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‘I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
Perhaps when you have been in Exeter and walking between the Cathedral and the cafes around the Green you may have spotted a statue. It is of Richard Hooker. Yesterday we remembered the anniversary of his death in 1600 at the relatively early age of 46.
The statue, of white marble, was erected in 1907 depicting the ‘judicious Hooker’ seated with his book. Richard was born in Heavitree in 1554 and educated at Exeter Grammar School and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He became an Anglican priest and influential theologian; his work during the Reformation helped shape England and some see him as the father of Anglicanism.
he book that rests on his knee in the middle of the Cathedral Green is ‘Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity’ in which he urges that the newly formed Anglican Church should ‘hold up the highest ideal of a church rooted in antiquity, ever studious in Scriptural and primitive Christianity, and, at the same time, large minded, open and tolerant’. Wise words then and words that the church would do well to take heed of in our present unsettled times.
God of peace, the bond of all love,
who in your Son Jesus Christ +-
have made the human race your inseparable dwelling place:
after the example of your servant Richard Hooker,
give grace to us your servants ever to rejoice
in the true inheritance of your adopted children
and to show forth your praises now and ever;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen