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vernment clearly removed, which would not at the first have David to govern); or if that which they do by virtue of their power, namely, their laws, edicts, services, or other acts of
jurisdiction, be not suffered to take effect, contrary to the Heb.
blessed apostle's most holy rule, “Obey them who have the xiii. 17.
oversight of you.” Or if they do take effect, yet is not the will of God thereby satisfied neither, as long as that which we do is contemptuously or repiningly done, because we can do no otherwise. In such sort the Israelites in the desert obeyed Moses, and were notwithstanding deservedly plagued for disobedience. The apostle's precept therefore is, “Be subject even for God's cause; be subject, not for fear, but of mere conscience, knowing, that he which resisteth them, purchaseth to himself condemnation.” Disobedience, therefore, unto laws which are made by them, is not a thing of so small account as some would make it.
Howbeit, too rigorous it were, that the breach of every human law should be held a deadly sin : a mean there is between these extremities, if so be we can find it out.
R E A D E R.
The pleasures of thy spacious walks in Mr. Hooker's Temple-garden (not unfitly so called, both for the Temple whereof he was Master, and the subject, Ecclesiastical Polity) do promise acceptance to these flowers, planted and watered by the same hand, and, for thy sake, composed into this posy. Sufficiently are they commended by their fragrant smell, in the dogmatical truth ; by their beautiful colours, in the accurate style; by their medicinable virtue, against some diseases in our neighbour churches, now proving epidemical, and threatening farther infection; by their straight feature and spreading nature, growing from the root of faith (which, as here is proved, can never be rooted up), and extending the branches of charity to the covering of Noah's nakedness; opening the windows of hope to men's misty conceits of their hemisted forefathers. Thus, and more than thus, do the works commend themselves; the workman needs a better workman to commend him (Alexander's picture requires Apelles's pencil); nay, he needs it not, His own works commend him in the gates; and, being dead he yet speaketh; the syllables of that memorable name, Mr. Richard Hooker, proclaiming more, than if I should here style him, á painful student, a profound scholar, a judicious writer, with other due titles of his honour. Receive then this posthume orphan for his own, yea, for thine own sake; and if the printer hath, with overmuch haste, like Mephibosheth's nurse, lamed the child with slips and falls, yet be thou of David's mind, sheu, kindness to him for his father Jonathan's sake. God grant that the rest of his
brethren be not more than lamed, and that as Sauls three sons died the same day with him, so those three promised to perfect his Polity, with other issues of that learned brain, be not buried in the grave with their renowned father. Farewell.
The Contents of the Treatises following.
I. A Supplication made to the Council by Master Walter
Travers. II. Master Hooker's Answer to the Supplication that Master
Travers made to the Council. III. A learned Discourse of Justification, Works, and how
the Foundation of Faith is overthrown. IV. A learned Sermon of the Nature of Pride. V. A Remedy against Sorrow and Fear, delivered in a
Funeral Sermon. VI. Of the Certainty and Perpetuity of Faith in the Elect:
especially the prophet Habakkuk's Faith. VII. Two Sermons upon part of St. Jude's Epistle.
MADE TO THE
MASTER WALTER TRAVERS.
Right HONOURABLE, The manifold benefits which all the subjects within this dominion do at this present, and have many years enjoyed, under her majesty's most happy and prosperous reign, by your godly wisdom and careful watching over this estate night and day, I truly and unfeignedly acknowledge, from the bottom of my heart, ought worthily to bind us all to pray continually to Almighty God for the continuance and increase of the life and good estate of your honours, and to be ready, with all good duties, to satisfy and serve the same to our power. Besides public benefits common unto all, I must needs, and do willingly, confess myself to stand bound by most special obligation, to serve and honour you more than any other, for the honourable favour it hath pleased you to vouchsafe both oftentimes heretofore, and also now of late, in a matter more dear unto me than my earthly commodity, that is, the upholding and furthering of my service in the ministering of the gospel of Jesus Christ. For which cause, as I have been always careful so to carry myself as I might by no means give occasion to be thought unworthy of so great a benefit, so do I still, next unto her majesty's gracious countenance, hold nothing more dear and precious to me, than that I may always remain in your honours' favour, which hath oftentimes been helpful and comfortable unto me in my ministry, and to all such as reaped any fruit of my simple and faithful labour. In which dutiful regard I humbly beseech your honours to vouchsafe to do me this grace, to conceive nothing of me otherwise than according to the duty wherein I ought to live, by any information against
me, before your honours have heard my answer, and been thoroughly informed of the matter. Which, although it be a thing that your wisdoms, not in favour, but in justice, yield to all men, yet the state of the calling into the ministry, whereunto it hath pleased God of his goodness to call me, though unworthiest of all, is so subject to misinformation, as, except we may find this favour with your honours, we cannot look for any other, but that our unindifferent parties may easily procure us to be hardly esteemed of; and that we shall be made like the poor fisher-boats in the sea, which every swelling wave and billow raketh and run
yet harder than any others of my rank and calling, who are indeed to fight against flesh and blood in what part soever of the Lord's host and field they shall stand marshalled to serve, yet many of them deal with it naked, and unfurnished of weapons : but my service was in a place where I was to encounter with it, well appointed and armed with skill and with authority, whereof, as I have always thus deserved, and therefore have been careful by all good means to entertain still your honours' favourable respect of me, so have I special cause at this present, wherein misinformation to the lord archbishop of Canterbury, and other of the high commission, hath been able so far to prevail against me, that by their letter they have inhibited me to preach, or execute any act of ministry, in the Temple or elsewhere, having never once called me before them, to understand by mine answer the truth of such things as had been informed against me. We have a story in our books wherein the pharisees, proceeding against our Saviour Christ, without having heard him, are reproved by an honourable counsellor (as the evangelist doth term him), saying, “ Doth our law judge a man before it hear him, and know what he hath done?” Which I do not mention, to the end that by an indirect and covert speech I might so compare those who have, without ever hearing me, pronounced a heavy sentence against me; for notwithstanding such proceedings, I purpose by God's grace to carry myself towards them in all seeming duty, agreeable to their places: much less do I presume to liken my cause to our Saviour Christ's, who hold it my chiefest honour and happiness to serve him, though it be but among the hinds and hired seryants that serve him in the basest corners of his house : but my purpose in mentioning it is, to shew by the judgment of a prince and great man in Israel, that such proceeding standeth not with the law of God, and in a princely pattern to shew it to be a noble