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a the Lord. Salute all other that love us in the truth. « God's blessing be with you always, Amen. Even now « towards the offering of a burnt sacrifice. O my Christ « help, or else I perish !"

JOHN HOOPER."

HO O PER.

BISHOP OF GLOUCESTER.

STER

of

a mo

THIS great divine, who was born in 1495, was a native

of Somersetshire, and received his academical education at Merton-College in Oxford, where he was sent in 1514, and placed under the tuition of his uncle John Hooper, who was made master-fellow of that house in 1513, and was also principal of St Alban’s-Hall. In 1.518, John Hooper, the nephew, was admitted batchelor of arts, which was the highest degree he took in this university, and about the same time completed it by determination. What became of him afterwards is not justly known : But it is reported, that he was one of the number of Cistercians, commonly called white monks, and continued so for some years, till he grew weary nastic life, and returned to Oxford, where he was converted by books brought from Germany, and soon became a zealous protestant.

In 1539, when the statute of the six articles was put in execution, he left Oxford, and got into the service of Sir Thomas Arundel, a Devonshire gentleman, to whom he became chaplain and steward of his estate. This gentleman was a Roman catholic knight, and was afterwards put to death with the protector, duke of Somerset, in the reign of, Edward VI. He soon discovered that Hooper was a protestant, who thereby lost his protection, and was obliged to fly into France, where he continued some time among the reformed, till his dislike of some of their proceedings made him return to England, On his arrival in his native

country,

#

country, he lived with a gentleman of the name of Seinte low, where he became known, and was sought after to be apprehended. Upon this, he disguised himself like a sailor, hired a boat, and went to Ireland, from whence he went to Holland, and so on to Switzerland. Bullinger was then at Zurick, where he succeeded Zuinglius in the chair. He likewise had been obliged to forsake his country on account of religion, and therefore gave a very friendly reception to Hooper, who was remarkable for his knowledge in the Greek and Hebrew languages, and who, by Bullinger's advice, married a Burgundian lady during his residence in that country.

Edward VI. came to the crown, in 1547, and Hooper came to England again, when he settled in London, where he frequently preached to the people on several reformed doctrinal heads, and particularly against pluralities. He had a great sweetness of temper, and was much regarded by all the party of the reformed, who inclined to a parity of church government. His residence in foreign parts, where Reformation bordered much upon levelling principles, had brought him into a train of thinking no way favourable to church discipline. He made the avoiding superstition a matter of conscience; but he run into the very extreme he shunned, by his zeal to avoid it; for he superstitiously declined usages, which he owned to be indifferent in themselves, only because they became inportant through the injunctions of superiors : However, it will appear, that he was flexible in those points, and that he could comply when he found the government was determined. He agreed perfectly well with Cranmer and Ridley in the main doctrines of the Reformation, and in zeal to promote it ; yet they appear to have been very apprehensive of his principles. Hooper

a worthy conscientious man. In his life he was blameless ; but somewhat too neglectful of those appearances, which are indispensable for giving reverence to power, either civil or ecclesiastic, in the eyes of those people, who see no farther than exteriors. He was a person of good parts, and well versed in the learned tongues : He was a good philosopher ; but a better theologist, had not his principles been too rigid. He was now appointed chaplain to the duke of Somerset ; and perhaps, was more severely treated on that account, when his great patron lost the protectorship. In 1549, he became an accuser of bishop Bonner, when he was to be deprived of his

bishopric,

was

bishopric, which made him fare the worse when queen Mary came to the crown.

After Hooper had practised himself in his popular and common kind of preaching, he was called to preach before the king, who, in 1550, made him bishop of Gloucester, and, about two years after, he had the bishopric of Worcester given to him to keep in commendam with the former. The earl of Warwick recommended Hooper to this preferment, as a man who had all those virtues and qualities required by St Paul in a good bishop, in his epistle to Timothy. But Hooper, having resided in Switzerland, and imbibed some notions there, was the means of introducing those disputes about things indifferent, which have had since that time such a fatal consequence in the church. It was customary to wear such garments and apparel as the popish bishops used : First a chymere, and under that a white rochet ; then a mathematical cap with four angles, dividing the whole world into four parts. The most sensible men are not without their weak. nesses and whims. Hooper was a man of learning, and of parts; but he had taken into his head, that as these sacerdotal vestments were mere human inventions, brought into the church by custom or tradition, and invented chiefly for celebrating the mass, and consecrated for that use, so they were therefore among the ceremonies condemned by the apostle as beggarly elements. In answer to this, it was told him by archbishop Cranmer, and bishop Ridley, that though tradition in matters of faith was justly to be rejected; yet in rites and ceremonies which were indifferent, custom alone was a good argument for the continuance of that which had been long used. The archbishop therefore required Hooper to conform himself to the law : But he obstinately refused a rochet, and Cranmer refused to consecrate him without it. The earl of Warwick, who was then prevalent at court, wrote a letter to the archbishop, desiring him not to insist upon these ceremonies from the bishop elect of Gloucester; nor to charge him with an oath burdensome to his con• science. It is said by some writers, that this was the oath of supremacy; but others, with more reason, conceive it the oath of canonical obedience to the archbishop, which consequentially commanded such ceremonies as Hooper was willing to decline; for it is improbable, that the king would dispense with any person from taking the oath of supremacy, wherein his own dignity was so nearly concerned. Warwick also prevailed on the king to write

4

a letter

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