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.

§. 36. Of seruants endeuour to make their iudgement agree with their masters.

The extent of seruants duties is in my text only implied vnder this indefinite particle (Obey) (wch being not restrained to any particulars, must be extended to euery thing) but in other places it is expresly laid downe in these generall termes, aObey in all things,bPlease well in all things. It is not therefore sufficient that seruants performe their duties well in some things, they must doe it in all things, yea in things that may be against their owne minde and liking, if their master will haue it so. For this end let seruants note these two rules. The same extent and re∣straint * that was * before no∣ted in laying forth the duties of other inferiors, is here also to be obserued in the duties of seruants: for therein they all agree. The same rules ther∣fore that were before set downe, may here againe be applied. I refer the reader to those places for a more large amplification of the gene∣rals: and here I will content my selfe with adding such particular proofes as are most proper and pertinent to ser∣uants.

1. That they labour to bring their iudgement to the bent of their masters iudgement, and to thinke that meet and good which * he doth. Thus the c seruant of the Leuire which thought it mee∣test to turne into one of the Cities of the Iebusites to lodge there, because the day was far spent, when he saw his master to be of another minde, yeelded to him. So did d those seruants yeeld to their master, who at first thought it vnmeet that he that had ten talents should haue one peece more: and e those seruants also, that at first thought it meet that the tares should be plucked vp from the wheat. This rule is to be obserued in the particular points before deliuered, as the worke which seruants doe, and the man∣ner Page  636 of doing it, their apparell, their allowance, yea and in the cor∣rection which their master giueth them, and the rest.

Contrary is that great conceit which many seruants haue of * their owne iudgement, wit, and wisdome, thinking themselues wiser then their masters; as Gehazi, who opposing his owne wit to his masters wisdome, said, fBehold my master hath spared Naa∣man this Syrian, in not receiuing at his hands that which he brought: but as the Lord liueth, I will runne after him, and take somewhat of him. This was also a fault in g the children of the Prophets, that would not rest on Elishas iudgement, but impor∣tuned him against his minde to send some to seeke the bodie of Eliah. This selfe-conceit is the cause of many mischiefes: as of discontentednesse at the worke their master appointeth them, and at the allowance of meat and drinke which they haue; of much libertie they take to themselues, of pride in apparell, and other vi∣ces before noted: if the forenamed rule were duely obserued, many of those mischiefes would be auoided, and much better o∣bedience yeelded.