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.

§. 16. Of the resemblance betwixt
  • The Church to Christ.
  • A wife to her husband.


EPHES. 5. 24
Therefore as the Church is subiect to Christ, so let wiues be to their owne husbands in euery thing.

THis conclusion setteth forth not only the dutie it selfe, but also another Reason, and another Rule to prouoke and direct wiues to performe their dutie: and that vnder the patterne of the Church.

The reason may be thus framed, That which the Church doth to Christ, a wife must doe to her husband. But the Church is subiect to Christ. Therefore a wife must be subiect to her husband.

The proposition is grounded on that resemblance which is betwixt the Church in relation to Christ, and a wife in relation to her husband: for an husband is that to his wife, which Christ is to the Church; therefore a wife must be so to her husband, as the Church is to Christ.

The rule noteth both the Manner (fas) and also the Extent of a wiues subiection (*in euery thing.)*

Quest. Is mortall and sinfull man to be obeyed as the Lord Christ the eternall Sonne of God?

Answ. This extent is to be restrained to the generalitie of the things in question. As in other places, where the Page  32 Apostle saith, all things are lawfull for me, he meaneth all * indifferent things, for of them his speech was in that place. And where againe he saith, Whatsoeuer is set before you, eat,* he meaneth, whatsoeuer good and wholsome meat: for of that he spake.

Thus much of the maine drift of the Apostle in setting before wiues the example of Christ, to whom husbands are like in dignitie, and the example of the Church, to whom wiues ought to be like in dutie.

I will further consider these examples of Christ and the Church more distinctly by themselues, without any relation to man and wife: and out of them note such generall in∣structions as concerne all Christians.