Copyright
Unknown.

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

. (page 31 of 51)
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 31 of 51)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


King hath tranfcendent authority, and that in all
cauies over both. Why this may not lawfully be
granted unto him there is no reafon. A time there
was when Kings were not capable of any fuch power,
;as, namely, when they profelTed themfelves open
CRemies unto Chrift and Chriftianity. A time there
followed, when they, being capable, took fometimes
more, fometimes Icfs to themfelves, as feemed be(l
in their own eyes, becaufe no certainty, touching
their right, was as yet determined. The Bifhops,
who alone were before accuftomed to have the order-
ing of fuch affairs, faw very juft caufe of grief, when
the highcft, favouring Herel'y, withftood, by the
ftrength of fovereign authority, religious proceed-
ings. Whereupon they oftentimes, againfb this un-
refiftible power, pleaded the ufe and cuftom which
had been to the contrary ; namely, that the affairs
of the Church fhould be dealt in by the Clergy, and
by no other -, unto which purpofe, the fentences that
then were uttered in defence of unabolifhed Orders
and Laws, againll fuch as did of their own heads
contrary thereunto, are now altogether impertinently
brought in oppofition againft them, who ufe but
that power which Laws have given them, unlefs
Men can fhew that there is in thofe Laws fome
manifeft iniquity or injuftice. Whereas therefore T.c.Liii.
againft the force judicial and imperial, which fu-P- ^55-
preme Authority hath, it is alledged, how Conllan- -

A a 4 tine



36o ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY.

BOOK tine termeth Church-Officers, Overfeers of things
__J1I__ within the Church -, himfelf, of thofe without ths
EufcD. de Church : how Auguftine wicneflerh, that the Em-
]idnt. Th-. pcror not daring to judge of the Bifliop's caufe,
Ep. 162, committed it to the Bifliops ; and was to crave
pardon of the Bifhops, for that by the Donatifts im-
portunity, which made no end of appealing unto him,
he was, being weary of them, drawn to give fentence
in a matter of theirs ; how Hilary befeecheth the
Emperor Conftance to provide that the Governors of
his Provinces fhould not prefume to take upon them
the judgment of Ecclefiaitical caufes, to whom only
Commonwealth matters belonged ; how Ambrofe
Lib. ii. ep. affirmeth, that Palaces belong unto the Emperor,
'^' Churches to the Miniflry; that the Emperor hath the

authority over the common walls of the city, and not
in holy things -, for which caufe he never v/ould yield
to have the caufes of the Church debated in the
Prince's Confiilories, but excufed himfelf to the
Emperor Valentinian, for that being convented to
anfwer concerning Church-matters in a Civil Court,
he came not : we may by thefe teftimonies drawn
from antiquity, if we lift to confider them, difcern how
requifite it is that authority fhould always follow re-
ceived Laws in the manner of proceeding. For, inaf-
much as there was at the firft no certain Law deter-
mining what force the principal Civil Magiilrate's
authority fliould be of, how far it fhould reach, and
what order ic fliould obferve -, but Chriftian Emperors
from time to time did what chemfelves thought moft
reafonable in thofe affairs i by this means it cometh to
pafs that they in their practice vary, and are not uni-
form. Virtuous Emperors, fuch as Conftantine the
Great was, made confcience to fwerve unnecciTarily
from the cuftom which had been ufed in the Church,
even when it lived under Infidels •, Conftantine, of
reverence to Bifhops and their Spiritual Authority,
rather abftained from that which himfelf might law-
fully do, than was willing to claim a power not fit or

decent



ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY. 361

decent for him to exercife. The order which hath book

been before, he ratifieth, exhorting the Bifnops to 1.

look to the Church, and promifing that he would do
the office of a Bifhop over the Commonwealth ;
which very Conftantine, notwithftanding, did not
thereby lb renounce all authority in judging of fpecial
caufes, but that fometime he took, as St. Auguftine
wicnefTeth, even perfonal cognition of them ; iiowbeit,
whether as purpofing to give therein judicially any
fentence, I fland in doubr. For if the other, of
whom St. Auguftine elfewhere fpeaketh, did in fuch
fort judge, furely there was caufe why he fhould ex-
cufe it as a thing not ufually done. Otherwife there
is no lett, but that any fuch great Perfon may hear
thofe caufes to and fro debated, and deliver in the
end his own opinion of them, declaring on which fide
himfelf doth judge that the truth is. But this kind
of fentence bindeth no fide to ftand thereunto ; it is
a fentence of private perfuafion, and not of folemn
Jurifdidtion, albeit a King, or an Emperor pronounce
it. Again, on the contrary part, when Governors in-
feded with Herefy were poffeifed of the higheft
power, they thought they might ufe it as pleafed them-
felves to further by all means that opinion which they
delired Ihould prevail : they not refpediing at all what
was meet, prefumed to command and judge all Men
in all caufes, without either care of orderly proceed-
ing, or regard to fuch Laws 'and Cuftoms as the
Church had been wont to obferve. So that the one
fort feared to do even that which they might j
and that which the other ought nor, they boldly
prefumed upon j the one fore of modefty ex-
cufed themfelves where they fcarce needed ; the
other, though doing that which is inexcufable,
bare it out with main power, not enduring to be
told by any Man how far they roved beyond their
bounds. So great odds was between them whom >
before we mentioned, and fuch as the younger Va-
lentinian, by whom St. Ambrofe being commanded
to yield up one of the Churches under him unto the

Arians,



362 ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY.

100 K Arlans, whereas they which werefenton this meflage

L alledged, that the Emperor did but ul'e his own right,

forafmuch as all things were in his power ; the an-
fvver which the holy Bifliop gave them was. That the
Church is the Houfe of God^ and that thofe things that
are God's are not to be yielded upy and dijpo/ed of at the
Emperor"* s will and pleafure ; his Palaces he might grant
to whornjoever he pleajeth^ but God's own Habitation not
Jo. A caufe why many times Emperors do more by
their abfolute authority than could very well ftand
with realon, was the over-great importunity of wicked
Hereticks, who being enemies lO peace and quietnefs,
cannot otherwife than by violent means be fupported.
In this refpect therefore V7e mufl needs think the
flate of our own Church much better fettled than
theirs was -, becaufe our Laws have with far more
certainty prefcribed bounds unto each kind of Pov/er.
All decifion of things doubtful and corredion of
things amifs are proceeded in by order of Law, what
Perfon foever he be unto whom the adminiftration of
judgment belongeth. It is neither permitted unto
Prelates nor Prince to judge and determine at their
own difcretion, but Law hath prefcribed what both
(hall do. What power the King hath, he hath it by
Law, the bounds and limits of it are known j the in-
tire Community giveth general order by Law, how
all things publickly are to be done, and the King, as
the Head thereof, the higheft in authority over all,
caufeth, according to the fame Law, every particular
to be framed and ordered thereby. The whole Body
Politick maketh Laws, which Laws give power unto
the King ; and the King having bound himfelf to
life according unto Law that power, it fo falleth out,
chat the execution of the one is accomplifhed by the
^ther in mod religious and peaceable fort. There is
no caufe given unto any to make fupplication, as Hi-
lary did, that Civil Governors, to whom Common-
wealth matters only belong, may not prefume to take
upon them the judgment of Ecclcfiaftical caufes. If
the caufe be Spiritual, Secular Courts do not meddle

with



ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY. 363

with it; we need not excufe ourfelves with Ambrofe, ^^j^^

but boldly and lawfully we may refufe to anfwer be- 1—

fore any Civil Judge in a matter which is not Civil,
fo that we do not miflake either the nature of the
caufe or of the Court, as we eafily may do both,
without fome better diredion than can be by the rules
of this new-found DiTcipline. But of this mod cer-
tain we are, that our Laws do neither fuffer a* Spi-
ritual Court to entertain thofe caufes which by the
J^aw are Civil ; nor yet, if the matter be indeed Spi-
ritual, a mere Civil Court to give judgment of it.
Touching fupreme Power therefore to command all
Men, and in all manner of caufes of judgment to be
higheft, let thus much fuffice as well for declaration
of our own meaning, as for defence of the truth therein.
The caufe is not like when fuch Aflemblies are
gathered together by fupreme Authority concerning
other affairs of the Church, and when they meet about
the making of Ecclefiafrical Laws or Statutes. For
in the one they are only to advife, in the other to de-
cree. The Perfons which are of the one, the King
doth voluntarily affemble, as being in refpedl of qua-
lity fit to confult withal; them which are of the other
he callech by prefcript of Law, as having right to be
thereunto called. Finally, the one are but them-
felves, and their fentence hath but the weight of their
own judgment; the other reprefent the whole Clergy,

^ See the Statute of Edw. I. and Edw. II. and Nat. Brev.
touching Prohibition. See alfo in Brafton thefe Sentences, 1. v.
c. 2. Eft Jurifdidlio ordinaria quasdam delegata, quae pertinet ad
Sacerdotium, et Forum Ecclefiafticum, ficut in caufis Spirituali-
bus et Spiritualitati annexis. Eft etiam alia Jurifdiilio ordinaria
vel delegata, quae pertinet ad coronam, et dignitatem Regis, et ad
Regnum in caufis et placitis rerum temporalium in foro feculari.
Again, Cum diverfae f^nt hinc inde jurifdidiones, et diverfi judi-
ces, et diverfs caufa^, debet quilibet ipforum imprimis asftimare,
an fua fit jurifdidio, ne falcem videatur ponere in mefTem alienam.
Again, Non pertinet ad Regem injungere pcenitentias, nee ad ju-
dicem fecularem, nee etiam ad eos pertinet cognofcere de iis qu:e
funt Spiritualibus annexa, ficut de decimis et aliis Ecclefia^ proven-
tionibus. Again, Non eft Laicus conveniendus coram Judice Ec-
clefiaftico de aliquo quod in foro feculari terminari poiTit et debeat.

and



364 ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY,

BOOK and their voices are as much as if all did give perfon-
,^^"' al verdi(5l. Now the queftion is, whether the Clergy
alone fo aiTembled ought to have the whole power of
making Ecclefiaftical Laws, or elfe confent of the
Laity may thereunto be made necefiary, and the
King's affent fo neceflary that his fole denial may be
of force to (lay them from being Laws,
What Laws If they with whom we difpute were uniform, (Irong
T^'^he'lt-^^^ conllant in that which they fay, we fhould not
fairs of the need to trouble ourfelves about their perfons, to whom
S'whomthe ^^^ power of making Laws for the Church belongs.
power of For they are fometime very vehement in contention,
Sem?D- ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ greateil thing unto the leaft about the
jmaineth. Church, all muft needs be immediately from God.
And to this they apply the pattern of the ancient Ta-
bernacle which God delivered unto Mofes, and was
therein fo exad:, that there was not left as much as the
leaft pin for the wit of Man to devife in the framing
of it. To this they alfo apply that ftreight and fevere
charge which God fo often gave concerning his own
Deut iv. 2. Law, Whatfoever 1 command you ^ take heed ye doit -^ thou
andxii. Z2» poalt put nothing thereto^ thou [halt take nothing from it-^
' '''^' nothing, whether it be great or fmall. Yet fometimes
bethinking themfclves better, they fpeak as acknow-
ledging that it doth fuffice to have received in fuch
fort the principal things from God, and that for other
matters the Church had fufiicient authority to make
Laws. Whereupon they now have made it a queftion,
what Perfons they are whole right it is to take order
for the Church's affairs, when the inftitution of any
Thorn. 1.2. new thing therein is requifite? Law may be requifite
^rt/^^* ^^ ^^ made either concerning things that are only to
be known and believed in, or elfe touching that which
is to be done by the Church of God. The Law of
Nature, and the Law of God are fufficient for decla-
ration in both what belongeth unto each Man fepa-
raiely, as his Soul is the Spoufe of Chrift ; yea, fo
fuflicient that they plainly and fully (lievv whatfoever
God doth require by way of necelfary introduftion
unto the ftate of everlafting blifs. But as a Man

liveth



ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY. 365

liveth joined with others in common fociety, and book
belongeth to the outward Politick Body of the , ^"^'
Church, albeit the fame Law of Nature and Scrip-
ture hath in this refpe6l alfo made manifcfl the things
that are of greateft neccfTity ; neverthelefs, by reafon
of new occafions flill arifing, which the Church,
having care of Souls, muft take order for as need
requireth, hereby it cometh to pafs, that there is>
and ever will be, fo great ufe even of Human Laws
and Ordinances, dedud:ed by way of difcourfe as a
conclufion from the former Divine and Natural,
ferving as principles thereunto. No Man doubteth,
but that for matters of adbion and pradtice in the
affairs of God, for manner in Divine Service, for
order in Ecclefiaftical proceedings about the Regi-
ment of the Church, there may be oftentimes caufe
very urgent to have Laws made : but the reafon is
not fo plain, wherefore Human Laws fhould appoint
Men what to believe. Wherefore in this we mud
note two things, i. That in matters of opinion,
the Law doth not make that to be truth which be-
fore was not, as in matter'of a<5tion it caufeth that to
be a duty which was not before ; but manifefteth only
and giveth Men notice of that to be truth, the con-
trary whereunto they ought not before to have believed.
2. That opinions do cleave to the underftanding and
are in heart aflented unto, it is not in the power of any
human Law to command them, becaufe to prefcribe
what Men fhall think belongeth only unto God :
Cords creditur, ere fit confeffw^ faith the Apoftle. As
opinions are either fit or inconvenient to be pro-
fefled, fo Man's Laws have to determine of them.
It may for publick unity's fake require Men's pro-
fefTed affent, or prohibit their contradi(5lion to fpecial
Articles, wherein, as there haply hath been con-
troverfy what is true, fo the fame were like to con-
tinue ftill, not without grievous detriment unto a
number of Souls, except Law, to remedy that evil,
/liould fet down a certainty which no Man afterwards

is



366 ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY.

B o o K is to gainfay. Wherefore, as in regard of Divine

'^"^- Laws which the Church receiveth from God, we

may unto every Man apply thofe words of Wifdom

in Solomon, My Son^ keep thou thy Father's Precepts 5

Prov. vi. Conferva^ Fill mi^ Pr^cepta Patris tut : even fo con-
cerning the Statutes and Ordinances which the
Church itfelf makes, we may add thereunto the
words that follow, Et nedimittas Legem Mairis tua \
Andforfake thou not thy Mother^ s Law.

It is a thing even undoubtedly natural, that all
free and independent Societies fhould themfelves
make their own Laws, and that this power fhould
belong to the whole, not to any certain part of a
Politick Body, though haply fome one part may
have greater fway in that a6tion than the reft -, which
thing being generally fit and expedient in the making
of all Laws, we fee no caufe why to think otherwife
in Laws concerning the Service of God, which in all
well ordered States and Commonwealths is the * firfl
thing that Law hath care to provide for. When
we fpeak of the right which naturally belongeth to
a Commonwealth, we fpeak of that which muft
needs belong to the Church of God. For if the
Commonwealth be Chriftian, if the People which are
of it do publickly embrace the true Religion, this
very thing doth make it the Church, as hath been
fhewed. So that unlefs the verity and purity of Re-
ligion do take from them which embrace it that
power wherewith otherwife they are poflefTed, look
what authority, as touching Laws for Religion^ a

% Ttjtx-Ja it^'va, TiSEc&ai* ^ivTSfiov ^l rd av(x(pifovroe,' Tct. yap [Xiy.^cl roT(;

fxil^acriii dy-oT^B^BTv Trpoo-^xet. Archit. de leg. et iniHt. That is.
It behoveth the Law firR to eftablifh or fettle thofe things which
belong to the Gods, and Divine Powers, and to our Parents,
and univcrfally thofe things which be virtuous and honourable :
in the fecond place, thofe things that be convenient and profit-
able ; for it is fit, that matters of the lefs weight fhould come
after the greater.

Commonwealth



ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY. 367

Com Pxion wealth hath fimply, it muft of neceflityBOOK
retain the fame, being of the Chriftian Religion. ^"^'

It win be therefore perhaps ailedged, that a part
of the verity of Chriltian Religion is to hold the
power of making Ecclefialtical Laws a thing appro-
priated iMto ch^ Clergy in their Synods ; and what-
ioever is by their only voices agreed upon, it needeth
no further approbation to give unto it the ftrength
of a Lawj as may plainly appear by the Canons of
that firft moO: venerable Aiiembly: where, thofe
things the Apcftles and James had concluded, wereAasxv. 7,
afterwards pubiifhed and impofed upon the Churches ^^*^^'
of the Gentiles abroad as Laws, the records thereof
remaining dill in the Book of God for a teftimony,
that the power of making Ecclefiaftical Laws belono-*
eth to the Succeffors of the Apoftles, the Billiopa
-and Prelates of the Church of God.

To this we anfwer, that the Council of Jerufalem
is no argument for the power of the Clergy to make
Laws. For firft, there has not been fithence any
Council of like authority to that in Jerufalem: fe-
condly, the caufe why that was of fuch authority,
came by a fpecial accident : thirdly, the reafon v/hy
other Councils being not like unto that in nature,
the Clergy in them lliould have no power to make
Laws by themfelves alone, is in truth fo forcible,
that except fome commandment of God to the con-
trary can be fhewed, it ought notwithftanding the
aforefaid example to prevail.

The Decrees of the Council of Jerufalem were
not as the Canons of other Ecclefiaftical AfTemblies,
Human, but very Divine Ordinances : for which
caufe the Churches were far and wide commanded
every where to fee them kept, no otherwife than if
Chrift himfelf had perfonally on earth been the Au-
thor of them. The caufe why that Council was of
fo great authority and credit above all others which
have been fithence, is exprefted in thofe words of
principal obfervation, Unio the Holy Gbojl^ and to its // A6isxv,a«.

hatb



368 ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY.

BOOK hath feemed good: which form of fpeech, though othef
^"^' Councils have likewife ufed, yet neither could they
themfelves mean, nor may we fo underftand them,
as if both were in equal fort aflifted with the power
of the Holy Ghoft -, but the latter had the favour
Mat. xxviii. of that general afTiilance and prefence which Chrift
doth promife unto ail his, according to the quality
of their feveral eflates and callings \ the former, the
grace of fpecial, miraculous, rare and extraordinary
illumination, in relation whereunto the Apoftle com-
eCor.iii. paring the Old Teftament and the New together,
termeth the one a Teftament of the Letter, for that
God delivered it written in fbone; the other a Tefta-
ment of the Spirit, becaufe God imprinted it in the
hearts, and declared it by the tongues of his chofen
Apoftles through the power of the Holy Ghoft,
framing both their conceits and fpeeches in moll
divine and incomprehenfible manner. Wherefore,
inafmuch as the Council of Jeruialem did chance to
confift of Men fo enlightened, it had authority greater
than were meet for any other Council befides to
challenge, wherein fuch kind of Perfons are, as now
the ftate of the Church doth ftand ; Kings being not
then that which now they are, and the Clergy not
now that which then they were. Till it be proved
that fome fpecial Law of Chrift hath for ever an-
nexed unto the Clergy alone the power to make Ec-
ckfiaftical Laws, we are to hold it a thing moft
confonant with equity and realbn, that no Ecclefi-
aftical Laws be made in a Chriftian Commonwealth,
without confent as well of the Laity as of the
Clergy, but leaft of ail without confent of the higheft
Power.
Cap. deiiaa For of this thing no Man doubteth, namely, that
Prabt^o^L. ^" ^^ Societies, Companies, and Corporations, what
pcrfundum fcverally each ftiall be bound unto, it muft be with
^t^aXx ^^1 ^^^"^ afients ratified. Againft all equity it were,
tea. Reiigi- that a Man ftiould fufter detriment at the hands of
Men for not obferving that which he never did either
by himfelf or by others, mediately or immediately

agree



ofum dc re-
ivm divil



EtCLESlAStlCAL POLITY; 369

agree unto ; much more that a King jGiould con- b o o fi
drain all others to the ftri6l obfervation of any fuch ^'^^'.
Human Ordinance as pafTeth without his own ap- "

probation. In this cafe therefore elpecially^ that
vulgar axiom is of force, ^.od omnes tangity ah cm- oiofc. 6\a
fiibiis tra^ari et approbari debet. Whereupon Pope ''^'''•'•■•"^'
Nicholas, although otherwife not admitting Lay-
Perfons, no not Emperors themfelves, to be prefent
at Synods, doth notwithftanding feem to allow of
their prefence, when matters of Faith are deter-
mined whereunto all Men muft itand bound : Ubi^
nam legiftis Imperatores antecejjores Teftros^ Syncdalibu^
Conventibus interfuijfe 5 nift forfitan in quihus de Fide
tra5fatum eft^ qua non folum ad Clericcs^ vermn etiam
ad Lai cos et omnes per tine t Chrijlianos F A Law, be
it Civil or Ecclefiaftical, is a publick obligation^
wherein, feeing that the whole ftandeth charged, no
reafon it fhould pafs without his privity and will,
whom principally the whole doth depend upon.
Sicut Laici jurifdi5iionem Ckricorum perturbarey ita
Clerici jurijdt£ficnem Laicorum non debent minuere^ faith
Innocentius, Extra de judic. novit. As the Laity
Jhould not hinder the Clergy^ s jurifdi£iiony fo neither is
it reafon that the Laity^s right jloould be abridged by
the Clergy y laith Pope Innocent. But were it fo that
the Clergy alone might give Laws unto all the reft,
forafmuch as every Eftate doth defire to enlarge the
bounds of their own liberties, is it not eafy to fee
how injurious this might prove to Men of other
conditions? Peace and juftice are maintained by
preferving unto every Order their right, and by
keeping all Eftates, as it were, in an even balance.
Which thing is no way better done, than if the
King, their common Parent, whofe care is prefumed
to extend moft indifferently over all, do bear the
chiefeft fway in making Laws which all muft be or-
dered by. Wherefore of them which in this point
attribute moft to the Clergy, I would demand, what
evidence there is whereby it may clearly be ihewed
VOL. III. B b that



370 ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY.

BOOK that in ancient Kingdoms Chriftian, any Canon de-^
^^"^' viied by the Clergy alone in their Synods, whether
Provincial, National, or General, hath, by mere
force of their agreement, taken place as a Law,
making all Men conftrainable to be obedient there-
unto, without any other approbation from the King,
before or afterwards required in that behalf ? But
what fpeak we of ancient Kingdoms, when at this
day, even the Papacy itfelf, the very Tridental
hefolc. ^°"* Council hath not every where as yet obtained to have
susfeft.iib.i.in all points the flrength of Ecclefiaftical Laws. Did
^'^'^'^' not Philip King of Spain, publifhing that Council
in the Low Countries, add thereunto an exprefs
claufe of fpecial provifion, that the fame fhould in
no wife prejudice, hurt, or diminifh any kind of
privilege which the King or his VafTals afore-time
had enjoyed, touching either pofTefTory judgments of
Ecclefiaftical Livings, or concerning nominations
thereunto, or belonging to whatfoever right they had
elfe in fuch affairs ? If therefore the King's excep-
tion, taken againft fome part of the Canons contained
}n that Council, were a ibfficient bar to make them
of none effe<5l within his Territories j it follows that
the like exception againft any other part had been
alfo of like efficacy ; and fo confequently that no
part thereof had obtained the ftrength of a Law, if
he which excepted againft a part, had fo done againft:
the whole. As, what reafon was there, but that the
fame authority which limited, might quite and clean
have refufed that Council ? Whofo alloweth the
faid adlof the Catholick King's for good and lawful,



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 31 of 51)