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causes, that may be gathered of Scripture, was matrimony ordinated of God and not of inan. Therefore, he that speaketh against matrimony, or condemneth it as an evil thing, he speaketh against God's ordinance, and condemneth that, that God himself ordinated.
Now, I will speak something of the duty between the man and the wife, whose duties St. Paul here declareth. First, the duty of the wife towards her husband he sheweth. He saith, it is the duty of the wife to be obedient to her husband in all lawful and honest things, and to be ready and diligent at his lawful commandment, and in no wise disobedient to him and his lawful cominandments, neither in word, nor yet in deed, nor in any behaviour, neither in mind nor thought disobedient to her husband. And here he reproveth all women, that be disobedient to their husbands, and will not obey them, but will have their husbands obedient to them, either for the nobility of their stock they come of, or else for their riches, or for proudness of heart and mind, that they will have the rule and dominion over their husbands, contrary to God's ordinance. And here, peradventure, some women will ask, why should the woman be more obedient to the man, than the man to the wife? To this I make answer and say, that the wife should be obedient to her husband for many causes, and not the husband to the wife.
The first and chief cause is, for the ordinance of God, which hath ordinated, that the wife should be obedient to her husband in all things lawful (Eph. v.). And, “ they that resist the ordinance of God, they bring judgment to themselves” (Rom. xiii.). Wherefore, it is no little fault in the wife to be disobedient to her husband, or to desire the rule, dominion, or mastery over her husband, although her husband would suffer it: for she that so doth, she doth resist the ordinance of God, and taketh to herself damnation. Therefore, let women beware that they be not disobedient to their husbands, nor desire to be master over them, for in so doing, they bring judgment and damnation to themselves. Although that fault is counted but a little fault before men; yet before God it is a great fault, and it must needs be a great fault, for the which, judgment and damnation do follow.
The second cause why that women should be obedient to men is, for the transgression of Eve, which ivas punished, and all her posterity after her, that is to say, all women ; that they should be in subjection to men, and the wife in obedience to the husband, lor Eve's transgression, which pain remaineth still in women, and shall do for ever, in a sign of Eve's transgression, as a pain for sin.
The third cause is, for the infirmity of women, which for the most part, be not so wise, witty, constant, sober, discreet, patient, sad, well-reasoned, Strong in body; and for other such-like infirmities of women, which be foolish, light, unconstant, hasty, angry, babbling, full of words, light of conditions,
table, un learned, and other such-like infirmities, en for the most part, be more in women than in
Therefore, it becometh the women to be obeto men, and be ruled by men, as of more wit, com, learning, judgment, sadness, soberness, and cf good qualities, which, for the most part, be more , men than in women ; for these and other causes, cometh the wife to be obedient to her husband, :, of a decent order to be had amongst men.
sheweth how the wife should be obedient to her hushon
sband, even as to the Lord; for the wives' .. g their husbands in all hearty obedience, with ence do serve the Lord God, and do God's serand God's commandment, and they please God . g; and no service of the wife to God can: rod better than when she obeyeth her hus
vice, and God's comn 80 doing; and no please God better than
and glad obedience murmur, and shew
band loyally in heart, will, mind, word, and in deed, in all lawsul things. Therefore, let the wife be obedient to her husband, not only in outward things, but also in all inward things, as in will, in mind, in heart, in thought, and without all murmur, and shew her willing and glad obedience to her husband, as the will and commandinent of God is.
For the man is the head of the woman. Here he sheweth a cause why the woman should obey the man; for “the man is the head of the woman.” It becometh every one to be obedient to his head: seeing the man is the head of the woman, it becometh the woman to be obedient to the man, as to her head. The man is called the head of the woman, for as out of the head do come all necessary things to feed and cherish other parts of the body, whereby they live; so it pertaineth to the man to provide all necessaries for the woman, that she may live. The head hath not rule over the other parts, that it should use any tyranny or cruelness over the other parts, So the man is the head over the woman, not that he should use tyranny or cruelness over the woman, or use the woman as he list, otherwise than becometh, or after an ungodly fashion or manner, but that he should provide all necessaries for the woman, defend her, keep her, and save her.
As the congregation is in subjection to Christ, like-' wise let the wives be in subjection to their husbands in all things. The wives must be obedient to their husbands, as the congregation is to Christ. The congregation only cleaveth to Christ and to none other, only loveth Christ, heareth Christ, and serveth Christ, and studieth to please Christ. So must the wife only cleave to her husband, be obedient to her husband, serve her husband, please her husband, and keep herself to her husband, and to no more. This place reproyeth all those that be disobedient to their lius.
bands, do not serve their husbands willingly and gladly, do not love their husbands, but others better than them, or as well as them; that be complainers of their husbands, nor keep them only to their husbands, but will have others, besides their husbands. All such, the Apostle here reproveth, and willethi they should amend.
Ver. 25–27. Ye husbands love your wives, even as Christ loved the congregation, and gave himself for it: to sanctify it and cleanse it in the fountain of water by the word, to make it unto himself, a glorious congregation, having no spot, nor wrinkle, nor any such thing ; but that it should be holy, and without blame.
Now, he sheweth the duty of the husband to his wife, whose duty is not to hate, to contemn, or despise his wife, but to love her as his own flesh, and as himself to make of her, and cherish her, keep her honestly, and see that she want nothing necessary. The Apostle prescribeth a fashion or a form, how the man should love his wife, even as Christ hath loved his church, for the which, willingly he did die that he might purge, make clean, and sanctify it to himself, and make it a glorious and an holy church, without all spot or wrinkle, and without all faalt or blame.
So ought the man to love his wife, even as himself, and so with love to embrace her, that he would gladly die, if necessity so should constrain him, for for her sake, rather than he would suffer her to perish he would put his life in all jeopardy and peril. And if he shall at any time perceive his wife wrinkled, spotted, or with any vices polluted ; with sickness, diseases, or any otherways troubled with vice, sin, or sickness, that then he should not set at little, or contemn his wife, seek to be rid of her, and divorced from her ; but he should then seek all ways and means, for remedy for her.
If she be diseased with sickness, see that she lack nothing necessary for her, that he is able, either by labour or goods to get for her. Provide remedies that may be gotten by man's help ; comfort her in words and deeds, and say, she shali lack nothing that may do her good, as long as you have one. penny, or may get it by your labour.
If she be aged, wrinkled, or not fair, she is not to be despised for her age, wrinkles, or foulness; but to be made of, and cherished, because she is your wife given to you of God, to be loved, even as you do love your own body, be she young cr aged, wrinkled or unwrinkled, fair or foul, good or bad. No man despiseth his own body, be it never so deformed, aged, wrinkled, foul, fat, weak, sickly, or any otherways diseased. So man may not despise his wife for her infirmities or diseases, but study to remedy them, if it be possible.
If thy wife be evil-tongued, spotted with sin and naughty living, otherways than God's law will ; it is the duty of the husband to correct, reform, and amend his wife, by all ways and means, that are possible, and not to contemn her for her naughtiness, to forsake her and leave her, and take another; nor to upbraid her of her naughtiness, to blaze abroad her sins and vices, to her and his rebuke and shame: but to cover and hide her sins and faults, as much as shall lie in him, to study how and by what means he may amend her, and make of an evil woman a good woman. Which thing may be done by gentle exhortation, counsel, and dissuasion from sin, if not for love of God, yet for shame, rebuke, and confusion of the world; for fear of punishment of God, either in this world, or at least in the world to come, or else in both. So, it is the office of the husband, if he have all evil wife, to study by his wisdom to make her good, to correct her faults, to remedy them, and