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.

§. 8. Of masters presuming aboue their authoritie.

Contrary is the arrogancie and presumption of many ma∣sters, who make their owne will the rule of their seruants obe∣dience. This must needs be a leaden rule, which may be bowed this way, that way, and euery way, because of the flexible and variable humour of man. Hence is it that many most vile and horrible things are commanded, because they are agreeable to the commanders humour. Absolom bid his seruants commit a most detestable murder vpon his owne brother, and note how he presseth it, Haue not I commanded you?*

More presumptuous is he that taketh vpon him to be the * great commander of all Christians, the Pope of Rome, and other masters and gouernours of Iesuites, Friers, Monkes, and other like orders, who command such as are vnder their au∣thoritie to commit treasons, raise rebellions, kill Kings, and doe other like execrable villanies.

And to iustifie the Pope from whom all inferiour gouer∣nours Page  655 receiue their power, and by whose will they must be ru∣led, these blasphemous positions doe Papists hold of his po∣wer, He can doe all things of right as God. He is as God hauing*on earth fulnesse of power. If he shall draw with him innumerable soules of men into hell, yet none may say to him, what doest thou? Doth not the Apostles * description of that man of sinne, the sonne of perdition, agree to him of whom those things are spo∣ken? Is he not in Papists account, as God, shewing himselfe that he is God? Which is further confirmed by that power which they giue him of making lawes to binde the conscience, and coining new articles of faith.

Not only popish, but profane masters also too much exceed in this presumptuous vse of their power aboue their power: as they who enioyne their seruants to kill, to steale, to sweare, to forsweare, to lie, to giue false measures, and weights, to goe to masse, to profane the Sabbath, with other like sinnes. In all these, and all other things like to these, being against Gods law, masters haue no power to command: they goe aboue their commission: and shall accordingly answer for it.