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The first four books of Hooker's ecclesiastical polity ap-
Hooker on church peared in 1594, the fifth in 1597, the sixth and
and state.              eighth  in   1648  (long  after his  death,  which
occurred in 1600), and the seventh with those before published
in 1662. There is no sufficient reason to doubt that these
last books are substantially as he left them. His plan, which
he gives in his preface, aims to refute the position of Puritan
Calvinists, who held that a government by presbytery and
synod was alone divinely prescribed for the Christian church.
He denies that any one form of discipline is laid down in the
Scriptures, contends for episcopacy as of apostolic origin,
and for the power of the church to make rules not contained
in the Scriptures which are binding on its members, and then
discusses the power which the prince ought to have over the
whole body politic in things ecclesiastical. In the first book
he declares "what law is, what different kinds of law there
are, and what force they are of according unto each kind."
In the second he attacks the puritan position " that Scripture
ought to be the only rule of all our actions, and consequently
that the church orders which we observe, being not com-
manded in Scripture, are offensive and displeasant unto God."
The third, continuing the same argument, seeks to show that
it is not true that the government of the church is beyond
human power to modify, nor that "in Scripture there must
of necessity be found some particular form of polity ecclesias-
tical, the laws whereof admit not any kind of alteration." The
fourth refutes the accusation that in the established church
"the right form of church polity has been corrupted with
manifold popish rites which certain reformed churches have
banished from among them;" and the inquiry is made
" whether there be just exceptions against the customs of our
church, when [men] plead that they are the same as the
church of Rome hath, or that they are not the same which
other reforming churches have devised/' In the three next
books special charges are examined against the worship, the