Of domesticall duties eight treatises. I. An exposition of that part of Scripture out of which domesticall duties are raised. ... VIII. Duties of masters. By William Gouge.
Gouge, William, 1578-1653.

§. 33. Of seruants faithfulnesse in regard of their masters, or mistresses bed-fellow.

So faithfull ought seruants to be to their masters and * mistresses, that if one of them should labour to vse a seruant in any manner of deceit to the other, the seruant ought not to yeeld. As if a master should moue his maid priuily to take away iewels, plate, mony, linnen, or any such thing as is in her mistresse custody. It skilleth not that the master hath the chiefest power ouer all the goods: a secret taking of them away without the priuity of the mistresse in whose custody they are, is in the seruant deceit, and a point of vnfaithfulnesse. Much lesse ought any seruants be moued by their mistresse priuily to take away their masters corne, wares, or any goods for her priuate vse. Of the two this is the greater part of vn∣faithfulnesse.

If such deceit ought not to be vsed about any goods, much lesse about the body of master or mistresse. As if a master should allure his maid to commit folly with him, or a mi∣stresse her man, both their conscience to God, and also their faithfulnesse to their master or mistresse should make them vt∣terly to refuse it, and to giue no place to any such temptation. aIoseph is propounded as a patterne herein: and against the suggestion of his mistresse he rendreth the two forenamed reasons: his conscience to God in these words, how can I doe this great wickednesse and sinne against God? His faithful∣nesse Page  633 to his master in these, He hath not kept backe any thing from me but thee, how then &c.

To this head may be referred seruants faithfulnesse in making knowne to their master the sinne of his wife, and to their mistresse the sinne of her husband, especially if it be such a sinne as may tend to the ruine of the familie, and that by the knowledge there∣of, the party that is not blinded and besotted with the sinne, but rather free from it, may be a meanes to redresse it. Thus bNa∣bals seruants made knowne to Abigail the churlishnesse of Nabal towards Dauids seruants: by which means the mischiefe inten∣ded against the house was preuented. Thus if seruants know that their master intendeth some mortall reuenge against another, to tell his wife thereof in time, may be great faithfulnesse: or if they know their mistresse hath appointed to goe away priuily from her husband, to tell him of it, is a part of faithfulnesse. This may be applied to many other like cases.

The contrary is yeelding to masters or mistresses in any point of deceit one against another: whereunto seruants are too prone, because they thinke to be boulstred out by the authoritie of the partie that setteth them on worke to deceiue. But no authoritie can be a warrant for any deceit, or wickednesse.