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pacy and sacrilege; and in England had a just occasion to declare his judgment concerning both, unto his brethren ministers of the Low Countries; which was excepted against by Theodore Beza and others; against whose exceptions he rejoined, and thereby became the happy author of many arned tracts writ in Latin, especially of three; one, of the “Degrees of Ministers,” and of the “ Bishops' superiority above the Presbytery;" a second, “ against Sacrilege;" and a third of “ Christian Obedience to Princes ;” the last being occasioned by Gretzerus the Jesuit.* And it is observable, that when, in a time of church-tumults, Beza gave his reasons to the Chancellor of Scotland for the abrogation of Episcopacy in that nation, partly by letters, and more fully in a treatise of a three-fold Episcopacy,—which he calls divine, human, and satanical,—this Dr. Saravia had, by the help of Bishop Whitgift, made such an early discovery of their intentions, that he had almost as soon answered that Treatise as it became public; and he therein discovered how Beza's opinion did contradict that of Calvin's and his adherents ; leaving them to interfere with themselves in point of Episcopacy. But of these tracts it will not concern me to say more, than that they were most of them dedicated to his, and the Church of England's watchful patron, John Whitgift, the Archbishop; and printed about the time in which Mr. Hooker also appeared first to the world, in the publication of his first four books of “ Ecclesiastical Polity.”
This friendship being sought for by this learned Doctor you may believe was not denied by Mr. Hooker, who was by fortune so like him, as to be engaged against Mr. Travers, Mr. Cart. wright, and others of their judgment, in a controversy too like Dr. Saravia's ; so that in this year of 1595, and in this place of Bourne, these two excellent persons began a holy friendship, increasing daily to so high and mutual affections, that their two wills seemed to be but one and the same ; and their designs both for the glory of God, and peace of the Church, still assisting and improving each other's virtues, and the desired comforts of a peaceable piety; which I have willingly mentioned, because it gives a foundation to some things that follow.
* A most learned Jesuit. He read theological lectures at Ingolstadt, where he died in 1625, aged 63 years. His works were published at Ratisbou, in 1734, in 13 vol. fol.
This Parsonage of Bourne is from Canterbury three miles, and near to the common road that leads from that City to Dover; in which Parsonage Mr. Hooker had not been twelve months, but his books, and the innocency and sanctity of his life became so remarkable, that many turned out of the road, and othersscholars especially-went purposely to see the man, whose life and learning were so much admired : and alas ! as our Saviour said of St. John Baptist, “What went they out to see ? a man clothed in purple and fine linen ?" No, indeed : but an obscure, harmless man ; a man in poor clothes, his loins usually girt in a coarse gown, or canonical coat; of a mean stature, and stooping, and yet more lowly in the thoughts of his soul ; his body worn out, not with age ; but study and holy mortifications; his face full of heat-pimples, begot by his unactivity and sedentary life. And to this true character of his person, let me add this of his disposition and behaviour: God and Nature blessed him with so blessed a bashfulness, that as in his younger days his pupils might easily look him out of countenance; so neither then, nor in his age, did he ever willingly look any man in the face: and was of so mild and humble a nature, that his poor Parish-Clerk and he did never talk but with both their hats on, or both off, at the same time: and to this may be added, that though he was not purblind, yet he was short or weak-sighted ; and where he fixed his eyes at the beginning of his sermon, there they continued till it was ended : and the Reader has a liberty to believe, that his modesty and dim sight were some of the reasons why he trusted Mrs Churchman to choose his wife.
This Parish-Clerk lived till the third or fourth year of the late Long Parliament; betwixt which time and Mr. Hooker's death there had
many to see the place of his arial, and the Monument dedicated to his memory by Sir William Cowper, who still lives; and the poor Clerk had many rewards for shewing Mr. Hooker's grave place, and his said Monument, and did always hear Mr. Hooker mentioned with commendations and reverence : to all which he added his own knowledge and observations of his humility and holiness; and in all which discourses the poor man
was still more confirmed in his opinion of Mr. Hooker's virtues and learning. But it so fell out, that about the said third or fourth year of the Long Parliament, the then present Parson of Bourne was sequestered,--you may guess why,—and a Genevan Minister put into his good living. This, and other like sequestrations, made the Clerk express himself in a wonder, and say, “ They had sequestered so many good men, that he doubted, if his good master Mr. Hooker had lived till now, they would have sequestered him too !"
It was not long before this intruding Minister had made a party in and about the said Parish, that were desirous to receive the Sacrament as in Geneva ; to which end, the day was appointed for a select company, and forms and stools set about the altar, or communion-table, for them to sit and eat and drink : but when they went about this work, there was a want of some joint-stools, which the Minister sent the Clerk to fetch, and then to fetch cushions,—but not to kneel upon.When the Clerk saw them begin to sit down, he began to wonder ; but the Minister bade him “ wondering, and lock the Church-door :” to whom he replied,
Pray take you the keys, and lock me out: I will never come more into this Church; for all men will say, my master Hooker was a good man, and a good scholar; and I am sure it was not used to be thus in his days:” and report says the old man went presently home and died; I do not say died immediately, but within a few days after.*
But let us leave this grateful Clerk in his quiet grave, and return to Mr. Hooker himself, continuing our observations of his Christian behaviour in this place, where he gave a holy valedic. tion to all the pleasures and allurements of earth; possessing his soul in a virtuous quietness, which he maintained by constant study, prayers, and meditations. His use was to preach once every Sunday, and he, or his Curate, to catechise after the sec.
* Our biographer has lamented that it was not in his power to recover the name of Mr. Hooker's worthy school-master. That of his grateful parishclerk was Sampson Horton. It appears from the parish-register of Bishop'sBourne, that “ Sampson Horton was buried the 9th of May 1648, an aged man who had been clarke to this parish, by his own relation, threescore yeares.
ond Lesson in the Evening Prayer. His sermons were neither long nor earnest, but uttered with a grave zeal, and an humble voice: his eyes always fixed on one place, to prevent imagination from wandering ; insomuch that he seemed to study as he spake. The design of his Sermons—as indeed of all his discourses-was to shew reasons for what he spake; and with these reasons such a kind of rhetoric, as did rather convince and persuade, than frighten men into piety ; studying not so much for matter, which he never wanted, -as for apt illustrations, to inform and teach his unlearned hearers by familiar examples, and then make them better by convincing applications; never labouring by hard words, and then by heedless distinctions and subdistinctions, to amuse his hearers, and get glory to himself; but glory only to God. Which intention, he would often say, was as discernible in a Preacher, “ as a natural from an artificial beauty."
He never failed the Sunday before every Ember-week to give notice of it to his parishioners, persuading them both to fast, and then to double their devotions for a learned and a pious Clergy, but especially the last ; saying often, “ That the life of a pious Clergyman was visible rhetoric; and so convincing, that the most godless men--though they would not deny themselves the enjoy. ment of their present lusts—did yet secretly wish themselves like those of the strictest lives.” And to what he persuaded others, he added his own example of fasting and prayer; and did usually every Ember-week take from the Parish-Clerk the key of the Church-door, into which place he retired every day, and locked himself up for many hours; and did the like most Fridays and other days of fasting.
He would by no means omit the customary time of Procession, persuading all, both rich and poor, if they desired the preservation of love, and their parish rights and liberties, to accompany him in his perambulation ; and most did so: in which perambulation he would usually express more pleasant discourse than at other times, and would then always drop some loving and facetious observations to be remembered against the next year, especially by the boys and young people; still inclining them, and all his present parishioners, to meekness, and mutual kindness and
love; because “ Love thinks not evil, but covers a multitude of infirmities.”
He was diligent to enquire who of his Parish were sick, or any ways distressed, and would often visit thern, unsent for; supposing that the fittest time to discover to them those errors, to which health and prosperity had blinded them. And having by pious reasons and
prayers moulded them into holy resolutions for the time to come, he would incline them to confession and bewail. ing their sins, with purpose to forsake them, and then to receive the Communion, both as a strengthening of those holy resolutions, and as a seal betwixt God and them of his mercies to their souls, in case that present sickness did put a period to their lives.
And as he was thus watchful and charitable to the sick, so he was as diligent to prevent law-suits ; still urging his parishioners and neighbours to bear with each other's infirmities, and live in love, because, as St. John says, “He that lives in love, lives in God; for God is love.” And to maintain this holy fire of love constantly burning on the altar of a pure heart, his advice was to watch and pray, and always keep themselves fit to receive the Communion, and then to receive it often ; for it was both a con. firming and strengthening of their graces. This was his advice ; and at his entrance or departure out of any house, he would usually speak to the whole family, and bless them by name; insomuch, that as he seemed in his youth to be taught of God, so he seemed in this place to teach his precepts as Enoch did, by walking with him in all holiness and humility, making each day a step towards a blessed eternity. And though, in this weak and declining age of the world, such examples are become barren, and almost incredible; yet let his memory be blessed with this true recordation, because he that praises Richard Hooker, praises God who hath given such gifts to men; and let this humble and affectionate relation of him become such a pattern, as may invite posterity to imitate these his virtues.
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 hum.