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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume III. Renascence and Reformation.

XVIII. “Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity”

§ 7. Varieties of law

The first book, in some ways, is the most important of the whole work, because in it we see Hooker at his best in dealing broadly with principles. Before proceeding to discuss any matters of detail, he sets himself, with the aid of the philosophers of Greece, the Fathers and the medieval schoolmen and canonists, to consider the ground and origin of all law, the nature of that order which presides over the universe, over the external cosmos and human society, and to determine the principle which renders certain laws of permanent, and others of temporary, obligation. The first book, accordingly, is philosophical rather than theological: it presents a magnificent conception of the world as existing under a reign of law—law not arbitrary but an expression of the divine reason.