TO THE HOPEFULL
YOUNG COUPLE, THE
RIGHT WORSHIPFULL MR.
ROBERT COOKE Esquire, and
the vertuous Gentlewoman, Mistres
DOROTHIE COOKE his wife;
many comfortable daies in
Gods feare and favour to
their mutuall and
ight lovely and beloved in Christ; give me leave to include you both in one Dedication, whome heartie love and affection hath conjoyned togither, and whome Gods owne ordinance hath made one. At the time of the solemne knitting of you togither, there was yet some important considerations a dutie omitted, though not absolutely necessarie, yet at
such times not unseasonable. To supply that defect, I make bold now to present you with some passages of such a subject, as it is like, had then beene handled, if opportunitie had served. They are raw notes of a Sermon long since made on the like occasion: Which finding by mee, and willing to imbrace any opportunitie of expressing my love there in any degree, where I justly owe so great a measure, I suddainly revised and prepared them for the presse. And albeit, in the revising of them I observed some defects, and could well have beene content to have taken further time and paines for the better polishing, and the more orderly digesting of them, as also for the speciall applying of them to your selves, to whome now they are addressed: yet I supposed it would bee much more convenient and behooveful, without further delay, while the occasion is yet fresh, to present you with them as they are, that they might salute a New-married Couple at the entring in of the New-yeere. An exact treatise, or large discourse of Marriage Duties
(though the Title be such) I hope they will not expect, that shall understand that they have here but the Substance of one Sermon, delivered, when it was, within the compasse of little more then an houre, and upon the recollecting of my Meditations afterward, at the request of some, not much enlarged. And though I doubt not but you may meete with many profitable Treatises of the like Argument, yet I was desirous you should have somewhat thereof from my selfe. The truth of God, I wot well, is the same, and deserveth all due regard, by whomsoever it is delivered. But yet there is some efficacie added to it, when it is brought us by those whome we specially affect, and of whome we are perswaded that they doe likewise in speciall manner affect us. Of this mutuall affection betweene you both and my selfe, as there is in divers respects very great and just ground, so, I hope, there is no doubt at all made on either side of it. The assurance whereof if it may helpe to supply some defects that may be found in this untimely birth, some good fruite, I
hope, by the reading of it may redound to you both. Much I heartily desire may daily, both by this and by all other good meanes, to all your friends joy, your owne mutuall comfort here, and your eternall happinesse hereafter. With which unfained desire I end for the present, and rest.
M A R R I A G E
Coloss 3: 18, 19.
ithout Faith, saith the Apostle Paul, it is impossible to please God. And, (b) Faith, saith the Apostle James, Is but dead without workes. There bee two things therefore necessarily required of every Christian, * true Faith and good Life. A man cannot live but by a lively Faith; and Faith is not lively without holy Life.
The Apostle therefore accordingly spendeth this, as he doth (c) other of his Epistles, (d) partly in delivering the grounds and doctrine of Faith, (e) and
b Jam. 2. 26.
d Cap. 1. & 2. Rom. 1, ad 12. Ephes.1. & 2. & 3.
e Cap. 3. & 4. Rom. 12. &c. Eph. 4. & 5. & 6.
partly in directing the faithfull for the manner of their Life.
Now because every man ordinarily hath (f) two severall callings, a Generall and a Speciall: the Generall calling of a Christian; and some Speciall calling in that particular estate that God hath assigned each one unto: the Apostle giveth Rules here, as (g) else-where, for our behaviour in either (h) some generally concerning all men generally, as they are Christians, in the former part of this Chapiter: (i) some speciall concerning severall persons in their severall estates, as they are inferiours or superiours, tyed by naturall or civill bands either to other; in the words of my text, and so forward.
And in this part the Apostle delivereth the Duties.
The Duties of Husband and Wife are in the words of my Text. (p) the Wives dutie in the former verse, (q) the Husbands in the latter.
For the Order, the Apostle is here, as ever usually, exact.
Before, he began (r) first with Faith, and (s) then came to Life: because Faith is the Roote and good Life the Fruit: and without the Roote there can be no Fruit: in regard whereof it is well said, that The whole life of the Faithlesse is nothing but sinne, and
f 1. Cor. 7.20. 24.
g Eph. 4 & 5. & 6
h Chap. 3. 1. ad 18. & 4.2. ad 7.
i Chap. 3. 18.ad 4.2.
l Vers. 20. 21.
m Vers. 22. &c. Ad cap. 4. 2.
n Chapt 4. 1.
o Vers. 22. ad finem.
p Vers 18.
q Vers 19.
r Chap. 1. & 2.
s Chap. 3. &c.
there can nothing be good without the chiefe good. For it is no less true of speciall Faith, which is spoken by the Apostle of the generall Faith, that (t) whatsoever is not of Faith, is sinne.
He began (u) first with rules of Life generall, and (x) then came to Rules speciall: because howsoever * the Heathen man thought that A man might be a good Man and yet not a good citizen, or he might be a good Magistrate, or a good Master, and yet not a good Man: yet indeed a man can not be a good Husband, or Parent, or Master, unlesse he first be a good Christian: at least not so good as to reape comfort or benefit thereby himselfe, or to performe offices to others in that manner as he ought.
Here likewise (y) he beginneth first with the duties of married persons; and of them (z) first with the wives.
First, at the duties of married persons of man and wife the Apostle beginneth here, as (a) else-where; and so proceedeth to the duties (b) of Children and Parents in the second place, and * of Servants and Masters in the third place.
First, (c) because this societie it is the first that ever was in the world: and therefore as it was * the first in nature, so it is the first here in order: the Apostle beginneth first with that which in course of nature is first.
Secondly, because this is (d) the fountaine from whence the rest flow: and the streames can not flow pure and cleare unlesse the fountaine be first clensed and kept cleane. The Apostle therefore
t Rom. 14 23.
u Vers. 1. ad 18:
x Vers. 18. &c.
y Vers. 18, 19.
z Vers. 18.
a Eph. 5.22,25
b Vers. 20. 21,
* Vers. 22. & Chap. 4.1. Eph. 6.5,9.
c Gen. 2. 22.
* [greek text omitted] Hierocles de nupt.
d Psal. 128. 3. & 127. 3.
wisely beginneth at the Head-spring, that a good course being setled in this principall societie, it may be the better kept and continued in others that issue and flow from it.
And this point thus observed may first serve to shew what is one maine cause of much neglect of dutie in many families, in children towards parents, in servants toward Master and Mistres; because the governours are not carefull of mutuall duties betwixt themselves, of concord and agreement the one with the other, of love and fidelitie the one to the other, of respectfull and regardfull carriage the one towards the other. And so neglect of dutie and difference betweene them is a meanes to breed a contempt of one or both in those that should be guided by them: making servants and children to take occasion of libertie and faile in their duty to them, as they faile in dutie either to other. Yea it is a just judgement oft with God to punish the one by the other: as * rebellion against the Creator by rebellion in the creature; so neglect in rulers of duties enjoyned them of God, by neglect of dutie toward them in those that should be ruled by them.
Secondly, it may admonish married folke, that are heads of houses, if they desire to have things go well in the family that they have a speciall care of those duties that God hath enjoyned them in regard either of other. That will be a meanes to make duties passe more orderly both from them to others, and from others to them, as the contrarie prooveth ordinarily a great hindrance to either.
For as in a clocke or a watch, if the spring be faultie, the wheeles can not goe, or if they moove not either other, the hammer can not strike: so here, where dutie faileth betweene man and wife it causeth a neglect of all other good duties in the family that dependeth upon them, yea (e) of dutie oft even to God himselfe in them. And therefore married persons, if they desire to have duties performed to them by others, they must first performe what is fit and convenient either to other: remembring that the due performance of mutuall duties to either, shall both make them fitter for the performance of good offices to others, and others readier in performance of theirs unto them.
Now in the next place as the Apostle beginneth with Married persons, Man and wife; so of the twaine here he placeth (f) the wives dutie in the first place. A course constantly observed both by (g) Peter and and (h) Paul, as hereto else-where, that they begin first with the wives dutie and so (i) passe on to the husbands; and that for two causes.
First to shew the inferioritie of the wife in regard of the husband; for we may observe that the Apostle beginneth ever with the dutie of the inferiour: (k) first the childrens, (l) then the Parents: first (m) the Servants, (n) then the Masters: and so first the Wives then the Husbands: the Womans first, then the Mans.
Secondly, to shew where dutie is to begin, on the wives part; it is to begin at the inferiour and so to ascend to the superiour. For * Love goeth downeward: dutie commeth upward . It beginneth with the
f Vers. 18.
g I. Pet. 3.2.
h Eph. 5.23.
i Vers. 19.
j Pet. 3.7.
k Vers 20.
l Vers 20.
m Vers. 12.
* Officium ascendit, amor descendis.
inferiour and so goeth up to the superiour. The wives dutie is as the base or ground that the husband dutie is built upon. It is that that must draw dutie and respect from the husband. (a) Likewise, saith the Apostle Peter, Let the men live with their wives, &c. Having spoken of the wives behaviour toward her husband before. Not that it is lawfull for the superiour to omit his dutie, if the inferiour be slacke or faultie in the performance of hers, but to shew in course of nature whither should begin to shew dutie.
And this first serveth to admonish the wife to be forward in performance of such good duties as God requireth on her part; and not to straine courtesie and stand upon tearmes, as to say, Let him doe what he should doe, and then I will doe what is befitting me. Wouldest thou have him to to doe that that is his dutie? there is no way more agreeable to the word and will of God, more consonant to the course and order of nature, more likely to proove successefull and effectuall to that purpose and to have a blessing of God goe with it, then the carefull performance of they dutie to him, then which nothing is more forcible to draw dutie from him. In a word the wives maine dutie here is subjection, the mans principally Love, * and there is nothing more availeable with a good nature, to extract from it love and all duties of love, then a willing subjection and yeelding issuing from love in the partie to bee loved.
Againe this sheweth, if any breach or occasion of
a I. Pet. 3.7.
offence shall arise betweene man and wife, whither is to seeke to other: Howsoever the husband in discretion; (being that he is or ought to be the wiser, and the woman held to be the weaker; as (b) Abraham sought to Lot, though beeing every way (c) the better:) yet the wife is in duty rather to seeke reconcilement: (as the Apostle implieth when hee saith, (d) Let her be reconciled to her husband, and as we see it held in all estates, that the inferiour doth ever seek and sue to the superiour) and so to breake of first on her side that vacancie and intermission of duties that thereupon hath ensued.
And thus much for the Order: we come now to the Matter. Wherein concerning the wives dutie first propounded observe we two things: the maine dutie, and the manner of it.
The maine dutie, on the wives part is Submission; or Subjection. That the Apostles of Christ both (e) Paul and (f) Peter exact ever, on her part.
For the reason whereof in generall no other need be rendred, then that which the Apostle Paul propoundeth in this place, that it is a matter of Comelinesse and Decency.
(g) God is the God as of order and peace, so of Comelinesse and Decencie: and therefore will have (h) All things done in decencie and in order: but that the wife should submit and subject her selfe to her husband, it is a thing comely, and the contrary uncomely.
Which point shall further the more plainely appeere, if we shall consider, that the Husband is the superiour, and the wife the inferiour; that the Husband
b Gen. 13.8.
c Gen 11.31.
d I. Cor. 7.14.
e Eph. 5.22.
f I. Pet. 3.1,5.
g I. Cor. 14.33.
h I. Cor. 14.40.
is as the head, the wife as the body of the rib.
For the first, there can bee no ordinary entercourse and commerce or conversing betweene person and person, but there must be a precedencie on the one part, and a yeelding of it on the other. Now where they be equals, there may be some question, some difficultie, whither shall have the prioritie, and they take it commonly, as it falleth out, or by turnes. But where there is an apparent inequalitie, there it is without question that the inferiour is to yeeld to the superiour.
Now here the Husband is the Superiour, and the wife the Inferiour, as the Apostle else-where prooveth, both from the Creation, and since the transgression.
By the order of it; in that (a) The man was first created, and not the woman, and therefore the man hath the * Birth-right, as the first borne in the family; in regard whereof God speaketh (b) of Eve to Adam, as (c) of Abel to Cain, Thy desire shall be subject to his; and he shall rule over thee. By the manner of it; in that (d) The woman was made of the man, and not the man of the woman: * she had her being at first (e) from him, as their children now have from them: and in that regard (f) is the woman said to be the image and glory of the man, as man is the image and glory of God: By the end of it; in that (g) The woman was made for the man, and not the man for the woman: (h) Shee was
b Gen.3 16.
c Gen.4 7
f I.Cor.11 7.
made to be as an helpe unto him: and it is a rule generall, that * The end is more excellent then that which sendeth thereunto.
Neither was this Order reversed but i confirmed by the Fall : in regard that the woman was as k the latter in creation, so l the former in transgression; as the Apostles words are to be expounded where hee speaketh of that point; and so m was an instrument to draw the man on unto evill.
Againe, the Man is as the Head, and the woman as the body. The n Man is the womans head; and Christ the mans head; and God Christs head. As o Christ, therefore is subject to God, and the man unto Christ, so the woman to the man. p The Man is the womans head, as Christ is the Churches head. And q therefore the wife is to be subject to her husband, as the Church is to Christ : And the husband to rule the wife as the head or soule doth the body. And as it is against the order of nature that the body should rule the head: so is it no lesse against the course of all good order, that r the woman should usurpe authoritie to her selfe over her husband, her head .
Yea the place, whence shee was taken, may teach as much. s Shee was taken from the side; she was framed of the ribbe. In regard whereof it is said of Lameth, s who first brought in Polygamie, that * he divided one rib into twaine: and of the devill t tempting Job by his wife, that he sought to make passage through the Rib to the Heart. As it were therefore a thing prodigious and monstrous in nature for the rib in the body to stand either equall with or above
|* Præstantior missus quam ad
Aristot. in topic.
s Gen.2.21 22.
* Unam costam in duas divisit. Hieron quast.
* Per costam ad cor. Greg. moral.3.cap.5.
the head: so wee may well say here, that a * mankinde woman or a masterly wife is even a monster in nature.
The use of this point may bee partly for Reprehension, and partly for Admonition.
For reprehension, to reproove and taxe those women that affect mastership; seeke to rule and overrule those, whom God hath not committed onely, but submitted and subjected them unto; and so violate that order, which God himselfe hath established in nature: a course that bringeth commonly, through the just judgement of God, disgrace and contempt upon both parties, yea utter ruine oft of the family and of their whole estate. For howsoever women may thinke it an honour to them, yet * it is indeede rather a dishonour. A masterly wife is as much despised and derided for taking rule over her husband, as he for yeelding it to her; and that not onely among those that be godly and religious, but even among those that be but meere naturall men and women. Yea it is the next way to bring all to wrack . For * where the wife maketh head against the husband; there is nothing but doing and undoing, and so all things goe backward, and the whole house runneth to ruine, as by lamentable experience too often appeareth.
Which may serve therefore, for Admonition, to admonish every Christian woman in holy wisedome and godly discretion to * learne to know her place and her part; and to fashion her minde and her will, her disposition and her practise accor-
*[Greek text omitted.]
*[Greek text omitted.]
*[Greek text omitted.]
*[Greek text omitted.]
dingly thereunto: yea though she be her selfe of a greater spirit, and in some respect of better parts, though she bring much with her, though the maine estate come by her, yet to acknowledge her husband, as God hath appointed him, to be her superiour as he is her husband and her head: (which acknowledgement is the ground of the dutie here urged; as the contrarie conceite cutteth of all conscionable carriage in this kinde) that she be willing a to weare the yoake and beare the burden that God in his ordinance hath imposed on her: and not onely avoide and forbeare, but even hate and abhorre the contrary, as a course abominable in Gods sight, odious in mans eyes, and prejudiciall to them both.
Now that this may be the better performed: it shall not bee amisse more distinctly to entreate of such particular duties as spring from the Subjection or Submission urged by the Apostle on this part.
We must nor therefore conceive it, that this Submission consisteth in a complementall crowching and courtesing, or the like, as b hypocrites place religion onely in ceremoniall observances: but rather in a faithfull and carefull, in a constant and conscionable performance of such duties as issue and flow from the inward acknowledgement of that superioritie of power and place, that God hath given to the husband in regard of the wife .
First Honour, the c generall dutie
of all inferiours
Secondly, a Feare, not a servile or slavish dread, but a liberall, free and ingenuous feare; (like that feare that the godly beare unto God:) as the Apostle Peter implieth when excluding the one, he yet b exacteth the other: c a feare springing from love, and joyned with love; consisting in a desire
e I Pet. 3.6.
g I. King 21.7.
b I.Pet.3 2.
to doe every thing so as may please their husband and give him contentment, and a care to shun and avoid whatsoever may displease him, or minister discontentment unto him.
Where those wives come to be taxed
and not unjustly condemned, that regard not at all their husbands pleasure,
but their owne selfe will onely: If he will be pleased, let him: if
he will not, choose him; it is all one to them, he hath his mends
in his hands. This is * not to cut out the worke by the rule, but the
rule by the worke: to make the wives will the rule of the husbands will:
whereas d God hath appointed the husbands will to be the rule
& square , of the wives will, not the wives
of his. And as e Peter saith of servants
that they are to apply themselves even to their crooked masters:
so here though the husbands will shall be crooked, so it be not wicked,
the wives will is not straight in Gods sight, if it be not pliable to
|[Greek text omitted.]
Contra quam Adagium apud Plutar, de profect.
should remember that f a meeke and a quiet spirit is a thing pretious in Gods sight: and on the otherside a froward and unquiet spirit in a wife is a thing odious and detestable both with God and man.
The second dutie is Obedience; g propounded by Peter in the example of Sara; as Sara obeied Abraham:
and so consequently consisteth in being content to be admonished of him, to be advised by him.
First for Admonition, in being content to be admonished by him: and taking his admonitions in good parts; and being willing to reforme and amend what he admonisheth her of as amisse. Not ready to returne a snappish answer againe, and to give one angry word againe for another; nor to be pouting and lowring upon it, (as the manner is of many, when they are told of ought,) for a long time togither, as if they would make him weary of admonishing ought any more; but hearing it with mildnesse, and hearkening to it with meekenesse: remembring that when the husband admonisheth, God admonisheth in him; and hearkning to him, she hearkeneth to God in him: as h on the other side contemning him, shee contemneth God and Gods ordinance in him. Yea though the husband should chance to blame and finde fault without cause, (as even the best and the wisest sometime may doe,) it shall be a wise and discreete womans part i rather to take it quietly and patiently, as if there were just cause of it, then to give any unkind or
uncomely language againe: remembring that * It is, as one saith well, the propertie of an ingenuous disposition; to acknowledge a fault sometime, even where there is none: not * by lying by dissembling, (for that is altogether unlawfull:) but by patient bearing and forbearing, being as ready to alter what is done, as if it had beene done otherwise then it ought.
Secondly, For Advice, in suffering her selfe to be advised of him; in taking advice of him, and following advice given by him: in being willing k to be directed and advised by him for her selfe, her attire, her behaviour, her carriage, her company, the marshalling and managing of domesticall affaires. As l Sara would not put away her maide Hagar without Abrahams consent; nor m Rebekkah send away her sonne Jacob without Isaaks advice. In regard whereof the husband is called the wives n guide: as the person by whom she is mainely to be directed and guided.
Which yet we are not so to understand as if the wife might not either admonish the husband on some occasions, or advise him in some cases. For what a a servant may sometime doe; a wife may much more.
But there must be an holy wisedome and discretion used herein. That admonition be given seasonably, (not as physicke in a fit ,) as b by Abigail to Nabal; and with due respect and regard of the husbands person and place. That in advice giving the wife, ever remember what is properly her part; and therefore moove the matter rather by way of
k I.Pet.3 5 6.
m Gen.27 46,43. & 28.I,2.
n Prov. 2.17.
b I. Sam.25.37.
question, or as craving advice, as c Rebekka seemeth to moove the matter a farre of unto Isaak, submit her advice and opinion to his judgement and discretion, as d Ester to Assuerus his . Shew her selfe willing to obey, if he shall thinke good otherwise: and withall to carry the matter that even in those things that are done by her advice to good purpose, her husband be honoured and not contemned either by others or her: that whatsoever is done by their mutuall consent, may seeme rather to come from him; as e Jesabel sealed all with Ahabs seale, and f Ester wrote all in Assuerus his name. For that as the * trumpeters owne voice is nothing so loud or so strong, as the sound that it yeeldeth when it passeth through the trumpet: so every action in the family shall gaine it selfe more weight and procure more them both more credit, and carry more authoritie with it, when it passeth through the husbands hands and is ratified and sealed as it were with his seale.
And here commeth to bee condemned the custome of those women that will do all of their owne head, that will have things as they list themselves, and after their owne minde: that refuse and thinke scorne either to aske of their husbands advice what to doe, or to follow it in such things as they are advised unto. And so disobedience breedeth a contempt of the husband in them, and contempt in them causeth wrath in him which openeth a gap to many grievous evils. Such must know that in disobeying them they disobey God in them and
d Esther 8.5.
provoke him against themselves: besides that they procure nothing unto themselves but an evill report abroad, and an unquiet life at home.
And therefore a wise and discreete woman ought to choose rather; when the thing enjoyned or advised shall import some difficultie, or carry with it some inconveniencie; howsoever she may in good tearmes propound it by way of excuse, yet if the husband shall persist in his minde that he will have it so; she ought, I say, to choose rather, and account it better (so long as it import no evill) to buy her owne peace and the peace of a good conscience, to purchase peace with God and man by meeke and quiet observance, then to breake or hazard the breach of either by her peevish resistance.
But of all others the course of those is most vaine that will take to themselves the whole commendation of things done by mutuall consent and advice: and so seeke to honour themselves by discrediting their husbands whom God hath commanded them to honour, and whose honour they should account as their owne. For when God saith, that g The woman is the glory of the man: and that h A vertuous or industrious wife is the crowne of her husband; he implieth that the wife should use all the gifts and graces of God bestowed on her for the honour of him. And on the coutrary she is the contempt and dishonour of him, when shee striveth and contendeth to seeme wiser than he.
And here by the way let the Husband learne his dutie in part, ere we come directly unto it. For if
the wife be to submit and to subject her selfe unto him; is to be admonished by him and to take advice of him: then is he to governe and admonish, to give counsell and advice.
And therefore considering that he is called to be a guide to his wife) he must labour for holy wisedome and spirituall discretion, that hee may be fit and able to guide and governe in good manner and to good purpose. And hee had neede be wise and discreete himselfe, that is to be guide to another. Otherwise as the Apostle, e How is he fit to governe Gods house that can not governe well his owne house, so how shal he be fit to guide another, that is not able to guide himselfe?
In regard whereof parents also, as they must not be overhasty to joyne their children in that estate, ere they be come to some staiednesse : So they must be carefull, (especially where they perceive some want that way,) to further them with all convenient helps in that kinde: that so by their diligent care and furtherance that may be supplyed that is defective on their parts.
Now this then condemneth the preposterous practise of some men, that in a kinde either of foolish statelinesse or fond remissenesse will seeme to referre all to the wife a the weaker, without informing or acquainting them with their minde, in what manner they wish or thinke fit to have things ordered in the family; and yet will storme and take on or grow peccish and impatient, if everything bee not done to their owne minde. Which as it
e 1 Tim. 3. 5.
a I Pet.3.7.
breedeth much disquiet & distraction in the wives minde, when shee knoweth not what will please, but must goe all by guesse, so it taketh away that alacritie and cheerefulnesse that should be in performance of such duties, and maketh her to goe about her businesse with hanging of the wings; since it is uncertaine, when shee hath taken all possible paines, and done her best endeavour, how in the end it will be accepted.
As also it condemneth such peevish and froward persons, as if anything be demanded of them, or their advice asked in ought, are ready by and by to grow into heate and rage, to complaine of and cry out on the folly and unwisenesse of their wives, that know not how such and such things should be ordered. For to what end hath God given her thee for a b Guide, but because the woman ordinarily needs the mans advice? As therefore c the priests lips should preserve knowledge for the people, and they are to aske the law of him: so the husbands head should preserve wisedome and counsell for his wife, and d she is to take advice of him. Besides, that things in the family many times are to bee done, not for the best or the wisest simply, but after the husbands best liking and to his best contentment. After therefore a wise and discreete husband should rather rejoyce that his wife is so carefull to know his minde, and to doe every thing to his minde, then contemne her or miscall her for her carefulnesse in that kinde.
The third and last dutie on the wives part is Assi-
b Prov 2.17.
c Mal 2.7.
d 1 Cor 14.35.
stance. For she was made to be e an Helper or an assistant to her husband: and that especially in two kinds, in his Travels, and in his Troubles.
First in his labour and in his businesse; f in|domesticall affaires, things especially within the house. In regard whereof the Apostle Paul willeth that women be house-keepers, or keepers at home, as we call them hous wives: and the heathen for that one respect among others made the Snaile or the Torteis * an embleme of womanhood. And the Apostle Peter seemeth to imply no lesse, when he willeth rather, that the h husbands dwell with their wives, then their wives with them.
Of this kinde of affaires that the wife is to bee imployed in are:
First, a the diligent and carefull education of such children as it may please God to blesse them with all.
Secondly, the vigilant and watchfull b oversight of the whole family c instructing and admonishing them, as occasion requireth; assigning them their worke and allotting them their allowance.
Thirdly, the provident and faithfull keeping and preserving of provisions made and brought in by the man, that they bee not imbecilled or made away, that e no waste be made of them, that they be not spoiled and misspent.
Fourthly, a constant and painefull endeavour of doing something, as abilitie, leisure and opportunitie shall give leave, toward the supporting and
e Gen 2.18.
f 1 Tim 5.14.
g Tit 2.5.
[Greek text omitted]
[Greek text omitted]
h 1 Pet 3.7.
a 1 Tim 2. 15.
b 1 Tim.5.14.
upholding, or the raising and advancing of their estate, and the further enlarging of their meanes. For f a wise woman, saith Salomon, helpeth to build up the house: and the good hous-wife, as his mother describeth her to him, g riseth before day, and sitteth up late at night: As i she suffereth none to be idle in the house, so k shee is not idle herselfe: Shee thinketh not scorne to soile her hands; but girdeth up her loines, and setteth herselfe to some profitable worke; m getteth her wooll and flax about her, and putteth her hand to the wheele, and her fingers to the spindle, n maketh such things as may serve for the appareling of her husband her selfe and her houshold, or may be of use other wise about the house: or if no neede of it in the house, p to sell and make merchandise of; and that no discredit or discommendation at all to her neither: or if neither of both bee needful, q to helpe to releeve, as good r Dorcas did, the poore servants of God with.
Where commeth to bee condemned, first the fondnesse of such parents as joyne their daughters to heads before they are able thus to bee helpers, yea oft match them to an head, ere they are able to dresse their owne head , much lesse to affoord any good helpe to their married head.
As also of those that bring them up so in idlenes and dissolutenesse, that they are good for nothing when they are married, but to sit in the shop as a babe on a stall, to see and be seene, or as an image in the house, that hath lims without use; being alto-
f Prov. 14. 1.
g Prov. 31. 15.
h Prov. 31. 18.
i Prov. 31. 15.
k Prov 31.27.
l Prov.31. 17.
m Prov. 31.13, 19.
n Prov.31.21, 22, 23.
p Prov. 31.13, 14,18 24,16.
q Prov. 31.20,
r Act 9 39.
gether unfit to doe ought about the house, or to manage any thing that appertaineth thereunto.
Againe, here commeth to bee condemned the practise of such wives as are gadders abroad; least acquainted with, or delighting in ought at their owne home: rather in that regard the daughters of s Dinah then s Sarah; whom we know t what befell upon her wandring abroad. And surely as the Apostle joyneth u chastitie and home-keeping together, as the one a meanes of preseving the other: so x the wise man maketh such gadding abroad a note of a light and a lewd houswife.
Or such as though they keepe within, yet sit idle at home: must have y their gossips come and sit with them to tell tales and newes, that they may not be idle without company: little weighing with themselves, that time the meane while runneth on, and worke about the house goeth but untowardly forward, while there is none to oversee, or looke after it.
As also the practise of such as are wasters, spenders and spoilers of their husbands wealth, and of that they bring in; * that therein indeed like the Torteis, carrie their whole house on their backe, which though they feele not the weight of, yet maketh the husbands backe ake, yea and cracke too, breaketh the backe of their estate: (as * in that sexe commonly there is no ho , when a wastfull humour is once in:) so farre are they from helping to further or advance their estate. Such should remember the saying of Salomon, that z as the wise woman
s Gen. 34. 1.
s Gen, 18. 9.
t Gen. 34. 2.
u Tit. 2. 5.
x Prov 7. 12
y I Tim.5.13
z Prov. 14. 1.
helpeth to build up the house: so shee is a foole that thus pulleth the house downe with her owne hands.
Secondly, the wife is to be an assistant and (a) a yoke fellow to her husband, as in his travels and labours, so in troubles and crosses, if any befall him; (as no mans life lightly is free from them: * No larke without an heele, nor course of life without some crosse or other:) and that two waies.
First, by bearing part with him. For whereas married persons are subject to many more crosses and casualties then those that leade a single life, in regard their charge is the greater: howsoever the women themselves are not exposed to so many personall encumbrances as men, because their life is more private: Yet, as the Apostle saith of the faithfull Christians, that they were b fellow-partners with him in his afflictions, so ought the wife to bee with the husband in those afflictions that befall him. And surely if all Christians in generall, much more married folkes in speciall ought to c beare either others burdens; If * all Christians must have a fellow-feeling of one anothers suffrings, because d they are all members of one bodie; much more man and wife that are both but e one flesh.
Contrary whereunto is the practise of those wives that leave and forsake their husbands when they are fallen into troubles: are like swallowes and other sommer-birds, content to reape and enjoy with them, the pleasant fruits of prosperitie, but
a Philip. 4. 3.
* [Greek text omitted] Plutarch, [citation illegible]
b Heb. 10. 34.
c Galat. 6. 2.
* Hebr. 13. 3.
d 1 Cor. 12. 26.
unwilling to beare and endure with them the bitter brunt and blasts of adversitie; care not, nor regard what their husbands do, or what becomes of them, what hardnesse they endure, what miserie they abide, so long as by helpe of friends or other provisions they are able themselves, to shift for themselves. Very unnaturall are they that have no fellow-feeling of what their owne flesh suffereth: unlike f our Saviour Christ, who retaineth still * compassion, though free from personall passion; and though freed now from feeling, hath still yet a fellow-feeling g of those evils that befall * his here. Yea worse then many heathen women, * that have shewed worthy precedents on this part and in this kinde; and shall therefore h rise in judgement at the last day against all such Christian women as be faultie this way.
The like is to be said of the practise of such as are a meanes themselves to bring their husbands into decay and distresse, and so procure trouble to them, by their inordinate courses and excessive expences; whereby they cast them behind hand, and that to their utter overthrow and undoing oft times: and so in stead of helping to beare his burden with him, are a meanes to bring such a burden upon him, as neither of them both is well able to beare.
Secondly, by being a cheerer and a comforter; a meanes of comfort and cheerefulnesse to him: as i Jacobs children were to Jacob; and so k Rebekkah to Isaak. And surely if it be the dutie of children to comfort their parents in their heavinesse: much
f Hebr. 4. 15.
g Act. 4. 5.
h Math. 12. 41.
i Gen. 37. 35.
k Gen. 24. 67.
more the wives to comfort her husband in like cases. If l a wise childe is a joy to his father: much more will a good and a wise wife strive to be so to her husband: to be to him as m Davids harpe was to Saul: as a physitian to tend him in his sicknes, as a a musitian to cheere him up in his heavinesse.
But what a wretched and lamentable case is it then, when shee that should be a comfort, prooveth a discomfort, that her husband may say to her as n Job of his friends, A miserable comforter art thou indeede. As in Eve, that shee, that o was given to be an helper to good, should proove a tempter to evill: so here when shee that should bee q the joy and delight of a mans eyes, prooveth a corrasive to his heart and corruption in his bones. And surely as there is no estate more comfortable where things are wisely ordred according to Gods will and word: so none more discomfortable, where things are crossely and crookedly carried. * Inward evils are most grievous: in regard whereof * one of the ancients compareth not amisse an evill and a guilty conscience to an untoward yoke fellow: For that is common to either, (then which what can bee more grievous?) that that prooveth with a man the greatest crosse, that should be a comfort to him against other crosses. Such women forget or at least are farre from that, which Salomon saith of a good wife, s Shee will doe her husband good, and not evill, all the daies of her life: that which every good woman undoubtedly will endeavour her selfe unto.
Hitherto we have spoken of the Maine dutie on
l Prov. 10. 1 & 15. 20.
m 1 Sam. 16. 23.
n Job. 16. 2.
o Gen. 2. 18.
p Gen. 3. 6.
[Greek passage omitted].
q Ezech. 24. 16, 25.
r Prov. 12, 4.
s Prov. 31. 12.
the wives part, namely, Submission or Subjection, togither with the particulars or at least the principall of those that thence issue.
We come now to the manner of the performance of all the former, and that is, saith our Apostle, In the Lord: a phrase used by the Apostle a in the like case else-where: and it may be taken two waies, as a note of Direction or as a note of Limitation.
1. As a note of direction, prescribing the ground and manner of this submission; that it bee done in obedience of God and the commandement of God, in conscience of the order and ordinance of God.
2. As a note of limitation, describing the bounds and limits of this submission, assistance, reverence, and obedience; that it extend not it selfe to any thing against the will and word of God.
In the former sense it seemeth to be used by the Apostle, where b he speaketh of childrens dutie; in the latter, where he applieth it to widdowes marriage. And the latter followeth upon the former. For a man can not doe ought against Gods will or word out of obedience to his will and word: it implieth a manifest contradiction. And therefore whatsoever is done in obedience to Gods will must needs so farre forth be done according to, and not against his word or will. The former I take here to be the direct meaning of the words; the latter by way of consequence is deduced from it. And so this branch affordeth two points concerning the dutie here enjoyned.
First, that this Submission for the ground of it
a Eph. 6. 1.
b Eph. 6. 1.
c 1 Cor. 7.
must be a godly, a religious, a conscionable submission;
performed not for worldly respects, or for d feare of wrath,
but as e the Apostle saith of good subjects, for conscience
sake; in conscience of Gods ordinance, and in obedience to Gods
For first, it is f Godlinesse alone
that hath the promises both of this life and the life to come:
and therefore there is no reward for ought that proceedeth not from
Secondly; as Luther saith well that * the
first commandment in the Decalogue comprehendeth
the whole : because therein is the bond that bindeth us to the
obedience of the whole: so it is no lesse true that the Apostle James
telleth us that g religion or godlinesse, which is the ground
and * bond of all obedience, is to be exercised and practised through
the whole course of our lives: that as all civill duties are to h
proceede from love unto man, so they are likewise to be done in obedience
Which point serveth, First to shew a difference betweene a godly and a worldly wife, a Christian woman & an heathen, a faithfull and an infidel. For an heathen woman may doe all outward duties that a Christian wife doth, out of a naturall or carnall love to her husband, or out of a desire of her owne ease and quiet that dependeth thereupon, or out of other naturall and civill respects, as feare of anger at home, and of evill report abroad: But the Christian wife doth all on a further ground; (though these and the like considerations also may make her the more carefull:) out of obedience to God and
d 1 Pet. 3. 6.
e Rom. 13. 5.
f 1 Tim. 4. 8.
* Primo præcepto reliquorum omniton observantia præcipitur: Luther
g Lam. 1. 27.
* Religat avimam religio Deo omnipotents, unde et religio dicitur. Lactant. et August.
h 1 Cor. 16. 14.
the will and word of God; out of a desire to please God, & to approve her self & her courses unto God. As the heathen subject serveth God for his Prince, the Christian subject serveth his prince for God: so the heathen wife obeieth God but for man whereas the Christian wife obeyeth her husband for God.
Againe it may teach women how to behave themselves in these duties that they may therby gaine as well favor with God, as love with their husbands at home, and a good report abroad; if they shall do all in obedience of God, if they shall do all a as unto God: as a Christian servant b serveth God and not man, so submitting themselves to God, not to man: while they regard God in their husbands, as c he doth God in his master, and so doe all d as unto God, because they do e all for God, and for conscience of God. Else though they performe all outward duties, they go no further then heathen: if they do not so much, they come short of them: and f if they expect & desire to be accepted with God, they must go beyond them: they must not onely do all that they doe; but do it * as they should do: do all for God, & then they doe it to God. For as g they releeve Christ in the poore, when they releeve them for Christ: so they obey Christ in their husbands, when they obey them for Christ. Not regard so much what their husbands deserve from them, as what God requireth of them: and as Christian subjects submit themselves * to good governours as unto God, to evill governours for God, or rather unto either of them both as unto God and in God: so submit themselves to their husbands bee they good or badde, de-
a Eph, 5. 22.
b Eph, 6. 7, 5.
c Eph. 6. 5, 6. Colos. 3. 22, 24.
d Ephes. 5. 22, & 6. 5.
f Math. 5. 20.
g Math 25. 40.
*Bonum tum quam Deo, maiia propter Deum.
serve they well or evill of them, as for God, and in God, and unto God, in regard of the precept and enjoynment of God. So doing, as the Apostle saith, i they shall be saved by child-bearing, so they shall be saved by Christian submission and obedience. As k the servant that serveth not man but the Lord shall from the Lord receive the inheritance of a sonne: so the woman that submitteth her selfe to her husband for God, shall for such her submission be eternally rewarded of God. And this withall may againe serve well to take away that objection of faultie performance on the other part: If he doe not his dutie to me, why should I doe mine to him? True: if thou oughtest it to him onely, or principally to him. But it is in the Lord, and for him that this dutie is required of thee. Him thou owest it unto, whither thy husband doe his or no; whither he deserve it, or no, at thine hands. Neither shall his faultinesse excuse thy fault, if thou shalt refuse to performe what God hath imposed on thee, and so shalt faile in thy duty that thou owest unto God, because man faileth in his, that he likewise oweth unto God, whither thou doest thine, or no, to him.
Secondly this submission, for the extent of it, must not bee in ought against God. And therefore when the Apostle make it generall, l in all things; it must bee conceived by way of opposition betweene her owne will and her husbands will; (as m the Apostle is said to please all men in all things; that is, even to the displeasing of himselfe: n not regarding his own profite, but respecting their
i I Tim. 2. 15.
k Colos.3. 24, 23.
l Eph. 5. 24.
m I Cor. 10. 33.
n Ibid. et Rom.15, 1, 2, 3.
pleasure:) not by way of opposition betweene Gods will and mans will. For when they crosse, o God is rather to be obeyed then man: his will is rather to be regarded then mans will
And the reason, is apparent: for
1. This submission is Gods ordinance; and Gods ordinance cannot be against God, but for God.
2. The husbands power, as p of all superiours, is subordinante to Gods power: and the subordinate power ought ever to yeeld to the supreme power.
And therefore first let men looke unto it and take heede how they take upon them to advise, perswade, induce or urge their wives to ought against God and godlinesse or good conscience. For by so doing they shall but abuse their power and place, and lessen their authoritie and credite, as every one doth that goeth beyond the bounds and limits of his office.
As also women must know that it shall
be no sufficient excuse for them, if they shall suffer themselves to be
led by their husbands unto ought that is evill: no more then it was for
q Adam to be seduced and misled by Eve: or
for r Ahab to be provoked and egged on by Jezabel
unto evill: Neither will it serve to alleadge, that s the woman is
the weaker. But they must consider who it is from whom the man hath
his right, his power, and his place, even he that hath power equally over
either, and will undoubtedly punish either, if either the one shall perswade,
or the other upon perswasion yeeld to ought against his will.
o Act, 5. 29.
p Rom. 13. 1.
q Gen. 3, 12.
r I Pet. 3.7.
s I King. 21, 25.
Hitherto we have entreated of the former part concerning the wives dutie, wee come now to the a latter part concerning the Husbands.
And the Husbands dutie is propounded partly in the affirmative, and partly in the negative.
1. In the affirmative, Husbands love your wives.
2. In the negative, And be not bitter unto them.
The maine dutie required on the mans part is Love: that which the Apostle b ever inculcateth when he entreateth of the Husbands dutie:
The equitie whereof we may easily conceive, if wee shall but consider the precept of Love and in what tearmes it runneth.
c Thou art commanded therefore by God to Love thy neighbour as thy selfe. And what neerer neighbour then thy wife, who is taken by thee into the societie and communion of thy whole life, to be a perpetuall d companion with thee at boord and in bed; to dwell and abide with thee continually, to converse with thee most inwardly; yea, as our Saviour himselfe speaketh, e to be glewed unto thee, inseparably, and that f by Gods owne appointment and ordinance.
Againe thy neighbour, thou art commanded to love g as thy selfe, But the Apostle goeth further and saith, h He that loveth his wife, he loveth himselfe. So that thy wife is thy selfe, not as thy selfe onely. i Our flesh, say the poore speaking of the rich, is as their flesh: and therefore k a man should not, saith the prophet, turne his face from his owne flesh. But here man and wife they make but l one flesh:
a vers. 19.
b Eph .5.25. 33.
c Levit. 19.18. Math. 22.39. Mark, 12.31. Rom. 13.9. Gal. 5.14. Jam. 2.8.
d Malac. 2.14..
e Math. 19 5. Eph. 5. 31. Gen. 2. 24.
f Math, 19. 6.
g Levit. 19. 18.
h Eph. 5 28.
i Nehem. 5. 5.
k Esai, 58. 7.
l Math. 19. 5, 6.
this * knot being once knit, they are no more twaine, but one flesh. And m no man, saith the Apostle, ever hated his owne flesh; but loveth and cheerisheth it, as Christ doth his Church.
n What more naturall then for parents to love the children that come of them? What more equall then for children to love their parents that bred and bare them? But behold a neerer conjunction betweene married persons man and wife, then betweene children and parents: in regard whereof God saith, that a man shall leave the one, yea, if he cannot helpe both, he shall neglect the one, to adhere, and cleave to the other. o For this cause shall a man leave father and mother too, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
For children indeed are * part of their parents, because p they come out of their bowels: they are part of their flesh, but severed from them. But man & wife, they are one flesh, conjoyned not severed. By originall creation, as q shee came of the man, shee is part of his flesh, flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone , but severed as it were now from him: but * by nuptiall conjunction being joyned to him as his wife, shee becommeth not onely part of his flesh as taken from him, but s one flesh conjoyned with him. For as *bodie and head, or flesh and soule make one man : so man and wife make one flesh .
Againe children are said to be part of their parents: but parents cannot bee said properly to bee part of their children. But here reciprocally the wife is part of the husband: and the husband is part of the wife: both
Ephes, 5. 31.
*[Greek text omitted] Eustath, et Etymol.
m Ephes. 5. 29.
n Esai. 49. 15.
o Gen. 2. 24. Math. 19. 5.
p 2 Sam. 16, 11.
q I Cor. 11. 8. Gen. 2, 21, 22.
r Gen. 2, 23.
s Gen. 2. 24. Math. 19. 5. 6. Eph. 5. 31.
parts of the same flesh, because both making but one flesh. Parents are as a fountaine or the body of a river; children as streames derived from it, and flowing apart: Man and wife are as two springs meeting and so joyning their streames, that they make but one current, and runne both in one channell, that the water of the one and the other cannot be severed. Parents are as stemme or a stocke; children as grifts or slips taken from it, and engrafted or planted else-where. Man and wife are as t those two branches in the Prophets hand, * enclosed in one barke, & so * closing togither that they make but one peice, & the same fruit commeth of either.
If neerenesse of bond therefore be a good ground of love; there being such a neerenesse betweene man and wife, as none betweene man and man can goe neerer: it must needs binde the husband not onely to love, but to love his wife with a love above all other love.
To make use then of this point.
First, if a man be thus to love his wife, then the wife is no lesse to love her husband. For * Love, we say, is Loves loade-stone : and there is the like reason for either. There is no action or affection so reciprocall as love; as betweene God and man; so betweene man and man. For example. If God be angry with us, * we are not to bee angry with him againe: * hee may have just cause to be angry with us, wee can have no just cause to bee angry with him: If God hate us, yet wee ought not to hate him: he may justly hate us, we cannot justly
t Ezech. 37. 17.
hate him: if he shew mercy on us, we cannot shew mercy to him: we stand in neede of his mercy, he hath no neede of our mercy, for he is subject to no misery: If he be good to us, we can not be good againe to him; for all a our goodnesse is nothing to him: But God loveth us , and we are to love him againe: we stand bound to love him though hee hate us: but are bound in a double bond to love him, when he loveth us : In like manner here: if the husband be angry with the wife, shee is not by and by to be hastie and angry againe with him : if hee controle her, shee is not therefore to controle him: but he is to love her, and shee is likewise to love him: yea though he should hate her, yet ought she to love him: (for she may not faile in her duty, because he faileth in his,) how much more when he loveth her is shee to love him? For c love requireth love: and * love must requite love. Yea therefore is shee to love him, the rather to drawe love from him. That which the Apostle also d sometime expresseth, though for the most part he presumeth it; as the love of parents to their children, a thing grounded in nature, as is also the other: in regard whereof the Apostle Paul hath e coupled them together. Now as things often inculcated should make us more carefull: so things taken for granted should make us more fearefull. As the husband therefore must f see to it that he love his wife, because he is so oft called upon for it: so the wife must take heede how she bee faultie and defective that way, when God taketh it as graunted; and therefore
|a Psal. 16.2 Job. 22.2. & 35.6,7,8.
b I Joh, 4.19.
c Prov. 18.24.
d Titus 2.4.
e Titus 2.4.
accounteth them as monsters in nature that are wanting in it; as those that want bowels of love toward their owne birth.
Secondly, if a man be bound to love his wife in this sort, then men must take heed how they match with those whom they cannot thus love and affect; whom they cannot thus linke their hearts and affections unto. For h there is no * affection freer then love: as there is nothing more forcible, so * nothing that can be lesse forced. This is a fault in many, who satisfie friends, or to advance their estates, or for some other wordly by-respects, match in that manner; and so cast themselves foolishly into a fearefull snare, which they are never able after to wind themselves out of againe. Men and women therefore are to be admonished here that they looke ere they leape: and that they remember that * one had neede to deliberate long, and advise well on that which but once can be determined: to pause throughly upon that that but once can be concluded; that being once concluded concludeth them; beeing once done cannot bee undone againe . And those that have already overshot themselves in this kind, they must now strive even to enforce their affections; and crave grace at Gods hand, whereby they may be enabled to bring themselves to that disposition, that God now requireth of them. In a word, he that is free, may frame his choise to his minde but he that hath chosen must frame his heart to his choise : Before hee might conforme his actions to his affection; now hee must endevour to frame his
g Esai. 48.15.
h Cant, 8.7.
i Can. 8.6.
affection to his action .
Thirdly, If the husband must in this manner love his wife, then must hee draw home his affections from loving any other in that sort . For if such a singularitie of love be here required, then it can be but one that in this sort is affected. As wee reason well, that there can not be two Gods, because there cannot be * two chiefe goods: so here there ought not to be two wives or two husbands , because two can not have the principalitie & chiefety in our love; or rather, because such as this is, is or ought to be peculiar and proper to one: But the branches and streames of love are dispersed among many; whereas * the whole current of it runneth one way betweene twaine.
This may further be confirmed unto us:
By the law of nature. a God at the first tooke but * one rib from the man, * and therefore he, as wee said, that b first tooke two wives, is said to have * cut one rib into twaine. c He made of that one rib, but one woman; though d he had spirit enough to have made more: e he brought but one wife, Eve, to Adam: g he reserved each man but one in the flood: And therfore h Let every man, saith the Apostle, have * his owne peculiar wife: and each woman her husband .
By the analogie of faith- i My beloved is but one; saith Christ in the Canticles . Though naturally many and of many sorts, yet they make but k one seede: they are mystically l all one in him. The m wife is to her husband, as the Church is to Christ: Christ hath
* Duo summa bona summum bonum unieum: Aristot. ethic. [Greek text omitted] Basil. Sel, de Abr. Gen, 22, 1. 2.
a Gen 2. 21.
b Gen. 4. 19.
c Gen. 2. 22.
d Malac. 2. 15.
e Gen. 2. 22.
f Gen. 3. 20.
g Gen. 7. 7. & 8. 16. 18. I Pet. 3. 20.
h I. Cor 7. 2
* [greek text omitted] Propriam uxorem [greek text omitted] Proprium urium
* Perfecta amicitia inter pares, inter binos. Arist Ethic. Paria amicorum Neccalum duos soles, nec Asia duos reges Alexand. Dario. [greek text omitted] Eurip.
but * one Church: and hee must have but one wife: Choose whither Adam thou wilt to imitate, saith one of the ancients, the old or the new: the one had but one wife, the other hath but one Church .
The married man therefore is to take heede not onely n of imbracing the bosome of a stranger, but of admitting or giving way now to any raunging affections. He must know that that which was lawfull for him before, is now no more lawfull. Not that any sinfull act or desire was ever lawfull: but that such desire was not sinfull in thee then: as is sinfull in thee now, because it is by God now determined and restrained to an object.
Fourthly, let the husband take heede of being faultie in this dutie of love in this inward and entire affection toward his wife, which the Apostle of Christ and by him the Spirit of God in so speciall manner requireth and exacteth of him. Some duties there are though generally required of all, yet in more speciall sort of some: and so this dutie of love of all in generall, but of married persons more specially: who are therefore more faultie, if therein they faile. Yea such therefore must take heede not onely of ceasing simply to love, but of o leaving their first love: of suffring their Love p to grow luke-warme, not key cold onely, that was fervent at the first. Howsoever as complements abate betweene friend and friend, the more familiar they grow; so some kinde of daliance betweene new married folkes may after be lesse usuall: yet their love is to be no lesse, rather to encrease then decrease; as wee see it is in
* Elige tibi alterutrum Adam, ilie umicam uxorem, iste unicam ecclesiam. Tam sec generis fundamentum, quam sec. Christi firmamentum uno matrimonio censenner utrobique; et carnaliter in Adam et spiritualiter in Christo. Turtuli. de monogam.
parents towards children, who the longer they have them, the more they affect them, loather they are to leave and forgoe them; though it may not be they are not so fond on them, as at first. And heere the better to further the practise of this duty: it shall not bee amisse, taking the same course we did in the former, to lay downe some particular effects and fruites of this love.
The first is a Cohabitation, living and dwelling peaceably and quietly together. Friends we know love to be oft together, and are loath to be sundred. Love as it lincketh in heart, so it b longeth after the bodily presence of them whom the heart is thereby lincked unto. And it is c a sweete sight, saith the Psalmist, to see brethren dwell together in one: how much more man and wife? They make but one body; and * it is against nature for one body to bee in two places at once. For the man is the d head, the woman is as the body: for head and body to be sundered, it is present death uuto either. Not that a man may not be absent, yea and long absent too sometime, from his wife, upon necessary occasions; but that there bee no giving of way to unnecessary. And surely where love is, there griefe will be that occasions of long or oft absence should be offered. And where griefe is that such occasions though necessary should be offered; there will be no taking of occasions, but such as are necessarily offered.
Where commeth to bee taxed the foolish and preposterous course that is taken by divers parents,
a I Pet. 3.7.
d I Cor.11.3.
who match their sonnes young to wives,
and then send them a travailing: so that they part as soone as they meete,
* ere their affections be wel fastened; and so oft either returne with
them estranged on their part, or at returne finde them estranged on the
other part; while their f absence hath made way for some strangers enticement.
As also the practise of those commeth
here justly to be condemned, who after marriage upon every light jarre
or discontent are ready by and by to sequester themselves either from
other, to breake up house and part families and so live apart. Take heede,
Oh man, how though f leavest the wife of thy youth, and breakest
a bond knit by thy God: take heede, O woman, how thou forsakest the
guide of thy youth, and forgettest the covenant of thy God.
Yea, but will some say, her behaviour is such as can not be endured. And we may serve God asunder better then wee can being togither: I am the quieter in my conscience, the further I am from her. To this I answer: First with the Apostle h Art thou married? seeke not to bee loosed: i abide in the calling God hath called thee in. Thou must keepe thy k station that God hath placed thee in: as the souldiour must keepe the place that his generall hath assigned him, though it proove an hot piece of service, yea though he thinke he might do more good else-where. It is but l the divell turning himselfe into an Angel of light, that perswadeth thee in this sort. For * if cohabitation be of God, then the contrary unto it separation is of Satan. He that m for-
f Malach. 2.14.
h I Cor. 7.27.
i I Cor. 7.20,24
k Eccles. 10.4
l 2 Cor.11.14.
m I Cor.7.13.
forbiddeth thee to leave an infidel, an idolater, as long as she is willing to live with thee, and keepeth her selfe loyall to thee, whom will he licence thee to leave?
Secondly, I answer further with the Apostle, (and so come to the second dutie of Love, the Concealing and covering of the wives infirmities, and bearing patiently with them:) n Love is long-suffring: and o Love covereth, much more p fervent love, a multitude of offences. There is no man or woman without infirmities, as no life without troubles. And this is one special act & exercise of love, to love those that we beare, and to q beare with those that we love: to seeke to cover and conceale their infirmities, though they be many: remembring with all that God hath called us, as to r peace s in Christ, so to t patience u in the world, and to the exercise of patience; which therefore in these cases men must earnestly crave.
Where they are also to be taxed that
are so farre from covering & concealing the infirmities of their wives,
that they delight in nothing more then in blasing
them abroad and that even to strangers. Had they some loathsome soare
about their owne body, they would be loath to disclose it, unlesse it
were to some speciall friend for advice, or to the Surgion for helpe:
and surely as loath would they be to disclose their wives infirmities,
did they esteeme them as their own flesh, or if, as love requires they
should, they held their wives reputation as deere to them as their owne,
and they were as tender of her credite as they are of their owne.
n I Cor. I3.4.
o I Pet.4.8.
p I Pet.4.8.
q I Cor. I3.7.
r I Cor. 7.I5.
s Joh. 16.33.
t Luk. 21.19.
u Joh. 16.33.
[Greek text omitted.]
Now further if morall defaults must not diminish love, much lesse naturall defects. If children be sickly, we are the more tender over them: if any part of the body be evil-affected, we are the more charie over it. a Neither is the weakely wife therefore the lesse to be regarded; but the rather to be tendred & tenderly entreated in regard of her weakenes, as the more britle a Venice glasse is, the more gingerly we handle it, and the more tender-edged a knife is, the more charily we use it. b Jacob may not forbeare Leahs company because she is bleare-eyed: neither must Elkana love Hanna the lesse, because she is barren and beareth not; d neither loved he Rachel lesse when shee grew aged & was now decaied with yeeres, and broken with bearing, then he did when she was fresh at first: e no more than he lesse affected the last childe she bare, then the first.
Which condemneth their practise that f cast of the wife of their youth, when she growes aged or diseased: are content to enjoy the floure of their fresh yeeres, but as favour & freshnes decaieth in them by age or disease, so abateth their favour and love toward them withal. Such love shewes it self to have bin never well grounded. For had it beene grounded on conscience of Gods ordinance and g their owne covenant, & not upon naturall, worldly, or fleshly respects, it would continue as Gods ordinance and their covenant continueth, and not cease or abate as such by-respectes faile.
The third dutie of Love is * mutuall Concord and agreement, and to this purpose a condescending to the wife in things equall and fit. The Husband must not think that, because h the wife is to submit her will to his will; therefore he is not to regard her pleasure
a I Pet.3.7.
b Gen 29.17.
c I Sam. 1, 5. 8.
d Gen 35.18.20.
e Gen [citation illegible]
f Malach. 2.14.
h Sirac. 25.1.
and contentment: he may say, That that liketh me, must content her: and there is an end. For thy wife is not with thee as a servant or a slave, but as i a companion, as a k yoake-fellow, standing on even ground with thee, though drawing on the least side. A master may well make his businesse done after his own minde, not regarding his servants pleasure, because it is his owne busines, not his servants. But it is not so with thy wife: thou art to regard her pleasure as well as thine owne will: because the businesse is as wel hers as thine. And surely as l Love seeketh the things of others, as well as a mans owne: yea oft before a mans own; m it seeketh an other mans gaine with a mans owne losse: so n it will make a man regard the will, and pleasure & contentment of another as wel as his owne, yea o preferre it sometime even before his owne. And undoubtedly if thou lovest thy wife & accountest her one flesh with thee, the same with thy selfe; her pleasure will be thy pleasure, her contentment will be thy contentment; thou wilt so account it: there will be no true contentment to thee, while thou perceivest discontentment in her: and therefore wilt not needlesly crosse her, to cause discontentment to her.
The fourth dutie of Love is (that which the Apostle here expresseth in the negative, and we have put of to this place;) a the bannishing of all Bitternes. And surely if all bitternes must be abandoned & put away among Christians, much more among Christian man & wife. b Let all bitternes, and strife, and wrath, & clamor, & evill language be put away from you, saith the Apostle. If c no roote of gall & bitternes must be endured among Christians in the Church, d that is the house of God: no more between man and wife in the house or family e that is
h Gen. 3 16.
i Malac. 2.14.
l 1 Cor. 13.5
m 1 Cor. 10.33
n 1 Cor. 10.33
o Rom. 15. 1, 2, 3
a vers. 19.
to be as a Church of God. And therfore among the heathen * the gall of the sacrifice, that was slaine & offred at weddings, was throwen out at doores: therby to signify, that the maried folks should be either to other as Doves* , without gal. And surely if among Christian men f All things must be done in Love: much more must all things be done in Love, & much Love, betweene Christian man and wife, that are tyed by a double, yea by a triple band of love either to other; a naturall band as g neighbours and nigh in nature; a spirituall bond h as fellow-members of the mysticall body of Christ Jesus; and a civill, but yet i an holy and k honourable bond, as l one flesh by marriage. And therfore the husband when he admonisheth, he must admonish in love & loving manner; when he adviseth, he must adviseth in love and loving manner: if he reprove, he must do that likewise out of love and in loving sort; with as much sweetnes and mildnesse, and with as little severitie and harshnes as may be: but in any wife without bitternesse, knowing that there is nothing more contrary to love then it.
The fift dutie of Love toward the wife is Joy & delight in her. m Drinke, saith the wise man, the water of thine own cisterne: Let thy fountaine be blessed: (esteeme it as a blessing of God: for so a good wife is indeede, a good blessing and a great,) and rejoyce in the wife of thy youth: Let her be unto thee as the loving Hind, and the pleasant Roe: Let her brests or her bosome content thee at all times: and delight continually, or as the word there is, even * doate on the Love of her. As if the holy Ghost did allow some such private daliance & behaviour to married persons between themselves as to others might seeme dotage: such as it may be was n Isaacks sporting with Rebekka;
d I Tim.3.15.
e 1 Cor. 16.19.
f I. Cor. 16.14.
g Luk. 10,17.
h I Cor. 12.27.
which Abimelech unawares to them overlooked. In this regard as the wife is said to be unto her husband o his eyes-delight, and his hearts-joy and desire: So p the bridegroome is said to rejoyce in his bride; as God doth in his chosen Children and in his Church.
And this is a necessarie effect of love. For what a man loveth most, he desireth most; and what he desireth and affecteth most, that he most delighteth in. Which that a man may the better do, he must remember that as every Christian man may assure himselfe that q his present estate, what ever it be, is best & fittest for him: so a Christian married man is bound to beleeve and to perswade himselfe, not that his wife is the wisest, or the fairest, or the best conditioned woman in the world; but that she is the fittest wife for him, that God hath allotted him, and therefore rest himself contented in her & satisfied with her, and live with as much alacrity & cheerefulnes with her as may be. And as parents love and delight in their children, not because they are faire or wise or witty, but * because they are their children: and therfore how soever seeing better parts in others, they could be content to change quality for quality, yet they wil not exchange childe for childe: so a man is to love & delight in his wife even for this cause because shee is his wife, and howsoever it may be he could with some of her parts bettered, yet to rejoyce in her as they are.
Wherein those are to be taxed that a delight rather in the company of others then of their owne wives: * thinke * what they have at home is all too homely, and * what is usual with them is unsavory: like children, that thinke the bread and butter they get abroad sweeter and better than that, though indeed better, that they
p Esai 62.5.
q Rom. 8.28.
a Prov. 2.20
are fed withal at home: or like queasie-stomacked persons that growing weary of their daily dyet, delight more in some fond trifle though neither so toothsome nor whole-some. Such must know that this is an unwarrantable and a preposterous affection in them: and b such preposterous affections commonly as they argue an evill humour, so they breede no good bloud.
The sixth dutie of Love is the allowance of all necessaries that her neede shall require & their estate may afford. It is that honour, as some understand it, & it may well be one part of it, that is, * honest meanes and maintenance, that the Apostle exacteth for them. For d so is the word oft taken, and e under that tearme doth our Saviour Christ shew it to bee comprehended elsewhere. And surely if f he be condemned as worse than an infidel, that provideth not for his family: then undoubted he that provideth not for his wife the chiefe in the family next himselfe, is no better. If i a Christian man therfore must labour that he may have wherwith to releeve others; much more that he may have wherwith to maintaine himselfe and his wife, that is and ought to be one with himselfe. In regard whereof as h the wife is compared to the vine; so the husband ought to be as the Elme to uphold her: and * as the Moone shineth with light received from the Sunne, so is she to be furnished with fit supplies allowed her by him. And surely where love is abounding , there will nothing be wanting that may be for her comfort & necessary contentment, that their ability may well afford.
And here are such to be condemned as being blessed by God with a liberall estate, carry to strict & nigardly an hand toward their wive; think al lost that is be-
|b Prov. 2.20.
c I.Pet.3 7
e Math.15,4,5,6. & Hierom ibid.
f I Tim.5.8.
bestowed on them; to whom God hath given an equal interest in the things of this life with them. For how hath she not all thine with thee, when she hath thee? And therefore as denying to the poore, whom God hath enjoyned us to releeve, what we may spare, & there necessity requiring it giveth them a kinde of interest unto it, k we deny them their own: so much more in denying her what is needfull for her, thou deniest her her own, thou with-holdest from her her own; that which the mariage bond hath given her a special right unto.
Againe those are here to be condemned, that live, like drones, on their wives labours, wasting all that is gathered togither by their industrie. Of whom wee cannot say, that the Moone shineth with the Suns light: but the Sun shineth with the Moones light; that is, the husband shines with the spoiles of his wife , whom he ought to maintaine as the Sunne enlighteneth the Moone.
As also those that spend riotously the portion they have with their wives, & then leave them to the wide world to shift for themselves: like those that climbe & take paines to get nuts, which having crackt & eaten the kernell out of, they cast the shels under-bord.
And generally all that mispend that though earned with their owne hands, or left them by friends, that should maintaine house & wife with. Such must know that they robbe wife and children and themselves of what they wast in that sort, and so are no better then such as rob by the high way side. For it is no lesse sin to rob them, then to rob a meere stranger whom a man is more neerely tied unto then he is to any stranger. And therefore as l he that robbeth his father and mother, so he that robs wife & children, and saith it is no sin, is companion to a destroyer, or * next neighbour to
* Ignavum fucos pecui. Virg. Glorg. [citation illegible.]
a murtherer, as m the word used there may wel signifie
The last but not the least Office of love is the diligent endeuvouring of the wives spirituall good: which if he love her as he ought, he cannot, nor will not neglect. In regard hereof the Apostle saith, that a husbands must love their wives, as Christ loveth his Church; b whose love to his Church tendeth to this, to sanctifie & purifie it by water and the word, to make it gratious here, & glorious without spot or wrinckle hereafter. And therfore this is a special thing that the husband should aime at in his love & in all duties of love to his wife, to bring her on unto God, or to help her on in the good wayes of God.
c How knowest thou, O woman, saith
Paul, but that thou maist win thine husband: and d women, saith Peter,
must so behave themselves, that by their holy conversation their husbands
may be won. And surely if the wife must seeke to win her husband
being averse; how much more e the husband to win her in like case; f whose
office it is more specially to teach and instruct her. Or if they be both
won, & in a good way already, they must g live togither,
saith the Apostle Peter, as fellow-heires of salvation: and so,
as fello-furtherers either of other in the way thereunto. Else what difference
shal there be between Christian and heathen married persons, if they be
not furtherers either to other; as in the things of life, so in things
tending to a better life?
Lastly, i whatsoever we doe, saith the Apostle, we must
do all to Gods glory. Now then are things done to Gods glory, when they are referred to a spirituall end, to a further end then the fruition of some corporall good. And so here married persons then love and live togither to the glory of God, when they have a further end of their mutuall conversation, their loving and living togither, then their outward solace and contenment onely, or their furtherance in the things of the world and this present life alone.
But alas how approve they themselves in this kind and their carriage in this estate unto God, that never dreame once of this ayme, never ayme once at this end; never have once any thought at all tending this way? k He that regardeth not the temporall good of his family, is worse then an infidel: he that goeth no further, is no better. So those maried persons that live togither untowardly, discontentedly, impatiently, in gal & bitternes, in dissention & discord, in want of mutuall and natural love, refusing to be helpful either to other in the things of this life, are worse then infidels. On the other side those that bee never so carefull of performing the former duties and of shunning and avoiding the contrary evils, but have no care and conscience of the helping forward and furthering either other in the good waies of God, they are no better then infidels, they goe no further then they.
In a word to conclude, if Christian men are to l observe one another, that they may whet on either other to godlinesse and good workes: then much more should Christian man & wife so doe: that having lived togither for a time as m copartners in grace here, they may reigne togither for ever as co-heires in glory hereafter.
F I N I S.
i 1 Tim.5.8.
Bibliography: Early modern Marriage and Family Life
Robert and Dorothie Cooke: It seems likely that Robert Cooke is the son of Sir William Cooke, of Highnam Court, Berkeley, Gloucestershire. Gataker tutored for this family in the year 1600. According to Smyth's Lives of the Berkeley Family (1628), Robert (later Sir Robert) Cooke married Dorothy Fleetwood.
Jungat Epistola … in Proverb: It is well that my letter should couple those who are coupled in the episcopate; and that I should not separate on paper those who are bound in one by the law of Christ. St. Jerome’s Preface to Proverbs.
Fides … de mend. cap. 20: “Fides enim appellata est in latina lingua ex eo quia fit quod dicitur: For faith hath its name in the Latin tongue, from that the thing is done which is said.” St. Augustine, De Mendacio (On Lying), Chap.41.
Ergo … Petrus. Cant. cap 74: Therefore where there is no word, there is no faith (Ed. trans). Gataker may be paraphrasing St Peter, perhaps thinking particularly of Romans 10.17. If this is the case, the reference to Canticles remains obscure.
Per fidem … Rad. Ardens in homil. Domini: God leads us to eternal salvation through true faith and right life (Ed. trans). Epistolas & Euangelia Dominicalia Homiliæ. The Letters and Homilies of the eleventh-century theologian and preacher, Radulfus Ardens were published in Paris in 1564 and again in Antwerp in 1573.
Tota … ex Aug: The entire life of the infidel is sin and furthermore nothing is good without the highest good; Prosper of Aquitaine’s Liber sententiarum ex operibus S. Augustini delibatarum (CVI). Corresponding asterisk omitted from main text
Rebellis … fundam. cap. 37: The insurgent is made because man is created human by divine will (Ed. trans). St. Augustine in Contra epistulam Manichaei quam vocant Fundamenti (Against the Manichean Letter They Call “The Foundation”).
Nulla est maior . . . rud. cap. 4: (misquote or printer’s error) “Nulla est maior ad amorem inuitatio quam praenire amando et nimis que durus est animus, qui dilectionem, si nolebat impendere, nolit rependere”: For there is nothing that invites love more than to be beforehand in loving: an that heart is overhard which, even thought it were unwilling to bestow love, would be unwilling to return it. St. Augustine in De catechizandis rudibus liber unus (Instruction of Beginners), Chap. 7.
“But the divine Scripture conjoins and associates with this grace
of the blessing which was conferred upon Adam and upon the generations
which descended from him. No one can by twisting the meaning of words
presume to say that this grace of God was given to one only, and that
he alone was made in the image of God (he and his wife, that is, for while
he was formed of clay she was made of one of his ribs), but that those
who were subsequently conceived in the womb and not born as was Adam did
not possess God’s image.” Letter 51 from Epiphanius, Bishop
Salamis, in Cyprus, to John, Bishop of Jerusalem. Composed in Greek and
Translated into Latin by St. Jerome.
The original sin of Adam and Eve.
f: There is no corresponding reference in the marginalia. the key letter probably refers to I Pet.3.4, “Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.”
Non te, sed me (Paraphrase): “dixit autem Dominus ad Samuhel audi vocem populi in omnibus quae loquuntur tibi non enim te abiecerunt sed me ne regmun super eos.” Yahweh said to Samuel, Listen to the voice of the people in all that they tell you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me, that I should not be king over them (Vulgate).
as physicke in a fit: (OED physic,
n. 3c.) Medical treatment or regimen. fit: (OED fit, n2. 3a.) A paroxysm,
or one of the recurrent attacks, of a periodic or constitutional ailment.
In later use also with a wider sense: A sudden and somewhat severe but
* Clariorem...Epist. 108: (Paraphrase): Quemadmodum spiritus noster clariorem sonum reddit, cum illum tuba per longi canalis angustias tractum patentior novissime exitu effudit... As our breath produces a louder sound when it passes through the long and narrow opening of the trumpet and escapes by a hole which widens at the end...Cleanthes as quoted in Seneca’s Letters to Lucilius 108.10.
gadders: those who gad about;
stray; wander(OED gad v2 2)
21: printer's pagination error.
Basil: St. Basil the Great,
3rd C.Bishop of Caesarea
which attracts (OED, loadstone, lodestone 2)
Guil: Perhaps Guillaume Briçonnet,
early 16 C. Bishop of Meaux, France, translator of Contemplatines
Idiotae de amore divino.
From St. Bernard of Clairvaux’s Book of Precepts and Dispensations
non extorquebis amari . . .Hon.:
"Love thou canst not extort" (Loeb Transl.) Claudian, Panegyric
on the Fourth Consulship of the Emperor Honorius.
unum corpus...non potest:
Ed trans. One body is not able to be in two places simultaneously. Aristotle,
trans. What is at home is common. Seneca’s Letters.