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.

§. 42. Of the third motiue, Gods will.

The third reason is implied vnder this phrase, doing the*will of God, which declareth the ground of seruants subiection. God in his word hath plainly made it knowne that it is his pleasure that they who are vnder the authority of masters should obey them, therefore as seruants would please God, they must obey: if they refuse to obey, they thwart the will of God. This also is a motiue of moment: for Gods will is that marke which euery one ought to aime at, and it is much vrged by the Holy Ghost, as a generall reason to all duty in these and such like phrases, bThis is the will of God,cSo is the will of God: vpon which ground we are exhorted to dvnderstand, and to eproue what is the will of God.

Good reason there is to presse this reason: for

1. Gods will is the very ground of goodnesse: things are therefore good because they are agreeable to Gods will: Gods will giueth the very being to goodnesse.

2. Gods will is a rule to square all our actions by, euen as the kings statutes and proclamations are to his subiects.

3. It is a perfect rule (the law of the Lord is perfect) so as we * may be sure not to swerue, if we hold close thereunto.

Page  643 4. It is a sufficient rule, it will giue euery one (and among other, seruants) direction how to carry themselues in euery thing they take in hand, yea in euery thing that appertaineth to them. For, Gods word is giuen to make vs perfect, thorowly*furnished vnto all good workes.

5. It is a good warrant to iustifie vs in all our actions: so as, going along with it, we need not care what any man can say against vs. If a man be sure that he haue statute law, or the kings proclamation on his side, he is bold.

From this reason which is of such weight, I gather two pro∣positions to adde force to this motiue.

1. That seruants obey their masters, is no arbitrary matter, but a necessary duty: not left to his will whether he will doe it or no, but a thing whereunto he is bound: and that not on∣ly by ciuill constitutions of men, but also by a diuine institu∣tion of God: so as it is not only a matter of ciuill policy, but also of conscience, to be done for conscience sake.

2. That no creature can dispence with seruants, so as they should be exempted from doing their duty to their master. If they could, they were greater then God, and their will aboue Gods will. Among creatures, masters themselues are to be reckoned: now because it is Gods will that seruants should be in subiection, their masters cannot exempt them from it. Ma∣sters may let them goe free: but retaining them as seruants, they cannot exempt them from a seruants subiection. Where∣fore though masters be carelesse in exacting dutie, yet let ser∣uants be conscionable in yeelding duty, because it is Gods will.