Quest. What if his reproofe be vniust?
2. Answ. Yet may not meeknesse be forgotten. In such a case a wife may make a iust apologie to cleare her owne innocencie, and manifest her husbands error: but if he refuse to heare her, or will not beleeue her, then (as S. Peter speaketh in another * case) she must endure griefe for conscience toward God.
The two reasons which there he rendreth in that other case may not vnfitly be applied to this.
1. In generall this is thank-worthy, it is a grace, a glory to * her: a matter that deserueth praise and commendation.
2. In particular it is acceptable to God: howsoeuer their hus∣bands * may deale roughly and vntowardly with them, yet God will graciously respect them, if they shall patiently in obedi∣ence to his ordinance beare their husbands vniust reproofes.
3. I may adde this reason also, that thus they shall shew themselues good Christians indeed, in that they are not ouer∣come*of euill.
Contrary is their minde who by no meanes will brooke a rebuke at their husbands hands: it skills not whether it be iust or vniust: if their husbands reproue them, they shall be sure to haue the reproofe rebounded backe againe vpon their faces, and that with greater violence then euer it came from them. There be some that seeme to be very good wiues till they be tried by the touch-stone of reproofe: but then though the re∣proofe be for matter most iust, for manner most milde, and that in priuate betwixt their husbands and themselues, yet they grow so impatient, or rather mad, as they forbeare not to giue their husbands the most scornfull speeches that they can inuent, vsing withall bitter imprecations and execrations, and threaten to drowne or hang themselues if they be crossed of their wills. Yea further, if wise husbands shall forbeare them in their passion, and after it is allaied tell them how vnbesee∣ming their places they carried themselues, they will seeke to iustifie themselues, and lay all the blame on their husbands for crossing them in their will: or if they cannot but see their Page 322 fault, yet they will only say, it is my infirmitie: but yet euer continue in that infirmitie: and though they make shew of fearing God, yet labour not to purge this corrupt humour out of their hearts. Hence is it for the most part that contentions arise betwixt man and wife. If wiues would learne in this point to be subiect, many iarres, which from time to time a∣rise betwixt them, would be allaied, if not preuented. Mi∣chal* the wife of Dauid, and Iobs wife (though they gaue iust occasion to be most sharply reproued, yet) shall rise vp in iudgement against these wiues, because they were silent after they were reproued, and replied not. Salomon oft titles such as cannot beare rebuke scorners: so as hereby wiues shew that * they are very scornfull.