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memory of those exciting Sundays, when there were almost as many writers as hearers in the Temple church, and the gravest Benchers were busy morning and afternoon taking notes of the discourses through which the Master and the Lecturer argued out their differences.
It may be well here to speak further of Hooker as a preacher, as described by his venerable biographer and others.
His sermons were uttered with a grave zeal, and an humble voice; his eyes always fixt on one place to prevent his imagination from wandering, insomuch that he seemed to study as he spake.”ı Bishop Gauden wrote of Hooker
1 “ dispensing the gospel in a still voice and silent gesture,” as opposed to “Stentorian noise and theatrick gesticulations.” 2 In his Worthies of England 3 Fuller playfully says: “Hooker may be said to have made good music with his fiddle and stick alone, without any rosin, having neither pronunciation nor gesture to grace his matter.” Again, in his Church History of Britain, the same writer has said : “ Mr. Hooker his voice was low, stature little, gesture none at all ... Where his eye was left fixed at the beginning, it was found fixed at the
1 Walton's Life, p. 79. A fuller quotation is given later. 2 Gauden's Life of Hooker, p. 36. 3 1662, p. 261.
4 ix. 216.
end of his sermon: in a word, the doctrine he delivered had nothing but itself to garnish it.” Few of Hooker's sermons are preserved.
In these descriptions of Richard Hooker as a preacher there is, in some particulars, a striking resemblance to that given by contemporaries of probably the most distinguished theologian and preacher the English Church has ever nurtured—the great and brilliant John Henry Newman. In a speech delivered by Mr. Gladstone, on Preaching, in the year 1877, he described the impressions left upon his mind by Dr. Newman's sermons about the year 1837, eight years before, to the lamentable loss of the English Church, he seceded. Mr. Gladstone said : “Dr. Newman, when I was an undergraduate at Oxford, was very much respected for his character and his known ability. He was then Vicar of St. Mary's at Oxford, and used to preach there. Without ostentation or effort, but by simple excellence, he was constantly drawing undergraduates more and more around him. Now, Dr. Newman's manner in the pulpit was one about which, if you considered it in its separate parts, you would arrive at very unsatisfactory conclusions. There was not very much change in the inflexion of the voice ; action there was none.
His sermons were
read, and his eyes were always bent on his book, and all that, you will say, is, against efficiency in preaching. Yes, but take the man as a whole, and there was a stamp and a seal upon him; there was a solemn sweetness and music in the tone; there was a completeness in the figure, taken together with the tone and with the manner, which made even his delivery, such as I have described it, and though exclusively from written sermons, singularly attractive."1 And the parallel does
” not end in the manner of the two great theologians and preachers, but is continued in the magnificence and rare splendour and purity of the English language, of which each was so perfect a master. Of Newman's sermons Dean Church wrote: “Plain, direct, unornamented, clothed in English that was only pure and lucid, free from faults of taste, strong in their flexibility and perfect command both of language and thought ....' It is not without interest in this connection to observe, that on the title-page of Newman's Parochial Sermons for the Festivals of the Church ; 3 one of his very finest productions,
2; i Cited in Cardinal Newman, the Story of his Life, by Jennings, Lond. 1882. 2nd ed., p. 14.
2 The Oxford Movement, Lond. 1891, p. 113.
3 This volume has been recently reprinted in The Oxford Sermon Library, Vol. I. Mowbrays, Oxford 1904, edited by the writer of this biography,
Newman quotes a characteristic passage from Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity, in appreciation of the usefulness of observing sacred times and holy days.
Several of Hooker's sermons are printed at the conclusion of the third volume of Dean Church's and Dr. Paget's edition of Hooker's Works.
1 “Well to celebrate these Religious and Sacred Days is to spend the flower of our time happily. They are the splendour and outward dignity of our religion, forcible witnesses of ancient truth, provocations to the exercise of all piety, shadows of our endless felicity in heaven, on earth everlasting records and memorials, wherein they which cannot be drawn to hearken unto that we teach, may, only by looking upon that we do, in a manner read whatsoever we believe." - Eccles. Pol., Bk. V. ch. lxxi. $ 11.
THE 'ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY' BEGUN—BOS
To a man of so peaceable a disposition as that of Richard Hooker, the storm of controversy which raged round the Temple was peculiarly oppressive. He had found himself forced into religious strife by the stress of circumstances beyond his control, and the situation was distasteful to him. Although, through the withdrawal of Travers, the dispute was subsiding, and the chief benchers gave him much respect and encouragement, nevertheless there were others, who had sided with his adversary, from whom he received many neglects and oppositions. It is not therefore surprising that he sought deliverance: and he found it in this wise. As a result of the Temple controversy,
1 For example, note the closing words of Hooker's final reply to Travers—"I do wish heartily . . . that no strife may ever be heard of again but this, who shall hate strife most, who shall pursue peace and unity with swiftest paces."-- Answer to Travers, Hooker's Works, Vol. III. p. 596.