The Literary Remains Of Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Edited By Henry Nelson Coleridge

Part 1 out of 7

Produced by Clytie Siddall and Distributed Proofreaders









Formula Fidei de SS. Trinitate
Nightly Prayer
Notes on 'The Book of Common Prayer'
Notes on Hooker
Notes on Field
Notes on Donne
Notes on Henry More
Notes on Heinrichs
Notes on Hacket
Notes on Jeremy Taylor
Notes on 'The Pilgrim's Progress'
Notes on John Smith
Letter to a Godchild


For a statement of the circumstances under which the collection of Mr.
Coleridge's Literary Remains was undertaken, the Reader is referred to
the Preface to the two preceding Volumes published in 1836. But the
graver character of the general contents of this Volume and of that
which will immediately follow it, seems to justify the Editor in
soliciting particular attention to a few additional remarks.

Although the Author in his will contemplated the publication of some at
least of the numerous notes left by him on the margins and blank spaces
of books and pamphlets, he most certainly wrote the notes themselves
without any purpose beyond that of delivering his mind of the thoughts
and aspirations suggested by the text under perusal. His books, that is,
any person's books--even those from a circulating library--were to him,
whilst reading them, as dear friends; he conversed with them as with
their authors, praising, or censuring, or qualifying, as the open page
seemed to give him cause; little solicitous in so doing to draw
summaries or to strike balances of literary merit, but seeking rather to
detect and appreciate the moving principle or moral life, ever one and
single, of the work in reference to absolute truth. Thus employed he had
few reserves, but in general poured forth, as in a confessional, all his
mind upon every subject,--not keeping back any doubt or conjecture which
at the time and for the purpose seemed worthy of consideration. In
probing another's heart he laid his hand upon his own. He thought pious
frauds the worst of all frauds, and the system of economizing truth too
near akin to the corruption of it to be generally compatible with the
Job-like integrity of a true Christian's conscience. Further, he
distinguished so strongly between that internal faith which lies at the
base of, and supports, the whole moral and religious being of man, and
the belief, as historically true, of several incidents and relations
found or supposed to be found in the text of the Scriptures, that he
habitually exercised a liberty of criticism with respect to the latter,
which will probably seem objectionable to many of his readers in this
country. [1]

His friends have always known this to be the fact; and he vindicated
this so openly that it would be folly to attempt to conceal it: nay, he
pleaded for it so earnestly--as the only middle path of safety and peace
between a godless disregard of the unique and transcendant character of
the Bible taken generally, and that scheme of interpretation, scarcely
less adverse to the pure spirit of Christian wisdom, which wildly arrays
our faith in opposition to our reason, and inculcates the sacrifice of
the latter to the former,--that to suppress this important part of his
solemn convictions would be to misrepresent and betray him. For he threw
up his hands in dismay at the language of some of our modern divinity on
this point;--as if a faith not founded on insight were aught else than a
specious name for wilful positiveness;--as if the Father of Lights could
require, or would accept, from the only one of his creatures whom he had
endowed with reason the sacrifice of fools! Did Coleridge, therefore,
mean that the doctrines revealed in the Scriptures were to be judged
according to their supposed harmony or discrepancy with the evidence of
the senses, or the deductions of the mere understanding from that
evidence? Exactly the reverse: he disdained to argue even against
Transubstantiation on such a ground, well knowing and loudly proclaiming
its utter weakness and instability. But it was a leading principle in
all his moral and intellectual views to assert the existence in all men
equally of a power or faculty superior to, and independent of, the
external senses: in this power or faculty he recognized that image of
God in which man was made; and he could as little understand how faith,
the indivisibly joint act or efflux of our reason and our will, should
be at variance with one of its factors or elements, as how the Author
and Upholder of all truth should be in contradiction to himself. He
trembled at the dreadful dogma which rests God's right to man's
obedience on the fact of his almighty power,--a position falsely
inferred from a misconceived illustration of St. Paul's, and which is
less humbling to the creature than blasphemous of the Creator; and of
the awless doctrine that God might, if he had so pleased, have given to
man a religion which to human intelligence should not be rational, and
exacted his faith in it--Coleridge's whole middle and later life was one
deep and solemn denial. He believed in no God in the very idea of whose
existence absolute truth, perfect goodness, and infinite wisdom, were
not elements essentially necessary and everlastingly copresent.

Thus minded, he sought to justify the ways of God to man in the only way
in which they can be justified to any one who deals honestly with his
conscience, namely, by showing, where possible, their consequence from,
and in all cases their consistency with, the ideas or truths of the pure
reason which is the same in all men. With what success he laboured for
thirty years in this mighty cause of Christian philosophy, the readers
of his other works, especially the Aids to Reflection, will judge: if
measured by the number of resolved points of detail his progress may
seem small; but if tested by the weight and grasp of the principles
which he has established, it may be confidently said that since
Christianity had a name few men have gone so far. If ever we are to find
firm footing in Biblical criticism between the extremes (how often
meeting!) of Socinianism and Popery;--if the indisputable facts of
physical science are not for ever to be left in a sort of admitted
antagonism to the supposed assertions of Scripture;--if ever the
Christian duty of faith in God through Christ is to be reconciled with
the religious service of a being gifted by the same God with reason and
a will, and subjected to a conscience,--it must be effected by the aid,
and in the light, of those truths of deepest philosophy which in all Mr.
Coleridge's works, published or unpublished, present themselves to the
reader with an almost affecting reiteration. But to do justice to those
works and adequately to appreciate the Author's total mind upon any
given point, a cursory perusal is insufficient; study and comprehension
are requisite to an accurate estimate of the relative value of any
particular denial or assertion; and the apparently desultory and
discontinuous form of the observations now presented to the Reader more
especially calls for the exercise of his patience and thoughtful

With this view the Reader is requested to observe the dates which, in
some instances, the Editor has been able to affix to the notes with
certainty. Most of those on Jeremy Taylor belong to the year 1810, and
were especially designed for the perusal of Charles Lamb. Those on Field
were written about 1814; on Racket in 1818; on Donne in 1812 and 1829;
on The Pilgrim's Progress in 1833; and on Hooker and the Book of Common
Prayer between 1820 and 1830. Coleridge's mind was a growing and
accumulating mind to the last, his whole life one of inquiry and
progressive insight, and the dates of his opinions are therefore in some
cases important, and in all interesting.

The Editor is deeply sensible of his responsibility in publishing this
Volume; as to which he can only say, in addition to a reference to the
general authority given by the Author, that to the best of his knowledge
and judgment he has not permitted any thing to appear before the public
which Mr. Coleridge saw reason to retract; and further express his hope
and belief that, with such allowance for defects inherent in the nature
of the work as may rightfully be expected from every really liberal
mind, nothing contained in the following pages can fairly be a ground of
offence to any one.

It only remains to be added that the materials used in the compilation
of this Volume were for the greatest part communicated by Mr. Gillman;
and that the rest were furnished by Mr. Wordsworth, the Rev. Derwent
Coleridge, the Rev. Edward Coleridge, and the Editor.

Lincoln's Inn, March 26, 1838

[Footnote 1: See 'Table Talk', p. 178, 2nd edit.]




The absolute subjectivity, whose only attribute is the Good; whose only
definition is--that which is essentially causative of all possible true
being; the ground; the absolute will; the adorable [Greek: pr_opr_oton],
which, whatever is assumed as the first, must be presumed as its
antecedent; [Greek: theos], without an article, and yet not as an
adjective. See John i. 18. [Greek: theon oudeis he_orake p_opote] as
differenced from ib. 1, [Greek: kai theos aen o logos]

But that which is essentially causative of all being must be causative
of its own,--'causa sui', [Greek: autopat_or]. Thence


The eternally self-affirmant self-affirmed; the "I Am in that I Am," or
the "I shall be that I will to be;" the Father; the relatively
subjective, whose attribute is, the Holy One; whose definition is, the
essential finific in the form of the infinite; 'dat sibi fines'.

But the absolute will, the absolute good, in the eternal act of
self-affirmation, the Good as the Holy One, co-eternally begets


The supreme being; [Greek: ho ont'os 'on]; the supreme reason; the
Jehovah; the Son; the Word; whose attribute is the True (the truth, the
light, the 'fiat'); and whose definition is, the 'pleroma' of being,
whose essential poles are unity and distinctity; or the essential
infinite in the form of the finite;--lastly, the relatively objective,
'deitas objectiva' in relation to the I Am as the 'deitas subjectiva';
the divine objectivity.

N.B. The distinctities in the 'pleroma' are the eternal ideas, the
subsistential truths; each considered in itself, an infinite in the form
of the finite; but all considered as one with the unity, the eternal
Son, they are the energies of the finific; [Greek: panta di' autou
egeneto--kai ek tou plaer'omatos autou haemeis pantes elabomen.] John
i. 3 and 16.

But with the relatively subjective and the relatively objective, the
great idea needs only for its completion a co-eternal which is both,
that is, relatively objective to the subjective, relatively subjective
to the objective. Hence


The eternal life, which is love; the Spirit; relatively to the Father,
the Spirit of Holiness, the Holy Spirit; relatively to the Son, the
Spirit of truth, whose attribute is Wisdom; 'sancta sophia'; the Good in
the reality of the True, in the form of actual Life. Holy! Holy! Holy!
[Greek: hilasthaeti moi].



Almighty God, by thy eternal Word my Creator, Redeemer and Preserver!
who hast in thy free communicative goodness glorified me with the
capability of knowing thee, the one only absolute Good, the eternal I
Am, as the author of my being, and of desiring and seeking thee as its
ultimate end;--who, when I fell from thee into the mystery of the false
and evil will, didst not abandon me, poor self-lost creature, but in thy
condescending mercy didst provide an access and a return to thyself,
even to thee the Holy One, in thine only begotten Son, the way and the
truth from everlasting, and who took on himself humanity, yea, became
flesh, even the man Christ Jesus, that for man he might be the life and
the resurrection!--O Giver of all good gifts, who art thyself the one
only absolute Good, from whom I have received whatever good I have,
whatever capability of good there is in me, and from thee good
alone,--from myself and my own corrupted will all evil and the
consequents of evil,--with inward prostration of will, mind, and
affections I adore thy infinite majesty; I aspire to love thy
transcendant goodness!--In a deep sense of my unworthiness, and my
unfitness to present myself before thee, of eyes too pure to behold
iniquity, and whose light, the beatitude of spirits conformed to thy
will, is a consuming fire to all vanity and corruption;--but in the name
of the Lord Jesus, of the dear Son of thy love, in whose perfect
obedience thou deignest to behold as many as have received the seed of
Christ into the body of this death;--I offer this my bounden nightly
sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, in humble trust, that the
fragrance of my Saviour's righteousness may remove from it the taint of
my mortal corruption. Thy mercies have followed me through all the hours
and moments of my life; and now I lift up my heart in awe and
thankfulness for the preservation of my life through the past day, for
the alleviation of my bodily sufferings and languors, for the manifold
comforts which thou hast reserved for me, yea, in thy fatherly
compassion hast rescued from the wreck of my own sins or sinful
infirmities;--for the kind and affectionate friends thou hast raised up
for me, especially for those of this household, for the mother and
mistress of this family whose love to me hath been great and faithful,
and for the dear friend, the supporter and sharer of my studies and
researches; but above all, for the heavenly Friend, the crucified
Saviour, the glorified Mediator, Christ Jesus, and for the heavenly
Comforter, source of all abiding comforts, thy Holy Spirit! O grant me
the aid of thy Spirit, that I may with a deeper faith, a more enkindled
love, bless thee, who through thy Son hast privileged me to call thee
Abba, Father! O, thou who hast revealed thyself in thy holy word as a
God that hearest prayer; before whose infinitude all differences cease
of great and small; who like a tender parent foreknowest all our wants,
yet listenest well-pleased to the humble petitions of thy children; who
hast not alone permitted, but taught us, to call on thee in all our
needs,--earnestly I implore the continuance of thy free mercy, of thy
protecting providence, through the coming night. Thou hearest every
prayer offered to thee believingly with a penitent and sincere heart.
For thou in withholding grantest, healest in inflicting the wound, yea,
turnest all to good for as many as truly seek thee through Christ, the
Mediator! Thy will be done! But if it be according to thy wise and
righteous ordinances, O shield me this night from the assaults of
disease, grant me refreshment of sleep unvexed by evil and distempered
dreams; and if the purpose and aspiration of my heart be upright before
thee who alone knowest the heart of man, O in thy mercy vouchsafe me yet
in this my decay of life an interval of ease and strength; if so (thy
grace disposing and assisting) I may make compensation to thy church for
the unused talents thou hast entrusted to me, for the neglected
opportunities, which thy loving-kindness had provided. O let me be found
a labourer in the vineyard, though of the late hour, when the Lord and
Heir of the vintage, Christ Jesus, calleth for his servant.

'Our Father', &c.

To thee, great omnipresent Spirit, whose mercy is over all thy works,
who now beholdest me, who hearest me, who hast framed my heart to seek
and to trust in thee, in the name of my Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus, I
humbly commit and commend my body, soul, and spirit.

Glory be to thee, O God!



A man may pray night and day, and yet deceive himself; but no man can be
assured of his sincerity, who does not pray. Prayer is faith passing
into act; a union of the will and the intellect realizing in an
intellectual act. It is the whole man that prays. Less than this is
wishing, or lip-work; a charm or a mummery. 'Pray always', says the
Apostle;--that is, have the habit of prayer, turning your thoughts into
acts by connecting them with the idea of the redeeming God, and even so
reconverting your actions into thoughts.


The best preparation for taking this sacrament, better than any or all
of the books or tracts composed for this end, is, to read over and over
again, and often on your knees--at all events, with a kneeling and
praying heart--the Gospel according to St. John, till your mind is
familiarized to the contemplation of Christ, the Redeemer and Mediator
of mankind, yea, and of every creature, as the living and
self-subsisting Word, the very truth of all true being, and the very
being of all enduring truth; the reality, which is the substance and
unity of all reality; 'the light which lighteth every man', so that what
we call reason, is itself a light from that light, 'lumen a luce', as
the Latin more distinctly expresses this fact. But it is not merely
light, but therein is life; and it is the life of Christ, the co-eternal
son of God, that is the only true life-giving light of men. We are
assured, and we believe that Christ is God; God manifested in the flesh.
As God, he must be present entire in every creature;--(for how can God,
or indeed any spirit, exist in parts?)--but he is said to dwell in the
regenerate, to come to them who receive him by faith in his name, that
is, in his power and influence; for this is the meaning of the word
'name' in Scripture when applied to God or his Christ. Where true belief
exists, Christ is not only present with or among us;--for so he is in
every man, even the most wicked;--but to us and for us.

'That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into
the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the
world knew him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power
to become the sons of God, even to them that believe in his name;
which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of
the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt
among us.'

John i. 9-14.


'We will come unto him, and make our abode with him.'

John xiv. 23.

As truly and as really as your soul resides constitutively in your
living body, so truly, really, personally, and substantially does Christ
dwell in every regenerate man.

After this course of study, you may then take up and peruse sentence by
sentence the communion service, the best of all comments on the
Scriptures appertaining to this mystery. And this is the preparation
which will prove, with God's grace, the surest preventive of, or
antidote against, the freezing poison, the lethargizing hemlock, of the
doctrine of the Sacramentaries, according to whom the Eucharist is a
mere practical metaphor, in which things are employed instead of
articulated sounds for the exclusive purpose of recalling to our minds
the historical fact of our Lord's crucifixion; in short--(the
profaneness is with them, not with me)--just the same as when
Protestants drink a glass of wine to the glorious memory of William III!
True it is, that the remembrance is one end of the sacrament; but it is,
'Do this in remembrance of me',--of all that Christ was and is, hath
done and is still doing for fallen mankind, and of course of his
crucifixion inclusively, but not of his crucifixion alone.

14 December, 1827.


First then, that we may come to this heavenly feast holy, and adorned
with the wedding garment, Matt. xxii. 11, we must search our hearts,
and examine our consciences, not only till we see our sins, but until
we hate them.

But what if a man, seeing his sin, earnestly desire to hate it? Shall he
not at the altar offer up at once his desire, and the yet lingering sin,
and seek for strength? Is not this sacrament medicine as well as food?
Is it an end only, and not likewise the means? Is it merely the
triumphal feast; or is it not even more truly a blessed refreshment for
and during the conflict?

This confession of sins must not be in general terms only, that we are
sinners with the rest of mankind, but it must be a special declaration
to God of all our most heinous sins in thought, word, and deed.

Luther was of a different judgment. He would have us feel and groan
under our sinfulness and utter incapability of redeeming ourselves from
the bondage, rather than hazard the pollution of our imaginations by a
recapitulation and renewing of sins and their images in detail. Do not,
he says, stand picking the flaws out one by one, but plunge into the
river, and drown them!--I venture to be of Luther's doctrine.


In the first Exhortation, before the words 'meritorious Cross and
Passion,' I should propose to insert 'his assumption of humanity, his
incarnation, and.'

Likewise a little lower down, after the word 'sustenance,' I would
insert 'as.'

For not in that sacrament exclusively, but in all the acts of
assimilative faith, of which the Eucharist is a solemn, eminent, and
representative instance, an instance and the symbol, Christ is our
spiritual food and sustenance.


Marriage, simply as marriage, is not the means 'for the procreation of
children,' but for the humanization of the offspring procreated.

Therefore in the Declaration at the beginning, after the words,
'procreation of children,' I would insert, 'and as the means for
securing to the children procreated enduring care, and that they may be'


Third rubric at the end.

But if a man, either by reason of extremity of sickness, &c.

I think this rubric, in what I conceive to be its true meaning, a
precious document, as fully acquitting our Church of all Romish
superstition, respecting the nature of the Eucharist, in relation to the
whole scheme of man's redemption. But the latter part of it--'he doth
eat and drink the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ profitably to his
soul's health, although he do not receive the Sacrament with his
mouth'--seems to me very incautiously expressed, and scarcely to be
reconciled with the Church's own definition of a sacrament in general.
For in such a case, where is 'the outward and visible sign of the inward
and spiritual grace given?' [1]

[Footnote 1:

'Should it occur to any one that the doctrine blamed in the text, is
but in accordance with that of the Church of England, in her rubric
concerning spiritual communion, annexed to the Office for Communion of
the Sick: he may consider, whether that rubric, explained (as if
possible it must be) in consistency with the definition of a sacrament
in the Catechism, can be meant for any but rare and extraordinary
cases: cases as strong in regard of the Eucharist, as that of
martyrdom, or the premature death of a well-disposed catechumen, in
regard of Baptism.'

Keble's Pref. to Hooker, p. 85, n. 70. Ed.]


Epistle.--1 Cor. xv. 1.

Brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you.

Why should the obsolete, though faithful, Saxon translation of [Greek:
euaggelion] be retained? Why not 'good tidings?' Why thus change a most
appropriate and intelligible designation of the matter into a mere
conventional name of a particular book?


... how that Christ died for our sins.

But the meaning of [Greek: uper ton hamarti_on haem_on] is, that Christ
died through the sins, and for the sinners. He died through our sins,
and we live through his righteousness.

Gospel, Luke xviii. 14.

This man went down to his house justified rather than the other.

Not simply justified, observe; but justified rather than the other,
[Greek: ae ekeinos],--that is, less remote from salvation.



... that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may
of thee be plenteously rewarded. ...

Rather--"that with that enlarged capacity, which without thee we cannot
acquire, there may likewise be an increase of the gift, which from thee
alone we can wholly receive."


v. 2.

'Out of the mouth of very babes and sucklings hast thou ordained
strength, because of thine enemies; that thou mightest still the enemy
and the avenger'.

To the dispensations of the twilight dawn, to the first messengers of
the redeeming word, the yet lisping utterers of light and life, a
strength and a power were given 'because of the enemies', greater and of
more immediate influence, than to the seers and proclaimers of a clearer
day:--even as the first re-appearing crescent of the eclipsed moon
shines for men with a keener brilliance, than the following larger
segments, previously to its total emersion.

Ib. v. 5.

'Thou madest him lower than the angels, to crown him with glory and

Power + idea = angel.
Idea - power = man, or Prometheus.


v. 34.

'Ascribe ye the power to God over Israel: his worship and strength is
in the clouds'.

The 'clouds' in the symbolical language of the Scriptures mean the
events and course of things, seemingly effects of human will or chance,
but overruled by Providence.


This Psalm admits no other interpretation but of Christ, as the Jehovah
incarnate. In any other sense, it would be a specimen of more than
Persian or Moghul hyperbole and bombast, of which there is no other
instance in Scripture, and which no Christian would dare to attribute to
an inspired writer. We know, too, that the elder Jewish Church ranked it
among the Messianic Psalms. N.B. The Word in St. John, and the Name of
the Most High in the Psalms, are equivalent terms.

v. 1.

'Give the king thy judgments, O God; and thy righteousness unto the
king's son'.

God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, the only begotten, the
Son of God and God, King of Kings, and the Son of the King of Kings!


v. 2.

'O think upon thy congregation, whom thou hast purchased and redeemed
of old'.

The Lamb sacrificed from the beginning of the world, the God-Man, the
Judge, the self-promised Redeemer to Adam in the garden!

v. 15.

'Thou smotest the heads of Leviathan in pieces; and gavest him to be
meat for the people in the wilderness'.

Does this allude to any real tradition? [1] The Psalm appears to have
been composed shortly before the captivity of Judah.

[Footnote 1: According to Bishop Horne, the allusion is to the
destruction of Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea.--Ed.]

PS. LXXXII. vv. 6-7.

The reference which our Lord made to these mysterious verses, gives them
an especial interest. The first apostasy, the fall of the angels, is,
perhaps, intimated.


I would fain understand this Psalm; but first I must collate it word by
word with the original Hebrew. It seems clearly Messianic.


vv. 10--12.

'Dost than shew wonders among the dead, or shall the dead rise up
again and praise thee?' &c.

Compare Ezekiel xxxvii.


I think the Bible version might with advantage be substituted for this,
which in some parts is scarcely intelligible.

v. 6.

'the waters stand in the hills.'

No; 'stood above the mountains'. The reference is to the Deluge.


v. 3.

'Let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.'

If even to seek the Lord be joy, what will it be to find him? Seek me, O
Lord, that I may be found by thee!


v. 2.

'The Lord shall send the rod of thy power out of Sion'; (saying)
'Rule', &c.

v. 3. Understand:

'Thy people shall offer themselves willingly in the day of conflict in
holy clothing, in their best array, in their best arms and
accoutrements. As the dew from the womb of the morning, in number and
brightness like dew-drops; so shall be thy youth, or the youth of
thee, the young volunteer warriors.'

v. 5.

'He shall shake,'

concuss, 'concutiet reges die irae suae,'

v. 6. For

'smite in sunder, or wound, the heads;'

some word answering to the Latin 'conquassare'.

v. 7. For 'therefore,' translate 'then shall he lift up his head again;'
that is, as a man languid and sinking from thirst and fatigue after

N.B. I see no poetic discrepancy between vv. 1 and 5.


To be interpreted of Christ's church.


v. 5.

'As the rivers in the south.'

Does this allude to the periodical rains? [1]

As a transparency on some night of public rejoicing, seen by common day,
with the lamps from within removed--even such would the Psalms be to me
uninterpreted by the Gospel. O honored Mr. Hurwitz! Could I but make you
feel what grandeur, what magnificence, what an everlasting significance
and import Christianity gives to every fact of your national history--to
every page of your sacred records!

[Footnote 1: See Horne in loc. note.--Ed.]



It is mournful to think how many recent writers have criminated our
Church in consequence of their own ignorance and inadvertence in not
knowing, or not noticing, the contra-distinction here meant between
power and authority. Rites and ceremonies the Church may ordain 'jure
proprio': on matters of faith her judgment is to be received with
reverence, and not gainsaid but after repeated inquiries, and on weighty


It is lawful for Christian men, at the commandment of the magistrate,
to wear weapons, and to serve in the wars.

This is a very good instance of an unseemly matter neatly wrapped up.
The good men recoiled from the plain words:

'It is lawful for Christian men at the command of a king to slaughter
as many Christians as they can!'

Well! I could most sincerely subscribe to all these articles.

September, 1831.



p. 67.

Mr. Travers excepted against Mr. Hooker, for that in one of his
sermons he declared, 'That the assurance of what we believe by the
word of God, is not to us so certain as that which we perceive by
sense.' And Mr. Hooker confesseth he said so, and endeavours to
justify it by the reasons following.

There is, I confess, a shade of doubt on my mind as to this position of
Hooker's. Yet I do not deny that it expresses a truth. The question in
my mind is, only, whether it adequately expresses the whole truth. The
ground of my doubt lies in my inability to compare two things that
differ in kind. It is impossible that any conviction of the reason, even
where no act of the will advenes as a co-efficient, should possess the
vividness of an immediate object of the senses; for the vividness is
given by sensation. Equally impossible is it that any truth of the
super-sensuous reason should possess the evidence of the pure sense.
Even the mathematician does not find the same evidence in the results of
transcendental algebra as in the demonstrations of simple geometry. But
has he less assurance? In answer to Hooker's argument I say,--that God
refers to our sensible experience to aid our will by the vividness of
sensible impressions, and also to aid our understanding of the truths
revealed,--not to increase the conviction of their certainty where they
have been understood.


Ib. p. 116.

It is a strange blind story this of the last three books, and of
Hooker's live relict, the Beast without Beauty. But Saravia?--If honest
Isaac's account of the tender, confidential, even confessional,
friendship of Hooker and Saravia be accurate, how chanced it that Hooker
did not entrust the manuscripts to his friend who stood beside him in
his last moments? At all events, Saravia must have known whether they
had or had not received the author's last hand. Why were not Mr. Charke
and the other Canterbury parson called to account, or questioned at
least as to the truth of Mrs. Joan's story? Verily, I cannot help
suspecting that the doubt cast on the authenticity of the latter books
by the high church party originated in their dislike of portions of the
contents.--In short, it is a blind story, a true Canterbury tale, dear
Isaac! [2]


Pref. c. iii. 7. p. 182.

The next thing hereunto is, to impute all faults and corruptions,
wherewith the world aboundeth, unto the kind of ecclesiastical
government established.

How readily would this, and indeed all the disputes respecting the
powers and constitution of Church government have been settled, or
perhaps prevented, had there been an insight into the distinct nature
and origin of the National Church and the Church under Christ! [3] To
the ignorance of this, all the fierce contentions between the Puritans
and the Episcopalians under Elizabeth and the Stuarts, all the errors
and exorbitant pretensions of the Church of Scotland, and the heats and
antipathies of our present Dissenters, may be demonstrably traced.

Ib. 9. p. 183.

Pythagoras, by bringing up his scholars in the speculative knowledge
of numbers, made their conceits therein so strong, that when they came
to the contemplation of things natural, they imagined that in every
particular thing they even beheld as it were with their eyes, how the
elements of number gave essence and being to the works of nature: a
thing in reason impossible; which notwithstanding, through their
mis-fashioned pre-conceit, appeared unto them no less certain, than if
nature had written it in the very foreheads of all the creatures of

I am not so conversant with the volumes of Duns Scotus as to be able to
pronounce positively whether he is an exception, but I can think of no
other instance of high metaphysical genius in an Englishman. Judgment,
solid sense, invention in specialties, fortunate anticipations and
instructive foretact of truth,--in these we can shew giants. It is
evident from this example from the Pythagorean school that not even our
incomparable Hooker could raise himself to the idea, so rich in truth,
which is contained in the words

'numero, pondere, et mensura generantur coeli et terra'.

O, that Hooker had ever asked himself concerning will, absolute will,

[Greek: ho arithmos hyperarithmios],
'numerus omues numeros ponens, nunquam positus!' [4]

Ib. p. 183.

When they of the 'Family of Love' have it once in their heads, that
Christ doth not signify any one person, but a quality whereof many are
partakers, &c.

If the Familists thought of Christ as a quality, it was a grievous error
indeed. But I have my doubts whether this was not rather an inference
drawn by their persecutors.

Ib. 15. p. 191.

When instruction doth them no good, let them feel but the least degree
of most mercifully-tempered severity, they fasten on the head of the
Lord's vicegerents here on earth, whatsoever they any where find
uttered against the cruelty of blood-thirsty men, and to themselves
they draw all the sentences which Scripture hath in favor of innocency
persecuted for the truth.

How great the influence of the age on the strongest minds, when so
eminently wise a man as Richard Hooker could overlook the obvious
impolicy of inflicting punishments which the sufferer himself will
regard as merits, and all who have any need to be deterred will extol as
martyrdom! Even where the necessity could be plausibly pretended, it is
war, not punitive law;--and then Augustine's argument for Sarah!

Ib. c. iv. 1. p. 194.

We require you to find out but one church upon the face of the whole
earth, that hath been ordered by your discipline, or hath not been
ordered by ours, that is to say, by episcopal regiment, sithence the
time that the blessed apostles were here conversant.

Hooker was so good a man that it would be wicked to suspect him of
knowingly playing the sophist. And yet strange it is, that he should not
have been aware that it was prelacy, not primitive episcopacy, the
thing, not the name, that the reformers contended against, and, if the
Catholic Church and the national Clerisy were (as both parties unhappily
took for granted) one and the same, contended against with good reason.
Knox's ecclesiastical polity (worthy of Lycurgus), adopted bishops under
a different name, or rather under a translation instead of corruption of
the name [Greek: epaskapoi]. He would have had superintendents.

Ib. c. v. 2. p. 204.

A law is the deed of the whole body politic, whereof if ye judge
yourselves to be any part, then is the law even your deed also.

This is a fiction of law for the purpose of giving to that, which is
necessarily empirical, the form and consequence of a science, to the
reality of which a code of laws can only approximate by compressing all
liberty and individuality into a despotism. As Justinian to Alfred, and
Constantinople, the Consuls and Senate of Rome to the Lord Mayor,
Aldermen, and Common Council of London; so is the imperial Roman code to
the common and statute law of England. The advocates of the discipline
would, according to our present notions of civil rights, have been
justified in putting fact against fiction, and might have challenged
Hooker to shew, first, that the constitution of the Church in Christ was
a congruous subject of parliamentary legislation; that the legislators
were 'bona fide' determined by spiritual views, and that the jealousy
and arbitrary principles of the Queen, aided by motives of worldly state
policy,--for example, the desire of conciliating the Roman Catholic
potentates by retaining all she could of the exterior of the Romish
Church, its hierarchy, its ornaments, and its ceremonies,--were not the
substitutes for the Holy Spirit in influencing the majorities in the two
Houses of Parliament. It is my own belief that the Puritans and the
Prelatists divided the truth between them; and, as half-truths are whole
errors, were both equally in the wrong;--the Prelatists in contending
for that as incident to the Church in Christ, that is, the collective
number [Greek: t_on ekkaloumen_on] or 'ecclesia', which only belonged,
but which rightfully did belong, to the National Church as a component
estate of the realm, the 'enclesia';--the Puritans in requiring of the
'enclesia' what was only requisite or possible for the 'ecclesia'.[5]
Archbishop Grindal is an illustrious exception. He saw the whole truth,
and that the functions of the enclesiastic and those of the ecclesiastic
were not the less distinct, because both were capable of being exercised
by the same person; and _vice versa_, not the less compatible in the
same subject because distinct in themselves. The Lord Chief Justice of
the King's Bench is a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Ib. c. vi. 3. p. 209.

God was not ignorant, that the priests and judges, whose sentence in
matters of controversy he ordained should stand, both might and
oftentimes would be deceived in their judgment. However, better it was
in the eye of His understanding, that sometime an erroneous sentence
definitive should prevail, till the same authority perceiving such
oversight, might afterwards correct or reverse it, than that strifes
should have respite to grow, and not come speedily to some end.

It is difficult to say, which most shines through this whole passage,
the spirit of wisdom or the spirit of meekness. The fatal error of the
Romish Church did not consist in the inappellability of the Councils, or
that an acquiescence in their decisions and decree was a duty binding on
the conscience of the dissentients,--not I say in contending for a
practical infallibility of Council or Pope; but in laying claim to an
actual and absolute immunity from error, and consequently for the
unrepealability of their decisions by any succeeding Council or Pope.
Hence, even wise decisions--wise under the particular circumstances and
times--degenerated into mischievous follies, by having the privilege of
immortality without any exemption from the dotage of superannuation.
Hence errors became like _glaciers_, or ice-bergs in the frozen
ocean, unthawed by summer, and growing from the fresh deposits of each
returning winter.

Ib. 6. p. 212.

An argument necessary and demonstrative is such, as being proposed
unto any man, and understood, the mind cannot choose but inwardly
assent. Any one such reason dischargeth, I grant, the conscience, and
setteth it at full liberty.

I would not concede even so much as this. It may well chance that even
an argument demonstrative, if understood, may be adducible against some
one sentence of a whole liturgy; and yet the means of removing it
without a palpable overbalance of evil may not exist for a time; and
either there is no command against schism, or we are bound in such small
matters to offer the sacrifice of willing silence to the public peace of
the Church. This would not, however, prevent a minister from pointing
out the defect in his character as a doctor or learned theologian.

Ib. c. viii. 1. p. 2-20.

For adventuring to erect the discipline of Christ without the leave of
the Christian magistrate, haply ye may condemn us as fools, in that we
hazard thereby our estates and persons further than you which are that
way more wise think necessary: but of any offence or sin therein
committed against God, with what conscience can you accuse us, when
your own positions are, that the things we observe should every of
them be dearer unto us than ten thousand lives; that they are the
peremptory commandments of God; that no mortal man can dispense with
them, and that the magistrate grievously sinneth in not constraining

'Hoc argumentum ad invidiam nimis sycophanticum est quam ut mihi placeat
a tanto viro'. Besides, it contradicts Hooker's own very judicious rule,
that to discuss and represent is the office of the learned, as
individuals, because the truth may be entire in any one mind; but to do
belongs to the supreme power as the will of the whole body politic, and
in effective action individuals are mere fractions without any
legitimate referee to add them together. Hooker's objection from the
nobility and gentry of the realm is unanswerable and within half a
century afterwards proved insurmountable. Imagine a sun containing
within its proper atmosphere a multitude of transparent satellites, lost
in the glory, or all joining to form the visible 'phasis' or disk; and
then beyond the precincts of this sun a number of opake bodies at
various distances, and having a common center of their own round which
they revolve, and each more or less according to the lesser or greater
distance partaking of the light and natural warmth of the sun, which I
have been supposing; but not sharing in its peculiar influences, or in
the solar life sustainable only by the vital air of the solar
atmosphere. The opake bodies constitute the national churches, the sun
the churches spiritual.

The defect of the simile, arising necessarily out of the
incompossibility of spiritual prerogatives with material bodies under
the proprieties and necessities of space, is, that it does not, as no
concrete or visual image can, represent the possible duplicity of the
individuals, the aggregate of whom constitutes the national church, so
that any one individual, or any number of such individuals, may at the
same time be, by an act of their own, members of the church spiritual,
and in every congregation may form an 'ecclesia' or Christian community;
and how to facilitate and favor this without any schism from the
'enclesia', and without any disturbance of the body politic, was the
problem which Grindal and the bishops of the first generation of the
Reformed Church sought to solve, and it is the problem which every
earnest Christian endued with competent gifts, and who is at the same
time a patriot and a philanthropist, ought to propose to himself, as the
'ingens desiderium proborum'.

8th Sept, 1826.

Ib. c. viii. 7. p. 232.

Baptizing of infants, although confessed by themselves, to have been
continued ever sithence the very apostles' own times, yet they
altogether condemned.

'Quaere'. I cannot say what the fanatic Anabaptists, of whom Hooker is
speaking, may have admitted; but the more sober and learned
Antipaedobaptists, who differed in this point only from the reformed
churches, have all, I believe, denied the practice of infant baptism
during the first century.

B.J. c. ii. 1. p. 249.

That which doth assign unto each thing the kind, that which doth
moderate the force and power, that which doth appoint the form and
measure, of working, the same we term a law.

See the essays on method, in the 'Friend'. [6] Hooker's words literally
and grammatically interpreted seem to assert the antecedence of the
thing to its kind, that is, to its essential characters;--and to its
force together with its form and measure of working, that is, to its
specific and distinctive characters; in short, the words assert the
pre-existence of the thing to all its constituent powers, qualities, and

Now this is either--first, equivalent to the assertion of a 'prima et
nuda materia', so happily ridiculed by the author of 'Hudibras', [7] and
which under any scheme of cosmogony is a mere phantom, having its whole
and sole substance in an impotent effort of the imagination or sensuous
fancy, but which is utterly precluded by the doctrine of creation which
it in like manner negatives:--or secondly, the words assert a
self-destroying absurdity, namely, the antecedence of a thing to itself;
as if having asserted that water consisted of hydrogen = 77, and oxygen
= 23, I should talk of water as existing before the creation of hydrogen
and oxygen.

All laws, indeed, are constitutive; and it would require a longer train
of argument than a note can contain, to shew what a thing is; but this
at least is quite certain, that in the order of thought it must be
posterior to the law that constitutes it. But such in fact was Hooker's
meaning, and the word, thing, is used 'proleptice' in favour of the
imagination, as appears from the sentences that follow, in which the
creative idea is declared to be the law of the things thereby created. A
productive idea, manifesting itself and its reality in the product is a
law; and when the product is phaenomenal, (that is, an object of the
outward senses) it is a law of nature. The law is 'res noumenon'; the
thing is 'res phenomenon' [8] A physical law, in the right sense of the
term, is the sufficient cause of the appearance,--'causa sub-faciens'.

P.S. What a deeply interesting volume might be written on the symbolic
import of the primary relations and dimensions of space--long, broad,
deep, or depth; surface; upper, under, above and below, right, left,
horizontal, perpendicular, oblique:--and then the order of causation, or
that which gives intelligibility, and the reverse order of effects, or
that which gives the conditions of actual existence! Without the higher
the lower would want its intelligibility: without the lower the higher
could not have existed. The infant is a riddle of which the man is the
solution; but the man could not exist but with the infant as his

Ib. 2. p. 250.

In which essential Unity of God, a Trinity personal nevertheless
subsisteth, after a manner far exceeding the possibility of man's

If 'conceit' here means conception, the remark is most true; for the
Trinity is an idea, and no idea can be rendered by a conception. An idea
is essentially inconceivable. But if it be meant that the Trinity is
otherwise inconceivable than as the divine eternity and every attribute
of God is and must be, then neither the commonness of the language here
used, nor the high authority of the user, can deter me from denouncing
it as untrue and dangerous. So far is it from being true, that on the
contrary, the Trinity is the only form in which an idea of God is
possible, unless indeed it be a Spinosistic or World-God.

Ib. c. iv. 1. p. 264.

But now that we may lift up our eyes (as it were) from the footstool
to the throne of God, and leaving these natural, consider a little the
state of heavenly and divine, creatures: touching angels which are
spirits immaterial and intellectual, &c.

All this disquisition on the angels confirms my remark that our
admirable Hooker was a giant of the race Aristotle 'versus' Plato.
Hooker was truly judicious,--the consummate 'synthesis' of understanding
and sense. An ample and most ordonnant conceptionist, to the tranquil
empyrean of ideas he had not ascended. Of the passages cited from
Scripture how few would bear a strict scrutiny; being either,

1. divine appearances, Jehovah in human form; or
2. the imagery of visions and all symbolic; or
3. names of honor given to prophets, apostles, or bishops; or
lastly, mere accommodations to popular notions!

Ib. 3. p. 267.

Since their fall, their practices have been the clean contrary unto
those before mentioned. For being dispersed, some in the air, some on
the earth, some in the water, some among the minerals, dens, and
caves, that are under the earth; they have, by all means laboured to
effect a universal rebellion against the laws, and as far as in them
lieth, utter destruction of the works of God.

Childish; but the childishness of the age, without which neither Hooker
nor Luther could have acted on their contemporaries with the intense and
beneficent energy with which, they (God be praised!) did act.

Ib. p. 268.

Thus much therefore may suffice for angels, the next unto whom in
degree are men.

St. Augustine well remarks that only three distinct 'genera' of living
beings are conceivable:

1. the infinite rational:
2. the finite rational:
3. the finite irrational:

that is, God, man, brute animal. 'Ergo', angels can only be with wings
on their shoulders. Were our bodies transparent to our souls, we should
be angels.

Ib. c. x. 4. p. 303.

It is no improbable opinion therefore which the arch-philosopher was

There are, and can be, only two schools of philosophy, differing in kind
and in source. Differences in degree and in accident, there may be many;
but these constitute schools kept by different teachers with different
degrees of genius, talent, and learning;--auditories of philosophizers,
not different philosophies. Schools of psilology (the love of empty
noise) and misosophy are here out of the question. Schools of real
philosophy there are but two,--best named by the arch-philosopher of
each, namely, Plato and Aristotle. Every man capable of philosophy at
all (and there are not many such) is a born Platonist or a born
Aristotelian. [9] Hooker, as may be discerned from the epithet of
arch-philosopher applied to the Stagyrite, 'sensu monarchico', was of
the latter family,--a comprehensive, vigorous, discreet, and discretive
conceptualist,--but not an ideist.

Ib. 8. p. 308.

Of this point therefore we are to note, that sith men naturally have
no free and perfect power to command whole politic multitudes of men,
therefore utterly without our consent, we could in such sort be at no
man's commandment living. And to be commanded we do consent, when that
society whereof we are part hath at any time before consented, without
revoking the same after by the like universal agreement. Wherefore as
any man's deed past is good as long as himself continueth; so the act
of a public society of men done five hundred years sithence standeth
as theirs who presently are of the same societies, because
corporations are immortal; we were then alive in our predecessors, and
they in their successors do live still. Laws therefore human, of what
kind soever, are available by consent.

No nobler or clearer example than this could be given of what an idea is
as contra-distinguished from a conception of the understanding,
correspondent to some fact or facts, 'quorum notae communes
concapiuntur',--the common characters of which are taken together under
one distinct exponent, hence named a conception; and conceptions are
internal subjective words. Reflect on an original social contract, as an
event or historical fact; and its gross improbability, not to say
impossibility, will stare you in the face. But an ever originating
social contract as an idea, which exists and works continually and
efficaciously in the moral being of every free citizen, though in the
greater number unconsciously, or with a dim and confused
consciousness,--what a power it is! [10] As the vital power compared
with the mechanic; as a father compared with a moulder in wax or clay,
such is the power of ideas compared with the influence of conceptions
and notions.

Ib.15. p.316.

... I nothing doubt but that Christian men should much better frame
themselves to those heavenly precepts, which our Lord and Saviour with
so great instancy gave us concerning peace and unity, if we did all
concur in desire to have the use of ancient Councils again renewed,
rather than these proceedings continued, which either make all
contentions endless, or bring them to one only determination, and that
of all other the worst, which is by sword.

This is indeed a subject that deserves a serious consideration: and it
may be said in favour of Hooker's proposal, namely, that the use of
ancient Councils be renewed, that a deep and universal sense of the
abuse of Councils progressively from the Nicene to that of Trent, and
our knowledge of the causes, occasions, and mode of such abuse, are so
far presumptive for its non-recurrency as to render it less probable
that honest men will pervert them from ignorance, and more difficult for
unprincipled men to do so designedly. Something too must be allowed for
an honourable ambition on the part of the persons so assembled, to
disappoint the general expectation, and win for themselves the unique
title of the honest Council. But still comes the argument, the blow of
which I might more easily blunt than parry, that if Roman Catholic and
Protestant, or even Protestant Episcopalian and Protestant Presbyterian
divines were generally wise and charitable enough to form a Christian
General Council, there would be no need of one.

N.B. The reasoning in this note, as far as it is in discouragement of a
recurrence to general Councils, does not, 'me saltem judice', conclude
against the suffering our Convocation to meet. The virtual abrogation of
this branch of our constitution I have long regarded as one of three or
four Whig patriotisms, that have succeeded in de-anglicizing the mind of

Ib. c. xi. 4. p. 323.

So that nature even in this life doth plainly claim and call for a
more divine perfection than either of these two that have been

Whenever I meet with an ambiguous or multivocal word, without its
meaning being shown and fixed, I stand on my guard against a sophism. I
dislike this term, 'nature,' in this place. If it mean the 'light that
lighteth every man that cometh into the world', it is an inapt term; for
reason is supernatural. Now that reason in man must have been first
actuated by a direct revelation from God, I have myself proved, and do
not therefore deny that faith as the means of salvation was first made
known by revelation; but that reason is incapable of seeing into the
fitness and superiority of these means, or that it is a mystery in any
other sense than as all spiritual truths are mysterious, I do deny and
deem it both a false and a dangerous doctrine.

15 Sept. 1826.

Ib. 6. p.327.

Concerning that faith, hope and charity, without which there can be no
salvation; was there ever any mention made saving only in that law
which God himself hath from heaven revealed? There is not in the world
a syllable muttered with certain truth concerning any of these three,
more than hath, been supernaturally received from the mouth of the
eternal God.

That reason could have discovered these divine truths is one thing; that
when discovered by revelation, it is capable of apprehending the beauty
and excellence of the things revealed is another. I may believe the
latter, while I utterly reject the former. That all these cognitions,
together with the fealty or faithfulness in the will whereby the mind of
the flesh is brought under captivity to the mind of the spirit (the
sensous understanding to the reason) are supernatural, I not only freely
grant, but fervently contend. But why the very perfection of reason,
namely, those ideas or truth-powers, in which both the spiritual light
and the spiritual life are co-inherent and one, should be called
super-rational, I do not see. For reason is practical as well as
theoretical; or even though I should exclude the practical reason, and
confine the term reason to the highest intellective power,--still I
should think it more correct to describe the mysteries of faith as
'plusquam rationalia' than super-rational. But the assertions that
provoke the remark arose for the greater part, and still arise, out of
the confounding of the reason with the understanding. In Hooker, and the
great divines of his age, it was merely an occasional carelessness in
the use of the terms that reason is ever put where they meant the
understanding; for, from other parts of their writings, it is evident
that they knew and asserted the distinction, nay, the diversity of the
things themselves; to wit, that there was in man another and higher
light than that of the faculty judging according to sense, that is our
understandings. But, alas! since the Revolution, it has ceased to be a
mere error of language, and in too many it now amounts to a denial of

B. ii. c. v.3. p.379.

To urge any thing as part of that supernatural and celestially
revealed truth which God hath taught, and not to shew it in Scripture;
this did the ancient Fathers evermore think unlawful, impious,

Even this must be received 'cum grano salis.' To be sure, with the
licences of interpretation, which the Fathers of the first three or four
centuries allowed themselves, and with the 'arcana' of evolution by
word, letter, allegory, yea, punning, which they applied to detached
sentences or single phrases of Holy Writ, it would not be easy to
imagine a position which they could not 'shew in Scripture.' Let this be
elucidated by the texts even now cited by the Romish priests for the
truth of purgatory, indulgence, image-worship, invocation of dead men,
and the like. The assertion therefore must be thus qualified. The
ancient Fathers anathematized any doctrine not consentaneous with
Scripture and deducible from it, either 'pari ratione' or by
consequence; as when Scripture clearly commands an end, but leaves the
means to be determined according to the circumstances, as for example,
the frequent assembly of Christians. The appointment of a Sunday or
Lord's day is evidently the fittest and most effectual mean to this end;
but yet it was not practicable, that is the mean did not exist till the
Roman government became Christian. But as soon as this event took place,
the duty of keeping the Sunday holy is truly, though implicitly,
contained in the Apostolic text.

Ib. vi. 3. p. 392.

Again, with a negative argument, David is pressed concerning the
purpose he had to build a temple unto the Lord: 'Thus saith the
Lord, Thou shalt not build me a house to dwelt in. Wheresoever I have
walked with all Israel, spake I one word to any of the judges of
Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people, saying, Why have ye not
built me a house?'

The wisdom of the divine goodness both in the negative, the not having
authorized any of the preceding Judges from Moses downwards to build a
temple--and in the positive, in having commanded David to prepare for
it, and Solomon to build it--I have not seen put in the full light in
which it so well deserves to be. The former or negative, or the evils of
a splendid temple-worship and its effects on the character of the
priesthood,--evils, when not changed to good by becoming the antidote
and preventive of far greater evils,--would require much thought both to
set forth and to comprehend. But to give any reflecting reader a sense
of the providential foresight evinced in the latter, and this foresight
beyond the reach of any but the Omniscient, it will be only necessary to
remind him of the separation of the ten tribes and the breaking up of
the realm into the two kingdoms of Judah and Israel in the very next
reign. Without the continuity of succession provided for by this vast
and splendid temple, built and arranged under the divine sanction
attested by miracles--what criterion would there have existed for the
purity of this law and worship? what security for the preservation and
incorruption of the inspired writings?

Ib. vii. 3. p. 403.

That there is a city of Rome, that Pius Quintus and Gregory the
Thirteenth, and others, have been Popes of Rome, I suppose we are
certainly enough persuaded. The ground of our persuasion, who never
saw the place nor persons before named, can be nothing but man's
testimony. Will any man here notwithstanding allege those mentioned
human infirmities as reasons why these things should be mistrusted or
doubted of? Yea, that which is more, utterly to infringe the force and
strength of man's testimony, were to shake the very fortress of God's

In a note on a passage in Skelton's 'Deism Revealed', [11] I have
detected the subtle sophism that lurks in this argument, as applied by
later divines in vindication of proof by testimony, in relation to the
miracles of the Old and New Testament. As thus applied, it is a [Greek:
metabasis eis allo genos], though so unobvious, that a very acute and
candid reasoner might use the argument without suspecting the
paralogism. It is not testimony, as testimony, that necessitates us to
conclude that there is such a city as Rome--but a reasoning, that forms
a branch of mathematical science. So far is our conviction from being
grounded on our confidence in human testimony that it proceeds on our
knowledge of its fallible character, and therefore can find no
sufficient reason for its coincidence on so vast a scale, but in the
real existence of the object. That a thousand lies told by as many
several and unconnected individuals should all be one and the same, is a
possibility expressible only by a fraction that is already, to all
intents and purposes, equal to nought.

B. iii. c. iii. 1. p. 447.

The mixture of those things by speech, which by nature are divided, is
the mother of all error.

'The division in thought of those things which in nature are distinct,
yet one, that is, distinguished without breach of unity, is the
mother,'--so I should have framed the position. Will, reason,
life,--ideas in relation to the mind, are instances; 'entiae indivise
interdistinctae'; and the main arguments of the atheists, materialists,
deniers of our Lord's divinity and the like, all rest on the asserting
of division as a necessary consequence of distinction.

B. v. c. xix. 3. vol. ii. p. 87.

Of both translations the better I willingly acknowledge that which
cometh nearer to the very letter of the original verity; yet so that
the other may likewise safely enough be read, without any peril at all
of gainsaying as much as the least jot or syllable of God's most
sacred and precious truth.

Hooker had far better have rested on the impossibility and the
uselessness, if possible, of a faultless translation; and admitting
certain mistakes, and oversights, have recommended them for notice at
the next revision; and then asked, what objection such harmless trifles
could be to a Church that never pretended to infallibility! But in fact
the age was not ripe enough even for a Hooker to feel, much less with
safety to expose, the Protestants' idol, that is, their Bibliolatry.

Ib. c. xxii. 10. p. 125.

Their only proper and direct proof of the thing in question had been
to shew, in what sort and how far man's salvation doth necessarily
depend upon the knowledge of the word of God; what conditions,
properties, and qualities there are, whereby sermons are distinguished
from other kinds of administering the word unto that purpose; and what
special property or quality that is, which being no where found but in
sermons, maketh them effectual to save souls, and leaveth all other
doctrinal means besides destitute of vital efficacy.

Doubtless, Hooker was a theological Talus, with a club of iron against,
opponents with pasteboard helmets, and armed only with crabsticks! But
yet, I too, too often find occasion to complain of him as abusing his
superior strength. For in a good man it is an abuse of his intellectual
superiority, not to use a portion of it in stating his Christian
opponents' cause, his brethren's (though dissentient, and perhaps
erring, yet still brethren's,) side of the question, not as they had
stated and argued it, but as he himself with his higher gifts of logic
and foresight could have set it forth. But Hooker flies off to the
general, in which he is unassailable; and does not, as in candour he
should have done, inquire whether the question would not admit of, nay,
demand, a different answer, when applied solely or principally to the
circumstances, the condition and the needs of the English parishes, and
the population at large, at the particular time when the Puritan divines
wrote, and he, Hooker, replied to them. Now let the cause be tried in
this way, and I should not be afraid to attempt the proof of the
paramount efficacy of preaching on the scheme, and in the line of
argument laid down by himself in this section. In short, Hooker
frequently finds it convenient to forget the homely proverb; 'the proof
of the pudding is in the eating.' Whose parishes were the best
disciplined, whose flocks the best fed, the soberest livers, and the
most awakened and best informed Christians, those of the zealous
preaching divines, or those of the prelatic clergy with their readers?
In whose churches and parishes were all the other pastoral duties,
catechizing, visiting the poor and the like, most strictly practised?

Ib. 11.

The people which have no way to come to the knowledge of God, no
prophesying, no teaching, perish. But that they should of necessity
perish, where any one way of knowledge lacketh, is more than the words
of Solomon import.

But what was the fact? Were those congregations that had those readers
of whom the Puritans were speaking--were they, I say, equally well
acquainted with, and practically impressed by, the saving truths of the
Gospel? Were they not rather perishing for lack of knowledge? To
reply,--It was their own fault; they ought to have been more regular in
their attendance at church, and more attentive, when there, to what was
there read,--is to my mind too shocking, nay, antichristian.

Ib. 16. p.137.

Now all these things being well considered, it shall be no intricate
matter for any man to judge with indifferency, on which part the good
of the church is most conveniently sought; whether on ours, whose
opinion is such as hath been shewed, or else on theirs, who leaving no
ordinary way of salvation for them unto whom the word of God is but
only read, do seldom name them but with great disdain and contempt,
who execute that service in the church of Christ.

If so, they were much to be blamed. But surely this was not the case
with the better and wiser part of those who, clinging to the tenets and
feelings of the first Reformers, and honouring Archbishop Grindal as
much as they dreaded his Arminian successors, were denominated Puritans!
They limited their censures to exclusive reading,--to reading as the
substitute for, and too often for the purpose of doing away with,

Ib. lxv. 8. p.415.

Thus was the memory of that sign which they had in baptism a kind of
bar or prevention to keep them even from apostasy, whereinto the
frailty of flesh and blood, overmuch fearing to endure shame, might
peradventure the more easily otherwise have drawn them.

I begin to fear that Hooker is not suited to my nature. I cannot bear
round-abouts for the purpose of evading the short cut straight before my
eyes. 'Exempli gratia;' I find myself tempted in this place to ejaculate
Psha! somewhat abruptly, and ask, 'How many in twenty millions of
Christian men and women ever reverted to the make-believe impression of
the Cross on their forehead in unconscious infancy, by the wetted tip of
the clergyman's finger as a preservative against anger and resentment?
'The whole church of God!' Was it not the same church which, neglecting
and concealing the Scriptures of God, introduced the adoration of the
Cross, the worshipping of relics, holy water, and all the other
countless mummeries of Popery? Something might be pretended for the
material images of the Cross worn at the bosom or hung up in the
bed-chamber. These may, and doubtless often do, serve as silent
monitors; but this eye-falsehood or pretence of making a mark that is
not made, is a gratuitous superstition, that cannot be practised without
serious danger of leading the vulgar to regard it as a charm. Hooker
should have asked--Has it hitherto had this effect on Christians
generally? Is it likely to produce this effect and this principally? In
common honesty he must have answered, No!--Do I then blame the Church of
England for retaining this ceremony? By no means. I justify it as a wise
and pious condescension to the inveterate habits of a people newly
dragged, rather than drawn, out of Papistry; and as a pledge that the
founders and fathers of the Reformation in England regarded innovation
as 'per se' an evil, and therefore requiring for its justification not
only a cause, but a weighty cause. They did well and piously in
deferring the removal of minor spots and stains to the time when the
good effects of the more important reforms had begun to shew themselves
in the minds and hearts of the laity.--But they do not act either wisely
or charitably who would eulogize these 'maculae' as beauty-spots and
vindicate as good what their predecessors only tolerated as the lesser

12th Aug. 1826.

Ib. 15. p. 424.

For in actions of this kind we are more to respect what the greatest
part of men is commonly prone to conceive, than what some few men's
wits may devise in construction of their own particular meanings.
Plain it is, that a false opinion of some personal divine excellency
to be in those things which either nature or art hath framed causeth
always religious adoration.

How strongly might this most judicious remark be turned against Hooker's
own mode of vindicating this ceremony!

Ib. lxvi. 2. p. 432.

The Church had received from Christ a promise that such as have
believed in him these signs and tokens should follow them.

'To cast out devils, to speak with tongues, to drive away serpents, to
be free from the harm which any deadly poison could work, and to cure
diseases by imposition of hands.'

'Mark xvi'.

The man who verily and sincerely believes the narrative in St. John's
Gospel of the feeding of five thousand persons with a few loaves and
small fishes, and of the raising of Lazarus, in the plain and literal
sense, cannot be reasonably suspected of rejecting, or doubting, any
narrative concerning Christ and his Apostles, simply as miraculous. I
trust, therefore, that no disbelief of, or prejudice against, miraculous
events and powers will be attributed to me, as the ground or cause of my
strong persuasion that the latter verses of the last chapter of St.
Mark's Gospel were an additament of a later age, for which St. Luke's
Acts of the Apostles misunderstood supplied the hints.

Ib. lxxii. 15 & 16. p.539.

If Richard Hooker had written only these two precious paragraphs, I
should hold myself bound to thank the Father of lights and Giver of all
good gifts for his existence and the preservation of his writings.

B. viii. c. ix. 2. vol. iii. p. 537.

As there could be in natural bodies no motion of anything, unless
there were some which moveth all things, and continueth immoveable;
even so in politic societies, there must be some unpunishable, or else
no man shall suffer punishment.

It is most painful to connect the venerable, almost sacred, name of
Richard Hooker with such a specimen of puerile sophistry, scarcely
worthy of a court bishop's trencher chaplain in the slavering times of
our Scotch Solomon. It is, however, of some value, some interest at
least, as a striking example of the confusion of an idea with a
conception. Every conception has its sole reality in its being referable
to a thing or class of things, of which, or of the common characters of
which, it is a reflection. An idea is a power, [Greek: dunamis noera],
which constitutes its own reality, and is in order of thought
necessarily antecedent to the things in which it is more or less
adequately realized, while a conception is as necessarily posterior.


Vol. iii. p. 583.

The following truly admirable discourse is, I think, the concluding
sermon of a series unhappily not preserved.

Ib. p.584.

If it were so in matters of faith, then, as all men have equal
certainty of this, so no believer should be more scrupulous and
doubtful than another. But we find the contrary. The angels and
spirits of the righteous in heaven have certainty most evident of
things spiritual: but this they have by the light of glory. That which
we see by the light of grace, though it be indeed more certain; yet it
is not to us so evidently certain, as that which sense or the light of
nature will not suffer a man to doubt of.

Hooker's meaning is right; but he falls into a sad confusion of words,
blending the thing and the relation of the mind to the thing. The fourth
moon of Jupiter is certain in itself; but evident only to the astronomer
with his telescope.

Ib. p. 585-588.

The other, which we call the certainty of adherence, is when the heart
doth cleave and stick unto that which it doth believe. This certainty
is greater in us than the other ... ('down to') the fourth
question resteth, and so an end of this point.

These paragraphs should be written in gold. O! may these precious words
be written on my heart!

1. That we all need to be redeemed, and that therefore we are all in
captivity to an evil:

2. That there is a Redeemer:

3. That the redemption relatively to each individual captive is, if not
effected under certain conditions, yet manifestable as far as is fitting
for the soul by certain signs and consequents:--and

4. That these signs are in myself; that the conditions under which the
redemption offered to all men is promised to the individual, are
fulfilled in myself;

these are the four great points of faith, in which the humble Christian
finds and feels a gradation from trembling hope to full assurance; yet
the will, the act of trust, is the same in all. Might I not almost say,
that it rather increases with the decrease of the consciously discerned
evidence? To assert that I have the same assurance of mind that I am
saved as that I need a Saviour, would be a contradiction to my own
feelings, and yet I may have an equal, that is, an equivalent assurance.
How is it possible that a sick man should have the same certainty of his
convalescence as of his sickness? Yet he may be assured of it. So again,
my faith in the skill and integrity of my physician may be complete, but
the application of it to my own case may be troubled by the sense of my
own imperfect obedience to his prescriptions. The sort of our beliefs
and assurances is necessarily modified by their different subjects. It
argues no want of saving faith on the whole, that I cannot have the same
trust in myself as I have in my God. That Christ's righteousness can
save me,--that Christ's righteousness alone can save--these are simple
positions, all the terms of which are steady and copresent to my mind.
But that I shall be so saved,--that of the many called I have been one
of the chosen,--this is no mere conclusion of mind on known or assured
premisses. I can remember no other discourse that sinks into and draws
up comfort from the depths of our being below our own distinct
consciousness, with the clearness and godly loving-kindness of this
truly evangelical God-to-be-thanked-for sermon. But how large, how
important a part of our spiritual life goes on like the circulation,
absorptions, and secretions of our bodily life, unrepresented by any
specific sensation, and yet the ground and condition of our total sense
of existence!

While I feel, acknowledge, and revere the almost measureless superiority
of the sermons of the divines, who labored in the first, and even the
first two centuries of the Reformation, from Luther to Leighton, over
the prudential morals and apologizing theology that have characterized
the unfanatical clergy since the Revolution in 1688, I cannot but
regret, especially while I am listening to a Hooker, that they withheld
all light from the truths contained in the words 'Satan', 'the Serpent',
'the Evil Spirit', and this last used plurally.


Ib. s. 31. p. 659-661.

But we say, our salvation is by Christ alone; therefore howsoever, or
whatsoever, we add unto Christ in the matter of salvation, we
overthrow Christ. Our case were very hard, if this argument, so
universally meant as it is proposed, were sound and good. We ourselves
do not teach Christ alone, excluding our own faith, unto
justification; Christ alone, excluding our own work, unto
sanctification; Christ alone, excluding the one or the other as
unnecessary unto salvation. ... As we have received, so we teach that
besides the bare and naked work, wherein Christ, without any other
associate, finished all the parts of our redemption and purchased
salvation himself alone; for conveyance of this eminent blessing unto
us, many things are required, as, to be known and chosen of God
_before_ the foundations of the world; _in_ the world to be called,
justified, sanctified; _after_ we have left the world to be received
into glory; Christ in every of these hath somewhat which he worketh
alone. &c. &c.

No where out of the Holy Scripture have I found the root and pith of
Christian faith so clearly and purely propounded as in this section.
God, whose thoughts are eternal, beholdeth the end, and in the completed
work seeth and accepteth every stage of the process. I dislike only the
word 'purchased;'--not that it is not Scriptural, but because a metaphor
well and wisely used in the enforcement and varied elucidation of a
truth, is not therefore properly employed in its exact enunciation. I
will illustrate, amplify and _divide_ the word with Paul; but I will
propound it collectively with John. If in this admirable passage aught
else dare be wished otherwise, it is the division and yet confusion of
time and eternity, by giving an anteriority to the latter.

I am persuaded, that the practice of the Romish church tendeth to make
vain the doctrine of salvation by faith in Christ alone; but judging by
her most eminent divines, I can find nothing dissonant from the truth in
her express decisions on this article. Perhaps it would be safer to
say:--Christ alone saves us, working in us by the faith which includes
hope and love.

Ib. s. 34. p. 671.

If it were not a strong deluding spirit which hath possession of their
hearts; were it possible but that they should see how plainly they do
herein gainsay the very ground of apostolic faith? ... The Apostle, as
if he had foreseen how the Church of Rome would abuse the world in
time by ambiguous terms, to declare in what sense the name of grace
must be taken, when we make it the cause of our salvation, saith, 'He
saved us according to his mercy', &c.

In all Christian communities there have been and ever will be too many
Christians in name only;--too many in belief and notion only: but
likewise, I trust, in every acknowledged Church, Eastern or Western,
Greek, Roman, Protestant, many of those in belief, more or less
erroneous, who are Christians in faith and in spirit. And I neither do
nor can think, that any pious member of the Church of Rome did ever in
his heart attribute any merit to any work as being his work. [12] A
grievous error and a mischievous error there was practically in mooting
the question at all of the condignity of works and their rewards. In
short, to attribute merit to any agent but God in Christ, our faith as
Christians forbids us; and to dispute about the merit of works
abstracted from the agent, common sense ought to forbid us.


Ib. p. 698.

I said directly and plainly to all men's understanding, that it was
not indeed to be doubted, but many of the Fathers were saved; but the
means, said I, was not their ignorance, which excuseth no man with
God, but their knowledge and faith of the truth, which, it appeareth,
God vouchsafed them, by many notable monuments and records extant of
it in all ages.

Not certainly, if the ignorance proceeded directly or indirectly from a
defect or sinful propensity of the will; but where no such cause is
imaginable, in such cases this position of Master Travers is little less
than blasphemous to the divine goodness, and in direct contradiction to
an assertion of St. Paul's, [13] and to an evident consequence from our
Saviour's own words on the polygamy of the fathers. [14]


Ib. p. 719.

The next thing discovered, is an opinion about the assurance of men's
persuasion in matters of faith. I have taught, he saith, 'That the
assurance of things which we believe by the word, is not so certain as
of that we perceive by sense.'

A useful instance to illustrate the importance of distinct, and the
mischief of equivocal or multivocal, terms. Had Hooker said that the
fundamental truths of religion, though perhaps even more certain, are
less evident than the facts of sense, there could have been no
misunderstanding. Thus the demonstrations of algebra possess equal
certainty with those of geometry, but cannot lay claim to the same
evidence. Certainty is positive, evidence relative; the former, strictly
taken, insusceptible of more or less, the latter capable of existing in
many different degrees.

Writing a year or more after the preceding note, I am sorry to say that
Hooker's reasoning on this point seems to me sophistical throughout.
That a man must see what he sees is no persuasion at all, nor bears the
remotest analogy to any judgment of the mind. The question is, whether
men have a clearer conception and a more stedfast conviction of the
objective reality to which the image moving their eye appertains, than
of the objective reality of the things and states spiritually discovered
by faith. And this Travers had a right to question wherever a saving
faith existed.

August, 1826.


Ib. p. 801.

In spirit I am with you to the world's end.

O how grateful should I be to be made intuitive of the truth intended in
the words--'In spirit I am with you!'

Ib. p. 808.

Touching the latter affection of fear, which respecteth evils to come,
as the other which we have spoken of doth present evils; first, in the
nature thereof it is plain that we are not every future evil afraid.
Perceive we not how they, whose tenderness shrinketh at the least rase
of a needle's point, do kiss the sword that pierceth their souls quite

In this and in sundry similar passages of this venerable writer there is
[Greek: h_os emoige dokei], a very plausible, but even therefore the
more dangerous, sophism; but the due detection and exposure of which
would exceed the scanty space of a marginal comment. Briefly, what does
Hooker comprehend in the term 'pain?' Whatsoever the soul finds adverse
to her well being, or incompatible with her free action? In this sense
Hooker's position is a mere truism. But if pain be applied exclusively
to the soul finding itself as life, then it is an error.

Ib. p. 811.

Fear then in itself being mere nature cannot in itself be sin, which
sin is not nature, but therefore an accessary deprivation.

I suspect a misprint, and that it should be depravation'. But if not
nature, then it must be a super-induced and incidental depravation of
nature. The principal, namely fear, is nature; but the sin, that is,
that it is a sinful fear, is but an accessary.

[Footnote 1: The references are to Mr. Keble's edition (1836.)--Ed.]

[Footnote 2: But see Mr. Keble's statement (Pref. xxix.), and the
argument founded on discoveries and collation of MSS. since the note in
the text was written.--Ed.]

[Footnote 3: See Mr. Coleridge's work 'On the constitution of the Church
and State according to the idea of each.'--Ed.]

[Footnote 4: See E. P. I. ii. 3. p. 252.--Ed.]

[Footnote 5: See the 'Church and State,' in which the 'ecclesia' or
Church in Christ, is distinguished from the 'enclesia', or national

[Footnote 6: See the essays generally from the fourth to the ninth, both
inclusively, in Vol. III. 3rd edition, more especially, the fifth

[Footnote 7: Part I. c. i. vv. 151--6.--Ed.]

[Footnote 8: See the essay on the idea of the Prometheus of AEschylus.
Literary Remains, Vol. II. p. 323.--Ed.]

[Footnote 9:

'Every man is born an Aristotelian, or a Platonist. I do not think it
possible that any one born an Aristotelian can become a Platonist; and
I am sure no born Platonist can ever change into an Aristotelian. They
are the two classes of men, beside which it is next to impossible to
conceive a third. The one considers reason a quality, or attribute;
the other considers it a power. I believe that Aristotle never could
get to understand what Plato meant by an idea. ... Aristotle was, and
still is, the sovereign lord of the understanding; the faculty judging
by the senses. He was a conceptualist, and never could raise himself
into that higher state, which was natural to Plato, and has been so to
others, in which the understanding is distinctly contemplated, and, as
it were, looked down upon, from the throne of actual ideas, or living,
inborn, essential truths.'

'Table Talk', 2d Edit. p. 95.--Ed.]

[Footnote 10: See the 'Church and State,' c. i.--Ed.]

[Footnote 11: See 'post'.--Ed.]

[Footnote 12: But see the language of the Council of Trent:

Si quis dixerit justitiam acceptam non conservari 'atque etiam augeri
coram. Deo per bona opera'; sed opera ipsa fructus solummodo et signa
esse justificationis adeptae,' non autem ipsius augendae causam';
anathema sit.

'Sess'. VI. 'Can'. 24.

... Si quis dixerit hominis justificati 'bona opera' ita esse dona
Dei, 'ut non sint etiam bona ipsius justificati merita'; aut ipsum
justificatum 'bonis operibus', quae ab eo per Dei gratiam, et Jesu
Christi meritum, cujus vivum membrum est, fiunt, 'non vere mereri
augmentum gratiae, vitam aeternam, et ipsius vitae aeternae, si tamen in
gratia decesserit, conscecutionem atque etiam gloriae augmentum',
anathema sit.

'Ib. Can.' 32.--Ed.]

[Footnote 13: Rom. ii. 12.--Ed.]

[Footnote 14: Matt. xix. 8.--Ed.]


'Fly-leaf.--Hannah Scollock, her book, February 10', 1787.

This, Hannah Scollock! may have been the case;
Your writing therefore I will not erase.
But now this book, once yours, belongs to me,
The Morning Post's and Courier's S. T. C.;--
Elsewhere in College, knowledge, wit and scholerage
To friends and public known, as S. T. Coleridge.
Witness hereto my hand, on Ashly Green,
One thousand, twice four hundred, and fourteen
Year of our Lord--and of the month November,
The fifteenth day, if right I do remember.

28 March, 1819. [2]


This one volume, thoroughly understood and appropriated, will place you
in the highest ranks of doctrinal Church of England divines (of such as
now are), and in no mean rank as a true doctrinal Church historian.

Next to this I recommend Baxter's own Life, edited by Sylvester, with my
marginal notes. Here, more than in any of the prelatical and Arminian
divines from Laud to the death of Charles II, you will see the strength
and beauty of the Church of England, that is, its liturgy, homilies, and
articles. By contrasting, too, its present state with that which such
excellent men as Baxter, Calamy, and the so called Presbyterian or
Puritan divines, would have made it, you will bless it as the bulwark of

Thirdly, you must read Eichorn's Introduction to the Old and New


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