Richard Hooker

Richard
Hooker
1554
1600

English Renaissance Anglican Priest, Philosopher, Theologian and Author

Author Quotes

With gross and popular capacities nothing doth more prevail than unlimited generalities, because of their plainness at the first sight; nothing less, with men of exact judgment, because such rules are not safe to be trusted over far.

With whom ordinary means will prevail, surely the power of the word of God, even without the help of interpreters, in God?s church worketh mightily, not unto their confirmation alone which are converted, but also to their conversion which are not.

Words must be taken according to the matter whereof they are uttered.

Zeal, unless it be rightly guided, when it endeavors the most busily to please God, forceth upon Him those unseasonable offices which please Him not.

Who the guide of nature, but only the God of nature? In him we live, 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 knowledge divine in nature herself working, but in the guide of nature?s work.

Whom although to know be life, and joy to make mention of his name; yet our soundest knowledge is to know that we know him not as indeed he is, neither can know him; and our safest eloquence concerning him is silence.

Wisdom and youth are seldom joined in one; and the ordinary course of the world is more according to Job?s observation, who giveth men advice to seek wisdom among the ancients, and in the length of days understanding.

Wisdom groundeth her laws upon an infallible rule of comparison.

When neither the evidence of any law divine, nor the strength of any invincible argument otherwise found out by the law of reason, nor any notable public inconvenience, doth make against that which our own laws ecclesiastical have instituted for the ordering of these affairs, the very authority of the church itself sufficeth.

When we abrogate a law as being ill made, the whole cause for which it was made still remaining, do we not herein revoke our very own deed, and upbraid ourselves with folly, yea, all that were makers of it with oversight and error?

While they study how to bring to pass that religion may seem but a matter made, they lose themselves in the very maze of their own discourses, as if reason did even purposely forsake them who of purpose forsake God, the author thereof.

We are not, by ourselves, sufficient to furnish ourselves with competent stores for such a life as our nature doth desire; therefore we are naturally induced to seek communion and fellowship with others.

We had rather follow the perfections of them whom we like not than in defects resemble them whom we love.

We hold that God?s clergy are a state which hath been, and will be as long as there is a church upon earth, necessary, by the plain word of God himself: a state whereunto the rest of God?s people must be subject as touching things that appertain to their souls? health.

We owe obedience to the law of reason, which teacheth mediocrity in meats and drinks.

What special property or quality is that, which being nowhere found but in sermons maketh them effectual to save souls, and leaveth all other doctrinal means besides destitute of vital efficacy?

Whatsoever to make up the doctrine of man?s salvation is added as in supply of the Scripture?s insufficiency, we reject it.

When men?s affections do frame their opinions, they are in defence of error more earnest, a great deal, than, for the most part, sound believers in the maintenance of truth, apprehending according to the nature of that evidence which scripture yieldeth.

Touching the law of reason, there are in it some things which stand as principles, universally agreed upon; and out of those principles, which are in themselves evident, the greatest moral duties we owe towards God or man may, without any great difficulty, be concluded.

Touching things which generally are received, although in themselves they be most certain, yet, because men presume them granted of all, we are hardliest able to bring such proof of their certainty as may satisfy gainsayers, when suddenly and besides expectation they require the same at our hands.

Two foundations bear up all public societies: the one, inclination whereby all men desire sociable life; the other an order agreed upon touching the manner of their union in living together: the latter is that which we call the law of a commonweal.

Unto laws that men make for the benefit of men, it hath seemed always needful to add rewards which may more allure unto good than any hardness deterreth from it, and punishments which may more deter from evil than any sweetness thereto allureth.

Unto life many implements are necessary; more, if we seek such a life as hath in it joy, comfort, delight, and pleasure.

Unto the word of God, being, in respect of that end for which God ordained it, perfect, exact, and absolute in itself, we do not add reason as a supplement of any maim or defect therein, but as a necessary instrument, without which we could not reap by the Scripture?s perfection that fruit and benefit which it yieldeth.

Though there be a kind of natural right in the noble, wise, and virtuous, to govern them which are of a servile disposition; nevertheless, for manifestation of this their right the assent of them who are to be governed seemeth necessary.

Author Picture
First Name
Richard
Last Name
Hooker
Birth Date
1554
Death Date
1600
Bio

English Renaissance Anglican Priest, Philosopher, Theologian and Author