Page images

Jewel, Bishop of Salisbury, and Richard Hooker's patron, about twenty years previously, made his celebrated challenge, in which he openly promised that “if any learned man of all our (Roman) adversaries, or if all the learned men that be alive, be able to bring any one sufficient sentence out of any old catholic doctor, or father, or out of any old general council, or out of the holy scriptures of God, or any one example of the primitive church, whereby it may be clearly and plainly proved” that certain commonly-accounted Roman doctrines and practices, which he named, existed, " in the whole world at that time, for the space of six hundred years after Christ . . . he would give over and subscribe unto him.”1 The first public expression of joy on account of the dispersion and flight of the Spanish Armada took place, likewise, at St. Paul's Cross on August 20, 1588, that is, but seven years after the date of Richard Hooker's sermon; and on September 8 of the same year, several banners, taken from the Spaniards, were displayed there in sermontime. In the course of his sermon Hooker asserted, “ that in God there were two wills; ? an antecedent, and a consequent will : his first will, that all mankind should be saved; but his second will was, that those only should be saved, that did live answerable to that degree of grace which He had offered, or afforded them.”] This teaching was opposed to that of Calvin, and Hooker enlarged upon it in The Ecclesiastical Polity (V. 49) later.

1 The Works of John Jewel, Parker Soc., 1845. Vol. I. pp. 20, 21. The Copie of a Sermon pronounced by the Byshop of Salisburie at Paules Crosse the second Sondaye before Ester in the yere of our Lord 1560.

2 Vide Liturgies, etc., set forth in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, Parker Soc., 1847, p. 469.

He was attacked for his doctrine,2 but Bishop Aylmer defended him. This was but a foretaste of that which was to follow later.

It was customary for those who came to preach at St. Paul's Cross to be lodged, free of expense, for two days before and one day after the sermon, at the “Shunammite's house,” 3 which at the time of which we are speaking was kept by a retired draper, John Churchman by name.

To this house Hooker came, wet and 1 Walton's Life, p. 22.

2 " In this first public appearance to the world, he was not so happy as to be free from exceptions against a point of doctrine delivered in his sermon.”Ibid.

3 For the support of “this public pulpit, a considerable sum had accumulated, from gifts and bequests, amounting to the sum of 17701. besides rent charges of 441. 6s. 8d. Those sums were applied to the payment of the preachers, and the expences of their entertainment at the Shunamite's house ; who was a person that kept a kind of inn for their reception, by the appointment of the church. The priests were originally allowed 458. for a sermon; but the sum was afterwards reduced to 408. with four days' board and lodging at the Shunamite’s.” — Malcolm, Londinium Redivivium, III. 179.



[ocr errors]

weary after his journey from Oxford, and, moreover, so faint and fearful that he doubted if even after two days' rest and quietness he should be able to preach his sermon. But, thanks to the care and attention of Mrs. Churchman, he sufficiently recovered to perform the task. This incident eventually led to Hooker's marriage with her daughter, Joan. To quote Walton's quaint account of this extraordinary transaction _"the good man came to be persuaded by Mrs. Churchman, “that he was a man of a tender constitution;' and 'that it was best for him to have a wife, that might prove a nurse to him; such an one as might both prolong his life, and make it more comfortable; and such an one she could and would provide for him, if he thought fit to marry.' And he not considering that the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light;' but, like a true Nathanael, fearing no guile, because he meant none, did give her such a power as Eleazar was trusted with, (you may read it in the book of Genesis,) when he was sent to choose a wife for Isaac; for, even so he trusted her to choose for him, promising upon a fair summons to return to London, and accept of her choice; and he did so in that or about the year following. Now the wife provided for him, was her daughter Joan, who brought him





neither beauty. nor portion; and for her conditions, they were too like that wife's, which is by Solomon compared to “ a dripping house’;1

; so that the good man had no reason to rejoice in the wife of his youth,' but too just a cause to say with the holy Prophet, ‘Wo is me, that

, I am constrained to have my habitation in the tents of Kedar!'" 2

The marriage was apparently a mistaken and ill-assorted one, Hooker's error being attributed by Walton to his bashfulness and dimness of eyesight. We do not know from whom Walton derived his account of the strange affair, possibly from friends of Hooker who disliked his wife; and perhaps it should not be taken too seriously. That he made Joan, “his wellbeloved wife,” his sole executrix and residuary legatee, does not lend itself to the idea that he was thoroughly unhappy in his married life: at least, we trust that such was not the case.

Hooker resigned his fellowship on his marriage, and in 1584 was presented by John Cheny, the patron, to the benefice of Drayton Beauchamp, in Buckinghamshire, near to

1 “ The contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.”Prov. xix. 13.

? Walton's Life, p. 24.

Aylesbury and to Tring, then in the diocese of Lincoln. Here his former pupils George Cranmer and Edwin Sandys paid him a visit ; and, according to the account given by Isaac Walton, found him tending sheep in a field, and reading the odes of Horace. On being released from his charge, he took his friends home, though not allowed to enjoy their society in peace,

for Richard was called to rock the cradle: and, adds Walton, “the rest of their welcome was so like this, that they stayed but till the next morning, which was time enough to discover and pity their tutor's condition . . . And at their parting from him, Mr. Cranmer said, 'Good tutor, I am sorry your lot is fallen in no better ground as to your parsonage: and more


not a more comfortable companion after you have wearied yourself in your restless studies.' To whom the good man replied, My dear George, if saints have usually a double share in the miseries of this life, I that am none, ought not to repine at what my wise Creator hath appointed for me, but labour (as indeed I do daily) to submit mine to his will, and possess my soul in patience and peace.'” i


sorry that

[ocr errors]

1 Walton's Life, pp. 25, 26.

« PreviousContinue »