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He left Boscum in the year 1595, by a surrender of it into the hands of Bishop Caldwell; and he presented Benjamin Russel, who was instituted into it the 23rd of June in the same year.
The parsonage of Bishop's Borne in Kent, three miles from Canterbury, is in that Archbishop's gift; but in the latter end of the year 1594, Doctor William Redman, the Rector of it, was made Bishop of Norwich; by which means the power of presenting to it was pro eâ vice in the Queen ; and she presented Richard Hooker, whom she loved well, to this good living of Borne, the 7th of July 1595; in which living he continued till his death, without any addition of dignity or profit.
At his entrance into this place, his friendship was much sought for by Dr. Hadrian Saravia, then, or about that time, made one of the Prebends of Canterbury; a German by birth, and sometime a pastor both in Flanders and Holland, where he had studied and well considered the controverted points concerning episcopacy and sacrilege; and in England had a just occasion to declare his judgment, concerning both, unto his brethren ministers of the Low Countries, which was excepted against by Theodore Beza and others, against whose exceptions he rejoined, and thereby became the happy author of many learned tracts, writ in Latin ; especially of three; one, of the Degrees of Ministers, and of the Bishop's Superiority above the Presbytery; a second, against Sacrilege ; and a third, of Christian Obedience to Princes.
This friendship being sought for by this learned Doctor, you may believe was not denied by Mr. Hooker, who was by fortune so like him as to be engaged against Mr. Travers, Mr. Cartwright, and others of their judgment, in a controversy too like Dr. Saravia's: so, in this year of 1595, and in this place of Borne, these two excellent persons began a holy friendship, increasing daily to so high and mutual affections, that their two wills seemed to be but one and the same; and their designs, both for the glory of God and peace of the Church, still assisting and improving each other's virtues, and the desired comforts of a peaceable piety. Which I have willingly mentioned, because it gives a foundation to some things that follow.
This parsonage of Borne is from Canterbury three miles, and near to the common road that leads from that city to Dover; in which parsonage Mr. Hooker had not been twelve months, but his books and the innocency and sanctity of his life became so remarkable, that many turned out of the road, and others (scholars especially) went purposely to see the man whose life and learning were so much admired. And, alas! as our Saviour said of St. John Baptist, What went they out to see ? a man clothed in purple and fine linen? No, indeed; but an obscure, harmless man, a man in poor clothes, his loins usually girt in a coarse gown, or canonical coat; of a mean stature, and stooping, and yet more lowly in the thoughts of his soul; his body worn out, not with age, but study
and holy mortifications; his face full of heat-pimples, begot by his inactivity and sedentary life. And to this true character of his person let me add this of his disposition and behaviour: God and nature blessed him with so blessed a bashfulness, that, as in his younger days, his pupils might easily look him out of countenance; so neither then, nor in his age, did he ever willingly look any man in the face; and was of so mild and humble a nature, that his poor parishclerk and he did never talk but with both their hats on, or both off, at the same time. And to this may be added, that though he was not purblind, yet he was short or weak-sighted; and where he fixed his eyes at the beginning of his sermon, there they continued till it was ended.
His use was to preach once every Sunday, and he or his curate to catechize after the second lesson in the evening prayer : his sermons were neither long nor earnest, but uttered with a grave zeal, and an humble voice ; his eyes always fixed on one place, to prevent his imagination from wandering, insomuch that he seemed to study as he spake. The design of his sermons (as indeed of all his discourses) was to show reasons for what he spake; and with these reasons, such a kind of rhetoric, as did rather convince and persuade, than frighten men into piety; studying not so much for matter (which he never wanted) as for apt illustrations, to inform and teach his unlearned hearers by familiar examples, and then make them better by convincing applications ; never labouring by hard words, and then by needless distinctions and sub-distinctions, to amuse his hearers, and get glory to himself, but glory only to God. Which intention, he would often say, was as discernible in a preacher, as a natural from an artificial beauty.
About the year 1600, and of his age forty-six, he fell into a long and sharp sickness, occasioned by a cold taken in his passage by water betwixt London and Gravesend; from the malignity of which he was never recovered : for, after that time, till his death, he was not free from thoughtful days and restless nights ; but a submission to His will, that makes the sick man's bed easy, by giving rest to his soul, made his very languishment comfortable: and yet all this time he was solicitous in his study, and said often to Dr. Saravia (who saw him daily, and was the chief comfort of his life), That he did not beg a long life of God, for any other reason, but to live to finish his three remaining books of polity; and then, “ Lord, let thy servant depart in peace !” which was his usual expression. And God heard his prayers, though he denied the church the benefit of them, as completed by himself; and it is thought that he hastened his own death, by hastening to give life to his books : but this is certain, that the nearer he was to his death, the more he grew in humility, in holy thoughts and resolutions.
About a month before his death, this good man, that never knew, or at least never considered, the pleasures of the palate, became first to lose his appetite, and then to have an averseness to all food ; insomuch, that he seemed to live some intermitted weeks by the smell of meat only, and yet still studied and writ. And now his guardian angel seemed to foretell him that the day of his dissolution drew near; for which his vigorous soul appeared to thirst. In this time of his sickness, and not many days before his death, his house was robbed; of which he having notice, his question was, “ Are my books and written papers safe ?” and being answered, “ That they were,” his reply was, “ Then it matters not; for no other loss can trouble me.”
About one day before his death, Dr. Saravia, who knew the very secrets of his soul (for they were supposed to be confessors to each other), came to him, and, after a conference of the benefit, the necessity, and safety of the Church's absolution, it was resolved that the Doctor should give him both that and the sacrament the day following. To which end, the Doctor came; and, after a short retirement and privacy, they two returned to the company; and then the Doctor gave him, and some of those friends that were with him, the blessed sacrament of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus. Which being performed, the Doctor thought he saw a reverend gaiety and joy in his face : but it lasted not long; for his bodily infirmities did return suddenly, and became more visible, insomuch that the Doctor apprehended death ready to seize him; yet, after some amendment, left him at night, with a promise to return early the day following ; which he did, and then found him better in appear