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.

§. 3. Of an husbands*superioritie ouer a wife, to be acknow∣ledged by a wife.

The subiection which is required of a wife to her husband implieth two things.

  • 1. That she acknowledge her husband to be her superiour.
  • 2. That she respect him as her superiour.

That acknowledgement of the husbands superioritie is twofold, 1. Generall of any husband.
2. Particular of her owne husband.  

The generall is the ground of the particular: for till a wife be informed that an husband, by vertue of his place, is his wiues superiour, she will not be perswaded that her owne hus∣band is aboue her, or hath any authoritie ouer her.

First therefore concerning the generall, I will lay downe * some euident and vndeniable proofes, to shew that an husband is his wiues superiour, and hath authoritie ouer her. The proofes are these following.

1. God of whom, bthe powers that be ordained, are, hath po∣wer to place his Image in whom he will, and to whom God giueth superioritie and authority, the same ought to be ac∣knowledged Page  270 to be due vnto them. But God said of the man to the woman, he shall rule ouer thee, (Gen. 3. 16.)

2. Nature hath placed an eminencie in the male ouer the * female: so as where they are linked together in one yoake, it is giuen by nature that he should gouerne, she obey. This did the heathen by light of nature obserue.

3. The titles and names, whereby an husband is set forth, doe implie a superiority and authority in him, as cLord, (1 Pet. 3. 6.) dMaster, (Est. 1. 17.) eGuide, (Prou. 2. 17.) fHead, (1 Cor. 11. 3.) gImage and glory of God, (1 Cor. 11. 7.)

4. The persons whom the husband by vertue of his place, and whom the wife by vertue of her place, represent, most euidently proue as much: for an husband representeth Christ, and a wife, the Church, (Eph. 5. 23.)

5. The circumstances noted by the holy Ghost at the wo∣mans creation implie no lesse, as that she was created after man, for mans good, and out of mans side, (Gen. 2. 18, &c.)

6. The very h attire which nature and custome of all times and places haue taught women to put on, confirmeth the same: as long haire, vailes, and other couerings ouer the head: this and the former argument doth the Apostle himselfe vse to this very purpose, 1 Cor. 11. 7, &c.

The point then being so cleere, wiues ought in conscience to acknowledge as much: namely that an husband hath supe∣riority * and authoritie ouer a wife. The acknowledgement hereof is a maine and principall dutie, and a ground of all o∣ther duties. Till a wife be fully instructed therein and truly perswaded thereof, no dutie can be performed by her as it ought: for subiection hath relation to superioritie and autho∣ritie. The very notation of the word implieth as much. How then can subiection be yeelded, if husbands be not acknow∣ledged superiors? It may be forced, as one King conquered in battell by another, may be compelled to yeeld homage to the conqueror, but yet because he still thinketh with himselfe, that he is no whit inferiour, he will hardly be brought willingly to yeeld a subiects dutie to him, but rather expect a time when he may free himselfe and take reuenge of the conqueror.