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TO THE PUBLIC.
This volume contains the most important of the remains of the venerable Bishop and Martyr, JOHN HOOPER. They are now first collected together. The Editors are in possession of two other of his works; the one, a Treatise on “ The Sacrament of the Altar," against Bishop Gardiner; the other, “ An Oversight and Deliberation upon Prophet Jonah:” but as the Selections already published contain a full declaration of the same arguments, doctrines, and illustrations which would be found in any extracts from those Treatises, it is thought unnecessary to increase the volume dedicated to the writings of Bishop Hooper beyond its
The extreme scarcity and manifest value of the Confession of Faith by that eminent Reformer, as contained in this volume, have induced the Conductors also to publish it as a separate pamphlet, in the hope that so valuable a document of the age of the Reformation may obtain a more extended circulation.
The following Address is reprinted from the original copy of Bishop Hooper's Exposition of some of the Psalms, to wbich it is prefixed. Although it was in the first instance appropriated only to one of his writings, it has been thought proper to make it a general introduction to the whole volume,
To all the faithful Flock of Christ, Grace and Peace
from God the Creator, Christ the Redeemer, and the Holy Ghost the Comforter.
Many are the monuments (beloved in the bowels of Christ Jesus) and volumes of the faithful left as legacies to the church of Christ, which, as they are the true riches (for they are spiritual), so ought they to be reverenced, not only with outward service of body, but also with inward submission of soul : among which monuments, being the treasure of the church, and such jewels indeed as the price of them is invaluable, this excellent work (though wanting bigness, yet full of brightness) of that most learned, godly, faithful, zealous, constant, and in all points praiseworthy Protestant, Master John Hooper, Bishop of Gloucester and Worcester, challengeth no small title of dignity. For, if the words of our Saviour be true (which to improve what incestuous mouth, without horrible blasphemy, a trespass unpardonable, dare presume, secing he is the very substance of truth itself), that he is a true disciple of Christ, which continueth to the end, then is it the duty of us all, except we hide our profession under the hive of hypocrisy, not only by looking at the life of such a lodesman, to reform our deformities, but also, by tracing over and through the testimonies of the truth (such godly books I mean as are left in writing to the world as undoubted assurances of an unspotted conscience), to thank God for so singular an instrument of his Gospel, and to beseech him to work in us the like love to his law, that we may be partakers of such glory as (no doubt) this notable martyr of God deth iinmortally enjoy: of whom briefly to insert and say somewhat (because the brightness of such a glittering star cannot be overcast with the clouds of obscurity and darkness) shall be a means to make
the work more commendable, although (in very deed) precious things have their proper price, and therefore consequently will have their deserved praise. And first to touch his blessed beginning, blessed (I say) even from above with the dew of God's grace, his education in Oxford, his prosperous proceeding in the knowledge of divinity, his forsaking not only of the university, but also his common country, his flight into Germany, his return into England, his painfulness in preaching, his fame and credit among the people, his obtained favour with the King's Majesty, his advancement to more than a bishoplike dignity, his dispensation for his ceremonious consecration, his secret enemies the supporters of papistry, his supplantation by their privy conspiracies, his faithful continuance notwithstanding in sowing sincere doctrine, his painfulness in bearing public controversies, his visiting of schools and fountains of learning, his maintaining of godly discipline, his want of partiality in judgment i betwixt person and person, his bishoplike behaviour abroad in his diocese, his fatherly affection at home towards his house and family, &c. do warrant him the name of a saint upon earth ; and surely God hath registered him in the kalendar of his chosen servants in heaven. Again, the falling away of his favourers when religion languished, the malicious practices of his adversaries threatening his destruction, the bloodthirsty broaching of his persecution, his appearing before the Queen and her council, the tyrannical contunnelies of his arch enemy, bis spiteful accusation, his inild purgation, his undeserved deprivation, his cruel imprisonment, his hard entertainment, his lamentable lortging, his succourless sickness,' his pitiful complaints, his restless tribulations, his strait -examinations; his apologetical avouchments,, the committing of him to the Fleet, the tossing of him from the Fleet to the Compter in Southwark, from the Compter in Southwark to the Clink, from the Clink to Newgate, his unjust degradation, his cruel condemnation, and his lamentable execution, &c. all these pageants considered, as they were done, would make a flinty heart to melt, and stony eyes to sweat, not only water, but also blood; and, to be short, the whole body, though all the limbs thereof were as strong as steel, even for pity's sake to tremble. This coming within the compass of my poor consideration, I remembered that Christ Jesus, the only begotten Son of the almighty and eternal God, had passed the like, yea and worse perils, as by the history of his death and passion may appear: that the proto-martyr, St. Stephen, had his tormenters, St. Paul the apostle his persecutors, and other of Christ's disciples their afflicters: then thought I that these sanctified vessels made their vocation honourable, even by their deaths, which were opprobrious, and therefore how can it be, but that this our martyr, worthy Bishop Hooper, offering up his body a burnt sacrifice, lively, reasonable, and acceptable unto God, should give good credit to his doctrine, assure his profession, affirm his vocation, and live in everlasting memory, by the dispersion of his books, though his favour be forgotten, and his body consumed? Of such a soldier, so valiantly fighting under the ensign of his Captain, I cannot say sufficient. Of this I am resolved, that although his earthly tabernacle be destroyed, yet hath he a building given him of God, even a house not made with hands, but eternal in the heavens, where God grant us all to reign, as joint heirs with Christ his anointed. To proceed and approach nearer to our purpose (for the premises are effectual enough to breed be
lief and to kindle reverence in the heart of any true Christian towards this our excellent martyr, replenished with the abundance of God's holy Spirit), I commend unto thy mind (good reader) a good work of this so good a man, namely, Certain Expositions upon the 23d, 62d, 72d, and 77th Psalms of the
Prophet David, of the which the three last (being gathered together by a godly professor of the truth, Mr. Henry Bull) were never before printed. Their beginnings were usually read in this manner: 23. The Lord feedeth me, and I shall lack nothing. 62. My soul Truly waiteth upon God. 72. Truly God is loving unto Israel, even unto such as are of a clean heart. 77. I will cry unto God with my voice, even to God will I cry with my voice, and he shall hearken unto me. The Expositions of which Psalms to be pithy and profitable, this may be a substantial proof, because they were written in the time of his trouble, when (no doubt) he was talking in spirit with God; and being so occupied, his exercises could not but be heavenly, and therefore effectual, fruitful, and comfortable. Come therefore, you sorrowing soul, which groanest for relief, to this spring: come hither, and hear what a good man wrote, ex carcere et vinculis, out of bonds and imprisonment, for thy consolation. Hear him once, hear him twice, hear him often, for thou canst not hear him enough. He giveth thee a pleasant pomander, vouchsafe it the smelling: he soundeth sweet music, it deserveth good dancing : he bids thee to a sumptuous banquet, be not dainty in feeding : he presenteth unto thee a precious diamond, it is worth the taking. O give God thanks for all, and glorify the Lord's name, whom it hath pleased to plant in his vineyard so fruitful a vine, which beareth grapes, God's plenty, of whose juice, O Christ, vouchsafe us to taste,