Page images

justly due to both men has been paid only too late: it is the honour paid, not by contemporaries, but by posterity, which their names enjoy. One generation stones the prophets, and another generation adorns their sepulchres. Both Richard Hooker and John Keble shared the glory of being prime movers in the initiation and guidance of great and farreaching reforms—the former, in opposing successfully the intrusion into the Church of England of the discipline and government which Calvin's masterfulness had made paramount at Geneva :' the latter, with equal if not greater success, in inaugurating the Oxford Movement which recalled the English Church to her true Catholic position and principles. It does one's heart good to give rein to a sense of gratitude to these two men for all we owe to them: and the more so because, comparatively speaking, they received so little recognition from their contemporaries in authority.” “ Blessed are the dead which die

[ocr errors]

1 " As far as there can be said to have been any leader at the beginning of the Oxford Movement, John Keble was the man.” -Wakeman, Introduction to the History of the Church of England, 4th ed., p. 465.

2 Who that has ever read can forget the extreme pathos or John Henry Newman's farewell to the blinded and misguided Church which so disastrously failed to recognize and use his brilliant gifts and loyal service.—“O my mother, whence is this unto thee, that thou hast good things poured upon thee and canst not keep them, and bearest children, yet darest not own them? Why hast thou not the skill to use their services nor the heart to rejoice in their love? How is it that whatever is generous in purpose and tender or deep in devotion, thy flower and thy promise, falls from thy bosom and finds no home within thine arms ?”–Newman's Sermons on Subjects of the Day, p. 460. What was true of John Henry Newman, was in degree true of John Wesley and Edward Bouverie Pusey, and many others of like mould.

in the Lord : even so saith the Spirit; for they rest from their labours, and their works do follow them.” 1

Fifty years after the publication of Mr. Keble's edition of Hooker's Works, the Very Rev. Richard William Church,2 Dean of St. Paul's, and the Rev. Francis Paget, Canon of Christ Church, and Regius Professor of Pastoral Theology in the University of Oxford, prepared a new edition, which was published by the Clarendon Press, Oxford, in the year 1887. This is the standard edition of The Works of Mr. Richard Hooker, and the most valuable modern authority. A further edition, the seventh edition of Hooker's Works, appeared under the direction of Dean Church and Canon Paget in 1888, with certain additions, improvements and slight corrections. Dr. Paget, now Bishop of Oxford, and the late Dean Church, have earned the gratitude of all interested in Hooker, by their most careful revision of John Keble's edition of his Life and Works. That three scholars of such a brilliant theological and literary reputation as John Keble, Dean Church, and Dr. Paget, have interested themselves in giving to the Anglican Communion these editions of Hooker's Works, is a sufficient guarantee of their extraordinary value, and permanent importance.

1 Rev. xiv. 13.

2 Previously, in the year 1868, R. W. Church prepared for the Clarendon Press Series an edition of Book I. of The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, with a preliminary appreciation of the writer of that work. This introduction to the study of Hooker is an exceedingly fine literary performance, and quite indispensable to all who desire to become acquainted with Hooker's great work.



RICHARD HOOKER, according to Isaac Walton, was born at Heavitree, near Exeter, in the year 1553 or thereabouts. There is some uncertainty as to the precise date of his birth. Mr. Keble, after careful inquiry, was unable to discover any mention of his name in the registers of Heavitree, or in those of Exeter Cathedral or the church of St. Mary Major in Exeter. But from certain entries in the President's register, at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, he was apparently born about Easter: according to the old division of the year this would be in the year 1553, if Hooker was born before March 25; but in the year 1554, if after that day. He died on November 2, 1600. His - life was thus practically cotemporary with the whole of the reigns of the two Queens, Mary and Elizabeth, and thus covers a most eventful period in the history of the English Church and nation.

1 Queen Mary reigned from July 6, 1553, to November 17, 1558: Queen Elizabeth reigned from November 17, 1558, to March 24, 1603.

The original family name was Vowell, but during the fifteenth century certain members of the family styled themselves Vowell alias Hooker or Hoker; whilst in the following century Hooker came to supplant the original name. Amongst Richard Hooker's forbears were two mayors of Exeter-John Hooker, his great grandfather, who died in 1493; and Robert Hooker, his grandfather, who died in 1537. It is said that his sister Elizabeth, who married one Harvey by name, died in 1663 at the great age of 121 years: it seems to have been from her mouth that Thomas Fuller, the author of Worthies of England, 1662, derived some very untrustworthy information concerning her distinguished brother, Richard.

Richard Hooker was educated at Exeter grammar school, where he made rapid progress in learning. The school-master, John Hooker, was his uncle, and he decided to do his utmost to provide his promising nephew with means to secure an university education. The Bishop of Salisbury at the time was the celebrated John Jewel, with whom it happened that Richard's uncle was intimate; and he responded to John Hooker's appeal to consider favourably the case of his nephew. Both Richard and his teacher were summoned to Salisbury, and Jewel was so greatly impressed by the lad's

« PreviousContinue »