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God, The Holy Spirit & the Church by Richard Hooker

Posted on: December 5, 2011

Richard Hooker, ‘Ecclesiastical Polity Book I-IV’, published by George Routledge & Sons, London in 1888.

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Richard Hooker (March 1554 – 3 November 1600) was an Anglican priest and an influential theologian. Hooker’s emphases on reason, tolerance and the value of tradition came to exert a lasting influence on the development of the Church of England. In retrospect he has been taken (with Thomas Cranmer and Matthew Parker) as a founder of Anglicanism in its theological thought.
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FRONT COVER OF THE BOOK:

The colour ‘Grey’, has the religious meaning in the Bible refering to ‘truth’ (Psalms 12:6), and one of the symbolic meanings of the colour grey was ‘purification’.

On the front cover the picture is: the plant ‘Michaelmas Daisies’ which symbolises: ‘blamelessness.’ And in Latin the name of the aster plant means ‘star.’ And according to one legend, a field bloomed with the ‘Michaelmas Daisies’ plant when the celestial zodiac of the ‘Virgo’ female, scattered stardust on earth. It blooms as a plant around St. Michaelmas Day in September.

See weblink: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michaelmas

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Quotes from the Book:

“Although the Scripture of God, therefore, be stored with infinite variety of matter in all kinds, although it abound with all sorts of laws, yet the principal intent of Scripture is to deliver the laws of duties supernatural.

If we define that necessary unto salvation whereby the way to salvation is any sort of made more plain, apparent, and easy to be known, then is there no part of true philosophy, no art of account, no kind of science rightly so called, but the Scriptures must contain it. If only those things be necessary, as surely none else are, without the knowledge and practice whereof it is not the will and pleasure of God to make any ordinary grant of salvation, it maybe notwithstanding, and often times hath been demanded, how the books of holy Scripture contain in them all necessary things, when of things necessary the very chiefest is to know what books are bound to esteem holy, which point is confessed impossible for the Scripture itself to teach.” (page 115)

“But we speak now of the visible Church, whose children are signed with this mark, “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.” In whomsoever these things are, the Church doth acknowledge them for her children; them only she holdeth for aliens and strangers, in whom these are not found.” (page 171)

“To concern men as men supernaturally, is to concern them as duties which belong of necessity to all, and yet could not have been known by any to belong unto them unless God had opened them Himself, inasmuch as they do not depend upon any natural ground at all out of which they may be deduced, but are appointed of God to supply the defect of those natural ways of salvation, by which we are not now able to attain thereunto.

The Church being a supernatural society doth differ from natural societies in this: that the person unto whom we associate ourselves in the one are men simply considered as men, but they to whom we be joined in the other are God, Angels and Holy men. Again, the Church being both a society and a society supernatural, although as it is a society it have the sameself original grounds which other politic societies have, namely, the natural inclination which all men have unto sociable life, and consent to some certain bond of association, which bond is the law that appointeth what kind of order they shall be associated in; yet unto the Church as it is a society supernatural this is peculiar, that part of the bond of their association which belong to the Church of God, must be a law supernatural, which God himself hath revealed concerning that kind of worship which His people shall do unto Him.

The substance of the service of God, therefore, so far forth as it hath in it anything more than the law of reason doth teach, may not be invented of men as it is amongst the heathens, but must be received from God himself, as always it hath been in the Church, saving only when the Church hath been forgetful of her duty.” (page 120)

Richard Hooker and his views on Women:

“…This hath bred high terms of separation between such and the rest of the world, whereby the one sort are named, the brethren; the godly, and so forth; the other, worldings, time servers, pleasers of men, not of God, with such like.  From hence they are easily drawn on to think it exceeding necessary, for fear of quenching that good Spirit, to us all means whereby the same maybe both strengthened in themselves and made manifest unto others.  This maketh them diligent hearers of such as are known that way to incline; this maketh them eager to take and to seek all occasions of secret conference with such; this maketh them glad to use such as counsellors and directors in all their dealings which are of weight, as contracts, testaments and the like; this maketh them, through an unweariable desire of receiving instruction from the masters of that company, to cast off the care of those very affairs which do most concern their estate, and to think that then they are like unto Mary, commendable for making choice of the better part. Finally, this is it which maketh them willing to charge, yea, oftentimes even to overcharge, themselves, for such men’s sustenance and relief, lest their zeal to the cause should any way be unwitnessed.  For what is it which poor beguiled souls will not do through so powerful incitements? In which respect it is also noted that most labour hath been bestowed to win and retain towards this case them whose judgments are commonly weakest by reason of their sex but as we verily esteem of them for the most part, women propense and inclinable to holiness, be otherwise edified in good things rather than carried away as captives into any kind of sin and evil, by such as enter into their houses with purpose to plant there a zeal and a love towards this kind of discipline; yet some occasion is hereby ministered for men to think that if the cause which is thus furthered did not gain by the soundness of proof whereupon it doth build itself, it would not most busily endeavour to prevail where least ability of judgment is, and therefore that this so eminent industry in making proselytes more of that sex than of the other growth, for that they are deemed apter to serve as instruments and helps in the cause. Apter they are through the eagerness of their affection, that maketh them, which way soever they take, diligent in drawing their husbands, children, servants, friends, and allies the same way; apter through that natural inclination unto pity which breedeth in them a greater readiness than in men to be bountiful towards their preachers who suffer want; apter through sundry opportunities which they especially have to procure encouragements for their brethren; finally, apter through a singular delight which they take in giving very large and particular intelligence, how all near about them stand affected as concerning the same cause. 

(Extracted from: Ecclesiastical Polity Book I-IV by Richard Hooker, pp.25-26, published by George Routledge & Sons, London in 1888.)_______________________________________________________________

NOTE: Richard Hooker (March 1554 – 3 November 1600) was an Anglican priest and an influential theologian. Hooker’s emphases on reason, tolerance and the value of tradition came to exert a lasting influence on the development of the Church of England. In retrospect he has been taken (with Thomas Cranmer and Matthew Parker) as a founder of Anglicanism in its theological thought.

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