« AnteriorContinuar »
diutely) takes effect far and wide, all states framing themselves thereunto; even so let us think it fareth in the natural course of the world. Since the time that God did first proclaim the edicts of his law upon it, heaven and earth have “hearkned”unto his voice, and their labour hath “bene” to do his will : He
made a law for the rain;" He gave his “decree unto the sea, that the waters should not pass his commandment.” Now, if nature should intermit her course and leave altogether, though it were but for a while, the observation' (observance) of her own laws; if those principal and mother elements of the world, whereof all things in tắis lower world are made, should “loo-e” the qualities which now they have; if the frame of that heavenly arch erected over our heads should loosen and dissolve itself; if celestial spheres should forget their wonted motions, and by irregular · volubilitie” turn themselves any way as it might happen; if the prince of the lights of heaven, which now, as a giant, doth run his unwearied course, should, as it were, through a languishing faintness begin to stand and to rest himself ; if the moon should wander from her beaten way, the times and seasons of the year blend themselves by disordered and confused mixture, the winds “breath” out their last gasp, the clouds "yeeld" no "rayne,” the earth be defeated? (ileprived) of heavenly influence, the fruits of the earth pine away as children at the
(1) “ Observation, observance, are both of the same origin, but have somewhat diverged in sense. We talk of the observations of astronomers, or of 'casual observations ;' but of the observance of a special custom, of a special day, &c." “ Actions which result from observing a rule, are called obscrvances, recollections which result from observing a fact, are called observations.” – Taylor's “ English Synonyms." Tried by this test, Hooker's use of the word is incorrect; some even now speak erroneously of “the observation of the sabbath.”
(2) Defeated, fr. Fr. défaire, to undo, to overturn, overthrow; hence to do out of, to deprive. Joye (“ Exposicion of Daniel ") speaks of one “defeated of his kingdom.”
(3) Heavenly influence-i.e. of influence or virtue derived from the skies. The word influence meant originally, and even here, in a modified sense, “the virtue of the planets, infused into, or their course working on, inferior creatures” (Cotgrave, sub voce). Waller (“To Chloris ") and Milton (" Allegro") both employ the word in this delicate allusive sense. The former has
“ Our stars do show their excellence,
Not by their light, but influence ;" and the latter
“With store of ladies, whose bright eyes
Rain influence.”“Shedding," says Dr. Trench,“ by their (the ladies') propitious presence, strength and valour into the hearts of their knights."
withered breasts of their mother, no longer able to yield them relief; what would become of man himself, whom these things now do all serve ? See we not plainly that obedience of creatures unto the law of nature is the stay of the whole world?
Notwithstanding, with nature it cometh sometimes to pass as with art. Let Phidias have rude and obstinate stuff to carve, though his art do that (what) it should, his work will lack that “bewtie” which otherwise in fitter matter it might have had. He that striketh an instrument with skill may cause notwithstanding, a very unpleasant sound, if the string whereon he striketh chance to be “uncapable” of harmony. In the matter whereof things natural consist, that saying) of Theophrastus takes place (is true), “Much of it is oftentimes such as will by no means “ veeld" to receive that impression which were best and most perfect.” Which defect in the matter of things natural, they who gave themselves upto the contemplation of nature amongst the heathen observed often: but the true original cause thereof, divine malediction, laid for the sin of man upon these creatures which God had made for the use of man, this being ar article of that saving truth which God hath revealed unto his church, was above the reach of their “meerely naturall capacitie ” and understanding. But howsoever these “swarvings” are now and then incident into? (to) the course of nature, nevertheless, so constantly the laws of nature are by natural agents observed, that no man denieth, but (that) those things which nature worketh are wrought, either always or for the most part, after one and the same manner.
If here it be demanded what that is which keepeth nature in obedience to her own law, we must have recourse to that higher law whereof we have already spoken; and because all other laws do thereon depend, from thence we must borrow so much as shall need for brief resolution in (explanation of this point. Although we are not of opinion therefore, as some are, that nature in working bath before "hir” certain exemplary draughts or patterns, which subsisting in the bosom of the
(1) Incident into. More literally correct than incident to, but the latter form has displaced the other.
(2) Eremplary draughts or patterns, sketches or patterns by way of example. The drift of this long sentence seems to be, - Nature does not work by a pattern previously devised and set down before her for imitation, but under the neversuspended influence of the Divine will,
Highest, and being thence discovered, she fixeth her eye upon them as travellers by sea upon the pole-star of the world, and that according thereunto she guideth her hand to work by imitation : although we rather embrace the oracle (oracular saying) of Hippocrates, that “ Each thing, both in small and in great, fulfilleth the task which destiny hath set down ;” and concerning the manner of executing and fulfilling the same, “What they do they know not, yet is it in show and appearance as though they did know what they do; and the truth is, they do not discern the things which they look on :” nevertheless, forasmuch as the works of nature are no less exact, than if she did both behold and study how to express some absolute shape or mirror always present before her; yea, such her dexterity and skill appeareth, that no intellectual creature in the world were able by capacity to do that which nature doth without capacity and knowledge; it cannot be but (but that) nature hath some director of infinite knowledge to guide her in all her ways.
Who the guide of nature, but only the God of nature ? “Ip Him we live, and move, and are.” Those things which nature is said to do, are by divine art performed, using nature as an instrument; nor is there any such art or knowledge divine in nature herself working, but in the guide of nature's work.
3. THE LAW OF SOCIETY.
(FROM THE SAME WORK.) THE law of reason doth somewhat direct men how to honour God as their Creator; but how to glorify God in such sort (in such a way) as is required, to the end he may be an everlasting Saviour, this we are taught by divine law, which law both ascertaineth' (assures, or certifies us of) the truth, and supplieth unto us the want (the deficiency) of that other law (i.e. the law of reason). So that, in moral actions, divine law helpeth exceedingly the law of reason to guide
life, but in supernatural it alone guideth. Proceed we further. Let us
(1) Ascertaineth. The word now means, as Dr. Trench remarks, " to acquire a certain knowledge of a thing, but once (as above] to render the theory itself certain.” (“Select Glossary.") So South speaks of a wicked man's success “ ascertaining his destruction."
place man in some "publicke" society with others, whether civil or spiritual (whether of church or state), and in this case there is no remedy but we must add yet a further law. For although even here likewise the laws of nature and of reason be of necessary use, yet somewhat over and besides them is necessary, namely, human and positive law, together with that law which is of commerce (guides the communication) between grand societies, the law of nations, and of nations Christian. For which cause the law of God hath likewise said, “Let every soul be subject to the higher powers."
The “publique” power of all societies is above every soul contained in the same societies. And the principal use of that power is to give laws unto all that are under it; which laws in such case we must obey, unless there be reason showed which may necessarily enforce that the law of reason or of God doth enjoin the contrary. Because, except our own private and but probable resolutions, be by the law of public determinations overruled, we take away all possibility of sociable (social life in the world. A plainer example whereof “then” ourselves we cannot have. How cometh it to pass that we are at this present day so rent with mutual contentions, and that the church is so much troubled about the “politie of the church ? No doubt, if men had been willing to learn how many laws their actions in this life are subject unto, and what the true force of each law is, all these controversies might have died the very day they were first brought forth.
It is both commonly said, and truly, that the best men otherwise (in other respects) are not always the best in regard of society. The reason whereof is, for that (because) the law of “mens" actions is one, if they be respected (regarded) only as men ; and another, when they are considered as parts of a “politique" body. Many men there are, “then” whomo nothing is more commendable when they are singled (acting as individuals); and yet, in society with others, none less fit to answer
(1) Commerce, in the sense of trade or traffic, dates from about the 17th century. Its original meaning in English, though not perhaps in French, from which it was derived, was intercourse or communication as above. Milton (“Il Penseroso"). speaks of Melancholy's “ looks commercing with the skies."
(2) Hooker here refers to those discussions in Church matters, in which he had been himself lately engaged, and which had led to his writing this work.
(3) Than whom. This syntax, justified as it is by many high authorities, is still doubtful. Dr. Alford, in the “Queen's English," defends it, but on apparently insufficient grounds. Use is, doubtless, in its favour, but whether that general use which constitutes law, is by no means certain.
the duties which are looked for at their hands.? Yea, I am persuaded, that of them with whom in this cause we strive, there are whose (those whose) betters among men would be hardly found, if they did not live amongst men, but in some wilderness by themselves. The cause of which, their disposition so unframeable (being so unconformable) unto societies wherein they live, is, for that they discern not aright what place and force these several kinds of laws ought to have in all their actions. Is there question either concerning the regiment (government) of the church in general, or about conformity between one church and another, or of ceremonies, offices, powers, jurisdictions, in our own church? Of all these things they judge by that rule which they frame to themselves with some show of probability; and what seemeth in that sort (respect) convenient, the same they think themselves bound to practise; the same by all means they labour mightily to uphold; what soever any law of man to the contrary hath determined, they weigh it not. Thus, by following the law of private reason, where the law of “publique " should take place, they breed disturbance.
4. UNIVERSAL LAW.?
(FROM THE SAME WORK.)
OF law there can be no less acknowledged than that her seat is the bosom of God, her voice the harmony of the world ; all things in heaven and earth do her homage, the very least as feeling her care, and the greatest as not exempted from her power; both angels and men, and creatures of what condition soever, though each in different sort and manner, yet all with uniform consent, admiring her as the mother of their peace and joy.
(1) i.e. the individual man and the social man are often very different. Men often do in corporations what they would be ashamed to do as individuals.
(2) This passage is equally distinguished for loftiness of thought and exquisite beauty of expression,