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 Reason in Hooker

Introduction

In the fall of 1999, I took a reading course at Kansas State University on Richard Hooker directed by Dr. Michael Donnelly.  Dr. Donnelly did his undergraduate and doctoral work at Harvard where his area of emphasis was early English literature.  As such, he was ideally suited to read Hooker in the context of his life and times. 

I first get to know Dr. Donnelly when I asked him to speak on George Herbert for part of a Lenten series at St. Paul's. It was beautiful. He had a deep knowledge of Herbert, the history and literature of his era, and a love of learning. When I discovered he was a scholar who loved Truth, and not simply a scholar, I asked him if I could take a course on Hooker with him. One other person joined the class and we had a wonderful time together. Eventually, I read the whole of Hooker as well as some of the best secondary sources. Part of my effort was written up in a paper which is given below.

As a result of reading Hooker, I reached several conclusions which are presented in this paper. First, Hooker belongs to what I have called the "
objective" school in regards to God's speech and act. This is a result of the fact that Hooker thinks God is reasonable, and that God's revelation can be understood by the mind. Secondly, Hooker's primary authorities are Scripture and reason, not Scripture, reason, and tradition or experience. Further, Scripture is the primary norm. It stands over reason since reason is subject to sin and corruption. Thirdly, Hooker reads Scripture as a narrative whole. For example, in his sermon, "A remedy Against Sorrow and Fear, Delivered in a Funeral Sermon," he states, "... we must note that in a Christian man there is, first, Nature; secondly, Corruption, perverting Nature; thirdly, Grace correcting, and amending Corruption." This is the classical pattern of reading Scripture as a single narrative, seen in the Church Fathers as the doctrine of recapitulation. Fourth, in reading Scripture, Hooker began with the literal sense of the biblical Word. The literal sense could reveal mysteries, but only by first receiving the literal sense. Fifth, Hooker thinks that certain laws are eternal and that other laws change. He does not believe that all laws are subject to change due to new circumstances or insights. Rather, he makes distinctions: some laws are eternal and literally so, others are mutable and can be changed, modified, or even abolished. Sixth, Hooker does not believe that divine truth is found by sharing our experience, but by hard study, rigorous thought, and attention to Scripture and the great tradition of the Church. Finally, the paper explores one of the fundamental epistemological problems of modern thought. It is often assumed that one can either know realities empirically as in science, or mystically as in religion. Hooker rejects both alternatives. For him, knowledge of God has an "empirical" element, and this can especially be seen in his doctrine of the eucharist. To develop this doctrine he needs Trinity and Christology, and it is these two doctrines that steer an orthodox course between a objectivity devoid of transcendence and a transcendent mysticism devoid of objectivity.

Finally, in regard to text, I read the 1958 Hooker edition introduced by Christopher Morris. At present, I do not have the Morris text. If I can ever track it down, I will change the references to Morris to standard Hooker references, making it easier to find my references in any edition of Hooker. The paper follows.


Reason in Hooker

This paper falls into two parts. First, restricting myself to Hooker, I will present his views on reason. In this section I will draw upon portions of the secondary literature, but not discuss it in detail. In the second section, I will discuss one significant issue from the secondary literature pertinent to reason in Hooker.

In regards to footnotes, a number of Hooker's ideas are well known and widely accepted. I will footnote them sparingly. Other ideas are poorly understood or controversial. These will be footnoted extensively.

Hooker's Thought As A Whole

The whole of Hooker's thought can be grasped in a number of ways theologically, or in light of his governing concept of law, in his historical context, or from the perspective of his understanding of the biblical narrative. Among these alternatives, I believe this essay on reason is best seen in light of the biblical narrative. By biblical narrative I mean God, creation, fall, the classical Greek and Roman tradition, patriarchs, law, prophets, Jesus Christ, early church, church and world history, and the life of the world to come. Therefore, I will present Hooker's understanding of reason in that context, arranging my topics as follows: reason in God, reason before the fall, reason and the moral law, reason and supernatural revelation, reason and Scripture, reason and the Spirit, reason and history, reason and last things. I have not found such an approach in the secondary literature, but believe it will yield the simplest and most penetrating results.
(1) This can be verified as we proceed.

Reason in God

The central concept in Hooker's Lawes is his concept of law. Hooker defines law as follows,
That which doth assign unto each thing the kind, that which doth moderate the force and power, that which doth appoint the form and measure, of working, the same we term a Law. A law therefore generally taken, is a directive rule unto goodness of operation.(2)
The two key words here are "working" and "operation."(3) For Hooker, God works and operates, and among these operations is the creation of human beings who also operate. The form of these "operations" is law, so that law is what guides, directs, and reflects divine and human activities. The source of all law is God himself and God works according to his own law. It is his law that "giveth life unto all the rest, which are commendable, just, and good; namely the law whereby the Eternal himself doth work."(4) By claiming that God himself works according to law, Hooker separates himself from those who claim that will, not mind, is primary in God. "They err therefore who think that of the will of God to do this or that there is no reason besides his will."(5) Hooker believes that God wills, but his reason guides his will and he does nothing without rational foresight. Since God is reasonable, God's revelation is reasonable and can, at least in part, be known by human reason. As we shall show, this is valid rational knowledge of God. Therefore, Hooker reasons and urges his opponents to reason about matters divine.

The law of God's inner workings Hooker calls the "first law eternal." Theologically, these inner workings should be the eternal begetting of the Son by the Father and the procession of the Spirit from the Father and the Son. Although Hooker doesn't directly state this, I have decided that this is indeed what he thinks.(6)

God's inner workings are reflected in his workings outside himself, and Hooker calls these external workings the "second law eternal."(7) The second law eternal reflects the first and guides all God's external actions.
All things therefore, which are as they ought to be, are conformed unto this second law eternal; and even those things which to this eternal law are not conformable are notwithstanding in some sort ordered by the first eternal law. For what good or evil is there under the sun, what action correspondent or repugnant unto the law which God hath imposed upon his creatures, but in or upon it God doth work according to the law which himself hath eternally purposed to keep; that is to say, the first law eternal? So that a two fold law eternal being thus make, it is not hard to conceive how they both take place in all things.(8)
Since the second law eternal reflects the first, and since the first is reasonable, it follows that God's ordering of "All things therefore, which are as they ought to be" is also orderly and reasonable. Just as the mind can know God as reason, the mind knows all other things by reason, and, reason in all things, since both mind and creation are given order by the divine Reason, the second law eternal in action.

Reason Before the Fall

Before discussing reason before the fall, it would be helpful to note one feature of the created universe. For Hooker, reality is a dynamic, hierarchically arranged, and interactive, organism whose final goal is God.
(9) At the bottom of the hierarchy are natural agents (our physical objects), followed by vegetative life, animal life, humans, political and ecclesiastical life, angels, and then God.(10) Apart from God, all these dynamically go from potential into act (Aristotle, Aquinas), driven forward by the hope of their final perfection.
God alone excepted, who actually and everlastingly is whatsoever he may be, and which cannot hereafter be that which now he is not; all other things besides are somewhat in possibility, which as yet they are not in act. And for this cause there is in all things an appetite or desire, whereby they incline to something which they may be; and when they are it, they shall be perfecter than now they are. All such perfections are contained under the general name of Goodness.(11)
God is the ultimate Good, and all things move together toward God in an organic and cooperative fashion. For example, inanimate dirt is required for plant growth, vegetative life required for bread and wine, all three are required for physical life, both bread, wine, and physical life are required for mental and spiritual life, and all required for life with God.(12)

Further, God directs, moves, draws, and cooperates with each realm of existence according to its nature. Inanimate objects obey God as he works upon them as efficient cause. They obey God unknowingly.(13) People and angels seek God knowingly.(14) They are drawn to God as final cause and assisted by grace. God as final cause is the vision of God, a perception of God's final and complete truth, goodness, and love.
Complete union with him must be according unto every power and faculty of our minds apt to receive so glorious an object. Capable we are of God both by understanding and will: by understanding, as He is that sovereign Truth which comprehendeth the rich treasures of all wisdom; by will, as He is that sea of Goodness whereof whoso tasteth shall thirst no more. As the will doth now work upon that object by desire, which is as it were a motion towards the end as yet unobtained; so likewise upon the same hereafter received it shall work also by love.(15)
Since God was creator and Adam created, God acted in accord with his own Goodness and created Adam in his own image. The "perfection of [Adam's] nature being made according to the likeness of his Maker, resembleth him also the manner of working ..." (16) Since God worked rationally, Adam moved toward his final end by working, by deliberate moral actions. Adam, like God, freely willed the good, and this goodness was seen to be good by the eye of his reason, just as God's reason directed his own actions in accord with his own Goodness.(17) From this it follows that understanding or reasoning directs the will and guides all human actions.
Finally, Appetite is the Will's solicitor, and the Will is Appetite's controller; what we covet according to the one by the other we often reject; neither is any other desire termed properly Will, but that where Reason and Understanding, or the show of Reason, prescribeth the thing desired.(18)
Prior to the fall, Adam knew God and his law by reason in two ways. First, there was the command not to eat of the tree. Adam could not perceive by reason the reason for this command. This does not mean that the command was unreasonable. It simply means that the reason was not given to Adam within the course of nature. The reason for the command lay with God and beyond Adam's knowledge.(19) In this sense, the command was supernatural, directly given as an oracle of God. The command not to eat of the tree is the prototype of supernatural revelation, revelation that cannot be discovered in the course of nature. Though supernatural, the content of the command was not mystical or supernatural. Adam understood the command. Its source may have been beyond reason, but reason was required to understand its content. Hooker will insist on this because he claims that grace and nature have need of each other. "Which example [Paul before Festus] maketh manifest what elsewhere the same Apostle teacheth, namely that nature hath need of grace, whereunto I hope, we are not opposite, by holding that grace hath use of nature."(20)

Secondly, apart from the command not to eat of the tree, Adam knew God by his natural reason and knew that God was his highest good. The knowledge of God, notions of right and wrong, the moral law, Adam's obligations to God and others, were all originally given to Adam's reason. This knowledge, found by natural reason, is the prototype of the moral law and the natural knowledge of God and the world. It is as the voice of God itself and must be obeyed. As we shall see, reason's capacity to discern the moral law was damaged by the fall, but it was not obliterated, and further, real traces of it remain in the accumulated and tested wisdom of the human race.

Hooker combines two primary sources to derive the foregoing ideas. First, there was the classical tradition stemming from Aristotle and classical thought in general. According to this tradition, reality is organic and directed toward God as final cause. Further, within the philosophical tradition, there was the notion that reality and mind share the same rational structure.(21) Therefore, the mind knows reality. Hooker incorporates this into his system. Secondly, there was the biblical tradition which views reality in terms of history, God at the beginning and God at the end. Typical of classical Christian thought, Hooker located Aristotle (through Aquinas) in the context of the biblical narrative. All things corporately and organically move toward God historically, toward God at the end of time. Since human beings are reasonable and since history is real, there is real novelty and reason directs the will under ever new circumstances.

Nevertheless, certain fundamentals of human nature never change. Therefore the law that guides the mind will have eternal aspects, while other aspects will be discovered by inspired reason adapting to new circumstances. As we shall see, the eternal aspect is the moral law and the gospel. They are eternal, although their immediate relevance for new historical circumstances is subject to reasoned and inspired formulation.

Reason and the Moral Law

What was the nature of Adam's natural knowledge, and how did his mind know it? According to Hooker, reason should know that God is to be honored, that the soul should direct the body, that children should respect their parents, that treating others well often creates reciprocal kindness, that one should not steal, and much more. But how does reason know these things?

The mind sees, penetrates, reflects, and grasps the world. For example, reason could see that causes have priority with regards to effects and this can be known by analyzing the manifold forms of cause and effect. As a result of this seeing that knows, and reason that sees, Hooker would conclude that God should be given the highest honor since God is the first cause of all. Likewise, since parents bring forth their children, children should honor their parents. Since labor creates property, property should belong to its creator, and therefore, stealing is wrong. Behind Hooker's thinking at this point is not only the biblical story of paradise and the moral law of Moses,(22) but also the classical tradition of right reason which grasps the rational and moral structure of reality.

Many years ago I asked a professor if Newton's first law of motion, force equals mass times acceleration, was a descriptive law or a definition. I could feel force, I could observe acceleration, but I could neither see nor feel mass. Therefore, it could "exist" abstractly, defined as a ratio, or it could exist as an actual entity which one needed to describe. The professor replied, "Both." Similarly, for right reason, God in creation may not be seen or felt directly. But he is there, as a necessary factor that makes sense out of what is known by reason.

Further, Hooker thinks biblically and corporately. He holds that all of humanity was in Adam, and Adam is in all humanity as a root is in the tree. Therefore, the right reason of Adam belongs to the whole of humanity since all are created from Adam's nature. The result of this universal reason is the moral law. Due to the fall, right reason has been corrupted but not obliterated. Unlike his Calvinist opponents, Hooker believed in the depravity of reason, but not its total depravity. In spite of the fall, there are vestiges of truth in all cultures everywhere. For this reason, Hooker will often appeal to the classical Greek and Roman tradition, or to what all people everywhere think, practice or believe. By this he does not mean the moral thought of all persons as specific individuals. Rather, he refers to the accumulated wisdom of the race, the consensus of cultures, especially as developed by the wise.

Hooker also assumes a universal human nature. All were created in Adam as root, and further, Christ redeemed this universal human nature on the cross. This universal nature can reason. Its reasoning is universal due to Reason in God and the fact that God works according to the first and second eternal laws which created human nature, naturally in Adam, supernaturally in Christ. If there is no universal human nature, then the human nature that Christ assumed was not the human nature of all and therefore he did not redeem all.

This universal human nature is not static. Reason guides the will toward perceived goods and this implies changes in thinking and action due to new circumstances. Nevertheless, human beings do not change in all respects. All children come from parents, labor produces wealth, sexuality is required for reproduction, God is the creator of all, and all people band together in societies. These features of human life are constant. As a result, the moral law which Adam should have kept in Eden is eternal since its provenance is the whole of the human race in its universal characteristics. For example, God instructed the Hebrews to keep the Sabbath. Christians keep the first day of the week. The command to honor God by special days never changes. It is a law of nature.(23) How and when to honor God may change. More will be said on this later, but for now, it must be said that the moral law is the universal law of humanity. The new revelation in Christ does not destroy this universal moral law but restores it since grace restores nature.

Casual students of Hooker have noticed the historical and social aspects of Hooker's thought, and thereby concluded that the moral law itself is subject to change. This is not the case, either before or after the redemptive grace of Christ. When Hooker speaks of natural or moral law, it is in terms of law that applies to all people everywhere, valid for all times and places. "Laws natural do always bind; laws positive not so, but only after they have been expressly and wittingly imposed."(24)

Given Adam's status in the garden, the tree and his natural reason, Hooker divides laws into two types, those of reason and those of revelation. The first is given in nature, the other by the Word of God which is Scripture. The one set is given naturally, the other supernaturally. Reason is needed to understand both types, although reason cannot discern supernatural laws within the course of nature. Consequently, there are only two fundamental sources of truth or two working authorities for human action. They are Scripture and reason. Hooker did not affirm a three legged stool, or four authoritative sources, Scripture, tradition, reason, and experience. There are many forms of authority, bishops and kings, for example, but ultimately, all temporal authority rests upon reason and Scripture.(25)
To find out supernatural laws, there is no natural way, because they have not their foundation or ground in the course of nature. Such was that law before Adam's fall, which required abstinence from the tree of knowledge touching good and evil. For by his reason he could not have found out this law, inasmuch as the only commandment of God did make it necessary, and not the necessity thereof procure it to be commanded, as in natural laws it doth. Of like nature are the mysteries of our redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ, which presupposeth the fall of Adam, and was in that respect instituted, nor would even have been imagined by any wit of man or angel, had not God himself revealed the same to both. But concerning such laws and truths as have their ground in the course of nature, and are therefore termed by all men laws of nature, [they?] were necessary for Adam although he had kept, and are for us which have lost, the state of that first perfection, necessary also even in themselves. These truths and laws our first parents were created able perfectly both to have known and kept; which we can now neither fully attain without the grace of God assisting us in the search, nor at all observe availablyqqq to our salvation, except in the exercise thereof, both grace to aid, and mercy pardon our manifold imperfections.(26) It sufficeth therefore that Nature and Scripture do serve in such full sort, that they both jointly and not severally either of them be so complete, that unto everlasting felicity we need not the knowledge of any thing more than these two may easily furnish our minds with on all sides; and therefore they which add traditions, as a part of supernatural necessary truth, have not the truth, but are in error.(27)
Reason, the Fall, and Redeemed Reason

As a result of the fall, Adam's entire nature was corrupted and this included his reason. Since all are in Adam as effects are antecedently in their causes, the fall of Adam led to the corruption of the human race. As a result, no one has the capacity to fully discern the good by reason, nor the will to do it if ever discerned.
We are by nature the sons of Adam. When God created Adam he created us, and as many as are descended from Adam have in themselves the root out of which they spring.(28) Adam is in us as an original cause of our nature, and of that corruption of nature which causeth death, Christ as the cause original of restoration to life; the person of Adam is not in us, but his nature, and the corruption of his nature derived unto all men by propagation; Christ having Adam's nature as we have, but incorrupt, deriveth not nature but incorruption and that immediately from his own person into all that belong unto him. As therefore we are really partakers of the body of sin and death received from Adam, so except we be truly partakers of Christ, and as really possessed of his Spirit, all we speak of eternal life is but a dream.(29)
Although the fall corrupted the reason's capacity to reason rightly, it did not obliterate the capacity to reason. Hooker was careful to affirm that the mind could still reason. The will could still will. As a result, his less discerning opponents often accused him of being Pelagian since he held to a form of freedom for the will after the fall.(30) Hooker's point was actually rather simple. All persons will and think. The fall robbed humanity of the power to will and think properly, where "properly" means the capacity for reason to discern the highest good and the will to act according.(31) But the fall did not rob all people of the ability to will and think. All will and think, and none except Christ will and think properly.

Further, for Hooker, right reason, or redeemed reason, must be more than discursive reasoning. Discursive reasoning belongs to all. The sciences, for example, depend upon it. For Hooker, however, reason directs a person toward God in harmony with others. This is moral reasoning. Moral reasoning entails discursive or logical reasoning. But moral reason is not simply logic, it is a form of vision, of grasping reality with the mind and acting accordingly.

In regards to the church fathers, some understood Adam, the Garden, and Eve literally, others figuratively, others both. I think Hooker believed in a literal Adam. Be that as it may, his real emphasis is to make sense of present conditions and this involved the concept of the fall. He felt himself surrounded on all sides by those who uttered foolishness and deprecated reason. In his view, his age was "full of tongue and weak of brain." Real knowledge was a "thing painful."(32) Without grace, right reasoning was impossible. Even with grace, however, right reasoning is very very difficult. Hooker's works testify to this.

For example, Hooker develops his doctrine of election in his Dublin Fragments. His intellectual advance is like that of a person picking his way through a mine field. He begins with a distinction between contingent and necessary, and describes how God's foreknowledge does not imply necessity.(33) Then he works out his analysis in terms of the biblical narrative: creation, fall, redemption in Christ. His analysis is not only biblical, but philosophical in that he brings to bear considerations such as cause and effect, determinism and contingency. Among the welter of biblical insights, the classical philosophical and moral tradition, the teachings of the church fathers, and the views of his opponents, he laboriously fights his way forward. Once he has described creation and redemption in Christ, he is able to make distinctions within the will of God. By creation, God originally willed that all be blessed. Due to the fall, God was willing that humanity suffer as a consequence of sin. He then willed that all be saved in Christ, yet he accepts that some deny Christ, a decision with consequences. Throughout the essay Hooker uses logical or discursive reason, but that is not the only form of reason. He labors to see something with his mind. He seeks to know God by his reason. To do so, he must discover the subtle yet crucial balance between divine justice and mercy, grace and works, God's foreordaining and human freedom. On all sides he fights what he takes to be wrong reason. Above all, he fights against the idea of double predestination, that God before time doomed some to hell, others to eternal life, regardless of their efforts or faith. This use of right reason required effort, strenuous moral effort, even if assisted by grace.

Similar conclusions hold for his sermons. For example, his sermon "A Learned and Comfortable Sermon of the Certainty and Perpetuity of Faith in the Elect," reveals the same spiritual, intellectual, and moral effort. It is pervaded by what Deborah Shuger describes as a sense of desolation. One gets the sense that Hooker feels cut off from God, severed without hope, lost without assurance. Intellectually and morally, he seeks that assurance and it is given at last. But it is not given before Hooker has relentlessly and painfully tracked down and intellectually and affectively demolished every doubt and fear that could possibly assail the soul. Above all, he wanted to know what happened to persons whose faith became exceedingly weak. Could their faith fail, and would their salvation be lost? That was his fundamental concern, and everything depended upon it. For the modern reader, the sermon would appear overly intellectual. But not for Hooker. He wants to know the truth and assurance of God with his mind. Only after a painful battle will he then give a glimpse of what he has seen with his reason. Their faith may be weak, but it will never fail. God will see to it.
The earth may shake, the pillars of the world may tremble under us, the countenance of the heaven may be appalled, the sun may lose his light, the moon her beauty, the stars their glory; but concerning the man that trusteth in God, if the fire have proclaimed itself unable as much as to singe a hair of his head, if lions, beasts ravenous by nature and keen with hunger, being set to devour, have as it were religiously adored the very flesh of the faithful man; what is there in the world that shall change his heart, overthrow his faith, alter his affection towards God, or the affection of God to him? If I be of this note, who shall make a separation between me and my God? "Shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? No; "I am persuaded that neither tribulation, nor anguish, nor persecution, nor famine, nor nakedness ..." I know in whom I have believed;" I am not ignorant whose precious blood hath been shed for me: I have a Shepherd full of kindness, full of care, and full of power: unto him I commit myself; his own finger hath engraven this sentence in the table of my heart, "Satan hath desired to winnow thee as wheat, but I have prayed that thy faith fail not." Therefore the assurance of my hope I will labour to keep as a jewel unto the end; and by labour, through the gracious mediation of his prayer, I shall keep it.(34)
What is reason after the fall? Above all, it is the relentless moral effort to know God by reason assisted by grace. Since God is eternal Wisdom, it requires every power of the mind. It leads to glimpses of eternal bliss for those who love God, not just with their hearts, but with their minds.

Reason and Supernatural Revelation

Hooker develops his doctrine of salvation in terms of "operations," human actions. All people act. They direct themselves toward ends, proximate and final. Failure to a act rightly is a result of a perverse will and a perverse reason directing the will to act falsely. After the fall, God saved the human race by sending his Son Jesus Christ who died for all of humanity. This atoning act justified humanity and is known by those who receive it in faith. It leads to sanctification for those who persist in this faith. As a result they know God in a new way. This new knowledge is supernatural revelation. It is supernatural in that saving knowledge of Jesus Christ was and is not given in nature. It is given by revelation as divine law.
The law of reason doth somewhat direct men how to honour God as their creator; but how to glorify God in such sort as is required, to the end he may be an everlasting Saviour, this we are taught by divine law, which law both ascertaineth the truth and supplieth unto us the want of that other law. So that in moral actions, divine law helpeth exceedingly the law of reason to guide man's life; but in supernatural it alone guideth.(35)
When Hooker states that the divine law "both ascertaineth the truth and supplieth unto us the want of that other law," he is referring to the fact that Scripture contains not only supernatural revelation, but substantive portions of the moral law. This law was lost to reason, and as an aid to reason, God placed it in Scripture so that "divine law helpeth exceedingly the law of reason to guide man's life; ..."(36) By this revelation and by grace, Word and Spirit, corrupted reason is redeemed since grace restores nature. In other words, the grace filled human life includes redeemed reason. Redeemed reason, however, is not limited in its sources to Scripture since Scripture does not contain the whole of the moral law nor detailed instructions for every circumstance. Redeemed reason is bound by the moral law that is in Scripture, and this in conjunction with supernatural revelation, enables reason to discern the good in varied circumstances and thereby direct the will toward that final Goodness which is God.(37)

But this raises a number of questions. What, for Hooker, is the role of reason in receiving redemptive supernatural revelation? Can reason grasp its content once God has revealed himself? Or is the nature of God so ineffable that supernatural revelation transcends reason so that reason cannot ultimately grasp it? Or, if revelation does not transcend reason, does this not imply that the revelation of the divine can be reduced to the status of finite categories? These questions are of supreme importance for contemporary theology.

For Hooker, supernatural revelation is given to reason, the finite human reason grasps it, and that only in this act of knowing does the mind perceive the mystery of God beyond reason. To show this, I will use as an example Hooker's most theological section, his doctrine of the eucharist.

Before treating the eucharist proper, Hooker lays the groundwork. He begins with a succinct statement of the doctrine of the Trinity.(38) This statement is the distillation of the trinitarian teaching of the church. Hooker believes that the church, drawing upon Holy Scripture, has correctly formulated the doctrine, and further, in spite of variations of expression, this trinitarian truth can be grasped by reason. The statements are intelligible and Hooker understands them. For example, he understands that the same divine essence is shared by all three persons of the Trinity. He grasps this by his reason. He also knows that the persons of the Trinity are distinguished by their internal relations the Father is pure origin, the Son is generated by the Father, the Spirit proceeds from both. He understands these statements as well, although he knows that God as one in three is surely a mystery.

Having summarized trinitarian dogma, Hooker next describes how one of the persons, the Son, became incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth. Since each person of the Trinity is God, the Son was God, and therefore, Jesus Christ was God. Since he was also a man, he was both God and man. Hooker then summarizes orthodox christological teaching on the dual nature of Jesus Christ.

One critical aspect of his christological doctrine is his analysis of the communicatio idiomatum. Hooker describes this as "cross and circulatory" speech.(39) By this it is meant that qualities applied to human nature of Christ may be referred to the divine nature, and qualities referring to the divine nature may be referred to the human nature. This is due to the fact that both natures are united in the one person Jesus Christ. In saying this, however, it is understood that the qualities transferred from one nature to the other are only true in Jesus Christ. Or, to put it another way, the divine and human qualities first of all apply to the person Jesus Christ, and in that context, they apply to each nature. For example, the man Jesus died on a cross. By the communicatio idiomatum it is appropriate to say that God died on the cross. But this is only true in Jesus Christ. It is not true of any other reality. If, however, one says that God does not die in Jesus Christ, then one has divided the human nature from the divine nature in Christ. This was the error of Nestorius. He so divided the human and divine natures that he denied that the second Person of the Trinity, the divine Son of God, actually became incarnate and lived and died as the one person of Jesus Christ.
Whereupon it followeth against Nestorious, that no person was born of the Virgin but the Son of God, no person but the Son of God baptized, the Son of God condemned, the Son of God and no other person crucified; which one only point of Christian belief, the infinite worth of the Son of God, is the very ground of all things believed concerning life and salvation by which Christ did or suffered as man in our behalf.(40)
When Hooker speaks of the "Son of God" in this quotation, he is referring to the second Person of the Trinity, the divine Son of God. This divine Son was born, baptized, and crucified.

Apart from Jesus Christ, no one is immortal. Immortality is a quality of the divine nature, not the created one. Nevertheless, by virtue of its union with the divine nature, the human nature of Jesus became immortal, was raised from the dead and did not see corruption in the tomb.(41) Hence, the term "immortal" can be applied to the human nature of Jesus Christ, but only because of its union with the divine. In this way, God the Son's presence in Jesus Christ is distinct from God's general presence in creation. In Jesus Christ, God is objectively present since the properties of the human nature lived at a certain place and time, was affected by and affected other people, died apply to the divine nature of Jesus Christ. In this way God acts differently in Jesus Christ than he does anywhere else.

In making these affirmations Hooker maintains the classical position that, although it is appropriate to transfers properties for one nature to another in Jesus Christ, the natures considered in and of themselves, cannot be mixed or transmuted into one another. This was the error of Eutyches among others. The communicatio idiomatum holds in the person of Christ, and not in the natures considered as natures and apart from the person.
Without this caution the Fathers whose belief was sincere and their meaning most sound, shall seem in their writings one to deny what another constantly doth affirm. Theodoret disputeth with great earnestness that God cannot be said to suffer. But he thereby meaneth Christ's divine nature against Apollinarious, which held even Deity itself passible. Cyril on the other side against Nestorius as much contendeth, that whosoever will deny very God to have suffered death, doth forsake the faith. Which notwithstanding to hold were heresy, if the name of God in this assertion did not import as it doth the person of Christ, who being verily God suffered death, but in the flesh, and not in that substance for which the name of God is given him.(42)

Given this theological introduction, it must then be said that the finite human nature of Jesus Christ can be grasped by reason. His words and deeds were visible, people understood them with their minds. These finite properties, however, by virtue of the communicatio idiomatum, also apply to Christ's divine nature. Therefore, in knowing the human properties, one knows the divine Son in Jesus Christ, and therefore one knows the divine nature of God by the finite understanding. This, however, only happens in grace, when the Spirit reveals the person of Jesus Christ so that both natures become known in and with each other. This is what Hooker thinks happens in eucharist. To deny this is to follow Nestorius who so divided the natures as to deny that the divine nature could become finite and therefore knowable. At the same time, as we shall see, the divine nature, precisely because it is known by the finite mind, transcends the mind as mystery.

Once he has laid a foundation in both Trinity and Christology, Hooker then investigates the doctrine of the eucharist.(43) He claims, due to incarnation, that the second person of the Trinity is now and forever in union with the resurrected human nature of Jesus Christ. He locates this resurrected human nature in some form of space, in heaven. Therefore, since the second person of the Trinity belongs to the Godhead, the resurrected human nature of Christ would be found where the second person of the Godhead is especially active and present. Above all, God the Son is present in Word and Sacrament. (God the Father sent the Son to become incarnate, and the incarnation is reflected in Word and Sacrament.) It follows that the resurrected humanity of Christ is present in the eucharist since it is forever joined to the second person of the Trinity who is present in eucharist. But this logical conclusion is impossible since the resurrected body is specifically in heaven. Therefore, Hooker concludes that the resurrected human nature is in the eucharist "after a sort." The datum he uses here are the eucharistic words, "this is my body, this is my blood." How is Christ's body present? It is not present as are terrestrial bodies. It is not present in that the bread and wine have become the resurrected body of Christ. The resurrected body is in heaven. The presence is due to the divine presence of the second person of the Trinity in the eucharist in union with the resurrected body in heaven. This is a mystery, but it is a mystery because it can be formulated by statements understood and ordered by the mind.

In the eucharist, the person of Jesus Christ, the whole person, the divine nature and the resurrected human nature, have effects on believers. The divine nature has effects that only God can have, creating life that becomes eternal life even in this life. This miraculous and supernatural effect is distinct from the effect of the bread and wine, although these are instruments for the supernatural effects. Rather, the effects on the soul of the recipient are the direct effects of the resurrected human nature of Jesus Christ in union with the second person of the Trinity who is active in the eucharist doing only what God can do.
Yet because this substance is inseparably joined to that personal word which by his very divine essence is present with all things, the nature which cannot have in itself universal presence hath it after a sort by being no where severed from that which is everywhere present. For inasmuch as that infinite word is not divisible into parts, it could not in part but must needs be wholly incarnate, and consequently, wheresoever the Word is it hath with it manhood, else should the Word be in part or somewhere God only and not Man, which is impossible. For the Person of Christ is whole, perfect God and perfect Man wheresoever, although the parts of his manhood being finite and this Deity infinite, we cannot say that the whole of Christ is simply every where, as we may say that his Deity is, and that his Person is by force of Deity. For somewhat of the Person of Christ is not every where in that sort, namely his manhood, the only conjunction whereof with Deity is extended as far as Deity, the actual position restrained and tied to a certain place; yet present by way of conjunction is in some sort presence.(44)

The bread and cup are his body and blood because they are causes instrumental upon the receipt whereof the participation of his body and blood ensueth. For that which produceth any certain effect is not vainly nor improperly said to be that very effect whereunto it tendeth. Every cause is in the effect which groweth from it. Our souls and bodies quickened to eternal life are effects the cause whereof is the Person of Christ, his body and blood are the true wellspring out of which this life floweth. So that his body and blood are in that very subject whereunto they minister life not only by effect or operation, even as the influence of the heavens is in plants, beasts, men, and in every thing which they quicken, but also by a far more divine and mystical kind of union, which maketh us one with him even as he and the Father are one.(45)
In the first quotation, we see that the resurrected human nature of Jesus Christ can be present in places other than heaven, although this presence is "after a sort." In the second quotation, this presence is active in the eucharist as a cause, a cause whose source is the body and blood of Jesus himself although Christ himself is only there "after a sort." These matters are of supreme importance for Hooker. As a doctor of the church, he believes it is his duty to fight all false doctrine. The Zwinglian doctrine of eucharist as a memorial, for example, was utterly alien to him. Such a doctrine denied that the divine Word, together with the human nature, was present in the eucharist. Given that, it failed to affirm that both the human and divine nature in the person of Christ have miraculous impacts on the body and soul of communicantes to heal, redeem, reform, and do what only God can do.

Throughout the entire discussion it is obvious that Hooker understood the meaning of his theological statements, and yet, they pointed to a mystery beyond his understanding. In the end, Hooker will not and cannot explain the mystery. He will adore it rather than explain it further.(46)
Where God himself doth speak those things which either for height and sublimity of matter, or else for secrecy of performance we are not able to reach unto, as we may be ignorant without danger, so it can be no disgrace to confess we are ignorant. ... As for his dark and hidden works, they prefer as becometh them in such cases simplicity of faith before that knowledge, which curiously sifting what it should adore, and disputing too boldly of that which the wit of man cannot search, chilleth for the most part all warmth of zeal, and bringeth soundness of belief many times into great hazard.(47)
The mystery is not due, however, to the fact that God is a sublime mystery exceeding all understanding. No, Hooker knew things that were quite concrete and specific. He knew the tradition. He believed and comprehended the trinitarian and christological statements. He believed they told him something of God. He knew God through the statements. Once they were grasped by redeemed reason, their immediate content was as clear as the prohibition not to eat of the tree. His mind could grasp the fact that the human nature of Jesus Christ was joined to the divine. He could understand that the Word became flesh, and therefore, predicates applied to the flesh apply to the Word. Nevertheless, by understanding the statements, he was at once confronted with a mystery. By logic, a body remotely located in heaven cannot have immediate physical and spiritual effects. Nor is it possible to understand how it would be meaningful to assert that God died. By scientific reason, no body under normal atmospheric conditions remains incorruptible, although the mind has no trouble imagining the fact but not the how. All these things are mysteries. But they are only mysteries because they are truths which can be grasped, only because there is orthodox doctrine given to and developed by redeemed reason. In short, reason can know God, and know God as mystery by knowing God as revealed.

As a result, Hooker will reason about divine matters. He believed in orthodoxy, in heresy, in Truth, and that the truth had been given to the church. His entire corpus is an exercise in thinking and knowing God. He used his mind to interpret Scripture, to think theologically, to understand the world, to defend his position, to persuade his opponents, to worship and adore God, and to satisfy his soul.

It may appear that the preceding theological section has been unduly complicated. It will be relevant, however, for my final sections.

Reason and Scripture

Hooker does not give a theological analysis of Scripture comparable to that of the eucharist. Just as he claimed that the Galilean body and blood of the risen Christ are present after a sort in the eucharist, he should also claim that the words of the Galilean Jesus are also present after a sort in the words of Scripture. This would lead to a strong doctrine of Scripture as the Word of God as a personal, supernatural, intelligible, and mystical address of God to the believer.

Nevertheless, Hooker's grasp of Scripture is consistent with his eucharistic theology and his theology as a whole. Just as he believed that the body and blood of the human nature of Christ became that of God the Son by incarnation, he believed Scripture to be the word of God. It is the oracles of God, literally.(48) Here Hooker is being faithful to the biblical text which proclaims that God literally speaks. This speech is not a mystical experience subsequently expressed in human thought forms as in liberal theology. It is God literally saying specific finite words understood by those he addressed. This understanding implies that the term "words," as in the human words of Christ or a prophet, or the words of a book, can be referred to the divine nature so as to be the words of God and not simply human words alone. There are several implications.

First, since the word of God became incarnate as human words, Jesus' words have the same objective finite properties as all human words and therefore they can be analyzed, compared, and developed. They can be used to formulate truth, to defend against heresy, to give saving knowledge. Hard study, the laborious search for truth is required, and it is best done in the company of the learned of present and past generations. How Hooker did this was described above in the section on "Reason, the Fall, and Redeemed Reason." Only by painful labor can the excesses of arbitrary exegesis be avoided. Over and over again, Hooker brings to bear the best traditions of reason in his interpretation of Scripture the exegetical tradition of the church, the classical heritage, the hermeneutical tools of Renaissance learning.

Further, in apprehending Scripture, Hooker not only believes that he apprehends human words, he also believes he apprehends the divine nature. This is because he believes that God speaks as God, and once God's words are heard and understood, one knows God as God and not just the words referring to God. He therefore calls the truths he finds in Scripture the "heavenly truth," "the word of life," the "word of God," a word that brings "eternal life," where eternal life is something that only God can give.
The end of the word of God is to save, and therefore we term it the word of life. The way for all men to be saved is by the knowledge of that truth which the word hath taught. And sith eternal life is a thing of itself communicable unto all, it behoveth that the word of God, the necessary mean thereunto, be so likewise.(49)
Although Hooker claims Scripture as the oracles of God, his use of Scripture in the Lawes betrays a certain reserve.(50) The reason is not far to find. He mistrusted the enthusiastic, "spiritual," and at times arbitrary biblical exegesis of his Puritan opponents. His sermons, however, do not display the same reserve. Here one finds a passionate sense of intimacy with God as a response to the biblical revelation, above all to the literal promises of God that one clings to in life and in death. The long quotation given above from Hooker's sermon on the certainty and perpetuity of faith in the elect, makes it clear that he believed he had laid hold of God through the Word of God, through Christ's promise "Satan hath desired to winnow thee as wheat, but I have prayed that thy faith fail not."

Be that as it may, in both the Lawes and the sermons, Hooker affirms the same value for reason in regard to Scripture as he does in the eucharist. Implicit in his view of revelation is his belief that God, though infinite, is able to limit his effects to finite proportions.(51) In this way God speaks and acts in human words and deeds, and by being finite in effects, can be understood by reason. Hooker's objections to the Puritans was not that they relied on the Spirit to interpret Scripture. Rather, it was their failure to see that the Spirit redeems the mind, and since God is reasonable, the Spirit's work is made evident through rational analysis. Hooker could scarcely endure their willingness to deprecate reason and exalt irrationality. "By these and the like disputes an opinion hath spread itself very far in the world, as if the way to be ripe in faith were to be raw in wit and judgment; as if Reason were an enemy unto Religion, childish Simplicity the mother of ghostly and divine Wisdom."(52)

Further, as Hooker uses redeemed reason to interpret Scripture, he makes a number of distinctions. He begins with the premise that everything works toward an end, and the goal of Scripture is the revelation of those supernatural truths that work salvation. The gospel of salvation is an eternal truth, but not all supernatural truth in Scripture is eternal. For example, God supernaturally gave Israel instructions on how to build the tabernacle. These instructions, however, were no longer necessary when the temple was built in Jerusalem, nor was the temple necessary when the Incarnation became the temple of God on earth. Redeemed reason discerns when a truth of Scripture is eternal or whether it can be modified. If the purpose and the circumstances to which a law applies do not change, the law cannot be changed. If the circumstances or situation the law addresses no longer exist, or if aspects of its application have changed, then reason can abolish or transform the law according to circumstances. Certain realities such as the gospel and the moral law never change. Others do, and inspired reason can know the difference.

Further, since Scripture's purpose is supernatural truth, there are many matters left untouched in Scripture. It does not, for example, give detailed knowledge for many daily decisions, the "taking up of a rush or straw." Nor does it give a specific form of church government, nor of a political regiment, nor specific laws governing commerce peculiar to each nation. Hooker calls these laws positive law. Positive law is law that isn't moral law. It includes supernatural law since that isn't known by reason, and it includes laws other than moral law which vary with time and circumstance.(53) Once a positive law is imposed, however, it becomes binding. Legitimate authorities are free to develop and impose this law provided that it contradicts neither Scripture nor reason. Reason and revelation both assist in the formation of positive law. Both provide general principles, and reason or common sense discerns how laws of particular circumstances may best serve final ends.

In the present debate within the church, experience is sometimes touted as a corollary of Hooker's view of reason and held up as an independent norm along with Scripture, tradition, and reason. The partisans of experience rarely ask themselves, at least not publicly, how Hooker relates Scripture, reason, tradition, and experience. There should be no doubt. First, Hooker allows only reason and Scripture as final norms. Secondly, since reason has fallen, he puts Scripture before reason, not only with respect to supernatural revelation, but also with regard to the moral law found in Scripture.(54) Then, once these commitments are made, Hooker will rely on tradition since his thought is organic and historical. He belongs to a great historical society, the church, and will therefore listen to their witness as it interprets Scripture and reflects upon the moral law of reason. He does not, and he is emphatic about this, place tradition alongside Scripture, but under it.(55) In areas of life where both reason and revelation are silent, tradition is of value since things long tested have proved their worth.
Be it matter of the one kind or of the other, what Scripture doth plainly deliver, to that the first place both of credit and obedience is due; the next whereunto is whatsoever any man can conclude by force of reason; after these the voice of the Church succeedeth. That which the Church by her ecclesiastical authority shall probably think and define to be true or good, must in congruity of reason overrule all other inferior judgments whatsoever.(56)
The word "experience" hardly adds to the discussion. It cannot refer to the supernatural truth of Scripture. Therefore, it must refer to something experienced or known in the course of nature. In that case, Hooker has already addressed it as belonging to reason. But its partisans mean something else. They mean the experience of specific individuals or groups.(57) For example, the national Episcopal church felt that the experience of young people would be valuable, and therefore, urged their election as delegates to the next national convention. There they will vote on matters of critical moral and theological significance. Hooker would consider this utter madness. It is an example of "childish simplicity" becoming "the mother of ghostly and divine Wisdom." No, truth is a "thing painful," of long and collective experience, not of individual experience.

Reason and the Spirit

Hooker makes the following statement,
The works which outwardly are of God, they are in such sort of him being one, that each Person hath in them somewhat peculiar and proper. For being Three, and they all subsisting in the essence of one Deity; from the Father, by the Son, through the Spirit, all things are. That which the Son doth hear of the Father, and which the Spirit doth receive of the Father and the Son, the same we have at the hands of the Spirit as being the last, and therefore the nearest unto us in order, although in power the same with the second and the first.(58)
From this it follows that the Spirit is involved in all God's actions which includes the process of redeeming reason. Redeemed reason is still reason, consequently, irrationality is not a mark of the Spirit. Rather, the Spirit's work is best seen in measured thought confirmed by the collective wisdom of the ages. Having made this claim, however, Hooker will insist that reason alone without the work of the Spirit cannot grasp supernatural truth, nor is it truly capable of discerning moral truth. These claims follow logically from his fundamental premises: God is reasonable, human life was created corporate and reasonable, reason has been corrupted, grace redeems nature including reason, grace involves God's triune action, therefore, redeemed reason is aided by the Spirit, and further, this aid enables reason to be seen as truly reasonable by the corporate wisdom of the church. In the context of discussing whether reason should be used in interpreting Scripture, or whether one should rely on the Spirit apart from the ordered work of the mind, Hooker comments,
The operations of the Spirit, especially these ordinary which be common unto all true Christian men, are as we know things secret and undiscernible even to the very soul where they are, because their nature is of another and an higher kind than that they can be by us perceived in this life. Wherefore albeit the Spirit lead us unto all truth and direct us in all goodness, yet because these workings of the Spirit in us are so privy and secret, we therefore stand on a plainer ground, when we gather by reason from the quality of things believed or done, that the Spirit of God hath directed us in both, than if we settle ourselves to believe or to do any certain particular thing, as being moved thereto by the Spirit.(59)
Having said that, however, Hooker goes on to affirm that the work of biblical interpretation by which the church discovers the laws of its life requires the guidance of the Spirit.
In all which hitherto hath been spoken touching the force and use of man's reason in things divine, I must crave that I be not so understood or construed, as if any such thing by virtue thereof could be done without the aid and assistance of God's most blessed Spirit. ... For this cause therefore we have endeavoured to make it appear, how in the nature of reason itself there is no impediment, but that the selfsame Spirit, which revealeth the things that God hath set down in his law [Scripture], may also be thought to aid and direct men in finding out by the light of reason what laws are expedient to be made for the guiding of his Church, over and besides them that are in Scripture. Herein therefore we agree with those men, by whom human laws are defined to be ordinances, which such as have lawful authority given them for that purpose do probably draw from the laws of nature and God [Scripture], by discourse of reason aided with the influence of divine grace. And for that cause, it is not said amiss touching ecclesiastical canons, that "by instinct of the Holy Ghost they have been made, and consecrated by the reverend acceptation of all the world.(61)
Furthermore, Hooker speaks of the Spirit as one who quickens, leads, authorizes specific deeds and words, converts, saves, connects one to Christ and to other Christians, and above all, sanctifies and enables the church to hear the heavenly word.(61) All of this has a corporate aspect as he connects the Spirit with the sacraments and the institutional life of the church.(62) Given this picture of the Spirit, the Spirit would be that inward power which enables reason to move from thought to thought, perspective to perspective, action to action, revelation to revelation, within the sacramental life of the church. In this way the Spirit enables redeemed reason to direct the self toward God and neighbor, and in that process, to grow in wisdom as redeemed wisdom.

Reason as Corporate and Historical

We may be brief as the conclusions of this section follow naturally from the preceding. Given the corporate and historical character of Hooker's thought, he places great weight on the value of the tradition as an aid to right reason as it seeks to guide a society through time. This corporate wisdom was itself hierarchically arranged. Above all, there was the moral law and the gospel, and derived from that, church tradition and wisdom of the ages. For this reason, Hooker's writings are crammed with reflections and quotations of the church fathers as well as Greek and Roman authors, especially from the first few centuries. Given the reality of history, redeemed reason can adjust the relevance of the ancient tradition to ever new circumstances. In this process there is a degree of freedom in proportion to ends. We have already discussed this matter in the section on Scripture, positive, and moral law. By study, prayer, consultation, reason makes its way through history, guiding the individual, the state, the church, toward God and a redeemed society.

Reason and Last Things

Reason was given in creation, corrupted, and then redeemed in Christ by the work of the Spirit. This redeemed reason restored original reason and enlarged its scope with the supernatural knowledge of Jesus Christ. In Hooker's view, however, the knowledge of God given in this life is limited. He knew God, and he knew that he knew God, and that with his mind. He apprehended the eternal Verity, but only weakly. He glimpsed the hidden wisdom in Christ, but he did not know the fullness. As a result, he longed for the day when his painful labor would come to an end and he would see God face to face. Then, his reason redeemed and glorified, he would know God and know God fully. That was his hope. That is what drove him on. But his hope was also a reality. He really did, through all his academic labors, his endless sifting of evidence, his grievous battles with his adversaries, come to see God with his mind, and for that, he would never cease until the perfection he had glimpsed would be rightly known by all. Therefore, it is fitting that I end the first part of this essay with some of his most sublime lines, proclaiming his hope that he would know God, not only with his will as Goodness, his heart as Love, but with his mind as Truth.
Concerning faith, the principle object whereof is that eternal Verity which hath discovered the hidden wisdom in Christ; concerning Hope, the highest object whereof is that everlasting Goodness which in Christ doth quicken the dead; concerning Charity, the final object whereof is that incomprehensible Beauty which shineth in the countenance of Christ the Son of the Living God: concerning these virtues, the first of which beginning here with a weak apprehension of things not seen, endeth with the intuitive vision of God in the world to come; the second beginning here with a trembling expectation of things far removed and as yet but only heard of, endeth with real and actual fruition of that which no tongue can express; the third beginning here with a weak inclination of heart toward him unto whom we are not able to approach, endeth with endless union, the mystery whereof is higher than the reach of the thoughts of men; concerning that Faith, Hope, and Charity, without which there can be no salvation, was there ever any mention made saving only in that law which God himself from heaven revealed? Is there not in the world a syllable muttered with certain truth concerning any of these three, more than hath been supernaturally received from the mouth of the eternal God?(63)
The Secondary Literature

Some of the secondary literature was helpful, a goodly portion rather obvious, a bit of it wrong, and a prized part, illuminating and significant.

It was, for example, helpful for Booty to point out that participation is a key concept in Hooker, for Shuger to note that although Hooker privileged the learned, he did not privilege them in regard to salvation,(64) for Hoopes to show that right reason included the moral faculty, and for Grislis to write penetrating essays which convinced me that I was on the right track.

Much was obvious: that Hooker had a organic view of reality, that reason was prior to will in God, that he distinguished between the visible and mystical church, that he was polemical, that he was significantly dependent upon Aquinas, that his biblical hermeneutic incorporated Renaissance learning. These matters are well known.

Some things were wrong. It is not the case, as Compier suggests, that Hooker thought the moral law could be changed.(65) He did not, as Archer would have it, see "reason as much more efficacious in helping man accept, understand, and defend the Christian faith than inspiration or spirit."(66) Nor can I accept Neelands' claim that reason for Hooker "stands above Scripture to criticize it and qualify laws given in it."(67)

My greatest criticism of the secondary literature, however, is not simply that occasionally some of it was amiss, or that much of it stated the obvious, but rather that it fails to get to the heart of Hooker in matters of significance for contemporary thought, theological or otherwise. There was, however, one great exception, and that was Shuger. She was the one who was "illuminating and significant." Therefore, in this final section, I will discuss aspects of her thought taken from her Habits of Thought in the English Renaissance.(68)

In Shuger's view, the movement from pre modern to modern thought involves a thickening of boundaries. By boundaries she means the demarcation between self and non self, word and thing, God and humanity, subject and object. Since boundaries are either permeable or impermeable, there are two resultant epistemologies, rational and participatory. She defines rational consciousness in this fashion,
Rational consciousness sees reason as the primary connection between self and reality. The function of reason is to distinguish, and rational consciousness therefore individuates and maintains clear boundaries between individual entities. It is thus sensitive to the gap between subject and object, as well as to that between words and things. It tends to empty cosmos, state, and history of their sacramental numinosity, perceiving them as neutral objects of observation valued or rejected in terms of their function rather than because of any intrinsic or supernatural quality.(69)
Participatory consciousness, on the other hand, erases boundaries. Its grasp of reality is more fluid, its categories permeable. It slips from sign to thing, self to non self, wine to blood and back again. It participates in its "objects" directly by immediate interpenetration and identity.

According to Shuger, these two epistemologies are incompatible, and further, their unresolved polarity is the central tension in Renaissance habits of thought. For Shugar, Hooker is a prime example. He exhibited both tendencies, although his dominant epistemology was rational. He negotiated the gap between self and God, word and thing, subject and object by rational thought. At times, however, he slipped over into participatory thought. This is best seen in his sermons. In light of Hooker's understanding of eucharist, Shuger comments,
In a way that anticipates Descartes's radical distinction between mind and body, Hooker splits subject from object, spiritual from visible, inwardness from institution. This split creates two distinct discourses: one of reason and evidence, the other of mystical participation. In the latter, knowledge results from indwelling presence; in the former, knowledge by assimilation gives way to knowledge by objectification by historical and philological analysis of the evidence.(70)
Shuger reaches similar conclusions in regard to Hooker's understanding of Scripture. Against the Puritans who relied on the Spirit, Hooker employed a modern rational hermeneutic, taking into account Scripture's unique historical circumstances, the probability of evidence, learned judgment on the basis of evidence sifted. Truth for Hooker was a matter of probable persuasions rather than the convincing illumination of the Spirit.(71)
Like the emphasis on history, that on reason distances and objectifies the text, disallowing an experiential participation of the Spirit by interposing the interpretative act between object and subjectivity.(72) In fact, throughout The Laws, Hooker carefully restricts the scope of analogical argument. Scriptural examples are normative only insofar as present circumstances are identical to the earlier ones, an isomorphism he apparently considers rare. Arguments based on precedent work only if the historically specific reasons justifying the prior act continue to support its subsequent application. Finally, typological reasoning assumes the essential changelessness of sacred history, having validity only if the church actually recapitulates the structural and temporal patterns recorded in the Old Testament. This sense of unvarying pattern unites Puritan and medieval exegesis and is precisely what Hooker renounces. Here we have the basic hermeneutic polarities governing Hooker's thought: reason and evidence versus emotional delusion, objective truth versus subjective projection. Unlike Calvin, he disallows the suprarational, internal testimony of the Spirit as a warrant for both the truth and the meaning of Scripture. The Holy Scriptures do not mediate presence but, like any other text, require interpretation, and interpretation is a matter of human judgment: 'between true and false construction, the difference reason must shew.'(73)
Modern consciousness can look out the window and see the endless sky, but it never for a moment imagines that the sky can remain the sky and yet become a three by five foot window. It sees only the window or the sky, the infinite mystically or the finite rationally. Shuger articulates this perfectly, and sees it as fundamental to the development of western consciousness. As a result, modernity follows two unrelated tasks: either the direct participatory consciousness of God or rational analysis of sacred texts or cultic acts, either new age mysticism or graduate schools of religion, either rigid fundamentalism or liberal dissection of texts followed by mindless mysticism.

But those are not Hooker's alternatives. He is far, far more complex. He doesn't just claim that the infinite can be seen in the finite. A philosophical pagan could make that claim. He asserts something far more difficult to grasp. He proclaims that the infinite became finite. That is incarnation. This entails distinctions in God since God is still God in incarnation. It was only God the Son who became finite. The Father was and remained infinite though both shared the same single divine nature so that it is proper to say that the divine nature became incarnate in the Son. That is why Hooker began his analysis of the eucharist with a statement on Trinity. He was going to say something about the nature of God's presence. There was and is no need for a doctrine of the Trinity unless the infinite became finite and not just appeared in the finite.

Against Shuger's alternative that God is known by participation beyond boundaries, Hooker affirms by the communicatio idiomatum that God was born, ate, drank, talked with friends, died, and rose again, and that God can be known by grasping those finite events as objects, known by the mind rationally. Against Shuger's claim that Hooker negotiates boundaries rationally and only rationally, Hooker again asserts by the communicatio idiomatum that the empirical words of the human Jesus, known and analyzed by finite categories, are the eternal Word of God, the second person of the Trinity, and that his empirical body and blood are divine and eternal Food. Therefore, when he engages in rational thought with empirical realities, he is thinking about and actually knowing God in the Son whose divinity became incarnate as finite forms.(74) Against Shuger's claim that rational knowledge of objects is incompatible with participatory knowledge of God, Hooker asserts that the divine and human natures are not incompatible, and that both are united in the one person Jesus Christ. This unity neither mixes nor destroys either nature, neither in themselves nor in how they are known. The divine is revealed in and with the human, and the human is sustained, vivified, and redeemed by the divine. The mind knows God the Son as finite in the person of Jesus Christ, and by knowing the Son, knows the sublime nature of the Father and knows that God is infinite as mystery.

The tortuous, complex, and seemingly incomprehensible discussion of Trinity and Christology prior to Hooker's analysis of eucharist would simply be unnecessary if the endless sky of the Infinite could be ecstatically glimpsed through the finite window of the eucharist. All one needs conceptually is a definition of God as infinite horizon, and let that be grasped ecstatically by the mind. Or, let God be the ground of being. Then one sees God "in the depths" as the modern "theologians" never tire of saying. Nowhere in the secondary literature did I find a real appreciation of Hooker's theological analysis. Booty had a number of valid insights, but he does not get to the root of the matter.(75)

Shuger is right to recognize that Hooker "restricts the scope of analogical argument," but it is not the case that he renounces a "sense of unvarying pattern" in Scripture, nor does he deny that Scripture can "mediate presence." There is something in Scripture that never grows old. Its pattern is forever. That is the gospel, the eternal gospel. The gospel and the doctrine developed from it never change.(76) Hooker says as much over and over. Grace redeems human nature, and there are enduring aspects to human nature. Therefore the gospel cannot change since Christ assumed that enduring nature and only that nature.

Further, in Hooker's view, when one hears and receives the gospel, God becomes present. When God speaks, the human words of Scripture become his divine Word, just as the body and blood of the man Jesus became the body and blood of the divine Son. The fact that Hooker does not see everything in Scripture as eternal does not imply that he did not see something eternal in Scripture. The fact that he used reason does not mean he was a pure rationalist. He had an orthodox, thoroughly miraculous conception of grace which depended both upon the revelation of the Word as Reason and the work of the Spirit which redeems reason.

This is not to deny that Hooker used Renaissance historical critical methods, prototypical of modern biblical criticism.(77) Shuger is right to see this. But he differs from the modern exegete in that he holds to a miraculous conception of grace, and further, he understand how the divine nature can be in union with human words. Therefore, he expects the text to reveal something more than the social, economic, and political world behind the text. He expects the text to reveal God. Without grace, without God's consistent acts, the biblical texts atomize into a shattered glass of historical fragments whose unity cannot be maintained by an appeal to historical invariants. With grace, human nature is restored, and that fallen and restored human nature is the same human nature that wrote the biblical texts. Therefore, by nature and grace, each having need of the other, the text becomes intelligible.

Shuger is perfectly in tune with virtually the whole of contemporary scholarship, both secular and religious, which fails to grasp the complexity, the wonder, and the mystery of the ancient teaching. She, like others, is forced to make a choice between an ecstatic or participatory epistemology on the one hand, or a provisional, empirical, and relativistic way of knowing on the other. Her analysis was illuminating because she penetrated to the fundamental conundrum of contemporary thought epistemology. Ultimately, for Christian revelation, there is no connection between subject and object, biblical past and present reality, and God and self, apart from God's miraculous incarnate act. Hooker knew this and he said it clearly. He belonged to the old school.


Endnotes

1. In his sermon, "A remedy Against Sorrow and Fear, Delivered in a Funeral Sermon," Hooker sums it up rather neatly, "... we must note that in a Christian man there is, first, Nature; secondly, Corruption, perverting Nature; thirdly, Grace correcting, and amending Corruption." (Richard Hooker, Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity and other works by and about Richard Hooker. Volume Three. Collected by John Keble. Facsimile Reprint. Ellicott City, Maryland: Via Media, Inc., p. 652.) Hereinafter referred to as Via Media, Vol. 3.
2. Richard Hooker, Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity. In Two Volumes, Vol. 1, Books I IV. Introduction by Christopher Morris. London: J.M. Dent & Sons LTD, 1958, pp. 150, 177. Hereinafter referred to as Morris, Vol. 1.
3. It is interesting that Hooker uses verbal concepts, "operations" and "workings," to describe God, law, and human actions. This is a biblical perspective over against a Greek philosophical preference for nouns.
       Lee W. Gibbs in his introduction to Book I of Lawes notes that, unlike his predecessors, Hooker worked with the concept of becoming rather than being. (The Folger Library Edition of the Works of Richard Hooker. W. Speed Will, ed. Vol. 6, Part One. Cambridge: The Belknap Press, 1977, p. 87.) Hereinafter referred to as Folger, Vol. 6, part One.
4. Morris, Vol. 1, p. 150.
5. Morris I, p. 153. See Hooker's comments at the beginning of his sermon on pride. Via Media, Vol. 3, p. 597. See also the comments in Folger, Vol. 6, part One, pp. 478, 482. Here the commentator notes that Hooker goes against Lombard, Luther, Duns Scotus, Calvin, and the Puritans who think of God's will as beyond reason, i.e., will before reason. Hooker sides with Aquinas on this question.
       As discussed in class, I think the discussion of will and reason in God needs to reflect the complexity of the triune life. In reference to God in his abysmal self, God the incomprehensible Father, God's will can be given but the reasons for his will not given in advance. God's call to Abraham to sacrifice his son is a classic example. In regards to the Son, the purposes of God, the reasons for his actions, are revealed in Jesus Christ as love, although this revelation is not yet final so that one now lives both by vision and by faith. In regards to the "life of the world to come" given by the Spirit, God will be seen face to face and his purposes made utterly clear. Then complete love will reign, a quality of life which even now begins as surrender to the inscrutable divine will on the way to the fulfillment of the divine purpose already begun in the Son.
6. At the point where Hooker introduces the concept of the first law eternal, he makes the following statement.
All things therefore do work after a sort according to law: all other things according to a law, whereof some superior, unto whom they are subject, is author; only the works and operations of God have him both for their worker, and for the law whereby they are wrought, the being of God is a kind of law to his working; for that perfection which God is, giving perfection to that he doth. Those natural, necessary, and internal operations of God, the Generation of the Son, the Proceeding of the Spirit, are without the compass of my present intent: which is to touch only such operations as have their beginning and being by a voluntary purpose, wherewith God hath eternally decreed when and how they should be. Which eternal decree is what we term an eternal law. (Morris, Vol. 1, p. 150.)
Here Hooker uses the term "operations" for the inner triune relations, and "operations" is the key term in his definition of law. Therefore, the concept of law applies to the internal life of God, and the internal workings are the first law eternal.
       Further, given that Hooker holds that the second law eternal reflects the first, he then logically concludes that the law of God's actions outside himself will reflect also the inner triune relations.
The works which outwardly are of God, they are in such sort of him being one, that each Person hath in them somewhat peculiar and proper. For being Three, and they all subsisting in the essence of one Deity; from the Father, by the Son, through the Spirit, all things are. That which the Son doth hear of the Father, and which the Spirit doth receive of the Father and the Son, the same we have at the hands of the Spirit as being the last, and therefore the nearest unto us in order, although in power the same with the second and the first. (Morris, Vol. I, p. 151.)
In Book V Hooker states, "For that which moveth God to work is Goodness, and that which ordereth his work is Wisdom, and that which perfecteth his work is Power." (Hooker, Richard, Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity. In Two Volumes, Vol. 2, Books V. Introduction by Christopher Morris. London: J.M. Dent & Sons LTD, 1958, p. 150.) Hereinafter referred to as Morris, Vol. 2.
       This statement on the triune persons identifies Christ as the Wisdom of God which "ordereth his work." But that which orders the work of God is his law, hence Christ is the Wisdom and Law of God.
       In Book VIII, Hooker states that Christ is head of both Church and state since God works though Christ in all things. "That which the Father doth work as Lord and king over all, he worketh not without, but by the Son, who through coeternal generation receiveth of the Father that power which the Father hath of himself." (Via Media, Vol. 3, p. 375.) In other words, as God acts outside himself, he always acts through the Son since internally the Father does nothing but generate the Son, and with the Son, is the source of the Spirit's proceeding. Or, the law of God's workings internally and externally is given by the triune relations.
       In his sermon, "A LEARNED DISCOURSE of JUSTIFICATION, WORKS, AND HOW THE FOUNDATION OF FAITH IS OVERTHROWN," Hooker describes Christ as the Wisdom of God. (Via Media, Vol. 3, p. 485.) The wisdom of God is virtually synonymous with the first and second laws eternal in his thinking.
       Theologically speaking, Jesus Christ is the revelation of God. Therefore, one could conclude that the revelation of God's workings and operations would be Jesus Christ. From this it would follow that Christ is the Truth, Law, and Wisdom of God. "Concerning Faith, the principle object whereof is that eternal Verity which hath discovered the treasures of hidden wisdom in Christ ..." (Morris, Vol. 1., p. 209)
       Rowan Williams reaches a similar conclusion.
Hooker is, it seems, so manifestly a 'sapiential' theologian, concerned with the natural, the handling of social conflict, and the sustaining of an integrative metaphor, which, in his case, is 'Law' itself, evoked, at the end of Book I of the Lawes, in terms very close to those of the great hymns to Wisdom in the sapiential books: 'her seate is the bosome of God, her voyce the harmony of the world.' The sudden transition here to the feminine pronoun would alert any scripturally literate reader to the parallel with the divine Sophia of Proverbs, Job, and (most particularly) the Wisdom of Solomon; what is claimed here for 'Law' is what the Bible claims for Wisdom. And, as Book V will remind us (V.52.3 4, 56.6; cf. 55.8 on the participation of Christ's human soul in the divine governance of the universe), Christ is scripturally and traditionally identified with God's Wisdom. (Rowan Williams, "Hooker: Philosopher, Anglican, Contemporary," in Arthur Stephen McGrade (ed.), Richard Hooker and the Construction of Christian Community. Tempe, Arizona: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1997, p. 370.)
The Folger Library edition, p. 482, makes the claim that Hooker "does not seem to identify it [the law of God] with the divine Logos." (Folger, Vol. 6, Part One, p. 482.) This cannot be. There cannot be two laws or two Wisdoms in God. There is only one Wisdom, one Reason, Jesus Christ, the Logos, the Wisdom of God.
7. Morris, Vol. 1, p. 154.
8. Morris, Vol. 1, p. 155.
9. Morris, Vol. 1, pp. 165, 203.
10. Morris, Vol. 1, pp. 166 7. As a whole, Hooker's thought is hierarchical. See Morris, Vol. 1, p. 179, where Hooker understands the self as hierarchically arranged: body, soul, and the spirit of the mind which directs the whole. The same holds for society. Human beings are the most excellent creatures, society even more, the Church even more. Therefore, no work is as important as the exercise of true religion. Morris, Vol. 2, p. 26.
11. Morris, Vol. 1, p. 164.
12. "These things are linked and as it were chained one to another; we labour to eat, and we eat to live, and we live to do good, and the good which we do is as seed sown with reference to a future harvest." (Morris, Vol. 1, p. 202.)
13. Morris, Vol. 1, p. 161.
14. Morris, Vol. 1, p. 162.
15. Morris, Vol.1, p. 203. Upon reflection, this is a beautiful quotation, for it protects the integrity of the whole person in relation to God. As such, Hooker surely had Calvin in mind, for Calvin's doctrine of the utter transcendence of God as pure will robbed humanity of its reason. But Hooker preserves both will and reason in relation to God. Hoopes makes a very telling comments on the logical consequences of Calvin's God.
Thus conceived, the notion of God as absolute will destroys the whole concept of natural law. The so called divine commandments, by which men try to govern their lives and conduct their relations with one another, are not necessary commandments. If they were, God himself could not alter them. But God has not commanded men to act in certain ways because the rules are rationally self evident or necessary. Rather the rules and commandments are binding simply because God has issued them. Finally, where the good is not determined by reason, but by groundless will, it ceases to be an object of natural knowledge. (If right and wrong are produced in the very act of God's thinking them, then they are not even objects of his knowledge.) Hence the impotence of reason to know and do the good. It is at this point that the split between reason and faith becomes complete, for if reason is incapable of knowing the good, then the good life such as it is will consist solely in obeying the divine commands and prohibitions. God is not to be understood but adored; and man's function in life is restricted to an acceptance of God's injunctions as recorded in the scriptures. The desire for any other knowledge is folly. (Robert Hoopes, Right Reason in the English Renaissance. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1962, p. 108.)
16. Morris, Vol. 1, p. 169.
17. Morris, Vol. 1, pp. 170 1, 207, 236, 276.
18. Morris, Vol. 1, p. 170.
19. "The nature of every law must be judged of by its end for which it was made, and by the aptness of things therein prescribed unto the same end. It may so fall out that the reason why some laws of God were given is neither opened nor possible to be gathered by wit of man. As why God should forbid Adam that one tree, there was no way for Adam ever to have certainty understood. And at Adam's ignorance of this point Satan took advantage, urging the more securely a false cause because the true was unto Adam unknown." (Morris, Vol. 1, p. 328.)
20. Morris, Vol. 1, p. 312.
21. Hoopes sums up the philosophical tradition on right reason with these words.
So far as our background survey has carried us, we have seen that as a philosophic doctrine recta ratio involves fundamentally a threefold attitude toward the facts of reality. First, it is based upon a firm belief in certain absolute, eternal, and metaphysically grounded values; second, it expresses confidence that these values are knowable by man; third, it asserts that if men are to know, and not merely infer, those values, there must be a specific way of knowing them, and that is a way which requires the wholehearted consecration of intellect, will, and affections to the great task of virtuous living so that, to quote one of Plotinus' later Christian disciples, "such as men themselves are, such will God appear to them to be." (Hoopes, Right Reason in the English Renaissance, p. 51.) In classical ethics, if there is one assumption which is never questioned, it is this: man by his own efforts may realize whatever ideal of perfection he sets for himself. (p. 52.)
The confidence, however, that the mind can know stemmed from the conception that mind and reality share the same rational structure. True to the Christian classic tradition, Hooker incorporates these insights into his system in that his view of reason is directed toward virtuous living. Belief in the fall and the corruption of reason is one of the major dividing lines between classical philosophy and Christian thought. (Hoopes, pp. 53 3)
22. See Hooker's comments, p. 338, where he distinguishes between the universal moral law and the civil and cultic law of Israel. The former were given with awesome demonstrations of God's power and authority as they apply to the whole of humanity. The latter less so. (Morris, Vol. 1, p. 338.)
23. Morris, Vol. 2, 357.
24. Morris, Vol. 1, p. 220. See also pp. 175, 182, 193, 277, 287, 325, 331, 338, 395, 399. Morris, Vol. 2, pp. 30. "If God had never spoken word unto men concerning the duty which children owe unto their parents, yet from the firstborn of Adam unto the last of us, 'Honor thy father and thy mother,' could not have but tied all." "A LEARNED SERMON OF THE NATURE OF PRIDE," Via Media, Vol. 3, p. 619. Gibbs, in his essay on Book I, recognizes that the moral law is eternal. (Folger, Vol. 6, part One, p. 91.) Haugaard, writing on Book II, does as well. (Folger, Vol. 6, part One, pp. 137, 158.) Similarly with Archer, (Stanley Archer, Richard Hooker. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1983, p. 50.) Rowan Williams as well. (Studies in Richard Hooker, p. 374.)
25. Morris, Vol. 1, pp. 101, 154 5, 205, 206, 209, 218, 228, 237, 245, 269, 279, 293, 301, 310, 324. Morris, Vol. 2, p. 32, 366, 449. Via Media, Vol. 3, pp. 212 3, 362, 400. See also "A LEARNED SERMON OF THE NATURE OF PRIDE," Via Media, p. 600.
       For the same conclusion, see the essay by Efil Grislis, ("The Hermeneutical Problem in Richard Hooker," W. Speed Hill (ed.) Studies in Richard Hooker. Cleveland: Case Western Reserve University Press, 1972, p. 178.) Similarly, the essay by Gibbs, (Folger, Vol. 6, part One, p. 91.) Archer, (Richard Hooker, p. 42.) David Neelands, ("Hooker on Scripture, Reason, and Tradition," Richard Hooker and the Construction of Christian Community, pp. 88 9.)
       There can only be two ultimate sources for truth since there are only two creations. God the Father created the first heaven and earth. God the Son supernaturally begins a new heaven and new earth. When the Spirit ushers in the fullness of the "life of the world to come," there will be a qualitative change in the way of knowing. At present, however, there is only the natural law of the first creation and the supernatural law of Christ for the new.
26. Morris, Vol. 2, pp. 495 6. This quotation is taken from Hooker's essay, "Fragments of an Answer to the Letter of Certain English Protestants." See also Morris, Vol. 1, p. 327. For the idea that natural reason was sufficient to know God and the moral law in paradise, see Morris, Vol. 1, pp. 207, 236.
27. Morris, Vol. 1, pp. 218 8.
28. Morris, Vol. 2, p. 227.
29. Morris, Vol. 2, pp. 229 30.
30. See "Fragments of an Answer to the Letter of certain English Protestants," Morris, Vol. 2, pp. 490f.
31. The Folger Library Edition of the Works of Richard Hooker. W. Speed Hill, ed. Vol. 4. Cambridge: The Belknap Press, 1982, pp. xxxix, 101. Hereinafter referred to as the Dublin Fragments. The text beginning page 101 is a very clear presentation of Hooker's view of reason before and after the fall.
32. Morris, Vol. 1, p. pp. 175, 174.
33. Dublin Fragments, p. 123f.
34. Via Media, Vol. 3, p. 481.
35. Morris, Vol. 1, p. 228.
36. "What the Church of God standeth bound to know or do, the same in part nature teacheth. And because nature can teach them but only in part, neither so fully as is requisite for man's salvation, nor so easily as to make the way plain and expedite enough that many may come to the knowledge of it, and so be saved; therefore in Scripture hath God both collected the most necessary things that the school of nature teacheth unto that end, and revealeth also whatsoever we neither could with safety be ignorant of, nor at all be instructed in but by supernatural revelation from him." (Morris, Vol. 1, p. 310.)
       The discussion of why God placed the moral law in Scripture begins at Book 1, section, XII, p. 210, Morris, Vol. 1.
37. Morris, Vol. 1, pp. 184, 200, 268, 311, 312, 316, 318, 322, 324. Morris, Vol. 2, 423, 497. This latter reference is from Hooker's essay, "Fragments of an Answer to the Letter of Certain English Protestants."
       Hooker's discussion of penance, Book VI, is predicated upon the notion that grace redeems nature. "Are we not bound then with all thankfulness to acknowledge his infinite goodness and mercy, which hath revealed unto us the way how to rid ourselves of these mazes; the way how to shake off that yoke, which no flesh is able to bear; the way how to change most grisly horror into a comfortable apprehension of heavenly joy?" (Via Media, Vol. 3, p. 102.)
       Efil Grislis, in an article, "The Hermeneutical Problem in Richard Hooker," reviews several approaches to Hooker. (Studies in Richard Hooker.) Hooker has been seen as a champion of human reason in which reason is superior to revelation, as a Christian humanist bringing the Reformation into harmony with the Renaissance, as a Renaissance man who still thinks in categories of order and meaning, as an existentialist concerned with self, existence, and meaning, and finally, as one who strikes a balance between natural law and supernatural grace. Grislis concludes, and I agree, that Hooker's "apparent confidence in reason is thus qualified and we may say, therefore, that Hooker has great confidence in supernatural, but not in natural, reason." (p. 166). Most of these approaches do not do justice to the classical theological character of Hooker's thought. He did not put reason over revelation, he was less concerned with the self than with corporate realities, he was aware of the Renaissance but placed its learning at the service of ancient truth. See also Efil Grislis, "The Assurance of Faith According to Richard Hooker," Richard Hooker and the Construction of Christian Community, p. 246. In regards to reason, its original goodness, fall, and redemption by grace, Grislis places Hooker in a tradition, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin.
38. Morris, Vol. 2, p. 202.
39. Morris, Vol. 2, p. 211.
40. Morris, Vol. 2, p. 207. See also comments p. 212.
41. Morris, Vol. 2, p. 190.
42. Morris, Vol. 2, p. 213.
43. Book V is Hooker's major treatise on sacramental theology, but he also takes up the matter in Book VI as part of a discussion on penance. See Via Media, Vol. 3, pp. 87ff.
44. Morris, Vol. 2, pp. 222 3.
45. Morris, Vol. 2, p. 322. Similarly,
Receiving the Sacrament of the Supper of the Lord after this sort (you that are spiritual, judge what I speak) is not all other wise like the water of Marah, being compared to the cup which we bless? Is not manna like to gall, and our bread like to manna? Is there not a taste, a taste of Christ Jesus, in the heart of him that eateth? Doth not he which drinketh behold plainly in thus cup, that his soul is bathed in the blood of the Lamb? O beloved in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, if ye will taste how sweet the Lord is, if ye will receive the King of Glory, "build yourselves." (Second Sermon on Jude, Via Media, Vol. 3, p. 687.)
Why does Hooker use language that refers to objects when he speaks of Jesus Christ, both human and divine? Because both natures are objectively present in and with the bread and wine. "Object" does not mean that the divine nature is a material thing. It is still divine with all the properties of divinity such as the power to raise the dead. It means that the divine nature is in a specific place, time, and with effects as are other objects.
46. Here is Hooker on God's transcendence,
Dangerous it were for the feeble brain of man to wade far into the doings of the Most High; 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 our silence, when we confessing without confession that his glory is inexplicable, his greatness above our capacity to reach. He is above, and we upon earth; therefore it behoveth our words to be wary and few. (Morris, Vol. 1, p. 150 1.)
This statement refers to God in his transcendence, as the "Most High," and not directly as known in Jesus Christ. Even in Jesus Christ, there is a profound mystery. See the comments, Morris, Vol. 1, p. 206, where Hooker described God as incomprehensible, and therefore, out of pity for humanity who wished to know him, revealed himself as gift in Jesus Christ.
47. Morris, Vol. 2, p. 330.
48. Morris, Vol. 1, pp. 212, 259, 269 70, 279, 301, 320, 338, 339, 341. Morris, Vol. 2, p. 55, 58, 60, 62, 78, 80, 237, 279, 351, 417, 425. Via Media, Vol. 3, p. 167, 168. In regard to the biblical writers, Hooker comments,
But God himself was their instructor, he himself taught them, partly by dreams and visions in the night, partly by revelations in the day, taking them aside from amongst their brethren, and talking with them as a man would talk with his neighbor in the way. Thus they became acquainted with the secret and hidden counsels of God. (TWO SERMONS UPON PART OF ST. JUDE'S EPISTLE, Via Media, Vol. 3, p. 661.)
See also Egil Grislis, "The Hermeneutical Problem in Richard Hooker, pp. 184, 186, 187, (Studies in Richard Hooker), for a similar awareness of Hooker's sense of Scripture as the oracles of God.
49. Morris, Vol. 2, pp. 77 8. Also, pp. 56, 58, 80, 85, 95, 96, 98, 105. Where was Hooker's final assurance that his faith would be sufficient to the end? What gave him that hope? Why the passionate ending to his "Learned and Comfortable Sermon of the Certainty and Perpetuity of Faith in the Elect? He believed the word of Scripture, Christ's promise, mediated presence to him. In his "Learned Sermon on the Nature of Pride," Hooker comments,
That whereby the Apostle did form Christ, was the Gospel. So that Christ was formed when Christianity was comprehended. As things which we know and delight in are said to dwell in our minds and possess our hearts; so Christ knowing his sheep and being known of them, loving and being loved, is not without cause said to be in him, and then in him. (Via Media, Vol. 1, p. 613.)
Hooker's way of thinking is that things are present in each other by means of their effects. The gospel has effects both as words and as the divine presence since Christ is present in the gospel. Therefore, Christ is formed in believers.
50. Egil Grislis, "The Assurance of Faith According to Richard Hooker," in Richard Hooker and the Construction of Christian Community, p. 238, notes that Hooker emphasizes reason in his Lawes, faith in his sermons.
51. Morris, Vol. 1, p. 152.
52. Morris, Vol. 1, p. 311.
53. Hooker's clearest discussion of the various forms of law, natural, supernatural, and positive, is found in Book I, section XV. Morris, Vol. 1, pp. 219f.
54. Hooker's discussion of the moral law being placed in Scripture is predicated on his belief that Scripture authoritatively delivers the moral law since corrupted reason cannot adequately do so. See Morris, Vol. 1, p. 210f. His next step is to deny that tradition is alongside or superior to Scripture, p. 213. For further references see Morris, Vol. 1, pp. 244, 245, 277, 279, 281, 301, 326, 350. Morris, Vol. 2, 17, 31, 82. Via Media, p. 212 3.
       "That no authority had ever any right to contradict Scripture was such an obvious Protestant insight of his own day that Hooker does not even try to defend it." (Efil Grislis, "The Hermeneutical Problem in Richard Hooker," Studies in Richard Hooker, p. 184.) Gibbs, in his essay on Book I of the Lawes, recognizes the priority of Scripture for faith and morals. (Folger, Vol. 6, part One, p. 118.) Haugaard, in his essay in Books II, III, IV, recognizes that tradition is subordinate to reason and revelation. (Folger, Vol. 6, part One, p. 168.)
55. "When the question therefore is, whether we be now to seek for any revealed law of God otherwise than only in the sacred Scripture; whether we do now stand bound in the sight of God to yield to traditions urged by the Church of Rome the same obedience and reverence we do to his written law, honouring equally and adoring both as divine: our answer is No." (Morris, Vol. 1, p. 213.)
56. Morris, Vol. 2, p. 31.
57. Grislis nails it: "Now what Hooker meant by experience was not a momentary occurrence, but rather the gathered and evaluated sum total of theologically significant and insight yielding events. Such an approach did not invalidate the need for scriptural exegesis and sound reasoning, but it cautioned that these will inevitably neglect some significant factors." (Grislis, "The Assurance of Faith According to Richard Hooker," Richard Hooker and the Construction of Christian Community, p. 249.)
58. Morris, Vol. 1, p. 151. See also Morris, Vol. 2, pp. 202, 227.
59. Morris, Vol. 1, p. 322.
60. Hooker describes the corporate nature of the Spirit's work with these words,
The gifts and grace whereof do so naturally all tend unto common peace, that where such singularity is, they whose hearts it possesseth ought to suspect it the more, inasmuch as if it did come of God, and should for that cause prevail with others, the same God which revealeth it to them, would also give them power of confirming it unto others, either with miraculous operation, or with strong and invincible remonstrance of sound Reason, such as whereby it might appear that God would indeed have all men's judgments give place unto it, whereas now the error and unsufficiency of their arguments do make it on the contrary side against them a strong presumption, that God hath not moved their hearts to think such things as he hath not enabled them to prove. (Morris, Vol. 2, p. 37)
61. Among many references, see Morris, Vol. 1, pp. 200, 241, 312, 328; Morris, Vol. 2, pp. 80, 227, 230, 231, 235, 325, 422, 423; Via Media, Vol. 3, pp. 167, 219, 305, 475, 516, 613, 662, 687.
62. Among many references, Morris, Vol. 2, pp. 235, 243, 309, 311, 319; Via Media, Vol. 3, pp. 91, 92, 95, 305.
63. Morris, Vol. 1, p. 209.
64. Shuger, "Societie Supernaturall: The Imagined Community of Hooker's Lawes," in Richard Hooker and the Construction of Christian Community, p. 3071. Shuger begins with Augustine over against Varro, the faith of simple versus the wisdom of the sophisticated. She claims that Christianity rejected the aristocratic pagan inheritance which elevated the intelligent, and substituted instead to a equality based on faith and love. In her view, Hooker followed Augustine against the Puritans. "Both in practice and in principle, Elizabethan Puritanism drove a wedge between elite and popular religion, between godly and ordinary Christians, between learned ministers and their incorrigibly superstitious congregations." (p. 314.) Shuger ends with these words.
Only with the Enlightenment does the existence of mystical bodies within forms of nationhood cease to raise compelling issues. Men like Spinoza, Hume, and Gibbon resurrect the ancient two tier model of culture, with its "hard" division between the idols of the marketplace and the god of the philosophers. This division, which, as Peter Brown points out, has enjoyed a long shelf life, relegated all manifestations of popular religion a category now including the dissenting sects as well as papistry, Laudianism, and (at least by implication), Christianity tout à fait to the regions of untruth as "of non auctorite, but of custom of folke." The Enlightenment accepted the radical implications of the heresy Hooker thought he detected in Puritan thought, namely, that "the full redemption of the inwarde man ... must needs belonge unto knowledge onlie" (V.60.4; 2:257.2 4). Which is not to say that sacred communities withered away after the Restoration, but that, shorn of epistemic validity, they no longer attracted serious attention, except of antiquarians or if armed. (p. 329.)
65. Compier begins by presenting liberal and conservative views on sexuality. The liberals draw upon immediate experience, the conservatives claim an eternal moral law found in Scripture. Like a good Anglican, he claims to find middle way, summed up in his final paragraph.
There are, to be sure, many differences between Hooker's era and our own. And yet perhaps he continues to challenge us to prevent our anxiety about sexual morality and other pressing issues of right and wrong from driving us unto a vain search for absolute verities. Following Hooker's example, we would do well to avoid modes of moral persuasion which either consist of the bare quotation of chapters and verses from Scripture or of appeals to the inviolable authority of private conscience. Recognizing the inescapably social nature of questions surrounding humans sexuality, persons in community are challenged to engage in the difficult human labor of dialogue, with Scripture and with one another, in search of that communal consensus (ever revisable in new circumstances), which alone can offer a reliable enough basis for action of behalf of the common good. (Don H. Compier, "Hooker on the Authority of Scripture in Matters of Morality," in Richard Hooker and the Construction of Christian Community, p. 259.)
At no point in his article did he ever refute the position that the moral law is eternal. He even quoted in passing fragments of a Hooker passage that claimed that the virtues of moral righteousness and honesty belonged to all persons. (p. 255). The fact that Hooker affirmed consensus, dialogue, and study, does not imply that certain things must be "ever revisable in new circumstances." Hooker thinks the consensus on certain matters has already been given, on others, not so. Hooker always makes distinctions.
66. Archer, Richard Hooker, p. 63. Hooker is a theologian, he knows that God is made known by Word and Spirit, reason apprehending the Word and Spirit guiding.
67. David W. Neelands, "Hooker on Scripture, Reason, and Tradition" Richard Hooker and the Construction of Christian Community, p. 88. Reason is only supreme where Scripture is silent, but never above Scripture in regard to supernatural truth or the moral law. Of course, Hooker used reason to qualify scriptural laws, and he saw the New Testament doing that very thing with Old Testament laws. There was nothing new about that, and I doubt that his biblical exegesis was "rather shocking in the sixteenth century." (p. 88.) The church fathers had already thoroughly discussed such matters. I don't think things got shocking until the 18th century when the supernatural narrative outlook began to be abandoned.
68. Deborah Kuller Shuger, Habits of Thought in the English Renaissance, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990.
69. Shuger, Habits of Thought, pp. 44 5.
70. Shuger, Habits of Thought, p. 41.
71. As the history of biblical interpretation after Hooker was to show, a purely rational hermeneutic can discover the social, religious, economic, and political world behind the text, but it cannot discover the reality of God speaking as the text. But Hooker's hermeneutic is not rationalist as Shuger's conceives.
72. Shuger, Habits of Thought, p. 37.
73. Shuger, Habits of Thought, pp. 31 2, 27 8, 37.
74. Efil Grislis in his article, "The Hermeneutical Problem in Richard Hooker," (Studies in Richard Hooker, pp. 159f) correctly recognizes Hooker's emphasis on objective truth which was reached by laborious rational labor in the context of the corporate wisdom of the Church. Further, he understands that Hooker adopted this approach to counter what the subjective excesses of his Puritan opponents. "By contrast, Hooker's own theological method is characterized by a genuine passion for objectivity." (pp. 172 3.) What Grislis does not see is that this objective reasoning is also the way in which Hooker believes he knows God since God became objective in Jesus Christ. Hooker's hermeneutic was theological, and not simply a weapon by which to counter his opponents.
75. Booty, in his essay on Book V of the Lawes, describes how a person participates with Christ in the eucharist. With Hooker, he understands that Christ's offers his very body and blood, and that the sacrament conveys the very life of God. Unlike Shuger, he rightly sees that Hooker's concept of participation does not mean some form of fusion, absorption, and deification. To explain how this happens, however, he quotes a passage from Hooker's sermon on pride, and refers to Hooker's concept of prayer as angels descending and ascending. (Folger, Vol. 6, part One, p. 198.) These references, however, do not get at the heart of Hooker's christological and trinitarian understanding of the eucharist as found in Book V.
       Booty further discussess Hooker's concept of participation in his recent book, Reflections on the Theology of Richard Hooker. (Sewanee: The University of the South Press, 1998.) There he claims that Hooker believes that we participate in God by creation since God influences the essence of things. (Booty, p. 171.) Hooker knows that God sustains creation, but the word "participation" refers to the relation to Christ, not to creation. Hooker introduces his concept of participation with the words, "We have hitherto spoke of the Person and the presence of Christ. Participation is that mutual inward hold which Christ have of us and we of him, in such sort that each possesseth other by way of special interest, property, and inherent copulation." (Morris, Vol. 2. p. 225) Here, Hooker introduces the idea of participation in terms of Incarnation, not creation. As far as I know, Hooker does not understand participation in terms of creation. Nor would he be willing to say, as does Booty, that this participation in creation is a "saving participation." (Booty, p. 171.) Hooker holds to a classical pattern, carefully worked out by Athanasius, that what God does in creation is very different from what he does in incarnation. (Morris, Vol. 2, pp. 226 8.) Booty obscures this because he fails to do justice to the long theological section which surround Hooker's doctrine of the eucharist.
       Implicitly, Booty is adopting the notion that eucharist is simply a symbol for a general knowledge of God, the window through which Christians glimpse the infinite, along with other religions and generally nice people who glimpse the same ineffable through other windows. Having ignored Hooker's theological analysis of eucharist, he cannot clearly distinguish for his readers how the participation in Christ in the eucharist differs from "participation" in creation.
       From there, it is but a short step to his inclusive affirmation of the coinherence of nature and grace, deity and humanity, spirit and matter. (pp. 178 9) He mentions the spider web, the hazelnut, and bread and wine, as revelatory of the infinite. How the webs and nuts of creation differ from the bread and wine of eucharist, he does not say. This is followed by the claim that varying interpretations of Hooker's views of reason, tradition, Scripture, and experience, are all valid (they are not), followed by affirmation of the mutual interdependence of all things with planet earth, followed again by the mutual coinherence of all religions so that some Christians "will derive aspects of their spiritualities from Zen Buddhism and Jewish mysticism." (p. 180). How the encounter with God in Christ may or may not differ from other spiritualities is left unsaid and unexamined. Given the final coinherence, and by default, it is hard to see how they might differ except for external trappings.
       Further, in an earlier section on sacraments, Booty introduces the concept of symbol, a term taken from the study of primitive religion. He observes that our century has witnessed a recovery of "symbolic consciousness as another mode of thinking, alongside the rational/scientific, in the conviction that 'post Enlightenment culture has become radically impoverished.'" Having located his primary concept in the duality explored by Shuger, Booty then defines sacrament as follows.
The sacrament is preeminently a symbol participating in the reality is symbolizes. In this sense it goes beyond story or myth to the transcendent source of very being, to God through Christ in the activity oft he Holy Spirit. Thus the sacrament opens a window on eternity, and it does more. The sacraments not only participates in that which (or the One who) is its source, it reveals the hidden reality, the infinite through the finite." (Booty, p. 128)
The triune persons are mentioned, but he has no grasp of how they might have a bearing on the duality posed by participatory and rational/scientific consciousness. He knows that grace transforms the recipient, he also knows that finite things such as bread and wine are important as signs of hidden realities. He knows they cannot be left behind for mystical union with the Absolute. Yet his fundamental principle, the infinite in the finite, cannot distinguish between the infinities see though the whole range of created finites. All sorts of people, all sorts of religions, see the infinite in all manner of finites. Trinity and Christology are required to distinguish between what is seen on a summer day and what is seen in Christ, what is seen by mystical participation without boundaries and what may be seen with boundaries, and how the two may or may not be related. If one believes that everyone sees the same thing though various windows, then the actual window becomes irrelevant. Then only two alternatives remain, some form of secularism, there are only windows, or some form of mysticism in which windows don't matter. In either case, bread, wine, the words of Christ will not matter as well.
       In the Dublin Fragments, p. 115, Hooker gives some of the characteristics of a sacrament, including its special relationship to Christ. He concludes, "Lastly that all these things concerning it be apparent in holy Scripture, because they are supernaturall trueths which cannot otherwise be demonstrated." From Hooker's perspective, the idea that the infinite appears in the finite is a truth of reason. Such an idea is found in cultures everywhere, including the religious experience of children. It is not supernatural revelation.
76. Morris, Vol. 1, pp. 217, 222, 286, 301, 332, 344, 345, 348, 349, 352. Morris, Vol. 2, pp. 279, 307. Via Media, Vol. 3, 358 9. In his sermon, "A Learned Discourse of Justification, Works, and How the Foundation of the Faith is Overthrown, (Via Media, Vol. 3, pp. 483f) Hooker sets the task of discovering the foundation of the faith. Those who affirm this foundation will be saved, even though they may hold any number of heresies. That foundation is the eternal gospel, faith in Jesus Christ. See also, "Two Sermons upon Part of St. Jude's Epistle," Via Media, Vol. 3, p. 664.
       At the beginning of Book III, Hooker defines the universal church by the terms one Lord, one faith, one baptism. Faith for him means trust in God, but it also means the received "articles," especially formulated in the Creeds as doctrine. This creedal inheritance was binding on the church forever. (Morris, Vol. 1, p. 286).
       See also corroborating comments by Haugaard, Folger, Vol. 6, part One, p. 173. Consider this comment by Rowan Williams.
Doctrine is about our end (and our beginning); about what in our humanity is not negotiable, dispensable, vulnerable to revision according to political convenience or cultural chance and fashion. Deny this, and you must say that humanity or the human good is, in some significant way, without our power to determine: which may sound emancipatory for a few minutes, until you remember that, in a violent and oppressive world, it is neither good news nor good sense to propose that definitions of the human lie in human hands, when those hands are by no means guaranteed to be the instruments of a mind formed by contemplative reason or even what passes for reason in the liberal and universalist ethos of "our" democracies. (Williams, "Hooker: Philosopher, Anglican, Contemporary," Richard Hooker and the Construction of Christian Community, p. 382.)
77. See the section by Haugaard, "Biblical Hermeneutics in the Renaissance." (Folger, Vol. 6, part One, pp. 1542f.) Haugaard rightly sees that Hooker uses Renaissance historical critical methods to oppose the facile interpretations of his opponents. He describes that hermeneutic, and considers it to foreshadow future biblical critical methods. He does not address, however, how Hooker's critical hermeneutic related to his theological knowledge of God. Even so, the essay is excellent.

The Rev. Robert J. Sanders, Ph.D.
January, 2003

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