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The works of that learned and judicious divine Mr. Richard Hooker, containing eight books of the laws of ecclesiastical polity, and several other treatises : To which is prefixed the life of the author, by Isaac Walton. To this edition is subjoined a new index to the whole (Volume 3) online

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Online LibraryUnknownThe works of that learned and judicious divine Mr. Richard Hooker, containing eight books of the laws of ecclesiastical polity, and several other treatises : To which is prefixed the life of the author, by Isaac Walton. To this edition is subjoined a new index to the whole (Volume 3) → online text (page 20 of 51)
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we were all fuch as we fhould be, willing to do the
things we ought to do without conftraint. But, be-
caufe generally we are otherwife, therefore we all
Q^ 2 reap



228 ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY.

BOOK reap fingular benefit by that authority which per-
^^''' mitteth no Men, though they would, to flack their
duty. It doth not luffice, that the Lord of an
Houfhold appoint Labourers what they Ihould do,
unlefs he fet over them fomc chief Workman to fee
they do it» Conflirutions and Canons made for the
ordering of Church affairs are dead Taflc-mafters.
The due execution of Laws Spiritual dependeth moft
upon the vigilant care of the chiefeft Spiritual Go-
vernors, whofe charge is to fee that fuch Laws be
kept by the Clergy and People under them : with
thofe Duties which the Law of God and the Eccle-
fiaftical Canons require in the Clergy, Lay-Gover-
nors are neither for the moft part fo well acquaint-
ed, nor fo deeply and nearly touched. Requifite
therefore it is, that Ecclefiaftical Ferfons have au-
thority in fuch things ; which kind of authority
maketh them that have it Prelates. If then it be a
thing confeft, as by all good Men it needs muft be,
to have Prayers read in all Churches, to have the
Sacraments of God adminiftered, to have the Myf-
terifs of Salvation painfully taught, to have God every
where devoutly worfhipped, and all this perpetually,
and with quietnefs, bringeth unto the whole Church,
and unto every Member thereof, ineftimable good ;
how can that Authority, which hath been proved
the Ordinance of God for prefervation of thefe duties
in the Church, how can it choofe but deferve to be
held a thing publickly moft beneficial ? It were to
be wiflied, and is to be laboured for, as much as can
be, that they who are fet in fuch rooms may be
furnifhed with honourable qualities and graces every
way fit for their calling. But, be they otherwife,
howlbever fo long as they are in authority, all Men
reap fome good by them, albeit not fo much good
as if they were abler Men. There is not any
amongft us all, but is a great deal more apt to exadt
arK;ther Man's duty, than the beft of us is to dif-
ci.arge exadly his own -, and therefore Prelates, al-
though



ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY. 229

though negleding many ways their duty unto GodB o o k
and Men, do notwichftanding by their authority ^^^'
great good, in that they keep others at the leaftwife
in fome awe under them.

It is our duty therefore in this confideration, to
honour them that rule as Prelates, which Office if
they difcharge well, the Apod) e's own verdidl is, 1 Tim. v.
that the Honour they have they be worthy of, yea, *7-
though it were double. And if their Government
be otherwife, the judgment of fage Men hath ever
been this, that albeit the dealings of Governors be
culpable, yet honourable they muft be, in refpedt
of that authority by which they govern. Great
caution mull be ufed that we neither be emboldened
to follow them in evil, whom for authority's fake
we honour, nor induced in authority to difhonour
them, whom as examples we may not follow. In a
word, not to diflike fin, though it (hould be in the
higheft, were unrighteous meeknefs, and proud
righteoufnefs it is to contemn or dilhonour highnefs,
though it ihould be in the fmfulleft Men that live.
But fo hard it is to obtain at our hands, efpecially
as now things (land, the yielding of Honour to
whom Honour in this cafe belongeth, that by a brief
declaration only what the duties of Men are towards
the principal Guides and Paftors of their Souls, we Rom. xiii.
cannot greatly hope to prevail, partly for the malice 7*
of their open Adverfaries, and partly for the cun-
ning of fuch as in a facrilegious intent work their
dilhonour under covert, by more myftical and fecrec
means. Wherefore requiilte, and in a manner ne-
cefTary it is, that by particular inilances we make it
even palpably manifeft what fingular benefit and
publick ufe the nature of Prelates is apt to yield.

Firft, no Man doubteth, but that unto the happy
condition of Commonweals it is a principal help and
furtherance, when in the eye of foreign States their
cflimation and credit is great. In which refpedt,
the Lord himfelf commending his own Laws unto .

0^3 his



J4



230 ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY.

BOOK his People, mentioneth this as a thing not meanly

^^^- to be accounted of, that their careful obedience

yielded thereunto fliould purchafe them a great good

opinion abroad, and make them every where fa-

Dcut.iv. 6. mous for wifdom. Fame and reputation grow efpe-
cially by the virtue, not of common ordinary Per-
fons, but of them which are in each eftate moft
eminent by occafion of their higher place and calling.
The mean Man's adiions, be they good or evil, they
reach not far, they are not greatly enquired into,
except perhaps by fuch as dwell at the next door -,
whereas Men of more ample dignity are as cities on
the tops of hills, their lives are viewed afar off; fo

Matth. V. ti^ai; i\^Q more there are which obferve aloof what
they do, the greater glory by their well-doing they
purchafe both unto God whom they ferve, and to
the State wherein they live. Wherefore if the Clergy
be a beautifying unto the body of this Common-
weal in the eyes of foreign beholders, and if in the
Clergy the Prelacy be moft expofcd unto the World's
eye, what publick benefit doth grow from that Order
in regard of reputation thereby gotten to the Land
from abroad, we may foon conjedure. Amongft the
Jews (their Kings excepted) who fo renowned
throughout the World as their High-Prieft ? who
fo much or fo often fpoke of as their Prelates ?

2. Which Order is not for the prefent only the
moft in fight, but for that very caule alfo the moft
commended unto Pofl:erity. For if we fearch thofe
Records wherein there hath defcended from age to
age whatfoever notice and intelligence we have of
thofe things which were before us, is there any thing
almoft eile, furely not any thing fo much kept in
memo'y as the fucceffions, doings, fufferings, and
affairs of Prelates. So that either there is not any
publick ufe of that light which the Church doth
receive f^;m Antiquity, or if this be abfurd to think,
then muft we neceifarily acknowledge ourfelves be-
holden more unto Prelates than unto others their In-

feriors^



ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY. 231

feriors, for that good ofdiredion which Ecclefiaftical book
adtions recorded do always bring. ^^'' ,

3. But to call home our cogitations, and more
inwardly to weigh with ourfelves, what principal
commodity that Order yieldeth, or at leailwife is of
its own difpofition and nature apt to yield ; Kings
and Princes, partly for information of their own
confciences, partly for inftrudtion what th<-y have
to do in a number of moft weig'ity affairs, entangled
with the caufe of Religion, having, as all Men know,
fo ufual occafion of often confultations and confer-
ences with their Clergy 3 fuppofe we, that no pub-
lick detriment would follow upon the want of
honourable Perfonages Ecclefiaftical to be ufed Mn
thofe cafes ? It will be haply faid, That the highefi
might learn to ftoopy and not to difdain the advice of
Jome circum^pe5l^ wife, and virtuous Minifter of God,
albeit the Mtnijlry were not byjuch degrees diflingui/bed.
What Princes in that cafe might or fl:iould do, it is
not maierial. Such difference being prefuppofed
therefrjre, as v/e have proved already to have been
the Ordinance of God, there is no judicious Man
will ever make any queftion or doubr, but that fit
and diredt it is for the highefi: and chiefeft Order in
God's Clergy to be employed before others about fo
near and neceffary offices as the facred eftate of
the greateft on Earth duth require. For this caufe
Jofhua had Eliazer ; David, Abiaihar; Confiiantine,
Hofius Bifhop of Corduba; other Emperors and
Kings the'r Prelates, by whom in private (for with
Princes this is the moft efFed:ual way of doing good)
to be admonifhed, counfelled, comtorted, and, if
need were, reproved.

Whenfoever fovereign Rulers are willing to admit
thefe fo necefTary private conferences for their fpi-
ritual and ghoftly good, inafmuch as they do for the
time, while they take advice, grant a kind of iu-
periority unto them of whom they receive it, albeit
haply they can be contented even fo far to bend to ,

0^4 the



232 ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY.

BOOK the graved and chiefeft Perfons in the order of God's
,^^2Z!l, Clergy, yet this of the very beft being rarely and
hardly obtained, now that there are whofe greater
and higher callings do fomtwhat more proportion
them unto that ample conceit and fpirit wherewith
the minds of fo powerable Perfons are poflefled;
what flioLild we look for in cafe God himfelf not
authorizing any by miraculous means, as of old he
did his Prophets, the equal meannefs of all did
leave, in relpedl of calling, no more place of de-
cency for one than for another to be admitted ? Let
unexperienced wits imagine what pleafeth them, in
having to deal with fo great Perfonages thefe per-
fonal differences are fo necelTary, that there muft be
regard had of them.

4. Kingdoms being principally (next unto God's
Almighcinefs, and the fovereignty of the higheft
under God) upheld by Wifdom and by Valour, as
* by the chiefeft human means to caufe continuance in
fafety with honour (for the labours of them who
attend the fervice of God, we reckon as means Di-
vine, to procure our protedlion from Heaven) j from
hence it rifeth, that Men excelling in either of thefe,
or defcending from fuch, as for excellency either
way have been ennobled, or pofTeffing howfofver the
rooms of fuch as fhould be in politick Wifdom, or
in martial Prowefs eminent, are had in fingular re-
commendation. Notwithftanding, becaufe they are
by the (late of Nobility great, but not thereby made
inclinable to good things, fuch they oftentimes prove
even under the beft Princes, as under David certain
of the Jewifh Nobility were. In polity and council
the World had not AchitopheFs equal, nor Hell his
equal in deadly malice. Joab the General of the
Hoft of Ifrael, valiant, induftrious, fortunate in
war, but withal headftrong, cruel, treacherous, void
of piety towards God ; in a word, fo conditioned,
that eafy it is not to define, whether it were for David
harder to mifs the benefit of his warlike ability, or

to



ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY, 233

to bear the enormity of his other crimes. As well book
for the cherilhing of thofe virtues therefore, wherein ^"-
if Nobility do chance to flourifli, they are both an
ornament and a flay to the Cotiimon wealth whereia
they live •, as alio for the bridling of thofe diforders,
which if they loofely run into, they are by reafon of
their greatnels dangerous; what help could there
ever have been invented more divine, than the fort-
ing of the Clergy into fuch degrees, that the chiefeft
of the Prelacy being matched in a kind of equal
yoke, as it were, with the higher, the next with the
lower degree of Nobility, the reverend authority of
the one might be to the other as a courteous bridle,
a mean to keep them lovingly in awe that are ex-
orbitant, and to corre<5l fuch exceflfes in them, as
whereunto their courage, ftate, and dignity make
them over prone ? O that there were for encourage-
ment of Pi elates herein, that inclination of allChriftian
Kings and Princes towards them, which fometime a
famous King of this Land either had, or pretended
to have, for the countenancing of a principal Prelate
under him in the adions of fpiritual authority !

Let my Lord ArchUfhop knowy (faith he) that if a^etr.-Bie-
Bijhopy or Earl, or any other great Perforiy yeay if my^^^'^^'^*
own chofen Son, fhall prefume to withjiand, or to hinder
his will and difpofition^ whereby he may be with-held
from performing the work of the embaffage committed
unto him j fuch a one fh all find^ that of his contempt /
willfJoew myfelf no lefs a perfecutor and revenger^ than
if treafon were com'mitted againft mine own very crown
and dignity, Sith therefore by the Fathers and firit
Founders of this Commonweal, it hath, upon great
experience and forecaft, been judged moft for the
good of all forts, that as the whole Body Politick
wherein we live, fhould be for ftrength's fake a
threefold cable, confiding of the King as a fupreme
head over all, of Peers and Nobles under him, and
of the People under them ; fo likewife, that in this
conjun(flion of States, the fecond wreath of that cable

fliould.



234 ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY.

BOOK fhould, for important refpeds, confift as well of
^"- Lords Spiritual as Temporal. Nobility and Prelacy
being by this mean twined together, how can it pof-
fibly be avoided, but that the tearing away of the
one, muft needs exceedingly weaken the other, and
by confequent impair greatly the good of all ?

5. The force of which detriment there is no doubt,
but that the common fort of Men would feel to their
helplefs woe, how goodly a thing foever they now fur-
mife it to be, that themfelves and their godly Teach-
ers did all alone without controlment of their Prelate.
For if the manifold jeopardies whereto a People def-
titute of Pallors is fubjed, be unavoidable without
Government, and if the benefit of Government,
whether it be Ecclefiaftical or Civil, do grow princi-
pally from them who are principal therein, as hath
been proved out of the Prophet, who albeit the People
of lirael had fundry inferior Governors, afcribeth
not unto them the publick benefit of Government,
but maketh mention of Mofes and Aaron only, the
Chief Prince and Chief Prelate, becaufethey were the
weli-fpring of all the good which others under them
did ; may we not boldly conclude, that to take from
the People their Prelate, is to leave them in effed:
without Guides ; at leaflwife, without thole Guides
which are the ftrongefl hands that God doth direct
Pfai.ixxvii. them by ? 'Thou dtdft lead thy People like Jbeepy faith
*^' the Prophet, by the hand of Mofes and Aaron.

If now there arife any matter of grievance between
the Pallor and the People that are under him, they have
their Ordinary, a Judge indifferent to determine their
caufes, and to end their ftrife. But in cafe there were
no fuch appointed to fit, and to hear both, what would
thrn be the end of their quarrels ? They will anfwer
perhaps, That for fuch purpofeSy their Synods fhallferve.
Which is, as if in the Commonwealth, the higher
Magiilrates being removed, every Town-ihip ihould
be a State, altogether free and independent ; and the
controverfies which they cannot end fpeedily within

them-



ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY. 235

themfelves, to the contentment of both parties, fhould book
be all determined by folemn Parliaments. Mercilul ^^^-
God! where is the light of wit and judgment, which
this age doth fo much vaunt of and glory in, when
unto thefe fuch odd imaginations, fo great, not only
afient, but alfo applaule is yielded ?

6. As for thofe m the Clergy, whofe place and call-
ing is lower; were it not that their eyes are blinded,
iett they fhould fee the thing that of all others is for
their good moft efFedual, Ibmewhat they might con-
fider the benefit which they enjoy by having fuch in
authority over them as are of the felf-fame Profefiion,
Society, and Body with them -, fuch as have troddea
the fame ileps before ^ fuch as know by their own ex-
perience, the manifold intolerable contempts and in-
dignities which faithful Paftors, intermingled with
the multitude, are conftrained every day to fuffer in
the exercife of their fpiritual charge and fundion ;
unlefs their Superiors, taking their caufes even to
heart, be, by a kind of fympathy, drawn to relieve
and aid them in their virtuous proceedings no lefs ef-
fedually, than loving Parents their dear Children.

Thus therefore Prelacy being unto all forts fo be-
neficial, ought accordingly to receive honour at the
hands of all; but we have juft caufe exceedingly to
fear that thofe miferable times of confufion are draw-
ing on, wherein the People JJoall be opfrejjed one of ^w-ifa. ni. 5,
other '^ inafmuch as already that which prepareth the
way thereunto is come to pafs, Children -pre fume againft
the Ancient^ and the Vile againft the Honourable. Pre-
lacy, the temperature of excelTes in all Ettates, the
glue arnd foder of the Public-weal, the ligament
which tiech and connedteth the limbs of this Body
Politic each to other, hath, inftead of deferved Pio-
nour, all extremity of Difgrace; the Foolilli every
where plead, that unto the Wife in heart they ov»?e
neither fervice, fubjedion, nor honour.

19. Now that we have laid open the caufes for what kinds
which Honour is due unto Prelates, the rtcxt thing ^Jj^^",''";.^

WC Bifhops.



236 ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY.

BOOK, we are to confider is, what kinds of Honour be due.
^"- The good Government either of the Church or the
Commonwealth dependeth fcarcely on any one ex-
ternal thing fo much as on the publick marks and to-
kens whereby the eftimation that Governors are in,
is made manifeft to the eyes of Men. True it is,
that Governors are to be efteemed according to the
excellency of their virtues •, the more virtuous they
are, the more they ought to be honoured, if refpedfc
be had unto that which every Man fhould voluntarily
perform unto his Superiors. But the queftion is now
of that Honour which publick order doth appoint
unto Church-Governors, in that they are Gover-
nors; the end whereof is, to give open fenfible tef-
timony, that the place which they hold is judged
publickly in fuch degree beneficial, as the marks of
their excellency, the Plonours appointed to be done
unto them do import. Wherefore this honour we are
to do them, without prefuming ourfelves to examine
how worthy they are ; and withdrawing it, if by us
they be thought unworthy. It is a note of that pub-
lick judgment which is given of them •, and therefore
not tolerable, that Men in private fhould, by refufal
to do them fuch honour, reverfe as much as in them
lieth.the publick judgment. If it deferve fuch griev-
ous punifhment, when any particular Perfon adven-
tureth to deface thofe marks whereby is fignified what
value fome fmall piece of coin is publickly efbeemed
at ; is it fufferable that Honours, the charadler of
that eftimation which publickly is had of publick
eftates and callings in the Church or Commonwealth,
ihould at every Man's pleafure be cancelled ? Let us
not think that, without moft neceflary caufe, the fame
have been thought expedient. The firft Authors
thereof were wife and judicious Men ; they knew it a
thing altogether impofiible for each particular in the
multitude to judge what benefit doth grow unto them
from their Prelates, and thereupon uniformly to yield
them convenient honour. Wherefore that all forts

might



ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY. 137

inight be kept in obedience and awe, doing that unto book

their Superiors of every degree, not which every L^

Man's fpecial fancy fhould think meet, but which
being beforehand agreed upon as meet, by publick
fentenceand decifion, might afterwards (land as a rule
for each in particular to follow j they found that no-
thing was more ncceflary than to allot unto all degrees
their certain honour, as marks of publick judgment
concerning the dignity of their places j which mark
when the Multitude fhould behold, they might be
thereby given to know, that of fuch or fuch eftimation
their Governors are, and in token thereof do carry
thofe notes of excellency. Hence it groweth, that the
different notes and figns of honour do leave a corre-
fpondent imprefTion in the minds of common Behold-
ers. Let the People be afked, who are the chiefefl
in any kind of calling ? who moft to be liftened un-
to? who of greateft account and reputation? and fee
if the very difcourfe of their minds lead them not un-
to thofe fenfible marks, according to the difference
whereof they give their fultable judgment, efteeming
them the worthieft perfons who carry the principal
note and public mark of worthinefs. If therefore
they fee in other efbates a number of tokens fenfible,
whereby teflimony is given what account there is
publickly made of them, but no fuch thing in the
Clergy ; what will they hereby, or what can they
elfe conclude, but that where they behold this, furely
in that Commonwealth, Religion, and they that are
converfant about it, are not efteemcd greatly benefi-
cial ? Whereupon in time, the open contempt of
God and Godlinefs muft needs enfue : ^i bcna fide Prsef. i. r
Beos colit^ amat et Sacer dotes ^ faith Papinius. In vain ^'^^'
doth that Kingdom or Commonwealth, pretend zeal
to the honour of God, which doth not provide that
his Clergy alfo may have honour. Now if all that
are employed in the fervice of God fhould have one
kind of honour, what more confufed, abl'urd and

unfeemly ?



5k38 ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY.

BOOK unfeemly ? Wherefore in the honour which hath been
. allotted unto God's Clergy, we are to obferve, how

not only the kinds thereof, but alfo in every par-
ticular kind, the degrees do differ. The honour
which the Clergy of God hath hirherto enjoyed con-
fifteth cfpccially in the pre-eminence of Title, Place,
Ornament, Attendance, Privilege, Endowment. In
every of which it hath been evermore judged meet,
that there fhould be no fnnall odds between Prelates,
and the inferior Clergy.
Honour in ^^' Concerning Title, albeit even as under the
Title, Place, Law, all they whom God had fevered to offer him
i^ne^^dancy Sacrifice were generally termed Priefts, fo likewifc
MidPnvi- the name of Paftor or Prefbyter be now common un-
^^' to all that ferve him in the Miniftry of the Gofpel of
Jefus Chrift; yet both then and now, the higher Or-
ders as well of the one fort as of the other have by
one and the fame congruity of reafon their different
Titles of honour, wherewith we find them in the
phrafe of ordinary fpeech exalted above others. Thus
the Heads of the twenty-four Companies of Priefts
•Afx«'PErc. are in Scripture termed Arch-Pritfts •, Aaron and the
Succeffors of Aaron bting above thofe Arch-Priefts,
themfelves are in that refped: further intituled High
and .Great. After what fort Antiquity hath ufed to
ftyle Chriftian Bifhops, and to yield them in that kind
Honour more than was meet for inferior Paftors, I
may the better omit to declare, both becaufe others
have fufHciently done it already j and in fo flight a thing,
it were but a loFs of time to beilow further travel.
The allegation of Chriil's prerogative to be named
an iVrch-Paftor limply, in regard of his abfolute ex-
cellency over all, is no impediment but that the like
Title in an unlike fignification may be granted unto
others befides him, to note a more limited fuperiority,
whereof Men are capable enough without derogation
from his glory, than which nothing is more fovereign.
To quari-el at fyllables, and to take fo poor excep-
tions.



ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY. 239

tions at the firft four letters in the name of an Arch- b oo^k.
bifhop, as if they were manifeilly ftolen goods, — '-,
whereof reftitution ought to be made to the Civil
Magiftrate, toucheth no more the Prelates that now
are, than it doth the very blefled Apoftle, who giveth
unto himfelf the title of an Arch-builder.

As for our Saviour's words alledged againfl: the
ftile of Lordfhip and Grace, we have before fuffici-
cntly opened how far they are drawn from their natu-
ral meaning to bolfter up a caufe which they no-
thing at all concern. Bilhops Theodoret entituleth
mod honourable : Emperors writing unto Bifhops
have not difdained to give them their appellations of
Honour, Tour Holinefs^ your Blejjedne/Sy your Ampli- uh.v,c.%.
tude^ your Highnejs^ and the like : fuch as purpofely Hift. Ecdef.
have done otherwife, are noted of infolent fingularity, fumma Tri!
and pride. Honour done by giving Pre-eminence of L^;^xxii- c
Place unto one fort before another, is for decency, deEpifc.'et'
order and quietnefs-fake fo needful, that both Ii^'i- ^^pj^]^'
perial Laws and Canons Ecclefiailical have made their Sacrof.' ec-.
fpecial provifions for it. Our Saviour's invedlive^^^^'
againfl: the vain affediation of fuperiority, whether in
Title, or in Place, * may not hinder thefe feemly dif-
ferences ufual in giving and taking Honour, either
according to the one or the other.

Something there is even in the Ornaments of Ho-
nour aifo : otherwife idle it had been for the Wife
Man, fpeaking of Aaron, to ftand ip much upon
the circumftance of his Prieftly Attire, and to urge
it as an argument of fuch dignity and greatnefs in
him: An everlafting Covenant God made zvith Aarony^^^i^^,^^^^



Online LibraryUnknownThe works of that learned and judicious divine Mr. Richard Hooker, containing eight books of the laws of ecclesiastical polity, and several other treatises : To which is prefixed the life of the author, by Isaac Walton. To this edition is subjoined a new index to the whole (Volume 3) → online text (page 20 of 51)