Directory Index


William Gouge

Domestical Duties


The First Treatise

An Exposition of That Part of Scripture out of which

Domestical Duties Are Raised

Ephesians 5:21. Submit your selves one to another in the fear of God.

1. Of the Apostle's transition from general duties to particulars.

As there are two vocations whereunto it hath pleased God to call every one; one general, by virture whereof certain common duties which are to be performed of all men, are required, [as knowledge, faith, obedience, repentance, love, mercy, justice, truth, etc.] the other particular, by virture whereof certain peculiar duties are required of several persons, according to those distinct places wherein the Divine Providence hath set them in Commonwealth, Church or family; so ought God's Ministers to be careful in instructing God's people in both kinds of duties; both those which concern their general, and those also which concern their particular calling. Accordinly Paul (who, as Moses, was faithful in all the house of God (Num 12:7) after he had sufficiently instructed God's Church in such general duties, as belong to all Christians, of what sex, state, degree, or condition soever they be, proceedeth to lay down certain particular duties, which appertain to particuar callings and conditions: among which, he maketh choice of those which God hath established in a family. With excellent art doth he pass from those generals, to the particulars: laying down a transition betwixt them, in these words, Submit your selves one to another in the fear of God; which words have reference both to that which goeth before, and also to that which followeth after. The form and manner of setting down this verse, with a participle thus, submitting, showeth that it dependeth on that which went before, and so hath reference thereunto. Again, the word itself being the very same which is used in the next verse following, showeth, that this verse containeth the sum of that which followeth, and so hath reference thereunto, as a general unto particulars. This manner of passing from one point to another, by a perfefct transition which looketh both ways, both to that which is past, and to that which cometh on, as it is very elegant, so it is frequent with this our Apostle. Whereby he teacheth us, so to give heed to that which followeth, as we forget not that which is past: as we must give diligent attention to that which remaineth, so we must well retain that which we have heard, and not let it slip: otherwise, if (as one nail driveth out another) one precept maketh another to be forgotten, it will be altogether in vain to add line unto line, or precept unto precept.

2. Of joining service to men with our praising of God.

As this verse hath reference to that which was delivered before, concerning our duty to God, it teacheth us this lesson: It is the duty of Christians as to set forth the praise of God, so to be serviceable one to another. For this purpose in the Decalogue to the first table, which prescribeth that duty which we owe to God, is added the second table, which declareth the service that we owe one to another: and he said, The first and great Commandment is this, Thou shalt love the Lord, etc. (Matt 22:38-39) said also, The second is like to this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, etc. whereupon the Apostle declaring what those sacrifices be wherewith God is well pleased, joineth these two together, to give thanks to God, and to do good to man (Heb 13:15-16). The service which in the fear of God we perform one to another, is an evident and real demonstration of the respect we bear unto God. To God our goodness exceedeth not (Psa 16:2). He is so high above us, so perfect and complete in Himself, that neither can we give to Him, nor He receive of us (Job 22:3; 35:7). But in His own stead He hath placed our brother like to ourselves; to whom, as we may do hurt (Job 35:8), so by our faithful service we may do much good (Psa 16:3): in doing whereof God is much honored.

This discovereth their hypocrisy, who make great pretence of praising God, and yet are scornful, and distainful to their brethren, and slothful to do any service to man: These men's religion is vain. By this note did the Prophets in their time, and Christ in His Apostles in their time also, discover the hypocrisy of those among whom they lived: and so may we also in our times. For many there be, who frequently in their houses, and in the midst of the congregation sing praise unto God, and perform other parts of God's outward worship, but towards one another, are proud, stout, envious, unmerciful, unjust, slanderous, and very backward to do any good service. Surely, that outward service which they pretend to perform to God, doth not so much wipe out the spot of prophaness, as their neglect of duty unto man brandeth their foreheads with the stamp of hypocisy (James 1:26, Isa 58:3 and on, Micah 6:6 and on, Matt 23:14, Job 4:20).

For our parts, let us not upon pretext of one duty, though it may seem to be the weightier, think to shift off another; lest that fearful woe (Matt 23:23) which Christ denounced against the Scribes and Pharisees fall upon our pates. As God is careful to instruct us how to carry our selves both to His own Majesty, and also one to another, so let us in both approve our selves to Him: remembering what Christ said to the Pharisees, These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. The same Lord that requireth praise to His own Majesty, enjoineth mutual service one to another; the neglect of this, as well as of that, whoeth too light respect of His will and pleasure: What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder (Matt 19:6).

3. Of every one's submitting himself to another.

Again, as this verse hath reference ot that which followeth, it declareth the general sum of all, which is mutually to submit our selves one to another in the fear of God. The parts hereof are two:

1. An exhortation.

2. A direction.

In the exhortation is noted, both the duty itself in this word submit, and also the parties to whom it is to be perfomred, one to another.

Both branches of the exhortation, viz. the duty, and the parties joined together, afford this doctrine, that

It is a general mutual duty appertaining to all Christians, to submit themselves on to another: For this precept is as general as any of the former, belonging to all sorts and degrees whatsoever: and so much doth this word one another imply: in which extent the Apostle in another place exhorteth to serve one another: and again, every man to seek another's wealth (Gal 5:13, 1 Cor 10:24).

Concerning inferiours, it is without question clear, that they ought to submit themselves to their superiours: yea, concerning equals no great question can be made, but they in giving honor must go one before another, and so submit themselves: but concerning superiours, just question may be made, whether it be a duty required of them to submit themselves to their inferiours.

To resolve this doubt, we must first distinguish betwixt subjection of reverence, and subjection of service.

Subjection of reverence is that whereby one testifieth and eminency and superiority in them whom he reverenceth, and that in speech, by giving them title of honor; or in gesture, by some kind of obeisance; or in action, by a ready obeying of their commandment. This is proper to inferiours.

Subjection of service is that whereby one in his place is ready to do what good he can to another. This is common to all Christians: a duty which even superiours owe to inferiours, according to the fore-named extent of this word one another: in which respect even the highest governour on earth is called a Minister, for the good of such as are under him.

Secondly, we must put difference betwixt the work itslef, and the manner of doing it. That work which in itself is a work of superiority and authority, in the manner of doing it may be a work of submission, viz. if it be done in humility and meekness of mind. The magistrate by ruling with meekness and humility, submitteth himself to his subject. In this respect the Apostle exhorteth that nothing [no not the highest and greatest works that can be] be done in vain-glory, but in meekness.

Thirdly, we must distinguish betwixt the several places wherein men are: for even they who superiours to some, are inferiours to others: as he that said, I have under me, and am under authority. The master that hath servants under him, may be under the authority of a Magistrate. Yea, God hath so disposed every one's several place, as there is not any one, but in some respect is under another. The wife, though a mother of children, is under her husband. The husband, though head of a family, is under public Magistrates. Public Magistrates are under another, and all under the King. The King himself under God and His Word delivered by His Ambassadors, whereunto the highest are to submit themselves. And Ministers of the Word, as subjects, are under their Kings and Governours. He that saith, Let every soul be subject to the higher powers, excepteth not Ministers of the Word: and he that saith obey them that have the oversight of you, and submit your selves, excepteth not Kings: only the difference is in this, that the authority of the King is in himself, and in his own name he may command obedience to be performed to himself: but the authority of a Minister is in Christ, and Christ's name only may he require obedience to be performed to Christ.

The reason why all are bound to submit themselves one to another is, because every one is set in his place by God, not so much for himself, as for the good of others: whereupon the Apostle exhorteth, that none see his own, but every man another's wealth. Even Governours are advanced to places of dignity and authority, rather for the good of their subjects than for their own honor. Their callings are in truth offices of service, yea burdens under which they must willingly put their shoulders being called of God, and of which they are to give an account concerning the good which they have done to others: for the effecting whereof, it is needful that they submit themselves.

Let every one therefore high and low, rich and poor, superiour and inferiour, Magistrate and subject, Minister and people, husband and wife, parent and child, master and servant, neighbors and fellows, all of all sorts in their several places take notice of their duty in this point of submission, and make conscience to put it in practice: Magistrates, by procuring the wealth and peace of their people, as Mordecai: Ministers, by making themselves servants unto their people, not seeking their own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved, as Paul: Fathers, by well educating their children, and taking heed that they provoke them not to wrath, as David: Husbands, by dwelling with their wives according to knowledge, giving honor to the wife as to the weaker vessel, as Abraham: Masters, by doing that which is just and equal to their servants, as the Centurion: Every one, by being of like affection one towards another, and by serving one another in love, according to the Apostle's rule. Let this duty of submission be first well learned, and then all other duties will be better performed.

Be not high minded, nor swell one against another. Though in outward estate some may be higher than other, yet in Christ all are one whether bond or free: all members of one and the same body. Now consider the mutual affection [as I may so speak] of the members of a natural body one towards another: not any one of them will puff itself up, and rise against the other: the head which is the highest and of greatest honour will submit itself to the feet in performing the duty of an head, as well as the feet in performing their duty; so all other parts. Neither is it hereby implied that they which are in place of dignity and authority should forget or relinquish their place, dignity or authority, and become as inferiours under authority, no more than the head doth: for the head in submitting itself doth not go upon the ground and bear the body, as the feet; but it submitteth itself by directing and governing the other parts, and that with all the humility, meekness, and gentleness that it can. So must all superiours: much more must equals and inferiours learn with humility, and meekness, without scorn or disdain, to perform their duty: this that which was before by the Apostle expressly mentioned, and is here again intimated; none are exempted and privileged from it. We know that it is unnatural, and unbeseeming the head to scorn the feet, and to swell against them, but more than monstrous for the one hand to scorn another: what shall we then say if the feet swell against the head? Surely such scorn and disdain among the members, would cause not only great disturbance, but also utter ruin to the body. And can it be otherwise in a politic body? But on the contrary, when all of all sorts shall [as hath been before shown] willingly submit themselves one to another, the whole body, and every member thereof will reap good thereby: yea, by this mutual submission, as we do good, so we shall receive good.

4. Of the fear of God.

Hitherto of the exhortation. The direction followeth. In the fear of the Lord. This clause is added, to declare partly the means, how men may be brought to submit themselves readily to one another: and partly the manner, how they ought to submit themselves. The fear of the Lord is both the efficient cause that moveth a true Christian willingly to perform all duty to man, and also the end whereunto he referreth every thing that he doth. For the better conceiving whereof, I will briefly declare.

1. What this fear of the Lord is.

2. How the Lord is the proper object of it.

3. What is the extent thereof.

4. Why it is so much urged.

First, fear of God is an awful respect of the Divine Majesty. Sometimes it ariseth from faith in the mercy and goodness of God: for when the heart of man hath once felt a sweet taste of God's goodness, and found that in His favor only all happiness consisteth, it is stricken with such an inward awe and reverence, as it would not for any thing displease his Majesty, but rather do whatsoever it may know to be pleasing and acceptable unto Him. For these are two eeffects which arise from this kind of fear of God:

1. A careful endeavour to please God, in which respect good king Jehosaphat having exhorted his judges to execute the judgment of the Lord aright, addeth this clause as a motive thereunto, Let the fear of the Lord be upon you: implying thereby that God's fear would make them endeavour to approve themselves to God.

2. A careful avoiding of such things as offend the Majesty of God, and grieve His Spirit: in which respect the wiseman saith, The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: and of Job it is said that he fearing God departed from evil.

Sometimes again, awe and dread of the Divine Majesty ariseth from diffidence: For when a man's heart doubteth of God's mercy, and expecteth nothing but vengence, the very thought of God striketh an awe or rather dread into him, and so maketh him fear God.

From this double cause of fear, whereof one is contrary to another, hath arisen that usual distinction of a filial or son-like fear, and a servile or slavish fear: which distinction is grounded on these words of the Apostle, ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear [this is a servile fear] but ye have received the spirit of adoption whereby we cry, Abba, Father: this causeth a filial fear. The filial fear is such a fear as dutiful children bear to their fathers. But the servile fear is such an one as bondslaves bear to their masters. A son feareth simply to offend or displease his father: so as it is accomplished with love. A bondslave feareth nothing but the punishment of his offence; so as it is joined with hatred: and such an one feareth not to sin, but to burn in hell for sin. Faithful Abraham like a gracious child feared God [as God's Angel beareth witness, Gen 22:12] when he was ready rather to sacrifice his only son, than offend God by refusing to obey His commandment. But faithless Adam like a servile bondslave feared God [as he himself testifieth against himself Gen 3:10] when after he had broken God's commandment, he hid himself from the presence of God. This slavish fear is a plain diabolical fear [for the devils so fear as they tremble] (James 2:19). It maketh men wish there were no hell, no day of judgment, no Judge, yea no God. This is that fear without which we must serve the Lord (Luke 1:74). In this fear to submit one's self is nothing acceptable to God: It is therefore the filial fear which is here meant.

Secondly, of this fear God is the proper object, as by this and many more testimonies of Scripture is evident, where the fear of God and of the Lord is mentioned. This fear hath so proper a relation unto God, as the Scripture styleth God by a kind of property, witht his title Fear: for where Jacob mentioneth the fear of Isaac, he meaneth the Lord whom Isaac feared (Gen 31:42,53).

Is it then unlawful to fear any but God?

No: Men also may be feared, as princes, parents, masters and other superiours; For the Apostle exhorting to give every one their due, giveth this instance, fear to whom fear is due (Rom 13:7). But yet may God notwithstanding be said to be the proper object of fear, because all the fear that any way is due to any creature, is due to him in and for the Lord whose image he carrieth: so as in truth it is not so much the person of a man, as the image of God placed in him, by virtue of some authority or dignity appertaining to him, which is to be feared. If there should fall out any such opposition betwixt God and man, as in fearing man our fear would be withdrawn from God, then the rule of Christ is to take place, which is this, fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Thirdly, the extent of this true filial fear of God is very large. No one point throughout the whole Scripture is more urged than this fear of the Lord. It is oft added to other duties, as that whereby they are seasoned, and without which they cannot well be performed: wherefore we are commanded to serve the Lord in fear, to perfect holiness in the fear of God, to work out our salvation with fear (Psa 2:11, 2 Cor 7:1, Phil 2:12): and the Churches are commended for walking in the fear of the Lord (Acts 9:31): so likewise particular men as Abram (Gen 22:12), Joseph (Gen 42:18), Job (Job 1:1), and many other: yea the whole worship of God is oft comprised under this branch of fear: whereupon our Saviour Christ alleging this text, thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, thus expresseth it, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God. And again where the Lord by His Prophet Isaiah saith, Their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men, Christ thus quoteth that text, In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men: out of which places compared together, it is evident, that under the fear of God, is comprised the worship of God. Yea, all that duty which we owe to God and man is comprised under this title, the fear of God: for David when he would in one word declare the sum and substance of all that which a Minister ought to teach his people, saith, I will teach you the fear of the Lord (Deut 6:13, Matt 4:10, Isa 29:13, Matt 15:9, Psa 34:11).

Fourthly, The reason why the Holy Ghost so much urgeth the fear of God, and that in so large an extent as hath been showed, I take to be this; to show a difference betwixt that integrity and perfection of God's image which was at man's creation first planted in him, and the renovation thereof while here he liveth in this world. So complete and perfect was then God's image in man, as he needed no other motive to provoke him to any duty but love. Wherefore when the Holy Ghost would set forth that perfection of God's image first planted in man, he addeth this title Love: unto other duties, whether they concern God or man. Concerning God, Moses exhorteth Israel to love the Lord and serve Him: and again, to love the Lord, to walk in His ways, to keep His commandments, etc. Concerning man, the Apostle exhorteth to serve one another by love: and to do all things in love. Yea, sometimes the Holy Ghost is pleased to comprise all duties under love: In which respect Christ calleth this commandment [Thou shalt love the Lord] the great commandment, which compriseth all the commandments of the first table under it: and for the second table, Paul saith, that love is the fulfilling of the law. But by Adam's fall, and the corruption which thereby infected man's nature, the love of God hath waxed cold in man, and though the Saints be created again according to that image of God, yet while in this world they live, that image is not so perfect as it was, the flesh remaineth in the best: in which respect God hath fast fixed this affection of fear in man's heart, and thereby both restraineth him from sin, and also provoketh him unto every good duty.

5. Of the fear of God moving us to do service to men.

Having briefly declared the nature, object, extent, and use of fear, I return to the point in hand, viz. to show 1. how it is here laid down as a motive to stir up men to perform the duty here required: for by this clause, in the fear of the Lord, the Apostle implieth that

It is the fear of God which moveth men conscionably to submit themselves one to another. This made David so well to rule the people of God (2 Sam. 23:3): and Joseph to deal so well with his brethren (Gen 42:18): yea, this is noted to be the cause of the righteous regiment of Christ Himself (Isa. 11:2,3). Well did that good King Jehosaphat know this, and therefore when he appointed judges over his people, as a motive to stir them up to execute the judgments of the Lord aright, he saith unto them, Let the fear of the Lord be upon you. So also Peter to move subjects to honor their King, prefixeth this exhortation, Fear God.

By fear of man, may one be brought to submit himself to another: as a Magistrate may be moved to deal justly and mildly with his people through fear of insurrections and rebellions: subjects may by severe laws and tyranny be brought to submit themselves: and so other inferiours also by threats, by hard usage, and other by-respects.

1. Though fear of man be a motive, yet it followeth not, that therefore fear of God should be no motive: it may be another motive, and a better motive.

2. The submission which is performed through fear of man is a forced and a slavish submission, nothing acceptable to God, but that which is performed through a true filial fear of God, is a free, willing, ready, cheerful, conscionable submission: such a submission as will stir us up to do the best good we can thereby unto them, to whom we submit our selves, and so is more acceptable to God, by reason of the cause thereof, and more profitable unto man, by reason of the effect and fruit thereof.

For a true fear of God maketh us more respect what God requireth and commandeth, than what our corrupt heart desireth and suggesteth: It subdueth our unruly passions, and bringeth them within compass of duty: It maketh us deny our selves and our own desires: and though through the corruption of our nature and inborn pride we be loath to submit, yet will God's fear bring down that proud mind, and make us humble and gentle. It will keep those who are in authority from tyranny, cruelty, and over-much severity: and it will keep those who are under subjection from dissimulation, deceit, and privy conspiracies.

Behold how necessary it is, that a true fear of the Lord be planted in men's hearts, in the hearts of Kings and all Governours, in the hearts of subjects and all people whether superiours or inferiours. Where no fear of God is, there will be no good submission unto man. Abraham thought that the men of Gerar would have no respect to him or his wife, nor make conscience of common honesty, nor abstain from innocent blood, because he saw no fear of God in that place (Gen 20:11): and the Apostle having reckoned up many notorious effects of man's natural corruption, concludeth all with this, as the cause of all, There is no fear of God before their eyes (Rom 3:11). Wherefore let Magistrates, parents, masters, and all in authority, have especial care that their subjects, children, servants, and all under them may be taught and brought to fear the Lord. I dare avouch it, that such inferiours which are taught to fear God, will do better service to their superiours, than such as fear their superiours only as men, and fear not God. Let Ministers especially urge and press upon the consciences of men a fear of God. Let all inferiours pray that the fear of the Lord may be planted in the hearts of their superiours, that so they may live a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty under them. Happy is that kingdom where Magistrates and subjects fear the Lord. Happy is that Church where Ministers and people fear the Lord. Happy is that family where husband and wife, parents and children, master and servants fear the Lord. In such a Kingdom, Church, and family, will everyone, to the mutual good one of another, submit themselves one to another. But if such as fear not God submit themselves, whether they be superiours or inferiours, it is for their own ends and advantages, and not for their good to whom they submit themselves.

6. Of limiting all duty to man, within the compass of the fear of God.

Again, as this clause [In the fear of the Lord] declareth the manner of submission, it showeth, that

No submission is to be preformed unto man, but that which may stand with the fear of God. Whereby we show that we have respect to God, and labour above all to approve our selves to Him. Thus David is commanded to rule in the fear of God (2 Sam 23:3): and other Magistrates to perform their duty in the fear of the Lord (2 Chron 19:9): which Nehemiah that good Governour was careful to do (Neh 5:15). So also subjects are to obey in the fear of the Lord, which the Apostle implieth by prefixing this precept, Fear God, before that, Honour the King (1 Peter 2:17); as if he had said, so honor the King, as in and thereby you may manifest your fear of God: let not this latter cross the former. Servants likewise are commanded to be obedient unto their masters with this proviso, fearing the Lord. Such phrases as these, For the Lord's sake, As unto the Lord, In the Lord, As servants of Christ, with the like, being annexed to the duties of inferiours, do imply as much (Col 3:22, 1 Peter 2:13, Eph 5:22,6:1,6).

Great reason there is that all service should be limited wtih the fear of God: for God is the highest Lord to whom all service primarily and principally is due: whatsoever service is due to any man, high or low, is due in and for the Lord. The Lord hath set superiours in the places of eminency, wherein they bear the image of God. The Lord also hath set inferiours in their places, and commended them as his charge to the government of those who are over them. He that obeyeth not those who are over him in the fear of God, showeth no respect of God's image: and he who governeth not those who are under him in the fear of God, showeth no respect for God's charge.

Besides, God is that great judge to whom all of all sorts, superiours and inferiours are to give an account of their service. Though by our service we have never so well approved our selves to men, yet if we have not therein had respect unto God, and approved our selves to Him, with what face may we appear before His dreadful judgment seat? Can the favor of those whom we have pleased in this world, protect and shelter us from the fury of God's displeasure?

Behold the folly of such Governours as wholly apply themselves to the fancy of their people, yea though it be against the Lord and His Word. This was Adam's folly, (Gen 3:6) who at his wife's motion did eat of the forbidden fruit. This was Aaron's folly, (Exo 32:1) who to please the people, erected and idol. And this was Saul's folly, (1 Sam 15:21) who against God's express prohibition suffered his people to make some of the spoil of the Amalekites. The like may be said of Joash, who (2 Chron 24:17) hearkened to his princes to set up idols: and of Pilate, who (Mark 15:15) to please the people, against his conscience, delivered Christ to be crucified. The fearful issue of this their submission, not seasoned with a fear of God, but contrary thereunto, may be a warning to all superiours, to take heed how they seek to please them that are under them, more than God who is above them. The issue of Adam's, Aaron's, Saul's, and Joash's base submission, is noted by the Holy Ghost in their several histories. Of Pilate it is recorded, that being brought into extreme necessity, he laid violent hands upon himself.

Neither is it to be accounted folly only in superiours to submit themselves to their inferiours against the Lord, but also in inferiours to their superiours: for thereby they show that they fear man more than God, which Christ expressly forbiddeth his friends to do. The captains which went to fetch Elijah, obeyed their king therein; but what got they thereby? Was the King able to save them from the fire which God sent down from heaven upon them? The women reproved for offering incense to the Queen of heaven, did it not without their husbands, yet were they not excused thereby. The children and others in the family submitted themselves to Dathan and Abiram in standing in the door of their tents at a distance against Moses; but because it was not in the Lord, but against Him, they were not exempted from the judgment. Wherefore let all of all sorts set the fear of God as a mark before them to aim at in all their actions. (Luke 12:4,5; 2 King 1:9 etc.;Jer 44:19; Num.16:32) Let superiours (Num 11:29) neither do anything to give content to their inferiours: nor suffer any thing (1 Sam 24:8) to be done for their sakes by their inferiours, which cannot stand with the fear of God. And let inferiours (Gen 39:10; 1 Sam 22:17) nor do, nor forbear (Acts 4:19) to do at the will of their superiours any thing swerving from the fear of God: but every one submit themselves one to another in the fear of God.

7. Of performing the duties of particular callings.

Ephesians 5:22. Wives Submit unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

From that genreal direction concerning mutual submission, the Apostle cometh to certain particulars, by which he exemplieth the same: and teacheth us, that

It is not sufficient to perform general duties of Christianity, unless also we be conscionable in performing the particular duties of our general callings. A conscionable performance of those particular duties is one part of our walking worthy of the vocation wherein we are called (Eph 4:1): and therefore the Apostle, for illustration and exemplification thereof, doth reckon up sundry particulars, both in this and other Epistles (Col 3:18 etc.; 1 Cor 7; 1 Tim 3.): and so do other Apostles (1 Peter 2,3). And Titus (Titus 2) is charged to teach them. God himself hath given a pattern hereof in his Law: for the main scope of the fifth Commandment tendeth to instruct us in the particular duties of our several callings. (See more of this point in The Whole Armour of God, Treatise 2, Part 1, Section 4.)

Hereby much credit is brought to our professions, and the doctrine of God our Saviour is adored. (Titus 2:10; 1 Peter 3:1,2). And much good is hereby both mutually communicated one to another, and received one from another: for our particular places and callings are those bonds whereby persons are firmly and fitly knit together, as the members of a natural body by nerves, arteries, sinews, veins, and the like, by which life, sense and motion is communicated from one to another.

Let therefore notice be taken of the particular callings wherein God hath set us, and of the several duties of those callings, and conscience be used in the practice of them. He is no good Christian that is careless herein. A bad husband, wife, parent, child, master, servant, magistrate or minister, is no good Christian.

8. Of the lawfulness of private functions in a family.

Among other particular callings the Apostle maketh choice of those which God hath settled in private families, and is accurate in reciting the several and distinct orders thereof, [for a family consisteth of these three orders, Husbands, Wives, Parents, Children, Masters, Servants, all which he reckoneth up] yea he is also copious, and earnest in urging the duties which appertain to them. Whence we may well infer, that

The private vocations of a family, and functions appertaining thereto, are such as Christian's are called unto by God, and in the exercising whereof, they may and must employ some part of their time. For can we think that the Holy Ghost [who, as the Philosophers speak of nature, doth nothing in vain] would so distinctly set down these private duties, and so forcibly urge them, if they did not well become, and nearly concern Christians? All the places in Scripture which require family-duties, are proofs of the truth of this doctrine.

The reasons of this doctrine are clear, for the family is a seminary of the Church and Commonwealth. It is as a bee-hive, in which is the stock, and out of which are sent many swarms of bees: for in families are all sorts of people bred and brought up: and out of families are they lent into the Church and Commonwealth. The first beginning of mankind, and of his increase, was out of a family. For first did God join in marriage Adam and Eve, made them husband and wife, and then gave them children: so as husband and wife, parent and child, [which are parts of a family] were before Magistrate and subject, Minister and people, which are the parts of a Commonwealth, and a Church. When by the general deluge all public societies were destroyed, a family, even the family of Noah, was preferred, and out of it kingdoms and nations again raised. That great people of the Jews which could not be numbered for multitude, was raised out of the family of Abraham. Yea even to this day have all sorts of people come from families, and so shall to the end of the world. Whence it followeth, that a conscionable performance of domestical and household duties, tend to the good ordering of Church and Commonwealth, as being means to fit and prepare men thereunto.

Besides, a family is a little Church, and a little Commonwealth, at least a lively representation thereof, whereby trial may be made of such as are fit for any place of authority, or of subjection in Church or Commonwealth. Or rather it is as a school wherein the first principles and grounds of government and subjection are learned: whereby men are fitted to greater matters in Church or Commonwealth. Whereupon the Apostle declareth (1 Tim 3:5), that a Bishop that cannot rule his own house, is not fit to govern the Church. So we may say of inferiours that cannot be subject in a family; they will hardly be brought to yield such subjection as they ought in Church or Commonwealth: instance Absalom, and Adoniah, David's sons.

This is to be noted for satisfaction of certain weak consciences, who think that if they have no public calling, they have no calling at all; and thereupon gather that all their time is spent without a calling. Which consequence if it were good and sound, what comfort in spending their time should most women have, who are not admitted to any public function in Church or Commonwealth? Or servants, children, and others who are wholly employed in private affairs of the family? But the forenamed doctrine showeth the unsoundness of that consequence. Besides, who knoweth not that the preservation of families tendeth to the good of Church and Commonwealth? So as a conscionable performance of household duties, in regard of the end and fruit thereof, may be accounted a public work. Yea, if domestical duties be well and thoroughly performed, they will be even enough to take up a man's whole time. If a master of a family be also an husband of a wife, and a father of children, he shall find work enough; as by those particular duties, which we shall afterwards show to belong unto masters, husbands and parents, may easily be proved. So a wife likewise, if she also be a mother and a mistress, and faithfully endeavour to do what by virtue of those callings she is bound to do, shall find enough to do. As for children under the government of their parents, and servants in a family, their whole calling is to be obedient to their parents and masters, and to do what they command them in the Lord. Wherefore if they who have no public calling, be so much the more diligent in the functions of their private callings, they shall be as well accepted of the Lord, as if they had public offices.

Yet many there be, who having no public employment, think they may spend their time as they list, either in idleness, or in following their fain pleasures and delights day after day, and so cast themselves out of all calling. Such are many masters of families who commit all the care of their house either to their wives, or to some servant, and mispend their whole time in idleness, riotness, and voluptuousness. Such are many mistresses, who spend their time lying abed, attiring themselves, and gossiping. Such are many young gentlemen living in their fathers' houses, who partly through the too-much indulgency and negligence of their parents, and partly through their own headstrong affections, and rebellious will, run without restraint whither their corrupt lusts lead them. These, and such other like to these, though by God's providence they be placed in callings, in warrantable callings, and in such callings as minister unto them matter enough of employment, yet make themselves to be of no calling. Now what blessing can they look for from the Lord? The Lord useth to give his blessing to men, while they are busied in their callings. Jacob's faithful service (Gen 31:42) to his uncle Laban moved God to bless him. Joseph's faithfulness to his master Potiphar (Gen 39:2) was had in rememberance with God, who advanced him to be ruler in Egypt. Moses (Exo 3:1,2) was keeping his father in law's sheep when God appeared to him in the bush, and appointed him a prince over his people. David (1 Sam 16:11) was sent for from the field, where he was keeping his father's sheep, when he was anointed to be King over Israel. Elisha (1 Kings 19:19) was plowing when he was annointed to be a Prophet. The shepherds (Luke 2:8) were watching their sheep, when that gladsome tiding was brought to them, that the Savior of the world was born. Not to insist on any more particulars, the promise of God's protection is restrained to our callings: for (Psa 91:11) the charge which God hath given to the Angels concerning man is, to keep him in all his ways.

As for those who have public offices in Church or Commonwealth, they may not thereupon think themselves exempted from all family-duties. These private duties are necessary duties. Though a man be a Magistrate or a Minister, yet if he be an husband, or a father, or a master, he may not neglect his wife, children, and servants. Indeed they who are freed from public functions, are bound to attend so much the more upon the private duties of their families, because they have more leisure thereunto. But none ought wholly to neglect them. Joshua (Josh 24:15), who was a captain and prince of his people, and very much in public affairs, yet neglected not his family: for he professeth that he and his house would serve the Lord. It seemeth that Eli (1 Sam 2:29 and 3:13) was negligent in performing the duty of a father, and David (1 King 1:6) also. But what followeth thereupon? Two of Eli's sons proved sacreligious, and lewd priests. Two of David's sons proved very ill Commonwealth's men, even plain traitors.

9. Of the Apostle's order in laying down the duties of husbands and wives in the first place.

There being three especial degrees, or orders in a family, [as we heard before] the Apostle placeth husband and wife in the first rank, and first declareth their duties, and that not without good reason: for

First, The husband and wife were the first couple that ever were in the world. Adam and Eve were joined in marriage, and made man and wife before they had children, or servants. So falleth it out for the most part even to this day in erecting, or bringing together a family: the first couple is ordinarily an husband and wife.

Secondly, most usually the husband and his wife are the chiefest in a family, all under them single persons: they governours of all the rest in the house. Therefore most meet it is, that they should first know their duty, and learn to practice it, that so they may be an example to all the rest. If they fail in their duty one to another, they give occasion to all the rest under them to be careless, and negligent in theirs. Let an husband be churlish to his wife, and despise her, he ministreth an occasion to children and servants to contemn her likewise, and to be disobedient unto her: yea, to be churlish and froward one to another, especially to their underlings. Let a wife be untrusty and unfaithful to her husband, let her filch and purloin from him, children and servants will soon take courage, or rather boldness from her example prively to steal what they can from their father, and master. Thus is their breach of duty a double fault: one in respect to the party whom they wrong, and to whom they give occasion of sinning.

Know therefore, O husbands and wives, that ye, above all other in the family, are most bound unto a conscionable performance of your duty. Greater will your condemnation be, if you fail therein. Look to it above the rest: and by your example draw on your children and servants [if you have any] to perform their duties: which surely they will more readily do, when they shall behold you as guides going before them, and making conscience of your joint and several duties.

10. Of the Appostle's order in setting down inferiours' duties in the first place.

In handling the duties of the first forenamed couple, the Apostle beginneth with wives, and layeth down their particular duties in the first place. The reason of this order I take to be the inferiority of the wife to her husband. I do the rather take it so to be, because I observe this to be his usual method and order, first to declare the duties of inferiours, and then of superiors: For in handling the duties of children (Eph 6:1) and parents, and of servants (Eph 6:5), and masters, he beginneth with the inferiours, both in this, and in other (Col 3:18,20,22) Epistles; which order also Peter (1 Pet. 3:1) observeth: yea, the Law (Exo 20:12) itself doth in the first place, and that expressly, mention the inferiour's duty, only implying the superiour's to follow as a just consequence, which is this, If the inferiour must give honor, and by virtue thereof perform such duties as appertain thereto, then must the superiour carry himself worthy of honour, and by virtue thereof perform answerable duties.

Quest. Why should inferiours' duties be more fully expressed, and placed in the first rank?

Answ. Surely because for the most part inferiours are most unwilling to undergo the duties of their place. Who is not more ready to rule, than the subject?

I deny not but that it is a far more difficult and hard matter to govern well than to obey well. For to rule and govern requireth more knowledge, experience, wisdom, care, watchfulness, diligence, and other like virtues, than to obey and be subject. He that obeyeth hath his rule laid before him, which is the will and command of his superiour in things lawful, and not against God's will. But the superiour who commandeth, is to consider not only and every way of the best: yea also he must forecast for the time to come, and so far as he can observe whether that which is now for the present meet enough, may not be dangerous for the time to come, and in that respect unmeet to be urged. Whence it followeth, that the superiour in authority may sin in commanding that which the inferiour in subjection may upon his command do without sin. Who can justly charge Joab (2 Sam. 24:2 and on) with sin in numbering the people, when David urged him by virtue of his authority so to do? (See Treatise 7, Section 37.) Yet did David sin in commanding it. Without all question Saul did sin in charging the people by an oath, to eat no food the day that they pursued their enemies [a time when they had most need to be refreshed with good, and Jonathan's words imply] and yet did not the people sin in forbearing: witness the event that followed on Jonathan's eating (1 Sam 14:24, etc.), though he knew not his father's charge. Who seeth not hereby, that it is a matter of much more difficulty to rule well, than to obey? Which is yet further evident by God's wise disposing providence in ordering who should govern, who obey. Commonly the younger for age, the weaker for sex, the meaner for estate, the more ignorant for understanding, with the like, are in places of subjection: but the elder, stronger, wealthier, wiser, and such like persons, are for the most part, or at least should be in place of authority. Woe to thee o'land [saith Solomon] (Eccl 10:16) when thy king is a child. And Isaiah (Isa 3:4) denounceth it as a curse to Israel, that children shall be their princes, and babes shall rule over them, and complaineth that women had rule over the people (Isa 3:12).

Now to return to the point, though it be so that Governours have the heaviest burden laid of their shoulders, yet inferiours that are under subjection think their burden the heaviest, and are loathest to bear it, and most willing to cast it away. For naturally there is in every one much pride and ambition, which as dust cast on the eyes of their understanding, puttest out the sight thereof, and so maketh them affect superiority, and authority over others, and to be stubborn under the yoke of subjection: which is the cause that in all ages, both in divine, and also by human laws, penalties and punishments of divers kinds have been ordained, to keep inferiours in compass of their duty: and yet [such is the pride of man's heart] all will not serve. What age, what place ever was there, which hath not just cause to complain of subjects' rebellion, servants' stubbornness, children's disobedience, wives' presumption? Not without cause therefore doth the Apostle first declare the duties of inferiours.

Besides, the Apostle would hereby teach those who are under authority, how to move them that are in authority over them, to deal equally and kindly, not hardly and cruelly with them, namely, by endeavouring to perform their own duty first. For what is it that provoketh to wrath, rage, and fury in Governours? What maketh them that have authority, to deal roughly, and rigorously? Is it not for the most part disobedience, and stoutness in those that are under government? Though some in authority be so proud, so savage, and inhumane, as no honor done to them, no performance of duty can satisfy and content them, but they will [as David's enemies (Psa 38:20)] reward evil for goodness, yet the best general direction that can be prescribed to inferiours, to provoke their Governours to deal well with them, is, that inferiours themselves be careful and conscionable in doing their duty first. If their Governours on earth be nothing moved therewith, yet will the highest Lord in heaven graciously accept it.

Lastly, men must first learn to obey well, before they can rule well: for they who scorn to be subject to their Governours while they are under authority, are like to prove intolerably insolent when they are in authority.

Learn all that are under authority, how to win your Governour's favor: how to make your yoke easy, and your burden light: how to prevent many mischiefs which by reason of the power of your superiours over you may otherwise fall upon you: First do ye your duty.

There are many weighty reasons to move Governours first to begin to do their duty. For,

First, by virtue of their authority they bear God's image, therefore in doing their duty they honor that image.

Secondly, by reason of their place they ought to go before such as are under them.

Thirdly, a faithful performance of their duty, is an especial means to keep their inferiours in compass of theirs.

Fourthly, their failing in duty is exemplary: it causeth others under them to fail in theirs, and so it is a double sin.

Fifthly, their reckoning shall be the greater: for of them who have received more, more shall be required.

It were therefore to be wished that superiours and inferiours would strive who should begin first, and who should perform their own part best, and in this kind strive to excel, as runners in a race strive to out-strip one another (1 Cor 11).

But if question be made who shall begin, I advise inferiours not to stand out in this strife, but to think the Apostle first inciteth them: and that it is the safest for them to begin: for in this contention inferiours are like to fare that worst, by reason of the power which superiours have over them. And though it be more against our corrupt, proud, and stout nature, to be subject and obey, yet let us so much the more endeavour to yield duty in this kind. For it is an especial part of spiritual prudence, to observe what our corrupt nature is most prone unto, and wherein it most swelleth up, that therein we may most strive to bear it down: nature is contrary to grace, and the wisdom of the flesh is enmity against God (Rom 8:7).

11. Of the reasons why wives' duties are first taught.

Quest. Why among other inferiours are wives first brought into the school of Christ to learn their duty?

Answ. Many good reasons may be given of the Apostle's order even in this point.

First, of all other inferiours in a family, wives are far the most excellent, and therefore to be placed in the first rank.

Secondly, wives were the first to whom subjection was enjoined: before there was child or servant in the world, it was said to her, thy desire shall be subject to thine husband (Gen 3:16).

Thirdly, wives are the fountain from which all other degrees spring: and therefore ought first to be cleansed.

Fourthly, this subjection is a good pattern unto children and servants: and a great means to move them to be subject.

Fifthly, I may further add as a truth, which is too manifest by experience in all places, that among all other parties of whom the Holy Ghost requireth subjection, wives for the most part are most backward (see Treatise 3, Section 4) in yielding subjection to their husbands. But ye wives that fear God, be careful to your duty: and though it may seem somewhat contrary to the common course and practise of wives, yet follow not a multitude to do evil (Exo 23:2). Though it be harsh to corrupt nature, yet beat down that corruption: yea though your husbands be backward in their duties, yet be ye forward, and strive to go before them in yours: remembering what the Lord saith (Matt 5:46,47). If you love them which love you, what singular thing do ye? Yea remembering also what the Apostle saith, (1 Tim 2:14) The woman was first in the transgression (Gen 3:16), and first had her duty given unto her, and was made for the man, and not man for the woman (1 Cor 11:9).

Thus shall ye deserve that commendation of good wives, Many have done virtuously, but ye excel them all (Prov 31:29).

Having hitherto handled the forenamed general instructions, I will proceed to a more distinct opening of the words; and collect such observations as thence arise, and then particularly declare the several duties which the three orders in a family owe each to other.

12. Of wives' subjection.

Ephesians 5:22. Wives subject your selves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

The word by which the Apostle hath noted out the duties of wives, is of the middle voice, and may be translated passively as many have done, or actively as our English doth [submit your selves] and that most fitly: for there is a double subjection.

1. A necessary subjection: which is the subjection of order.

2. A voluntary subjection: which is the subjection of duty.

The necessary subjection is that degree of inferiority, wherein God hath placed all inferiours, and whereby He hath subjected them to their superiours, that is, set them in a lower rank. By virtue thereof, though inferiours seek to exalt themselves above their superiours, yet are they subject unto them, their ambition doth not take away that order which God hath established. A wife is in an inferiour degree, though she domineer never so much over her husband.

The voluntary subjection, is that dutiful respect which inferiours carry towards those whom God hath set over them: whereby they manifest a willingness to yield to that order which God hath established. Because God hath placed them under their superiours, they will in all duty manifest that subjection which their place requireth.

Because it is a duty which is here required, the voluntary subjection must needs be here meant: and to express so much, it is thus set down, submit your selves.

Though the same word be here used that was in the former verse, yet it is restrained to a narrower compass, namely to subjection of reverence (see Section 3. I. Observe).

Here learn that to necessary subjection, must voluntary subjection be added: that is, duty must be performed according to that order and degree wherein God hath set us. This is to make a virtue of necessity.

Under this phrase [submit your selves] all the duties which a wife oweth to her husband are compassed, as I shall afterwards (see Treatise 3, Section 2) more distinctly show.

13. Of the persons to whom wives must be subject.

In setting down the parties to whom wives owe subjection, the Apostle noteth a particle of restraint and that to show that a wife ought to have but one husband, which is more plainly expressed in another place by the same phrase, let every woman have her own husband: that is, only one proper to her self; so as (1 Cor 7:2) (see Section 82,83).

It is unlawful for a wife to have more than one husband at once.

A wife must submit her self only to that one, proper husband, and to no other man [as she is a wife and yieldeth the duty of a wife] so as the subjection of adulteresses is here excluded: and the duty required is, that

A wife must yield a chaste, faithful, matrimonial subjection to her husband.

Hereby the way note the foolish collection of Adamites, Familists, and such like licentious libertines, who from the general words which the Apostle useth [men and women] infer that all women are as wives to all men, and that there needeth not any such near conjunction of one man with one woman. Which beastly opinion as it is contrary to the current of Scripture, and to the ancient law of marriage [two shall be one flesh] so also to this clause [their own husbands]. The Apostle, in using those general words, followed the Greek phrase, which putteth those two words [men, women] for husbands and wives: so also do other tongues, yea and our English. The particular relation, which is betwixt the persons who are meant by those two words, doth plainly show how they are to be taken, and when they are to be restrained to man and wife. To take away that ambiguity, our English hath well translated them, husband and wife.

To direct and provoke wives unto their duty, the Apostle addeth this clause [as unto the Lord] which is both a Rule and a Reason of wives' subjection. It directeth wives by noting the restraint of their obedience, and the manner thereof.

The restraint in that wives ought so to obey their husbands as withal they obey the Lord; but no further: they may not be subject in any thing to their husbands, that cannot stand with their subjection to the Lord.

The manner in that wives ought to yield such a kind of subjection to their husbands, as may be approved of the Lord. Thus the Apostle himself expoundeth this phrase, chapter 5, verse 5, 6.

It provoketh wives to submit themselves to their husbands, by noting the place of an husband, which is, to be in the Lord's stead, bearing His image, and in that respect having a fellowship and partnership with the Lord, so as

Wives in subjection themselves aright to their husbands are subject to the Lord. And on the contrary side,

Wives in refusing to be subject to their husbands, refuse to be subject to the Lord.

14. How an husband is his wife's head.

Ephesians 5:23. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church: and he is the Savior of the body.

The place of an husband intimated in the last clause of the former verse, is more plainly expressed, and fully explained in this verse. His place is expressed under the metaphor of an head: and amplified by his resemblance therein unto Christ.

The particle of connection [For] showeth that this verse is added as a reason: which may fitly be referred both to the duty itself: and to the manner of performing it.

The metaphor of an head enforceth the duty.

The amplification thereof by the resemblance that is made to Christ, enforceth the manner of performing the duty.

A wife must submit her self to an husband, because he is her head: and she must do it as unto the Lord, because her husband is to her, as Christ is to the Church.

The metaphor of an head declareth two points:

1. The dignity of an husband.

2. The duty of an husband.

1. As an head is more eminent and excellent than the body, and placed above it, so is an husand to his wife.

2. As an head, by the understanding which is in it, governeth, protecteth, preserveth, provideth for the body, so doth the husand his wife: at least he ought so to do: for this is his office and duty: this is here noted to show the benefit which a wife receiveth by her husband: so as two motives are included under this metaphor.

The first is taken from the husband's perogative, whence note that

Subjection must be yielded to such as are over us. For this is a main end of the difference between party and party. To what end is the head set above the body, if the body be not subject to it?

The second is taken from the benefit which a wife reapeth by her husband's superiority: and it showeth that

They who will not submit themselves to their superiours are injurious to themselves: as the body were injurious to it self, if it would not be subject to the head (see Treatise 3, Section 73)

15. Of the resemblance of an husband to Christ.

The more to enforce the forenamed reason, the Apostle addeth the resemblance that is betwixt an husband and Christ , as this note of comparison [even as] showeth: whence it followeth that

It is meet for a wife to submit her self to her husband, as for the Church to submit it self to Christ. This amplification is especially added for Christians. Heathens may be moved to subject themselves to their Governours, by the resemblance taken from a natural body. How much more ought Christians to be moved by the resemblance taken from the mystical body of Christ?

These words [and he is is the Saviour of the body] as they do declare the office of Christ, and the benefit which the Church reapeth, so they note the end why an husband is appointed to be the head of his wife, namely that by his provident care he may be as a saviour to her. It is here noted rather to show the benefit which a wife reapeth by her husband, than the duty which he oweth: for that the Apostle declareth afterwards, verse 25, etc. The meaning then is, That as Christ was given to be an head of the Church which is his body, that he might protect it, and provide all needful things for it, and so be a Saviour to it, even so for that very end are husbands appointed to be head of their wives.

Upon this ground the Apostle inferreth the conclusion in the next verse.

16. Of the resenblance betwixt:

The Church to Christ.

A wife to her husband.

Ephesians 5:24. Therefore as the Church is subject to Christ, so let wives be to their own husbands in everything.

This conclusion setteth forth not only the duty itself, but also another Reason, and another Rule to provoke and direct wives to perform their duty: and that under the pattern of the Church.

The reason may be thus framed, That which the Church doth to Christ, a wife must do to her husband. But the Church is subject to Christ. Therefore a wife must be subject to her husband.

The proposition is grounded on that resemblance which is betwixt the Church in relation to Christ, and a wife in relation to her husband: for an husband is that to his wife, which Christ is to the Church; therewith a wife must be so to her husband, as the Church is to Christ.

The rule noteth both the Manner [as] and also the Extent of a wife's subjection [in everything] (see more of the manner and extent of a wife's obedience, Treatise 3, Section 51 and 63).

Quest.. Is mortal and sinful man to be obeyed as the Lord Christ the eternal Son of God?

Answ. This extent is to be restrained to the generality of the things in question. As in other places, where the Apostle saith, all thing are lawful for me, he meaneth all indifferent things, for of them his speech was in that place. And where again he saith, Whatsoever is set before you, eat, he meaneth, whatsoever good and wholesome meat: for of that he spake.

Thus much of the main drift of the Apostle in setting before wives the example of Christ, to whom husbands are like in dignity, and the example of the Church, to whom wives ought to be like in duty.

I will further consider these examples of Christ and the Church more distinctly by themselves, without any relation to man and wife: and out of them note such general instructions as concern all Christians.

17. Of the relation betwixt Christ and the Church.

Ephesians 5:23, 24. Christ is the head of the Church: and He is the Saviour of the body. The Church is subject unto Christ in everything.

Behold here the mutual relation betwixt:

1. Christ.

2. The Church.

Wherein more concerning Christ,

1. His preeminence over the Church, [He is her head].

2. His goodness to her, [He is her Saviour].

Note also concerning the Church,

1. Her perogative, [she is the body of Christ].

2. Her duty. In laying down whereof there is noted, 1. Wherein it consisteth [The Church is subject to Christ], 2. How far it extendeth, [in everything].

The title Head is given to Christ in two respects.

1. In regard to His dignity and dominion over the Church (Col 1:18).

2. In regard of the near union betwixt Him and the Church (Eph 4:15-16).

This union is more fully expressed afterwards, in verse 30.

The dignity of Christ is here principally intended: so as Christ is the highest in authority over the Church: the titles Lord (2 Cor 8:6), Father, Master, Doctor (Matt 23:7-9), Prophet (Deut 18:15), First-born (Col 1:18), with the like, being by a kind of excellency and propriety attributed to Him, prove as much.

The causes hereof are

1. The good pleasure of God His Father.

2. The dignity of His person being God-Man.

3. The merit of His sacrifice whereby He hath redeemed and purchased His Church unto himself.

4. The omnipotency of His power whereby He is able to protect it.

5. The all-sufficiency of Spirit, whereby He is able to give to every member all needful grace.

Till the Pope of Rome can show so good reason for this title [Supreme head of the whole Church] we will account him a blasphemous usurper thereof.

Object. He is not accounted an Imperial head as Christ is, but only a Minister All head.

Answ. 1. This distinction is without all ground or warrant of Scripture.

2. It implieth plain contradiction. For to be a ministerial head, is to be an head and a Minister, which is all one as an head and member in relation to the same thing.

3. Though in these two words [Imperial, Ministerial] they may seem to advance Christ above the Pope, yet in their own interpretation of these words they make the Pope equal to Christ, if not advance him above Christ. For they say that Christ is an imperial head to quicken the Church inwardly: and the Pope a ministerial head to govern it outwardly. First let it be noted, how little congruity this exposition hath with the words expounded. Doth this word [imperial] intimate a quickening virtue? Doth this word [ministerial] imply a governing power? Nay, is there not great incongruity in this, that Christ should be the Imperial head, and yet the Pope an head to govern? Besides, doth not this rend asunder two of Christ's offices, and leaving one to Christ, give another to the Pope, and so make him equal with Christ? If the particular branches of this government which is given by papists unto the Pope by virtue of his headship be observed, we shall find that to be verified in him, which the Apostle hath foretold concerning Antichrist, that as God he sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God (2 Thess 2:4) For they give to him the keys of heaven and hell, to shut or open the one or other as pleaseth him: they give him power to dispense with God's laws, to coin articles of faith, to make laws to bind men's consciences directly and immediately, to give pardon for sin, to free subjects from allegiance to their Sovereigns, to canonize Saints, and what not? But to let these impious blasphemies pass, beside that this perogitive of Christ [to be head of the Church] (Eph 1:21-23) is incommunicable [for thereby the Apostle proveth Christ to be advanced far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name, etc.] Christ needeth not for the execution of his office therein any Vicar, or Deputy: for as head he filleth all in all things: and by his eternal spirit is He in heaven, earth, and every place where any of His members are, according to His promises made unto His Church (Matt 18:20; 28:20).

Much comfort and great confidence must this needs minister to all such as have assurance that they are of this body: for having so mighty, so wise, so merciful an head, an head so sufficient every way, who can instruct, direct, guide, govern, protect, and help them in all their needs whatsoever, what need they fear? When we are assaulted by Satan, or any way set upon by any of his instruments, or are in any distress or need, let us lift up the eyes of our faith higher than we can the eyes of our body, and in heaven behold this our head, who is invisible, and we cannot but receive from thence much comfort, and encouragement.

18. Of the benefit of Christ's headship.

The goodness of Christ is set down in these words [and He is the Saviour of the body]. Every word almost hath His emphasis.

1. The copulative particle [And] showeth that The goodness which Christ doth for His Church, He doth because He is the head thereof.

O how happy a thing is it for the Church that it hath such an head! An head that doth not tyrannize over it, nor trample it under foot: an head that doth not pole, nor peel the Church: but procureth peace and safety to it. When Naomi sought to make a match betwixt Boaz and Ruth, that he might be her head, what saith she? Shall I not seek rest for thee that it may be well with thee? (Ruth 3:1). It is therefore the office of an head to be a Saviour, to procure rest and prosperity to the body whose head it is.

Happy were it for kingdoms, Commonwealths, cities, Churches, families, wives, and all that have heads, if they were such heads: that, because they are heads, they would endeavour to be Saviours.

19. Of Christ a sufficient Saviour.

In laying forth the goodness of Christ three things are noted.

1. The kind of goodness, which is Salvation [the Saviour].

2. The person that performeth [He Himself].

3. The parties for whom He performeth it [the body].

1. The Greek word translated Saviour is so emphatical that other tongues can hardly find a fit word to express the emphasis thereof: it being attributed to Christ, implieth that Christ is a most absolute and perfect Saviour, He is every way a sufficient Saviour: able perfectly to save even to the very uttermost. (Heb 7:25) He saveth soul and body: he saveth from all manner of misery: which is intimated by that particular from which he saveth, namely sin: He shall save His people from their sins. Sin is the greatest, and most grievous evil; yea, the cause of all misery: they who are saved from it, are saved from all evil: for there is nothing hurtful to man, but that which is caused by sin, or poised by it.

Before sin seized on man he was most happy, free from all misery: and so shall be after the contagion, guilt, punishment, dominion, and remainder of sin is removed. But he that remaineth in the bondage of sin is in a most woeful plight. In that Christ saveth from sin, He saveth from the wrath of God, the curse of the Law, the venom of all outward crosses, the tyranny of Satan, the sting of death, the power of the grave, the torments of hell, and what not?

The purity of Christ's nature, and excellency of His person is it that maketh Him so sufficient a Saviour: which reason the Apostle himself noteth: for where he saith that Christ is able to save to the uttermost, he addeth, for proof thereof, that He is Holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher then the heavens (Heb 7:25-26).

Great matter of rejoicing, and of confidence doth this minister unto us. When the Angel brought this news, To you is born a Saviour, he saith, Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy (Luke 2:10-11). This made the Virgin Mary say, My spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour, (Luke 1:47) and for this did Zacharias bless God that redeemed His people, and raised up a horn of salvation (vs. 68-69). When the eyes of old Simeon had seen this salvation, he desired no longer to live, but said, Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace (Luke 2:29-30).

They who believe in this Saviour will be of like mind: and as they rejoice in Him, so they will trust unto Him, and say with the Apostle, we are more than conquerors through Him that love us, etc. (Rom 8:37).

This being so, to what end serveth the supposed treasure of the Church, wherein are said to be stored up indulgences, pardons, merits, works of superogation, and I know not what trash, to add to the satisfaction of this Saviour? Either Christ is not a sufficient Saviour, or these are [to speak] the least vain. But vain they are: etc. and empty, filthy, detestable treasure that is, which God will destroy with all that trust therein.

20. Of Christ the only Saviour.

This relative particle [He] hath also emphasis; for as it pointeth out Christ the head of the Church, so it restraineth this great work to Him: it may thus be translated, He himself: that is, He in His own person, He by Himself, He and none but He. So as to speak properly,

Christ is the only Saviour of men: in which respect He is called the horn of salvation, (Luke 1:69) yea Salvation itself (Luke 2:30): which titles are given to Him by an excellency and propriety: and in the same respect the name Jesus was given unto Him (Matt 1:21).

Here by way note the blasphemous arrogancy of those great sectaries among the Papists, who style themselves Jesuits: assuming that name which is proper to this great office of Jesus Christ.

Object. Why is this name more blasphemous, than the title Christians?

Answ. One of their own religion doth thus resolve that objection: We are called Christians of Christ, not Jesuits of Jesus, because we partake of the thing signified by the name Christ, that is anointing: for [as the Apostle saith] we all receive of His fulness. But He hath not communicated to us the thing signified by the name Jesus; for it belongeth to Him alone to save, as saith the Scripture, He shall save His people: as if He should say, He alone, and no other (Matt 16).

But to return to our matter, Peter doth most plainly and fully prove the forenamed doctrine in these words spoken of Jesus Christ, There is not salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12) None is able, none is worthy to work so great a work: He must do it, or it can not be done. But He is so able, and so worthy as He can do it of Himself, and needeth none to assist Him (Isa 63:3).

What a dotage is it to trust to other Saviours? Legions of Saviours have Papists to whom they fly in their need. All the Angels in heaven, and all, whom at any time their Popes have canonized for Saints [which are many millions] are made Saviours by them. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this: for they have committed two evils: they have forsaken Christ the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water (Jer 2:12-13). (See The Whole Armour of God, Treatise 1, Part 1, Section 5.)

Let us for our parts fly unto this Saviour only, and wholly rely upon Him, as we desire to be saved. Thus shall we honour Him by preferring Him before all: yea by rejecting all but Him: and thus shall we be sure to bring help, ease and comfort to our own souls.

21. Of the Church the body of Christ.

The persons who receive any benefit by the Saviour, are all comprised under this metaphor the body: whereby the same thing is meant that was meant before by the Church.

Church according to the notation of the Greek word signifieth an assembly called together. It is in Scripture by a propriety attributed to them who are called to God.

This calling is twofold:

1. Outward, which is common to all that make profession of the gospel: in this respect it is said, many are called and few chosen.

2. Inward, which is proper to the elect, none but they, and all they in their time shall both outwardly be called by the word to a profession of Christ, and also inwardly and effectually by the Spirit to believe in Christ, and obey His Gospel. This is styled an heavenly calling (Heb 3:1), which is proper to the Saints (1 Cor 1:2). These make that Church, whereof Christ is properly the head: and therefore in relation to that metaphor of an head, they are called the Body: and that in these respects;

1. They are under Christ, as a body under the head.

2. They receive Spiritual life and grace from Christ, as a body natural receiveth sense, and vigour from the head.

3. Christ governeth them, as an head of the body.

4. They are subject to Christ, as a body to the head.

22. Of the extent of Christ's goodness to all His body.

This metaphor, by which the persons that reap the benefit of Christ's office are set forth, noteth two points.

1. All that are once incorporated into Christ shall be saved. The body compriseth all the parts and members under it: not only arms, shoulders, breast, back, and such like: but also hands, fingers, feet, toes, and all. Christ their head being their Saviour, who can doubt of their salvation?

2. None but those that are incorporated into Christ shall be saved. For this privilege is appropriated to the body.

The former point is clearly set forth by a resemblance, which the Apostle maketh betwixt Adam and Christ, thus: As by the offence of one, judgment came on all men to condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came on all men unto sanctification of life. Here are noted two roots, one is Adam, the other is Christ: both of them have their number of branches, to all which they convey that which is in them, as the root conveyeth the sap that is in it, into all the branches that sprout from it. The first root, which is Adam, conveyeth sin and death to all that come from him: and the other root, which is Christ, conveyeth grace and life to everyone that is given to Him: for saith He, All that the Father giveth me, shall come to me: and him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out: and a little after, he rendereth this reason, This is the Father's will, that of all which He hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

Object. Christ himself maketh exception of one, where he saith, none is lost but the son of perdition.

Answ. That phrase son of perdition, sheweth that Judas was never of this body: for can we imagine that Christ is a Saviour of a son of perdition?

Object. Why is he then excepted?

Answ. By reson of his office and calling he seemed to be of this body, and till he was made known, none could otherwise judge of him, in which respect S. Peter saith, he was numbered with us (Acts 1:17).

2. Answ. Christ there speaketh in particular of the twelve Apostles, and to be an Apostle of Christ was in itself but an outward calling.

This is a point of admirable comfort to such as have assurance of their incorporation into Christ, they may rest upon the benefit of this office of Christ, that he is a Saviour. We need not think of climbing up to heaven, and searching God's records to see if our names be written in the Book of Life. Let us only make trial whether we be of this body or no. For our help herein, know we that this metaphor of a body implieth two things.

1. A mystical union with Christ.

2. A spiritual communion with the Saints.

1. By virtue of that union they who are of Christ's body,

1. Receive grace, and life from him (Eph 4:15,16).

2. Are guided and governed according to his will (John 17:6).

3. Seek to honour him in all things they do (John 17:10).

4. Are offended and grieved when he is dishonoured by others (Gal 3:1, Psa 116:136).

2. By reason of their communion with the Saints being fellow members,

1. They love the brethren (1 John 4:11).

2. They are ready to succour such as are in distress (Matt 25:40).

3. They will edify one another (Eph 4:16).

4. They retain a mutual sympathy: rejoicing, and mourning one with another (1 Cor 12:26).

23. Of the restraint of the benefit of Christ's headship to them only that are of his body.

That none but those who are of Christ's body, shall partake of the benefit of his office, is clear by other like titles of restraint, as his people (Matt 1:21), and his sheep (John 10:15): but especially by denying to the world the benefit of his intercession. I pray not for the world saith he (John 17:9). In this respect this postiion [out of the Church no salvation] is without exceptionn true: for the body is the true, catholic, invisible Church: he that is not a member of this Church, but is out of it, hath not Christ to be his head and Saviour, whence then can he have salvation?

The former point is not more comfortable to those that have assurance that they are members of this body, than this is terrible to those that give too great evidence they are no members thereof; as all they do that have not the spirit of Christ ruling in them, but rather rebel against him: and bear no love to the Saints, but rather hate them, and do them all the spite they can.

24. Of the Church's subjection to Christ.

Ephesians 5:24. The Church is subject unto Christ in everything.

The duty which the Church in way of thankfulness performeth to Christ her head for this great benefit, that he is her Saviour, is Subjection: Under which word is comprised all that obedience and duty, which in any kind Christ requireth of the Church, in and by the word.

Quest. Is it possible for that part of the Church which is here on earth, to yield such obedience?

Answ. It will faithfully endeavor to do what it can: and that honest and utmost endeavor Christ graciously accepteth for a perfect performance of all.

In that it is here taken for granted, that the Church is subject to Christ; I may, as from a general to particular, infer that

Whosoever is of the true catholic Church is subject to Christ, and yieldeth obedience to his word. We will run after thee, saith the Church to Christ. My sheep hear my voice and follow me (John 10:27), saith Christ of that flock, which is his Church.

For Christ conveyeth his own spirit into his mystical body the Church, and into every member thereof: which spirit is much more operative, and lively than the soul of man. If therefore man's soul quickening every part of the natural body, make them subject to the head, much more will the spirit of Christ bring the members of his mystical body in subjection to himself. If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies, by the Spirit that dwelleth in you (Rom 8:11).

Hereby let trial be made of particular visible Churches and of particular persons, whether they are indeed of this true catholic Church or no. Those visible Churches which refuse to be governed by Christ's word, and are wholly governed by human traditions, which rise against Christ and play the adulterers by committing idolatry, are not of this catholic Church which is subject to Christ. No more are infidels that defy Christ, heretics that deny him, ignorant persons that know not his will, profane persons that despise him, worldlings that lightly esteem him, nor any that persecute or scorn him in his members. By this we may see that many have a name that they are of the Church, who indeed are not.

Object. Many such persons may belong to God's election, and so be of that body whereof Christ is a Saviour.

Answ. Election indeed giveth them a title to Christ, but they cannot reap any benefit by that title till they have a possession of Christ by virtue of their spiritual union with him. Neither can they have any assurance of their election, till they find by the quickening virtue of the spirit, that they are united unto Christ. Wherefore so long as men remain destitute of the Spirit of Christ, and are possessed with a contrary Spirit, they may well be judged for the present to be none of this body, nor to have any part in Christ, their future estate being referred to him who only knoweth what it shall be.

25. Of the extent of the Church's subjection.

The extent of the Church's subjection to Christ is without any restraint at all, in everything. For there is nothing which Christ requireth of her, but she may with a good conscience, and must in obedience yield unto. Just, and pure, and perfect are all his commandments, there is no error in any of them: no mischief or inconvenience can follow upon the keeping of them. This extent being here taken for granted, I may further infer that

They who are of the true catholic Church will yield universal obedience to Christ: they will obey him in all and every of his commandments. David turned not aside from any thing that the Lord commanded him (1 Kings 15:5). Josiah turned to the Lord with all his heart according to the law (2 Kings 23:25) and Zacharias and Elizabeth, walked in all the commandments of God (Luke 1:6). All these were of this Church: and of their mind are all others that are of this Church.

For the Spirit of Christ which is in them worketh a thorough reformation: even as the flesh leadeth a natural man on to every sin, so the Spirit of Christ stirreth him up to every good duty. In which respect it is said, that whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin (1 John 3:9).

Object. The best Saints in all ages have transgressed in many things (James 3:2).

Answ. Their sins though grievous, have not willfully in open rebellion against Christ been committed, but they have slipped from them partly through their own weakness, and partly through the violence of some temptation. So as that which the Apostle saith of himself, may be applied to all that are of the body of Christ, That which I do I allow not: Now then is it no more I that do it, but the sin that dwelleth in me (Rom 7:15-17).

This extent is a good proof of the truth of subjection, for herein lieth a main difference between the upright, and the hypocrite; yea between restraining and renewing grace. That restraining grace which is in many hypocrites stirreth them to do many things which Christ commandeth, if at least they cross not their honor, profit, ease, and the like. Herod that notorious hypocrite did many things (Mark 6:20). None that beareth the name of the Church, but will be subject in some things. But none but the upright, who are indeed renewed by the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, will in all things make Christ's will their rule, and in everything hold close to it, preferring it before their pleasure, profit, preferment, or any other outward allurement. They who so do, give good evidence that they are of the body of Christ, and may rest upon it, that Christ is their Saviour.

26. Of the sum of husbands' duties.

Ephesians 5:25. Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church and gave himself for it.

From wives' duties the Apostle proceedeth to press husbands' duties. And he propounded to wives for a pattern, the example of the Church, so to husbands he propoundeth the example of Christ: and (v. 28,29) addeth thereunto the pattern of a man's self, in regard of that natural affection which he beareth to his body. Thus he added pattern to pattern, and doth the more largely and earnestly press them, because husbands having a more honorable place, their failing in duty is the more heinous, scandalous and dangerous.

The Apostle restraineth the duties of husbands to their own wives, as he did the duties of wives to their own husbands. For though the same word be not here used which was before, yet a word of like emphasis is used: and as good reason there is that our English translators should have put in this particle [own] in this verse, as in the twenty-second verse, for proof whereof, read 1 Corinthians 7:2. Where (see Section 82) these two words are used and both of them translate own.

This I have the rather noted, because many who hold that a wife must have but one husband, conceit that a husband may have more wives than one: which conceit this particle [own] wipeth away. All the duties of an husband are comprised under this one word: love. (See Treatise 4, Section 2) Wherein that an husband might be the better directed, and whereto that he might be the rather provoked, the forenamed example of Christ, and of his love to the Church, is very lively set forth: first generally in these words, even as Christ loved the Church: and then more particularly in the words following.

27. Of the example of Christ's love.

The note of comparison [even as] requireth no equality as if it were possible for an husband in that measure to love his wife, as Christ loved his Church; [for Christ in excellency and greatness exceedeth man, so in love and tenderness]. But it noteth an equity and like quality.

An equity, because there is as great reason that husbands by virtue of their place should love their wives, as that Christ by virtue of his place should love the Church.

A like quality because the love which Christ beareth to the Church is every way without exception: and a love which turneth to the good and benefit of the Church. Hence note two points.

1. Husbands must come as near as they can to Christ in loving their wives. In which respect, because they can never love so much as Christ did, they must never think they have loved enough.

2. Though their love in measure cannot equal Christ's love, yet in the manner thereof it must be like Christ's, a preventing, true, free, pure, exceeding, constant love.

The measure and manner of Christ's love is distinctly noted, (see Section 61). And the love which an husband oweth his wife paralleled and applied thereto, which application may be also made of that Christian mutual love which we owe one to another.

The love of Christ to the church is amplified,

1. By an effect thereof, in these words, He gave himself for it.

2. By the end of that effect, largely set down, verse 26, 27.

The effect is noted partly as a confirmation of the truth and declaration of the measure of Christ's love.

The Act [he gave] sheweth that his love was indeed and truth: not only in shew and pretence.

The Object [himself] sheweth that he loved his Church more than his own life. A greater evidence of love could not be given: for greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend (John 15:13).

The end of Christ's love (set forth verse 26, 27) is noted to show that he so loved his Church for her good and happiness, rather than for any advantage to himself.

As this example of Christ's love to his Church is set before husbands: so it may and ought also to be applied to all Christians: and that in a double respect.

1. As a motive to stir them up to love both Christ himself and also their brethren.

2. As a pattern to teach them how to love.

A motive it is to love Christ, because love deserveth love: especially such a love, of such a person as the love of Christ is. Yea, our love of Christ is an evidence that we are loved of Christ, as smoke is a sign of fire. Wherefore both in thankfulness to Christ, for his love to us, and for assurance to our own souls of Christ's love to us, we ought in all things that we can to testify our love to Christ.

A motive is also to love our brethren, because Christ being in heaven, our goodness extendeth not to him (Psa 16:2): but our brethren on earth stand in his stead, and the love we shew to them, we shew to him; and he accepteth it as done to him: Ye fed me, ye visited me, (Matt 25:35,40) saith Christ to them that fed and visited his brethren. This love also, even the love of our brethren, (John 4:20) is an evidence that we are loved of God. Wherefore if Christ so loved us, we ought also to love one another (John 4:11).

How the love of Christ is a pattern, I will afterward shew (see Treatise 4, Section 61).

28. Of Christ's giving himself.

Ephesians 5:25. And gave himself for it.

This fruit and effect of Christ's love extendeth itself to all the things that Christ did or suffered for our redemption: as, that he descended from heaven, took upon himself our nature, and became a man; that he subjected himself to the Law, and perfectly fulfilled it; that he made himself subject to many temptations of the devil and his instruments; that he took upon him our infirmities; that he became a King to govern us, a Prophet to instruct us, a Priest to make an atonement for us: that he subjected himself to death, the cursed death of the cross, and so made himself an oblation and sacrifice for our sins; that he was buried; that he rose again; that he ascended into heaven, and there sitteth at God's right hand to make intercession for us. For after that Christ had taken upon him to be our head and Saviour, he wholly set himself apart for our use, and our benefit: so as his person, his offices, his actions, his sufferings, his humiliation, his exaltation, the dignity, the purity, the efficacy of all is the Church's, and to her good do they all tend. This in general is the extent of this fruit of Christ's love, he gave himself for it.

More particularly, we may note these three points:

1. The action, what he did, [he gave].

2. The object, what he gave, [himself].

3. The end, why he gave himself, [for it] for the Church's good.

The action having relation to the object, most especially pointeth at the death of Christ. The Greek word is a compound word, and signifieth to give up. It implieth two things:

1. That Christ willingly died: the simple word [gave] intimateth so much.

2. That his death was an oblation: that is, a price of redemption, or a satisfaction: the compound word [gave up] intimateth so much.

29. Of the willingness of Christ to die.

That Christ willingly died is evident by the circumstances noted about his death: when Peter counseled him to spare himself, and not to go to Jerusalem [where he was to be put to death] (Matt 16:22,23) he called him Satan, and said, he was an offence to him: when Judas went out to betray him (John 13:27), he said unto him, That thou doest, do quickly (John 18:2). When Judas was gone out to get company to apprehend him, he went to the place where he was wont, so as Judas might readily find him; yea he met them in the mid-way that came to take him; and he asked them whom they sought, though he knew whom they sought: and when they said, Jesus of Nazareth, he answered, I am he: When they came to him, he drove them backward with a word of his mouth, and yet would not escape from them: (Matt 26:53) He could have prayed to the Father to have had more than twelve legions of Angels for his safeguard against those that apprehended him, but would not: (Matt 27:42) when by his adversaries he was provoked to have come down from the cross, and could have done so, he would not. (Mark 15:39) At the instant of giving up the ghost, he cried with a loud voice: which shewest that his life was not then spent, he might have retained it longer if he would: and thereupon the Centurion gathered that he was the Son of God. (John 2:19, Matt 28:6) When he was actually dead, and laid in the grave, he rose again. These and other like circumstances verify that that which Christ said of himself, (John 10:18) No man taketh my life from me, but I lay it down of myself. It was therefore no necessity that compelled him to die, but his voluntary obedience.

Christ is (Acts 3:15) the Lord, Prince and Author of life, and hath an absolute power as over the life of others, so over his own life.

Thus when we see that his sacrifice was a voluntary and free gift: the cause thereof was his own will and good pleasure.

Exceedingly doth this commend the love of Christ: and assureth us that it is the more acceptable to God, who loveth a cheerful giver (2 Cor 9:7).

Let us in imitation of our head, do the things whereunto we are called willingly and cheerfully, though they seem never so disgraceful to the world, or grievous to our weak flesh.

30. Of the kind of Christ's death, an oblation.

That Christ's death was an oblation, and a price of redemption, is evident by the death of those beasts which were offered up for a sacrifice, and therein were a type of Christ's death. But expressly it is noted by this Apostle, where he saith, Christ hath given himself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour (Eph 5:2), and again, Christ gave himself a ransom (1 Tim 2:6). The phrases of redeeming (1 Peter 1:18,19), purchasing (Acts 20:28), buying (2 Peter 2:1) with the like, attributed to Christ and his blood, do further confirm the same.

Learn hereby to consider Christ's death, not as the death of a private man, but of a public person, of a surety, of a pledge, that in our room and stead was made sin (2 Cor 5:21), and was made a curse (Gal 3:13) to redeem us from our sins, and from the curse which by sin was fallen upon us. The comfort and benefit of Christ's death is lost, if this be not known and believed. In this consisteth a main difference between the death of Christ, and all other men, no the most righteous martyrs excepted. Their death was but a duty, and debt: no satisfactory oblation, no price, no ransom, as Christ's was.

31. Of the infinite value of the price of our redemption.

The object, or thing which Christ gave for a ransom was himself, not his body alone, nor his body and soul only, but his person consisting of his two natures, human and divine.

Quest. How could his divine nature be given up? Could it suffer? Could it die?

Answ. 1. The Deity simply considered in and by itself, could not die. For the Son of God assuming an human nature into the unity of his divine nature, and uniting them together without confusion, alteration, distractions, separation, in one person, that which is done by one nature is done by the person, and in that respect the Scripture often attributeth it to the other nature: as when it is said, They crucified the Lord of glory (1 Cor 2:8) and God purchased the Church with his own blood (Acts 20:28).

2. Though the divine nature of Christ suffered not, yet did it support the human nature, and add dignity, worth the efficacy to the sufferings of that nature.

3. Christ's divine nature had proper and peculiar works in the work of redemption, as to sanctify his human nature, to take away our sins, to reconcile us to God, and the like.

Thus then in three respects the whole person of Christ was given to us.

1. In regard of the inseparable union of both natures.

2. In regard of the assistance of the Deity in those things which the human nature of Christ did.

3. In regard of some proper actions pertaining to the Deity.

In that the person of Christ God-Man was given up, I gather that

The price of our redemption is of infinite value (1 Peter 1:19). Not Christ, nor God himself could give a greater. Heaven and earth and all things in them are not of like worth. Well therefore might S. Peter call it precious blood: and prefer it before silver, gold, and all other things of great price.

1. What place can be left for despair in those that know and believe the worth of this ransom?

2. What can be held too dear for him, that notwithstanding the infinite excellency of his person gave himself for us? can goods, can friends, can children, can liberty, can life, can anything else?

3. What just cause have we to give up ourselves a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to him that gave himself for us (Rom 12:1)?

4. How ungrateful, how unworthy of Christ are they, that for his sake will not forsake their unstable honors, fading wealth, vain pleasure, garish attire, and such like trash?

32. Of Christ s seeking the good of the Church.

The End why Christ gave himself was, for the Church: for as Christ in his death aimed at our good (2 Cor 5:21). He was made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in him: he was made a curse for us, and hath redeemed us from the curse of the law (Gal 3:13). He gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us (Gal 1:4): he laid down his life for the sheep (John 10:15).

This proves Christ's giving of himself to be a fruit of his love: for love seeketh not her own (1 Cor 13:5).

Learn we hereby to apply all that Christ did to ourselves. If for us he gave himself, he and all pertaining to him is ours (see Section 28).

Learn we also hereby how to manifest love: namely by seeking, and procuring the good of others. Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth (1 Cor 10:24). If this were practiced, would there be such oppressing, such undermining, such deceiving, such wrongdoing of one another as there is? Too truly is the Apostle's complaint verified in our days. All seek their own (Phil 2:21). But let that mind be in us which was in Christ Jesus, and thus manifest our love, as we desire to partake of this fruit of Christ's love.

From hence by just consequence it followeth that Christ merited not for himself. Was there any need that Christ should come down from heaven on earth, to purchase anything for himself? When he was going out of the world, thus he prayed, Now, O Father, glorify thou me with the glory which I had with thee before the world was (John 17:5). Did Christ by anything which he did on earth merit that glory which he had before the world was? All the exaltation whereunto he was advanced even in his human nature, was due to the dignity of his person.

1. Object. He endured the cross for the joy that was set before him (Heb 12:2).

Answ. He used that joy which of right was due to him as an help to support him in the weakness of his human nature, not as a recompense which he should deserve.

2. Object. He became obedient to the death of the cross, Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him (Phil 2:9).

Answ. That particle [wherefore] doth not declare the cause, but the order of his exaltation: noting a consequence that followed after his death. After he had humbled himself so low, he was most highly advanced.

3. Object. Christ being man was bound to the Law: and therefore for himself he ought to fulfill it.

Answ. If he had been mere man, that were true. But he uniting his human nature unto his divine, and making of both one person, which person was God as well as man, he was bound to nothing further than it pleased him voluntarily to subject himself unto for our sakes.

2. If Christ were bound to the Law, of duty he must have fulfilled it: and if of duty he was to fulfill it, how could he thereby merit so high a degree of honor as he is advanced unto?

This conceit of Christ's meriting for himself, doth much extenuate the glory of Christ's grace and goodness in giving himself.

33. Of the particular ends, why Christ gave himself, and of the condition of the Church before Christ took her.

Ephesians 5:26. That he might sanctify it, and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.

The general end of Christ's giving himself being before intimated in this phrase [for us] is in this and the next verse particularly exemplified: and that in two branches.

One respecteth the estate of the Church in this world (v. 26).

The other respecteth her estate in the world to come (v. 27).

The latter of these two is the most principal.

The former is subordinate to the latter, an end for the accomplishing of the other end, for the Church is here made pure, that hereafter it may be made glorious.

In laying down the former he noteth

1. The end whereat Christ aimed.

2. The means. whereby he effected that which he aimed at. That end is set forth in these words, that he might sanctify it (see Section 39) having cleansed it [thus may they word for word be translated] so as that which for order of words is in the latter place, for order of matter is in the first place.

The word [cleansing] pointed out our justification.

The word [sanctifying] expresseth our sanctification.

The means of effecting these are two.

1. Baptism comprised under this phrase, washing of water.

2. The word.

The two branches of the former end, namely cleansing and sanctifying do in general imply two things.

1. The condition of the Church in itself.

2. The alteration thereof by Christ.

The condition is presupposed, which is, that she was impure, polluted, in the common estate of corrupt man. Things in themselves pure, are not cleansed, but things foul and impure: persons of themselves freed, and exempted from a common misery, need not another's help to free and exempt them. Seeing then that the Church stood in need to be cleansed and sanctified surely.

The Church in herself was, as the world, polluted. Very lively is this set forth by the Prophet Ezekiel under the similitude of a wretched infant born of a cursed parentage, whose navel was not cut, who was not washed, salted, nor swaddled, but cast out in the open field, polluted with blood. Oft doth the Apostle, setting forth the wretched estate of the world, note of the true members of the church, that we ourselves also were such (Titus 3:3, Eph 2:3, 1 Cor 6:11).

The Church consisteth of none other than of such as came out of Adam's loins. Now as all the brood which cometh from vipers, adders, toads, spiders, and other venomous dams, are infected with poison, so all the sons of Adam are polluted with sin. That which is born of the flesh [as is every mother's child, not the members of the Church excepted: for they have fathers and mothers of their flesh] is flesh; that is, polluted and corrupt. Therefore when we are taken into the Church, we are born again (John 3:3,5).

This our former estate by nature is oft and seriously to be thought of, and that in respect of Christ, ourselves and others.

1. In regard of Christ, the more to magnify his love. Our former estate, before he cast the wings of his mercy upon us, sheweth our unworthiness, our vileness, and wretchedness, and in that respect it openeth our heart and mouth to think and say, O Lord our Lord, what is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou visiteth him! (Psa 8:1,4) Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world! (John 14:22) The right knowledge of our former estate, and a due consideration thereof, maketh us ascribe all the glory of our present dignity, and happiness, to Christ that altered our estate, as S. Paul, (1 Tim 1:12) I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who hath enabled me, who was before a blasphemer. Yea it maketh us the more to prize and esteem the present estate, as David (2 Sam 7:18).

2. In regard of ourselves this is to be thought of, to humble us, and to keep us from insolent boasting in those privileges whereof through Christ we are made partakers. To this purpose doth the Apostle thus press this point, Who maketh thee to differ from one another? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it? (1 Cor 4:7) When a man is exalted from a mean, to a great place, and thereupon waxeth proud and insolent, we say, he hath forgotten from whence he came. So as remembrance of our former condition is a means to preserve humility, and to suppress insolence.

3. In regard of others it is to be thought of, to move us the more to commiserate their woeful estate, who yet remain as we once were; to conceive hope that their estate may be altered as well as ours was; to pray and use what means we can that it may be altered. To provoke Christians to shew all meekness to them which were without, the Apostle renders this reason, for we ourselves also in times past were foolish (Titus 3:3). (Read how forcibly this is urged, Romans 11:18-20).

34. Of Christ's preventing grace.

In setting down the alteration of the forenamed condition note.

1. The manner of laying it forth.

2. The matter of substance thereof.

The manner is implied in this conjunction. That [that he might sanctify it] Christ loved the Church, and gave himself for it, not because it was sanctified, but that he might sanctify it; so as

The grace which Christ sheweth to the Church, is a preventing grace. Sanctification is no cause, but an effect of Christ's love: and followeth in order after his love. His love arose only and wholly from himself: in the parties loved, there was nothing but matter of hatred before they were loved. Moses thus saith of the love of God to Israel, The Lord did not set his love upon you because ye were more in number, but because the Lord loved you. This at first may seem to be [as we say] a woman's reason, that the Lord should set his love on them because he loved them, but it being duly observed, we shall find excellently set forth the ground of God's love rest altogether in himself, and in his own good pleasure. Yea, this being noted as the end of Christ's love, that he might sanctify it, (Deut 7:7,8) it further sheweth that it was not any foresight of holiness in the Church that moved him to love it: first he loved it, and then sought how to make it amiable, and worthy to be loved.

Herein differeth Christ's love from the love of all men towards their spouses: for they must see something in them, to move them to love. When Ahash-verosh was to choose a wife, the maidens out of whom he was to take one, were first purified, and then he took her in whom he most delighted: But Christ first loveth his spouse, and then sanctifieth it. Before he loved it, he saw nothing in it why he should prefer it before the world.

Seeing of him, and through him, and to him is all the beauty and dignity of the Church, the glory be to him for ever. Amen (Rom 11:36).

35. Of Christ's seeking to make his Church pure.

The matter or substance of that subordinate end which Christ aimed at in giving himself for the Church, is in these words. [that he might sanctify it having cleansed it] which in general shew that:

Christ seeketh the purity of his Church. For this end hath he shed his own most pure and precious blood [for his blood cleanseth us from all sin (1 John 1:7)] and conveyeth his holy Spirit into his body the Church, which is called the Spirit of Sanctification (Rom 1:4), because it reneweth and sanctifieth those in whom it is.

This Christ aimeth at, that he might make his spouse-like to himself, pure, as he is pure.

That end which Christ aimed at, we that profess ourselves to be of this Church, must endeavor after: for every man that hath this hope in him purgeth himself as he is pure (1 John 3:3). Let us therefore use all good means to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh, and spirit.

This being the end which Christ aimeth at for the good of his Church to cleanse it, that who findeth themselves cleansed have a good evidence that they are of this Church: they who are not cleansed can have no assurance thereof.

How unworthy are they of this benefit, that live as the world, and like swine upon every occasion wallow in the mire, being drawn by every temptation into sin? Do they not, as much as in them lieth, make the death of Christ to be in vain, and pervert that main end, which Christ aimed at in giving himself?

But what may be thought of such as Ishmael-like mock and scoff at those that labor to be cleansed?

36. Of the Church's justification.

The two particular parts of the forenamed end, which are cleansing, and sanctifying, do more distinctly set forth the purity of the Church even in this world. Cleansing hath relation to the blood of Christ, and so pointeth out our justification.

Sanctifying hath relation to the Spirit of Christ, which worketh our sanctification.

From this cleansing of the Church here meant, I gather, that

No sin lieth upon the Church: for the blood of Christ purgeth from all sin. This is to be taken of the guilt of sin, which by Christ's death is clean taken away: so as that sin which is in us is as not in us, because it is not imputed unto us (1 John 1:7).

Behold here the blessed estate of the Church, for Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not sin (Psa 32:1,2).

37. Of the Church's sanctification.

From the sanctifying of the Church here mentioned, I further gather, that

The Church is made holy and righteous: This is here meant of that inherent righteousness which the Spirit of Christ worketh in all the members of his body. In which respect they are called Saints: (1 Cor 1:2) so as not only the guilt of sin is taken away, but also the very body of sin is so destroyed in them, (Rom 6:6) as it can no more reign in them, nor they obey it in the lusts thereof: but instead of the dominion of sin the Spirit of Christ reigneth in them, and leadeth them unto all righteousness.

Behold here the free estate of the Church: whereas the world lieth under the slavery of sin, and tyranny of Satan, the Church is made free from sin, and a servant of righteousness dead to sin, and alive to God in Jesus Christ (Rom 6:18, 11).

38. Of the Church's purity before God and man.

From the connection of these two benefits of Christ's death, justification and sanctification together, we see that The Church is both spotless before God and blameless before men (Titus 2:11,12). The blood of Christ so cleanseth her as in God's sight she hath no spot of sin: and the spirit of Christ so sanctifieth her, as her righteousness shineth before men: for the grace of God teacheth her to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world (Psa 45:13). In this respect the Church is said to be all glorious within, and her clothing also to be of wrought gold. And Zacharias and Elizabeth, members of this Church, are said to be righteous before God and blameless, namely before men (Luke 1:6). There is no such purity in any, as in the Church. For true and perfect beauty is only in the body of Christ, which is the Church, whereof it is said, Thou art fair, and there is no spot in thee (Cant 4:7).

1. Quest. Is it possible that neither God nor man should espy any fault in those that are of the true Church, while here they live in this world?

Answ. Seeing the flesh remaineth in the best while they remain in the world, it is not possible but that both God and man must needs espy many blemishes in the best. All things are naked and opened to the eyes of God (Heb 4:13): If therefore any remnant of sin be in the Saints [as there are exceeding many in every one, so as if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8)] it is without question manifest in his sight. Yea, such is the imperfection and weakness of the best Saints, as the flesh continually lusting in them against the Spirit, oft times prevaileth, and so sheweth itself in some ill fruit or other, as the eye of man espieth it: instance the examples of the best that ever lived in any age.

2. Quest. How then are they spotless before God, and blameless before men?

Answ. 1. God so fully dischargeth and aquitteth the Church of all her sins, as she is in his account as if she had no speck of sin at all. David in this respect useth the metaphor of covering sin, and explaineth his meaning by these two phrases, forgiving, not imputing sin (Psa 32:1,2).

2. The course of a man's life, not his or that particular action, is it which maketh a man blame-worthy, or blameless: as the flock of swallows, and not one here, or another there, it is which sheweth the spring. Now because the constant carriage of those who are of the Church is before men blameless, they may justly be so accounted, notwithstanding some particular things blame-worthy do sometimes pass from them. Behold here how the true Saints may boldly lift up their faces before God and man. The soundness of their faith causeth confidence before God. The testimony of their conscience causeth courage before men. Let all that desire this boldness, join a sound faith and a good conscience together, and labor for assurance both of their cleansing by the blood of Christ and sanctifying by the Spirit of Christ.

39. Of the order and dependance of justification and sanctification one upon another.

The order and manner of knitting these two benefits together is worthy to be noted.

The letter setteth sanctification in the first place: but the sense presupposeth justification: for thus he saith, that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it. Because the cleansing here spoken of is an inward invisible work, and the evidence thereof is sanctification, which is an outward and sensible work, therefore this is first expressed, and then that inferred, as a matter necessarily to be presupposed.

Our English with this particle [having] doth fitly and properly expound the Greek active participles of the praeterperfect or finite tense, which because the Latins want, they are fain to use the passive, or a periphrase: as ut illam sanctificaret mundatam, Erafm. Postquam eam purgasset, Beza.

Hence arise these Doctrines.

1. Justification in order goeth before sanctification: I say in order, because at that very moment that Christ by his blood cleanseth his Church, he beginneth to sanctify her: but when he beginneth to sanctify her, he hath cleansed her, she is justified.

The grace then of justification is a most free grace: it is not wrought upon any righteousness of ours: for it is before it.

2. Christ sanctifieth those whom he hath cleansed. This the Apostle copiously loveth in the sixth chapter to the Romans. Let none therefore boast of their cleansing by Christ's blood, till they find themselves renewed and sanctified by the Spirit of Christ. For note the Apostle's description of those who are justified by Christ, which for more perspicuity may thus be set down by question and answer. To whom is there no condemnation? To them that are in Christ Jesus. Who are they? They who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit (Rom 8:1).

3. Sanctification presupposeth justification: they who are sanctified may rest upon it, that they are cleansed and justified.

For sanctification is a fruit of justification, in which respect S. James' faith, that we are justified by works, that is, declared to be (James 2:24).

Admirable is the comfort, which the Saints in this world reap hereby. For their sanctification being imperfect, and the flesh abiding in them, and lusting against the spirit: yea sin being present with them when they would do good, they are oft forced to complain and cry, O wretched man that we are: who shall deliver us from this body of death (Rom 7:24)? If they had no other ground to fasten the anchor of their hope upon but their sanctification, it could not hold them fast enough against the tempest of Satan's temptations. But in that their sanctification is a fruit and evidence of their justification, they take heart to themselves, and thank God that with the mind they themselves serve the Law of God, though with the flesh the Law of sin. And thus upheld and comforted, they continue to strive against sin, till it be clean rooted out of them, as well as remitted.

40. Of sacramental washing of water.

One of the means which Christ useth for the cleansing and sanctification of his Church, is expressed under this phrase, with the washing of water. Water is the outward element used in baptism: Washing is the principle sacramental rite therein. Water setteth forth Christ's blood: Washing noteth out application and efficacy thereof, which is the purging and cleansing of our souls. As water without washing maketh nothing clean: so the blood of Christ, without a right application thereof, cleanseth no man's soul.

This washing of water here mentioned, being applied to an inward spiritual cleansing, what can it else set forth but the sacrament of baptism, wherein both water and washing is used?

Object. There is but little washing used in the sacrament of baptism, nothing but sprinkling a little water on the face of the party that is baptized.

Answ. That sprinkling is sufficient to shew the use of water. The party to be baptized is not brought to the fonte to have his face, or any other part of his body made clean, but to have assurance of the inward cleansing of his soul. Now that our minds may not too much dote on the outward thing done, but be wholy raised up to the mystery, the outward element is no further used, then may serve to put us in mind of the inward thing signified thereby: answerably in the Lord's Supper there in not so much bread and wine given and received, as would satisfy one's appetite, or slake his thirst, but only a little bit of bread, and taste of wine, to declare the use of bread and wine, and so to draw the minds of the communicants to a consideration of their spiritual nourishment by the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

41. How baptism is a means of cleansing and sanctifying.

The manner of inferring this sacramental washing upon the sanctifying and cleansing of the Church thus, with the washing of water, sheweth, that

Baptism is a means of sanctifying and cleansing the Church. All those places of Scripture that attribute regeneration (John 3:5; Titus 3:5), justification (Gal 3:27), sanctification (Rom 6:3) or salvation (1 Peter 3: 21) thereunto, prove as much. But that the truth thereof may be fully and distinctly be conceived, I will briefly shew,

1. In what respect baptism is a means of our sanctifying and cleansing.

2. What kind of means it is.

3. How necessary it is.

In four special respects it may be said to be a means as aforesaid.

1. In that it doth most lively represent and set forth even to the outward senses the inward cleansing of our souls by the blood of Christ, and sanctifying of us by the Spirit of Christ. Apply the use of water [by the washing whereof soul things are made very clean] to the virtue of Christ's blood and efficacy of his Spirit, and the truth hereof will evidently appear. For the better help in this application, read Romans 6:4.

2. In that it doth truly propound and make tender, or offer of the grace of justification and sanctification ot the party baptized. In this respect it is thus described, baptism of repentance for remission of sins, (Luke 3:3) and S. Peter to like purpose saith, Repent and be baptized every one of you for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).

3. In that it doth really exhibit and seal up to the conscience of him that is baptized the forenamed graces, whereby he is assured that he is made partaker thereof. Thus Abraham received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness of faith (Rom 4:11). Hence it is that the eunuch and others when they were baptized, went away rejoicing (Acts 8:39, 16:34).

4. In that it is a particular and peculiar pledge to the party baptized, that even he himself is made partaker of the said graces: therefore every one in particular is baptized for himself: yea, though many be at once brought to the front, yet every one by name is baptized. To this purpose saith the Apostle, whosoever are baptized into Christ, have put on Christ (Gal 3:27), whosoever whether Peter, John, Thomas, or any other particular person. Ananias said to Paul in the singular number, Be thou baptized, and wash away thy sins (Acts 22:16).

42. Objections against the efficacy of baptism answered.

1. Object. Many that are baptized receive no such grace at all, they are neither cleansed nor sanctified.

Answ. They are only outwardly washed with water, they are not baptized with the Holy Ghost. The fault is not in that no grace accompanieth that sacrament, but in that they receive not, but reject the grace which appertaineth thereto: what if some believe not? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid (Rom 3:3).

2. Object. Many receive the forenamed graces before they are baptized, as Abraham before he was circumcised, and such as were baptized after they believed. How then is baptism a means thereof? (Rom 4:11)

Answ. Their spiritual cleansing is more lively and fully manifested thereby, and they the more assured thereof.

3. Object. Many who long after their baptism, have lived like swine in sin, and so have not been cleansed or sanctified, yet divers years after having been effectually called: what means hath baptism been hereof?

Answ. The use and efficacy of baptism is not as the act thereof, transient, but permanent and perpetual so long as the party baptized liveth. Whensoever a sinner unfeignedly repenteth, and faithfully layeth hold of the promises of God, baptism which is the seal thereof is as powerful and effectual as it could have been when it was first administered. For the efficacy of baptism consisteth in the free offer of grace. So long therefore as God continueth to offer grace, so long may a man's baptism be effectual. On this ground we are but once for all baptized: and as the prophets put the people in mind of their circumcision (Jer 4:4), so the Apostles of their baptism long after it was administered. Yes, they speak of it [though the act were long before past] as if it were in doing, in the time present, baptism saveth (1 Peter 3:21).

43. What kind of means of grace baptism is.

II. Baptism is no physical or natural means of working grace, as if the grace which is sealed up thereby were inherent in the water, or in the Minister's act of sprinkling it [as in medicines, salves, herbs, meats and the like, there is inherent that virtue which proceedeth from the use of them: and being applied, they have their operation, whether a man believe it or no] but it is only a voluntary instrument which Christ useth, as it pleased him, to work what grace, or measure of grace seemeth best to him: so as grace is only assistant to it, not included in it: yet in the right use thereto, Christ by his Spirit worketh that grace which is received by it, in which respect the Minister is said to baptize with water, but Christ with the Holy Ghost and with fire (Matt 3:11).

44. Of the necessity of baptism.

III. A means of working a thing may be said to be necessary in two ways.

1. Absolutely, so as the thing cannot possibly be without it. Thus are the proper causes of a thing absolutely necessary, as in this case, God's covenant, Christ's blood, and the operation of the Spirit, are absolutely necessary for attaining any grace.

2. By consequence, so as according to that course and order which God hath set down, things cannot be without them.

Baptism is not absolutely necessary as a cause: for then should it be equal to God's covenant, Christ's blood, and the work of the Spirit. Yea, then should all that are baptized without any exception be cleansed.

But it is by consequence necessary: and that in a double respect.

1. In regard of God's ordinance.

2. In regard of our need thereof.

1. God having ordained this a sacrament to be used, it is necessary it should be used, if for no other end, yet for manifestation of our obedience. He that carelessly neglecteth, or willfully condemneth any sacrament which God shall enjoin him to use, his soul shall be cut off (Gen 17:4).

2. Great is the need that we have thereof, in regard of our dullness in conceiving things spiritual, and of our weakness in believing things invisible. We are carnal, and earthly: and by things sensible and earthly, do the better conceive things spiritual and heavenly: therefore hath God ordained visible elements to be sacraments of invisible grace. Again we are slow to believe such things as are promised in the word, therefore the more to help and strengthen our faith, God hath added to his covenant in the word, his seal in and by the sacrament: that by two immutable things, [God's covenant and God's seal] in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation. Besides, though in general we do believe the truth of God's word, yet we are doubtful to apply it to ourselves: wherefore for better applying God's covenant to our own soul, God hath added his Sacrament to his word.

45. Of the contrary extremes of Papists and Anabaptists about the necessity and efficacy of baptism.

There are two extremes contrary to the forenamed points about baptism.

One in the excess, which is of Papists that attribute too much thereunto, and make it a plain idol.

Another in the defect, of Anabaptists and Libertines, which derogate too much from it, and make it an idle ceremony.

In two things do Papists exceed: 1. in the necessity, 2. in the efficacy of baptism.

They make it so absolutely necessary, as if any die unbaptized he cannot be saved: which doom they pass against infants, though they be deprived thereof without any fault of their own, yea or of their parents, being stillborn. A merciless sentence without any warrant of God's word: yea against his word and against the order which he hath prescribed. He hath established his covenant, and promised to be the God of the faithful and of their seed: on which ground S. Peter saith, The promise is unto you and unto your children (Acts 2:39), and S. Paul saith, your children are holy (1 Cor 7:14). Shall all these privileges be made void by an inevitable want of baptism? If so, would God have enjoined circumcision [which to the Jews was as baptism is to Christians] to be put off to the eighth day, before which day many infants died? or would Moses have suffered it to be forborne all the time that the Israelites were in the wilderness? If it be said that baptism is more necessary than circumcision, I answer, the Scripture layeth no more necessity upon it. If it were so necessary as they make it, then the virtue of Christ's death were less effectual since he was actually exhibited than before. For before it was effectual for infants without a sacrament, but belike not now. Had the ancient Churches conceived so of the absolute necessity of baptism, they would not have had set times for the administering thereof: nor suffered it to be put off so long as they did. Some Churches appointed it to be administered only at Easter. Some at Easter and Whitsuntide. And though many who gave evidence of their true faith died before they were baptized yet they did not thereupon judge them to be damned. This practice and judgment of the ancients hath made many Papists somewhat to mitigate that absolute necessity, and to say that, In this case, God which hath not bound his grace, in respect of his own freedom, to any sacrament, may and doth accept them as baptized, which either are martyred before they could be baptized, or else depart this life with vow and desire to have that sacrament, but by some remediless necessity could not obtain it. If remediless necessity can help the matter, what necessity so remediless, as for a child to be stillborn.

Again, they add such efficacy to baptism, as it giveth grace of the works itself wherein they equal it to the very blood of Christ; and take away the peculiar work of the Spirit; and the use of faith, repentance, and such like grace. What can there be more in the water of baptism, than was in the blood of such beasts as were offered up for sacrifices? But it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sin (Heb 10:4). They themselves attribute no such efficacy to the word preached, and yet they cannot shew where the Holy Ghost hath given more virtue to baptism, than to the word. This text joineth them both together [that he might cleanse it with the washing of water through the word (1 Cor 1:21)]. What can be more said of a means than that which is said of the word? It pleased God by preaching to save them that believe. The Gospel is the power of God to salvation, &c. (Rom 1:16)

On the other side, Anabaptists, and such like Libertines, too lightly esteem this holy and necessary ordinance of God, in that they make it only a badge of our profession, a note of difference betwixt the true and false Church, a sign of mutual fellowship, a bare sign of spiritual grace, a resemblance of mortification, regeneration into Christ, with the like, but no more: These indeed are some of the ends and uses of baptism: But in that they restrain all the efficacy thereof hereunto, they take away the greatest comfort, and truest benefit which the Church reapeth thereby, as may be gathered out of the points noted before (Section 41).

46. Of the inward washing by baptism.

In that with this washing of water, Christ cleanseth his Church, I observe that

Whosoever are fully baptized are cleansed from sin.

Fully that is, powerfully and effectually, as well inwardly by the Spirit, as outwardly by the Minister.

Cleansed, both from the guilt of sin by Christ's blood, and from the power of sin by the work of his Spirit.

To this purpose tend the many emphatical phrases attributed by the Apostles to baptism, as that we are baptized into Jesus Christ, baptized into his death, buried with him by baptism (Rom 6:3,4); that baptism doth save us (1 Peter 3:21); that baptism is the washing of regeneration (Titus 3:5), with the like.

Vain is the rejoicing of many, who boast of their baptism, and think themselves by virtue thereof to be as good Christians as the best, and yet live and lie in their sin, being more besmeared and defiled therewith than they were, when they were first born. John saith, Christ baptiseth with the holy Ghost and with fire (Matt 3:11): the Apostle saith, Christ cleanseth with the washing of water. If that fire of the holy Ghost burn not up the dross of sin in thee, and this water wash not away the filth of sin, thou were never fully baptized. It may be the hand of some Minister hath sprinkled a little water on thy face, but Christ's blood hath not as yet been sprinkled on the soul: all the benefit which thou reapest by thy baptism is, that another day thou shalt dearly answer for the abuse of so honourable an ordinance.

47. Of joining the word with baptism.

The other means of sanctifying and cleansing the Church here expressed, is the Word. This being applied unto baptism, and joined with it, must needs be meant of the promise of Grace sealed up in baptism, which is God's promise of justifying us freely and sanctifying us effectually, plainly made known and truly believed: This means being thus added to this sacrament, we may well infer that

It is necessary that the Word and baptism go together: that where this sacrament is administered, the doctrine thereof be truly, plainly, intelligibly taught, so as the nature, efficacy, end, and use thereof may be made known; and the covenant of God sealed up thereby, believed. So saith Christ, Go teach all nations baptizing them (Matt 28:19). So did the Baptist (Luke 3:3), and the Apostles, they preached the Gospel to them who they baptized (Acts 2:38; 8:12,37; 10:47; 16:15,33).

1. A sacrament without the word is but an idle ceremony: no more than a seal without a covenant: for it is the Word that maketh known the covenant of God.

2. It is the Word which maketh the greatest difference betwixt the sacramental washing of water, and ordinary common washing.

3. By the Word the ordinary creatures which we use are sanctified, much more the holy ordinances of God, whereof baptism is one of the principal.

Quest. Is it not then lawful to administer baptism without a sermon?

Answ. Though it be a very commendable, and honourable manner of administering that sacrament, than to administer it when the word is preached, yet I think not a sermon at that time to be so necessary, as it should be unlawful without one, to administer baptism. For the joining of the Word and sacrament here spoken of is, that they who are baptized, or who present children to be baptized, and answer for them, or are present at the administering of baptism, or live in the places where it useth to be administered, should be instructed in the Gospel, and taught the covenant which baptism sealeth up. Besides, the liturgy and public form prescribed for the administering of baptism both in our Church and other reformed Churches, layeth down the nature, efficacy, end, use, and other like points appertaining to the sacrament, and plainly declareth the covenant of God sealed up thereby: so as in our and other like Churches where such forms are prescribed to be always used, the Word is never separated from baptism, though at the administering of baptism there be no sermon.

The Church of Rome doth directly transgress against the forenamed rule of joining the Word and baptism together. For though they have a public form prescribed, yet it being in an unknown tongue, not understood of the people, not expounded to them, it is all one as if there were no form at all, no Word at all: for that which is not understood is all one as if it were not uttered (1 Cor 14:9).

Much more heinous is their transgression who live under the Gospel, where it is preached plainly to the understanding and capacity of the meanest, and yet are careless in coming to it, or in attending unto it, and so remain as ignorant as if they lived in places where the Word is not preached at all, or in an unknown tongue. Such ignorant persons if they were not baptized are not worthy while they remain so ignorant to be baptized, nor yet to present their children to be baptized, or to be present at the baptism of others. As Ministers that baptize ought to preach the Word, so ought they who are baptized to be instructed in the Word.

48. Of the inference of glorification upon justification and sanctification.

Ephesians 5:27. That he might present it to himself a glorious Church, &c.

The most principal end, in regard of the Church's good, which Christ aimed at when he gave himself for her, is her glorious estate in heaven: this is the end of the forenamed end. For why did Christ give himself for the Church? That he might sanctify it, having cleansed it: why did he cleanse, and sanctify it? That he might present it to himself a glorious Church. Hence note these three points.

1. Justification and sanctification must go before glorification.

2. The end why the Saints are cleansed and sanctified in this world, is that they may be presented glorious to Christ in the world to come.

3. The only means to make us glorious before Christ our spouse is righteousness.

1. All those places of Scripture which set our righteousness in this world before our glory in the world to come [as very many places do] do prove the first point, that Justification and Sanctification must go before Glorification. Among other proofs note especially the order of the several links of that golden chain that reacheth from God's eternal counsel before the world, unto our everlasting glory after this world, Whom he did predestinate them he also called; and whom he called them he also justified; and whom he justified them he also glorified (Rom 8:30).

1. Heaven, the place of our glorification, is an holy City, whereinto no unclean thing shall enter (Rev 21:10,27).

2. In that place the Church is to be married unto Christ, and to be ever with him: she must therefore be pure as he is pure (1 John 3:2,3): for he will not endure the society of a foul filthy spouse.

As we desire assurance of our glorification in heaven, so let us get, and give evidence of our justification and sanctification on earth. The evidence of our justification is a sound and true faith. The evidence of our sanctification is a good and clear conscience.

The forenamed proofs and reasons do also confirm the second point, that The end why the Saints are cleansed and sanctified in this world is, that they may be presented glorious to Christ in the world to come.

It is therefore needful and behoveful, not only in regard of Christ's honour, but also of our own glory and happiness, that here while we live on earth we be sanctified and cleansed. If Christ for our sakes had an eye at our future and everlasting glory, and for that end prepared means to bring us thereunto, ought not we ourselves much rather have an eye thereat, and both avoid all things which may hinder it, and use all means whereby we may be assured of it? Moses had respect unto the recompence of the reward (Heb 11:26). Yea Christ for the joy which was set before him endured the cross, and despised the shame (Heb 12:2).

3. That Righteousness is the only means to make us glorious before Christ our spouse, is evident, that Christ gave himself to work and effect this means for this end. Christ himself by his death, hath consecrated this, and no other means. If there be any other means than that which Christ by offering up himself hath procured, what need Christ to have been offered up? To shew that this is the means to make the Church glorious before Christ, the holy Ghost resembleth the righteousness of the Saints to fine linen, clean, and white (Rev 19:7,8), wherewith the wife of the Lamb is made ready against the day of marriage.

Christ himself loveth righteousness and hateth wickedness (Psa 45:7): they therefore, and none but they that are arrayed with righteousness, are glorious in his eyes.

This I have the rather noted against the conceit of our adversaries, who place all the glory of the Church in outward pomp. Wherefore their Pope whom they make head of the Church, and after a peculiar manner the spouse of Christ, must have his triple crown, his scarlet robes, his throne advanced above kings: Men must be his horses to bear him: and Kings and nobles must be his men to wait on him. Their priests also must be arrayed with glorious capes of the best wrought gold. Their temples must be decked with curious, carved, gilded images. Their host carried about in manner of a triumph. Their people all besprinkled with water. Their superstitious houses must be the fairest building in a kingdom, and have the greatest revenues of a kingdom belonging to them: with the like.

Is this glory fit for Christ's spouse? belike then Christ hath carnal eyes and ears: and is delighted with those things wherewith the world is delighted. The wiser among the heathen did scoff at such base conceits which their people had of their gods. Shall Christians think more basely of Christ, than the heathen of their gods? Too much do most people dote on outward worldly glory: even so much as they neglect true righteousness.

For our parts as we desire to appear before Christ so as he may think us glorious, let us be arrayed with righteousness and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord (Heb 12:14).

49. Of the fruition of Christ's presence in heaven.

Ephesians 5:27. That he might present it to himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing: but that it should be holy, and without blemish.

Having noted the inference of this verse upon the former: I will now handle it distinctly by itself. In it is contained a description of the glorious estate of the Church in heaven. Of that estate must this description be here meant, for on earth it is not simply without spot or wrinkle: though it be prepared so to be.

This estate is 1. Generally propounded, 2. Particularly exemplified.

In the general proposition is noted, 1. Her condition [she is presented to Christ], 2. Her quality [glorious].

The particular exemplification thereof is

1. Privative, by removing all deformity: noted in two words, Spot, Wrinkle.

2. Positive, by adorning her with beauty: noted also in two words, Holy, Blameless.

The word present is taken from the custom of solemnizing a marriage: first the spouse was wooed, and then set before her husband that he might take her to wife, to be with him. Thus Eve was presented by God to Adam that he might take her for his wife (Gen 2:22): and Esther among other virgins was presented to Ahash-verosh (Esth 2:13). This sheweth that

The Church in heaven shall enjoy the presence of Christ: Christ himself saith expressly to his disciples, I go to prepare a place for you, that where I am, there ye may be also (John 14:2,3). On this ground did the Apostle desire to depart, namely to be with Christ (Phil 1:23), and to be present with the Lord (2 Cor 5:8).

In heaven is the marriage betwixt Christ and the Church solemnized, which here on earth hath been in preparing. God the Father hath given his son unto the Church (John 3:16), and the Church unto his son (John 17:6): yea Christ himself hath purchased the Church unto himself by his blood (Acts 20:28), and promised marriage unto her, and the more to assure the Church of his love he hath bestowed many gifts upon her (Eph 4:8): he hath further sent his Ministers in his name to woe (John 3:29) and beseech the Church to give her consent (2 Cor 5:20), and to prepare her as a pure virgin for himself (2 Cor 11:2): Hereupon the Church hath given her consent, for as a spouse she is subject unto Christ as unto an head (Eph 5:24). These things being so, how can it be thought that Christ will forsake her, and not receive her to be with him forever?

Can the thought of death be terrible to such as know and believe the truth hereof? Will not rather the consideration thereof make them with the Apostle to sigh, and desire to depart, that they may be with the Lord? The highest degree of the Church's happiness consisteth in this fruition of the presence of her spouse: for so he becometh all in all unto her: not by means, as in this world, but immediately by himself: so as there shall need no Minister, no sacrament, no ordinance to set forth Christ unto us: no Governour in family, Church, or Commonwealth, to represent his person, or to keep us in subjection: no light to direct us, no food to sustain us; we shall be so assisted with Christ as we shall need nothing. If those servants were happy that stood continually before Solomon, what are they that always stand not as servants but as a wife in his presence that is infinitely greater than Solomon (Exo 33:23)? If it were a great grace and favour, that Moses saw the backparts of God (1 Cor 13:12), what a grace and favour is it, to behold Christ face to face? For when he doth appear, we shall see him as he is (1 John 3:2). Though now we be absent from the Lord, yet let us uphold ourselves with the expectation and assurance of this, that we shall be presented before Christ.

50. Of the glory of the Church in heaven.

The quality of the Church in heaven is as excellent as may be, and therefore here said to be glorious: all beauty, all comeliness, all grace, whatsoever may make the Church amiable, lovely, or any way to be desired, or admired, is comprised under this word glorious. In this respect the Saints are said to shine, and that as precious stones (Rev 21:11), yea as the firmament (Dan 12:3), as the stars, and as the sun (Matt 13:43): and to be like Christ himself (1 John 3:2): and to appear with him in glory (Col 3:4).

This glory of the Saints extendeth both to soul and body, and whole person.

In regard of their souls they shall be all glorious within (Psa 45:13): for they are Spirits of just men, made perfect (Heb 12:23): perfect knowledge, wisdom, and all manner of purity shall be in them (1 Cor 13:12).

In regard of their bodies, they shall be fashioned like to Christ's glorious body (Phil 3:21): and that in incorruption, immortality, beauty, brightness, grace, favour, agility, strength, and the like. It is therefore truly said, that the Church in the end of the world expecteth that which is before demonstrated in Christ's body.

In regard of their person, as a wife is advanced to the honour and dignity of her husband, so shall they to the honour and dignity of Christ, so far as they are capable of it: for they shall be next unto Christ (Luke 22:30), yea one with him (John 17:21), and so above the most glorious Angels (Heb 1:14).

Much more might be spoken of the glory of the Church: but never can enough be spoken thereof, no not by the tongue of men or Angels: for eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them which love him (1 Cor 2:9). When Paul was rapt up into the third heaven, and saw but a glimpse of this glory, he heard unspeakable words, which are not possible for man to utter (2 Cor 12:4). Wherefore when he speaketh of it, he useth such a transcendent kind of phrase, as cannot in any tongue be fully expressed (2 Cor 4:17): we thus as well as we can by one degree of comparison upon another translate it, a far more exceeding and eternal; weight of glory.

Is not this sufficient to uphold us against all the reproach and disgrace which the world layeth upon us, because we are of the Church of Christ? The world hath of old counted her, to whom Christ saith, Hephzibah (that is, my delight in her) and Beulah (that is, married) forsaken and desolate (Isa 62:4), yea as the filth of the world, and the off-scouring of all things (1 Cor 4:13). Among heathen, none so vilely esteemed of as Christians; and amongst Papists, none so as Protestants; and amongst carnal Gospellers, none so as they who endeavor to purify themselves as Christ is pure (1 John 3:3), and to avoid the common sins of the world. When for Christ's sake we are basely accounted of, let us think of this.

51. Of the Church's freedom from all deformity in heaven.

Not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.

The first point noted by the Apostle in his exemplification of the forenamed glory, is a removing of all deformity. The word translated spot, is taken for a stain on a garment, and a foul speck on a man's face, or other part of the body: or a scar, or other blemish in his flesh by a sore, wound, blow, or the like. The other word (wrinkle) is taken for a crease in the face through old age, for it signifieth a gathering together of the skin by old age: by it is meant any manner of breaking (as we speak) by age, sickness, trouble, pain, or the like. Because there may be also deformities other ways, the Apostle addeth this clause (or any such thing). These things applied to the Church, shew that

No manner of deformity shall cleave to the Church in heaven. There shall be in her no stain or contagion of sin received from others, no scar of any evil humour arising from itself, no wrinkle, no defect of spiritual moisture, no sign of the old man, nor any thing that may any way make it seem deformed, or uncomely in the sight of Christ. Not only great, heinous, capital sins, [which are as botches and boils, and as open, wide sores, gashes and wounds] but all spots and specks, all wrinkles and defects, all manner of blemishes whatsoever within, or without, shall be clean taken away. Sin shall not only be subdued in us, but utterly rooted out of us: no relic, no sign thereof shall be left remaining. In this respect it is said, that God shall wipe away all tears (Rev 7:17, 21:4), that is, shall take away all matter of mourning, sorrow, and grief. Now there is nothing that ministereth matter of more sorrow to the Saints than sin. That remnant of sin which was in the Apostle even after his regeneration, made him thus cry out, O wretched man that I am (Rom 7:24).

Though this be but a privative good, yet it addeth much to the heavenly happiness of the Saints. If it were possible that we should enjoy the rest and glory prepared for the Saints in heaven, and withal there should remain on us the spots and wrinkles of sin, these spots and wrinkles would be as the handwriting which appeared to Belshazzar in the midst of his jollity (Dan 5:5): they would be as gall mixed with wine: they would turn all our joy into heaviness, and take away the sweet relish of all our happiness. The consideration therefore of this privative benefit cannot but breed in the hearts of all such as are members of this Church a longing desire after this perfect purging of them from all deformity.

52. Of the perfect purity of the Church in heaven.

But that it should be holy and without blemish.

The last branch whereby the celestial glory of the Church is set forth, is the perfect purity thereof: the adversative particle [But] sheweth that the holiness here spoken of is no imperfect holiness, such as the sanctification of the Saints is in this world, but an absolute perfect holiness in all the parts and degrees thereof: such as is without spot or wrinkle: without relic, or sign of sin: and therefore by way of explanation is added, without blemish, or blameless: such as man, Angel, nor God himself can find fault withal. This attribute is oft applied to the person and blood of Jesus Christ (Heb 9:14; 1 Peter 1:19), and therefore it must needs set forth perfect purity. Whence we may observe that

The sanctification of the Saints shall be perfect in heaven. They shall not only be justified by having their sins covered to them, nor only have their sanctification truly begun in them, but also in every part, point, and degree thereof absolutely perfected: in which respect they are said to be just men make perfect (Heb 12:23). Adam in his innocency was not more pure than the Saints shall be in heaven: yea they shall far surpass Adam as in the measure, so in the stability and perpetuity thereof.

In our endeavor after holiness let us have an eye to this perfection: and not faint, if we attain not to that measure which we desire. Perfection is reserved for the world to come. Yet know we, that the more holy and blameless we are, the nearer we come to that heavenly estate: the more spots and blemishes of sin we have, the more unlike we are unto it, and the less hope we have of enjoying that heavenly happiness.

All the forenamed several points of the glorious estate of the Church in heaven should ravish our spirits, and even break our hearts with an holy admiration of Christ's goodness, and fill our mouths with praises for the same, and make us sigh, and long after the same, and with all good conscience and diligence use all the means we can to attain thereunto: no labour will be lost herein. Surely, this is either not known, or not believed, or not remembered, or not duly and seriously considered by such as make light account thereof. Let that which hath been but briefly touched be further meditated upon, and let us pray that the eyes of our understanding may be enlightened, that we may know what is the riches of the glorious inheritance of the Saints (Eph 1:18). Were it not for this hope, the Saints were of all the most miserable (1 Cor 15:19); whereas now they are the most happy.

53. Of the application of the things which Christ hath done for the Church, unto husbands.

Ephesians 5:28. So ought men to love their wives, etc.

The first clause of this verse serveth both for an application of the former argument, and also for a transition to another argument.

The particle of relation [So] sheweth that that which hath before been delivered of Christ's love to his Church, ought to be referred and applied to husbands. For as Christ loved his Church, So ought husbands to love their wives.

Quest. Why are these transcendent evidences of Christ's surpassing love to his Church set before husbands? can any such things be expected from husbands to their wives?

Answ. No, not for measure, but for likeness (see Section 27). For in this large declaration of Christ's love, there are two general points to be noted.

1. That the Church in herself was no way worthy of love.

2. That Christ so carried himself towards her that he made her worthy of much love.

This ought to be the mind of husbands to their wives.

1. Though they be no way worthy of love, yet they must love them.

2. They must endeavour with all the wit and wisdom they have, to make them worthy of love. I say endeavour because it is not simply in the husband's power to do the deed. Yet his faithful endeavour shall on his part be accepted for the deed.

Of these points I shall hereafter more fully speak.

54. Of the application of the love which a man beareth to himself, unto an husband.

Ephesians 5:28. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies.

The forenamed particle [So] hath also relation to another pattern, namely, of a man's self to his body: and so it is a transfixion from one argument to another.

There is some more emphasis here used in setting down an husband's duty, than was before (verse 25).

There it was laid down by way of exhortation, Husbands love your wives.

Here it is laid down with a straighter charge: Husbands ought to love their wives. So as this duty is not a matter arbitrary, left to the husband's will to do it, or leave it undone: there is a necessity laid upon him: he must love his wife. Woe therefore unto him if he do it not.

In setting down this argument taken from a man's self, the Apostle resembleth a man's wife unto his body: wherein he hath relation to verse 23 where he said, the husband is the head of the wife. Whereby he sheweth, that as an husband's place is a motive to his wife, for her to perform her duty: so to himself, for him to perform his duty.

He is her head, therefore she must be subject to him.

She is his body, therefore he must love her.

This example of a man's self is both a reason the more to move husbands to love their wives, and also a rule to teach them how to love them.

The reason is implied under that near union that is betwixt a man and his wife: she is as near to him as his own body: therefore she ought to be as dear to him. The body never dissenteth from itself, nor the soul against itself. So neither should man and wife.

The rule is noted under the manner of a man's loving his own body: as entirely as he loveth his body, so entirely he ought to love his wife.

Of the manner of a man's loving himself, see Treatise 4, Sections 74 and 76.

The more to enforce this comparison, the Apostle addeth, He that loveth his wife, loveth himself (Eph 5:28).

By this clause two things are implied.

1. That a wife is not only as a man's body, namely, his outward flesh, but as his person, his body and soul. She is as his body, because she was taken out of his body (Gen 2:23): and because she is set under him, as his body under his head. She is as himself, by reason of the bond of marriage, which maketh one of two (Matt 19:5,6). In which respect a wife is commonly called a man's second self.

2. That an husband in loving his wife loveth himself: so as the benefit of loving his wife will redound to himself, as well as to his wife.

55. Of the amplification of a man's love of himself.

Ephesians 5:29. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh: but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the Church.

The former pattern of a man's self is here further amplified. For first the Apostle proveth, that a man loveth himself: and then he sheweth how he loveth himself.

Two arguments are used to prove the point.

One is taken from the contrary: No man ever yet hated his own flesh. Therefore he loveth it.

The other is taken from the effects of love: To nourish and cherish one's flesh is a fruit of love: But every man nourisheth and cherisheth his flesh. Therefore he loveth it.

This latter argument sheweth the manner of a man's loving himself: and therein a man's love of himself is a rule to teach him how to love his wife.

This indefinite particle [no man] is to be restrained to such as have the understanding and affection of a man in them: as if he had said, no man in his right wits: for furious, frantic, mad, desperate persons will cut their arms, legs, and other parts, mangle their flesh, hang, drown, smother, choke, and stab themselves. Even so they are as men out of their wits, who hate, or any way hurt their wives: yea, it is the part of a mad man to doubt of loving, and doing good to himself.

These two words [to nourish and cherish] comprise under them a careful providing of all things needful for a man's body.

To nourish, is properly to feed.

To cherish is to keep warm.

The former is done by food: the latter by apparel. Under food, and apparel the Apostle compriseth all things needful for this life, where he saith, Having food and raiment, let us therewith be content (1 Tim 6:8).

This applied to an husband, sheweth that he ought to have a provident care for the good of his wife in all things needful for her.

That he may yet further press this point, he returneth again to the example of Christ [even as the Lord the Church]. The Apostle thought that this nail of love had need be fast beaten into the heads and hearts of husbands, and therefore addeth blow to blow to knock it up deep, even to the head: before he confirmed Christ's example with the example of ourselves: here he confirmeth the example of ourselves with the example of Christ again. This he doth for two especial reasons.

1. The more forcibly to urge the point: for two examples add weight one to another: especially this latter which is so far more excellent as we heard out of verse 25, 26 and 27.

2. To give husbands a better direction for their providence towards their wives, whom they must nourish and cherish, not only as their bodies, but as Christ nourisheth and cherisheth his Church, not only with things temporal, but also with things spiritual and eternal.

56. Of man's natural affections to himself.

Ephesians 5:28, 29. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies: he that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh: but nourisheth, and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the Church.

Having briefly shewed the general scope of the 28 and 29 verses, I will proceed to a more distinct handling of them.

They set forth The natural affection of a man to himself.

Two points are here to be noted.

1. The general proposition, that a man is well affected to himself.

2. The particular amplification, and manifestation of that affection.

This is manifested two ways.

1. Negatively, No man hateth his own flesh.

2. Affirmatively, and that in two branches, 1. Nourisheth, 2. Cherisheth it.

Both these are justified by the like affection of Christ to the Church which is his body [Even as the Lord the Church]. In that the Apostle propoundeth the natural affection of a man's self to his body as a motive and pattern to Christians, to love their wives, and also justifieth the same by a like affection of Christ to his Church, I observe that

Natural affection is a thing lawful and commendable: it is an affection which may stand with a good conscience: which God's word is so far from taking away, as it doth establish it. For such as are without natural affection are directly condemned (2 Tim 3:3): and we are commanded to be so kindly affectioned one to another as we are to ourselves (Rom 12:10). Yea the Law in the strict rigour thereof layeth down that natural affection which is in a man to himself as a rule for the love of his neighbour [thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself (Matt 22:39)]. Hence is it that the Prophets (Lev 19:18; Isa 58:7), Apostles (1 Cor 12:26; James 2:8), and Christ himself do oft call upon us to have an eye to that affection which we bear to ourselves. Of this pattern Christ saith, This is the Law, and the Prophets (Matt 7:12), this is the brief sum of them, this is it which they do much urge and press.

1. Natural affection was at first created of God, by him planted in man, so that as soul, body, the powers, and parts of them, are in their substance good things, this affection also in itself is good.

2. There are the same reasons to love ourselves, as our brethren. For we ourselves are made after God's image, redeemed by Christ's blood, members of the same mythical body, keepers of ourselves, to give an account of the good or hurt we do to ourselves, with the like. In the Law, under this word neighbour ourselves are comprised: and every commandment of the second table is to be applied to ourselves.

57. Of natural self-love.

Object. Lovers of themselves are condemned in God's word as 2 Timothy 3:2, Philippians 2:21, 1 Corinthians 10:24 and Romans 15:1.

Answ. There is a double loving of a man's self.

One good and commendable:

The other evil, and damnable.

Good and commendable loving of a man's self is 1. Natural, 2. Spiritual.

That which is natural is in all by the very instinct of nature: and it was at first created, and still is by God's providence preserved in our nature, and that for the preservation of nature. Were there not such a natural love of himself in every one, man would be as careless of himself, as of others, and as loath to take pains for himself, as for others. Wherefore that every one might have care at least of one, even of himself, and so the world be better preserved, God hath reserved in man this natural affection, notwithstanding his corruption by sin. Yea further because every one is not able to look to himself, at least when he is young, sick, old, or any other way impotent, God by his wise providence hath extended this natural affection towards others also as they are nearly linked unto us by the bonds of nature. The next to a man's self are [by blood and bond of nature] children. Admirably much is that which parents do for their children, which they would never do, if there were not a natural affection in them to their children. From children again this affection ariseth towards their parents, that when parents grow old, impotent, or any way unable to help themselves, they might have succour from their children. And because parents and children are not always together, or not able to help one another, or unnatural, God hath yet further extended this natural affection to brethren, cousins, and other kindred. And for a further extent thereof hath instituted marriage betwixt such as are not of the same blood, and by virtue of that bond raised a natural affection not only in husband and wife one to another, but also in all the alliance that is made thereby. Moreover this affection is wrought in neighbours, friends, fellows, and other by like bonds knit together, that the bow of God's providence might have many strings, and if one break, another might hold. In all these kinds, the nearer a man cometh to himself, the more doth this affection shew itself, according to the prover, Near is my coat, but nearer is my skin. God having wrought this natural affection in the several kinds thereof, and there being good ends and uses thereof, it is not to be condemned.

58. Of spiritual self-love.

Spiritual self-love is that which is supernaturally wrought in man by God's Spirit: whereby he is both enlightened to discern what is most excellent, and best for him, and also moved to choose the same: so as this serveth to rectify the former. Hence it cometh to pass that their chiefest care is for their souls, and for the eternal salvation thereof: for the furthering whereof they can be content as need requireth, to beat down their body (1 Cor 9:27), to deny them sometimes their ordinary refreshing by food, rest, and other like means (2 Cor 11:27), yea and to suffer them to be imprisoned, racked, and otherwise tortured, and life itself to be taken from them (Heb 11:36). This men do, and suffer, not for want of natural affection, but by reason of spiritual affection which persuades them that it is good for them it should be so. A man is not therefore to be said not to love the health and safety of his body because he loveth something more. For a covetous man though he love his money, yet he can be content to part with it for bread to nourish his body: so a spiritual man though he love his life, yet he can be content to lose it for his soul's salvation. For he loveth himself sufficiently, who doth his best to enjoy the chiefest and truest good. This spiritual affection extendeth itself as far as natural affection, namely to wives, husbands, children, parents, brethren, cousins, friends, &c. Much is this urged and pressed in the Scriptures as Isaiah 55:1, 2, 3; Matthew 6:19, 20, 33; John 6:27; 1 Timothy 6:11, 19.

59. Of evil self-love.

The self-love which is evil swerveth in the Object, Measure.

1. In the Object, when it is cast upon our corruptions, our lusts, our evil humours: when we affect and love them, and for them pursue whatsoever may satisfy them: as the ambitious, lustful, riotous, gluttonous, and other like persons. This is expressly forbidden, Make not provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof (Rom 13:14).

2. In the Measure, when our love is wholly and only cast upon ourselves, so seeking our own good, as we regard no man's good but our own: nor care what damage another receiveth, so we may get advantage thereby. This is also forbidden: for it is contrary to the property of true love, which seeketh not her own (Phil 2:21; 1 Cor 13:5; 10:24), namely to the prejudice of another. This hath the title of self-love appropriated to it. It sprang from the corruption of nature, and is daily increased by the instigation of Satan for the destruction of mankind. It manifesteth itself by the many tricks of deceit which most men use in their dealings with others: by making advantage of others' necessities as in the case of usury, of raising corn, and other commodities in time of scarcity, with the like: by men's backwardness to help such as stand in need of their succour: by want of compassion in other men's miseries: and by many other like unkindnesses: all which verify the proverb, Every man for himself.

But by distinguishing the forenamed points we may see that notwithstanding evil self-love be a most detestable vice, yet it is both lawful and commendable to love one's self aright.

60. Of the error of Stoics in condemning all passion.

The dotage of Stoics who would have all natural affection rooted out of man, is contrary to this pattern, and unworthy to find any entertainment among Christians: for what do they aim at, but to root that out of man, which God hath planted in him, and to take away the means which God hath used for the better preservation of man? That wise man whom they frame to themselves is worse than a brute beast: he is a very stock and block. Not only the best and wisest men that ever were in the world, but also Christ himself had those passions and affections in him, which they account unbeseeming a wise man. Their dotage hath long since been hissed out of the schools of philosophers, should it then find place in Christ's Church?

61. Of well using natural affection.

Let us labour to cherish this natural affection in us, and to turn it to the best things, even to such as are not only apparently, but indeed good: and among good things to such as are most excellent, and the most necessary: such as concern our souls, and eternal life. For this end we must pray to have our understandings enlightened [that we may discern things that differ, and approve that which is excellent (Phil 1:10)] and to have our wills and affections sanctified, that we embrace, pursue, and delight in that which we know to be the best. Thus shall our natural affection be turned into a spiritual affection.

Here we see how we may make nature a schoolmaster unto us: for as Christ sendeth us to the fowls of the air, and lilies of the field to learn of them (Matt 6:26,28), so the Apostle here sendeth us to our own natural instinct. We cannot complain that we have no schoolmaster near us [as many in the country whose children for want of one are rudely brought up] ourselves are schoolmasters to ourselves. Wherefore as the Apostle hereby teacheth husbands to love their wives, so let us all more generally learn to love one another: for we are all mutual members of one and the same body (1 Cor 12:12): and our brother or neighbour is our flesh (Isa 58:7).

62. Of man's forbearing to wrong himself.

Ephesians 5:29. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh: but nourisheth and cherisheth it.

The first particle [for] sheweth that in this verse an evidence and manifestation of a man's love of himself is given. The first part thereof, which is set down negatively, sheweth that

It is against the common instinct of nature for a man to hate himself. It is noted as an evidence that devils were in the Gadarene, in that he cut himself with stones (Mark 5:5): had not the devils forced him, he would never have done it.

Hatred is contrary to love: it being therefore before proved that every man by nature loveth himself, by necessary consequence it followeth, that no man hateth his flesh: for two contrary effects proceed not from the same cause: no fountain can yield both salt water and fresh (James 3:12).

Object. Many do macerate their bodies with fastings, watchings, labours, travels, and the like: others tear and gash their flesh with whips, knives, swords, yea and with their teeth also: others lay such violent hands upon themselves, as they take away their own lives.

Answ. 1. None of these things are done by the instinct of nature which God hath set in man, but through the corruption of nature which the devil hath caused. Now nature and corruption of nature are two contrary causes: no marvel then that contrary effects come from them.

2. They think they do these things in love to themselves; as superstitious persons to merit salvation, by macerating their body: others to free themselves from ignominy, penury, slavery, torment, or such like evils: so as there is an apparent good that maketh them so to do, and not simply hatred of themselves. They that so do, are either possessed with a devil, or blinded in their mind or bereaved of their wits, or overwhelmed with some passion, so as they know not what they do: they do it not therefore in hatred.

2. Object. Holy and wise men deliberately, and on good advice, have beaten down their bodies (1 Cor 9:27), and yielded their lives to be taken away, not accepting deliverance (Heb 11:35).

Answ. That was far from hatred, and in great love to themselves, as was shewed before (see Section 56).

63. Of unnatural practices against one's self.

The forenamed doctrine discovereth many practices used by sundry men to be against nature, and in that respect most horrible and detestable.

1. The practice of the idolatrous Baalites, who to move their idol to hear them, cut themselves with knives and lances, till the blood gushed out upon them (1 Kings 18:28). Not much unlike to whom are Popish Eremites, Anchorites, monks flagellants, Grandimontenses, sundry sorts of Franciscans, and other friars, whereof some wear shirts of hair-cloth, some shirts of mail next their body, some go bare-foot, some daily whip themselves till blood follow, and some waste their bodies with lying hard, watching, fasting, going on pilgrimage, &c.

2. The practice of gluttons, drunkards, unchaste and voluptuous persons, who to satisfy their corrupt humours, impair their health, pull diseases upon them, and shorten their days.

3. The practice of swaggerers, who by quarrels cause their flesh to be wounded, and their lives taken away. Among these may be reckoned such as bring themselves to great straits, distresses, and dangers for lucre sake: and they who by felony, treason, and the like evil deeds, cast themselves upon the sword of the Magistrate.

4. The practice of them that give the reins to grief, fear, wrath, and other like violent passions, so as thereby they weaken their bodies, and shorten their days.

5. The practice of self-murderers: who herein break the rule of love [as thyself (Matt 22:39)] and end their days in a most horrible sin, depriving themselves of the time, place, and means of repentance: so as, whatsoever fond pretence they make for their sin, little better can be thought of them, than that they thrust their souls headlong into hell, unless the Lord betwixt the act done, and the expiration of their breath, extraordinarily touch their hearts. Religion, nature, sense, and all abhor this fearful act: so as not only those who have been enlightened by God's word, but also the heathen, who had no other than the light of nature, have adjudged it to be a most desperate sin.

64. Of haters of others.

2. By that affection which nature moveth men to bear to their flesh, we may see how nature more prevails with men, than conscience and obedience to God's word, yea than the Spirit: for where nature keepeth all men from hating their own flesh, nothing can keep many husbands from hating their wives, and wives their husbands; nor brothers, cousins, and neighbours [yet these are our own flesh (Isa 58:7)] no nor many of those who profess themselves to be of the mystical body of Christ, from hating one another. What shall we say of these? Is nature of greater power, and more mighty in operation than the Spirit? Surely, such either deceive themselves and others, in pretending to be members of the body of Christ: or else the Spirit is very weak in them, and the flesh beareth a great sway. Let haters of their brethren think of this and be ashamed.

65. Of man's care in providing and using things needful for his body.

The second evidence of that love which a man beareth to himself, is noted in two such branches [nourisheth and cherisheth] as comprise all needful things under them (see Section 55), so as the Apostle implieth thereby, that

Nature teacheth all men to provide such things as are needful for them: needful for life, as food: and needful for health, as apparel. Nature is here propounded as schoolmaster to Christians: this therefore which nature teacheth is a bounden duty. It is much insisted upon by Solomon, who in this respect saith, It is good and comely for one to eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour (Eccl 2:24; 3:13; 5:18; 8:15).

If he be worse than an infidel that provideth not for his own (1 Tim 5:8), what is he that provide not for himself? even worse than a beast: for nature hath taught the brute beasts to nourish and cherish themselves. If any think that it more befitteth beasts, or natural men than Saints, let them tell me which of the Saints at any time guided by God's Spirit, hath wholly neglected himself. To omit all others, it is expressly noted of Christ, that as there was occasion, he slept (Matt 8:24), he ate (Luke 14:1), he rested (John 4:6), and otherwise refreshed himself.

Object. Though he were hungry (John 4:31), and meat prepared for him, yet he refused to eat.

Answ. 1. Forbearing one meal, is no great hindrance of cherishing the body.

2. Extraordinary and weighty occasions may lawfully make a man a little neglect himself: that so he may shew he prefereth God's glory, and his brother's salvation, before the outward nourishing of his body: to which purpose Christ saith, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me (John 4:34): that is, I prefer it before my meat. And S. Paul saith, I will very gladly be spent for your souls (2 Cor 12:15). We must here therefore take heed of the extremes on both hands.

1. Of undue, and overmuch neglecting our bodies, so as the strength of them be wasted, and the health impaired.

2. Of too much caring for it, so as upon no occasion we will lose a meal's meat, or a night's rest. Fasting and watching as occasion requireth, are bounden duties.

But to return to the point of nourishing and cherishing our flesh.

1. For this end hath God provided food, apparel, and all things needful for our weak bodies, that they should be nourished and cherished thereby: not to use them therefore, is to refuse God's providence.

2. By well nourishing and cherishing our bodies, they are the better enabled to do that work and service which God appointeth to be done: but by neglecting them, they are disabled thereto. As this is a motive, so ought it to be an end whereat we aim in nourishing and cherishing our bodies.

66. Of them that neglect to cherish their bodies.

Against this good instinct of nature do many offend.

1. Covetous misers who so dote upon their wealth, and so delight in abundance of goods treasured up, as they afford not themselves things needful to nourish and cherish their bodies. Solomon doth much tax such: of them he saith, that riches are kept for the owners thereof to their hurt (Eccl 2:23; 5:11-14). Daily experience giveth evidence to the truth thereof: for, beside that such men make their riches to be snares (1 Tim 6:9), and hindrances (Mark 10:23), to keep them from eternal life; they make this present life to be very irksome, filling their heads full of much carking care (Eccl 2:23), and keeping them from quiet rest. Many in this case are so besotted, as, though they have abundance, yet they will not in health afford themselves a good meal's meat, nor seemly apparel: nor in sickness, needful physic, no nor fire, and such like common things. Their case is worse than theirs who want: for others will pity and succour such as want, but who will pity and succour such?

2. Such as are too intentive upon their businesses, even the affairs of their lawful callings [for in good things there may be excess] herein many students, preachers, lawyers, tradesmen, farmers, labourers, and others offend, when they afford not seasonable times of refreshing and resting to their bodies, but fast, watch, and toil too much in their calling. They who by such means disable themselves, do make themselves guilty of the neglect of so much good as they might have done, if they had nourished and cherished their bodies. Some are so eager on their business, that they think all the time misspent, which is spent in nourishing and cherishing their bodies; and thereupon wish, that their bodies needed no food, sleep, or other like means of refreshing. These thoughts and desires are foolish and sinful in many respects, as

1. In manifesting a secret discontent and grudging against God's providence, who hath thus disposed our estate for the clearer manifestation of man's weakness, and God's care over him.

2. In taking away occasions of calling upon God, and giving praise unto him. For if we stood not in such need of God's providence, should we so oft pray unto him for his blessing: if by the good means which he affordeth unto us we felt not the sweetness and comfort of his providence, should we be so thankful to him?

3. In taking away the means of mutual love: for if by reason of our weakness we stood not in need of succour and help one from another, what trial would there be of our love?

4. Such as sever these two duties of nature [nourishing and cherishing] and make them an hindrance one to another: some so nourish their bodies, as they cannot cherish them; that is, they spend so much in eating and drinking, as they have nothing to cloth themselves withal. Others to cherish them, as they cannot nourish them; that is, they so prank up themselves with brave apparel above their ability, as they have not competent food for themselves. These fall into two contrary extremes: into the excess in one thing: and into the defect in another.

67. Of contentment in that which is sufficient.

As the Apostle by naming these two [nourish, cherish] sheweth that both of them are needful, so by naming them only, and no more but them, he sheweth that they two are sufficient: whence we learn, that

Having food and raiment, we must be therewith content.

The Apostle in these very words layeth down this doctrine in another place (1 Tim 6:8). The prayer of Agur (Prov 30:8), and the tenour of the fourth petition prove as much (Matt 6:11).

Quest. Is a man then strictly bound to care for no more than food to nourish, and apparel to cherish him?

Answ. So this nourishing and cherishing be extended to that estate wherein God hath set us, to the charge which God hath given us, and to the calling which he hath appointed unto us, we ought to care for no more.

Let us therefore take heed of that excess which ariseth from the corruption of nature, and content ourselves with that competency which nature requireth.

68. Of Christ's forbearing to hate the Church.

Ephesians 6:29. Even as the Lord the Church.

This confirmation of the pattern of a man's self by a like pattern of the Lord, hath relation to both the parts of the manifestation of a man's love to himself: both to the negative and so it sheweth, that

The Lord hateth not his Church.

And to the affirmative, and so it sheweth, that

The Lord nourisheth and cherisheth his Church.

That difference which is made betwixt Esau a type of the world [Esau have I hated] and Jacob a type of the Church [Jacob have I loved (Mal 1:2,3)] sheweth that the Lord is far from hating his Church. The world, not the Church, is the object of God's hatred.

Object. The Church herself (Deut 1:27), and the enemies thereof oft conceive by Christ's dealing with her, that he hateth her (Deut 9:28).

Answ. It is the flesh abiding in them that are of the Church which maketh them so to conceive, not the Spirit: and in the enemies of the Church the flesh altogether reigneth. But the things of God, and his mind and affection, nor can, nor may be judged by carnal eyes, eyes of flesh. The Spirit of God accounteth such things evidences of God's love (Heb 12:6), which flesh judgeth to be tokens of hatred, namely, corrections.

It is not, because there is no matter of hatred in the Church, that Christ hateth it not: for by nature all are of one and the same cursed stock, children of wrath (Eph 2:3): and after our sanctification is begun, the flesh abiding in us, we daily give much occasion of hatred if Christ should take that advantage against us which he might: but it is that near union which Christ hath made betwixt himself and the Church that keepeth him from hating her: he hath made her his spouse, and he will not hate his spouse: all the occasion of hatred that she giveth, he will either wipe away or cover.

Admirable is the comfort which every true member of the catholic Church may reap from hence: for so long as the wrath and hatred of the Lord is turned from us, nothing can make us miserable: we may in this respect rejoice not only in prosperity, but also in all manner of affliction. No calamity can move Christ to hate his Church, but rather the more to pity it, as we do our bodies. Nay, though by sin he be provoked, and see it needful to correct his Church, yet in love, not in hatred, in mercy, not in wrath will he correct it.

What now if all the world hate us? Seeing Christ hateth us not, we need not fear nor care. The subject which is sure of his King's favour, little regardeth the hatred of others. This therefore is to be thought of, both to comfort us under the cross, and to encourage us against the hatred of the world. That none may pervert this comfortable doctrine, let me add two caveats.

1. That men deceive not themselves with a naked name, thinking themselves to be of the Church, when they are only in it, such may Christ hate (Jer 12:8).

2. That being of the Church they wax not insolent, and too much provoke Christ to anger: for though he hate not such, yet in wisdom he may so severely correct them as if he hated them: and make them repent their folly and insolency again and again.

69. Of Christ's nourishing and cherishing his Church.

2. That The Lord nourisheth and cherisheth his Church, is evident by his continual providence over her in all ages. When first he created man, he provided beforehand all things needful to nourish and cherish him (Gen 1:28,29). When he was moved to destroy the earth and all living things thereon, he had care of his Church, and provided an Ark to keep her out of the waters, and stored up in the Ark all things needful for her (Gen 6:14,27). When he purposed to bring a famine on the world, he sent a man beforehand to lay up provision for his Church (Gen 45:7). When his Church was in a barren and dry wilderness, he gave them bread from heaven (Exo 16:15), water out of the rock (Exo 17:6), and kept their raiment from waxing old, and their feet from swelling (Deut 8:4). After this he brought his Church into a land flowing with milk and honey: and so long as it remained faithful he preserved it in that pleasant and plentiful land. Thus he dealt with the Church in her non-age: and thus also hath he dealt with her in her riper age under the Gospel, as experience of all ages may witness. Neither hath he only nourished and cherished her with temporal blessings, but also with all needful spiritual blessings: his word and sacraments, his Spirit and the graces thereof hath he in all ages given her for that purpose: yea with his own flesh and blood hath he fed her (John 6:55), and with his own righteousness hath he clothed her (Isa 61:10).

Learn we of whom we receive all needful things, both spiritual and temporal, for soul and body, that accordingly we may give him the praise of all. And let us not be like the ungrateful Israelites who regarded not the means of spiritual nourishment (Ezek 20:11,12), and ascribed the means of their temporal nourishing and cherishing to their idols (Jer 44:17). In this respect the prophet maketh them worse than the ox, and the ass, two of the most brutish beast that be (Isa 1:3). Oh take we heed that the like be not upbraided to us. The Lord hath not sparingly, but most liberally and bountifully nourished and cherished us in this land, and that both with temporal and spiritual blessings, so as he may justly say, what could have been done more in my vineyard, that I have not done in it? (Isa 5:4)

Learn we also to depend on Christ for all things that we want: we need not fear penury: though we have not that plenty which we could wish, yet we shall have sufficiency. Christ will not suffer his Church to famish for want of food, nor starve for want of clothing, whether temporal for body, or spiritual for soul. He that can and will perform it hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee (Heb 13:5). Lazarus was not forsaken; witness the angels that carried his soul into Abraham's bosom (Luke 16:22). If any of Christ's Church do perish for want of outward means, it is because Christ by that means will advance them to that place where they shall stand in need of nothing: so as he doth not forsake them.

70. Of the union betwixt Christ and the Saints.

Ephesians 5:30. For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

The reason of the forenamed love of Christ, and fruits thereof to his Church, is here laid down, as both the causal particle [For] and the inference of this verse upon the former do shew. This reason is that near union which is betwixt Christ and his Church, set forth by a metaphor of the members of our body. Whereby he implieth, that though there were no other reason to move an husband to love his wife than the near union which is betwixt them [they being one body (v. 23), one flesh (v. 31), one self (v. 28)] that were enough, for thereby only is Christ moved to love his Church.

The mystery of our spiritual union with Christ is here laid down, and that as fully, and distinctly [though very succinctly] as in any place of Scripture. I will endeavor to open it as plainly as I can.

[We are] The Apostle here changeth both person and number: for before he spake of the Church as of another in the third person, and of one in the singular number: but here he speaketh of the same in the first person including himself, and in the plural number, including all others like himself [elect of God, and Saints by calling] whereby he giveth us to understand what he meaneth by the Church, namely the company of Saints, to which, though he were a preacher of the Gospel, an extraordinary preacher, an Apostle, he associateth and joineth himself: nothing thereby that he was made partaker of the same grace, and saved by the same means that others were. Well might he in this privilege not think much to rank himself, because it is the highest degree of honour that can be, to be a member of the body of Christ: much more than to be a preacher, a prophet, and Apostle, or of any other eminent calling.

The metaphor here used [members of his body] setteth forth the near union which is betwixt Christ and the Saints. Many other metaphors are used in Scripture for the same purpose, as foundation and edifice (1 Peter 2:4-6), vine and branches (John 15:5), husband and wife (2 Cor 11:2), with the like, which are all of them very fit, but none more proper and pertinent to the point than this of a body, the head and members thereof. What nearer union can there be than betwixt the head and members of the same body?

If the Apostle had here stayed, we might have thought that he had here meant no other thing than he meant before, where he styled Christ an head and the Church a body (Eph 1:23; 4:16; 5:23): but in that he addeth [Of his flesh and of his bones] he declareth yet a further mystery.

In the general there is a difference betwixt this phrase [Of his body] and these [Of his flesh; and Of his bones] the former is a note of the genetive case, the two latter are a preposition: for distinction sake the two latter might have been translated, out of his flesh, out of his bones, or from his flesh, from his bones [for so a like phrase is translated before, From whom (Eph 4:16)] but seeing these particles out of, or from are ambiguous, the former translation may stand as the best, so as a difference be made in the sense though there be none in the words.

The former [members of his body] declareth the union itself.

The latter [of his flesh and of his bones] declareth the means of making that union. This latter hath relation to that which Adam said of Eve, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh (Gen 2:23) which is manifest by the next verse which the Apostle taketh out of the same place. It implieth then, that as Eve was made a woman out of Adam's flesh and bones, so the Church is made a Church out of Christ's flesh and bones.

1. Quest. Was the very substance of the Saints, their flesh and bones taken out of Christ, as the substance of Eve was taken out of Adam?

Answ. Not so, if the words be literally taken. For so may Christ rather be said to be of our flesh, and of our bones, because he took our nature, and that from a daughter of Adam: in which respect he is said to be of the seed of David (2 Tim 2:8), and of the Jews, as concerning the flesh (Rom 9:5). Besides, the Apostle expressly saith that This is a great mystery (v. 32). The mystery therefore must be searched out. For this end Christ must be considered as another Adam [and so the holy Ghost styleth him The last Adam, The second man (1 Cor 15:45,47)] that is, a stock, a root that giveth a being to branches sprouting out of him.

2. Quest. What being is that which we receive from Christ?

Answ. Not our natural being [that we have of the parents of our flesh] but a supernatural, and spiritual being, which the Scripture termeth a new birth (Titus 3:5), a new man (Eph 4:24), a new creature (2 Cor 5:17). This spiritual being is not in regard of the substance of our soul, or body, or of any of the powers or parts, faculties or members of them [for all these we have by lineal descent from Adam, and all these have all sorts of men, as well they who are not of the Church, as they who are of it] but in regard of the integrity, goodness, and divine qualities which are in them, even that holiness and righteousness wherewith the Church is endued and adorned. As we are natural men we are of Adam, as we are spiritual men we are of Christ.

3. Quest. Why is mention made of flesh and bones in this spiritual being?

Answ. 1. In allusion to the creation of Eve, that by comparing this with that, this might be the better conceived.

2. In regard of the Lord's Supper, where the flesh of Christ is mystically set before us to be spiritual food unto us. That as before he showed the mystery of one sacrament, baptism (v. 26); here he might shew the mystery of the other sacrament, The Lord's Supper.

3. In relation to Christ's human nature, by virtue whereof we come to be united unto Christ. For the divine nature of Christ is infinite, incomprehensible, incommunicable, and there is no manner of proportion betwixt it and us, so as we could not be united to it immediately. But Christ by taking his human nature into the unity of his divine nature, made himself one with us, and us one with him: so as by his partaking of our mortality, we are made partakers of his immortality.

4. Quest. Are we then united only to his human nature?

Answ. No: we are united to his person, God-Man. For as the divine nature, in and by itself, is incommunicable; so the human nature singly considered, in and by itself, is unprofitable. The Deity is the fountain of all life and grace: the flesh quickeneth not: but that spiritual life which originally and primarily floweth from the Deity, as from a fountain, is by the humanity of Christ, as by a conduit-pipe, conveyed into us.

5. Quest. How can we who are on earth, be united to his human nature, which is contained in the highest heaven?

Answ. This union being supernatural and spiritual, there needeth no local presence for the making of it. That eternal Spirit which is in Christ is conveyed into every of the Saints [as the soul of a man is into every member and part of his body] by virtue whereof they are all made one with Christ, and with one another: by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body, which body is Christ (1 Cor 12:12,13).

This is to be noted against these two errors. The first is this, We are united first to the divine nature of Christ which is everywhere, and by virtue thereof to his human nature.

Answ. 1. The Deity [as we shewed] is immediately incommunicable: so as this cannot be.

2. Our union with Christ is spiritual, not physical or natural, so as this local presence needeth not.

The second error is this,

The human nature of Christ hath all the divine properties in it, so as it is everywhere present, and by reason thereof we are united unto Christ.

Answ. This also is impossible and needless. The properties of a true body cannot possibly admit the incommunicable properties of the Deity: that implieth direct contradiction, which is, that finite should be infinite. Needless also this is, because the union we speak of, is [as we said] spiritual.

6. Quest. What kind of union is this spiritual union?

Answ. A true, real union of our person [bodies and souls] with the person of Christ [God and man]. For as the Holy Ghost did unite in the virgin's womb the divine and human natures of Christ, and made them one person, by reason whereof Christ is of our flesh and of our bones: so the Spirit uniteth that person of Christ with our persons, by reason whereof we are of his flesh, and of his bones. A great difference there is betwixt the kinds of these unions: for the union of Christ's two natures is hypothetical and essential, they make one person: but the union of Christ's person, and ours, is spiritual and mystical: they make one mystical body: yet is there no difference in the reality and truth of these unions: our union with Christ is never a whit the less real and true because it is mystical and spiritual: they who have the same spirit are as truly one, as those parts which have the same soul. The effects which proceed from this union do shew the truth thereof: for that Spirit which sanctified Christ in his mother's womb sanctifieth us also, that which quickened him quickeneth us, that which raised him from death, raiseth us (Rom 8:11; Eph 2:6), that which exalted him exalteth us. The many resemblances which the Scripture useth to set forth this union, do shew the truth thereof: but most lively is it set forth by that resemblance which Christ maketh betwixt it and his union with his Father. I pray [saith he of all his Saints] that they may all be one, as thou Father art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that they may be one, as we are one (John 17:21,22). This note of comparison [as] is not to be taken of the kind, but of the truth of these unions, our union with Christ is as true as Christ's union with his Father.

So true is this union, as not only Jesus himself, but all the Saints which are members of this body together with Jesus the head thereof are called Christ (1 Cor 12:12; Gal 3:16).

This is to be noted against their conceit, who imagine this union to be only in imagination and conceit: or else only in consent of spirit, heart, and will: or at the most, in participation of spiritual graces.

7. Quest. What is the bond whereby this union is made: namely whereby Christ and the Saints are made one?

Answ. There is a double bond, one on Christ's part, even the Spirit of Christ [for hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit (1 John 4:13)] another on the Saints' part, even faith [for Christ dwelleth in our hearts by faith (Eph 3:17)]. The Spirit is conveyed into us when we are dead in sins, wholly flesh, but being in us, it breedeth this blessed instrument of faith whereby we lay hold on Christ, and grow into him as the science into the stock. Thus Christ laying hold on us by his Spirit, and we on him by faith, we come to be incorporated into him, and made one body, as the science and stock one tree.

8. Quest. To what end hath Christ thus truly and nearly united us unto himself?

Answ. Not for any benefit unto himself: but merely for the honour and good of the Church. By this union the honour of Christ is communicated to the Church, as the honour of an husband to his wife, and of an head to the body. Great also is the benefit which the Church reapeth thereby: for by this means is Christ made more fit to do good to the Church, as an head to the body, and the Church is made more capable of receiving good from Christ, as a body from the head, being knit to it by the soul, and by veins, sinews, nerves, arteries, and other like ligaments.

Thus having as plainly as I can by questions and answers laid open this great mystery, I will further note out some of those excellent privileges which by virtue thereof appertain to the Saints, and also some of the principal duties which in regard thereof the Saints are bound unto.

71. Of the privileges appertaining to the Saints even in this life by reason of their union with Christ.

The privileges of the Saints which arise from their union with Christ respect this life, the time of death, and the life to come.

In this life these,

1. A most glorious condition, which is to be a part of Christ, member of his body. All the glory of Adam in Paradise, or of the Angels in heaven is not comparable to this. In this respect the Saints are said to be crowned with glory and honour, and to have all things out under their feet. Compare Psalms 8:4, 5 &c. with Hebrews 2:6, 7 &c. and ye shall find the Apostle apply that to Christ, which the Prophet spake indefinitely of man. Now those two places cannot be better reconciled, than by this union of Christ and Saints: for seeing both make one body, which is Christ, that which is spoken of the body may be applied to the head, and that which is spoken of the head may be applied to the body: for the same honour appertaineth to both. In which respect the Church is more honourable than heaven, angels, and every other creature.

2. The attendance of good Angels, who are sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation, because those heirs are of the body of Christ, who is their Lord. These are those horses, and chariots of fire which were round about Elisha (Heb 1:14; 2 Kings 6:17): which are also round about every of God's Saints in all their distresses, though we see them no more than the servant of the man of God saw them, till the Lord opened his eyes. That charge which is given to the Angels over the Son of God to keep him in all his ways, and to bear him in their hands lest he dash his foot against a stone (Psalms 91:11,12), hath relation to this body which is Christ.

3. An honour to make Christ himself perfect: for as the several members make a natural body perfect, so the several Saints, this body which is Christ. In this respect the Church is said to be the fulness of him that filleth all in all (Eph 1:23). Christ filleth all things, and yet the Church maketh him full: which is to be understood of that voluntary condition whereunto Christ subjected himself, to be the head of a body: so as without the parts of the body he is imperfect, as a natural body is maimed and imperfect if it want but the least member thereof. How can we now think but that he will preserve and keep safe all his Saints? Will he restore to us all the parts of our natural body at the general resurrection, and will he lose any of the parts of his own mystical body?

4. A kind of possession of heaven while we are on earth: for that which the head hath a possession of, the body and several members have also a possession of. In this respect it is said, he hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places (Eph 2:6). And, he that believeth on him hath everlasting life: is passed from death unto life (John 5:24). And, he that hath the Son, hath life (1 John 5:12). This is somewhat more than hope: and serveth exceedingly to strengthen our hope, and give us assurance of that heavenly inheritance.

They know not the power of God, nor the virtue of this union, who deny that the Saints have assurance of salvation. For [to follow this metaphor a little] suppose a man were cast into a river, and his head able to lift and keep itself above water, would we not say, that man is safe enough, he is above water. This is the case of this mystical body: it being cast into the sea of this world, Christ the head thereof hath lift, and keeps himself aloft even in heaven. Is there now any fear, any possibility of the drowning of this body, or of any member thereof? If any should be drowned, then either Christ must be drowned, or else that member pulled from Christ; both which are impossible. Thus then by virtue of this union we see how on Christ's safety, ours dependeth: if he be safe, so are we: if we perish, so must he.

In this respect, ye may be secure O flesh and blood: ye have got heaven in Christ: they who deny heaven to you, may also deny Christ to be in heaven.

Learn here how to conceive of the resurrection, ascension and safety of Christ, even as of the resurrection, ascension and safety of an head, in and with whom his body and all his members are raised, exalted, and preserved.

5. A most happy kind of regiment under which the Saints are: even such an one as the members of an head are under. An head ruleth the body not as a cruel lord and tyrant, rigorously, inhumanely, basely, and slavishly, but meekly, gently, with great compassion, and fellow-feeling. Even so doth Christ, his Church, binding up that which is broken, healing that which is maimed, directing that which wandereth, and quickening that which is dull; which privilege is so much the greater because it is proper to the Church. Though he have a golden scepter of grace and favour to hold out to his Church [as Ahash-verosh held out his to Esther (Esth 5:7)] yet he hath also a rod of iron to break the men of this world, and to dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel (Psa 2:9). Though he be gone to prepare a place for his Saints, that where he is they may be also (John 14:3), yet will he make his enemies his footstools (Psa 110:1).

6. An assurance of sufficient supply of all needful things which the Saints want, and of safe protection from all things hurtful. For by reason of this union, Christ our head hath a sense of our want and of our smart. On this ground he said to them which fed and visited his members, Ye fed me, ye visited me (Matt 25:35) and again, to Saul that persecuted his members, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? (Acts 9:4)

Object. How is it then, that the Saints want many things, and oft suffer much smart, and hurt?

Answ. Christ in his wisdom seeth it behoveful that they should want, and feel smart [and that we are to be persuaded of] or else he would not suffer them to want or feel that which they do. Wherefore in all need, in every distress and danger, let us lift up our head to this our head.

7. A right to all that Adam lost. For Christ is the heir of all (Heb 1:2), [the earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof (Psa 24:1)] yea as mediator and head of the Church is he heir of all: his body therefore hath a right to all. On this ground the Apostle saith, All things are yours (1 Cor 3:21). So as the Saints and only the Saints can with good conscience use the things of this world. They who are not of this body [what right and title soever they have before men] are but usurpers of the things they enjoy and use. They are like to bankrupts, who being not worth one penny, deceitfully borrow of others, and therewith keep a great table, deck and furnish their houses very sumptuously, put themselves, wives and children, into brave apparel, are frolic and riotous: what is like to be the end of such?

8. A right to more than Adam ever had: namely, to Christ himself, and to all that appertaineth unto him: as to the purity of his nature, to the perfection of his obedience, the merit of his blood, the power of his death, the virtue of his resurrection, the efficacy of his ascension, all is ours: even as the understanding, wit, judgment, sight, hearing, and all that is in the head, is the body's: if the Church itself were of itself as pure in nature, as perfection in righteousness, as powerful over death, and evil, and grave, and hell, as able to rise from death, and to ascend into heaven, as Christ, it could receive no greater benefit thereby, than it doth by them in the person of Christ: so truly and properly is Christ himself, and all things appertaining to him, the Churches. What can more be said? what can more be desired? O blessed union! blessed are they that have a part therein!

Quest. How is it then that the Church is so basely and miserably respected in the world?

Answ. The world knoweth us not, because it knoweth not Christ (1 John 3:1). It knoweth not Christ the head of this body: it knoweth not the body which is Christ. Let not us who know both head and body, the near union which is betwixt them, and the privileges which follow thereupon, be daunted, neither with the scoffs or scorns of the world, nor with our own outward weaknesses, wants, and calamities. What would he that hath Christ, have more?

72. Of the privilege of our union with Christ in the time of death.

The privilege which the Saints receive by their union with Christ in the time of death [even all that time that passeth from the departure of the Saints out of this world unto the general resurrection] is admirable: for when body and soul are severed one from another, neither soul nor body are separated from Christ, but both remain united to him: even as, when Christ's body and soul were by death severed one from another, neither his soul, nor his body were separated from the Deity, but both remained united thereunto. This inviolable bond that holdeth the Saints, [yea, even their very bodies as well as their souls] united to Christ in death, is the benefit of a spiritual union. If our union with Christ were corporeal, it could not be so.

Object. Is it possible that the body which is dead should remain united to Christ, when as it receiveth no virtue from him?

Answ. 1. If a member of a natural body may do so, why not a member of the mystical body? That a member of a natural body may do so, is evident by those who have an hand, arm, foot, leg, or any other member taken with a dead palsy: they are sometimes so taken, as those parts receive no manner of sense, or any vigour, or life from head or heart at all: and yet remain true members of that body.

2. The very dead bodies consumed with worms or otherwise, do receive a great present benefit from their union with Christ: for by virtue thereof there is a substance preserved, and they are kept from destruction: there is nothing destroyed in the Saints by death, but that which if it were not destroyed, would make them most miserable, namely sin: that is utterly, totally, finally destroyed in them, and all the concomitances thereof, which are all manner of infirmities: but the rotting of the body, is but as the rotting of corn in the earth, that it may arise a more glorious body (1 Cor 15:36). The metaphor of sleep, attributed to the Saints when they die (1 Thes 4:13), sheweth that their bodies are not utterly destroyed.

Object. The bodes of all men, even of those that are not of this union, are preserved from utter destruction. This therefore is no benefit of our union with Christ.

Answ. Though in the general thing itself, which is a preservation of the substance of the body, the same thing befalleth the Saints and the wicked: yet the means whereby both are preserved, and the end why they are preserved is far different.

1. The Saints are preserved by a secret influence proceeding from Christ, as an head: in which respect they are said to sleep in Jesus, and to be dead in Christ (1 Thes 4:14,16). But the wicked are reserved by an almighty power of Christ, as a terrible Lord and severe Judge.

2. The bodies of the Saints are preserved to enjoy eternal glory together with their souls: but the bodies of the wicked are reserved to be tormented in hell.

In regard of these differences, the grave is as a bed to the Saints (Isa 57:2), for them quietly to sleep therein free from all disturbance till the day of resurrection: but it is a prison to the wicked to hold them fast against the great Day of Assize, that at Doom's day they may be brought to appear at the bar of God's judgment seat, and there receive the sentence of condemnation.

73. Of the privilege of our union with Christ after death.

The privilege which the Saints by virtue of their union with Christ receive after death, far surpasseth all before. It may be drawn to two heads.

1. Their resurrection.

2. Their glory in heaven.

That which was before said of the difference betwixt the preservation of the bodies of the Saints and wicked in death, may be applied to the difference of their resurrection.

Resurrection simply in itself is not the privilege of the Saints, but resurrection of life: to the wicked appertaineth the resurrection of condemnation (John 5:29). The benefit of resurrection ariseth from the glory which followeth thereupon in heaven. That glory hath the Apostle excellently set forth before (v. 27 - Sections 49 and 50).

74. Of the duties which are required of the Saints by virtue of their union with Christ.

The mystery of our union with Christ, as it is a matter of great comfort, and encouragement [which ariseth from the forenamed privileges] so also is it a matter of direction and instigation unto us for the performing of sundry duties, whereof they who desire assurance of the forenamed privileges, and comfort by them, must be careful and conscionable. Some of the most principal of those duties are these.

1. Confidence in Christ (Heb 3:6). Christ being our head, so mighty, so wise, so tender, every way so sufficient an head as he is, we should highly dishonour him, if we should not wholly and only repose ourselves upon him for every good thing, and against every evil.

2. Subjection answerable to his manner of governing us (Matt 6:10). The world is subject to Christ perforce, as he is an absolute and Almighty Lord: but he governing us as an head, we must be subject unto him as members, willingly, and readily. What member will rise up, and rebel against the head? yea, what member is not as ready to obey, as the head to command?

3. A cleansing of ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit (2 Cor 7:1; 1 Cor 6:15). Shall we defile the members of Christ? The sins of the Saints are in this respect the more heinous because that body, even Christ, whereof they are members, is defiled thereby. Wherefore in regard of Christ the head, of other Saints their fellow members, and of themselves, must all that profess themselves to be of this body be watchful over themselves, and cleanse themselves from all filthiness. Otherwise they give just occasion to think that they are not members of this body. If a lion's foot, or bear's paw were held out, and said to be the member of a man, would any believe it? Can we then think that worldlings, drunkards, profane, riotous, unclean persons, and such like limbs of the devil, are members of Christ?

4. A conformity unto the image of Christ in true holiness and righteousness (Eph 4:24). It is not therefore sufficient for the members of Christ to abstain from polluting themselves, for they are created in Christ Jesus unto good works (Eph 2:10). He that abideth in me [saith Christ] and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit (John 15:5).

5. Heavenly affections. If ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, and not on things on the earth (Col 3:1,2). Where our head is, there also ought our heart to be. Earthly affections come not from that head which is in heaven: nor from that Spirit which proceedeth from him. They who are after the spirit mind the things of the spirit (Rom 8:5).

6. Courage against death: seeing that in death we are Christ's, what cause have we to fear death? Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that, have no more that they can do (Luke 12:4). The ancient worthies would not accept deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection (Heb 11:35).

Hitherto of the union itself. The means of effecting it, remain to be handled.

75. Of their regeneration who are members of Christ.

Ephesians 5:30. Of his flesh, and of his bones.

This clause declareth the means whereby we come to be members of Christ, namely by receiving a new being from Christ, which is to be, not of the flesh, and of the bones of Adam, but of the flesh and of the bones of Christ, which being spiritually taken, as hath been expounded before (see Section 70), sheweth that

They who are true members of Christ's body, are truly regenerate. If any be in Christ he is a new creature: these words are so laid down by the Apostle, as they serve both for a demonstration, and an exhortation [he is, or let him be a new creature neither is expressed, but either, or both may be understood]. As many of you as have been baptized into Christ [that is, made members of this body] have put on Christ (Gal 3:27) [that is, have been born again] the first branch noteth out our incorporation into Christ, the latter our regeneration.

This second man, and last Adam Christ Jesus is a quickening spirit (1 Cor 15:45): he diffuseth life and grace into all his members: if his Spirit be in us, it will quicken our mortal bodies (Rom 8:11). If the head of our natural bodies convey sense into all our members: if the root of a tree diffuse sap into all the branches: shall not Christ much more give life to all his members?

This then is a matter of trial, whereby we may prove whether indeed we are of this body or no, and so have a true right to the forenamed privileges. Many boast of this honour that they are members of Christ's body, and yet are not of his flesh and of his bones: they have no other being, than what they received from their parents. These vain professors are like wooden legs, or arms on a man, which may be covered over with hose and sleeves for a time, but shall not be raised at the resurrection with the other parts of the man's body: so neither shall those professors be raised to glory with Christ, though they may be covered over with the hose and sleeves of profession, and thereby seem to be members.

76. Of the author of our regeneration, Christ.

This relative particle [His] twice repeated [of His flesh, and of his bones] sheweth that

Regeneration is of Christ. The Son quickeneth whom he will (John 5:21).

Object. This work is attributed in Scripture to the Father (1 Peter 1:3), to the Spirit (John 3:5), to the Word (James 1:18), and to the Ministers of the word (1 Cor 4:15).

Answ. Christ may very well stand with all these. The three persons in Trinity are all one: one in nature and essence: one in will and consent: one in virtue and power: what the one doth the other doth also. Yet because there is a difference in their manner of working, this work [as other works] is distinctly attributed to each of them.

The Father is [as I may so speak] the beginner of this work. His will it was that his Son should be the head of a body, and that there should members be made fit for that head, and have a new being [of his own will begat he us (James 1:18)] for this end he sent his Son into the world to be made flesh. The Son put in execution the will of his Father: he took flesh upon him, that we might be of his flesh. Thus saith Christ of himself, I came down from heaven to do the will of him that sent me; And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day (John 6:38,39). The Spirit applieth unto us the virtue and efficacy of the flesh of Christ, and so finisheth this blessed work. It is the Spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing (John 6:63); namely, of itself without the Spirit.

Thus we see that the applying of this work of regeneration unto Christ, excludeth not the work of the Father, or of the holy Ghost therein, but excludeth the work of man: so as it is not of ourselves, nor of our parents, nor of any other man: for we are born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:13): in which respect our new birth is said to be from above (John 3:3).

Object. How is it then attributed to the word, and to the ministry of man?

Answ. As unto instruments which the Lord is pleased to use: Of the word it is said, God hath begotten us with the word (James 1:18): of himself a Minister thus saith the Apostle, In Christ Jesus I have begotten you (1 Cor 4:15): so as God and Christ are joined with these instruments, or else they are no whit powerful and effectual for so great a work: for neither is he that planteth any thing, nor he that watereth: but God that giveth the increase (1 Cor 3:7).

The work of regeneration is a new creation, a divine work, above human strain. It must therefore be wrought by the Lord, or it cannot be wrought at all.

This is to be noted both of those that have not yet assurance of this blessed work wrought in them: and also of those who have assurance thereof.

The former may here learn whither to have recourse for it: namely, to him who came down from heaven for that purpose, and who saith, Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out (John 6:37). In all the means that we use, let us look up unto him, and seek a blessing of him.

The latter must with the tenth leper return back unto Christ, and glorify God (Luke 17:16). Whatsoever the means were, or whosoever the Minister was, the praise and glory of all must be given to him.

77. Of the matter of our regeneration, Christ.

The preposition [Of] twice set down [Of his flesh, and of his bones] being a proper note of the material cause, sheweth that

Christ is not only the author, but the matter also of our new birth. The new spiritual being which the Saints have, cometh out of him. From him all the body having nourishment increaseth with the increase of God (Col 2:19). In this respect we are said to be blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ (Eph 1:3). The metaphor of a vine (John 15:5), which Christ taketh unto himself, proveth also as much: so do these phrases, My flesh is meat indeed, my blood is drink indeed (John 6:55).

This Christ cometh to be by his incarnation. God in himself is as a bottomless and a closed fountain: from him immediately we can receive nothing. But Christ made flesh is a fountain opened (Zech 13:1): In him all fulness dwelleth (Col 1:19). And of him have all we received, even grace for grace (John 1:16).

Behold here the benefit of Christ's incarnation: by his taking part of our mortal flesh, are we made partakers of his spiritual flesh, namely, of that spiritual life and grace which cometh from him, who was made flesh, to convey the same into us. To strengthen our faith the more firmly herein, the Lord hath instituted the holy communion of his body and blood. With what conscience, reverence, and confidence, ought this blessed sacrament to be celebrated?

By this doctrine we may further learn how to seek every thing at God's hands which we desire to obtain (John 16:23), and how to offer that sacrifice of praise unto God (Heb 13:15, Col 3:17), which we would have to be accepted; namely in and through Jesus Christ, by whom only we have all that communion which we have with God. Well therefore doth the Church conclude all her forms of prayers and praises with this, or such a like clause, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

78. Of the excellency of regeneration.

The particular matter of our regeneration [the flesh and bones of Christ] here expressed, sheweth that

Regeneration is a most excellent work. The excellency hereof will the better appear, if we compare it with the great and glorious work of our creation, and shew how far it surpasseth it: wherein I will hold close to this metaphor, and touch no other differences than it doth point out unto us.

1. In our creation Christ was only a worker: but he is the very matter of our regeneration, we are of his flesh.

2. The relation that then was betwixt Christ and man, was Creator, Creature, but here Head, Body. We are members of his body.

The bond is now much nearer.

3. The being which then we had, was from Adam: But the being which now we have is from Christ, Of His flesh.

4. That being was but natural. This is spiritual: for that which is born of the spirit, is spirit (John 3:6).

5. Then our being was different from Christ's: but now it is the very same with Christ's, Of his flesh.

6. Then might man clean fall from that estate wherein he was created [as he did] and yet Christ remain as he was. Now it cannot be so. For if any of the Saints now fall away, either Christ must fall with them, or they must be pulled from Christ, and so Christ remain a maimed body.

Behold the riches of God's mercy. One might think it sufficient, and more than man could ever have been thankful enough for, that God at first created man after his own image in a most happy estate. From which when we wittingly and willfully fell, God might justly have left us, as he did the evil Angels. But he hath not only restored us again to that former estate, but advanced us to a far more excellent and glorious estate: wherein his goodness appeareth to be as his greatness, infinite, incomprehensible. Who can sufficiently set it forth? For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him (Psa 103:11).

79. Of the ancient law of marriage.

Ephesians 5:31. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife: and they two shall be one flesh.

The same points which were before laid down, concerning the near union of man and wife, and of Christ and the Church, are here further confirmed by the ancient law of marriage: which the Apostle doth the rather mention, because it followeth upon that text, whereunto he alluded in the former verse. For when Moses had alleged these words of Adam concerning Eve, This is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh, he addeth this Law, Therefore shall a man leave his father (Gen 2:23,24), &c. In this place these words have both a literal and mystical sense. A literal of man and wife. A mystical of Christ and the Church. The main thing which the Apostle aimeth at, is to shew how nearly man and wife are linked together: that thereby they may the rather be moved to perform those mutual and several duties which they owe each to other. But because he propounded to husbands and wives the examples of Christ and the Church, as patterns and motives to them, to do their duty, he applieth that which was first spoken of man and wife, unto Christ and his Church, to shew that there being so fit a resemblance betwixt these two couples, the pattern propounded is the more pertinent to the purpose, and the reason enforced from thence the more forcible. Because the opening of the literal sense will give great light to the mystery, I will first handle this text according to the meaning of the letter.

The first clause [for this cause] implieth a necessary connexion with that which went before. The near union of man and wife, as well as of Christ and his Church, was before noted. A wife was said to be as the body of a man (v. 28), yea as himself. Adam called her his flesh and bones (Gen 2:23). Hereupon both Moses and Paul infer, Therefore, or, For this cause shall a man leave father. Because man and wife are so near by God's institution, they must also be most dear each to other in their mutual affection.

The man [meaning an husband] is here in particular mentioned, because at the first making of this Law the woman was brought to him to see how he would like her: and having cast his affection on her, he was to be bound hereby to continue that good liking towards her: as also because of the preeminency which man hath above his wife. Yet is not the man only tied hereby, but the wife also: the nature and rule of relation requireth as much: if a man must inseparably cleave to his wife, the wife must answerably cleave to her husband.

These words [shall leave father and mother] are neither generally to be taken of all duties, as if no duty were to be performed to parents by children after they are married: nor simply, as if indeed parents were utterly to be forsaken: but they are meant,

1. Of that daily service which children under their parents' government perform unto them, seeking to please them in all things. When children are married, then their daily attendance must be upon their wives, or husbands, taking care how to please them (1 Cor 7:33,34).

2. Of erecting a new family: for which end their parents' house must be left, and the husband and wife must dwell each with other.

3. Of the difference to be put betwixt parents, and wife or husband. So as if by any inevitable occasion it should so fall out, that a man must leave his parent, or his wife [as in case both parent and wife were both giving up the Ghost, and in places so far remote, as the husband could not possibly be with both, yet both instantly desired his company] by this Law he must leave his parent, and cleave to his wife.

Hereby then the bond of marriage is declared to be the most inviolable bond that can be. For all men know, that the bond betwixt parent and child is a firm and inviolable bond: but the bond betwixt husband and wife is more firm and inviolable.

To set forth the firmness of the marriage bond he addeth this emphatical phrase, shall be joined, [or as the word properly, according to the natural notation thereof signifieth, shall be glued] to his wife. Things well glued together are as fast, firm, and close as if they were one entire piece. Yea we observe by experience that a table will oft times cleave in the whole wood, before it will part asunder where it is glued: so as an husband ought to be as firm to his wife as to himself: and she to him.

Fitly doth this agree with that which followeth [they two shall be one flesh]. Our English cannot well express the Greek in good sense word for word [which is thus, they two shall be into, or in one flesh] the meaning is, They which were two before marriage, by the bond of marriage are brought into one flesh, to be even as one flesh: as nearly united, as the parts of the same body, and the same flesh. This unity is not in regard of carnal copulation [for if they be married they are one flesh, though they never know one another] nor in regard of procreation, because one child cometh from them both [for though they never have child, yet are they one flesh] but in regard of God's institution, who hath set it down for a Law, and as another nature, that man and wife should be so near one to another. Their consent in marriage [by virtue of God's institution] maketh them to be one flesh.

Well doth our English note the emphasis of the original in this particle They [they two] which sheweth that the bond of marriage knitteth only two together: one man, and one woman, and no more.

This Law setteth forth the union betwixt man and wife.

Therein three things are noted concerning the state of marriage.

1. The preeminency of it [a man shall leave father and mother].

2. The firmness of it [and be joined to his wife].

3. The nearness of it [they two shall be one flesh].

80. Of preferring husband or wife before parents.

The first point sheweth, that

A wife, or an husband must be preferred before parents. The examples of Leah and Rachel (Gen 31:14), yea and of Michal (1 Sam 19:11), are commendable in this respect.

1. The bond of marriage is more ancient, more firm, more near. There was husband and wife before there was parent and child: and there is a time when parents and children may depart one from another, and that while both live: but no time, wherein man and wife may part asunder till death part them. And children though they come from the flesh of their parents, yet are made two [so as of one are two] but husbands and wives though they were two before, yet are made one [so as of two is one].

What wrong then do such parents unto their children, as keep them, even after they are married, so strait under subjection, as they cannot freely perform such duty as they ought to their husband, or their wife? This is more than a parent's authority reacheth unto. Yet many think that their children owe as much service to them after they are married as before: which is directly against this Law.

Greater is the wrong, and more sinful is the practice of such as keep their children from their husbands, or from their wives. The match [say they] falleth out much worse than we looked for. But this should have been looked to more carefully beforehand. After marriage it is too late to seek such a redress.

On the other side, there be many children who so respect their parents, as they neglect their husband or their wife. Some husbands will bestow what they can on their parents, and keep their wives very bare, suffering them to want necessaries; not caring how they vex and grieve them so they please their parents. Some wives also will privily purloin from their husbands to bestow on their parents.

Others can never tarry out of their parents' houses, but as oft as they can, go thither. The ancient Romans, to shew how unmeet this was, had a custom to cover the bride's face with a yellow veil, and so soon as she was out of her father's house to turn her about and about, and so to carry her to the house of her husband, that she might not know the way to her father's house again. All those pretenses of love to parents are more preposterous than pious: and natural affection beareth more sway in such, than true religion. Their pretence of piety to parents is no just excuse for that injury they do to husband and wife.

81. Of the firmness of the matrimonial bond.

The second point concerning the firmness of the marriage knot in these words [shall be joined to his wife] affordeth two doctrines.

1. Man and wife must associate themselves together by continual cohabitation: for this end they leave their parent's family, and erect a new family (see Treatise 2, Part 2, Section 14).

2. Man and wife are joined together by an inviolable bond. It must never be cut asunder till death cut it. Body and soul must be severed one from another before husband and wife (see Treatise 2, Part 2, Section 2).

Be careful therefore to preserve this indissoluble knot: and so live together, as with comfort you may live together, because you may not part.

82. Of two only to be joined together in marriage.

The third point concerning the nearness of man and wife, in these words [they two shall be one flesh] affordeth two other doctrines.

1. Marriage can be but betwixt two, one man, and one woman: for it is impossible that more than two should so nearly, and firmly be joined together, as man and wife are. Every word almost in this Law proveth this doctrine. For it saith a man, not men: to a wife, not to wives: to his wife, not to another's wife: two, not more than two: they two, not any two: one flesh, not many fleshes.

Object. This particle [two] is not in the Law as Moses recordeth it (Gen 2:24).

Answ. It is there necessarily implied, for at that time there were but two in the world: God then speaking of them, meaneth but two. The same Spirit that guided Moses, guided also the Evangelists (Matt 19:5), and the Apostles (1 Cor 6:16): so as by their inserting of this particle [two] it is certain that it was intended by Moses: as the particle [only] which Christ putteth into this text, him only shalt thou serve (Deut 6:13; Matt 4:10).

Quest. Why did God at first make but one man, and one woman?

Answ. The prophet answereth, that he might seek a godly seed (Mal 2:15).

If therefore there be more than two, it is an adulterous seed which proceedeth from thence.

83. Of polygamy and bigamy.

Can polygamy [the having of many wives] or bigamy [the having of two wives at once] have any good warrant against such an express Law? Are not both of them against the first institution of marriage, so as we may say, from the beginning it was not so (Matt 19:8)? Yea also and against other particular laws (Deut 17:17; Lev 18:18)? Lamech one of Cain's cursed stock was the first that we read of to have presumed against that ancient law (Gen 4:19).

Object. Afterwards many Patriarchs, and other Saints took that liberty unto themselves.

Answ. It was their sin, and a great blemish in them. The common error of the time, and their unsatiable desire of increase made them fall into it. Many inconveniences followed thereupon: neither can it be thought but that much mischief must needs follow upon having more wives than one: for whereas God at first made a wife to be as an help unto man (Gen 2:18), two, or more wives cannot but be a great grief and vexation unto him by reason of that emulation that is betwixt them (Gen 16:5). Through Hagar's means was Sarah stirred against Abraham, and Abraham grieved at Sarah's words (Gen 21:11). Though Leah and Rachel were sisters, yet great were their emulations: the like whereof is noted of Peninnah and many others.

Considering the heinousness of this sin, our laws have justly made it felony for a man to have more wives than one, or a woman more husbands.

84. Of the near conjunction of man and wife together.

2. The nearest of all other are husband and wife one to another. Every clause in the forenamed Law proveth as much.

1. Parents must be left for wife: who nearer than parent and child? if man and wife be near than the nearest, then they are the nearest of all.

2. A man is glued to his wife. This metaphor setteth forth the nearness of a thing as well as the firmness of it: for things glued together are as one entire thing.

3. Man and wife are one flesh: many of one are made two, but no two so nearly and truly made one as man and wife.

As God hath limited a propinquity, and unity of things, so are they to be accounted: but God hath thus nearly knit man and wife together, and made them one flesh. Those whom God hath joined together, saith Christ of man and wife (Matt 19:6): in which respect matrimonial conjunction is called the covenant of God (Prov 2:17): so as this covenant cannot be released by any, no not by the mutual consent of man and wife [Those whom God hath joined together, let no man put asunder] yet may many other covenants made betwixt party and party, be released and disannulled by mutual consent of both parties.

1. This sheweth that the transgressions of man and wife one against another are of all the most heinous, more than of friend, fellow, brother, child, parent or any other. Who would not cry fie upon that child that hates his parent, or fie upon that parent that hates his child? The heathen and savages would not think them worthy of human society. What then may be thought of the man that hateth his wife, or the wife that hateth her husband? Apply this to all other transgressions: and well note how the Lord is a witness thereof (Mal 2:14).

2. This also sheweth how monstrous a thing it is to sow any seeds of discord, and their debate betwixt man and wife. The devil's instruments they are therein, and a diabolical spirit is in them. For Satan most laboureth to unloose those knots which the Lord knitteth most firmly. Children of several venters, and several friends of each party, are much faulty herein. Cursed be they all before the Lord (1 Sam 16:19).

3. This near conjunction betwixt man and wife is a great motive to stir them both up, cheerfully to perform all the duties which God requireth of either of them. For thereby they do duty, and shew kindness to their own flesh. No man may hide himself from his own flesh at large: that is, no man may neglect any duty of mercy, or justice to his neighbour who is of the same stock that he is: shall then an husband or wife hide themselves from one another who in the nearest respect that possibly can be are one flesh? not because they come from one flesh, but because they come into one flesh.

Hitherto of the literal sense of this verse.

The mystical followeth.

85. Of the matrimonial conjunction of Christ and the Church.

The forenamed ancient marriage law is here applied mystically to Christ and the Church, as is evident by the next verse, where the Apostle having reference to this verse saith, This is a great mystery. There is then a mystery contained in it. But of what, or of whom is that mystery? The Apostle himself maketh answer, in these words: I speak concerning Christ and the Church.

The mystery in general is this,

Christ and the Church are to one another an husband and wife.

The particulars of this mystery are these.

The matrimonial conjunction betwixt Christ and the Church is a most preeminent, firm, near conjunction.

First of the general.

The many espousal, and matrimonial titles, which in Scripture are given to Christ and the Church in mutual relation of one to another, evidently shew that they are joined together by the honourable, inseparable and inviolable bond of marriage: He is styled a bridegroom, she a bride (John 3:29): he well beloved, she love (Cant 1:13,15): he an husband, she a wife (2 Cor 11:2): he an head, she the body (Eph 5:23): both one flesh.

2. All things requisite to join man and wife together, do fitly concur betwixt Christ and the Church.

1. They are persons fit to be joined. Though Christ be God, yet for this end he became man (John 17:19): and though the Church were impure, yet for this end is she cleansed and sanctified.

2. They have their parent's consent: for God is the common father of both (John 20:17). And God hath given Christ to the Church (Rom 8:32), and the Church to Christ (John 6:39).

3. They have given their mutual consent each to other (Cant 2:16).

4. He beareth an husband-like affection to her, and she is willing to yield a wife-like subjection to him (Eph 5:23,24).

5. He hath given her many favours and gifts as pledges of his love (Eph 4:8): and she in testimony of her faithfulness was under the Law circumcised, and is under the Gospel baptized: and doth bind herself with all the sacred bonds and covenants which God to that purpose hath sanctified.

6. He hath prepared places of habitation for them both together (John 14:3), and she earnestly desireth to be with him (Rev 22:17,20).

Behold another evidence of Christ's admirable love to the Church, and of the near union betwixt Christ and her. The former was that she was his body. This, that she is his wife: well might the Church say as Abigail did, Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my Lord (1 Sam 25:41): and as the prodigal child, make me as one of thine hired servants (Luke 15:19): or as the Baptist, I am not worthy to stoop down to unloose thy shoe-latchets (Mark 1:7). What a favour then is it to be made his spouse, his wife, his Queen. Great was the favour which Ahash-verosh shewed to Esther when he made her his wife: he was a great Monarch, reigning from India to Ethiopia over 127 provinces: but Esther was a poor orphan and captive: yet was not this favour comparable to Christ's: for there was no such disparity and inequality betwixt Ahash-verosh and Esther, as betwixt Christ and the Church: neither is Esther's advancement to be compared with the Church's: and yet there was some cause in Esther to move Ahash-verosh to do what he did, for she was very beautiful, and lovely, and worthy to be loved: but in the Church when Christ first cast his love on her, there was no such thing (see Sections 33 and 34). No pattern of love can be given any way comparable to this.

Let the Church therefore, and all that profess themselves to be of the Church, take such notice hereof, as they may endeavor to carry themselves worthy of this honour and advancement: not to wax proud and insolent thereupon, but to despise all vain and worldly toys: to answer love with love, as the Church is set forth in Solomon's song; to be subject to her husband, to reverence and obey him, and to perform all duties appertaining to such a wife: seeking by all good means to maintain the honour of her place. The Church is made a pattern of duty to all wives: if she should fail, greater inconvenience would follow from thence, than from Vashti's disobedience (Esth 1:16).

This is the rather to be regarded because it is not only a matter of instruction but of trial also, shewing both what they which are of the Church ought to do, and also what indeed they will do (see Section 24). Wherefore no profane person that lightly esteemeth the Lord Jesus, no idolater that casteth his love on other husbands, no swearer or blasphemer that dishonoureth the great Name of Jesus, none that any way are rebellious against him, none that hate, scorn, scoff, or hurt any of his members, can have any comfort in this advancement of the Church, because they have no part therein, nor right thereunto.

But great is that comfort which the true Saints may receive therein. For by virtue of this matrimonial bond,

1. Christ is made a yoke-fellow with his Church, and her companion. Under all the burdens which are laid upon her, he putteth his shoulder to make it the more easy: yea, the great burdens of God's wrath, the curse of the Law, and sin the cause thereof, hath he so taken on him, as he hath clean freed his Church from them, because they would else have crushed her down to hell.

2. Christ is as her champion to answer all challenges sent unto her, as her advocate to plead and answer all the complaints that shall be made against her, as her surety to discharge all her debts: the Church being covert-baron under Christ, he is as herself, all in all for her, and to her.

3. All his honours, goods, privileges are hers: she hath a right to them, and her part in them, she is a co-heir with him (Rom 8:17), a Queen because he a King (Psa 45:9) and all glorious, as was noted (v. 27).

4. He will assuredly perform all the offices of an husband, as to love her, bear with her, provide for her, with the like. Able he is to do all, for he is omnipotent: willing also he must needs be, because willingly he hath taken upon him this place: he hath made himself a pattern to other husbands: will he not then do that himself which he requireth of others?

If ever any wife might receive comfort in a match, the Church may receive comfort in this match.

The benefit of this match will yet more lively appear by a particular consideration of the three forenamed properties of this matrimonial bond, the preeminency, firmness, and nearness thereof.

86. Of Christ's leaving his Father and mother for his spouse.

I. The preeminency of the matrimonial bond betwixt Christ and the Church herein appeareth, that

Christ left his Father and his mother for his spouse the Church. As Christ is God, God is his Father; as man, the virgin Mary was his mother. Now the leaving of his Father must be taken only by way of resemblance, in that he came from the place of his Father's habitation, to the place where his spouse was. The Scripture saith, that he was in the bosom of his Father (John 1:18): by him, as one brought up with him, his daily delight, rejoicing always before him (Prov 8:30): yet descended he into the lowest parts of the earth where his spouse was (Eph 4:9). He came out from the Father, and came into the world (John 16:28).

But truly and properly did he prefer his spouse before his mother. For when he was instructing his spouse, and his mother came to interrupt him, he said to his mother, who is my mother? and to his spouse, behold my mother (Mark 3:33,34).

Of the same mind must the Church, and all that are of the Church be unto Christ: she must forget her own people, and father's house (Psa 45:10). Seeing Christ hath gone before us, and given us so good an example, what an high point of ingratitude would it be for us, to prefer father, mother, or any other before Christ our husband? Note what he saith in this case, He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me (Matt 10:37). And again, If any come unto me, and hate not his father and mother, he cannot be mine (Luke 14:26). To hate here, is to be so far from preferring father and mother before Christ, as rather than not to love Christ, to hate father and mother. Or, so entirely to love Christ above all, as our love of parents in comparison thereof to be an hatred. Thus Levi said unto his father and mother, I have not seen him: for they observed the word, and kept the covenant of Christ (Deut 33:9).

This then is our duty, that we suffer not any natural affection and dotage on our parents to swallow up that love we owe to Christ, as Pharaoh's ill-favoured and lean-fleshed kine eat up the seven well-favoured and fat kine (Gen 41:4). How much less should any love of this world, of the profits, promotions, or pleasures of this world, draw away our hearts from Christ; should we not rather say and do as the Apostles did, Behold, we have forsaken all and followed Christ? (Matt 19:27)

87. Of the indissoluble union betwixt Christ and the Church.

II. The firmness of that bond whereby Christ and the Church are said to be glued together, is greater and more inviolable than that whereby man and wife are joined together: Death parteth man and wife: but death cannot make a diremption betwixt Christ and the Church: so as we may well from this metaphor infer, that Christ and the Church are inseparably knit together. I will betroth thee unto me for ever (Hosea 2:19), saith Christ unto the Church. The covenant which Christ maketh with his Church, is an everlasting covenant. The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, before his kindness shall depart from the Church (Isa 54:10; 61:8).

The stedfastness and unchangeableness of his will, is the only cause thereof. Whom he loveth, he loveth unto the end. His gifts and calling are without repentance (John 13:1). He is not like the hard hearted Jews, who upon every slight occasion would put away their wives. The Lord hateth putting away (Mal 2:16). Though therefore the Church, through her weakness, do depart from him, and play the harlot, yet return again to me (Jer 3:1), saith the Lord.

Learn we by this pattern to cleave close unto the Lord, which is a duty most due to Christ who cleaveth so close to us, and therefore oft expressed in the Scripture (Deut 10:20; 13:4; Acts 11:23).

Three virtues there are which are of special use to this purpose, faith, hope, love.

Faith is the hand whereby we lay fast hold on Christ, and as it were knit him to ourselves, as he by his Spirit knitteth us to himself. This maketh us rest and repose ourselves on him for all needful things: and not to leave him for any thing.

Hope is the anchor, which holdeth us fast against all the storms of Satan, so as they can never drive us out of our harbour, which is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Love is the glue and solder which maketh us one with Christ: for it is the property of love to unite those that love one another in one. Jonathan's soul was knit with the soul of David. For why? Jonathan loved him as his own soul (1 Sam 18:1). He that loveth is well pleased with him whom he loveth, and seeketh also to please him, that they may mutually delight one in another. Were these three virtues well rooted in us, we would say, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, &c. (Rom 8:35).

88. Of the equal privilege of all the Saints.

III. Concerning the phrase, whereby the nearness of man and wife is set forth [they two shall be one flesh] it may be demanded how this can be applied to Christ and the Saints, who are more than two?

Answ. Christ by one Spirit knitteth us all into one body, and so maketh all jointly considered together one spouse (1 Cor 12:13). The multitude of Saints doth no more imply many wives, than the multitude of members which the natural body of a wife hath. This point then teacheth us, that

In the mystical marriage betwixt Christ and the Church, all and every of the Saints have an equal privilege. Some are not concubines, some wives, nor some more loved, or preferred to another, but all one wife. All are one in Christ Jesus (Gal 3:18).

Neither the Father that gave them all, nor the Son who took them all, saw any thing in one more than in another; their mere grace moved them to do what they did. Well may every one apply all the forenamed privileges unto themselves: and not one emulate another.

This affordeth instruction to the more eminent in the Church, that like proud dames they insult not over others, as if they were their handmaids: and consolation to the meaner sort, that they may uphold themselves, and possess their souls with patience, and not envy, or grieve the outward prosperity and privileges of others. In the greatest privilege they are equal to the greatest.

This is of the parties couple to Christ. For these words [they two] shew that all the Saints are but one: Christ is the other of the two. The next words [are one flesh] shew how near those Saints are to Christ.

89. Of the near union betwixt Christ and the Church.

The main point here to be noted is, that

Christ and the Church are most nearly linked together. What can be nearer, than that two should come into one flesh?

This is somewhat more than to be of Christ's flesh. That shews we are as it were cut out of Christ: this shews that we are again knit to him. That was a preparation unto this: this is as the consummation and perfection of all. (See Section 70) Many metaphors are used to set forth the near union betwixt Christ and his Church, but this surpasseth them all. As here we and Christ are said to be one flesh, so in another place, one spirit (1 Cor 6:17; 12:12). Well therefore might the name and title Christ be given to this spouse of Christ.

It was noted on a like ground to this, that of all other persons the transgression of a wife against an husband is most heinous (see Section 84). What then are the transgressions of the Church against Christ? As we are much more bound unto Christ for the privileges we receive from him as an head and husband, and so our Saviour having made with us an everlasting covenant of marriage, then for those we received from him as our Creator, Lord and Master: so are the rebellions now committed against him more monstrous. To Adam that broke the first covenant whereby like a rebellious child and servant he sinned against his Father and Master, mercy and pardon was given: but to such as now break the bond of this everlasting covenant, and make a total and final desertion, utterly renouncing this husband, or by their adultery cause him to give them a bill of divorce, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins; but a certain fearful looking for of judgment, and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries (Heb 10:27). This is to be noted, to make us the more circumspect over our ways, resisting sin in the beginning, and looking diligently lest any man fall from the grace of God (Heb 12:15); and giving no place at all unto the devil (Eph 4:17). Satan will most endeavour to dissolute the nearest bonds that God maketh. This then being the nearest of all, we ought to be the most careful in preserving it.

90. Of the mystery of the union of Christ and the Church.

Ephesians 5:32. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church.

This verse is a conclusion of that excellent digression which the Apostle hath made concerning the near union of Christ and the Church.

In it two points are to be noted.

1. A pathetical exclamation [This is a great mystery].

2. A particular application of the forenamed Law [but I speak concerning Christ and the Church].

Here first note that

The union betwixt Christ and the Church is a great mystery.

The Apostle could not have said more of it than to call it a mystery, a great mystery (Eph 6:19).

A mystery is a divine secret.

A secret it is in two respects.

1. Because it is not known.

2. Because it is unsearchable: the depth of it cannot be fathomed.

It is a Divine secret, for two other respects.

1. Because it could not have been opened but by divine revelation.

2. Because when it is opened it cannot be conceived but by the illumination of the Spirit. That Spirit which openeth and revealeth the mystery, must also open the eyes of our understanding to discern aright of it.

It is further said to be a great mystery.

1. Simply in itself, because the matter thereof is deep, difficult, weighty, and of great moment.

2. Comparatively in relation to other mysteries: no mystery revealed in God's Word comparable to it.

Let us not presume to measure it with the line of our own reason. It being a great mystery it is above our capacity: yet because it is revealed we must believe it, as we do the mysteries of the Trinity, of Christ's eternal generation, of the personal union of his two natures, of the proceeding of the Holy Ghost, with the like; because the Word hath revealed them, though we cannot fully see the reason of them. Herein lieth a main difference betwixt our estate in this world and in the world to come: here we must believe what we know but in part: there we shall perfectly know whatsoever is to be believed. Preachers can but in part make known this mystery, and hearers can but in part conceive it, let us therefore wait for perfect understanding of it, till all things be perfected in Christ: but in the meantime believe without doubting or wavering, that which is revealed of it.

In our meditation of this mystery, let us conceive no carnal, no earthly thing of it, because it is a mystery: it is altogether spiritual and heavenly. From the natural union of our head and body, and from the matrimonial union of man and wife, we may and ought to take occasion by way of resemblance, to help our understanding in the union of Christ and his Church: for this end are these resemblances used, and by this means may our understanding be much helped, as by the outward elements and rites which are used in the sacraments: but if because of these comparisons we draw this which is only and wholly spiritual, to any carnal matter, we shall make that to be a thick mist, and dark cloud, which is given for a light.

The dotage of our adversaries is here plainly discovered. They make our union with Christ merely carnal. For they conceit it to consist in a corporeal commixtion of Christ's flesh with ours, by our eating his flesh with the teeth of our bodies, and drinking his blood down our throats, and digesting both in our stomachs as our bodily food, that so it may turn into our substance (John 6:52). Thus they shew themselves like the dull-headed Capernaitans, and like ignorant Nicodemus (John 3:4). There is a great deal of gross absurdity, but no great mystery in that conceit.

91. Of the Pope's usurping to be spouse of the Church.

The Apostle's application of this mystery to Christ and the Church, discovereth two gross errors of the Papists.

One, that they make the Pope a spouse of the Church. With what face can any apply that to the Pope and the Church, which the Apostle so expressly saith is meant of Christ and the Church? yea, what arrogant presumption is it, to attribute that to mortal sinful man, which is proper to the eternal and holy Son of God? Is not this to confer Christ's prerogatives upon himself, and so make himself plain Antichrist? Who gave the Church to the Pope, or the Pope to the Church? When did she give her consent? [I speak of the true catholic Church of Christ.] What hath he done for her? or rather what hath he not done against her? The distinction of Imperial and Ministerial spouse, cannot here serve the turn (see Section 17). As the metaphor of an head, so much less the metaphor of a spouse will admit a ministerial spouse. As he is an adulterer that taketh upon him to be a ministerial husband, so is she an adulteress that yieldeth herself to such an one. The Apostle saith, I have espoused you to One husband (2 Cor 11:2).

92. Of the false sacrament of marriage.

The other error is, that marriage is a sacrament: the main ground whereof they have taken from this text, which ground by the Apostle's application of this mystery to Christ and the Church, is as plainly removed, as if the Apostle had purposely ordered his style, to prevent this erroneous collection: as if he had said, That none may mistake this mystery, and apply it to a matrimonial conjunction of man and woman together, know that I mean no such thing: the mystery which I speak of, is concerning Christ and the Church. I marvel how they dare misapply that which is so plainly expressed. Though the Apostle had not so clearly shewed his mind and meaning, yet the very thing itself would lead us so to judge of it. For, that which in Christ and the Church is a great mystery, in man and wife is but a small matter. The vulgar Latin translation first led them into this error, for it translateth the word mystery, a sacrament. But a translation is no sufficient ground to prove a doctrine. Besides the word sacrament used by that translator, hath as large an extent as mystery: if they should make every thing which he translateth sacrament, a proper sacrament of the Church, there would be many more sacraments than the Papists themselves do make.

1. As for this supposed sacrament, no Papist could ever shew when or where God ordained it to be a sacrament. Nay, they agree not among themselves about the time, how long it hath been a sacrament. Some of them hold, that ever since the first institution of marriage in Paradise, it hath been a sacrament. But the greater number of Papists hold it to be a sacrament of the New Testament under the Gospel, because their Tridentine Council hath so decreed it. Where we may note how the greater number of them, when two absurdities are questioned, are ready to fall into the worst. Under the Law the nonage of the Church needed, and had more sacraments than under the Gospel: yet that which was in use as much under the Law as under the Gospel, and had then as much to make it a sacrament as now, was then none, yet now is one.

2. As they cannot shew where it was ordained for a sacrament, so neither can they shew what is the sacramental sign thereof. Some make carnal copulation to be it. But there may be a true marriage, though the parties married never know each other.

Others make the parents' giving to be the sign. But they hold that that is a true marriage, which is done without parents' consent.

Others the priest's blessing. Yet they hold the marriage of infidels and heretics who have no priests, to be a true marriage.

Others, the consent of the parties themselves. Thus shall a party administer a sacrament to himself.

Others, other things. Thus they wanting the light of God's word, one strayeth in one by-path, another in another, and none of them hit upon the right.

3. A like difference there is about the form of this sacrament.

4. If other positions delivered by them concerning matrimony be noted, a man would think that they should be far from making it a sacrament. They prefer virginity before it. Yea, they account it a kind of pollution. They hold it unlawful for priests, monks, nuns, and such like holy orders [as they esteem them] to marry: so as there is a sacrament, whereof their holy ones may not partake. The order of priesthood is a sacrament [in their account] yet that order keepeth from marriage, so as one sacrament fighteth against another. Yea, infidels may be partakers of a sacrament, and so their holy and precious things shall be denied to their holy ones, and cast unto swine. Thus we see a rotten building erected upon a sandy foundation: a false sacrament established upon a false application of this text. Can it then stand?

93. Of the sum of husbands' and wives' duties.

Ephesians 5:33. Nevertheless, let every one of you in particular so love his wife, even as himself: and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

The Apostle having made a large digression about the mutual relation betwixt Christ and the Church, whom he propounded as patterns to husbands and wives, he now returneth to the main point intended, namely to the duties of husbands and wives: and so much doth the first particle imply [Nevertheless] as if he had thus said, Though I have a little digressed into the mystery of the union of Christ and the Church, yet nevertheless do ye, O husbands and wives, call to mind that which I principally aimed at, even your duties.

This verse then containeth a conclusion of the Apostle's discourse, concerning the duties of husbands and wives.

Two points are especially noted therein.

1. A declaration of their several and distinct duties.

2. A direction to apply their own proper duties each of them to themselves.

Their distinct duties are noted in two words, love, fear.

These two, as they are distinct duties in themselves, so are they also common conditions which must be annexed to all other duties, Love as sugar to sweeten the duties of authority, which appertain to an husband. Fear as salt to season all the duties of subjection which appertain to a wife. The Apostle therefore hath set them down as two marks for husbands and wives to aim at in every thing wherein they have to deal one with the other.

Of these I will more distinctly speak in the treatises of the particular duties of husbands and wives.

94. Of applying the Word to ourselves.

The direction for a particular application of their own proper duties to either of them is here especially to be noted. In this direction two things are to be observed.

1. That every particular person apply to himself that which by a Minister is indefinitely delivered to all. Every one of you in particular, saith the Apostle: which is as much as if he had thus more largely expressed his mind, I have laid down such general duties as all husbands and wives without exception of any of what rank or degree soever they be are bound unto; which though by name I have not severally delivered to every one, one by one, but generally to you all, yet do every one of you apply those things to yourselves in particular.

2. That every one apply his own peculiar duty unto himself. Love being peculiar to an husband, to him he saith, Let him love his wife: and reverence being peculiar to a wife, to her he saith, let the wife see that she reverence her husband.

The direction in every of those several epistles which were sent to the seven Churches of Asia, [in these words, He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the Churches (Rev 2:7)] doth teach every member in any of those Churches to apply to himself that which was delivered to the whole Church: so doth a like exhortation which Christ with an exclamation made to the people whom he taught in parables (Luke 8:8): and this declaration of the extent of Christ's counsel, what I say to you, I say to all (Mark 13:37). To this purpose many precepts given to whole Churches, and to all sorts of people are set down in the singular number as given to one, as, Awake Thou that sleepest (Eph 5:14). Thou standest by faith: be not thou high minded &c. (Rom 11:20).

The life and power of God's word consisteth in this particular application thereof unto ourselves. This is to mix faith with hearing: faith, I say, whereby we do not only believe the truth of God's word in general, but also believe it to be a truth concerning ourselves in particular: and thus will every precept thereof be a good instruction and direction to us to guide us in the way of righteousness: every promise therein will be a great encouragement, and consolation to us to uphold us, and to make us hold on: and every judgment threatened therein will be a curb, and bridle to hold us in, and to keep us from those sins against which the judgments are threatened. But otherwise, if we bring not the word home to our own souls, it will be as a word spoken into the air (1 Cor 14:9), vanishing away without any profit to us. Nothing maketh the Word less profitable, than the putting of it off from ourselves to others, thinking that it concerns others more than ourselves.

That we may make the better use of this doctrine, let us observe both what are general duties belonging to all Christians, and apply them as particular to ourselves: and also what duties appertain to such persons as are of our place, calling, and condition, and more especially apply them to ourselves: let all manner of husbands, and all manner of wives of what rank or degree soever they be that shall read the duties hereafter following, know that they are spoken to them in particular. Let Kings and Queens, Lords and Ladies, Ministers and their wives, rich men and their wives, poor men and their wives, old men and their wives, young men and their wives, all of all sorts take them as spoken to them in particular. It is not honour, wealth, learning, or any other excellency, nor means of place, poverty, want of learning, or any other like thing that can exempt an husband from loving his wife, or a wife from reverencing her husband. He that saith every one, excepteth not any one. Therefore every one in particular do ye so. The like application may be made to all parents and children, masters and servants, concerning their duties.

95. Of every one's looking to his own duty especially.

In the forenamed application an eye must be had rather to the duty which we owe, and ought to be performed by us to others, than to that which is due to us, and others ought to perform us: for the Apostle saith not to the husband, see that thy wife reverence thee, but see that thou love her: so to the wife.

For this purpose the Holy Ghost presseth particular duties upon those particular persons who ought to perform them: as subjection on wives: love on husbands: and so in others. This therefore is especially to be considered of thee, how thou mayest shew thyself blameless. I deny not but that one ought to provoke another, and one to help another in what they can to perform their duty, especially superiours who have charge over others, but the most principal care of every one ought to be for himself, and greatest conscience to be made of performing his own duty.

1. It is more acceptable before God, and more commendable before men to do duty, than to exact duty. As in matters of free charity, so also of bounden duty, It is more blessed to give, than to receive (Acts 10:35). In particular it is better for an husband to be a good husband, than to have a good wife: so for a wife. To have others fail in duty to us may be an heavy cross, for us to fail in our duty to others is a fearful curse.

2. Every one is to give an account of his own particular duty (Rom 14:12). That which the Prophet speaketh of father and son, may be applied to husband and wife, and to all other sorts of people, If a father do that which is lawful and right, he is just, he shall surely live: if he beget a son that doth not so, he shall surely die, his blood shall be upon him. Again, if a father do that which is not good, he shall die in his iniquity: but if his son do that which is lawful and right he shall surely live. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself: and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. That this shall be so betwixt husband and wife, may be gathered out of these words, Two shall be in one bed, the one shall be taken, the other left (Luke 17:34).

Let this be noted against the common vain apologies which are made for neglect of duty, which is this, Duty is not performed to me, why shall I do duty? when my husband doth his duty, I will do mine, saith the wife. And I mine, saith the husband, when my wife doth hers. What if he never do his duty, and so be damned, wilt thou never do thine? This looking for of duty at others hands, makes us the more careless of our own.

Do you therefore O husbands look especially to your own duties, do you love your wives: and you O wives look you to yours especially, do you reverence your husbands. For this end, let husbands read those duties most diligently which concern husbands, and wives those, which concern wives. Let not the husband say of the wife's duties, there are good lessons for my wife, and neglect his own: nor the wife say the like of husbands' duties, and not regard her own. This is it that maketh the subjection of many wives very harsh and irksome to them, because their husbands that urge and press them thereto shew little, or no love to them at all: and this is it that maketh many husbands very backwards in shewing love, because their wives which expect much love, shew little or no reverence to their husbands. Wherefore Let every one of you in particular so love his wife, even as himself: and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

96. Of the meaning of the first verse of the sixth chapter.

From those particular duties which concern husbands and wives the Apostle proceedeth to lay down such as concern children and parents. As before he laid down wives' duties before husbands, so here he beginneth with children's [who are inferiour to their parents] and that for the same reasons which were rendered before (see Section 10).

Besides children are the fruits of matrimonial conjunction, therefore fitly placed next unto man and wife.

That which concerneth children is laid down in the sixth chapter of Ephesians, verses 1, 2, and 3. The meaning whereof we will distinctly open.

Ephesians 6:1. Children obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

The first word [children] is in the original as proper a word as could be used, for according to the notation of it, it signifieth such as are begotten and born. Answerable is the other word [parents] which signifieth such as beget and bring forth children. Yet are they not so strictly to be taken as if none but such as begat and brought forth, or such as are begotten and brought forth of them were meant: for under the title parents, he includeth all such as are in the place of natural parents, as grandfathers and grandmothers, fathers in law and mothers in law, foster-fathers and foster-mothers, guardians, tutors, and such like governours: and under the title children he compriseth grandchildren, sons and daughters in law, wards, pupils, and such like. For there is an honour and subjection due by all who are in place of children, to all such as are in place of parents, though in a different kind, as we shall after shew (see Treatise 5, Sections 56 and 57). This word children which in the original is of the neuter gender, doth further include both sexes, males and females, sons and daughters: so as either of them are as carefully to apply the duties here set forth to themselves as if in particular both kinds had been expressed.

He expresseth parents in the plural number, to shew that he meaneth here also both sexes father and mother, as the Law expresseth both: and addeth this relative particle your, as by way of restraint, to shew that every child is not bound to every parent, so by way of extent to shew that whatsoever the estate of parents be, honourable or mean, rich or poor, learned or unearned, &c. their own children must not be ashamed of them, but yield all bounden duty to them: if they be parents to children, they must be honoured by children.

The word [obey] under which all duties of children are comprised, according to the Greek notation, signifieth with an humble submission to hearken, that is, to attend and give heed to the commandments, reproofs, directions, and exhortations which are given to them, and that with such a reverend respect of the parties who deliver them, as they make themselves conformable thereto.

A duty proper to inferiours, and implieth both reverence and obedience: the verb noteth out obedience; the preposition, reverence.

Under this word [obey] the Apostle comprehendeth all those duties which throughout the Scripture are required of children: as is manifest by his own exemplification thereof in the second verse by the word honour which the Law useth: so as this word [obey] is to be taken in as large an extent as that word [honour].

Quest. Why is obedience put for all the rest?

Answ. 1. Because it is the hardest of all the rest, and that which children are loathest to perform: they who willingly yield to this, will stick at no duty.

2. Because it is the surest evidence of that honour which a child oweth to his parent: and so of performing the fifth commandment.

3. Because children are bound to their parents: the duties which they perform are not of courtesy, but necessity. Their parents have power to command, and exact them.

The clause added [in the Lord] is in effect the same which was used before [as unto the Lord] and it noteth forth a limitation, direction, and instigation: a limitation shewing that children's obedience to their parents is to be restrained to the obedience which they owe to Christ, and may not go beyond the limits thereof: a direction shewing that in obeying their parents, they must have an eye to Christ, and so obey them as Christ may approve thereof: an instigation shewing that parents bear the image of Christ, and in that respect children must the rather obey their parents.

The last clause of this verse [for this is right] is an express reason to enforce the forenamed point of obedience: and it is drawn from equity: and sheweth that it is a point agreeable to all law: yea that in way of recompence it is due: and if children be not obedient to parents they do that which is most unjust, they defraud their parents of their right.

The former phrase [in the Lord] implying one reason, this plainly noteth out another, as the first particle [for] declareth.

97. Of the meaning of the second verse.

Ephesians 6:2. Honour thy father and mother [which is the first commandment with promise].

The very words of the fifth commandment are here alleged by the Apostle as a confirmation of the forenamed reason, that, it is just and right to obey parents because God in the moral Law enjoineth as much. The Law is more general than the Apostle's precept: for the Law compriseth under it all those duties which all kind of inferiours owe to their superiours, whether they be in family, church, or Commonwealth: but the Apostle's precept is given only to one kind of inferiours in the family: yet the argument is very sound and good from a general to a particular, thus, All inferiours must honour their superiours, therefore children their parents.

By adding the express words of the Law the Apostle sheweth that the subjection which he required of children is no yoke which he of his own head put on their necks: but that which the moral Law hath put on them: so as this may be noted as a third reason, namely God's express charge in his moral Law.

If I should handle this Law according to the full extent thereof, I should wander too far from the Apostle's scope. I will therefore open it no further than it may concern the point in hand, viz, the duty of children.

Honour compriseth here all those duties which children in any respect owe to their parents. It implieth both an inward reverend estimation, and also an outward dutiful submission. Yea it implieth also recompence and maintenance.

Honour in relation to parents, is used for two reasons especially.

1. To shew that parents bear God's image, for honour is properly due to God alone: to the creature it is due, only as it standeth in God's room, and carrieth his image.

2. To shew, that it is an honour to parents to have dutiful children: even as it is a dishonour to them to have disobedient children.

Both father and mother are expressly mentioned, to take away all pretence from children of neglecting either of them: for through the corruption of nature we are prone to seek after many shifts to exempt us from our bounden duty; and if not in whole, yet in as great a part as we can. Some might think if they honour their father, who is their mother's head, they have done what the Law requireth: others may think they have done as much, if they honour their mother who is the weaker vessel: but the Law expressing father and mother, condemneth him that neglecteth either of them. Yet to shew that if opposition should arise betwixt them, and by reason thereof both could not be obeyed together, the father commanding what the mother forbiddeth, the father is to be preferred, [especially if it be not against the Lord] the father is set in the first place.

These words following [which is the first commandment with promise] are fitly included in a parentheses, because they are not the words of the Law, but inferred by the Apostle as a reason to enforce the Law, and so make a fourth reason.

Quest. In what respect is this commandment called the first with promise?

Answ. 1. The word here used by the Apostle properly signifieth an affirmative precept, as our English word [commandment] doth. Now then of the affirmative precepts it is the first with promise.

2. The Scripture oft appropriateth the Law to the second table, as where he saith he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law (Rom 13:8), and so in other places. Now this is the first commandment of the second table.

3. It is generally true of all the commandments: for among the ten it is the first with promise.

Object. The second commandment hath a promise annexed to it.

Answ. 1. That which is annexed to the second commandment, is not expressly a promise, but rather a declaration of God's justice, in taking vengeance of transgressors, and of his mercy in rewarding observers of the Law: yet I deny not but that a promise by consequence is implied: but here it is expressed.

2. The promise there implied is only a general promise made to observers of the whole Law, and therefore he useth the plural number, commandments: but here is a particular promise made to them that keep this commandment in particular.

2. Quest. Why is it then said the first, when no other commandments with promise follow?

Answ. This particle [first] hath not always reference to some other following, but is oft simply taken, to shew that none was before it: so is the word first-born used in the Law (Exo 13:2) and so Christ is called the first-born Son of Mary (Matt 1:25).

The word promise sheweth, that this fourth reason includeth some benefit redounding to those children themselves that honour their parents: the benefit is expressly mentioned in the next verse, which we will afterwards distinctly consider.

98. Of aiming at our own, in seeking the good of others.

Here in general we may note, that

It is not unlawful to aim at our own good and benefit in doing the duties which God requireth at our hands to others: for that which God himself propoundeth and setteth before us, we may seek and aim at. Many like promises there be in Scripture, and many approved prayers grounded on those promises whereby the truth of the doctrine is confirmed unto us. Hezekiah maketh the good service he had done to God and his Church, a ground to obtain longer life (Isa 38:2,3): so others.

For God layeth no duty on any man, but therein he aimeth at the good of him who performeth the duty as well as of him to whom the duty is performed. Whereby he would shew that his commandments are no straight yokes and heavy burdens, but means of procuring their good who fulfill them.

How highly doth this commend the good respect that God beareth to all the sons of men: seeking their good in every place wherein he setteth them, either of authority, or subjection?

How ought this to stir us up willingly and cheerfully to observe the laws which God commandeth us, and perform the services he requireth of us, seeing thereby we procure our own good?

How fully may this satisfy, and even stop the mouths of all such as are discontent with their places, and mutter against that subjection which God enjoineth to them?

What a good direction and resolution may this be to many, who being moved in conscience to seek the good of others, doubt whether therein they may aim at their own good or no? To make this case clear by an instance, which may serve instead of many. A Minister faithful in his place, and very painful, and in that respect of a good conscience, but withal of a tender and weak conscience, doubteth whether thereby he may seek maintenance to himself, fearing that so he seeketh himself, and not simply the edification of God's Church. But by the forenamed doctrine we see that both may be aimed at: for God commandeth the one, and promiseth the other. As we have one eye on God's commandment for direction, so we may have another on his promise for encouragement.

Yet because through the corruption of our nature, we are too prone to seek ourselves, some cautions are in this point carefully to be observed.

1. That we seek not our own good by any transgression, for it is promised unto obedience.

2. That we do not so wholly seek ourselves and our own good, as we neglect others: for God having joined both together, no man may put them asunder.

3. That we aim at our own good, as a reward following upon the duty which God commandeth, and so be as willing to do the duty, as desirous of the reward.

4. That our own benefit be not the only, no nor the chiefest thing we aim at in doing our duty, but rather come as a motive to add an edge, and to sharpen other motives of greater moment. And thus much the order which the Apostle observeth in setting down his reasons, noteth unto us: for the three former have respect to God, and to that good conscience which children ought to carry towards him: the first pointeth at God's image which parents carry [in the Lord] the second setteth forth that right which God hath prescribed to children: the third declareth God's charge: this fourth only, which is the last, hath respect to the profit and benefit of children themselves.

99. Of preferring honesty before commodity.

From the forenamed order we may further gather, that

Equity and good conscience ought more to move us to do our duty than our own profit, and the benefit that thereby redoundeth to us. If there should come such an opposition betwixt these that they could not both stand together, but that for doing that which is right, and which God hath commanded, our prosperity must be hindered and life shortened, we should so stand to that which is right and commanded of God, as prosperity, life and all be let go. To this purpose tend all the exhortations in Scripture, to forsake goods, lands, life, and everything else for righteousness sake. So clear is this point, that the heathen discerned it by the glimpse of that light of nature which they had: for they could say, that that which is honest and right, is to be preferred before that which is commodious and profitable.

There is no comparison betwixt honesty and commodity, right and profit. The one is absolutely necessary for attaining to eternal salvation, the other giveth but a little quiet and contentment in this world: nay, if profit be without right, it can give no true contentment or quiet at all.

Unworthy therefore they are of the name of Christians, who so wholly and only aim at their outward profit and prosperity, as they regard not what is right, and what God hath commanded. If by obeying God, and doing that which is right they may reap some benefit to themselves they can be content to yield thereunto: but if not, farewell all right, farewell all God's commandments. Though they think every thing that is profitable, be it right or wrong, to be good, yet God's word accounteth nothing good but that which is honest: such therefore can look for no blessing from the Lord.

100. Of the meaning of the third verse.

Ephesians 6:3. That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

The promise mentioned before in general, is here particularly set down. The first words [that it may be well with thee] are not in the Hebrew text there where the Law is first recorded (Exo 20:12), and thereupon not set in that usual form of the Ten Commandments, which is in use among us: but yet in another place where the Law is repeated, they are set down (Deut 5:16): and the Greek translation, commonly called the Septuagint [which (as is probable) the Church in the Apostle's time used] hath expressly noted it in both places. Now this part of the promise [that it may be well with thee] is prefixed as an amplification of the other part concerning long life, which is the most principal thing intended, as appeareth in that it only is mentioned where the Law is first recorded. It sheweth that the long life which God promiseth, shall not be a life of woe and misery, [for then were it no blessing, but the longer life lasted, the worse it would be] but a life full of comfort and happiness: therefore Moses setteth this former clause in the latter place after long life thus [that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee] to shew that the well being here spoken of, is an amplification of the benefit of long life.

Whereas the Apostle setteth down the place where the benefit of this promise is to be enjoyed in a most large phrase, thus [on earth] the Law bringeth it to a more narrow compass thus [in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee] meaning the land of Canaan which was given of God as a peculiar inheritance to the Jews: so that the promise [as the Law setteth it down in peculiar to the Jews] implieth long life, and prosperity in their own inheritance: for long life to the Jews was counted no life out of their own country. But the Apostle writing to all nations, leaveth out that description of Canaan, and retaineth only the general substance in this word [on earth] which he setteth down to shew that even outward prosperity, and a long life in this world is here promised.

101. Of prosperity: how far forth it may be a blessing.

For further clearing of this text, and for better application thereof, I will resolve sundry questions arising out of it, and gather such profitable instructions as it affordeth.

The promise consisteth of two branches.

The first branch [that it may be well with thee] is very ample and large: all good things, all manner of blessings whatsoever, spiritual and temporal, belonging to soul and body, concerning this life, and the life to come, make to a man's well-being. Whence may first be demanded,

1. Quest. What may be the extent of this phrase in this place?

Answ. It may generally be extended to all manner of good things. For Godliness hath promise of the life that now is, and of that that is to come (1 Tim 4:8). But [as I take it] temporal prosperity is here principally intended: and that for these reasons.

1. It is joined with long life, which is a temporal blessing.

2. That last word [our earth] may be referred to this branch of well-being, as well as to the other of long life.

3. In the Law [ from whence this clause is taken] it is expressly set down thus, that it may go well with thee in the land, &c. (Deut 5:26).

2. Quest. Is then outward temporal prosperity [as honour, health, peace, liberty, goods, &c.] a token of God's love and favour?

Answ. Yea: in itself it is a blessing, and fruit of God's love: as appeareth by these reasons.

1. As at first it was made and ordained of God, it is a good thing.

2. It tendeth to man's good, if it be rightly used.

3. It was bestowed on man before he had offended.

4. It is promised of God as a reward to them that fear him and keep his commandments (Lev 26:4; Deut 28:1).

5. The Saints have prayed for it, and have been thankful for it (Gen 28:20; 32:10,11).

6. The contrary was first inflicted as a punishment of sin, and is oft threatened as a token of God's wrath, and so hath also been inflicted on transgressors (Lev 26:15; Deut 28:16).

102. Of prosperity bestowed on the wicked, how it proves a curse.

3. Quest. Why then is it bestowed upon the wicked, even such as are haters of God, and are hated of him? And why are God's friends such as are loved of him, and love him again, deprived thereof? This sore scruple made David stumble, and moved other prophets to complain (Psa 73:13; Jer 12:1; Hab 1:3). But the answer is ready.

Answ. Outward prosperity is of that nature, as it may turn to the good or hurt of him that enjoineth it. And herein is God's admirable and unsearchable wisdom seen, in that he is able to turn blessings into curses, and curses into blessings. He can work by contraries.

4. Quest. How is prosperity a curse to the wicked?

Answ. By mere consequence, through their abuse of it. God gives it to them to shew the riches of his mercy: and that all may taste thereof, he doth good to the evil and the good (Matt 5:45). Besides, he thus trieth if by any means they may be brought to repentance (Rom 2:4): which gift because they have not, their prosperity proveth to be a means to make them the more inexcusable, and the more to increase their just condemnation. For the more God's blessings abound towards them, the more they abuse them, adding to all their other sins, that most odious sin of ingratitude, which maketh up the heap of all. And in these respects I may say of the prosperity of the wicked, as the prophet of their King, God gives it in his anger, and takes it away in his wrath. For by their abuse thereof, it proveth Satan's bait to allure them, his snare to catch them, and his hook to drown them in perdition and destruction (1 Tim 6:9). In a word therefore, the wicked are fed in a fair pasture like oxen appointed to the slaughter: they are exalted on high, as on a ladder or scaffold, like thieves and traitors, to be brought down with shame and destruction, as Pharaoh's baker was lift up (Gen 40:19).

103. How both having, and wanting prosperity is a blessing to the Saints.

5. Quest. How is the enjoining, or wanting of prosperity a blessing to the righteous?

Answ. God in wisdom knowing what is best for them accordingly deals with them, he bestoweth prosperity on them so far as he seeth it will turn unto their good: and denieth it to them so far as he seeth it will turn to their hurt. Whensoever therefore God bestoweth any temporal blessing of his Saints, it is a token of his favour: and whensoever he deny any, the very denial is also a fruit of his favour. Herein is it verified that All things work together for good to them that love God (Rom 8:28), so as, if they abound, it shall go well with them: if they want, it shall go well with them: if they be in high place, it shall go well with them: if in mean place, it shall go well with them: if they be at liberty, if in prison: if they be in health, if sick: in what estate soever, it shall go well with them.

6. Quest. How is it then that Saints are oft brought to such extremities that they are forced to complain that it is very ill with them?

Answ. There is flesh and blood in them, by reason of the weakness whereof they are forced to complain: but the present apprehension of weak flesh, is not sufficient to impeach the truth of God's promise: they consider not in their present extremity what is God's mind, what his manner of dealing with them, how needful it is that so they should be dealt withal, what end and issue the Lord will give: in truth it is better with them than they wot of. Some weighty reasons there be which move God to bring them to that extremity wherein they are, and those respecting his own glory (John 9:3; 2 Cor 12:9), or the edification of others (Eph 3:1), or their own good, as curing some dangerous disease (Psa 119:67), manifesting the grace of God bestowed upon them (John 1:12), drawing them nearer to God, making them long the more for heaven (2 Cor 5:2), with the like.

104. Of long life; how far forth it is a blessing.

Concerning the second branch of God's promise [long life] other questions are to be resolved.

1. Quest. Is long life a blessing?

Answ. Yea, else would not God here and in other places have promised it as a reward, nor have bestowed it on his Saints.

The reasons to prove it to be a blessing may be drawn to three head. 1. God's glory, 2. the good of the Church where they live, 3. their own good.

1. God's glory is much advanced by the long life of the Saints: for the longer they live the more they do themselves observe God's wonderful works, and the more they do make them known and declare them to others. But in the grave all is forgotten (Psa 6:5; Isa 38:18).

2. God's Church is greatly edified thereby: in which respect the Apostle saith, to abide in the flesh is more needful for you (Phil 1:24). In the Saints that is true which Elihu saith should be, namely that days speak, and multitude of years teach wisdom (Job 32:7). The longer the Saints live, the more good they do: but after death they do none: when the night cometh no man can work (John 9:4): upon which ground the Apostle exhorteth to do good while we have time (Gal 6:10).

3. The Saints by long living purchase to themselves great honour, and dignity among God's people, and a strong stedfast confidence in God. Men regard a good old servant: much more will God. Two strong props have old Saints to establish them, and make them bold: one is a remembrance of God's former favours, whereby their hope of eternal life is made more sure unto them: another is a kind of present expectation of the accomplishment of God's promises which they have long waited for.

By this it appears that this particular promise is no light matter, of small moment: but a strong motive to stir up children to obedience.

105. Of long life providing a curse to the wicked.

2. Quest. Why then is long life given to many wicked ones? and why are many Saints cut off?

Answ. Long life is of the same kind that prosperity is: it may be turned to a curse, as well as prove a blessing.

The wicked by living long on earth make their sins grow to the full [as is implied of the Amorite (Gen 15:16)] they make their name to stink the more on earth, as a carrion the longer it remaineth above ground the more it stinketh: and they cause the greater torment in hell to be inflicted upon them: for as sin is increased, so shall that torment be increased (Rom 2:5).

The righteous have their days shortened for their good, when they are shortened, and that in these, and such like respects

1. That they may be taken from the evil to come (1 Kings 14:13; Isa 17:1).

2. That they might be made an example to others (1 Kings 13:14).

3. That by a temporal death eternal condemnation might be avoided (1 Cor 11:32).

4. That their chiefest and greatest reward might be hastened (Gen 5:24; Heb 11:5).

106. Of limiting the promises of temporal blessings.

Thus we see there may be just cause to alter, as the former branch of this promise, prosperity, so the latter branch of it, long life, and yet no wrong thereby redound to the righteous, nor benefit to the wicked.

3. Quest. Is not the truth of the promise impeached thereby?

Answ. No whit at all. For first all promises of temporal blessings are limited with such a condition as this, if the performance of it may stand with God's honour, and the good of the party to whom it is made. 2. God doth never simply deprive his Saints of that which is promised, but only instead of it giveth a better: as in taking away wealth, he giveth the more store of grace: in restraining liberty of body, he giveth freedom of conscience: with affliction he giveth patience: by taking away this temporal life, he giveth eternal life. God herein dealeth, as if one who having promised so much iron, should instead thereof give as much silver: or for silver give gold: and so for one pound give the worth of hundreds or thousands.

107. Of appropriating prosperity and long life to the obedience which children yield to their parents.

4. Quest. Why is long life and prosperity appropriated to this kind of righteousness?

Answ. It is not so appropriated to this, as if it appertained to no other: for it is elsewhere in general promised to the observers of the whole Law, and to other particular branches thereof beside this (Deut 6:2): yet in these and such like particular respects is it applied to the obedience of children (Psa 34:12-14).

1. Because obedience to parents is one of the surest evidences of our conformity to the whole Law: in that thereby we shew our respect of God's image, and lay a good foundation for the performing of all duty to man.

2. Because a child's performing of his duty to his parents is under God an especial means that they do well, and live long [for as rebellious children make their parents with grief to come the sooner to their graves, so dutiful children make them to continue the longer in prosperity] the Lord in recompence promiseth to such a child prosperity and long life.

3. Because parents are an especial means to procure the welfare and long life of their children, partly by their provident care, as Naomi said to Ruth, shall I not seek rest for thee that it may be well with thee (Ruth 3:1)? and partly by their instant prayer: for the faithful prayer of parents is of great force with God for dutiful children: whence hath risen the custom of children's asking their parents' blessing, and of parents' blessing their children. In this respect the Law thus setteth forth the blessing of the fifth commandment, they shall prolong thy days.

4. Because disobedience to parents bringeth much mischief on children's heads, and oft shorteneth their days, and that many ways.

1. In that parents are oft provoked by their children's disobedience to disinherit them, at least to allow them the less portion, so as hereby it goeth not so well with them: yea some are provoked to bring their rebellious children to the Magistrate, who by God's Law was to cut them off, so as thereby their life is shortened (Deut 21:21).

2. In that parents are provoked to complain unto God of their children's disobedience, and God thereby moved both to lay heavy judgments upon such children in their life time, and also to shorten their days: for parents' complaint doth make a loud cry in God's ears. It is said that God by cutting off Abimelech with an untimely death rendered the wickedness which he did to his father (Judg 9:56).

3. In that, when parents are too indulgent over their children, God doth punish the sin both of parent and child, by shortening the child's days. Instance the examples of Hophni and Phinehas (1 Sam 2:34), Absalom (2 Sam 18:14), and Adonijah (1 Kings 2:25).

4. In that disobedience to parents, is a sin that seldom goeth alone: for an undutiful child is commonly a very lewd person many other ways. Considering the proneness of our nature to all sin, it cannot be avoided but that they who in the beginning shake off the yoke of government, should run headlong into all riot, looseness, and licentiousness: thus then sin being added unto sin, it must needs bring mischief upon mischief, till at length life be cut off.

Wherefore in that these mischiefs are avoided by performing due obedience to parents, it may well be said that it shall be well with obedient children, and they shall live long.

108. Of God's ordering his favours so as they may appear to be true blessings.

The particular branches of God's promise having been distinctly opened, we will consider them jointly together, for they do exceedingly amplify one another: prosperity sweetens long life and makes it acceptable: otherwise to live long, namely in misery and wretchedness, is very irksome and grievous. Again, long life added to prosperity maketh it so much the greater blessing. For a good thing the longer it continueth the better it is. If prosperity were but as a flower, soon gone, the very thought of the vanity thereof would much diminish the joy and comfort of it. But both of them joined together, do shew that this is no small blessing which is promised.

From the connexion of them both together, I observe that

God so ordereth his favours as they appear to be true blessings, tending indeed to the good of those upon whom he bestoweth them. Thus when God gave Abraham a son, he established his covenant with him (Gen 17:19), that this gift might be a true blessing.

The like I might instance in all the children of promise, as Samson, Solomon, John Baptist, &c. So in other favours. When God added fifteen years to Hezekiah's life, he also promised him deliverance form his enemies, and peace, and truth all his days (Isa 38:5,6; 39:8). And when God gave David a kingdom, he gave him great victories and long life, and established his kingdom to his posterity (2 Sam 7:9): so also dealt he with Solomon. But not to insist on any more particulars, excellently is this doctrine confirmed in the 28th Psalm.

Thus God will shew that in love he bestoweth even the temporal blessings which he giveth to his Saints, that accordingly they may esteem them, and that their hearts may be the more enlarged both to admire his goodness, and to be thankful for the same.

This use we must make of those things which the Lord is pleased to bestow upon us, as of long life, good health, honour, peace, plenty, liberty, and all prosperity: we must receive and use them as God bestoweth them, namely as tokens of his favour: and thereby be the more stirred up to perform the duties he requireth of us, and not abuse them to his dishonour and our own hurt: but rather so as he may have honour, and we profit thereby.

109. Of God's high account of dutiful children.

More particularly by this promise we may learn what high esteem, and great account God maketh of dutiful children, and of that obedience which they perform to their parents: which ought so much the more to provoke children to all obedience, if at least they have any care of God's favour, and of the tokens of his love. O consider this all ye that have parents to honour: consider how careful, how earnest God is every way by all means to draw you to obedience: he contents not himself to urge the equity of the point, the place of your parent, the charge that himself hath given, but most presseth your own profit: and that not only in hope for the time to come, but even in present fruition for this life: and that because we through our childishness are most affected with things sensible and present: dealing with us as a tender father who provideth not only a good calling, and a fair inheritance for his child, but giveth him also plums, pears, and such things as for the present he is delighted withal, the more to allure them.

110. Of children's doing good to themselves by honouring their parents.

Children may further learn out of this promise, that in performing their duty they do good not only to their parents, but also to themselves: they procure their own welfare and long life. What egregious fools then are disobedient children: they regard neither God, their parents, nor themselves, but deprive themselves of their eternal happiness, hinder their welfare, and shorten their days. Fitly hereupon I may apply to undutiful children these words of the psalmist, Mark the obedient child, for the end of him is peace: but the rebellious shall be destroyed: he shall be cut off (Psa 37:37,38): and these of the wise man, I know that it shall be well with the dutiful child, but it shall not be well with the disobedient, he shall not prolong his days (Eccl 8:12,13), and these of the prophet, Say ye to the obedient child, it shall be well with him he shall eat the fruit of his doings, but woe to the transgressor, it shall be ill with him (Isa 3:10,11).

111. Of parents doing good to their children by keeping them under obedience.

Out of this promise parents may learn how to do good for their children, how to provide for their welfare, and long to preserve their life on earth [a thing whereunto most parents are naturally given, and whereof they are much desirous] namely by teaching children their duty, by keeping them under obedience: thus have they God's promise to assure them, that it shall go well with their children, and that they shall live long. When parents are upon their death-beds they may rest more securely upon this promise than upon great store of treasure laid up for them, and great revenues reserved for them. Many parents neglect themselves: they moil and toil, they cark and care, they pinch and spare, to leave their children store of wealth, thinking thereby to do good to their children, when as withal they too much cocker their children, give the reins unto them, and care not how little duty they perform. God's curse will lie upon all the store that is laid up for such children, as a fire to consume it all. Doth not daily experience verify the truth hereof? The judgments which are laid on some such children, do evidently manifest God's just indignation against all. Let not rich men therefore think they have left their children well enough if they leave them a large portion, but rather if they have observed them to be obedient children: and if poor men's children be such, let them not fear but that it shall go well with them.

It is said, that a good trade is better than house and land, but by virtue of this promise we may say that obedience in a child is better than trade and all: this is the trade of a child's way which parents should teach children (Prov 22:6). Wherefore as parents are desirous of their children's good, so they ought to be wise in procuring it, which is by teaching them this trade of obedience: and so they shall bring much comfort to themselves while they live, and good to their children after them.

112. Of the perpetuity of the substance of such things as in their circumstances respecting the Jews are vanished.

In laying down this particular promise, the Apostle instead of the limitation thereof unto the Jews in these words [in the land which the Lord thy God shall give thee] putteth a general word, which extendeth it to all nations, namely this [in the earth] whence I gather that

The substance of those things which in some circumstances were after a peculiar manner restrained to the Jews, remaineth in force to all Christians. The substance of this promise was, that it should go well with obedient children, while here on earth they lived, and in this welfare they should long live. The circumstance was, that in Canaan they should enjoy that blessing. Though Christians live not in Canaan, which is the circumstance, yet well it shall go with them, and long they shall live, which is the substance. Thus though the circumstance of God's covenant with Abraham [which was circumcision] be abolished, yet the substance [which is, to be our God, and the God of our seed] remaineth. This might further be exemplified in many hundred instances: for the substance of all the Jewish sacrifices, and sacraments, both ordinary, and extraordinary, of their Sabbaths, of their fasts, of their feasts, and the like, remain, though the circumstances, as shadows, be vanished away. Hence is it, that many promises made to them, are applied by the Apostles to Christians, as this, I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee (Heb 13:5): and in general it is said, The promise is to you and to your children, and to all that are afar off (Acts 2:39).

Hereby we may learn what use to make of the Old Testament, even of those promises and privileges which in some particular respects were appropriated to the Jews: namely, by observing the substance, and distinguishing it from the circumstance; thus shall we find that to be true which the Apostle speaketh of all the things which were written afore time, namely, that they were written for our learning (Rom 15:4). In this respect the same Apostle saith of the things recorded of Abraham, they were not written for his sake alone (Rom 4:23): and again of the things recorded of the Israelites, they are written for our admonition (1 Cor 10:11). By this we may learn how to apply the preface to the Ten Commandments, which mentioneth the deliverance of Israel out of the bondage of Egypt.

Pray therefore for the spirit of illumination to discern betwixt substance and circumstance, in reading the Old Testament especially.

113. Of the determined period of man's life.

Having declared such orthodoxal points as this text affordeth, I will further note out two heretical positions, which our adversaries thence raise. One is of those, that to the dishonour of him whom God raised up to be a worthy instrument in dispelling the mist of popery, which had much darkened the light of the Gospel, call themselves Lutherans: the other of Papists.

The former is this, God hath not determined the set period of man's days, but it is in man's power to lengthen or shorten them: for if it were otherwise, say they, this and such like promises of long life were to no purpose, nor yet the contrary threatenings of shortening man's days.

For full answer hereunto, I will first shew, that the position itself is directly contrary to the current of Scripture, and then discover the unsoundness of their consequence.

Touching the determined period of man's days, thus speaketh the Scripture: Is there not an appointed time to man on earth? are not his days also as the days of an hireling (Job 7:1)? Note with what emphasis the point is set forth; even so, as if it were a point so clear, as none could doubt of it. Note also two metaphors here used, which do much clear the point: one taken from soldiers, the other from hired servants. That of soldiers is implied in the meaning of the original word translated appointed times, but properly signifieth him that hath his time appointed for warfare, or the time itself so appointed: the other expressed. Now we know that these times are appointed to an hour: so is the time of man's life. In this respect Job saith again, all the days of my appointed time will I wait, &c. (Job 14:14) where he useth the same word that before in the same sense. To this purpose are these, and such like phrases frequently used in Scripture, determined days, number of days, hour, &c. (Job 14:5; Eccl 2:3; John 7:30). Did not the prophet expressly declare to Hezekiah that he should live just 15 years after his sickness (Isa 38:5)? He could not have told it, if the Lord had not before set that period. Christ saith, our hairs are numbered (Matt 10:30), are not much more our days? Again he saith, who can add one cubit to his stature (Matt 6:27)? Can then any add to his days? So evident is this point, that the heathen noted it.

Touching their consequence [if a man's time be determined all the promises of long life are to no purpose] I answer, that God who hath set down the just time and period of man's life, hath also set down the means of attaining to that period. Now the time he hath kept secret to himself, the means he hath revealed to us. In regard of us therefore who know not the time appointed of the Lord, it may be said that by using such and such means we prolong our days, or by doing such and such things we shorten them. Now because these means only shew them to be long, or short, God's decree remaineth firm and stable, and is not altered thereby: yet this work of lengthening or shortening is attributed to us, because we do what lieth in us thereto, and that freely without any compulsion. For God's decree though it cause a necessity in the event, yet it imposeth no constraint on the will of man, but leaveth it as free [in regard of the manner of working] as if there were no decree at all. And herein God's admirable wisdom is manifested, that notwithstanding his determined purpose of matters, man hath no ground of excuse to say he was forced to this or that.

The knowledge of this determined period of man's life is of great use: for it teacheth us,

1. Wholly to submit ourselves to God: and to be prepared either soon to depart out of this world, or long to live in it, as God shall dispose of our time: nor desiring longer to live than God hath appointed: nor grieving to live so long as he hath appointed.

2. Not to fear the threats of any man, thereby to be drawn from God (Deut 3:17,18).

3. To do God's work while we have time, &c. (John 9:4).

114. Of reward promised to obedience, that it implieth no merit.

The other heresy which Papists gather from this text, is this, Man's obedience is meritorious.

Answ. The reward here promised is no matter of wages and due dessert, but of mere grace and favour.

Of this error I have elsewhere more largely spoken (see Treatise 2, Part 4, Section 7).

115. Of the connexion of parents' duty with children's.

Ephesians 6:4. And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

The Apostle having urged children to perform their duties to their parents, he turneth his speech to parents, saying, And ye fathers, &c. That copulative particle And, joining an exhortation to parents, for performing their duties to the forenamed exhortation made to children, giveth us to understand, that

Parents are as well bound to duty as children. Their duties indeed be different, yet [notwithstanding their superiority and authority over their children] they are bound to duty. All the directions and exhortations throughout the Scripture given unto parents, concerning their duty, and all the threatenings denounced, and judgments executed on parents for neglect of their duty, are pregnant proofs of this point.

Though parents be over their children, and by them cannot be commanded, yet they are under God: and he it is who hath enjoined them their duty: so as they are bound thereunto, as they will answer it to their Father in heaven.

The authority which parents have, is not so much for their own advancement, as for the better governing of their children, which being so, their very government is a duty.

Object. In the moral Law the duty of children only is expressed.

Answ. Parents' duty [as many others' duties] is by just and necessary consequence implied, which is equivalent, and as much bindeth, as if it were expressed. It is thus implied. They who have honour, must carry themselves worthy of honour. Now the way to carry themselves worthy of honour, is to be careful in doing duty to them that honour them. This is so equal, as it needed not to be expressed.

Wherefore let Ministers follow this pattern of the Apostle, and carry an even hand towards all of all sorts: let them not be partial in laying all the burden of duty on children's necks, and none on parents: holding in children very straightly but leaving parents to their own will. Parents are flesh and blood as well as children, and as prone to transgress in their place, as children in theirs. Yea, Ministers ought of the two to be more earnest in urging parents to perform their duty, because they are under no such power and authority as children are. Fear of parents' authority keepeth children much in awe. There is no such thing to keep parents in awe. They will be more ready therefore to take the greater liberty, if by fear of God, and by a good conscience, they be not kept in compass.

Now ye [O parents] as you look for honour, carry yourselves worthy of honour: as ye look for duty from your children, perform duty to them. Know that another day, even you shall be called to an account before the highest Judge: your authority will then be no pretence to excuse, but an evidence to aggravate your fault. For you being elder in years, and more eminent in place, of more experience, and having a charge over your children, ought to be a light to shew them the way, and example to allure them, that they seeing you careful and conscionable in performing your duty, may be the more provoked to perform theirs, or at least made ashamed of their neglect of duty. But if you be careless of your duty, how can ye expect duty at their hands? nay if by your ill example they have been made negligent, their blood shall be required at your hands.

116. Of the extent of these words, fathers, children.

Though the word [fathers] be here used, which properly setteth forth natural parents, and of natural parents the male kind, yet [as in many other places] it is to be taken in a larger extent: even in as large as this word [children] was before, that so there may be a just and equal relation betwixt children and parents: wherefore both sexes of natural parents are comprised under it, even mother as well as father: and they also who are in place of parents, whether by marriage as all sorts of fathers and mothers in law, or by appointment, as all they who of right have the custody and charge of children, as guardians, tutors, and other like governours: and so it is every way answerable to the word [parents] used in the first verse: and the word [children] is also here to be taken in the same extent, as it was there.

117. Of parents provoking children.

The next phrase [provoke to wrath] is the exposition of one Greek word, which being a compound word, cannot by one English word be fully expressed: the best and nearest that I can think of is [exasperate]. The word signifieth an extremity in the use of authority: even too much austerity and severity, whereby children are provoked to wrath: which because it is a fault, it is here expressly forbidden [provoking not, &c.]. In this word there is a trope: the effect is put for the cause. The Apostle's meaning is, that parents should take such heed of their carriage toward their children, as they give them no occasion to be stirred up to wrath. Under this word then are forbidden all such things, as may kindle wrath in children, as too much austerity in carriage, sourness in countenance, threatening and reviling in words, too hard handling, too severe correction, too much restraint of liberty, too small allowance of things needful, with the like. Parents being flesh and blood are subject in this kind to abuse their authority: yea, even they who fall into the other extreme of too much indulgency and cockering of their children, are very prone to fall also into this extreme: as many who for the most part too much suffer their children without due restraining and correction to run into all riot, will sometimes on a sudden, like lions, fly upon them, and after their own pleasure correct them (Heb 12:10), and so exceedingly provoke their children. Such as are most cockering, are most prone to provoke to wrath: for, 1. Such least know how to keep a mean: one will sooner leap out of one extreme into another, than go from an extreme to the mean. 2. The children of such are soonest provoked.

Quest. Is it a thing lawful and justifiable in children to be provoked to wrath by their parents?

Answ. No (see Treatise 5, Sections 31 and 41). This prohibition intendeth no such thing: the Apostle hath here to do with parents: and instructeth them how to prevent such mischiefs as their children through their weakness may fall into. So as here only he sheweth what is unlawful for parents, not what is lawful for children. Hence then by the way I observe that

Parents must be so watchful over their carriage, as thereby they make not their children to sin.

If they do, they make their own sin the more heinous, and also they pull down upon their own pates a far more heavy vengeance, even the vengeance of their own sin, and the vengeance of their child's sin. For every parent is made a watchmen over his child. If a watchman do not what he can to hinder the sin of such as are under his charge, he pulls their blood on his own neck (Eze 3:18). What do they then that being watchmen, minister occasion of sin to them that are under their charge?

118. Of parents seeking the good of their children.

That parents by avoiding the rock of provoking, fall not into the gulf of cockering, the Apostle addeth a But, which is as a stop unto them, and teacheth them that

It is not sufficient for parents to prevent such mischiefs as children may fall into, but they must also seek their good. All the precepts in Scripture charging parents to seek their children's good, prove the point. Herein lieth a main difference betwixt the affection which parents and strangers ought to bear toward children, and the duty which one and the other owe to them. Mere strangers ought not to provoke them: but parents ought moreover every way to seek their good.

The main good which parents ought especially to seek after in the behalf of their children, is noted out in these words: Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

The word translated [bring up] properly signifieth to feed or nourish with all needful things; it is the same that is used before in the 5th chapter and 29th verse, and there translated nourisheth. Not unfitly might the proper signification of the word be here kept, as the best Latin translation, the French, and others have kept.

This word joined with the others that follow, may seem at first sight to be here placed only to make up the sense, as if he had thus said, nurture your child in the ways of God. But if the scope of the Apostle, and signification of the word be well weighed, we shall find that it further implieth a general duty, which nature itself teacheth parents, even this, that

Parents ought to provide all needful things for their children: even such things as tend to the nourishing of their bodies, and preserving of their health and life: for this phrase [to translate it word for word] nourish them in discipline, or in instruction, is a concise speech, implying as much as if he had said, nourish and nurture them, or feed and instruct them. But the Apostle hath thus nearly and concisely joined them together, to shew that Nurture and instruction is as needful and profitable, as food and apparel.

119. Of parents nurturing their children.

The word translated nurture, signifieth as well correction as instruction: as Hebrews 12:7 - If ye endure chastening: and 2 Timothy 3:16. The Scripture is profitable for instruction in righteousness. Both senses will here stand, and our English word [as well as the Greek] will bear both: for to nurture children, is as well to correct them, as to instruct them. Very fitly is this advice in this large acceptation inferred upon the former prohibition: for lest parents should thereupon take occasion to lay the reins upon their children's necks, and let them run whither they list, the Apostle hereby teacheth, that

Parents, as they may not be too austere, so neither too remiss. They must not provoke their children to wrath, yet they must keep them under discipline. The word translated nurture, according to the Greek notation thereof doth further set forth the mean betwixt the two forenamed extremes: for it noteth out such a discipline as befitteth a lad or a young child: so as the thing itself, discipline, by instruction and correction keepeth from one extreme of remissness: the kind or manner of discipline being such as befitteth a child, keepeth from the other extreme of rigour and cruelty. Extremes on either side are dangerous and pernicious, and that to parent and child. For remissness will make children careless of all duty to God and parent: rigour will make them desperate. But virtue and safety consisteth in the mean betwixt both.

120. Of parents fixing precepts in their children's minds.

The word [admonition] according to the notation thereof, hath a particular relation to the mind, and pointeth out an informing and instructing of it. It is taken either for the action of admonishing, [as Titus 3:10, reject an heretic after the first and second admonition] or for the thing admonished, in which latter sense most do here take it: yet would I not have the former clean excluded, for according to the full meaning of the word, I take thus much to be intended.

As parents deliver good precepts and principles to their children, so they must be careful, by forcible and frequent admonitions, to fix and settle them in the mind of their children. The Law expresseth as much by another metaphor which it useth, in a direction which it giveth to parents, saying, thou shalt whet or sharpen God's Laws upon thy children. That is, thou shalt teach them diligently unto them.

The more pains is taken in this kind, the less labour will be lost. That which at first is little heeded, by much urging and pressing will for ever be held, as a nail that at one blow scarce entereth, with many blows is knocked up to the head.

121. Of adding information to discipline.

The addition of the word admonition unto nurture, is not [as some take it] a mere explication of the same point, but also a declaration of a further duty, which is this:

As parents by discipline keep their children under, so by information they must direct them in the right way. Solomon doth both deliver the point, and also add a good reason to enforce it: for saith he, Train up a child in the way that he should go; there is the duty: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Prov 22:6): there is the reason. Keeping a child under by good discipline, may make him dutiful while the father is over him: but well informing his understanding and judgment, is a means to uphold him in the right way so long as he liveth.

122. Of parents teaching their children the fear of God.

The last word [of the Lord] intimateth the best duty that a parent can do for his child. Admonition of the Lord declareth such principles as a parent hath received from the Lord, and learned out of God's word: such as may teach a child to fear the Lord, such as tend to true piety and relation: whence further I observe, that

Parents must especially teach their children their duty to God. Come children [saith the psalmist] hearken unto me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Of this particular more largely hereafter (see Treatise 6, Section 34).

123. Of the subjection which believing servants owe.

Because there is yet another order in the family besides those which have been noted before, namely the order of masters and servants, the Apostle prescribeth also unto them their duty.

As he began with wives and children, in the two former orders, so here he beginneth with servants who are the inferiours, for the same reasons before rendered (see Section 10).

The apostle is somewhat copious in laying forth the duties of servants, and in urging them to perform their duty; and that for two especial reasons: one in respect of those, whose masters were infidels: another in respect of those, whose masters were Saints.

1. Many servants there were in those days wherein the Gospel was first preached to the Gentiles, that by the preaching thereof were converted, whose masters embraced not the Gospel: whereupon those servants began to conceit that they being Christians, ought not to be subject to their masters that were infidels.

2. Other servants there were whose masters believed the Gospel as well as they: now because the Gospel taught, that there is neither bond nor free, but all are one in Christ Jesus: they thought that they ought not to be subject to their master who was their brother in Christ.

These two preposterous and presumptuous conceits doth the Apostle intimate, and expressly meet with in another place (1 Tim 6:12,). And because they had taken too deep rooting in the minds of many servants, the Apostle here in this place laboureth the more earnestly to root them out, and that by a thorough pressing upon their conscience that subjection wherein they are bound to their masters, as masters, whatsoever their disposition were. Hereof more afterwards (see Treatise 7, Sections 2 and 3).

Here by the way, note three points.

1. The Gospel doth not free inferiours from that subjection to men whereunto by the moral Law they are bound.

2. Men are ready to turn the grace of God into liberty.

3. As errors begin to sprout up in the Church, Ministers must be careful to root them out.

124. Of the meaning of the fifth verse.

Ephesians 6:5. Servants be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ.

This title [servants] is a general title, which may be applied to all such as by any outward civil bond, or right, owe their service to another: of what sex soever the persons themselves be: or of what kind soever their servitude is: whether more servile or liberal.

Servile, as being born servants, or sold for servants, or taken in war, or ransomed; For of old they were called servants, who being taken in war, were saved from death.

Liberal, as being by voluntary contract made servants, whether at will, as some serving-men, journey-men, and labourers; or for a certain term of years, as prentices, clerks, and such like. Wherefore whatsoever the birth, parentage, estate, or former condition of any have been; being

Servants they must be subject, and do the duty of servants: the Apostle's indefinite title [servants] admitteth no exception of any.

The other title [masters] hath as large an extent comprising under it both sexes, masters and mistresses: and of these all sort, great and mean, rich and poor, strong and weak, faithful and infidels, true professors and profane; superstitious, idolatrous, heretical persons, or the like: so as

No condition or disposition of the master exempteth a servant from performing duty to him.

Among other degrees and differences, most especially let it be noted that both sexes, mistresses as well as masters, are here meant, that so the duties which are enjoined to be performed to masters may answerably be performed to mistresses [so far as they are common to both] and that both by maid-servants, and also by men-servants that are under mistresses. In families mistresses are as ordinary as masters, and therefore I thought good to give an especial item of this.

Under this word [obey] are comprised all those duties which servants owe to their masters: it is the same word that was before used in the first verse: and it hath as large an extent here being applied to servants, as it had there being applied to children: It sheweth that

The rule of servants [as servants] is the will of their master.

This clause [according to the flesh] is by some referred to the action of obedience, as if it were added by the Apostle to shew what kind of obedience servants owe to their masters, namely a civil, corporal obedience in temporal things, opposed to that spiritual obedience which is due to God alone.

Though distinction may be made betwixt that service which is due to God, and that which is due to man, yet this application of this phrase in this place may give occasion to servants to think that if they perform outward service to their masters all is well, they owe no inward fear, or honour, which is an error that the Apostle doth here mainly oppose against.

But because this clause [according to the flesh] is immediately joined to masters, I refer it to the person to whom obedience is to be given, and so take it as a description of them, as if he had said, to fleshly or bodily masters.

The Apostle thus describeth masters for these reasons.

1. For distinction: to shew he means such masters as are of the same mould that servants are: so distinguishing them from God who is a spirit: thus doth the Apostle distinguish betwixt fathers of our flesh, and father of spirits (Heb 12:9).

2. For prevention: lest servants might say, our masters are flesh and blood as we are, why then should we be subject to them? To meet with that conceit, the Apostle expressly saith that obedience is due to masters after the flesh.

3. For mitigation of their servitude: for their masters being flesh, they have no power but over the bodies of their servants: their spirits are free from them: in which respect the Apostle calleth Christian servants the Lord's freemen (1 Cor 7:22).

4. For consolation against their present condition, which is but for a time, because their masters are flesh: whatsoever is according to the flesh is of no long continuance, but hath his date.

5. For direction: to shew in what things especially that obedience which properly belongeth to a master consisteth: namely in civil, outward things: for every one must be served according to his nature. As God being spirit, must in spirit be served: so man being flesh must in flesh be served. Now this service in the flesh is not opposed to sincere and upright service, but to spiritual. Thus by consequence that may be intended, which some would have principally to be meant.

Object. Masters may command spiritual things, namely to worship God, and after such and such a manner.

Answ. Of his own head he cannot command such things: there must be an higher warrant for the doing of them than the commandment of man.

A main point here intended is this, that

Masters are not to be lightly respected because they be after the flesh: that is, weak, frail, of short continuance, of the same nature that servants are.

Lest upon the forenamed description of masters, servants should take to themselves too much heart, the Apostle annexeth this clause [with fear and trembling, &c.] which hath relation to the manner of their obedience. No slavish fear is here meant, as if servants should live in continual dread, or tremble at the sight of their masters: a servant by the tyranny of some master may be brought so to do: but to do so is no Christian duty: that which the Apostle here requireth is a duty belonging to all Christian servants towards all sorts of masters, even the mildest that be. It is therefore an awful respect of the authority of a master, and a dutiful reverence to his person which is here required: and it is opposed to sauciness, malepertness, boldness, stoutness, answering again, murmuring and muttering against their masters, and other like vices. To shew how foul those faults be, and what great respect servants ought to bear to their masters, these two words [fear, and trembling] are joined together: which in effect declare one and the same thing: but yet for explication sake they may be distinguished. For fear signifieth a reverend respect of one: it is that which in the former chapter was required of wives: though the thing in general which is required of wives and servants is the same, yet the particular manner and measure of a servant's fear is far different.

Trembling is more proper to servants: it is a dread of punishment: and it is required of servants, not as if they should do all things simply for fear of punishment, but because God hath put a staff into a master's hands, servants must tremble at that power their masters have, and fear to provoke them to strike. To this purpose saith the Apostle to subjects in regard of the power which a Magistrate hath, be afraid, for he beareth not the sword in vain (Rom 13:3,4).

Hence learn that

The authority of a master ought to strike a servant's heart with dread.

The dread which servants ought to have of their master's power and authority maketh many to care for no more than to avoid their master's displeasure: wherefore the Apostle addeth a further degree of a servant's subjection, namely that it be in singleness of heart, that is, honest, entire, upright: for this is opposed to hypocrisy, dissimulation, and fraud: yea of Your heart, not anothers': another in the simplicity of his heart may think you do a thing better than you do, by a charitable construction of every thing, but if in singleness of your own heart you do it, it will in truth be as it appeareth to be. So as

All the services which servants perform to their masters must be done in truth and uprightness.

The Apostle gives this direction to Christians who have to do not only with masters according to the flesh [who only see the outward appearance] but also with the master of spirits who looketh on the heart (1 Sam 16:7): and therefore also he added this clause, as unto Christ: teaching servants thereby that

Servants in their obedience to their masters, must approve themselves to Jesus Christ as well as to their masters after the flesh.

The phrase [as unto Christ] implieth as much as that [in the Lord] whereof we spake before (see Section 96).

125. Of the meaning of the sixth verse.

Ephesians 6:6. Not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.

This and the verse following are added as a further explication of the last clause of the former verse. It should seem that servants, howsoever they might in some measure perform the main duty of obedience, yet failed exceedingly in the manner of performing it. Because masters were but men, masters according to the flesh, who neither had power over the heart, nor could discern the disposition thereof, servants thought they had well done their duty, if they had outwardly performed what their master required: now to root out this bitter weed, and to reform this corrupt conceit, the Apostle is more large in clearing the point of sincere and upright service: therefore, the more fully to express his mind and meaning, first he layeth down the vice contrary to the foresaid sincerity [for contraries laid together do much set forth one another] and then returneth more distinctly to declare the virtue. Whence note

Those points are most to be urged upon people, wherein they most fail.

The vice here noted to be contrary to sincere service is termed eye-service. Our English word doth properly and fitly answer the original, both in the notation, and in the true sense and meaning of it. It implieth a mere outward service only to satisfy the eye of man:

And that is twofold, hypocritical, parasitical.

Hypocritical service is that which is merely in shew: when that is pretended to be done which indeed is not done; as if a servant should come from his master's work all in a sweat, as if he had taken extraordinary pains therein, whereas he hath done nothing at all, but otherwise made himself to sweat, or only made a shew of sweat.

Parasitical service is that which is indeed done, but in presence of the master: such servants are they who will be very diligent and faithful in doing such things as their masters see, or shall come to their notice: but otherwise behind their master's back, and in things which they hope shall never come to his knowledge, they will be as negligent, and unfaithful as if they were no servants. Yet to satisfy their masters, and to sooth them, they will do any thing though never so unlawful.

From this vice thus discovered note, that

God requireth more than that which may satisfy man's eye. God's eye is a piercing eye, and can see much foulness, where to man's eye all things seem very fair: so as they much deceive themselves who think all is well because no man can say to them, black is thine eye.

Those that content themselves with doing eye-service the Apostle here termeth men-pleasers: which title he giveth unto them for two especial reasons.

1. To shew the ground of eye-service: which is because all their care is to please their master, who is a man: for well they know that man can see but the outward shew, or that which is done before his face.

2. To shew the heinousness of that sin: for it is tainted with atheism, in that the man guilty thereof hath no respect to God: but preferreth his master before God: he careth not to please God so he please his master: for this is the emphasis of that word [men-pleasers]. It is spoken in opposition to God, as the Apostle implieth in another place, saying, If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ (Gal 1:10).

Object. How can it be so heinous a sin to be men-pleasers, when the Apostle adviseth servants to please their masters in all things (Titus 2:9)?

1. Answ. The advice there given is not simply to please, but to please well, as the original word properly signifieth, and the King's translators have fitly turned it.

2. Answ. That general particle [all things] must be restrained to the duties of a servant, and to all the parts of obedience, which he there mentioneth in the words immediately going before. Servants therefore must please their masters in all things that their masters have power to require at their hands, and they are bound to do. Men-pleasing, here spoken of, is opposed to pleasing of God. Pleasing of men there mentioned is subordinate to our pleasing of God: here to please men is to sooth them up in every thing good or evil: there to please them is conscionably to obey them in every lawful thing. Here is condemned a seeking to please men in the first place, and that only, and wholly in every thing, whereas we ought first to seek God's approbation, then the testimony of a good conscience, and after these a pleasing of men, but in, for, and under, God. Hence then observe that

A servant must not wholly give himself to sooth and please his master: for so may he in many things highly displease Almighty God.

To avoid the two forenamed sins, eye-service, and men-pleasing, the Apostle giveth an excellent direction in these words, as the servants of Christ doing the will of God from the heart, where we may observe servants of Christ to be opposed to men-pleasers, and doing God's will from the heart to eye-service.

Servants of Christ are they who know that their masters are in Christ's place, bear his image, have their authority from him, and are under him: so as in serving their masters they serve Christ: and so far as they may serve both together, they will: but if they prove contrary masters, and thereupon one of necessity must be left, then they will cleave unto the highest master, which is Christ: and in this respect they are called the Lord's freemen (1 Cor 7:22). Thus we see how a servant may be no servant, if he do all things for the Lord.

From this opposition betwixt men-pleasers and servants of Christ, note that

They who in all things give themselves to please men are no servants of Christ.

That we may the better know who are servants of Christ, the Apostle addeth a description of them in these words [doing the will of God from the heart]. Christ's will is God's will: for as Christ is God, the Father's will and his is all one: as he is man he wholly ordereth his will by his Father's, he seeketh not his own will, but the will of the Father that sent him (John 5:30).

This description of a servant of Christ the Apostle addeth partly as a direction to servants to teach them how in serving their masters, they may be servants of Christ, [namely, in having an eye to God's word, whereby his will is revealed both for the matter and manner of all things which they do] and partly as a motive to persuade them to be content with their place, and cheerfully to do their duty, because so is the will of God.

God's will is that which must direct and settle every one in the things which they do: for God's will is the rule of that which is right. Every thing is very right which he willeth: and nothing is right that swerveth from his will.

To put a difference betwixt Christ and other masters, and to shew that he looketh not [as man doth] upon the outward appearance, but beholdeth the heart, the Apostle annexeth this clause [from the heart]. And it declareth that

A good thing must be well done. To do that which is God's will, commented by his word, is for substance a good thing: to do it from the heart, is the right manner of doing it: That which being good is done after a right manner, is well done.

126. Of the meaning of the seventh verse.

Ephesians 6:7. With good will doing service as to the Lord and not to men.

In this verse the Apostle doth yet again inculcate the forenamed point concerning servants' manner of obeying their masters, and their care therein to approve themselves to their highest master: whence observe that

Masters needful and weighty are again and again to be pressed. This is a needful point, because servants exceedingly fail therein: and a weighty point it is, because all the comfort and benefit of service consisteth in God's approbation. But the former point is not here merely and barely repeated, but so set down as other good directions are afforded to servants for their manner of obedience.

1. To serve with good will, is somewhat more than with singleness of heart. For it further implieth

1. A readiness and cheerfulness in doing a thing; a doing it with a good mind, as the notation of the Greek word sheweth.

2. A desire and endeavour that their masters may reap profit and benefit by their service: whereby they shew that they bear a good will, and good mind to their masters.

In setting down servants' duties, the Apostle useth another word than before in the fifth verse, namely this [doing service] whereby he sheweth that a servant's place and duty is of more abject and inferiour kind than the place and duty of a child or a wife: the former word [obey] was common to all: this word [doing service] is proper to servants: and the very title of a servant, is derived from thence. Hence note that

Though wives and children be inferiour as well as servants, yet may not servants look for such privileges as they have. Another manner of subjection must be performed by servants.

The clause annexed [as to the Lord] is in effect the same with that in the fifth verse [as to Christ] for by the Lord he here meaneth the Lord Christ. But it is added to meet with a secret objection. For if servants should say, You require us to serve our masters with good will, but what if they be hard-hearted and regard not our good will, but pervert our good mind? The Apostle giveth them this answer, Look not so much to men and their reward, as to God and his reward: serve men in and for the Lord, even as if you served God: so shall not your service be in vain. The inference of the eighth verse upon this, sheweth that this is it which the Apostle here intendeth. Learn therefore that

As eye is to be cast upon God even in those duties which we perform to men: and that both for approbation and reward from God.

The negative clause which followeth in these words [and not to men] is not simply to be taken [for then would it thwart the main scope of the Apostle in this place] but comparatively in relation to God, and that in two respects.

1. That service be not done only to men.

2. That service be not done to men in and for themselves. Service must be done to God as well as men: yea In that service which we do to men, we must serve God. Men must be served for the Lord's sake, because the Lord hath commanded it, because they bear the Lord's image, and stand in his stead: in the Lord, and under the Lord.

From this large declaration of the manner of doing service to masters note the difference betwixt such servants as are servants of men, and such as are servants of Christ.

1. They do all to the eye. These all from the heart.

2. They seek to please men. These do the will of God.

3. They do their service discontentedly. These cheerfully.

4. They do all upon self-love. These with good will.

127. Of the meaning of the eighth verse.

Ephesians 6:8. Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord whether he be bond or free.

Great is the ingratitude of many masters: they will exact all the service that a poor servant possibly can do, but slenderly recompence his pains: yea, it may be, very evilly reward the same, not affording competent food, clothing, lodging, but frowns, checks, and blows. Now to uphold servants in such straits, and to encourage them to do their duty whether their masters regard it or no, the Apostle in this verse laboureth to raise up their minds to God: and to shew unto them that he regardeth them, and will sufficiently reward them, so as

Servants' labour shall not be in vain in the Lord. To press this encouragement the more upon them, he setteth it down as a thing granted by all, so clear as none of them can be ignorant thereof [knowing] as if he had said, ye all well enough know that what I now say is most true: hence note that

God's respect of faithful servants is so well known, as none that have any understanding can be ignorant thereof.

The Apostle's argument is drawn from the general to a particular, and the generality is noted in the thing done [whatsoever] and in the person that doth it [any man]. But because the generality of the thing might be too far stretched, he addeth this limitation [good] and because the generality of the person might be too much restrained, he addeth this explication [whether bond or free]. This distinction is used because in those days many servants were bond-men and bond-women. Now the Apostle's argument may thus be framed: Every one of what estate and degree soever he be, shall be rewarded of God for every good thing he doth, be it great or small. Therefore every servant shall be rewarded of God for every good service.

The recompence promised is set forth under a concise speech [the same shall he receive] meaning that he shall receive a reward for the same: that phrase hath relation to the crop which an husbandman receiveth of the corn he sowed, which is of the same kind he sowed: the seed being wheat, the crop is of wheat (1 Cor 15:38): the seed being plentifully sowed, the crop will be plentiful (2 Cor 9:6): to the same purpose saith this Apostle in another place, whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap (Gal 6:7). Now to apply this, servants that by their faithful service bring honour and glory to God, shall again receive honour and glory. If they ask of whom they shall receive it, the Apostle expressly answereth, Of the Lord: for it is the Lord that said, Them that honour me will I honour (1 Sam 2:30). God will not forget them, though their masters may.

From this verse thus opened, I gather these particular observations, concerning servants.

1. Servants may and ought to apply unto themselves general promises made to Christians. Otherwise this general argument of the Apostle is to little purpose in this place.

2. A Christian may be a bond-slave: for the Apostle directeth this encouragement to Christians, among whom he presupposeth some to be slaves, opposing them to free-men, who also were servants.

3. Faithful service performed to men is a good thing: for the good things which servants especially do is in their service.

4. As God accepteth not men because they are free, so neither rejecteth he them because they are bond. It is not the person, but the work that he regardeth.

5. The faithful service of servants is as good seed sown: it will bring forth a good crop. The metaphor here intimated implieth as much.

6. God is honoured by the faithful service of servants: this is intimated by the application of God's reward to them, for God honoureth none but them which honour him.

128. Of the connexion of masters' duties with servants'.

Ephesians 6:9. And ye masters do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your master also is in heaven: neither is there respect of persons with him.

A like doctrine was noted from the connexion of parents' duties with children's: there you may see this general further amplified (see Section 115).

To the duties of servants the Apostle adjoineth the duties of masters, saying, And ye masters: whence learn that

Masters are as well bound to duty as servants.

1. God's Law requireth as much: for it expressly enjoineth many duties to masters [as in the eighth treatise following we shall see].

2. So doth also the law of nature which hath tied master and servant together by a mutual and reciprocal bond, of doing good, as well as of receiving good.

3. The law of nations requireth also as much: For in all nations wherever there was any good government, and where wise, and good laws were made, particular laws of the duties of masters have been made.

4. The law of equity doth so also. One good deserveth another good: therefore the Apostle saith to masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal (Col 4:1).

Now let masters take notice hereof: and know that God the great Lord of all hath made this relation betwixt master and servant, and hath set each of them in their several and distinct places for the mutual good of one another, so as servants are no more for the good of masters, than masters are for the good of servants. Wherefore, as they look for duty, let them perform duty: if servants fail in their duty, let masters see if they themselves be not the cause thereof, by failing in theirs. Their authority will be no excuse before Christ, but a means to aggravate their fault, and increase their condemnation: for the greater the talent is, the more diligence is expected, and the straiter account shall be exacted.

129. Of the meaning of this phrase, Do the same things.

These two titles [masters, servants] are so taken here as they were before in the fifth verse (see Section 124).

All the duties of masters are comprised under this phrase, do the same things: which at first sight may seem to be somewhat strange: for may some say, The things which servants must do are these, to fear, to obey, to do service, with the like, and are masters to do the same things?

Answ. 1. These words are not to be referred to those particular duties which are proper to servants, but to those general rules of equity which are common to masters as well as servants; namely, that in their several places, with singleness of heart, as unto Christ, not with eye-service as men-pleasers, but as the servants of Christ they do the will of God from the heart.

2. Those words may be referred to the eighth verse, the verse going immediately before, which layeth down a general rule for all men in their several places to do the good things of their places. Now then as servants must have an eye to their places to do the good things thereof, so masters must do the same things: that is, they must have an eye to their places, to do the good things thereof.

3. Those words may be taken without reference to any former words, and expounded of a mutual, reciprocal, and proportionable duty that ought to pass betwixt master and servant: not in the particulars, as if the same duties were to be performed by each of them, for that were to overthrow the order and degrees which God hath set betwixt master and servant, to cross God's ordinance, and infer contradiction: but in general, that duties are to be performed of each to other: in which respect the Apostle said before of all sorts (see Section 3), superiours, and inferiours, Submit yourselves one to another. And thus by this phrase the doctrine before mentioned is confirmed, that Masters are as well bound to duty as servants.

None of these answers thwart another, but all of them may well be admitted, and all of them well stand together. They all imply a common equity betwixt masters and servants, but no equality: mutual duties, but diverse and distinct duties, appertaining to their several places. Compare with this text, that which the Apostle himself hath more plainly and fully noted (Col 4:1) and we shall observe him to expound his own meaning, for that which here he implieth under this phrase [the same things] that he expresseth there under these two words, just, equal: whereof we shall hereafter more distinctly speak (see Treatise 8, Sections 20 and 44).

Purposely doth the Apostle enfold masters' duties under this general phrase [the same things] to prevent a secret objection raised from the eminency and superiority of masters above servants, which maketh them think, that servants are only for the use of masters, and that masters are no way tied to their servants. But if in the general masters must do the same things, then they are for their servants' good, as well as servants' for theirs.

130. Of masters forbearing threatening.

The Apostle in these words [forbearing threatening] doth not simply forbid all manner of threatening, but only prescribe a moderation thereof: and so much have the King's translators well expressed in the margin against this text. Threatening is a duty which, as occasion serveth, masters ought to use, and that to prevent blows. But men in authority are naturally prone to insult over their inferiours, and to think that they cannot shew their authority but by austerity: for which reason the Apostle dehorteth husbands from bitterness (Col 3:19), and parents from provoking their children to wrath (Eph 6:4). Besides, the Gentiles and heathen thought that they had an absolute power over servants, and that of life and death (see Treatise 8, Section 14): whereupon the Roman Emperors made laws to restrain that rigour: for they would use their servants like beasts. Now that Christian masters should not be of the same mind, the Apostle exhorteth them to forbear threatening. Hence note that

Authority must be moderated and kept in compass: else will it be like a swelling river without banks and walls.

Threatening is here put for all manner of rigour, whether in heart, look, words, or actions: for it is usual in Scripture to put one instance for all of the same kind.

Forbearing, implieth a restraint of all manner of excess, as

1. In time and continuance: when there is nothing but continual threatening upon every small and light occasion.

2. In measure; when threatening is too fierce, and violent, so as it maketh the heart to swell again, and as it were fire to come out of the eyes, and thunder out of the mouth, and the body to shake in every part thereof.

3. In execution; when every vengeance once threatened shall surely be put in execution, though the party that caused the threatening be never so sorry for his fault, and humble himself, and promise amendment, and give good hope thereof. Woe were it with us the servants of the high God, if he should so deal with us.

Here note that men may exceed in doing a bounden duty: and so turn a needful virtue into an hurtful vice: great respect therefore must be had to the manner of doing good and lawful things.

Yet further for the extent of this prohibition, we are to know that under the vice forbidden the contrary virtues are commanded, as mildness, gentleness, patience, long suffering, with the like.

131. Of masters' subjection to a greater master.

The latter part of this verse containeth a reason to enforce the directions in the former part. The reason in sum layeth down that subjection wherein masters are under God. A point whereof none of them could be ignorant, and therefore he thus setteth it down, knowing: for,

All men know that there is an higher than the highest on earth. The light of nature revealeth as much, no pagan, much less Christian, can be ignorant thereof. In that speaking to masters he telleth them that they have a master, thereby he giveth them to understand, that

They which are in authority, are also under authority: masters have a master. For God is Lord of Lords, Master of Masters (1 Tim 6:15). In this respect saith Joseph a great Governour, am not I under God (Gen 50:19).

These two little particles [even you, or you also] add some emphasis: having reference to servants, as if he had said, as well your master, as your servant's master. Some Greek copies, for more perspicuity, thus read it [both your and their master] the sense is all one which way soever we read it: It sheweth that in relation to God,

Masters and servants are in the same subjection, and under a like command. There is one master, even Christ: and all men whosoever are brethren, fellow-servants.

132. Of God's being in heaven.

That great Master, under whom all masters on earth are, is here said to be in heaven, the more to commend and set forth his dignity and authority: and to make masters to stand in the more awe of him: To like purpose David having set forth God sitting in the heavens, inferreth this exhortation unto the great commanders on earth, Be wise now therefore, O ye Kings, be instructed, ye judges of the earth: Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling (Psa 2:4,10,11).

Object. This placing of God in heaven, maketh such as fear not God the more insolent and secure: for they will be ready to think and say, How doth God know? can he judge through the dark cloud? thick clouds are a covering to him that he seeth not, and he walketh in the circuit of heaven (Job 22:13,14)?

Answ. 1. The Apostle wrote to Christian masters, who thought better of God than such atheists did.

2. The placing of God in heaven doth not bound him within the compass thereof: for the heaven, and the heaven of heavens cannot contain him (1 Kings 8:27). He filleth heaven and earth (Jer 23:23). Though heaven be his throne, yet the earth also is his footstool (Matt 5:34,35). But because the Lord doth most manifest his glory in heaven, and from heaven, therefore by an excellency is he said to be in heaven: and that in three especial respects.

1. To shew that there is no proportion betwixt him and earthly masters, be they never so great. For as the heaven is higher than the earth, so is God more excellent, yea infinitely more excellent than any man. Who is like unto the Lord our God who dwelleth on high (Psa 113:5)? There is no such difference betwixt masters and servants on earth.

2. To shew that he hath his eyes continually on all his servants: he seeth every thing that they do, as one placed above others seeth all that are under him. From heaven doth the Lord behold the earth (Psa 102:19). The Lord looketh from heaven, he beholdeth all the sons of men (Psa 33:13). The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good (Prov 15:3). So as this phrase noteth the clean contrary to that which was before objected by wicked atheists.

3. To shew that he is Almighty: able both to recompence his faithful servants [whereupon David saith, Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens (Psa 123:1)] and also to execute vengeance on those that are unfaithful to God, and cruel to their servants [whereupon saith Solomon, if thou seest oppression &c. marvel not: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth (Eccl 5:8)].

From this place of God [in heaven] we learn these lessons.

1. The eye of faith is needful to behold God withal, for heaven is too high for any bodily eye to pierce into. But by faith did Moses see him who is invisible (Heb 11:27).

2. Though masters had none on earth above them, yet is there one higher than they. There is a master in heaven.

3. They who cannot be heard on earth, have yet one to appeal unto. There is a master in heaven.

4. The command under which earthly masters are, is far greater than that which they have: for their commander is in heaven.

133. Of God's having no respect of persons.

The Apostle further addeth of God the great master of all, that with him there is no respect of persons. The Hebrew word used to set forth this point signifieth a face: so doth also the Greek word here translated person: it signifieth both face and person. Now we know that the face of a man is outward, and that which of all other parts maketh him most amiable in another's eye. It is opposed to that which is inward, even the heart: in which respect it is said that the Lord seeth not as man seeth, for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart (1 Sam 16:7). Here by a face or person is put for every outward quality, state, or condition which maketh one to be preferred before another in man's approbation, as beauty, comeliness, stature, wealth, honour, authority, and the like. Now in that God receiveth not, or respecteth not persons, it sheweth that God preferreth not any one before another for any the forenamed outward respects, or any other like to them. Elihu plainly expoundeth this phrase in these words, he accepteth not the person of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor (Job 34:19). The phrase is taken from them that sit in thrones of judgment, where their eyes should be blinded, that they may not see the face or person of those that are brought before them: but only hear the cause.

This properly is here noted of God, to meet with a vain conceit of many masters, who though they know that God is their master as well as their servant's master, yet think that God will not call them so straitly to account, but will suffer and tolerate them, because they are of a higher rank, and in a better condition than servants: But by this phrase the Apostle sheweth that

To God all are alike: he putteth no difference betwixt any. He will shew favour to the meanest, as well as to the greatest: he will take vengeance of the greatest as well as of the meanest.

Many good lessons may be learned from hence: as among other, these,

1. The poorest and meanest that be may have as free access to God as the wealthiest and greatest: and their suit shall be as soon received.

2. The great ones on earth, have as great cause to fear the revenging hand of God for any sin, as mean ones.

3. It becometh magistrates and all in authority to carry themselves impartially towards all that are under them: for they are in God's room. Respect of persons is the cause of all that injustice and wrong which Magistrates do.

4. It becometh Ministers to be faithful in all God's house, and with an even hand to sow the seed of God's word, and to keep themselves pure from the blood of all men: for they are God's stewards and ambassadors; and therefore they must have no respect of persons.



The Second Treatise Part 1

Of Husband and Wife, who are so to be accounted

1. Of those who may seek to be married.

Having in the former treatise laid down the foundation of all domestical duties, by expounding the words of the Apostle, I purpose now distinctly to lay them forth in order: beginning with the first and chiefest couple in the family, Man and Wife.

Here we are first to speak of the persons who are to be accounted true and lawful husband and wife: and then of the duties which they owe each to otehr.

So as this Treatise consisteth of two parts.

1. The first declareth, who are man and wife.

2. The second noteth out those common mutual duties which they owe one to another. First of the first.

Husband and wife are they who are rightly joined together by the bond of marriage. Whereby two are made on flesh (see Treatise 7, Sections 82 and 84).

For the better clearing of this point, we will consider both the parties that may be so nearly joined together, and also the manner how they are rightly joined in so firm an unity.

About the parties we are to search,

1. Who may seek a mate for marriage.

2. What kind of mate is to be taken.

1. All they who are able without inevitable danger to their yoke fellow to perform the essential duties of marriage, may be married.

Out of this proposition arise three questions to be discussed.

1. Who are to be accounted able?

2. What danger is inevitable?

3. Whether marriage be free for all but such?

2. Of ripeness of years in them that are to be married.

1. They are to be accounted able who have past the flower of their age, and are not by defect of nature, or any other occasion made impotent.

1. Ripeness of years is absolutely necessary for consummating a just and lawful marriage: wherefore as God at first made Adam of full age, so when he sought out a wife for him, he made her of full age too: he made her a woman, not a child (Gen 2:22). Where the Apostle adviseth parents to take care for the marriage of their children, he putteth in this proviso, if they pass the flower of their age (1 Cor 7:36). Childhood is counted the flower of age. While the flower of the plant sprouteth, the seed is green, unfit to be sown.

Quest. How long lasteth the flower of age?

Answ. The civil law, and common law also, set down twelve years for the flower of a female's age, and fourteen, of a male's; which is the least: for before those years they can have no need of marriage, nor yet are well fit for marriage, so as if they forbear some years longer, it will be much better for the parties themselves that marry, for the children which they bring forth, for the family whereof they are the head, and for the Commonwealth whereof they are members. Note the ages of the Kings of Israel and Judah when they were first married, and we shall find few of them to be under twenty, and those few, not above one or two years under: and yet of all sorts of people the Kings did use to marry the soonest, that so they might have heirs betimes.

Object. Solomon was but a child when he came to the crown (1 Chron 22:5; 29:1), and yet he had then a child of a year old at least (2 Chron 12:13).

Answ. He was said to be a child not simply, but comparatively, in relation to his other brothers which were elder than he (1 Kings 2:22), and in regard of that great work he was to undertake (1 Kings 3:7). In the time of his reign he is said to be old (1 Kings 11:4): which could not be if he had been in years a child when he began to reign: for he reigned but forty years.

2. Object. Ahaz was but twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned but fifteen years, and yet when he died Hezekiah his son was five and twenty years old, by which computation Ahaz had a child when he was but eleven, or twelve years old at most (2 Chron 28:1; 29:1).

1. Answ. Some say that this was extraordinary, and render this reason, Ahaz so young a father as Elizabeth an old mother, should have hoped in Emmanuel of a virgin.

2. Answ. The beginning of that reign when Ahaz was but twenty years old, is to be referred to Jotham his father; for Ahaz was twenty years old when he [namely Jotham] began to reign: as Jehoiachin was eight years old, when he [namely his father Jehoiachim] began to reign (2 Chron 28:1; 29:1): for Jehoiachin was eighteen, when he himself began to reign (2 Kings 24:8).

Object. Jotham was but twenty and five years old when he began to reign (2 Chron 27:1), how then could Ahaz his son at that time be twenty?

Answ. Jotham was five and twenty years old when his father Uzziah was struck with leprosy, from which time he reigned as King even in his father's life time (2 Chron 26:21). But after his father was dead, the kingdom was established to him alone after a more solemn manner; in which respect it is said that then he began to reign: and then was his son Ahaz twenty years old, Jotham himself being about forty.

Contrary to the forenamed fitness of age is the practice of such parents, or other friends of children, as make matches for them in their childhood, and move them to consent, and so cause them to be married: such marriages are mock-marriages, and mere nullities. For children cannot know what appertaineth to marriage, much less can they perform that which is required of married persons: their consent therefore is justly accounted no consent, unless they do ratify it after they come to years.

3. Of impotent persons that ought not to seek after marriage.

2. They are to be accounted impotent and in that respect unable to perform the essential duties of marriage, who [to use the Scripture phrase] were born eunuchs from their mother's womb (Matt 19:12): or by any accidental occasion are so made: as they who are defective, or closed in their secret parts: or taken with an incurable palsy: or possessed with frigidity, or any other such like impediment.

These ought not to seek after marriage: for by those signs of impotency God sheweth that he calleth them to live single.

Contrary to this manifestation of God's will do they sin, who conceal their impotency and join themselves in marriage, whereby they frustrate one main end of marriage, which is procreation of children; and do that wrong to the party whom they marry, as sufficient satisfaction can never be made.

4. Of barrenness, that it hindereth not marriage.

Quest. Are such as are barren to be ranked among those impotent persons?

Answ. No, there is great difference betwixt impotency and barrenness.

1. Impotency may by outward sensible signs be known and discerned, barrenness cannot: it is not discerned but by want of child-bearing.

2. Impotent persons cannot yield due benevolence: but such as are barren may.

3. Impotency is incurable: but barrenness is not simply so. Many after they have been a long while barren have become fruitful: and that not only by an extraordinary work of God above the course of nature [as Sarah (Gen 18:11) and Elizabeth (Luke 1:7), with whom by reason of age it ceased to be after the manner of women] but also by such a blessing as might stand with the course of nature, being obtained by prayer [as Rebekah (Gen 25:21) and Hannah (1 Sam 1:5,20)] whereof daily experience giveth good evidence: for many after 10, 15, 20, and more years barrenness have brought forth children.

On these grounds many Saints, who have been barren, have married, and their practice therein not disallowed, nor their marriage dissolved. For though procreation of children be one end of marriage, yet it is not the only end: and so inviolable is the marriage bond, that though it be made for children's sake, yet for want of children it may not be broken.

5. Of that inevitable danger which hindereth marriage.

3. They who are infected with such contagious diseases, as diffuse themselves into those who have society with them, and infect them also, ought not to seek after marriage: for that cannot but turn to the danger of the party with whom they marry. It was for mutual good one of another that God ordained the law of marriage (Gen 2:18); to use it to the hurt and danger of one another, is against the main end of the first institution.

The law of shutting up a leper from all society with men proveth as much (2 Chron 26:21); for if lepers might not have mutual society with any man, much less might they have matrimonial society with a wife or an husband.

By contagious diseases not only both the parties which company together will be infected, but also their issue: whereby their disease which otherwise might die with themselves, is propogated to their posterity. A like restraint may be applied to such foul and loathsome diseases, as make the company and society of that person, who is infected therewith, irksome, and odious to their companion.

Contrary to the end and use of marriage do they sin, who conceal such diseases, and to join themselves in marriage, to the unanswerable prejudice of the party whom they marry.

6. Of the lawfulness of marriage to all sorts of persons.

Where there is no such just impediment as hath been before mentioned, it is lawful for all sorts of people of what calling or condition soever to marry. For Marriage is honourable in all, or among all, namely in, or among all sorts of people (Heb 13:4): whereupon it is accounted a doctrine of devils to forbid to marry (1 Tim 4:1,3). For it is a doctrine contrary to God's word, and a doctrine that causeth much inward burning, and outward pollution, and so maketh their bodies, which should be temples of the Holy Ghost, to be sties of the devils.

The disease, for the redressing whereof marriage is sanctified, is a common disease which hath infected all sorts of people: why then shall not the remedy be as common?

In this case the Apostle saith indefinitely of all, without exception of any, to avoid fornication let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. And again, If they cannot contain let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn (1 Cor 7:2,9).

Object. There be eunuchs which have made themselves eunuchs [that is, have abstained from marriage and lived in a single life continently] for the kingdom of heaven's sake (Matt 19:12).

Answ. That is spoken of some particular persons to whom the gift of continency was given: not of any distinct conditions, and callings, as if all and every one of this or that calling had so done or were able so to do: whereupon Christ addeth this clause, He that is able to receive it, let him receive it (Matt 19:12), and the Apostle to the same purpose saith, every one hath his proper gift of God (1 Cor 7:7).

Contrary to this necessary and warrantable liberty, is the impure and tyrannical restraint of the Church of Rome, whereby all that enter into any of their holy orders, are kept from marriage.

Do they not herein tempt God by putting a yoke upon men's necks, which neither our fathers nor we are able to bear? (Acts 15:10) No such restraint was ever enjoined by God's word to any of those holy functions which he ordained: for under the Law it was lawful for high Priests, ordinary Priests, all sorts of Levites, and extraordinary Prophets, to marry: and under the Gospel, for Apostles, Bishops, Deacons, and all Ministers of the word. Fearful have been the effects of this diabolical doctrine: as fornication, adultery, incest, sodomy, buggery, and what not? Many wives put from their husbands, because their husbands were Ministers, and many Ministers put from their calling because they had wives: many children by this means basely borne, and among them many in their infancy cruelly murdered. Six thousand heads of infants were found in the ponds of a religious house. How many more thousands have been from time to time cast into other ponds, or buried in gardens, or other places, or other ways conveyed out of sight? Devillish must that doctrine needs be, which hath such devillish effects. Well did he wish, that wished that all they who cannot contain, would take heed how they do rashly profess perfection, and vow virginity.

7. Of the things which are absolutely necessary to make a person fit for marriage.

They who have power to marry must be careful in choosing an help meet for them: for this was God's care when first he instituted marriage (Gen 2:18). To make an help meet for marriage, some things are absolutely necessary for the very essence or being of marriage; others, necessary for the comfort and happiness of marriage.

In regard of the former sort, there must be chosen,

1. One of the same kind or nature: for among all the creatures which were made, there was not found an help meet for man (Gen 2:20): therefore God out of his bone and flesh made a woman of his own nature and kind.

Contrary to this is the detestable sin of buggery with beasts, expressly forbidden by the law (Lev 18:23). A sin more than beastly: for the brute beasts content themselves with their own kind: Monstrous is it in the kind thereof: and a cause of abominable monsters. Contrary also is that copulation which witches have with devils: then which none more unnatural, none more prodigious and odious.

2. One of the contrary sex: the male must choose a female: the female a male. Thus God having made Adam a male, made Eve a female, and joined them in marriage. A conjunction of these different sexes is only fit for increase of mankind, and other marriage duties.

Contrary are those unnatural commixtures of parties of the same sex: which the Apostle reckoneth up as judgments inflicted on the heathen, because they changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped, and served the creature more then the Creator (Rom 1:25,26).

3. One beyond those degrees of consanguinity and affinitiy which are forbidden by the Law of God: these degrees are expressed by Moses (Lev 18:6,7 &c.) and explained in a table of the degrees of consanguinity and affinity within which none may marry, appointed to be hung up in every Church.

Contrary is incest, a sin not only forbidden by God's word, but so horrible even to the heathen as [to use the Apostle's words, (1 Cor 5:1)] it is not so much as named among the Gentiles. Excellently is that censure verified by the heathen orators pathetical exclamation against one Saffia who married her son in law, in these words: O incredible wickedness of a woman, not heard of in any age but this! O unbridled and untamed lust! O singular boldness! Not to fear the power of God and same of men! &c. Lust, impudency, madness, overcame shame, fear and reason.

What may we now think of the dispensations which the Pope giveth for incestuous marriage, allowed unto great Princes even by the Tridentine council? doth he not herein shew himself to be that man of sin, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God?

4. One that is free: nor married, nor betrothed to another: the law of marriage noteth, thus much in this clause, They two shall be one flesh (Matt 19:5). And in that the law inflicteth the same punishment upon the person which being betrothed commiteth uncleanness (Deut 22:22-24), that it doth upon a married person, it is evident that it is unlawful to marry one betrothed to another, as well as one married to another. So firm is a contract, as the Law calleth a betrothed maid, a wife: and a betrothed maid might not be put away without a bill of divorce.

Contrary is bigamy, and polygamy, whereof before (see Treatise 1, Section 83): unto which head may be referred marriages with such as have been expoused to others before. These are utterly unlawful.

8. Of the lawfulness of other marriages after one of the married couple is dead.

1. Quest. Are they who have buried their husband or wife so free as they may marry again?

Answ. Yea, as free as they who were never before married. The Law doth not only permit a widow to marry again: but if her husband died before he had any children, it commanded the next kinsman that was living and free to marry her, that he might raise up seed to his brother deceased (Deut 25:5,9): which if he refused to do, a penalty of ignominy was inflicted on him: the widow rejected was to loose his shoe from his foot, and to spit in his face in the presence of the Elders. The Apostle expressly saith that a woman, when her husband is dead, is at liberty to be married (1 Cor 7:3.9) yea speaking of young widows he further saith, I will that they marry (1 Tim 5:14). This liberty which the Prophet of God, and Apostle of Christ grant to a wife, can by no shew of reason be denied to an husband: for the bond of marriage giveth them a like power over another's body (1 Cor 7:4), and knitteth one as inviolably as the other (Matt 19:6). Husbands therefore as well as wives have used this liberty, as Abraham (Gen 25:1). The Apostle that giveth this liberty, rendereth a reason thereof, taken from the limitation of that time wherein married persons have power one over another, and that is the time of this life only: For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband, so long as he liveth: but if the husband be dead she is loosed, &c. On this ground all the reasons which warrrant or move such as never were married (see Section 24), to marry, may be applied to them that by death have their yoke-fellow taken from them.

2. Quest. May this liberty be extended any further than to a second marriage?

Answ. We find no restraint from a third, or fourth, or more marriages, if by the divine providence so many wives, or husbands one after another be taken away while there is need for the surviving party to use the benefit of marriage. The woman of Samaria that had five husbands one after another, is not blamed for being married to so many, but for living with one [after the other were dead] that was not her husband (John 4:18). Neither did the Lord condemn that woman which was said to have seven husbands one after another (Matt 22:25, &c.).

Contrary is the opinion of Montanists, and Cataphryges, ancient heretics that accounted those marriages which the survivor made after the death of a yoke-fellow, to be adulterous: with which heresy Tertullian an ancient and learned father was so far infected, as he wrote a treatise in defence thereof. It seemeth by their arguments that one main ground of their error was a misinterpretation of those Scriptures which forbid men to have two wives at once, and women to have two husbands at once, as, Two shall be one flesh (Gen 2:24). A Bishop and a Deacon must be the husband of one wife (1 Tim 2:10). Let a widow be taken that hath been the wife of one husband (1 Tim 5:9). These are indeed express texts against such digamists, and polygamists as have been described before (see Treatise 1, Section 83): but they make no more against second or other after-marriages one mate being dead, than against first marriages. Into the roll of these heretics may they be put, who deny such after marriages to any kind of Ministers. So do our adversaries: they exclude such as are married again after one wife is dead from such functions of inferiour orders, as they admit those who are but once married unto. They allege many of those Scriptures which Montanists do (as 1 Tim 2:2,10 and 5:9) which sheweth that they are infected with the same heresy, though they pretend to renounce it.

9. Of equality in years betwixt husband and wife.

That matrimonial society may prove comfortable, it is requisite that there should be some equality betwixt the parties that are married in Age, Estate, Condition, Piety.

1. For Age, as the party that seeketh a mate must be of ripe years, fit to give consent, and able to perform marriage duties, so the mate which is taken must be somewhat answerable in age: if one young, both young: if one of middle age, both so: if one grown to years, the other also. It is noted of Zachary and Elizabeth, that both were well striken in years (Luke 1:7). If both were old together, then both also were young together. Equality in years maketh married persons more fit for procreation of children, for a mutual performance of marriage duties each to other, and for making their company and society every way more happy.

This equality is not over strictly to be taken, as if the married couple were to be just of the same age, but only for some answerableness in years: which may be though there be a disparity of five or ten, or somewhat more years: especially if the excess of years be on the husband's part: for besides that according to the ordinary course of nature a man's strength and vigour lasteth longer than a woman's, it is very meet that the husband should be somewhat elder than his wife, because he is an head, a governour, a protector of his wife. The Scripture noteth many husbands to be elder than their wives [as Abraham was ten years elder than Sarah (Gen 17:17); and if we narrowly mark the circumstances of the histories of Isaac and Jacob, and their wives, we shall find that the husbands were elder than their wives]. To my remembrance an approved example of an husband younger than his wife cannot be given out of Scripture.

Contrary to this equality in years, is the practice of many men and women, who being aged, to satisfy their lust, or for some other by-respect, marry such as are but in the flower of their age, wherein they do many times much fail of their expectation: for those young ones finding the society of aged folks to be burdensome, and irksome unto them, soon begin to loath the same, and thereby cause more grief and vexation, than ever they did give comfort and contentment.

On the other side, others there be who in the prime and strength of their age, for wealth, honour, or such like respects, marry those that with age begin to be decrepit, and unfit to be married, hoping that they will not long live, but that with a little trouble they shall purchase much dignity or riches, and after a while be free again. But God oft meeteth with such in their kind, by prolonging the life of those aged persons, and so making the burden to be much more grievous and tedious than was imagined, and by taking away those young ones sooner than they looked for, whereby it cometh to pass that all their hopes perish. The heathen observed inequality in years to be occasions of many mischiefs, and thereupon prescribed rules against it.

10. Of equality in estate and conditon betwixt those that are to be married together.

2. Some equality in outward estate and wealth is also befitting the parties that are to be married together, lest the disparity therein [espeically if it be over-great] make the one insult over the other more than is meet: for if a man of great wealth be married to a poor woman, he will think to make her as his maid-servant, and expect that she should carry herself towards him so as beseemeth not a yoke-fellow, and a bedfellow: so as such an one may rather be said to be brought unto bondage, than marriage. And if a rich woman marry a poor man, she will look to be the master, and to rule him: so as the order which God hath established will be clean perverted: and the honour of marriage laid in the dust. For where no order is, there can be no honour.

3. The like may be said of outward condition, that therein also there be some equality: that Princes, nobles, and gentlemen, marry such as are of their own rank: and the meaner sort such as are of their degree. Note what sort of wives Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob married, and it will appear that they had respect to this parity. Disparity in condition as well as in estate, is a means to make men and women swell and insult above that which is meet: yea and to twit one another in the teeth with their former estate and condition.

Contrary on the one side are the practices of such as affect to marry above their own estate and degree: thinking by such marriages to advance themselves. This is the only thing which many seek after in seeking wives and husbands; whereby it cometh to pass that they oft meet with the worst matches, and make their marriage a kind of bondage unto them. Great portions make many women proud, dainty, lavish, idle, and careless; a man were much better, even for help of his outward estate, to marry a prudent, sober, thrifty, careful, diligent wife, though with a small portion, than such an one. A proud back, a dainty tooth, and a lavish hand will soon consume a great portion; but a wise woman buildeth her house (Prov 14:1): and a virtuous woman is a crown to her husband (Prov 12:4). Many wives also that are married to very rich husbands, are more stinted and pinched in their allowance, than such as are married to men of meaner estate. It is not the means which a man hath, but his mind and disposition that maketh him free and bountiful to his wife.

Contrary are the marriages which men of great authority and ability make with mean women, yea their own maids many times, and those of the lowest rank, their kitchen-maids. And which women of noble blood, and great estate, make with their serving-men. Do they not herein betray much baseness of mind, and violence of lusts?

If it be said that such marriages are not simply unlawful, the rule of the civil law giveth a good answer, Always in marriages not only what is lawful, but what is honest and meet, is to be considered.

11. Of equality in piety and religion betwixt those that are to be married together.

4. The parity which is of greatest consequence betwixt parties to be married, is in piety. In which respect it is meet that as a Christian be married to a Christian, so one that in truth feareth God, to one of the same mind and disposition, as it is noted of Zachary and Elizabeth, they were both righteous before God, &c (Luke 1:6). A worthy couple: one worthy of another: being both alike in such excellent qualities, they could not but reap each from other much comfort, and profit every way.

This is one of the most principle points that are comprised under that proviso given by the Holy Ghost in choosing a yoke-fellow, in these words, In the Lord (1 Cor 7:39).

There is no such means to increase love, preserve peace, provoke unto all duty, make helpful one to another in all things, and at all times, as this parity. Hereby shall they be made both able to do more good one to another, and capable to receive more good one from another: especially in the best things, even in those which concern their spiritual edification in this world, and eternal salvation in the world to come. For Christ is the fountain and head of all spiritual life and grace, [it pleased the father that in him should all fulness dwell (Col 1:19): so as it is he that filleth all in all things (Eph 1:23)]. Now Christ communicateth that life and grace which is in him to those that are members of his body: If then I being a member of that mystical body, be linked by that near and inviolable bond of marriage to one of the members of that body, what hope is there of mutual communicating one to another, and mutual partaking one from another of those gifts and graces which either of us receive from Christ our head? If an unbelieving wife may be saved by a believing husband, and an unbelieving husband by a believing wife: much more will one believer be more and more edified by another.

Happy is that family where both the governours thereof husband and wife are mutual members of Christ's body: there will the house be made God's Church, as the house of Aquilla & Priscilla was (Rom 16:5). God's worship will there be maintained. Children will there be trained up in the nurture of the Lord: and servants also taught the fear of God: for they that are indeed of Christ's kingdom, will be as leaven which seasoneth the whole lump (Matt 13:33): instance the procession which Joshua maketh to this purpose (Josh 24:15): and the effect which is noted of the ruler whose son Christ cured, he himself believed and his whole house (John 4:53).

Here by the way, let me exhort parents and other governours of children, both to train up their own children in true piety and fear of God, and also to seek such matches for them, as they may have some assurance that they are of the same faith, and of the same mind and heart: thus shall they procure to their children much happiness in their marriage, as Abraham did to Isaac (Gen 24).

12. Of marriages betwixt believers and Infidels.

Contrary are marriages with Athiests, Infidels, and such like persons (Gen 6:4; Deut 7:3; Ezra 9:2; Neh 10:30; Mal 2:11; 2 Cor 6:14).

13. Of that mutual liking which must pass betwixt marriageable persons before they be married.

Having shewed what persons are fit to be joined in marriage, it remaineth, to shew after what manner they are to be joined.

There are in Scripture three steps or degrees commended unto us, by which marrigeable parties are in order to proceed unto marriage.

1. A mutual liking.

2. An actual contract.

3. A public solemnization of marriage.

1. The first liking is sometimes on the parent's or other friend's part, and then by them made known to the party to be married, as the friends of Rebekah, liking the offer of Isaac which was made by Abraham's servant, made it known to Rebekah herself (Gen 24:58). Sometimes again the first liking is on the parties part that is to be married: and then if that party be under the government of parents, the matter must be moved to them, before there be any further proceeding therein, as Samson who seeing and liking a daughter of the Philistines, told his father and his mother thereof (Judg 14:2). Yea though the party be not under the government of any, yet it is very meet that counsel be taken of wife and understanding friends: that in a matter so weighty as marriage is, there may be the advice of more heads than one, for the preventing of such mischiefs as through rashness might fall out. After a liking is thus taken by one party of a meet mate, that liking must be moved to the other party so liked, to know whether there be a reciprocal affection of one towards another. Thus Samson went and talked with that woman whom he liked to be his wife (Judg 14:7). If at first there be a good liking mutually and thoroughly settled in both their hearts of one another, love is like to continue in them forever, as things which are well glued, and settled before they be shaken up and down, will never be severed asunder: but if they be joined together without glue, or shaken while the glue is moist, they cannot remain firm.

Mutual love and good liking of each other is as glue.

Let the parties to be married be herein well settled before they come to meet with trials through cohabitation, and that love will not easily be loosened by any trials.

Contrary is the adulterous and brutish practice of such as so soon as they cast their eye on any whom they like, never advise or consult about a right and due proceeding unto marriage, but instantly with all the eagerness and speed they can, like brute beasts, seek to have their desire and lust satisfied. Though to keep themselves free from the penalty of the laws under which they live, they procure means to be married, yet they declare a lustful and adulterous mind. And their practice is too like to the practice of the Benjamites, who catched wives from among the daughters of Shiloh as they were dancing (Judg 21:23): or else to the practice of the old world, which so grieved the Spirit of God, that it repented him that he had made man, and thereupon he was moved to bring a general deluge on the whole world. Their practice was this, that they took them wives of all that they chose (Gen 6:2): that is, they rashly and suddenly married whomsoever they liked, without any consideration of their condition.

14. Of a contract what it is?

II. When both parties have manifested a mutual liking each to other, and upon mature deliberation and good advice do conceive one to be a fit match for another, it is requisite that a joint consent and absolute promise of marrying one another before sufficient witnesses be made. This rightly made is a contract, which is the beginning of a marriage.

The right making of a firm contract consisteth in two things:

1. In an actual taking of each other for espoused man and wife.

2. In a direct promise of marrying each other within a convenient time. So as a form of contract may be made to this purpose; First the man taking the woman by the hand to say, I A. take thee B. to my espoused wife, and do faithfully promise to marry thee in time meet and convenient. And then the woman again taking the man by the hand to say, I B. take thee A. to be my espoused husband, and do faithfully promise to yield to be married to thee in time meet and convenient. This mutual and actual taking of one another for espoused man and wife in the time present, and a direct promise of marrying one another afterwards, settleth such a right and property of the one in the other as cannot be alienated without license had from the great Judge of heaven, who hath by his divine ordinance settled that right.

15. Of the grounds of a contract.

Quest. Is a contract absolutely necessary?

Answ. Though it have been an ancient custom continued in all ages, yet I dare not pronounce it to be absolutely necessary, as the want thereof should nullify a marriage, and make it to be no lawful marriage. But surely it is so meet and requisite, as I would advise all Christians that desire a blessing and good success on their marriage to be contracted before they are married.

If there were no other ground for it but this, that God hath sanctified it, and commended it unto us by his word, it were enough to persuade such as fear God to use it.

For I demand, why doth God commend unto his Church anything by his word, but that his Church should make conscience of using it: Now that by God's word it is commended, is without contradiction most evident. For, not to insist on that argument which, not without good probability, is alleged for the antiquity of a contract, and thus collected from God's ordering of that first ancient marriage betwixt Adam and Eve, God brought Eve to Adam on the first day that they were created to see how he would like her, and upon the sight of her, and notice which withal he had of her, by that wisdom which God gave him, he then took her to himself (Gen 2:22): which taking is supposed to be but a contract, because he did not know her till after his fall (Gen 4:1). If it be objected that Adam and Eve are called man and wife in the time of their innocency (Gen 2:25). It may be answered that those titles are in Scripture given to such as are only contracted, to shew the near and firm conjunction betwixt parties espoused (Deut 22:24; Gen 19:14).

But not to insist on that which is but proable, it is more than probable that Lot's daughters were contracted: for it is said that Lot had sons in law which married [or rather should marry] his daughters (Gen 19:14,8): and withal it is said that they had not known man: now then it must needs follow that they were called Lot's sons in law because his daughters were espoused to them. But most evident for this purpose is that difference which the law putteth betwixt a pure virgin, an espoued maid, and a married wife (Deut 22:22). So as contracted persons are in a middle degree betwixt single persons, and married persons: they are neither simply single, nor actually married. To shew that this custom of a contract before marriage continued in God's Church among the Saints, it is expressly noted that Mary the mother of the Lord Jesus who lived many hundred years after that law, was contracted (Luke 1:27).

16. Of the reasons which shew how requisite a contract is.

Many good and weighty reasons may be alleged to shew how requisite it is that a contract should go before marriage. For:

1. It addeth much to the honour of marriage, that it should be deliberately and advisedly step after step, by one degree after another consummated and made up.

2. It putteth a difference betwixt such as intend marriage in the fear of the Lord, for such holy ends as are warranted in the word, and such as intend it only to satisfy their lust, or for other like carnal ends. For these can admit no delay, as was noted (in the end of Section 13) before. But they that use this solemn preparation by a contract before marriage, shew that they desire to have all things fit for so sacred a matter duly performed; and therefore they are content to make some stay for the better effecting thereof.

3. It is a means of knitting the hearts of the two parties to be married more firmly and inviolably together before they come to dwell together. For a contract being the beginning of a marriage, it is an evident demonstration of God's counsel concerning the parties contracted, that God hath prepared them each for other to be man and wife: so as after the contract is made, they may simply and absolutely pray each for other, that God would bless them one to another, to live comfortably and happily together. Before a contract is made, they can but upon supposition [if God have appointed them to be man and wife] pray one for another. For oft it falleth out that after many great hopes and likelihoods of proceeding in such or such a match, by some occasion or other it is clean broken off: but a lawful contract knitteth so firm a knot as cannot be broken: so as a man may conclude that being contracted to a woman she shall be his wife: and so may a woman conclude of a man. The consideration hereof will further move them more narrowly to observe what good qualities, or what other things, which may make them more lovely one to another, are in each other.

4. It is a means to make them beforehand prepare themselves to perform such marriage duties as God's word requireth of man and wife. For a contract giveth them assurance of marriage if they live unto it: so as then they cannot but know that it is high time for them to think how they are to carry themselves, when they come to live in house together: and withal to consider, what crosses ordinarily do accompany the married estate, that they may be beforehand prepared wisely to pass them over, or patiently to undergo them.

5. It may be a means of discovering many hidden and close inconveniences, which otherwise would never come to light. For many friends fearing lest the discovering of some evils which are carried closely, should make a breach betwixt themselves and their friends, will not make them known till they see some urgent necessity to move them so to do. Though the evil be such, as being known would hinder marriage, yet till they see some sure evidence, that they shall indeed be married [if no just exception be put in] they will hope that some other occasion may fall out to hinder the marriage, and in that respect conceal their exception. But because a contract is the beginning of marriage, after they have notice thereof, they will not forbear to disclose what they know. For this end is it, that the contract is three several times openly published in the Church, that if any do know any just cause why such persons as are contracted may not lawfully proceed to marriage, they make known the same. A commendable custom: and great pity, that it is so much neglected as it is.

6. It may prevent many plots and practices of inveigling, or stealing away maids and widows. For it oft falleth out, that when parents or other friends have provided a good match for their daughter, or for some other under their government, and all things on all parts well concluded, the wedding day appointed, and all things fitted and prepared for the solemnizing of the wedding, some desirous to forestall that marriage, by secret and cunning devices get the bride away a few days before, if not on the very morning of the intended wedding day, and marry her out of hand to another. That which maketh men so bold is, that they know a clandestine marriage being consummate shall stand firm in law. But a legal contract preventeth such mischiefs, because it maketh such a furtive marriage utterly void. None therefore knowing that a contract is lawfully made before hand, will be so bold, or rather so mad, as to offer to frustrate a marriage after any such manner.

7. It is a means to stir up the parties which are to be married, more carefully and diligently to provide all things fit for their dwelling together, and well ordering their household beforehand; that they be not to seek for necessaries when they should use them. For being contracted, they know that it cannot be long ere they must come to dwell together.

17. Of abusing, or neglecting a contract.

There are two extremes contrary to the forenamed doctrine of a contract. One of attributing too much to it: another of derogating too much from it. Many make it a very marriage, and thereupon have a greater solemnity at their contract, than at their marriage: yea many take liberty after a contract to know their spouse, as if they were married: an unwarrantable and dishonest practice. Lot's daughters were contracted to husbands (see Section 15), and yet they are said to have known no man. The law styleth her that is contracted a maid, to shew that she ought to keep herself a virgin till the marriage be consummate (Deut 22:24). Therefore Mary is thus described, a virgin espoused (Luke 1:27). But it is the common course of most to make light account of this warrantable and honourable proceeding to marriage by a contract. Few there be in comparison of the multitudes that are married, who make any conscience thereof. They think it needless, and utterly neglect it. No marvel that they meet with many mischiefs and inconveniences, when the means of preventing the same are not used. Let such duly weigh the reasons rendered in the former section.

18. Of the distance of time betwixt the contract and marriage.

Quest. What distance of time must pass betwixt the making of a contract, and consummating of marriage?

Answ. This must be left to the wise consideration of the parties contracted, and of their friends, for the same time cannot precisely be prescribed to all. Occasions may fall out either of hastening, or putting off the marriage. Only extremes on both sides must be avoided. Neither ought the marriage be too suddenly solemnized upon the contract: [than the ends and reasons of a contract, before mentioned, are made void] nor yet too long put off [than may Satan take occasion to tempt them for their inconveniency]. The laudable custom of our and other Churches sheweth, that at least three weeks must pass betwixt contract and marriage. For the contract it to be three times published, and that but once a week before the wedding be celebrated. And we read that the virgin Mary was at least three months contracted before Joseph took her to wife (Luke 1:27,56). For when the Angel first came to her she was espoused: after that she went to her cousin Elizabeth, with whom she abode three months: and then being returned home Joseph was warned by an Angel to take her to wife (Matt 1:20). I note not this as a rule for every one precisely to follow. For the virgin Mary had a just occasion to tarry three months with her old cousin Elizabeth: and so may others have occasions to put off their marriages: which may be lawful, so the marriage be not put off too long, and that there be a mutual and joint consent of both parties. For after the contract is made, neither the man nor the woman have the power of their own body.

Contrary is that unwarrantable course which many take, to be affianced and made sure to a wife, and then to travel beyond sea, or to any other place, and be absent from their spouse a year, or two, or three, or it may be more years. If a man might not go to war, not be charged with any business that should draw him from his wife the first year of his marriage, much less may he absent himself for any long time after he is contracted but not married (Deut 24:5). This may be a means to alienate the heart of his spouse from him for ever.

19. Of a religious consecrating of marriage.

III. The last degree of consummating a marriage, is the open and pulic solemnization thereof: which consisteth

1. In a religious consecration.

2. In a civil celebration.

A religious consecration of marriage is performed by the blessing of a public Minister of the word in the open face of the Church in the day time. This of old hath been used of Christians, and still is continued among us. Though we have neither express precept, nor particular pattern in God's word for this manner of solemnizing a marriage [for there is no particular for me thereof set down in the Scripture] yet it being agreeable to the general rules thereof, we ought in conscience to subject ourselves thereto.

The general rules are these, Let all things be done decently, and in order (1 Cor 14:40). The Churches of God have such a custom (1 Cor 11:16). Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake (1 Peter 2:13), with the like. But the foresaid manner of consecrating marriage, is very decent and in good order, a laudable custom of the Churches, and an ordinance of those governours under whom we live. Therefore warrantable, and to be observed. Neither is this order, custom, and ordinance appointed without just and weighty reasons. For

1. Marriage is kind of pulic action: the well or ill ordering thereof much tendeth to the good or hurt of family, Church, and Commonwealth. For by marriage families are erected, and Church and Commonwealth increased and continued.

2. Marriage is honourable (Heb 13:4). The most sacred and inviolable bond that knitteth any two persons together (see Treatise 1, Sections 80-82).

3. Marriage is God's covenant (Prov 2:17), wherein he himself hath a main and principal stroke. For God is the chiefest agent in joining man and woman in marriage.

On these grounds it hath been thought very requisite that marriage should be solemnized in the day time [as a work of light that need not be covertly and closely done] and that in a public place, whether any, that will, may have free access, either to except against it, and hinder it [if there be just cause] or to be a witness thereof, and to add his blessing thereto. And among public places the Church is thought the fittest, because it is the house of prayer, where persons and actions are most solemnly blessed. And of all persons a public Minister is thought to be the meetest to celebrate marriage, and to join the parties to be married, together, because he stands in God's room, and in and by his ministry God joineth them together, and blesseth them: so as after the Minister hath rightly joined man and wife together in matrimony, it may be well said, Those whom God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. The form of consecrating marriage, which is prescribed in our liturgy or common prayer-book, doth so distinctly, perspicuously, and fully set down whatsoever is to be observed and done by the parties to be married, their parents, or other governours, and the Minister that joineth them together, that I can add nothing thereunto. There are declared the grounds, ends, and uses of marriage. There open proclamation is made whether any can except against the intended marrriage. There each party is solemnly charged, that if either of them do know any impediment, why they may not lawfully be married, to disclose it. There also each party is openly demanded if freely and willingly they will take one another for man and wife. There the duties of married persons are declared, and they severally asked whether they will subject themselves thereto or no. All which being openly professed, the parent or some in his stead is called forth to give the Bride to the Bridegroom. Then they two actually taking each other to be man and wife, and testifying the same by express words, and by mutual pledges, the Minister in God's name joineth them together, pronounceth them to be lawful husband and wife, and by prayer craveth God's blessing upon the action, and upon their persons. Thus is the marriage consecrated, and they two made one flesh, that is, lawfully joined together by the unviolable bond of marriage.

20. Of clandestine marriages.

Contrary are clandestine marriages, such as are made in private houses, or other secret places, or in Churches without a sufficient number of witnesses, or in the night time, or without a lawful Minister of the word, with the like. As such seeking of secrecy taketh much from the honour and dignity of marriage, so it implieth some evil cleaving thereto: For every man that evil doth hateth the light (John 3:20). There is little hope that such marriages should have any good success. For where such means as are sanctified for obtaining a blessing on marriage are neglected, what blessing can thereupon be expected?

21. Of a civil celebrating of marriage.

Though upon the forenamed consecrating of marriage it be in regard of the substance thereof fully consummate, yet for the greater solemnity of so honourable a thing, it is very requisite that further there be added a civil celebration of it: under which I comprise all those lawful customs that are used for the setting forth of the outward solemnity thereof, as meeting of friends, accompanying the Bridegroom and Bride both to and from the Church, putting on best apparel, seating, with other tokens of rejoicing: for which we have express warrant out of God's word.

For the general, that the marriage time is a time of rejoicing, some gather from the notation of the word, as if it were styled marriage of merry age. But to let that pass, the Scripture useth to set forth a time of rejoicing by the joy of the bridegroom over his bride (Isa 62:5), and styleth the voice of a bridegroom and a bride, the voice of joy and gladness (Jer 33:11). And on the contrary counteth it a judgment, when joy is taken away from the bridegroom and the bride (Jer 7:34; Joel 2:16).

For meeting of friends at the time of marriage, it is noted that Laban gathered together all the men of the place, when his daughter was married (Gen 29:22). And when Samson was married, they brought thirty companions to him (Judg 14:11). And when a friend of the virgin Mary was married, Jesus and his Disciples, besides many other, were invited thereto (John 2:2). And in the parable of the marriage of the King's son, it is noted that many guests were bidden to the wedding (Matt 22:3). In all which histories it is further noted, that feasts were made at the solemnizing of those marriages. And the phrases which the Prophet useth of a bridegroom's decking himself with ornaments, and a bride's adorning herself with jewels, give warrant for putting on the best apparel at that time (Isa 61:10; Jer 2:32).

Here by the way let good heed be taken, that the things which may lawfully be used, be not unlawfully abused, as commonly marriage festivities, and that especially in feastings, are.

22. Of ill or well ordering marriages feasts.

Marriage feasts are abused,

1. When they are made at an unseasonable time: as on the Lord's day, or in a time of mourning (Isa 22:12,13).

2. When they exceed the ability of him that maketh the feasts (Luke 15:13).

3. When the abundance prepared, is immoderately taken, even to gluttony and drunkeness. The lewd practice of drinking healths to the bridegroom and bride, oft causeth much excess drunkeness (Luke 21:34).

4. When too much time is spent therein (Isa 5:11).

5. When God is clean forgotten therein, and the company poisoned with corupt communication, unchaste songs, and the like (Isa 5:12).

6. When the needy and distressed are not remembered therein (Amos 6:6).

For preventing of these abuses, a seasonable time for celebrating marriage must be chosen out: and moderation used both by him that maketh the feast, and also by them that partake thereof: moderation I say in the measure of eating and drinking, and in the time spent therein: which time must be sanctified with such communication as is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And for the more cheerfulness therein, witty questions and doubtful riddles may be propounded [as Samson did] to exercise the wit and judgment of the guests (Judg 14:12): there may be also singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody in their hearts to the Lord (Eph 5:19). Yea further, that the marriage meeting, mirth, and feasting may be the better sanctified, good choice is to be made of the guests that are invited thereto. Hereof we have a worthy pattern in those who were married in Cana of Galilee, and invited to their feast Jesus, his mother, and his Disciples (John 2:1,2). Such as Jesus, will minister occasion of savoury and sanctified communication, whereby all the guests may be much edified. Such as the virgin Mary will be a good example of modesty, sobriety, and other like Christian graces. Such as the Disciples, will be far from scorning and deriding wholesome and good instructions, but rather give all diligent heed thereunto, and lay them up in their hearts.

Above all, that the mirth and joy of marriage be not damped, as Belshazzar's was (Dan 5:5), let them that are married, and all that come to rejoice with them, be sure that they have true assurance of their spiritual marriage with Christ, and of a good right in him to the creatures which they use. Otherwise their sins will be as that handwriting which appeared to Belshazzar on the wall (Dan 5:5).

Finally, in regard of that liberty which God giveth with plenty and abundance to eat of the fat, and drink of the sweet, let the poor that scarce have sufficiency be remembered (Neh 8:10).

Thus by a right celebrating of marriage, is it much honoured: and man and wife with much honour are brought together.

23. Of the honour of marriage in regard of the first institution thereof.

Great reason there is why marriage should with such honour be solemnized. For it is a most honourable thing. Honourable in the institution, ends, privileges, and mystery thereof. No ordinance was more honourable in the first institution thereof, as is evident by the Author thereof, the Place where it was instituted, the Time when it was instituted, the Persons who were first married, and the Manner of joining them together.

1. The Author and first Institutor of marriage was the Lord God (Gen 2:18,21,22). Could there have been a greater, or any way a more excellent Author?

2. The Place was Paradise; the most fair, glorious, pleasant, honourable, commodious, and every way most excellent place that ever was in this world. Place, though it be but a circumstance, addeth much to the honour of a thing. Solemn ordinances are made in honourable places. Thus with us marriages are solemnized in Churches, not in private houses.

3. The Time was the most pure and perfect time that ever was in the world, when no sin or pollution of man had stained it, even the time of man's innocency. Purity addeth much to the honour of a thing.

4. The Persons were the most honourable that ever were, even the first father and mother of all mankind, they who had an absolute power and dominion over all creatures, and too whom all were subject. None but they ever had a true monarchy over the whole world.

5. The Manner was with as great deliberation as ever was used in instituting any ordinance. For first the three glorious persons in the Trinity do meet to advise about it. For The Lord God said, (Gen 2:18) and to whom should he speak? not to any created power, but to him that was begotten of himself, that Wonderful, Counselor, &c. In this consultation this ordinance is found to be very needful: [It is not good for man to be alone] thereupon a determination is set down, to make an help meet for man. For the better effecting hereof the Lord proceedeth thereto very deliberately, by sundry steps, and degrees.

1. All creatures that lived on the earth, or breathed in the air, are brought before man, to see if an help meet for him might be found among them.

2. Every of them being thoroughly viewed, and found unfit, another creature is made and that out of man's substance and side, and after his image.

3. This excellent creature thus made is by the maker thereof presented to man, to see how he would like it.

4. Man manifesting a good liking to her, she is given to him to be his wife.

5. The inviolable law of the near and firm union of man and wife together is enacted.

Let all the forenamed branches concerning the first institution of marriage expressly recorded by the Holy Ghost be well weighed, and we shall easily see that there is no ordinance now in force among the sons of men so honourable in the institution thereof, as this.

24. Of the ends of marriage.

2. The ends for which marriage was ordained add much to the honour thereof. They are especially three.

1. That the world might be increased: and not simply increased, but with a legitimate brood, and distinct families, which are the seminaries of cities and Commonwealths. Yea also that in the world the Church by an holy seed might be preserved, and propagated, (Mal 2:15).

2. That men might avoid fornication and possess their vessels in holiness and honour (1 Cor 7:2). In regard of that process which is in man's corrupt nature to lust, this end addeth much to the honour of marriage. It sheweth that marriage is an haven to such as are in jeopardy of their salvation through the gusts of temptations to lust. No sin is more hereditary; none whereof more children of Adam do partake, than this. Well might Christ say all men receive not this saying (Matt 19:11).

Of all the children of Adam that ever were, not one to a million of those that have come to ripeness of years have been true eunuchs all their life time. Against this hereditary disease no remedy is so sovereign as this. Yea for those that have not the gift continency this is the only warranted, and sanctified remedy.

3. That man and wife might be a mutual help one to another (Gen 2:18). An help as for bringing forth, so for bringing up children; and as for erecting, so for well governing their family. An help also for well ordering prosperity, and well bearing adversity. An help in health and sickness. An help while both live together, and when one is by death taken from the other. In this respect it is said who so findeth a wife, findeth a good thing (Prov 18:22), which by the rule of relation is true also, of an husband.

No such help can man have from any other creature as from a wife; or a woman as from an husband.

25. Of the privileges of marriage.

III. If [as once of circumcision (Rom 3:1)] it be demanded what is the privilege, advantage, and profit of marriage, I answer, Much every way.

1. By it men and women are made Husbands and Wives.

2. It is the only lawful means to make them Fathers and Mothers.

3. It is the ordinary means to make them Masters and Mistresses. All these are great dignities, wherein the image and glory of God consisteth.

4. It is the most effectual means of continuing a man's name and memory in this world, that can be. Children are living monuments, and lively representations of their parents.

5. Many privileges have of old been granted to such as were married. In pleading causes, or giving sentence, they had the first place; and in choice of offices they were preferred. In meetings they had the upper hand. And if they had many children they were exempted from watchings, and other like burdensome functions. Among us, if the younger sister be married before the elder, the preeminency and precedency is given to the younger.

The privileges and honours which are given to married persons, were questionless the ground of that custom which Laban mentioneth of his country; that the younger was not to be married before the elder (Gen 29:26).

26. Of the mystery of marriage.

IV. Great is that mystery which is set forth by marriage, namely the sacred, spiritual, real, and inviolable union betwixt Christ and his Church: which is excellently deciphered in Solomon's Song, and in Psalm 45 and expressly noted, Ephesians 5:32.

Hereby man and wife who entirely, as they ought, love one another, have an evident demonstration of Christ's love to them. For as parents by that affection which they bear to their children, may better discern the mind, and meaning of God towards them, than such as never had child, so may married persons better know the disposition of Jesus Christ, who is the spouse of every faithful soul, than single persons.

27. Of marriage and single life compared together.

Let now the admirers and praisers of a single estate bring forth all their reasons, and put them in the other scale against marriage. If these two be duly poised, and rightly weighed, we shall find single life too light to be compared with honest marriage. All that can be said for the single estate is grounded upon accidental occasions. S. Paul, who of all the pen-men of holy Scripture hath spoken most for it, draweth all his commendations to the head of Expediency, and restraineth all unto present necessity (1 Cor 7:26).

Object. He useth these words [good (1 Cor 7:1) and better (v. 38)]

Answ. Those words have relation not to virtue, but to expediency: neither are they spoken in opposition to vice and sin, for then would it follow, that to marry [which is God's ordinance, and honourable in all] were evil and sinful: which is to revive that ancient heresy, that marriage is of the devil. Of old they who have called lawful marriage a defilement, have been said to have the Apostate dragon dwelling in them. But the Apostle styleth that good, which is commodious, and that better which is more expedient: and yet not simply more expedient, but to some persons at some times. For if any have not the gift of continency, it is not only commodious or more expedient that they marry, but also absolutely necessary. They are commanded so to do (1 Cor 7:9). Yet on the other side, if any have the gift of continency, they are not simply bound from marriage; there be other occasions, beside avoiding fornication, to move them to marry. It is therefore truly said that Virginity is not commanded, but advised unto. We have no precept for it, but leave it to the power of them that have the power. So far forth as men and women see just occasion of abstaining from marriage [being at least able so to do] they are by the Apostle persuaded to use their liberty and keep themselves free. But all the occasions which move them to remain single arise from the weakness and wickedness of men. Their wickedness who raise troubles against others, their weakness who suffer themselves to be disquieted and too much distracted with affairs of the family, care for wife, children, and the like. Were it not for the wickedness of some, and weakness of others, to please an husband or a wife, would be no hindrance to pleasing of the Lord. If therefore man had stood in his entire and innocent estate, no such wickedness or weakness had seized upon him: and then in no respect could the single estate have been preferred before the married. But since the fall, virginity [where it is given] may be of good use: and therefore the Church doth give due honour both to virginity and marriage (1 Cor 7:32-34).

28. Of celebrating marriage with sorrow.

Contrary to the forenamed joyful celebrating of marriage are all those indirect courses which bring much grief, trouble and vexation thereunto: as forced, stolen, unequal, or any other way unlawful marriages: marriages without parents, or other governours and friends consent: or huddled up to avoid the danger of law for former uncleanness committed, with the like. Many by their preposterous and undue performing of so weighty a matter, do not only cause great trouble and disquietness on the marriage day, but also much sorrow all the days of their life. If such find no joy, comfort or help in marriage, but rather the contrary, let them not blame God's ordinance, but their own folly and perverseness.




The Second Treatise Part II

Of common-mutual duties betwixt Man and Wife

1. Of the heads of those common-mutual duties.

In the first part of this Treatise concerning Man and Wife, hath been declared, who are so to be accounted: in this second part their common-mutual duties are to be laid forth. These are either absolutely necessary for the being and abiding of marriage: or needful and requisite for the well being and well abiding of it, that is, for the good estate of marriage, and for a commendable, and comfortable living together.

There are two kinds of the former, 1. Matrimonial Unity, 2. Matrimonial Chastity.

The latter also may be drawn to two heads: for they are either such as the marrried couple are mutually to perform each to other: or such as both of them are jointly to perform to others.

Those mutual duties are, 1. A loving affection of one to another, 2. A provident care of one for another.

Under that provident care I comprise both the Means whereby it may be the better effected [which is Cohabitation] and the Matter wherein it consisteth:

And this respecteth, 1. The Soul, 2. The Body, 3. The Good-name, 4. The Goods, of each other.

The joint duties which are to be performed to others, respect 1. Those who are in the house, 2. Those who are out of the house.

They who are in the house are, 1. Members of the family, 2. Guests which come to the family.

Many more particulars are comprised under these general heads, which I purpose distinctly to deliver, as I come to them in their several proper places.

2. Of matrimonial unity.

The first, highest, chiefest, and most absolutely necessary common-mutual duty betwixt man and wife, is Matrimonial Unity, whereby husband and wife do account one another to be one flesh, and accordingly preserve the inviolable union whereby they are knit together. This is that duty which the Apostle enjoineth to husbands and wives, in these words, Let not the wife depart from her husband: Let not the husband put away his wife. He there speaketh of renouncing each other, and making the matrimonial bond frustrate, and of no effect: which bond he would have to be kept firm and inviolable, and they two who are thereby made one, constantly to remain one, and not to make themselves two again. This matrimonial unity is so necessary, as it may not be dis-united or dissolved though one be a Christian, and the other a Pagan. If any brother [saith the Apostle] hath a wife that believeth not, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, let her not leave him.

The reasons of this inviolable union are especially two: One taken from the Author of marriage: the other from the Nature thereof.

1. The Author of marriage is God. It is his ordinance: and he it is that by his ordinance hath made of two, one flesh. Now mark the consequence which Christ as a ruled case, and undeniable principle inferreth thereon, What God hath joined together let no man put asunder: If no man, then nor wife, nor husband himself.

2. Such is the Nature of the matrimonial bond as it maketh of two one, and more firmly bindeth them two together, than any other bond can bind any other two together, how then should they be two again?

3. Of desertion.

The vice contrary to matrimonial unity is Desertion when one of the married couple through indignation of the true religion, and utter detestation thereof, or some other like cause, shall apparently renounce all matrimonial unity, and withdraw him or herself from all society with the other, and live among infidels, idolaters, heretics, or other such persecutors, as a faithful Christian with safety of life, or a good conscience, cannot abide among; and though all good means that can be thought of be used to reclaim the party so departed, yet nothing will prevail, but obstinately persisteth in renouncing all matrimonial fellowship.

This desertion is in the case of marriage so capital, as it freeth the innocent party from any further seeking after the other. In which respect the Apostle saith, If the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases (1 Cor 7:15). By bondage he meaneth matrimonial subjection [by reason whereof neither of the married persons have power of their own body, but one of the other's]. Now they that are not under this bondage, are not bound to seek after it. That desertion therefore on the delinquent's part is such dissolution of marriage, as freeth the innocent party from the bondage thereof. In many reformed Churches beyond the seas desertion is accounted so far to dissolve the very bond of marriage, as liberty is given to the party forsaken to marry another: and it is also applied to other cases than that which is above mentioned: as when an infidel, idolater, or heretic shall depart from one of the true religion for other causes than hatred of religion: or when both man and wife having lived as idolaters among idolaters, one of them being converted to the true faith, leaveth his abode among idolaters, and goeth to the professors of the true faith, but can by no means get the other party to remove: or when one of the true religion shall depart from another of the same profession, and will by no means be brought to live with the party so left, but openly manifesteth peremptory obstinance; the matter being heard and adjudged by the Magistrate, the marriage bond may be broken, and liberty given to the party forsaken to marry another. But because our Church hath no such custom, nor our law determined such cases, I leave them to the custom of other Churches.

4. Of matrimonial chastity.

The second necessary common-mutual marriage-duty is Matrimonial Chastity. Chastity in a large extent is taken for all manner of purity in soul or body: in which respect the Apostle calleth the Church of God a chaste virgin. But in the sense wherein we here use it, it especially appertaineth to the body: which is that virtue whereby we possess our vessels [to use the Apostle's phrase] in holiness and honour: or more plainly to our purpose, whereby we keep our bodies undefiled.

Chastity thus restrained to the body is of 1. Single life, 2. Wedlock.

That of single life is opposed to fornication and it is either of such as never were married. Such an one was S. Paul, in which respect he wisheth that all were as he (1 Cor 7:7). Or of such as are lawfully freed from the bond of marriage. Such an one the Apostle calleth a widow indeed. Chastity of wedlock is that virtue whereby parties married, observing the lawful and honest use of marriage, keep their bodies from being defiled with strange flesh: thus the Apostle commandeth wives to be chaste (Titus 2:5). So as they that keep the laws of wedlock are as chaste as they that contain.

Here by the way note the dotage of our adversaries, who think there is no chastity, but of single persons: whereupon in their speeches and writings they oppose chastity and matrimony one to another, as two contraries.

Some of their holy Fathers and Popes, and those not the least learned, nor of worst note among them, have inferred by their arguments against Priests' marriage, that Marriage is a living in the flesh, a sowing to the flesh, a pollution of the flesh. To that purpose S. Paul's advice to man and wife to abstain, that they may give themselves to fasting and prayer, is urged: but directly contrary to the intent of the Apostle. For,

1. He speaketh there of extraordinary humiliation. 2. He interposeth this limitation, for a time. 3. He saith not simply, that ye may pray, but that ye may give your selves [or have leisure] to prayer: as if it did only hinder, but not pollute prayer.

But how can the forenamed spots and blots of marriage stand with that beauty and glory wherewith the Apostle setteth it forth in these words, Marriage is honourable in all (Heb 13:4). If marriage were as Papists set it forth to be, the marriage-bed were very unfitly called a bed undefiled.

Behold how contrary the points of S. Paul and of their Popes were. I wot well far more contrary than chastity and matrimony.

But to return to our matter, clear it is, that married persons may be chaste, and accordingly they ought to be chaste. To which purpose the Apostle counselling men and women, for avoiding fornication, to have wives and husbands, inserteth this particle OWN [let every man have his OWN wife, and every woman have her OWN husband] whereby he implieth, that they should not have to do with any other. That which Solomon expresseth of an husband, by the rule of relation must be applied to a wife. As the man must be satisfied at all times in his wife, and even ravisht with her love; so must the woman be satisfied at all times in her husband, and even ravisht with his love. By the like rule the precept given to wives, to be chaste, must husbands take as directed to themselves also, and be chaste. This duty did Isaac and Rebekah faithfully and mutually perform each to other.

1. It was one main end, why marriage [especially since the fall of man] was ordained, to live chastely. This the Apostle implieth, where he saith, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. And again, If they cannot contain let them marry.

2. By chastity is a godly seed preserved on earth. By this reason doth the Prophet Malachi enforce this duty. For after he had said, that the Lord made one, meaning of two one flesh by marriage, he inferreth this exhortation, Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal unfaithfully against the wife of his youth.

3. An especial part of the honour of marriage consisteth in chastity: whereupon the Apostle having given this high commendation of marriage, that it is honourable in all, addeth this clause [and the bed undefiled] to shew the reason of that honour. As if he had said, Because the marriage-bed is in itself a bed undefiled, marriage is therefore in itself honourable, and doth so far remain honourable, as the bed remainth undefiled.

5. Of adultery.

The vice contrary to matrimonial chastity is Adultery, one of the most capital vices in that estate: a vice whereby way is made for Divorce: as is clear and evident by the determination of Christ himself, concerning that point, first propounded in his sermon on the mount, and again repeated in his conference with the Pharisees, where condemning unjust divorces, he excepteth the divorce made for adultery.

And great reason there is thereof. For the adulterer maketh himself one flesh with his harlot. Why then should he remain to be one flesh with his wife? Two [saith the Law] shall be one flesh: not three. The like may be said of a wife committing adultery.

6. Of pardoning adultery upon repentance.

Quest. Seeing by adultery just cause of divorce is given, may this fault upon the repentance of the delinquent person be so forgiven, as no divorce be sought by the innocent person, but both continue to live together in wedlock as before?

Answ. Though it be not meet in this case, to impose it as an inviolable law upon the innocent party, to retain the delinquent, because of repentance [for we have direct and strict warrant for it] yet I doubt not but they may so do, if they will, and that without just exception to the contrary, they ought so to do. For the law of divorce did not necessarily enjoin any to sue out the bill, but only afforded them liberty to use that punishment if they saw cause. I doubt not but for warrant of this liberty, we may take God's pattern, in retaining Churches and people after they have committed spiritual adultery: and Christ's forgiving the woman that had committed adultery. For, Seeing Christ said to an adulteress, I condemn thee not, go and sin no more, who cannot conceive that an husband ought to forgive that which he seeth the Lord both of husband and wife hath forgiven: and that he ought not to account her an adulteress, whose fault he believeth to be blotted out, by the mercy of God, upon her repentance?

7. Of the difference of adultery in a man, and in a wife.

Quest. Is the bond of marriage as much violated on the man's part when he committeth adultery as on the woman's when she doth so?

Answ. Though the ancient Romans and Canonists have aggravated the woman's fault in this kind far above the man's, and given the man more privileges than the woman, yet I see not how that difference in the sin can stand with the tenour of God's word. I deny not but that more inconveniences may follow upon the woman's default than upon the man's: as, greater infamy before men, worse disturbance of the family, more mistaking of legitimate, or illegitimate children, with the like. The man cannot so well know which be his own children, as the woman; he may take base children to be his own, and so cast the inheritance upon them; and suspect his own to be basely borne, and so deprive them of their patrimony. But the woman is freed from all such mistakings. Yet in regard of the breach of wedlock, and transgression against God, the sin of either party is alike. God's word maketh no disparity betwixt them. At the beginning God said of them both, they two shall be one flesh: not the woman only with the man, but the man also with the woman is made one flesh. Their power also over one another in this respect is alike. If on just occasion they abstain, it must be with mutual consent. If the husband leave his wife, she is free, as he should be, if she left him. Accordingly the punishment which by God's law was to be inflicted on adulterers is the same, whether the man or the woman be the delinquent, (Deut 22:22). If difference be made, it is meet that adulterous husbands be so much the more severely punished, by how much the more it appertaineth to them to excel in virtue, and to govern their wives by example.

8. Of the heinousness of adultery.

But to return to the discovery of the heinousness of adultery, I find no sin throughout the whole Scripture so notoriously in the several colours thereof set forth, as it is. For besides that it is by name forbidden in the Decalogue, it is further expressly branded to be committed,

1. Against each person of the holy Trinity: the Father [whose covenant is broken] the Son [whose members are made the members of an harlot] and the Holy Ghost [whose Temple is polluted].

2. Against one's neighbour, as the party with whom the sin is committed [for this sin cannot be committed singly by one alone] the husband and wife of each party [who cannot rest contented with any satisfaction] the children borne in adultery [whom they brand with an indelible character of infamy, and deprive of many privileges that otherwise they might enjoy] the alliance and friends of each party [to whom the grief and disgrace of this foul sin reacheth] the whole family appertaining to either of them [for this is as a fire in an house] the town, city, and nation where such unclean birds roost [for all they lie open to the vengeance of God for this sin] and the very Church of God [the holy seed whereof is by this sin hindered].

3. Against the parties themselves that commit this sin, and that against their souls, bodies, name, goods, and all that appertaineth to them.

As this sin is in itself a sinful sin, so by the bitter and cursed fruits which proceed from it, it is made out of measure sinful. For

1. By it husbands' and wives' affection [which of all other ought to be the most inviolable] is so alienated, as seldom it is reconciled again.

2. By it the goods of the family are much wasted: the adulterous husband spending that wherewith he should provide for his family, on his harlot: and the adulterous wife purloining what she can from her husband.

3. By it husbands and wives are stirred up to wish, and long after one another's death: and not only inwardly in heart to wish it, but outwardly also in deed to practise it.

4. If from this sin there arise not a gauling and terrifying conscience [as oft there doth] then [which is worse] a feared conscience, an hard heart, a reprobate sense, and an impudent face.

Wherefore God accordingly deals with such sins. In his soul he hateth them: by his word he hath denounced many fearful judgments against them, both in this world, and in the world to come [against no sin more]. This sin is reckoned to be one of the most principal causes of the greatest judgments that ever were inflicted in the world: as of the general deluge: of that fire and brimstone which destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah: of Canaan's spuing out her Inhabitants: of that plague which destroyed in one day 24000: and of the Israelites' captivity, with the like: By all which we see that fearful doom verified, Whoremongers, and adulterers God will judge. Now consider what a fearful thing it is to fall into the hands of the living God.

9. Of remedies against adultery, and in particular of due benevolence, and of defect or excess therein.

For preventing this heinous sin (to omit many other remedies which God's word hath prescribed, as a diligent keeping of the heart [that lustful thoughts proceed not from thence] of the eyes [that they wander not on the beauty or properness of any one's person, or on lascivious pictures, or any other like allurements] of the ears [that they hearken not to any inticements of others] or the tongue [that it utter no unchaste and corrupt communications] of the lips [that they delight not in wanton kisses] of the hands [that they use no wanton dalliance] of the feet [that they carry thee not too near to the place where adultery may be committed] of thy company [that thou be not defiled with others' wantonness and uncleanness] of thy diet [that it be not immoderate] of thine apparel [that it be not garish and lascivious] of thy time [that it be not vainly and idly spent] to omit, I say, these and other like remedies). One of the best remedies that can be prescribed to married persons [next to an awful fear of God, and a continual setting of him before them, wheresoever they are] is, that husband and wife mutually delight each in other, and maintain a pure and fervent love betwixt themselves, yielding that due benevolence one to another which is warranted and sanctified by God's word, and ordained of God for this particular end. This due benevolence [as the Apostle styleth it] is one of the most proper and essential acts of marriage: and necessary for the main and principal ends thereof: as for preservation of chastity in such as have not the gift of continency, for increasing the world with a legitimate brood, and for linking the affections of the married couple more firmly together. These ends of marriage, at least the two former, are made void without this duty be performed.

As it is called benevolence because it must be performed with good will and delight, willingly, readily and cheerfully; so it is said to be due because it is a debt which the wife oweth to her husband, and he to her. For the wife hath not the power of her own body, but the husband; and likewise also the husband hath not the power of his own body, but the wife.

I have my warrant from the Apostle to prescribe this duty as a remedy against adultery. For to avoid fornication, he adviseth man and wife to render due benevolence one to another. If then this question be moved [How will marriage keep men and women from adultery?] this answer out of the Apostle's words may be given [by rendering due benevolence]: which he further inculcateth by declaring the mischief that may follow upon the neglect of this duty, namely a casting of themselves into the snares of Satan. Well might he press this duty to that end, because no other means is of like force: nor fasting, nor watching, nor hard lodging, nor long travel, nor much labour, nor cold, nor solitariness, nor any thing else. Some that have by these means endeavoured much to beat down their bodies, and subdue lust [but neglected the forenamed remedy] have notwithstanding felt lust boiling in them.

There are two extremes contrary to this duty. One in the Defect: another in the Excess.

Defect therein is, when in case of need it is not required, or being required by the one, it is not yielded by the other. Modesty is pretended by some for not requiring it: but in a duty so warrantable and needful, pretence of modesty is [to speak the least] a sign of great infirmity, and a cause of much iniquity. To deny this duty being justly required, is to deny a due debt, and to give Satan great advantage. The punishment inflicted on Onan, (Gen 38:9,10) sheweth how great a wrong this is. From that punishment the Hebrews gather that this sin is a kind of murder. It is so much the more heinous when hatred, stoutness, niceness, fear of having too many children, or any other like respects, are the cause thereof.

Excess is either in the measure, or in the time. In the measure, when husband or wife is insatiable; provoking, rather than assuaging lust, and weakening their natural vigour more than suppressing their unnatural humour. Many husbands and wives are much oppressed by their bedfellows unsatiableness in this kind.

In the time, when it is against Piety, Mercy, or Modesty.

1. Against Piety, when no day, nor duty of Religion, no not extraordinary days, and duties of humiliation, will make them forbear. The Prophets bidding the bridegroom and bride go out of their chamber in the day of a Fast, and the Apostles excepting of prayer and fasting, where he enjoineth this duty of due benevolence, shew that in the time of a Fast it must be forborne.

2. Against Mercy, when one of the married couple being weak by sickness, pain, labour, travel, or any other like means, and through that weakness not well able to perform this duty, the other notwithstanding will have it performed. I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, saith the Lord. Shall God's Sacrifice give place to mercy, and shall not man's or woman's lust? for so I may well term this unreasonable desire.

Quest. What if an husband or wife continue so long sick, or otherwise weak, as the other cannot contain?

Answ. In such cases of necessity the body must be beaten down, and earnest prayer made for the gift of continency: for assuredly the Lord who hath brought thee to that necessity, will give thee grace sufficient.

3. Against Modesty, when husbands require this duty in that time, which under the Law was called the time of a wife's separation for her disease (Lev 15:19, &c.). For what can be expected from such polluted copulation, but a leprous and loathsome generation? This kind of intemperance is expressly forbidden (Lev 18:19) and a capital punishment inflicted on such as offended therein (Lev 20:18). Abstinence in this time is set in the catalogue of those notes which declare a man to be righteous (Eccl 20:7) and the contrary intemperancy is put in the roll of such abominations as provoked God to spue out the Canaanites (Lev 18:28) and to forsake his own inheritance (Eze 22:10).

To this kind of intemperancy some refer a man's knowing of his wife after she hath conceived with child. But I find no such matter condemned in God's word: neither dare I make that a sin which is not there condemned. Certain Sectaries among the Jews are branded for this error.

1. Object. No other creature will so do: so as it may seem to be against nature.

Answ. 1. I deny the argument: though some forbear, yet all do not.

2. I deny the consequence: for other creatures are not so tied one male to one female, as an husband to his own wife. Besides, that which beasts by nature are tied unto, must be left to man's discretion.

2. Object. After a woman hath once conceived, no more conceptions can be expected, till she be delivered.

Answ. Conception is not the only end of this duty: for it is to be renderd to such as are barren.

Quest. What if the wife give suck to her child, ought not her husband then to forbear?

Answ. Because giving suck is a mother's duty, man ought to do what he can to contain.

10. Of mutual love betwixt man and wife.

Hitherto of those common mutual duties which tend to the preservation of the very being of marriage, and are in that respect absolutely necessary. The other common mutual duties [though they be not of so absolute necessity as the former] are in their kind necessary for the good estate of marriage, and for the better preserving of that knot: so as, if they be not performed, the end and right use of marriage will be perverted, and that estate made uncomfortable, and very burdensome. The first of these is love. A loving mutual affection must pass betwixt husband and wife, or else no duty will be well performed: this is the ground of all the rest. In some respects love is proper and peculiar to an husband, as I purpose to shew when I come to speak of an husband's particular duties. But love is also required of wives, and they are commanded to be lovers of their husbands, as well as husbands to love their wives: so as it is a common mutual duty belonging to husband and wife too: and that is true wedlock, when man and wife are linked together by the bond of love. Under love all other duties are comprised: for without it no duty can be well performed. Love is the fulfilling of the Law, that is, the very life of all those duties which the law requireth. It is the bond of perfection, which bindeth together all those duties that pass betwixt party and party. Where love aboundeth, there all duties will readily and cheerfully be performed. Where love is wanting, there every duty will either be altogether neglected, or so carelessly performed, that as good not be performed at all: in which respect the Apostle willeth, that all things be done in love. Love as it provoketh the party in whom it ruleth to do all the good it can; so it stirreth up the party loved to repay good for good. It is like fire, which is not only hot in itself, but also conveyeth heat from one to another. Note how admirably this is set forth betwixt Christ and his Spouse in the Song of Solomon: and it is further manifested in the examples of all good husbands and wives noted in the Scripture: they did mutually bear a very loving affection one to another.

Though love be a general duty which every one oweth to another, even to his enemy, yet the nearer that God hath linked any together, the more are they bound to this duty, and the more must they abound therein. But of all others are man and wife most nearely and firmly linked together. Of all others therefore are they most bound hereunto, and that in the highest degree that may be, even like to Jonathan's love, who loved David as his own soul. Solomon saith, He that findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord: which by the rule of relation is also true of an husband, She that findeth an husband findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord. Man and wife therefore are each to other an especial pledge of God's favour, and in this respect above all others under God to be loved. If this be the ground [as it ought to be] of their mutual love, their love will be fervent and constant. Neither will the want, or withering of any outward allurements, as beauty, personage, parentage, friends, riches, honours, or the like, withhold or withdraw, extinguish or extenuate their love: neither will any excellencies of nature or grace in other husbands and wives draw their hearts from their own to those other: nor yet will the love of a former yoke-fellow dead and gone, any whit lessen the love of the living mate.

This instance I have the rather mentioned, because in many, who are far from setting their affection on strange flesh, their love of a former husband or wife departed is so fast fixed in their heart, as they can never again so entirely love any other. They who are so minded are not fit to be joined with another yoke-fellow after they are loosed from one. If they marry again, and manifest such a mind, they plainly shew that they respect this or that person more than God's ordinance. By God's ordinance man and wife are no longer bound one to another than they live together. Death is an absolute diremption, and maketh an utter dissolution of the marriage bond. If the man be dead, the wife is delivered from the law of the man, so as she may take another man. Which liberty is also given to the man. Being now free, if they marry another [that other being now a true husband or wife] their love must be as entire to that other as it was to the former: yea, and more entire, if there were any defect in the former. For as children married out of their parents' house must not retain such a love of their parents as shall swallow up their love of the party to whom they are married, but must according to the law, leave father and mother, and cleave to their yoke-fellow: So neither must the love of a former husband or wife be predominant when they are married to another. This other must be as close cleaved unto, as if they have never been joined to a former. The living husband or wife is the present pledge of God's favour. He is now thine own husband: and she is now thine own wife: and not the party that is dead. I deny not but the memory of a virtuous husband or wife ought to be precious to the surviving party: for the memorial of the just is blessed. But as the virtue of a person deceased may not be buried with the dead corpse: so neither may the person be kept above ground with the memory of his or her virtue: which after a sort is done, when love of the party deceased either taketh away, or extenuateth the love of the living. This is to give dominion to the dead over the living: which is more then the law enjoineth.

11. Of husbands' and wives' mutual hatred contrary to love.

There is a generation so crabbed and crooked a disposition as they cannot love, but rather hate one another because they are man and wife: for many husbands having wives, and wives husbands every way worthy to be loved, will notwithstanding say to the astonishment of the hearers, I have indeed a good husband, or I have a good wife: but I cannot love him, or I cannot love her: and being demanded a reason, stick not openly and impudently to reply, I think I could love him if he were not mine husband, or I think I could love her if she were not my wife. O more than monstrous impudency! Is not this directly to oppose against God's ordinance, and against that order which he hath set betwixt man and woman? Is it not to trample under foot God's favour? Though there were nothing else to move love but this, that such an one is thine husband, or such an one is thy wife, yet this should be motive enough. And shall this be the ground of thine hatred? Assuredly such a spirit is a plain diabolical spirit, contrary to that spirit which is from above; and if it be not cast out, it will cast those whom it possesseth into the fire of hell.

12. Of mutual peace betwixt man and wife.

Among other means of maintaining an inward loving affection betwixt man and wife, outward mutual peace, concord, and agreement is one of the principal. Whereupon the Apostle exhorteth to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace: for peace is a bond that tieth one to another, and maketh them to be as one, even one in spirit: as on the contrary side outward discord disunites men's spirits. We are enjoined to follow peace with all men: how much more of all persons ought husbands to have peace with their wives, and wives with their husbands? They are nearer than brothers and sisters. Behold then how good and pleasant a thing it is for them to dwell together in unity. Dwell together they must: but without peace there is no dwelling together: It is better to dwell in a corner of the house top than with a contentious woman in a wide house. Persons at variance were far better be out of sight and place, than present together. Out of sight and place man and wife must not be, at peace therefore they must be. Mutual peace betwixt them is a great refreshing to their minds, being beaten with the discords of others. It is said that a wife is in this respect an haven to man [how much more man to his wife?] If the haven be calm, and free from storms and tempests, what a refreshing it will be to the mariner that hath been tossed in the sea with winds and waves?

For maintaining peace,

1. All offences so much as possibly may be must be avoided. The husband must be watchful over himself that he give no offence to his wife: and so the wife on the other side. Offences cause contentions.

2. When an offence is given by the one party, it must not be taken by the other; but rather passed by: and then will not peace be broken. The second blow makes the fray.

3. If both be incensed together, the fire is like to be the greater: with the greater speed therefore must they both labour to put it out. Wrath must not lie in bed with two such bed-fellows: neither may they part beds for wrath sake. That this fire may be the sooner quenched, they must both strive first to offer reconciliation. Theirs is the glory who do first begin, for they are most properly the blessed peacemakers. Not to accept peace when it is offered is more than heathenish: but when wrath is incensed, to seek atonement is the duty of a Christian, and a grace that cometh from above.

4. Children, servants, nor any other in the family must be bolstered up by the one against the other. The man's partaking with any of the house against his wife, or the wife against her husband, is an usual cause of contention betwixt man and wife.

5. They must forbear to twit one another in the teeth with the husbands or wives of other persons or with their own former husbands or wives [in case they have had any before]. Comparisons in this kind are very odious. They stir up much passion, and cause great contentions.

6. Above all they must take heed of rash and unjust jealousy, which is the bane of marriage, and greatest cause of discontent that can be given betwixt man and wife. Jealous persons are ready to pick quarrels, and to seek occasions of discord: they will take every word, look, action, and motion, in the worse part, and so take offence where none is given. When jealousy is once kindled, it is as a flaming fire that can hardly be put out. It maketh the party whom it possesseth implacable.

7. In all things that may stand with a good conscience they must endeavour to please one another: and either of them suffer their own will to be crossed, rather than discontent to be given to the other. S. Paul noteth this as a common mutual duty belonging to them both, and expresseth their care thereof under a word that signifieth more than ordinary care, and implieth a dividing of the mind into divers thoughts, casting this way, and that way, and every way how to give best content.

13. Of contentions betwixt man and wife.

Contrary to mutual peace are contentions betwixt man and wife: which are too frequent in most families, and by which the common good is much hindered. Discord betwixt man and wife in an house is as contention betwixt the master and pilot in a ship: may not great danger, and much mischief be thence justly feared? We heard before that man to his wife, and she to him, is as an haven. Now by experience we find that if the haven be tempestuous it is much more troublesome, and dangerous to the mariner than the wide sea. Wherefore let man and wife be of the same mind one to another as Abraham was to Lot, and when occasions of discord are offered, say, Let there be no strife betwixt thee and me, for we are man and wife: no more two, but one flesh.

14. Of husbands and wives dwelling together.

From a mutual affection of love proceedeth a mutual provident care in husband and wife one for another. In handling whereof we will first note the means whereby their mutual providence may be the better effected and manifested, and then the matter whereabout it must be conversant. The means in one word is cohabitation. For a duty it is that man and wife dwell together. The phrase used in setting out the woman's creation [he built a woman, whereby the erecting of a family is intimated] implieth as much: so doth the law of marriage whereby man is enjoined to leave father and mother, and to cleave unto his wife, that is, to go out of his father's house, and to dwell with his wife: and so doth this phrase [forget thy father's house] taken from the duty of a wife, and mystically applied to the Church. S. Peter expressly chargeth husbands to dwell with their wives: and S. Paul layeth it to the charge both of husbands and wives not to leave one another, but to dwell together, yea though the one be an infidel. Surely it was conscience of this duty which made the Levite to go after his wife, that went away from him, to bring her home again: and which made Jacob's wives to leave their father's house, and go with their husband. The word under which S. Peter compriseth this duty is a title appropriated to an husband: and an answerable title is appropriate to a wife: from which the notation of our two usual English words [husband, housewife] doth not much differ.

The power which the one hath of the other's body, and the advantage which by living asunder, they give unto Satan, [both of which are expressly noted, 1 Cor 7:4,5] do shew the necessity of this duty: and the many benefits arising from thence do further press the equity of it. By husbands and wives dwelling together all marriage duties are better performed: mutual love is better bred, preserved, and increased: the good gifts of either of them are better observed by the other: better help and succour is mutually by each afforded to the other: and in time they are made more capable of doing good one to another, and of receiving good one from another. Why then should they have any mind of living asunder, unless they be forced by extraordinary occasions, as captivity, close imprisonment, contagious sickness, and such like, which are no faults of theirs, but crosses to be borne with grief; and instant prayer, together with all other good means, to be used to bring them together again? Yea if the imprisonment, banishment, or other like kind of absence, be such as one may if they will come at the other, the party that is free ought to come to the other, if at least that other require it.

15. Of the respects for which man and wife may for a time live asunder.

Quest. May there be any just causes for man and wife willingly to live asunder?

Answ. There can nor ought to be any cause of utter relinquishing one another, which is a kind of desertion: but for living asunder for a time there may be just causes, as

1. Weighty and urgent affairs which concern the good of the Church, or Commonwealth: as when a man is sent forth to war, or on an ambassage [in which case though he may take his wife with him, yet is he not necessarily bound thereto, especially if the place whither he is sent be far off, the passage thereto difficult and dangerous, and his abode there not long]. When Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manassah passed over Jordan to help their brethren in their battles against the Canaanites, they left their wives behind them in their families: when Uriah went to war, he left his wife at home: and when Moses was to bring Israel out of Egypt, his wife remained at her father's house.

2. Main duties of their particular calling: as of mariners, who are oft to be on the sea: merchants who trade in other countries: lawyers who attend public places of justice: courtiers, who in their months, or quarters, attend their Prince: keepers of women in child-bed, and sick persons: and other nurses.

Provided always that in these, and other like cases, there be a joint and mutual consent of both parties: for if man and wife may not defraud one another for a time to give themselves to fasting and prayer without consent: much less may they for lighter occasions live any time asunder without consent. Provided also that they take no delight to live asunder, but rather be grieved that they are forced so to do: and in testimony thereof to take all occasions that they can to manifest their longing desire one after another by letters, messages, tokens, and other like kindnesses: and to return with all the speed they can. No distance, or absence ought any whit to diminish their mutual love.

16. Of the errour of Papists about man and wife's separation.

Contrary to the duty of cohabitation is the doctrine of Papists, whereby they teach, that

Separation may be made betwixt man and wife for many causes from bed, or cohabitation, for a certain or uncertain time. The Council of Trent is bold to denounce Anathema against such as say, the Church erreth therein. If the many causes which they allege, besides adultery, be well weighted, we shall find them without all warrant of God's word. They draw them to two heads, 1. Mutual consent. 2. Demerit.

By consent [say they] of both parties married to attain a greater and more perfect estate, marriage consummate may be loosed from bed and cohabitation.

Answ. 1. In marriage there is a covenant of God (Prov 2:17) as well as of the two parties: the consent therefore of parties is not sufficient to break it.

2. No estate in this world can be greater or more perfect than is meet for married persons. Adam and Eve in their best estate were married: and now is marriage honourable in all.

3. The estates which they count more perfect, are either such as are not in man's power [as perpetual continency] or such as may be as well performed by married persons as by single persons [as Ecclesiastical functions] if at least they be such as are warranted by God's word. High Priests, and other Priests, all sorts of Levites, extraordinary Prophets and Apostles were married. What greater functions than these?

The causes which for demerit, they say, make a separation, are 1. Adultery. 2. Departing from the catholic faith. 3. Soliciting or impelling unto sin.

Concerning Adultery, we deny not, but that it giveth just cause of divorce: but withal we say [as we have good warrant from Christ's words] that it is the only cause of just divorce. For to make a separation for departing from the catholic faith, is directly contrary to S. Paul's and S. Peter's doctrine (1 Cor 7:12-14; 1 Pet 3:1).

As for soliciting and impelling unto sin, though it may be cause to move an husband or a wife to walk more warily and wisely, and in extremity to avoid society for a time, or to complain to the Magistrate for release, who may see it meet to lay the delinquent person in prison, or else otherwise keep them asunder till that delinquent be reclaimed and brought to a better mind: yet it is no sufficient cause finally to dissolve marriage in regard of bed and cohabitation.

They urge that if the right eye cause to offend, it must be plucked out.

Answ. 1. That is but a metaphor, and may sundry other ways be applied.

2. The words are not simply, but by way of comparison to be taken, rather pluck it out, than to be made to stumble thereby.

3. Plucking out, applied to the point in hand, may be by many other ways, than by dissolving marriage.

4. That general inhibition [whosoever shall put away his wife, causeth her to commit adultery] restrained only with the exception of fornication, admitteth neither this, nor any other such cause of dissolving marriage.

17. Of husbands' and wives' unlawful absenting themselves one from another.

Contrary also to the forenamed duty of cohabitation, is the practise of many men, who living themselves in one place [suppose at London] send their wives unto some country house, and there even mew them up, as hawkes, never caring to come at them, but are then most merry, when their wives are farthest off. If their wives live at home they will be abroad, mealing and lodging where their wives shall not know: their own house is as a prison to them: they are not well, but when they are out of it. Of the like lewd conceit and practise are many wives, who on no other occasion then mere lightness, being eager in pursuing their pleasures, and satisfying their lusts, gad out of their own houses in the day, lie out of them in the night, and remain in other company days and nights: or at least are glad when their husbands have occasion to be from home; not unlike to the light housewife which Solomon describeth (Prov 7:10, &c.). I speak of matters too famous, or rather infamous. I would there were no just cause to tax this lightness. But let such as desire to approve themselves to God or man, take heed of these heinous and more than heathenish vices. Though Israel play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend.

Too near to the forenamed kind of unlawful separation do they come, who though they live both in one house, yet make that house by their estranging themselves one from another as two houses: the man abiding in one end thereof, his wife in another: and so have their several rooms, several tables, several servants, all several: Or if the straightness of their house will not suffer them so to part other rooms, yet they will have several bed-chambers, or at least several beds: so as they that shall call them bed-fellows, shall but nick-name them. Thus they rob each other of that due benevolence which they mutually owe one to another, they expose themselves to the devil's snares, they more and more estrange their hearts one from another, and deprive themselves of such mutual comforts and helps, as by matrimonial society they might afford to, and receive from one another.

18. Of husbands' and wives' mutual prayers.

The matter whereabout husbands' and wives' mutual providence ought to be conversant, is in general the good of one another; that each of them do that for the other, which Solomon in particular applieth to a wife, viz. good and not evil all the days of their life. Now the good of man extendeth to his soul, body, good name, and goods.

A general duty tending to the good of all these is prayer. S. Peter requireth such a carriage of man and wife one towards another, as their prayers be not hindred: whereby he taketh it for grant, that prayer is a mutual duty which one oweth to the other: which duty Isaac performed for his wife. Herein may man and wife be helpful each to other in all things needful to either of them: for it is the means which God in wisdom hath sanctified for the obtaining of every needful blessing for ourselves or others. By many it is counted but a slight duty and of small use; but the truth is, that to perform it aright, in truth and faith, is both difficult in the deed, and powerful in the effect. It is the best duty that one can perform for another, and the least to be neglected. We heard before, that Isaac prayed for his wife: and to shew the good he did to her thereby, it is noted, that the Lord was entreated of him: so as she, being barren before, by that means conceived. All the physic in the world could not have done her so much good. Always therefore, without ceasing is this duty to be performed. Whensoever man and wife make any prayer, therein they must be mindful of one another: yea and oft must they of purpose take occasion to make prayers in special one for another: and that both in absence, and also in presence of one another.

This latter doth especially concern the husband, who is as a Priest unto his wife, and ought to be her mouth to God when they two are together: yet I doubt not, but that the wife may pray in the husband's presence when they two are alone, either for trial [that he may have knowledge of her ability and gift in that kind] or for help [if the wife be much better able to perform that duty than the man is, as many wives are]. Not without cause therefore have I reckoned this among common mutual duties.

19. Of the things for which husbands and wives are to pray alone.

There are sundry needful blessings which husbands and wives are to pray for that appertain only to themselves, and are most meet to be mentioned in private prayer betwixt themselves, as

1. That as they two are one flesh, so they may be also one spirit: that their hearts may be as one, knit together by a true, spiritual, matrimonial love: always delighting one in another, ever helpful one to another, and ready with all willingness and cheerefulness to perform all those duties which they owe one to another.

2. That their marriage bed may be sanctified: and as it is by God's ordinance, so it may remain to them by their well using it, a bed undefiled. There is no other thing, for which mutual prayer in private betwixt man and wife is more needful: and that so much the rather, because of the natural heat of lust which is in most: which if it be not by prayer [the best means for that purpose] assuaged, it may prove a defilement of the undefiled bed: and man and wife become adulterers one to another. As other things, so this also is sanctified by the word and prayer. The word giveth a warrant and direction for the use of it: prayer both seasoneth it, and procureth a blessing upon it.

3. That they may have children, and those such as may be heirs of salvation, and live in this world to their own and others' good: that they may be comely and well proportioned children: nor idiots in understanding, nor monsters in bodily shape, nor yet lewd and infamous in their lives: which could not but be a grief to their parents, and might also open the mouths of the wicked against them.

4. That God would give them competency of this world's goods, and other good means well to nourish, nurture, and place forth their children: and a sufficiency for the maintenance of their family, and of that estate wherein God setteth them.

5. That such needful gifts and graces as are wanting in either of them may be wrought: and such vices and infirmities as they are subject unto may be redressed.

These and many other like things give occasion to man and wife in special manner to pray one for another, and one with another.

20. Of husbands' and wives' hateful imprecations and wishes one against another.

Contrary to that holy and heavenly duty of prayer are those direful and hellish imprecations and execrations, which ordinarily do pass out of the mouths of many husbands and wives against one another [and that many times for very light occasions] cursing the day that ever they knew one another, and wishing that one of them had been under the ground before they came together. Most odious are these and such like execrations in any man's mouth, but more than most odious in the mouth of man and wife against one another.

Many who for outward shame forbear to belch forth such rotten stinking speech, make small conscience of wishing the like in their hearts. If an husband be any whit harsh, and a wife shrewish: or if through sickness, or any other like occasion they seem burdensome each to other: or if any dislike of one arise in the heart of the other: or if their hearts be set upon others: or if the survivor be to carry away the goods and lands, their hearts will be filled with a thousand wishes of another's death. Yea, many times such as have very good husbands or wives, without any shew of reason [only through an inward corruption of their heart, and malicious instigation of Satan, not taking notice of their own good] are ready to wish they were in heaven: making thereby a pretence of their eternal bliss to whom they so wish, whereas indeed their only desire is to be loosed and freed from them. God oft meets with such wicked wishers [whereby he sheweth how hateful such wishes are to him] for sometimes according to their wish he taketh away good husbands and wives from those that are evil: and when they are gone he maketh their loss to be so sensibly felt, as those ungodly wishers do, [as we speak] in every vein of their heart repent them of their rash wishes. Yea, to aggravate their wretchedness the more, he giveth them such crabbed and perverse husbands and wives in the room instead of those good ones [for seldom comes a better] as they are forced with many deep sighs and groans to wish [but all in vain] their former wives and husbands alive again, and so to verify the proverb, A good thing is not so well discerned by enjoying, as by wanting it. Sometimes again God in anger crosseth their wishes, and first taketh away the wishes of others' death: or else prolongeth the life of both to their greater vexation.

21. Of husbands' and wives' neglect of mutual prayer.

The very neglect of mutual prayer in husbands and wives for each other is also a sin contrary to the forenamed duty of prayer: whereof if all that are guilty were as well known to man as to God, how many unkind husbands and wives careless of one another's good would be noted, more than are? Rare are those husbands and wives, that have their seasons to pray alone together one with another, if ever they pray one for another. Though in outward complements they may seem very kind, and in the outward things of this world, very provident, yet if they pray not one for another, they are neither kind, nor provident. Hearty, fervent, frequent prayer is the greatest token of kindness, and best part of providence that can be.

22. Of husbands' and wives' mutual care for one another's salvation.

From the general duty of prayer which is profitable to all things, I come to the particular branches of man and wife's mutual provident care: and will first begin with that which is first to be sought, the good of one another's soul, which the Apostle intimateth to be a thing to be sought after, where he saith, What knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt SAVE thine husband, or what knoweth thou, O man, whether thou shalt SAVE thy wife? S. Peter enjoineth wives to do their endeavour to win their husbands and S. Paul setteth before husbands the pattern of Christ's love, which had especial respect to the soul and the salvation thereof: so as this is a mutual duty appertaining to them both, which S. Peter further implieth where he styleth them coheirs of the grace of life.

It is the greatest good that one can possibly do for another, to be a means of helping forward his salvation. And there is nothing that can more soundly and firmly knit the heart of one to another, than to be a means thereof.

23. Of husbands' and wives' care to win one the other, when one of them is not called.

That the salvation of the soul may be the better effected, respect must be had to the present and particular estate of husband or wife. If one be a believer the other not, the believer must use all the means that may be, to draw on the other also to believe. If both be believers, their mutual care must be to edify one another in their most holy faith.

For the first, it is the main drift of S. Peter's exhortation to believing wives, about their conversation, to draw on their unbelieving husbands to the true faith. His phrase [that they may be won or gained] as in general it hath respect to their soul's salvation, so in particular to their first conversion. Now if this duty appertain to a wife, much more to an husband, who is appointed an head to his wife, and a Saviour. To this end doth S. Paul advise believing husbands and wives that are married to unbelievers, to dwell with them.

For what a woeful thing is it, that two which in this world are so nearly linked together as to make one flesh, should in the world to come be so far separated one from another, as heaven is from hell. This indeed shall so fall out in many: for Christ hath expressly foretold it, that of two that were in one bed together [who are more fitly set forth under this phrase than man and wife, who most usually are styled bedfellows?] one shall be taken [to mercy and glory] the other shall be forsaken [or left to endless and easeless torture and torment]. But though it be foretold that thus it shall fall out with many a couple, yet our care must be, and that with our uttermost power, to prevent it, as in ourselves, so in our bedfellow.

If it please the Lord to give such a blessing to the endeavour of an husband or wife, as to be a means of the conversion of their bedfellow, then will the party converted both entirely love the other, and also heartily bless God [as there is just cause] that ever they were so nearly linked together.

This duty of winning one another, is to be applied to such as are married not only to plain infidels, but also to Papists or other like idolaters, to atheists, or any other profane persons, to heretics, separatists, schismatics, or any that believe not aright.

24. Of husbands and wives edifying one another.

The second duty tending to the soul's salvation is, that two believers being married together, they endeavour mutually to build up one another more and more. One Christian oweth this duty to another: much more man and wife. Take heed [saith the Apostle] that no man fall away from the grace of God. If no man, then nor wife nor husband.

A spiritual edifying of one another is the best use which we can make [and ought to make] of those joints and bonds whereby we are knit one to another. By virtue of them the body [namely the mystical body of Christ] receiveth increase to the edifying of itself, and increaseth with the increase of God. Now the bond of marriage being of all other the firmest, and that whereby we are nearest knit together, by virtue of what bond should we edify one another, if not by virtue of the marriage bond?

25. Of husbands and wives hindering sin one in another.

Two things are requisite unto spiritual edification.

One respecteth the hinderances of growth in grace.

The other the helps thereof.

The hinderances of grace are all manner of sins. Sin to grace is as water to fire: it slaketh the heat of it, and if without hoe it be powered on it, it will clean put it out. In regard hereof there ought to be a mutual care in husbands and wives, both to prevent sin before it be committed, and also to make what redress they can after it is committed.

That it is a mutual duty for husbands and wives so much as they can, to prevent sin one in another is evident, by that reason which the Apostle useth, to keep them from defrauding one another, in these words, that Satan tempt you not. For out of the scope and matter of those words, this general doctrine may be gathered, Husbands and wives ought to be careful to keep one another from the temptations of Satan, that is, from sin, whereunto all his temptations tend. Rebekah performed the duty of a good wife in keeping Isaac from blessing Esau: which if he had done, he had sinned against God's express word. Though she failed in the manner of doing it, yet her end was good.

As that love they owe one to another, so that care which they ought to have of themselves requireth as much, for sin provoketh God's wrath, his wrath sendeth down vengeance, that vengeance which falleth on the husband can hardly miss the wife, or that the husband, which falleth on the wife; and that by reason of their near union: though it fall not on both their pates, yet it cannot but much affect, and even afflict the party that escapeth. The wives of those rebels who were swallowed up quick in the wilderness, perished in like manner with their husbands. For they who are so near as husbands and wives, and do not what they can to prevent one another's sins, make themselves accessory thereto.

For the better effecting of this duty, husbands and wives must be watchful over one another, and observe what sins either of them are given unto, or what occasions are offered to draw either of them into sin. If either of them be choleric or prone to be angry on a sudden, the other must endeavour to take away all occasions of offence: and if both should be testy and hasty to wrath, when the one seeth the other first moved, the party whose passion is not yet stirred, ought the rather to be settled and composed to all meekness and patience, lest, if both together be provoked, the whole household be set on fire. If either of them be given to drunkenness, covetousness, or any other sin, the other ought by wise and gentle persuasions to keep them [as much as they can] from those sins. Yea they may also get others, that are discrete and able, to dissuade them: or use what other good means they can to that purpose.

26. Of husbands and wives redressing sin in one another.

When either husband or wife is fallen into any sin, a mutual duty it is for the other, to use what redress may be of that sin: as if one of them were wounded, the other must take care for the healing of that wound. Abigail performed her duty in this kind, when, after she had heard what churlish entertainment her husband gave to David's servants, she hastened to carry store of provision to David, and humbled herself before him, and so moved David to assuage his wrath: yea she took a seasonable time also to tell her husband his fault, and the danger whereinto he brought himself thereby.

More directly, and with better success did Jacob redress the superstition, or rather idolatry of his wife Rachel, as may be gathered by comparing Genesis 31:29, 34 and Genesis 35:2, 4.

A brother at large must not suffer sin to lie on his brother: much less may husband or wife the one upon the other.

Thou shalt not hate thy brother [saith the law] and suffer sin to lie on him. To do this then is a token and fruit of hatred. If an husband should see his wife, or a wife her husband lying in the fire, or water, ready to be burnt or drowned, and not afford their best help to pull them out, might they not justly be thought to hate them? But sin is as fire and water, which will burn and drown men in perdition.

This duty may be performed by meek instructions, pithy persuasions, gentle reproofs: yea, and by the help of some good Minister, or other discrete and faithful friend.

27. Of husbands and wives helping forward the growth of grace in each other.

Hitherto of preventing, and redressing hinderances of grace. Hereunto must be added an helping forward of the growth thereof: which man and wife must mutually endeavour to effect one in another. The care which Elkanah had to carry his wives along with himself unto the Tabernacle of the Lord year by year, sheweth that his desire was to uphold them in the fear of God: yea the gifts and portions, which at that time he used to bestow on them, imply the care that he had to encourage them to hold on in serving the Lord. It was without question the main end which the Shunammite aimed at in providing lodging for the Prophet, that both she and her husband might be built up in Grace.

This duty may be the better effected by these means following.

1. By taking notice of the beginning, and least measure of Grace: and approving the same.

2. By frequent conference about such things as concern the same: mutually propounding questions one to another thereabouts, and answering the same.

3. By their mutual practise and example: making themselves each to other a pattern of piety.

4. By performing exercises of religion, as praying, singing psalms, reading the Word, and the like together.

5. By maintaining holy and religious exercises in the family. Though this duty especially appertain to the husband, yet the wife must put her husband in mind thereof, if he forget it; and stir him up, if he be backward: Thus did the good Shunammite (2 Kings 4:9,10). No man's persuasion in this kind, can so much prevail with a man as his wife's.

6. By stirring up one another to go to the house of God, to hear the word, partake of the sacrament, and conscionably perform all the parts of God's public worship.

Great need there is, that husbands and wives should endeavour to help forward the growth of grace in each other, because we are all so prone to fall away and wax cold, even as water if the fire go out, and more fuel be not put under. And of all other, husbands and wives may be most helpful herein, because they can soonest espy the beginning of decay by reason of their near, and continual familiarity together.

28. Of the sins of husbands and wives contrary to a mutual care of one another's salvation.

The vices contrary to that general mutual duty of husbands and wives in procuring the Salvation of one another, and to the particular branches comprised under it, are many: As

1. A careless neglect thereof: when as husbands and wives so mind earthly things, as they think it enough if they be provident one for another in the things of this life. Hereof most that live in this earth are guilty: and among others, even many of them who have the name of very good and kind husbands and wives. But whatsoever the opinion of others be of them, the truth is, that if they fail in this point, they go no further than the very heathen have done, and their kindness may be as the apes kindness, which causeth death.

2. The unworthy walking, and unchristian carriage of a believer that is married to one that believeth not: hereby the unbeliever is kept off from embracing the Gospel, and made the more to dislike and detest it. If a popish or profane husband be married to a wife that maketh profession of the truth of the Gospel, and she be stout, proud, wanton, waspish, wasteful, or given to any other like vices, will he not be ready thereupon to inveigh against the religion she professeth, and utterly protest against it? So also a popish or profane wife, if she be married to such an husband.

3. Negligence in observing one another's disposition or conversation: whereby it cometh to pass that they keep not back, nor restrain one another from running into any sin: but prove such husbands and wives one to another as Eli proved a father to his sons: whence it fell out, that God's severe vengeance fell upon the neck of the one, and of the other. Pilate's wife though an heathenish woman, shall rise up in judgment against many such wives, for she did what she could to keep her husband from shedding innocent blood.

4. A complemental soothing of one another's humour, and seeking mutually to please one another in all things, without respect of good or evil. Such as these the Scripture termeth men-pleasers. Hence it cometh to pass that husbands and wives are so far from drawing one another from sin, that the better rather yields unto the worse, and both run into evil, as Adam was persuaded by his wife to transgress against God's express charge: and wise Solomon was drawn by his wives unto idolatry (1 Kings 11:4), and Sapphira consented to the sacrilege of Ananias her husband (Acts 5:2).

5. An undue fear of offending one another by Christian instruction, admonition, reproof, and the like. Many who are oft moved in conscience to make known to their husbands and wives the sins wherein they live, and the danger wherein they lie by reason thereof, do not withstanding through careless and causeless fear, refrain and forbear to do so.

6. An impious, and envious disposition, whereby many husbands and wives are moved to mock, and scoff at that holy zeal, and forwardness which they observe in their bedfellows: as Michal who resembled David to a fool, or vain-fellow, because he manifested his zeal by dancing before the Ark. Thus do many nip the work of the Spirit in the very bud, and cause grace soon to wither. But cursed be that husband, or wife, that thus perverteth the main end of their near conjunction.

29. Of husbands' and wives' mutual care over one another's body.

After the good of the soul followeth the good of the body, wherein husband and wife must shew their provident care each over other: and do what lieth in them to procure the welfare of one another's person, and to nourish and cherish one another's body. This duty the Apostle layeth down under the comparison of a body which he calleth flesh, saying, No man hateth his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it: now man and wife are one flesh. This duty the Apostle in particular applieth to husbands. At the first institution of marriage it was in particular applied to the wife, whom God made to be an help meet for man: so as it is a mutual duty appertaining to both. It seemeth that Rebekah was so careful of Isaac in this respect, that she could readily make savoury meat for him, such as he loved.

This duty extendeth itself to all estates both of prosperity and adversity, of health and sickness: for so much do they mutually covenant and promise when they are first joined together in marriage, I take thee [saith each to other] for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health to love and to cherish. Wherefore they ought mutually both to rejoice in the welfare of one another, and also in all distress to succour and comfort each other, putting their shoulders under one another's burden, and helping to ease one another as much as they can. That which Solomon said of a friend and a brother, may fitly be applied in this case to husband and wife, a friend loveth at all times, and a brother is borne for adversity, that is, a trusty and faithful friend is constant in his goodwill, and ready to perform all duties of kindness at any time, whether it be prosperity or adversity: the change of outward estate maketh no alteration in his loving affection and friendly carriage: yea he seemeth to be as it were borne and brought forth against the time of trouble and affliction, because then is his provident care and tender affection most manifested. Of all friends none ought to be more careful, none more faithful one to another than man and wife. How then ought they to love at all times, and if any trial come to either of them, the other so to carry himself, as it may be truly said they were joined together for adversity?

Thus shall they verify the truth of that whereby God was moved to create of mankind male, and female, namely that it was not good for man to be alone, but that it was rather good, that is, needful, profitable, and comfortable for man and woman to be together. In which respect the wise-man saith, he that findeth a wife findeth a good thing; and by the rule of relation we may infer, she that findeth an husband findeth a good thing.

30. Of husbands and wives backwardness to help one another in time of need.

Contrary to this duty is a certain unnatural affection in sundry husbands and wives, who much grudge to provide the things that are needful for one another. The man commonly thinks the charge too great, the woman thinks the pains too much: they are affected one to another as if they were mere strangers: nay many strangers will be more ready to perform, and more cheerful in performing needful duties [as occasion is offered] than such unnatural husbands and wives. If a little sickness, or other like cross fall on one of them, the other thinks, never any had such a burden; and by their discontent make the burden much more heavy than otherwise it would be: even as when two oxen are in one yoke, and the one holdeth back, the draught is made much harder to the other. Thus do they pervert one of the principal ends of marriage, which is to be a continual comfort and help each to other, and to ease the burdens of one another: in which respect they are made yoke-fellows. Job's wife by her unnatural carriage towards him in his affliction did much aggravate his misery when he stood in most need of her help, she afforded least unto him it appears by Job's complaint of her, in these words, my breath is strange to my wife, that she altogether neglected him in his misery. The common speech of many after their husband or wife having long lain sick is departed, betrayeth their unnatural affection: their speech is this, if my husband [or wife] had died so much sooner I had saved so much money. What doth this intimate but that they could have been contented their husband [or wife] should have died sooner that they might have spared the more.

31. Of husbands' and wives' mutual respect of one another's good name.

The provident care of husbands and wives ought further to extend itself to the credit and good name of one another. As dear ought the good name of the wife be unto the husband, and of the husband to the wife, as their own. The great regard that Joseph had of the credit of Mary his espoused wife, made him think of putting her away privily when he observed her to be with child and knew not of whom: for he was not willing to make her a public example. The same respect moved Bathsheba to send secretly to David, and tell him that she was with child. The commendation which the good husband [noted by Solomon] giveth of his wife being approved by the Holy Ghost, sheweth how man and wife ought in that respect to honour each other: and that on good grounds. For

1. A good name is a most precious thing: better than precious ointment, which giveth a sweet savour, and to be chosen above great riches.

2. So nearly are husbands and wives joined together, as the good name of the one cannot but tend to the honour and credit of the other; so that herein they seek their own honour also.

32. Of husbands and wives preventing each other's discredit.

For direction herein, consider we how this duty may be performed, and how it may be manifested.

For the better performing of it, care must be had both to prevent and redress an ill name, and also to procure and preserve a good name.

To prevent an ill name respect must be had of these three things following,

1. What one relateth of another, and how.

2. What ear they give to things related by others.

3. What censure they give of one another.

For the first, husbands and wives may in no case delight to discover unto others, and spread abroad the infirmities, and imperfections of one another, or any thing that may tend to the discredit of either of them: but rather cover and conceal them as much as they may with a good conscience. It is expressed that Joseph being a just man laboured to conceal that blemish which he imagined to be in his wife, so as this may stand with justice: yea also it is a part of love, for love covereth a multitude of sins.

For the second, husbands and wives must not have their ears wide opened to hear every tale and report that shall be brought to one against the other, but rather shew themselves displeased and offended with them that are ready to relate things of evil report. If an husband or wife manifest a willingness to hearken after tales and reports of one another, the devil will stir up instruments enough to fill their heads with tales, and those for the most part both frivolous and forged: not only strangers, but children, servants, and they which are of the same family will ever be telling some tale or other, to curry favour, as we speak. But an utter dislike of such flattering tale bearers, will take away occasion from them of telling untrue, or slight reports.

For the third, the judgment and censure which husbands and wives give one of another must either be very charitable, or very sparing. If one hear reported any notorious crime of the other, they may not be over-heady or hasty to judge and condemn, not though they think they see some evidence thereof, but rather suspend their judgment. This seemeth to be the mind of Joseph: though he observed Mary to be with child, yet would he not presently judge her to be a notorious adulteress, or condemn her for an hypocrite, unworthy to live, and therefore would not make her a public example.

In brief, that husbands and wives may be the more sparing in censuring one another, they must not rashly believe any evil report of one another, but rather suppress all light suspicions as much as they can.

That the judgment which they give one of another, may be charitable, in judging they must well observe the properties of love, which are 1. To interpret doubtful things in the better part. 2. To mitigate, so far as truth and justice will suffer, the faults which are evident. Michal offended against the first in an high degree, and was cursed. Abigail observed the latter, and was blessed.

33. Of the wisdom of husbands and wives, in redressing one another's ill name.

To redress an ill name, husbands and wives must first give one another notice of the report that goeth of them, and endeavour to work in them both a sight, and also a sense of those evils which are in the mouths of others: after notice given, they must labour to bring them to repentance of those sins, for which they are ill reported of, and to a manifestation of repentance, by doing things meet for repentance, which is by a zealous and conscionable practise of such virtues as are clean contrary to the vices for which they were evil spoken of. It may with good probability be gathered out of the histories of the Levite, whose wife played the whore, that thus he dealt with her. And thus Abigail endeavoured to deal with her husband.

34. Of husbands' and wives' care in procuring one another's good name.

To procure a good report, husbands and wives must

First, take notice of the good qualities which are in one another, and as one hath occasion to speak of the other, to make those good qualities the subject of their speech: as we heard it before commended in the husband of that wife which is described by Solomon.

Secondly, they must lend a willing and joyful ear to such as shall [so far as they can conceive] truly and unfeignedly, without flattery or hypocrisy, speak any thing in commendation of the one or of the other: not thinking themselves dispraised [which is the conceit of many] when their bed-fellow is praised: but rather having their hearts the more enlarged to praise God, for bestowing on them such an excellent token and pledge of his favour.

Thirdly, they must imitate those good things which they behold, or hear to be in one another, and so imitate them as they which have before time known both husband and wife, may say, this she learned of him, or this he learned of her.

35. Of husbands' and wives' wisdom, in preserving each other's good name.

To preserve a good name, it will be meet for an husband or wife, wisely and seasonably to give one another notice of that good fame which is raised of them, thereby to provoke them both to give glory to God for the same [as the Apostle thanketh God for that report which was spread abroad of the faith and love of the Colossians] and also to walk worthy of that good report [as the Apostle who had given a great testimony of the bounty of the Corinthians], earnestly exhorteth them to finish their benevolence, lest [saith he] I should be ashamed in this my constant boasting. For if they of whom there is once a good report raised, decay, wax cold, grow backward, or fall into notorious and scandalous sins, they will clean extinguish and put out their good name among men, and turn it into an evil report, according to that which Solomon saith, Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.

36. Of husbands' and wives' like affection towards one another's credit.

In the last place, to manifest a mutual provident care of one another's good name, husbands and wives must be so affected with the report that goeth of either of them, as if the report were of their own selves. If the report be good, to be glad thereof, and to rejoice thereat; if it be evil, to be grieved, and after an holy manner vexed at it: thus shall they shew a true sympathy and fellow-feeling of one another's credit, according to that general rule of the Apostle's, Rejoice with them that rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

37. Of the vices contrary to that mutual care, which man and wife should have of one another's credit.

Vices contrary to these duties concerning the good name of an husband and wife, are in general two.

One is a readiness to disgrace and discredit one another, like Michal the wife of David, of whom we heard before. A hateful and detestable vice this is, which cannot stand with true matrimonial love, but rather argueth an utter dislike, and a plain hatred of one another.

Husbands and wives discredit one another, either by procuring an ill name, or hindering a good name.

An ill name is procured by these means following.

1. By blazing abroad one another's infirmities: as when tattling Gossips meet, their usual prate is about their husbands, complaining of some vice or other in them: My husband, saith one, is covetous: I cannot get of him any thing almost: he maketh me go as no body goeth, And my husband, replieth another, is so furious as none can tell how to speak to him: so one after another goeth on in this track, some discovering such infirmities as should be concealed; others [which is worse] plainly belying their husbands. In like manner also husbands when they meet with their boon companions, make their wives the common subject of all their talk: one accusing his wife of one vice; another his, of another. There are two respects for which this vice [most detestable in itself] is made more odious in an husband or a wife. 1. Because they know more than any other of one another's infirmities: so as if they be so evilly minded, they may much more discredit one another, than any other can. 2. Because in regard of their near union they are most bound to conceal and cover each other's nakedness, but a more horrible curse do husbands and wives deserve, that so do.

2. By opening their ears, and giving credit to every light report that any shall raise. More secret heart-burning of one against the other, and more open quarrels and contentions betwixt them, ordinarily arise from hence than from any other thing.

3. By perverting and misinterpreting one another's actions, words, yea and thoughts also: taking every thing in the worst part.

4. By concealing from one another the common evil rumours which are raised of them, and are in every man's mouth: of all other, bedfellows are most fit to disclose such things one to another: and most bound to do it. Most fit, because of their mutual familiarity: most bound, because of their near union..

Many husbands and wives do hinder one another's good name by envying one at the good report that is made of the other, and gainsaying the same: as if the credit of the one must needs turn to the discredit of the other. Thus as water quencheth hot iron, so this envious disposition is a means to extinguish the heat of same, and to put out the glorious light of a good name. Whereby as they impair the credit and honour of one another, so they monstrously discredit and dishonour themselves.

The other general vice in this kind, is a careless regard, or plain neglect of one another's fame: when the husband is no way affected with any report that goeth of his wife, nor the wife with any of the husband: but as if they were mere strangers one to another, they pass by all reports made of one another. What mutual love can there be in such? Howsoever their hands have been joined together, surely their hearts were never united, so as it had been better they had never known one another, unless the Lord do afterwards knit their hearts, and unite their affections more nearly and firmly together.

38. Of husbands' and wives' mutual providence about the goods of the family.

Yet there remainth one thing more, whereabout husbands and wives ought to manifest a mutual provident care each over other: and that is about the goods of this world. Howsoever the husband, while he liveth with his wife, hath the truest property in them, and the greatest title unto them, yet I refer this to those mutual duties which man and wife owe each to other, in three respects.

First, because in conscience they appertain to the use of the wife, as well as of the husband.

Secondly, because the wife is by God's providence appointed a joint governour with the husband of the family, and in that respect ought to be an help in providing such a sufficiency of the goods of this world, as are needful for that estate wherein God hath set them, and for that charge which God hath committed to them.

Thirdly, because the wife, if she survive the husband, ought to have such a portion of those goods, as are meet for her place and charge.

In these respects we see it requisite, yea a bounden duty, that husband and wife, even in a mutual regard one of another, be as provident as they can be with a good conscience in getting, keeping, and disposing competent goods and riches for the mutual good one of another. Concerning the husband's duty in this respect no question is made: the practise of all good husbands mentioned in Scripture, the care of providing for their own enjoined to them, their place and office to be their wives' head, with many other like arguments, whereof we shall more distinctly speak, when we come to declare the particular duties of husbands, do prove as much. The greatest question is concerning the wife, whether she be bound to take any care about the goods. But if the Scripture be thoroughly searched, we shall find proof enough to shew that even she also is bound hereunto. For first, the general end which God aimed at in making the woman [namely to be an help to man] implieth as much: for herein may she be a very great help, as we shall see by and by in sundry particulars. 2. That general property attributed to a wife to be a good thing confirmeth as much: for that which is profitable is called good: and it is one respect wherein a wife is termed a good thing, that she may by her providence and diligence bring much profit to her husband: and therefore in this, among other respects, the good wife which Solomon describeth, is said to do good to her husband all the days of her life: for by her industry and providence she did so preserve and increase his goods, that the heart of her husband trusted in her, and he had no need of spoil. If the particular actions whereby that good wife is described be well noted, we may easily observe that she was an especial help unto her husband, even in his outward estate. From all which, we may infer these two points. First, that this provident care about outward temporal goods is lawful, not unbeseeming a Christian man or woman. Secondly, that it is a mutual duty appertaining both to husband and wife.

For the first, how needful the goods of this world are for preservation of life and health, estate of the family, good of the Church and Commonwealth, release of the poor, with the like uses, no man can be ignorant. God hath given them as blessings to his children, and that often times in great abundance; and his children have accordingly been thankful for them: so as a provident care about them is not unlawful, but very expedient and needful.

For the second, If there should not be a joint care herein, the care and pains of the one might be altogether in vain. For suppose an husband be industrious, as Jacob was, and get much abroad, if the wife either by her unthriftiness, idleness, negligence, or the like vices, suffer that which is brought home to be embezzled and wasted; or by her prodigality, bravery, or love of vain company, consume it herself, where will be the profit of the husband's pains? Or on the other side, if a wife should be as painful and prosperous in getting, as the good housewife before mentioned was, and the husband by carding, dicing, drinking, revelling, or other like means should waste all away, what fruit would remain of the wife's providence? In this mutual provident care of husband and wife, each of them must have an eye to their own place: affairs abroad do most appertain to the man, and are especially to be ordered by him: that which the wife is especially to care for, is the business of the house: for the Apostle layeth it down as a rule for wives [as we shall hereafter more particularly declare] that they keep at home, and govern the house. By this means may they be very profitable each to other.

39. Of the vices contrary to the good providence of husband and wife, about the goods of the family.

Contrary to that duty, are these vices following.

1. Covetousness, and overmuch care for themselves: as when an husband so raketh, and scrapeth, and hordeth up for himself as he neither affordeth unto his wife so much as is meet for her place while he liveth with her, nor thinketh of providing sufficient maintenance for her, if she over-live him, but rather thinketh how to defraud her of that which the law casteth upon her. Or when a wife secretly hordeth up whatsoever she can get, either by her own industry, or else by purloining from her husband: sometimes selling corn, wares, household-stuff, or other like commodities, so privily as the husband shall never know it: sometimes taking money out of his counter, box, bag, chest, or the like, so as either it shall not be missed, or if it be, it shall not be known who had it. Many there be who in mistrust of their husband's providence, or in dislike of them, or on some other by-respects, commit whatsoever they can get to the trust and custody of others, whereby it oft cometh to pass, that they themselves, meeting with deceitful friends, are utterly defeated, even because they dare not make their fraud known. As covetousness is in itself an odious sin; so it is made much more heinous by defrauding husband or wife, who ought to be as dear each to other as themselves.

2. Prodigality, and too lavish spending upon themselves, and those things which are most agreeable to their own corrupt humour: as when husbands without any mean or measure, spend their goods abroad in hunting, hawking, carding, dicing, eating, drinking, or the like, and suffer their wives to want at home, and yet took their wives to maintain them, and therefore had their portion. Or when wives bring their husbands into debt, and weaken, if not clean overthrow their estate, by gorgeous decking and adorning their houses, by brave and costly apparel, by dainty fare, by gossipping abroad, with the like. Many wives are so violent herein, that if their desire and humour be not satisfied, their husbands shall have no rest [forsooth they brought a portion, and maintained they must and will be; it skilleth not whether their husband's estate can bear it or no] in so much as many are forced wittingly, for quietness sake, to suffer their estate to sink. O foolish and wretched wives! how little do they consider that they were married to do their husband's good, and not evil all the days of their life? is this to be an help to man? or rather is it not clean to thwart God's counsel, and pervert his purpose? can we think that God will forbear, and not be avenged of them? yet must more will God be avenged of the forenamed husbands, because of that image of himself which he hath placed in them, and because of that place and authority wherein he hath set them. The Apostle expressly saith of them, that they are worse then infidels, which being so, they must look for the greater judgment.

3. Idleness, and a careless neglect of their estate. Many men spend day after day, like a bird that flieth up and down, as it falleth out, from tree to tree, from twig to twig: they go from place to place, but know not for what end: as they meet with any company, so they abide as long as the company tarrieth, and then seek after other company, and are ready to go with any to ale-house, tavern, play-house, bowling-alley, or other like places. Many women also spend all the forenoon in lying a bed and tiring themselves, and the afternoon as occasion is offered in sitting idly at home, or walking forth to little purpose, but only to wear out time, little regarding their husband's estate, whether it increase, or diminish. Thus by the idleness and carelesness of husband and wife, come fair estates many times to ruin, and both of them brought to penury and beggary.

40. Of husbands' and wives' joint care in governing the family.

Hitherto I have delivered such common duties as mutually respect the husband and wife, and are to be performed by each to other. There are other common duties which they are both jointly bound to perform to other persons: and those either members of the family, or strangers comming to the family.

Concerning the members of the family, though there be some peculiar duties belonging to the master, and some to the mistress, some to the father, and some to the mother, of which we shall speak in their due place; yet in general the government of the family, and the several members thereof belongeth to the husband and wife both [if at least they have a family] and a joint common duty it is to be helpful one to another therein.

Object. Seeing it is not necessarily required, that a husband and wife should have a family to govern, for two may be married and have neither children nor servants [as many are] and yet be true husband and wife; why is this care of a family ranked among the duties of husband and wife?

Answ. 1. Because ordinarily when two are married they gather a family, and are the governours thereof: so as though it fail in some particulars, yet for the most part it holdeth.

2. Because the joint government whereof I speak in this place is by virtue of the marriage-bond: for if a man and a woman should live together in an house, and by mutual consent have a joint authority and government, this would be very offensive to all that should know it, or hear of it: neither were they by any ordinance of God bound to be so helpful one to another as husband and wife: nor the members of a family so bound to subject themselves to both.

3. The duty whereof I speak, though it be about the government of a family, yet hath it respect to an husband as he is an husband, and to a wife as she is a wife; namely, that by virtue of their marriage-bond, and near union, they be helpful one to another in well-ordering the things of the family.

Whether the man ought to look to the good government of his house is a question without all question. He is the highest in the family, and hath both authority over all, and the charge of all is committed to his charge: he is as a King in his own house: as a King is to see that land well governed where he is King, so he that is the chief ruler in an house. The duty which the Apostle appertaineth to all husbands, that they rule their own house honestly: and again, that they be such as can rule their children well, and their own households. The care of many husbands is in this respect commended in Scripture, as of Abram, of Jacob, of Joshua, of David, the Ruler at Galilee, and of many other. That the wife also ought to be an help to him therein, is very evident: for the Apostle layeth it expressly to their charge, that they govern the house: would the wise-man have so highly commended a wife for well governing her husband's house if it had not appertained to her? It is very likely that wife Abigail had a great hand in governing Nabal's house, because the servants made complaint to her of Nabal's churlishness, and because she had the servants at command, readily to do what she would have them; yea also, because she could so readily prepare such store of provision for David and his men, as she did. Hence is it that the wife is called mistress of the house, as well as the husband master of the house.

Object. A woman is not to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man.

Answ. 1. That branch of teaching hath respect to public assemblies, and Churches, in which she may not teach: but not to private families, in which she may, and ought to teach: for Bathshebah taught Solomon. When Apollos was brought to the house of Aquila, Priscilla the wife of Aquila did help to expound to Apollos the way of God more perfectly.

2. The other branch concerning authority, hath not reference to the inferiour members in the family, over which the wife of an houshold governour hath authority, but only to the husband, over whom if she take any authority, she usurpeth it. Therefore neither this place of Scripture, nor any other doth exclude the wife, being jointly considered with the husband, to rule and govern those in the family which are under them both.

2. Object. This joint government of the wife doth much impair the dignity and authority of the husband.

Answ. Nothing less: for she is subordinate to her husband, and must so rule others as she be subject to her husband, and not command any thing against his command, [provided that his command be not against the Lord, and his word]. We see that in all estates the King or highest governour hath other Magistrates under him, who have a command over the subjects, and yet thereby the King's supreme authority is no whit impaired, but rather the better established, and he the more honoured. So is it in a family.

Let therefore husbands and wives herein assist one another, for so they may be very helpful one to another, and bring, by their mutual help in governing, much good to the family. The husband by his help aiding his wife, addeth much authority unto her, and so causeth that she is not despised, nor lightly esteemed. The wife by her help causeth many things to be espied, and so redressed, which otherwise might never have been found out: for two eyes see more than one, especially when one of those is more at hand, and in presence, as the wife is in the house.

Besides there are many things in well governing a family more fit for one to meddle withal than for the other: as for the husband to meddle with the great and weighty affairs of the family [as performing God's worship, appointing and settling good orders, providing convenient house-room, and other necessaries for the family: keeping children when they grow great, or wax stubborn, in awe: ruling men servants, with the like]. And for the wife to meddle with some less, but very needful matters, as nourishing and instructing children when they are young, adorning the house, ordering the provision brought into the house, ruling maid servants, with the like. Yea further, as the man especially is to perform the very actions of prayer, reading the word, catechizing, and other like duties in the family, so the wife may be a great help in putting her husband in mind both of the duty itself, and of the time of performing it, and encouraging him to do it, in gathering the family together, and exhorting them to be forward, in making herself an example to the rest by her diligent and reverend attention, in oft urging and pressing to her children and servants such points of instruction as her husband hath taught; yea, in praying, reading, teaching, and performing like exercises herself, so far as she is able, when her husband is absent, or negligent and careless, and will not himself do them; or it may be, is not able to do them: or if she perform them not herself, in getting some other to perform them.

41. Of the vices contrary to a joint care of governing the family.

The mind and practise of many, both husbands and wives, is contrary to this duty.

Many a husband because the wife's office is especially to abide at home, will put off all government to the wife: leaving it to her not only to order the things in the house, but also to bring in all needful things, to order and govern the children both young and old, yea even to provide for them also, to take in, to put out, to use all sorts of servants as pleaseth her: yea, if servants shall be stubborn and stout against her, he will take no notice of it, nor endure to be told of it, much less afford her his assistance, but suffer her to be disgraced and despised. As for religious duties, he will no way meddle with them. Oh base minded men, unworthy to be husbands and heaves of wives! shall your wives who were made to be an help to you, have no help from you, no not in those things which especially belong to your charge? shall the weaker vessels bear all the burden? Assuredly as the man carrieth away the greatest reputation and honour when a family is well governed [though it be by the joint care and wisdom of his wife] so lieth he most open to the judgment of God if the government thereof be neglected, and through the neglect thereof, children and servants grow impious: instance Eli, and David. For as in a Commonwealth, the greatest honour of good government, victorious battles, happy peace, and prosperity, and the greatest dishonour and damage of the contrary, redoundeth to the King, so to the man who is chief governour in a family: for it is presupposed, that all which do any good are instruments of the highest governour: if any evil or mischief fall out, that it is through his negligence.

On the other side, because the husband is the most principal, many wives think that the government of the family nothing at all appertains to them, and thereupon are careless of the good thereof, and will not stir their least finger to order any thing aright: but, if any thing be amiss, lay all the blame on their husbands. Do not such pervert that main end for which God made them, even to be an help? Do they not carry themselves most unworthy of the place wherein God hath set them, namely to be joint-governours with their husbands, and partakers of their dignities? As by their negligence they make themselves accessory to all the evil which falleth out in the family, so assuredly shall they have their part in those judgments which are executed on the head thereof.

Most contrary to the forenamed duty is the practise of such as are hinderances one to another in governing the family: as when wives are not only negligent themselves in coming to religious exercises, but keep back children and servants, and so are a great grief unto their religious husbands: or when they use any of the children or servants to be instruments of iniquity; or are themselves disquiet and troublesome in the house, like to her of whom Solomon speaketh in this proverb, It is better to dwell in the corner of the house top, than with a contentious woman in a wide house.

Husbands also are oft an hinderance to that good government which their wives would help forward, when they scoff and scorn at that good counsel which their wives give them for that purpose, or when they will not suffer their wives to meddle with any thing at all, nor endure that they should find any fault, much less take in hand to redress any thing that is amiss. These and such like perverse dispositions are in husbands and wives, whereby it cometh to pass that they who were joined together to be a mutual help each to other, prove heavy, yea intolerable burdens.

42. Of husbands' and wives' mutual help in hospitality.

The next common duty of husband and wife respecteth such as come to their house, but are no particular members thereof, whether they be kindred, alliance, acquaintance, or strangers, especially if they be Saints, to whom hospitality, that is, a kind and courteous entertainment, is due. Herein therefore must husbands and wives be helpful one to another: for as it is required of husbands, so also of wives to be harborous, namely while they are married, together with their husbands, and when they are widows, of themselves. Abraham and Sarah were herein an help one to another, when the three Angels in shapes of men came to their house: so were the Shunammite and her husband when Elisha the Prophet came to their house.

For hospitality, that it is a commendable duty belonging to such as are house-keepers and able to give entertainment, is evident by the precepts and examples before specified, as also by the blessing which God thereupon hath brought to the houses of them that were given thereunto, which the Apostle intimateth in these words, thereby some have entertained Angels unawares. Now therefore husbands and wives being [as we have heard] joint governours, as in other things, so in this they ought to lend an helping hand each to other, and that for these reasons.

1. Because in giving entertainment there are sundry things to be done, whereof some are proper to the husband's place, and some to the wife's. To take order for the provision of things without doors is more fit for the husband, Abraham did it: to order the smaller things within doors is more fit for the wife; that was left to Sarah.

2. Because it is meet that guests should know they are welcome both to the husband and to the wife, that so they may be the more cheerful.

3. Because a mutual consent, and cheerful help herein will be an especial means, as to manifest their mutual affection, so to hold the hearts of man and wife firm and close together, and make them the better like and love one the other: especially if the husband shall shew himself as ready and willing to entertain his wife's friends and kindred as his own, and so the wife her husband's [as they ought]. For as they themselves are made on flesh, so ought each of them to esteem of the other's friends as of their own.

4. Because thus they shew a mutual desire of bringing God's blessing on each other, and upon their whole family.

43. Of vices contrary to mutual help in hospitality.

Contrary to this duty is for the most part covetousness in the husband, and laziness in the wife. The man, because the charge of the family lieth on him, distrustfully feareth lest he should want for his own.

I deny not but that a provident care for our own, and namely for them of the family, is needful and commendable, he that provideth not for them is worse than an infidel: so as a man may be overlavish in giving entertainment, if he go beyond his means, impoverish his estate, and disable himself to provide for his own, as many do: yet when a man hath sufficient, yea and abundance, when there is no just cause, but merely upon an undue fear too carkingly, and distrustfully to pinch, and grudge to give entertainment to any, is unbeseeming a Christian, yea also to be worse than an infidel; not worthy to have an house, or any thing fit for entertainment; no nor worthy of common society.

The woman on the other side grudgeth at the pains she must take, and trouble she must undergo about entertaining guests, and thereupon is loath that any at any time should come to their house.

Concerning a wife, I deny not but that an husband may be in this kind overburdensome to her, by being too jovial, as they speak, and bringing guests too often into the house, especially if they be guests of no good name; and by that means make her even weary of her life: but yet for a wife to refuse all pains in that kind, and to be discontented when her husband invites any friends, or when any come [as the three Angels did to Abraham] unawares, argueth not a loving affection, nor a wife-like subjection unto her husband, to be in her.

These faults are so much the greater when the husband, or wife, are free and forward in entertaining their own kindred and friends: but are backward, and grudge at the entertainment of each other's friends and kindred. Hence commonly ariseth much heart-burning of one against the other: yea much jar and contention betwixt them: and from dislike of the practise of one another in this kind oft followeth a dislike of one another's person: so that as the fault is bad in itself, it proves to be much worse in the mischiefs that follow upon it.

44. Of husbands' and wives' mutual help in relieving the poor.

The last common and joint duty wherein husband and wife ought to be helpful each to other, respecteth those that are without the house, namely the poor, and such as stand in need of their help, who are to be relieved and succoured. Because man and wife usually meal together, and are joint partakers of God's good creatures, they must put one another in mind of that precept of charity which was given to the Jews when they were at their meals, send part unto them for whom none is provided. The good wife which is set forth by the Holy Ghost for a pattern and example unto others to follow, together with her husband, are noted to be helpful one to another in this duty: for she is said to stretch out her hand to the poor, and to the needy: and he is said to praise her, thereby encouraging her to hold on in doing those good things which she did. What liberty the wife hath, or how far forth she may be restrained in case her husband utterly refuse to give consent, we shall hereafter declare in the particular duties of wives: the point here noted is, that both the husband himself must according to his ability be bountiful to the poor, and suffer his wife, yea provoke her so to be, and withal allow her wherewithal to be bountiful: and that the wife also must stir up her husband to liberality in this respect, and herself open her hand to the poor in the things which lawfully she may give.

There is nothing wherby a man or wife can bring more profit to the house, than by giving to the poor: that which is given to the poor is lent to the Lord, and he will repay it with great increase: it is as seed, which being liberally sown, will bring forth a plentiful harvest: yea, it is a means to make us friends, to speak a good word for us at the bar of Christ's judgment seat: and it bringeth not only the blessing of men, but of God also, even the greatest blessing of all, the blessing of eternal life: for it is a sacrifice with which God is well pleased. The Apostle noteth this to be one of Christ's oracles, which by word of mouth he left unto his Disciples, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Besides, husbands and wives in distributing alms, may receive good direction one from another: the husband by telling the wife who are fit to be relieved [for commonly husbands better know those which are abroad out of the family] the wife by telling the husband what things are fittest to be given away: for wives commonly know of what things there is greatest store, and what may in the house be best spared.

45. Of husbands' and wives' unmercifulness to the poor.

Contrary is the unmercifulness of many husbands, who are not only hard-hearted themselves never giving any thing unless by the law of the land they be forced, and then they part with that which is given, so grudgingly, as it is nothing at all acceptable to God [for God loveth a cheerful giver] but also tie their wives' hands, and suffer them to give nothing. Wherein they bring both the cry of the poor, and also the groans and grief of a merciful wife who is thus restrained, upon their own necks, and aggravate their sin in an high degree.

On the other side, the unmercifulness of many wives is also contrary to the forenamed duty: for there are many, who though they have liberty to give of the common goods, and also allowance of their own out of which they may give, yet covetously horde up all they can get, give not a penny's worth, but rather suffer victuals and other things to perish in the house, and when they are naught to fling them away, than that any thing whilst it is good should be given out of the house. Shall not the creatures which are spoiled in an house, and the poor that have wanted, make a loud cry in the ears of the Lord against them? Yea further, many wives are grieved at their husband's bounty, and still moving him to shut his hand, and give no more. Are they not plain devils herein, opposing against that which is good?




The Third Treatise

Of Wives' Particular Duties

1. Of the general heads of this treatise.

Ephesians 5:22-24. Wives Submit yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church: and he is the Saviour of the body. Therefore as the Church is subject to Christ, so let wives be subject to their husbands in every thing.

In the particular declaration of wives' duties, the Apostle noteth two points,

1. The duty required.

2. The reason to enforce it.

In setting forth the duty, he declareth,

1. The matter wherein it consisteth.

2. The manner how it is to be performed.

In the matter we may note,

1. The thing required, subjection.

2. The person whom it respecteth, their own husbands.

The manner respecteth,

1. The quality of the subjection.

2. The extent of that subjection.

To declare the quality of wives' subjection to their husbands, two rules are set down.

1. That it be such a subjection, as should be performed to Christ [as unto the Lord].

2. That it be such a subjection as the Church performeth unto Christ [as the Church is subject to Christ].

The extent of wives' subjection doth stretch itself very far, even to all things [in everything].

The reason to enforce all these points is taken from that place of eminency and authority, wherein the husband is set above his wife: which is,

1. Propounded under the metaphor of an head [for the husband is the head of the wife].

2. Amplified by that resemblance which therein he hath unto Christ.

In which resemblance two points are noted.

1. That the husband, by virtue of his place, carrieth the very image of Christ [even as Christ is the head of the Church].

2. That the husband by virtue of his office is a protector of his wife [as he is saviour of the body].

2. Of a wife's subjection in general. (See Treatise 4, Section 2)

The first point to be handled in the treatise of wives' particular duties is the general matter of all [subjection] under which all other particulars are comprised, for it hath as large an extent as that honour which is required in the first commandment, being applied to wives. When first the Lord declared unto the woman her duty, he set it down under this phrase. Thy desire shall be subject to thine husband (Gen 3:16).

Object. That was a punishment inflicted on her for her transgression?

Answ. And a law too, for trial of her obedience, which if it be not observed, her nature will be more depraved, and her fault more increased. Besides, we cannot but think that the woman was made before the fall, that the man might rule over her. Upon this ground the Prophets and Apostles have oft urged the same. Sarah is commended for this, that she was subject to her husband (1 Peter 3:6). Hereby the Holy Ghost would teach wives, that subjection ought to be as salt to season every duty which they perform to their husband. Their very opinion, affection, speech, action, and all that concerneth the husband, must savour of subjection. Contrary is the disposition of many wives, whom ambition hath tainted and corrupted within and without: they cannot endure to hear of subjection: they imagine that they are made slaves thereby. But I hope partly by that which hath been before delivered concerning those common duties which man and wife do mutually owe each to other, and partly by the particulars which under this general are comprised, but most especially by the duties which the husband in particular oweth to his wife, it will evidently appear, that this subjection is no servitude. But were it more than it is, seeing God requireth subjection of a wife to her husband, the wife is bound to yield it. And good reason it is that she who first drew man into sin, should be now subject to him, lest by the like womanish weakness she fall again.

3. Of an husband's superiority over a wife, to be acknowledged by the wife. (See Treatise 4, Sections 6, and 7.)

The subjection which is required of a wife to her husband implieth two things.

1. That she acknowledge her husband to be her superiour.

2. That she respect him as her superiour.

That acknowledgement of the husband's superiority is twofold,

1. General of any husband.

2. Particular of her own husband.

The general is the ground of the particular: for till a wife be informed that an husband, by virtue of his place, is his wife's superiour, she will not be persuaded that her own husband is above her, or hath any authority over her.

First therefore concerning the general, I will lay down some evident and undeniable proofs, to show that an husband is his wife's superiour, and hath authority over her. The proofs are these following.

1. God of whom, the powers that be ordained, are (Rom 13:1), hath power to place his image in whom he will, and to whom God giveth superiority and authority, the same ought to be acknowledged to be due unto them. But God said of the man to the woman, he shall rule over thee (Gen 3:16).

2. Nature hath placed an eminency in the male over the female: so as where they are linked together in one yoke, it is given by nature that he should govern, she obey. This did the heathen by light of nature observe.

3. The titles and names, whereby an husband is set forth, do imply a superiority and authority in him, as Lord (1 Peter 3:6), Master (Esther), Guide (Prov 2:17), Head (1 Cor 2:3), image and glory of God (1 Cor 11:7).

4. The persons whom the husband by virtue of his place, and whom the wife by virtue of her place, represent, most evidently prove as much: for an husband representeth Christ, and a wife, the Church (Eph 5:23).

5. The circumstances noted by the Holy Ghost at the woman's creation imply no less, as that she was created after man, for man's good, and out of man's side (Gen 2:18, &c.).

6. The very attire which nature and custom of all times and places have taught women to put on, comfirmeth the same: as long hair, veils, and other coverings over the head: this and the former argument doth the Apostle himself use to this very purpose, (1 Cor 11:7, &c.).

The point then being so clear, wives ought in conscience to acknowledge as much: namely that an husband hath superiority and authority over a wife. The acknowledgement hereof is a main and principal duty, and a ground of all other duties. Till a wife be fully instructed therein and truly persuaded thereof, no duty can be performed by her as it ought: for subjection hath relation to superiority and authority. The very notation of the word implieth as much. How then can subjection be yielded, if husbands be not acknowledged superiours? It may be forced, as one King conquered in battle by another, may be compelled to yield homage to the conqueror, but yet because he still thinketh with himself, that he is no whit inferiour, he will hardly be brought willingly to yield a subject's duty to him, but rather expect a time when he may free himself and take revenge of the conqueror.

4. Of a fond conceit that husband and wife are equal.

Contrary to the forenamed subjection is the opinion of many wives, who think themselves every way as good as their husbands, and no way inferiour to them.

The reason whereof seemeth to be that small inequality which is betwixt the husband and the wife: for of all degrees wherein there is any difference betwixt person and person, there is the least disparity betwixt man and wife. Though the man be as the head, yet is the woman as the heart, which is the most excellent part of the body next the head, far more excellent than any other member under the head, and almost equal to the head in many respects, and as necessary as the head. As an evidence, that a wife is to man as the heart to the head, she was at her first creation (Gen 2:21) taken out of the side of man where his heart lieth; and though the woman was at first of the man (1 Cor 11:12) created out of his side, yet is the man also by the woman. Ever since the first creation man hath been born and brought forth out of the woman's womb: so as neither the man is without the woman, nor the woman without the man: yea, as the wife hath not power of his own body, but he wife (1 Cor 7:4). They are also heirs together of the grace of life (1 Peter 3:7). Besides, wives are mothers of the same children, whereof their husbands are fathers [for God said to both, multiply and increase- (Gen 1:28)] and mistresses of the same servants whereof they are masters [for Sarah is called mistress (Gen 16:4)] and in many other respects there is common equity betwixt husbands and wives; whence many wives gather that in all things there ought to be a mutual equality.

But from some particulars to infer a general is a very weak argument.

1. Doth it follow, that because in many things there is a common equity betwixt Judges of Office, Justices of Peace, and Constables of towns, that therefore there is in all things an equality betwixt them?

2. In many things there is not a common equity: for the husband may command his wife, but not she him.

3. Even in those things wherein there is a common equity, there is not an equality: for the husband hath ever even in all things a superiority: as if there be any difference even in the forenamed instances, the husband must have the stronger: as in giving the name of Rachel's youngest child, where the wife would have one name, the husband another, that name which the husband gave, stood (Gen 35:18).

Though there seem to be never so little disparity, yet God having so expressly appointed subjection, it ought to be acknowledged: and though husband and wife may mutually serve one another through love: yet the Apostle suffereth not a woman to rule over a man. (See Treatise 4, Section 9.)

5. Of a wife's acknowledgment of her own husband's superiority.

The truth and life of that general acknowledgment of husbands' honour, consisteth in the particular application thereof unto their own proper husbands.

The next duty therefore is, that wives acknowledge their own husbands, even those to whom by God's providence they are joined in marriage, to be worthy of an husband's honour, and to be their superiour: thus much the Apostle intendeth by that particle of restraint (Eph 5:22,24) which he useth very often: so likewise doth S. Peter, exhorting wives to be in subjection to their own husbands (1 Peter 3:1,5): and hereunto restraining the commendation of the ancient good wives, that they were in subjection to their own husbands.

Object. What if a man of mean place be married to a woman of eminent place, or a servant to be married to his mistress, or an aged woman to a youth, must such a wife acknowledge such an husband her superiour?

Answ. Yea verily: for in giving herself to be his wife, and taking him to be her husband, she advanceth him above herself, and subjecteth herself unto him. It meaneth nothing what either of them were before marriage: by virtue of that matrimonial bond the husband is made the head of his wife, though the husband were before marriage a very beggar, and of mean parentage, and the wife very wealthy and of a noble stock; or though he were her prentise, or bondslave; which also holdeth in the case betwixt an aged woman and a youth: for the Scripture hath made no exception in any of those cases.

2. Object. But what if a man of lewd and beastly conditions, as a drunkard, a glutton, a profane swaggerer, an impious swearer, and blasphemer, be married to a wife, sober, religious matron, must she account him her superiour, and worthy of an husband's honour?

Answ. Surely she must. For the evil quality and disposition of his heart and life, doth not deprive a man of that civil honour which God hath given unto him. Though an husband in regard of evil qualities may carry the image of the devil, yet in regard of his place and office he beareth the Image of God: so do Magistrates in the Commonwealth, Ministers in the Church, parents and masters in the same family. Note for our present purpose, the exhortation of S. Peter to Christian wives which had infidel husbands, Be in subjection to them: let your conversation be in fear (1 Peter 3:1,2.). If infidels carry not the devil's image, and are not, so long as they are infidels, vessels of Satan, who are? Yet wives must be subject to them, and fear them.

6. Of wives denying honor to their own husbands.

Contrary thereunto is a very perverse disposition in some wives, who think they could better subject themselves to any husband, than their own. Though in general they acknowledge that an husband is his wife's superiour, yet when the application cometh to themselves they fail, and cannot be brought to yield, that they are their husbands' inferiours. This is a vice worse than the former. For to acknowledge no husband to be superiour over his wife, but to think man and wife in all things equal, may proceed from ignorance of mind, and error of judgment. But for a wife who knoweth and acknowledgeth the general, that an husband is above his wife, to imagine that she herself is not inferiour to her husband, ariseth from monstrous self-conceit, and intolerable arrogancy, as if she herself were above her own sex, and more than a woman.

Contrary also is the practise of such women (see Treatise 2, Part 1, Section 9), as purposely marry a man so far lower than themselves, for this very end, that they may rule over their own husbands: and of others who being aged, for that end marry youths, if not very boys. A mind and practise very unseemly, and clean thwarting God's ordinance. But let them think of ruling what they list, the trust is, that they make themselves subjects both by God's law and man's: of which subjection such wives do oft feel the heaviest burden. Solomon noteth this to be one of the things for which the earth is disquieted, when a servant reigneth. Now when can a servant more domineer, than when he hath married his mistress? As for aged women who married youths, I may say [as in another case it was said] woe to thee O wife whose husband is a child. Unmeet it is that an aged man should be married to a young maid, but much more unmeet for an aged woman to be married to a youth.

7. Of a wife's inward fear of her husband.

Hitherto of a wife's acknowledgment of her husband's superiority. It followeth to speak of that answerable respect which she ought to bear towards him.

A wife-like respect of her husband consisteth in two points:

1. Reverence.

2. Obedience.

The reverence which she oweth to him is:

1. Inward.

2. Outward.

Inward reverence is an awful respect which a wife in her heart hath of her husband, esteeming him worthy of all honor for his place, and office sake, because he is her husband. Doubtless Sarah had in her heart a reverend respect and honourable esteem of her husband, when being alone, and thinking of him in her very thought she gave him this title Lord (Gen 18:12). This inward reverence the Scripture compriseth under this word Fear: as where our Apostle saith, Let the wife see that she fear her husband (Eph 5:33) and where S. Peter exhorteth wives to have their conversation in fear (1 Peter 3:2). It is no slavish fear of her husband which ought to possess the heart of a wife, dreading blows, frowns, spiteful words, or the like; but such an awful respect of him as maketh her [to use the Apostle's word] care how she may please him (1 Cor. 7:34). This wife-like fear is manifested by two effects: one is joy, when she giveth contentment to her husband, and observeth him to be pleased with that which she doth: the other is grief, when he is justly offended and grieved, especially with anything that she herself hath done.

Unless this inward reverence and due respect of an husband be first placed in the heart of a wife, either no outward reverence, and obedience will be performed at all, or if it be performed, it will be very unfound, only in show, hypocritical and deceitful: so that as good never a whit as never the better. For according to one's inward affection and disposition will the outward action and conversation be framed. Michal first despised David in her heart, and thence it followed that she uttered most unreverend and vile speeches of him, even to his face (2 Sam 6:16). Wherefore after the judgment of a wife is rightly informed of an husband's superiority, and her will persuaded to account her own husband her head and guide, it is very needful that her heart and affection be accordingly seasoned with the salt of good respect, and high esteem, which breedeth fear: And that thus her heart may be seasoned, she ought oft and seriously to meditate of his place and office, and of that honour which the Lord by virtue thereof hath planted in him. And if he have gifts worthy of his place, as knowledge, wisdom, piety, temperance, love, and the like, she ought to take notice thereof, and to think him worthy of double honor.

8. Of a wife's base esteem of her husband.

Contrary to this inward reverence of the heart is a base and vile esteem which many have of their husbands, thinking no better of them than of other men; nay worse than of others; despising their husbands in their heart, like Michal of whom we heard before. This, as it is in itself a vile vice, so is it a cause of many other vices, as of presumption, rebellion, yea and of adultery itself many times: and it is also a main hindrance of all duties.

It commonly riseth either from self-conceit [whereby wives overween their own gifts, thinking them so excellent as they need no guide or head, but are rather fit to guide and rule both their husbands and all the household: of which proud and presumptuous spirit Jezebel seemeth to be, who with an audacious and impudent face said to Ahab her husband, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? Up, I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth (1 Kings 21:7), so also all those wives which are noted to draw away their husband's hearts from the Lord, as the wives of Solomon (1 Kings 11:4), Jehoram (2 Kings 8:18), and others: which they learned of their great grandmother (Gen 3:6) Eve:] or else from some infirmities of mind or body, or of life, which they behold in their husbands [whence it cometh to pass, that many husbands who are highly honored and greatly accounted of by others, are much despised by their wives, because their wives always conversing with them are privy to such infirmities as are concealed from others]: or, which is worst of all, from unjust surmizes and suspicions, suspecting many evil things of their husbands whereof they are no way guilty, and misinterpreting, and perverting things well done, as Michael (2 Sam 6:20) perverted David's holy zeal.

For redress of this enormous vice, wives ought first in regard of themselves to purge out their hearts pride, and self-conceit, thinking humbly and lowly of themselves, and that even in regard of their sex and the weakness thereof: and if the Lord have endued them with any gift above the ordinary sort of women, to note well their own infirmities, and to lay them by their eminent gifts: thus by looking on their black feet, their proud-peacock-feathers may be cast down. Yea also when they behold any infirmities in their husbands, they ought to reflect their eyes on their own infirmities, which it may be are even as many and as grievous, if not more in number, and more heinous in their nature and kind: at least let them consider that they are subject to the same, if God leave them to the sway of their own corruption.

Secondly, wives ought in regard to their husbands to surmize no evil whereof they have not sure proof and evidence: but rather interpret every thing in better part: and follow the rule of love, which beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things (1 Cor 13:7). If they note any defects of nature, and deformity of body, or any enormous and notorious vices in their husband, then ought they to turn their eyes and thoughts from his person to his place, and from his vicious qualities to his honourable office [which is to be an husband] and this will abate that vile esteem which otherwise might be occasioned from the forenamed means.

9. Of a wife-like sobriety.

A wife's outward reverence towards her husband is a manifestation of her inward due respect of him. Now then seeing the intent of the heart, and inward disposition cannot be discerned by man simply in itself, that the husband may know his wife's good affection towards him, it is behovefull that she manifest the same by her outward reverence.

A wife's outward reverence consisteth in her reverend Gesture and Speech.

For the first, that a reverend gesture and carriage of herself to her husband, and in her husband's presence, beseemeth a wife, was of old implied by the veil which the woman used to put on, when she was brought unto her husband, as is noted in the example of Rebekah (Gen 24:65): whereunto the Apostle alludeth in these words, the woman ought to have power on her head (1 Cor 11:10). That cover on the woman's head, as in general it implied subjection, so in particular this kind of subjection, viz, a reverend carriage and gesture. But most expressly is this duty set down by S. Peter who exhorteth wives to order their conversation before their husbands, so as it be pure, with reverence (1 Peter 3:1).

This reverend conversation consisteth in a wife-like sobriety, mildness, courtesy and modesty.

By sobriety I mean such a comely, grave, and gracious carriage, as giveth evidence to the husband that his wife respecteth his place and the authority which God hath given him. Sobriety in general is required of all women by reason of their sex; and surely it doth well become them all: but much more doth it become wives: most of all, in their husbands' presence. The Apostle in particular enjoineth it to Deacons' wives, yet not so as proper unto them, but in a further respect appertaining to them not only as wives, but as the wives of Deacons (1 Tim 3:11).

Contrary to this sobriety is lightness and wantonness which vices in a wife, especially before her husband, argueth little respect, if not a plain contempt of him.

Object. Thus shall all delightful familiarity betwixt husband and wife be taken away.

Answ. Though the forenamed sobriety be opposed to lightness and wantonness, yet not to matrimonial familiarity: which is so far permitted to man and wife, as if any other man and woman should so behave themselves one towards another as a husband and wife lawfully may, it might justly be counted lightness and sin: instance the example of Isaac and Rebekah, who so sported together, as Abimalech, knowing them to be such as feared God, gathered by that sporting that they were man and wife: for he thought that otherwise they would not have been so familiar together.

This familiarity argueth both liking and love: and showeth that man and wife delight in one another's person. But the lightness here condemned in a wife, is not so much a mutual familiarity with her husband by his good liking, as a wanton dallying with others to his grief and disgrace.

10. Of a wife-like mildness.

Mildness in a wife hath respect also to the ordering of her countenance, gesture, and whole carriage before her husband, whereby she manifesteth a pleasingness to him, and a contentedness and willingness to be under him and ruled by him. Excellently is this set forth in the spouse of Christ whose eyes are said to be as dove's eyes, her lips to drop as honey combs, and she herself every way pleasant: whereupon it is noted that she appeared to her husband as the bright morning, and that his heart was wounded with her. Assuredly the clear sky is not more pleasant in time of harvest, than a mild and amiable countenance and carriage of a wife in her husband's presence. And though her husband should be of an harsh and cruel disposition, yet by this means might he be made meek and gentle. For the keepers of lions are said to bring them to some tameness by handling them gently and speaking to them fairly.

Contrary to this mildness is a frowning brow, a lowering eye, a sullen look, a pouting lip, a swelling face, a deriding mouth, a scornful cast of the arms and hands, a disdainful turning of this side and that side of the body, and a fretful flinging out of her husband's presence: all which and other like contemptuous gestures are as thick clouds overspreading the heavens in a Summer's day, which make it very uncomfortable. They oft stir up much passion in the man, and bring much mischief upon the wife herself.

11. Of wife-like courtesy and obeisance.

Courtesy is that virtue whereby a wife taketh occasion to testify her acknowledgment of her husband's superiority by some outward obeisance to him. Rebekah, so soon as she saw Isaac, whom she had taken for her husband, lighted from her camel and came to him on foot, which was a kind of obeisance. This is not so to be taken as if no difference were to be made betwixt the carriage of a servant, or child, and a wife: or as if a wife should bow at every word that she speaketh to her husband. Though in the kind and extent of many duties the same things are required of wives which are required of children and servants, because God hath made them all inferiours, and exacted subjection of all: yet in the manner and measure of many duties there is great difference: as in this, the obeisance of children and servants ought to be more submissive, and frequent. Yet because God hath placed authority in the husband over his wife, she is every way to testify her reverend respect of her husband, and therefore at some times, on some occasions [as when he is going on a journey for a time from her, or when he returneth home again, or when she hath a solemn and great suit to make unto him, or when he offereth an especial and extraordinary favor unto her, or (as I have observed such wives as know what beseemeth their place, and are not ashamed to manifest as much) when she sitteth down or riseth up from table] to declare her reverence by some obeisance. This cannot but much work on the heart of a good and kind husband, and make him the more to respect his wife, when he beholdeth this evidence of her respect to him. Yea it cannot but be a good pattern to children and servants, and a motive to stir them up to yield all submissive obeisance both to their husband and to herself. For it may make them thus to reason with themselves, shall we scorn or think much to yield that to our father or master when our mother or mistress thinketh not much to yield to her husband? Shall she bow to him, and shall not we much more bow to her? Thus a wife's honouring of her husband by yielding obesiance to him, maketh both him and herself to be more honoured of others.

Contrary minded are they, who not only altogether omit this duty, but also gibe and scoff at the very hearing thereof, saying, thus wives shall be made no better than children or servants. But though scornful dames deride these outward evidences of their subjection, yet such wives as fear the Lord ought not to be hindered thereby from doing their duty: for by such evil examples they might be discouraged from every good duty. It is sufficient that such holy women as trusted in God so behaved themselves. But for this particular, we know that equals scorn not upon occasions to perform this kind of courtesy in making obesiance one to another: how much less ought wives, who are their husbands' inferiours?

12. Of wife-like modesty in apparel.

Modesty appertaining to a wife is much manifested in her apparel. S. Paul requireth this modesty in general of all sorts of women: but S. Peter presseth it in particular upon wives. For as it well beseemeth all women, so wives after a peculiar manner, namely, in attiring themselves, to respect rather their husband's place and state, than their own birth and parentage, but much rather than their own mind and humour. A wife's modesty therefore requireth that her apparel be neither for costliness above her husband's ability, nor for curiousness unbeseeming his calling. As a poor man's wife must not affect costly apparel, so neither Ministers, grave Counsellors, sage Magistrates, no nor conscionable Professor's wives, hunt after new fashions, or in light and garish apparel attire themselves. It is a token of great reverence in a wife towards her husband, to have an eye to his place and state in her apparel.

On the contrary, such proud dames as must have their own will in their attire, and think it nothing appertaineth to their husbands to order them therein, who care not what their husband's ability, or what his place and calling be, they show little respect and reverence to their husbands. Such are they, who are no whit moved with their husband's example: but though the man's apparel be plain and grave, yet the wife's shall be costly and garish. Yea many there be that stand in some more awe of their husband's sight, but show little more respect unto him, who have their silken gowns, beaver hats, and other like attire not agreeable to their place and state, lie in the country, in a friend's house where their husbands shall not know it, and when their husbands are not with them, wear them, and paint their faces, lay out their hair, and in every thing follow the fashion. What can they which behold this think, but that such a wife's care is more to please other light vain persons, than her grave, discrete husband: or that her husband can nothing at all prevail with her: which as it staineth her own credit, so it leaveth a blot of dishonour even upon him. If the care of a wife were to give evidence of the reverence which she beareth to her husband, his desire and example would in this respect more prevail with her, than the humour of her own heart.

13. Of wife-like reverend speech to her husband. (See Treatise 4, Section 24.)

As by gesture, so by speech also, must a wife's reverence be manifested: this must be answerable to that. For by words as well as by deeds, the affection of the heart is manifested, Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh (Matt 12:34). A wife's reverence is manifested by her speech, both in her husband's presence, and also in his absence. For this end in his presence her words must be few, reverend and meek. First few: For the Apostle enjoineth silence (1 Tim 2:12) to wives in their husband's presence, and enforceth that duty with a strong reason in these words: I permit not the woman to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence: the inference of the latter clause upon the former showeth that he speaketh not only of a woman's silence in the Church, but also of a wife's silence before her husband: which is further cleared by another like place, where the same Apostle enjoineth wives to learn of their husbands at home (1 Cor 14:35). The reason before mentioned for silence, on the one side implieth a reverend subjection, as on the other side too much speech implieth an usurpation of authority.

Object. Then belike a wife must always mute before her husband.

Answ. No such matter: for silence in that place is not opposed to speech, as if she should not speak at all, but to loquacity, to talkativeness, to over-much tattling: her husband's presence must somewhat restrain her tongue, and so will her very silence testify a reverend respect. Otherwise silence, as it is opposed to speech, would imply stoutness of stomach, and stubbornness of heart, which is an extreme contrary to loquacity. But the mean betwixt both, is for a wife to be sparing in speech, to expect a fit time and just occasion of speech, to be willing to hearken to the word of knowledge coming out of her husband's mouth. This argueth reverence. Elihu (Job 32:6) manifested the reverend respect, which as a younger he bare to his elders, by forbearing to speak while they had any thing to say. How much more ought wives in regard both of their sex and of their place?

Contrary is their practice, who must and will have all the prate. If their husbands have begun to speak, their slippery tongues cannot expect and tarry till they have done: if [as very hasty and forward they are to speak] they prevent not their husband's, they will surely take that tale out of his mouth before he have done: Thus they disgrace themselves, and dishonour their hubands.

14. Of the titles which wives give their husbands. (See Treatise 4, Section 24.)

As their words must be few, so those few words must be reverend and meek: both which are also implied under the forenamed word silence (1 Tim 2:12): which in the original signifieth also quietness.

Reverence hath respect to the titles whereby a wife nameth her husband. Meekness to the manner of framing her speech to him.

For the titles which a wife in speaking to her husband, or naming him, giveth unto him, they must be such as signify superiority, and so savour of reverence. Such are the titles wherewith husbands are named in the Scriptures (see 3); they are titles of honor. Such also are the titles which the Church [who by our Apostle is made a pattern for wives in all subjection] giveth to her Spouse Christ Jesus, as may be gathered out of the Song of Songs. It is likely that Sarah did usually giveth his title Lord to her husband. For having occasion to think of him, presently this title Lord (Gen 18:12) was in her heart: which would not so suddenly have risen up, if she had not ordinarily used it. Accordingly to the usual titles which we give to any, do we in our hearts name them, when we have occasion to think of them. Among all other titles the name husband, as it is the most usual, so it is the fittest and meetest title. It intimateth reverence, and savoureth not of niceness and singularity, as these titles, Head, Guide, Master, Man, and the like do: which though they be lawful titles, because the Scripture attributeth them to husbands, and they signify superiority, yet because they are unusual and savour of singularity, they are not so meet. Common use and practice hath made the addition of the husband's surname to this title Master, more meet.

S. Peter (1 Peter 3:6) by this argument proveth that Sarah obeyed Abraham, because she called him Lord.

Contrary are those compellations which argue equality or inferiority rather than superiority, as Brother, Cousin, Friend, Man, &c. if a stranger be in presence, how can he tell by this manner of compellation, that he whom thou speakest unto is thy husband? If he espy any matrimonial familiarity betwixt you, what can he judge of it otherwise to be, but lightness and wantonness? Remember the fearful issue that had like to have fallen out by reason of such compellations given by Sarah (Gen 12:19; 20:2) and Rebekah (Gen 26:9) to their husbands. Not unlike to those are such as these, Sweet, Sweeting, Heart, Sweet-heart, Love, Joy, Dear, &c. and such as these Duck, Chick, Pigsnie, &c. and husbands Christian names, as John, Thomas, William, Henry, &c. which if they be contracted [as many use to contract them thus, Jack, Tom, Will, Hall] they are much more unseemly: servants are usually so called.

But what may we say of those titles given to an husband by his wife, not seldom in passion, but usually in ordinary speech, which are not fit to be given to the basest men that be, as Grub, Rogue, and the like, which I am even ashamed to name, but that the sins of women are to be cast as dirt on their faces, that they may be the more ashamed?

Object. Many of the forenamed titles are titles of amity and familiarity.

Answ. Subjection is that mark which wives are directed to aim at in their thoughts, words, deeds, and whole conversation towards their husbands. Such tokens of familiarity as are not withal tokens of subjection and reverence, are unbeseeming a wife, because they serve from that mark.

15. Of wives' meekness to their speeches. (See Treatise 4, Section 24, &c.)

Meekness in a wife's manner of framing her speech to her husband, doth also commend her reverend respect of him. This is an especial effect of that meek and quiet spirit which S. Peter requireth of wives; which duly he doth strongly enforce by this weighty argument, which is before God a thing much set by (1 Peter 3:4). Is a wife's meekness much set by before God, and shall not wives hold it both a bounden duty, and comely ornament, and grace unto them? As a form of words which a wife useth in asking or answering questions, or any other kind of discourse which she holdeth with her husband, so her moderation in persisting, arguing and pressing matters, yea and the mild composition of her countenance in speaking, declare her meekness. If she be desirous to obtain anything of him, fairly she must entreat it, as the Shunammite (2 Kings 4:10): If she would move him to perform a bounden duty, mildly she must persuade him. If she would restrain and keep him from doing that which is evil, even that also she must do with some meekness, as Pilate's wife (Matt 17:19): If she have occasion to tell him of a fault, therein she ought to manifest humility and reverence, by observing a fit season, and doing it after a gentle manner as Abigail (2 Sam. 25:31-37): who as she wisely behaved herself in this respect with her husband in observing a fit season, so also with David by intimating his fault unto him, rather than plainly reproving him, when she said, It shall be no grief nor offence unto my Lord, that he hath not shed blood causeless. This meekness requireth also silence and patience, even when she is reproved.

Contrary is the waspish and shrewish disposition of many wives to their husbands, who care not how hastily and unadvisedly they speak to them, like Rachel (Gen 30:1); nor how angrily and chidingly, like Jezebel (1 Kings 21:7); nor how disdainfully, and spitefully, like Zipporah (Exo 4:25-26); nor how scoffingly, and srumpingly, like Michal (2 Sam 6:20); nor how reproachfully and disgracefully, like Job's wife (Job 2:9). If they be reproved by their husbands, their husbands shall be reproached by them: and they are ready to answer again, not only word for word, but ten for one. Many wives by their shrewish speeches, show no more respect to their husbands, than to their servants, if so much. The least occasion moveth them not only inwardly to be angry and fret against them, but also outwardly to manifest the same by chiding and brawling. The very object whereupon many wives usually spit out their venomous words, is their husband; when their stomachs are full, they must needs ease them on their husbands: wherein their fault is doubled.

Let wives therefore learn first to moderate their passion, and then to keep in their tongues with bit and bridle, but most of all to take heed that their husbands taste not the bitterness thereof, no not though they should by some oversight of their husband's be provoked. It is to be noted how Solomon calleth the jars which are between man and wife, the contentions of a wife (Prov 19:13), whereby he intimateth that she commonly is the cause thereof, either by provoking her husband, or not bearing with him.

16. Of a wife's speech of her husband in his absence. (See Treatise 2, Part 2, Section 36.)

The reverence which a wife beareth to her husband, must further be manifested by her speeches of him in his absence. So did Sarah manifest her reverence, and so must all such as desire to be accounted the daughters of Sarah. The Church speaking of her Spouse, doth it with as great reverence sake, that the virgin Mary called Joseph the Father of Jesus, when she spake of him.

This showeth that a wife's reverend speeches in presence of her husband and to his face, are not in flattery to please him and fawn upon him, but in sincerity to please God and perform her duty.

Contrary therefore to their duty deal they, who in presence can afford the fairest and meekest speeches that may be to their husband's face, but (see more hereof in Treatise 2, Part 2, Section 36) behind their backs speak most reproachfully of them.

17. Of a wife's obedience in general.

Hitherto of a wife's reverence, it followeth to speak of her obedience: The first law that ever was given to woman since her fall, laid upon her this duty of obedience to her husband, in these words, Thy desire shall be to thine husband, and he shall rule over thee (Gen 3:16). How can an husband rule over a wife, if she obey not him? The principal part of that submission which in this text (Eph 5:22), and in many other places is required of a wife, consisteth in obedience: and therefore it is expressly commended unto wives in the example of Sarah who obeyed Abraham (1 Peter 3:6). Thus by obedience doth the Church manifest her subjection to Christ.

The place wherein God hath set an husband; namely, to be an head (Eph 5:23); the authority which he hath given unto him, to be a Lord (1 Peter 3:6), do all require obedience of a wife. Is not obedience to be yielded to an Head, Lord, and Master? Take away all authority from an husband, if ye exempt a wife from obedience.

Contrary is the stoutness of such wives as must have their own will, and do what they list, or else all shall be out of quiet. Their will must be done, they must rule and over-rule all, they must command not only children and servants, but husbands also, if at least the husband will be at peace. Look into families, observe the estate and condition of many of them, and then tell me if these things be not so. If an husband be a man of courage, and seek to stand upon his right, and maintain his authority by requiring obedience of his wife, strange it is to behold what an hurly burly she will make in the house: but if he be a milk-sop, and basely yield unto his wife, and suffer her to rule, then, it may be, there shall be some outward quiet. The ground hereof is an ambitious and proud humour in women, who must needs, rule, or else they think themselves slaves. But let them think as they list: assuredly herein they thwart God's ordinance, pervert the order of nature, deface the image of Christ, overthrow the ground of all duty, hinder the good of the family, become an ill pattern to children and servants, lay themselves open to Satan, and incur many other mischiefs which cannot but follow upon the violating of this main duty of Obedience, which if it be not performed, how can other duties be expected?

18. Of the cases wherein a wife hath power to order things of the house without her husband's consent.

A wife's obedience requireth:

1. Submission.

2. Contentment.

Submission in yielding to her husband's mind and will.

Contentment in resting satisfied and content with his estate and ability (see Section 49).

That Submission consisteth in two things.

First, in abstaining from doing things against her husband's mind.

Secondly, in doing what her husband requireth. The former of these requireth that a wife have her husband's consent for the things which she doth. For the better clearing whereof we are to consider,

1. What kind of husbands they must be whose consent is required.

2. How many ways his consent may be given.

3. What are the things whereabout his consent is to be expected.

For the first, as on the one side it oft falleth out that a wife, provident, and a religious man is married to a foolish woman, a very idiot, that hath no understanding, of whom there can be no question, but that such a wife is to do nothing of herself, and of her own head, but altogether to be ordered by her husband: So on the other side, it oft falleth out that a wife virtuous, and gracious woman, is married to an husband destitute of understanding, to a very natural [as we say] or a frenzied man, or to one made very blockish, and stupid, unfit to manage his affairs through some distemper, wound, or sickness. In such a case the whole government lieth upon the wife, so as her husband's consent is not to be expected.

Quest. What if the husband be a wicked and profane man, and so blinded and stupefied in his soul, doth not this spiritual blindness and blockishness give a religious wife as great liberty as natural stupidity?

Answ. No verily: For S. Peter exhorteth faithful wives that were married to infidel husbands to be subject to them, and that in fear (1 Peter 3:1,2).

The reason is clear: For spiritual blindness disableth not from civil government: indeed nothing that such a man doth is acceptable to God, or available to his own salvation; but yet it may be profitable to man: a wicked man may be provident enough for wife, children, and whole family in outward temporal things.

Again, it oft falleth out, that an husband is a long time far off absent from the house: sometimes by reason of his calling, as an Ambassador, Soldier, or Mariner; sometimes also carelessly or willfully neglecting house, goods, wife, children and all: and in his absence hath left no order for the ordering of things at home: in this case also there is no question, but that the wife hath power to dispose that she observe those rules of God's Word concerning justice, equity, truth and mercy, which an husband in his disposing of them ought to observe.

The first of these cases declareth an impotency in the husband: the other an impossibility for him to order matters: wherefore the wife being next to the husband, the power of ordering things is devolved on her: she is not bound to have his consent.

19. Of divers kinds of consent.

1. A consent may be general or particular. A general consent is given, when without distinct respect to this or that particular, liberty is granted to a wife by her husband to do all things as seemeth good in her eyes. That excellent good wife (Prov 31:10 and on), and notable good housewife that is set forth by the wise-man, had such a consent. For first, it is said, The heart of her husband trusteth in her (v. 11); and then it is inferred, that she ordereth all the things of the house, whereof many particulars are there specified. Whence I gather, that her husband observing her to be a godly, wise, faithful, and industrious woman, gave her power and liberty to do in the household affairs, what she thought good, [he being a public Magistrate, for he was known in the gates, sitting among the Elders of the Land] (v. 23) and accordingly she used her liberty.

A particular consent is that which is given to one or more particular things, as that consent when Abraham gave to Sarah (Gen 16:6) about Hagar; and that which Elkanah gave (1 Sam 1:23) to Hannah about tarrying at home till her child was weaned.

This particular consent may be expressed or implied. An expressed consent is when the husband maintaineth his good liking by word, writing, message, or sign, and that whether his consent be asked [as was noted in the example of Elkanah] or freely offered.

An implicit consent, when by any probable conjecture it may be gathered that the husband's will is not against such a thing, though he have not manifested his mind concerning that very particular. This implicit consent may be gathered by his silence when he is present to see a thing done, or otherwise hath knowledge thereof: or else where he is absent, by his former carriage or disposition in other like cases. The Scripture accounteth an husband's silence, when he knowing a thing and may, but doth not forbid it, to be a consent: as in the case of a wife's vow (Num 30:8). For anything we read to the contrary (2 Kings 4:10,23) the Shunammite had no other consent to prepare a chamber for the Prophet, and to go unto him, than her husband's silence, and not forbidding it when he knew it.

As for the other kind of implicit consent, it may be set forth in this following instance: suppose a good wife hath an husband whom she knoweth by his former carriage and disposition to be a pitiful and charitable man, taking all occasions to show mercy, and in his absence there falleth out a fit and needful occasion of showing mercy; if she take that occasion to show mercy, she hath an implicit consent, for she may well think that if her husband knew it he would approve what she doth. It is to be supposed that Hannah upon some such ground vowed her children to God (1 Sam 1:11). For it is not likely that she who would not tarry at home to wean her child without her husband's consent, would much less vow him to the Lord [which was a far greater matter] without some persuasion of her husband's good liking thereof. Now that a wife may show she dealeth uprightly in this case upon a true persuasion of her heart concerning her husband's mind, she ought [when conveniently she can] to make known to her husband what she hath done: as without all question Hannah did; and so much may be gathered out of these words which Elkanah uttered to Hannah: the Lord establish His Word (1 Sam 1:23).

20. Of the things whereabout a wife must have her husband's consent.

The things whereabout an husband's consent is to be expected, are such as he by virtue of his place and authority hath power to order: as for example, ordering and disposing the goods, cattle, servants, and children of the family, entertaining strangers; yea, also ordering even his wife's going abroad, and making of vows, with the like: now then distinctly to lay down a wife's duty in this first branch of obedience, it is this:

A wife must do nothing which appertaineth to her husband's authority simply without, or directly against his consent. Do not these words of that old law [thy desire shall be to thy husband] imply as much? I deny not but that there may be sundry things proper and peculiar to a a wife, wherein I will not restrain her liberty: and therefore I use this phrase [which appertaineth to her husband's authority]. And I grant the forenamed general and implicit consent, to be a true consent, so as there needeth not an express particular consent for every thing, and therefore I have added these clauses [simply without, or directly against consent].

That is done simply without consent which is done without all warrant from the husband, and that so covertly as she is afraid it should come to his notice, imagining he would by no means like it: As Rachel's taking her father's idols without all consent of Jacob.

That is done directly against consent which is expressly forbidden and disclaimed by the husband.

But to defend the particulars before mentioned: First concerning the goods of the family: It is a question controverted whether the wife have power to dispose them without or against the husband's consent.

Before I determine the question, I think it needful to declare,

1. What goods.

2. What occasion of giving the question is about.

21. Of the things which a wife may dispose without her husband's consent.

1. For the goods, some are proper and peculiar to the wife: others are common. Goods proper to the wife are such as before marriage she herself, or her friends except from the husband to her sole and proper use and disposing, whereunto he also yieldeth: or such as after marriage he giveth unto her to dispose as she please: suppose it be some rent, annuity, fees, veils or the like.

These kinds of goods are exempted out of the question in hand; the wife hath liberty to dispose them as she please without any further consent than she had by virtue of her husband's former grant.

To these I may refer other goods, but of another nature, namely such as some friend of hers, suppose father, mother, brother, or any other, observing her husband to be a very hard man, not allowing sufficient for herself, much less to distribute on charitable uses, shall give unto her to dispose as she please, charging her not to let her husband know thereof. Now because it is in the power of a free donor to order his gift as he please, and because he so ordereth this gift as he will not have her husband to know of it, I doubt not but she may of herself according to the donor's mind without her husband's consent, dispose such goods. She is herein but as a feoffee in trust.

Again of common goods some are set forth by the husband to be spent about the family, other he reserveth for a stock, or to lay forth as he himself shall see occasion.

Concerning those which are set forth to be spent, I doubt now but the wife hath power to dispose them; neither is she bound to ask any further consent of her husband. For it is the wife's place and duty to guide or govern the house by virtue whereof, providing sufficiently for the family, she may, as she seeth good occasion, of such goods as are set apart to be spent, distribute to poor, or otherwise.

This I have noted for such tender consciences as think they cannot give a bit of bread, or scrap of meat to a poor body, or make a mess of broth or caudle for a sick body, except they first ask their husband's consent.

Provided that if her husband expressly forbid this liberty, she take it not except necessity require it.

But our question is concerning such goods as the husband hath not set apart, but reserveth to his own disposing.

22. Of a wife's liberty in extraordinary matters.

II. For the occasion of disposing goods it may be ordinary or extraordinary. Extraordinary for the good of the husband himself, and others in the family, or such as are out of the family. If there fall out an extraordinary occasion whereby the wife by disposing the goods without or against the consent of her husband may bring a great good to the family, or prevent and keep a great mischief from it, she is not to stay for his consent; instance the example of Abigail. (1 Sam 25:18). Thus a faithful provident wife observing her husband to riot, and to spend all he can get in carding, dicing, and drinking, may without his consent lay up what goods she can for her husband's, her own, her children's, and whole household's good. This is no part of disobedience, but a point wherein she may shew herself a great good help unto her husband; (Gen 2:18) for which end a wife was first made.

Concerning such as are out of the family, if they be in great need, and require present relief, though the wife know her husband to be so hard-hearted, as he will not suffer her to relieve such an one, yet without his consent she may relieve him. The ground of this and other like cases is that a rule laid down by the Prophets, and by Christ himself, viz. (Matt 9:13) I will have mercy and not sacrifice. If God in case of mercy dispenseth with a duty due to himself, will he not much more dispense with a duty due to an husband?

23. Of a wife's restraint in disposing goods without consent of her husband: and of the ground of that restraint. (See Treatise 4 Section 54.)

Out of all these things thus premised I gather the true state of the question in controversy concerning the power of wives in disposing the goods of the family to be this,

Whether a wife may privily and simply without, or openly and directly against her husband's consent distribute such common goods of the family as her husband reserveth to his own disposing, there being no extraordinary necessity?

The most ancient and common answer unto this question hath been negative, namely, that a wife hath not power so to do: whereunto I for my part subscribe.

The ground of this answer is taken from that primary law of the wife's subjection, Thy desire shall be unto thine husband (Gen 3:16). How is her desire subject to her husband, if in the case propounded she stand not upon his consent? It is further confirmed both by the forenamed (see Section 17), and also by all other proofs that might be produced out of the Scripture concerning the subjection of wives unto their husbands. If in ordering the goods of the family she yield not subjection, wherein shall she yield it?

Against this ground-work some object that (Gen 4:7) that same law of subjection is imposed upon a younger brother in the very same words, and yet a younger brother was not thereby bound to have his elder brother's consent in disposing his goods.

Answ. The law of the regality [as I may so speak] and pre-eminency of the first born was under those words ordained: and therefore a younger brother was made a subject to his elder, while he remained in the family, as a son to the father. The elder brother was as a lord over his other brothers: whereupon when Isaac conferred the right of the first born upon Jacob [thinking he had been his eldest son Esau] he yielded these words, Be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee. Which being so, questionless the younger brother might not simply without or directly against the elder brother's consent dispose the goods of the family: so as this objection more strongly established the forenamed argument.

Again it is objected that that old law is to be expounded of weighty matters.

Answ. The Apostle who was guided by the Spirit of the law-maker, extendeth that law to everything: But is not this matter of disposing goods a weighty matter? The consequences which I shall by and by note to follow hereupon will show it to be a matter of moment.

24. Of the example of the Shunammite in asking her husband's consent.

As another reason may be alleged the Shunammite's pattern who asked her husband's consent before she prepared the things that were thought meet for the Prophet's entertainment: and before she used the things which were for her journey.

Object. It is indeed commendable for wives to seek their husband's consent as she did, but where such consent cannot be had, it is not necessary.

Answ. This example being grounded upon a law [as we showed before (see Section 23)] it doth not only declare what may be done but also what ought to be done. And if a wife be bound to have her husband's consent for doing a thing, by consequence it followeth that she is bound from doing it, without her husband's consent.

2. Answ. They that except against this reason taken from example, use themselves the like reason in other points, as the examples of Abigail, Joanna, and Susanna for the contrary.

2. Object. In the Shunammite's example there was more than a merciful release of the Prophet, namely bringing him into the house to diet and to lodge, wherein the husband must have a chief stroke.

Answ. The Word of God maketh not that difference betwixt relieving and entertaining: it extendeth a wife's subjection to everything: wherefore the husband hath a chief stroke as well in the one as in the other.

25. Of the law of a wife's vow.

A third reason is taken from the law of a wife's vow: whereby in general is implied, that a wife might now make a vow without her husband's consent: whence it followeth as an argument taken from the greater to the less, that she may not dispose the goods without his consent. Yea, the law (v. 13) further expressly saith, that though she hath vowed, yet her husband hath power to disannull her vow. Note here, how the Lord will rather depart from His own right [as I may so speak] than have the order which He hath appointed betwixt man and woman broken. The Lord's right, was to have what was vowed to Him performed: the order which He appointed, was to have the wife subject to her husband: rather than the wife should do that which the husband would not have done, the Lord remitted a wife's vow in case her husband would not consent to have it performed. Now then I demand, is the disposing of goods a greater matter than the performing of a vow? or hath a wife in these days more liberty than in former? if she have, by what law? was there ever under the Law a straiter charge laid upon wives than this, Let wives be subject to their husbands in everything.

Object. That point of a woman's subjection in performing her vow, is a particular ruled case: but not this of disposing goods.

Answ. The Scripture by particular Laws and examples teacheth directions for other cases like to them: and arguments drawn by just and necessary consequence, are counted as found as express testimonies. Whereas it is said, that this particular in question is not expressly decided, I take the reason thereof to be this, that in former times they so well marked the extent of the general law of a wife's subjection, as they made no question of doing this or other like things without their husband's consent. Neither did good wives take that liberty, neither had they any patrons of such liberty.

2. Object. The case of a wife's disposing goods is unlike to that of vows, because vows are voluntary, but disposing goods, as a work of mercy, is necessary.

Answ. Though it were a voluntary thing to make, or not to make a vow: yet a vow being made, it was not in the power of the party that made it, not to perform it: it was a necessary duty (Num 30:3; Deut 23:21; Eccl 5:4) to perform a vow, even expressly commanded. As for the pretended work of mercy, I will hereafter (see Section 34) show, that a wife is not necessarily tied thereunto.

26. Of human laws which restrain wives from disposing goods, without or against their husband's consent.

A fourth is taken from the laws of men whereunto we are subject, and which we must obey even for conscience sake, so far as they thwart not God's Law, which in this case they do not, as the reasons before gathered out of God's Word do show.

Now our Law saith, that every gift, grant, or disposition of goods, lands, or other thing whatsoever made by a woman covert, and all and every obligation and feoffment made by her, and recovery suffered, if they be done without her husband's consent, are void. Yea, if she do wrong to another, she hath not any thing to make satisfaction during coverture: either her husband must do it, or by imprisonment of her person must it be done. And though she have inheritance of her own, yet can she not grant any annuity out of it during her coverture, without her husband: if any deed be made to that purpose without this consent, or in her name alone, it is void in law. Yea, if there be debate between the husband and his wife, whereby certain lands of the husband's be assigned to the wife with his consent, if out of such lands she grant an annuity to a stranger, the grant is void. And if the covenant to give her yearly such and such apparel, she cannot dispose it as she list without his consent, but only use and wear it herself. Neither can she lease her own land for years, for life, &c. if she do, it is void, and the leasee entering by force thereof, is a disseisor to the husband and trespasser. And if she sell anything, the sale is void, except she be a merchant, where by the custom she is enabled to merchandise. Finally, she cannot make executors without the consent of her husband, nor a devise, or will. If she make a will, and thereby devise her own inheritance, and her husband die, and she after die without any new publication of it, it is of no force, because it was void at first. These and many other like cases which might be alleged evidently show that by law a wife hath no power of herself, without her husband, to dispose the common goods of the family.

27. Of the inconvenience which may follow upon a wife's disposing goods without or against her husband's consent.

A fit reason may be taken from the mischiefs which would fall out if this liberty were given unto women: which are these that follow:

1. The estate of the family might be wasted before any redress could be thought of: for if the wife may dispose the goods without her husband's consent, it must also be granted without his knowledge: for it is to be supposed that if he knew of the disposing of that which he liketh not, he would hinder it: if without his knowledge, then may that which he thinketh to be remaining as a stock of the family, be laid out by the wife, and nothing left: whereas if he knew of the spending of that stock, it might be he would be more thrifty and sparing in other expenses.

Object. This liberty is not granted to wives beyond their husband's ability.

Answ. Wives cannot always know their husband's ability: for their husbands may be much indebted, and yet to maintain his credit, whereby he hopeth to raise his estate, may allow liberal maintenance for his house, if thereupon his wife shall gather that he is very rich, and accordingly be very bountiful in her gifts, she may soon go beyond his ability, and so increase his debt, as he shall never be able to recover himself.

2. Persons of contrary religions and dispositions being out of the family, might be maintained by the goods of the same family: for if the husband were of one religion, and the wife of another, he without her knowledge might maintain those of his religion, and she without his knowledge might maintain them of her religion.

Object. This liberty of disposing goods given to the wife is limited within the bounds of the household of faith.

Answ. If Divines grant them this liberty, they will themselves judge and determine who be of the household of faith: popish wives will say [say we what we can to the contrary] that Jesuits, Priests, and Friars, are of the household of faith, principal members thereof.

3. Many jars and contentions would thence arise betwixt husband and wife: for if a wife shall persist to do that which her husband will not consent unto, assuredly one of a thousand will not well brook it, but will rather seek all the ways he can to cross her; thinking himself despised, if she, whether he will or no, have her mind.

Object. Wives must use this liberty with all due respect unto their husband's authority.

Answ. If the husband peremptorily stand upon his authority, and by all the fair means that can be used, will not yield this liberty, I know not what better respect she can show to this authority, than to forbear and abstain from doing that which otherwise she would most gladly do. But if when it cometh to the uttermost point, and she shall say it is her right, and if she cannot have his consent, she will do it without his consent, she therein showeth no great respect.

Many other inconveniences might be reckoned up, but I will no longer insist on them, only from these let it be well considered, whether it were not better for a family, that the husband should be barred from disposing the goods without consent of his wife [so as there might be according to the proverb, but one hand in the purse] than both husband and wife to have liberty to dispose them without each other's consent.

28. Of property in goods, whether it give liberty to dispose them as a wife will.

To justify a wife's liberty in disposing the common goods of the family without here husband's consent, it is said, that she hath a true right and property in these goods.

1. Answ. Though it were granted that a wife hath a true property in the goods, yet this conclusion would not follow thereupon, that she hath power of herself to dispose the goods without her husband's consent: for the authority which God hath given an husband, and subjection which he hath laid on a wife, restrain her power and liberty that which is her own: as for example, suppose that a woman at the time of her marriage have a lease for years, or the wardship of the body and lands of an infant, or have it by gift or purchase after marriage, she cannot give it away whatsoever the extremity be: but her husband may any time during coverture, dispose of it: and such his disposition shall cut off the wife's interest. Or suppose that the only child of her father be an inheretrix of land, and have in herself [her father being dead] the full possession thereof: or that a widow have the right unto, and possession of her husband's estate, and thus possessed be married to an husband, hath she being a a wife liberty to dispose that estate which she brought with her without or against her husband's consent? I think none will say it. Sure I am that what she giveth, lendeth, selleth, or otherwise disposeth without his consent, he if he will, may for his lifetime recover again: and yet no man will deny but she hath the truest interest and property in the forenamed lands and inheritance.

Object. May she not as well dispose of her own inheritance, as of those goods, or revenues which her husband giveth her?

Answ. No, for the gift of the husband is a general consent of his for her to dispose that which is given her as she seeth meet.

29. Of the reasons against a wife's property in the common goods of the family.

2. Answ. It may safely be denied that a wife hath a property in the common goods of the family whereof she is no heir, for property in goods is a civil matter, and to be limited according to the law of man under which we live. Where the law, or custom of the place, make all the children coheirs, all have an equal right to their several parts: where the eldest only is made heir, he hath a right to all: where the youngest only is made heir, he hath a right to all: but neither the law of nations, nor of the land where we live give the wife a property. By a common law marriage is a gift of all the goods and chattels personal of the wife to her husband, so that no kind of property in the same remaineth to her. And all personal goods and chattels during marriage given to the wife are presently ipso facto transferred [as the property of them] to the husband. So that by our law she is so far from gaining any property by her marriage in her husband's goods, as she loseth all the property she formerly had in her own goods. Yea her necessary apparel is not hers in property. While she remaineth a wife she is [to use the law-phrase] under covert baron. She (see Section 26) can neither let, sell, alien, give, nor otherwise of right make anything away, no nor yet make a will so to dispose any goods while her husband liveth without his consent: which yet an husband may while his wife liveth, and that without or against her consent.

Object. The law states a wife in a great part of the husband's goods, providing for her jointer or thirds which the husband cannot take away without her consent.

Answ. This provision is only for the time of her widowhood in case she overlive him: but for the time that she remaineth his wife he may make away all, and she can recover none, till he be dead.

Object. This restraint of wives is only in the court of men.

Answ. Seeing it is not against the law of God, it must also hold good in the court of Conscience. Nay it is agreeable to the Law of God and grounded thereupon.

For [to omit the proofs before alleged] what might be the reason that the daughters of Zelophehad, who were heirs to their father, were forbidden to marry out of their father's tribe, and that a law was made that no daughters that possessed any inheritance should marry out of their father's tribe, but because all that a woman had before marriage, passed upon the husband and became his by virtue of marriage? This also for that purpose is by some not unfitly, nor without probability noted, that it is the common phrase of Scripture to term husbands [but not wives] rich, implying thereby that riches by a property appertain to husbands: yea usually in Scripture goods and lands are said to be the husband's.

Object. The wives of Jacob do term the goods which their husband had theirs, saying, the riches which God hath taken from our Father is Ours (Gen 31:16).

Answ. They use the word Ours in opposition to their father's house, and in relation not to their persons, but to their husband's family, and therefore they add and our children's: so as by that place no greater right can be proved for wives, than for children. When the Holy Ghost speaketh of the same goods, he saith not in relation to the husband and wives both, their flocks, their substance, but only in relation to the husband, his flocks, his substance. For as in mixture of wine and water, though the greater quantity be water, yet we call the whole, wine: so in the common goods of the family, though the wife should bring the greater part, we call all the husband's.

30. Of answers to the reasons for a wife's property.

To prove a wife's property in the common goods of the family the reasons following are alleged.

1. Object. Marriage giving a wife right of her husband's body, doth much more of his goods.

Answ. I deny the consequence. For the use of the body is a proper act of the matrimonial bond, wherein the difference betwixt superiority and subjection appeareth not: the wife hath as great a power over the husband's body as the husband over the wife's: which is not so in the goods: no one thing can be named, wherein the power and authority of the husband more consisteth, than in the goods.

2. If an husband shall intend a property by them, that property which she hath thereby, she hath not by virtue of the general law of marriage, but of his particular free donation.

3. In all countries those words are not used in the form of marriage. If those words give the wife her property, then such wives as are married without those words used, have no property: so as this cannot be a general ground of liberty for all wives.

3. Object. A wife hath as good an estate in her husband's goods as the Church in Christ's blood: but there the Church hath a property.

Answ. Neither of those points can be proved. But if a wife's right in her husband's goods be as the Churches in Christ's blood, what is gotten thereby? The Church hath not power without or against Christ's consent to dispose his blood: The Church of Rome is counted a proud usurping strumpet for taking upon herself to do.

31. Of the privilege of wives above children and servants in and about the goods of the family.

Quest. Where then is the preferment of the wife above servants and children, if she have not a property?

I answer. Much every manner of way.

1. There is due to her a more free and plentiful use of all the goods, than unto them. (See Treatise 4, Sections 52 and 54.)

2. By her place she hath the ordering and disposing of the goods allotted for the common use of the family: as was before granted (see Section 4).

3. Her husband ought to give her a portion to dispose as she shall see good, as we shall after show (see Treatise 4, Section 54), when we come to the husband's duties.

4. She is a joint governour with her husband over the children and servants, as was showed before (see Section 4).

Again I answer, that this argument might as well be alleged against that fear, subjection, and obedience which the Scripture expressly requireth of wives, and it might be demanded, if wives must fear and obey their husbands and be subject unto them, where is their preferment above their children and servants. But it hath been shown (see Section 11) that though the same things for matter be required of wives which are required of children and servants, yet there is a great difference in the manner of performing them.

32. Of examples of other reasons alleged for liberty of wives to dispose goods.

2. Abigail's example is alleged for a wife's liberty: and the example of the good housewife described by Solomon.

Answ. 1. Abigail's example was extraordinary; besides, who can tell whether the heart of her husband so trusted not in her as he referred the whole government of the house to her, and so she had a general consent for what she did.

2. It is clear that the other good-wife had her husband's consent for what she did: for besides that it is said The heart of her husband trusted in her, it is also said, that he praised her. Therefore he was neither ignorant of that which she did, nor unwilling she should do it: it was neither without nor against his consent.

3. It is alleged that wives have as great a care in getting goods, or in preserving them for the good of the family: therefore it is just and equal, that they should have a like power in disposing them.

Answ. Though question may be made of the former part, at least for the greater sort and number of wives, yet for answer to this reason I need not question it; for the consequence doth not follow, though that be granted. The right of disposing goods doth not simply rise from the care and pains of getting and preserving them: but from that order that the Lord hath been pleased to set down. A wife and industrious child may be a means to raise and increase his father's estate, when his father taketh little care and pains about it: yea a faithful and wise steward or other servant [as Jacob and Joseph were] may do much more by his pains and care in getting and preserving the goods of the family, than his master: yet will it not thereupon follow, that such a child, or such a servant hath as great a right and power to dispose such goods as his father or his master.

4. The near conjunction betwixt man and wife is alleged: they are said to be yoke-fellows, and thence is inferred that they have a like power in disposing goods.

Answ. They are yoke-fellows in mutual familiarity, not in equal authority; and in relation to others as children and servants, not in opposition each to other. In this respect she is subject, not equal. If therefore he will one thing, and she another, she may not think to have an equal right and power, she must give place and yield.

33. Of the subjection of wives in distributing goods to charitable uses. (See Treatise 4, Section 54.)

Some that grant that a wife is so subjected to her husband in a civil manner, as she may not dispose any part of his goods at her pleasure to any civil use, deny this subjection to extend to giving of alms, and such like charitable uses.

Before I come to determine this question, let it be remembered, that it was before granted, that (see Section 22) ordinary duty must give place to extraordinary need, so that relief in present necessity is not controverted. Let it be also remembered that a wife (see Section 21) may have goods proper to herself, yea (see Treatise 4) it shall be showed that an husband ought according to his ability to commit something to her direction and disposition: of these and such like goods she is as much bound as her husband to expend something to charitable uses: and [as God offereth occasion] to reach forth her hand to the poor and needy (Prov 31:20).

Yea further let this be premised, that in case a wife be forbidden or restrained by her husband, she ought to use all the good means she can by herself and her friends to move her husband to grant her some liberty, that she may have some trial of her mercy and charitable disposition: if herein she cannot prevail, then she ought to make known unto her husband such person's cases as she thinks meet to be relieved, and use all the motives she can to persuade him to afford them some relief.

But put the case a wise, religious, merciful wife, be married to a covetous worldling, who though he have wit, and understanding enough to manage civil affairs, and to provide for the outward temporal estate of the house, yet hath no heart to relieve the poor, and is not only unwilling himself to do good in that kind, but will not suffer his wife to do it, whether may a wife privily take of such goods as he hath reserved to his own disposing, and simply without any kind of consent distribute them to charitable uses, or though he expressly forbid her, yet directly against his consent dispose them?

With reverend respect to better judgments, I think she may not [except before excepted]. For it being before proved in general, that she had no such liberty in disposing goods, I cannot see how this particular subjection in everything, except there were some particular warrant for it in God's Word.

34. Of general exhortations to work of mercy, how far they bind wives.

Object. The many general exhortations unto works of mercy, which without limitation to any particular persons, are indefinitely directed to all, do give sufficient warrant to wives: such as these, Give alms (Luke 11:41). Let us do good (Gal 6:10). To distribute forget not, &c. (Heb 13:16).

Answ. All these are strong motives to provoke a wife to be merciful and charitable in such things as they may, by any means with their husband's consent, or in such things as by their husbands are given to them. Yea, also they are strong motives to provoke husbands to allow them liberty to give alms. But in the case propounded they give no liberty to wives: for it is a ruled case laid down by Christ himself, that works of charity must be done, and alms must be given of such things as we have (Luke 11:41), or which are in our power to give. Now if the husband will not give her that power, she hath not power to give, and so is excused. In this case her true will, and her faithful and earnest desire shall be accepted for the deed, according to that which the Apostle saith, if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not (2 Cor 8:12). Many cases may be given wherein inferiours are restrained from works of mercy; as suppose a son or servant be desirous to visit one sick or in prison, but his parent or master [though leave be asked] will not suffer him, but charge him not to stir out of doors, or to go with him another way, shall this son or servant notwithstanding that charge, do that work of mercy?

35. Of obedience to an husband in such things as he sinfully forbiddeth.

Object. 2. This restraint is not in the Lord, but rather against Him and His Word, therefore a wife is not bound thereunto.

Answ. Though the husband sin in restraining his wife, yet she in that restraint may obey, and that in the Lord: because the Lord who hath commanded her to be subject in everything, hath no where warranted her not to be subject in this particular. It is expressly said in the law concerning a wife's vows, that if her husband break them after he hath heard them, he shall bear her iniquity (Num 30:16). Did not he then sin in restraining her, and was not she guiltless though she yielded to his restraint? The condition betwixt husbands and wives in this case, is not unlike the case betwixt other superiours in authority, and their inferiours in subjection. But other inferiours may lawfully abstain from such things as their governours do sinfully charge them to abstain from. For suppose a son grown to be a man, live in his father's house at his father's finding, and have no set portion of his own, and his father will not give him leave to bestow anything on charitable uses, is he now bound to give alms? Shall the curse be executed on him if he give not? A cross indeed I acknowledge it to be, both to such a son, and also to a wife to be so restrained: but not a curse or sin; the sin and curse lieth on their head, who restrain them by virtue of their authority, wherein they abuse their authority: as other governours may do and oft do, and yet neither liberty granted thereby to subjects, nor authority taken from governours. In this resemblance betwixt a son and a wife I desire not to be mistaken; for I allege it not to make the state of a wife and a son all one: but to show that those general precepts of giving alms, may have their exceptions, as they which in particular handle that point, give other examples. There must therefore be a further ground than the general commandment of alms-giving to prove the forenamed liberty of wives.

36. Of Zipporah's case in circumcising her son.

Object. 3. A wife was made to be an help to her husband: in those things therefore wherein he faileth, she must make supply as Zipporah who performed a duty which belonged to her husband, and not unto her (Exo 4:25).

Answ. She may be an help in many other things, though this be out of her power: yea and in this also by counsel, persuasion, and other like means she may be a great help. The case of Zipporah was extraordinary, and of an urgent present necessity, even to save the life of her husband. Besides, Moses was of himself unable to do it, but willing that she should do it. Now what is this to ordinary cases, and such cases as husbands are able enough themselves to do, but altogether unwilling that it should be done by their wives?

But what if Zipporah's example herein be not warrantable? for it doth not appear that it was simply approved of God: God doth oft remove temporary judgments for the very works sake that is done, though in the manner it be sinfully done. Instance the repentance of Ahab (1 Kings 21:29).

37. Of the wife of Chuza's case in ministering to Christ.

Object. Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, ministered unto Christ of her substance without her husband's consent.

Answ. If this could be proved it were somewhat to the purpose; but this clause without her husband's consent [wherein the main state of the question consisteth] is not in the text, nor by any good probability can be gathered out of it. All the shew of probability that can be shewed for it is, that Joanna is there said to be the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward. But to shew that that is nothing, let it be noted,

1. That phrase doth not imply that Chuza was then living. It is said that David begat Solomon of the wife of Uriah (Matt 1:6), but Uriah was not then living: therefore the translators for perspicuity sake do insert these words [her that had been] the wife of Uriah. So likewise Onan is commanded to go in to his brother's wife (Gen 38:8), yet doth not this imply that his brother was then living.

Object. When should mention be made of Chuza, Herod's steward, if he were not then living?

Answ. To shew that Joanna was a woman of great place, whereby this fruit of her faith in following Christ was the more commended. Thus in another kind Matthew is entitled the Publican (Matt 10:3), after he had clean relinquished that office, the more to commend his faith.

I do not here directly affirm that Chuza was then dead, but for ought that this phrase doth imply, he might be dead.

2. Some gather that this steward was that ruler whose son Christ healed, who thereupon believed with all his house. Which if he were, then it cannot be doubted, but that his wife followed Christ with his good liking and consent.

3. Chuza being Herod's steward, and so a man of great place, and public employment, might, if he were then living, depute the managing of all affairs at home to his wife, as the husband of the good wife commended by Solomon (Prov 31:11), and so she might have at least a general consent.

I do not certainly determine any of these expressly to be so, I do but note them as probabilities, yet such as do sufficiently overthrow the surmised liberty of a wife in giving alms without any consent of her husband: for this of all other probabilities seemeth to be most improbably. Into my heart I can never enter to imagine that Christ would give such an occasion of slander unto his enemies, as to say he carried about with him other men's wives, without or against the consent of their husbands, and suffered them to spend the goods of their husbands upon him. I had much rather think that either such women as followed him had no husbands living, or if they had, that they did that which they did with the consent of their husbands.

38. Of the restraint of wives about allowances for themselves or families without their husbands' consent. (See Treatise 4, Sections 18 and 52.)

That which hath hitherto been delivered concerning a wife's subjection in disposing goods, may also be applied to other things concerning herself, children, servants, &c. whereof I will give some examples.

A wife hath not power to appoint what she list herself without or against her husband's consent, either for her own allowance, or for her family; she must rather rest satisfied with that which he appointeth: for he being the head, must have the over-ruling stroke therein. Besides he better knoweth what may be afforded.

Quest. What if an husband make himself poorer than he is: and the allowance which he appointeth be meaner than his means, and unbeseeming his place and state?

Answ. She ought, if possibly she can by her own instant persuasion, or any other fair means, move him to that which tendeth to his honour and reputation: but if she can no way prevail, her subjection requireth contentment and patience.

39. Of a wife's subjection to her husband about children. (See Treatise 4, Section 18.)

A wife may not simply without, or directly against her husband's consent, order and dispose of the children in giving them names, appareling their bodies, appointing their callings, places of bringing up, marriages, or portions.

1. For giving names to children, besides that it is throughout the Scripture for the most part enjoined to the husband, as to Abraham (Gen 17:19), to Zacharias (Luke 1:13), and to others, and that accordingly husbands have ordinarily done, as Adam (Gen 5:3), Lamech (Gen 5:29), Abraham (Gen 21:3), and others. It is to be noted that when there was a difference betwixt the man and his wife in giving a child's name, he giving one name, she another, the name which he gave, stood; though Rachel (Gen 35:18) named her youngest son Benoni, yet Benjamin [which name Jacob gave] was the child's name. So also when Elizabeth (Luke 1:62) told her friends that her child's name must be John, they would not rest therein, till Zacharias had ratified that name. Yea though Joseph were but the supposed father of Jesus, yet because he was the husband of Mary the mother of Jesus (Matt 1:21), he had this honour given him, to give the name unto her child.

Whereas in Scripture it is sometimes said that the mothers named their children, as Leah (Gen 29:32), Rachel (Gen 30:24), and others, it is upon the forenamed ground to be supposed that they had their husband's consent.

2. For appointing place and marriage it is noted that Rebekah (Gen 27:43) asked the consent of her husband: though she told her son Jacob that he should go to Haran to his uncle Laban to be there kept in safety from the fury of Esau, yet she would not send him till Isaac (Gen 28:1,2) had given his consent for his abode there, and taking a wife from thence.

3. For deputing unto a calling, it is noted of Hannah (1 Sam 1:11), that though before the child was born she had by solemn vow dedicated him to the Lord, yet when the child was born she asked her husband's consent about it (1 Sam 1:22).

4. That which is noted of Hannah's carrying a little coat to her son year by year when she went up with her husband (1 Sam 2:19), sheweth that she did it not without her husband's consent. Women are for the most part prone to prank up their children above their husband's place and calling, and therefore good reason that therein they should be governed by their husbands.

Object. What if husbands be more forward to have their children attired vainly and unseemly, than wives?

Answ. A wife must do what she can to hinder it: if she can no way prevail with him, she by reason of her subjection is much more excused, than he could be, if he would suffer his wife therein to have her will.

5. The law that layeth the charge upon husbands to give such and such portions to his children, and the answerable practice of husbands from time to time (Deut 21:15), shew that the wife of herself hath not power to order them.

40. Of a wife's subjection to her husband about ordering servants and beasts. (See Treatise 4, Section 18.)

If wives must have their husband's consent in ordering and disposing of their children which come out of her womb, much more of their servants.

They may not take in, or thrust out servants against their husband's mind. In this point, as in many other, Sarah manifested her wife-like obedience; in that she would not deal roughly with her maid though she were provoked (Gen 16:5): much less put her out of doors till she had made the matter known to her husband (Gen 21:10). Though she failed in the manner, yet in the thing itself she is a good example. It is further noted and approved in the Shunammite that she asked her husband's consent about sending a servant with her (2 Kings 4:22).

My meaning is not that such wives as have servants allowed them to attend upon them should ask their husband's consent whensoever they have occasion to use them; for their husbands by allowing them men for their attendance manifest their will and consent that they may use them as they see occasion: but that they should not use and employ their servants in such things as they know their husbands would dislike, except they can gain their husband's consent.

Against those particulars of children and servants it may be objected, that wives are parents of their children as well as husbands, and mistresses of servants as well as they masters, and therefore have altogether as great power over them as their husbands.

Answ. Indeed if the authority of the husband come not between, that may be granted in relation betwixt her and them: but her power being subordinate to her husband's in relation to him she hath not so great a power: the power of a wife that now we speak of is directly in relation to her husband.

The like may be said of their beasts and cattle, a particular point noted also in the example of the Shunammite, who having occasion to use a beast went to her husband, and said, send I pray thee with me one of the asses (2 Kings 4:22).

41. Of a wife's subjection in entertaining strangers journeying abroad, and making vows. (See Treatise 4, Section 18.)

If wives may not at their pleasure use the things appertaining to the house, much less may they bring strangers into the house and entertain them without or against their husband's consent. The good Shunammite so often named as a president for good wives, first asked her husband's consent, before she lodged a Prophet of the Lord (2 Kings 4:10).

The same pattern is also commended unto wives to move them not to journey abroad without their husband's consent. For though that good wife had a very weighty and just occasion to go unto the Prophet, yet she would not before she knew her husband's mind (2 Kings 4:22).

As for a wife's power to make vows, in that the law giveth an husband power to disanull her vow when he knoweth it (Num 30:8), it implieth that she ought to have his consent in making it, if at least she desire to have it established, which she ought to desire, or else she mocketh God.

I have thought good to mention these particular points for illustration of a wife's subjection, because they are all of them grounded on God's word: many other might be added to them, but these are sufficient.

42. Of aberrations contrary to a wife's subjection in doing things without or against her husband's consent.

Now consider we the usual vices and aberrations contrary to those duties: the general sum of all is, for a wife to take on her to do what she list, whether her husband will or no, either not willing that he should know what she doth, or not caring though it be against his mind and will. Of this sort are

1. Such as privily take money out of their husbands' closets, counters, or other like places where he layeth it, never telling him of it, nor willing that he should know it: likewise such as after the like manner take ware out of the shop, corn out of the garner, sheep out of the flock, or any other goods to sell and make money of: or to give away, or otherwise to use so as their husbands shall never know, if they can hinder it. Such wives herein sin heinously, and that in many respects.

First they disobey the ordinance of God in a main branch of their particular calling, which is subjection.

2. They ill repay the care and pains which their husbands take for their good. Many such wives recompence evil for good, which is a devilish quality.

3. They are oft a means to impair and impoverish their husband's estate.

4. They shew themselves no better than pilfering thieves thereby. All that can be justly and truly said for their right in the common goods, cannot defend them from the guilt of theft: they are the more dangerous by how much the more they are trusted, and less suspected: and their fact is so much the more heinous by how much the more dear their husbands ought to be unto them.

5. They are a very ill example to other inferiours in the house, for seldom hath a man a deceitful wife, but some of the children or servants, are made accessory thereunto, being made her instruments to take the goods, and bestow them as she ordereth, and so are made unfaithful.

6. They make themselves slaves to their own children and servants, whom they dare not displease, lest they should tell what was done.

7. They teach their children and servants to be thieves: for besides that such as are used by their mistresses to purloin for them, are thereby made accessory to their sin, they will also purloin for themselves, when their mistresses shall not know. So as what with the wives purloining one way, and the children or servants another way, a man's estate may be wasted as dew before the sun, and he not know which way.

2. Such as will have what allowance they think best for themselves and family, and scornfully say, They will not be at their husband's finding: they know best what allowance is fittest for the family, and that it shall have. Many will make their husband's ear tingle again, yea and make the whole house [if not the street also] ring of it, if they think their allowance be not answerable to the uttermost extent of their husband's estate. This impatiency and insolency, as it crosseth God's ordinance, so it maketh both their lives uncomfortable.

3. Such as cocker, attire, or any way bring up their children otherwise than their husband's would, even to the grief and dishonour of their husbands: keeping them at home when their husbands, for their better education, would have them abroad: as these sin in hindering the good of their children, so also in not yielding to their husbands.

4. Such as will have their own will about servants, taking in, and putting out whom they please, and when they please: using some servants whom they find for their turn to the prejudice of their husbands: and carrying themselves so sharply and shrewishly to others that are for their husband's turn, as a good, trusty, faithful servant cannot long stay in the house.

5. Such as secretly lend out their husband's horses, or other like cattle, more respecting to pleasure a vain friend, than to please a good husband. This fault is so much the greater, when it is done to the damage and prejudice of the husband.

6. Such as are then most frolic and jolly, when their husbands are furthest off and cannot know it. Solomon sets it down as a note of a strumpet, then to trick up her house and to seek for guests, when her husband is gone a journey far off (Prov 7:19). Then ought she to be most solitary, and by abstaining from merry meetings, to shew that there can be no greater damp to her mirth, than the absence of her husband.

7. Such as think their houses a prison unto them, that cannot long tarry at home: they think they have power to go when and whither they will, and to tarry out as long as they list, think their husbands of it what they will. The Apostle layeth down this as a mark of a wanton wife, and an idle housewife, being idle [saith he] they go about from house to house (1 Tim 5:13): therefore in another place he exhorteth them to be keepers at home (Titus 2:5). The wise-man goeth further, and maketh this to be another note of a strumpet, that her feet cannot abide in the house (Prov 7:11): which we may see verified in the Levite's adulterous wife, whose fearful end was a stamp of God's judgement on such loose lewdness (Judg 19:2).

8. Such as care not how or what they bind themselves unto without their husband's consent, or knowledge: Herein especially offend such as being seduced by Jesuits, Priests, or Friars, take the sacrament, and thereupon by solemn vow and oath bind themselves never to read an English Bible, nor any Protestant's books, no nor to go to any of their Churches, or to hear any of their sermons: and such most of all as enter into some popish nunnery, and vow never to return to their husbands again.

Object. Hannah vowed her child to God without her husband's consent (1 Sam 1:15), why may not they much more vow themselves to God?

Answ. Assuredly she was persuaded that her husband would not be against it, and so had an implicit consent: which may well be gathered, because afterwards she made it known to him, as both the name given to the child, and that speech of Hannah, I will bring him that he may appear before the Lord, and there abide for ever (1 Sam 1:22), and the answer of her husband, The Lord establish his word (1 Sam 1:23), and his going up with her when he was dedicated to the Lord (1 Sam 2:19), do all shew.

Thus far of the first branch of a wife's submission in abstaining from doing things without her husband's consent. The second followeth, in doing the things which he requireth.

43. Of a wife's active obedience. (See Treatise 4, Sections 18 and 26.)

It is a good proof and trial of a wife's obedience, to abstain from doing such things as otherwise she would do, if her husband's contrary will did not restrain her: but yet that is not sufficient, there must be an active, as well as a passive obedience yielded. That old Law before mentioned [thy desire shall be subject to thine husband, and he shall rule over thee (Gen 3:16)] implieth so much also. If she refuse to do what he would have her to do, her desire is not subject to him, but to herself, neither doth he rule over her.

This active part of her obedience hath respect

1. To his commandments, readily to do what he lawfully commands.

2. To his reproofs, carefully to redress what he justly blameth.

For the first, so far ought a wife to be from thinking scorn to be commanded by her husband, that the very knowledge which by any means she hath of her husband's mind and will, ought to have the force of a straight commandment with her. This readiness to obey is commended in the wives of Jacob, to whom when Jacob had declared what motives he had to depart from their father's house, intimating thereby that he meant to depart, and would have them to go with him, yet before he particularly expressed his will, they readily answered, whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do (Gen 31:16): Whereby they gave him to understand that they were ready to yield unto whatsoever he would have done.

44. Of a wife's willingness to dwell where her husband will. (See Treaties 4, Section 18.)

To make this part of a wife's obedience somewhat more clear, I will exemplify it by two or three particular instances, recorded and approved in God's word.

The first is, that a wife ought to be willing to dwell where her husband will have her dwell.

The wives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, herein manifested their wife-like obedience: though their husbands brought them from their own country, and from their father's house, yet they refused not to go with them, but dwelt in a strange country, and that in tents.

Note in particular what Jacob's wives say to their husband in this case, Is there any portion or inheritance for us in our father's house (Gen 31:14)? implying thereby, that seeing it was their husband's pleasure to be gone, they would not any longer tarry in their father's house, to look for any more portion or inheritance there.

These examples do further shew that if an husband have just occasion to remove from one country to another, and in those countries from place to place, his wife ought to yield to go with him, if he require it at her hands. Note what the Apostle saith, have we not power to lead about a wife (1 Cor 9:5)? That interrogation implieth a strong asseveration. The husband then having power to lead about a wife from place to place, she ought to submit herself to that power. This clause [as well as other Apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord and Cephas] sheweth, this was not only a power which might be used, but which was used by husbands, and yielded unto by wives.

Object. The forenamed examples are extraordinary, and that upon extraordinary occasions.

Answ. Yet they may be patterns for ordinary occasions which are lawful and warrantable. Was it not an extraordinary fact of Elijah to pray first that there might be no rain, and then again that there might be rain? yet is this propounded as a general pattern to move us to pray for things lawful.

Now in laying down this duty I added the clause and caveat of just occasion, to meet both with such as upon discontent, or superstition, leave the land where the true Gospel is maintained, and preached, and go into idolatrous places: and also with such wandering giddy heads as only to satisfy their own humour, and to see fashions, as we speak, can never rest in a place, but are continually removing from country to country, and from place to place: I think [to use the words of the Apostle] a wife is not under bondage in such cases (1 Cor 7:15).

But if a man be sent of an embassage by his Prince, or country: or if a preacher or professor be called into another country, as Bucer and Peter Martyr were into England in King Edward's days [which to this day is usual in other countries] or if a man be adjudged unto long imprisonment, and upon these and other like occasions shall require his wife to be with him, she ought in duty to yield unto his demand.

Contrary is the mind and practice of many wives, who being affected and addicted to one place more than another, as to the place where they were bred and brought up, where their greatest, best, and most friends dwell, and where they have good acquaintance, refuse to go and dwell where their husband's calling lieth, though he require, and desire them never so much. Thus many husbands are forced to their great damage for peace sake to yield unto their wives, and so either to relinquish their calling, or to have two houses; whence it followeth, that sometimes they must neglect their servants and calling, and sometimes be absent from their wives, if not from their children also. Some wives pretend that they cannot endure the smoke of the city, other that they cannot endure the air of the country: whereas indeed their own humour and conceit stuffs them more than either city smoke or country air. I cannot call such the daughters of Sarah herein: they are not like those forenamed holy women that trusted in God, and were subject to their husbands (1 Peter 3:5,6), but rather like to that light housewife of the Levite, who would not dwell in her husband's house at Mount Ephraim, but at her father's house in Beth-lehem Judah (Judg 19:2). Such wives as I speak of, in matrimonial chastity may be more honest, but in wife-like subjection are little more dutiful. Let this be taken for a fault, and it will be the sooner amended.

45. Of a wife's readiness to come to her husband when he requires it. (See Treatise 4, Section 29.)

Another particular instance of a wife's readiness to yield unto her husband's commandments is, to come to her husband when her husband requireth it either by calling her, or sending for her. The forenamed wives of Jacob being sent for to their husband in the field where he was, made no excuse, but came presently (Gen 31:4). So far ought wives herein to subject their wills to their husband's, that though it may seem to them some disparagement to come, yet if their husbands will have it so they must yield, otherwise they seem even to despise their husbands (Esth 1:17).

Contrary is Vashti-like stoutness, when wives think and say, it is a servant's part to come when they are called or sent for, and they will never yield to be their husband's servant, to come at his command. By the same reason may all duties of subjection be rejected. But for this particular, let such stout dames note the issue of Vashti's stubbornness (Esth 1:16). As many excuses might be alleged for her as I think for any: for First, she was royally descended, being daughter of a King. Secondly, she was then among the honourable women of the kingdom. Thirdly, the King was in drink when he sent for her. Fourthly, he sent for her to shew her beauty before multitudes of men, which was not seemly. But all these were not sufficient to excuse her fault, and free her from blame. First, though these were of royal parentage, yet she was a wife, and her husband sent for her. Secondly, being among the noble women of the kingdom, she should the rather have shewed herself a pattern of subjection in this kind. Thirdly, though he were in drink, yet remained he an husband: and the thing which he commanded was not such but that she might have done it without sin. Fourthly, if she thought the thing unseemly, she should first have used all the fair means she could to have been spared; but if by all she could not have prevailed, then [the thing being not simply unlawful and a sin] she should have yielded.

Object. Her fault was not in that as a wife she came not to her husband, but in that as a subject she came not to her Sovereign.

Answ. Her fault was in both: and in the judgment passed against her, that former was most urged, namely that by her example all women might learn to despise their husbands (Esth 1:17).

2. Object. Her fact is so censured but by heathen men, that had no understanding of God's word.

Answ. 1. The holy Scripture by the several circumstance so distinctly noted intimateth that her rebellious fact was a notorious fault: and accordingly both judicious commenters, and also preachers do tax her of sinful disobedience to her husband.

2. Though they were heathen, yet they shewed what subjection is required of wives to their husbands by the very light of nature, whereby this sin is aggravated.

3. Abimelech was but a heathen man, yet his sentence concerning a woman's subjection in these words, he is to thee a covering of the eyes (Gen 20:16), is taken to be judicious, and being approved by the Holy Ghost, to be a good proof. As for that particular of Vashti, why is it so largely recorded in the Scripture but for instruction, and admonition unto wives?

46. Of a wife's readiness to do what her husband requireth. (See Section 29.)

A third particular instance of a wife's readiness to yield unto her husband's commandment, is, to perform what business he requireth of her. When of a sudden there came three men to Abram, and he was desirous to entertain them, he bid his wife make ready quickly three measures of meal (Gen 18:6), &c. and she did it accordingly. Jeroboam having a weighty occasion to send to Ahijah the Prophet, thought it meet to send by his wife, she accordingly [though a Queen] went (1 Kings 14:2): she did as her husband would have her.

Contrary is the humour of many wives who will not do any thing upon command. If such a wife's husband being desirous to entertain a friend on the sudden, shall use Abram's phrase, make ready quickly, &c. she will say, let him come and do it himself, if he will have it so quickly done, I will not be his drudge: or if, having a matter of moment and secrecy, he will his wife herself to do it, she will reply, I am none of your servants; cannot you put it to one of them, or do it yourself? Yet will such wives be ready to command their husbands to do every toy, and if he do it not, they can reply, is this such a matter? and may not a wife speak to her husband? Were the point of obedience well learned, it would cast such wives into another mould.

These few particulars may serve for direction in many hundreds. I proceed to the other part of a wife's active obedience, which respecteth the reproofs of her husband.

47. Of a wife's meek taking a reproof. (See Treatise 4, Sections 34 and 35.)

The husband having authority over his wife, by virtue thereof he hath power, yea it is his duty as there is needful cause to rebuke her: By just consequence therefore it followeth, that it is her duty to yield obedience thereunto. Which ought the rather to be done because the chiefest trial of sound obedience lieth herein. For nothing goeth so much against one's stomach as reproof: she that yields when she is rebuked, will much more when she is entreated. This point of obedience is manifested two ways.

1. By meekness in taking a reproof.

2. By endeavour to redress what is justly reproved. The very point of obedience especially consisteth in this latter: the former is as a good preparative thereunto, without which it will hardly be done, at least not well done.

Meekness in this case is one of the most principal fruits of that meek and quiet spirit which S. Peter commendeth unto wives (1 Peter 3:4). Howsoever Rachel justly deserved blame for coming in a fuming chafe, and with an imperious command to her husband (Gen 30:1), yet in that she meekly took his sharp reproof [for she replied not against it, but meekly give a direction for the better accomplishment of her desire] her example is commendable: commendable I say, not in the matter of her direction, but in her patient bearing of reproof.

Much wisdom may be learned hereby: for when any meekly take a reproof, thereby they suppress their passion, and keep it from rising as a cloud before their understanding and darkening it, and so may they better judge of the matter reproved whether it be just or no: and whether it need redress or no: whereof they who are impatient of reproof, and fret and fume against it, cannot so well judge. The virgin Mary made good use of Christ's reproving her (John 2:4,5), and thereby learned and taught a good point of wisdom, namely so to refer our affairs to Christ as we expect his pleasure; and not prescribe time, means, manner, or any other like circumstances unto him.

Quest. What if the husband's reproof be bitter?

Answ. He therein forgets his place, yet thereupon she must not forget her duty. If Jacob's reproof be well noted, we shall find it very tart, for it is expressly said that his anger was kindled against her (Gen 30:2), so as he spake in anger: the manner and form of his words being with an interrogation, and the matter also, am I in God's stead, &c. declare tartness: yet [as was declared before] she shewed meekness.

2. Quest. What if his reproof be unjust?

Answ. Yet may not meekness be forgotten. In such a case a wife may make a just apology to clear her own innocency, and manifest her husband's error: but if he refuse to hear her, or will not believe her, then [as S. Peter speaketh in another case] she must endure grief for conscience toward God (1 Peter 2:19,20).

The two reasons which there he rendereth in that other case may not unfitly be applied to this.

1. In general this is thank-worthy, it is a grace, a glory to her: a matter that deserveth praise and commendation.

2. In particular it is acceptable to God: howsoever their husbands may deal roughly and untowardly with them, yet God will graciously respect them, if they shall patiently in obedience to his ordinance bear their husband's unjust reproofs.

3. I may add this reason also, that thus they shall shew themselves good Christians indeed, in that they are not overcome of evil (Rom 12:21).

Contrary is their mind who by no means will brook a rebuke at their husband's hands: it skills not whether it be just or unjust: if their husbands reprove them, they shall be sure to have the reproof rebounded back again upon their faces, and that with greater violence than ever it came from them. There be some that seem to be very good wives till they be tried by the touch-stone of reproof: but then though the reproof be for matter most just, for manner most mild, and that in private betwixt their husbands and themselves, yet they grow so impatient, or rather mad, as they forbear not to give their husbands the most scornful speeches that they can invent, using withal bitter imprecations and execrations, and threaten to drown or hang themselves if they be crossed of their wills. Yea further, if wise husbands shall forbear them in their passion, and after it is allayed tell them how unbeseeming their places they carried themselves, they will seek to justify themselves, and lay all the blame on their husbands for crossing them in their will: or if they cannot but see their fault, yet they will only say, it is my infirmity: but yet ever continue in that infirmity: and though they make shew of fearing God, yet labour not to purge this corrupt humour out of their hearts. Hence is it for the most part that contentions arise betwixt man and wife. If wives would learn in this point to be subject, many jars, which from time to time arise betwixt them, would be allayed, if not prevented. Michal the wife of David (2 Sam 6:20), and Job's wife (Job 2:10) [though they gave just occasion to be most sharply reproved, yet] shall rise up in judgment against these wives, because they were silent after they were reproved, and replied not. Solomon oft titles such as cannot bear rebuke scorners (Prov 9:7,8): so as hereby wives shew that they are very scornful.

48. Of a wife's readiness to redress what her husband justly reproveth in her. (See Treatise 4, Section 35.)

A further degree of obedience in bearing reproof is, that a wife readily redress what is justly reproved by her husband: I say justly, because where no fault is, there needs no amendment: patience may be needful [as was before shewed] but no repentance of that which is not amiss. But where any thing is amiss, there must be a redress. Rachel did amiss in bringing idols into her husband's house (Gen 31:19): her husband in bidding her among others to put away their strange gods, reproved them all. Whereupon she with all the rest gave to him all their strange gods (Gen 35:2,4). This was a good redress.

A reproof may be justly given either for a good duty omitted; or for an evil thing committed: and accordingly must the redress or amendment be. A duty formerly omitted must after the reproof be more carefully observed and performed, if it be a continual duty, and may be again performed: otherwise the redress is a testification of true sorrow for that fault. When an evil is committed, if any means can be used to make up the hurt, and redress the mischief that followed thereupon, it must be done: if not, sorrow as before, must be testified, and care taken that the same, or the like be not committed again.

As a good conscience requireth as much of all Christians by whomsoever they be reproved, so the respect which a wife oweth to an husband doth after an especial manner require it. Otherwise her fault is doubled, 1. by continuance in her sin; 2. by disobedience to her husband.

Contrary is their spirit who for reproof wax the worse: being like those scorners [of whom Solomon speaketh] that hate those that reprove them (Prov 9:8). It is the speech of some wives, that if their husbands would let them alone they would do the better: but upon rebuke they will never amend: the more their husbands find fault, the more will they go on, in doing what they do. What other judgment can be given of such, than that which the wise man giveth, there is more hope of a fool than of them (Prov 26:12).

49. Of a wife's contentment with her husband's present estate. (See Treatise 4, Section 50. Of submission hitherto.)

Contentment is also a part of obedience: it hath respect to a man's outward estate and ability, in and with which a wife must rest satisfied and contented, whether it be high or low, great or mean, wealthy or needy, above, equal, or under that estate wherein she was before marriage: yea though a man have been sometimes great in estate, yet, if he decay therein, and be brought to a mean estate, she ought to rest content. Thus much Job implieth in his reply to his wife, saying, shall we receive good at the hand of God, and not receive evil? (Job 2:10) The evil he speaketh of was the loss of his goods, servants, and children, together with other miseries that Satan through God's permission inflicted upon him: the receiving of evil which he speaketh of was a resting content with it, and a patient bearing of it. Evil may be laid on any, and so they forced to bear it: but they only receive it, who are content with it. Now in that he useth the plural number [WE] and speaking to his wife saith [shall not we receive evil] he sheweth that his wife ought as well as he to have rest contented in that poor and miserable estate: For

1. Man and wife being one flesh, by virtue of their matrimonial union, both his advancement, and also his abasement is hers: as she riseth with him, so she falleth with him. Wherefore as she is willing to be advanced with him, so she must be content to be abased with him.

2. If at the time of marriage her husband was of meaner estate than she, she voluntarily put herself into that mean estate: for a wife taketh her husband [as he her] for better for worse, for richer for poorer. And shall she not be content with her own act? If after marriage his estate decay, and wax meaner than it was, she is to be persuaded that by God it was so ordered, and that God aimed at her humiliation as well as his: and thereupon she ought in her dutiful submission to God's over-ruling providence to be patient and content: this Job implieth under this phrase, shall we not receive evil at the hand of God? and under this, The Lord taketh away.

3. A wife's contentment is a great ease to her husband lying under a cross: and it maketh the burden seem much lighter than otherwise it would, if at least he be a kind husband, and affected with his wife's passion, as he ought to be. For a loving husband in every distress is more perplexed for his wife, than for himself.

50. Of a wife's discontent at her husband's estate.

Contrary is the impatience, and discontent of wives at the meanness, and [as they think] baseness of their husband's estate: which is many ways manifested.

1. Some when they are married finding their husband's estate weaker than they imagined, repent their marriage, and stick not to tell their husbands, that if they had before known them to be no better men than they find them to be, they should have been no husbands for them. Wherein first they betray their foolish indiscretion by saying, when it is too late, if I had thought this; and withal they manifest their own rashness and unadvisedness, in that they gave their hands and plighted their troth to those whom they knew not. If they say, they were deceived by their friends whom they put in trust, I answer that marriage is too weighty a matter to be wholly referred over to the trust of friends: every one that yieldeth to be married, ought well to know the party unto whom in this case they yield: and above all they ought to seek direction, help, and blessing from God. If notwithstanding all the means which possibly they could use, they be deceived, they are to look unto God, and to behold his providence therein: and duly to weigh whether the Lord have crossed their desire for their humiliation, or for trial of their patience, wisdom and other like graces, or else to wean them from some vain and worldly delights, whereunto they were too much addicted.

2. Others observing their husband's estate to be decayed and wasted, never search after the occasion, but lay all the blame upon their husbands, and with their discontented looks, passionate words, and impatient carriage, so vex their hearts, as they make the cross much more heavy than otherwise it could be. Though the estate should be overthrown by the unthriftiness of an husband, yet ought a wife to look unto God's providence therein, as was noted before.

3. Others scorning to stoop, and to come down to their husband's present condition, through their pride and vain-glory are a great means to make his estate much the worse: for they, so long as by any means they can get it, will not abate any thing of their brave apparel, dainty cheer, rich furniture, and other like things, which are causes of great expence to their husbands: hereby also it cometh oft to pass that husbands are thought to be wealthier than indeed they are, and so greater taxations and charges than they can bear are laid upon them for King, Country, Church, Poor, and the like.

4. Others, through discontent lie long lazing in their beds, or idly sit still when they are up, and will not take any whit the more pains to raise up and increase their husband's estate: whereby God is provoked more and more to weaken their estates, that so he may the more punish such pride and laziness in wives.

51. Of cases wherein a wife ought not to forbear what her husband forbiddeth. (See Treatise 4, Section 26.)

So much of the distinct branches of a wife's subjection. The limitation and manner of performing it next followeth.

To know the limitation of a wife's obedience, and the manner how she ought to yield subjection unto her husband, two things must be considered:

1. The place of an husband.

2. The place of a wife.

The husband's place is noted in this phrase, as to the Lord (Eph 5:22): whereby is shewed that the husband even by virtue of his place is to his wife in Christ's stead: which is further more plainly laid down in these words followng, the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the Church (v. 23).

The wife's place is intimated in these words, as the Church is subject unto Christ, so let wives be to their own husbands (v. 24): whereby it is clear that the obedience which a wife performeth to her husband must be such an obedience as the Church performeth to Christ.

From the place of an husband, I gather this general ground concerning a wife's subjeciton, that

Subjection must be yielded to the husband as to Christ, whence will follow two conclusions, one negative, which is this,

The wife must yield no other subjection to her husband than what may stand with her subjection to Christ.

The former is a necessary condition required of all inferiours in their subjection, and obedience [as I shewed before (see Treatise 1, Section 6)] much more in a wife's subjection to her husband, because there is of all unequals the least disparity betwixt husbands and wives (see Section 4).

Hence for our present purpose, I gather these two other more particular conclusions, The first whereof is this,

1. If God expressly command the wife any duty, and her husband will not by any means give consent that she shall do it, but forbid her, she may and ought to do it without, or against his consent.

Two cautions are warily to be observed about this conclusion:

1. That the wife be sure that God hath commanded her that which she doth without or against her husband's consent. If she doubt, then she must stay, and forbear till she gain his consent. When two opposite cases meet together, and the one be doubtful, the other plain and express: the doubtful case must give place to the more evident. Now the law of subjection is indefinite, thy desire shall be subject to thine husband (Gen 3:16); the extent of it is general, in every thing; the only reservation and exception is in the Lord; wherefore if the wife be not sure that that which her husband forbiddeth her is against the Lord, she must forbear to do it.

The second caution is that she use all good means she can to gain her husband's consent, before she do, even that which is commanded, against his consent. Thus shall she testify her subjection both to God and her husband. To God, in that nothing can keep her from doing his express commandment: she will rather offend her husband than God, when one of them must needs be offended. To her husband, in that she putteth it to the uttermost push, and useth all the means she can to avoid his offence, in so much as he himself might see [if the god of this world blinded not his eyes] that the offence is no way given on her part, but merely taken on his.

For proof of this, it is without all contradiction true, that the wife is not bound to greater subjection unto her husband than the subject is unto the Magistrate: but a subject ought not to forbear a bounden duty commanded of God, because his governour forbids him. Instance the example of Daniel, who daily made his prayers to God, though the King had made a solemn decree that none should ask any petition of God or man within thirty days but of the king (Dan 6:7). Instance also the Apostles, who preached the Gospel, though they were expressly forbid (Acts 4:18).

Though the Scripture be plentiful in affording examples of wives' subjection, yet it is very sparing in recording examples of those who in such warrantable cases refused to be subject, lest wives from thence should take too great liberty.

Some are recorded, but such as are either extraordinary, or not every way justifiable. Abigail's example was extraordinary (1 Sam 25:18), and therefore not imitable but in such like extraordinary cases.

The example of Rebekah (Gen 27:6), which may seem somewhat more pertinent, is not every way to be justified. For though the thing which she intended were for the substance of it very good, and ought to have been done, namely the blessing of Jacob, [for God foreshewed that the blessing appertained to Jacob, in that he said, The elder shall serve the younger (Gen 25:23)] yet because she put not her husband in mind of God's word, nor laboured to persuade him to fulfill the same, but went about the matter deceitfully, she cannot therein be justified. But in the general this example sheweth that God's word must be yielded unto rather than an husband's will.

For better application of this point I will lay down some particular instances agreeable to God's word. Suppose a wife well instructed in the true religion be married to an idolatrous or profane husband, and he without any just cause forbid her to go to the Church, especially on the Lord's days, to pray in English, to read the word, to teach her children the principles of religion, to restore that which she hath unjustly and fraudulently gotten, with the like, she may, and must do them notwithstanding.

Object. Why may not giving of alms be reckoned among these?

Answ. 1. Because the husband hath a greater power over the goods, than over these things.

2. Because alms-giving is not simply commanded to all, but to such as have wherewithal to give: but these things are simply commanded to all.

52. Of cases wherein a wife ought to forbear what her husband requireth.

The other particular conclusion is this, that

If an husband require his wife to do that which God hath forbidden she ought not to do it.

Two cautions like the former are likewise to be observed about this point.

First, that she be sure [being truly informed by God's word] that that which she refuseth to do at her husband's command, is forbidden by God.

Secondly, that she first labour with all meekness and by all good means that she can to dissuade her husband from urging and pressing that upon her, which with a good conscience she cannot do.

A like proof may be brought for this as was for the former: for we know that a wife is not bound unto greater subjection to her husband than a son is unto a father: but a son may in the case propounded forbear to do that which his father requireth and commandeth him to do: instance the approved example of Jonathan, who refused to bring David unto Saul to be slain, though his father commanded him so to do (1 Sam 20:31). I might also instance the same in Saul's subjects and servants, who refused to slay the Priests of the Lord at his command (1 Sam 22:17). Though an husband be not reckoned in particular among those to whom we are forbidden to hearken if they entice us to idolatry, yet by the rule of relation he is implied, and by just consequence gathered from this clause, thy friend which is as thine own soul (Deut 13:6); for who so dear as an husband?

To exemplify this in some particulars as I did the former, If an husband shall command his wife to go to Mass, to a stage play, to play at dice, to prostitute her body to uncleanness, to go garishly and whorishly attired, to sell by scant weights, short measures, or the like, she ought not to do so.

53. Of wives' faults in shewing more respect to their husbands than to God.

Contrary to this limitation is on the one side a fawning flattering disposition of such wives as seek to please their husbands, so as they care not to displease God, [Jezebel was such an one; to please her husband most lewdly she did practice Naboth's death (1 Kings 21:7)] and on the other side a fainting timorous heart which maketh them fear their husbands more than they fear God. Good Sarah, that worthy precedent of good wives in other things, somewhat failed herein (Gen 12:13). Did wives duly consider, and always remember that they have an husband [namely Christ] in heaven, as well as on earth, and that there is greater difference betwixt that and this husband, than betwixt heaven and earth, and that both in giving reward, and taking revenge, there is no comparison betwixt them, their care of pleasing, or their fear of offending their husband in heaven would be much more than of pleasing, or offending their husband on earth: if any thing were commanded or forbidden them by their husbands on earth against Christ, they would say, If I do this, or forbear that, I should work falsehood against mine own soul; for nothing can be hid from mine husband in heaven: yea I should herein obey Satan, rather than God.

54. Of the manner of a wife's subjection to her husband.

The second general conclusion concerning the manner of a wife's subjection, which was gathered from the place of an husband, was this, that

The wife must subject herself to her husband in that manner, that she would or should subject herself to Christ. The particle As in this clause [as unto the Lord] importeth so much.

This very conclusion is also inferred out of the place of a wife: In the same place that the Church is to Christ, a wife is to an husband: therefore such subjection as the Church yieldeth to Christ, must a wife yield to her husband (Eph 5:24); which the very words of the Apostle do expressly affirm. Now we know that every Christian wife in her particular ought to yield that obedience to Christ which the Church in general doth: therefore also she must yield such subjection to her husband as she should to Christ.

Quest. What if an husband be an enemy of Christ? must such subjection be yielded to an enemy of Christ as to Christ himself? (See Section 5.)

Answ. Yea: because in his office he is in Christ's stead, though in his heart an enemy. In this case will the wisdom, patience, and obedience of a wife be best tried. It is noted of the Church, that she is a lily among thorns (Cant 2:2). She remaineth lily-like, white, soft, pleasant, amiable, though she be joined with thorns, which are scraggy, prickly, sharp: so a wife must be mild, meek, gentle, obedient, though she be matched with a crooked, perverse, profane, wicked husband: thus shall her virtue and grace shine forth the more clearly, even as the stars shine forth most brightly in the darkest night. Among wives Abigail deserveth great praise, that forgot not her duty, though she were married to a churlish, covetous, drunken sot, a very Nabal in name and deed. As for those who take occasion from the wickedness of their husbands to neglect their duty, they add to their cross a curse: for a cross it is to have a bad husband, but to be a bad wife is a sin, which pulleth down a curse. Let wives therefore remove their eyes from the disposition of their husband's person, to the condition of his place: and by virtue thereof, seeing he beareth Christ's image, be subject to him as unto Christ.

This general conclusion might be applied to the matter of subjection as well as to the manner, for the Church acknowledgeth Christ her superiour, feareth him inwardly, reverenceth him outwardly, obeyeth him also both by forbearing to do what he forbiddeth, and also by doing what he commandeth, which points having been before distinctly and largely handled and applied to wives, I will not repeat them again. Wherefore now to insist in the manner only, there are four virtues which are especially needful hereunto, whereby the Church seasoneth her subjection to Christ, and wives also may and must season their subjection to their husbands.

These are the four,

1. Humility, 2. Sincerity, 3. Cheerfulness, 4. Constancy.

55. Of wives' humility in every duty. (See Treatise 4, Section 15.)

Humility is that grace that keeps one from thinking highly of himself above that which is meet: and in regard of that mean conceit which he hath of himself maketh him think reverently, and highly of others: so as if humility be placed in a wife's heart, it will make her think better of her husband than of herself, and so make her the more willing to yield all subjection unto him. The Apostle requireth it of all Christians as a general sauce to season all other duties (Phil 2:3; Eph 4:2): but after a peculiar manner is it needful for inferiours: most of all for wives, because there are many prerogatives appertaining to their place, which may soon make them think they ought not to be subject, unless they be humbly minded. (See Section 4.) That the Church doth herewith season her subjection, is clear by the book of Canticles, where oft she acknowledgeth her own meanness, and the excellency of her spouse.

Therefore as the Church is humbly subject to Christ, so let wives be to their husbands.

56. Of wives' pride.

Contrary is pride, which puffeth up wives, and maketh them think there is no reason they should be subject to husbands, they can rule themselves well enough, yea and rule their husbands too, as well as their husbands rule them. No more pestilent vice for an inferiour, than this: it is the cause of all rebellion, disobedience, and disloyalty: only by pride, cometh contention (Prov 13:10).

57. Of wives' sincerity in every duty. (See Treatise 4, Section 63.)

II. Sincerity is that grace that maketh one to be within even in truth, what without he appeareth to be in shew. This is that Singleness of heart which is expressly required of servants, and may be applied to wives, for indeed it appertaineth to all sorts (Eph 6:5). Because it is only discerned by the Lord, who is the searcher of all hearts (Acts 1:24), it will move a wife to have an eye to him in all she doth, and to endeavour to approve herself to him above all: therefore uprightness and walking before God are oft joined together: he that is upright will assuredly walk before God, that is, endeavour to approve himself to God, as Noah did (Gen 6:9), and as God commanded Abraham to do (Gen 17:1).

Though there were no other motive in the world to move her to subjection, yet for conscience sake to Christ she should yield it. S. Peter testifieth of holy women, that they trusted in God and were subject to their husbands (1 Peter 3:5): implying thereby, that their conscience to God made them be subject to their husbands: was not Sarah's subjection seasoned with sincerity, when within herself, in her heart she called her husband Lord? (Gen 18:12)

Great reason there is that wives should in sincerity subject themselves: for

1. In their subjection even to their husbands they have to do with Christ, in whose room their husbands stand: so as, though their husbands who are but men, see only the face and outward behavior, yet Christ seeth their heart and inward disposition: though their husbands see only the things which they do before their faces, and can hear only of such things as are done before others: yet Christ seeth and knoweth the things that are done in the most secret places that can be, when no creature beside themselves is privy thereunto: Now let it be granted that in their outward carriage they give very good contentment unto their husbands, and please them every way, yet if sincerity have been wanting, with what face can thy appear before Christ? he will take another manner account of them: before Christ all their outward complement will stand them in no stead at all.

2. Herein lieth a main difference betwixt true, Christian, religious wives, and mere natural women: these may be subject on by-respects, as namely, that their husbands may the more love them, or live the more quietly and peaceably with them, or that they may the more readily obtain what they desire at their husband's hands, or for fear of their husband's displeasure and wrath, knowing him to be an angry, furious man, so as otherwise it might be worse with them, they might want many needful things, or carry away many sore blows if they were not subject. But the other have respect to Christ's ordinance, whereby their husbands are made their head, and to his word and will, whereby they are commanded subjection. Thus holy women subjected themselves (1 Peter 3:5); they cannot be holy that do not thus subject themselves: for this is a sweet perfume that sendeth forth a good savour into Christ's nostrils, and maketh the things we do pleasant and acceptable to him.

3. The benefit of this virtue being planted in a wife's heart is very great, and that both to her husband, and also to herself.

To her husband, in that it will make her manifest her respect of him before others, behind his back, as well as before himself in his presence: and also will make her faithful to him, and careful to do his will wheresoever he be, with her, or from her.

To herself, in that it will minister inward sweet comfort unto her, though her husband should take no notice of her subjection, or misinterpret it, or ill require it; for she might say as Hezekiah did, Remember O Lord how I have walked before thee in truth, and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight (Isa 38:3).

That the Church doth season all her subjection with sincerity is clear, in that she is said to be all glorious within (Psa 45:13): [there is no glory within, without sincerity] and in that she is oft said to seek him whom her soul loved (Cant 3:1,2): if her soul loved him, in sincerity of heart she was subject to him: Therefore as the Church is sincerely subject to Christ, so let wives be to their husbands.

58. Of wives' complemental subjection.

Contrary to sincerity is dissimulation, and mere outward, complemental subjection: when a wife doth even despise her husband in her heart, as Michal did David (2 Sam 6:16), and yet carry a fair face before him, as that adulterous woman, who eateth, and wipeth her mouth and saith I have not committed iniquity (Prov 30:20). Solomon maketh it a note of a lewd wife to flatter with her words (Prov 2:16). Though such a wife should perform all the duties named before, yet would those all be nothing to God, if they were done with a double heart, and not in singleness of heart. For as many outward imperfections are pardoned by God, where sincerity is, so no outward actions are accepted of him though they seem never so fair, where there is no sincerity.

59. Of wives' cheerfulness in every duty. (See Treatise 4, Sections 65 and 74.)

III. Cheerfulness is more apparent than sincerity, and maketh subjection the more pleasing not only to God, but also to man, who by the effects thereof may easily discern it.

For God, as he doth himself all things willingly and cheerfully, so he expecteth that his children should therein follow him, and thereby shew themselves his children. God loveth a cheerful giver (2 Cor 9:7): not only a cheerful giver of alms, but of all duty to God and man.

For men, it maketh them also much better accept any duty when they observe it to be done cheerfully: this did even ravish David with joy, to see his people offer their gifts willingly unto the Lord (1 Chron 29:9): when an husband seeth his wife willingly and cheerfully perform her duty, it cannot but raise up love in him. This cheerfulness is manifested by a ready, quick, and speedy performance of her duty. Sarah's readiness to obey, sheweth that what she did, she did willingly.

That thus the Church subjecteth herself to Christ is evident by that which David saith, They shall be willing in the day of thy power (Psa 110:3). Therefore as the Church is cheerfully subject unto Christ, so let wives be to their husbands.

60. Of wives' sullen and forced obedience.

Contrary to this cheerfulness is the sullen disposition of some wives, who will indeed be subject to their husbands, and obey, but with such a lowering and sour countenance, with such pouting and muttering, as they grieve their husbands more in the manner, than they can be pleased with the thing itself that they do: herein they shew themselves like to a cursed cow, which having given a fair sop of milk, casteth all down with her heel, and so verify the proverb, As good never a whit as never the better. Such subjection is in truth no subjection, it can neither be acceptable to God, nor profitable to their husbands, nor comfortable to their own souls.

61. Of wives contrary in doing their duty. (See Treatise 4, Section 72.)

IV. Constancy is a virtue which maketh all the rest perfect, and setteth the crown upon them; without which they are all nothing. This is in those who after they have begun well, continue to do well unto the end, and thereby reap the fruit of all. It hath respect both to continuance without intermission, and also to perseverance without revolting, and giving clean over. So as it is not enough to be subject by starts and fits: one while yielding all good obedience, another while stout and rebellious: neither is it sufficient in former times to have been a good wife, and after prove bad: but there must be daily proceeding and holding on from time to time, so long as husband and wife live together. This grace was in her of whom it is said, She will do him good, and not evil all the days of her life. Such were all the holy wives commended in Scripture: among other particulars, mention is made of the wife of Phinehas who on her death-bed shewed the reverend good respect she bare to her husband, though he were a wicked and lewd man (1 Sam 4:21). This grace doth the Church add to all her other virtues, she in all parts of her subjection remaineth constant, and faithful unto the death, whereby it cometh to pass, that at length she receiveth the reward of her holy obedience, which is full and perfect communion and fellowship with her spouse Christ Jesus in heaven. In regard of her unmovable constancy it is said, that the gates of hell shall never prevail against her (Matt 16:18). Therefore as the Church is constantly subject unto Christ, so let wives be to their husbands.

62. Of wives repenting their former goodness.

Contrary to this Constancy is first intermission of duty, a returning to it, and a leaving it off by turns: like one that is sick of an ague, sometimes well, sometimes ill, one while hot, another while cold. That sometimes ceasing taketh away all the virtue, grace and glory, from sometimes doing. Besides, it is twenty to one that through the corruption of nature, that diversity and intercourse of fits at length will cease, and end in the worse. It is very likely that Michal was such an one: for one while she shewed herself so full of respect to David, as for his sake she incurred the King her father's displeasure (1 Sam 19:11): another while in her heart she despised him, and with her tongue taunted him (2 Sam 6:16,20).

Contrary also to the forenamed Constancy is Apostasy, that is, a clean relinquishing of the former good course, as if a wife repented her of her former good beginning. Such an one is she that is said to forsake the guide of her youth, and forget the covenant of her God. For ought we read to the contrary, Job's wife was such an one. And such are many who in their younger years, while their religious parents lived [as Joash while old good Jehoiada lived (2 Chron 24:2)] have behaved themselves very well like good dutiful wives, but being grown to elder years, have grown also so stout and rebellious, as if they clean repented themselves of their former good beginning. This revolt ariseth sometimes from the evil counsel of wicked Gossips, and sometimes from their own proud humour. I may say of these wives' subjection, as the Prophet saith of the righteousness of revolters, their subjection shall not be remembered, but in their rebellion they shall die (Eze 18:24). Therefore as the Church is subject to Christ, let wives be to their husbands.

63. Of the extent of a wife's obedience. (See Treatise 4, Section 26.)

The extent of a wife's subjection [which remaineth now to be handled] is set down under these general terms [in every thing] which are not so generally to be taken as if they admitted no restraint or limitation, for then would they contradict such cautions as these, in the fear of the Lord, as to the Lord, in the Lord (Eph 5:21,22; Col 3:18). For man is so corrupt by nature, and of so perverse a disposition, that oft he willeth and commandeth that which is contrary to God's will and commandment: which when he doth, that Christian principle laid down as a ruled case by the Apostle must take place, we ought rather to obey God than men (Acts 5:29).

Quest. Why then is this extent laid down in such general terms?

Answ. 1. To teach wives that it is not sufficient for them to obey their husbands in some things, as they themselves think meet, but in all things whatsoever they be wherein the husband by virtue of his superiority and authority hath power to command his wife. Thus this general extent excludeth not God's will, but the wife's will. She may do nothing against God's will; but many things must she do against her own will if her husband require her.

2. To shew that the husband's authority and power is very large: it hath no restraint but God's contrary command, whereof if a wife be not assured, she must yield to her husband's will.

64. Of a wife's labouring to bring her judgment to the bent of her husband's. (See Treatise 4, Sections 28 and 29.)

From that extent I gather these two conclusions:

1. A wife must labour to bring her judgment and will to her husband's.

2. Though in her judgment she cannot think that most meet which her husband requireth, yet she must yield to it in practice.

In the former of these, I say not simply that a wife is bound to bring her judgment to the bent of her husband's; for he may be deceived in his judgment, and she may see his error, and then unless her understanding should be blinded, she cannot conceive that to be true which he judgeth so: but I speak of endeavour [when she hath not sure and undeniable grounds to the contrary] to suspect her judgment when it's contrary to her husband's, and to think she may be in an error, and thereupon not be too peremptory and resolute in contradicting her husband's opinion. This submission even of her judgment respecteth not only things necessary, for which her husband hath an express determinate warrant out of the Scripture, but also things doubtful and indifferent: for even so far doth this clause [in every thing] extend: and the subjection of a wife respecteth not her practice only, but her judgment and opinion also: which if she can bring to the lawfulness and meetness of that which her husband requireth, she will much more cheerfully perform it. To this purpose [as I take it] may be applied that exhortation of the Apostle unto women, that they learn in silence with all subjection (1 Tim 2:11): which though it be principally meant of learning in the Church, yet it excludeth not her learning at home of her husband: for in the next words he addeth, I suffer not a women to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

65. Of wives' overweening conceit of their own wisdom.

Contrary is the presumption of such wives as think themselves wiser than their husbands, and able better to judge matters than they can. I deny not but that a wife may have more understanding than her husband: for some men are very ignorant and blockish; and on the other side, some women well instructed, who thereby have attained to a great measure of knowledge, and discretion; but many though they have husbands of sufficient and good understanding, wise and discrete men, yet think that that which they have once conceived to be a truth, must needs be so: and such is their peremptoriness, that they will not be brought to think that they may err: but say they will never be brought to think otherwise than they do, though all the husbands in the world should be of another opinion: not much unlike to the wise-man's fool, who thinketh himself wiser than seven men that can render a reason (Prov 26:16).

66. Of a wife's yielding to her husband in such things as she thinketh not to be the meetest. (See Treatise 4, Section 27.)

The latter conclusion concerning a wife's yielding in practice to that which her husband requireth, though she cannot bring her judgment to think as he doth about the meetness of it, hath respect to indifferent things, namely, to such as are neither in their particulars commanded, nor forbidden by God: as the outward affairs of the house, ordering it, disposing goods, entertaining guests, &c.

Quest. May she not reason with her husband about such matters as she thinketh unmeet, and labour to persuade her husband not to persist in the pressing thereof, yea endeavour to bring her husband to see the unmeetness [as she thinketh] of that which she seeth?

Answ. With modesty, humility, and reverence, she may so do: and he ought to hearken unto her, as the husband of the Shunammite did (2 Kings 4:23,24), but yet, if notwithstanding all that she can say, he persist in his resolution, and will have it done, she must yield.

First, her subjection is most manifested in such cases: herein she apparently sheweth, that what she doth, she doth in respect of her husband's place, and power: were it not for that, she would not do it. Other things are not so evident proofs of her subjection to her husband: for if he command her to do that which God hath expressly commanded, and so she ought to do it, whether her husband command it or no, it may be thought she doth it on God's command, and not on her husband's. If her husband command her to do that which God hath expressly forbidden, then ought she by no means to yield unto it: if she do, it may rather be termed a joint conspiracy of husband and wife together against God's will [as S. Peter said to Sapphira the wife of Ananias, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the spirit of the Lord? (Acts 5:9)] than subjection to the image of God in her husband.

Secondly, her yielding in indifferent things tendeth much to the peace of the family, as subjects yielding to their Magistrates in such cases maketh much to the peace of the Commonwealth. For in differences and dissensions one side must yield, or else great mischief is like to follow: now of the two, who should yield but the inferiour?

67. Of wives making their own will their law.

Contrary is the custom of many wives, who never will do any more than they themselves think meet, though their husbands require it never so much: surely they come far short of this Apostolical extent [in every thing] though in their own eyes they may seem to be very much subject. But when wives will not further be subject, than their own judgments, wills and affections concur with their husbands, what can be thought but that they are subject rather to their own wills, than to the will of their husbands? Many such wives, from the least difference in judgment and opinion, even in the smallest matters, take occasion to refuse subjection, and think they have warrant enough so to do: whence oftentimes there ariseth much contention, the fault whereof lieth especially on the wife's neck, though the occasion may arise from the husband: and I think that wives themselves would so judge of the like cases betwixt them and their children.

68. Of care in choosing such husbands as wives may without grief be subject unto. (See Treatise 2, Part 1, Section 11.)

Object. If the case be such betwixt man and wife, it is not good to marry.

Answ. This is no good inference; for all the seeming hardness of a wife's case is in the lewdness of an husband, who abuseth his place and power: and not in that subjection which is required by God. For if an husband carry himself to his wife as God requireth, she will find her yoke to be easy, and her subjection a great benefit even unto herself. Wherefore I would exhort parties that are unmarried, whether maidens or widows, to be very careful in their choice of husbands: and in their choice to respect above all, their good qualities and conditions, therein bearing the image of Christ, as well as in their office, and authority: so as their wives may with joy and comfort, not with grief and anguish, be subject unto them: then will subjection prove a vexation, when the husband is an ignorant, profane, idolatrous, worldly, wicked man: wives of such husbands are oft brought into many straits. Ye widows and maidens who are free, be not too free and forward in giving your consent to whom you know not: among other motives, oft think of this point of subjection, to which all wives are bound: this I say, both of the several branches, and also of the extent thereof. After you are married it is in vain to think of freedom from subjection. By taking husbands, and giving yourselves to be wives, you bind yourselves to the law of the man, as long as he liveth. Then as you desire to be accepted of God, and to find mercy and comfort from him, you must bear this yoke, how heavy and grievous it seem to be.

69. Of the reasons to move wives to do their duties.

Hitherto of wives' duties: the reasons noted by the Apostle to enforce those duties now follow. They are laid down in these words.

Ephesians 5:22-24. As unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church: and he is the Saviour of the body. Wherefore as the Church is subject, &c.

The main ground of all the reasons which the Apostle here intimateth, is taken from the place wherein God hath set an husband, which is first by consequence implied in these words, as to the Lord: and then more plainly and directly expressed in these, the husband is the head of the wife. The particle prefixed before these words [for] being a causal conjunction, doth shew, that they are here set down as a reason, which is first propounded under a metaphor [head] and then amplified by that resemblance which an husband hath therein unto Christ [even as Christ &c.] which resemblance is further commended by the virtue and benefit that proceedeth from the head-ship of Christ properly, and of an husband also by consequence, in these words [and is the Saviour of the body]. Upon an husband's resemblance unto Christ, he inferreth that a wife should have a resemblance unto the Church, and so concludeth, Therefore as the Church is in subjection to Christ, so let wives be to their husbands.

Out of the forenamed ground of a wife's subjection, and the several amplifications thereof, and the inference thereupon made, five several and distinct reasons may be gathered to enforce a wife's subjection to her husband.

The first is taken from an husband's place: he is in the Lord's stead to his wife [as to the Lord].

The second from his office: he is an head to his wife.

The third from the image he beareth, or from the resemblance betwixt him and Christ [even as Christ &c.].

The fourth from the benefit that his wife receiveth from him [he is the Saviour &c.].

The fifth from the example and pattern of the Church [as the Church is in subjection &c.].

70. Of an husband's place.

The place wherein God hath set an husband as it serveth to direct a wife in the manner of her subjection, whereof I have spoken before (see Section 51), so also it serveth to move a wife to yield such subjection as is required: which will evidently appear by these two conclusions following from thence.

1. A wife by subjecting herself to her husband therein is subject unto Christ.

2. A wife by refusing to be subject unto her husband, therein refuseth to be subject unto Christ.

That these two conclusions are rightly and justly gathered from the forenamed ground I prove by like conclusions which the Holy Ghost inferreth upon the like ground. It is evident that Christ Jesus, even incarnate and made flesh, was in the room and stead of his father, whereupon Christ said to Philip that desired to see the father, he that hath seen me hath seen the father (John 14:9): Now mark what Christ thence inferreth both on the one side [he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me (Matt 10:40)] and on the other side [he that honoureth not the son, honoureth not the father that sent him (John 5:23)]. It is also evident that Ministers of the Gospel stand in the room and stead of Christ: for thus saith the Apostle of himself and other Ministers, we are Ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us, we pray you in Christ's stead, &c. Now mark again the conclusions inferred thereupon by Christ, on the one side, he that heareth you, heareth me, and on the other, he that despiseth you, despiseth me (Luke 10:16). On this ground it was that God said to Samuel concerning the people that rejected his government, they have not cast thee away, but they have cast me away (1 Sam 8:7).

To apply this reason, I hope such wives as live under the Gospel have so much religion and piety in them as to acknowledge, it becometh them well to be subject unto the Lord Christ Jesus: here then learn one especial and principal part of subjection unto Christ, which is to be subject unto your husbands: thus shall you shew yourselves to be the wives of the Lord Christ, as the Apostle saith of obedient servants, they are the servants of God (1 Peter 2:16).

Again I hope none are so void of all religion and piety as to refuse to be subject unto Christ: here then take notice, that if willfully ye refuse to be subject to your husbands, ye willfully refuse to be subject to Christ: fitly on this ground may I apply that to wives, which the Apostle speaketh of subjects, whosoever resisteth the power and authority of an husband, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves judgment (Rom 13:2).

A strong motive is this first motive. If it were duly considered of wives, they would more readily, and cheerfully be subject, than many are; they would not so lightly think of their husband's place, nor so reproachfully speak against God's Ministers who plainly declare their duty unto them, as many do.

71. Of an husband's office.

The second reason is like unto this taken from an husband's office, he is the wife's head (1 Cor 11:3): which is also urged to this very purpose in other places.

This metaphor sheweth that to his wife he is as the head of a natural body, both more eminent in place, and also more excellent in dignity: by virtue of both which, he is a ruler and governour of his wife. Nature teacheth us that this is true of the head of a natural body, and the Apostle by entitling an husband, an head, teacheth us that it is as true of an husband: whence it followeth, that it standeth with common equity, and with the light of nature, that the wife should be subject to her husband. This argument doth the Apostle in plain terms urge in another place, saying, doth not nature teach you, &c. (1 Cor 11:14).

Go therefore, O wives, unto the school of nature, look upon the outward parts and members of your bodies. Do they desire to be above the head? are they loath to be subject unto the head? Let your soul then learn of your body. Were it not monstrous for the side to be advanced above the head? If the body should not be subject to the head, would not destruction follow upon head, body, and all the parts thereof? As monstrous, and much more monstrous is it for a wife to be above her husband: and as great, yea and greater disturbance and ruin would fall on that family. The order which God hath set therein would be clean overthrown thereby: and they that overthrow it would shew themselves oppugners of God's wisdom in establishing order. This reason drawn from nature is of force to move very pagans, and savages to yield subjection, how much more Christian wives, it being also agreeable to God's word, and ratified thereby?

72. Of the resemblance betwixt Christ and an husband.

The third reason taken from an husband's resemblance unto Christ herein, addeth an edge unto that former reason: in being an head, he is like Christ. So as there is a kind of fellowship and co-partnership betwixt Christ and an husband: they are brethren in office, as two Kings of several places.

Object. There is no equality betwixt Christ the Lord from heaven, and an earthly husband: the disparity betwixt them is infinite.

Answ. Yet there may be similitude, resemblance, and fellowship: inequality is no hindrance to these. Two kings may be more different in estate than a subject and a King; yet those two Kings brethren and fellows in office. There may be a resemblance where there is no parity, and a likeness where there is no equality. The glorious and bright sun in the firmament, and a dim candle in an house, have a kind of fellowship, and the same office, which is to give light: yet there is no equality betwixt them. So then an husband resembleth not only the head of a natural body, but also the glorious image of Christ, and is that to his wife which Christ is to his Church.

To apply this point, mark how from it two positions [worthy to be noted] do arise.

1. Subjection is due to an husband as well as to Christ.

I say not as great, because of the difference in glory: but as well, because of the likeness in office. A constable [though a poor mean man] must be obeyed as well as an high sheriff: A beggar's child must obey his father, as well as a King's child. Such wives therefore who are not subject, wrong their husbands, as well as they wrong Christ who are not subject to him.

2. They who by their subjection maintain the honour of their husband's place, maintain thereby the honour of Christ's place: and again by the rule of contraries, They who by refusing to be subject impeach the honour of their husband's place, impeach thereby the honour of Christ's place.

The obedience of a poor man's child or servant justifieth that obedience which King's children and servants owe their father and sovereign: and so on the contrary, disobedience in mean ones, dishonoureth the place of great ones.

The argument of Memucan drawn from the greater to the less [in these works, Vashti the Queen hath not done wrong to the king only, but also to all the princes, and all the people (Esth 1:16)] may be applied from the less to the greater. Disobedient wives do wrong not only to their own particular husbands, but also to all heads, even to Christ the head of the Church.

If a natural body, and the Church were flexible, and could be seduced, and drawn to presume, and rebel against their heads, the ill example of wives were enough to move them thereunto, for, as much as in them lieth, they by example seduce them.

From the last forenamed positions [viz. that the obedience of a good wife maintaineth the honour of Christ's place, and on the contrary side that the disobedience of an ill wife impaireth the honour thereof] I may justly infer two other conclusions.

1. That Christ will assuredly reward the good subjection of good wives: for he hath said [and what he hath said he can and will perform] them that honour me will I honour.

2. That he will sorely revenge the rebellion of evil wives: for again he hath said, they that despise me, shall be despised (1 Sam 2:30).

We know that fellows in office are ready to stand for the credit of one another's place, and to maintain the honour thereof: and that not without good reason: for thereby they maintain their own honour and credit.

Wherefore as good wives may well expect a reward at Christ's hands, howsoever their husbands respect their obedience, whether well or ill: [a great encouragement for wives to perform their duties, though their husbands be never so ill] so evil wives have just cause to fear revenge at Christ's hand, howsoever their husbands bear with them.

They who duly weigh this reason taken from that resemblance which is betwixt Christ and the Church, cannot but hold it to be a motive of great moment.

73. Of the benefit which a wife hath by an husband.

The fourth reason taken from the benefit which a wife receiveth from her husband, doth yet further press the point in hand. Though Christ be properly the Saviour of the body, yet even herein an husband carrieth a resemblance of Christ, and is after a manner a Saviour: for by virtue of his place and office he is on the one side her protector, to defend her from hurt, and preserve her from danger; and on the other side, a provider of all needful and necessary things for her: in which respect she is taken from her parents and friends, and wholly committed to him: [as Jacob's wives said, Have we any more portion or inheritance in our father's house? (Gen 31:14)] yea she herself, and all she hath is given to him: and he again communicateth whatsoever he hath to her good, and for her use. David compareth a wife to a Vine, in relation to her husband (Psa 128:3): intimating thereby, that by him she is raised to that height of honour she hath, as a vine by the tree, or frame near unto which it is planted. By his honour is she dignified, by his wealth is she enriched. He is, under God, all in all to her; in the family he is a King to govern and aid her, a Priest to pray with her and for her, a Prophet to teach and instruct her. As the head is placed in the highest place over the body, and understanding placed in it, to govern, direct, protect, and every way seek the good of the body, and as Christ is united to the Church as a spouse, and made her head, that she might be saved, maintained, and provided for by him; so for this end was an husband placed in his place of superiority; and his authority was committed to him, to be a Saviour of his wife. Wherefore if none of the former motives prevail with wives, and move them to be subject to their husbands, yet ought this.

For from this reason flow these two conclusions.

1. The subjection required of a wife is for her own good.

2. In refusing to obey she sheweth herself both ungrateful to her husband, and also injurious to herself.

That her subjection is for her own good, is evident by this end for which an husband is made an head, to be a Saviour: not to puff him up, to make him insult and tyrannize over his wife. So as if she be subject unto him, she may reap much good from him. As the Church is wisely governed, and safely protected by subjecting herself to her head Christ Jesus; and as the body partaketh of much good, and is preserved from much evil by subjecting itself to the head, so if a wife be subject to her husband, she will fare much the better thereby, all the ease, profit, and benefit thereof will be hers. If therefore she render her own good, this is a way and means ordained of God for this end; let her herein seek it.

If notwithstanding this she refuse to be subject unto her husband, doth she not [as we say] stand in her own light? She being by her sex the weaker, and the more unable to help herself, if she shall reject this good help which God hath provided for her, is she not most injurious to her own self? And considering the care and pains her husband undergoeth for her sake, is it not most unnatural and monstrous ingratitude, inwardly to despise, or outwardly to scorn such an head? No better testimony of a grateful heart can be given by a wife to her husband, than cheerful and ready subjection: and no greater ingratitude can be shewed, than rebellion, and disdain. Now among vices ingratitude is one of the most odious to God and man: so as both to avoid the black spot of ingratitude, and to carry away the name of gratefulness, ought wives to be subject.

74. Of the example of the Church set before wives.

The last reason taken from the example of the Church is also of good force to persuade wives unto subjection. Example more prevails with many than precept. If any example may be of force, then this most of all: for it is not the example of one only, but of many; not of many ignorant, and wicked persons, but of understanding, wise, holy and righteous persons, even all the Saints that ever were, are, or shall be: for the Church compriseth all under it, even that whole society of Saints, which are chosen of God in his eternal counsel, redeemed of Christ by his precious blood, and effectually called by the Gospel of salvation, God's Spirit working inwardly and powerfully upon them, those very souls of just and perfect men now triumphing in heaven, not excepted: note how this Church is described in the 26th, and 27th verse. Let this example therefore be oft thought of: it will never repent any to follow it: for it treadeth the only right path to eternal glory, whereunto they shall assuredly come that follow it.

But to shew the force of this reason a little more distinctly, note these two conclusions following from it.

1. Wives are as much bound to be subject to their husbands, as the Church to Christ. Else why should this example be thus set before them, and pressed upon them? why are husbands set in Christ's stead, and resembled to him?

2. A wife's subjection to her husband, answerable to the Church's subjection unto Christ, is an evidence that she is of the Church, guided by the same Spirit that the Church is. For it cannot be performed by the power of nature, it is a supernatural work, and so an evidence of the Spirit.

Wherefore, O Christian wives, as your husbands by their place resemble Christ, so do you by your practice resemble the Church. Of the two this is the more commendable: for that is a dignity, this a virtue: but true virtue is much more glorious than any dignity can be.

These reasons being well poised, and the force of them all joined together, they cannot but work on the stoutest stomach that is: wherefore if this point of subjection seem to be too bitter a pill to be well digested, let it be sweetened with the syrup of these reasons, and it will much better be swallowed, and have the more kindly work.




The Fourth Treatise

Husbands Particular Duties

1. Of the general heads of this Treatise.

Ephesians 5:25. Husbands love your own wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, &c.

As the wife is to know her duty, so the husband much more his, because he is to be a guide, and good example to his wife, he is to dwell with her according to knowledge (1 Peter 3:7), the more eminent his place is, the more knowledge he ought to have now to walk worthy thereof. Neglect of duty in him is more dishonourable unto God, because by virtue of his place he is the image and glory of God (1 Cor 11:7), and more pernicious not to his wife only, but also to the whole family, because of that power and authority he hath, which he may abuse to the maintenance of his wickedness, having in the house no superiour power to restrain his fury: whereas the wife, though never so wicked, may by the power of her husband be kept under, and restrained from outrage.

Wherefore to go on in order, in laying down the husband's duties [as we have the wife's] we are to consider,

1. The duties themselves.

2. The reasons to enforce them.

In setting down the duties we must note

1. The matter wherein they consist.

2. The manner how they are to be performed.

The Apostle compriseth the whole matter of them all under Love, which is the sum and head of all.

This we will first handle: and then proceed to other particulars.

2. Of that love which husbands owe their wives. (See Treatise 3, Section 2.)

This head of all the rest, Love, is expressly set down, and alone mentioned in this, and in many other places of Scripture, whereby it is evident, that all other duties are comprised under it.

To omit other places, where this duty is urged, in this place, Love is four times by name expressed, beside that it is intimated under many other terms and phrases (Eph 5:25,28,33).

Whosoever therefore taketh a wife, must, in this respect that she is his wife, love her: as it is noted of Isaac [the best pattern of husbands noted in the Scripture] he took Rebekah, she was his wife and he loved her (Gen 24:67).

Many good reasons hereof may be rendered.

1. Because no duty on the husband's part can be rightly performed except it be seasoned with love. The Apostle exhorteth all Christians to do all their things in love (1 Cor 16:14): much more ought husbands: though in place they be above their wives, yet love may not be forgotten.

2. Because of all persons on earth a wife is the most proper object of love: nor friend, nor child, nor parent ought so to be loved as a wife: she is termed, the wife of his bosom (Deut 13:6), to shew that she ought to be as his heart in his bosom.

3. Because his place of eminency, and power of authority may soon puff him up, and make him insult over his wife, and trample her under his feet, if an entire love of her be not planted in his heart. To keep him from abusing his authority is love so much pressed upon him.

4. Because wives through the weakness of their sex [for they are the weaker vessels] are much prone to provoke their husbands. So as if there be not love predominant in the husband, there is like to be but little peace betwixt man and wife. Love covereth a multitude of imperfections.

5. Because as Christ by his love first manifested provoketh the Church to love him, so an husband by loving his wife should provoke her to love him again: shewing himself like the sun which is the fountain of light, and from which the moon receiveth what light she hath: so he should be the fountain of love to his wife.

Object. Love was before laid down as a common duty appertaining both to man and wife: how is it then here required as a particular and peculiar duty of an husband?

Answ. In regard of the general extent of love it is indeed a common duty belonging to the one as well as to the other, yea belonging to all Christians, to all men: for it is the very nature of love, and an especial property thereof, to seek not her own things (1 Cor 13:5), but the good of others, which all are bound to do by virtue of the bond of nature; more than others, Christians by virtue of the bond of the spirit: among Christians, especially wives and husbands by virtue of the matrimonial bond: of married couples, most of all husbands by virtue of their place and charge. Their place is a place of authority, which without love will soon turn into tyranny. Their charge is especially and above all, to seek the good of their wives: as wives are the chiefest, and greatest charge of husbands, so their chiefest and greatest care must be for them: the parents and friends of wives as they give over all their authority to their husbands, so they cast all care upon them; wherefore that husbands may take the more care of their wives, and the better seek their good, they ought after a peculiar manner to love them. Husbands are most of all bound to love: and bound to love their wives most of all. Thus this affection of love is a distinct duty in itself, peculiarly appertaining to an husband: and also a common condition which must be annexed to every other duty of an husband, to season and sweeten the same. His look, his speech, his carriage, and all his actions, wherein he hath to do with his wife, must be seasoned with love: love must shew itself in his commandments, in his reproofs, in his instructions, in his admonitions, in his authority, in his familiarity, when they are alone together, when they are in company before others, in civil affairs, in religious matters, at all times, in all things: as salt must be first and last upon the table, and eaten with every bit of meat, so must love be first in an husband's heart, and last out of it, and mixed with every thing wherein he hath to do with his wife.

3. Of an husband's hatred and want of love.

Contrary hereunto is hatred of heart: which vice as it is very odious and detestable in itself, so much more when the wife is made the object thereof. As love provoketh an husband to do his wife what good he can, so hatred, to do her what mischief he can. Moses noteth a man's hatred of his wife to be a cause of much mischief (Deut 22:13): for the nearer, and dearer any persons be, the more violent will that hatred be which is fastened on them.

Hence was it that a divorce was suffered to be made betwixt a man and his wife, in case he hated her (Deut 24:3): which law questionless was made for relief of the wife, lest the hatred which her husband conceived against her should work her some mischief, if he were forced to keep her as his wife: which Christ seemeth to imply in theses words, Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, suffered you to put away your wives (Matt 19:8). This therefore being so pestilent a poison, let husbands take heed how they suffer it to soak into them.

Neither is it sufficient for an husband not to hate his wife, for even the want of love, though it be only a privation, yet is it a great vice, and contrary also to the forenamed duty of love. Where this want of love is, there can be no duty well performed, even as when the great wheel of a clock, the first mover of all the rest, is out of frame, never a wheel can be in good order. They that think lightly hereof, plainly discover that there is little or no love of God in them at all: for if the Apostle's inference be good, taken from a man's neighbour or brother whom he hath seen, it will much more be good having relation to a wife (1 John 4:20): for how can he who loveth not his wife, [whom God hath given to him as a token of his favour, and as an help meet for him, to be in his bosom, and ever in his sight, yea to be no more two, but one flesh] love God whom he hath not seen? If any man saith, he loveth God, and hate his wife, he is a liar. Let husbands therefore by loving their wives give evidence that they love God.

4. Of an husband's wife maintaining his authority. (See Treatise 3, Section 9.)

All the branches which grow out of this root of love, as they have respect to husbands' duties, may be drawn to two heads:

1. A wife maintaining of his authority.

2. A right managing of the same.

That these two are branches of an husband's love, is evident by the place wherein God hath set him, which is a place of authority; for the best good that any can do, and so the best fruits of love which he can shew forth to any, are such as are done in his own proper place, and by virtue thereof. If then an husband relinquish his authority, he disableth himself from doing that good, and shewing those fruits of love which otherwise he might. If he abuse his authority, he turneth the edge and point of his sword amiss: instead of holding it over his wife for her protection, he turneth it into her bowels to her destruction, and so manifesteth thereby more hatred than love.

Now then to handle these two severally, and distinctly:

1. That an husband ought wisely to maintain his authority, is implied under this Apostolical precept, Husbands dwell with your wives according to knowledge (1 Peter 3:7), that is, as such as are well able to maintain the honour of that place wherein God hath set you: not as sots and fools without understanding. The same is also implied under the titles of preeminence which the Scripture attributeth to husbands, as Lord, Master, head, guide, image and glory of God, &c. (See Treatise 3, Section 3.)

The honour and authority of God, and of his Son Christ Jesus, is maintained in and by the honour and authority of an husband, as the King's authority is maintained by the authority of his Privy Counsel and other Magistrates under him; yea, as an husband's authority is in the family maintained by the authority of his wife: [for as the man is the glory of God, so the woman is the glory of the man (1 Cor 11:7)].

The good of the wife herself is thus also much promoted, even as the good of the body is helped forward by the head's abiding in his place; should the head be put under any of the parts of the body, the body and all the parts thereof could not but receive much damage thereby: even so the wife and whole family would feel the damage of the husband's loss of his authority.

1. Quest. Is it in the power of the husband to maintain his own authority?

Answ. Yea, in his more than in any others: for note the counsel of the Apostle to Timothy, [though in another case, yet very pertinent to this purpose] Let no man despise thy youth (1 Tim 4:12). It was therefore in Timothy's power to maintain his honour, and not to suffer it to be despised; and so is it in an husband's power.

2. Quest. How may an husband best maintain his authority?

Answ. That direction which the Apostle given to Timothy to maintain his authority, may firstly be applied for this purpose unto an husband; Be an ensample in conversation, in love, in spirit, in faith, and in pureness: as if he had said, If thou walk before them worthy of thy place and calling, and worthy of that honour and respect which is due thereunto, shewing for the fruits of love, faith, and other like graces, assuredly they will reverence thy youth; but if otherwise thou carry thyself basely, and not beseeming a minister, thou givest them just occasion to despise thee. Even thus may husbands best maintain their authority by being an ensample in love, gravity, piety, honesty, &c. The fruits of these and other like graces shewed forth by husbands before their wives and family, cannot but work a reverend and dutiful respect in their wives and whole house towards them: for by this means they shall more clearly discern the image of God shine forth in their faces.

Object. Very goodness and grace itself is hated of wicked and ungodly wives: it was an act of piety that made Michal despise David.

Answ. 1. Grant it to be so: yet this may be a good direction for such husbands as have not such wicked wives.

2. This doth not always so fall out, no, nor yet for the most part in those that are wicked; true virtue and integrity doth oft cause admiration in such as love it not.

3. Though some be of so crooked and perverse a disposition as to take occasion of contempt, where none is given, yet shall that husband justify himself before God and man, that carrieth himself worthy of has place.

5. Of husbands losing their authority.

Contrary is their practice who by their profaneness, riotousness, drunkenness, lewdness, lightness, unthriftiness, and other like base carriage, make themselves contemptible, and so lose their authority: though a wife ought not to take these occasions to despise her husband, yet is it a just judgment on him to be despised, seeing he maketh himself contemptible.

Contrary also to the forenamed directions is the stern, rough, and cruel carriage of husbands, who by violence and tyranny go about to maintain their authority. Force may indeed cause fear, but a slavish fear, such a fear as breedeth more hatred than love, more inward contempt, than outward respect.

And contrary is their servile disposition, who against their own judgment yield to the bent of their wife's mind in such things as are unlawful: they will lose their authority rather than give discontent to their wife: which is a fault expressly forbidden by the law (Deut 13:6,7): and yet a fault whereinto not only wicked Ahab (1 Kings 21:7,9), but also wise Solomon fell (1 Kings 11:4): how heinous a fault, and how grievous a fall this was in Solomon, the fearful issue thereof sheweth. Like to him not in wisdom, but in its point of egregious folly, are such as upon their wife's instigation, suffer Priests and Jesuits, to lurk and celebrate Masses in their houses, and yield to be present thereat themselves. Like to Ahab are such Magistrates as suffer their wives to oversway them in course of Justice: hence it cometh to pass that more petitions and suits are made to the wives of Magistrates in the cases of Justice than to the Magistrates themselves: and the favour of their wives is more esteemed than their own: so as the power of governing, and the main stroke in determining matters, is from their wives; they are but the mouths and instruments of their wives, in so much as among the common people the title of their places and offices is given to their wives. Some husbands suffer this by reason of their fearful, and foolish disposition, wanting courage and wisdom to maintain the honour of their places against the insolency of their wives: others upon a subtle, covetous, wicked mind, that by the means of their wives there may be more freedom for receiving bribes. Among these I may reckon those who against their own mind, to satisfy their wives' mind, suffer both wives and children to follow the fashion, to attire themselves unbeseeming their places, to frequent light company, with the like; and also those who upon their wife's importunity are moved [as Samson was] to reveal such secrets as are not meet to be known. Husbands may hearken to their wives' moving good things, but they may not obey them in evil things: if they do, their fault is double: 1. in doing evil: 2. in losing their authority.

Let husbands therefore be very watchful against their wives' evil instigations. Satan laboured to supplant Job by his wife: and by this doth he subvert many in these days.

6. Of husbands' high account of wives. (See Treatise 3, Section 3.)

As authority must be well maintained, so must it be well managed: for which purpose two things are needful:

1. That an husband tenderly respect his wife.

2. That providently he care for her.

An husband's tender respect of his wife is Inward, Outward.

Inward in regard of his Opinion of her, Affection to her.

Outward in regard of his carriage towards her.

For an husband's opinion of his wife, two things are to be weighed. 1. Her place. 2. Her person.

1. Her place is indeed a place of inferiority, and subjection, yet the nearest to equality that may be: a place of common equity in many respects, wherein man and wife are after a sort even fellows, and partners: Hence then it followeth that

The husband must account his wife a yoke-fellow and companion (1 Peter 3:7). This is one point of giving honour to the wife: and it is implied under that phrase whereby the end of making a wife is noted (Gen 2:18), which in our English is translated, meet for him, word for word as before him, that is, like himself, one in whom he might see himself, or even [to use our Apostle's word] himself (Eph 5:28). These phrases imply a kind of fellowship: as also the many prerogatives that are common to both, which have been noted before (see Treatise 3, Section 4).

As a wife's acknowledgement of her husband's superiority is the ground-work of all her duties, so an husband's acknowledgement of that fellowship which is betwixt him and his wife, will make him carry himself much more amiably, familiarly, lovingly, and every way as beseemeth a good husband towards her.

7. Of that fellowship which is betwixt man and wife, notwithstanding a wife's inferiority.

Object. Fellowship betwixt man and wife cannot stand with a wife's inferiority and subjection.

Answ. They are of very mean capacity that cannot see how these may stand together. Is there not a fellowship betwixt superiour and inferiour Magistrates in relation to their subjects? yea the Scripture mentioneth a fellowship betwixt Christ the head and other Saints in relation to the glory whereof all are made partakers [for it termeth us joint heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17)] and in relation to God's people a fellowship betwixt God and his ministers [for it termeth them labourers together with God (1 Cor 3:9)] yet none can deny the Saints, and Ministers to be inferiour and in subjection to Christ, and God. But distinctly to answer the objection.

1. There may not only be a fellowship, but also an equality in some things betwixt those that in other things are one of them inferiours and subject: as betwixt man and wife in the power of one another's bodies: for the wife [as well as the husband] is therein both a servant, and a mistress, a servant to yield her body, a mistress to have the power of his.

2. There may be fellowship in the very same things wherein is inferiority: for fellowship hath respect to the thing itself, inferiority to the measure, and manner: as in giving light the sun and moon have a fellowship, but in the measure and manner the moon is inferiour: the moon hath not so much light as the sun, and that which it hath it hath from the sun: and as in governing, the King and other Magistrates have a fellowship, but in the measure, and manner of government they are inferiour to him: Even so is it betwixt man and wife, in many things wherein there is a fellowship, the wife is notwithstanding inferiour: so as inferiority may stand with fellowship.

3. There are no unequals betwixt which there is so near a parity as betwixt man and wife: if therefore there may be a fellowship betwixt any that are superiour, and inferiour one to another, then much more betwixt man and wife.

As the soul therefore ruleth over the body, by a mutual and loving consent and agreement, so must a man over his wife.

8. Of husbands' too mean account of wives.

Contrary is the conceit of many who think there is no difference betwixt a wife and servant but in familiarity: and that wives were made to be servants to their husbands, because subjection, fear and obedience are required of them: whence it cometh to pass that wives are oft used little better than servants. A conceit and practice savouring too much of heathenish, and sottish arrogancy. Did God at first take the wife out of man's side, that man should tread her under his feet? or rather than he should set her at his side next to him above all children, servants, or any other in the family, how near, or dear unto him soever? for none can be nearer than a wife, and none ought to be dearer.

9. Of husbands' good esteem of their own wives. (See Treatise 3, Section 5.)

2. For the person of a wife, An husband ought to esteem that particular person to whom by God's providence his is joined in marriage, to be the fittest, and best for him. This is implied under that particle of restraint [OWN] noted by the Apostle where he saith husbands love your OWN wives (Eph 5:25), and again presseth it under a comparison of the body [as your OWN bodies (Eph 5:28)]. Every one thinketh his own body best and fittest for him. A man might happily wish some defects or enormities in his own body to be amended, and desire that his were like an others, more strait, strong, and comely than his own, yet would he not have his head to be upon that other man's body: the same opinion ought a man [that would love his wife] to have of her.

Good reason there is for him so to do: for true is the proverb, if it be rightly taken, marriages are first made in heaven, that is, God hath an over-ruling hand in ordering them: which Solomon implieth by that opposition which he maketh betwixt wealth and a wife (Prov 19:14): that is from our fathers, this from the Lord: in which respect he saith, he which findeth a wife receiveth favour of the Lord (Prov 18:22). If therefore thou art loved of God, and lovest him, he will make thy wife prove a good thing to thee.

Object. A wife may be a very lewd and wicked woman: how then can she be accounted the best wife?

Answ. 1. It may be she was good enough when first she was brought to thee, but thou by thine evil example, or negligent government, or hard usage, hast made her so bad as she is. Which if it be so, then is she to be considered not as thou hast married her, but as thou didst marry her.

2. Though she be not in relation to other wives the best in condition, yet in relation to thee she may be the best in event: if not for thine ease and quiet, yet for trial of thy wisdom and patience: and so as a school of virtue she may be unto thee. As a skillful pilot's sufficiency is tried and known by tempestuous seas, so a man's wisdom by a troublesome wife. Yea she may be given thee as a punishment of some former sins, as seeking after a beautiful, honourable, rich, proper wife, rather than a religious and honest one: or seeking her without any direction or help first sought of God, or otherwise than thou hast warrant from God, as by stealth, and without parents' consent; or some other sin in another kind, to bring thee to repentance: or as a means to restrain and wean thee from some future sins whereunto thou are subject, and so prove a blessed cross to keep thee from a fearful curse.

10. Of husbands' preposterous opinion of their own wives.

Contrary is a corrupt and perverse opinion which many have of their own wives, thinking them of all other the worst and unfittest; yea though they be such as every way both in gifts and qualities of mind, and also in grace and comeliness of body deserve all good respect and esteem. Whereas others [which look with a single eye] commend their good parts, they misinterpret and misjudge all: if their wives be religious, they think them hypocrites: if grave, sober and modest, melancholy: if they take occasion [though never so just] of going abroad, gadders, and lightfooted. This bad opinion of their wives is a cause that their hearts are clean removed from their own, and set upon strange flesh: whereby the devil gaineth what he desireth, that is, to put asunder such as God hath joined together, and to join those whom God hath put asunder.

11. Of husbands' entire affection to their wives. (See Treatise 3, Section 7.)

An husband's affection to his wife must be answerable to his opinion of her: he ought therefore to delight in his wife entirely, that is, so to delight in her as wholly and only delighting in her: In this respect the Prophet's wife is called the desire or delight, or pleasure of his eyes (Eze 24:16): that wherein he most of all delighted, and therefore by a propriety so called.

Such delight did Isaac take in his wife as it drove out a contrary strong passion, namely the grief which he took for the departure of his mother: for it is noted that he loved her, and was comforted after his mother's death (Gen 24:67).

This kind of affection the wise-man doth elegantly set forth in these words, Rejoice with the wife of thy youth: Let her be as the loving hinds, and pleasant roe, and be thou ravished always with her love (Prov 5:18,19). Here note both the metaphors, and also the hyperbole which are used to set forth an husband's delight in his wife. In the metaphors again note both the creatures whereunto a wife is resembled, and also the attributes given to them. The creatures are two, an hind and a roe, which are the females of an hart and a roe-buck: now it is noted of the hart and roe-buck, that of all other beasts they are most enamored [as I may so speak] with their mates, and even mad again in their heat and desire after them.

These metaphors hath Solomon used to set forth that unfeigned and earnest, entire and ardent affection which an husband ought to bear unto his wife: which being taken in a good sense, and rightly applied, so as they exceed not the bonds of Christian modesty and decency, are very fit, and pertinent to the purpose: if we stretch them beyond modesty, we wrong the pen-man of them, or rather the Holy Ghost that directed him, and propound a pernicious pattern unto husbands.

The attributes given to the forenamed creatures much amplify the point: the former is termed a loving hind, the latter a pleasant roe, word for word an hind of loves, a roe of favour, that is, exceedingly loved and favoured: [for to set forth the extent of God's love unto his Son, Christ is called the son of his love].

These comparisons applied to a wife, do lively set forth that delight which an husband ought to take in her, and yet is it much further amplified by the hyperbole used in this phrase, be thou ravished with her love, word for word err thou in her love, by which no sinful error, or dotage is meant, but a lawful earnest affection: implying two things especially: First so far to exceed, as to make a man oversee some such blemishes in his wife, as others would soon espy and mislike: or else to count them no blemishes, delighting in her never a whit the less for them. For example, if a man have a wife, not very beautiful, or proper, but having some deformity in her body, some imperfection in her speech, sight, gesture, or any part of her body, yet so to affect her, and delight in her, as if she were the fairest, and every way most complete woman in the world. Secondly, so highly to esteem, so ardently to affect, so tenderly to respect her, as others may think him even to dote on her. An husband's affection to his wife cannot be too great if it is kept within the bonds of honesty, sobriety and comeliness. The wife's affection ought to be as great to her husband, yet because of the husband's place of authority, he must especially take all occasions to manifest this his inward affection. Read the Song of Songs, and in it you shall observe such affection manifested by Christ to his Spouse, as would make one think he did [with reverence in an holy manner to use the phrase] even err in his love and dote on her. A good pattern and precedent for husbands. For nothing is more lovely than a good wife.

12. Of the Stoical disposition of husbands to their wives.

Contrary is the disposition of such husbands as have no heat, or heart of affection in them: but Stoic-like delight no more in their own wives than in any other women, nor account them any dearer than others. A disposition no way warranted by the word. The faithful Saints of God before mentioned, as also many other like to them, were no Stoics, without all affection: nor did they think it a matter unbeseeming them after a peculiar manner to delight in their wives [witness Isaac's sporting with his wife (Gen 26:8)] for this is a privilege which appertaineth to the estate of marriage. But that I be not mistaken herein, let it be noted that the affection whereof I speak is not a carnal, sensual, beastly affection, but such an one as may stand with Christian gravity and sobriety: having relation to the soul of a man's wife as well as to her body, grounded both on the near conjunction of marriage, and also on the inward qualities of his wife.

Thus far of an husband's inward respect of his wife. It followeth to speak of his outward carriage towards her.

13. Of an husband's kind acceptance of such things as his wife doth. (See Treatise 3, Section 10.)

S. Peter giveth a general rule for an husband's outward carriage to his wife, which is, that he dwell with her according to knowledge, that is, as a man able to order his carriage wisely to his own honour and his wife's good, that so she may have just cause to bless God that ever she was joined to such an husband.

Out of this general these two branches sprout forth.

1. That an husband give no just offence to his wife.

2. That wisely he order that offence which is given by her.

To avoid giving of offence he must have respect,

1. To that which she doth as duty to him.

2. To that which he doth as duty to her.

In regard of the former two things are requisite:

1. That he kindly accept what she is willing and able to do.

2. That he wisely commend and reward what she doth well.

Thus having for orders' sake laid down these heads, I will distinctly handle the several points.

The first particular wherein an husband sheweth himself to be a man of knowledge in walking before his wife, is by a kind and respective acceptation of every good duty which his wife performeth. Abraham in testimony of his good acceptance of Sarah's pains in nursing her child, made a great feast when the child was weaned (Gen 21:8): and Elkanah on a like respect gave liberty to his wife to do what seemed her best (1 Sam 1:23).

A great encouragement must this needs be unto wives to be subject unto their husbands in all things, when they observe no part of their subjection to be carelessly neglected, but rather graciously accepted: it quickens the spirit of a wife to think that her care and pains in pleasing her husband shall not be in vain.

14. Of husbands slighting and rejecting their wives' goodness.

Contrary is their practice who thinking all which a wife doth to be but her duty, take little or no notice thereof; or if they cannot but take notice of it, yet lightly regard it, and slightly pass it over. This oftentimes maketh a wife even repent the good she hath done, as David repented the service which he had done for Nabal (1 Sam 25:21). The truth is that wives ought rather to look unto God for his acceptation than unto their husbands: and though their husbands will take no notice, or not regard what good thing they do, yet for conscience sake, and for the Lord's sake to do their duty: But yet notwithstanding considering our weakness and backwardness unto every duty, it cannot be denied but that an husband's slight regarding of his wife's goodness is an occasion to make her weary thereof: and that he doth as much as in him lieth to make her repent thereof.

But what may we say of such as scornfully reject their wife's duty, yea like them the worse for making conscience thereof, and so [clean contrary to the rule of Christianity] overcome goodness with evil? (Rom 12:21) Surely they shew a very diabolical spirit to be in them: and cannot but minister much grief, and offence to their wives, and make that which they do to be very irksome and tedious. Fathers ought not to provoke their children, much less husbands their wives (Eph 6:4).

15. Of husbands' courteous accepting their wives' reverend carriage. (See Treatise 3, Sections 11 and 55.)

For the better conceiving of this so needful a point I will somewhat more particularly and distinctly apply the same to the several duties of a wife: which were drawn to two heads - Reverence, Obedience.

For the first, if a wife manifest her dutiful respect of her husband by any reverend behaviour, gesture, or speech, he ought to meet her [as we say] in the midst of the way, and manifest his gracious acceptance thereof by some like courteous behaviour, gesture, and speech, being seemly, not foolish.

Object. Thus shall an husband abase himself, and disgrace his place.

Answ. The courtesy which I speak of as it cometh from a superiour, being a mere voluntary matter and a token of kindness and favour, is no abasement of himself, but an advancement of his inferiour: a great grace to her, no disgrace to him. Abram was counted of the Hittites a Prince of God, yet in communing with them he bowed unto them (Gen 23:6,7). It is noted as a commendable thing in Esau, that though at that time he was his brother's superior [at least he took himself so to be] yet observing how Jacob reverenced him, bowing seven times to the ground, he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck (Gen 33:3,4). Most pertinent to the point is the example of King Ahasuerus, who beholding Esther's reverend standing before him, held out his scepter unto her, which in a King is a great courtesy (Esth 5:2).

But to put the matter out of all question, let the example of Christ noted in Solomon's Song be observed, and we shall find his courtesy every way answering the reverence of his Spouse.

16. Of husbands' too great loftiness.

Contrary is a lofty carriage of husbands to their wives, who overlook all reverence shewed by wives, no more respecting their wives in this case, than children or servants: or than King's do respect the reverence of their subjects. Oft have I noted that there is a great difference betwixt a wife and all other inferiours, in which respect all evidences of reverence should much better be respected; yet we know that Kings and Queens will put out their hands to be kissed by their subjects when they kneel before them, which is a token of courtesy: how much more ought husbands to shew courtesy? Unworthy they are to be reverenced of their wives, who too lord-like overlook them.

17. Of husbands' ready yielding to their wives' humble suits. (See Treatise 3, Section 15.)

Again, it being a token of reverence in a wife humbly to make known her desire to her husband, he ought to shew so much courtesy as readily to grant her desire: this courtesy the forenamed Ahasuerus afforded to Esther (Esth 5:3): David to Bathsheba (1 Kings 1:28): Isaac to Rebekah (Gen 28:1): Abraham to Sarah (Gen 16:6), and many other husbands to their wives. Abraham shewed herein such respect to his wife, that though the thing which she desired were grievous to him, yet he yielded to his wife (Gen 21:10,11).

Object. God first commanded him so to do.

Answ. This addeth the more force unto the argument, shewing that it is God's express will, that an husband should shew this kind of courtesy to his wife. Much more ought a man to do at his wife's request than at any other's, whether friend, child, or parent: yea much more free, forward and cheerful ought he to shew himself in granting his wife's request than any other's: provided notwithstanding that her desire be of that which may lawfully be granted: to yield in things unlawful is to lose his authority, as was shewed before (see Section 5).

18. Of husbands' harshness to their wives.

Contrary is the harshness of their disposition who yield to their wives' request as an hard-milch-cow letteth down her milk, not wihtout much ado: whereby the grace of all their yielding is taken away. There can be no courtesy in yielding, when it is against their mind and will forced from them: their wives must ask, and entreat again and again, yea be forced to use the mediation of others to persuade their husbands to yield to their request before they will yield, if at all they yield. What is this but to proclaim to all the world that there is no affection in them to their wives? If a wife's breath be strange to her husband, assuredly his heart is first strange to her: which is the ready way to make him set his heart on strange women.

19. Of husbands forbearing to exact all that they may. (See Treatise 3, Sections 38, 39, 43, 44.)

As a wife's reverence so also her obedience must be answered with her husband's courtesy. In testimony whereof, An husband must be ready to accept that wherein his wife sheweth herself willing to obey him. He ought to be sparing in exacting too much of her: in this case he ought so to frame his carriage towards her, as the obedience which she performeth, may rather come from her own voluntary disposition, from a free conscience to God-wards, even because God hath placed her in a place of subjection, and from a wife-like love, than from any exaction on her husband's part, and as it were by force.

Husbands ought not to exact of their wives, whatsoever wives ought to yield unto if it be exacted. They must observe what is lawful, needful, convenient, expedient, fit for their wives to do, yea and what they are most willing to do before they be too peremptory in exacting it. For example,

1. Though the wife ought to go with her husband, and dwell where he thinks meet, yet ought not he [unless by virtue of some urgent calling he be forced thereto] remove her from place to place, and carry her from that place where she is well settled without her good liking. Jacob consulted with his wives, and made trial of their willingness, before he carried them from their father's house (Gen 31:4).

2. Though she ought cheerfully to entertain what guests he bringeth into the house, yet ought not he to be grievous and burdensome therein unto her: the greatest care and pains for entertaining guests lieth on the wife: she ought therefore to be tendered therein.

If he observe her conscionable and wise, well able to manage and order matters about house, yet loath to do any thing without his consent, he ought to be ready and free in yielding his consent, and satisfying her desire, as Elkanah (1 Sam 1:23): and if she be bashful and backward in asking consent, he ought voluntarily of himself to offer it: yea and to give her a general consent to order and dispose matters as in her wisdom she seeth meet, as the said Elkanah did: [Do (saith he to his wife) what seemeth thee good (Prov 31:11)] and the husband of that good housewife which Solomon describeth.

A general consent is especially requisite for ordering of household affairs: for it is a charge laid upon wives to guide the house (1 Tim 5:14): whereby it appeareth that the businesses of the house appertain, and are most proper to the wife: in which respect she is called the housewife: so as therein husbands ought to refer matters to their ordering, and not restrain them in every particular matter from doing any thing without a special licence and direction. To exemplify this in some particulars, it appertaineth in peculiar to a wife,

1. To order the decking and trimming of the house (Prov 31:21,22).

2. To dispose the ordinary provision for the family (Prov 31:15).

3. To rule and govern maid servants (Gen 16:6).

4. To bring up children while they are young, with the like (1 Tim 5:10; Titus 2:4). These therefore ought he with a general consent to refer to her discretion (2 Kings 4:19): with limitation only of these two cautions.

1. That she have in some measure sufficient discretion, wit, and wisdom, and be not too ignorant, foolish, simple, lavish, &c.

2. That he have a general oversight in all, and so interpose his authority as he suffer nothing that is unlawful or unseemly to be done by his wife about house, children, servants, or other things: for

1. The general charge of all lieth principally upon him.

2. He shall give an account unto God for all things that are amiss in his house.

3. The blame of all will also before men lie upon him.

But those two cautions provided, he ought together with his general consent put trust in his wife (Prov 31:11) [as Potiphar did in Joseph (Gen 39:6)] making herein a difference betwixt a wife, and all others whether children of years, friends, or servants whom he employeth in his affairs. Them in every particular he may direct for matter and manner, and take a strait account of them for expenses laid out, or other things done: because what they do is wholly and only for another. To his wife [who is a joint parent of his children, and governour of his house, to whose good the husband's wealth redoundeth, and in that respect doth for herself that which she doth for her husband] greater liberty, and licence must be given.

20. Of husbands' too much strictness towards their wives.

Contrary is the rigour and austerity of many husbands, who stand upon the uttermost step of their authority, and yield no more to a wife than to any other inferiour. Such are they

1. Who are never contented or satisfied with any duty the wife performeth, but ever are exacting more and more.

2. Who care not how grievous and burdensome they are to their wives: grievous by bringing such guests into the house as they know cannot be welcome to them: burdensome by too frequent, and unseasonable inviting of guests, or imposing other like extraordinary businesses, over and above the ordinary affairs of the house. Too frequent imposing of such things, cannot but breed much wearisomeness. Unseasonable [as when the wife is weak by sickness, child-bearing, giving suck or other like means, and so not able to give that contentment which otherwise she would] cannot but much disquiet her, and give her great offence.

3. Who hold their wives under as if they were children or servants, restraining them from doing any thing without their knowledge and particular express consent.

4. Who are over busy in prying into every business of the house, and will have their hand in all. Besides that such husbands afford no opportunity to their wives of giving proof of the understanding, wit, wisdom, care, and other gifts which God hath endowed them withal, they take away that main end for which a wife was given a man, namely, to be an help (Gen 2:18). Such husbands cannot but neglect other more weighty matters, which more properly belong unto them. For observe it and you shall find, that such husbands as are most busy about the private affairs of the house appertaining to their wives, are most negligent of such affairs as appertain unto themselves: they think they walk in integrity, but yet are they not just nor wise therein: for the just man walketh in HIS integrity (Prov 20:7), and the wisdom of the prudent is to understand HIS way (Prov 14:8): that integrity which appertaineth to his own peculiar place; and his own way: but every fool will be meddling (Prov 20:3), namely, with things not belonging to his place.

5. Who are over suspicious of their wives, and thereupon over strict in taking account of them. S. Paul calleth surmizes evil (1 Tim 6:4), and that not without just cause: for evil they are in their nature, and evil in their effects, being occasions of many mischiefs: but in none so evil as in husbands over their wives. If a wife's fidelity [to whose good the welfare of the family, and increase of the stock redoundeth as well as to the husband's] be without just cause suspected, who shall be trusted? It is the overthrow of many families, that servants are trusted, and not wives.

Thus far of an husband's kind acceptance of that which his wife is willing and able to do.

21. Of husbands encouraging their wives in good things.

The love which an husband oweth to his wife, further requireth that he wisely commend and reward what she hath well done. That which the Apostle saith of the Magistrate's authority, may fitly be applied to an husband's in relation to his wife, Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same (Rom 13:3). It is expressly noted in the description of a good husband, that he praiseth his wife (Prov 31:28,29): and in that he saith, Give her of the fruit of her hands (Prov 31:31), it is implied also that he rewardeth her.

This is an undoubted evidence of his good acceptance of her duty, and a further encouragement to stir her up to go on and continue in well doing. Yea this is also an evidence of his joy and delight both in her person, and also in her well doing. If there be no delight in one's person, well doing will rather stir up envy than joy: and they that envy a man's well doing, will never commend, or reward him for it.

In an husband's commending of his wife this caveat must be put: that he so order his commendation as it favour not of flattery, or dotage: nor yet stir up lust or envy in others.

22. Of husbands ungrateful discouraging their wives.

Contrary is an ungrateful, if not envious disposition of such husbands, as passing by many good things ordinarily and usually every day done by their wives without any approbation, commendation or remuneration, are ready to dispraise the least slip, or neglect in them; and that in such general terms as if they never did any thing well, so as their wives may well complain and say as it is in the proverb,

Oft did I well, and that hear I never:

Once did I ill, and that hear I ever.

Yet such will be ready to praise other men's wives, and upbraid their own wives with the examples of those other, when their own do far excel them in all kind of goodness. What doth this shew but that either they take no notice of their own wife's goodness, or else by reason of the commonness thereof little regard it? If their wives have not the more grace in them, this disposition is enough not only to discourage them from doing any good duty, but also to breed jealousy in them, and to alienate their hearts from them.

23. Of an husband's mildness. (See Treatise 3, Section 10.)

Hitherto of that respect which an husband is to have of that duty which his wife performeth to him.

For avoiding just offence, an husband must further have good respect to that which as duty he doth to his wife. As kindly he must accept duty at his wife's hands, so mildly he must perform that duty which he oweth to her.

This mildness is an especial fruit, and evidence of love, and a notable means to take away all offence that otherwise might be taken from many things which he doth. Sugar and honey are not more pleasant to the tongue, than mildness to the heart; it causeth such things as otherwise are irksome and grievous to the soul, to be well taken and applied, even as bitter pills dipped in sweet syrup, or rolled up in the soft pap of an apple, are soon swallowed down and well digested. If an husband desire to be accounted a servant of the Lord he must learn this lesson: For the servant of the Lord must be gentle to all men (2 Tim 2:24). If any other servant of the Lord, much more husbands: if to all men, most of all to their wives: and that in many respects.

1. Because of the near union betwixt man and wife.

2. Because of the joint authority she hath with him over others: that herein he may be a precedent and example to her.

3. Because of her weakness: glasses are tenderly handled: a small knock soon breaks them.

24. Of husbands' bitterness.

Contrary is bitterness, a vice expressly forbidden, and that in particular to husbands. A vice that cannot stand with an husband-like love: whereupon the Apostle commanding the one forbiddeth the other, Love [saith he] and be not bitter (Col 3:19). Nothing more turneth the edge of his authority, perverteth the use of his government, provoketh the stomach of his wife, maketh his words and deeds less regarded, than bitterness. It is as gall and wormwood mixed with sweet and wholesome meats, which causeth that they cannot be well digested, but with violence are spit out again so soon as ever they be tasted. Men in authority are much prone hereunto: and therefore O husbands be so much the more watchful against it, love your wives and be not bitter unto them.

25. Of the titles which an husband giveth to his wife. (See Treatise 3, Section 13 and 14.)

The forenamed mildness of an husband must be manifested in his - Speech, Carriage.

For so far as reverence extends itself in the duties of wives, must mildness be extended in the duties of husbands.

Whether an husband's speech be to his wife before her face, or of her behind her back, it must be sweetened with mildness (see Treatise 2, Part 2, Section 36).

1. For his speech to her, 1. the titles wherewith he calleth her, 2. the instructions which he giveth her, 3. the commandments which he layeth upon her, 4. the reproofs wherewith he checketh her, must all be mixed with mildness.

Among other titles, the most ordinary and usual title [wife] is a mild and kind title, and least offensive of all other: if an husband give any other title to his wife, it must be such an one as manifesteth kindness, familiarity, love, and delight. Such are all the titles which Christ giveth to the Church, as Spouse, Love, Dove, with the like. I do not deny but that in the Song of Solomon, and in other places of Scripture many titles are given and speeches used by Christ to the Church which are not meet to be used by husbands to their wives, because they are metaphorical, and hyperbolical: but yet in them all we may observe tokens of amiableness, kindness, and mildness, which is the end for which I have alleged his example.

But contrary are such titles as on the one side set the wife in too high a place over her husband, as Lady, Mistress, Dame, Mother, &c. And on the other side set her in too mean a rank, as woman, wench, &c. And their Christian names contracted, as Sal, Mal, Bess, Nan, &c. and names of kindred, as Sister, and Cousin: and, opprobrious names, as slut, drab, queen; and names more befitting beasts than wives, as Cole, Brown, Muggle, &c.

Object. These are titles of mildness, kindness, and much familiarity: for husbands call their wives by these names, not when they are angry with them and displeased, but ordinarily, and usually, even when they are best pleased.

Answ. The mildness and familiarity which is required of an husband must be such as may stand with his authority and place of eminency [as some of those names do not,] and with that near conjunction which is betwixt man and wife above all others [as other do not], and with Christian gravity and discretion [as other do not]. Christians therefore must take heed that by their practice they justify not corrupt customs.

26. Of an husband's manner of instructing his wife.

2. To instruction the Apostle expressly annexeth meekness. Instruct [saith he] with meekness, those that oppose themselves. If Ministers must use meekness when they instruct their people, much more husbands when they instruct their wives: if in case of opposition meekness must not be laid aside, then in no case, at no time.

In this case to manifest meekness, let these rules be observed.

1. Note the understanding and capacity of thy wife, and accordingly fit thine instructions: if she be of mean capacity, give precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little and there a little: a little at once oft given [namely every day something] will arise in time to a great measure, and so arise, as, together with knowledge of the thing taught, love of the person that teacheth will increase.

2. Instruct her in private betwixt thyself and her, that so her ignorance may not be blazed forth: private actions passing betwixt man and wife are tokens of much kindness and familiarity.

3. In the family so instruct children and servants when she is present, as she may learn knowledge thereby: there can be no more meek and gentle manner of instructing, than by one to instruct another.

4. Together with thy precepts mix sweet and pithy persuasions, which are testimonies of great love.

Contrary is an harsh and rough manner of instructing, when husbands go about to thrust into their wives' heads, as it were by violence, deep mysteries which they are not able to conceive, and yet if they conceive not, they will be angry with them, and in anger give them evil language, and proclaim their ignorance before children, servants, and strangers. This harshness is ordinarily so fruitless, and withal so exasperateth a woman's spirit, as I think he were better clean omit the duty than do it after such a manner.

27. Of an husband's manner of commanding his wife any thing. (See Treatise 3, Sections 43, 51, 52, 63, 64.)

3. The commandments which an husband giveth to his wife, whether they be affirmative [bidding her to do something] or negative [forbidding her to do this or that] must all be seasoned with mildness. For which end respect must be had to the matter and manner of his commandments.

In regard of the matter the things which he commandeth his wife to do, must be

1. Such as are indeed lawful and honest.

2. Such as she is persuaded to be so.

3. Such as beseem her place.

4. Such as are of weight and moment.

And on the contrary, the things which he forbiddeth must be

1. Such as are indeed unlawful to be done.

2. Such as he can evidently prove unto her to be unlawful.

3. Such as are unbeseeming her place.

4. Such as will have some evil and mischievous effect if they be done.

1. To command a thing unlawful, or forbid a thing which ought to be done, is to bring his own authority into opposition with God's: in which case he bringeth his wife into this strait, either to reject God's commandment or his. How then can she think that her husband loveth her, when he bringeth her into such snares and straits, that she must needs fall into the gulf of God's displeasure, or knock against the rock of her husband's offence? Mildness is far from such commandments.

2. The like may be said of such things as to a wife's conscience seem to be sinful, if they be enjoined to her; or her bounden duty, if they be forbidden: especially if she have any ground for her conscience out of God's word. The conscience is subject to God alone: if it be forced it would be a fearful horror, and a very hell in that party whose conscience is forced: She that doubteth is condemned if she do that whereof she maketh doubt.

1. Object. In doubtful matters the commanding power of a governour is sufficient warrant and ground to resolve the conscience of them that are under authority.

Answ. 1. In things merely doubtful concerning which the party in subjection hath not warrant out of God's Word one way or other, it may be so. But when the conscience doth not doubt and hang in suspence, but is out of some ground taken from God's Word persuaded that that which is commanded is unlawful, or that which is forbidden is a bounden duty, than to do this, or to leave that undone, is to the party so persuaded a sin: and this is the doubting [whereof the Apostle speaketh] that condemneth a man. In this case to urge a wife to do this, or not to do that, is to urge her to sin: which a mild spirit and loving heart will not do.

2. Though the husband's command be sufficient warrant to the wife, and if he peremptorily press her to this or that, she ought to yield, yet the love and mildness required of an husband should make him so to tender her as to remit something of his power, and when he seeth her conscience troubled about his command, to relieve her conscience by forbearing to press that which seemeth so burdensome to her. A husband may sin in pressing that too much upon his wife, which she upon his press may without sin yield unto.

28. Of an husband's wise carriage when his wife is erroneously scrupulous. (See Treatise 4, Section 66.)

2. Object. What if an husband upon his knowledge observe his wife to be erroneously scrupulous, and to misinterpret and misapply the word of God which she maketh the ground of her scruple?

Answ. He must first labour to resolve her conscience by a plain discovery of her error; which is a true and a great token of love: if notwithstanding all that he can do in that kind she cannot be brought to yield to that which he would have, then he must carefully observe these two things.

1. Whether her refusing to yield, be an obstinacy, or weakness.

2. Whether it be above a slight or weighty matter.

By the reasons which she rendereth, and her manner of pressing them, he may discern whether weakness, or obstinacy make her stand out against him: if the reason which she resteth on taken from God's word be doubtful, and to one that hath not a good sound judgment, and a sharp discerning wit, it may appear to make something for her, it is to be presupposed that there is more weakness than stoutness in her. But if she can render no good reason, but only take every shew that any way seemeth to incline to her-wards, and peremptorily holdeth the conclusion, and stiffly standeth on her own resolution, though the vanity of her pretences be evidently discovered to her, so as she hath not any thing further to object; or if she render no reason at all but her own thought, conceit and will, and yet refuseth to yield, surely obstinacy possesseth her heart. In case of obstinacy it is very expedient that an husband stand upon his power to maintain his authority, and by the best wisdom he can [using only such means as are lawful] bring her to yield from her stoutness to that which he requireth: especially if the matter be weighty: as in case a religious man have been married to a popish wife, and she by no reason will be moved to forbear going to Mass, or yield to go to the preaching of the Gospel. But if through weakness she cannot be persuaded of the lawfulness of that her husband requireth, and the matter required be of no great consequence, nor the weakness of her conscience cause any great error, an husband ought so far to manifest his mildness as to forbear to press her conscience.

29. Of an husband's forbearing to press things unbeseeming a wife's place. (See Treatise 3, Section 43 and 44.)

3. Things unbeseeming the place of a wife are dishonourable unto her: for an husband to urge his wife by strict charge to do them, implieth more rigourousness than mildness. Had the spirit of that stout Monarch Ahasuerus been more mild towards his wife, he would not have so far pressed his wife unto so unseemly a thing as he did, namely, to come before all his Princes and people to make shew of her beauty. It is true indeed [as we shewed before (see Treatise 3, Section 28)] that she offended in refusing to yield thereunto, he peremptorily requiring it; but that offence on her part doth not justify his fact, and free him from all blame: it is noted, that he was merry with wine when he gave that commandment (Esth 1:10), whereby is intimated, that his practice was more beseeming a drunken, than a sober man: such is their practice who exact of their wives to do such businesses as beseem amid servants rather than wives, or strumpets rather than honest women; as to go to taverns, ale-houses, play-houses, and such places where light companions be.

30. Of an husband's pressing his authority in weighty matters.

4. To use a man's authority about weighty matters, matters of moment maketh it to have such weight in it, as it will much better be regarded: for thus a wife will either be brought to yield unto that which is commanded, or to condemn herself for not yielding: yea thus a wife may see, that it is not his own will so much which maketh him to use his authority in commanding, as the necessity of the thing itself, which redoundeth especially to her good that doth it: for the performance of a duty is for the most part most advantageable to the party that performeth it, so as hereby an husband sheweth love to his wife in pressing that which he presseth.

This token of love that it may the better appear, it is behoveful that an husband add to his commandment just and weighty reasons, that thereby his wife may the better discern the meetness, lawfulness, expediency, and necessity of the things commanded. We know that all the things which God commandeth are weighty and necessary: yea his Will [being the very rule, and ground of all goodness] maketh things absolutely necessary, yet unto his commandments he useth to add weighty reasons; shewing on the one side the benefit and blessedness that will come to such as obey his commandments; and on the other side, the mischief and misery that will fall on their pates who refuse to obey; whereby he sheweth the great good respect which he beareth to us, and the earnest desire he hath of our good. Thus may an husband even in his commandments shew much love and kindness.

31. Of husbands' too great pride in commanding.

Contrary is the peremptory pride of husbands, when they will have their own will done: it booteth not whether the thing commanded be lawful or unlawful, whether their wives' consciences can yield unto it or no, whether it stand with the honour of their places or no, and whether it be weighty or light; their will it is it should be done, and done it shall be, there is all the reason they will give. Some think it a glory to command what they list; and think that there is no proof of their authority, and of their wives' subjection, but in such things as upon their own will without any further ground or reason, they command. If such husbands meet with confronts; if though they command much, they find not answerable performance; they may thank themselves, who run the ready course to have their authority contemned and even trodden under foot.

32. Of husbands rare and mild using their commanding power.

Respect must be had by husbands to the manner of using their authority in commanding as well as to the matter.

In regard of the manner his commandments must be

1. Rare, not too frequent.

2. By way of entreating, not too peremptory.

Authority is like a sword, which with over much using will be blunted, and so fail to do that service which otherwise it might when there is most need. A wise, grave, peaceable man, may always have his sword in readiness, and that also very bright, keen, and sharp: but he will not be very ready to pluck it out of his scabbard; he rather keepeth it for a time of need, when it should stand him in most stead. Such husbands therefore as are too frequent in their commands, shew themselves not grave, nor wise, nor lovers of peace.

As the use of an husband's authority in commanding must be rare, so when there is occasion to use it, it must be with such mildness and moderation tempered, as an husband [according to S. Paul's example] though he have power to command that which is convenient, yet for love's sake must rather entreat it. Note how mildly Abram frameth his speech to his wife, Say I pray thee [saith he] thou art my sister (Gen 12:13). Though the thing he required favoured of too much weakness, yet his manner of requiring it was well beseeming a kind husband.

33. Of husbands' insolency and peremptoriness.

Contrary is the insolency of many, who cannot speak to their wives, but in commanding-wise. Their authority is like a swaggerers sword, which cannot long rest in the sheath, but upon every small occasion is drawn forth. This frequent use of commanding, maketh their commandments nought regarded. The like may be said of them who are too peremptory in commanding: there must be no saying of nay, to that which they say: upon command they will have their mind done, and no other way: no persuasion, no entreaty shall be used: they will rather not at all have their will done, than not upon absolute command: nay they will not suffer others, in case of any refusal, to entreat, or persuade, but will try what absolutely they can do by authority. Thus as by trying to bend steel how far it will go, it oft breaketh; so by putting their authority to the uttermost trial, they oft lose all their authority: in which case the mends [as we speak] is in their hands.

34. Of an husband reproving his wife. (See Treatise 3, Section 47.)

4. The authority and charge which God hath given to an husband over his wife, do require that as good and just occasion is offered, he should reprove her: for this is an especial means to draw her from those sins, wherein otherwise she might live and lie, yea and die also; and so live, lie, and die under God's wrath: out of which misery and wretchedness to free a wife, is as great a token of love, as to pull her out of the water when she is in danger of drowning, or out of the fire when she is in danger of burning. Solomon thus styleth reproofs, reproofs of life (Prov 15:31), and expressly noteth reproofs to be the way of life, a means to breed and preserve spiritual life, and to bring one unto eternal life, and so to escape death and damnation (Prov 6:23). In theses respects rebukes are called a precious balm or excellent oil which may heal a wound, but make none: it breaketh not the head, as the Psalmist speaketh (Psa 141:5). Upon this ground, no doubt, it is noted of many good husbands, who were without all question, loving, kind, meek, and mild husbands, that they reproved their wives: as Jacob (Gen 30:2), Job (Job 2:10), David (2 Sam 6:21,22), and others.

35. Of neglecting reproof.

Contrary is a servile and timorous mind of many husbands, who are loath to offend, and [as they think] to provoke their wives; and thereupon choose rather to let them continue in sin, than tell them of it. Wherein they both dishonour their place, and the image of God, which by virtue of their place they carry, and also in effect and in truth hate their wives; which the Law implieth, where it saith, Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart, but shalt plainly rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him (Lev 19:17).

36. Of well ordering reproof in the matter thereof. (See Treatise 3, Section 47.)

That an husband may evidently demonstrate that his reproving his wife is indeed a fruit of his love, he must have an especial care to sweeten it, especially with mildness: for it is the bitterest pill that by an husband can be given to a wife. It is a verbal correction, and in that respect a middle means [as I may so speak] betwixt admonition and correction; partaking somewhat of both: it goeth no further than words, and so is an admonition: the words of a reproof are sharp, and so it is a correction: though it be but a mild correction, yet it is a sharp admonition; and all the correction which by himself an husband can give his wife: for we shall after shew that he may not proceed to blows, and strokes (see Section 44).

To sweeten reproof with mildness, expect must be had [as before was noted of commanding] both to the matter, and also to the manner thereof.

The matter of reproof must be 1. Just, 2. Weighty.

Justice requireth that it be a truth, and a known truth, even a thing whereof he is assured, for which he reproveth his wife. Christ in giving direction for reproving aright, layeth down this as a ground, If thy brother shall trespass (Matt 18:15), &c. a trespass therefore must go before reproof: where no trespass is, there reproof is unjust.

Again, the Apostle adviseth that an accusation should not be received but under two, or three witnesses (1 Tim 5:19); whereby he implieth that a light report must not be received, but where blame is laid, there must be two or three witnesses to confirm it, so as he that censureth may have good and sure ground for that which he doth: indeed that advice was in particular given about an elder, but from the less to the greater it will follow to be a good advice concerning wives: for no kind of person must be more wary in laying blame upon another and reproving for the same, than an husband on his wife.

Equity further requireth that the matter for which an husband reproveth his wife be weighty; namely for some fault that is dangerous to her soul, hurtful to their estate, contagious by reason of ill example to children, and others in the family, but most of all for sin against God which provoketh his wrath, and pulleth down his heavy curse upon him, her, and the whole family.

When that for which a wife is reproved is a truth, a known truth, and a weighty truth, the husband in performing this duty justifieth his deed, sheweth that there was need thereof, and so giveth evidence of his love, maketh his reproof to pierce the more deeply, and so maketh her the more ashamed of her fault; whence it will follow, that either she will amend her fault or at least will have her mouth stopped, so as she shall have nothing to except against it. The reproof of the three Saints before mentioned, Jacob (Gen 30:2), Job (Job 2:10), and David (2 Sam 6:21,22), were answerable to these points of Justice and wisdom: and the effects thereof answerable to those which we have noted in this reason, as the silence of the three wives implieth: for none of them replied again.

37. Of undue reproof.

Contrary to the forenamed Justice and equity are overlight credulity and undue suspicion. Credulity is when credence is given to every light report, and thereupon blame laid upon the wife before any just proof be made of that for which she is blamed: whereby it oft cometh to pass, that she is wrongfully and unjustly blamed: which if she be, what good fruit can proceed from such reproofs? yea what evil fruits are not like to proceed from thence, as secret discontent [if not malice and hatred] and open contentions and brawlings?

The like may be said of light and causeless suspicion, which is the mother of jealousy, and the very bane of marriage, from whence the devil taketh great advantage against them both, seeking thereby to unloose that knot which God hath so firmly knit betwixt them. Suspicion to the mind is as a coloured glass to the eye, which representeth things to the sight not as indeed they are in their own true colour, but as the colour of the glass is. Suspicion will make a man pervert every thing that his wife doth, and blame her many times for such things as are praise-worthy: in which case what can be thought, but that an husband seeketh advantage against his wife, rather than any good unto her?

If to those two forenamed vices [credulity and suspicion] he add rashness and hastiness in reproving, and make every small and light matter which any way he disliketh, matter of reproof, doth he not proclaim to all that shall know it, that he loves chiding more than he loves his wife? Yea is not this the ready way to make all his reproof [if not scorned] lightly regarded? What then will be the profit of them?

38. Whether an husband may reprove his wife for such things as he is guilty of.

To the matter of reproof some add, that an husband ought not to reprove his wife for that fault whereof he himself is guilty: but I make doubt of this direction. I deny not but that he ought to have an especial care that he be not guilty of that crime for which he blameth his wife; otherwise, 1. he blunteth the edge of his reproof, so as readily it cannot pierce into her heart. 2. He causeth it to rebound back again upon himself with these reproaches, Physician heal thyself (Luke 4:23): Hypocrite first cast the beam out of thine own eye (Matt 7:5). Thou that teachest another teachest thou not thyself? (Rom 2:21) 3. He is an heavy witness against himself; for in that he judgeth another he condemneth himself (Rom 2:1). But thereupon to infer, that because he is guilty of such vices as are in his wife, he ought not to reprove her though she be worthy to be reproved, is scarce sound and good divinity: for thus he maketh himself guilty of a doubt fault, one of committing the sin himself, the other of suffering his wife to lie therein: whereas if he reproved his wife, he might thereby reclaim both her and himself: for I doubt not but his reproving of his wife would strike deeper into his own conscience than if a third should reprove them both. How were Judah and David stricken to the heart after they had given sentence against such crimes as they themselves were guilty of? (Gen 38:26; 2 Sam 12:13) It is a good advice that no man be guilty of that which he reproveth in his wife, but it is no good rule to say, no man ought to reprove his wife of that whereof he is guilty.

39. Of well ordering reproof in the manner thereof.

Like directions to those which were given for the manner of commanding must be observed in the manner of reproving.

Reproofs therefore must be Rare, Meek.

When reproofs are seldom used, not but upon urgent and necessary occasion, 1. It sheweth that an husband taketh no delight in rebuking his wife, but is even forced thereto. 2. It maketh his wife much more regard it. 3. It is like to work a more perfect cure, for seldom and rare reproofs do commonly pierce most deeply.

Contrary is continual chiding, and finding fault with a wife for every thing amiss: if not only the wife herself, but a child, or servant, or any else in the house do amiss, the wife shall be blamed for it. This is too common a fault in husbands: whereby they much provoke their wives; yea and many times make them no more regard a reproof than any other word. For as birds which always abide in belfries where much ringing is, are not a whit afrighted with their loud sound; so wives who have their ears from time to time filled with their husband's rebuke, by use are brought, nothing at all to be moved therewith.

2. That a reproof must be given in meekness is clear by the Apostle's general precept of restoring one in the spirit of meekness (Gal 6:1): for a right manner of reproving is thereby particularly intended. Now of all with whom we have to do, no fitter object for meekness than a wife, who in a more peculiar manner than any other is thine own flesh.

Meekness hath respect both to secrecy of place, and to softness of words.

When an husband is alone with his wife, then is the fittest season for reproof: thus will reproof be answerable to Christ's direction: tell him his fault between thee and him alone (Matt 18:15) [saith Christ of a brother]: but no brother must be tendered more than a wife. Thus will it also soak better into her soul, when no conceit of dishonour and discredit shall arise up to hinder the work of it: which conceits will be ready to arise when a reproof is given in public before others. Thus likewise will occasion be taken away from children and servants of despising her: which otherwise they would quickly take, if before them she should be rebuked; gathering from thence, that she is kept under as much as they: now because she is with him a joint governour of them, he ought by all means to maintain her reputation before them.

1. Quest. What if she regard not a rebuke in secret?

Answ. He may follow Christ's direction, Take one or two more, namely wise, grave, faithful friends, if it may be, of her kindred, as her parents [if she have any living] or such as are in course of nature next to parents [if they be not partial on her side] and before them rebuke her (Matt 18:15): but by no means before any of the house under her government.

2. Quest. What if her fault be public, such an one as may be an ill example to them of the house, it being committed in their sight, or brought some other way to their knowledge?

Answ. Wisely he must so manifest his dislike of her fault, as he no way impair her honour: he may therefore declare that such a thing was not well done, and fore-warn his household of committing the like; yea roundly threaten them that if any of them do the like they shall dearly repent it; and if such as are under correction offend therein, the more surely and severely correct them, even because they have taken example. Thus shall he testify a great good respect of his wife, and also a thorough dislike and hatred of her sin.

2. A soft tongue [as Solomon noteth] breaketh the bones, that is, softeneth an hard heart, and beateth down a stout stomach (Prov 25:15). How will it then work upon a soft heart, and gentle disposition? If therefore an husband look to do good by reproving his wife, his reproof must be so ordered, as it may seem to be rather a gentle admonition, than a sharp rebuke. He may and ought plainly to declare her fault unto her, but in mild and meek terms, without reviling, opprobrious and ignominious words.

Quest. What if her fault be an heinous notorious sin?

Answ. In an extraordinary case some sharpness may be used: as the reproofs of Jacob (Gen 30:2), Job (Job 2:10), and David (2 Sam 6:21,22) do shew, for they were every one of them sharp: but yet this sharpness must not be made bitter by any evil language. A woman's wickedness may not move an husband to be forward, and outrageous; but rather to be the more watchful over himself, that he contain himself within the bounds of discretion and moderation. For which end it is meet that husbands lay it down for a rule, never to rebuke their wives when they are in passion. Passion raiseth a dark mist before the eyes of reason; which, while it remaineth, keepeth reason from giving any good direction. Yea passion is as a fire, and it so incenseth a man, and distempereth him, that in his disorder he can keep no mean or measure. Howsoever a man be not able to rule himself when passion is stirred up, yet, if before hand while his eye is single, and his whole body light (Matt 6:22), while he is in tune [as we speak] and well tempered, he resolvedly determine with himself not to do such or such a thing in his passion; that fore-going resolution will be an especial means to make him forbear doing that in passion, which if he should do, he could not in passion well order and moderate. For if once he begin to do a thing in passion, the least provocation that can be, will be as bellows to blow up that fire into a flame.

In regard of the violence of passion [wherein women by reason of the weakness of their judgment are for the most part most violent] it is also the part of a wise man to forbear this duty of reproving his wife even when she is in passion. For as it is needful that he should be in case well to give a reproof, so as needful it is that she should be in case well to take a rebuke. Passion both filleth and festereth ones heart. The heart then being full of passion, what room is left for good advice? will a man pour wine into a vessel full of water, or stay, till all the water be drained out?

The heart also being so festered as it savoureth of nothing but passion, what good can then good advice do?

It is therefore an especial point of wisdom, and sheweth a good respect that a man beareth to his wife, yea it savoureth of much meekness and moderation for an husband, well to weigh both his own and his wife's temper when he reproveth her, and to forbear doing it while either he or she be in passion.

40. Of indiscreet reproving a wife.

Contrary is the indiscretion of husbands who regard not place, nor persons, nor time, nor temper of themselves or their wives, nor any other circumstance in reproving, but like Saul [who at a table where a great feast was, in presence of his Nobles and Captains, when he was enraged with anger, with most virulent and bitter speeches not rebuked only but reproached also his son, and that with such words as he spared not his own wife; for in his passion he called his son, son of the perverse rebellious woman (1 Sam 20:3)]: like this foolish and furious Saul, I say, they take the most open place of the family before children, servants, and whole house, to reprove their wives; and that with such bitter and disgraceful terms, as either they provoke their wives to answer again for maintaining [as they think] their own credit and reputation, [thus Jonathan was provoked to answer his father again (1 Sam 20:32)]: or else give them of the house that behold her thus trampled under foot, occasion to set their feet also upon her.

Most husbands are forward enough to reprove, but few do it in meekness, and moderation. They cannot do it but in company, nor without bitter words. Many in rebuking their wives, stick not to use all the evil terms that they can think of, even such as tend not only to their wife's dishonour, but also to their own and their children's infamy. The reason whereof is, because they never rebuke but when they are in passion, and so scarce know what they do: whereby also they stir up passion in their wives, and yet for all that refrain not any whit the more, but rather grow more violent: as when the heat of two first meet together, the flame must needs be the greater. This being the preposterous practice of many husbands, is it any marvel that ordinarily so little good, and so much hurt is done by reproving? Nay, would it not be a wonder, if any good, and no hurt should be done thereby? This therefore though it be a duty, yet a duty rarely and with great moderation to be used.

Thus far of an husband's mildness in his speeches to his wife.

41. Of an husband's amiable countenance towards his wife. (See Treatise 3, Section 10).

An husband's carriage towards his wife must be answerable to his speech, or else all the mildness thereof will seem but complemental.

A man's carriage compriseth under it, his Countenance, Gesture, Actions: in all which must mildness be seated.

1. His countenance in his wife's presence, and towards his wife, must be composed to an amiable pleasantness. His authority over her, and eminency above her, may not make him forget the near conjunction and union betwixt them.

Under the face and countenance I comprise head, brow, eyes, lips and such other parts which are, according as they are framed, signs of amiableness, or discontentedness. Now among, and above other parts of the body, the outward composition of the countenance doth soonest and best declare the inward disposition of the heart. By Esau's pleasant countenance Jacob perceived that he was pacified in his heart towards him, and thereupon said, I have seen thy face as though I had seen the face of God, that is, an amiable, gracious countenance (Gen 33:10). On this ground David desired God, to lift up the light of his countenance upon him, that thereby he might know the favour and love of God towards him (Psa 4:6). On the other side by a frowning and lowering face, by hanging down the head, putting out the lips, with the like, anger, malice, grief, with other like affections of heart, are manifested: by Cain's casting down of his countenance God discerned anger and envy to be in his heart (Gen 4:6): by Laban's countenance Jacob observed that his affection was turned from him (Gen 31:2). A wife then beholding mildness and amiableness in her husband's face, beholds it as the face of God, and therein as in a looking glass beholds the kindness and love of his heart, and so hath her heart thereby the more firmly knit unto him, and is moved the more to respect him.

42. Of husbands' too great austerity.

Contrary is 1. A lofty proud countenance, as of an imperious Lord over his vassals.

2. A grim stern countenance, as of a judge over poor prisoners.

3. A lowering frowning countenance, as of a discontented creditor over a desperate debtor.

4. A fierce fiery countenance, as of an angry King over a subject that hath displeased him.

These and such like countenances as they manifest a proud, stout, furious discontented disposition of heart, so they cannot but give great discontent to a wife, yea and much affright her being but a weaker vessel, and alienate her heart and affection from him.

43. Of an husband's familiar gesture with his wife.

II. An husband's gesture ought to be so familiar, and amiable towards his wife, as others may discern him to be her husband, and his wife may be provoked to be familiar with him. They which this way are ready to shew themselves kind and mild husbands, are prone to exceed and so to fall into an extreme on the right hand: for some are never well but when they have their wives in their laps, ever coddling, kissing, and dallying with them, they care not in what company; thus they shew more lightness, fondness, and dotage, than true kindness and love, which forgetteth not an husband-like gravity, sobriety, modesty and decency.

Some stick not to allege Isaac's sporting with Rebekah (Gen 26:8), to countenance their lasciviousness.

But they forget that what Isaac did, was when he and his wife were alone: he was seen through a window. Much greater liberty is granted to man and wife when they are alone, than in company. Besides there are many other ways to shew kindness and familiarity, than by lightness and wantonness.

44. Of an husband's strangeness to his wife.

Contrary to the familiarity I speak of, is [as we speak] strangeness when an husband so carrieth himself towards his wife as if she were a stranger to him: if he come in company where his wife is, of all other women he will not turn to her, nor take notice of her. This fault is so much the greater if such a man be of a free pleasant carriage, and use to be merry and familiar with other women. Though his mirth and familiarity be such as is not unbeseeming a Christian, yet his carriage being of another temper towards his wife, it may be a means to breed jealousy in her. Many think outward kind gesture towards a wife to be fondness, but if they knew what a means it is to stir up, increase, and preserve love in a wife's heart to her husband, they would be otherwise minded.

45. Of an husband's giving favours to his wife.

III. Actions are of all other the most real demonstrations of true kindness, wherein an husband must not fail, as he would have his kind speech, countenance, and gesture to be taken in the better part. Kindness and mildness in action consisteth in giving favours [as we speak] unto his wife. This is expressly noted in Elkanah, who every year gave favours to his wives (1 Sam 1:4,5). Thus an husband as he testifieth his love to his wife, so he will much provoke her to do all duty to him. A small gift, as an action of kindness freely given, not upon any debt, but in testimony of love, doth more work on the heart of her to whom it is given, than much more given upon contract, or for a work done, whereby it may seem to be deserved.

In giving favours to a wife, an husband ought to be more bountiful and liberal, than to others, that so she may see thereby he loves her above all; as it is noted that Elkanah gave Hannah a worthy portion, because he loved her (1 Sam 1:4). And in giving favours it is best to bestow them with his own hands, unless he be absent from her.

46. Of husbands beating their wives.

Contrary are the furious, and spiteful actions of many unkind husbands [head too head] whose favours are buffets, blows, strokes and stripes: wherein they are worse than the venomous viper. For the viper for his mate's sake casteth out his poison: and wilt not thou, O husband, in respect of that near union which is betwixt thee and thy wife, lay aside thy fierceness and cruelty? Many wives by reason of their husband's fury, are in worse case than servants: for

1. Such as will not give a blow to a servant, care not what load they lay upon their wives.

2. Where servants have but a time and term to be under the tyranny of such furious men, poor wives are tied to them all their life long.

3. Wives can not have so good remedy by the help of law against cruel husbands, as servants may have against cruel masters.

4. Masters have not such opportunity to exercise their cruelty over servants as husbands over wives, who are to be continually at board and bed with their husbands.

5. The nearer wives are, and the dearer they ought to be to their husbands, the more grievous must strokes needs be when they are given by an husband's hand, than by a master's.

6. The less power and authority that an husband hath to strike his wife, than a master to strike a servant, the more heavy do his strokes seem to be, and the worse doth the case of a wife seem to be in that respect, than of a servant. Not unfitly therefore is such a man [if he may be thought a man rather than a beast] said to be like a father-queller and mother-queller.

Quest. May not then an husband beat his wife?

Answ. With submission to better judgments, I think he may not: my reasons are these,

1. There is no warrant throughout the whole Scripture by precept, or example for it: which argument though it be negative, yet for the point in hand is a forceable argument in two respects. 1. Because the Scripture hath so plentifully and particularly declared the several duties of husbands and wives: and yet hath delivered nothing concerning an husband's striking and beating his wife. 2. Because it hath also plentifully and particularly spoken of all such as are to correct, and of their manner of correcting, and of their bearing correction who are to be corrected, and of the use they are to make thereof; and yet not any thing at all concerning an husband's punishing, or a wife's bearing in this kind. The Scripture being so silent in this point, we may well infer that God hath not ranked wives among those in the family who are to be corrected.

2. That small disparity which [as I have before shewed (see Section 4)] is betwixt man and wife, permitteth not so high a power in an husband, and so low a servitude in a wife, as for him to beat her. Can it be thought reasonable that she is the man's perpetual bed-fellow, who hath power over his body, who is a joint parent of the children, a joint governour of the family, should be beaten by his hands? What if children or servants should know of it? [as they must needs: for how can such a thing be done in the house and they of the house know it not?] can they respect her as a mother, or a mistress who is under correction as well as they?

3. The near conjunction, and very union that is betwixt man and wife suffereth not such dealing to pass betwixt them. The wife is as a man's self, They two are one flesh (Eph 5:31). No man but a frantic, furious, desperate wretch will beat himself. Two sort of men are in Scripture noted to cut and lance their own flesh, idolaters as the Baalites (1 Kings 18:28), and demoniacs, as he that was possessed with a legion of devils (Matt 5:5). Such are they who beat their wives, either blinded in their understanding, or possessed with a devil.

Object. He that is best in his wits will suffer his body to be pinched, pricked, lanced, and otherwise pained, if it be needful and behoveful.

Answ. 1. A man's heart will not suffer him to do any of these himself: there are surgeons whose office it is to do such things; if the surgeon himself have need of any such remedy for his own body, he will use the help of another surgeon. If the case so stand as a wife must needs be beaten, it is fitter for an husband to refer the matter to a public Magistrate [who is as an approved and licenced surgeon] and not to do it with his own hands.

2. Though some parts of the body may be so dealt withal, yet every part may not, as the heart, which the wife is to the man.

3. The comparison holdeth not. For the forenamed pinching, lancing, &c., is no punishment for any fault, as the beating of a wife in question is, there is no question but a man that hath skill may if need be open a vein, lance a boil, splinter a broken bone, or disjointed joint in his wife's body, which may be more painful than correction: and herein the comparison holdeth, but not in the other.

2. Object. There is as near a conjunction betwixt Christ and his Church, as betwixt man and wife: yet Christ forbeareth not to correct and punish his Church.

Answ. There is a double relation betwixt Christ and the Church: he is an husband unto it, having made it of his flesh, and of his bones (Eph 5:30): and a supreme Lord over it, having all power in heaven and earth committed unto him (Matt 28:18). In this latter respect he punisheth, not in the former. An husband is not such a supreme lord over his wife: therefore Christ's example, is no warrant to him.

4. There is no hope of any good to proceed from an husband's beating of his wife: for where the party corrected is persuaded that the party which correcteth hath an authority or right so to do, it will not be brought patiently to take it: but will resist, and strive if it be possible to get the mastery. Let a stranger strike such a child of years or a servant as will patiently bear many strokes at a parent's or master's hand, they will turn again at that stranger, and endeavour to give as good as he brings: now a wife having no ground to be persuaded that her husband hath authority to beat her, what hope is there that she will patiently bear it, and be bettered by it? Or rather is it not likely that she will, if she can, rise against him, over-master him [as many do] and never do any duty aright? A fault in a wife is not taken away but increased by blows.

Object. Smart and pain may make her dread her husband, stand in awe of him, and do her duty the better.

Answ. Such dread and awe beseems neither the place of an husband to exact it, nor the place of a wife to yield it. Though perforce she may be brought to yield some outward subjection, yet inward hatred to her husband's person may be joined therewith, which is as bad, if not worse than outward disobedience.

Object. She may be of so outrageous a disposition, as, but by force, she will not be kept in any compass.

1. Answ. It hath been of old time answered, that no fault should be so great, as to compel an husband to beat his wife.

2. Answ. Other forceable means may be used besides beating by her husband's hands: she may be restrained of liberty, denied such things as she most affecteth, be kept up, as it were, in hold; and, if no other means will serve the turn, be put over to the Magistrate's hands, that if she be of so servile a disposition, as by no other means she will be kept under than by fear and force, by smart and pain, she may fear the Magistrate, and feel his hand, rather than her husband's.

Object. If a wife wax so mannish, or rather mad, as to offer to strike and beat her husband, may he not in that case beat her to make her cease her outrage?

Answ. I doubt not but that that good provision which is made in law to preserve a man's life, may be applied to this purpose. The law simply condemns all murder; yet if a man be so assaulted, as there is no way to preserve his own life, but by taking away his life that assaults him, it condemneth not him as a murderer, because he did it in defence of himself. So if an husband be set upon by his wife, it is lawful and expedient that he defend himself, and if he can do it no other ways but by striking her, that is not to be reckoned an unlawful beating her.

47. Of an husband's bearing with his wife's infirmities.

Hitherto of the husband's avoiding of offence, a word concerning his bearing with offence.

A general duty it is, common to all of all sorts, to bear one another's burden (Gal 6:2): in which extent even a wife is to bear her husband's burden, because he, as everyone else, is subject to slip and fall, and so hath need to be supported. Yet after a more special and peculiar manner doth this duty belong to an husband, and that in two respects.

1. Of the two, he is more bound than his wife, because in relation to his wife he is the stronger: for she is the weaker vessel (1 Peter 3:7). But the strong are most bound to bear with the infirmities of the weak (Rom 15:1).

2. He is bound to bear with his wife more than with any other, because of that near conjunction which is betwixt them: he that cannot bear with his wife, his flesh, can bear with no body. The reason alleged by the Apostle to move a man to dwell with his wife according to knowledge, and to give honour to her, intimated in this phrase, as to the weaker vessel, sheweth that this is a peculiar duty belonging to an husband, wherein, and whereby he may both manifest his knowledge and wisdom, and also do honour to his wife. For why is he put in mind of her weakness, but to shew he should bear with her?

As that phrase intimateth the duty, so also it intimateth a good reason to enforce it. For precious things, whereof we make high account, the weaker they be, the more tenderly, and charily are they handled, as Cheney dishes, and crystal glasses: and of all parts of the body, the eye is most tenderly handled. Now what things, what persons are more dear and precious than a wife? yet withal she is a weak vessel: therefore she is much to be born withal.

For an husband's better direction herein, difference must be made betwixt infirmities: for some are natural imperfections, other are actual transgressions. Natural imperfections are inward, [as slowness in conceit, dullness in apprehension, shortness of memory, hastiness in passion, &c.] or outward [as lameness, blindness, deafness, or any other defect, and deformity of body]. These infirmities should breed pity, compassion, commiseration, yea and greater tenderness and respect, but no offence. Note Abraham's example in this case: his wife was barren, yet he despised her not for it, nor upbraided her with any such thing.

Actual transgressions are breaches of God's law: whereof such are here meant, as are most directly tending to his own disquiet, and disadvantage, as shrewishness, waywardness, niceness, stubbornness, &c. In the bearing of these must an husband especially shew his wisdom, and that sundry ways.

1. By using the best and mildest means he can to redress them, as meek admonition, seasonable advice, gentle entreaty, and compassionate affection. Elkanah supposing that his wife offended in her passion, thus dealt with her and supported her.

2. By removing the stone whereat she stumbleth, by taking away the occasion [so far as conveniently he can] which maketh her offend. Thus Abram, and that by God's advice, put Hagar and her son out of the house, because they were an offence to Sarah. 3. By turning his eyes away [if the matter be not great, but such as may be tolerated] and taking no notice of the offence, but rather passing by it, as if he perceived it not. Solomon saith, that it is a man's glory to pass over a transgression (Prov 19:11): and he exhorteth a man not to give his heart to all the words that men speak (Eccl 7:23).

4. By forgiving and forgetting it [if notice be taken thereof] Jacob took notice of Rachel's wrath, and froward demand, for he rebuked her for it (Gen 30:1,2): yet in that he readily yielded to that which afterwards she moved him unto, it appeareth that he forgave the offence, if not forgot it.

The best trial of a man's affection to his wife, and of his wisdom in ordering the same, is in this point of bearing with offences. Not to be offended with a wife that giveth no offence is not praise-worthy: heathen men may go so far. Note what Christ saith of this case, If ye love them which love you, and do good to them that do good to you, what thanks and reward have ye? for publicans, and sinners do the same (Matt 5:46; Luke 6:32,33): but gently to forbear, and wisely to pass over offences when they are given, not to be provoked when there is cause of provocation ministered, is a true Christian virtue, a virtue beseeming husbands better than any other kind of men.

48. Of husbands' testiness.

Contrary is testiness, and peevishness, when husbands are moved with the least provocation, like tinder catching fire at the least spark that falleth upon it: yea many are like gunpowder, which not only taketh fire, but also breaketh out into a violent flame, upon the least touch of fire: as gunpowder is dangerous to be kept in an house, so such husbands to be joined so nearly to wives as marriage joineth them. If it be said, that as gunpowder doth no hurt, if fire come not at it; so they are good and kind, if they be not provoked and displeased. I answer, that we have a proverb that saith, The devil is good while he is pleased, yet it is not safe to have the devil too near. It is as impossible [considering man's weakness] that he should live and converse with any, and not give offence, as for flint stones long to beat and dash against one another, and no spark of fire to come from them. How then may it be thought possible for a wife, who is so continually conversant with her husband, and the weaker vessel, to live without giving him offence? It is no very kind speech, which husband's use, especially if they be told of their unkindness, Let my wife deserve favour, and she shall have it. How little favour would such husbands have of Christ their husband, if he should be of that mind towards them?

Thus far hath been handled the first part of an husband's well managing his authority, by a tender respect of his wife.

The second is a provident care for her.

49. Of an husband's provident care for his wife.

An husband that tenderly respecteth his wife, but providently careth not for her, sheweth more affection than discretion: he may have a kind heart, but he wants a wise head. How then can he be a good head unto his wife? Some present contentment she may have by him: but small profit and benefit can she reap from him. Those duties therefore which have been delivered must be done, but these that follow must by no means be left undone.

An husband's provident care is noted in that office of Christ, wherein an husband resembleth him, namely, to be a Saviour of the body (Eph 5:23), as hath been before declared (see Treatise 1, Section 15 and Treatise 3, Section 73). It consisteth

1. In providing things needful for his wife.

2. In protecting her from things hurtful.

1. A careful providing of things needful is a principal part of that honour, which husbands are to give unto their wives. For where the Apostle saith, that Elders are worthy of double honour (1 Peter 3:7; 1 Tim 5:17), he meaneth maintenance as well as reverence. The Apostle counteth him worse than an infidel, that provideth not for his own, and specially for those of his own house (1 Tim 5:8). Who are of an husband's house, if not his wife? in his house, who more properly his own than his wife? If then an husband provide not for his wife, what is he to be accounted?

Great reason he should provide for her, because he hath taken her from her parents and friends, and hath received that portion which they allotted her, and hath authority committed unto him over her, and she is put in subjection under him: her friends having given away her portion, and their power over her, and committed all to him, will take no further care for her: she being in subjection under him cannot without him provide for herself. Who then shall provide for her if he do not, whose wholly and only she is?

Contrary is their mind, who take a wife only for their own content, or delight, or gain, and never think of that charge which together with a wife they take upon them. According to their mind is their practice: of when they have a wife they neglect her in everything but what may stand with their own ends. Much have they to answer for: and so much the more, because a wife is an especial pledge of God's favour (Prov 18:22).

50. Of an husband's providing means of spiritual edification for his wife.

In this provident care which an husband ought to have of his wife, we will consider the Extent and Continuance thereof.

It ought to extend both to herself, and to others.

In regard of herself, to her Soul and Body.

For her Soul, means of spiritual edification must be provided, and those both private and public. Private means, are holy and religious exercises in the house, as reading the word, prayer, catechizing, and such like; which being the spiritual food of the soul are to be every day, as our bodily food, provided and used. An husband as a master of a family must provide these for the good of his whole house; but as an husband, in special for the good of his wife: for to his wife, as well as to the whole house he is a King, a Priest, and a Prophet.

By himself therefore, for his wife's good, ought he to perform these things, or to provide that they may be done by some other. Cornelius himself performed those exercises (Acts 10:2,30). Micah hired a Levite [though his idolatry were evil, yet his care to have a Levite in his house was commendable] (Judg 17:10). The Shunammite's husband provided a chamber for the Prophet, and that especially for his wife's sake, for it was at her request (2 Kings 4:11).

Public means are the holy ordinances of God publicly performed by God's Minister. The care of an husband for his wife in this respect is, so to order his habitation, and provide other needful things, as his wife may be made partaker thereof. It is expressly noted of Elkanah that he so provided for his wives, that they went with him every year to the house of God (1 Sam 1:7; 2:19): the like is intimated of Joseph the husband of the virgin Mary (Luke 2:41). In those days there was a public place and house of God, whither all God's people [how far soever they dwelt from it] were to resort every year: the places where Elkanah and Joseph dwelt, were far remote from the house of God, yet they so provided, as not only themselves, but their wives also went to the public worship of God. Now there are many houses of God, places for the public worship of God, but yet through the corruption of our times, the ministry of the word [the most principal means of spiritual edification] is not everywhere to be enjoyed: therefore such ought an husband's care for his wife in this respect to be, as to dwell where she may have the benefit of preaching the word, or else so to provide for her, as she may weekly go where it may be had.

If men of wisdom and ability make a purchase, or build an house for their habitation, they will be sure it shall be where sweet rivers and waters are, and good pasture ground, and where all needful provision may be had. God's word preached is a spring of water of life; the place where it is preached a pleasant, profitable pasture; all needful provision for the soul may there be had. Let this therefore be most of all inquired after: and no habitation settled but where this may be had.

51. Of neglecting their wives' edification.

Contrary is their practice, who having their calling in places where the word is plentiful, yet upon outward respects of pleasure, delight, ease, and profit, remove their families into remote places where preaching is scarce, if at all; and there leave their wives to govern the family, not regarding their want of the word, for as much as they themselves oft coming to London or other like places by reason of their calling, enjoy the word themselves. Many citizens, lawyers, and others are guilty of great neglect of their wives in this respect.

So also are they, who abandon all religious exercise out of their houses, making their houses rather stews of the devil, than Churches of God. If for want of means, either public or private, a wife live and die in ignorance, profaneness, infidelity, and impenitency, which cause eternal damnation, assuredly her blood shall be required at his hands: for an husband is God's watchman to his wife (Eze 3:18).

52. Of an husband's providing things needful for his wife's body.

To the body also must an husband's provident care of his wife extend: and that both in health and sickness. In health by providing such things as are needful to preserve health, as competent food, raiment, and the like necessaries. Where the Prophet to aggravate the misery of the people saith, Seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel, only let us be called by thy name (Isa 4:1), intimateth, that it was an husband's duty to provide bread and apparel, that is, all necessaries for his wife. Which the law also implieth, where it enjoineth him that taketh one wife upon another, not to diminish the food and raiment of the former (Exo 21:10). In sickness such things are to be provided as are needful either to recover her health, or to comfort, cherish and refresh her in her sickness.

This was before noted among common mutual duties (see Treatise 2, Part 2, Section 29); for by virtue of the matrimonial bond it belongeth both to man and wife: but to the man it appertaineth by virtue of that power and charge which he hath over his wife: and therefore it was needful here to be touched.

53. Of an husband's provident care for his wife about her child-bearing. (See Treatise 3, Section 49.)

Most proper to this place is that provident care which husbands ought to have of their wives both before and in the time of their travail and child-bed: and that in two things especially.

1. In procuring for their wives to the uttermost of their power and ability, such things as may save their longing, in case they do long [as in all ages women in the time of breeding and bearing child, have been subject thereunto]. For it is well known, that it is very dangerous both for mother and child to want her longing: the death sometimes of the one, sometimes of the other, sometimes of both hath followed thereupon.

2. In providing such things as are needful for their travail and lying in child-bed. This time is especially to be provided for, in many respects.

1. Because it is a time of weakness, wherein the woman cannot well provide for herself.

2. Because her weakness is joined with much pain: the pain of a woman in travail is the greatest pain that ordinarily is endured by any for the time: none know it so well as they that feel it: and many husbands because they are not subject thereto, think but lightly of it: but if we duly weigh that the Holy Ghost when he would set forth the extremity of any pains and pangs, resembleth them to the pains of a woman in travail, we may well gather, that of all they are the greatest (Psa 48:6; Isa 13:8; 21:3; Jer 4:31; 30:6; Micah 4:9): which is further manifested by the screeks and outcries which not only weak, and faint-hearted women utter in the time of their travail, but also are forced from the strongest, and stoutest women that be, and that though before hand they resolve to the contrary. Neither may we wonder thereat; for their body is as it were set on a rack [if at least the travail be sharp] and all their parts so stretched, as a wonder it is they should ever recover their health and strength again: or that they should hold out the brunt, and not die with their travail, as Rachel (Gen 35:16), and the wife of Phinehas (1 Sam 4:19,20), and many in all ages have done. Surely among ordinary deliverances I know none so near a miracle, none wherein the Almighty doth so evidently manifest his great power and good providence, as in the safe delivery of women. Besides the great pang of travail, women are also after their delivery subject to many after-throws which are very painful. From all these pains and great weakness which befalleth women in child-bed, especially if they nurse their children, men by reason of their sex are freed: Now then to apply this point, seeing women are brought to such pains and weakness in bringing forth those children which are the man's as well as hers, and he freed from all; is it not very just and meet that he should provide all things needful for her welfare, ease, and recovery of strength?

3. Because the want of things needful is at that time very dangerous: dangerous to the health and life of the woman and child also.

54. Of neglecting wives in their weakness.

Contrary to an husband's provident care in general are those vices which were taxed in the treatise of common duties, as grudging at the charges bestowed on a wife: Covetousness, Prodigality, and Idleness (see Treatise 2, Part 2, Section 30 and 39).

But contrary in particular to an husband's care for his wife in child-bed, is the inhumane and more than barbarous unkindness of many husbands, who no whit consider the weakness of their wives in this case, to help, ease, and comfort them, but rather make their burden much more heavy. For, 1. Some through covetousness refuse before hand to afford means to their wife to provide such things as are needful for herself and child: and when the time cometh, if their wife be desirous of a midwife that requireth somewhat more charges than she that is next, she shall have none if she will not have the next. And as for a nurse to tend her, they think their maid will serve the turn well enough: they need not be at the charges to bring a nurse into the house. In regard of convenient lodging some will not stick to say, Cannot my wife be brought to bed in a room without a chimney as well as the virgin Mary? Why should my wife need more things than she did? Yea further there be many that when the time that their wife should be delivered approacheth near, carry her from all her friends into a place where she is not known, lest her friends should by importunity draw him to expend and lay out more upon his wife than he is willing. In the time while their wife is weak in child-bed, many are loath to allow them any other diet than is for themselves and children provided in the house, not considering that her stomach cannot be like theirs.

Many other such bitter fruits of unkind husbands arising from covetousness might be reckoned up, whereby husbands plainly shew that they love their wealth better than their wives: they had rather lose them than part with that.

2. Others through jealous suspicion forbear not even in the time of their wives' pain and weakness, to upbraid them with lightness, and to say that the child is none of theirs. To lay this to a wife's charge unjustly, is at any time a most shameful and odious reproach: but in the time of childbirth whether just or unjust, a thing too too spiteful and revengeful. Some wives are so far overcome thereby, [especially in the time of their weakness] as they are not able to bear it, but even faint and die under the reproach: others more stout vow never to know their husbands again. Many like mischiefs follow on such unkindness.

55. Of an husband's providing for his wife according to his estate and ability. (See Treatise 3, Section 38.)

In an husband's providing for the body of his wife respect must be had to the measure, and to the manner.

The measure must extend to his ability: for an husband ought to maintain his wife in as good an estate and fashion as himself; by marriage she is advanced to as high an estate, and dignity in relation to others as he is: and for her own use she is made a partner of all his goods, and accordingly ought to partake thereof.

For the manner, he must suffer her [if at least he observe her to have any competent discretion] to order such things as are needful for herself according to her best liking: as Elkanah in another case said to his wife, Do what seemeth thee best (1 Sam 1:23).

Both in the measure and in the manner of providing, there must be a difference put betwixt a wife, and servants or children. These may have their portions of meat, apparel, and like necessaries, proportioned out and stinted unto them, which is unmeet to be done to a wife. Neither is it needful that so plentiful a provision be made for them as for her.

56. Of an husband's niggardliness to his wife.

Contrary is an husband's niggardly dealing with his wife: when the allowance she hath is both far under his estate, and also so given her by little and little, as if she were a child. Many husbands make their wives drudge at home, fare hardly, and go meanly; who are themselves brave in apparel, frolic in their feasting abroad, and so exceed their wives as they are ashamed to be seen in company with them. They who marry their maids, or others of meaner rank than themselves, oft so deal with them: esteeming them but as servants and mean persons though they be their wives. But it hath been before shewed (see Section 6), that wives by marriage are advanced to their husband's dignity, how mean soever they were before.

57. Of husbands allowing their wives to bestow on others, as they see good occasion. (See Treatise 3, Sections 23, 29, 33.)

So far ought the provident care of an husband for his wife to extend, as she may have [beside things needful to herself] to bestow on such as it is requisite for her to give unto: as namely, on children and servants in the house, and others also out of the house. For so much is noted in Solomon's description of a good wife; She giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens (Prov 31:15): all her household is clothed with scarlet [namely, by her ordering and disposing the matter] (Prov 31:21). Her children rise up and call her blessed (Prov 31:28), as for her general carriage in the family, so for her particular favours bestowed on themselves. As for others out of the house, it is also noted, that she stretcheth out her hand to the poor, and reacheth forth her hands to the needy (Prov 31:20). These things she did by virtue of that power and liberty which her husband gave her: as appeareth by two points there noted:

1. In that before any mention is made of those things which she did, it is said, The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her (Prov 31:11).

2. In that, after all her good deeds are reckoned up, it is said, Her husband praiseth her (Prov 31:28).

After this pattern it is meet that other husbands [whose wives are wise and faithful] should deal with their wives: that in the house they might have the more honour of children and servants: and that out of the house they might give the better trial of their charity.

For considering the many excellent promises that are made to works of mercy and charity, and the many terrible threatenings that are denounced not only against such as exercise cruelty, but also against such as shew no mercy: considering also that wives together with their husbands, are heirs of the grace of life (1 Peter 3:7), it is very needful yea even necessary, that they should manifest their faith by some work of mercy and charity. Now unless her husband do give unto her something at her own discretion to bestow on others, true and through trial of her merciful and charitable mind cannot be made. If she give of that which her husband hath reserved to himself, as her giving is unlawful, so she may be thought liberal, not because she is merciful, but because notwithstanding her liberality she parteth with nothing of her own: yea though she have a general consent to give as she seeth cause of the common goods of the family, yet is not that so sure and sound a trial of her charity, and mercifulness, as if she had something of her own which she might retain or give away as pleaseth herself; and what she gives not away, lay up as her own stock proper to herself. For there is naturally such a self-love in man, and a desire to keep that which is proper to one's self, that he is very loath to part with any of it, unless conscience and grace alter this corruption of nature, and so move him readily to lay out something on charitable uses. But otherwise of that which in whole or in part belongeth to another [be that other, husband, parent, master, friend, or any else] he is easily moved to be liberal and bountiful: a man will willingly cut a large thong [as we speak] out of another's leather.

It is known that many children and servants, who, when they come to be possessors of their own, are very niggards and misers, have been liberal of their parents' and masters' goods unto the poor. Yea partners in a stock will be much more forward in giving away that which is common with another, than that which is proper to each of them. The truest trial of a merciful and charitable heart lieth in the distribution of that which is proper to one's self.

It is therefore meet upon this very ground, that an husband should according to his ability let his wife have some stock, and portion of her own, free to herself to dispose as she seeth good: intimating unto her that the principal end why he provideth so plentifully for her, is, that she may shew forth the fruits of her faith by some works of charity: and exhorting her so to do. Many religious, wise, kind husbands thus do: some giving quarterly allowance in money to their wives, others giving their wives power to receive a certain portion of rent out of certain lands or houses; others making their wives an absolute estate of some inheritance, and suffering them to receive the profits and revenues thereof; others giving them certain fees of their offices, or of their trade; others, that are poor, suffering them to work for themselves, and dispose their earnings as they see cause: some one way, some another: every one in his place best knoweth the means how to gratify his wife in this kind: it shall be sufficient for me to have laid down the general rule.

58. Of husbands' too great straitness over their wives.

Contrary is their strait-handedness to their wives, who allow them no more than may be for their own private use. They think it a great matter and as much as an husband is bound to do, to let her have apparel, meat and drink, and such necessaries as are befitting her rank, but all other over-plus they think needless. Thus their wives are not only deprived of means to gain respect of their children and servants at home, and to gratify such as are obedient and ready to do service to them, but also to perform such works of mercy as both opportunity requireth, and also their conscience moveth them to do. Yea many wives of rich husbands are brought to great shame hereby, in that being in places where there is just occasion of contributing to some charitable use, and by reason of their rich and costly apparel it is expected they should be bountiful, they have not any thing at all to bestow. The fault of some husbands in this respect is great many ways. As 1. in that they bring shame and grief to their wives, whom they ought with all tenderness to respect. 2. In that they dishonour their own places: for they who take notice of this straitness to their wives, will be ready to judge them both covetous, and unkind. 3. The omitting of that work of mercy which their wives should have done shall be laid to their charge: they shall hear that dreadful doom: Go ye cursed unto everlasting fire, for I was an hungered and ye fed me not &c. and if they answer, When saw we thee an hungered &c. it shall be replied, In that ye suffered not your wives to do it, you did it not.

Thus much of the extent of an husband's provident care for the good of his wife. It followeth to speak of the continuance thereof.

59. Of an husband's care to provide for his wife so long as she shall live.

The continuance of an husband's provident care for his wife must be so long as she liveth, yea though she out-live him: not that he can actually when he is dead provide for her, but that he may before his death so provide for her, as she may have wherewithal to maintain herself, and to live according to that place whereunto by him she is advanced: at least that he leave her not only so much as he had with her, but something more also in testimony of his love to her, and care for her. Husbands have the example of Christ to press this duty upon them: for when he went away from his Church here on earth, he left his Spirit, which furnished it with gifts as plentifully, as if Christ had still remained with her, if not more abundantly (Eph 4:8).

For the better performance of this duty, husbands which die before the wives, must observe among other things two especially.

1. That plain and expressly they declare their mind and will before they die, lest their wives should be circumvented and defrauded of that which they intended them. Thus did David upon the motion of Bathsheba, he settled his estate, and caused Bathsheba's son to be actually crowned before he himself gave up the Ghost: which he did, as for other weighty reasons, so in particular for his wife's good, as may be gathered from that reason she alleged to the King in these words; Else when my Lord the King shall sleep with his fathers, I shall be reputed vile (1 Kings 1:21).

2. That he request some faithful friend in is stead to be an helper unto her; [as Christ commended his mother unto his disciple John (John 19:16,27)] which will be needful in regard of her weakness, by reason of her sex, and want of experience to manage such affairs especially as are out of the house.

At the time of a man's departure out of this world from his wife, will the truest trial of his affection to his wife be given: for many that bear their wife's fare in hand while they live with them, at their death shew that there was no soundness of affection in their heart towards them: all was but a mere shew for some by-respects.

60. Of husbands' neglect of their wives future estate.

Contrary are divers practices of unkind husbands. For

1. Some through improvidence, unthriftiness and prodigality, disable themselves from doing good to their wives after their death; and so leave their wives nothing, or [that which is worse than nothing] in debt, and with a great charge of children. That care which husbands ought to have of their wives should make them think before hand of the time to come, and even for their wives' sake be somewhat the more diligent, thrifty, and provident, and cut off many unnecessary expences, else their sin is doubled. 1. By a needful wasting their estate. 2. By neglecting their wives.

2. Others by fawning, or forcing means draw their wives to yield up that interest they have in money, goods, house or land by jointer, inheritance, or any other way, and yet make them no sufficient recompence in another kind: but at their death leave their wives in a far worse estate than they were in before marriage, beside a greater charge than they had before. As this is a great part of unkindness, so also a main point of injustice.

3. Others grudging against the laws under which they live for providing for a wife by thirds or otherwise, use all the fraudulent means they can to deprive her of that which otherwise the law would lay upon her. The civil politic laws of the place where we live ought to be the rule of our civil actions [so far as they are not repugnant to God's word] and we ought for conscience sake to be subject unto them (Rom 13:5). Besides an husband ought [though the law forced him not] to leave at least the thirds to his wife, as a testimony of his love to her, and care for her: so as this also is a double fault. 1. A transgression of the law. 2. A note of unkindness.

4. Others having aged and sickly wives, or otherwise thinking that their wives may, or rather hoping that their wives will die before themselves, put off the making of their wills of purpose that they might not put in their wives' thirds, but dispose them some other way. Besides that these husbands shew no good affection towards their wives, they provoke God to disappoint them of their hopes: and so he doth often-times: for he taketh them away before their wives, and so taketh them away, as having not time to make their will, not only their wives enjoy their thirds [which they so much desired to avoid] but also some other [whom of all in their lifetime they misliked] seize upon the other two parts.

61. Of an husband's protecting his wife from danger.

Having shewed how an husband is to provide things needful for his wife: It remaineth to shew how he is to protect her from things hurtful. In regard of that protection which an husband oweth his wife, he is called the veil of her eyes (Gen 20:16): which phrase as it implieth Subjection on the wife's part, so also Protection on the husband's: to protect one, is as it were, to cover them, namely, from danger; to be negligent and careless of them, is, as it were, to lay them open to danger. The same duty is implied under another like phrase of spreading his wing over his wife (Ruth 3:9). The metaphor is taken from winged fowls, which to keep their young ones from hurt, use to spread their wings over them: this phrase and metaphor is also attributed to God, to set forth his protection (Ruth 2:12).

But most pertinent to this purpose is the title, Saviour, given to an husband in relation to his wife (see Treatise 1, Section 15 and Treatise 3, Section 73).

For this end the Lord who subjected a woman unto her husband, gave to his sex greater strength, courage and boldness than to hers, that he might protect her which is the weaker vessel. In this duty of protection Christ sheweth himself an excellent pattern and precedent unto husbands.

The better to perform this duty, an husband must be careful,

1. To prevent, as much as he may, such dangers as his wife is like to fall into.

2. To recover her out of such as she is fallen into.

For this purpose did David carry his wives into Gath lest, if they were left in Israel, Saul should work them some mischief (1 Sam 27:3): and again, when they were taken by the Amalekites, he recovered them (1 Sam 30:18).

According to that danger whereunto wives are subject, must an husband's care of protecting his wife be manifested.

1. If she be in danger to be seduced and enticed, as Eve was, by any evil instruments of the devil, as Jesuits, Priests, Friars, profane, blasphemous, lascivious, or riotous persons; his care must be either to keep them away that they come not at her, or to put them away from her so soon as he can: he may not suffer them to harbour in his house.

2. If by any sleight she be drawn from his house, he must seek her, and fetch her again, as the Levite did his wife (Judg 19:2): or cause her [if he can] to be brought home again, as David caused Michal to be brought (2 Sam 3:13,14): especially if they be taken away by force, as Ahinoam, and Abigail, David's wives, were (1 Sam 30:18).

3. If she be unjustly slandered, he is to maintain her credit and reputation as much as his own: as Christ accounteth himself despised, when his Church is, so must he (Luke 10:16). This care must he have of his wife's credit, even after her death, as well as while she liveth (see Treatise 2, Part 2, Section 31). 4. What other mischief soever is intended or practiced against her, he must be a tower of defence to protect her, [as Ahasuerus was to Esther against Haman (Esth 7:7,8)] and that not only against strangers without the house, but also against children and servants in the house. Children grown to years, that are stout and stubborn, will be ready to rise up against their mother, especially if she be a mother in law, because she is the weaker sex: the countenance of a father for the most part keepeth most in awe. Wherefore the husband must be an help to his wife, and maintain her honour against them: yea though they be children of a former wife.

62. Of an husband's maintaining his wife against children of a former venture, and servants.

Object. Mothers in law often prove unkind, and unjust step-mothers, and deal unmercifully with their husband's children: must an husband in such cases assist his wife against his children?

Answ. The protection, I speak of, is in case a wife be wronged, then her husband is to do what he can to right her [as we speak]. But if she be the wrong-doer, he may by no means bolster her up against his children, and so make their wrong the greater. Yet so far ought he to respect his wife, as by all the fair means he can, to labour to pacify her mind, and turn her heart towards them: and if he observe her heart to be clean alienated form them, then to put them forth to be brought up in some other place, and so to take away from her the object of her displeasure, that he and she may live more quietly together. For if a man must forsake father and mother, he must also forsake children, and cleave to his wife. Peace and unity betwixt man and wife must of all other be kept inviolable. Though thou cast away all, nothing can happen more troublesome to thee than not to have a quiet wife at home. Thou canst find no sin more grievous than to have contention with a wife.

If a wife must be maintained against the stubbornness of children, much more against the insolency of servants: for which purpose the example of Abraham is recorded, whose servant might have privilege above other, because he had made her his bed-fellow; yet when she waxed insolent against her mistress, first he put her into her mistress's hand to do to her as it pleased her; and afterwards he cast her out of his house.

63. Of neglecting to maintain their wives.

Contrary is a dissolute carelessness of husbands, who care no more to help and succour their wives than any other.

1. Some more fear to offend their wives than they care to do them good, and in that respect they let any sort of people come to their wives that are welcome to them. If Magistrates in a Commonwealth shall answer for suffering seducers to come into their dominions to deceive their people, much more shall husbands answer for suffering them to come and deceive their wives.

1. Because they have a greater charge over their wives than Magistrates over their people.

2. Because wives ought to be dearer to husbands than people to Magistrates.

3. Because they may sooner espy them in their house, than Magistrates in the Commonwealth.

4. Because they may be much more easily kept out of an house, than out of a Commonwealth, or a city.

2. Others care not whither their wives wander: and if they do go out of their house, they shall never be sought after by their husbands: though this may be a just punishment on wandering wives, yet is it not just for husbands so to deal with them. If Christ our husband should so deal with us, we should soon be lost: for we oft go astray like wandering sheep, but he is that good shepherd, who seeketh after the lost sheep until he find it (Luke 15:4).

3. No marvel then that many husbands are no more affected with the ill reports and rumours raised against their wives, when they so little regard who come to them, or whither they go. Assuredly the discredit of a wife will turn to the man's dishonour: for as a virtuous wife is a crown to her husband, so by the rule of contraries, an infamous wife is a shame to her husband (Prov 12:4). If therefore not for his wife's sake, yet for his own sake a man ought not to carelessly pass over the ill reports which are raised against his wife.

4. There be such unkind husbands as are moved with no ill usage done unto their wives, nor will hear any complaint that they make unto them: yea if they see them misused, they will either not seem to see it, or but smile at it, and so go their way, and suffer their wives to right themselves as well as they can. As this beseemeth not any Christian to suffer his neighbour to be wronged, [for it is noted as a commendable matter in Moses, that when he saw two Hebrews striving together, he took his part that had wrong done to him, and reproved the other (Exo 2:13)] so much less an husband, to whose safe-guard his wife is committed. Nature teacheth us that the head is as much affected with a wrong done to the body, as to itself: so ought an husband.

5. As the wrong which is done by those who are in subjection in the house under the wife, is greater than that which is done by strangers: so is the husband's fault the greater in suffering it: for he hath more power over them in his house, than over others. What then may we think of such, as either by their connivance, or by taking part against their wives, suffer both children and servants to insult over them? Assuredly those husbands themselves will find some smack of the bitter and evil fruit thereof: and that not only by that great discontent which their wives must needs take thereat; but also by that contempt which will follow on their own persons, both by their wives [who cannot think them meet heads to govern others] but also by their children and servants, who thereby will take occasion to wax proud, and presumptuous against him. By despising the weaker, men grow by little and little to despise the stronger. This men of wisdom and experience well know: whereupon in Commonwealths and policies governed by wise men, the authority of inferiour Magistrates is upheld and maintained: superiour Magistrates will not suffer them who are in authority under them to be despised: for it is well known, that it tends not to the honour and ease only, but to the safety also of the supreme Magistrate, to have the power and authority of inferiour Magistrates respected, and not trampled under feet. It argueth therefore both want of affection, and of discretion and understanding in husbands, to suffer child, servant, or any other in the house to insult over their wives, who are joint governours with them over the house.

64. Of an husband's first beginning to love his wife.

The general matter together with the particular kinds of husbands' duties being thus far handled, The manner also of performing them is to be delivered.

To instruct an husband in the manner of performing his duties to his wife, the Apostle layeth down two patterns, 1. Christ, 2. Ourselves.

As Christ loveth his Church, and as we love ourselves, so must men love their wives.

That we may the better follow these patterns, we must distinctly note how Christ loveth his Church, and how we love ourselves.

The love of Christ to his Church is commended unto us in six several points: which are 1. The order, 2, The truth, 3. The cause, 4. The quality, 5. The quantity, 6. The continuance thereof.

I. For the Order, Christ began to love his Church: he manifested his love to her before she loved him: as the air heated by the sun is hot, and a wall on which the sun-beams smite, giveth a reflection of heat back again: so the Church, as it were heated and warmed at heart by the sense of Christ's love, loved him, as the Apostle expressly noteth, [We love him because he loved us first (1 John 4:19)]: and the Church herself acknowledgeth saying, Because of the savour of thy good ointments [wherewith we are revived, and cheered] the virgins love thee (Cant 1:2).

There is in us by nature no spark of love at all: if Christ by his loving of us first, did not instill love into us, we could no more love him than a living bird rise out of a cold egg, if it were not kept warm by the dams sitting upon it.

Thus must an husband first begin to love his wife. His place of eminency, and authority requireth, that he should be to his wife, a guide, which title is expressly given to him by the Holy Ghost, to teach him to go before her, and by his example to instruct, and incite her to do her duty. What a shame would it be for a man who is the image and glory of God, the head of his wife, in the same place to her that Christ is to his Church, to be provoked by his wife's wife-like carriage [she being the weaker vessel, under him, to learn of him] to lover her? (See Treatise 1, Section 10.) Reasons there be to stir up a wife to endeavour to prevent her husband in doing her duty, which if she do, it is the greater glory to her; but this pattern of Christ should stir him much more to strive to go before her.

65. Of husbands repaying unkindness for love.

Contrary, is their disposition, who having loving and dutiful wives, are notwithstanding nothing moved to love them again: but are as unkind and churlish as if they had the most peevish, and perverse wives that could be. But what shall we say of such as love their wives the less, yea and hate them for their forwardness to love, and [in testimony of true love] to perform all good duty? What, but that they are very devils incarnate? For it is the devil's property to overcome good with evil. These make the doctrine of a wife's subjection to seem harsh, and a careful performance thereof, an heavy burden. Never shall they partake of Christ's love, that in their place shew themselves so unlike to Christ.

66. Of the truth of husbands' love. (See Treatise 3, Section 57.)

II. The truth of Christ's love was manifested by the fruits thereof to his Church: He gave himself for it. It was therefore not in word only, no nor only in heart, but in deed also. Thus his love proved profitable, and beneficial to his church, which thereby was cleansed, and made a glorious Church. Had he only borne a tender compassion and pitiful affection towards it, or laboured only with comfortable and sweet words to uphold and succour it, it had still lain polluted with sin, in the power of the devil, and under God's wrath, and so received no profit and benefit at all.

So must husbands love their wives in truth and in deed. Such a love is required of a man to his brother (1 John 3:18): much more therefore to his wife, who is not only a sister [as the Apostle expressly styleth her (1 Cor 9:5)] but nearer than sister, mother, daughter, friend, or any other whatsoever. This therefore serveth to press the practice of all the forenamed duties appertaining to an husband.

67. Of husbands' dissimulation.

Contrary is their dissimulation and hypocrisy, who make great shew of much love, and pretence of earnest affection, using many outward complements, but fail when they come to the truest trial, the deed. Some like suitors or wooers, will promise mountains, but not perform mole hills: others will coddle and kiss their wives much, but trust them with nothing, nor provide for them things requisite: there be that will weep much when their wives are sick, yet not afford physic and such like things for their recovery: yea many will carry a fair face all their life long towards their wives, and at their death leave them nothing to live by.

Hence it is that many who by others are accounted to be very kind husbands, are by their wives found to be far otherwise. If trial be made of husbands' love by their practice and performance of the forenamed duties, it will be found that they for the most part come as far short in love, as wives in subjection.

68. Of the freeness of husbands' love.

III. The cause of Christ's love, was his love, as Moses noteth, He set his love on you, because he loved you (Deut 7:7,8). His love arose only, and wholly from himself, and was every way free: as there was nothing in the Church, before Christ loved her to move him to love her, so can there be nothing that he could hope for afterwards, but what himself bestowed. Indeed he delighteth in that righteousness wherewith, as with a glorious robe, she is clothed; and with those heavenly graces, wherewith as with precious jewels she is decked: but that righteousness, and those graces are his own, and of his free gift, He presents it to himself a glorious Church (Eph 5:27).

In imitation hereof husbands should love their wives, though there were nothing in wives to move them so to do, but only that they are their wives: yea though no future benefit could after be expected from them: true love hath respect to the object which is loved, and the good it may do thereunto, rather than to the subject which loveth, and the good that it may receive. For love seeketh not her own (1 Cor 13:5).

Christ's love in this branch thereof should further move husbands to do what lieth in their power, to make their wives worthy of love: thus will it be in truth said, that they dwell with their wives according to knowledge (1 Peter 3:7): and thus will their love appear to be as Christ's love, free.

69. Of husbands loving for advantage.

Contrary is their love which is only for their own content and advantage. Many can love no further than they may have some bait to allure their affections, as beauty, wealth, honour, or the like by-respects; or at least hope of some inheritance or portion above that which they have, or of some favour that they expect from their wife's friends. This cannot be a true sound love: such a man may be thought to love his wife's beauty, inheritance, and friends rather than his wife. This love cannot last.

70. Of the purity of husbands' love.

IV. Christ's love for the quality is an holy, pure, chaste, love: as he himself is, so is his love, as is evident by the effect thereof: for it moved him to sanctify and cleanse his Church, to make it a glorious Church without spot (Eph 5:26,27), he did therefore no way pollute or defile his Spouse: and that his love might the better appear to be chaste love, cast only upon one Spouse and not many, he united all his Saints together by the bond of his Spirit, and made them all one body (1 Cor 12:12,13).

Hereby husbands must learn so to be affected towards their wives as may stand with holiness, and chastity: though much love be required, yet it may not overflow those banks. Marriage is honourable and a bed undefiled (Heb 13:4). It must therefore be used as an undefiled thing. This indeed appertaineth to the wife as well as to the husband. But because he is the head, and guide of his wife, and ought to be as a pattern and president before her, as Christ is before him, therefore is it more specially applied to him. The purity of an husband's love here spoken of, hath a double use,

1. It restraineth an husband's love to his own wife. There is a general Christian love whereby all occasions of doing good are taken, with which an husband may, and ought to love others: and a particular matrimonial love, whereby he is moved to prefer his wife before all, and to have his heart set and fixed on her, and so proper and peculiar to her.

2. It orders and moderates his love, so as it turneth not into sinful lust, whereby that estate, [which in itself by virtue of God's ordinance, is holy] is polluted.

71. Of husbands' lightness.

Contrary, is not only adultery whereof we have spoken before (see Treatise 2, Part 2, Section 5 and 8), but also wantonness, lightness, and uncleanness with his wife. For many intemperate and unchaste husbands, giving the reins to their headstrong lusts, manifest as much unseemliness and plain filthiness in their words, gestures, and actions [to say nothing of their thoughts which are not seen] to their wives, as others do to strumpets and harlots; which is a most shameless thing, and I am even ashamed to mention: but because it is mentioned, let such know, that they shall be accounted among such whoremongers and adulterers as God will judge (Heb 13:4).

72. Of husbands loving their wives more than themselves.

The quantity of Christ's love cannot be expressed: for the measure of it was above measure. He gave himself for his Church (Eph 5:25), and in that respect he calleth himself that Good shepherd that gave his life for his sheep (John 10:11). Greater love than this hath no man (John 15:13). What will not he do for his spouse, that gave his life for her?

This may seem to be too high a strain, and pitch of love for an husband to attain unto: a matter wherein he is to leave his pattern, and not to follow Christ: but yet S. John addeth even this extent to the love of our brethren: We ought [saith he] to lay down our lives for the brethren (1 John 3:16): therefore by just consequence for our wives. But that this extent be not stretched too far, and husbands cast into a pit of needless peril, two cautions must be noted,

1. That there be an absolute necessity, to bring us to this strait of parting with our life: which is, when the good we aim at in the behalf of our wives cannot any other way be effected, but by venturing our life. There was no other way to redeem the Church, but by the blood of Christ.

2. That the good we intend in this case to our wives be of greater value than our temporal life: as is the good of her soul, the saving of it. Thus the Apostle saith, I will most gladly be bestowed for your souls (2 Cor 12:15). Which mind men must much more carry towards their wives. It was for our salvation that Christ gave himself.

73. Of husbands' unkindness.

Contrary is their unkindness that prefer every trifle of their own before the good of their wives: their profit, their pleasure, their promotion, clean draw away their hearts and affections from their wives. If any extraordinary charge must be laid out, or pains taken for their wives' good, little love will then appear: whereby it appears that there was no true and sound love settled in their hearts towards their wives. As gold and other like metals are tried by the fire, so love by afflictions and crosses.

74. Of combats in pretence of wives' honour.

Contrary in another extreme is the over-bold and over-heady pretended manhood of such husbands as upon every jealous surmize and slight report, are ready to make challenges of fight, and to enter into single combats and duels, on pretence of maintaining their wife's honour. This being no warrantable course of righting a wrong, no honour can redound to the wife thereby, but much dishonour and danger to the husband. If he prevail over his adversary and kill, he is made guilty of murder thereby, and so reproach and shame must needs come to himself, wife, and whole family: if he be overcome and slain, she may be reputed more guilty than she was before. And oft it falleth out that God in just judgment giveth over the challenger into his adversary's hand, because he hath undertaken so indirect a course.

75. Of husbands' constancy in love. (See Treatise 3, Section 6.)

VI. The continuance of Christ's love was without date: Having loved his own, he loved them unto the end (John 13:1). His love was constant [not by fits, now loving, then hating] and everlasting (Hosea 2:19) [never repenting thereof, never changing or altering his mind] no provocations, no transgressions could ever make him forget to love, and cease to do that good which he intended for his Church: note what he said to her even when she revolted from him, Thou hast played the harlot with many lovers, yet return again to me (Jer 3:1): and again, My mercy shall not depart away (2 Sam 7:15).

For his love resteth not on the desert of his Church, but on the unchangeableness of his own will. As this manifested Christ's love to be true sound love, so it made it profitable and beneficial to the Church, which, notwithstanding her many frailties, by virtue hereof is glorified.

This last branch must be added to all the former branches of an husband's love, or else they will be all in vain and to no purpose. This giveth the truest trial of sound love. Such was the love betwixt David and Jonathan: the soundest love that ever was, betwixt party and party. This bringeth the greatest glory to the party which loveth: and the greatest benefit to the party which is loved. That a man's love may thus remain firm and inviolable,

1. He must be sure to lay a good foundation; he must ground his love on God's ordinance: and love his wife in regard of the matrimonial bond which knitteth them together, and that near union which thence ariseth; and so it will last so long as that knot lasteth.

2. He must further support and strengthen it with an inviolable resolution to be changed and altered with no provocation, but rather to pass by all infirmities; endeavouring in love to redress them if possibly he can: if not, to bear with them.

76. Of husbands' variableness.

Contrary is their variableness, whose love is ready to turn as a weather cock with every blast of a contrary wind: now tender-hearted, then again hard-hearted, now smiling, then lowering: now giving this and that favour, then denying every thing, even such things as are needful.

Many whose love was as hot as fire while their wives were young, or their friends lived, or while they pleased them, when those occasions are taken away, prove in their love as cold as ice.

Again others by some continuance in doing good to their wives, think it a burden: and waxing weary clean leave off their former good course; which plainly sheweth that they never truly and entirely loved their wives.

By this pattern of Christ here propounded to husbands, we have on the one side a good direction to teach us how to love our wives, as hath been particularly declared; and on the other side, matter of humiliation, in that it sheweth us how far short we come of our bounden duty. Howsoever, wives may most complain of their burden, because it is a Subjection whereunto by nature we are all loath to yield: yet I am sure the heaviest burden is laid upon the husband's shoulders: and much more easy it is to perform the part of a good wife, than of a good husband (see Treatise 1, Section 10).

77. Of husbands loving their wives as themselves. (See Treatise 3, Section 59.)

To the example of Christ the Apostle annexeth the pattern of one's self, in these words: So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies (Eph 5:28).

Quest. Is not the former pattern sufficient? Is this latter more excellent, more perfect?

Answ. Christ's example is a full, complete, perfect, and every way sufficient pattern; far more excellent than this of a man's self: this is not annexed to add any thing to that, or in regard of the excellency hereof, but only in regard of our dullness, to make the point somewhat more plain and perspicuous. For this pattern is more sensible and better discerned. Every one knoweth how he loveth his own body: but few or none know how Christ loveth his Church. Besides, that example of Christ may seem too high and excellent for any to attain unto, even intimitable; therefore to shew that he requireth no more than a man may perform, if he will set himself with care and conscience to do his duty, he addeth the pattern of one's self; that which one doth to his body, if he will, he may do to his wife.

No direction can be taken from this latter pattern, but might be referred to the former, as most of the former [though in a far meaner manner] may be referred to the latter. For the love which a man beareth to himself is true, and entire without all dissimulation: the most dissembling wretch in the world [who in his dealings with other men doth nothing uprightly] nor will nor can dissemble with himself; though other men shall never know the depth of his heart, yet the spirit which is in him, even himself, knoweth it (1 Cor 2:11): so as this pattern also presseth truth and sincerity on husbands in their affection towards their wives: of all other they may not dissemble and deal doubly with them, but let them know the entireness of their affection towards them: and see they neither fawn on them, nor flatter them. They which pretend great love to their wives in shew only, offend against nature itself. As the foresaid love of a man's own self is for manner entire and true, so also free not forced: and for measure as great as possibly it can be, and or continuance, constant, and so like to Christ's love. But there are two points especially to be considered in the love of one's self which above others are most sensibly discerned in this pattern. 1. Tenderness. 2. Cheerfulness.

No other man will or can so tenderly handle a man's hand, arm, leg, or any other part of his body, as himself: he is very sensible of his own smart.

The metaphors which the Apostle useth in these words, He nourisheth and cherisheth it, do lively set forth this tenderness (Eph 5:29): for they are taken from fowls and birds which very charily, and tenderly hover over their young ones, covering them all over with their wings and feathers, but so bearing up their bodies as no weight lieth upon them.

Thus ought husbands with all tenderness, and mildness to deal with their wives, as we have before noted in many particulars: only this example of a man's self I thought good to set before husbands, as a lively pattern wherein they might behold a precedent without exception, going before them, and whereby they might receive excellent direction for the better performing of the particulars before noted.

Again, no friend, no parent, no other party will or can so willingly and cheerfully do any kindness for one, as a man for himself. This among other is one especial point which the law aimeth at, when it enjoins a man to love his neighbour as himself, namely, as willingly and readily as himself (Lev 19:18). Whatsoever a man doth for himself he doth much more cheerfully than for another. There needeth no other proof than experience. Let men take notice of their own mind and disposition when they do things for themselves, and this will be as clear as the light when the sun shineth forth at noon day.

Such an affection ought husbands to have to their wives: they ought more willingly and cheerfully to do any thing for their wives than for parents, children, friends or any other. Though this cheerfulness be an inward disposition of the heart, yet may it be manifested by a man's forwardness and readiness to do his wife good: when his wife shall no sooner desire a kindness, than he will be ready to grant it: as Boaz saith to Ruth, I will do to thee all that thou requirest (Ruth 3:11); yea, if by any means he may know that this or that will be behoveful to her, though she desire it not, yet to effect it for her: which was the mind of the said Boaz to Ruth, as the history in many particulars sheweth.

Contrary is the disposition of those husbands who so grudgingly, repiningly, and discontentedly do those things which they do in their wives' behalf, as their wives had rather they were not done at all. The manner of doing them causeth more grief to tender hearted wives, than the things themselves can do good.

Hitherto of the manner which husbands ought to observe in performing their duties. The reasons to enforce the same remain to be handled.

78. Of Christ's example, a motive to provoke husbands to love their wives.

The forenamed examples of Christ and of ourselves as they are patterns for our direction, so general motives to provoke and stir us up the more to perform all the forenamed duties after the manner prescribed.

A greater, and stronger motive cannot be yielded than the example of Christ. Example in itself is of great force to provoke us to do any thing: especially if it be the example of some great one, a man of place and renown.

But who greater than Christ? What more worthy pattern? If [as was shewed (see Treatise 3, Section 74)] the example of the Church be of great force to move wives to be subject to their husbands, the example of Christ must needs be of much greater force to move husbands to love their wives. A great honour it is to be like unto Christ: and his example is a perfect pattern.

Two things there be which in Christ's example are especially to be noted to move husbands to love their wives.

1. That great inequality which is betwixt him and his spouse.

2. That small benefit which he reapeth by loving her.

For the better discerning of that inequality, the greatness of Christ on the one side, and the meanness of the Church on the other, are duly to be weighed.

Christ's greatness is in Scripture set forth by comparing him with creatures, and the Creator. Compared with creatures he is far more excellent than the most excellent, as the Apostle by many arguments proveth in the first chapter to Hebrews, that whole chapter is spent in proof of this point: And in another place it is said that He is set far above all principality and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this world, but also in that which is to come (Eph 1:21).

Compared with the Creator he is no whit inferiour to him, but equal (Phil 2:6): Being the brightness of glory, and the express image of his person (Heb 1:3): and that Word of whom it is said, In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God: All things were made by him (John 1:1,3), &c. So as he is the very Creator himself, external, infinite, incomprehensible. Thus is Christ's greatness inexplicable.

The meanness of the Church is as low on the other side: she is a creature, fashioned out of the earth, proceeding from the loins of corrupt Adam, not only finite, but in itself vile and base: The Prophet Ezekiel doth set her forth in her lively colours as she is in herself (Eze 16:1). Compared therefore unto Christ she is nothing, less than nothing (Isa 40:17). What equality, what proportion can there then be betwixt Christ and her.

But if man and woman be compared together, we shall find a near equality: and that both in the points of their humiliation, and also of their exaltation. In regard of the former, they are both of the same mould, of the same corrupt nature, subject to the same infirmities, at length brought to the same end. In regard of the latter the best and greatest privileges are common to both of them: they are both made after the same image, redeemed by the same price, partakers of the same grace, and heirs together of the same inheritance.

Quest. What is then the preferment of the male kind? What is the excellency of an husband?

Answ. Only outward and momentary. Outward, in the things of this world only: for in Christ Jesus they are both one (Gal 3:28). Momentary, for the time of this life only: for in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the Angels of God in heaven (Matt 22:30): then all subjection of wives to husbands ceaseth.

To conclude this point, the inequality betwixt Christ and the Church, and equality betwixt man and wife being such as hath been declared; seeing Christ vouchsafeth to love his Church, ought not man thereby be moved to love his wife?

The other point concerning the small benefit which Christ reapeth by his Church, will yet further enforce the point: for illustration whereof we will note the great benefit which man reapeth by his wife.

The benefit which Christ reapeth from the Church is in one word nothing for Christ is in himself All sufficient: he neither needeth any thing, nor can receive any thing: If thou be righteous, what givest thou to him? Or what receiveth he of thine hand? (Job 35:7) Yet abundantly he bestoweth all manner of gifts, temporal, and spiritual, earthly and heavenly. It was not therefore his own good that he respected in loving the Church, but her good: for he being God became man (1 Tim 3:16); being Lord of heaven and earth, he took upon him the form of a servant (Phil 2:6,7); being rich he became poor (2 Cor 8:9): having the Keys of hell and of death (Rev 1:18), and being the Lord of life (Acts 3:15), he humbled himself, and became obedient unto the death (Phil 2:8): thus to shew love to his Church he left much for her sake, but received nothing of her.

But the benefit which man reapeth from a wife is very great: for It was not good for a man to be alone (Gen 2:18): in so much as He who findeth a wife findeth a good thing (Prov 18:22); and that in all the points of goodness, a profitable thing, a comfortable thing, a delightful thing. They know not the benefit of the married estate, who prefer single life before it, especially if the married estate be ordered by God's word, and man and wife careful to perform their own duty each to other (see Treatise 2, Part 1, Section 27).

To apply this point also, and to bring it to the conclusion: If Christ who can receive nothing from the Church notwithstanding love her, ought not men much more to love their wives, who many ways receive much good from them, and without whom they cannot well be?

This example of Christ is the rather to be noted, because it clean wipeth away all those false colours, and vain pretences which many allege as reasons, to shew that there is little reason they should love their wives: some of their pretences are these.

1. Their wives are of a far meaner rank than themselves; should they then perform duty to their inferiours? They commonly who marry their kitchen maids, or others far under their degree, allege this pretence.

Answ. I might reply, That marriage advanceth a wife to the degree of her husband: and that it was his own folly to marry one so mean: but for the purpose and point in hand, let any tell me, whether the supposed disparity betwixt them and their wives, be in any degree comparable to that which is betwixt Christ and the Church: yet Christ thinketh not much to do duties of love to his Church.

2. There is nothing in their wives worthy to be loved.

Answ. This very thing, that such an one is thy wife, is matter enough to make her worthy of love. But what was there in the Church to make her worthy of Christ's love? If it be said that she is endued with many excellent graces, which make her amiable in Christ's sight: I answer, that of herself she hath none of those graces, Christ hath bestowed them upon her, and so made her amiable: and thus oughtest thou to endeavour by using all good means thou canst to make thy wife answerable to thy love: but howsoever, to love her.

3. Their wives give just occasion to be hated by reason of their peevishness, stoutness, insolency, and other like intolerable vices.

Answ. No occasion may seem just to move an husband to hate his wife: nor any vice seem to him intolerable: with goodness he ought to overcome evil. If notorious sins seemed intolerable to Christ, or that he thought any occasion just to cause hatred, many that are of his Church would oft draw his hatred upon them: but Christ hateth never a member of his Church.

4. There is no hope that ever I shall receive any help of my wife, or benefit from her.

Answ. There is little charity in such as can conceive no hope: for love hopeth all things (1 Cor 13:7): but yet the case so standeth with Christ. The Church is so utterly unable to help or benefit him, as he may justly say, he cannot hope to receive any thing from her. Christ loveth the Church for her own good, not for his; so ought husbands. Thus if Christ's example be well weighed, and observed of husbands, it will afford matter enough to remove every doubt or scruple raised to alienate their affections from their wives. Fitly therefore hath the Apostle set it before husbands, both to direct them how to love their wives, and also to move them so to do.

79. Of a man's love to himself, a motive to provoke him to love his wife.

To the same purpose that Christ's example tendeth, tendeth also the pattern of a man's self. Great is the affection that a man beareth to himself, to his own flesh, his own body: he never hateth, but ever loveth himself: no sore, no disease, no pain, no stench that the flesh bringeth to a man, can make him hate it: but rather all manner of infirmities do make him the more to pity, tender, and cherish it. This is a work of nature: the most heathenish, and barbarous, that ever were, do it. Now a wife being to a man as his body and his flesh [for they two are one flesh] and God having commanded men to love their wives as their own bodies, these conclusions will necessarily follow from this motive:

1. He that loveth not his wife is more carried with the instinct of nature, than with the express charge of the God of nature. Nature's instinct moveth him to love his body. But God's express charge moveth him not, to love his wife.

2. He that loveth not his wife is worse than an infidel and a barbarian, yea than a very beast: for all these love their own bodies, and their own flesh: but a wife [by God's ordinance] is as one's body, and his flesh.

3. He that loveth his wife loveth himself: the Apostle himself in these very words layeth down this conclusion: from whence by the rule of contraries this also will follow, He that loveth not his wife, loveth not himself.

4. He that loveth not his wife cannot but bring woe and mischief upon himself. For the damage and mischief which followeth on a wife, through any neglect of duty on her husband's part, followeth also on him: as the mischief which followeth on the body through any negligence of the head, lighteth also on the head.

If these be not motives sufficient to provoke an husband to love his wife, I know not what can be sufficient.




The Fifth Treatise

Duties of Children

1. Of the general heads of children's duties.

Ephesians 6:1-3. Children obey your Parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother [which is the first commandment with promise]. That it may be well with thee: and thou mayest live long on the earth.

The second couple in a family are Parents, Children.

In laying down their duties, the Apostle beginneth with children: his direction, and instigation unto them is laid down in the three first verses of the sixth chapter: wherein

1. He declareth their duty.

2. He addeth reasons to enforce the same.

In laying down their duty he noteth three points.

1. Wherein it consisteth, [obey, honour].

2. To whom it is to be performed [your parents].

3. After what manner it is to be done [in the Lord].

The reasons used by the Apostle are four.

1. The place of parents [in the Lord].

2. The equity of the thing [this is right].

3. The charge of God [honour thy father, &c.].

4. The reward promised [that it may go well, &c.].

Under this word [obey] which the Apostle useth, and that word [honour] which the Law useth, are all those duties comprised, which any where throughout the whole Scripture are enjoined to children.

We will therefore set them down in some order, and handle them distinctly one after another.

1. The Fountain of children's duties is to be searched out.

2. The Streams that flow from thence are to be observed.

The Fountain is an inward disposition of the heart compounded of love and fear.

The Streams issuing from thence extend unto parents, both while they are living, and also when they are dead.

Children's duties which are to be performed to their parents while they live, have respect to their Authority, Necessity.

The Authority of parents requireth of children Reverence, Obedience.

Their Necessity requireth Recompence.

The duties which children owe to their parents deceased, respect their Body, Credit.

Their Body with decency must be buried.

Their Credit with honour must be maintained.

2. Of children's love to their parents.

I make the fountain of children's duties to be a mixed and compound disposition, in respect of that authority and affection which is mixed together in parents. The authority of parents requireth fear in children: and their affection, love. So entire and so ardent is parents' affection towards their children, as it would make children too bold and insolent if there were not authority mixed therewith to work fear: and so supreme and absolute is their authority over them, as it would make children like slaves to dread their parents, if a fatherly affection were not tempered therewith to breed love. But both these joined together make a very good composition: love like sugar sweeteneth fear, and fear like salt seasoneth love: and thus, to join them both together, it is a loving-fear, or a fearing-love, which is the ground of children's duties.

Where Christ forbiddeth an excessive love in children to their parents (Matt 10:37), he implieth that parents are a fit object for children to love [so as their love be well moderated:] yea he implieth that it is an affection even by nature ingrafted in children to love their parents. Joseph is commended unto children as a worthy pattern in loving his father, and that from his youth till the decease of his father: in testimony whereof in his younger years he brought to his father the evil report of has brethren (Gen 37:2), whereby he incurred their envy and hatred, which he would never have done, if he had not loved his father: and having been long absent from his father, when by God's providence there was offered an occasion for him to meet with his brethren, one of his first questions to them was about their father (Gen 43:7): and hearing that he was living, he thought it not enough to send him food for his need, but must also needs see his face, and have him dwell with him (Gen 45:9): and while his father was in the way he went out to meet him, and at first sight fell on his neck, and wept a good while [a token of great affection] (Gen 46:29).

That love which naturally parents bear to their children, ought in equity to breed in children a love to their parents. For love deserveth love: and most unworthy are they to be loved, who cannot love again. The love of parents above all others is to be answered with love on children's part to the uttermost of their power, because it is free, great, and constant.

Besides, there is a necessity of love in children to their parents, lest for want thereof, their subjection [which of all others ought to be most free] should turn into slavish servitude.

This ought children the rather to labour after, because by nature they are nothing so prone to love their parents, as their parents are to love them. Love is weighty, and, as weighty things, it descendeth. Children therefore with conscience of duty must labour to make supply of this defect, and help nature by grace. I deny not but naturally there is in children a greater love to their parents, than to others: yet in comparison of the heat of parents' love to them, their love to their parents is but cold. Wherefore as the heart of the sun shining much and long on a stone wall, draweth a reflection of heat from that wall: so the hot beams of parents' love, which with fervency and constancy is cast on children, ought to provoke and stir up children to send forth a reflection of love on their parents.

Two extremes are contrary to this affection of love.

One is want of natural affection, which is a vice most odious and abominable in all, but most of all in children. The Apostle reckoneth this among the most heinous vices that be (Rom 1:30; 2 Tim 3:3).

The other is hatred and despite of parents: a vice more than monstrous, and unnatural. From thence cometh mocking and cursing of parents, whereof we shall afterwards hear.

3. Of a child's fear of his parent.

To the forenamed duty of love, must fear be added, which is a child's awful respect of his parent.

This awful respect ariseth from an honourable esteem which a child in his judgment and opinion hath of his parent, as he is his parent; and from it proceedeth on the one side, a desire and endeavour in all things to please the parent, and on the other side a loathness to offend him.

In this respect the fear of a child is opposed to the fear of a slave. For a child's fear being mixed with love, hath respect to the offence which a parent may take; but a slave's fear, which is ordinarily mixed with hatred, hath respect to nothing but the punishment which his master may inflict upon him. The forenamed fear is so proper to children, as that awful respect which the Saints bear to God, is called a filial or child-like fear (see Treatise 1, Section 4).

This fear in a child is an especial branch of that honour which the Law requireth of children to their parents (Exo 20:12): and it is in express terms enjoined to children by the Law (Lev 19:3). That phrase which God useth of Miriam [If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days?] (Num 12:14) sheweth that there ought to be such a fear of the parent in a child's heart, as should work shame in it when the parent is offended.

A worthy pattern we have hereof in Jacob, who was loath to gain the blessing with offence of his father (Gen 27:12).

This fear keepeth love in compass: and restraineth a child from overmuch sauciness, and malipartness.

And it is a cause of a child's reverend and dutiful carriage to his parent. For as the heart is affected the carriage will be ordered.

Contrary hereunto is that light, or [which is more abominable] that base and vile esteem of parents, which is in the heart of many children: especially if parents be poor, of low degree, unlearned, ignorant, or subject to any infirmities. It cannot be but that Ham had too light (Gen 9:22), if not a base esteem of his father, when he derided him. A true filial fear would have restrained him from that extreme.

Wherefore to breed and cherish this fear, and to prevent, or redress the contrary extreme, let children well inform themselves of their parents' place and authority, how they are in God's stead, and a means under God of their children's being: children have received their very substance from the substance of their parents. In which respect though they should seem contemptible to others, yet not to their children.

Thus much of a child's inward disposition towards his parent. The manifestation thereof must be by his outward carriage: and that in two things; Reverence, and Obedience: both which respect a parent's authority.

4. Of a child's reverence in refraining speech before his parent, and in hearkening to his parent.

The outward reverence which children owe to their parents consisteth partly in their speech, partly in their carriage.

Their speech both to and of their parents must savour of reverence.

TO their parents in presence.

OF their parents in absence.

In presence, by refraining, well framing their speech.

For refraining speech two virtues are requisite - Silence, Patience.

Silence in forbearing to speak, breaking of speech. Patience in hearkening to their parents.

The two branches of silence, in forbearing to speak [especially when parents are speaking, or till parents give leave to their children to speak,] and in breaking off speech, when parents come into the place where children are speaking, are tokens of great reverence. Thus children testify that there are some in place whom they must respect and honour. Job doth thus set forth the respect which Princes and others did bear to him in his prosperity, The Princes [saith he] refrained talking, and laid their hand upon their mouth, the Nobles held their peace, &c. (Job 29:9,10) Namely, while he was in presence, or while he spake. The like may be said of children's patience in enduring their parents' speech; which Job also noteth in these words, Unto me men gave ear, and waited, and kept silence (Job 29:21). Though parents in their speech seem to be long and tedious, yet must children endure it.

And it is very needful that patience be added to silence, because many parents in tender love of their children, and earnest desire of their good, think they can never speak enough in instructing and admonishing them. The many exhortations given in Scripture unto children to hear, hearken, give ear, give heed, mark, and observe the words of their parents (Gen 49:2; Prov 1:8; 4:1; 7:1), do imply the forenamed silence and patience (James 1:19): for they who ought to be swift to hear must be slow to speak. I deny not but much more is intended under those phrases, namely, obedience: yet must these also be presupposed: for he that will not in silence patiently hearken to his parents while they speak, will much less obey what they say.

Contrary to silence is sauciness [as we speak] and overmuch boldness in children, when, without due respect of their parents' presence, they will be prating of this thing or that thing: insomuch as if strangers should come into the room where such children are, they would not think that their parents were in presence; or if they knew it, they might well think that such children bear little respect to their parents.

Contrary to patience in hearing, is fretting and murmuring against parents [if at least their speech be any whit long] and slinging or slinking away before they have done. These faults are the greater, if children by their loquacity, or impatience hinder or interrupt their parents' speech when they are giving any admonition or instruction: for thus they shew both too light a respect of their parents: and also too little regard of the means of their own good.

5. Of a child's reverend framing his speech to his parent.

A child's reverence in well framing his speech to his parents may many ways be manifested, as

1. By giving unto them reverend and honourable titles. No title can be more honourable than that which is most proper and usual, Father to the one parent, and Mother to the other. God taketh the title Father unto himself, as a title of great dignity (Jer 31:9; Gal 4:6).

Object. This title is so proper to God, as We are to call none on earth Father (Matt 23:9).

Answ. This is not simply to be taken of the title itself, but of the mind of him that giveth or affecteth that title.

It if be affected or given to obscure God's Fatherhood or to make a man a Father of himself without dependence on God, or reference to him, who is properly the father of all, it is an impious and sacrilegious title. But otherwise lawful and warrantable.

In Scripture the title Father is given to all degrees of dignities among men, as to Kings (1 Sam 24:12), Captains, and other chief Governours (2 Kings 5:13), to Priests (Judg 18:19), Prophets (2 Kings 6:21), Apostles (1 Cor 4:15), and other Ministers (1 Tim 5:1). In the fifth commandment all superiours are comprized under it, therefore Father is a title of great honour: and by the rule of relation Mother is a title of as great honour to the female sex. Religious and dutiful children have ever used to give these titles to their parents. My Father saith Isaac to Abraham (Gen 22:7), Jacob to Isaac (Gen 27:18), My Mother, saith Solomon to Bathsheba (1 Kings 2:20). I find also the title of Sir or Lord used (Matt 21:30): a title of honour.

2. By using few words before their parents: and those few not without just occasion, being first spoken to by their parents, or having leave of them, or making known to them some needful matter: at least not against their parents' liking, so as their parents should be offended thereby. And if they observe their parents to be unwilling to hear them speak any more of such and such a matter, then ought they to lay their hands upon their mouths, as Isaac (Gen 22:7) and Jacob (Gen 27:12). This is a token of great respect.

3. By meek and humble speeches. Such was the speech of Jonathan the natural son of Saul (1 Sam 19:4), and of David his son in law (1 Sam 24:10), wherewith he was much contented, and his wrath pacified.

4. By observing a fit opportunity: as when parents are not seriously busied, or in company, or in passion. When Saul was out of passion (1 Sam 19:6), how well did he accept Jonathan's Apology for David? but in his passion (1 Sam 20:30), how ill did he take it? This wise observing of fit opportunity sheweth great reverence.

5. By a present, ready, willing, pleasing answer, when by their parents they shall be spoken unto. Eli was as a father to Samuel: therefore when Samuel thought that Eli called him, he presently and readily answered, Here am I (1 Sam 3:4,6): and when Eli was instant to know what the Lord had said to him, Samuel told him every whit, and held nothing from him (1 Sam 3:18). The younger son [noted in the parable] shewed a son-like reverence in giving a willing and ready answer to his father (Matt 21:30), though he failed in his obedience, by not performing what he promised.

6. Of the vices in children contrary to the forenamed reverence in speech.

Contrary to those branches of reverence in speech are,

1. Pride: when children scorn to give the title of Father, or Mother, to their parents. This is the mind of many who have gotten more wealth or honour, than ever their parents had. In public especially such children most refuse to give those titles. Solomon was not so minded. He being a great King, sitting upon his throne, in sight and hearing of all his people that were about him, called Bathsheba Mother (1 Kings 2:20).

If children had that regard to the honour of their parents which they should, they being themselves in places of honour and dignity, would the rather openly call their parents Father and Mother, that they might be known to be the father and mother of so eminent a person.

2. Loquacity, and too much importunity, or rather impudence in speech, when children having to do with their parents, can never have done [as we speak] but must needs urge matters to the very uttermost. Many parents are oft much provoked hereby. It skilleth not that the child have the right, especially in a matter of no great consequence. For reverence sake the child must forbear, at least for a time. And if the matter of difference be weighty, as in points of religion, the child must either take some other opportunity of better informing his parent, or else get some other wise friend to do it.

3. Stoutness, when children answer their parents as if they were their equals: giving word for word. It doth as ill become children to answer again, as servants [to whom the Apostle hath expressly forbidden it (Titus 2:9)]. Both law and nature forbiddeth children to be provoked hereunto, by any thing that their parents say or do; how great then is their fault who give scornful and stout words to their parents when they are no way provoked, as the elder son noted in the parable, and the elder brother of the prodigal child?

4. Indiscretion, when children have no respect to any time, business, or temper, of their parents in speaking to them (Matt 21:29; Luke 15:29), and so, much provoke them. It is laid down as a caveat to parents, that they provoke not their children to wrath. How much more must children observe that caveat? (Eph 6:4)

5. Stubbornness, when children pout, lower, swell, and give no answer at all to their parents. This is too common a fault in children, and many parents are much offended and grieved thereat. We heard before a child-like silence which was very commendable, and a token of great reverence (see Section 4); but this is worthy of much blame, a token of great undutifulness; and as carefully to be avoided, as that to be practised.

7. Of children's reverend speeches of their parents.

So true and entire ought that reverend respect to be which children bear to their parents, as their speech not only to them before their faces, but also of them behind their backs, must be so framed both for matter and manner, when they have any occasion to fall into speech of their parents, as all that hear them may note them to bear a reverend respect to their parents.

As a general direction for the better performing of this duty, let children speak nothing of their parents that they would be loath should come to their parents' ear. More particularly, let them speak of those things which most tend to their commendation, that so [as Christ said of his father] they may honour their parents (John 8:49): Let other things be buried in silence so much as in them lieth. And if others speak of matters disgraceful to their parents, let them interpret in the better sense things doubtful, and, so far as they may, extenuate things evident, and sharply reprove them that slander their parents. This is that blessing which children owe to their parents, for neglecting whereof the wise-man taxeth children saying, There is a generation that doth not bless their mother (Prov 30:11).

Contrary to that kind of blessing is discovering of parents' infirmities, noted in cursed Ham (Gen 9:22), and broaching untruths of them, noted in impious Absalom (2 Sam 15:3), and mocking and cursing them expressly condemned (Prov 30:11). The reward whereof is by God's law death (Lev 20:9): yea a shameful and ignominious death, for the ravens of the valley shall pluck out his eyes, and the young eagles shall eat it (Prov 30:17): which phrase setteth forth the end of a notorious malefactor that is hanged (Gen 40:19).

8. Of a child's reverend carriage to his parent.

As the speech, so the carriage of children towards their parents must be seasoned with reverence: for

1. This is a fruit, and proof of filial fear as well as that.

2. Of the two, this is the surer evidence: for actions are better signs of the disposition of the heart than words.

3. Fair words joined with contrary deeds, cannot but be accounted merely complemental and hypocritical.

4. Where there is a contrariety betwixt words and deeds, the one will be a witness against the other, and that man's condemnation the greater.

Wherefore let all reverence be manifested in children's behaviour to their parents, and that in these and such like instances.

1. If a parent be coming to a child, and the child observe it, let him haste to meet his parent: so did Joseph to his father (Gen 46:29), and Solomon to his mother (1 Kings 2:19). Which two examples are the rather to be noted, because both were in eminent place: one a great Governour, the other a King.

2. Let such child-like obeisance be performed as becometh the age and sex, either in going to, remaining before, or going from a parent: as uncovering the head, bending the knee, bowing the body, standing up, with the like. The two forenamed eminent persons, Joseph (Gen 48:12) and Solomon (1 Kings 2:19), bowed, the one to his father, the other to his mother.

3. Let the countenance, and gesture of the body be so soberly and modestly ordered in the presence of the parent, as may argue due respect.

4. Let the upper place, and hand be given to parents: and if occasionally a child be above his parent, let him come below him. For that is a manifest token of inferiority and subjection. What maketh men to strive for the upper hand, but because they would be accounted better than those with whom they strive? But that ought not to be the mind of children to their parents.

Quest. What if children be in estate more wealthy, or honourable than their parents, are they then to give the hand to them?

Answ. No honour is comparable to the dignity of fatherhood: it giveth a greater eminency to the parent over his child, than any other honour can to the child over his parent. I grant that a child may by some office, and outward dignity be so advanced above his father, as other men may more honour and reverence the child, and give the upper place to him: and for order sake the child may and ought to take it in company: but when they are alone, the child must rather reverence the father.

5. According to the custom of the time and place wherein they live, let children ask their parents' blessing.

9. Of children's asking their parents' blessing, whether it be lawful or no.

Some doubt is made of this duty both in regard of the thing itself, and also of the gesture of kneeling used in the performance thereof: I will therefore distinctly prove both.

For the thing, it is noted of Jacob that he carried savory meat to his father, that he might bless him (Gen 27:19): and of Joseph, that he went to his father, and carried his two sons with him, that his father might bless both him and them (Gen 48:1): for which end the twelve sons of Jacob assembled to their father (Gen 49:1).

Object. These were extraordinary examples: the Patriarchs were indued with the spirit of prophesy, whereby they revealed to their children what their estate should be in the times to come: for knowledge whereof their children came to them.

1. Answ. Their blessings were more than predictions of things to come: they were confirmations and assurances to the children that God would indeed perform that blessing which their parents had pronounced. For they sustained a double person: the person of a Prophet, and of a father; as Prophets they foretold things to come: as fathers they obtained the blessings pronounced, and an assurance thereof to their children, and that by faith and prayer (Heb 11:20).

2. Answ. Though all parents cannot with such an extraordinary spirit assure unto their children any distinct particular blessing, yet the faithful prayer of parents is an especial, and ordinary means to obtain a blessing from God upon their children: and that because of God's promise which extends itself not only to faithful parents, but also to their seed (Gen 17:7; Acts 2:39). Wherefore as the children of the Patriarchs came to their fathers to be assured of some extraordinary blessing, so may other children go to their parents as a means to obtain an ordinary blessing. It is noted of Elias that by an extraordinary spirit in prayer he obtained extraordinary matters (James 5:17): Yet the Apostle setteth forth that example to all Christians as a motive to stir them up in faith to pray for ordinary blessings. But for further clearing of this point, note the phrase used in the fifth commandment as a reason to move children to honour their parents: this it is word for word, That they may prolong thy days, &c. How can parents prolong their children's days, but by begging that blessing of God? (See Treatise 6, Section 4) The prayers then of parents are a great blessing to children (Prov 15:8), and children ought to seek this blessing of their parents.

Object. If parents be wicked, their prayer is abomination: what blessing then can children look for from wicked parents?

Answ. Though God hear not wicked parents in love and goodness to themselves, yet for the good of their children he may and will hear them: and that the rather to maintain a reverend respect of parents in the heart of their children. For asking a blessing is an acknowledgement of superiority and authority, according to that of the Apostle, The less is blessed of the greater (Heb 7:7).

Concerning the gesture of kneeling, it is answerable to the gesture which of old was used by God's people in like case: of Joseph it is said that he bowed down himself with his face to the earth (Gen 48:12).

Object. Kneeling is a gesture proper to God's worship.

Answ. It is not so proper, but that it may be used in civil cases: else Christ would have reproved the young man for kneeling before him as well as for calling him good (Mark 10:17): for he conceived Christ to be but a mere man, and the worship he did him was but civil.

It is not simply the gesture, but the occasion of the gesture, the mind of him that performeth it, and the end why he performeth it that maketh it divine, or civil. Cornelius fell down before Peter with conceit of some divine excellency in him, and was not allowed: his manner of worshipping was divine. The jailer fell down before Paul and Silas in acknowledgement of some outward eminency in them, and was not reproved: his manner of worshipping was merely civil. The same gesture may be performed to different persons with a different respect. A child may kneel to his parent, and to the King. Yet it followeth not that he maketh his parent a King. Neither will it follow that by kneeling to his parent he maketh him a God, because men kneel to God.

10. Of the vices contrary to children's reverend gesture towards their parents.

Contrary to the forenamed branches of reverend gesture, are, 1. Rudeness and unmannerliness, when children know not how to put difference betwixt their parents and strangers, but can suffer their parents to come to them, and they abide in their place and not stir to meet them.

2. Disdainful stateliness, when they think much to stand bare-headed any while in their parents' presence. It falleth out many times, that when parents and children are together before their better, they will shew more reverence than these: for the father will stand, and be uncovered, when the son sitteth down and puts on his hat, upon conceit that his father doth more reverence than is meet: but if it were so, yet the son for the father's sake should stoop somewhat the lower.

3. Wantonness and boldness, when children are over-familiar with their parents: toying and giggling upon every light occasion. This kind of carriage cannot but much tend to the disgrace and dishonour of parents. For what can they who behold it think, but that such children have been too much cockered and ill nurtured?

4. Ambition, when children are so ambitiously desirous of place, especially in company, as rather than be under some whom they suppose to be at least their equals, they will be above their parents. This oft falleth out, when parents being of a lowly mind, give place to such as their children, being of a lofty mind, think meaner than themselves. Now rather than they will be under their inferiours [as they suppose] they will be above their parents. A point of great insolency. Such ought to be the respect of a child to his parent, as he should debase himself below those that are his inferiours, rather than exalt himself above his parent. As with other men, for peace sake, in many cases, a man must depart from his rights: so especially with his parent, in case of superiority. Would not every one that knows what honour a child owes to a father, condemn that child's ambition, that should so stand upon the place and hand, as to take them of his parent?

5. An over-nice and erroneous opinion of those, who think it unmeet for any child to ask their parents' blessing. Their own conceit more swayeth them, than the continual approved practise of God's people in all ages: not unlike him whom Solomon saith to be wiser in his own conceit, than seven men that can render a reason (Prov 26:16). Others, though they do not so generally disavow this duty, yet they think it meet only for young children: not considering of what years, stature, and state, Joseph was, when he performed it.

As for those, who think it not unlawful, yet carelessly neglect it, they little consider the benefit of a parent's blessing. Profane Esau shall another day rise up in judgment against them. He begged and begged again and again, and that with a loud cry and salt tears, a blessing of his father (Gen 27:34; Heb 12:17).

Thus much of children's reverence. Their obedience followeth.

11. Of children's obedience.

The obedience of children doth most prove the authority of parents, and is the surest evidence of the honour a child giveth to his parents: therefore is it by name in the text expressed, and all other duties are comprised under it (Eph 6:1; Col 3:20). Reverence without obedience is a mere mockage, nothing at all acceptable. Of the two, a child were better fail in the former: instance the parable of the two sons (Matt 21:31). Reverence in comparison of obedience is but a complemental honour. Obedience is a true real honour; the surest trial of a dutiful child. Obedience is a duty so proper to children, as the Apostle applieth it to them as a proper attribute, saying, as obedient children fashion not, &c. (1 Peter 1:14). The example of Christ is herein set before us as a pattern: he was subject to his parents (Luke 2:51) Solomon counteth the neglect thereof a despising of a parent (Prov 23:22).

Contrary is disobedience and rebellion: the greatest impeachment of parents' authority that can be. For to what end is authority over those who resist it, and rebel against it? The Apostle reckoneth disobedient children among the lewdest persons that be (2 Tim 3:2): and setteth forth their disobedience by a metaphor taken from untamed, head-strong beasts, that will not be brought under the yoke (Titus 1:6): the word therefore is not unfitly translated unruly: and it is somewhat answerable to an Hebrew phrase given to disobedient children, viz. sons of Belial (Deut 13:13), which is according to the notation as much as sons without profit; or, as some will have it, sons without yoke, that is, such children, as refusing to be in subjection unto parents, are no way profitable, but work much mischief, and cause great grief. The punishment which by God's law was appointed to disobedient and rebellious children, was a public shameful death (Deut 21:18).

12. Of children's forbearing to do things without consent of parents.

That children may the better know their duty in this respect, I will distinctly set forth, both the parts, and also the extent of a child's obedience:

1. Wherein it consisteth.

2. How far it extendeth.

The general parts wherein it consisteth are two:

1. A forbearance from doing things without consent of parents.

2. A performance of such things as parents will have done.

The former of these is a duty whereunto children are most bound while they are under their parents' government (Num 30:16). For that time the consent of parents is not only meet, but necessary: and that for these reasons.

1. Children are as the goods of their parents, wholly in their power, to be ordered and disposed by them. On this ground Satan having all that Job had put into his hand, took liberty over his children as well as over his goods and chattel (Job 1:12,19).

2. Children while they be under government, [even the eldest that are heirs] differ nothing from servants (Gal 4:1).

3. By God's law given to the Jews, parents had power to sell their children (Exo 21:7).

4. Parents had power to disannul such things as children had done. Instance the case of a vow made to God, which was one of the most inviolable things that one could do (Num 30:4).

Contrary is the opinion and practise of many, who hold parents' consent at the most but a matter of conveniency: that it is good, if children will, to have their parents' consent: if they have it not, the matter is not great: their contracts or other things which they do, are as firm, and good, without, as with their consents. If this were so, wherein is the authority of a parent more than of a wise experienced friend? It is meet, and good to have such an one's consent.

But that the power of parents, and duty of children in this point, may the better be seen, I will exemplify it in five particular cases. 1. Entering into a calling. 2. Making marriage. 3. Disposing of goods. 4. Ordering apparel. 5. Making vows.

13. Of consent of parents for children's entering into a calling.

I. That children ought to have the consent of their parents in making choice of their calling, and not place themselves as they please, is evident by the approved practise of the Saints recorded in God's word. Jacob was sent by his parents to Laban to be educated under him (Gen 28:2). David was appointed by his father to keep sheep (1 Sam 16:11,19): when Saul was desirous to have David attend upon him, he sent to Jesse, David's father, for him. In that Jesse was so careful to send provision to his three eldest sons that followed Saul to the war (1 Sam 17:17), we may well think, that they went to the war with his consent. It is noted of Jonadab, that he appointed his sons to dwell in tents (Jer 35:7), and that accordingly they did so, and are commended and rewarded for this their obedience. It is collected both by ancient and later Divines, that our Lord Jesus Christ in his younger years, before he began to exercise his public ministry, occupied himself in his father's trade: and that this was one thing wherein he manifested his subjection to his parents. This collection is made by comparing Luke 2:51 [where his subjection is noted] with Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:55 where he is called the Carpenter and the Carpenter's son.

Equity requireth that parents should have an hand in placing forth their children, because they brought them forth into the world, and brought them up with much care, pains, and charge, while they were young, and till they were fit for a calling.

Besides, God hath laid it as a charge upon parents, that they should see their children well trained up: great reason therefore that parents' consent be had in setting forth children to a calling.

14. Of the unlawfulness of children's entering into religious orders without consent of parents.

Contrary is the opinion of Papists, who say, that children may enter into religious orders, not only without consent, but also against the mind and good like of their parents. Whereby they do not only patronize apparent disobedience in children, against the express word of God; but also disable children from helping their parents in case of necessity: for both which Christ rebuked the Scribes and Pharisees in a like case.

Object. Papists do grant that if parents be in such necessity, as they cannot live without their children's help, their children may not by entering into any religious order forsake their parents. For they are bound by the Law of God to succour their parents.

Answ. 1. This caution hath been extorted from them by evidence of argument taken from God's Word, and pressed by their adversaries.

2. It toucheth not the principal argument taken from God's precept, which they make of none effect by this their tradition.

3. Though parents be not at that present, when children first enter into their religious order, in such extreme need, yet they may be afterwards. But after that children are once entered, they hold it utterly unlawful that children for any necessity of the parent, should attend upon them for their succour.

Object. Children being entered into religious orders may help them, as becometh religious persons, by their prayers to God.

Answ. 1. This is jump the Pharisees Corban, whereof Christ maketh mention (Mark 7:11), and whereby he notably discovereth the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, who made pretence of religion, an hindrance to that obedience which God required of children.

2. To pray for that which a man endeavoureth not to do, when he may do it, is a plain mocking of God.

The arguments which they allege for confirmation of their erroneous opinion, are taken from extraordinary examples, or from mystical resemblances, as

1. Abraham's leaving his father's house (Gen 12:1).

2. Levi's speech of his father and mother, who said, I have not seen him (Deut 33:9).

3. The advice given to the royal Queen, Forget thy father's house (Psa 45:10).

4. The trial of our love of Christ by loving him more than father or mother (Matt 10:37).

5. Christ's forbidding one that followed him to go and bury his father (Luke 9:60).

Answ. 1. For Abraham's example, 1. It cannot be proved that he left his father's house without the consent of his father (Gen 12:1). 2. He was then married, and so of another house. 3. He had an express particular charge of God to leave his father's house, even as he had to sacrifice his son. Except the like charge can be shewed, his example maketh nothing to the purpose.

2. For Levi's speech, 1. It was noted by Moses in relation to a particular zealous fact of the Levites (Exo 32:26) in executing the vengeance of the Lord, and so to be reckoned among such extraordinary things as are not exemplary. 2. That which moved the Levites to make no difference betwixt their parents and others, was the Lord's cause: their parents and kindred as well as others had notoriously sinned against God, and in that respect the Levites took no notice of them. But they are not such parents which Papists teach children to forsake, but any parents.

Now what consequence is this; Some children have been God's Ministers in executing just punishment on their wicked parents, therefore children may enter into such places as shall exempt them from helping any parents, though well deserving? 3. The Levites had an express charge for that which they did (Exo 32:27): but that which Papists infer from their example doth make the commandment of God of none effect (Matt 15:10).

3. For the advice to the Queen (Psa 45:13), 1. It is mystically to be taken. 2. If it should be literally taken, it is to be taken as given to her after marriage, when she was out of her parents' government. 3. It hath relation to the law of marriage (Gen 2:24), and implieth not a simple forsaking of parents, but a preferring of a husband before them.

4. For the loving of father and mother more than Christ, 1. It doth not necessarily imply a forsaking of our parents: for we may love Christ more than them, and yet perform duty to them. 2. If they be forsaken, it must be in opposition to Christ, that either Christ or they must be forsaken, in that if we cleave to them they will draw us from Christ.

5. For Christ's forbidding one that followed him to go and bury his father: 1. It was because of an extraordinary calling which he had. 2. It is set down as a pattern to Ministers, to shew that they should especially attend upon their proper function, and leave other secular matters to be performed by such as can perform them well enough. To apply it to children's forsaking of parents, is to pervert the sense of it.

Thus we see to how little purpose the forenamed arguments are alleged to prove that erroneous opinion of children's entering into religious orders without their parents' consent. I might further shew how irreligious their pretended religious orders be, and so shew how unlawful it is to enter into them, even with consent of parents: but that maketh nothing to the point in hand.

15. Of the unlawfulness of children's travelling, and bending themselves prentises without consent of parents.

Contrary also to the forenamed part of children's obedience, is the practice of such children as travel, and seek their fortunes [as they speak] without consent of parents, like the Prodigal child (Luke 15:12), if not worse: for it is likely that he forced from his father a general consent, in that he obtained of him his portion of goods. These usually bring great grief to their parents, and many times make them fear more than is cause, as old Jacob feared, when he knew not what was become of his son (Gen 37:35).

Among those aberrations may be reckoned a custom in this land more usual than lawful, for children to bind themselves prentises without consent of parents: to which fault they who take indentures of such children, or otherwise covenant with them without knowledge of their parents' consent, make themselves accessory.

16. Of parents' consent to the marriage of their children.

II. That children ought to have their parents' consent unto their marriage is without all question evident. For

1. God himself hath given us herein a pattern: He first brought the woman to the man (Gen 2:22) whereby he would shew that he who gave a being to the woman, had a right to dispose her in marriage: which right parents now have: for from them under God, children receive their being. In this case parents stand in God's room, and are as it were God's hand to join their children in marriage.

2. God hath given express laws concerning this point. To omit that general moral law, Honour thy father and thy mother [which, as it is the ground of all other duties appertaining to children, so of this also] the authority and charge which God by his Law (Deut 7:3) hath laid upon parents, to give their daughters to husbands, and to take wives for their sons, hath the force of a law to bind children from taking wives or husbands, without or against their parents' consent. This law was not proper to the Jews only; but as a branch of the moral law it is pressed upon Christians (1 Cor 7:36,37).

To this may be added the judicial law [if it be to be accounted merely judicial] of a parent's power in giving his daughter, or refusing to give her in marriage to him that had deflowered her (Exo 22:17).

3. Answerable to the Law hath been the practice of God's Saints recorded and approved in Scripture. Isaac married the wife which his father provided (Gen 24:67). Jacob both obeyed his father in going to Laban's house for a wife (Gen 28:2) and also when he came to Laban asked his daughter of him (Gen 29:18, &c.).

Though Samson saw a daughter of the Philistines which pleased him well, yet would he not marry her before he had his parents' consent (Judg 14:2).

4. These words of Tamar (2 Sam 13:13) Speak unto the King [who was her father,] for he will not with-hold thee from me, shew that children were not wont to be married without consent of parents: Which is further confirmed by this oath of the Israelites, There shall not any of us give his daughter unto Benjamin to wife (Judg 21:1).

5. The ancient fathers of the Church have in their ages taught children this duty, and pronounced marriages of children without consent of parents, to be unlawful.

6. The very heathen have observed the equity hereof. Though Shechem loved Dinah, and had deflowered her, yet would he not marry her without the consent of his and her father, (Gen 34:3). Ishmael had learned as much either by the instruction he had received out of Abraham's house, or else by the light of nature: for he stood to the choice which his mother made for him (Gen 21:21).

7. Though Papists in other cases make the authority of parents to be of no effect, yet in this case they count it utterly unlawful for children to marry without or against their parents' consent: and have thereupon made Canons against it.

8. The law of nature and nations, the civil and canon law, the common and statute law of our land, all manner of law is agreeable to God's Law in this point.

9. It hath been a custom in all Christian Churches throughout all ages, for the parent, or some in the parents' room, to give the bride to the bridegroom at the time of the marriage: whereby the parents' consent is openly manifested.

10. Many Divines of good note and name have judged such marriages as have been made simply without, or directly against parents' consent [especially if parents have just cause of exception against those marriages] to be of no force till the parent be brought to ratify them: and in many Churches upon due examination of the matter, they use to account them as no marriages. Experience hath manifested the boldness of many children in setting light by their parents' consent in those places where marriages once consummated are ratified, and made indissoluble, though they have been made simply without or directly against parents' consent. Many children think, though it be unlawfully done, yet being done it shall stand. Whereupon if they doubt of their parents' consent, they will cast how to get their marriage consummate, so as their parents may not know of it to hinder it before it is done: and after it is done, impudently resolute to bear out as well as they can, the storm of the parents' displeasure. To prevent such contempt of the power of parents, and to establish that authority which God hath given them over their children, marriages without or against parents' consent as aforesaid, are in many Churches made void.

17. Of the equity of the point, and reasons why children should have their parents' consent unto their marriage.

1. By marriage children are put from their parents: for Man must leave his Father and Mother, and cleave unto his wife (Gen 2:24). Is it not then great reason that they from whom children had their being, and by whom they have been maintained and trained up till the time of their marriage, should have notice of that kind of leaving them, and consent thereto?

2. A parents' power by the marriage of his child is passed over to the husband or wife of the child. And shall such a power be taken away without consent of parent?

3. Children for the most part being heady and rash for want of experience; and seeking more to satisfy their present carnal desire, than to provide a good lasting help for themselves: but parents by the instinct of nature loving their children as well as children love themselves, and having by much experience better understanding of a meet help, and better able to use their discerning gift in this case, because it is not their own case, and yet the case of one whom they love as themselves, and to whom they wish as much good as to themselves; is it not meet even for the child's good, that in a matter of such moment as marriage, the parent should have a stroke?

18. Of a child's carriage in case a parent provide an unfit mate or none at all.

Quest. What if parents urge their children to marry such as they cannot affect and love: must children therein against their mind and liking yield obedience?

Answ. If there be no just exception against the party commended, they ought with the uttermost of their power to endeavour to bring their affection to the bent of their parents' will: and as an help thereunto, be persuaded that their parents are as careful of their good as they themselves are, and wiser than themselves: yea above all they ought to make instant prayer unto God [in whose hand man's heart is to turn it whithersoever he will (Prov 21:1)] that he would be pleased to alter the course of their affection, and to settle it on the party whom their parent hath chosen for them; if at least they see no just cause to the contrary. But if notwithstanding all the means that they can use, they still find their heart altogether averse, they may in a reverend manner entreat their parent to forbear to press that match, and to think of some other.

2. Quest. What if the parent be negligent, and in due time provide no fit match, may not the child provide one for himself?

Answ. A parent's negligence is not a sufficient pretext to make a child cast off that subjection which he oweth to his parent. Yet I deny not but that a child knowing where a fit match is to be had, may make known as much to his parent [as Samson did] and crave both his consent and help thereunto (Judg 14:2). And if his parent give no ear to his humble suit, he may use the mediation of his kindred or other friends. Yea if necessity require that the child be married, and his parent add willfulness to negligence, and will not be moved at all, neither by the humble suit of his child, nor by the earnest solicitation of any friends, means may be made to the Magistrate [who is in God's place over the parent as well as over the child, and ought to afford relief unto the child] and what the Magistrate doth in that case is as good a warrant to the child as if the parent had done it.

The like means may be used if a parent be an idolater, heretic, or atheist, and will not yield that his child be married to any but to one of his own profession and disposition.

19. Of the sin of children in marrying without their parents' consent.

Contrary is the mind and practise of such children as over lightly esteeming their parents' power, take matches of their own choice: and that sometimes privily without giving any notice at all to their parents: and sometimes most rebelliously against their parents' mind and charge: not much unlike those who in the old world are condemned for taking wives of all that they chose (Gen 6:2) [which was one branch of that wickedness for which the world was drowned] or rather like Esau who took such wives as proved a grief to his parents (Gen 26:35). What blessing can be expected to fall upon such marriages? or rather what curse may not be feared to follow them? God's law is transgressed thereby: his image in parents despised, that which is more proper to them than any goods; or fraudulently, or violently taken from them: their souls grieved thereat: and they oft provoked to cast off their children, and curse their marriages. Now God's curse doth oft follow the just curse of a parent.

20. Of objections for children's marrying without parents' consent, answered.

1. Object. Though Jacob married one wife according to his parents' direction, yet he married other three [at least the two maids] without their consent.

1. Answ. Jacob's example in marrying more wives than one is not justifiable.

2. Answ. Jacob had a general consent of his parents to take a wife of the daughters of Laban (Gen 28:2): if therefore his marrying of two wives had been lawful, neither this nor that daughter had been taken without all consent of his parents. As for the two maids of whom he had children, neither of them was his wife: for long after they had children they are called his maids, and distinguished from his wives (Gen 32:22).

2. Object. Servants may marry without their master's consent: why then not children without their parents'?

1. Answ. It is not lawful for servants so to do while the date of their covenant lasteth (see Treatise 8, Section 17).

2. Answ. Though the servitude of a servant be greater than of a child, yet a parent hath in many respects a greater power over his child, than a master over his servant. The power which a master hath is by a mutual covenant betwixt him and his servant, and by the voluntary subjection of a servant unto his master. But the power of a parent is by the bond of nature, in that a child hath his being from his parents. Besides, this subjection of a child to his parents in case of marriage, is not for servitude but for the good of the child (see the third reason in Section 17).

3. Object. Children marry for themselves and not for their parents, why then should parents' consent be so much stood upon?

1. Answ. Though they marry not for their parents, yet they marry from their parents (see the second reason in Section 17): by marriage they are freed from the power of their parents.

2. Answ. Children are not their own: they are the inheritance of the Lord (Psa 127:3): the Lord hath given them to parents as an inheritance: a child therefore may no more marry for himself without consent of parents, than alienate his parents' goods for himself.

21. Of stealing children from parents for marriage sake.

To the forenamed sin, and to the vengeance thereof, do they make themselves accessory, who fraudulently allure, or violently take away children to marry them otherwise than their parents would. This is a worse kind of felony than stealing away the goods of a man. For children are much more properly a man's own, than his goods: and dearer to him than any goods can be: yea and so much more highly to be esteemed, by how much reasonable creatures are to be preferred before senseless, and sensual things. Our statute law expressly condemneth this, and imposeth a severe punishment on such as shall offend therein. And justly do such offenders deserve to be severely punished, both in regard of the heinousness of the sin, and also in regard of the many mischiefs which follow thereon, as, Alienation of parents' affection from their children, Disinheriting heirs, Enmity betwixt the friends of each party so married, Litigious suits in law, Ruin of families, and [if the personages, whose children are married without their parents' consent, be great and noble] Disturbance of whole towns, cities, and nations. Instance the destruction of the Shechemites (Gen 34). This is said to have been the cause of the ten years' war betwixt the Grecians and Trojans, and of the ruin of Troy.

22. Of Ministers' sin in marrying children without parents' consent.

Such Ministers also as through carelessness, not taking due account of the parties whom they marry, whether they have their parents' consent or no; or through bribery, being hired by reward, do marry such children as they know have not their parents' consent, do in an high degree make themselves accessory to the forenamed sin (see Section 19). Their fact is as bad as the fact of the principals themselves. Their solemnization of such marriages emboldeneth both the parties that are so married, and also all the persons that are present thereat. They highly dishonour God's holy ordinance, in that bearing the person of God they say of such as God hath forbidden to be so joined together, Those whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder. If Ministers had not their hand in such unlawful marriages, they could not be made: for our Church ratifieth no marriage but what is made by a Minister. Wherefore some Minister or other is guilty of this soul sin, whensoever any child is married without consent of parents. Well therefore doth our Church [to prevent this sin] expressly forbid Ministers to marry any without parents' consent: and inflict a severe censure on them that shall offend therein.

23. Of children's forbearing to dispose any of their parents' goods without consent.

A third branch of the subjection of children in forbearing to do any thing without their parents' consent, is about their parents' goods.

That children though living in their parents' house, ought not without their parents' consent to dispose their goods, is evident by the extent of their obedience, in all things.

In that Isaac was pleased to send Jacob to Padan Aram without any great provision, it seemeth that Jacob made conscience of taking any thing privily, but went as his father sent him with his staff (Gen 32:10). And the apology which he made to Laban his father in law concerning things taken away (Gen 31:36), sheweth that he held it unlawful for children privily to convey away their parents' goods. What is my trespass? what is my sin? [saith he] what hast thou found of all my household stuff?

Doth he not hereby imply, that if Laban's daughters had taken away any of their father's goods, it had been a trespass and sin?

The Apostle saith of the heir [who of all the children may seem to have the greatest right] that as long as he is a child [that is, under the government of his parents] he differeth nothing from a servant, though he be Lord of all (Gal 4:1). If he differ not from a servant, what right can he have at his pleasure to dispose his parents' goods? hath a servant any such right?

It is very requisite that children herein should be tied to their parents' consent, both for the good of parents, and of children themselves.

Of parents, that they may know what they have, or have not, and accordingly order their expences. How can parents tell what they have, if children privily without their knowledge purloin and dispose their goods?

Of children, that their lavish humour might by this means be restrained: [for youth is much prone beyond moderation to spend, if it have wherewithal] and that their parents may the better lay up for them (2 Cor 12:14).

24. Of the sin of children in purloining and wasting their parents' goods.

Contrary is both the opinion and practise of many children.

For opinion, many think and say, that whatsoever is their parents', is theirs also: and thereupon being through the watchful eye and provident care of their parents restrained from overlavish spending, or from laying out any thing with their own hands, they murmur against that restraint.

Knowledge and persuasion of their subjection in this case, would be a good means to suppress that repining humour.

For practise,

1. Some privily take away and purloin what goods, money, wares or any thing else they can come by of their parents. This the Holy Ghost accounteth plain theft: for Rachel having privily taken away her father's idols, the Scripture saith that she stole them.

Hereunto do they make themselves accessory, who counsel and encourage children so to do: as many busy-bodies, and deceitful persons advise daughters, when God hath take away their mothers, to take away linen, and other like household stuff from their father, pretending that their father may marry another wife, who will carry all away: And upon like pretence also persuade sons when their fathers die, to convey away what they can from their mother. But such pretences are no sufficient warrant unto children to deceive their parents. It were better for children to be deprived of their parents' goods, than to enjoy them with such deceit: for they will be like that bread which is sweet to a man, and afterward his mouth is filled with gravel (Prov 20:17).

2. Others riotously spend their portion, like the prodigal child (Luke 15:13), and run into debt, and so make their parents either to pay it, or to leave them to the law. Many scholars at the Universities, gentlemen at Inns of Court, and such children as are somewhat liberally trained up in their parents', or other friends' houses, do much offend herein. Little doth this excess and riot differ from the forenamed kind of theft: and ordinarily it bringeth as many mischiefs as that doth.

3. Some also be so ungracious and ungrateful, that being come to years, and their parents grown old, seek to defeat their parents of all they have, and to bring their parents under them, to be ordered by them: labouring to get possession of all before their parents be dead, or before they be willing to resign any such right unto their children. Such were Absalom, and Adonijah (2 Sam 15:10; 1 Kings 1:5). How highly displeasing such practises are to God, the vengeance which fell upon the pates of those two Brethren in evil, traitorous, and disloyal children, doth shew.

All such children as seek after the forenamed, or any other like means to defraud their parents, do very ill repay their parents' care over them, and more like barbarians, than Christians, recompence evil for good: they oft bring poverty and ignominy upon their parents and themselves: they are worse than other thieves, because they are more dearly accounted of, and more freely trusted: yea they are a very bad example to servants in the house, or subjects in the Commonwealth.

25. Of children's contentedness to be apparelled after their parents' mind and liking.

IV. A fourth branch of the foresaid subjection of children is about their apparel, that it be no other, than may stand with their parents' good liking. It is noted that Israel made Joseph a coat (Gen 37:3). Doth not the particular mentioning of that circumstance shew, that parents must have the ordering of their children's apparel? Which is also intimated in the reason given of Tamar's garment of divers colours (2 Sam 13:18), namely because with such garments were the king's daughters, that were virgins, apparelled. And whereas Rebekah had the keeping of her son Esau's clothes, it appeareth that his clothes were to the mind of his parents (Gen 27:15): else he would have hid them from them: for further confirmation whereof it is noted that his apparel was pleasing to his father.

Contrary is the vain-glorious humour of many children, who to the grief and discredit of their parents, apparel themselves both against the mind, and also above the ability, and unbeseeming the place and calling of their parents. Among others, many Ministers' children bring much discredit on their parents hereby. Let all such proud youths note how the Lord hath threatened to visit even King's children that are clothed with strange apparel (Zeph 1:8).

26. Of children's forbearing to bind themselves to do any thing against their parents' consent.

V. The fifth and last branch wherewith I will exemplify the forenamed subjection of children, shall be that which is expressly noted in the law, namely a child's binding of itself by a vow.

The law giveth the parent power to disanul his child's vow (Num 30:4). It is therefore a child's duty to abstain from vowing without his parents' consent.

Contrary are such vows as Papists allure children to make, namely, vows of continency, perpetual virginity, regular obedience, voluntary poverty, with the like.

Though by these they be not drawn to forsake their parents [which before we proved to be utterly unlawful (Section 14)]: and though these in their nature were lawful [which they are not, because they are against God's law and ordinance, and against Christian liberty, and savour too rankly of Judaism, yea of a worse superstition], yet without parents' consent might they not be made.

As unlawful are oaths, and other like means, whereby children bind themselves to the performance of such indifferent things, as their parents are not willing they should do. What doth this but bring a snare upon the consciences of children, and cause a necessity of breaking one of God's commandments? either the third, in breaking their vow or oath; or the fifth, in disobeying their parents.

27. Of children's active obedience.

The affirmative and active part of a child's obedience, consists in yielding himself pliable to his parents' will; which must be added to the forenamed negative and passive part of obedience in forbearing to do things without consent of parents, for manifestation of a true child-like affection and disposition toward the parent. Passive obedience may arise from mere sullenness, and stoutness of stomach. For there are many who will forbear to do this or that without consent of parents, because they are loath to ask their consent: they had rather have their own wills crossed in the things they desire, than be made subject to their parents' will. What doth this argue, but a stout stomach, and a disdainful heart? Besides, to forbear the doing of an unlawful thing, is but to abstain from evil. But it is required of Christians to do that which is good, as well as to abstain from that which is evil (Psa 34:14). This is it which is commended in Jacob: he did not only forbear to take such a wife as would be a grief to his parents [wherein his brother Esau had offended (Gen 26:34,35)] but also obeyed his parents in taking such a wife as they willed him to take (Gen 28:2; 29:18).

This general point we will exemplify in four particular instances, namely, in a child's obedience to his parents' commandments, instructions, reproofs, corrections.

28. Of children's obedience to their parents' commandments.

I. What lawful commandments soever parents give to their children, they must be ready to the uttermost of their power to obey. Obey your parents, saith the Apostle to children (Eph 6:7).

Parents, by virtue of their place, have power and authority to command: Children therefore must obey, or else that power is to no purpose.

To demonstrate this by some particulars:

1. If a parent call his child, or send for him, he must readily come, yea though he know not the occasion. Eli was in place of a parent to Samuel, whereupon the child supposing that Eli called him, ran to him once, and again and again (1 Sam 3:5). David when he was sent for by his father out of the field to be anointed King, knew not the occasion, yet came (1 Sam 16:12). The twelve sons of Jacob, though men grown, yet called for by their father, assembled themselves together before him (Gen 49:1).

2. If a parent be disposed to send his child any whither, or of any errand, though it be far off, and may seem somewhat troublesome, yet he ought to go, and do it. The forenamed (Section 27) example of Jacob (Gen 28:5), the example also of Joseph (Gen 37:14) [being sent to see whether it were well with his brethren] and of the ten sons of Jacob (Gen 42:2,3) [being sent by their father into Egypt], and of David (1 Sam 17:17) [sent to visit his brethren] are in this case commended by the Holy Ghost. Of David it is noted, that he arose up early and went as Jesse had commanded him (1 Sam 17:20): which setteth forth his ready obedience.

3. If a parent require his child to attend upon him, he must also do that. When Abram was going up to the top of Moriah, his will was that his servants should tarry behind, and that his son Isaac should attend him, and carry the wood for the sacrifice, and accordingly Isaac obeyed (Gen 22:6).

4. If a parent enjoin any task, or commit any business to his child, he ought faithfully to perform it. This kind of faithful obedience is commended in Joseph (Gen 50:5), in the Rechabites (Jer 35:8), and in David (1 Sam 17:20), with many others. Joseph, by reason of his great place, might not go out of Egypt, yet to perform that which his father enjoined him, he asked leave. The Rechabites were tempted to break their father's charge, yet they would not. David when he was sent by his father, from the sheep which were committed to his custody, was careful to leave them with a keeper (1 Sam 17:20): and again, when a bear at one time, and a lion at another, came to the flock, he put his life in hazard to preserve the flock (1 Sam 17:34): all these circumstances are thus noted, to set forth the great care that these children had to discharge that charge which their parents had committed to them.

29. Of children's disobedience to their parents' commandments.

Contrary is a rebellious disposition in children, manifested by these and such like practises,

1. By refusing to be at their parents' call; or coming [as we speak] at leisure, and making their parents wait for them.

2. By a lazy, sluggish pretending of vain and frivolous excuses, when their parents would send them of an errand, like that sluggard, who saith, A lion is without, I shall be slain in the streets (Prov 22:13). Such pretences are as vinegar to the teeth, and smoke to the eyes (Prov 10:26).

3. By scorning to wait on their parents; and in that respect they will slink out of doors, and absent themselves, when they imagine their parents will use their service in that kind: they forsooth will not be their parents' servants: an impious conceit.

4. By refusing to do what their parents enjoin them to do, and require at their hands, like the younger son, that went not to work in the vineyard at his father's command (Matt 21:30). Such children for the most part offend herein, as through pride think the business enjoined to them too mean, and base to do. Had David, or the daughters of Reguel been of this mind, the one would not have returned to his father's sheep, after he was anointed to be King over Israel, and after he had been called to the Court (1 Sam 16:13,21; 17:15); and the other would not have watered their father's sheep, especially among such rude and boisterous clowns, as without all respect to their place and sex, would drive them away (Exo 2:16,17).

30. Of children's obedience to their parents' instruction.

II. Such wholesome instructions as parents give their children for the well ordering of their carriage, children ought conscionably to obey: a point which Solomon much presseth (Prov 1:8,9; 4:1): My son, saith he, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother, &c. And to move children the rather to do so, he sets before them his own example (Prov 4:3), shewing that he required no more of them than himself had performed. Moses, though grown to years, and a prince among his people, testified his obedience to his father in law hereby (Exo 18:24).

1. Parents have an express commandment to instruct their children [as we shall after shew (see Treatise 6, Section 26)]. Great reason therefore that their children hear and obey them therein. The good instructions of any one are to be regarded, much more of parents.

2. Great wisdom may be attained thereby: for the desire that parents have of their children's good, maketh them give the best directions they can unto them, even what themselves have learned of others, or observed by their own experience: in this respect, Solomon styleth him a wise son that obeyeth the instruction of his father (Prov 13:1): and resembleth the fruit and benefit thereof, to a comely ornament, to chains, and bracelets, and to a crown of glory (Prov 1:9; 4:9).

3. Much joy and comfort is brought to parents by seeing their children observe their instruction: for a wise son maketh a glad father (Prov 10:1). Now this is a thing which children ought to aim at, to rejoice their parents' heart (Prov 27:11). Esau is taxed for grieving his parents (Gen 26:35).

Contrary is their proud and foolish humour, who think they need no instruction, their parents are too jealous of them, they are wise enough of themselves; if their parents would but let them alone, they should do better: thus they shew themselves impious against God, rebellious against their parents, and injurious to themselves. Such were Eli's (1 Sam 2:25), and Lot's (Gen 19:14) sons. Now note the vengeance that fell upon them.

31. Of children's patience to their parents' reproof.

[The reasons alleged, and the directions given concerning a wife's subjection to her husband's reproof, may fitly be applied to this part of children's obedience. Here therefore the same order is observed, and the several points confirmed by proofs pertinent to children (see Treatise 3, Section 47, &c.).]

III. The obedience of children must further extend itself to their parents' reproof: and that by patient bearing all manner of reproofs, and by amending what is justly reproved. That shame whereof the Lord speaketh, which should be in a child, when her father hath spit in her face that is, by some outward sign manifested his anger, implieth a child's patient bearing of a parent's reproof. This patience in a child must be manifested to his parent, whether his reproof be mild or bitter, just or unjust. In this respect a child must more consider the person who reproveth, than the matter or manner of the reproof. Jacob's reproof of Joseph, for is dreams which came of God (Gen 37:10), was unjust: the manner of uttering it, with many short pauses, and that interrogatively, implieth some tartness: yet such was his patience, as we read not of one discontented word that he gave. But most memorable is the patience of Jonathan in this kind. His father Saul's reproof of him was directly unjust, and out of measure bitter (1 Sam 20:30): yet with what patience did he bear it? all that he replied was to make some little apology for David: he replied nothing against his father's opprobrious speeches.

Great wisdom may be learned by this patience: for so may a child better judge of his parents' reproof, whether it be just or no. Though it be unjust, yet thereby may he observe what is displeasing to his parents: at least he may observe his parents' infirmity, and so know the better how to carry himself towards them.

Contrary is the practise of such children, as upon every reproof of their parents are ready to answer again (see Section 6). Our parents are wayward, say they, who can bear them? If none else could bear them, yet should children: for parents ordinarily bear such waywardness, and untowardness at their children's hands, especially while they are young, as none else would or could.

Quest. If a parent be mistaken in a matter, and unjustly reprove his child, may the child make no answer?

Answ. Yes, he may, so he do it mildly, reverendly, and seasonably: not to peremptorily crossing or thwarting his parent.

Object. Christ took up his mother very roundly for reproving him unjustly (Luke 2:49)

Answ. Christ as God-man was greater than his mother, and in that respect with authority blamed her for her unjust reproof. The virgin Mary was not ignorant thereof, and therefore was silent.

32. Of children's readiness to amend what is justly reproved by their parents.

If a child be justly for his fault reproved by his parents, both conscience toward God, and obedience to his parents, requireth that he readily redress that which is amiss unless amendment of the thing justly reproved be added to patient bearing of reproof, that patience can be no better accounted of, than dissimulation, and plain mockage. When the father in law of Moses told him, that what he did was not well (Exo 18:17), he forthwith amended it.

But contrarily many lewd and ungracious children continue to go on in their wicked courses, though their parents again, and again rebuke them for it. Just was Eli's reproof of his children, but yet no amendment followed. Now note the inference made thereupon by the Holy Ghost, They obeyed not the voice of their father, because the Lord would slay them (1 Sam 2:25): whereby is implied, that to despise the just reproof of parents is an evident sign, and forerunner of God's heavy judgment. Solomon calls the child which will hear no rebuke, a scorner (Prov 13:1), which noteth out a most obstinate sinner that cannot be reclaimed, and in that respect is scorned of the Lord (Prov 3:34).

33. Of children's submission to their parents' correction.

IV. Correction is a real reproof, a reproof in the highest degree, even the severest kind of reproof: so as by subjection hereunto great trial of obedience is made. By the same means must a child's submission to his parent in this kind of reproof be manifested, as in the former: namely,

1. By bearing patiently the correction which his parent shall give him.

2. By amending readily that for which he is justly corrected.

The former of these is noted by the Apostle as a ruled case, a matter not to be denied, in these words, We have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence (Heb 12:9). One special part of this reverence is a patient suffering: therefore he infers thereupon, ought we not to be in subjection? &c.

The latter is set forth by Solomon under an effect which followeth upon the performance thereof: for having advised a parent to correct his child, he addeth this reason, He shall give thee rest, yea he shall give delight unto thy soul (Prov 29:17): how can this rest, and delight be given, but by the child's amendment of that for which he is corrected? A parent taketh no delight in the pain, and smart of his child, but in the fruit that followeth thereupon. As a child's transgression is a grief (Gen 16:35), and vexation to the parent, so his amendment causeth rest and delight. Now this effect followeth not simply upon correction, but upon the good use thereof which is made by the child. It lieth therefore in the child, and so lieth upon him as a duty, to give this rest and delight to his parent by amending the fault for which he is corrected, as he brought grief to him by provoking him to use correction. Thus shall neither parent repent the inflicting, nor the child repent the enduring of correction.

That a child may attain to this degree of obedience, he must duly consider both the Cause whereby his parent is moved to correct him, and also the End which he aimeth at therein. The cause is the love he beareth to his child (Prov 13:24). The end which he aimeth at, is his child's good (Prov 22:15). If these motives work not obedience, what can?

34. Of refusing, abusing correction.

Contrary is disdain on the one side, and obstinacy on the other. Disdain, when children scorn to be corrected by their parents: and in that respect when by all the means they can use, they cannot avoid it, they will mutter and murmur, fret and fume, rage and rave against their parents, and despise and hate them for it. Obstinacy, when they will be no whit bettered thereby, but still run on in their lewd courses, and rather wax the worse for being corrected. This may be counted the highest pitch of a child's rebellion: for this is the last means which a parent can use to reclaim his child from desperate courses. If this prevaileth not, the law of God requireth, that a parent should give up his child into the hand of the Magistrate, that he may be put to death (Deut 21:18).

Hitherto of the distinct branches of children's Obedience.

The Extent thereof followeth.

35. Of children's conforming their judgements to their parents'.

[The extent of children's duties being the very same that was of wives' duties: and the restraint also the same, that order which was there observed shall here also be kept. Only other proofs more pertinent to children's place, shall be brought to confirm those general propositions which may be applied to any inferiours. Many general reasons there alleged for proof of the propositions shall here be omitted. Wherefore compare this place with that (see Treatise 3, Section 63 and 64, &c.).]

The extent of children's obedience is only implied in this Epistle to the Ephesians, but it is expressed (Col 3:20) in these words, Children obey your parents IN ALL THINGS. A large extent, but not simply to be taken without any limitation: for the Apostle himself noteth a restraint in these words, In the Lord (Eph 6:1). So far forth as children transgress not any of God's commandments, in obeying their parents, they ought to obey. This is to obey in all things, in the Lord.

Thus we see that parents' authority is very large: there is no restraint of it but God's contrary command, whereof a child must be assured, if he refuse to obey his parent in any thing.

It is not enough for a child to say I have thus long, and in thus many things obeyed my parent, I hope in some things if I have mine own will, I may be excused. No: All things comprise more than many things. Wherefore Many are not enough. And though God's will be exempted, yet is not thine own will exempted: though thou mayest do nothing against God's will, yet thou oughtest to do many things against thine own will, if it be contrary to thy parents.

Two things are to be laboured after by children for attaining to this extent of obedience in all things.

1. They must labour to bring their judgment and will to the bent of their parents: to think that meet and convenient for them to do which their parents will have them do. Though Isaac thought it somewhat strange that he should carry wood up to an hill to offer sacrifice where was nothing for a burnt offering, yet it being the will of his father that he should do so, he thought it meet enough for him to do so (Gen 22:6,7).

This subjection of judgment and will is to be yielded in all the particular cases of obedience which were before propounded (see Section 13 and 14, &c.), as in their calling, marriage, apparel, allowance, &c. So as children are to think that kind of calling, that particular match, that apparel, and that allowance to be meetest for them, which their parents think meet.

If the judgment be persuaded of the meetness of a thing, and the will inwardly brought to yield unto it, outward obedience will more readily and cheerfully be yielded thereunto.

Contrary is the overweening conceit which many children have of their own judgment and will, who think they can better discern what is fit and meet for themselves, than their parents. They imagine their parents to be too strict and precise, or too suspicious and jealous, or too covetous and worldly. This maketh them take what callings, what matches, what apparel, what allowance they think best; whence many mischiefs arise, which would all easily be avoided, if they would lay down that presumptuous conceit, and labour to observe the forenamed direction.

36. Of children's yielding to practise at their parents' command, such things as in their judgment they cannot think very meet.

2. Though children cannot in their judgments think that which their parents require to be the fittest and meetest, yet being pressed thereto by the peremptory command of their parents, in practise they ought to yield unto it, saying to their parents as Peter to the Lord, nevertheless at thy word I will do this, Thus did Jacob yield to Rebekah (Gen 27:6): he thought by doing that which his mother bid him, he should seem a mocker to his father, yet she urging him, he did it.

Quest. May not a child, yielding better reason than his parent, refuse to do what he thinketh unmeet, or at least forbear to do what he is commanded, till he be better informed of the meetness thereof?

Answ. With reverence and humility he may render his reason why he thinketh it not meet, and desire his parent not to urge it upon him.

[This did Judah one of the sons of Jacob, and is not blamed for it (Gen 43:3):] and parents ought in such a case to yield to their children [as Jacob did (Gen 43:11)]. But yet if in things indifferent, parents be otherwise minded than their children, and will have their children yield to them, they must yield.

For, 1. In indifferent things the command of a parent is a warrant to the child, by reason of this extent [all things:] so as the parent may sin in commanding that, in doing whereof the child may not sin. Who can clear Rebekah of sin in commanding Jacob to deceive his father? yet I take it, that Jacob cannot justly be blamed for obeying. 2. Children do thus manifest an high esteem of their parents, and very great respect towards them: they shew how desirous they are to please them, and how fearful to offend them. When the will of parent and child consent, there is no such trial.

By this means peace and love is better preserved betwixt parent and child: a parent's anger is stopped, the effects thereof avoided, and many other mischiefs prevented, which oft fall out when inferiours refuse to yield to their superiours who have authority over them.

Contrary is their preposterous peremptoriness who will do nothing against their own mind and will, though their parents require it never so much. This phrase [If thou wilt not send, we will not go down (Gen 43:5)] which Judah used to his father, though in a good cause, was too peremptory for a child. They who obstinately refuse to do those things which are against their own mind, must needs come short of this extent, Obey in all things. Yea they shew that what they do is rather for their own sakes because they like it, than for their parents' sake. What obedience then may that be thought to be? Yet this is all the obedience which many children will yield. If they think not that which their parents require to be meet, nor fair, nor foul means shall move them to do it; whereby many children do much provoke their parents. Let such children know, that it is every way more safe for them at the instant command of their parent to do that which they conceive to be unmeet, than peremptorily to disobey their parents, which is more than unmeet, even unlawful.

37. Of the restraint of children's obedience.

The restraint of children's obedience is expressed in this clause, in the Lord: which phrase affordeth a necessary limitation in obeying their parents, who are but parents of our flesh (Heb 12:9), men and women, subject to err in their commandments, and to require such sinful things as their children may not with a good conscience perform. The limitation then which the forenamed clause [in the Lord] affordeth, is this,

Children must perform no other obedience to their parents, than may stand with their obedience to God. The reasons rendered by the Apostle prove as much: This is right, this is well pleasing to the Lord (Eph 6:1; Col 3:20). But to obey parents against the Lord is neither right not well pleasing to the Lord.

[See the two pair of cautions annexed to like limitations of a wife's obedience (Treatise 3, Section 51 and 52), and apply them to these limitations of children's obedience.]

If therefore parents command their children to do any thing which the Lord hath forbidden them, they ought not to do it. On this ground did Michal well in suffering her husband David to escape out of the hand of Saul her father (1 Sam 19:11). I justify not her manner of carrying the matter, with untruths, and false tales; but her refusing to yield to her father's mind and will is justifiable, and that in two respects. 1. In that the difference was betwixt her husband and father. Now by God's law a wife is to yield to her husband rather than to her father (Gen 2:24; 3:16).

2. Because she knew her father sought to slay him: if then she had delivered him into the hands of her father, she had made herself accessory to murder. In this latter respect, Jonathan also did well in refusing to fetch David at his father's command (1 Sam 20:31,32).

Thus if a father command his child to go to Mass, to forswear himself, to marry an idolater, to steal, to lie, or to commit any other sin forbidden by God, the child ought not to obey: those things cannot be done in the Lord.

Again if parents forbid their children the doing of any necessary duty commanded of God, the child ought to do it notwithstanding the parent's inhibition. We may well think that Ahaz who set himself so violently to deface the holy things of God, to profane his ordinances, and to shut up the doors of God's House, gave strait charge to his son that he should not repair them again; yet Hezekiah so soon as he had power did repair all (2 Chron 29:3).

If a parent forbid his child to go to the Protestant Churches, to hear a sermon, to pray in a known tongue, to give just weight, and measure, to speak the truth when he is called to witness it, with the like; he must be of Daniel's mind (Dan 6:10), and notwithstanding that prohibition, do the things which God requireth.

38. Of children's sin in yielding to their parents against God.

Contrary to this limitation is on the one side a flattering eye-service in many children, who care not what they do, be it good or evil, lawful or unlawful, so they may please their parents thereby: and on the other side a slavish fearfulness, which maketh them so to dread their parents as they fear not God at all: they will rather choose to sin and so provoke God's wrath, than do any thing whereby their parents' wrath may be provoked. It is a brand set upon evil kings that they walked in the ways of their fathers, and mothers (1 Kings 22:52): and did wickedly as they counselled them (2 Chron 22:4). Wherefore the following and obeying of their parents in evil was so far from extenuating their sin, as it did rather aggravate the same. The preferring of father and mother before the Lord Christ sheweth that such a child is not worthy of Christ (Matt 10:37): In comparison of Christ Father and mother must be hated (Luke 14:26). But that undue, and unchristian-like respect of parents above Christ, is it that maketh so many young Papists, young swaggerers, swearers, liars, deceitful persons, and lewd livers.

For avoiding the two forenamed extremes let thine heart be filled with a true fear of God, and withal consider the difference betwixt our earthly parents and our heavenly Father. They are but parents of our flesh, he is the Father of Spirits (Heb 12:9). They can but touch the body, he can cast body and soul into hell (Luke 12:4,5). They are but a while over us, he forever. Their authority is subordinate to his, his supreme and absolute of itself. They can give but a light temporary reward; he, an eternal weight of glory. They cannot shelter us from his wrath, he can from theirs.

Hitherto of such duties of children as respect their parents' authority, such as respect their necessity follow.

39. Of children's recompence.

The general head whereunto all the duties which children owe to their parents in regard of their Necessity, is in one word Recompence, which is a duty whereby children endeavour as much as in them lieth, to repay what they can for their parents' kindness, care, and cost towards them, and that in way of thankfulness; which maketh a child think he cannot do too much for his parent, and well may he think so, for a parent doth much more for his child before it is able to do for itself, than the child possibly can do for the parent. So as if the parents' authority were laid aside, yet the law of equity requireth this duty of Recompence: so also doth the law of piety and charity (1 Tim 5:4). Wherefore of all other duties this is most due. It is in express terms given in charge to children by the Apostle, who willeth them to learn to requite their parents.

Contrary is neglect of parents in their need, which is more than monstrous ingratitude. As all ingratitude is odious to God and man, so this most of all, and yet very many are guilty thereof. In them the proverb is verified that love is weighty. For it is the property of weighty things to fall down apace, but to ascend slowly, and that not without some violence. Thus love from the parent to the child falleth down apace, but it hardly ascendeth from children to parents. In which respect another proverb saith, One father will better nourish nine children, than nine children one father. Many children in this kind do no more for their parents, than for strangers. They either consider not how much their parents have done for them; or else they conceit that what their parents did, was of mere duty, and needeth no recompence. Fie upon such barbarous and inhumane children!

40. Of infirmities whereunto parents are subject.

The rule of the forenamed recompence is on the one side the parents' Necessity, and on the other, the child's Ability. So as in every thing wherein a parent needeth his child's help, the child to his power must afford his best help. Beyond one's power nothing can be expected.

A parent's Necessity may be through Natural infirmities, Casual extremities.

Natural infirmities are Inward, Outward.

Inward Infirmities are weakness of judgment, slipperiness of memory, violence of passion with the like; whence proceed frowardness, testiness, suspiciousness, jealousy, fear, grief, &c.

Outward Infirmities are such as arise from some instant temptation, as were Noah's (Gen 9:21) and Lot's (Gen 19:33) drunkenness; Lot's and David's (2 Sam 11:4) uncleanness; Abraham's (Gen 12:13) and Isaac's (Gen 26:7) dissimulation; Jacob's (Gen 37:34,35) and David's (2 Sam 18:33) excessive lamentation, &c.

Some of these latter, which may seem most heinous and odious sins, are then to be accounted infirmities, when they who commit them make not a sport of them, nor delight to live and lie in them, as swine to wallow and lie in the mire: but only at some times, through some temptation, as it were unawares, fall into them; and after they are committed they are themselves more ashamed of them, and more grieved for them, than any other that see them, or hear of them.

In regard of the natural infirmities of parents, the duty of children is both to bear with them, and also to cover them so far as they can.

41. Of children's bearing with their parents' infirmities.

Children bear with their parents' infirmities when they do not the less reverendly esteem their place, or person, nor perform the less duty to them because of their infirmities.

This is the first particular branch of recompence. For children in their younger and weaker years are subject to many infirmities: if parents had the less respected them for their infirmities, and from thence had taken occasion to neglect them, and would not have borne with them, surely they could not have been so well brought up. That great patience, long-sufferance, and much forbearance which parents have shewed towards their children, requireth that children in way of recompence shew the like to their parents as occasion is offered. It was a great infirmity in Isaac to prefer Esau a profane child, before Jacob a religious child, especially against God's express word concerning Jacob; yet Jacob respected not his father a whit the less for it, as appears by his fear to offend him (Gen 27:12), and by his readiness to obey him (Gen 28:5). Jacob's unjust reproof of Joseph was no small infirmity (Gen 37:10), and yet how much Joseph reverenced and every way respected his father the history following sheweth. Saul's infirmities were far more and much greater than any of theirs, yet what duty and faithfulness did Jonathan his son perform to him, even to their deaths? for he died with him (1 Sam 31:2).

We have herein the pattern of Christ himself: how great infirmity did his mother bewray, when over-rashly she rebuked him being about a good work, a bounden duty, his Father's business? yet immediately thereupon it is noted that he went down with his parents, and was subject to them (Luke 2:51): which manifesteth the honour he gave to his mother, notwithstanding her infirmity.

Contrary to this duty do they, who take occasion from their parents' infirmities to think basely of their person and their place, and thereupon grow careless in duty, either refusing to do any duty at all, or else doing it carelessly, grudgingly, disdainfully, and scornfully. Absalom made a supposed infirmity of his father the ground of his rebellion (2 Sam 15:3). Had his pretence been true, yet had it not been a sufficient cause for him to disgrace, and rise against his father, as he did. The law that threateneth God's vengeance against such children as mock at their father, or despise to obey their mother (Prov 30:17), maketh no exception of parents' infirmities.

42. Of children's covering their parents' infirmities.

Children cover their parents' infirmities both by passing by them [as we speak] and taking no notice of them, and also by concealing them from others as much as they can. the Scripture noteth it to be a property of love to cover a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8): now in whom should love abound, if not in children? And who should more manifest this property of love than children?

Of passing by and concealing from others a parents' infirmity, we have a worthy pattern in Shem and Japhet: when Noah their father being drunken lay uncovered in the midst of his tent, they went backward [that they might not themselves see their father's infirmity] and covered his nakedness [that others might not see it] (Gen 9:23). The blessing which upon this occasion was then promised to them and their posterity, sheweth how acceptable this duty was to God.

Contrary was Ham's practise, who discovered, and made known his father's nakedness. The curse thereupon denounced against him, sheweth how odious that sin was unto God. Too many there be of Ham's cursed brood, who blaze abroad their parents' infirmities, and make such things known of them, as otherwise would not be known (Gen 9:22): whereby they bring much dishonour and shame upon their parents [which can be no honour to the child], and withal a curse from their parents on themselves, which the heathen accounted very dreadful.

More contrary was Absalom's practise, who raised a most malicious slander of his father, and thereby alienated his subjects' hearts from him (2 Sam 15:3). Too many Absalom-like seek to raise a supposed reputation and honour to themselves by vilifying and disgracing their parents: but let them note Absalom's end. Assuredly, if they hold on in that course, the like, or a worse, shall be their end.

43. Of children's bearing with their parents' casual necessities.

Casual extremities, are all manner of crosses which by the providence of God are laid upon a man: whether upon his body, as blindness, lameness, sickness, &c. or on his person, as captivity, banishment, imprisonment, &c. or on his estate, as poverty, penury, &c. In all these, children must bear with their parents, as in the forenamed infirmities; neither less reverendly esteem of them, nor perform the less duty because of them. These are such necessities, as are not sinful in themselves; and therefore in regard of these, parents are much more to be borne withal. Though Isaac were blind, yet did not Jacob a whit the less respect him (Gen 27:1). Though Naomi were poor, yet Ruth her daughter in law continues to do a child's duty and service unto her (Ruth 1:16,21).

Contrary is the unnatural disposition of such children, as take occasion from these casual necessities of their parents to despise them. God hath made an express law against despising those who are by any outward defects impotent, as deaf, blind, &c. (Lev 19:14). If no person may despise another, for these, much less children their parents. They are worse than Ham that do so, and may look for an heavier curse.

44. Of children's relieving their parents according to their need.

Besides bearing with parents' necessities, in such cases as parents stand in need of their children's relief and succour, they must afford it them. In sickness they must visit them, as Joseph visited his father (Gen 48:1). In time of mourning, they must comfort them, as the children of Jacob (Gen 37:35). In want, they must provide things needful for them, as the sons of Jacob, who went up to buy food for their father (Gen 42:8); and as Joseph, who sent for Jacob into Egypt, and there nourished him (Gen 47:12). It is noted of Ruth, that she did not only glean for her mother a poor woman, but also reserved some of that food which was given to herself to eat, for her (Ruth 2:18). In time of danger they must do what they can for their protection and preservation, as David had in this respect an especial care of his father and mother