Lives of John Donne, Henry Wotton, Rich'd Hooker, George Herbert,
Izaak Walton

Part 2 out of 5

This was his constant behaviour both at Bourne, and in all the places
in which he lived: thus did he walk with God, and tread the footsteps
of primitive piety; and yet, as that great example of meekness and
purity, even our blessed Jesus, was not free from false accusations,
no more was this disciple of his, this most humble, most innocent,
holy man. His was a slander parallel to that of chaste Susannah's by
the wicked Elders; or that against St. Athanasius, as it is recorded
in his life,--for this holy man had heretical enemies,--a slander
which this age calls _trepanning_.[31] The particulars need not a
repetition; and that it was false, needs no other testimony than the
public punishment of his accusers, and their open confession of
his innocency. It was said, that the accusation was contrived by a
dissenting brother, one that endured not Church-ceremonies, hating
him for his book's sake, which he was not able to answer; and his name
hath been told me; but I have not so much confidence in the relation,
as to make my pen fix a scandal on him to posterity; I shall rather
leave it doubtful till the great day of revelation. But this is
certain, that he lay under the great charge, and the anxiety of this
accusation, and kept it secret to himself for many months; and, being
a helpless man, had lain longer under this heavy burthen, but that the
Protector of the innocent gave such an accidental occasion, as forced
him to make it known to his two dearest friends, Edwin Sandys and
George Cranmer, who were so sensible of their tutor's sufferings,
that they gave themselves no rest, till by their disquisitions and
diligence they had found out the fraud, and brought him the welcome
news, that his accusers did confess they had wronged him, and begged
his pardon. To which the good man's reply was to this purpose: "The
Lord forgive them; and the Lord bless you for this comfortable news.
Now have I a just occasion to say with Solomon, 'Friends are born for
the days of adversity;' and such you have proved to me. And to my
God I say, as did the Mother of St. John Baptist, 'Thus hath the Lord
dealt with me, in the day wherein he looked upon me, to take away
my reproach among men. 'And, O my God! neither my life, nor my
reputation, are safe in my own keeping; but in thine, who didst take
care of me when I yet hanged upon my mother's breast. Blessed are they
that put their trust in thee, O Lord! for when false witnesses were
risen up against me; when shame was ready to cover my face; when my
flights were restless; when my soul thirsted for a deliverance, as the
hart panteth after the rivers of water; then thou, Lord, didst hear my
complaints, pity my condition, and art now become my deliverer; and as
long as I live I will hold up my hands in this manner, and magnify thy
mercies, who didst not give me over as a prey to mine enemies: the
net is broken, and they are taken in it. Oh! blessed are they that put
their trust in thee! and no prosperity shall make me forget those days
of sorrow, or to perform those vows that I have made to thee in the
days of my affliction; for with such sacrifices, thou, O God, art well
pleased; and I will pay them."[32]

[Sidenote: His charity]

Thus did the joy and gratitude of this good man's heart break forth;
and it is observable, that as the invitation to this slander was his
meek behaviour and dove-like simplicity, for which he was remarkable;
so his Christian charity ought to be imitated. For though the spirit
of revenge is so pleasing to mankind, that it is never conquered but
by a supernatural grace, revenge being indeed so deeply rooted in
human nature, that, to prevent the excesses of it,--for men would not
know moderation,--Almighty God allows not any degree of it to any man,
but says "vengeance is mine:" and though this be said positively
by God himself, yet this revenge is so pleasing, that man is hardly
persuaded to submit the manage of it to the time, and justice, and
wisdom of his Creator, but would hasten to be his own executioner
of it. And yet nevertheless, if any man ever did wholly decline, and
leave this pleasing passion to the time and measure of God alone, it
was this Richard Hooker, of whom I write: for when his slanderers
were to suffer, he laboured to procure their pardon; and when that was
denied him, his reply was, "That however he would fast and pray
that God would give them repentance, and patience to undergo their
punishment." And his prayers were so far returned into his own bosom,
that the first was granted, if we may believe a penitent behaviour,
and an open confession. And 'tis observable, that after this time he
would often say to Dr. Saravia, "Oh! with what quietness did I enjoy
my soul, after I was free from the fears of my slander! And how much
more after a conflict and victory over my desires of revenge!"

[Sidenote: A long sickness]

About the year 1600, and of his age forty-six, he fell into a long
and sharp sickness, occasioned by a cold taken in his passage by water
betwixt London and Gravesend, from the malignity of which he was never
recovered; for after that time, till his death, he was not free from
thoughtful days and restless nights: but a submission to His will that
makes the sick man's bed easy, by giving rest to his soul, made his
very languishment comfortable: and yet all this time he was solicitous
in his study, and said often to Dr. Saravia,--who saw him daily, and
was the chief comfort of his life,--"That he did not beg a long life
of God for any other reason, but to live to finish his three remaining
books of Polity; and then, 'Lord, let thy servant depart in peace;'"
which was his usual expression. And God heard his prayers, though he
denied the Church the benefit of them, as completed by himself; and
'tis thought he hastened his own death, by hastening to give life to
his books. But this is certain, that the nearer he was to his death,
more he grew in humility, in holy thoughts, and resolutions.

[Sidenote: Approaching end]

About a month before his death, this good man, that never knew, or at
least never considered, the pleasures of the palate, became first
to lose his appetite, and then to have an averseness to all food,
insomuch that he seemed to live some intermitted weeks by the smell of
meat only, and yet still studied and writ. And now his guardian angel
seemed to foretel him that the day of his dissolution drew near; for
which his vigorous soul appeared to thirst.

In this time of his sickness and not many days before his death, his
house was robbed; of which he having notice, his question was, "Are my
books and written papers safe?" And being answered that they were; his
reply was, "Then it matters not; for no other loss can trouble me."

[Sidenote: Closing hours]

[Sidenote: Last words]

About one day before his death, Dr. Saravia, who knew the very
secrets of his soul,--for they were supposed to be confessors to
each other,--came to him, and, after a conference of the benefit, the
necessity, and safety of the Church's absolution, it was resolved the
Doctor should give him both that and the Sacrament the following
day. To which end the Doctor came, and, after a short retirement and
privacy, they two returned to the company; and then the Doctor
gave him and some of those friends which were with him, the blessed
Sacrament of the body and blood of our Jesus. Which being performed,
the Doctor thought he saw a reverend gaiety and joy in his face; but
it lasted not long; for his bodily infirmities did return suddenly,
and became more visible, insomuch that the Doctor apprehended death
ready to seize him; yet, after some amendment, left him at night, with
a promise to return early the day following; which he did, and
then found him better in appearance, deep in contemplation, and not
inclinable to discourse; which gave the Doctor occasion to require
his present thoughts. To which he replied, "That he was meditating the
number and nature of Angels, and their blessed obedience and order,
without which, peace could not be in Heaven: and Oh! that it might be
so on Earth!" After which words, he said, "I have lived to see this
world is made up of perturbations; and I have been long preparing to
leave it, and gathering comfort for the dreadful hour of making my
account with God, which I now apprehend to be near: and though I have
by his grace loved him in my youth, and feared him in mine age, and
laboured to have a conscience void of offence to him, and to all men;
yet if thou, O Lord! be extreme to mark what I have done amiss, who
can abide it? And therefore, where I have failed, Lord, shew mercy
to me; for I plead not my righteousness, but the forgiveness of my
unrighteousness, for His merits, who died to purchase pardon for
penitent sinners. And since I owe thee a death, Lord, let it not be
terrible, and then take thine own time: I submit to it: let not mine,
O Lord! but let thy will be done." With which expression he fell into
a dangerous slumber; dangerous as to his recovery, yet recover he did,
but it was to speak only these few words: "Good Doctor, God hath heard
my daily petitions, for I am at peace with all men, and he is at peace
with me; and from that blessed assurance I feel that inward joy, which
this world can neither give nor take from me: my conscience beareth me
this witness, and this witness makes the thoughts of death joyful. I
could wish to live to do the Church more service; but cannot hope it,
for my days are past as a shadow that returns not." More he would
have spoken, but his spirits failed him; and, after a short conflict
betwixt Nature and Death, a quiet sigh put a period to his last
breath, and so he fell asleep. And now he seems to rest like Lazarus
in Abraham's bosom. Let me here draw his curtain, till with the most
glorious company of the Patriarchs and Apostles, the most Noble Army
of Martyrs and Confessors, this most learned, most humble, holy man
shall also awake to receive an eternal tranquillity, and with it a
greater degree of glory than common Christians shall be made partakers

[Sidenote: A prayer]

In the mean time, Bless, O Lord! Lord, bless his brethren, the Clergy
of this nation, with effectual endeavours to attain, if not to his
great learning, yet to his remarkable meekness, his godly simplicity,
and his Christian moderation; for these will bring peace at the last.
And, Lord, let his most excellent writings be blest with what he
designed, when he undertook them: which was, glory to thee, O God! on
high, peace in thy Church, and goodwill to mankind. Amen, Amen.


[Footnote 1: Dr. John Jewel was born in the Parish of Berry Narber, in
Devon, May 24th, 1522. He was educated at Merton, and Corpus Christi
Colleges, Oxford, and in the reign of Edward VI, he publickly
professed the Reformed Religion. During the reign of Mary he remained
abroad; but on the accession of Elizabeth, he returned, and was
made Bishop of Salisbury, in 1559. In his controversy with the
Roman Catholics, he published his famous "Apology for the Church of
England," which was translated into several languages, although it was
greatly opposed by the Papists. His fatigues abroad, and his incessant
study, so much impaired his constitution, that he died, Sept. 21st,

[Footnote 2: Dr. William Cole, 1599, exchanged with Dr. Reynolds the
Presidentship of Corpus Christi College for the Deanery of Lincoln,
which he did not long enjoy. He fled into Germany in the time of
Queen Mary, and Anthony Wood names him as one of the exiles of Geneva
engaged with Miles Coverdale in a new translation of the Bible.]

[Footnote 3: He was professor of Divinity in Oxford, and died May
21st, 1607. It has been said that he was brought up in the Romish
faith, and that he was afterwards a strong supporter of the
Puritans; but Fuller supposes that it was only for the sake of
giving satisfaction to some of the more tender consciences of the
Non-conformists, since the virtue of Reynolds was almost proverbial.]

[Footnote 4: One of Translators of the Bible of 1565, born at
Hawkshead in Lancashire in 1519, and educated at St. John's College,
Cambridge, where he embraced the Protestant faith. He was committed
to the Tower and Marshalsea for having preached in favour of Lady Jane
Grey; and on his release he left the kingdom, till the accession of
Elizabeth, by whom he was made Bishop of Worcester. In 1570, he was
translated to London, in 1576 to York, and in 1588, he died: his
sermons are still admired, and a most virtuous character is given him
by Fuller. His son, Sir Edward Sandys, Prebendary of York, was born
about 1561, and is well known as the author of the tract entitled,
"Europae Speculum," a view of the State of Religion in the Western
parts of the World. He thus describes the various contrarieties of
the state and church of Rome. "What pomp, what riot, to that of their
Cardinals? What severity of life comparable to that of their Heremits
and Capuchins? Who wealthier than their Prelates? who poorer by vow
and profession than their Mendicants? On the one side of the street,
a cloister of Virgins: on the other a stye of courtezans, with public
toleration. This day all in masks, with all looseness and foolery: to
morrow all in processions, whipping themselves till the blood follow.
On one door an excommunication throwing to Hell all transgressours:
on another a Jubilee, or full discharge from all transgressions. Who
learneder in all kinds of sciences than their Jesuits? what thing
more ignorant than their ordinary mass-priests? What prince so able
to prefer his servants and followers as the Pope, and in so great
multitude? Who able to take deeper or readier revenge on his enemies?
What pride equal unto his, making Kings kiss his pantofle? What
humility greater than his, shriving himself daily on his knees to an
ordinary priest?"]

[Footnote 5: The name of this well-known English Cardinal is omitted
in the later editions.]

[Footnote 6: Dr. Jackson was born at Wilton on the Wear, in Durham, in
1579, and was educated at Queen's and Corpus Christi Colleges, Oxford.
He was made Prebendary of Winchester in 1635, and Dean of Peterborough
in 1638; he died in 1640, and his principal work is a "Commentary on
the Creed."]

[Footnote 7: Dr. Thomas Harding, educated at Winchester school, became
Fellow of New College, Oxford, in 1536. He was the first King's Hebrew
Professor in that University, and in the reign of King Edward VI. he
displayed great zeal for the Reformed Religion. Under Queen Mary he
abandoned his principles, and obtained considerable preferment;
a Prebend in the Church of Winchester, and the Treasurership of
Salisbury. On the accession of Queen Elizabeth he adhered to the
religion to which he had recently conformed, and fled beyond sea to
Louvain, where he distinguished himself by writing against Bishop
Jewel's "Challenge." He had been Chaplain to the Duke of Suffolk,
father of Lady Jane Grey.]

[Footnote 8: John Hart, a Jesuit, was educated in the University of
Oxford. In 1571 he was admitted to the English College at Douay, and
in 1578 was ordained priest. Returning in 1580 to England, he was
apprehended, tried, and condemned to death; but on the day of his
execution he was reprieved, and sent back to the Tower, where he
remained three years. It was during his confinement in the Tower that
he held a disputation with Dr. Reynolds. In 1584, being banished from
England, Hart proceeded to Verdun and joined the Society of Jesus. He
died at Jarislau, in Poland, on 19 July, 1594.]

[Footnote 9: A man of great piety of life, and such gravity, that he
was scarcely ever seen to laugh. He was a native of Westphalia,
in Germany: was Canon of Christ Church, Vice-Chancellor of the
University, and in 1585-86, was consecrated Bishop of Hereford.]

[Footnote 10: Sir H. Savile was born at Over Bradley, near Halifax in
Yorkshire, Nov. 30th, 1549, and was entered of Merton College, Oxford.
He was Greek and Mathematical Preceptor to Queen Elizabeth, and was
one of the Translators of the Bible, under James I., who knighted him
in 1604. He died Feb. 19th, 1621-22.]

[Footnote 11: Mr. Morrison, Secretary to Lord Mountjoy, and author
of "An Itinerary, containing his ten Years Travels through the twelve
Dominions of Germany, Bohmerland, Switzerland, Denmark, Poland,
England, Scotland, and Ireland; divided into three Parts. London,
1617." Fol. Published after his death, and originally written in

[Footnote 12: The later editions of the Life of Hooker omit the
account of this expulsion.]

[Footnote 13: A pulpit cross formed of timber, covered with lead, and
mounted upon stone steps, which stood in the midst of the Church-yard
of the Cathedral; in which Sermons were preached by eminent Divines
every Sunday in the forenoon, when the Court, the Magistrates of the
City, and a vast concourse of people usually attended. There is notice
of its use so early as 1259, but it was not finished in its final form
until 1449, by Kemp, Bishop of London, and it was finally destroyed by
order of Parliament, in 1643. The Corporation of London ordained that
all Ministers who came from a distance to preach at this Cross, were
to have lodgings and provision for five days; and the Bishop of London
gave them notice of their place of residence.]

[Footnote 14: The excellent Aylmer, was born at Aylmer-Hall, in
Norfolk, in 1521, and was Tutor to Lady Jane Grey; he left England,
during the reign of Mary, and went to Zurich. He returned on
Elizabeth's accession, and was made Bishop of London in March,
1576--7, strictly governing the Puritans throughout his Prelacy. He
died in 1594.]

[Footnote 15: Two wretched fanatics; the first died in prison, and
the second was hanged in 1591. Hacket was called by his followers
"the supreme Monarch of the world from whom all Princes of Europe hold
their sceptres," and was held "to be a greater prophet than Moses or
John Baptist, even Jesus Christ, who was come with his fan in his
hand to judge the world." Fuller says that Hacket was of so "cruel and
fierce a nature that he is reported to have bit off and eat down the
nose of his schoolmaster."]

[Footnote 16: Edward Dering, a Puritan Divine, and a native of Kent,
educated at Christ College, Cambridge. He was suspended from his
Lectureships on account of his nonconformity, but he is commended as
a truly religious man, whose pure and virtuous life was followed by a
happy death, in 1576. He wrote some Sermons, and a Defence of Bishop
Jewel's Apology for the Church.]

[Footnote 17: A mild and beneficent man burned by the Papists at
Smithfield, July 1, 1555.]

[Footnote 18: Edmund Grindal, Archbishop of Canterbury, born in 1519,
at Hinsingham, in Cumberland, and educated at Cambridge. In 1552 he
became Prebendary of Westminster, but on the death of King Edward he
retired to Strasburg. Here he continued to reside till the accession
of Elizabeth, who nominated him in 1559 to the See of London, whence,
in 1570, he was translated to York, and in 1575, on the death of
Parker, to Canterbury. His indulgence to the Puritans procured him the
Queen's displeasure, and for some time he was sequestered and confined
to his house, but in 1582 he resigned his office, and died July 6th,

[Footnote 19: Thomas Cartwright was born in Hertfordshire in 1535,
and was educated at Cambridge. In 1567 he graduated B.D., and was
appointed Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity. Having vigorously
assailed the Church Establishment in his lectures, he was deprived
of his professorship; whereupon he went to Geneva, and made the
acquaintance of Beza. In 1572 he revisited England, and entered into
a long controversy with Whitgift; in 1573 he went to Heidelberg, and
afterwards served as minister to the English congregations at Antwerp
and Middleburg. On returning to England, in 1585, he was imprisoned by
order of Bishop Aylmer, but was soon released at the instance of Lord
Burghley. In 1595 he accompanied Lord Zouch to Guernsey, remaining on
the island till 1598. He died at Warwick on 27th December, 1603 (not,
as Walton says, 1602). Among his works are a Latin Harmony of the
Gospels, Commentaries on the Colossians, &c.]

[Footnote 20: Walter Travers, who had been Fellow of Trinity College,
Cambridge, to which Cartwright removed, and he was also his intimate
friend, and joint preacher with him in Antwerp. When Travers came
to England, he was made Chaplain to Lord Burghley, whose interest
procured him to be Lecturer at the Temple.]

[Footnote 21: Dr. RICHARD ROWLAND, Master of St. John's College in
Cambridge, and the fourth Bishop of Peterborough, died in 1600. It
does not appear that he was the preacher on this occasion, for Gunton,
in his "History of the Church of Peterborough," states that it was
Wickham, Bishop of Lincoln.]

[Footnote 22: In 1588, many satirical libels were published against
the Bishops, written principally by a Society of men assuming the name
of Martin Mar-Prelate; some of them were entitled, _Diotrephes, the
Minerals, the Epistle to the Convocation-House, Have you any work for
a Cooper?_ and _More work for a Cooper_, referring to the Defence
of the Church and Bishops of England, written by Cowper, Bishop of
Winchester. The real authors of these tracts, were John Penry, a
Welchman, John Udall, and other ministers.]

[Footnote 23: Thomas Nashe, an English Satirical writer, baptized in
1567 at Lowestoffe, in Suffolk, and educated at St. John's College,
Cambridge. As a master of invective he has no superior; he died in
or before 1601.--_An Almond for a Parrot_, was probably by Lyly the
Euphuist. _A Fig for my Godson_, and _Come, Crack me this Nut_, are
the after-titles of _Pappe with an Hatchet_, another tract of Lyly's
(if we may believe the testimony of Gabriel Harvey).]

[Footnote 24: In some of the later editions of the Life of Hooker,
this paragraph is thus altered--"And in this examination: I have not
only satisfied myself, but have begun a treatise in which I intend the
satisfaction of others, by a demonstration of the reasonableness
of our Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity; and therein laid a hopeful
foundation for the Church's peace; and so as not to provoke your
adversary, Mr. Cartwright, nor Mr. Travers, whom I take to be
mine--but not mine enemy--God knows this to be my meaning. To which
end I have searched many books, and spent many thoughtful hours; and I
hope not in vain, for I write to reasonable men. But, my Lord, I shall
never be able to finish what I have begun, unless I be removed into
some quiet country parsonage, where I may see God's blessings spring
out of my mother earth, and eat mine own bread in peace and privacy.
A place where I may, without disturbance, meditate my approaching
mortality and that great account, which all flesh must at the last
great day give to the God of all Spirits. This is my design; and as
those are the designs of my heart, so they shall, by God's assistance,
be the constant endeavours of the uncertain remainder of my life."]

[Footnote 25: He was for some time Fellow of Oriel College, and
principal of St. Mary Hall. He was made a Cardinal by Pope Sixtus V.
in 1587. In 1589, he was appointed Archbishop of Mechlin in Brabant,
and died on 6th October, 1594.]

[Footnote 26: It is ascertained by Bishop King's letter to Walton,
that it was Dr. Stapleton who introduced the works of Hooker to the
Pope. Thomas Stapleton was a Romish Divine, born in 1536, at Henfield,
in Sussex, and educated at Winchester, and New College, Oxford. In
the reign of Mary he was made Prebendary of Chichester; but at the
accession of Elizabeth he left England, and became Professor of
Divinity at Douay. He died at Louvain, in 1598, and his works form
four volumes in folio.]

[Footnote 27: Dr. John Earle, author of the "Microcosmography, or a
piece of the World, discovered in Essays and characters," was born
at York, in 1601; was educated at Oxford, and was Tutor to Prince
Charles. In the Civil Wars, he lost both his property and preferments,
and attended the King abroad as his Chaplain. At the Restoration
he was made Dean of Westminster, in 1662 was consecrated Bishop of
Worcester, and in 1663 was translated to Salisbury. He died at Oxford,
1665. His translation of Hooker's Polity was never printed.]

[Footnote 28: A Protestant Divine, and Professor of Divinity at
Leyden, born at Artois in 1531, came to England in 1587. He was the
bosom friend of Whitgift. For some time he was master of the Free
Grammar School of Southampton. Dr. Saravia was one of the Translators
of King James's Bible, and died in 1613. His tracts have been printed,
both in Latin and English.]

[Footnote 29: A most learned Jesuit. He read theological lectures
at Ingolstadt, where he died in 1625, aged 63 years. His works were
published at Ratisbon, in 1734-1741, in 17 vols. fol.]

[Footnote 30: Our biographer has lamented that it was not in his power
to recover the name of Mr. Hooker's worthy school-master. That of
his grateful parish-clerk was Sampson Horton. It appears from the
parish-register of Bishop's-Bourne, that "Sampson Horton was buried
the 9th of May 1648, an aged man who had been clarke to this parish,
by his own relation, threescore yeares."]

[Footnote 31: "Can there be any of friendship in snares, hooks and

"Nothing but gins, and snares and _trapans_ for souls."--_Dr. South_.]

[Footnote 32: "A certain lewd woman came to his chamber, and solicited
his charity under this cogent argument, 'that if he should deny her,
she would lay base attempts to his charge;' and by this means, at
several times, she had gotten money from him; until at last Providence
was pleased to concern itself for the righting wronged innocence. It
so fell out, that this woman came to him when his two dear friends Mr.
Sandys and Mr. Cranmer were with him: wondering to see such a person
come with so much confidence, they inquired of their tutor the
occasion of it, who in a little time tells them the truth of the whole
abuse. Upon which they contrive a way to be present in his chamber,
where they might hear the whole discourse at her next coming. An
opportunity soon offered, and the lewd woman persisting in her threats
of laying ill things to his charge, if she was denied what she came
for, money, his two friends stepped forth from behind the curtains to
her confusion and the shame of those who had employed her in so
vile an action; for his slanderers were punished for this their vile
attempt, who at their suffering shewed a penitent behaviour, and made
an open confession."--_Prince's Worthies of Devon_.]

[Sidenote: Cowper's epitaph]

This following Epitaph was long since presented to the world, in
memory of Mr. HOOKER, by Sir WILLIAM COWPER, who also built him a
fair Monument in Bourne Church, and acknowledges him to have been his
spiritual father.

Though nothing can be spoke worthy his fame,
Or the remembrance of that precious name,
Judicious Hooker; though this cost be spent
On him, that hath a lasting monument[1]
In his own books; yet ought we to express,
If not his worth, yet our respectfulness.
Church-Ceremonies he maintain'd; then why
Without all ceremony should he die?
Was it because his life and death should be
Both equal patterns of humility?
Or that perhaps this only glorious one
Was above all, to ask, why had he none?
Yet he, that lay so long obscurely low,
Doth now preferr'd to greater honours go.
Ambitious men, learn hence to be more wise,
Humility is the true way to rise:
And God in me this lesson did inspire,
To bid this humble man, "Friend, sit up higher."

[Footnote 1: On this monument is a bust of Hooker, representing him in
his cap and gown.]


[Sidenote: Other details]

And now, having by a long and laborious search satisfied myself, and I
hope my Reader, by imparting to him the true relation of Mr. Hooker's
life, I am desirous also to acquaint him with some observations that
relate to it, and which could not properly fall to be spoken till
after his death; of which my Reader may expect a brief and true
account in the following Appendix.

[Sidenote: Date of death]

And first, it is not to be doubted but that he died in the
forty-seventh, if not in the forty-sixth year of his age: which I
mention, because many have believed him to be more aged: but I have so
examined it, as to be confident I mistake not: and for the year of
his death, Mr. Camden, who in his Annals of Queen Elizabeth, 1599,
mentions him with a high commendation of his life and learning,
declares him to die in the year 1599; and yet in that in of his
Monument, set up at the charge of Sir William Cowper, in Bourne
Church, where Mr. Hooker was buried, his death is there said to be
in anno 1603; but doubtless both are mistaken; for I have it attested
under the hand of William Somner, the Archbishop's Registrar for the
Province of Canterbury, that Richard Hooker's Will bears date October
26th in anno 1600, and that it was proved the third of December
following. [And the Reader may take notice, that since I first writ
this Appendix to the Life of Mr. Hooker, Mr. Fulman, of Corpus Christi
College, hath shewed me a good authority for the very day and hour
of Mr. Hooker's death, in one of his books of Polity, which had been
Archbishop Laud's. In which book, beside many considerable marginal
notes of some passages of his time, under the Bishop's own hand,
there is also written in the title-page of that book--which now is
Mr. Fulman's--this attestation: Ricardus Hooker _vir summis doctrinae
dotibus ornatus, de Ecclesia praecipue Anglicana optime meritus, obiit
Novemb. 2, circiter horam secundam post-meridianum_, Anno 1600.]

[Sidenote: His daughters]

And that at his death he left four daughters, Alice, Cicely, Jane and
Margaret; that he gave to each of them an hundred pounds; that he left
Joan, his wife, his sole executrix; and that, by his inventory his
estate--a great part of it being in books--came to L1,092 9_s_. 2_d_.,
which was much more than he thought himself worth; and which was not
got by his care, much less by the good housewifery of his wife, but
saved by his trusty servant, Thomas Lane, that was wiser than his
master in getting money for him, and more frugal than his mistress in
keeping of it. Of which Will of Mr. Hooker's I shall say no more, but
that his dear friend Thomas, the father of George Cranmer,--of whom
I have spoken, and shall have occasion to say more,--was one of the
witnesses to it.

One of his elder daughters was married to one Chalinor, sometime a
School-master in Chichester, and are both dead long since. Margaret,
his youngest daughter, was married unto Ezekiel Charke, Bachelor in
Divinity, and Rector of St. Nicholas in Harbledown, near Canterbury,
who died about sixteen years past, and had a son Ezekiel, now living,
and in Sacred Orders; being at this time Rector of Waldron, in Sussex.
She left also a daughter, with both whom I have spoken not many months
past, and find her to be a widow in a condition that wants not, but
very far from abounding. And these two attested unto me, that Richard
Hooker, their grandfather, had a sister, by name Elizabeth Harvey,
that lived to the age of 121 years, and died in the month of
September, 1663.

For his other two daughters I can learn little certainty, but have
heard they both died before they were marriageable. And for his wife,
she was so unlike Jephtha's daughter, that she staid not a comely time
to bewail her widowhood; nor lived long enough to repent her second
marriage; for which, doubtless, she would have found cause, if there
had been but four months betwixt Mr. Hooker's and her death. But she
is dead, and let her other infirmities be buried with her.

Thus much briefly for his age, the year of his death, his estate, his
wife, and his children. I am next to speak of his books; concerning
which I shall have a necessity of being longer, or shall neither
do right to myself, or my Reader, which is chiefly intended in this

[Sidenote: His books]

I have declared in his Life, that he proposed Eight Books, and that
his first Four were printed anno 1594, and his Fifth book first
printed, and alone, anno 1597; and that he lived to finish the
remaining Three of the proposed Eight: but whether we have the
last Three as finished by himself, is a just and material question;
concerning which I do declare, that I have been told almost forty
years past, by one that very well knew Mr. Hooker and the affairs of
his family, that, about a month after the death of Mr. Hooker, Bishop
Whitgift, then Archbishop of Canterbury, sent one of his Chaplains to
enquire of Mrs. Hooker, for the three remaining books of Polity,
writ by her husband: of which she would not, or could not, give
any account: and that about three months after that time the Bishop
procured her to be sent for to London, and then by his procurement she
was to be examined by some of her Majesty's Council, concerning the
disposal of those books: but, by way of preparation for the next
day's examination, the Bishop invited her to Lambeth, and after some
friendly questions, she confessed to him, that one Mr. Charke, and
another Minister that dwelt near Canterbury, came to her, and desired
that they might go into her husband's study, and look upon some of
his writings: and that there they two burnt and tore many of them,
assuring her, that they were writings not fit to be seen: and that she
knew nothing more concerning them. Her lodging was then in King street
in Westminster, where she was found next morning dead in her bed, and
her new husband suspected and questioned for it; but he was declared
innocent of her death.

[Sidenote: Those of Polity]

And I declare also, that Dr. John Spencer,--mentioned in the Life of
Mr. Hooker,--who was of Mr. Hooker's College, and of his time there,
and betwixt whom there was so friendly a friendship, that they
continually advised together in all their studies, and particularly
in what concerned these books of Polity--this Dr. Spencer, the Three
perfect books being lost, had delivered into his hands--I think by
Bishop Whitgift--the imperfect books, or first rough draughts of
them, to be made as perfect as they might be by him, who both knew Mr.
Hooker's handwriting, and was best acquainted with his intentions. And
a fair testimony of this may appear by an Epistle, first, and usually
printed before Mr. Hooker's Five books,--but omitted, I know not why,
in the last impression of the Eight printed together in anno 1662, in
which the Publishers seem to impose the three doubtful books, to be
the undoubted books of Mr. Hooker,--with these two letters, J.S. at
the end of the said Epistle, which was meant for this John Spencer:
in which Epistle the Reader may find these words, which may give some
authority to what I have here written of his last Three books.

[Sidenote: "J.S.," his Epistle]

"And though Mr. Hooker hastened his own death by hastening to give
life to his books, yet he held out with his eyes to behold these
Benjamins, these sons of his right hand, though to him they proved
Benonies, sons of pain and sorrow. But some evil-disposed minds,
whether of malice or covetousness, or wicked blind zeal, it is
uncertain, as soon as they were born, and their father dead, smothered
them, and by conveying the perfect copies, left unto us nothing but
the old, imperfect, mangled draughts, dismembered into pieces; no
favour, no grace, not the shadow of themselves remaining in them. Had
the father lived to behold them thus defaced, he might rightly have
named them Benonies, the sons of sorrow: but being the learned will
not suffer them to die and be buried, it is intended the world shall
see them as they are; the learned will find in them some shadows and
resemblances of their father's face. God grant, that as they were with
their brethren dedicated to the Church for messengers of peace: so,
in the strength of that little breath of life that remaineth in them,
they may prosper in their work, and, by satisfying the doubts of
such as are willing to learn, they may help to give an end to the
calamities of these our civil wars."--J.S.

[Sidenote: The Three Books]

And next the Reader may note, that this Epistle of Dr. Spencer's
was writ and first printed within four years after the death of
Mr. Hooker, in which time all diligent search had been made for
the perfect copies; and then granted not recoverable, and therefore
endeavoured to be completed out of Mr. Hooker's rough draughts, as
is expressed by the said Dr. Spencer in the said Epistle, since whose
death it is now fifty years.

And I do profess by the faith of a Christian, that Dr. Spencer's
wife--who was my Aunt, and Sister to George Cranmer, of whom I have
spoken--told me forty years since, in these, or in words to this
purpose: "That her husband had made up, or finished Mr. Hooker's last
Three books; and that upon her husband's death-bed, or in his last
sickness, he gave them into her hand, with a charge that they should
not be seen by any man, but be by her delivered into the hands of the
then Archbishop of Canterbury, which was Dr. Abbot, or unto Dr. King,
then Bishop of London, and that she did as he enjoined her."

I do conceive, that from Dr. Spencer's, and no other copy, there have
been divers transcripts; and I know that these were to be found in
several places; as namely, in Sir Thomas Bodley's Library; in that of
Dr. Andrews, late Bishop of Winton; in the late Lord Conway's; in the
Archbishop of Canterbury's; and in the Bishop of Armagh's; and in many
others: and most of these pretended to be the Author's own hand, but
much disagreeing, being indeed altered and diminished, as men have
thought fittest to make Mr. Hooker's judgment suit with their fancies,
or give authority to their corrupt designs; and for proof of a part of
this, take these following testimonies.

[Sidenote: "Clavi Trabales"]

Dr. Barnard, sometime Chaplain to Dr. Usher, late Lord Archbishop of
Armagh, hath declared in a late book, called "Clavi Trabales," printed
by Richard Hodgkinson, anno 1661, that, in his search and examination
of the said Bishop's manuscripts, he found the Three written books
which were supposed the Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth of Mr. Hooker's
books of Ecclesiastical Polity; and that in the said Three books--now
printed as Mr. Hooker's--there are so many omissions, that they amount
to many paragraphs, and which cause many incoherencies: the omissions
are set down at large in the said printed book, to which I refer
the Reader for the whole; but think fit in this place to insert this
following short part of some of the said omissions.

[Sidenote: Omissions]

First, as there could be in natural bodies no motion of any thing,
unless there were some first which moved all things, and continued
unmoveable; even so in politic societies there must be some
unpunishable, or else no man shall suffer punishment: for sith
punishments proceed always from superiors, to whom the administration
of justice belongeth; which administration must have necessarily a
fountain, that deriveth it to all others, and receiveth not from any,
because otherwise the course of justice should go infinitely in a
circle, every superior having his superior without end, which cannot
be: therefore a well-spring, it followeth, there is: a supreme head of
justice, whereunto all are subject, but itself in subjection to none.
Which kind of pre-eminency if some ought to have in a kingdom, who
but a King shall have it? Kings, therefore, or no man, can have lawful
power to judge.

If private men offend, there is the Magistrate over them, which
judgeth; if Magistrates, they have their Prince; if Princes, there is
Heaven, a tribunal, before which they shall appear; on earth they are
not accountable to any. Here, says the Doctor, it breaks off abruptly.

And I have these words also attested under the hand of Mr. Fabian
Philips, a man of note for his useful books. "I will make oath, if I
shall be required, that Dr. Sanderson, the late Bishop of Lincoln,
did a little before his death affirm to me, he had seen a manuscript
affirmed to him to be the hand-writing of Mr. Richard Hooker, in
which there was no mention made of the King or supreme governors being
accountable to the people. This I will make oath, that that good man
attested to me.


So that there appears to be both omissions and additions in the said
last Three printed books: and this may probably be one reason why Dr.
Sanderson, the said learned Bishop,--whose writings are so highly and
justly valued,--gave a strict charge near the time of his death, or
in his last Will, "That nothing of his that was not already printed,
should be printed after his death."

[Sidenote: King Charles on Hooker]

It is well known how high a value our learned King James put upon
the books writ by Mr. Hooker; and known also that our late King
Charles--the Martyr for the Church--valued them the second of all
books, testified by his commending them to the reading of his son
Charles, that now is our gracious King: and you may suppose that this
Charles the First was not a stranger to the Three pretended books,
because, in a discourse with the Lord Say, in the time of the Long
Parliament, when the said Lord required the King to grant the truth of
his argument, because it was the judgment of Mr. Hooker,--quoting him
in one of the three written books, the King replied, "They were not
allowed to be Mr. Hooker's books: but, however, he would allow them
to be Mr. Hooker's, and consent to what his Lordship proposed to prove
out of those doubtful books, if he would but consent to the judgment
of Mr. Hooker in the other five, that were the undoubted books of Mr.

[Sidenote: To the Reader]

In this relation concerning these Three doubtful books of Mr.
Hooker's, my purpose was to enquire, then set down what I observed and
know; which I have done, not as an engaged person, but indifferently;
and now leave my Reader to give sentence, for their legitimation, as
to himself; but so as to leave others the same liberty of believing or
disbelieving them to be Mr. Hooker's: and 'tis observable, that as
Mr. Hooker advised with Dr. Spencer, in the design and manage of
these books; so also, and chiefly with his dear pupil, George
Cranmer,--whose sister was the wife of Dr. Spencer,--of which this
following letter may be a testimony, and doth also give authority to
some things mentioned both in this Appendix and in the Life of Mr.
Hooker, and is therefore added. I.W.

[Footnote 1: A Barrister of eminence, particularly noted for his
loyalty, born at Prestbury, in Gloucestershire, in 1601. He died in
1690; and was the Author of several excellent Law Tracts, as well as
one asserting that Charles I. was a martyr for his people.]


_February_, 1598.[1]

[Sidenote: New Church Discipline]

[Sidenote: Change in opinion]

What posterity is likely to judge of these matters concerning
Church-discipline, we may the better conjecture, if we call to mind
what our own age, within few years, upon better experience, hath
already judged concerning the same. It may be remembered, that at
first, the greatest part of the learned in the land were either
eagerly affected, or favourably inclined that way. The books then
written for the most part savoured of the disciplinary style; it
sounded every where in pulpits, and in common phrase of men's speech.
The contrary part began to fear they had taken a wrong course; many
which impugned the discipline, yet so impugned it, not as not being
the better form of government, but as not being so convenient for our
state, in regard of dangerous innovations thereby likely to grow: one
man [John Whitgift, the Archbishop] alone there was to speak
of,--whom let no suspicion of flattery deprive of his deserved
commendation,--who, in the defiance of the one part, and courage
of the other, stood in the gap and gave others respite to prepare
themselves to the defence, which, by the sudden eagerness and violence
of their adversaries, had otherwise been prevented, wherein God hath
made good unto him his own impress, _Vincit qui patitur:_ for what
contumelious indignities he hath at their hands sustained, the world
is witness; and what reward of honour above his adversaries God hath
bestowed upon him, themselves,--though nothing glad thereof,--must
needs confess. Now of late years the heat of men towards the
discipline is greatly decayed; their judgments begin to sway on the
other side; the learned have weighed it, and found it light; wise
men conceive some fear, lest it prove not only not the best kind of
government, but the very bane and destruction of all government. The
cause of this change in men's opinions may be drawn from the general
nature of error, disguised and clothed with the name of truth; which
did mightily and violently possess men at first, but afterwards, the
weakness thereof being by time discovered, it lost that reputation,
which before it had gained. As by the outside of an house the
passers-by are oftentimes deceived, till they see the conveniency of
the rooms within; so, by the very name of discipline and reformation,
men were drawn at first to cast a fancy towards it, but now they
have not contented themselves only to pass by and behold afar off the
fore-front of this reformed house; they have entered it, even at the
special request of the master-workmen and chief-builders thereof: they
have perused the rooms, the lights, the conveniences, and they find
them not answerable to that report which was made of them, nor to
that opinion which upon report they had conceived: so as now the
discipline, which at first triumphed over all, being unmasked,
beginneth to droop, and hang down her head.

[Sidenote: Causes]

[Sidenote: Gregory Martin]

The cause of change in opinion concerning the discipline is proper to
the learned, or to such as by them have been instructed. Another cause
there is more open, and more apparent to the view of all, namely,
the course of practice, which the Reformers have had with us from the
beginning. The first degree was only some small difference about the
cap and surplice; but not such as either bred division in the
Church, or tended to the ruin of the government established. This was
peaceable; the next degree more stirring. Admonitions were directed to
the Parliament in peremptory sort against our whole form of regiment.
In defence of them, volumes were published in English and in Latin:
yet this was no more than writing. Devices were set on foot to erect
the practice of the discipline without authority; yet herein some
regard of modesty, some moderation was used. Behold at length it brake
forth into open outrage, first in writing by Martin;[2] in whose
kind of dealing these things may be observed: 1. That whereas Thomas
Cartwright and others his great masters, had always before set out the
discipline as a Queen, and as the daughter of God; he contrariwise, to
make her more acceptable to the people, brought her forth as a
Vice[3] upon the stage. 2. This conceit of his was grounded--as may
be supposed--upon this rare policy, that seeing the discipline was by
writing refuted, in Parliament rejected, in secret corners hunted
out and decried, it was imagined that by open railing,--which to the
vulgar is commonly most plausible,--the State Ecclesiastical might
have been drawn into such contempt and hatred, as the overthrow
thereof should have been most grateful to all men, and in a manner
desired by all the common people. 3. It may be noted--and this I know
myself to be true--how some of them, although they could not for shame
approve so lewd an action, yet were content to lay hold on it to
the advancement of their cause, by acknowledging therein the secret
judgments of God against the Bishops, and hoping that some good might
be wrought thereby for his Church; as indeed there was, though
not according to their construction. For 4thly, contrary to their
expectation, that railing spirit did not only not further, but
extremely disgrace and prejudice their cause, when it was once
perceived from how low degrees of contradiction, at first, to what
outrage of contumely and slander, they were at length proceeded; and
were also likely to proceed further.

[Sidenote: Hacket and Coppinger]

A further degree of outrage was also in fact: certain [Hacket and
Coppinger] prophets did arise, who deeming it not possible that God
should suffer that to be undone, which they did so fiercely desire to
have done, namely, that his holy saints, the favourers and fathers of
the discipline, should be enlarged and delivered from persecution;
and seeing no means of deliverance ordinary, were fain to persuade
themselves that God must needs raise some extraordinary means; and
being persuaded of none so well as of themselves, they forthwith must
needs be the instruments of this great work. Hereupon they framed
unto themselves an assured hope, that, upon their preaching out of a
peascart in Cheapside, all the multitude would have presently joined
unto them, and in amazement of mind have asked them, _Viri fratres,
quid agimus?_ whereunto it is likely they would have returned an
answer far unlike to that of St. Peter: "Such and such are men
unworthy to govern; pluck them down: such and such are the dear
children of God; let them be advanced."

Of two of these men it is meet to speak with all commiseration; yet
so, that others by their example may receive instruction, and withal
some light may appear, what stirring affections the discipline is like
to inspire, if it light upon apt and prepared minds.

[Sidenote: Bancroft's book]

Now if any man doubt of what society they were; or if the Reformers
disclaim them, pretending that by them they were condemned; let
these points be considered. 1. Whose associates were they before they
entered into this frantic passion? Whose sermons did they frequent?
Whom did they admire? 2. Even when they were entering into it, Whose
advice did they require? and when they were in, Whose approbation?
Whom advertised they of their purpose? Whose assistance by prayer did
they request? But we deal injuriously with them to lay this to their
charge; for they reproved and condemned it. How! did they disclose
it to the Magistrate, that it might be suppressed? or were they not
rather content to stand aloof off, and see the end of it, as being
loath to quench that spirit? No doubt these mad practitioners were of
their society, with whom before, and in the practice of their madness,
they had most affinity. Hereof read Dr. Bancroft's book.[4]

[Sidenote: Brownists and Barrowists]

A third inducement may be to dislike of the discipline, if we consider
not only how far the Reformers themselves have proceeded, but what
others upon their foundations have built. Here come the Brownists[5]
in the first rank, their lineal descendants, who have seized upon a
number of strange opinions; whereof, although their ancestors, the
Reformers, were never actually possessed, yet, by right and interest
from them derived, the Brownists and Barrowists[6] have taken
possession of them: for if the positions of the Reformers be true, I
cannot see how the main and general conclusions of Brownism should be
false; for upon these two points, as I conceive, they stand.

[Sidenote: Their two points]

1. That, because we have no Church, they are to sever themselves from
us. 2. That without Civil authority they are to erect a Church of
their own. And if the former of these be true, the latter, I suppose,
will follow: for if above all things men be to regard their salvation;
and if out of the Church there be no salvation; it followeth, that,
if we have no Church, we have no means of salvation; and therefore
separation from us in that respect is both lawful and necessary; as
also, that men, so separated from the false and counterfeit Church,
are to associate themselves unto some Church; not to ours; to the
Popish much less; therefore to one of their own making. Now the ground
of all these inferences being this, That in our Church there is no
means of salvation, is out of the Reformers' principles most clearly
to be proved. For wheresoever any matter of faith unto salvation
necessary is denied, there can be no means of salvation; but in the
Church of England, the discipline, by them accounted a matter of
faith, and necessary to salvation, is not only denied, but impugned,
and the professors thereof oppressed. _Ergo_.

Again,--but this reason perhaps is weak,--every true Church of Christ
acknowledgeth the whole Gospel of Christ: the discipline, in their
opinion, is a part of the Gospel, and yet by our Church resisted.

[Sidenote: Essential discipline]

Again, the discipline is essentially united to the Church: by which
term essentially, they must mean either an essential part, or an
essential property. Both which ways it must needs be, that where that
essential discipline is not, neither is there any Church. If therefore
between them and the Brownists there should be appointed a solemn
disputation, whereof with us they have been oftentimes so earnest
challengers; it doth not yet appear what other answer they could
possibly frame to these and the like arguments, wherewith they may be
pressed, but fairly to deny the conclusion,--for all the premises
are their own,--or rather ingeniously to reverse their own principles
before laid, whereon so foul absurdities have been so firmly built.
What further proofs you can bring out of their high words, magnifying
the discipline, I leave to your better remembrance: but, above all
points, I am desirous this one should be strongly enforced against
them, because it wringeth them most of all, and is of all others--for
aught I see--the most unanswerable. You may notwithstanding say, that
you would be heartily glad these their positions might be salved, as
the Brownists might not appear to have issued out of their loins: but
until that be done, they must give us leave to think that they have
cast the seed whereout these tares are grown.

[Sidenote: "Godless politics"]

Another sort of men there are, which have been content to run on with
the Reformers for a time, and to make them poor instruments of their
own designs. These are a sort of godless politics, who, perceiving
the plot of discipline to consist of these two parts, the overthrow
of Episcopal, and erection of Presbyterial authority; and that this
latter can take no place till the former be removed; are content to
join with them in the destructive part of discipline, bearing them in
hand, that in the other also they shall find them as ready. But when
time shall come, it may be they would be as loath to be yoked with
that kind of regiment, as now they are willing to be released from
this. These men's ends in all their actions is distraction; their
pretence and colour, reformation. Those things which under this
colour they have effected to their own good, are, 1. By maintaining a
contrary faction, they have kept the Clergy always in awe, and
thereby made them more pliable, and willing to buy their peace. 2. By
maintaining an opinion of equality among ministers, they have made way
to their own purposes for devouring Cathedral Churches, and Bishops'
livings. 3. By exclaiming against abuses in the Church, they have
carried their own corrupt dealing in the Civil State more covertly.
For such is the nature of the multitude, that they are not able to
apprehend many things at once; so as being possessed with a dislike or
liking of any one thing, many other in the mean time may escape them
without being perceived. 4. They have sought to disgrace the Clergy,
in entertaining a conceit in men's minds, and confirming it by
continual practice, That men of learning, and especially of the
Clergy, which are employed in the chiefest kind of learning, are not
to be admitted to matters of State; contrary to the practice of all
well-governed commonwealths, and of our own till these late years.

[Sidenote: Atheists]

[Sidenote: Causes of Atheism]

A third sort of men there are, though not descended from the
Reformers, yet in part raised and greatly strengthened by them;
namely, the cursed crew of Atheists. This also is one of those points,
which I am desirous you should handle most effectually, and strain
yourself therein to all points of motion and affection; as in that of
the Brownists, to all strength and sinews of reason. This is a sort
most damnable, and yet by the general suspicion of the world at
this day most common. The causes of it, which are in the parties
themselves, although you handle in the beginning of the fifth book,
yet here again they may be touched: but the occasions of help and
furtherance, which by the Reformers have been yielded unto them, are,
as I conceive, two; namely, senseless preaching, and disgracing of the
Ministry: for how should not men dare to impugn that, which neither
by force of reason, nor by authority of persons, is maintained? But in
the parties themselves these two causes I conceive of Atheism: 1. More
abundance of wit than judgment, and of witty than judicious learning;
whereby they are more inclined to contradict any thing, than willing
to be informed of the truth. They are not therefore men of sound
learning for the most part, but smatterers; neither is their kind of
dispute so much by force of argument, as by scoffing; which humour
of scoffing, and turning matters most serious into merriment, is now
become so common, as we are not to marvel what the Prophet means
by the seat of scorners, nor what the Apostles, by foretelling of
scorners to come; for our own age hath verified their speech unto
us: which also may be an argument against these scoffers and Atheists
themselves, seeing it hath been so many ages ago foretold, that such
men the latter days of the world should afford: which could not
be done by any other spirit, save that whereunto things future and
present are alike. And even for the main question of the resurrection,
whereat they stick so mightily, was it not plainly foretold, that men
should in the latter times say, "Where is the promise of his coming?"
Against the creation, the ark, and divers other points, exceptions are
said to be taken, the ground whereof is superfluity of wit, without
ground of learning and judgment. A second cause of Atheism is
sensuality, which maketh men desirous to remove all stops and
impediments of their wicked life; among which because Religion is the
chiefest, so as neither in this life without shame they can persist
therein, nor--if that be true--without torment in the life to come;
they therefore whet their wits to annihilate the joys of Heaven,
wherein they see--if any such be--they can have no part, and likewise
the pains of Hell, wherein their portion must needs be very great.
They labour therefore, not that they may not deserve those pains, but
that, deserving them, there may be no such pains to seize upon them.
But what conceit can be imagined more base, than that man should
strive to persuade himself even against the secret instinct, no doubt,
of his own mind, that his soul is as the soul of a beast, mortal, and
corruptible with the body? Against which barbarous opinion their own
Atheism is a very strong argument. For, were not the soul a nature
separable from the body, how could it enter into discourse of things
merely spiritual, and nothing at all pertaining to the body? Surely
the soul were not able to conceive any thing of Heaven, no not so much
as to dispute against Heaven, and against God, if there were not in it
somewhat heavenly, and derived from God.

[Sidenote: Papists]

The last which have received strength and encouragement from the
Reformers are Papists; against whom, although they are most bitter
enemies, yet unwittingly they have given them great advantage. For
what can any enemy rather desire than the breach and dissension of
those which are confederates against him? Wherein they are to remember
that if our communion with Papists in some few ceremonies do so much
strengthen them, as is pretended, how much more doth this division and
rent among ourselves, especially seeing it is maintained to be, not in
light matters only, but even in matters of faith and salvation? Which
over-reaching speech of theirs, because it is so open an advantage for
the Barrowist and the Papist, we are to wish and hope for, that they
will acknowledge it to have been spoken rather in heat of affection,
than with soundness of judgment; and that through their exceeding love
to that creature of discipline which themselves have bred, nourished,
and maintained, their mouth in commendation of her did so often

[Sidenote: Points of controversy]

From hence you may proceed--but the means of connexion I leave to
yourself--to another discourse, which I think very meet to be handled
either here or elsewhere at large; the parts whereof may be these: 1.
That in this cause between them and us, men are to sever the proper
and essential points and controversy from those which are accidental.
The most essential and proper are these two: overthrow of the
Episcopal, and erection of Presbyterial authority. But in these two
points whosoever joineth with them, is accounted of their number;
whosoever in all other points agreeth with them, yet thinketh the
authority of Bishops not unlawful, and of Elders not necessary, may
justly be severed from their retinue. Those things, therefore, which
either in the persons, or in the laws and orders themselves are
faulty, may be complained on, acknowledged, and amended, yet they no
whit the nearer their main purpose: for what if all errors by them
supposed in our Liturgy were amended, even according to their own
heart's desire; if non-residence, pluralities, and the like were
utterly taken away; are their lay-elders therefore presently
authorized? or their sovereign ecclesiastical jurisdiction

[Sidenote: Faults of the complainants]

But even in their complaining against the outward and accidental
matters in Church-Government, they are many ways faulty. 1. In their
end, which they propose to themselves. For in declaiming against
abuses, their meaning is not to have them redressed, but, by
disgracing the present state, to make way for their own discipline. As
therefore in Venice, if any Senator should discourse against the
power of their Senate, as being either too sovereign, or too weak in
government, with purpose to draw their authority to a moderation, it
might well be suffered; but not so, if it should appear he spake with
purpose to induce another state by depriving the present. So in all
causes belonging either to Church or Commonwealth, we are to have
regard what mind the complaining part doth bear, whether of amendment
or innovation; and accordingly either to suffer or suppress it. Their
objection therefore is frivolous, "Why, may not men speak against
abuses?" Yes; but with desire to cure the part affected, not
to destroy the whole. 2. A second fault is in their manner of
complaining, not only because it is for the most part in bitter and
reproachful terms, but also it is to the common people, who are judges
incompetent and insufficient, both to determine any thing amiss, and
for want of skill and authority to amend it. Which also discovereth
their intent and purpose to be rather destructive than corrective. 3.
Those very exceptions which they take are frivolous and impertinent.
Some things indeed they accuse as impious; which if they may appear to
be such, God forbid they should be maintained.

[Sidenote: "Doubly Deceived"]

Against the rest it is only alleged, that they are idle ceremonies
without use, and that better and more profitable might be devised.
Wherein they are doubly deceived; for neither is it a sufficient plea
to say, this must give place, because a better may be devised; because
in our judgments of better and worse, we oftentimes conceive amiss,
when we compare those things which are in devise with those which are
in practice: for the imperfections of the one are hid, till by time
and trial they be discovered: the others are already manifest and
open to all. But last of all,--which is a point in my opinion of great
regard, and which I am desirous to have enlarged,--they do not see
that for the most part when they strike at the State Ecclesiastical,
they secretly wound the Civil State, for personal faults; "What can
be said against the Church, which may not also agree to the
Commonwealth?" In both, Statesmen have always been, and will be
always, men; sometimes blinded with error, most commonly perverted
by passions; many unworthy have been and are advanced in both; many
worthy not regarded. And as for abuses, which they pretend to be in
the law themselves; when they inveigh against non-residence, do they
take it a matter lawful or expedient in the Civil State, for a man
to have a great and gainful office in the North, himself continually
remaining in the South? "He that hath an office let him attend his
office." When they condemn plurality of livings spiritual to the pit
of Hell, what think they of the infinity of temporal promotions? By
the great Philosopher, _Pol. lib. ii. cap. 9,_ it is forbidden as a
thing most dangerous to Commonwealths, that by the same man many great
offices should be exercised. When they deride our ceremonies as vain
and frivolous, were it hard to apply their exceptions even to those
civil ceremonies, which at the Coronation, in Parliament, and all
Courts of Justice, are used? Were it hard to argue even against
Circumcision, the ordinance of God, as being a cruel ceremony? against
the Passover, as being ridiculous--shod, girt, a staff in their hand,
to eat a lamb?

[Sidenote: Conclusion]

To conclude: you may exhort the Clergy,--or what if you direct your
conclusion not to the Clergy in general, but only to the learned in or
of both Universities?--you may exhort them to a due consideration of
all things, and to a right esteem and valuing of each thing in that
degree wherein it ought to stand. For it oftentimes falleth out, that
what men have either devised themselves, or greatly delighted in,
the price and the excellency thereof they do admire above desert. The
chiefest labour of a Christian should be to know, of a Minister to
preach Christ crucified: in regard whereof, not only worldly things,
but things otherwise precious, even the discipline itself, is vile
and base. Whereas now, by the heat of contention, and violence of
affection, the zeal of men towards the one hath greatly decayed their
love to the other. Hereunto therefore they are to be exhorted to
preach Christ Crucified, the mortification of the flesh, the renewing
of the Spirit; not those things which in time of strife seem precious
but--passions being allayed--are vain and childish. G.C.

[Footnote 1: This admirable dissertation originally appeared in 1642,
entitled, "Concerning the New Church Discipline; an excellent Letter
written by Mr. George Cranmer, to Mr. R.H."]

[Footnote 2: Gregory Martin, born at Maxfield, near Winchelsea,
admitted of St. John's Coll. Oxford, 1557, embraced the Roman
Catholic Religion and was ordained priest at Douay, 1573. The Rheims
translation of the Vulgate has been ascribed entirely to him. He died
at Rheims in 1582.]

[Footnote 3: Vice was the fool of the old moralities, with his dagger
of lath, a long coat, and a cap with a pair of ass's ears.]

[Footnote 4: Entitled "A Survey of the pretended holy Discipline,
to which is prefixed a Sermon, preached against the Puritans, at
St. Paul's Cross, Feb. 9, 1588-9, from the following text: 'Dearly
beloved, believe not every Spirit, but try the Spirits whether they be
of God, for many false Prophets have gone out into the world.' I John
iv. 1."]

[Footnote 5: Robert Brown, a native of Northampton, educated at Corpus
Christi College in Cambridge, was the founder of a sect of Puritans,
who took their name from him. He wrote several tracts in support
of his opinions, and sustained various persecutions, having been
committed at different times to thirty-two prisons, in some of which
he could not see his hand at broad day. Before his removal with his
followers to Middleburg in Zealand, he became disgusted with their
divisions and disputes; and though he had gone a further distance than
any of the Puritans did, he renounced his principles of separation,
being promoted by his relation, Lord Burghley, to the benefice of
Achurch in Northamptonshire. He died in Northampton Gaol in 1630, in
the 80th year of his age, having been sent thither by a justice of the
peace for assaulting a constable, who was executing a warrant against

[Footnote 6: So denominated from Henry Barrow, a layman, and noted
sectary, who was executed at Tyburn on 6th April, 1593, for publishing
seditious books against the Queen and the State.]


[Sidenote: Hooker's Works]

The Works of Mr. Hooker, exclusive of the Books of Ecclesiastical
Polity, are,

I. "ANSWER to the SUPPLICATION that Mr. TRAVERS made to the COUNCIL.
_Oxon_. 1612." 4to.

II. "A learned DISCOURSE of JUSTIFICATION, WORKS, and how the
FOUNDATION of FAITH is overthrown: on _Habak_. i. 4. _Oxon_. 1612."

III. "A learned SERMON of the NATURE of PRIDE: on _Habak_. ii. 4.
_Oxon_. 1612." 4to.

IV. "A REMEDY against SORROW and FEAR, delivered in a FUNERAL SERMON:
on _John_ xiv. 27. _Oxon_. 1612." 4to.

V. "A learned and comfortable SERMON of the CERTAINTY and PERPETUITY
of FAITH in the ELECT: especially of the PROPHET HABAKKUK'S FAITH: on
_Habak_. i. 4. _Oxon_. 1612." 4to.

VI. "TWO SERMONS upon part of ST. JUDE'S EPISTLE. _Epist. Jude_, ver.
17, 18, 19, 20, 21, _Oxon_. 1613." 4to.

VII. In 1641, a volume was published under the following title: "A
whereby the EPISCOPAL GOVERNMENT of CHRIST'S CHURCH is vindicated,"
out of the rude draughts of Launcelot Andrews, late Bishop of

To this volume is prefixed, as a preamble to the whole, "A DISCOVERY
of the CAUSES of these CONTENTIONS touching CHURCH GOVERNMENT, out of

This volume contains certain brief treatises, written by divers
learned men, concerning the ancient and modern Government of the
Church. The treatises are seven in number, of which this posthumous
work of Mr. Hooker is one, and as it stands before the rest it is
therefore called a Preamble to the whole.

VIII. THREE TREATISES inserted in the "CLAVI TRABALES," viz. 1. "On
the KING'S POWER in Matters of RELIGION." 2. "Of his POWER in the

It will not be improper to notice a publication of great merit,
entitled "A FAITHFUL ABRIDGMENT of the WORKS of that learned and
judicious Divine, Mr. RICHARD HOOKER, in eight books of ECCLESIASTICAL
POLITY, and of all the other Treatises which were written by the same
Author. With an Account of his Life. By a Divine of the Church of
England. _London_, 1705."


"Where with a soul composed of harmonies,
Like a sweet swan, he warbles as he dies
His Maker's praise, and his own obsequies."



[Sidenote: A box of ointment]

In a late retreat from the business of this world, and those many
little cares with which I have too often cumbered myself, I fell into
a contemplation of some of those historical passages that are recorded
in Sacred Story: and more particularly of what had passed betwixt our
blessed Saviour and that wonder of Women, and Sinners, and Mourners,
St. Mary Magdalen. I call her Saint, because I did not then, nor do
now consider her, as when she was possessed with seven devils; not as
when her wanton eyes and dishevelled hair were designed and managed
to charm and ensnare amorous beholders. But I did then, and do now
consider her, as after she had expressed a visible and sacred sorrow
for her sensualities; as after those eyes had wept such a flood of
penitential tears as did wash, and that hair had wiped, and she most
passionately kissed the feet of her's and our blessed Jesus. And I do
now consider, that because she loved much, not only much was forgiven
her: but that beside that blessed blessing of having her sins
pardoned, and the joy of knowing her happy condition, she also had
from him a testimony, that her alabaster box of precious ointment
poured on his head and feet, and that spikenard, and those spices
that were by her dedicated to embalm and preserve his sacred body
from putrefaction, should so far preserve her own memory, that these
demonstrations of her sanctified love, and of her officious and
generous gratitude, should be recorded and mentioned wheresoever his
Gospel should be read; intending thereby, that as his, so her name,
should also live to succeeding generations, even till time itself
shall be no more.

[Sidenote: Reasons for this Life]

Upon occasion of which fair example, I did lately look back, and not
without some content,--at least to myself,--that I have endeavoured to
deserve the love, and preserve the memory, of my two deceased friends,
Dr. Donne, and Sir Henry Wotton, by declaring the several employments
and various accidents of their lives. And though Mr. George
Herbert--whose Life I now intend to write--were to me a stranger as to
his person, for I have only seen him; yet since he was, and was worthy
to be, their friend, and very many of his have been mine, I judge it
may not be unacceptable to those that knew any of them in their
lives, or do now know them by mine, or their own writings, to see this
conjunction of them after their deaths; without which, many things
that concerned them, and some things that concerned the age in which
they lived, would be less perfect, and lost to posterity.

For these reasons I have undertaken it; and if I have prevented any
abler person, I beg pardon of him and my Reader.


[Sidenote: Birth and family]

George Herbert was born the Third day of April, in the Year of our
Redemption 1593. The place of his birth was near to the Town of
Montgomery, and in that Castle[1] that did then bear the name of that
Town and County; that Castle was then a place of state and strength,
and had been successively happy in the Family of the Herberts, who
had long possessed it; and with it, a plentiful estate, and hearts
as liberal to their poor neighbours. A family, that hath been blessed
with men of remarkable wisdom, and a willingness to serve their
country, and, indeed, to do good to all mankind; for which they
are eminent: But alas! this family did in the late rebellion suffer
extremely in their estates; and the heirs of that Castle saw it laid
level with that earth, that was too good to bury those wretches that
were the cause of it.

[Sidenote: Father and mother]

The Father of our George was Richard Herbert, the son of Edward
Herbert, Knight, the son of Richard Herbert, Knight, the son of the
famous Sir Richard Herbert of Colebrook, in the County of Monmouth,
Banneret, who was the youngest brother of that memorable William
Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, that lived in the reign of our King Edward
the Fourth.

His Mother was Magdalen Newport, the youngest daughter of Sir Richard,
and sister to Sir Francis Newport of High-Arkall, in the County of
Salop, Knight, and grandfather of Francis Lord Newport, now Controller
of his Majesty's Household. A family that for their loyalty have
suffered much in their estates, and seen the ruin of that excellent
structure, where their ancestors have long lived, and been memorable
for their hospitality.

[Sidenote: Lord Herbert of Cherbury]

This Mother of George Herbert--of whose person, and wisdom, and virtue
I intend to give a true account in a seasonable place--was the happy
Mother of seven sons and three daughters, which she would often say
was Job's number, and Job's distribution; and as often bless God, that
they were neither defective in their shapes, or in their reason;
and very often reprove them that did not praise God for so great a
blessing. I shall give the Reader a short account of their names, and
not say much of their fortunes. Edward, the eldest, was first made
Knight of the Bath, at that glorious time of our late Prince Henry's
being installed Knight of the Garter; after many years' useful travel,
and the attainment of many languages, he was by King James sent
Ambassador resident to the then French King, Lewis the thirteenth.
There he continued about two years; but he could not subject himself
to a compliance with the humours of the Duke de Luisnes, who was then
the great and powerful favourite at Court: so that upon a complaint to
our King, he was called back into England in some displeasure; but at
his return he gave such an honourable account of his employment, and
so justified his comportment to the Duke and all the Court, that he
was suddenly sent back upon the same Embassy, from which he returned
in the beginning of the reign of our good King Charles the First, who
made him first Baron of Castle-Island, and not long after of Cherbury,
in the County of Salop. He was a man of great learning and reason, as
appears by his printed book "De Veritate," and by his "History of the
reign of King Henry the Eighth," and by several other tracts.[2]

[Sidenote: Other Herberts]

The second and third brothers were Richard and William, who ventured
their lives to purchase honour in the wars of the Low Countries, and
died officers in that employment. Charles was the fourth, and died
fellow of New College in Oxford. Henry was the sixth, who became
a menial servant to the Crown in the days of King James, and hath
continued to be so for fifty years; during all which time he hath been
Master of the Revels; a place that requires a diligent wisdom, with
which God hath blessed him. The seventh son was Thomas, who, being
made captain of a ship in that fleet with which Sir Robert Mansell
was sent against Algiers, did there shew a fortunate and true English
valour. Of the three sisters I need not say more, than that they were
all married to persons of worth, and plentiful fortunes; and lived to
be examples of virtue, and to do good in their generations.

[Sidenote: George Herbert]

I now come to give my intended account of George, who was the fifth of
those seven brothers.

George Herbert spent much of his childhood in a sweet content under
the eye and care of his prudent Mother, and the tuition of a Chaplain,
or tutor to him and two of his brothers, in her own family,--for she
was then a widow,--where he continued till about the age of twelve
years; and being at that time well instructed in the rules of Grammar,
he was not long after commended to the care of Dr. Neale,[3] who was
then Dean of Westminster; and by him to the care of Mr. Ireland,[4]
who was then Chief Master of that School; where the beauties of his
pretty behaviour and wit shined, and became so eminent and lovely in
this his innocent age, that he seemed to be marked out for piety, and
to become the care of Heaven, and of a particular good angel to guard
and guide him. And thus he continued in that School, till he came
to be perfect in the learned languages, and especially in the Greek
tongue, in which he after proved an excellent critic.

[Sidenote: At Cambridge]

About the age of fifteen--he being then a King's Scholar--he was
elected out of that School for Trinity College in Cambridge, to which
place he was transplanted about the year 1608; and his prudent Mother,
well knowing that he might easily lose or lessen that virtue and
innocence, which her advice and example had planted in his mind, did
therefore procure the generous and liberal Dr. Nevil,[5] who was then
Dean of Canterbury, and Master of that College, to take him into his
particular care, and provide him a tutor; which he did most gladly
undertake, for he knew the excellencies of his mother, and how to
value such a friendship.

This was the method of his education, till he was settled in
Cambridge; where we will leave him in his study, till I have paid my
promised account of his excellent mother; and I will endeavour to make
it short.

[Sidenote: Lady Magdalen Herbert]

I have told her birth, her marriage, and the number of her children,
and have given some short account of them. I shall next tell the
Reader, that her husband died when our George was about the age of
four years: I am next to tell, that she continued twelve years a
widow; that she then married happily to a noble gentleman, the brother
and heir of the Lord Danvers,[6] Earl of Danby, who did highly value
both her person and the most excellent endowments of her mind.

[Sidenote: Her character]

[Sidenote: Dr. Donne]

In this time of her widowhood, she being desirous to give Edward, her
eldest son, such advantages of learning, and other education, as might
suit his birth and fortune, and thereby make him the more fit for the
service of his country, did, at his being of a fit age, remove from
Montgomery Castle with him, and some of her younger sons, to Oxford;
and having entered Edward into Queen's College, and provided him a
fit tutor, she commended him to his care, yet she continued there
with him, and still kept him in a moderate awe of herself, and so
much under her own eye, as to see and converse with him daily: but she
managed this power over him without any such rigid sourness as might
make her company a torment to her child; but with such a sweetness and
compliance with the recreations and pleasures of youth, as did incline
him willingly to spend much of his time in the company of his dear and
careful mother; which was to her great content: for she would often
say, "That as our bodies take a nourishment suitable to the meat
on which we feed; so our souls do as insensibly take in vice by the
example or conversation with wicked company:" and would therefore
as often say, "That ignorance of vice was the best preservation of
virtue; and that the very knowledge of wickedness was as tinder to
inflame and kindle sin and keep it burning." For these reasons she
endeared him to her own company, and continued with him in Oxford four
years; in which time her great and harmless wit, her cheerful gravity,
and her obliging behaviour, gained her an acquaintance and friendship
with most of any eminent worth or learning, that were at that time
in or near that University; and particularly with Mr. John Donne, who
then came accidentally to that place, in this time of her being
there. It was that John Donne who was after Dr. Donne, and Dean of St.
Paul's, London: and he, at his leaving Oxford, writ and left there, in
verse, a character of the beauties of her body and mind: of the first
he says,

No Spring nor Summer-beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in an Autumnal face.

Of the latter he says,

In all her words to every hearer fit,
You may at revels, or at council sit.

The rest of her character may be read in his printed poems, in that
Elegy which bears the name of "The Autumnal Beauty." For both he and
she were then past the meridian of man's life.

This amity, begun at this time and place, was not an amity that
polluted their souls; but an amity made up of a chain of suitable
inclinations and virtues; an amity like that of St. Chrysostom's to
his dear and virtuous Olympias; whom, in his letters, he calls his
Saint: or an amity, indeed, more like that of St. Hierome to his
Paula; whose affection to her was such, that he turned poet in his old
age, and then made her epitaph: wishing all his body were turned into
tongues, that he might declare her just praises to posterity. And this
amity betwixt her and Mr. Donne was begun in a happy time for him, he
being then near to the fortieth year of his age,--which was some years
before he entered into Sacred Orders;--a time when his necessities
needed a daily supply for the support of his wife, seven children,
and a family. And in this time she proved one of his most bountiful
benefactors; and he as grateful an acknowledger of it. You may take
one testimony for what I have said of these two worthy persons, from
this following Letter and Sonnet.

[Sidenote: Letter and Sonnet]


"Your favours to me are every where: I use them and have them. I enjoy
them at London, and leave them there; and yet find them at Mitcham.
Such riddles as these become things inexpressible; and such is your
goodness. I was almost sorry to find your servant here this day;
because I was loath to have any witness of my not coming home last
night, and indeed of my coming this morning. But my not coming was
excusable, because earnest business detained me; and my coming this
day is by the example of your St. Mary Magdalen, who rose early upon
Sunday to seek that which she loved most; and so did I. And, from her
and myself, I return such thanks as are due to one, to whom we owe all
the good opinion, that they, whom we need most, have of us. By this
messenger, and on this good day, I commit the inclosed Holy Hymns and
Sonnets--which for the matter, not the workmanship, have yet escaped
the fire--to your judgment, and to your protection too, if you think
them worthy of it; and I have appointed this inclosed Sonnet to usher
them to your happy hand.

"Your unworthiest servant,
Unless your accepting him to be so have mended him,

"Mitcham, July 11, 1607."


Her of your name, whose fair inheritance
Bethina was, and jointure Magdalo,
An active faith so highly did advance,
That she once knew more than the Church did know,
The Resurrection! so much good there is
Delivered of her, that some Fathers be
Loth to believe one woman could do this:
But think these Magdalens were two or three.
Increase their number, Lady, and their fame:
To their devotion add your innocence:
Take so much of th' example, as of the name;
The latter half; and in some recompense
That they did harbour Christ himself, a guest,
Harbour these Hymns, to his dear name addrest.

These Hymns are now lost to us; but doubtless they were such as they
two now sing in Heaven.

[Sidenote: Her Funeral Sermon]

There might be more demonstrations of the friendship, and the many
sacred endearments betwixt these two excellent persons,--for I have
many of their letters in my hand,--and much more might be said of her
great prudence and piety: but my design was not to write her's, but
the life of her son; and therefore I shall only tell my Reader, that
about that very day twenty years that this letter was dated, and sent
her, I saw and heard this Mr. John Donne--who was then Dean of St.
Paul's--weep, and preach her Funeral Sermon, in the Parish Church
of Chelsea, near London, where she now rests in her quiet grave: and
where we must now leave her, and return to her son George, whom we
left in his study in Cambridge. And in Cambridge we may find our
George Herbert's behaviour to be such, that we may conclude he
consecrated the first-fruits of his early age to virtue, and a serious
study of learning. And that he did so, this following Letter and
Sonnet, which were, in the first year of his going to Cambridge,
sent his dear Mother for a New-year's gift, may appear to be some

[Sidenote: A Letter]

--"But I fear the heat of my late ague hath dried up those springs,
by which scholars say the Muses use to take up their habitations.
However, I need not their help to reprove the vanity of those many
love-poems, that are daily writ, and consecrated to Venus; nor to
bewail that so few are writ, that look towards God and Heaven. For my
own part, my meaning--dear Mother--is, in these Sonnets, to declare my
resolution to be, that my poor abilities in Poetry, shall be all and
ever consecrated to God's glory: and I beg you to receive this as one

[Sidenote: and Sonnets]

My God, where is that ancient heat towards thee,
Wherewith whole shoals of Martyrs once did burn,
Besides their other flames? Doth Poetry
Wear Venus' livery? only serve her turn?
Why are not Sonnets made of thee? and lays
Upon thine altar burnt? Cannot thy love
Heighten a spirit to sound out thy praise
As well as any she? Cannot thy Dove
Outstrip their Cupid easily in flight?
Or, since thy ways are deep, and still the same,
Will not a verse run smooth that bears thy name?
Why doth that fire, which by thy power and might
Each breast does feel, no braver fuel choose
Than that, which one day, worms may chance refuse?
Sure, Lord, there is enough in thee to dry
Oceans of ink; for as the Deluge did
Cover the Earth, so doth thy Majesty;
Each cloud distils thy praise, and doth forbid
Poets to turn it to another use.
Roses and lilies speak Thee; and to make
A pair of cheeks of them, is thy abuse.
Why should I women's eyes for crystal take?
Such poor invention burns in their low mind
Whose fire is wild, and doth not upward go
To praise, and on thee, Lord, some ink bestow.
Open the bones, and you shall nothing find
In the best face but filth; when, Lord, in Thee
The beauty lies in the discovery.

This was his resolution at the sending this letter to his dear Mother,
about which time he was in the seventeenth year of his age: and as he
grew older, so he grew in learning, and more and more in favour both
with God and man: insomuch that, in this morning of that short day
of his life, he seemed to be marked out for virtue, and to become the
care of Heaven; for God still kept his soul in so holy a frame, that
he may, and ought to be a pattern of virtue to all posterity, and
especially to his brethren of the Clergy, of which the Reader may
expect a more exact account in what will follow.

[Sidenote: College honours]

I need not declare that he was a strict student, because, that he was
so, there will be many testimonies in the future part of his life. I
shall therefore only tell, that he was made Minor Fellow in the year
1609, Bachelor of Arts in the year 1611; Major Fellow of the College,
March 15th, 1615: and that in that year he was also made Master of
Arts, he being then in the 22nd year of his age; during all which
time, all, or the greatest diversion from his study, was the practice
of Music, in which he became a great master; and of which he would
say, "That it did relieve his drooping spirits, compose his distracted
thoughts, and raised his weary soul so far above earth, that it gave
him an earnest of the joys of Heaven, before he possessed them." And
it may be noticed, that from his first entrance into the College, the
generous Dr. Nevil was a cherisher of his studies, and such a lover of
his person, his behaviour, and the excellent endowments of his mind,
that he took him often into his own company; by which he confirmed his
native gentleness: and if during his time he expressed any error,
it was, that he kept himself too much retired, and at too great a
distance with all his inferiors; and his clothes seemed to prove, that
he put too great a value on his parts and parentage.

[Sidenote: Orator]

This may be some account of his disposition, and of the employment of
his time till he was Master of Arts, which was anno 1615, and in the
year 1619 he was chosen Orator for the University. His two precedent
Orators were Sir Robert Naunton,[7] and Sir Francis Nethersole.[8] The
first was not long after made Secretary of State, and Sir Francis,
not very long after his being Orator, was made Secretary to the
Lady Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia. In this place of Orator our George
Herbert continued eight years; and managed it with as becoming and
grave a gaiety, as any had ever before or since his time. For "he had
acquired great learning, and was blessed with a high fancy, a civil
and sharp wit; and with a natural elegance, both in his behaviour, his
tongue, and his pen." Of all which there might be very many particular
evidences; but I will limit myself to the mention of but three.

[Sidenote: Letter to King James]

And the first notable occasion of shewing his fitness for this
employment of Orator was manifested in a letter to King James, upon
the occasion of his sending that University his book called "Basilicon
Doron;"[9] and their Orator was to acknowledge this great honour, and
return their gratitude to his Majesty for such a condescension; at the
close of which letter he writ,

Quid Vaticanam Bodleianamque objicis, hospes!
Unicus est nobis Bibliotheca Liber.

This letter was writ in such excellent Latin, was so full of conceits,
and all the expressions so suited to the genius of the King, that he
enquired the Orator's name, and then asked William Earl of Pembroke,
if he knew him? whose answer was, "That he knew him very well, and
that he was his kinsman; but he loved him more for his learning and
virtue, than for that he was of his name and family." At which answer
the King smiled, and asked the Earl leave that he might love him too,
for he took him to be the jewel of that University.

[Sidenote: Andrew Melville]

[Sidenote: Herbert's answers]

[Sidenote: Lady Arabella Stuart]

The next occasion he had and took to shew his great abilities, was,
with them, to shew also his great affection to that Church in which he
received his baptism, and of which he professed himself a member; and
the occasion was this: There was one Andrew Melvin,[10] a Minister
of the Scotch Church, and Rector of St. Andrew's; who, by a long
and constant converse with a discontented part of that Clergy which
opposed Episcopacy, became at last to be a chief leader of that
faction; and had proudly appeared to be so to King James, when he was
but King of that nation, who, the second year after his Coronation in
England, convened a part of the Bishops, and other learned Divines
of his Church, to attend him at Hampton-Court, in order to a friendly
conference with some dissenting brethren, both of this and the Church
of Scotland: of which Scotch party Andrew Melvin was one; and he being
a man of learning, and inclined to satirical poetry, had scattered
many malicious, bitter verses against our Liturgy, our ceremonies, and
our Church-government; which were by some of that party so magnified
for the wit, that they were therefore brought into Westminster School,
where Mr. George Herbert, then, and often after, made such answers to
them, and such reflections on him and his Kirk, as might unbeguile
any man that was not too deeply pre-engaged in such a quarrel.--But
to return to Mr. Melvin at Hampton-Court Conference;[11] he there
appeared to be a man of an unruly wit, of a strange confidence, of so
furious a zeal, and of so ungoverned passions, that his insolence to
the King, and others at this Conference, lost him both his Rectorship
of St. Andrew's and his liberty too; for his former verses, and his
present reproaches there used against the Church and State, caused
him to be committed prisoner to the Tower of London; where he remained
very angry for three years. At which time of his commitment, he found
the Lady Arabella[12] an innocent prisoner there; and he pleased
himself much in sending, the next day after his commitment, these two
verses to the good lady; which I will underwrite, because they may
give the Reader a taste of his others, which were like these.

Causa tibi mecum est communis, carceris, Ara-
Bella, tibi causa est, Araque sacra mihi.

I shall not trouble my Reader with an account of his enlargement from
that prison, or his death; but tell him Mr. Herbert's verses were
thought so worthy to be preserved, that Dr. Duport,[13] the learned
Dean of Peterborough, hath lately collected and caused many of them
to be printed, as an honourable memorial of his friend Mr. George
Herbert, and the cause he undertook.

[Sidenote: In favour with James]

And in order to my third and last observation of his great abilities,
it will be needful to declare, that about this time King James came
very often to hunt at Newmarket and Royston, and was almost as often
invited to Cambridge, where his entertainment was comedies,[14] suited
to his pleasant humour; and where Mr. George Herbert was to welcome
him with gratulations, and the applauses of an Orator; which he always
performed so well, that he still grew more into the King's favour,
insomuch that he had a particular appointment to attend his Majesty
at Royston; where, after a discourse with him, his Majesty declared to
his kinsman, the Earl of Pembroke, that he found the Orator's learning
and wisdom much above his age or wit. The year following, the King
appointed to end his progress at Cambridge, and to stay there certain
days; at which time he was attended by the great Secretary of
Nature and all learning, Sir Francis Bacon, Lord Verulam, and by the
ever-memorable and learned Dr. Andrews, Bishop of Winchester, both
which did at that time begin a desired friendship with our Orator.
Upon whom, the first put such a value on his judgment, that he usually
desired his approbation before he would expose any of his books to
be printed; and thought him so worthy of his friendship, that having
translated many of the Prophet David's Psalms into English verse, he
made George Herbert his patron, by a public dedication of them to him,
as the best judge of Divine Poetry. And for the learned Bishop, it is
observable, that at that time there fell to be a modest debate betwixt
them two about Predestination, and Sanctity of life; of both of which
the Orator did, not long after, send the Bishop some safe and useful
aphorisms, in a long letter, written in Greek; which letter was so
remarkable for the language and reason of it, that, after the reading
of it, the Bishop put it into his bosom, and did often shew it to many
Scholars, both of this and foreign nations; but did always return it
back to the place where he first lodged it, and continued it so near
his heart till the last day of his life.

[Sidenote: His friends]

To this I might add the long and entire friendship betwixt him and Sir
Henry Wotton, and Dr. Donne; but I have promised to contract myself,
and shall therefore only add one testimony to what is also mentioned
in the Life of Dr. Donne; namely, that a little before his death he
caused many Seals to be made, and in them to be engraven the figure of
Christ, crucified on an Anchor,--the emblem of Hope,--and of which Dr.
Donne would often say, "_Crux mihi anchora_."--These Seals he gave
or sent to most of those friends on which he put a value: and, at
Mr. Herbert's death, these verses were found wrapt up with that seal,
which was by the Doctor given to him;

When my dear friend could write no more,
He gave this _Seal_ and so gave o'er.

When winds and waves rise highest I am sure,
This _Anchor_ keeps my faith, that, me secure.

[Sidenote: His attainments]

At this time of being Orator, he had learned to understand the
Italian, Spanish, and French tongues very perfectly: hoping, that as
his predecessors, so he might in time attain the place of a Secretary
of State, he being at that time very high in the King's favour, and
not meanly valued and loved by the most eminent and most powerful of
the Court Nobility. This, and the love of a Court-conversation, mixed
with a laudable ambition to be something more than he then was, drew
him often from Cambridge, to attend the King wheresoever the Court
was, who then gave him a sinecure, which fell into his Majesty's
disposal, I think, by the death of the Bishop of St. Asaph.[15] It was
the same that Queen Elizabeth had formerly given to her favourite Sir
Philip Sidney, and valued to be worth an hundred and twenty pounds per
annum. With this, and his annuity, and the advantage of his College,
and of his Oratorship, he enjoyed his genteel humour for clothes, and
Court-like company, and seldom looked towards Cambridge, unless the
King were there, but then he never failed; and, at other times, left
the manage of his Orator's place to his learned friend, Mr. Herbert
Thorndike, who is now Prebend of Westminster.[16]

[Sidenote: His health]

I may not omit to tell, that he had often designed to leave the
University, and decline all study, which he thought did impair his
health; for he had a body apt to a consumption, and to fevers, and
other infirmities, which he judged were increased by his studies;
for he would often say, "He had too thoughtful a wit; a wit like a
penknife in too narrow a sheath, too sharp for his body." But his
Mother would by no means allow him to leave the University, or to
travel; and though he inclined very much to both, yet he would by
no means satisfy his own desires at so dear a rate, as to prove an
undutiful son to so affectionate a Mother; but did always submit to
her wisdom. And what I have now said may partly appear in a copy of
verses in his printed poems; 'tis one of those that bear the title
of Affliction; and it appears to be a pious reflection on God's
providence, and some passages of his life, in which he says,

[Sidenote: "Affliction"]

Whereas my birth and spirit rather took
The way that takes the town:
Thou didst betray me to a lingering book,
And wrapt me in a gown:
I was entangled in a world of strife,
Before I had the power to change my life.

Yet, for I threaten'd oft the siege to raise,
Not simpering all mine age;
Thou often didst with academic praise
Melt and dissolve my rage:
I took the sweeten'd pill, till I came where
I could not go away, nor persevere.

Yet, lest perchance I should too happy be
In my unhappiness,
Turning my purge to food, thou throwest me
Into more sicknesses.
Thus dost thy power cross-bias me, not making
Thine own gifts good, yet me from my ways taking.

Now I am here, what thou wilt do with me
None of my books will show.
I read, and sigh, and wish I were a tree,
For then sure I should grow
To fruit or shade, at least some bird would trust
Her household with me, and I would be just.

Yet, though thou troublest me, I must be meek,
In weakness must be stout,
Well, I will change my service, and go seek
Some other master out;
Ah, my dear God! though I am clean forgot,
Let me not love thee, if I love thee not.


[Sidenote: Retires into Kent]

In this time of Mr. Herbert's attendance and expectation of some good
occasion to remove from Cambridge to Court, God, in whom there is an
unseen chain of causes, did in a short time put an end to the lives of
two of his most obliging and most powerful friends, Lodowick Duke of
Richmond, and James Marquis of Hamilton; and not long after him King
James died also, and with them, all Mr. Herbert's Court-hopes: so that
he presently betook himself to a retreat from London, to a friend
in Kent, where he lived very privately, and was such a lover of
solitariness, as was judged to impair his health, more than his study
had done. In this time of retirement, he had many conflicts with
himself, whether he should return to the painted pleasures of a
Court-life, or betake himself to a study of Divinity, and enter into
Sacred Orders, to which his dear mother had often persuaded him. These
were such conflicts, as they only can know, that have endured them;
for ambitious desires, and the outward glory of this world, are not
easily laid aside; but at last God inclined him to put on a resolution
to serve at his altar.

[Sidenote: Holy Orders]

He did, at his return to London, acquaint a Court-friend with his
resolution to enter into Sacred Orders, who persuaded him to alter
it, as too mean an employment, and too much below his birth, and the
excellent abilities and endowments of his mind. To whom he replied,
"It hath been formerly judged that the domestic servants of the King
of Heaven should be of the noblest families on earth. And though the
iniquity of the late times have made clergymen meanly valued, and
the sacred name of priest contemptible; yet I will labour to make it
honourable, by consecrating all my learning, and all my poor abilities
to advance the glory of that God that gave them; knowing that I can
never do too much for him, that hath done so much for me, as to make
me a Christian. And I will labour to be like my Saviour, by making
humility lovely in the eyes of all men, and by following the merciful
and meek example of my dear Jesus."

[Sidenote: Layton Ecclesia]

This was then his resolution; and the God of constancy, who intended
him for a great example of virtue, continued him in it, for within
that year he was made Deacon, but the day when, or by whom, I cannot
learn; but that he was about that time made Deacon, is most certain;
for I find by the Records of Lincoln, that he was made Prebend of
Layton Ecclesia, in the Diocese of Lincoln, July 15th, 1626, and that
this Prebend was given him by John,[17] then Lord Bishop of that See.
And now he had a fit occasion to shew that piety and bounty that was
derived from his generous mother, and his other memorable ancestors,
and the occasion was this.

[Sidenote: Church-building]

This Layton Ecclesia is a village near to Spalden, in the County of
Huntingdon, and the greatest part of the Parish Church was fallen
down, and that of it which stood was so decayed, so little, and so
useless, that the parishioners could not meet to perform their duty
to God in public prayer and praises; and thus it had been for almost
twenty years, in which time there had been some faint endeavours for
a public collection to enable the parishioners to rebuild it; but with
no success, till Mr. Herbert undertook it; and he, by his own, and
the contribution of many of his kindred, and other noble friends,
undertook the re-edification of it; and made it so much his whole
business, that he became restless till he saw it finished as it now
stands; being for the workmanship, a costly Mossaic; for the form, an
exact cross; and for the decency and beauty, I am assured, it is the
most remarkable Parish Church that this nation affords. He lived to
see it so wainscotted, as to be exceeded by none; and, by his order,
the Reading pew and Pulpit were a little distant from each other, and
both of an equal height; for he would often say, "They should neither
have a precedency or priority of the other; but that prayer and
preaching, being equally useful, might agree like brethren, and have
an equal honour and estimation."

Before I proceed farther, I must look back to the time of Mr.
Herbert's being made Prebend, and tell the Reader, that not long
after, his Mother being informed of his intentions to rebuild that
Church, and apprehending the great trouble and charge that he was like
to draw upon himself, his relations and friends, before it could
be finished, sent for him from London to Chelsea,--where she then
dwelt,--and at his coming, said, "George, I sent for you, to persuade
you to commit Simony, by giving your patron as good a gift as he has
given to you; namely, that you give him back his prebend; for, George,
it is not for your weak body, and empty purse, to undertake to
build Churches." Of which, he desired he might have a day's time to
consider, and then make her an answer. And at his return to her the
next day, when he had first desired her blessing, and she given it
him, his next request was, "That she would at the age of thirty-three
years, allow him to become an undutiful son: for he had made a vow to
God, that, if he were able, he would rebuild that Church." And
then shewed her such reasons for his resolution, that she presently
subscribed to be one of his benefactors; and undertook to solicit
William Earl of Pembroke to become another, who subscribed for fifty
pounds; and not long after, by a witty and persuasive letter from Mr.


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