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Laws they are not, therefore, which public approbation | law the corruption of men has added to the Primary hath not made so. But approbation not only they give who | Laws that suffice for the government of men as they personally declare their assent by voice, sign, or act, but also ought to be, Secondary Laws which are needed for when others do it in their names by right originally at the | men as they are, “the one grounded upon sincere, least derived from them. As in parliaments, councils, and the other built upon depraved nature. Primary the like assemblies, although we be not personally ourselves
laws of nations are such as concern embassage, such present, notwithstanding our assent is, by reason of others
as belong to the courteous entertainment of foreigners agents there in our behalf. And what we do by others, no
and strangers, such as serve for commodious tratfic, reason but that it should stand as our deed, no less effectually
and the like. Secondary laws in the same kind are to bind us than if ourselves had done it in person. In many
such as this present unquiet world is most familiarly things assent is given, they that give it not imagining they
acquainted with ; I mean laws of arms, which yet do so, because the manner of their assenting is not apparent.
are much better known than kept." As for example, when an absolute monarch commandeth his
Besides this law for civil communion, Christian subjects that which seemeth good in his own discretion,
nations have judged a like agreement needful in rehath not his edict the force of a law whether they approve or
gard even of Christianity; and General Councils of dislike it? Again, that which hath been received long
the Church represent this kind of correspondence, so sithence and is by custom now established, we keep as a law
that the Church of God here on earth may have her which we may not transgress; yet what consent was ever
laws of spiritual commerce between Christian nations. thereunto sought or required at our hands? Of this point therefore we are to note, that sith men natu
“A thing,” says Hooker rally have no full and perfect power to command whole politic multitudes of men, therefore utterly without our con A thing whereof God's own blessed Spirit was the author: sent we could in such sort be at no man's commandment | a thing practised by the holy Apostles themselves; a thing living. And to be commanded we do consent, when that always afterwards kept and observed throughout the world ; society whereof we are part hath at any time before con a thing never otherwise than most highly esteemed of, till sented, without revoking the same after by the like universal pride, ambition, and tyranny began by factious and vile agreement. Wherefore as any man's deed past is good as endeavours to abuse that divine invention unto the further. long as himself continueth; so the act of a public society of ance of wicked purposes. But as the just authority of civil men done five hundred years sithence standeth as theirs who courts and parliaments is not therefore to be abolished, bepresently are of the same societies, because corporations are cause sometime there is cunning used to frame them according immortal; we were then alive in our predecessors, and they to the private intents of men overpotent in the commonwealth ; in their successors do live still. Laws therefore human, of
80 the grievous abuse which hath been of councils should what kind soever, are available by consent.
rather cause men to study how so gracious a thing may again
be reduced to that first perfection, than in regard of stains We shall have to glance back at this passage
and blemishes sithence growing be held for ever in extreme when illustrating, in another volume, the political philosophies of Hobbes and Locke. Laws made
To speak of this matter as the cause requireth wonld refor the ordering of politic societies either esta
quire very long discourse. All I will presently say is this. blish duties whereunto all men by the law of reason
Whether it be for the finding out of anything whereunto did before stand bound; or else, for particular
divine law bindeth us, but yet in such sort that men are not
thereof on all sides resolved; or for the setting down of some reasons, make that a duty which before was none.
uniform judgment to stand touching such things, as being Where a law of society punishes outward trans
neither way matters of necessity, are notwithstanding offen. gression of a law of reason or conscience, that law
sive and scandalous when there is open opposition about being in part natural, or of divine establishment,
them : be it for the ending of strifes touching matters of is mixedly human. Where it concerns only what
Christian belief, wherein the one part may seem to have proreason may under particular conditions hold to be
bable cause of dissenting from the other; or be it concerning convenient, as the manner in which property shall
matters of polity, order, and regiment in the church; I nothing pass after its owner's death, such law is merely
doubt but that Christian men should much better frame them. auman. Laws whether mixedly or merely human selves to those heavenly precepts, which our Lord and Saviour are made by politic societies : some only as those with so great instancy gave as concerning peace and unity, if societies are civilly united ; some, as they are spiri we did all concur in desire to have the use of ancient councils tually joined and form a church. Of human laws in again renewed, rather than these proceedings continued, this latter kind the third book of “ Ecclesiastical which either make all contentions endless, or bring them to Polity” would treat.
one only determination, and that of all other the worst,
which is by sword. Besides (1) the natural Law of Reason that concerned men as men, and (2) that which belongs to Here ends the section of the book which speaks of them as they are men linked with others in some the origin of natural and human law, and Hooker form of politic society, there is (3) the law touching passes to that other Law which became needful, and the public commerce of the several bodies politic with which God Himself made known by Scripture for our one another, that is, the Law of Nations. Civil aid in attainment of the highest good. Our desire is society contents us more than solitary living, for it to the sovereign good or blessedness, the highest that enlarges the good of mutual participation ; not con- we know. The ox and ass desire the food, and protent with this, we covet a kind of society and fellow- pose to themselves no end in feeding ; they desire ship even with all mankind. In all these kinds of food for itself. Reasonable man eats that he may
live, lives that he may work ; seeks wealth, health, plain of themselves or obscure, the evidence of God's virtue, knowledge, still as means to other ends. I own testimony added to the natural assent of Reason “We labour to eat, and we eat to live, and we live concerning the certainty of them, doth not a little to do good, and the good which we do is as seed comfort and confirm the same.” Here we are at the sown with reference to a future harvest."
second resting place in Hooker's argument, at which For each means to an end the desire is propor he pauses again to glance over the ground he has tioned to its convenience; but for the last end the traversed, in a little summary. His second summary desire is infinite. “So that unless the last good of all, is this :which is desired altogether for itself, be also infinite, we do evil in making it our end ; even as they who
We see, therefore, that our sovereign good is desired
naturally; that God, the author of that natural desire, had placed their felicity in wealth, or honour, or pleasure,
appointed natural means whereby to fulfil it; that man or anything here attained ; because in desiring any.
having utterly disabled his nature unto those means hath had thing as our final perfection which is not so, we do
other revealed from God, and hath received from heaven a amiss.” “No good is infinite but only God; there
law to teach him how that which is desired naturally must fore He is our felicity and bliss. Moreover, desire
now supernaturally be attained: finally, we see that because tendeth unto union with that which it desireth.”
those later exclude not the former quite and clean as unOur final desire therefore is to be with God, and live,
necessary, therefore together with such supernatural duties as as it were, the life of God.
could not possibly have been otherwise known to the world, Happiness is that estate whereby we attain, as far the same law that teacheth them, teacheth also with them as possible, the full possession of that which is simply such natural duties as could not by light of nature easily have for itself to be desired, the highest degree of all our been known. perfection, which is not attainable in this world. The creatures under man are less capable of happi In the first age of the world memories served for ness, because they have their chief perfection in that books, but the writing of the Law of God has been which is best for them, but not in that which is by God's wisdom a means of preserving it from obsimply best, and whatever external perfection they livion and corruption. The writing is not that which may tend to is not better than themselves. Is it adds authority and strength to the Law of God; but it probable that God should frame the hearts of all preserves it from the hazards of tradition. “When men so desirous of that which no man may obtain the question therefore is, whether we be now to seek Beyond the complete satisfactions of the flesh; beyond for any revealed Law of God otherwhere than only the completeness in knowledge and virtue that brings in the sacred Scripture ; whether we do now stand social estimation; man covets a perfection that is bound in the sight of God to yield to traditions more than all, “ yea, somewhat above capacity of urged by the Church of Rome the same obedience reason, somewhat divine and heavenly, which with and reverence we do to His written law, honouring hidden exultation it rather surmiseth than con- equally and adoring both as divine : our answer is, ceiveth.” This highest perfection man conceives in no." Hooker next dwells on the fact that “the the nature of a reward. Rewards presuppose duties principal intent of Scripture is to deliver the laws of performed. Our natural means to this infinite re- | duties supernatural," and discusses the sense in ward are our works; nor is it possible that nature which Scripture is said to contain all things necesshould ever find any other way to salvation than sary to salvation. It does not contain necessarily only this. But our works cannot deserve; there is everything in the law of reason that man can discover none who can say, My ways are pure.“ There resteth, for himself, but this is no defect. “It sufficeth that therefore, either no way unto salvation, or if any, | Nature and Scripture do serve in such full sort, that then surely a way which is supernatural, a way which they both jointly, and not severally either of them, could never have entered into the heart of man as be so complete, that unto everlasting felicity we need much as once to conceive or imagine, if God Himself not the knowledge of anything more than these two had not revealed it extraordinarily." Thus Hooker | may easily furnish our minds with on all sides; and passes from the Law of Reason to the Revealed Way | therefore they which add traditions, as a part of of Salvation :—to Faith, the principal object whereof supernatural necessary truth, have not the truth, is that eternal verity which hath discovered the trea but are in error. sures of hidden wisdom in Christ ; Hope, the highest Laws are imposed (1) by each man on himself; object whereof is that everlasting goodness which in (2) by a public society upon its members ; (3) by Christ doth quicken the dead ; Charity, the final | all nations upon each nation ; (4) by the Lord Himobject whereof is that incomprehensible beauty which self on any or all of these. In each of these four shineth in the countenance of Christ, the Son of the kinds of law there are (a) Natural laws which living God. Laws concerning these things are super always bind, and (6) Positive laws which only bind natural, being “such as have not in nature any after they have been expressly and wittingly imcause from which they flow, but were by the volun- | posed. Only the positive laws are mutable, but of tary appointment of God ordained besides the course these not all; some are permanent, some changeable, of nature, to rectify nature's obliquity withal.” The as changes in the matter concerning which they were revealed law of God does not supersede natural law, first made may exact. All laws that concern superbut is added to it, and is indeed fraught with precepts natural duties are positive. They concern men either of the other also. These precepts are used to prove as men, or as members of a church. To concern them things less manifest ; they are applied with singular as men supernaturally, is to concern them as duties use and profit to particular cases; “ besides, be they | which belong of necessity to all. It is so also with laws that concern them as members of a church, so principles, they all have their forcible operations therein, far as they are without respect to such variable acci- although not all in like apparent and manifest manner. By dent as the state of the Church in this world is | means whereof it cometh to pass that the force which they subject to.
have is not observed of many.
On the other side, laws that were made for men or societies | Then after enforcing the value of a study of the or churches, in regard of their being such as they do not origin of Law and of a discrimination of its several always continue, but may perhaps be clean otherwise a while kinds as an aid to just inquiry in the religious contro after, and so may require to be otherwise ordered than before; versies of the day, Hooker adds an example, drawn the laws of God Himself which are of this nature, no man from food, of the true distinguishing of laws, and of endued with common sense will ever deny to be of a different
their several forms according to the different kind constitution from the former, in respect of the one's constancy
and quality of our actions ; so that one and the selfand the mutability of the other. And this doth seem to have
same thing may be under divers considerations con been the very cause why St. John doth so peculiarly term the
veyed through many laws ; and thus the first book d doctrine that teacheth salvation by Jesus Christ, Evangelium
“ Ecclesiastical Polity” closes :æternum, an eternal Gospel; because there can be no reason wherefore the publishing thereof should be taken away, and
Wherefore that here we may briefly end: Of Law there any other instead of it proclaimed, as long as the world doth
can be no less acknowledged, than that her seat is the boxca continue : whereas the whole law of rites and ceremonies,
of God, her voice the harmony of the world; all things in although delivered with so great solemnity, is notwithstand
heaven and earth do her homage, the very least as feeling ing clean abrogated, inasmuch as it had but temporary
her care, and the greatest as not exempted from her power; cause of God's ordaining it.
both angels and men and creatures of what condition soever,
though each in different sort and manner, yet all with anWe may pass now to Hooker's third summary
form consent, admiring her as the mother of their pract Thus far therefore we have endeavoured in part to open, of
and joy what nature and force Laws are, according unto their several kinds :--the law which God with himself hath eternally set down to follow in his own works; the law which he hath
Let us complete the illustration of English Religious
Thought under Elizabeth with Sir John Davies's made for his creatures to keep; the law of natural and neces. sary agents; the law which angels in heaven obey; the law
“Nosce Teipsum” (Know Thyself), a poem published whereunto by the light of reason men find themselves bound
in 1599, when he was plain John Davies, on “ The in that they are men; the law which they make by compo
Origin, Nature, and Immortality of the Human sition for multitudes and politic societies of men to be guided
Soul.” Its author, born in 1570, was the third son by; the law which belongeth unto each nation; the law that
of a lawyer practising in Tisbury, Wiltshire. ln concerneth the fellowship of all; and lastly, the law which
1580 he lost his father, and his mother took charge God himself hath supernaturally revealed. It might perad
of the education of the children. In Michaelmaa venture have been more popular and more plausible to vulgar term, 1585, he went as a commoner to Queen's cars, if this first discourse had been spent in extolling the College, Oxford ; in February, 1588 (new style, force of laws, in shewing the great necessity of them when he entered the Middle Temple ; in July, 1590, four they are good, and in aggravating their offence by whom | months after the death of his mother, he graduated as public laws are injuriously traduced. But forasmuch as with B.A. at Oxford. John Davies incurred in the Middle such kind of matter the passions of men are rather stirred one Temple more than an average share of the fines adu way or other, than their knowledge any way set forward unto | punishments then usual for breach of discipline, and the trial of that whereof there is doubt made; I have there he was called to the grade of utter barrister in July, fore turned aside from that beaten path, and chosen though a 1595. In 1593 he had written “Orchestra, or a less easy yet a more profitable way in regard of the end we
Poem of Dancing," and it was published in 1596, propose. Lest, therefore, any man should marvel whereunto with a dedication “to his very friend, Master Richard all these things tend, the drift and purpose of all is this, even Martin." He was still wild, and after he had cut to shew in what manner, as every good and perfect gift, so gelled “his very friend, Master Richard Martin, this very gift of good and perfect laws is derived from the
whom he had called in a sonnet “his own selves Father of lights; to teach men a reason why just and reason
| better half,” at a dinner in the Temple Hall, Davies able laws are of so great force, of so great use in the world;
was disbarred and expelled from his inn in February, and to inform their minds with some method of reducing the
1598. Martin was himself given to pranks, a vit laws whereof there is present controversy unto their first
and a poet, who like Davies outlived follies of youth original causes, that so it may be in every particular ordinance thereby the better discerned, whether the same be
He became M.P. and Recorder of London, and was reasonable, just, and righteous, or no. Is there any thing
one of the friends of Selden and Ben Jonson. Jotur which can either be thoroughly understood or soundly judged
Davies went back to Oxford, and there sojourned with of, till the very first causes and principles from which origi
sober thoughts, of which the fruit appeared in 1599 nally it springeth be made manifest ? If all parts of know.
in his fine poem on Self-knowledge and the Higher Lake ledge have been thought by wise men to be then most orderly
of Man, “Nosce Teipsum.” The poem and the spalio delivered and proceeded in, when they are drawn to their
on a true life that gave birth to it, soon helped Jobs first original ; seeing that our whole question concerneth the
Davies upward in the world. He became known st quality of Ecclesiastical Laws, let it not seem a labour super the Court of Elizabeth, whom he had pleased not only fluous that in the entrance thereunto all these several kinds | by the dedication of his poem to her, but by writing of laws have been considered, inasmuch as they all concur as and publishing also in 1599 twenty-six acristi u
" All things without, which round about we se
We seek to know, and have therewith to do: But that whereby we reason, live and be
Within ourselves, we strangers are thereto.”
Why does our study turn so little inward? Perhaps because reflection of ourselves shows to man's soul painfully the lower shape it wears. The man lives least at home " that hath a sluttish house, haunted with sprites.” The broken merchant looks at his estate with discontent and pain. Yet trouble drives a man to look within himself. Trouble and disgrace had forced Davies to self-contemplation,
“ As spiders touch'd, seek their webs' inmost part;
As bees in storms unto their hives return; As blood in danger gathers to the heart;
As men seek towns, when foes the country burn.
her praise, “Hymns to Astrea.”] In 1601 he was reconciled to Martin, re-admitted to his position at the Bar and his seniority, and became a member of Elizabeth's last Parliament. After Elizabeth's death, when Davies was among those who went forward to meet James, the King, on hearing his name, asked whether he was “Nosce Teipsum,” and being told that he was, graciously embraced him. In the same year Davies became Attorney-General for Ireland ; but he was not knighted until February, 1607. Worthy of the author of “Nosce Teipsum” was his work for Ireland, of which there is a valuable record in prose tracts of his. He lived during the whole reign of James I., and died in Bacon's death year, 1626. The stanza of Sir John Davies's “ Nosce Teipsum" was adopted by Sir William Davenant in his “Gondibert," published in 1651, and recommended by him to the post of English heroic measure. Dryden followed the suggestion in his “Heroic Stanzas on the Death of Cromwell," and in his “ Annus Mirabilis," published in 1667, though the French heroic couplet was then making way. But in that year “Paradise Lost” appeared, and it was in blank verse.
The author of “ Nosce Teipsum ” begins by asking why he was sent to the schools, since the desire of knowledge first corrupted man in Paradise. Our first parents desired knowledge of evil as well as of good, but they could know evil only by doing it. With knowledge of evil came a dimmer sight for good. Reason grew dark, and they were bats who had been eagles. But what do we, when with fond fruitless curiosity we seek in profane books for hidden knowledge? We seek an empty gain, and with cloud of error on the windows of our mind we look in vain to recall the knowledge that before the Fall was ours by grace.
“ If aught can teach us aught, AMiction's looks
(Making us pry into ourselves so near) Teach us to know ourselves, beyond all books,
Or all the learned schools that ever were.
“ This mistress lately pluck'd me by the ear,
And many a golden lesson hath me taught; Hath made my senses quick, and reason clear,
Reform'd my will, and rectified my thought.
“ So do the winds and thunders cleanse the air;
So working seas settle and purge the wine ; So lopp'd and prunéd trees do flourish fair;
So doth the fire the drossy gold refine.
“ Neither Minerva, nor the learned Muse,
Nor rules of art, nor precepts of the wise, Could in my brain those beams of skill infuse,
As but the glance of this Dame's angry eyes.
So ends the introduction, and the poem then opens with the thought that into their world sun and moon and stars, eyes of the world, look down ; while the eyes, lights of the world of man, have no power to look within. But He who gave eyes to man gave also an inward light whereby to see the true form of | the Soul within.
1 Some are quoted in the volume of this Library containing “Shorter English Poems," pages 259, 260.