to trace the quotation have as yet proved fruitless: a thing particularly to be regretted in such a writer as Hooker, much of whose argument depends on authority, and on the exact wording and context of passages produced. Where tracing the reference was not beyond his skill, the Editor has with few exceptions thought it right to insert the whole passage referred to in the notes: and in doing so, has been almost invariably impressed with admiration, not only at the depth and fulness of the writer's knowledge, but also at his fairness as well as skill in the conduct of his argument. It will be found of course, that in disputing with Romanists, he generally alleges by preference Roman catholic authorities; and with Puritans, the writings of the reformers of Zurich


Division into Sections. Publication of the Fifth Book. ix and Geneva. And in some cases, where his authorities at editoR'S first sight might be accounted but a gratuitous ostentation of learning, it may appear that they were severally representatives of so many classes or schools whose agreement in some common point it was of consequence to exhibit. An example may be seen in b. vii. c. xi. 8. note 81 : and another in b. i. c. viii. 3. note 80; where an array of quotations is produced in support of what appears at first sight a truism, but it will perhaps be found that the writers quoted are in fact, as has just been said, representatives of those systems in philosophy and theology which are most opposed to each other, and that it might be of use to shew them expressly assenting in common to that one principle of natural reason at least.

The greatest liberty taken with the text by the present Editor has been the breaking it up into numbered paragraphs and sections, and inserting, by way of running title, the chief topics of as many paragraphs as the space would conveniently receive. In doing this he is well aware that he has to a certain extent taken on himself the duties of a commentator. As such he has endeavoured to execute his task faithfully : but he cannot flatter himself that in long a work (the arrangement of which, in many places, is rather fine and subtle, than easy and prominent) he has always succeeded in drawing his partition-lines exactly, or in hitting and describing precisely the characteristic topic of each paragraph. However, it was but a choice of two evils: and it seemed better that critical students should occasionally have to correct such errors for themselves, than that popular readers should be altogether deterred by the wearisome uninviting form of the text.

3. These remarks apply as well to the second portion of the work as to the first. That second portion, containing the fifth book alone, came out, as is well known, in 1597, altogether in the same form as its predecessors. It seems to have excited great and immediate attention; one result of which was the appearance of a pamphlet often to be mentioned in the notes to the present edition, of which therefore in this place it is necessary to give some account. titled, “ A Christian Letter of certaine English Protestants, “ unfained favourers of the present state of Religion, author“ ised and professed in England : unto that Reverend and

It is en

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