The gol­dē boke of christen matri­monye, moost necessary & profitable for all thē, that entend to liue quietly and godlye in the Christen state of holy wedlock newly set forthe in English by The odore Ba­sille.

¶Hebre. xiii. ‘wedlockers honorable among al parsons, & the bed vnde [...]led But whoremongers & adu [...]e­rers God [...]all iudge.’


Prouer. 5.

‘¶Be gladde wyth the wyfe of thy yougthe, a [...] wyth a louynge hynde and frendely roo, Let he [...] brestes alwaye satisfye the, and holde the cōtent wythe her loue. Oh my sonne, why wylte thou haue plesure in an harlotte, and embrace the bo­some of another woman?’

Prouer. 12. ‘¶An honeste louynge and diligente wyfe is a [...]rowne, that is to saye, a great honour and glo­ry, to her husbande. But she that behauethe her selfe vnhonestly, is a corrupcion in his bones.’

Prouer. 18. ‘¶He that fyndeth a good wyfe, fyndeth a great treasure, and he shall receyue pleasure at the Lor des hande.’

Prouer. 19. ‘¶House and rytches is gyuen a man of his pa rentes, but a wyse and discrete wyfe is vnfay­nedly the gyfte of the Lorde.’

¶To his singuler good frende ma­ster Anthony Gryse, Theodore Basille wysheth longe lyfe, cōtinuall health & pro­sperous felicite.

IF God, whyche is the Iaco. [...]. i. Cor. [...] alone gyuer of all good thynges hadde endewed me wyth the di­uine gyfte of suche and so great eloquence, that I myght iustely and wythout ony reprehension haue compared with that moost excellēt Greke Pericles, whose vayne of ornate eloquence ey­ther in persuadynge or dissuadynge euen of ve­ry nature semed to be incomparable, & not able of any mortall man to be obtayned, nor yet scase ly in ony poynte so muche as a shadowe of the same to be expressed: yet I here frely cōfesse that I myght well appeare more barbarous thā the rude and grosse Garamantes, yf I should take vpon me to decantate and set forthe the dignite of honorable wedlocke accordynge to the deser­tes therof, and exalte it wythe suche encomies, laudes & prayses, as it hath alwayes ben thoght worthy euen of them, that haue moost floryshed wyth pregnant wyttes & excelled with all kynde of knowledge bothe diuine and humayne. Lette other prayse Chastitie so muche as they lyste, [Page] whiche, they saye, would God it were so, fylleth A cōparison betwene cha stite & wed­locke. heauen, yet wyl I commend matrimony, which replenysheth bothe heauen and earth Let other set for the syngle lyuynge wyth so manye pray­ses, as they can accumulate and tomble one in anothers necke, for as much as it is voyd of all care, trouble & disquietnes, yet wyll I for euer­more commend the state of honorable wedlocke whiche refusethe no kynd of pay [...]e and trouble, so that it maye bryng any profyt at all to the publique weale of Christendome. Let other ap­proue solitarye lyuynge, whyche is pertaker of none of all those burdennes, that the common sorte of mē do sustayne, yet wyll I preferre that state of lyuynge, whych? accordyng to the order Roma. xv. Gala. v [...]. of charite, is redy at all tymes to beare the bur­dens of o [...]her, and to seke the quietnes of other no lesse than of it selfe. Let other prayse ye kynd of lyfe, wherby mankynd decayeth and in pro­cesse of tyme shoulde be vtterlye destroyed, yet wyll I commende that manner of lyfe, whiche begetteth and bringeth forth to vs excelent Kin ges, noble Princes, Pryncelyke Dukes, puys­saunt Lordes, valeaunt Knyghtes, connyng ar­tificers for the mayntenaūce of the cōm [...] weale learned wyttes. &c. Let other auaunce that lyfe, wherby Monarchies, Empyres, & Kyngdōs be made desolate, barren and vnfruytfull, yet wyl [Page] I moost of all prayse that lyfe, whyche make the Realmes to florysh with innumerable thousan des of people, wherby the publique weale is pre­serued in safe estate. Lette other prayse suche as maye iustly seme to be monstures of nature for theyr sterrilite and barrennes, yet wyll I com­mende them, whyche accordynge to theyr fyrste Gene. ii. creacion and the natural disposicion, that God from the begynnyng engraffed in thē, are frute­ful Psal. c. xxvii as a plenteous vine. Let other allow the fan sy of those belly Goddes, whyche for a volupte­ous, careles and swynysh maner of lyuyng, and because they wyll not lyue of the labour of theyr owne handes / and thesweat of theyr owne b [...] ow [...], after the commaundement of God, had ra­ther lyue lyke abhominable adulterers, stinking whoremongers, vncleane fornicatours, detesta­ble Sodomites, vnnaturall mōstures vnto the great slaunder of the Christen religion: and so to dye as vnprofitable cloddes of the earth, th [...] godly to marrye and leaue behynde them suche frute, as in tyme to come myght both profytte the common weale, and also sette forth the glory of God, whan not withstondyng both ye lawe of God, of nature, and of man both suffereth and i. Cor. vii. [...] prouoketh them vnto the contrary, seynge they haue not the gyfte of chastite gyuen them, and it is better to marry thā to burne, as ye Apostle [Page] sayth: Yet wyll I commende and prayse suche as do not digenerate, as Icarus dydde, from theyr naturall kynd, but enbrace holy wedlocke, which Hebre. xiii. is honorable among all personens, and brynge forth frute accordynge to the commaundement of GOD, because they wyll not perpetrate nor once attempte ony thynge, that shoulde be vn­cleane in the syght of GOD, and a stomblyng stocke in theyr owne conscience. Tobe shorte▪ lette other prayse them, whyche whan they dye, leaue no lyuysihe & quycke testimoni [...]s behynde them, yet wyll I commende them, which, whan they gyue ouer to nature, leaue quycke and ly­uysh testimonies behynde them, wherby they de clare that they haue lyued, and not ben vnfrute full nor vnprofitable to the Christen publique weale. For can christē matrimony be ony other wyse than a thyng of great excellency and incō ­parable dignite, seynge it was not ordeyned of Minos, of Creta, nor of Licurgus of Lacede­monye, nor yet of Solon the Athenian, but of Not mā but God himself instituted ho ly wedlocke, yea and that in Paradise the moost hygh and immortall God hym selfe, & by hym, yea by hī alone cōmēded to mankynd in so much that menne may seme to be allured, moued and styred vnto thys state of lyuynge wt a certen inspiracion of the holy Ghost? In Pa radyse also that garden of pleasure was it insti Gene. ii. tuted, yea and that before ony synne reygned in [Page] this worlde, to shewe that it bryngethe to man great ioye, wealth, felicite & quietnes. And syns that tyme hath it euer ben had in great estima­cion▪ yea and that not only amonge them that professe vnfayned faythe in the lyuynge God, but also amonge so many as only were led by y instincte of nature, in somuche that it was re­counted a thynge of muche ignominye, and re­proche to lyue wythoute the state of wedlocke & to be vnfruytfull. Were not the holy Patriar­ches Gen. xi. xxiiii xxix. xli. marryed men? Did not the Prophettes of God liue in the christen state of holy wedlocke? Dyd not God in the olde lawe bothe wyll hys Leuici. xxi Ezechi. xliiii prestes to marry, & also appoynt thē, what wy­ues they shoulde haue? Was not Christ borne Math. i. Luke. i. Math. viii. Marke. i. Luke. iiii. i. Cor. ix. Philip. iiii. Ioan. ii. Actu. xxi. in maryage? Were not the Aposties of Christ marryed men? Dyd not Christ garnysh mary­age withe the fyrste fruytes of his miracles, whan he wyth his mother & his Disciples were at a weddynge in the Citie of Cana Galyle? Was not Ppilippe the Euangeliste a maryed man, and had foure doughters excellently lear­ned in holy Scriptures: Were not many other Eccle. Histo. Lib in. Capi tulum xxiiii. holy men both Byshoppes and prestes maryed longe after the Apostles tyme, as we reade in the antentyke Hystories? Dothe not S. Paule i. Timot. iiii call the forbyddynge of marryage, the doctrine of dyuelles.

[Page] Of these thynges it is manifest, of how great estimacion holy wedlocke hath euer bene syns ye fyrst begynnynge of the worlde amonge all de­grees of parsonnes. Who wyll not nowe com­mende The excellen cy of wedde­locke. honorable wedlocke, as a thynge of great excellency. Who wyll not thyncke it a state of li uyng worthy hygh prayse and commēdacion? Who wyll not iudge that it ought to be embra­ced with metyng armes, as they say, seynge that by it so many noble treasures chaunse vnto vs, vertue is mayntayned, vice is exchewed, houses are replenished, cities are inhabited, the grounde is tylled, scienses are practised, kyngdoms flo­rysh, amite is preserued the publique weale is defended, naturall succession remaynethe, good artes are taught, honest order is kepte, Christē dome is enlarged, Goddes word promoted, and the glory of GOD hyghely auaunced and sette forthe?

But alas, and wo is me for it, the glorye of The disho­uour of wed locke. this christen matrimony is now greatly obscu red, yea almoost vtterlye extincte and quenched thorow the abhominable whoredome, stynking adultery, wicked fornicacion, and alkynd of vn cleannes, which is vsed nowe a dayes amonge vs, yea and that frely and wythout ony punish ment. There is no truethe, there is no mercye, Oze. iiii. there is no knowledge of God on the earthe as [Page] the Prophet sayth, Cursyng, lyeng; man slaugh ter, theafte and whorehuntyng haue ouerflow­ed the worlde. Men now a dayēs hunte ye Ste­wes Hiere. v. and harlottes houses, as Hieremye sayethe. They are become lyke wylde stoned horses that ronne after meares, for euery one neyeth at his neyghbours wyfe. And woulde God this were the worste.

Matrimony is despised, whoredome is had in price. True wyues & faythfull yokefellowes are neglected and set at nought, but whores and harlottes are embrased, kyssed, kulled and much set by. Honeste wyues syt at home and allmoost perish for hōger but harlottes are sumptuously fed wyth al kynde of deyntyes. Matrimony is called an halter, but whoredome is recounted a pleasure. Wedlocke is now taken for a kynde of lyuynge replete wyth all misery, care sorow, po uerte, wretchednes and beggerye, but to lyue in whoredome and such other detestable vnclean­nes, is recounted to lyue lyke a cleane and right by man, lyke a lusty brute, lyke a ioly ruffelare, lyke a fellowe, that wyll not gyue his head for y wasshynge, yea lyke such an one, as it woulde do a man good, saye they, to be in his company, he is suche a mynyon and pleasaunt fellow, full of his mery conceates and wanton toyes. To tary at home but one daye wyth theyr wyues, [Page] is more than twyfe an hell, but to be dallyenge amonge whores, whole dayes, nyghtes and mo­nethes, and there to spende all that they haue, is a pleasure for a Pope, and recounted no payne at all. O good God howe longe wylte thou suf­fer this intollerable abhominacion? How longe shall the head rulars wyucke at this great wic­kednes? Shall Engelonde neuer be pourhed of this fylthy vnclennes and vncleane fylthynes? Shall there neuer be a remedy found in Englōd for the extyrpacion of this dyuelysh & to muche beastlyke vice, seynge we haue had so many oc­casions gyuen vs in tymes past, & yet styll haue dayly? Shallwe euer laughe at this great abho­minacion, whiche is waxed so hyghe, that it can growe vp no furthe? Shall this cōmaūdement of god neuer haue place amonge vs Englishmē. There shall be no whore amonge the doughters Deu [...]o xx [...]ii of Israel, nor no whoremonger amonge the son­nes of Israel? Are not we also ye people of God? Are not we Israelites, and suche as be conuer­ted from oure olde conuersacion vnto true god­lynes? Hath not God also redemed vs from all [...]. ii. iniquite, and purified vs a peculiare people to hymselfe, that we should be earnest followers of good workes? Oughte not so muche clennes of [...]yfe appeare in vs, as it dyd ī tymes past amōg the olde Iewes? Hathe God delyuered vs from [Page] the power of our enemies, that we shoulde lyue dissolutely, and not rather that we shulde walke before hym all the dayes of our lyfe in holynesse Luke. [...]. Ero. xxx. Deut. v. Math. xi [...]: i. Cor. vii. and ryghteousnes? Is not this commaundemēt also gyuen to vs: Thou shalte cōmit no whore­dome: Is it not sayd vnto vs, For to auoyd for­nicacion, let euery mā haue a wyfe of his owne and euery woman an husbande of her owne? Why than do we tomble and bury oure selues in this fylthy and stynckyng puddle of vnclen­nes, & not rather embrase holy wedlocke, whiche Hebre. xiii. is honorable amonge all men? Why haue we a pleasure to forsake our owne wyues, & to ronne a whorehuntynge after harlottes? Why do we consume, waste and spende awaye so vnthrifte­ly all that euer we haue amonge noughty pac­kes, and leaue our poore wyues and chyldren at home socoureles and vnprouyded for? Why do i. Cor. vi [...]. we make of the members of Christ the mēbers of an whore? Certes oure finall destruccion is nearer at hande than we are ware of▪ For thys pronite and bent redines vnto this fylthy synne of the flesh is an euideut token that the great & terrible daye of iudgement is at hande. For a­mong all other Christ rehearseth this token be fore his commynge, and saythe: As it came to Math. xxi [...] Luke. xvii. Gene. vi. vi passe in the dayes of Nohe, so shall i [...] be lyke­wyse in the dayes of the sonne of manne. They [Page] dyd eate, dryncke, marrye, & were marryed euen Gene. xix. vn to the very daye, that Nohe entered into the Arke, and the floude came & destroyed them all. Agayne as it chaūced in the dayes of Loth, they dyd eate, dryncke, bye, sell, plante and bylde, but the very same daye that Loth wente out of So­dome, it rayned fyre and brymstone from heauē and destroyedde them all. Accordynge to those thynges shall the daye be, whan the sonne of mā commethe.

To marrye or to be marryed is no synne, so Howe it is [...]yn to mary. that it be done accordyng to Goddes worde, but to marry as they dyd in the tyme of Nohe, that is to saye for pleasures sake only, and to be fyl­thy in wycked conuersacion as the Sodomites were in the tyme of Lothe, this is synne, thys is wickednes, this is hygh abhominacion, this stin keth before the face of God, and deseruethe euer­lastynge dampnaciō. What other thynge dothe the moost parte of men now dayes? As I maye speake nothyng of the fylthy Sodomites, which [...]he wycked [...] of [...] [...]lenge nowe [...] dayes. alas for pitie, are now to common in the worlde vniuersally, ho [...]e many n [...]we a dayes contracte matrimony aryght and after the word of God? Who regardeth not more the pleasure of ye flesh, than the hauynge of frute? Who hath not a res­pecte rather to the worldely rytches, than to the honest qualities & godly vertues of her, whome [Page] he entendethe to marrye? Who regardeth not more the vanite of beautye, than the honeste of condicions, in as muche that a common pro­uerbe is rysen therof among vs: I wyl, say they vngodly pro uerb [...]s. haue a wyfe somewhat snowtefayre, though she be somewhat whoryshe. Agayne, what payne is it to me, though other good fellowes fare wel, so that I fare neuer the worsse? Item, God saue y ouen, that baketh such bread, that all the whole house fareth the better for it: O extreme abhomi nacion. O shameles beastes. O vnnaturall mō stures. O wycked cloddes of the earth. It sha­meth me to thynke, that they are not ashamed to speake. It shameth me to speake, that they are not ashamed to do. It shameth me to do, that they are not ashamed to reioyse of. O very vili­ons & beastlyke slaues. Who is able to expresse eyther by tonge or penne theyr wyck [...]d abhomi­naciō. Fleshly pleasure before hauynge of frute? Ritches of the world, before ritches of y minde? Beauty of face, before honest qualities & godlye vertues? Ah whorysh loue. Ah adulterous wed­locke, Ah vayne vanite. A fayre woman wythe­out discrete manners sayth Salomon, is lyke a ryng of golde in a swynes snowte. Agayne fa­uoure is deceatfull and transitory, and beautye is a vayne thynge, but a woman that fearethe God, is to be commēded. The lyppes of an har­lot, [Page] sayth Salomon, are a droppyng hony [...]ōbe, Prouer. v. and her throte is softer than oyle. But the con­clusion and ende of her, is as bytter as worme­wood, and as sharpe as a two edged sworde. Her feete go downe vnto death, & her steppes pearse thorowe to hell. And what other thyng, I praye you, is a rytche woman wythout godly qualiti What a ritch womā with oute good qualities is. es, than an asse laden withe a great multitude of treasure? Beholde vnto what poynte theyse whorysh loose bondes, housebōdes, I wolde haue sayd, are fallen. This maketh them to set so ly­tle by theyr wyue [...], and to haue harlottes in so great price. For whan they once haue that they desyred of theyr wyues, whan beauty begynneth once to decaye, whan the rytches are consumed, whiche were the alone occasion of hauyng theyr wyues, than cast they theyr wyues vp for haw­kes meat, as they say, thā are they wery of theyr olde pasture, and wyll looke for newe bayte.

To moche of one thyng, saye they, is noughte. Shyfte of meate is good. Iucundum nihil est, [...]. nisi quod reficit uarietas. Therfore must ther sely poore wyues cōtrary to the lawe of nature, God and man, be kepte for holy dayes, teyed vp at hard meate, only beare the name of a wyfe, & fylthy whores shall be mayntayned wt all kynde of felicite, wealth and pleasure. O the preposte­rous manners of this worlde. O the sinistrall [Page] iudgementes of these wedlocke breakers. O the great dānaciō y hāgeth ouer these whorehūters heades. I leaue of to speke of those abhominable Prouoke [...] of theyr wy ues to leud­nes. v [...]iōs, which prouoke theyr wyues wickedly to make theyr bodyes common to other for lucres sake. Neyther wyll I rehearse here, howe there be some husbondes, whiche let oute theyr wyues to other, euen as men vse to let out theyr hackney horses for mony, and be at a composicion wyth them, what they shal haue for theyr wyues quar terly, and they agayne shall for theyr monye at all tymes haue them not only [...] at commaunde­ment but also at a becke or wyncke, yea the hus­bandes them selues wyll not disdayne to bryng them. I also let them passe, whiche when they se other frequent & vse theyr houses, yea and abuse theyr wyues euen before theyr faces, wyncke at y matter, & fare as though they knewe nothinge at al of it, as we reade of a certayne manne cal­led Galba, which, whan he sawe Mecenas, mi­nion Note. to Augustus the Emperoure dallyynge wt his wyfe before his face, kyste downe his head, nodded and fared as though he had ben a sleape. O shamefull abusion. Can ony greater disho­noure chaunce vnto the holy state of honorable wedlocke? Do not theyse thynges requyre a re­dresse? Ware it not conuenient that the publi­que magistrates and common heade officers wt [Page] y other nobles of y christē Realmes vniuersaly Say not but y ye be war­ned. should entreate of these thynges in theyr Par­lyamentes. Assemblyes, Synodes, Councels. &c that whoredome myght once be banyshed, and christen matrimony truely obserued, faythfully kepte, and reuerently had in honour?

Furthermore as they set nought by theyr wi ues, so do they neglect the ryghte institution & Of the necli [...] gent bri [...]yng vp of childrē bryngyng vp of theyr chyldren, sufferyng them to do what they wyll. Go they to God or to the dyuell, as they saye, they passe not. Theyr exam ple leadeth the chyldrē rather to perdicion thā vnto saluacion. For they heare nothyng of thē but lasciuious wordes, wanton communicaciō & bawdy tales, or els chydyng, scoldyng, braw­lyng, fyghtynge, and alkynde of wicked rudenes What can children learue here? What goodnes Whense so great swar­mes of wyc­ked people a [...]yse nowe a dayes. is to be sucked oute of the breastes of suche vn­godly parētes Wo worth them, yf they do no [...] amend and correct theyr synfull manners. For here of commeth it to passe, that there are nowe a dayes so greateswarmes of wicked lyuers, as theues, whoremongers, bloudsoupers, men s [...]e­ars, abusers of the moost blissed name of God, false wytnes berers, extorcioners couetous par sonnes, dronckardes, glottonnes, fayned frēdes, traytoures, rebellions. &c. Howe can they proue otherwyse, seynge they are brought vp wythout [Page] ony feare of God, and without ony knowledge of Goddes moost blyssed lawe. It is a common sayeng, saythe Salomon, that a chylde / whan he Prouer. xx [...] is olde, shall not go awaye from suche thynges, as he learned in his yougth.

Here maye we se as in a clere lampe of Phe­bus, howe greatly the glorious beauty of hono­rable wedlocke is defaced? Ah shall not that day once come agayne, that holy matrimony shal be restored to her olde fauour? Ah shal not we once se that daye, that that glysteryng strompet ad­ulterye shall be ashamed to shewe her face? Ah shall it not once come to passe, that these whore­hunters shall be ashamed to appeare in ye syghte of honest maryed folke? Graunt, O Lord, graūt I moost humbly beseche the, that it maye come to passe, yea and that shortely.

But some men peraduenture wyll maruell, The cause [...] of the disho­nour of wed locke. howe it is come to passe, that matrimony now a dayes is so lytle estemed, and whoredome so commonly vsed, yea and that euen of thē: which haue wyues of theyr owne, or elles maye haue. Uereiy howe it chaunseth vniuersally, I know not, excepte it be, that we be more pro [...]e, redy & bent vnto vice thā vnto vertue, but of this am I certenly assured, that it is esy to declare some causes of thys great absurdite. Fyrste as tow­chynge Men of no­bilite. men of nobilite, we se dayely by experi­ence [Page] that they for the moost parte marry theyr chyldren at theyr pleasure whan they are verye yonge, euen to suche as wyll gyue them moost mony for thē, as mē vse to sell theyr horses, oxe, shepe or ony other cattell. Who that wyll gyue moost mony, shall be soonest sped. For all thyn­ges are obedient to mony. They are not certen, Eccle. x. whyther the parson wyll proue godly, vertuous, well disposed, wyse, prudēt, circūspecte, honest. &c. to whome they marry theyr yonge chylde, & yet are they streyghtwayes redy to yoke them togi­ther, so that mony come. They had rather theyr chyldren should lyue euer after in perpetuall mi sery, than they woulde loose the sale of them, al­though they be scase sale worthy, they be so yōge. This kynd of marryeng hath euer ben detested euen of the very Ethnyckes, and of so many as haue ben illumined wyth ony sparke of prudent reason. And not without a cause. For whā they come once vnto the perfeccion of age, & se other whome they could fynde in theyr harte to fansy and loue better, than many of them begynne to hate one another, be wery one of another, spyte one another, and curse theyr parentes euen vnto the pytte of hell for the cowplyng of them togy­ther. Than seake they all means possible also to be diuorced one from another. But yf it be so, that they remayne styl togyther, what frownig [Page] ouerwhartyng, scoldyng, & chydynge is there be­ [...]ene them, so that the whole house is fylled f [...]l of those tragedies euen vnto the toppe. One ca­steth another in the tethe wyth theyr bloud and auncient stocke. Eche of them thynke theyr selfe best at ease, whan they be furdest one from ano­ther. There is nothyng more displeasaunt than one to beholde another. One wyssheth anothers death One draweth this waye, another y way. He fauoureth this parson, she that. He spendethe his goodes in this place, she in yt contrary. Eche of them is gladde to bryde away from another. Thus goeth all to hauocke. Nothynge remay­neth in safe estate. What a wycked and he [...]yke lyfe is this? The baser sorte of people seeth this vnquiet lyfe, that is vsed among ye Gentylmen and theyr wyues, whiche ought to gyue an exā ­ple of all honeste and gētle softenes to other, th [...] go they home, and if ony thynge, be it neuer so lytle, displeaseth them, streyght are they togither by the eares wyth theyr wyues, so that shortely after the whole towne is an a rore. If ony man beyng of a gentle nature and sofce harte mony sheth his neyghbour of his vnquietnes & rough entreatynge of his wyfe, he is also redy to faull out with him, and sayth, why maynot I punish my vyfe so well as suche and suche a Gētle mā dothe? Whome should we followe but our hea­des [Page] and superiours? If it were not conuenient for vs so to do, I am sure they woulde not do it. O euell example that sowethe discorde betwene manne and wyfe. Who so euer offendeth one of Math. xviii. Luke. xvii. these litle ones, which beleue in me sayth Christ it were better for hym that a mylstone were hā ged aboute his necke, and that he were drowned in the deapth of the see. Wo be to the worlde be­cause of offenses. How be it, it can not be auoy ded, but yt offenses must come. Neuerthelesse wo be to yt man, by whome the offence cōmeth. what is the orygynal cause of all theyse tragicall and bloudy dissencions, but only the couetous affec­cion of those parentes, which for lucres sake so wickedly bestowe theyr chyldren in theyr youth & yoke them with suche as they can not fauour in theyr age? Were it not better and more god­ly to leaue them vnmarryed, vntyl they were of a lawfull age, and than so to bestow them, that all parties should be contented wyth all, & euer after lyue quietly togiter in the Christen state of holy matrimony vnto the vertuous example of the baser sorte? At the least by thys means ye parentes shoulde be wythoute blame. But it is not so lucrefull, I graūt, not to the couetous pa­rentes, yet muche more profitable for the chyl­dren in tyme to come. And wo be to that father, which had rather satisfy his owne couetous af­feccion, [Page] than to procure a quiet māner of liuing Themisto cles. for his chylde. Themistocles although an Em­perour and a man of great nobilite, whan men marueled why he marryed his doughter rather to a good honest playne man of the contre, than to a great rytche man and one of an aunciente stocke, aunswered: I had rather haue a man wt ­out mony, than mony wythout a mā, meaning that he which is a man, shall soone get mony y­nough for his necessary vses, but as for hym, ye wanteth such qualities as belongeth vnto a mā thogh he hath neuer so many possessiōs in store & cōmeth of neuer so hygh bloude, yet is he but a [...]astard, & shal soone lose, yt hath byn long in get tynge. Thus se we that the couetous affecciō of certen Gentyllmen, whiche for lucres sake ma­ry theyr chyldrē before they come vnto any per­fecte knowledge eyther of thē selues, or of other, is one occasion, why holye wedlocke is so lytle estemed nowe a dayes, and so large a wyndow openned vnto whoredome and adultry.

What shall we now saye vnto them, whiche at a iust and conuenient age come togither, yea and that not only by the procuremente of theyr parentes, but also by theyr owne consent, & yet lyue wickedly to the great dishonour of honora­ble wedlocke? Certes here must nedes be a great faulte, yf not on both, yet on one party. Dissen­si [Page] on chaunceth many tymes betwene suche, be­cause Howe dissen siō chaūceth many tymes betwene mar ryed folkes. one can not be contente to forbeare ano­ther, to gyue gentle aunswers, louyngly to che­rysh one another, and to be a lyke mynded in al honeste and godly thynges, but streyghtwayes faull out for euery lyght tryfle contrary to the bonde of matrimony. This engendreth muche hatred and displeasure betwene marryed folke, in so muche that yf it be not shortely remedyed by mutual recōs [...]iaciō, it alieneth theyr myndes so farre one frō another, y scasely ther cometh e­uer after ony harty frēdship & true loue betwene thē. This is a great dishonour to holy wedlock.

Some also haue such froward & scoldyng wy Frowarde & scoldyng wy ues. ues, that they can at no tyme be in quiet wythe them, they are so ladylyke, and hygh in the ynne steppe, chefely yf they broght ony substaunce wt thē, than they thynke, yt theyr husbōdes ought of very duty to gyue them place, to forbeare them, and to suffer them to haue the preeminence, & to do what they lyfte. The beastes wyll not be in subieccion to theyr husbondes, but rather take Gene. iii. i. Cor. xi. Ephe. v. Colloss. [...] i. Pet. [...]i. vpon thē to rule, as though not only theyr goo­des, but also them selues were not theyr husbon­des and at his commaundement, yea an that by the appoyntment of God. This oftētymes cau seth the husbonde to gyue hys mynde to straūge women, and to breake the bondes of wedlocke. [Page] The woman is not behynde, but shapethe hym an hood of the same cloth, and so is holy matri­mony miserably rent and torne.

Some also there be agayne, whiche haue gen C [...]rysh hus bondes tle wyues, louyng, faythfull, honest, obedient, & redy to do, what so euer theyr husbondes com­maundeth them, so it be reasonable, godly & ho­nest, & yet wyll they not be pleased nor contēted but lyke stubble curres, vngentylly entreate thē beate them, buffet them, and put them out of the dores, handlyng them rather lyke dys [...] clowtes, thā lyke honest wyues, vnto the great slaunder and ignominy of wedlocke.

All these do muche derogate, obscure & deface the dignite and excellency of christen matrimo­ny, yea and that so much the more, because they professe the same order of lyuynge, and yet lyue nothyng agreable to the same.

Another sorte of people ther are, which might Obiecto [...] of pouerte marry, if they would, & yet do they rather chose to lyue in abhominable whoredome, than they would couple them selues wyth an honest wo­man in lawfull mariage. Many obiecte & laye for theyr excuse, pouerte, & saye, yt if they shoulde marry, they were vtterly beggarde for all euer. To whome I aunswere, If they be no [...] able to healpe for to mayntayne an honest wyfe, which wyll also laboure, worke and take paynes to get [Page] her owne lyuynge, howe are they than able to Super [...] [...]ostes. mayntayne theyr whores, and to awaye wy the the costes and charges that they spende in wan­ton and ryottous companye, as I maye speake nothynge of theyr waste mony, which they con­sume on theyr vayne iagged and garded appa­rell? Who euer wanted that lyued accordyng to Goddes worde? O thou wycked and shameles whorehunter, if thou thorow the sufferaunce of God haste ynoughe to fynde the and to satisfye thy beastelyke affectes & carnall pleasures, why doest thou dispayre of the blyssyng of God, yf yu shouldest leaue thyne abhominable lyuyng, and take to the a true and lawefull wyfe? God lea­ueth no man socourles that putteth his trust in hym, and diligently laboureth for his liuyng ac­cordyng to his vocacion and callyng. Dyd not Christ turne the water into swete wyne at a cer [...]an. ii [...] tayne maryage to shewe that so many as lyue in holy matrimony accordyng to his word, shal neuer wante? The water of the ryuer shall so­ner be turned into wyne, and the stonnes of the Mar [...] wel. felde into bread, than the faythfull shall be lefte socourles. Dyd not God fede the people of Isra­el wyth meate from heauen? Dyd he not gyue Exo. xvi. Psal. lxxvii. Exo. xvii. iii. Reg. xvii. them dryncke out of the hard rocke? Dyd he not make a crowe to bryng meat vnto the Prophet Helias twyse on a daye, and so wonderfully fed [Page] hym? Euē sowyll he do with vs, yf we be fayth full, and seake to lyue accordynge to hys worde. The blyssyng of the Lorde maketh me rytche, Prouer. x. sayth Salomon, I haue bene younge, saythe the Psalmographe, & I am nowe olde, yet dyd I ne Psal. xxxvi. uer se a righteous man forsakē, nor his seed beg gyng theyr bread on the earthe. All the tyme of hys lyfe he sheweth mercy to the poore, and len­deth to them that haue nede, & yet hath he goo­des plenty and ynough for his chyldren that suc cede hym. Therfore thou that makest thy bodye cōmon to ony woman wythout the law of wed A good lessō locke, cease from thy wyckednes, leaue thyne ab­hominacion, get vnto the such a wyfe, as fereth God, louethe his worde, is gentle, quiet, honest, silent, of fewe wordes, seruiseable, obsequious, modest, louyng, faythfull, obedient, and redy to do what so euer becommeth an honest marryed woman. Couple thy selfe with her, lyue togither in ye fear of God, in concord, loue & mutual ami te Suffer no dissension nor discorde to preuayle Follow thi [...] counsell. Ephe. i [...]i. betwene you. If ony displeasure aryseth, recōcile youre selues streyghtwayes one to another. Let not yt son go downe on your wrath. Th [...]e your selues to be thā moost rytch, whā moost cōcord, amite, frendshyppe, beneuolence, and loue rayg­neth betwene you, yea beleue this for a suerty, yt ye can not be poore, so longe as one of you loue [Page] another vnfaynedly, and walcke in the feare of God, but if ye do not agre amonge your selues, nor loue one another hartely, than shall ye curse of GOD faull vpon you, so that all that euer ye haue, shall go to hauocke, and be your goodes neuer so manifold, yet shall they come to nogh [...] in shorte space.

Furthermore brynge vp chyldren in the nur­tour of the Lorde. Order your family and house The briging vp of childrē holde vertuously and accordyng to gods worde. Let nothyng appeare in the & in thy wyfe, that maye gyue ony occasion of euell to them that be vnder the. Remember that God hath made the a Bysshop in thyne owne house, and that ther­fore Euery mā is a Byshop in hisowne house. Ezec. iii. and xxxiii. thou must be a diligent ouerfeare and cir­cumspecte in the gouernaunce of them. For yf ony of them that be in housholde wythe the pe­rysh thorowe thy faulte, theyr bloud shall be re­quired of thy hande at the dredfull daye of iudge ment. These thynges to fore cōsydered, & in thy dayly cōuersaciō practised, faull y & thy wyfe to labour, euery one of you, as god hath called you Laboure & pray to God yt he wyl blisse, prosper, fortunate and brynge your labours vnto good effect, and doubte thou not, but that God shall so prouyde for the & thyne, that thou shalte wante no good thyng, as the scripture sayth: Taste and se that Psal. xxxiii. the Lorde is gentle, blyssed is that man, that tru [Page] steth in hym. Feare the Lorde, O all ye that ar [...] his Saynctes, for there is no scasenes to them that feare him. The rytche haue wanted and hō gred, but they that seke after the Lord, shal want no good thyng. Agē, Cast thy care on the Lord, & Psal. xliiii. he shall norysshe the. Awaye therfore wythe thy whoredome, and marry in the Lorde. Let no po­uerte plucke the backe from the holy state of ma trimony.

Another sorte of wyueles people there are, y myght marry yf they woulde, and are of suffici ent habilite, yet do they abstayne from mariage only for plesures sake, because they maye y more frely ronne at rouers, defloure maydes, corrupt wynes, defyle wydowes, and lyue in all kynd of carnall voluptuousnes. For so longe as they be single, they thyncke it no greate offence thus to abuse them selues. Therfore to be bound to one woman only, they recounte it more than twyse an hel, and by this meanes do they continew in a damnable s [...]ate of lyuynge. For the Scripture sayth, neither whoremōgers nor adulterers shal [...]. Cor. vi. Ephe. v. enheryte the kingdome of heauen, All those par­sonnes aforsayde cause that holy wedlocke is so lytle estemed, and that whoredome and adultry is so greatly vsed at this daye.

Hytherto haue I declared howe greatly y ho nour and renowne of holy wedlocke is decayed. [Page] and by what meanes it is come to passe. What remayneth now but that some remedy be foūd? And would God that all men woulde employe theyr endeuour in this behalfe. Woulde God y Ephe. vi. whoredom and adultry were so detested among vs, that it myght not once be named, as ye Apo­stle fayth. Would God that all whorehunters & adulterers were so abhorred among christē mē, that no man would vouchesafe to eate with thē [...]i. Ioan. i. nor to kepe them company, no nor yet to bydde them God spede. Certes it is a thynge much to be wondered at, that whoredome shoulde growe vp into suche heyght, among them that professe How greuou slye adultrye was punis­shed in times paste. The Egipti­ans. the fruytes of the spirite. But what maruell is it, seynge that whoredome nowe a dayes is be­come, but a lusty courageous pastyme of youth & reputed almoost for nosynne at all. We read, that yf a man amonge the Egiptians had bene taken in adultry, he should openly in the presēce of all the people haue bene scourged naked wyth whyppes vnto the nomber of a thousande stry­pes. The woman that was taken wythe hym, I wolde all whores we­re so serued now adayes also. The Arabi­ans. had her nose cut of, wherby she was knowē euer after to be an whore, and therfore abhorred of al men. Among the Arabians, they that were takē in adultry, had theyr heades stryken from theyr bodies. Among the Athenians adulterers were ponyshed by death wythout mercy. In lyke ma­ner [Page] is it at this day among ye Tartari [...]s, & yet The Atheni­ans. The Tarta reans. The Ger­maynes. are they Infidels. If a womā among ye Germai nes in tymes past, had bene conuicte of adultry, she had all the hear of her head cut of, beyng stry ped starke naked, her husband put her out of his dores before his neighbours, and in ye syght of al the people he scourged her wt whyppes about the cytye or towne, and euer after she was so despi­sed, that no man would wouchesafe to marry wt The turke [...] her Amonge the Turkes euen at this day, they that be taken in adultry bothe manne and wo­manne are stonned streyghtewayes to deathe wythoute ony mercye. Was it not so lykewyse The Israeli tes. Leuit. xx. Deu. xxii. among the Israelites by the commaundemente of God?

Thus se we how whoredome and adultry in tymes paste haue bene ponysshed, and yet is in certayne nacions, Woulde GOD it were not laughed at euen amonge them, that moost of all ought to mayntayne the purite and clennes of matrimony. But the redresse of all these moost The ciuile magistrates ought to re­dres all enor mites. greuous enormities partayne vnto ye ciuile ma­gistrates, whose office and duty it is to prouide that all whoredome & adultry be banyshed oute of the boundes of Christendome, that holy wed locke maye once agayne be had in price, & resto­red vnto her olde beauty & pristine glory. Howe this thyng may moost conueniently be brought [Page] to passe, the hygher powers for theyr wysdome and discreciō, wherwyth they be endewed from aboue, shall easely consyder. I beseche God pros­per Age [...]ral ad mo [...]icion. theyr moost godly trauayles in these & suche lyke enterprises, that vertue maye encrease and vice decaye. In the meane season it shallbe very expedient that all men seake to lead an honest, pure, cleane and godly lyfe, and not suffer them selues by no meanes to be spotted wyth the fyl­thy synne of abhominable whoredome, Let thē [...] folke that be marryed seake none other straung com­pany, but let the husbonde be cōtented with his owne wyfe, and the wyfe wythe her owne hus­bonde. Let them that be vnmarryed, and canne [...]aryed. not lyue wtout ye cōpany of a womā, get thē wi­ues of theyr owne, and so lyue godly togither. For it is better to mary, than to burne. And to auoyd fornicacion, sayth the Apostle, lette euery i. Cor. vi [...]. man haue a wyfe of his owne, and euery womā Sīgle li [...]ers an husbonde of her owne. As for suche as entende not to entangle them selues wyth ma­ryage, but determyn to lead a sole and continēt lyfe, let them seake all meanes possible to mayn tayne the same, as by readynge the holy Scrip­tures, by godly meditacions, by contynual pray Cupiens ui ta [...]e Scyllā incidit in Charybdin ers, and suche other vertuous exercyses, vnlesse whil they abstayne f [...]ō ye art of matrimony. Sa tan our olde aduersary drawethe them vnto all [Page] kynde of wickednes, and suche vicious vnclean­n [...]s, Preache [...] Gouernors. as maye not here wythe honeste be named. Let all preachers also in theyr Sermons exhorte ye herers vnto purite of lyfe. Let all fathers and mothers, masters and mastresses with all othe [...] gouernours se that none vncleannes be vsed a­mong them that are vnder them. To conclude, let vs all seake and deuyse all meanes possible, y holy wedlocke maye once agayne be had in such honour, that all whoredome, fornicacion, adul­try, incest and all other vnclennes maye vtterly be abhorred, detested & hated worsse than any ve nemous serpent. And to encourage all manner of persons in this behalfe, I haue sette forth this Treatyse ensewynge of Christen matrimonye, which teacheth so largely all thynges that per­tayne vnto that kynde of lyfe, that who so euer readeth it and practiseth the same. I doubte not, but as he shal be occasioned to forsake all vnclen nes, and to embrace holy matrimony, so shal he be moued to gyue God thankes for the settynge forth of this lytle worke in our maternall tong I beseche GOD, that it maye brynge forthe no lesse frute, than I haue entended by the settynge forthe of it. For well shall it be wythe Christes Chyrche, if they maye once se holy wedlocke had agayne in honoure, and whoredome banysshed oute of the boundis of Christendome.

[Page] This lytle Treatyse (moost gentle master Gryse) for the honest and ryght harty frēdshyp, that hathe euer ben betwene you and me, syns ye fyrst tyme of our acquayntaūce, & for the qui­et and godly conuersacion that I haue euer per­ceaued betwene you and the vertuous Gentle woman your wyfe, and for the godly instituciō and honest bryngyng vp of your chyldren, I de­dicate to you, as a manifest testimony of myne vnfayned loue and ryghte harty a [...]ite towarde you and all yours, desyrynge you frendely to ac cepte this my lytle gyfte, as the present of hym, whiche though he be absent in body, and far frō his natiue contre, yet is he present wyth you in spirite, and wysheth to you, and to so many as tender the glorye of God, and the promocion of his holy word, all good, happy, fortunate & pros­perous thynges in Iesus Christ, our Lorde and omnisufficient Sauiour for all them that repēt beleue vnfaynedly, and walke accordyng to his worde, in whome I bydde you all well to fare. Grace be wyth all them, that loue the Lorde Iesus Christ vn­faynedly.


¶ The Author to the Christen Readers.

AMonge other greuous synnes & shameles blasphemies which in this last euell & pere­lous tyme haue sore encreased, (halas therfore) & preuayled vn to a great nōber. Thys is not ye lest, I meane aduoutry with shameles whore­dome, & all manner of vnclennes in vayne wor des and vnchaste workes. All this nowe cōmeth Uices haue l [...]st theyr [...] mes. bycause yt suche vyces beare no more theyr owne right names, & therfore doth no man esteme thē as they are in them selues, and in the syghte of God. The bloudye murtherer (I nede not here to speke of a rougher name) is called a good bold man of his handes, The vserer is named a good honest man. To be droncken, is to be mery. To [...]ommit whoredome, is called as muche as [...]o ex ercyse the worke of man, and to do as yong fol­kes that can not lyfte them selues vp vnto hea­uen. Many there be, y boast them selues of adul try, yea many make but a iest, mockage & sporte therof. To caste oute vnclenly wordes, [...]nd to synge vayne songes ofrybaudrye, is called good pastyme, yea in many places (the more pitie) it is come so farre, y these & such lyke vices are coū ted no synne, neither is there any thyng rekened [Page] for synne in a maner, saue only to talke of God and hys trueth

For no mā is despised, reproued & resisted for To talke of god and hys worde i [...]coū ted a greate offence. quarellynge, vsury, whoredome, swearynge, ly­enge, dronckennes, glotonny, vayne songes, wor des, talkynges and gestures. But yf ony man speake of God, and reproue suche conuersacion for a vayne and vngodly lyuyng, or do synge of God, or meddle wyth suche songes as are made of [...] gracious worke of the holy Gospel, agaynst falshode, hypocrisy, ydolatry and vice. He maye not be suffered, he shall soone be despysed as one that slaundereth honest folkes, & medleth withe newe straunge thynges. Wherfore seyng y such Whoredome nowe a day­es is shame­les & comon. vices haue loste theyr owne ryghte names? and shame is become honeste, we haue thys fruyte therof, that the vnclennes of shamefull whore­dome and aduoutry, is nowe become altogither common & shameles in the worlde. For thoughe some nowe onely of an euell custome, some tho­rowe the ignoraunce of Gods worde, resorte af­ter vngrarious cōpany and folysh pastyme, yet for the moost parte do they followe whoredome and aduoutrye in ydelnes, euen of a shamefull wycked purpose.

They also that lyue in wedlocke, & committ [...] Wycked ly­uers in wed­locke. neyther whoredome nor aduoutrye lyue yet so miserable in other poyntes, that thorowe theyr [Page] [...]ersacion nyther God is praysed, nor them sel­ues set in quietnes of conscience, neyther are o­ther men edified therby. Hereof spryngeth nowe an horrible blasphemy in the whole congregaci­on of all esta [...]es and lyues. For the chyldrē that are brought vp in suche abhominacions, & haue sene nothynge but vyce (whan they also come to mariage and common offices, lyue as they haue learned, sene, and are accustomed, euen fleshely, shamefully, vaynely, rudely, vnfrendely, vnma­nerly, vnchristenly, and plant none other thynge saue only that whiche they haue of them selues. This commethe also, bycause that wedlocke is not kepte as it ought to be, and because it proce­deth euell, euen wythout God, and agaynste the lawe of equite.

Many knowe not who dyd institute and or Errours a­boute Ma­trimony. dayne holy wedlocke, nor what wedlocke is, ne­ther for what intente it oughte to be embraced. Many haue respecte onely vnto goodes, y they maye be rytche, or come into great frendeshyp & make an hand. Many take wedlocke vpon them as another common custome, because that after the course of the worlde, they wyll do as other fo [...]es.

Truethe it is, that in many places there is earnest preachyng agaynst suche abhominacion and vyce, but the worde of preachyng prospereth [Page] not on euery syde For al dominions, cities, coū ­trees Why thys boke was compyled. and people wyll not gyue place to the hole some doctrine of the Gospell. For asmuche also as that which is wrytten, endureth longer and goethe further than it that is spoken, therfore haue I gatheredde this booke concernyng holye wedloke, and sent it oute in wrytyng: specially to the confusiō, diminys [...]hyng and wastynge of al the forsayd vnclennes: to the honoure, prayse, commendacion and plantyng of true clennesse, for the good instruccion of symple marryed peo ple: to the intente also that wedlocke maye well proceade and be kepte, & that nothynge be done amysse, thorowe ignoraunce or euel custome, or for faulte of doctrine. To the intente also that all vertue and honeste maye preuayle, and that men maye walke soberly accordynge to the com maundement of the Lorde. For this is y wyll & commaundement of the Lorde (as Paule sayth) euen that we shoulde be holy, that we should re­frayne i. Thes ii ii. from whoredome and vnclennes, yt eue­ry one of vs, know, how to kepe his vessel in ho lynes and honour, not in the luste of concupis­cence, as do the heithē, whiche knowe not God. For this intent is all our enterpryse, y true cha­stite & clenlynesse maye be described vnto euery man, & that fylthy condicions may be auoyded God graunt his grace therto.


The christen state

¶ The begynnynge & fyrste originall of holy wedlocke, whan, wher, how, and by whome it was ordined and instituted. ¶ The fyrst Chapter.


WHā our Lord Iesus Christ in the r [...]r. of Mathewe, was spoken to in [...]ertayne poyntes concernynge wedlocke, he hadde a respecte behynde hym in to the olde Testament, & gaue answere [Page] oute of Moses, that he sayd, howe that wedlocke at the beginynge was ordyned of God himselfe. For as muche therfore as I nowe also am myn ded to speake of the begynnynge and fyrst origi­nall of holy wedlocke, I [...]owe no better, thā in lyke manner to stablysh the same out of ye ryght excellēt Prophet of God Moses, who writeth & testifieth in the secōd Chapter of his fyrst boke, yt God made the mā Adā altogyther perfect, set h [...] in the Paradise or garden of pleasure, and after ward sayd immediately: It is not good that mā should be alone. I wyll make hym a fellowe hel­per to stand nexte by hym. For whan the Lorde The p [...]ate Gen. ii. Playnelye [...]ed had shapen man oute of the earth, he brought vn to hym all maner of beastes, that he myght giue euery one his right name, howe it should be cal­led, & that he might looke vpon thē. But among thē al found he none apte to be ioyned vnto him selfe, none that he could set his harte vpon, none lyke hym selfe, none that he myghte dwell by as by an helper and conforter. And vpon this sayd God: It is not good, that man should be alone. And therfore determined he withe hym selfe, to make an helpe and conforte vnto man. In the whiche processe we perceaue alreadye, where ho­ly Wed locke was institu­ted of God [...] [...]aradyse. wedlocke was instituted, namely in the Pa­radise and garden of pleasure: yea and whan it was ordined, euen in the begynnyng of ye world [Page ii] before the fall of mā in all prosperite. Of whom also it was instituted euen of no Aungel or mā but of God hymselfe, doubtles to mannes great conforte and healpe. For in as much as god him selfe sayth: It is not good for man to be alone: It followeth, that it is good for man to haue his owne lawfull mate. As for that cu [...]l which some tyme is sene and sound among maried parsons, it commeth not chefely of holy wedlocke, but of the misusyng therof, and because men do not as God commaundeth and as they shulde do.

Nowe wyll we farther consyther, howe God dyd institute holy wedlocke, & he hymselfe made a companion for man, and brought him a wife. It followe the thus in Moses: Then the Lorde God cast a slomber on Adā, and he slepte. And The creaci [...] of the wom [...] he toke out one of his rybbes, and in stede therof hefylle [...] vp the place wyth flesh: And thus oydde God make the woman, out of the rybbe that he had taken from Adam. Of this maner dyd god make for man a companion, lyke vnto hymselfe, and mete for hym. Here nowe ought we to consi der the occasion, why GOD made the woman out of the slepynge man, and not whyle he was awake. Of the rybbe, & not as well of the earthe, as he had made the man to fore. For all this ser ueth to the declaracion of our purpose.

Fyrst in the slepe of Adam, dyd he set forthe y [Page] death of Christ, out of the which (vnto the same Lorde Christ) there is prepared a pure and holy spouse in the Fountayne of water thorowe the worde, as Paule sayth to the Ephesians y fyfte Chapter Of suche health and grace of GOD should marryed folkes also haue vnderstādynge and knowledge. Moreouer his mynde is to sig­nifye vnto vs that in takyng holy wedlocke in hand, all tētacions should slepe. The ordinaūce regard, and feare of God, ought to ioyne them togither, that are disposed to marry. The wo­man was taken from and out of the syde of mā and not from the earthe, least ony man shoulde thyncke that he had gotten his wyfe oute of the myer: but to considre, that the wife is ye husbon­des flesh and bone, and therfore to loue her. yet was she not made of the head. For the husbond is the head and master of the wyfe. Nether was she made of the feete (as thoughe thou mighteste spurne her away frō the, & nothyng regard her) but euen out of thy syde, as one that is set next vnto man, to be his helpe & companion. And as the bone of the flesh is strong, so ought the hus­band to be the strengthe, healpe & conforte of the wyfe. Therfore was she also taken and created oute of the ryb or bone, and not out of the fleshe.

But in the circumstaūce that followeth, shal euery thing be more playne afterward. For now [Page iii] it followeth howe God gaue the woman vnto man, and how that he receaued and toke her.

God brought the woman vnto Adam, and as it is euident in the fyrst Chapter) he blyssed them and sayde vnto them, growe and multiplye, and Adā & Eu [...] were maried togither. fyll the earth. Out of the which wordes we may perceaue clerely, that God was the fyrst causer of wedlocke, and fyrst dyd knyt them togyther, & blyssed them. Nowe as soone as the womā was brought vnto Adam, & gyuen vnto him, he sayd immediately: this is once bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. Afore dyd Adam beholde & con­sidre all beastes and lyuynge creatures here vpō earth, and gaue euery one his peculiare name ac cordyng to his kynde, but among all thynges ly­uynge he found none, to whome he myght beare an harte and mynde, namely to dwell by it, to loue it, and of it to procreate one lyke vnto him selfe. And therfore is it reason, that wythe fyre they be punyshed vnto death, which agaynst all kynde and nature of man, haue to do with bea­stes, and not only with women.

As soone now as the woman was set before Adā, he knowledged immmediatly, that she was Occasion of loue and con sent into ma riage. for his purpose, that he lyked her well, & that he could fynde in his harte to loue her, as one that was of his owne kynde, of his owne bloud, flesh of his fleshe, and bone of his bone. For thoughe [Page] he slepte, and the woman was created out of his rybbe, yet sawe he well that she was lyke hym & suche one as he hytherto had not found amonge all other lyuynge creatures. God also had plāted thē the kynde, the loue, the harte, the inclinacion & naturall affeccion that it besemeth the one to haue towarde the other. Lyke as Adā nowe had [...]yuen all other beastes theyr names according to the fyrst originall & operacion of theyr kynd, so gyueth he nowe a name also vnto the wyfe, & calleth her Ischa, that is to say, of man, because she was taken out of the man.

Thē foloweth it farther in Moses. For this cause shall a mā leaue his father and mother, & cleaue vnto his wyfe, & they two shalbe into one flesh. These wordes doth Adam (or t [...]s Moses) The knotte & coueuaunt of mariage. speake yet out of the mouth of God, & therby de clarethe the dewty knot and couenaūt of maried folkes, namely that the hyghest loue, bonde and vnite among them, should be this, that no man separate them asunder, but only deathe. This de clareth he with two speciall poyntes. Fyrst, the [...] is no mā (nexte vnto God) derer vnto vs by all reason, thē is our father and mother. But whā they wyll make discorde betwene maried folkes, God commaūdeth a man in that behalfe to for­sake father & mother, & to kepe hym to his wyfe. The loue therfore in mariage ought to be nexte [Page iiii] vnto God) aboue all loues. The seconde: They two, saythe he, shall be into one fleshe, that is to saye, one body. Nowe lyke as the greatest loue, the moost excellent and vnpayneful seruyce, di­ligence and earnest labour, is in the partes of a mās body, one doyng for another, one louynge, defendyng, helpyng & forbearynge another, suffe rynge, also lyke ioye & lyke payne one with ano­ther. Euen so ought it to be betwene man & wo man in wedlocke. And lyke as the partes of a mans body seperate not thē selues one frō ano­ther afore death, euē so must wedlocke be a knot vnlooseable. And lyke as the partes of a mans body, whan they are sundred one from another conceaue an exceadynge great anguysh, dolour and payne, euen so ought it to he an exceadynge grefe for marryed folkes to be seperated.

And thus Moses, ouer & besydes that he de­clareth ye fyrst originall of holy wedlocke, layeth also the foundacion of lawes matrimonyal, out of the which all other statutes are taken. After the fall of Adā & Eue, there was nothyng added further vnto wedlocke, neyther altered in those thynges that were ordyned, sauyng that, by rea­son of the faull and synne, there was sorow and payne layd vpon thē both, and vpon vs all. For vnto man it was sayd: In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat thy bread. &c. And vnto the womā [Page] sayde God: I wyll surelye encreace thy sorowe whan thou art with chylde, & wythe payne shal [...] thou be delyuered, and to ye husbande shalt thou haue respecte, and vpon his pleasure depende. Neuertheles thorowe thy vnfayned fayth in Ie­sus Chryst, all these & other grefes are minished in them that beleue, and therby vnperfectenesse is helped, in so muche that they come to a verye prosperous olde age many tymes.

Thus much thought I to shew out of Moses that excellēt seruaūte of God, whā, where, how, of whom, & partly for what intent, holy wedlock was instituted namely, how that God himselfe in Paradyse, at y begynnyng of the world (euē in the tyme of mās innocēcy & prosperite) ordey­ned thus for the welth of mā, that one mā & one womā ioyned togither shulde be one bodye, one to loue the other aboue al thinges next vnto god the one to be coupled to the other without sepa­racion, one to helpe & socour y other, and in the f [...]are of God to bring vp theyr childrē, And this is in a maner the whole summe of the one parte of this boke.

The seconde Chapter.

What wedlocke is.

FOr vpon the sayde foundacyon will I laye [...] set forth all my worke folowynge. And fyrst wyll I shewe what wedlocke is. Thā whan I haue descrybed the same, I shall open & [Page v] declare the articles therof particularly.

That we call wedlock, is in the Germaynes Wedlock [...] tonge called Ee, which as it is a very old word, so is it somtyme taken for a law or statute, som tyme for a bonde or couenaūte. Thus is the old testamente called the law or the olde couenaunt, the new Testament, the newe law or ye newe co uenaunt: because that ther in consisteth not one lye the lawe that god gaue to the olde and newe people, but also the couenaunte whiche he made with them bothe. The latinistes cal it Coniugi urn, a ioyninge or yokinge together, like as whā two oren are coupled vnder one yoke, they beare or drawe together like burthen and wayghte.

Therfore is wedlocke a couenaunte, a cou­plinge Ayo kyng together. or yokynge together. Nowe yf wedlocke be not the couplynge or yokynge together of one thing, thē must it be excepted, from other knyt­tinges, and we must geue vnto it the owne na­ture & propertie pertayninge to it selfe. Namclye that it is a ryghte knotte vnto god acceptable ayokinge together of one manne and one womā withe the good cōsente of them bothe. Here vnto also must we adde, why & wherfore they shoulde and must be yoked together. Euen to the intent that they maye lyue honestlye and frendlye the one with the other, that they maye auoyde vn­clennesse, that they maye brynge vp children in [Page] the feare of god, that the one maye helpe and cō ­forte the tother.

Out of thys maye we comprehende a shorte What wed lacke is. descryption of wedlocke, and saye. Wedlocke is a lawefull knotte and vnto God an acceptable yokynge together of one man and one woman with the good consent of them both, to the intēte that they two maye dwell together in frende­shyppe & honestye, one helping and confortynge the tother, eschuynge vnclennesse, & bryngynge vp chyldren in the feare of god Or els set it after this maner folowyng: Wedlocke is the yokynge together of one man & one woman, whome god hath coupled accordynge to his worde, with the consente of thē both, from thence forthe to dwell together, and to spend theyre lyfe in the equall pertakynge of all suche thinges as god sendeth, to the intent that they maye bring forth childrē in the feare of hym, that they maye auoyde whor dome, and that (accordynge to Gods good plea­sure (the one maye helpe and conforte the other,

¶ The thyrd Chapter.

¶ The declaracion of wedloke thus described.

NOwe wyll we playnely open euery par­cel of the sayd descripcion from article to article, & (wt testimony of the scriptures) proue and establysh the same, where nede is.

[Page vi] Fyrst that wedlocke is the couplyng togithe [...] Onemā an [...] one woman. of one man and one woman, not of one man & m [...] women, or of one woman and mo men, the Lorde himselfe affyrmeth it Math. xix. and so is it wtytten also in the seconde of Genesis. Nowe where as some of the holy fathers had more wy­ues than one, those were but the Actes of certen priuate men, and not such general examples, as are thorowly to be followed.

Agayne, the priuate dede of some, or of many men, make no common lawe. The Lorde in the fore rehearsed place of Mathewe, dyd alleadge & renew y olde law of mariage agayne. Therfore he that nowe wyll bryng in the multitude of wi ues, shall follow more the rule of Mahumet, th [...] of Christ.

Moreouer by yokynge, ioynyng, or couplyng do I vnderstande not only an outwarde dwel­lynge togyther, but also an vniforme agremen [...] of mynd, & a comon participacion of bodye and goodes, for asmuch as the Lord sayth playnely: And they two, shall be into one flesh, that is, one body. But of this we shall speake further after­ward, whā we come to treat of the consentyng.

Furthermore, wedlocke must not onely be a couplyng togyther, but it must also be such a cou plynge togither as commeth of God, and is not contrary to hys worde and wyll. For where as [Page] certayne men do alleadge out of the holy gospell (what God hath cowpled togyther, let not man separate) & conclude theron, that whan two par­sonnes come once togyther, & the one hath taken the other, it must nedes be fast, & no man maye breake ye band. Such mē haue not so good respect to the wordes of the Lorde, as they shoulde. For the Lord sayd not▪ what so euer is coupled togy­ther, ought not or maye not be separated. But thus he sayd: What God hath coupled togither Let not man separate y God hathe coupled togi ther. let not man separate. Therfore must it be con­sidered not only whether two parsons come to­gyther, but muche rather whether it be done wt God or no. That thyng is wyth God, which is not done agaynst his commaundemēt & worde.

There be many whome God coupled not to gyther, but carnal lust, mony, good, flattery, drō kennes, a fleshely arme and frendeshyppe, where God is not thought vpon, & therfore synne they the more agaynst hym. It is wrytten in y syxte Chapter of Genesis: The sonnes of God sawe the doughters of men, that they were fayre, and toke vnto them wyues such as lyked thē. Wher­by euery man maye perceaue, that ther was loue & lust, a consent & couplyng togyther, but ther­fore plesed it not God. The same maner of [...]oo ynge dothe the Lorde recyte also in the. xxiiii. of Mathew, and sayth: As they were in the dayes [Page vii] afore the floude, they dyd eate, they dyd dryncke, they marryed & were maryed, euē vntyl the day that Nohe entered into the Arke, & they regarded it not, tyll the floud came and toke them all a­waye. Thus also shall the cōmyng of the sonne of man be.

There is no man nowe so dull, as to thyncke that it is synne to marry. Therfore was not that reprehended as thoughe it were a synfull & vnright thyng to marry, but because they came [...] togyther after the worde of the Lorde, yea rather they followed theyr owne tētacions as I sayde afore. Wherfore Esdras dyd separate di­uers mariages, yea euē of those that bore a good affecciō y one to the other, & were coupled togy­ther. Diuor [...] For it was not God, but theyr owne tenta cions that ioyned thē. Esdras ye. x. chap. The yo kyng thā of maryed folkes togyther must be fra med ryght accordyng to the word & wyll of god.

¶ The fourth Chapter.

The ryght couplyng togyther of Christen folkes in mariage.

CErtayne poyntes now shall I set forth, to the whiche those faythefull Christen men must haue respecte, yt entende to take holy wedlocke vpō thē, accordyng to ye wyll & plesure of god. Fyrst though mariage also concerne the soule and inwarde man, yet pertayneth it lyke­wyse [Page] to the outwarde thynges, that are subdued Statutes & lawes matri montall ma­de by rulers. to the hygher powers. For where as faythful ru lers haue ordeyned, good apte, and conuenient statutes and ciuile lawes, suche ought no reaso­nable Christen man to resist, but muche rather is he bounde to obey them, lyke as the holy Apo­stle Peter hath wrytten and taught. i. Petre. ii. Be ye subiecte ( [...]ayth he) to all ciuile ordinaun­ces of men for the Lordes sake. The hygher pow ers haue authorite to make Ciuile lawes in out warde thynges. And who so withstondeth such, bothe wythstonde the ordinaunce of God, and therfore shall God ponysh hym, as Paule testi­fyeth. Roma. xiii.

Secondely, the Lorde saythe. Deutero. vii. Religiō and faythe must be considred youre doughters shall ye not gyue to theyr son­nes (meanyng the vnfaythfull & Infidelles) and theyr doughters shall ye not take for youre son­nes. Therfore in goynge about mariage, a chri­sten man must fyrst looke that in handfastynge hymselfe to a woman he make no diuorce of the true fayth, or brynge it into parell. For it follo­weth in the lawe. For they shall make your son­nes to fall away from me, and to serue strating Goddes. And then shall the indignacion of the Lorde waxe whotte ouer you, and destroye you shortely. Neuerthelesse yf there be no daunger of faulyng awaye from Goddes trueth, or of hur [Page viii] tyng the same, then (concernyng mariage) it ma keth no matter though the partie dwell amonge Infidelles, or come of vnfaythefull fathers and mothers, For Booz, whiche was grandefather to Iesse Dauids father, married a Cananite of Ierico euen [...]uth, whom the Euangelist recy­teth in the Genelogy of Christ Iesu mat. i. For she was right faythfull, & abhorred al ydolatry.

Elles yf there be parell presente, that the one shalbe caryed away vnto errour, then hath not onely the lawe in the olde Testamente spoken there agaynst, but Paule also commaundeth in the second to the Corinthians the sixte chapter, sayeng: Beare not a straūg yoke with infidels. For what felowshyp hathe righteousnes wythe vnryghteousnes? What company hathe lyghte with darkenesse? What concorde hathe Christe wyth Belial? Or what parte hathe the beleuer with an Infidell? How agreeth the Temple of God wyth Idolles: Ye are the Temple of ye ly­uyng God. &c.

Mariage is a cōmon participacion of mynde body, & goodes. Now sayth Paule: What vnyte can a faythfull beleuer haue wyth and infydeler. The vnbeleuer cleueth to vnrighteousnesse, to darkenesse, to ypocrysye, to erroure, euen vnto the deuell and to ydolatry. Agayne: the faith­full beleuer despyseth, abhorreth & condemnethe [Page] all such thinges, loueth righteousnes, the trueth of the Gospel, the lyght, euen the Lord, and hath God lyuyng in hym. How wyll these two now drawe one yoke, whiche are of suche a contrary mynde? To drawe one yoke, is a maner of spe­kyng and is as muche to say, as to haue fellow shyp, and to yoke thē selues togither in wedlock To beare a strasig yoke, is it to take an vnfaith What it is to beare a [...] yoke ful mate, or one to gyue ouer himselfe vnto such thynges, as maye alienate hys mynde frō God & his trueth. And verely what womā so euer ta­keth an vnbeleuyng mā, must drawe after hym in vnbeleue, yea & do, se, & heare that whiche is cleane contrary vnto fayth, and hurteful to her soule. The chyldren also shalbe brought vp in in fidelite. And thoughe it come not to passe whyle the parentes be alyue, yet happeneth it after the death of the faythfull? Whyle such yoked folkes also are alyue, there is no tranquilite: & finally the beleuer must be in continuall discorde wyth the vnbeleuer, or els must he graunt vnto her & so do agaynst God, agaynst his own soule, and agaynst his conscience. Therfore must we take good aduisement afore hand, leest we yoke oure selues, our frēdes or our chyldren with vnfayth ful people, to the great hurt of our selues & ours

Thou wylt say: For asmuch now as I haue An obiection an infidell to my mate. I perceaue that ther can [Page ix] be no mariage betwene hym and me, therfore wyll I departe from hym. To this doth Paul The soluciō aunswere the. i. Cor. vii. yf a brother (that is to saye a Christē man) haue an vnbeleuyng wyfe & she be content to dwell wyth hym, let hym not departe from her. And yf an womā haue an vn beleuyng husbonde, & he consent to dwell wythe her, let her not departe from hym. For the vnbe leuyng husbonde is sanctifyed by the wyfe, and the vnbeleuynge wyfe is sanctifyed by the hus­band. Els were your chyldren vnclene, but now are they holy. But and yf the beleuyng departe, lette hym departe. A brother or a sister is not in subieccion to suche. But in peace hath God cal led vs. &c. We must therfore put a difference be­twene it that is done already, and it that is yet to do. A wedlocke is it (no doubte) that after the common custome and law is openly and iuste­ly celebrated, of euery man estemed for wedlock. But yf in the same there be any erroure or ble­mysh, that errour should not be defended or bro ught into other mariages. Neyther oughte men therfore immediately to conclude & saye: Myne vnsemely mariage is therfore no mariage at al.

Wherfore, whyle the matter is not yet past, euery man ought to beware, that he nether hys be snared in daunger. We can note well the ble­myshes of the body, much more ought we to con [Page] sidre the blemyshes of the soule. We should take ensample by Salomon, seyng it is manifest, vn to what poynte the vnbeleuing women brought hym, although he was the wysest amonge men vpon earth. But whan the matter is done alre­dy, let euery mās mynd be to kepe that thyng y God hath called hym vnto, and do that mooste conuenient is, makynge faythfull prayer vnto God, and followynge the counsayle of the holye Apostle Peter, whiche (i. Pet. iii.) he gaue to the women that haue vnbeleuyng husbōdes, sayēg: Let the wyues be in subieccion to theyr husbon­des, that euen they which beleue not the worde, maye without the worde be wonne by the good conuersacion of the wyues, whan they se youre chaste lyuyng in the feare of God.

It plesed not Paul, that in wedlocke al hope should be sodenly cast of for vnbeleues sake, and vyolence ministred to seperacion. For in ye fore recyted place to the Corinthians he sayth after this manner. For what knowest thou woman, whyther thou shalte saue the man or no? Or yu manne, whether thou shalte wynne the woman or no?

Wherfore he that is snared in such a case, let him call vpō God, and lyue in his fear, in fayth fulnes, in pacience, in long sufferynge, in discre­cion soberly and in vnfayned loue. Yet let euery [Page x] Christen mā take hede, that for his wyues sake [...]e consent to none ydolatry, neyther defyle him selfe withe the workes of vnbelefe. Lette euery man remember the wordes of the Lorde: Who so loueth father or mother, wyfe or childrē, sister or brother, londe or substaunce, more then me, is not worthy of me. But let hym alway cry vpō God for succoure, counsayle, conforte and helpe. So shall he faythefully not onely shewe hys lo­uynge kyndenes, but also fynde remedy, and de­clare hys healpe.

¶ The fyfth Chapter.

To a ryght mariage, must chyldrē also haue the consent of theyr parentes.

MOreouer lyke as God & faythe shoulde not be denyed or forsakē wythe ye mari­age, euē so they whiche are nexte to god (as father & mother ought not to be neglected & Marke wel. despysed. For though God sayd: A mā shall for­sake father & mother, & kepe him to his wyfe, yet those his wordes in ye same place, are cōcerninge mariage yt is made alredy (what duty they ye are maried owe ye one to ye other) & are not touching the contractyng of wedlocke, that chyldren may mary, without the respecte, knowledge or cōsent of theyr parētes, vnder whose authorite & iuris­diccion they be. And I wonder what the papisti call bokes & learned men dyd meane, whan they [Page] taught that the consent only of both the parties doth fastē the matter, & coupleth thē togither in mariage: The cōsent of ye parētes also, say they is good with all, but whan they two haue cōsen ted, and one hath taken the other, ye knot can not be vnknyt, neyther maye the parentes seperate thē from a sunder Wher as lawes both natural (diuine specially) and ciuile, require the parētes consent to the chyldrens mariage: In so much yt they iudge the promyse to be of no value, which is made without the knowledge of the parentes yea & that also in those chyldrē, which as yet are not come to theyr yeares, & are yet vnder the tui cion of theyr elders. Forin as much as the chyl­drē are not yet come to perfecte discreciō they cā not cōtracte mariage which requireth vnderstā dyng, yea they can nether coūsayle nor helpe thē selues. So y in this behalfe y cōsent of theyr pa­rentes is not only necessary but also good & pro fitable for thē, As for preuy cōtractes which are not made according to the lawes, they haue euer bene reiected, neyther were they acceptable to a­ny Preuy con­tractes. man, saue vnto suche as were ignoraunt and wycked. For why: for the moost parte they are made of some fond affecciō, yea knauery, falshod & disceate is commōly the doer, to persuade, & by wordes to take yong folkes in the snare. Many priuy cōtractes are brought to passe wt flattery, [Page xi] wyth dronckennes, wyth rewardes & promises, wherby young ignoraunt people are vtterly be­gyled & destroyed. To gyue liberte & licēce vnto suche, is euen as muche as to gyue a mad mā a swerd, & a knyfe to a yong chyld, yea a very slaū Note. dering is it & a dishonouryng of mariage. Diso bediēce of chyldrē also toward theyr parentes & tutours, hath euer bene reprehended among all naciōs. God cōmasideth and sayth: Thou shalte honour thy father & thy mother. Nowe doth the E [...]d. xx. Chyldrenne must honour theyr paren­tes. Isaac. obediēce or disobediēce of ye chyldrē at no time de clare it selfe more than in contractynge of wed­locke. Greater honour canst thou not shew vn­to thy parentes, than whan thou followest thē herein: neyther greater dishonoure than whan thou herein resistest them. Esau displeased hys parētes very sore, in takyng his wyfe wtout their cōsent. Iacob followed theyr mynd & was cōmē ­ded. This commaundement also of honouryng our parētes, dyd our Lord Christright faythful ly, cōmit vnto vs. Math. xv. In the. vii. of Deu. doth God gyue this charge vnto his people say enge: You shal not marry your sonnes & dough ters to the vnbeleuers. By the whyche wordes we maye well vnderstande, that the authorite of marryeng yonge folkes, lyeth in the parentes & not in them selues, Wherfore Abraham before the lawe charged his seruaunt Elieser, that con­cernynge [Page] the contractynge of mariage betwene Isaac & Rebecca he shulde do his message wythe Bathuell and not specially wythe Rebecca her selfe. The seruaunt also dyd hys eacande to the parentes and not to the daughter, althoughe he founde her alone wythoute by the well syde (and had tyme, place and occasion sufficient so to do. This lawe dyd Sampson obserue. Iudicū. xiiii. For though he had found & spyed a damsell that Sampson. pleased hym, yet he toke her not, but fyrst shewed hys parentes, brought them wyth hym vnto her & toke her wyth the knoweledge and consent of hys father and mother.

In the seconde boke of Moses, the. xxii. Chap Note thys precepte. ter doth God commaund thus. If a man begyle a mayd that is not detrouthed, and lye with her he shall endote her, and take her to hys wyfe. If her father refuse to gyue her vnto hym, he shall paye mony accordynge to the dowry of virgins. Here dothe GOD gyue the father authorite to take hys doughter from the man, to whome she is promysed els by the lawe. Therfore maye the parentes drawe the chyldren agayne to theyr iu risdiccion. For this is a singuler great thynge, that the father hathe authorite, to take his for­ced doughter from the man, and to wythdrawe her from hym, to whome she was promysed by the lawe. In the fourth boke of Moses the thyr­ty [Page xii] Chapter it is wrytten thus: If a damsel vow Chyldrē may make no vo we nor pro­myse [...] the parentes consent. a vowe vnto the Lorde, & bynde her selfe beynge in her fathers house and vnmaryed: yf her fa­ther heare her vowe and bond whiche she hathe made vpon her soule, and hold his peace therto, then all her vow and bond which she hath made vpon her soule, shall stand in effecte. But and yf her father forbyd her the same day that he hea reth it, thā none of her vowes nor bōdes whiche she hath made vpon her soule shalbe of [...]alue. &c. Although nowe in these sayde wordes of God, there is no marryage but vowes expressed and named, yet is it an euident testimonye, that no chyld which is not y [...]t come to hys yeares, and is yet vnder the tuicion of his parentes, hathe aucthorite to vowe, bynde, or alter it selfe wyth­out theyr consent, yea yf any suche vowe or alte racion do chaunce, that then the parentes haue a [...]thorite by the lawe of GOD, to lette and hynder the same. For in as muche as. God per­mytteth to vnbynde it, and wyll not that it shal be of any effecte, whiche wythout consent of the parentes is promised to hym selfe, no doubte, he wyll not that it shall stande immutable whiche in disobedience is wylfully done without the pa tentes consent.

The holy Apostle Paule in the fyrste Chap, of ye fyrst Epist. to Timo. amonge many other [Page] greuous synnes, rekenethe also the stealynge a­way Mēstealers of men, whiche is a shamefull vyce, whan mens children, seruauntes or suche other folkes as belong vnto them, are caried awaye or enty­sed frō them, Whan a wicked, sotel & shamelesse woman, entyceth an ygnoraunte yonge mā frō his father, which with great expenses trauayle & laboure hath brought him vp, whan she blyn­deth him with loue, and at the laste gettethe him awaye vnder the title of mariage: Or whan a wanton and fayre tongued fellowe entycethe a damesell from hyr mother, and than (vnder the tytle of mariage) conueyeth her awaye, what is it els but menne stealyng:

Thus I trust it is manifest out of gods word and the lawe, that to the laweful mariage of the children, the consente of the parentes also is ne­cessary, and that the chyldren oughte not to cast theyr parentes a syde: & yf they do, that then the parētes maye refuse and dysanull the chyldrens promyse.

The eyuyle and Imperyall lawe requyrethe also the consent of the parentes, as it is many­feste The eiuile lawe. libro Pandeet. xxiii. Iustinian the Empe­rour Instit libro. i. tit. xi. wryteth after this ma­ner, lawfullye & ordinatelye do they cōtract ma­riage one with another, whiche come together after the cōmaundementes: & lawes yonge men [Page xiii] whan they are olde ynough to take wyues, and yonge wemen whan they are of conuentent age to take husbōdes: but so that they haue the cōsēt of theyr parētes, vnder whose auctorite they be. That this shalbe so, wyllethe and chargethe the lawe eyuyle & naturale in so much that the fa­thers cōmaundement must go before: These be Iustinians wordes, which are so manifeste and euydēt, that they nede no further declaracyon.

Upon this do some men thinke, that theyr ma riage is no mariage, & that the one of thē shulde nowe be separated frō the other seyng it is so lōg sens they were cōtract agaynst the wyll of theyr parentes. But such personnes ought to considre that theyr parentes dyd not put the frō a sunder & therfore is theyr wedlocke now a lawfull wed locke, inasmuch also as in processe of tyme theyr parentes were reconcyled. And thoughe it were not so, yet openly accordynge to the custome of the comen lawes were they permitted to mary, & were solemply receaued in to wedlock, lyuynge honestely together, haue had chyldren, exercysed all dewties of mariage. Therfore ought they by reason to cōtinew styll in theyr matrymony & [...] al poyntes to applye thē selues to ye feare of god

Some turne thē selues another waye & sayes Thorowe such lawes are the poore snared, that they can neuer come to anye riche mariage, for [Page] the rytch wyll not geue theyr chylorē to the poore Wherby it may easely be perceaued, where the shoo wringethe them, that resiste thys aunciente good and reasonable lawe. Theyr harpynge is Note. vpon theyr halfepeny, theyr mynd is to be riche with mariage: neyther are the satisfyed to haue takē awaye the chylde agaynste the fathers and mothers will, but agaynst theyr myndes wolde they haue the good also. These take not the child because of mariage, but for the goodes sake.

Thus doth iniquite discloose it selfe, that a man maye well perceaue, what it is that some menne seake in mariage. A reasonable manne whe­ther he be rytche or poore wyll allwaye haue re­specte vnto the feare of god, to honestye, to faith fulnesse, to laboure and vertue, and not to the Themisto­cles bagge of moneye. Themistocles desyred rather to haue a wyfe, discrete and a prudent personne then one that was rytche. But who so hathe more respecte to worldly substaunce, thē to ho­nestye and knowlege, is a shamefull personne: lyke as he also that hyghly estemeth suche a mās Virtus post nu [...]os. frendshyppe, and desyreth it for moneyes sake.

Nowe be as be maye: Who soeuer is greued with this lawe towchynge the consent of the pa rētes, let him laye awaye hys gredye desyre, hys bragging and his fond affeccyon, and lette hym haue respect vnto god and vnto equytye. Lette hym cōsidre well the worde of the Lorde. What [Page xiiii] thou wylte not haue done vnto thy selfe, that do not thou to other. So shall the law be more light vnto hym, and the more easy to beare.

¶ The syxte Chapter.

The parētes ought not to constrayne theyr chyldren to matrimony, nether to marry thē afore thyr tyme.

IN this poynte also ought not the parētes to take to much vpō thē selues because of theyr authoritie, neyther to abuse it, or to compell theyr chylde, eyther because of fylthy aduaun­tage or lothesomnes in takyng payne) to let him go, & haue no respecte vnto hym. For an vngod­ly and vnhappy thyng is it in the cause of mary age to cōpell a yonge mā agenst his wyl, to take suche one as he hath no harte vnto. For in mari age ought to be the full consent of both parties, wt the consent of theyr parentes. Lykewyse also A good ad­monicion. whā a son or doughter are come to theyr yeares & ful discresion, but are of theyr parētes in ye me ane season not looked vnto, & so afterward with a good aduise & deliberaciō do honestly mary to gyther. Then ought the father well to considre, that thorow hys owne wrongful & vnrighteous demeanour, he hath lost his authorite as towe­chyng hyndryng & breakyng of that mariage.

For seyng that the parentes do not looke to the chyldren, nor make such prouision for thē as pa­rentes [Page] & tutours ought to do (& therfore are be­come nothyng lesse thē the parētes) why would they thē require of chyldrē such obediēce, by the whiche the chyldren myght fall and peryshe in y daunger & snare of the dyuel: In suche causes ve rely is not a Christen man subiecte nor bonde, in as muche as all the lawes of God do extende & serue for the honeste, welfare, and preseruaciō of man, and not for his destruccion. It hath oft tymes bene founde in dede, that suche mariages [...]ontracted euen agaynst the wylles of suche vn faythfull and couetous parentes, haue ben pro­sperous, holy, and acceptable vnto God. Not wt ­standyng my purpose is, nother to cōmende the foolyshe affeccions, nether the wicked & wanton behauoure of certayne yonge wylfull personnes that feare not God. In summa, the measures ought here to be a lyke longe: euen thus, lyke as the chyldren must haue respecte to theyr parētes & not wylfully despyse them or cast them of: So shulde not the parentes wythout ony petie com pell theyr chyldren to mariage afore theyr tyme neyther wyckedly neglecte them, nor leaue them vnprouided for in dewe season. Good lawes, iust rulers, the feare of God and discreciō, shall moderate this matter well ynough. Hereof also shall we treate more largely, in the Chapter of the consentynge.

[Page xv] Furthermore the age or yeares of the chyldrē Mariage be fore the time must well be considered of the parentes. For an vnnaturall and vnhonest thynge is it, to mary younge folkes, whiche yet haue not attayned to theyr lawful and iust yeares. Many great sicke nesses do spring therof. Yōge mothers also haue no iust strength, nether to norysh nor to bryng forth frute. And sometyme hathe it chaūsed that they haue dyed of theyr impotent chylde. Lyke­wyse the chyldren whiche were borne of chyldrē became sycke and feble: It shall also not be come ly for Christen menne, to haue lesse discresion herein, then the Hethen, whyche haue had great respecte to the age and yeares. For Plato, Ari­stotle and Heseodus appoynte the age of seuen­tene yeares to yonge women. Some there were that to yonge menne haue appoynted the age of nynetene or twentye yeares: for in those yeares be the powers somewhāt strengthened, and de­creace not then thorowe maryage, as they do in weake folkes. But herein maye euery manne be­haue hymselfe after the best & moost honest ma­ner, accordyng as the kynde, complexion & cause requireth.

¶ The seuenth Chapter.

¶ Of the iust cōsent of both parties into ma riage, and howe that maryage oughte to be free and vncompelled.

[Page] TO the sayd poyntes also must euery Chri sten man (whan he contracteth mariage) haue good respecte, namely y his wedlock be accordyng to the common lawes that it hyn­dre not ye true beleue that it be done wt the know ledge of his parentes, or of them vnder whose iu risdicciō he is, and that he marry not in the for­bydden degrees of consangu inite or affinite. Be sydes all this, and specially is required the free harty cōsent of bothe the parties, as it is recited in the discripcion. Wedlocke must be coupled to gither with the good consent of both the parson­nes. Concernyng the same good consent, wyll I nowe gyue this shorte instruccion.

This consent, is that ouergyuyng & graunt The consent of thy harte, whan vnto thy chosen spouse thou promisest and gyuest thy selfe ouer in wedlocke and in the hyghest loue & felawshyp that maye be vnder God. In the loue and consentynge of harlots there is also an earnest fauoure of y one loue towarde the other, but that is carnall and wycked, therfore doth the dyuell knyt that who­rishe and vnthrifty knot. The consentyng into mariage spryngeth out of gods ordinaunce and leaneth vnto honeste. For an ordinate and pure loue is it that she beareth towarde her chosen, by hym her desyre to remayne withe mynde bodye and good (accordynge to the worde of the Lorde) [Page xvi] to serue hym, to shewe her trouth plyghte vnto hym, to suffer well and woo wyth hy [...] yke as it followeth also in the descripcion. That vnto theyr ende they dwell styll togyther, and spende theyr lyfe in the equall partakynge of all suche thynges as God sendethe. Therfore is it God hymselfe that knytteth the knotte of mariage. And whorysshe, carnall, and affe [...]tionate wyll, spryngeth of vicious lust and vanite, & hath not respecte to the glory and ordinaūce of God, but vnto bewty or to other lyke transitory thynges. And as soone as the same faylethe, or yf he once myslyke her or se a fayrer, than fayleth the wyll and mariage also. But the wyll of lawfull ma­riage (as I sayd afore) consydreth the ordinaunce of God, regardeth honestye, and continuethe in loue, euen in aduersite as well as in prosperite. Herein also diffreth the consentyng in mariage from naturall inclinacion. A naturall thyng is it that two parsons which are of lyke kynd and complexion, of lyke nature and dispocisiō, of lyke maner and occupyenge, shoulde beare more wyll the one toward the other, than they do that haue no mutuall fellowshyp herein. Yet is not thys wyl comparable to consentyng into mariage.

Notwythstondyng suche proporcion in kynd helpeth muche (no doubte) to a more stedfast vnt te & cōsentyng togytherin holy wedlocke, & then [Page] fore it is very good for the same. And to be short a matrimoniall consent is the same herte, dispo­sicion & loue, that Adam bore toward his Eua. He behelde all other creatures, and nōe lyked hi. But as soneas Eua was set before him, he sayd This same is once bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh, that is, she hath my hart, my mynd and my bloud. &c. as it is sayd in the fyrst chap­ter. For her sake thought he that a man shoulde forsake father and mother and kepe hym onelye vnto her He knowledged that she was one body wyth hys, then must it follow also, that she had lyke mynd hart & wyll. For neuer one body hath The wil of mariage com meth of god. two cōtrary wylles, but one body hath one wyl. And of God hymselfe is the same wyll planted and mygtely conceaued in man, for it exerciseth it selfe strongly, & preaseth after his lyke. Ther­fore was it ryght spoken of thē of the olde tyme howe that maryage is prepared of God for all men. Herof cōmeth it that many straunge mari Maryages are appoyn­ted and pre­pared of god ages are brought to passe not inordinately tho­row the workyng of god. But are takē in hand and do not prospere, for God hathe not so ordi­ned it. In the. vii. Chapter of Toby doth the aū ­gell saye, y Sara the doughter of Raguel should haue Tobias, bycause she was appoynted hym of GOD, and therfore dyed the seuen men to Sata. whome she was promised one after another. [Page xvii] In the. xxiiii. of Genesis, Whan the father and mother of Rebecca perceauedde the wonderfull Rebecca. worke of God thorowe the message of Eliezer, they sayde: This cōmeth of the Lorde, therfore we can saye nothyng agaynst the, neyther euell nor, good: there is Rebecca before the, take her, & go thy waye wyth her. &c.

Whereoute it is easye to vnderstonde, that mariage ought to come of a free herte, and ney­ther to be constrayned and compelled of the pa­rentes, nor of other menne. For in as much as wedlocke requireth both the parties good cōsent which no man can gyue, but only God, the pa­rentes Note well. maye not compell the chylde, but haue re specte to gods ordinance, & to the ryght ordinate consente of the parties, and considre whether it be or no. Bathuel and Labin had respecte to the ordinaunce of God, and whan they saw ye same power before theyr eyes, yet sent they for theyr doughter Rebecca, to knowe her wyll also. And whan she of her owne free mynde hadde sayde yea, than was she fyrst sente awaye vnto Isaac her spouse. Thus haue we before our eyes ma­ny ensamples, wherby we may learne what mi sery & wretchednes foloweth oute of an vnwyl­lynge and compelled mariage. And therfore it were a great deale better for rulers, to loke fyrst that no manne shoulde compell his chylde, then [Page] that they them selues afterward (when the mat ter is almoost past remedy, & hurte foloweth vp on hurt, shuld haue ynough to do wyth lytle pro fyt, and yet wyth much disquietnes.

Here muste the chyldren looke also, that they The inordi­nate affecciō of yong fol­lies. fall not immediately to discord for this matter, and violentlye despisynge theyr parentes (make has [...] to theyr owne great hurte, & persuade them selues to be endewed wyth a wyll from GOD, which of God is not planted in them, but com­meth of theyr owne inordinate affeccion. For it happeneth oft tymes, that a chylde taketh suche a fashyon in hande as ought not to be, and dis­pleaseth GOD, and namely he goeth about to haue suche a parson as is not for hys honestye. As whan a yonge woman wyll neades haue a ryottous, wylfull whorehunter and wayster, or suche one as is forsworne and hath begyled ma­ny other. Or as whan a yonge man wyll nedes haue a vayne, wanton, fylthy, &c. (Herein to pre uent the harme that myght come therof) the pa­rentes oughte to make obieccion, & to dispoynte them of theyr purpose. Yet should they not ther fore compell theyr chyldren into other mariages to the whiche they beare no harte nor wyll, but discretely enforme them, gyuynge them good in struccion, to gette that frowardnes from them but godlye to deale wythe them for theyr owne [Page xviii] wealth and honeste.

It chauncethe sometyme that the parē [...]es thē The inordi­nate affecciō of parentes. selues deale not well, neyther seake honesty and equite, but only theyr owne inordinate affecciō and wyckednesse, where as sometyme the chyl­dren are more reasonable, and make obiecciō to theyr parentes, comely and with good manner. It fortuneth also many tymes that the parētes stycke styll to theyr owne frowardenes, to theyr f [...]lthy desyre of lucre and wyckednesse, and go about to delyuer theyr chyldren forth in the bar gayue. The chyldren therfore sometyme (for as Unreasona­ble parētes ought not to haue they [...] wylles. much as they are come past theyr year [...]s) beyng constrayned by suche violence, do aduisedly and in honeste prouide for thē selues. In suche a case verely ought not the hyer powers to suffer that such vnreasonable parentes as feare not God, should haue theyr wylles.

For lyke as the inordinate affeccion of the chyldren is not to be permitted, whan they wyll nedes haue suche parsonnes as be to theyr owne destruccion: So can no equite alowe you, O pa­rentes, Marke wel. that for your couetous lucre sake, do set youre owne fleshe and bloud to morgage. youre opinion is (happely) to make sure prouision for them, but seyng youre enterprise commethe not of God, neyther leaneth vnto honeste, therfore do ye but sell them away. Let euery mā therfore [Page] haue respecte to God, to honeste and to the right consent so shall God suffer no man to miscary.

¶ The eyght Chapter.

The occasiōs of wedlocke, why & wherfore it shulde be contracted.

ANd to ye intēt that the sayd consent maye yet the better be consydred, I wyll yet fur thermore (by the worde of God) declare, the occasions of maryage, why and wherfore it was ordined, & to what purpose it shulde be con tracted, that euery manne maye vnderstonde to what thynge he consenteth, whan he graunteth vnto mariage.

The causes of mariage are orderly sette and To brynge forth childrē expressed one aft [...] [...]other in the descripcion therof, in the secon [...] Chapter: Fyrst of all, they that are faythefull, do marry, to the intent that they maye brynge forth and haue chyldren togy ther. This cause is expressed and grounded in the wordes of God followynge: And god made Gene. ii. man vnto hys owne ymage, in the ymage of god made he hym, man and woman created he them And God blyssed thē, & sayd vnto them: Growe and multiply, and fyll the earth. They therfore that are beleuers, do marry to the intent y they maye haue chyldren. They knowe well also that to be frutefull or barren / cometh of God. Ther fore do they [...] knoweledge that they haue not the [Page xix] chyldren of them selues, but of God. And this What a tre­sure it is to [...]aue frute. cause is no small nor lyght thynge. For to haue chyldren is the greatest treasure. For in the chyl dren do the parentes lyue (in a maner) euē after theyr deathe. And yf they be well and luckely brought vp, god is honoured by them, the publi­que weale is auaunced, yea all men (theyr paren tes also fare the better for them. They are theyr parentes conforte nexte vnto God, theyr ioye staffe, and vpholdyng of theyr age.

The vnbeleuer regardeth not this cause, but The vngod­ly hate to be frutefull. feareth he shall haue to many chyldren, putteth not his trust in God, wyll not giue hymselfe to laboure, and therfore lacketh he the honour and good, ye groweth out of thi [...]te vnto the fayth full, whose harte & lust, is set with hys mariage to please God, and to plante & brynge forth pro­fitable frute vnto men, yet happenethe it many tymes, that euen they whiche feare God, are dis apoynted of thys frute, and that verely because that they (not without the ordinaunce of God) shulde haue no chyldren togyther whiche thynge the faythfull also doth paciently take at ye hande of God gyuynge hym thankes for that in trou­blouse tyme of famyn, battayle, persecuciō & pe­stilence theyr crosse is so muche more thesyer to cary, aswell as he (to whō God gyueth chyldrē) doth ernestly thāke hym for makyng hym frute [Page] full. Of all this haue we a notable ensample in the thre holy Patriarches, Abraham, Isaac & Ia cob, whiche is more manifest vnto euery man, than that we nede to speke further therof. Ther fore thoughe thys cause fayle, so that God wyll gyue the no chyldren, yet is thy mariage righte in the syghte of God. For there be other causes also, for the whiche wedlocke was ordeyned, and for the whiche it is contracted.

And namely it is contracted lykewyse of the faythfull, to the entente that they maye auoyde To auoyde whoredome whoredome and all maner of vnclennes. Thys cause also doth Paule laye before the Corinthi­ans in the fyrst Epistle the. vii Chapter & sayth It is a quiet and commodious state for a man, not to towche a woman. But to auoyd whore­dome, let euery man haue a wyfe of hys owne, & euery woman her owne husband. He sayth it is a quiet state of lyuyng for a man not to touche or lye wt a woman: yea if God haue graunted hym & gyuen him the gyfte, that he may wel and without burnyng, lyue chaste & vnmaryed. But if a man or woman maye not so do. God hathe gyuen thē the medicine of maryage, & wyll not esteme the worcke therof, as synne, whoredome, vnchastite or vnclennesse. For he sayth playnely let euery mā haue his owne wife, & euery womā her owne husbond. To be theyr propre owne or Note. [Page xx] peculiar maketh ye mariage. As for harlottes & vnthriftes, they are not perculiar propre or own one to another, but borowed & lent for a tyme.

It foloweth yet more playnely in Paul, how The worke of martimo ny is no syn. that he not onely vouch saueth the worke of wed locke to them that be maried, but commaundeth also (yee and taketh away the priuate power of either of them both therin) & sayeth clearly, that nether of them maye denye vnto the other the dewe worke of matrymonye. Let the husbande, (sayth he) geue vnto the wife dewe beneuolence. Likewise the wife vnto the husband. And this with comelye wordes expresseth he the actuall Marke wel. worke of mariage which certayne of the Corin­thians, of a speciall chosen holynesse & falfe fay­ned clenlynesse, had vtterlye denyed vnto theyr maried spouses, thinkyng therby to be very holy clene and spirituall. But Paul cōmaundeth thē to mary the one to geue dewe beniuolence vnto the other no doubt for the auoydyng of whordōe & eschuīg of vnclēnesse. For it foloweth in Paul immediatly after: The wyfe hath not power of hir awne bodye, but the husbande: Lykewyse the husband hath not power of hys awne body, but the wife. Wherby he forbyddethe, that nether of thē shall denye his body vnto the tother. For Math. ix. they two, sayth the Lorde also, are one bodye.

Hereof doubtlesse dyd the holy & godly lerned [Page] bysshoppe take the same whyche he spake in the great coūsaile at Nicea, where as he sayde, that [...]. it is dennesse also, a man to lye wyth his owne maried wife. For Paule in the same chapter speakyng of wydowes & wydowers saiethe that it is good yf they so remayne, but immediatelye addeth he therto, sayenge: Neuerthelesse, yf they can not absteine, let them mary. For better it is to marye thē to burne. And within a litle after he sayth moreouer: But and yf thou take a wife thou synnest not. Beholde, what could be more clerely spokē: To mary (sayth the Apostle) is no synne, then must it folow also that the worckes of mariage are not synne, not of thē selues but because of the mariage selfe & gods ordinaunce.

And that more is then all that we haue yet Uirginite is & holy & ex cellent thing. spoken of, it foloweth farther in Paul: And yf a virgyn mary he or she synneth not. For euery man knoweth well, howe holye and excellente a thing virginite is, & yet sayth Pauel, that a vir gyn sineth not yf he or she lose theyr virginite in mariage. Thē must it folow, that god rekeneth not the worke of mariage for synne & vnclennes But synne and wicked vnclennesse is it to com mytte whoredome. Fylthye & abhominable is it Deflouryng of virgins. to force or begyle a virgin. For Paul sayth fur­thermore in the. xiii. to the Heb. Mariage is to be had in reuerence & honour amonge all mē) & [Page xxi] the bed of them that are maried, is vndefyled. As for harlottes & aduoutrers, God will iudge thē. How much more wil he iudge them that ra­uyssh virgyns? Iob saieth in the. xxxi. Chapter I made a couenaunte with myne eyes, that I wolde not loke vpon a virgyn. For howe heuye is the punishement of god frō aboue? And what inheritaunce and rewarde geueth the almygh­tye from an hy? Destroyeth he not such vnchris tes? and casteth he not out thē that medle withe such wickedn [...]sse. &c.

The wise man Salomon sayeth Prouer. v. Beglad with thy maryed wife, whom thou hast taken in thy youth, & loue her as a deare chosen hynde. Let hyr brestes satisfye the at all tymes, and reioyse styll in her loue. For why shuldeste thou come nye an harlot (my sonne) and haunt the bosome of a straunge woman? In the which wordes, Salomō like as Paule also cōmendeth and prayseth the loue and worke of mariage as clenlynesse, but draweth men from whoredom as from it that is nothing but fylthy. Therfore (doutelesse) mariage was instituted to auoyde whoredome and vnclennesse and the worcke of mariage is rekened of God for no synne. All which thinges I haue the more largelye spoken of, & proued and confirmed the same with holye scripture: And though I dyd not gladlye take in [Page] hand to wryte of this matter yet haue I done all this to helpe many suared cōsciences, whiche without occasiōthorow the ignoraunce of gods leaue and lawe do piteouslye trouble and vexe themselues here in. I hope therfore noman wyll mysconster me, seynge I haue spoken nothynge but that which Paul dyd wryte afore.

And in all this matter is it well to be considred M [...]asure & shamefast­nesse. that like as shamefastneste, comlynesse and tēpe raūe is good in euery thynge, so is it good here also and exceadyng necessary. Wedlock is hono rable and holy, therfore must not we as shame lesse parsonnes cast awaye good maners, & be­come lyke vnresonable beastes God hath geuen and ordened mariage to be a remedy and medicy ne vnto our feble and weake flesh, to swage ye dis quietnesse therof, & to the intent that we should be cleane and vndefiled in spirite & in body. But yf we rage therwith, & be shameles in our wor­des and dedes, then our mistē peraunce & excesse maye make it euell whiche is good, and defyle it that is cleane. Paule also is content, that as cō ­cernyng the bed, maried folkes vpon a due occa­sion, may ly the one from the other. But so, yt it i. Co [...]. [...] be wt the good consent of them bothe, And yt not alwaye or longe, but only for a tyme, leest the di uell be busy, & tempte them with whoredome or vnclennes, or deceaue them wyth aduoutry.

[Page xxii] The thyrd cause is this: Euē to the entent y To auoyd [...] solitarinesse, to helpe & cō fort one ano ther. the one maye be an helpe & conforte to the other accordyng to the wyll of God, auoydyng solita­rinesse. Whiche the Lorde expressed wythe these wordes. It is not good for manne to be alone, I wyll make hym an helper to be nexte vnto him. And wythin a whyle after, he saythe moreouer. They bothe shall be one fleshe, or one body. So that lyke as in the partes of a mans body there is a mutuall healpe or participacion of the one toward the other. Euen so ought it to be also a­monge marryed folkes. The one ought to be an eye, eare, mouth, hand and foote to the other▪ In trouble, the one must be the cōforte of the other. In aduersite must the one be the oth [...]rs refres­shyng, yea & in all theyr lyfe must the one be the helpe & socour of the other. And these are the cau ses why wedlocke was ordeyned, and wherfore they that are faythefull beleuers do m [...]rry, and ye occasions whervpō ye rōsent bothe leaue & rest.

The nynth Chapter.

The ende fruyte and commendacion of holy wedlocke. Howe blyssed, honourable & good a thyng it is.

BY this now is it easy to vnderstond what is ye ende, vertue & frute of wedlocke, & how holy, profitable & good a thyng it is. This is ye ende of mariage whervpon it leaneth. Not [Page] to be aloue, but to haue a cōpanion in this lyfe, that wyll helpe to beare wealth & woo, euen such one as thou canst fynde in thyne harte to loue, and of whome thou arte loued agayne, that by the same thou mayst fynde a medicine and swa­gynge of the weakenes of thy vnquiet flesh, and so voyde whoredome and all fylthy lyuynge, to brynge vp chyldren vnto the prayse of God, and to the publique wealthe, profyt and conforte of thy selfe, and other thy neyghbours. &c.

Wherfore the vertue, operacion, effecte, and The opera­cion of wed­locke. frute now of mariage, is to confort, mayntayne helpe, counsayle, to clense, to further vnto good mann [...]rs, honeste and shamefastnes, to expel vn [...]lennes, to auaunce the honoure of God & the publique weale, and to sette vp many suche ver­tues moo.

Hereof commeth it that wedlocke is a great Wedlocke is holy and ho­nourable▪ worke and holy ordinaunce of God, whiche defy leth or vnhaloweth no mā, saue hym that taketh it vpon hym wt an vncleane harte. Whome (to saye trueth (not the mariage, but his owne wic­kednes defyleth. For it is alwaye holy & right in it selfe, & all such as receaue it wyth true hertes, doth it allowe & bryng to honour. It hath euer also bene of an excellent estimacion & had a glo­rious name of all prudent people, in so muche that Paul durst boldely saye: Wedlocke is hono [Page xxiii] rable among all men, or in all the worthe.

For wedlocke dyd God institute by himselfe▪ & not by his Angels or holy mē, as he dyd oth [...]r good statutes & ordinaunces, yea euen at the be gynnynge toke he it in hande in Paradise that Marke w [...] garden of pleasure, no doubte, for the commodite & not for the grefe of man. Wythoute Paradise were all other ordinaunces made, but euen in Paradise was wedlocke ordeyned. And yf all ordinaunces haue theyr propre commēdacion & honour of theyr fyrste begynner of the antiqui­te, of the place where they were ma [...]e, or of y pro fytte that they bryng. Then verely is wedlocke moost worthy of prayse & honour, as a thyng in stituted of God hym selfe, euen in Paradyse, at the begynnyng of the worlde, for the wra [...]th and commodite of man.

Therfore in mariage lyued the holyest, the moost vertuous, ye wysest & moost noble mē vpō erth: yee the holy ghost is not ashamed, euen in the fyrst boke of the byble, very playnely to ta [...]ke & wryte nothyng els for the moost parte, then of mariages, chylbren, or byrthes, and suche other Genes [...] The [...] poyntes of housholdyng in wedlocke. Adā was a marryed man, so was Enoche, Nohe, Abrahā, Lothe, Isaac, Iacob, Iosaphat, Iob, Moses, Aa­ron: And so were other Regentes, Iudges, Pre­stes and Kynges, Iosue, Gedeon, Phinees, Sa­muel, [Page] Dauid, Ezechias, Iostas, Os [...]as, Isaias, and other Prophetes [...]o. Dauid commendeth the state of mariage as a singulare blyssynge of God, whiche he sendeth to them that loue him, & whō he loueth, & sayth. Psal. cxxvii. Blessed are they all that feare the Lorde, & that walke in his wayes: for thou shalte lyue wyth the thyng that thou hast gottē thorowthe labour of thyn owne handes. O how blyssed & happy arte thou? Thy wyfe is as a frutefull vine that standeth by thy house syde: Thy chyldren round about thy table are euē lyke Olyue trees newly planted. Lo thus shall he be blissed y feareth the Lorde. &c. and this is the cause that the wiues of the olde testamēt, toke it for a great dishonour & plage, whan one of thē was at any tyme barren or vnfrutefull.

In the new Testamēt it was y good plesure of our Lorde Iesus, to be borne in mariage, For Math. i. [...] the virgyn Mary was marryed vnto Ioseph of the house of Dauid, yet cōceaued she of the holye Luke. i. ghost, & brought forth her chylde beyng a virgyn her selfe, & remaynyng a virgin. The fyrst mi­racle that oure Lorde Christ dydde. The same wrought he at a weddynge, & namely suche a mi racle as is able to gyue cōsolacion in maryage, Ioan. ii▪ that euen in thynges pertaynyng to this tempo rall lyfe) God wyll not leaue them vnprouided for, that mary in the feare of hym & in the fayth [Page xxiiii] of his euerlasting worde: yee that he both can [...] A great [...] ma­ryed [...] will turne the vnsauery water of all trouble, in to theswete wyne of gracious comforte. The holy apostles & preachers of Iesus Christ had wifes, as Paul the Apostle. Phil. iiii, reporteth of him selfe as Peter and the other Apostles. [...]. Corin. ix. and as Luke. reporteth of holy. Phi­lippe, Act. xxi. And Eusebius. Eccles. Histo Lib. iii. cap. [...]xx. Paul calleth theyr doctrine that in­hthite & forbyd mariage, the doctryne of the de­uell, and saieth. i. Tim iiii. Thesprete speaketh euidently, that in the later tymes some shall de­parte from the faith, and shall geue hede [...]o di­sceatfull spretes & to deuelish doctrines: thorow them that are lyers in ypocrisie, and haue theyr conscyences marcked with an whot yerne, for­bidding to mary. &c. Therfore foloweth it that the doctryne which doth set forth and knowlege wedloke to be holy, honorable, profitable, ne­cessary and good, is gods doctrine, euen true and good, holy, and vndefyled.

The. x. Capter.

¶ How shamefull, vycious and abhomina­ble, the synne of whordome i [...].

ANd to the entent that the praise honour goodnesse & cōmēdacion of holy wedlock may the more clearly appeare, I will now set whordome ryght ouer agaynste it on the other [Page] fyde, and declare how shamefull, vycious, & ab­hominable it is before god & all honestye: That youth may loue the honoure of god, and auoyde dishonesty: & y euery one may eschewe vycious whordome, and betake hym to holy wedlocke.

Paul the chosen man of god writeth thus to the Corinthiās: Flye from whor [...]ome. All the Whoredome defylethe the members of Christ which is thy owne body. synnes that a man doth, are without his bodye but who so committeth whordome, synnethe a­gaynst his owne body. And immediately afore the sayd wordes, he expressethe the vnderstōding of this sētence, & sayeth. Know ye not that your bodies are the membres of Christ? Shall I than take Christes membres, & make them the mem­bres of an harlot? God forbyd. Paul then whā he spake those wordes (All the synnes that a mā dothe, et c.) had repsecte vnto wedlocke. For lyke as wedlok maketh of two personnes or bodies, one personne and one bodye. Euen so lykewyse the spirituall mariage, namely the receauynge of gods grace, in that we are baptysed īto christ and become Christen maketh one body betwene Christ and vs beleuers, so that we be called and are in dede Christes membres. Nowe lyke as he y is maried (yf he take another besyde his wife dothe synne agaynste his owne body: Euen so lykewise doth that Christen mā synne agaynste his owne body, yf he commytte whordome. For [Page xxv] he dishonoureth the grace of Christ, & defylethe the holy couenaunt made betwene: Christ and him. For it foloweth in Paule: Knowe ye not, that he which ioyneth himself to an harlot, is be come oue body For they two sayth the lord shall be one flesh, or one bodye. But who so cleuethe vnto the lorde, is one spyrite. Neuertheles tho­row whordome is the sprete banished and exclu­ded. For thy sprete, herte and mynd that ought to [...]leue vnto y lord, is ioyned to ye harlot, withe whom thou art one and incorporated Therfore they that cōmytte whordome, do synne agaynst the couenaunt and spirituall mariage, where with we must be ioyned vnto Christ.

Furthermore it foloweth in Paul: Or know Whroedome robbeth god of his owne. ye not, that your bodyes shuld be the tēple of the holy goost, which is in you whō ye haue of god, & y ye are not in your awne power? For ye are dearly bought. Wherof it foloweth constantly that they which commytte whordome, do disho­noure and waist away theyr owne bodyes. For they geue ouer theyr mēbres, yee theyr hert and mynd vnto whordome: And yet Christ for his i. Pet. i: honoure & our clenlynesse dyd bye the san [...]e, and that not with mony, but with his owne bloud. It foloweth also, that they which are geuen vn­to whordome, be vnder the great plage of god. For Paul saith here, that Christē mens bodies [Page] are the tēple of god the holy goost. Thus saleth Whoredome [...]he [...]he [...] of god he. i. Cori. iii. yf any mā defyle the tēple of god, him shall god destroye. Is it not an horryble de­fylynge of gods tēple, to set that vycious harlo [...] Wenus, euē in the place where god shuld reigne with his sprete, & to be ioyned & do seruice vnto her with body & soule? Let them come forth now [...] for­ [...] [...]s a [...]ous sin. that wyll alwaye excuse syngle fornicacion, as though it were not synne (or at the leest not so greate syn) one syngle person to abuse another. Paul the Apostle of Christ saieth, that whor­dome deuydeth vs from God, breaketh the coue­n [...]unt which we haue wyth God, spoyleth and robbeth god of that which is his, mysordreth the m [...]s of god, maket of christes mēbres ye mem b [...] of an haclotte, defyleth and vnhaloweth the tēple of god, thē therfore that wyll folow whor­dom [...], shal god destroye. Yf all this be to be este­med but a small thinge, then do I confesse, that whoredome and fornicacion is euen as lytle a synne, as vy [...]ious vayne people do make it.

It is more then ones also, that Paul him selfe Whoredome shut mē oute of heauen. shutteth whormongers out of heauen, who so beleueth not my wordes, let him reade. Rom. i. i. Co [...]. v. and. vi, Gala. v. Ephe. v. i. Tess. iiii. To the Hebrues he saieth planely, that as for whoremongers & aduoutrers, God wyll iudge them. What can be more sayde? Yf thou not [Page xxvi] wythstondyng all this, wylt yet say, that whor­dome or fornicacion is no synne, then cryeth the holy Prophet Esaye that horrible woo vpō the and sayth, Esaye. capit. Woo vnto you that call euel, good. Or do ye not knowe, that euen nowe in this tyme, God doth sore punysh whordome as a great vice: Paule sayth. i. Corin. x. Lette vs not cōmitte whoredome, as some of them of olde dyd, & were destroyed in one daye a great nōbre. It is euident what slaunder & dishonour, Sam­son brought vnto hym selfe, specially to the glory & name of God among Gods enemies & hys, & among all the children of Israel wt his bolde and vicious whoredome, & howe shamefull an ende he made by the means of the same harlot.

In the fyfth of the Prouerbes of Salomon saye after this maner: The lyppes of an harlot Whoredome spoylethe a mā of his ho neste body [...] good. are as aswete droppynge hony combe, and her throte is softer then oyle: but her end is bitterer then death, & as sharpe as a two edged swearde. Her feete lead vnto deathe, & her pathe drawethe vnto hell. Therfore se that thou go not in vnto her, nether draw nygh to the dores of her house, lest straungers haue thy substaunce, and left the cruell gette thyne encreace. Wythe fewe wordes both Salomon describe the shorte and swete dis­ceatfulnesse of whoredome, which yet leaueth be hynd it a perpetuall vytternes, and brefely he she [Page] weth, howe that whoredome destroyeth in soule, in honoure, in body and in good. As for ensam­ples, we nede not to sette forthe any there are to many before oure eyes, the more pitie. The sto­ries The French pockes, how it [...]yrst came do testify, that the Frenche pockes came of an harlot into the worlde thorowe whoredome. Howe many a man hath consumed all his sub­staunce & goodes wyth harlottes, and at the last hath ben hanged, drowned or headed? &c.

Yet go the shamelesse harlots forth styll into Whorem [...]n­gers haue no rest. theyr owne perdicion, vice & abhominaciō, yea & vnder take to blaspheme wedlocke, & somwhat to excuse theyr owne mischefe. Therfore talke they of muche trouble that is in wedlocke. And as for theyr whorysh lyfe, it is nothyng elles but open vyce & abhominacion before God and all honest people. Fylthy is fylthynes styll, althoughe the fylthy swyne delyte therin, They speke much of euyll wyues, which whan some men had taken, they coulde not be ryd of them wythe any fayre means. And yet can they not leaue theyr vayne crafty & vnfaythfull harlottes, of whō they thē selues are mocked, and scorned to the vttermost yea & are fayne to suffer more of suche vicious & fylthy bodyes, than any man doth of his honest wyfe. They speake much lykewyse of bryngyng vp of chyldrē which are borne in wedlocke. And yet they them selues in whoredome are fayne to [Page xxvii] brynge vp the bastardes that they haue gotten, lyke as afore tyme they were wont to bylde mā ­met houses & felde Chapelles, wythe collections and gatherynges of euery man.

They speake of muche trauayle and careful­nes, Whores are insa [...]able [...] haue neuer inough. howe the housholde must be brought vp and prouided for in wedlocke. And yet the dotynge fooles them selues are fayne to nomysshe those shamefull harlottes wythe muche greater care, and yet be afrayed, that whan they haue done theyr best, the gredy sacke wyll not be fylled, and that the fylthy strompette wyll yet brynge forth a greater rekenynge vpon thy trencher, and all to get the bagge of money into her owne hādes. Moreouer among whores is waystyng and ex­penses The ende of whoredome is beggery. moost regarded, nether art thou welcome but thy money. No more money, no more loue. I must haue the money & purse, sayth the harlot take thou thy cloke and thy baggage. Lette ano­ther come that hathe more money, for he hathe bene in the bath, and is dispatched. Thus maye he byte hys lyppes and cratch his pate, and take that for his farewel that he getteth of hisharlot.

They complayne moreouer of the cryeng of the chyldren in the nyghtes, and how that mari ed folkes can not stepe, but must watche by the means therof. And yet the dotynge fooles them selues go all the nyght long vp and downe tho­row [Page] the stretes, & kepe the dyuels watche, wythe paynefulnes, frost and vnrest. Let no reasona­ble manne therfore be snared styll in whordome by such harlottes, to the slaunder & dishonoure of holy wedlocke. Whoredome (no doubte) ha [...]he muche more disquietnes, anguyshe and trouble, then hath the holy state of maryage. The payne also that is in marryage, is godly and honest. God gyuethe suche pacience, strength and good wyll vnto the faythfull, that they canne easely a­waye wythe all manner of con [...]gale cares. As for harlottes, they are the dyuelles martyrs, and haue alwaye dishonour and shame.

Where as certayne men saye: if whoredome Stewes. be so great a synne before God, & bryng so much vice and mischiefe wyth it, why do some hyghe rulers and prelates of the world thē mayntayne open stewes: To that I answere: Many thyn­ges are suffered, that ought not so to be, and yet for suffryng therof are the suffrers neuer the bet ter. But let those prelates & regētes of the world make aunswere vnto God for theyr owne acte. God hathe commaunded the and vs all: Thou shalte not commit whoredome. Let euery Chri­sten man followe him, what so euer other folkes suffer or do. The holy Apostie Paul sayth: Let neyther whoredome nor any vnclennesse be once named among you, as it becommeth Sayntes. [Page xxviii] Ephe. v. Chap. Now yf amonge Christen folke as an holy people that is clensed thorowe the bloud of Christ there may no whordome be na med, much lesse no doubte ought vycious ste­wes to be set vp and openly mainteyned, for a playne shame is it and a manifest confusion. Let them therfore that maynteyne such shame­full houses, looke well to themselues, how and what answere they will geue vnto God for this their acte.

They that saye they are suffred for auoyding of greater incōuenience, let them considre whe­ther, they meane to put awaye a worse thinge with an euell, be a meane that is comely and pleasing vnto god? or whether God hath at any tyme commaunded or geuen lycence, to suffre and maynteyne open and shameles whordome, that virgins maye be the lesse forced & defloured or that yet worse thinges be not commytted of wilfull persones? Paulsaieth. Thou ought st­not to do euil, that therof might come good ex­cept thou wilt be dampned iustely. Roma iii We fynde daylye by experience, that the same way helpeth not, & that there are whore houses and in the meane season the worse thinge, not eschued, And therfore euell with euell, and vyce with vyce do runne together, so that abomina­cion and myschefe preuayleth. Wherfore let [Page] euery reasonable Christen man ceasse now from vyce, braule who so list: yf thou wilt do that god cōmaundeth the, & the thing wherof thou mayst haur worshippe & welfare in the sight of God & honest people, then medle not with harlottes, [...]ether come at the stewes. Mayntayne thē not and vse them not. But to auoyde whoredome, let euery man haue hys owne wyfe and euery woman hir owne husband.

Yee but it is not mete for euery man to mary Many poore mariages make many beggers. Obiection. Ther is no man compelled to mary, nether yet afore the tyme, nor whan thou hast not a conue nient cause therto. Onely yf it be not mete for the to be vertuous, it shall be no vyceous thinge to mary. Now yf thou thinkest it wyll not fra­me with the to mary, then leaue thine whordo­me Marke wel. also. And then we are agreed. For goddes sake man, kepe thy selfe honeste, sober, pure and cleane, vntyll the tyme that it be mete and expe­dient for the to mary. Thou wilt say: Halas we are but flesh and bloud. Iaūswere: were not our fore fathers flesh & bloud also? dyd they therfore continue stil in child hode? Or haūted they har­lotrye in the meane time? Beholde the example of Isaac, Iacob, Ioseph and other excellent men, which maried not tyll they were of a good & per fecte age, and yet neuertheles spent theyr youth [Page xxix] vertuously in clenlynesse of lyfe. Therfore shulde oure youth feare God lyke wise as they dyd, haue Gods commaundement before theyr eyes, call vpon God for grace, auoyde ydlenesse & all that maye prouoke to an vnclenly lyuyng: but contrary wise, geue them selues [...]o labour, and resyst manfully in tētacion. But nowe we fynd it other wise, for oure youth hath lytle re­specte vnto god & his cōmauudementes, calleth not vpon God, goeth vp and downe ydle, haun­teth euell company & dronkennesse, Hereof com­meth it now that they can not refrayne, & they thinke that they must nedes folowe harlottes still, or els haue wiues, & yet can they nether la­boure [...]er get theyr lyuing. And thus came they to naught: therfore is it theyr owne vnthristy­nesse and not holy wedlok that destroyeth the [...]

Doth not the hauntyng of harlots make beg­gers also? Whence come then suche swarmes of Mariage (saye they) ma [...]eth m [...] ­ny beggers. beggers & wretched pockye people: Euē of whor dome get they that mischefe for the most parte. And this doth no mā esteme ner considre. But whā a good vertuous yong man which is come to his age, doth honestly mary, then is the walet brought before him, to feare him, or els to with holde other mē frō holy wedloke, and to make thē cōtynue still in whordome. This [...]ā the sotil de­uell do. The rych, faithful & almighty God dyd [Page] neuer fayle any mā, that seketh him in trewe ve Whoredome leffe, that laboureth faith fully, and that is ver­tuous and honest, Let nomā therfore besnared styl in synne. To be shorte, whordome with dra weth & separateth the mynd frō god, maketh vs to breake our couenaūte, dishonoureth the gra­ce of God & mēbres of Christ, robbeth God of that which is his, vnhaloweth the tēple of god, & plucketh vs vtterly with sprete & flesh into the myre & into all fylthynesse, maketh vs of men, beastes defyleth body and soule, taketh frō vs all oure substaunce, honestie and good, shameth de stroyeth and caryeth to bell wyth wrechidnesse, misery & sorow. Contrary wise: wedlok delyue­reth Wanion coū sayle. vs ones from all suche inconuenience. And therfore is it a myserable thynge, that all thys wyll not be consydred, and that yet also there be olde men, whiche esteme whordome to be no synne, and talke so lightly and wantonlye ther of before yong people, that youth beynge prouo­ked for warde in their wicked purpose, are now the more hard harted and obstinate therin

Deare children, harken ye rather vnto Paul the electe seruaunt of god wiche speaketh out of Ephe. vi the holy goost these wordes: Be ye sure, that no whormonger or vncleane personne hath in heri taunce in the kyngdome of Christ and of god. Be not disceaued wyth vayne wordes. For be­cause [Page xxx] of such thynges commeth the wrath of god vpon the chyldren of vnbelefe. Marke this well, and remēber it. God wyll not regarde the wan­ton and vile communicacion of such, so lyght as they make it. Wherfore yf ye wyl escape ye wrath of God, then kepe your selues from whordome, and marry at your iust age.

¶ The. xi. Chapter.

How shamefull & wycked a thyng aduoutry is, and howe it hath of olde tyme bene puny­shed hytherto.

ANd lyke as whordome hath euer ben takē for an abhominacion, among all honest people in ye whole worlde, euē so haue they estemed aduoutry to be a thing much more sha­mefull & vtterly to be abhorred: in so much that all vertuous rulers, yea & that euen among the Hethē haue punyshed it wyth ye payne of death. Ho we God plaged ad­ [...]ontry befo­re y law c [...] wrytten.

Whā Abraham came wyth Sarai hys wyfe into Egypte, and the Egyptians thoughte that she had bene Abrahams sister, they toke her and brought her to the Courte vnto kyng Pharao. But the Lord punyshed Pharao & all his house wythe great plages, bycause of Sarai, and yet committed he no hurt with her, and that he dyd was done of ignoraunce. For whan he vnder­stode that she was Abrahams wyfe, he sent for hym, and sayd? Why hast thou dealt thus with [Page] me. Wherfore toldest thou not me, that she A goodly ex­ample. was thy wife? Why saydest thou vnto me, that she was thy syster? There hast thou thy wyfe, take her, & go thy waye. And seyng it is thus it maye well be considred, ye God is much more dis pleased wt thē that wyllyngly cōmit aduoutry.

In the twentyest Chapter it is written that Marke this well: [...] once be ashamed ye wyllfull whoremon­gers. at Gerar, Abimelech ye kyng of the Philistines toke Abrahās wyfe, as Pharao had done before, and it appeared vnto the kyng in a dreame, and was sayde vnto hym: Beholde, thou arte but a dead man, because of the woman, whome thou haste taken, for she is another mans wyfe. And yet hadde Abimelech committed no actuall ded [...] wythe her, no more thē Pharao had done afore. Therfore sayde God also afterwarde: yf thou doest not delyuer her agayne vuto Abraham, be sure, that thou shalte dye the death, and so shall all that thyne is. Dyd not God wyth these wor­des declare manifestly, what sentence and iudge ment he hath gyuē vpō aduouterers? Wherfore Iosephe, whan he was prouoked of hys Lordes wyffe to accōplysh her wyll, sayd: My Lord hath cōmitted all thynges vnto me, sauyng the only, for thou arte hys maryed wyfe. Howe shoulde I then do so great hurte, and synne agenst God? Genesis. xxxix.

Iob saythe in the. xxxi. Chapter: yf my harte [Page xxxi] hathe lusted after my neyghbours wyfe, or yf I haue layed wayte at his dores, than let my wife be another mans harlotte, and let other men lye wyth her. Herewyth doth Iob knowledge it to be reason, that he be measured wyth suche measure as he hath gyuen vnto other men. If he had bro­ken his wedlocke, whyche thyng yet he dyd not, syth the punyshmēt of aduoutry is a meate that euery man can not chewe, let euery man consy­dre by hym selfe, howe lothe another ma [...] wolde be therof: & let hī not touch another mās wyfe, so shall his also not be medled wyth all. It follo­weth in Iob: For this is a wyckednesse & synne that belongeth to the Iudge, yea a fyre it is that consumethe all togyther, and plucketh vppe all a mās substaunce by the rootes. With the whiche wordes Iob dothe knowledge, that aduoutrye is suche a vice and wickednesse, as partaynethe to the Iudge, that is to saye, oughte by ryght to be greuously punyshed of th [...]m whiche be in autho rite (if they were not aduouterers thē selues) for it is a fyre that cōsinneth altogyther, both body honeste, and good: mynde, harte & welfare. And all this was exercysed & practised, afore the lawe was gyuen to the people of Israel by Moses.

And in the law doth God appoynt a certē pu The punysh mente of [...]d­uoutry in the law of God. nyshmēt for aduoutry amōg other trāsgressiōs [...]nd sayth. Leui. xx. Who so cōmitteth aduoutry [Page] with any mans wyfe, shall dye the death both y manne and the woman, because he hathe broken wedlocke with his neyghbours wyfe. And Deut xxii. is the same lawe recited agen, & confirmed.

Nether was aduoutry so sore punished amōg How aduou try was pu­nished amōg the hethen. Lex Lepre ianorum. the people of Israel onely, but also the Heithen vsed mortall executious therof. Thys wyll I nowe declare oute of the histories & credible wri ters. Whā any of the Lepre [...]ās were taken in ad uoutry, they were bounden, & caryed thre dayes thorowe the cite, & afterwarde (as longe as they lyued) were they despised, & with shame & cōfusi­on, reputed as parsonnes desolate of all honeste. Among the Lo [...]rēsiaus dyd Zalēcius forbyd ad Lex Zalen ci. A good ensā ple for noble men. uoutry vnder a great punyshment. The trans­gressours caused he to haue both ther eies thrust oute. And whan his owne sonne was taken in aduoutrye, he badde them put oute hys one eye as Iudges & the tother dyd he hymselfe put oute as a father. In the dayes of our forefathers, the noble Germaynes (afore they came to Christen Germani, faythe the punyshmente of a woman that brake wedlocke, stode in the power and aucthorite of her husband. And at the lest he myght strype her oute of her clothes, thrust h [...]r out of his house, & beat her openly with roddes in the Citie or tow ne, euen before her frendes. &c. as Cornelius Tacitus makethe mencion, who also wrytethe [Page xxxii] these wordes: Among thē ther was none y laugh ed at ye mysdede: & to defyle or be defyled, was na med among thē to be asmuch, as not to do accor ding to y course, maner & custome of the world.

Marke now well in how much better case they stode, then we, whiche laughe at all synne & vyce: yee all abhominacion, as fightinge, war­rynge, whorehuntynge, wedlok breakinge, mas­king mōmyng, to much drynking, excesse inea­tinge, & all vnclennesse do we excuse with these wordes. It is y maner & comen course so to do now in the world. Opilius Ma [...]rinius the em­perour Lex opil [...] of Rome, vsed to punishe aduouterers with fyre For thē whō he found in aduoutrye, caused he to be bownd and to be burnte together quycke. This doth Iulius Copitolinus wryte of him. And amonge the Romaynes was ther a Lex Iulia, comen law (called lex Iulia), whiche wolde, that execuciō shuld be done vpō aduoutrers, with the swerd the same law stod in strēgth in s. Hieroms tyme, who wryteth, that a certayne yongeman and a maried wyfe, were iudged and put to exe­cucion with the swearde because of aduoutry. And the same law (called lex Iulia, de stup [...] adult, dyd the Christen Emperours receaue, & of Iustinyan it is appoynted, lib, iiii. Tit. xo [...]i. de publicis iudiciis.

This allegacion concernyng the punishment [Page] of aduoutry I am sure wyll many menne mar­uayle Why aduou trye was so sore punished at, and esteme it sore & vntollerable. But yf they wolde considre the matter ryght, settyng affeccion and euell custome asyde, and wold pō ­der well what aduoutry were, and what follo­wethe it, they shoulde not wonder so sore at [...]he punyshment. Aduoutry is a destrucciō and hye what aduou try is. dishonour of the ordinaunce of God, a wycked­nesse growen out of the dyuell and ydlenesse of the fleshe, a shamefull vnfaythfulnes, a wylfull truce breaking and periury. And that this is so, maye euery man considre by the Chapters go­ynge afore. Wedlocke is the ordinaunce of god, Wedlocke. in the which both ye parties ought so to be knyt the one vnto the other, that they be not deuided, Paule sayth also, that aduoutry is a worcke of the flesh. Notwythstandyng, manifest it is that maried parsonnes at theyr entraūce do make a perpetuall couenaunt, and there callynge vpon God, & takyng hym to recorde before ye whole cō gregacion, they promyse trouth and sayth wyth Marke and take hede. mouth & hand the one to the other: &c. Nowe yf it be but a smale trespasse to dissemble, to breake to destroye & to tread vnder foote all this to for sweare trouth geuē before god & the church & no thynge to regarde honoste and fayth, thē must I nedes cōfesse, that the punyshment of aduoutry was to rygorous in the olde tyme. But yf it be [Page xxxiii] a [...]ust thing, ernestly to punishe vnfaythfull per [...]ury, the despysing and contemnyng of god and all honestie, then is also the punishment of ad­noutrye right equall and not to sore.

Item, Yf the losse of a good thinge shoulde be valued after the estimacion of the owner, then (as touching this life, ther is no greater dāma­ge, then a man to lose his owne body. Now is it certaine, that both the parties maried, are but one body, and that (as Paul saieth) the husband hath no power of his owne body, but the wife, nether hath the wife power of hir awne body, but the husband. Wherfore who so committeth aduoutry, the same taketh awaye, stealeth and robbethe the other of hys awne body, euen hys pryncypall and best good. Or what honest per­sonne had not rather fynd a thefe stealynge his treasure & rather to suffre the losse of ye goodes thē to fynd an aduouterer by his maried spou­se, and to reape dishonoure in her.

Both these vyces therfore theft and aduou­trye, Aduoutry [...] theft compa red y one to­ward y other by Salomō. doth Salomon in the si [...]te of the Prouer­bes laye vpon the balaunce the one agaynste the other, and sheweth how that aduoutrye is the sorer and more tedyous, sayenge: A thefe is not vtterly despysed, that whan he is hongrye, stea­leth to fede himselfe, for whan he is taken, he must restore seuen tymes asmuche, or els all his [Page] substaūce. But he that is so farre out of reason as to breake wedloke with another mans wife, both eyther destroye him selfe, or els getteth him selfe strypes and shame, which shame maye ne­uer be wyped out. For the wrath of gelousye and of the husband (yf he haue tyme to reuenge) wyll not be intreated: he wyll not be persuaded with prayer, yee though thou geuest him rewardes he wyll not receaue them. This comparison doth euery man vnderstond. For though a mās good be stolen, yet yf it be restored him agayne with­out hurt, he wilbe intreated, for as much as it was done (happelye (thorow pouerte. But yf a mā take his wife in aduoutry, he will not be pa cified. For it is a very beestly and wicked thing.

More ouer, yf a man take a thefe with the de mayner yet hath he no power to auenge him sel fe & to slaye ye thefe: But yf a man fynde an ad uoutrer at the dede doyng, he maye be auenged. And though he do wound, slea or kyll the ad­uoutrer & the aduoutresse: yet shal he not be pu­nished for the death of them. Out of all whiche wordes euery mā may planely vnderstōd what vyce is most greuous before god & before all in­different iudges. Before these wordes also, saieth Salomon: Maye a man take fyre in his bosome, and his clothes not be brent? Or cā one go vpon whotecoles, and his fete not be hurte▪ [Page xxxiiii] euen so, who so euer goeth into hys neyghbours wyfe, and toucheth her, can not remayne vndefi led. Wherby he declareth furthermore the daun­ger and greatnesse of this vice, threatenyng thē that thyncke (lyke fooles) to kepe theyr aduoutry Whoredome shall come to lyght. secrete, and that they shal neuer be taken and pu nysshed.

It seruethe to our purpose, that thorowe ad­uoutry, Alteracions and aliena [...]i ons of here­tages. great enheritaunces are altered, and the ryght heyres disher [...]ted For oft tymes it fortu­neth, that an aduoutresse hath children by an ad uoutrer, & then must the sayd chyldren enherite all the substaunce of theyr pretenced father, as lawfull chyldren, which yet are vnlawfull, wher by the father leseth his honour, hys kynred, hys body & goodes. His wyfe, which is hys owne bo­dy, hath the aduouterer defyled, & the vnlawfull childrē take ye goodes awaye. If this be not great wrong and wyckednes, then wote not I what a mā maye affirme to be vicious inough: therfore Aduoutry in womenne is moost to be abhorred. though aduoutry be horrible both in men & wo­men, yet in womē it is moost hurtfull & detesta­ble. For besydes that the aduoutresse alter [...]th the inheritaūce (as I sayd before) and with false pro mises & shamefull disceate, withdraweth & stea­leth it from the ryght heyres, she ladeth fyrst her honest poore husbande wyth great shame, great trauayle, laboure, sorowe and payne, in that he [Page] [...]is fayne to bryng vp those aduouterous chyldrē which are not his awne.

Moreouer, she dishonoureth her father, her mother & kynred: Her chyldren (euen those that are lawefull must be ashamed of her, & be doub­ted of in the worlde, whether they be lawefully begotten or no. Th [...]rfore whan they speake of theyr mother, or heare her named, they are abas­shed and ashamed. Aduoutresses also make theyr husbandes to be despised and of no reputacion, although they be vertuous & honest men. They are the occasion, that folkes come ofte togyther, whyche are nye of kynred. These & suche lyke in What a sea of euylles en sue outof ad uoutry., numerable cōfusions, shame, hurte, dishonoure & fylthynesse, folowe out of abhominable aduou­try. I passe ouer nowe the murthers, poysonyn­ges, [...], māslaughters, battayls, & warres, that haue ensewed after aduoutrye, & destroyed both countreyes & people. This dyd the aunciēt & noble men of olde, pondre and considre, & ther­fore ryghteously & of iust occasions appoynted they the punyshment of deathe for aduouterers.

Yet wyll we heare howe aduouterers excuse The defence which adul­terers vse. theyr owne vice, & pondre howe reasonably they go to worke. They saye: Though God haue for bydden aduoutry vnder the payne of deathe, yet is the same punyshment not executed, perfour­med or practised. For in no place appearethe it, [Page xxxv] that aduoutrers were put to death. For Dauid was an aduoutrer, & yet receaued he no punysh­ment therfore, yea the Lord Christ hymselfe dyd abrogate & dissolue y punyshment of aduoutry, for asmuche as he commaunded not the woman (taken in aduoutry) to be put to deathe, but b [...]d her go her waye. For whan no man had condē ­ned her, he also let her go. Ioan. viii.

To that I aunswere: God in hys lawe hath once expressed, howe he estemeth aduoutry, and how he wyl haue it punyshed. Nowe yf mē haue not done Gods cōmaundement & accordinge to the same, then is it neuer the better: yet endureth the lawe of God vnmoueable and sure. Neuer­thelesse Death was the punyshe­ment of ad­uoutry. they of the olde tyme dyd punysh aduou­try wyth the payne of death, as it is sufficiently proued afore oute of the stories. The obiection therfore that aduouterers make, is but vayne. Nowe thoughe all sentēces & iudgemētes ye haue bene executed and practised because of aduoutry stonde not in holye scripture, it is no maruayle. For the Byble is not a register of vnthriftes & of suche, as for theyr wyck [...]dnes haue bene putte to execu [...]ion. Or is it not euident ynough vnto you, howe it was lyke to haue gone wythe Su­sanna? The aduou­try of dauid Dauid committed aduoutrye once in his lyfe, which drewe hym also and brought him into great murther, so that he caused not onely [Page] his faythfull seruaunt Uria, but other noble mē lykewyse to be slayne. Beholde what occasion aduoutry gyueth? What cometh of it? Trueth it is, he was not stonned to deathe. But what chaunsed vnto hym? Euen as he had dishonou­red another mannes chylde, so sawe he shame v­pon hys owne chyldren whyle he lyued & that with great wretchednesse. For Amnon deflou­red Thamar hys owne naturall syster. And they both were Dauids chyldren. Yea Absolom dyd miserably slaye Amnon his brother, for cō ­mittyng that wyckednesse wyth his syster Tha mar. Not longe after, dyd the same Absalō driue his owne naturall father Dauid out of his Realme, & shamefully laye with his fathers wifes. Wherevpon there followethe an horrible great slaughter, in the whyche Absalom was slayne, wyth many thousandes moo of the comon peo­ple Nowe lette euery man ponder w [...]ll by hym­selfe, whether it be not a lesse thyng, once to meddle, and so to haue execuciō & dye: then to abyde the death of so many, and that so longe, wythe suche misery and sorowe. Therfore was Da­uid sorer punyshed, than if he had bene but once stoned vn to deathe. And lette euery man learne hereby, that no mā can escape the hand of God, althoughe the worlde laye no hande vpon hym, God punysheth neuerthelesse, yea & that muche [Page xxxvi] sorer, whan he doth not here, but differreth it in­to another worlde.

Wher as they make Christ ye Lorde a mayn­t [...]yned of aduouterers, it is playne and euident The aduou­tresse broght before christ shame. Christ neuer gauelibertye vnto synne. For he sayth: I am not come to breake the lawe but to fulfyl it. Paule also sayth: To the righte ous is ther no law giuen, but vnto the vnrighte ous and disobedient, to whoremongers, to per­iure [...] personnes, to lyers and blasphemers. And to the Galathians he saythe: Walke ye in the spirite, so are ye not vnder the lawe. Therfore for asmuche as aduouterers do walke in ye flesh and not in the spirite, they are vnder the law, ne ther hath the Lorde taken the lawe and punyshe ment from them.

Moreouer, as touching the story. Ioh. viii. we must considre that the Lord sayd vnto the wife: woman, hath no man cōdemned the: And whan she had sayd, no man, he answered: Nether do I condemne the. For wyth this answere layed he before her the sentence of the Iudges. And for as muche as he was not come now to gyue sen­tence as a Iudge, but to saue, he wolde not con­demne her, and so medled nether wyth the lawe nor the acte. The Lord was come nowe to haue mercy vpon synners, and to call them to repen­taunce. Therfore sayd he also vnto this womā: [Page] [...] [Page xxxvi] [...] [Page] Go thy waye, and synne no more. And wythe Repentaūce. these wordes doth the Lorde warne all suche as are tangled wyth aduoutry, to cease from hens­forth and to amende. God happely maye haue mercy vpon them, & take from them the shame, dishonour, payne and punyshment, whiche they haue greatly deserued. For God hath no delyte in the destruccion of a poore synner, but wyl ra­ther that they cōuerte & lyue. But yfye wyl not turne, yf ye wyll nedes be styffenecked and styll set forth youre shamelles foreheades, then verely doth God watche ouer youer wyckednes, & saith Hieremy. v. In the desyre of vnclenly lust, they are becomel yke olde stallādes: euery one neyeth at his neyghboures wyfe: Shulde not I punysh this? Wherfore ye aduouterers, looke for none other, but God wyll plage you for shamelesse actes of wickednes & whoredome. For abhomi­nacion, vice, periury, and shameful matters are they, that ye go about wythall.

¶ The. xii. Chapter.

[...]ow one that entēdeth to mary, shulde chose a mete, honest, and vertuous mate.

ANd hytherto haue I declared whence wed locke cōmethe, who dyd institute it, what it is, how it ought orderly to be contrac­ted, what be the occasions end and vertue ther­of. Item howe holy, profitable and good it is. [Page xxxvi] Agayne, howe horrible, noysome and shamefull whoredome and aduoutry is. But forasmuche as in the occasions of wedlocke it is mencioned how y wedlocke was ordined of God, to the in­tent that maryed folkes shulde spend theyr lyfe in y mutuall participaciō of al such thinges as God sendeth, y they may bryng forth chyldrē, or they maye auoyd whordome, or for the eschew [...] ­ynge of perellous, solenes, that the one maye be a conforte and helpe to the other accordyng to y wyll of GOD: And for asmuche also as in the meane season there lyethe great importaunce, & wayght vpon it, what manner of companion & mate thou chosest, how thou mayest lyue wythe hym, and (yf God gyue the chyldren) howe thou mayest bryng them vp. Therfore in thys parte of [...]y boke followyng, I wyl treate how a mete honest and vertuous spouse ought to be chosen. Afterwarde, howe they ought on both the sydes to lyue well and ryght togyther, to hepe and in­creace the mutuall loue and trouth of mariage, and fynally howe they muste well & vertuously bryng vp theyr chyldren.

For who so coupleth hymselfe wyth braul [...]g Ther [...] lyeth muche way­ght in y elec­cion of thy [...]ate. folkes, & cōmeth to disquietnes, maye not com­playne therof. Why lefce he not such cōtencious persons wythout his house? Who so nowe wyll haue a peaceable mariage, must not chose him a [Page] restlesse mate. He that wyll plante any thynge, A godly and not a [...]leensā ple: doth fyrst considre the nature of the ground, in the whiche he entendeth to plante. Muche more shuldest thou haue respecte to the condicions of thy spouse, oute of whome thou desyrest to plant chyldren, the frute of honeste and welfare. And lyke as plantynge and carefulnesse hathe great power in al growyng thinges: so hath it greater vertue and strength, yea and better frute in the diligent bryngynge vp of chyldren. Where as mariages and chyldrē do sometyme prosper euel the greatest cause therof, is the faulte in chosyng the partie, and in the chyldrens bryngynge vp. Nowe where as we fayle in this behalf, it com­meth either of our owne fonde affeccion whiche we folow, and are seduced therby, or els cōmeth it of ignoraūce, as whan folkes wotte not wher vnto they ought to haue respecte, or howe to do in the cause. And seyng that in these poyntes stō deth the makyng and marrynge of wedlocke, I wyll fyrst note in fewe wordes the moost neces­sary thyng that maye be spokē hereof: And fyrst wyll I speake of the chosyng of a spouse.

The chosynge, is a receauyng or acceptynge What the e­lec [...]ion is. of suche thynges as we thynke are mete for our ende and purpose. Therfore euery election hath a finall respecte, that it is directed vnto. For as much now as our talkynge here, is of the elecciō [Page xxxviii] of a spouse, we must reduce to our remembrāce, the ende of wedlocke, that is to saye, the causes, why and wherfore it is contracted. Nowe haue Why mary [...] age is cōtrac ted. we heard afore, that the causes why it was orde ned▪ and wherfore it is to be receaued of ye two parsonnes, are these, euen to the intent that they shall cōtinually dwell togyther, and spende theyr lyfe in the mutuall participaciō of all such thyn ges as God sendeth, that they maye bryng forth chyldren, or that they maye auoyde whoredome, (for the eschewyng of per [...]llous solitarines) that the one maye be a conforte a [...]d healpe to ye other accordyng to the wyll of God.

Therfore thou that wylte chose, muste haue respecte vnto these aforesayde poyntes, as to the finall ende & marke, set before the, & must proue wheth [...]r the parsonne, whome thou thynkest to [...]oyne vnto thy selfe, haue these poyntes, whyche thou hast heard now recyted. And the same shalt thou well proue, if thou note diligently the ryt­ches that are in man, of the whych I wyll nowe speake.

Thre manner of rytch [...] [...]re therin man, the Thre man [...] of rytche [...] [...] man. rytches of the mynde, of the body, and of tempo­rall substaunce. The best & moost precious are the ritches of the mynde, as they without which the other two are more hurteful then profitable. The rytches of the mynde are, the feare of God, [Page] faythe, gods glory, gods seruyce, vnderstandyng Rytches of the [...]. or knowlege, prudēce, trueth, sobernes, righteous nes, liberalite, chastite, humblenesse, honesty and nourtoure, synglenesse and diligence: and suche lyke vertues. These lye not styll, neyther hyde them selues, wher so euer they be, but breake out diuerse wayes, so that they maye well be spyed, but specially in talkynge. For our Lorde Christ dyd say: Out of the abundance of the harte spea keth the mouth. They of the olde tyme sayd, that a mannes talkyng is the myrrour & messanger Language. of the mynd, in the whiche it maye be sene with­out, in what case the man is wythin. Therfore who so wyll knowe and haue experience howe a The feare of God. mans mynde standethe, let hym diligently note his communicacion, whether it be ioyned wt the feare of God, manerly, true, earnest honest, sted fast, and reasonable, or whether it be churlyshe & vngodly, nyce, vayneglorious, fayned, ful of wor des vnstedfast, vnhonest, vnreasonable and ioy­ned wyth lyghtenesse. And of these fruytes than shalt thou know the tree and roote of the harte. And thoughe ypocrisy vse much disceate in tal­kyng, yet canne no ypocrite go alwaye so crafte­ly, but he shall sometyme stomble and bewray hym selfe.

But for the more suertye, it is good for the [...]ot only to marke his communicacion, but also [Page xxxix] other gestures & maners, howe the mā nowe be­hauethe hymselfe, howe he hathe done hytherto, Reputacion. what name and fame he hath had, and yet hath, what opinion otherwyse, and honest men haue of hym, howe he behaueth hymselfe in stondyng and goyng, & in all the partes of his body, what rayment he vseth, whether it be vayne, whorysh, Garmentes. wanton, lyghte, or mannerly and accordynge to his estate, reputacion and power, that is to saye, honest rayment. For rayment doth ofte giue cer tayne and sure testimony of pryde, lyghtenesse, wantonnesse, inconstancy, vnshamefastnesse, boastyng and of fylthynesse or vnclennesse, and other vices or vertues that are in mā. So maye Company. much be spyedalso, by the company and pastyme that he vseth. For a man is for the moost parte condicioned euen lyke vnto them that he kepeth company wythe all. We se that among beastes wylde and tame, lyke wyll to lyke. The educa­tion The bryn­gyng by. also gyuethe great testimonye, namely by whome, & how euery one is brought vp, whether it were among vertuous parsons or euell, whe­ther the partie hathe continued in the nurtoure of the vertuous, & shewed hymselfe obedient, or whether he hath broke out of his disciplyne, and followed hys owne wylfulnesse. For it is but a smale matter for the to haue dwelte among ver­tuous men, but rather herein lyeth the wayght, [Page] howe farre & howe much thou hast folowed thē, & bene obedient vnto them. Iudas was amonge the Apostles, brought vp of the Lord Christ, but for all that was he neuer the better. For he lefte not his wicked pran [...]es, nether was he obediēt.

Thorowe the occasion of all these thynges, & other lyke appartaynyng to the same, oughte euery one to discerne the parsonne, whome he Note: hathe chosen to take to marriage, and to se that she be endewed with the sayd rytches of y mynd and that to his purpose she be ryghte, peaceable, honest, mete and conuenient for hym to lyue wt all in wedlocke, as it besemethe, and as GOD hath iustituted. For lyke as in the mynde there are suche vertues as we haue spoken of, so are Frowarde wycked qua lities of the mynde: there in it also noysome wycked vices and des­traccions, as vngodlynes, despysyng of Goddes worde, mysbelefe, ydolatry, Ma [...]etrye, igno­raunce, churlyshnes, lyeng, falsehood, ypocrisy, vnryghteousnesse, backebytyng, mistemperaūce, dronkennesse, couetousnesse, vnchastite, vnsha­mefastnesse, mysnurtoure, rashnesse, furyouse wantonnesse, pryde, presumpcion, vayneglorye, [...]hydyng, brawlyng, and vnhandsomnesse. Who so nowe chosethe hym a mate that is tangled wt suche noysome vices, seakethe not a spouse for a ryght peaceable and good honest lyfe, but a [...] hell a paynfulnes, a destrucciō of all expedient [...] ver­tuous [Page xl] lyuyng. Specially there is lytle good to be looked for, where as is vngodlynesse and des­pysyng of Goddes worde.

For lyke as the feare of God draweth ye who The des [...]y­sing of gods worde. ☜ le garland of [...]ertues wyth it, so bryngethe vn­godlynesse all vice and abhominacion, [...]ea and shutteth vp the waye to amendement. For who so wyll not heare Gods worde, refuseth all good enfourmacion, and therfore is there no amend­ment to be hoped for in hym. And where as is no shamefastnes, there dare the shamelesse per­sonne vnshamefast ness. Lyeng. do euery thyng that lykethe hym. Where lyeng, b [...]astyng and lyghtnesse is, there can no certaynete be had, there stondethe all in doubte, Pryde. what so euer is spoken and done. Where pryde is, there is also rashnes, wylfulnes, presumpciō, contempt, disdayne, murmuryng, and obstinate rebelliō: And where as suche be, there is nothing but brawlynge, chydynge, and neuer one g [...]od houre. Wherfore he that wyll not lacke ye ryght poyntes of marryage, and of a cōmodious lyfe, let hym haue respe [...]te [...]o the ryches of the mynd, and chose hym suche a parsonne, as is endewed of God wyth such rytches, and not with a noy­some or frowarde mynde. The ryche [...] of the body.

After the rytches of the mynde, do the ritches of the bodye followe ne [...]te, as is a bewtyfull or well fauoured body, health, a conuenient age &c. [Page] A bewtiful body is such one, as is of right four­me and shape, mete and of strength to beare chil dren, and to kepe an house, euen such a personne as thou canste fynde in thyne herte to loue, and to be content wythe all, &c. Of the bewty of the body (where there is els no good qualite besyde) Beautye. sayth Salomon, Prouer. xxxi. As for fauoure it is deceatfull and transitory, and bewtye is a vayne thynge, but a woman that feareth god, is to be commended. And Prouerb. xi. A fayre wo­man without discrete maners, is lyke a ryng of golde in a swynes snowte. Therfore are they all starke fooles, that in chosyng them wyues, looke only to theyr bewty, and regard not the rytches of the mynde. Afterwarde doth the same bewty turne them to disquietnes, to payne and trou­ble.

Health also must be considred in the eleccion, lest thou with all that thou hast, perysh, and lest Healthe. thy whole house be poysoned and hurte. Neuer­theles I speake here of sore contagious syckenes­ses, not of such dayly infirmitees and small di­seases, that all menne are subdued vnto. But I spake of madnesse, frenesy, the fallyng syckenes, lamenes, leprosy, Frenche pockes, or suche lyke, whiche euery manne should greatly abhorre.

Notwythstondyng where maryed folkes, which Marke well now are togyther, be visited wyth suche diseases [Page xli] then must suffre the one wyth the other as they that are in one body. As for the due and conueni ent age▪ we spake of it in the syxt Chapter.

To haue the goodes of temporall substaunce Rytches of tēporall sub stau [...]e. is to be borne of noble parentes, or to come of a worshypful stocke, to haue rytches, great offices gaynes, or occupienges, and such lyke. The hiest nobilite and moost worthy commēdacion, is to be noble in vertues, in good workes, manners and condicions. Who so dothe come also of no­ble parentes, is the more to be reputed. But to Nobilite. be a gentle borne, and to vse hymselfe v [...]gently is euen as muche as to shame hymselfe and his. There haue ben found many, whiche came of a lowe byrth, but they garnysshed theyr kynredde so wyth vertues and noble actes, that they and theyr stocke attayned to great prosperite. Ther are many this daye that come of famous hou­ses & noble parentes, but they leane to muche to theyr byrthe, yea they are wylfull mynded, and thynke, that (because of theyr nobilite) they may do what they lyst, and that theyr doinges becom methe them well, and yet are they so noble (that, is, they so excell) in all vyce and abhominacion that they brynge them selues to dishonour, and to cōtempt and hatred of all men.

Let euery man therfore looke ernestly to this matter, lest any manne intendynge to haue the [Page] golde, and catchyng the whotte cooles, do burne hy [...]selfe wythout recure. For temporall goodes sake, the matter miscarieth and is in daunger. Temporall goodes. There is sometyme great rytches, but wyth ly­tle honeste is it gathered togyther. And wythe the same rytches, wyll not be al waye prosperite, peace and rest. Many trust to theyr goodes, and nothyng wyll they learne, therfore also can they do nothyng but lyue deyntely, and wyth pryde, excesse and dishonesty, to wayst it awaye, that hathe bene long gathered togyther. Nowe whan Beware or [...]ll be spent. there is all waye taken from the heape, and no thyng layd therto, it waysteth away in processe of tyme, howe great so euer it hathe bene. Then foloweth pouerte, yea an intollerable and vnpa [...]ient pouerte. For they that nowe lasshe oute all togyther, haue had no necessite hytherto, but were in all wealth, therfore after suche a Sonne shyne, there commeth euer an intollerable heate, and thense forth begyn they to warme them sel­ues at the bare leaues.

Who so nowe in his eleccion lookethe to the multitude of goodes, and not howe they were wonne, & whence they come, he hath accustoma­bly suche a smoky hat set vpon his head, that all the water of Ryne can not wash away the soo [...] therof. Good wythout God & honeste, is a deadly poyson, & the bodely dyuell hymselfe. Goodes [Page xlii] and rytches is in y hand of an vndiscrete & igno raunt man, is as a sharpe knyfe in the hande of a chylde, that doth no good therwyth, but woun deth and destroyethe it selfe. Wherfore let euery mā in the elecciō, haue more respecte to discreciō & knowledge, thā to rytches. Moreouer an hand that is occupyed, & wynneth & getteth his lyuing godly and honestly, doth farre excell any rytches Handy craf tes. that are wonne. A rytche man which hath great goodes in hys hand, & yet hath learned nothyng wythall (and nothyng can learne) whan he once loseth hys substaunce and goodes, he can wynne no more, but commeth immediately to the staffe & wallet, As for suche one as hathe applyed hym Wynnyng [...] occupyenge. selfe to learnyng, he is fytte to some office, he can and is able to occupy and laboure: and thoughe he once or twyse loseth that he hath, yet canne he wynne more agayne.

And though no mā wyth hys eleccion shulde Honest pro­uisio nought to be regar­ded. haue speciall respecte vnto temporall substaunce yet ought no man to behaue hymselfe vncircum spectly, nether lyghtly to regarde honest prouisiō For lyke as out of great rytches there followeth pryde, euen so of pouertie there folowethe muche euell. Therfore is it not vnryghte, that thou [...] thyne eleccion considre how thou mayst honest­ly wynne thy breade, and wherof thou mayest lyue wyth thy spouse, and what thy spouses sub­staunce [Page] and occupyeng is, & howe the same may be an healpe to thy conuenient lyuynge. If thou nowe wylte not regarde the more excellent and better thynges, but haue onely respecte vnto the goodes, than marryest thou not the parson, but the goodes? Wherof if there be not so muche as thou wouldest fayne haue, or if it waste awaye, then farewell all the loue. For that loue whiche Whotte loue is [...]one colde. commethe thorowe rytches, beauty, or other lyke smale occasions, is euen as a fyre that is made of stra [...] or tow: it groweth soone and is great, but streyghtewaye it vanysshethe. Euen so is that loue shortely extincte, which spryngeth not of durable occasions. If a fyre be made of whole stronge wood, it gyuethe a good naturall heate, lykewyse if thou in the eleccion of a spouse, haste respecte vnto ye true, godly & honest poyntes, thē is the loue of so muche the longer continuaunce.

And to be shorte, let euery one wyth his elecci­on, [...]he effect of the eleccion. haue fyrst respecte vnto those poyntes, for ye whiche wedlocke was ordeyned of God. Then whether the partie (whom thou arte mynded to chose) be reasonably endewed wythe all, or no. And to the intent that the same may well be per Good lessō [...] for chosynge [...] wyfe. ceaued, let euery mā haue faythfull respecte here to the rytches of the mynde, whether the parson be godly, wyse, discrete, true, faythfull, honest, so ber, and louyng. Item whether she be whole and [Page xliii] sounde, and not laden wyth sore diseases, defor­med, sluttysh. fylthy, euell fauoured, & what her estate is, what power and possibilite she is of, how, where, & with whom she hath ben brought vp, whervpon she lyueth, & what she occupyethe. how frutefull, handsome, houswyfely, laborious and quycke she is. If besyde these, thou fyndest other great rytches (bewty and suche gyftes) and comest godly & honestly by them, thou haste the more to thancke God for.

But specially and afore all other thynges, we must faythfully wyth feruentnesse and stedfast belefe (without ceasynge) make intercession and prayer vnto God, to whome all hartes are open and knowne, that he wyll not suffer vs to go a­mysse, but as a father, healpe and guyde vs to a ryght mariage, in the whiche we maye lyue ho­nestly and prosperously, euē as we ought to his honoure. For it is God onely that prouidethe the mariage, that hath the hartes in hys hande, and that gyuethe the wyll, as it is sayde in the Chapters afore. But lyke as in other poyntes & matters the ordinaūce of God doth not destroye lawfull instrumētes: Euen so here in this cause the institucion of God denyeth not the ordinate election, but in them that feare GOD they go both togyther.

Of this ordinaūce of God and ordinate elec­cion, [Page] we haue a very fayre example, Gene. xxiiii. A nota [...]le en [...] of y electiō and [...] a [...]d in y cause [...] ma­tr [...]. where Abraham sent his seruaunt in hys messa ge, to get his sonne Isaac a wife in Mesopota­mia. The same seruaunt begynneth his matter with prayer, & sayeth: O lord god of my master Abrahā, send me good spede this day, and shewe mercy vnto my master Abraham. Lo, I stonde here by y well of water (for he t [...]yed there with his seruauntes and camels without the cyty by a welles syde, and the daughters of the menne of thys cytie wil come out and drawe water. Now the damsell to whome I saye, stoupe downe thy pitcher and lette me drincke, yf she saye, dryncke, and I wyl geue thy camels dryncke, therby wyll I know, that she is the same, whome thou haste ordeyned for thy seruaunt Isaac.

Beholde, in thys prayer doth Abrahams ser­uaunt knowlege the ordinaunce of god, and that god onely prouydeth the mariage, and yet neuer theles he falleth to prayer, and vseth that meane. For it foloweth in the story, And it came to [...]as that yer he hadde left speakynge, Rebecca came forth, & caryed a pitcher vpon her shulder, & she Rebecca. was a verye fayre damesell & vnblemisshed vir­gyn, & came downe to the well to drawe water. Then ranne the seruaunt vnto her, and asked hir drynke, & she sayde: Drincke syr. And wyth that toke she downe her pitcher, and gaue hym [Page xliiii] drincke. And whan he had droncken, she sayde: I wyll drawe water for thy camelles also, that they maye dryn [...]e. And so she made haste, and poured water out of her pitcher into the trough and gaue the camels drynke: But the mā mar­uayled at her, and marked her well, and hyld his tonge et cete. No doute, he hadde respecte to the The proper tyes of a mayde that shulde [...]e cho sen wyte. ryches of the mynde and of the body, and percea ued that she was gentle, seruiseable, lowly, geuē to laboure, quycke in her busynesse, louynge to­warde straūgers, that she was not my [...]taughte or nycely brought vp, ner a hye mynded or deyn tye veast, but honeste and handsome. How she was condycyoned, coulde he not knowe better, then by such token. She was yet an vntouched virgin, and therfore also wel nourtoured and no nyce thynge.

Whan she commeth to the well she makethe no stoppe: ner bringeth a sorte of yong fellowes with her, nether standeth she gasyng and won­dryng vpon the straunge man, but quyckely and straight goeth she her way, and tendeth her own busynesse. But assone as the olde honeste man (Abrahams seruaunt) speke vnto her, she shewe­eth herselfe very curtuous and gentle. Full re­uerently calleth she hym, syr master or lord and serueth him quickely, asketh no questions at him and makethe no moo wordes. These are righte [Page] vertues, highely to be commended in a virgin. Morouer this damsell is praysed for her bew­tye and fayrenesse of hir body, whiche was euen asmuch the more excellent, as she exceaded in ver tuous condicions.

Thou wilt saye, yee but where are the other gyftes of god and ryches of the mynd, as the fea re of GOD, true beleife, et cete? I answere.

The sayde vertues were not in her wythoute the fear of God and fayth. Abraham also had ta ken an ooth afore, of the same his seruaunte, af­ter this maner. Thou shalt sweare by the lord of heauen & earth, that vnto my sonne thou shalt take no wyfe of the doughters of the Cananites among whom I dwel, but shalte go to my coun tre and kynrid, and thence bring him a wyfe.

The Cananites were corrupte and loste in The goodes of the mynd are more to be regarded thā the go [...] des of y bo­dy or of the worlde. theyr faythe and manners gyuen to Idolatrye and abhomynacyon, yet were they mighty and rytche. But they in Mesopotamia (whēce Abra ham was) feared God and were vertuous, not withstandyng they were not of lyke power and ritches. Neuertheles Abraham folowed after the feare of God, & therin leauethe he vs an en­sample, that we all shulde be the gladder to haue God, then Mammō. And thus haste thou also, that in this mariage, there was great experien ceof fayth.

[Page xlv] Whan the seruasit now had with sylēce con­sydred the excellent giftes in the damesell he as­keth her furthermore: whose doughter art thou? She aunswereth. I am the doughter of Bathuel and Nahor is graundfather. Then Abrahams seruaunt toke out a ryng of gold & other Iewels Gyftes in y waye of ma riage are [...]oth laufull and cōmen­dable. A prouer [...] and gaue her them. For no vncomlye thynge is it to geue honeste presentes to honeste dame­sels in the waye of honeste, and so to moue theyr myndes vnto the honour and loue of mariage. Els (or in other wise, & of suspecious personnes, ought honest damsels to take none. For it is no vntrueprouerbe: She that taketh the pedlers ware, must be fayne to haue the pedler himselfe also at the last. &c.

Moreouer, the seruaunt thought he wolde pro ue, how frendly, mercifull, harbarous, & faithful the damesell was, and sayd: Haue ye rowme in thy fathers house to lodge in? And she sayd vnto hym: We haue plenty of lytter and prouender, & rowme ynoughe to lodge in, yet because she wold not take much vpon her, she ranne in, and tolde her brother Laban the matter.

Who immediatelye made readye the stable, goeth forth to the well & bringeth the seruaunte into the house, and setteth meat before him But the seruaunt sayde: I will not eate, tyll I haue first done my earand. And so beganne, and tolde [Page] how that hys master Abraham had one onelye A fourme of the [...]rande in mariage. sonne: how riche he was, and how he had sente him to Mesopotamia to get hys sonne a wyfe.

Then tolde he howe he made hys prayer vnto god, & came to the well, and how theyr doughter Rebecca came to the well also, how she behaued her selfe and what she dyd, by the vohych he vn­derstode, that god had prouyd [...]d theyr doughter for his masters sonne: So that now his request was, that they wold geue hym a fynall aunswe­re, whether they could be cont [...]t to mary theyr daughter to his masters sonne, or no. Where vpon the damsells father and brother aunswe­red. Thys commeth euen of the Lorde, therfore wyll we not saye agaynst it▪ &c.

And thus out of the story we learne, that whā we haue made oure faythfull prayer vnto God, appoynted oure election ordynatelye, and vsed the other meanes, we must do oure errand vnto the parentes or tutours of the partye, and how and after what maner we ought to do it. The damesel also is enquyred what her wyll is, she consenteth, and ther wyth is the mariage conclu ded. Thus much I haue spokē cōcerning the chosynge of conuenient and mete spouse, and of the earand appertaynyng to the same.

Yet in thys thynge also must I warne euerye Trueth in cōtrac [...]ynge of mariage. reasonable and honeste persone, to beware, that [Page xlvi] in contractyng of maryage, they dyssemble not, ner set forth any lye, but rather vse trueth, & tell how euery thyng standeth. For they that lye and dyssemble, do afterward cause much displea­sure amonge them that are disceaued. Let euery one remembre, how loth he wolde be to be discea­ued hymselfe, and that it is comenly sayde: In mariage ought no man to be begyled.

Euery man lykewyse must esteme the parson to whom he is handfasted, none otherwyse, then Marke this well. for his owne spouse, though as yet it be not done in the church ner in the streate. For thus is it wrytten. Deut. xxii. yf a mayde be handfasted to an husband, and then a man fynde her, and lye wyth her, they shall both he caried out of the cytye, and stoned vnto death.

The. xiii. Chapter.

Of the weddyng.

ANd to the intēt that all incōueniēces for to come which myght afterward growe, eyther touchyng the goodes or the promy ses) maye cyrcumspectlye be preuented, therfore after y handfastynge & makyng of the contracte y church goyng & weddyng shuld not be differred to long, lest the wickedde sowe hys vngracyous sede in the meane season. Likewyse the weddinge [Page] (& cohabitacion of ye parties) ought to be begōne with God, & wyth the earnest prayer of yt whole church or cōgregaciō. But into this dysh hath ye dyuell put his foote, & myngled it wythe many wycked vses and custumes. For in some places ther is suche a maner, wel worthy to be rebuked that at the handefastyng, there is made a great feast & sup [...]rfluous bācket, & euē the same nyght are the two hādfasted personnes brought & layed togyther, yea certen wekes afore they go to the chyrch. Which is nothyng els but a wycked lust, and a playne euidēce, yt thou lytle regardest the blyssyng, euen as dyd Esau, & that in wedlocke thou sekest nothyng but caruall desyre.

Christ commaundethe vs, that fyrst before Maried fol­ [...]es go to the chyrch afore they lye togy ther. all thynges and in all thynges, we shal seake the kyngdome of God. And for asmuche as he hym selfe dyd openly couple the fyrste mariage togy­ther, and blyssed both the parties, therfore the cō gregacion thorowe the ensample and spirite of God, hath ordeyned, that the parties shall open­ly and before all thynges, come to the Chyrche, and there declare and confirme theyr marriage in the face of the chyrche, and of Gods minister receaue the blessyng, and committe them selues to the comon prayers of the congregacion, and enioye the same. This godly ordinaunce ought euery reasonable Christen man to prefer aboue [Page xlvii] his owne fonde affeccion, and not fyrst to seake the bancket & the bed in his mariage, but Gods kyngdome, and then fyrst to be wedded & dwel to gyther in the name of God.

For in the sayde ordinaunce we must not on­ly The occasi­ons & cōmo­dities that commethe of this ordinās. consither, and note the acte and example of God, but also those profitable and christen poyn tes followyng.

Fyrst, with this ordinaunce is it openly decla i. red in the syght of all the worlde, that it is God which knytteth the knot of mariage. For that the minister of the churche doth, that doeh he in the name & accordyng to the ensample of God.

Secondly with this ordinaunce is testimony gyuen, that wedlocke is honorable and pleasaūte ii. vnto God, an holy worcke of the lyghte, and no foule worcke of darckenes. For the parties dare syghtly come into the open Churche (euen in the lyght) where Gods worckes onely are practised. As for the worckes of whoredome and dishone­stye, that hyde them selfes in the darkenesse. It is sene also by the goyng to the churche, who ke­pith house wyth God and honeste in wedlock [...], and who wyth the dyuell and shame in whore­dome: Not only this, but also what they be, that among Christen people are to be suffered togy­ther as honest personnes: and who, as harl [...]ttes and vnthriftes, are to be expelled & dryuen from [Page] asunder.

Thyrdly, in this ordinaūce is euery one war iii. ned, faythfully to kepe his promyse, made and gi uen to his spouse, before God & the whole chyrch For if a man haue cause to be ashamed, whan he promiseth ought in ye presence of honest peo­ple, & kepeth it not: Much more ought aduoute­rers to be ashamed, that breke theyr promyse, made before God and the congregacion.

Fourthly, God wyll gyue his blyssyng to thē that cōtracte wedlocke in the feare of hym, and iiii. that confirme it accordynge to his ordinaunce. Whych thyng the faythfull may assuredly loke for at hys hande Gene. i.

Fyftely, There is Goddes word declared and [...]. taught, how holy a thyng wedlocke is, how mar ryed folkes ought to behaue thē selues. &c. There euery man that is marryed already, is putte in mynde of his promyse, and they that sometyme lyue well in maryage, are called to repentaunce: lyke as they also that lead an honest lyfe, are cō ­fermed in all goodnes.

Syxtely. There is made a generall prayer of the whole congregacion in the name of Christ, vi. for those newe maryed folkes, and for the whole state of matrimony. Now hath the Lorde promi sed, that where two or thre are gathered togy­ther in hys name, he wyl be in the myddes amōg [Page xlviii] thē: therfore is it wel to be hoped, that he wyll be much rather in such a whole congregaciōs, and heare theyr prayer: All these occasion cōsidred, let not the faythfull despyse Gods ordinaunce, but behaue them selues so, that diligē [...]ly & afore all thynges, they seke the kyngdom of god, & take that in hand, which is honest profitable & good.

But the dyuell hath crept in her also, & t [...]ogh [...] weddynges. he can not make the ordinaunce of goyng to the church to be vtterly omitted & despysed, yet is he thus mighty, & cā bring it to passe, that y or [...]i­naūce is nothyng regarded, but blemyshed with all manner of lyghtnes: In so muche that early in the mornyng the weddyng people begynne to [...]xcead in superfluous eatyng & drinkyng, wher of they spytte vntyll the halfe sermon be done. And when they come to the preachynge, they are halfe droncke, some all togyther: therfore regard they neyther the p [...]chyng nor prayer, but stond there onely because of the custome. Such folkes also do come to ye church wt all manner of pōpe & pride, & gorgiousnes of raymēt & Iewels. They come wt a great noyse of Harpes, Lutes, kyttes, basens and drommes, wherwyth they trouble y whole church, & hyndre them in matters pertay­nynge to GOD. They come into the Lordes house as it were īto an house of mar [...]haūdyse to laye forth theyr wares & offer to sell them selues [Page] vnto vyce and wickednesse. And euen as they come to the churche, so go they from the churche agayne, lyght, nyce, in shameful pompe and vai­ne wantonesse. What thinkeste thou, faythefull man, that suche church goyng opteynethe before god? Uerely more indignacion and displeasure, then fauoure and grace.

Wherfore let all vertuous and honest people How they [...]ught to go to the chyrch for to be ma [...]yed. take here monicyon, to leaue such [...] abuse, yee such synfull and vycyous church goynge, there as it is yet practysed: And let them take theyr ho nest kynsfolkes & neyghboures wt thē, & in good season soberly discretely lowlye, as in the syghte of god, without pompe, manerly, and in comely honest rayment, without pryde, wythout drom­myng & pypynge, let them go in to the house of the lorde, and there heare the lordes worde, make theyr faithful prayer vnto God with feruente­nesse and stedfast beleyfe, receaue the blessynge, and then manerly and wyth sylence to go home agayne.

After the goyng to the church, is there no lesse inconuenience vsed amonge manye multitudes Synne & ex­cesse cōmyt­ted at wed­dynges. then in the church goynge. For whan they come home from the church, then begynneth e [...]sse of eatyng and dryncking. As for the poore, they are out of remembraunce. And as much is waisted in one daye, as were sufficient for the two newe [Page xlix] maried folkes halfe a yeare to lyue vpon. The dayes of Noe, mencyoned in the Gospell, and the parable of the ritch man and Lazarus, haue there rowme ynoughe. Let euery man loke, that with such excesse: he praye not also with the rych man in the pitte of hel. O abhomi­nacion.

After the bancket and feast, there begynnethe a vayne, madde, and vnmanerlye fashiō. For the bryde must be brought into an open dauncynge place. Then is there suche a rennynge, leapynge and flyngyng amonge them, then is there suche a liftynge vp and discouerynge of the damselles clothes and of other womennes apparell, that a man might thynke, all these dauncers had caste all shame behynd them, and were become starke madde and oute of theyre wyttes, and that they were sworne to thē deuels daunce. Then muste the poore bryde kepe foote with al dauncers, and refuse none, how scabbed, foule, dronckē, rudeand shameles so euer he be. Thē must she oft tymes heare and se much wyckednesse, & many an vn­comely word. And that noyse and rōblyng endu reth euen tyll supper. At an af­ter supper.

As for supper, loke how much shameles & drō ken the euenynge is more then the mornynge (so much the more vyce, excesse, and mysnourtoure is vsed at the supper. After supper must they be­gynne to pype and daunce agayne of the new. [Page] And though the yonge personnes, beynge wery of the babiynge noyse and inconuenience, come once towarde theyr rest, yet canne they haue no quietnes. For a man shall fynde vnmannerly & A wicked cu stome. restles people, that wyll fyrst go to theyr chābre dore, and there syng vicious and noughty Bal­lades, that the dyuell maye haue his whole try­umphe nowe to the vttermoost.

But here let euery Christē man cōsidre, what an vnmanerly & frowarde custome this is, and how vnmete a thyng it is that suche vnclennes shoulde be practysed amonge Christen peopel, whiche ought to be holy. Maryage shuld be an inhib [...]ion & manifest condemnacion of all inor dinate luft, of all excesse, of all wātō & vnshame fast lyuynge. And yet is the same chaist estate begonne wyth suche vayne wantonnes & lyght­nesse, wyth superfluite and royote, to the great hurte of the bodyes, soules, and goodes of the yonge folkes. Or is there ony manneso greatly destitute of vnderstondyng, that he perceauethe not this? Why doth no man then refourme it? Or wyl we wyth vyolence prouoke and defy al myghty GOD? Nowe go to, though the myre fall vpon your heades, we can not do with all. Thou wylte saye: What? hathe God then for­bydden honest folkes to make mery togyther or Conuenient and honeste myrth. to daunce honestly in all good manner: I aun­swere. [Page l] Wh [...]t so euer God doth not inhibite and A goodly to enlusion. condemne to be synne, maye not be called synne by ony man. As for myrth wyth honeste, it is a grace and gyfte of God, and hereof commeth it, that they of olde dyd saye: Honest myrthe shulde none forbydde. Wherfore thought a Christen mā vse conuenient myrth wyth nourtour, tem­peraunce and thankefulnes, he synneth not. For God hath not inhibited mā to be mery wyth ho neste, and in due season. This is manifest. Hie­remy. xxxi. And Salomon saythe, Ecclesiastes. lii. There is a tyme to wepe, & a tyme to laugh, a tyme to mourne, and a tyme to daūce: a tyme to embrace, and a tyme to refrayne from embr [...] cynge. In conuenient tyme therfore and place, maye faythfull Christen men haue ordinately all maner of myrth in instrumentes wyth hone stye, at mariages or other ioyfull tymes, whan God gyueth peace, prosperite and fayre wether. The abuse, the royot and excesse (agaynste the whiche onely we her [...] speake) marrethe all, and bryngethe inconuenience in theyse and all other thynges. And so after great vntemperate, and vnmeasurable myrth, ther [...] foloweth commonly exceadyng great and perpetuall sorowe. Wher­fore lette all faythfull Christen men take here a monicion at theyr weddynges to put awaye all vntēperaunce, and wyth nurtour and honoure [Page] to begyn that honourable state, so shall God in­creace his grace in them, and graūt thē to lyue in long & honest myrthe: Or els if they fall into trouble, he shall not leaue them wtout conforte.

¶ The. xiiii. Chapter.

Of the fyrst cohabitacion or dwellyng togy­ther, and loue of marryed folkes.

AFter that we nowe hyther to haue brefely spoken of the elecciō of a comely spouse, & of y earand in the cause of maryed folkes. church goyng also, and of the declaryng and con firmaciō of the parties in wedlocke: I must de­clare, howe they bothe maye lyue well and ryght togyther, and faythefully kepe and increace the loue and dewty of mariage.

And here ye fyrst dwellyng togyther is moost [...]aunger in the fyrste [...]o a habitacion. daungerous of all For where folkes neuer came togyther afore, & the one is not yet accustomed wythe the other, and where sometyme also they are of contrary condicions and natures among thē selues. There or euer they can dwell vnder one rofe, and afore theo ne learneth to know the other: much contencion happeneth many tymes and if the same be not preuented at the begyn­nyng, there spryngeth worsse thynges therof.

For the dyue [...]the enemy of all vnite crepeth in here also, and laboureth fast, that he maye lyke­wyse haue hys porcion, and that he maye make [Page li] the marryed folkes not to agre well the one with the tother. Agaynst whome, they that are nowe marryed, must diligently watch and fyght, and gyue the Dyuell no place, but remember well, what maye followe vnto them by suche to early discorde. And the same maye they learne by thys ensample followyng: if two boordes at the fyrst be not well cowpled and ioyned the one to the Marke thys exāple well. other, they neuer are fastened right afterwarde. But if the fyrst couplyng & ioyning togyther be good, than can there afterward no violēce driue the boordes asunder, yea the whole boorde dothe sooner breake, thē the glewyng of thē togyther.

They therfore that are marryed, must apply theyr speciall diligēce, that theyr fyrst cohabitaci Howe mar­ryed folkes ought to be­haue thē sel­ues whanne they fyrste dwell togy­ther. on & dwellyng togyther be louyng & frendely, & not separated thorow ony spytefull contencion, for so shal the whole estate of your mariage pro­sper the better, and haue the more tran [...]ilite & rest, as longe as ye lyue. And though there hap­pen to aryse any clowde of discorde, yet let them beware, that at the least there be not to muche displeasure, disdayne and inconuenience. For yf at the begynnynge of mariage there chaunse suche rudenes and vncomely discorde, then wyll it alwaye be breakyng oute, euen as it is wythe great woundes and broken legges, whyche sel­dome are so thorowely healedde, but sometyme [Page] hey haue payne at the chaunge of the wether. Euē so yf married folkes behaue thē selues thus vnhonestly the one toward the other at the fyrst & if discorde be once begonne betwene them, the olde cancker wyll breake agayne, thoughe it be scaled afterwarde. Then come suche vnsemelye wordes as these be. Thus dyddest thou serue me also afore. It were my parte to learne to gyue ly­tle credence vnto the. &c. And after this manner doth that to early discorde make the whole lyfe. & the whole state of mariage, bytter and sower.

Let euery one consither this aforehande, and Howe they must behaue thēselues at theyr fyrst be yng togither refrayne, forbeare and suffer: And if all be not after his mynd, let him remember the wordes of S. Paule. One beare anothers burthen, and so shall ye fulfyll the lawe of Christ Let one suffer wyth another. In the meane season let eche one learne to be acquaynted with the nature & condi cions of the tother, and to apply hym selfe accor dyng to the same, in asmuch as they must nedes dwell togyther, one enioye another, and the one dye & lyue with the other. Remēber youre selues well on both the sydes, that if ether of you wyll be so styffe mynded, & stand so in his owne con­ceate, A good lessō both for the man and the wyfe. ye shall neuer haue good nor good dayes to gyther. What auaylethe you then youre owne noysome condicions? Whā thou perceauest thy selfe to haue ought in the (whiche dothe displease [Page lii] thy husbāde, the best is that thou amende it. Yf any thyng thē do displease the, speake thy myn­de, & that discretely vnto thy husbande, to the in tēte that he may leaue it, yf sensualite go to wor ke, it marreth all. Wyth the first can we not op teyne, alwaye, & of euery man, what so euer we wolde fayne haue. Contracy wyse: Chastening hath yet hyr owne dew tyme & place. The tyme also and your dwellyng together shall minister much occasiō, so that in processe of tyme manye thinges shall be more tollerable vnto the that at the fyrste yu thoughtest rough, & couldest not suf fre. But afore all thynges, ye prayer of fayth vn to god, shall make moost peace & rest. God only hath oure hartes in his hande, be can bowe thē & alter thē as he wyl: Leaue not thou now thy cal lynge. What soeuer we desyre of God in a true beleue, yf it be not agaynst his glorye and oure saluacion, he will geue it vs. But thys prayer maye not ceasse, as Christ teacheth. Luke, xviii.

As for such as in theyr owne inordinate lus­tes not regarding thys our instrucciō and war nynge go on styll, and as soone as in theyr first Mark the [...] g [...]odly exa ple. dwelling together they fynd ought in theyr spou se that is agaynst them, do braule and crye. No­man, but euen the deuell himselfe sente the (vnto me, etc. Those men do, euen, lyke as yf one had bought a vyneyarde, and shulde go into it [Page] afore ye tyme, to proue the grapes, which yf they What ma­ried folkes ow [...] one to another. were yet hard and sower, that is vnseasonable and not rype) he shulde therfore plucke vp the vynes, and destroye the whole yarde. For lyke as here the tyme muste be consydred, so muste the one forbeare the other in theyr fyrst commīg together. And though the grapes be rype, yet is not the iewse immedeately wyne at the begyn­ning, but first, is it must, then sweter, at the last wyne: yee the yeare and age maketh it in manye places, the longer the better and the more plea­saunt. He that will not now tary the tyme, but cast out the wyne, because it is not wyne by and by, but is must first, and then sweter wyne that man must nedes lacke wyne at his nede: Euen so yf thou wylt suffre no infirmyte ner blemishe thou must take none to be thy spouse. For almē are tempted and euery one hath his own speciall blemysh and fault, ouer and besydes the weake­nesse and imperfection that we haue of our first father Adam. Wherfore let not euery man spea­ke and do here what so euer commethe into hys brayne, but remembre that we all are men, and that accordynge to the olde Prouerbe. In space commeth grace.

And to the intent that euery man in this en­fourmacion and in the state of mariage, maye behaue hymselfe the more handesomlye and the [Page liii] better, I wyll nowe brefelye declare, what ma­ryed folkes (because of gods commaundemente) do owe one to another, namely ordinate ob [...]dy­ence, & coniugall loue mutuall, whiche is of all loues, the greatest For who so euer doth earnest ly pondre these thynges, and consydreth thē well shall not onely behaue himselfe ordinately and louyngely at theyr first dwellynge together, but thorow out the whole state of mariage (as lōg as he lyueth he shall spend his tyme well in vnite quyetnesse, and in all good maner. Touchynge this obediēce and loue matrimoniali, I wyll all ledge the verye worde of God, to the intente that this instruccion may generally take the more ef fect, and that euery man (not folowynge here the same, may know, that he synneth openly a­gaynste god and agaynst hys holy ordynaunce.

Paul, Ephe. v. sayeth thus: ye wyues, sub­mytt The dewtye & obedience of wyues. your selues vnto your husbandes, as vnto the lorde. For the husband is the wyues heade, like as Christ also is the head of the congregati­on, & sauyour of hys body. Now as the congre­gacion or church is in subiection vnto Christe so let the wiues also be in subiection to theyr hus bandes in all thynges. First doth Paule speake of the obediēce, that maried wemē owe to theyr husbandes. Let the wemē sayth he be in subiecti­on, that is to say, seruiseable & obediēt vnto their [Page] husbandes. And addeth therto, that they must esteme this obedience none otherwyse, then yf it where shewed vnto god himselfe. Wherout it fo loweth, that the sayde obedience extendethe not vnto wickednesse & euell, but vnto that whiche is good, honest, and comely. In asmuche as god deliteth onely in goodnesse, and forbyddeth euell euery where. It foloweth also, that the disobe­diēce, whiche wiues shew vnto their husbandes displeaseth god no lesse, thē whan he is resisted hymselfe.

Secondly, Paul doth lykewyse adde the occa [...]he husbād is the heade of the wyfe. sion, whye wemen oughte to be subieccion to theyr husbandes. Euen because the husbonde is the wifes heade. Whych, sayenge he toke oute of the thyrde chapter of Gene, where it is wrytten thus: And the lorde sayde vnto ye womā. Thou shalt depend and wait vpon thy husbādes beck, him shalt thou feare, and he shall haue aucthori te ouer the. Thus wryteth Paule himself. i. Ti moth. ii. I suffre not a womā to teach or preach or to haue dominion ouer her husband. For A­dam was first made and thē Eua. And Adam was not disceaued but the woman was discea­ued, and brought in the transgressyon. For as­much then as the mastershippe and takynge of auctorite vpon her could not well be dryuen out of the woman, therfore god to punyshe the sin­ne, [Page liiii] humbled her, made her fearfull and subdued her. Such punyshment and ordinaunce of God ought they to regarde, and wyth a good wyll (ac cordyng to the commaundement of the Lorde, to obey theyr husbandes, leest they fall into Gods wrathe and into further punyshment.

But to the intent that the husband shall not Howe y hus­bande [...] the head. turne hys aucthorite vnto tyrany, therfore doth Paule declare, after what maner and howe the husbande is the wyues heade. The husbande (saythe he) is the wyfes head, euen as Christ is the head of hys congregacion. Nowe is Christ so the heade of the congregacion, that he shewethe vnto it the same thyng, whiche the head sheweth vnto the bodye. The head seeth and hearethe for the whole body, ruleth and gydethe the body and geueth it strength of lyfe. Euen so doth Christ defende, teache & preserue his congregacion. To be shorte, he is the sauioure, conforte, eye, harte, wisdome and gyde therof. Therfore muste the husbandes be heades vnto the wyues in lyke ma ner, to shewe them lyke kyndenes, and after the same fashyon to guyde them and rule them with discresion for theyr preseruacion, and not wyth force and wylfulnesse to entreate them.

Thyrdly, Paul setteth an ensample to the wi ues howe they must be obedient & behaue thē sel ues vnto theyr husbandes, & saythe: Lyke as the [Page] chyrche is in subiecciō to Christ, so let the womē How the wyues muste obeye and be­haue them selues. be in subiecciō to theyr husbondes in all thinges But howe is the chyrche in subiecciō to ye Lord? She hath respecte only vnto hym, & dependethe vpon his worde. As for straunge & fond husbandes, she harkeneth not vnto them, but kepeth her selfe pure and cleane (and that continually) vnto hym in all faythfulnes: Loke what Christ comman̄deth her, ye receueth she into her harte, & doth it: Contrary to Christ and wythout his wyll & worde, dothe she nothyng. For in euery thyng yt she goethe aboute, she seakethe and requireth for Christes worde, she loueth Christ only & aboue al thynges, she is glad and wyllyng to suffer for Christes sake, she doeth all for the loue of hym. Christ only is her conforte, ioye and altogither. Upon Christ is her thought day & nyght, she lō gethe onely after Christ, for Christes sake also (if it maye serue to his glory) is she hartely well content to dye, yea she gyueth ouer herselfe wholly therto for Christes loue, knowyng assuredly, that her soule, her houour, body, lyfe and all that she hathe, is Christes owne. Thus also must euery honest wyfe submit her selfe, to serue her husband wythe all her power, and gyue herselfe ouer frely and wyllyngly, neuer to forsake hym tyll the houre of death: to hold her content wyth her husbande, to loue hym onely, to harken vnto [Page lv] hym, & in all thynges to order her selfe after hys commaundement. &c.

Nowe followeth it in Paule lykewyse, what The dewtys and loue of husbandes. the husbandes owe to theyr wyues, & how they ought to loue them. Ye husbandes, sayth he, loue your wyues, as Christ loued the congregacion, and gaue hymselfe for it, to sanctify i [...], and hath clensed it. &c. The husbandes dewetye is to loue hys wyfe. Nowe is loue gētle and frendly, she is not disdaynefull, she seketh not her owne profyt she is not proude, she is not pufte vp, she is not hastely prouoked vnto wrathe, she takethe not a thyng soone to the worste, she is not lothsome & tedious, but feruente & seruiseable, and therfore (as we sayde afore) the husbande is the wyues head, that is, her defender, teacher and conforte. Yet nedeth it no farther declaraciō, for as muche as Saynt Paule hymselfe sheweth the maner & fashyon of the loue, that is, howe they oughte to loue theyr wyues, and sayth: Ye men loue youre How menne shoulde loue theyr wyues. wyues, as Christ loueth the cōgregacion. Howe dyd Christ loue the congregacion. It is wryt­ten: No mā hath greater loue, than he y ieopar­deth his lyfe for his frend. Such loue hath christ shewed to his congregacion. For it followeth in Paul: Christ gaue hymselfe for it. For what in tent: Euen to sanctify it and to clense it.

This is thē the measure of the mutuall loue [Page] matrimoniall, that eche party haue nothyng to deare, whiche he can not be content to gyue and bestow vpon his maryed spouse, in as much as it is required of hym, that if n [...]de be, he shall also not spare his owne lyfe for hys spouses sake.

And lyke as Christ thoughte no scorne of hys churche, despised her not, neyther forsoke her be­cause of her vncleannes and synnes. So shoulde no Christen marryed man spurne at hys wyfe, nor sette lyght by her because that sometyme she fayleth or is tempted & goeth wronge: but euen as Christ norysheth and teacheth his church, so ought the husband also louyngly to enfourme [...] instructe hys wyfe.

But marke & consyther this well: O ye Chri­sten [...]ow holy [...] thynge loue matrimoni­all i [...]. maryed folkes, that Iesus Christ the sonne of God, and the holy Christen chyrche, and the holy body of them bothe, are set forth for an en­sample or myrcoure to the state of wedlocke and co [...]gall loue. A more excellent, a more holy, a more goodly and purer ensample coulde not be shewed. Thus truely must it nedes folow, that loue matrimoniall is highly accepted vnto God as an ordinate, holy, and godly loue: Contrary wyse it must followe, that vnquietnesse, hatred and frowardnes in mariage displeased GOD exceadyngly. For an hyghe loue is it that God requireth of marryed folkes, therfore synne they [Page lvi] not but do well and ryght, whan they, because of Gods commaundement, beare great frendshyp and loue, the one to the other.

It followeth moreouer in Paul: So oughte A man [...] loue his wife as his owne body. y husbandes to loue theyr wiues, as theyr owne bodyes. He that louethe his wyfe, louethe hym­self. For no mā hath at any tyme hated his own fleshe, but doth norysh and cheryshe it For this cause shall a man leaue father and mother, and kepe hym to his wyfe, and they two shall be one fleshe. Therfore ought euery man to loue hys owne wyfe as hymselfe. All theyse are the holy Apostles wordes, which haue this consideraciō: Wedlocke maketh of two personnes one: For they two, sayth the Lord, are one flesh. Therfore must the husband loue his wyfe no notherwyse then his owne body. And as it is a very vnna­turall thyng for a man to hate hys owne flesh & bloud, euē so is it to be estemed vnnaturall, that one spouse shulde hate the other. All we cheryshe our owne bodyes and norysh them. Reason is it then that we cheryshe oure wyues, and do them good, for they are our owne bodyes. And as ther is great vnite and mutuall loue amōg y partes of a mans body, so ought there to be also betwe­ne them that are maried togyther. Euery mēbre healpeth a nother, they are sory & mery togither, there in not one that checke the and obbraydethe [Page] another, euery one hath his place & office in the body, and doth his dewty wythout grudgynge: Euen so lykewyse must it be betwene man and wyfe. Thus much haue I shortly spoken out of Paule, towthynge that loue which is due to be had in wedlocke.

The. xv. Capter.

¶ How the loue, faythfulnes, & dewty of ma­ryed folkes, maye be kepte and increased.

HErein now ought not a maried mā to be satisfyed, that he knowethe what matri­montall loue is, & how he shuld loue hys spouse, but he must apply hymselfe to loue her in dede, as y Lord hath cōmaunded hym & not that only, but also endeuour hymselfe euer more and more, to kepe & increace the same loue. For ma­ny there be that begynne well to loue, but they endure not, & some ordre them selues after suche fasshiō in theyr lyuing, that they deserue rather to be hated, than loued. Therfore wyll I nowe speake a lytle hereof, how the loue, faythfulnesse & dewty of maryed folk [...] maye be kept & increa ced. Fyrst, for asmuche as true loue matrimo­niall The worde of God and prayer. cōmeth of God, & is gyuen of God vnto man, there are two speciall means (namely god des worde and the prayer of fayth) that do kepe [...] increace it. For if maryed folkes harkē ernest ly vnto the worde of God, & read it, they learne [Page lvii] dayly at it, such chynges, as augment comugall loue. And yf they praye vnto God withe a true fayth, that he wyll put awaye all suche thinges as maye mynysh the loue betwene them, [...] helpe them vnto it that maye increace the same, doubt lesse God shall heare them. Only let them giue them selues to cōtynuall prayer, and to the hea­ryng and readyng of Goddes worde.

Secondely. For asmuche as wedlocke m [...]keth One harte [...] wyll. of two persons one, for they two are one flesh, saythe the Lorde, therfore muste they be of one harte, wyll and mynde, and none to caste ano­ther in the tethe with hys faulte, orto pryde him of hys gyfte. Yf thy wife be not al togyther cir­cumspecte and handsome, and God hath ende­wed the wyth wysdom and actiuite, than boast not thy selfe agaynste thy wyfe, but remember howe God hathe prouided the for her in mary­age, to the intent that thou shouldest supple her imperfection, and that ye both doynge your best togyther, myghte be one perfecte bodye. If the wyfe be rytche, and the husbande poore, then let not the wyfe boast her rytches agaynste the hus­bande, One castuo [...] another in y teth. but considre, that thorowe mariage, her goodes are become her husbandes also. For ma­riage is a mutuall felowshyp & partakyng of al thynges. The bodye lyke wyse is more of value than the goodes. Seynge, then that thy body is [Page] thy husbandes, muche more are thy goodes his. And thus must euery one of you iudge in others giftes, yt what so euer the one spouse hathe more excellent then the other, the same, thorowe mari age, is his spouses aswell as his owne.

Thyrdly, it doth greatly increase loue, whan [...]eruice and [...]wshyp. the one faythefully seruethe the other, whan in thynges concernyng mariage the one hideth no secretes nor priuities from the other, whā of all that euer they optayne or get, they haue but one comon purse togither, the one lockyng vppe no­thyng from the other, whan the one is faythfull to the other in eatynge, drynckynge and all ne­cessite, whan the one harkenneth to the other, & whan the one thyncketh no scorne of the other, & whan in matters concernynge the rule of the house, the one wyll be councelled and aduised by the tother. But muche discorde commeth of it, whan the one hateth and wyll not suffer them, whome the tother loueth and can not forsake, as namely a mans frend, father, mother, syster, bro ther, and such other lyke.

Fourthely, let the one learne euer to be obse­quious Obsequiou [...] [...]. & seruiseable to ye other in al other thīges And this shall come to passe, yf ye one note what thyng the other can awaye wyth all, and what pleaseth him. And so from henceforth to meddle with the one and eschew the other. Some wiues [Page lviii] are so frowarde, that whan theyr husbandes are mery, they are sadde: And contrary wyse, there be diuers men, that fyrst desyre to meddle wythe that thyng, whiche they perceaue y theyr wyues Thynges [...] be eschewed can not awaye wythal. Some nether canne nor wyl heare theyr infirmities more nor lesse. Som tyme whan the wyfe is sad and disquietted, then wyll the husbande haue to muche sporte and pa­styme of her. And sometyme if the husbande be displeased, than the wyfe wyth spytefull wordes and wanton fashyons prouokethe hym to more anger. Some hadde rather haue theyr backe full of strypes, than to holde theyr tonges and forbe­are a lytle. But where the vnderstondyng of ob­sequye and obedience is, then lette euery one re­member that the other hath the nature of man­kynde in hym, and is tempted, lette the one lende to the other somewhat in temptacion, forbeare wythe hym, & gyue hym the place gentylly for a tyme. And thoughe thy spouse in hys displeasure do happen for to speake an vnkynde or vnientyl worde, yet thynke that it was not he, but wrath that spake it.

Fyfthly. There is no manner of thyng, that Humilite [...] gentylnes. more strongly kepethe and increasethe loue ma­trimoniall, then doth curtesy, kyndenesse, playn­nesse and gentylnesse in wordes, manners and dedes. But there be diuers marryed parsonnes, [Page] among whome is not foūd a good worde, but al way brawlyng, chidyng & discorde. And yet fyll they all the world wyth complayntes, what a mi serable lyfe they haue togyther. And they them selues neuerthelesse are gylty of theyr owne mis chefe. Let them leue theyr churlyshe fashons, and be frendely and louyng one to another, and then shall they come to rest. And if happely they can not excell in that behalfe, yet lette them shewe a good mynde and louynge wyll in theyr wordes and dedes, & so shall an honest vertuous spouse be contented therwythe. For euident it is, that many a man wolde fayne be endewed wyth hu­manite and gentlenes. And yet by the means of imperfeccion, not for any frowardnes, he canne not. One man also is of an heuyer nature than another.

Syrtely, it lykewyse heapeth and encreasethe They muste secretly ke [...]e no euell▪ myn des, but tell theyr grefe. loue matrimoniall, whan the parties swell not one agaynst another, and whan eyther openeth to the other theyr grefe in due tyme, and wythe discresion. For the longer a displeasure or euell wyll reygnethe in secrete, the worsse wyll be the discord. The dyuell also sometyme maketh theyr hartes so hard & styffe, that at the last they both become croked vessels. Therfore (I saye) woulde I haue the due tyme obserued, bycause that there is some season in the which yf greues were she­wed, [Page lix] it shuld make greater debate, as yf thou shuldest tell it thy husbande, when he is oute of pacience, or moued. And specially who so spea­keth to a drōken man, talketh wyth hym that is not at home. Therfore Abigail perceauyng Na­ball her husbond to be dronken, wolde not speake her mynde vnto hym vntyl the mornyng. i. Reg xxv. Thus ought euery one to wayte his conue nient and due tyme.

Wyth discrecion, I saye, must it be done also for some shewe theyr grefes so vnmannerly, so spytefully, and so vncurteously, that they make nowe a greater discencion, than was afore. And yf the one, of a good faythfull meanyng, begyn to speake of the tother, the same shall not onely take indignacion at hym wythout pacient hea­ryng oute of his tale, but also begynne to make spytefull rehersals agayne of the newe. Remem­ber your selues well both of you, for if ye so con­tinue in dissencion, brawlyng and chydyng the one wyth the other, truly ye can not haue Gods fauoure. For who so wyll be forgyuen of God, must and ought fyrst to be at one with his negh boure, and also to forgyue hym hys trespasse & faulte. Accordynge to the wordes of the Lorde. Math. v. vi. xviii. So sayth Paule. Ephe. iiii. Thoughe ye be angrye, yet synne not Lette not the Sonne go downe vpon yourewrathe, ney­ther [Page] gyue place vnto the backehyter. &c. Lette all bytternes, fearsnes & wrath, roaryng and cursed speakyng be put awaye from you. Be curteous one to another, and mercyfull, forgyuynge one another, euen as God for Christes sake hath for gyuen you.

Seuently chyldren begotten in wedlocke, are a very sure bonde of matrimoniall loue. And Chyldren [...] gottē [...]n ma riage therfore the Latinistes call them Pignora. Now is pignus as muche to saye, as a pledge, or gage or pawne. And the chyldren begotten in lawfull Pignus. marriage, are as a pledge and suerty of the loue that can not be parted asunder. For howe canst thou at ony tyme be deuided from the marryed spouse, by whome thou haste chyldren: yf thou wylt saye. Take thou one, & I wyll take another yet hath ech of you in that one chylde, somthing which pertayneth to yourselfe. For certayne it is, that the chylde cometh of you both. God also bryngeth it so to passe, that somtyme the childrē looke lyke the father, sometyme lyke the mother, sometyme they haue the condicious and simili­tude of you both: And this God ordeyneth that the loue maye be the greater in marryage. Nowe Mark thou wyf [...]. when thou wyfe doste loue those youre chyldren as thou shuldest, bryngest them well vp, arte di­ligent in lookyng to them, and canst take payne wyth them, then louest thou thy selfe in thy chyl­dren, [Page lx] and geueste hym also an occasion to loue the better then he dyd, so that wyth the payne & trauayle that thou hast aboute the chyldren, he is pacyfyed: Lyke as it is in dede the dewetye of euery maried man, not to be vnpaciente wythe his children, or churlish to his wyfe, which hath laboure and payne ynough all readye wyth the chyldren, al though her husband were of a gentle nature, and not doggishe.

And those wyfes, whych beynge made frute­full To brynge forth childrē is y blessyng of god. of god, do bring forth manye chyldren, and haue all theyr dayes much greate payne, trauay le laboure and disquietnesse wythe them, maye not thynke (as some do) that they he more vnhay pye and infortunate, then those are that haue no chyldren at al. They shulde rather consydre, that to be frutefull, is in gods true eternal wor de, commended as a bl [...]ssynge of god, and that all such wyse and noble men as feared god haue euer estemed it for a singulare prosperyte, ho­noure and welth. Item that all holye & famous wemen of the olde testament, dyd mourne, com­playne, and were ashamed of theyr vnfrutefull­nesse. Upō a tyme there came a famous womā to Rome, to the noble Corne [...]ia Grachi, & she­wed her hir treasure, as namelye hir precious Iewels, rynges and cheynes of golde, precyous Childrē are wemēs be [...] Iewels. stones, and ornamentes, and requyred Corne­lia [Page] that she shoulde shewe her hyr Iewelles also. Then that noble Cornelia brought forthe hyr chyldren, shewed her them, and sayde, lo, thys is my worthy and precious treasure, that all my mynde standeth vnto, yee the treasure that one ly reioyceth me, and is to me dearer then all the Iewels vpon earth.

This dyd an Heithenish womā, What shul dest thou thē do, thou christē wife, whiche ough test by ryght to know, that god vseth y to greate honoure, whā he causeth the to beare chyldren, which afterward may serue him and the who­le countre, and maye come to be honeste folkes, & a perpetuall commendacion to the? The holy scripture also saieth euidently, that a wife is in the worke of God and seruethe hym, whan she bringeth forth chyldren, and gydeth them well. Therfore what so euer she there in dothe and suffreth, she must gladlye do it and suffre it for gods sake, & put her trust in god, that he whiche puttethe her to the payn and laboure, can also shew her both comforte and helpe, yee she may not doubte, but be certayned at goddes hand, ye Paynes ta­kyng about chyldren: is the crosse of the wyues. what soeuer she faythfully and obedientlye suf­fereth and doth with the childrē in mariage it is no lesse good worke in the sight of god, then all mes geuyng, prayer, or mortifieng of the bodye. For that is hir crosse which the lord hath layed [Page lxi] vpon her to beare. Paul sayeth also. i. Timoth ii. The woman brought transgression into the worlde, but she shall recouer her honoure agay­ne by bearyng of chrildren, yf she contynue in ye fayth, in godly loue, in the sanctifieng, and in nourtoure. This shulde Christē wiues remem bre in all their crosse, and to be glad, wyllynge, & of a good courage therin. And who hath she­wed the O woman) all the grefes, anguysshes [...] troubles, all the paynes and miseries, that tho­se wyfes haue which bring forth no chyldrē? It maye chaunce, that they haue more myserye and payne in another sort, then thou hast wt thy children. And that happely they haue here rest & good dayes, and yet fynne therin wythe pryde, deyntynesse, voluptuousnes, wantonnesse, ydel nesse, nycenesse, & such infirmities, so that here vpon earth they get lytle honoure and worshyp therof, & must haue eternal payne in the world to come. This I say agaynst froward & wicked wifes, and not agaynst those that would be glad to take any payne & laboure so that they might haue chyldren and to lyue mekely, vertuouslye and honestlye.

The wemen also, whiche are maried vnto such men as haue had children by their former Step chyl­dren & ster [...] mothers. wyues, must be ernestly exhorted, to shew them selues vnto those motherles chyldren, no steppe [...] [Page] mothers frēdshyppe, but a ryght motherly faith ful kyndnesse. Haue cōpassiō (oh Christēwomā) vpō those yong innocēt orphās, whyche knowe not ner haue any cōforte ner helpe vpon earthe, saue only the. Consydre, that god the lorde hathe ordeyned the (in steade of theyre owne mother) to be vnto thē a right true mother, & requyre the the to loue thē, & to do them good. Wo vnto the yf thou do the poore motherles chyldren harme. Remēbre, that they are thyne owne husbandes naturall flessh & bloude, & that it is an vnnatu­rall Marke well ye Mothers in lawe. thing to hate them whych on thy husbands behalf pertayne partlye to thyne owne bodye, & are thyne owne: thynke vpō the worde of truth. With what measure ye meate, wythe the same shal it be measured to you agayne. What a gre­at grefe wold it be to thine hert, yf thou knewest now that thine owne childrē whō thou bareste ī thy body, shulde (after thy death) haue a step mo ther, whiche wold be rough and churlyshe vnto thē? Doutles those chyldrens mothers that deed is had in hir deth no lesse care for hir childrē.

Therfore as thou woldest haue thine owne children intreated (yf thou shouldeste now dy) so deale thou also with thē that were hers & thy hus bandes tegether. Or els loke verelye to haue of god the same measure that thou hast gyuen. Be sure also, that god will not heare the, whā thou [Page lxii] prayest thy Pater noster, for as muche as thou wylte not heare the poore Orphans that cry vn to the. O dere mother. This I saye, because expe rience lea [...]eth, that by the reason of steppe chyl dren the loue matrimoniall is not onely [...]iny­shed, but euen vtterly excluded. Neyther gendreth it vnite, whan a man intendynge to commend his fyrst wyfe, doth it ether out of mesure, or els fyrst of all whan he fyndeth faulte in hys newe wyfe. For such prayse doth she cō [...]ter to be made to her dishonoure a [...]d shame. Namely that her husbande in commendyng hys fyrst wyfe, dothe it to her reproche. I speake not this to the int [...]nt that a maryed man shulde speake euell of hys ho nest wyfe whiche is departed, but that euery mā which is nowe maryed agayne, maye commend hys former wyfe in due season and wythe mea­sure, yea & in suche a sorte, that hys present newe wy fe haue none occasion to thyncke, that it is done to her disprayse.

Eyghtly. The loue matrimonial is excellētly Trouth and faythe must be kepte. well kepte and increaced thorowe nurtoure, clen lynesse, trouthe and faythe, yf they be stedfastly obserued togyther. Let the husband content hym only wyth hys wyfe, and so order hymselfe with wordes, manners and gestures, that the wyfe maye perceaue, that he holdethe hym onely vnto her. Let the wyfe kepe no lesse trouthe and fayth [Page] beyng honest and not shameles toward her hus­band. Agayne, let her gyue hym due beneuolēce, and be not contrary vnto hym, nor brawle with hym. For suche frowardnesse gyueth ofte great occasion, and ministreth improiment to matri­mony. Wh [...]rfore lette euery one here remember the wordes of S. Paule. For the auoydynge of whordome, let euery man haue his wyfe. There hath not the wyfe power of her owne body, but the husbande. Agayne, the husband hath not po­wer of hys owne bodye, but the wyfe. &c. as we sayd afore in the tenth Chapter.

Let euery woman also beware of misgouer­nauuce Clenlynesse. & sluttyshnesse in raymēt, yea in euery thyng, that wythe vnclennesse she make not her selfe hated of her husbande. Lykewyse must they bothe beware of euery thyng that prouokethe to aduoutry, or ministreth any vnfaythfull suspi cion. As it is to be droncken, to haue wanton or priuy communicaciō, to vse euell company and lyke pastyme to haue fellowshyp wyth lyght per Note thys well. sonnes, to resorte vnto suspicious places, to stōd wyth suspicious folkes, to were wantonne ray­ment to be euer at lyght games, to renne to eue­ry daunce, to playe in euery strete, to tary ly­tle at home, to be lesse content at home then any where, to murmour, chyde, and to sygh at home. et cetera.

[Page lxiii] An honest wyfe ought not behynde her hus­bandes backe to haunt ony euell company, to be Conuersaciō bācketted, nether to go ony where wythout her husbādes knowledge & leaue. Much lesse ought she to take vpon her ony farre iourney. And if her husband be gone forth, or be not at home, let her holde her selfe as a wydowe and lyue quiet­ly, & bryng no man into the house in the meane season, nether ronne oute: nor byd gestes, to the intēt that ther grow no euel name nor fame vn to her therthorow. Nether shulde the one to the other, boast or shewe of suspicious gyftes & pre­sentes. Nether the husbande to commende other wiues afore hys owne or aboue his owne. Ne­ther is it the wyues parte to excead in praysyng another womans husbande, lest the one suspecte the other. Thy wyfe must take the for fayrest, & Good [...] thy husbād must holde the for ye best fauoured.

And for asmuche as gelousy is a speciall euell Gelousy. disease, and a great noysome plage in wedlocke, therfore maryed persons must put it awaye, or at the leest, and asmuche as in thē lyeth tame it and suppresse it: And namely beware thou wyfe that thou impute not aduoutry vnto thyne hus­band, because he sometyme hath spokē with ano ther woman, or looked at her. Agayne, thou hus­bande must not be so sore tempted, as to mysin­treate, to blame or to smyte thy innocent wyfe, [Page] nether to laye vnto her suche thynges as she ne­uer thought vpon. Lykewyse thou husband may est not deny thy wyfe to make conuentent and honest chere wyth honest folkes. For though all Women and horses muste be wel gouer ned. olde wyse and prudent men would haue womē & horses kepte in good nourtour & gouernaūce, yet maye there be to mu [...]he done herein, as well as in other thynges. There is an old Prouerbe also. The bowe wyll breake, if it be to sore bent. Item, No thyng maye continue that is not bor­ne vp. Therfore an honest marryed mā shulde forbyd his wyfe no conuenient honest myrthe, but gyue her leaue, to the intent that she maye afterward be the more wyllyng wyth the chyl­dren, and in other trauayle & paynes takynge [...]

It besemeth no discrete honest husbād, to com Boasting or pray [...]ynge. mend his wyfe to much before other men. Col­latinus Tarquinius lost his noble wyfe Lucre tia, thorow his inordinate praysyug of her. Yet much lesse becommeth it the to be shamelesse in disclosynge the priuities of mariage, as many fylthy personnes vse to do. Lykewyse besimethe it no man to prouoke hys wyfe in bryngyng in naughty personnes, or in kepyng thē styll there in his house, nether to cause his wife to be spokē of. Yf Menelaus had kepte Paris without, he had saued Helena his wyfe. Neuerthelesse euery honest wyfe muste faythfully and at all tymes [Page lxiiii] kepe her honeste, thoughe her wycked husbande gyue her many prouocacions. Remembre all waye the sentence of Salomon. Whā a womā Honeste is [...] womās che­fe treasure. leaseth her honeste, than hathe she lost her chefe treasure, nether hathe she any more, but is con­tempned & despysed, as the myre of the stretes.

Hereto seruethe it also, that the wyfe maye Behhueours wyth seruaū tes. not make her selfe to familiare, to frendly, or to pryuy wyth her seruaūtes or housholde folkes, leest they shoulde be bolde to talke, to ieaste, or without reuerence to behaue them selues withe her, as one seruynge mayde woulde do wythe another. Thou wylte saye: I canne not be so [...]oysterous nor shewe my selfe so terrible. Nowe go to, if thou wylte not be feared in the house as a dame, yet hold the so vnto them, that they may stande in awe of the, that they be not to rashe and to bolde of the, but shewe the reuerence, be­yng shamefast and well manered towarde the, as to the mother in the house. For thou ough­test A good lessō for wyues. with no man to be so familiare, so frendely, and so homely as wyth thy husband. Lykewyse also must menne behaue themselues vnto theyr maydens in the house, and commyt all the rule and punyshmēt of them vnto theyr wyues, and not to meddle wythe the seruauntes agaynste them, excerte the wyfe wolde deale vnreasona­bly and wylfully wyth theyr poore seruauntes. [Page] Cōtrary wyse, the wyfe must not take vpō her the rule or punyshment of the men seruauntes. For hereof commeth great vnite: Lyke as whā the husband medleth to muche with the women seruauntes, and the wyfe wyth the menseruaū ­tes, there ryseth great suspicion and discencion amonge marryed folkes.

¶ The xvi. Chapter.

Of conuentent carefulnes, and iust kepyng of the house lyke Christen folke.

IF thy wyfe be vertuous and trusty, let her be also carefull in kepynge and prouydynge for thy house. For such study & ordinate care gendreth great loue & encreaseth thy substaunce For such study and care is not forbydden. For the godly Patriarch Iacob thought it necessary for hym & his wyfe to be studious for theyr hou sholde. Paule affyrmynge it, If a man prouide not for hys owne housholde, he denyeth the fayth Gene. xxx. and is worse than an Infidel. Wherfore all that Christ speaketh agaynst carefulnes, he speaketh it agenst all inordinate mistrustyng & to muche couetous care and sorow, that desperately & insa Math. vii. ciably tormēteth & vexeth the mynde. Ordinate care expelleth idle slouthfulnes and monysheth vs of our duty & iust vocacion. Which care on­ly loketh vnto God, the author & gyuer of all, to him she prayeth to prosper & blisse al yt she goeth [Page lxv] about. Whych prayer of fayth hath her forme & Pro. xx. circūstances tēdyng to Gods glory. Two thin ges I aske of the, o Lorde. remoue fro me vanite and lyes, gyue me n [...]ther pouerte, nor rytches, onely graūt me a necessary lyuyng, lest I beyng to full, deny the sayeng, Who is the Lorde. And lest I constrayned thorowe pouerte fall to thefte and forsweare the name of my God.

This ordinate care and study must be takē, that ye maye haue to socoure the nedye and to Ordinate care set forthe youre chyldren, and that youre selues want not, and so by your idle ignauy, ye be one­rouse and a burden to other good menne. La­bour to haue wherwithe to lyue in age, yf God call you to it. Who so hath stolen, sayth Paule, let hym nowe stele no more, but labour with his Ephe. i ii. handes some good occupacion yt they maye haue to healpe the nedy. And as for them that inor­dinately care and study to be rytch, and to haue more than is necessary, they fall into the temp­tacions and snares of the dyuell, and into ma­ny lustes (as saythe Paule) which drowne men into perdicion and damnacion, sodēly fall these rytch welthy bullockes from theyr goodes & god­des, Luke. xii. euen theyr euell gotten, worsekepte, & worst of all bestowed mammons.

What so euer is to be done wythout ye house that belongeth to the man, & the womā to study [Page] for thynges wythein to be done, and to se saued Theoutwar de busynesse pertaynethe to the man, y enward to y woman. or spent conueniently what so euer he bryngeth in. As the byrde flyeth to and fro to brynge to ye nest, so becommeth it the man to applye his out ward busynes. And as the dāme kepeth the nest [...]atcheth the egges, and bryng forth the frute, so let them bothe learne to do of the vnreasonable fowles or beastes created of God naturally to obserue theyr sondry properties.

The man in his gaynyng & occupieng must be iust & faythful, feruēt, diligent & earnest, ma­kyng all thyng substancially surely, & wythout ony deceyt. For faythfulnes euer abydeth whan vnfaythfulnes & craftines destroye themselues: as ye se in the faythefull dealynge of Iacob and in the couetouse disceate of Laban. The worde Gene. xxxi. & promyse of an occupyer must be as ferme and fast as the rocke of stone, fayth and trueth con­serueth many mens occupyeng whā vniust de lyng bryng hym out of credyt.

Let not a man meddle with vnhonest occupa­cions not necessary for a common weal, but as Paul commaūdeth, wyth such as are good and profitable for the citie or countrey wythout de­ceyte, and euery man to medle wyth, and in hys [...]ne callyng, nether sekyng other mens lucre, nor enuieng other mens profyt, but walke ordi­nately and quietly labouryng wyth theyr owne [Page lxvi] handes, auoydynge vsurye, but doynge to other as thou woldest be done vnto thyne owne selfe. And yf thou (for all thy true and iust dealynge) yet prosperoussest not subiect to many euel cha [...] ces, wherof the world is ful, yet be thou content with Goddes wyll, for the pouerte of the ryght­ous, sayth Salomon, is better then the infinite treasures of the vngodly. And a pece of bread or a messe of potage with quietnes, is better then a fatte oxe with brawlyng. Many menne haue great goodes wyth muche vnquietnes and lytle hon [...]e, for he hath sette his soule to pledge, for­saken God & taken the dyuell to helpe h [...]m to lye & to deceaue that he myght be rytch to leaue his good to an vnknowen hayer. Dauid saythe, fol­lowe not hym that doth euell because thou seest Psal. xxxvi. hym prosper in his wyckednes: for he shall sone be cut downe lyke grasse, & lyke the floure faad awaye. But put thou thy trust in the lorde & do ryght, dwell in ye Lorde & get thy lyuynge wyth trueth and iust dealynge. And freat not nor be agreued wyth hym that prospereth in his owne waye, and leadeth a wycked lyfe. &c. Unto thys holye Psalme let euery Christen man attende. The wyues worckynge place is wythein her The wyues must worcke wythein the house. house, there to ouerse and to sette all thynge in good ordre, and to beware that nothyng be lo [...]t, seldome to go forth, but when vrgent causes call [Page] her forth. And therfore Phidias that ingenous Phidias. worckemanne entendynge to describe an honest faythefull housewyfe, dydde sette her ymage vn­der the shel of a snayle, signifieng that she shulde euermore kepe her owne house. Necessaryly it is Comonsentē [...] far the ke [...]ng or thy [...]ouses. that she knowe these common sentences & learne them by harte. Thou muste not regarde what thynge thou woldest fayne haue, but what thou canst not lacke. Stretche out thyne arme no far ther than thy sleaue wyll reatche. What so euer thou ne [...]est not, is to deare of a farthyng. Who so spareth not the penny, shall neuer come by the pownde. Sparynge is a rytche purse. A thynge is sooner spared then gotten. Spare as thoughe thou neuer shuldest dye, & yet as mortall, spende measurably. To spare, as thou mayste haue to spende in honeste for Gods sake, and in necessi­te, is well done. Thy sparing is but vayne, whē thou arte come to the bottome. Begynne eue­ry thynge in oue season. What so euer thou mayst do to nyght, dyffer it not tyll to morow. Mathe these sētences wel That whiche thou cannest do conueniently thy selfe, committe it not to another. If thou wylte prospere, than looke to euery thyng thyne owne selfe. Lette it not be lost, that maye do any good in tyme to come. Spende no more than thou wottest how to get it: whan thyne expenses and receytes be alyke, a lytle losse maye ouerthrow [Page lxvii] the. Spare for thy age. Take paynes in thyne yougth. Bye such thynges as thou nedest not to repent the therof. Uyle pedlary bryngethe beg­gery. Araye thy selfe honestly. Holde thy chyldrē in awe, and they shall haue the in reuerence.

Muche spendynge and many gyftes, make bare cellars and empty chystes. Euellfellowshyp & vayne pastyme maryeth pouerte and begetteth a sonne called derision, lyuethe gorgiously and costely in excesse, and leauethe the a fare well, whose name is this. In thyn age go a beggyng: Such and many mo godly and wyse sentences are found in Salomons Prouerbes, and in the Precher, and in Iesus Syracke, which an honest housewyfe must take hede vnto.

¶ The. xvii. Chapter.

¶ Howe maryed personnes shall behaue thē selues not only in workes of mercy, but also in the crosse and aduersite, and wythe theyr seruauntes.

IF Christen maried folkes thorow theyr iust laboures and Goddes blyssyng obtayne rit­ches aboue necessite. then let them remembre Paules exhortacion, sayeng: Commaunde the i. Timo. [...] rytch men of thys worlde that they be not hygh mynded nor trust in transitory rytches, but in the lyuynge God, whyche giueth vs all thynges abundantly to enioye them. Charge them to [Page] do good & to be rytche in good worckes, to gyue wyth good wyl, to distribute, layeng vp tresure for them selues agaynste the tyme to come that they maye laye hand of eternall lyfe. For when Math xxv. the Lorde shall come to iudge the quicke & dead, he shall saye to the mercifull. Come hyther, ye blessed of my Father and take the kyngedome prepared for you from the begynnynge of the worlde. For whan I was hongrye ye fedde me, I was thyrsty and ye gaue me dryncke &c.

Gyue almes therfore of thyn nowne substā ­ [...]e and turne not thy face awaye from the poore Shewe mercye after thy power. If thou haste much, giue plenteously. If thou haste lytle gyue therof after thy power. For a good treasure shalt thou lay vp in store for thy selfe agaynst y day of trouble, yea that small substāce wherof a poore man giueth almose pleseth the Lord much better then when welthye men gyue theyr lytle of theyr great rytches. Example in s. Luke: Re­mēber Luke. xxi. the comon Prouerbe. That thou sparest from gyuyng for Gods sake, shall the dyuell ca­ry another waye. So saythe Salomon. Some man gyueth out his goodes and is the rytcher, but the nyggarde hauyng ynough wyll departe from no thynge: And yet is he euer in pouerte. He that is lyberall in gyuynge shall euer haue plenty. God increaseth loue and fauoureth ma [Page lxviii] ryed folke bycause they shewe mercy & charite to the nedy.

And yf God maketh the ritch man poore, he doth well: For he seeth that if he shuld haue rit­ches Afflicciō tech to know god he would be to proud and forget God and himselfe to, with pouerte therfore and adflicciō wyll he nourtour his chyldren so to teach them his wayes, lest in abundaunce and wealth they runne after theyr owne wayes and lustes. For Tribulatiō is fyer and salte. tribulacion and aduersite are the fyer and salte that purge & preserue vs from stynkynge & not destroye vs, but they teache vs to put our trust in God and not in oure selues nor in no crea­tures, they draw vs from transitory thinges to fasten vs sure to God, and because we shoulde not be condemned wyth the worlde, he plucketh i. Cor. xi. vs wyth his Crosse from the worlde. Into the which troublouse state of the crosse, whan ma­ryed cowples be cast of GOD, then haue they the moost present cōsolacions out of s [...]riptures to conforte them, and to cause them to reioyce in theyr affliccion, as are the holy Psalmes of Dauid, we haue also the godly ensamples of the deare beloued faythefull seruauntes of God as were Iob, Abraham, Iacob. &c. Item the wordes Math. xvi Ioan. xvi. of Christ. Who so wyll serue me, let him dayely take his crosse vpon hym and folow me. And in Ihon, and Paule is full of conforte in hys epi­stles [Page] specially. Hebreus x. Whan ony of the H [...]. xi. xii. xiii maryed personnes be tempted or troubled wyth syckenes or any other fortune, then shulde the to ther, conforte hym or her wythe these conforta­ble ensamples, Psalmes and sentences of gods Syckne [...] spirite of all consolacion, one suffryng wyth the tother, for so shall the affliccion and Crosse be the easylyer borne, and loue mutuall the more encreased. Trewe loue sheweth her selfe moost clearely in trouble and syckenes. And yf the one grudge at the tothers syckenes, he doth agaynst Gods wyll. And if he reioycethe at her, or she at hys affliccion, it is a token of lytle loue excepte hys reioyce be in the Lorde, so to conforme hym to the similitude of hys sonne Christ, that he myght be lyke hym in glory.

Paul cōmaundeth you to do to your seruaū tes, that yt is iust and equall, louyngly & frendly How seruaū tes must be in treated. Iob. xxxi. vsynge them, remembrynge that ye your selues haue a master in heauen, learne of Iob also the same, for your seruauntes are of Goddes crea­cion as wel as ye, derely beloued and hys chosen children also, yea and your brothren and systers in Christ. Let them therfore for theyr laboures haue theyr conuenient food and wages, be not bytter, harde, nor iniuriouse vnto them in no wyse.

A great offence it is before God to kepe the [Page lxix] labourynge seruauntes wages frō hym. Iames Iac. v. sayth vnto such rytch mē. Beholde the hyer of y labourers that haue reaped downe youre feldes which hyer ye haue kept backe by fraude, cryeth and the complaynt of the labourers is entred in to the eares of the Lorde of Sabbaoth.

Ye haue had good dayes vpon erth, and lyued at your pleasure and delyghted your hartes, but it is only agaynst the daye of your slaughter. So Iames sayth that the defraudynge of mens wages wyll be at last a slaughter. Many men vse theyr seruauntes as slaues and beastes, and therfore is theyr ertorted seruyce vnprofitable & vnfaythfull to suche cruell masters, more fayth­full is the seruice done of loue, than for feare & compulsion.

Agayne the seruauntes must laye a parte all euel condicions, prydevnfaythfulnes, brawlyng The dewty [...] of seruaūte [...] and murmurynge, pyckyng and tales tellynge, remembryng Paules exhortacion, sayeng, ye ser uauntes be obedient to your masters with feare and tremblynge in singlenes of youre herte, as vnto Christ, not with eye seruice as mē plesers, but euen as the seruaunt of Christ, that ye may do the wyll of GOD from your hartes wyth [...] good wyll. Thyncke that ye serue the Lorde and not men.

¶ The. xviii. Chapter.


How chyldren shuld be well and godly brought vp.

GReate ioye & quietnes it bryngethe to the Womē shuld [...]ourse theyr own chyldrē parētes to se theyr childrē godly & vertue ously brought vp. And agayne, besydes ye sorow yt euell brought vp chyldrē bring to theyr parentes, yet shall they render a strayght reke­nyng to God for theyr euell bryngynge vp of them. The women shulde noryshe theyr owne chyldren wyth theyr owne brestes or els yf they maye not for weaknes, yet oughte they to seke honeste and godlye nourses of sober lyuynge that wyth theyr mylke they myght drinkin also vertewe. And the parētes especiallye the mo­ther must endeuour to speake fyrst to the chyld perfectly playne and [...]ncte wordes, for as they be fyrst enformed to speake so they wyll contynew. Caius and Tyberius the sonnes of Caius & Ci berius. Cornelia Grachy were ornate and eloquent in theyr speche for theyr mother was eloquent of tongue.

And euen from theyr infancy forth let the parentes teach theyr [...]hyldren no fables nor ly­es nor no vayne nor lyght communicaciō but that onely which is godly, honest, graue and frutefull let it be planted in theyr new hertes.

They must teach them fyrst certayne godly sentences, though they yet can not vnderstande [Page lxx] them, yet let them commende them to memo­ry and practyse them in speche tyll they maye here after the better perceaue them, as are these folowyng.

As certaynely as thou seyst the heauens and Sentence [...] to be taugh [...] chyldren in theyr fyrst [...] yonge age. the earth: so certaynly muste thou knowe, that ther is one īuysyble god, one alone for all suffy­cient, hauing hys beyng of himselfe, & all crea­tures ther being of him.

Heauen and earthe and all that was made, is of goddes owne creacyon. God is the mooste hyghe goodnes. Wythout God theris nothing good. God nedeth no creature to be ioynedde wyth hym in hys dedes and cownselles to for­geue, dampne saue or healpe. It is he alone that vpholdeth all the wor [...] preserueth it, and gy­ueth euery thyng the lyfe & beynge, whyche it hath. He is louyng graciouse and mercyful to them that so beleue and trust vpon him.

God is trewe, and iuste, and holye in all hys workes, God loueth vertue, and hateth synne [...] vyce. It is good that God commaundeth, and euell that he forbyddeth God punysheth synne & euell. A man must loue God aboue all thynges. He may not murmur agaynst god, but be wyl­lynge and thankfull in all aduersite to beare it. He must call onely vpon God, and complayne to hym onely in all hys nede. And here muste [Page] the chyldren be taught thus to praye. Oure fa­ther The Lorde [...] prayer The articles of the fayth [...] The ten com ma [...]demētes The prouer­bes of Salo mon. which arte in heauē. &c. And to expresse the articles of our fayth distinctly & perfectely. And in processe of tyme lerne thē truly to vnderstād them, and the ten Commaundementes also by harte. Then teache them the Prouerbes of Sa­lomon and the boke of the preachet, and such co­monsentences as are these: Uertue excelleth all thynges. To lye is the moost shamefullvice of all. Thou shalte hurte no man, but profyt euery man. Speake euell of no man. Backebyte nor curse no man. All men are brethren. And suche lyke godly sentences, lette them be planted into yonge hartes. Aboue all thynges shall the parē ­tes vse godly & honest cōuersaciō in y presence of theyr chyldren, teache them more vertue & good­nes, than theyr wordes. For wordes althoughe they maye do muche, yet shall good ensamples of lyuynge do more to the yougth. Let not your chyldren be conuersaunt wytheuell persons and lyght company, lette them not heare vicious nor wanton communicacion, nor se no synfull sygh tes. The parentes must vse them selues before Cato. them as before GOD and all honest people. Cato the wyse Senatour of Rome expelled Ti tus Flaminius out of the counsell, only because that in the syghte of hys yonge doughter he em­brased his wyfe.

[Page lxxi] Christen folke shulde remember the fearfull Mat. xviii. sentence of Christ, sayeng: Who so euer geueth occasion of euell to any of these yonge chyldren that beleue in me, it were better forhym to be drowned wyth a mylstone tyed about his neck▪ Thou must diligētly beware, lest any in thyne house gyue any euell ensample and speke that at naught is in theyr presence. And take hede leest thou receaue any persone into thyne house, that maye ether by worde or dede corrupte thy chyl­dren or seruauntes. Remember that euell speach maye soone corrupte & destroy that which thou hast bene long in plantyng & buyldynge. Wan­ton and euell communicacion (sayth Paul) con­rupteth good manners. And begynne by tymers Begynne b [...] ­tymes. to plante vertue in thy chyldrennes brestes: for late sowynge bryngethe a late or neuer an apte haruest. Yong braunches wyl be bowed as thou lystest [...], but olde trees wyll sooner breake than [...]ow. And what soeuer good liquour is put first into a newe [...]arthen potte, it wyll kepe the sent therof euer after, if it therin stand any ceason.

And as for the yeares to set the chylde to the scole, fyrst considre the apte, sharpenes of witte therof, for some are apte at fyue yeares, & some not before syxe or seuen yeares. And what they shall be fyrst taught, it is tolde before.

And here must ye chose out discrete, learned & [Page] godly masters for your chyldren, which shall [...] The scole master. cordyng to theyr capacities [...]ently & wysely en­structe them, as is contayned in theyr primers in Englysh and dialoges as are there made for them, whiche whan they can read both prynted and written letters, and can well commyt that y they haue l [...]rned to memory, sayēg it distinct ly & perfectly by hart, t [...]ē let thē learne to write to cas [...] a compte, to [...]yfre, adde, subtray, &c. And let them exercyse theyr penne and theyr tonges Godly coun­cell for the ryghte bryn, gynge vp of yougth. in readyng diuerse prynted bokes pertaynynge to the holye scriptures, and come to & heare the trewe prech [...]rs of Gods word, and in ony wyse let them not heare the papistike preachers, and whan they come home from any good sermone aske thē what they haue borne awaye, & exhort them to marke diligently another tyme and to rehearse it when they come home. Let them saye the gra [...]es at the tables. Let thē prepare the ta­ble & serue you therat clenly and manerly. Let thē spend all the tyme in vertuous vses & neuer be ydle, for the tyme of yougth is preciouse and Math. x. passeth away swyftly. Be ye circumspecte, o pa rentes in fedyng and apparellyng your childrē let thē not be paumpered vp to dilicately withe meates & wines, nor yet arayed to sumptuously & proudly. Daniel was as wel lyking & as pure of cōplexion with a messe of potage euery daye [Page lxxii] [...] a draft of water as were they y were fedeuery Gorgio [...] ap­parell & deli­ciou [...] fare oughte to be exchewed in chyldren. daye of the kynges table. Excesse of meates & drynckes in yougth and gorgious apparell is y dore vnto glotony, dronckennes & lecherye, and the way to pryde & al maner of vyce neuer to be pluckte from thē in age. For the which enormi­ties & vyces, theyr parentes & vp bryngers shal gyue strayght rekenyng vnto God, let not thy yougth rūne out of thy dores nether by day nor nyght without thy lycence: and take a rekening of theyr behauyoure in thyne absence. Suffre thē not to come into any lyght wantō cōpany.

Se that ye correcte thē dewly & discretely for Correction. theyr faultes, so that they stand in great feare & awe of the, and if wordes wyl not reclayme thē than take the rod or weapō of correcciō discrete ly vsed. For the rodde of correccion ministreth wysedome, but the chyld suffred to do what he listeth, is y confusiō of his mother. And who so spareth the rod hateth the childe, but he y loueth pro, xxix. and xiii. xxii. and xxiii. him, nourtereth him in tyme: the childes hert is ful of folyshnes, but the rod of correcciō driueth [...]t forth. Better it is that chyldrē wepe thē olde men. Se that they pycke not, steale not, nor vse no vnlawfull games, be not to rough nor to ha­stye weth them, but so order your selues to them that they maye both loue and feare you.

¶ The. xix. Chapter.


Chyldren wher vnto they be apte, lette them learne that science or handye crafte.

COnsyther well wherevnto thy chylde is naturally enclyned. And vnto that occu­pacion let him be put to: many mē nowe a dayes al be it they se theyr chyldrē apt vnto let ters & good learnyng hauyng substaūce ynough to fynd thē therat, yet wyll they not suffer them to continewe therat, because thē selues cā not fa uour it, or els they se no aduauntage worldly f [...] low, but great trouble & [...]secuciō, which world­ly mē in thus doyng declare thē selues vngodly destroyers both of them selues theyr childrē & of all common weales & congregacions. For what publique weal, towne, cyte or parysh can be wel gouerned, wythout y Prince, ruler, preste, or bi Why meune nowe set not theyr chyldrē to scole. shop be lerned in gods lawe, Prophetes and in his gospel? what is the cause of all this dissensiō cruell persecucion, tyranny, euell lawes making vniust actcs, false religion, wycked ordinaunces & vngodly decrees & institucions, but onely the blynd ignoran̄ce of vnlerned rulers? which mea sure all thyng after theyr owne fonde fleshly af­fectes and reason besydes all scriptures: & wolde haue theyr owne carnal wylles to stonde in the steade, yea rather to be aboue God & hys lawes. In tymes paste, when men sawe so many spiri­tuall promocions vnto rytch bysshoprykes, be­nefices, [Page lxxiii] deanrykes, Abbayes; Pryories, chaun­celershyps. &c, then they dyd set fast theyr childrē to scole, to make them popysh prestes, ydelly to lyue by other mennes sweates, but nowe they se howe laborouse and perellouse an office it is to preach and to teache Gods worde purely, freely and faythfully. And how vnthankeful an office it is to rule cominalties after iustyce and equi­te, and what an heuye intollerable laboure it is to minister iustyce and iudgement after Gods worde, lookyng for no aduauntage, but to be a comon seruāt for the comon wealth sustayning suche intollerable burdens, labours and perels, as the offyce dewly ministred askethe, no man is glad to haue his chylde learned vnto such vn­profitable and laborouse endes. It was once an holy sacrifyce to God for a manne to dedicate his doughter or sonne vnto Frāces, Clare, Be­net, Thomas, Austen, Mary. &c. ydelly to lyue in all fylthines, whā riches, dignites & worlde­ly vayne worshyp and priuate profyt followed or rather whē they gredely aspired and folowed it. But nowe whan the comon laboure, godly­nes, and the publique profit of all comō weales & congregacions depend vpon it, no mā regar­deth nether good learnyng nor vertue, so far of are they nowe to set theyr chyldren to godly sco les. When yougth was nothynge apte to good [Page] letters, and when there was no good learnyng nor no good teachers, then well was he y might sette his chyld to scole. But nowe when yougth was neuer so apteto good learnyng as it is this daye, learnynge, & good letters neuer so plente­ously floryshyng, restored and redact into such acompendious clere brifnesse, neuer so good, di­ligent and learned masters, neuer so plenty of so good and playn bokes prynted, neuer so good cheape, the holy Ghost as it were into mennes mouthes mercifully offerynge hys gyftes, and yet wyll there no man open his mouth, his ey­es to se so cleare lyght, nor his eares to heare so pure, manifest and holesome doctrine, euen the worde of theyr owne saluacion. For oure vn­thanckefulnes, therfore all these infinite heauē ­ly benefites shall be takē frō vs, & giuē to some other naciō, as to the Turkes & Iewes, whyche shall thanckefullyer then we receaue them. And we shall haue the popysh prestes wyth all papi­strye haltered and captiued vnder hardenecked Pharao in myer and claye neuer to be delyue­red out of that yerney seruitude of his intollera ble bondage.

But nowe therfore O ye Christen parentes seyng that your yougth is now by the fauoure An exhortaci on to the chri [...]en parēte [...]. of God endewed wyth so good wyttes & encly­ned vnto good letters, let not the graces & gyf­tes [Page lxxiiii] of God be offred you in vayne, but exercyse them in good autors both Greke & Latine, and in noble hi [...]ortes, in Logyke, Rethoryke, and in the tonges, let them read the holy Byble, and commend it to memory, & so shall they in tyme to come be profitable vnto the comon wealthe, whervnto they be borne.

And such as are apte to handy occupacions, let them b [...] set to thē which be moost profitable & necessary for a cōmon weale, as for payntyng & keruynge wyth suche lyke, they are more [...]ucy­ouse than necessary, And consyder that al [...]ust and true occupacions iustly erercysed and vsed, Goddes blessyng maketh them to prosper, and the truedoers and labourers in theyr callynge hys blyssyng make them rytch Euery man to put his chyld to that master which is moost ex cellent and connyng in that craft, it is no nede to monyshe, nor to exhorte your chyldren to be trewe, of fewe wordes, faythfull in dedes and promises, diligent and seruiseable to euery man obedient to theyr masters, clenly, quycke, hand­some and wyllyng to do theyr commaundemen tes.

Nowe when thou hast perfectely learned thy Trauay ling among stran gers. crafte, it shall be profitable for the to trauel into straung countryes, to se the workyng and hād lynge therof amonge other nacions, wherby [Page] ether thyselfe mayst lerne both a perfayter practyse and also more experience, or els they of the maye learne the same into thy nowne profyte. And in so trauaylynge holde thy selfe modeste, styll and sobre, medlynge not beyonde thyn own facultye. Be ientle, frendely, faythfull and cur­teous to them, conformynge thy selfe vnto theyr honest fashions and godly manners, Beware of euell company & dronkennes, beware of lyght & wanton women, learne no vyce nor euell ma­ners of them, but only vertue & such occupaciōs as are profitable, bryng home cōnyng & vertue & no syn nor euell maners, of which thou shalte se to much, & to lytle of that good is. Cutte clo­thes & iagged & al to hagged hosen disfigure and deforme honest persons, & declare lyght mē and wantonnes in thy harte.

But before all these experiences seakynge, se that thou prouidest thy chyldren honest mates (if they desyre it) and let thē rather togither liue at home, and not the one to departe anye longe tyme from the tother for trauaylynge in straūge countreyes, bryng some yonge euell disposed per sons into great inconueniences and noughty li­uyng, as it was wonte to be sayde of the Rome runners neuer to be good after.

¶ The. xx, Chapter

[Page lxxv] LEt not your yōg daughters be to proudly yong wem [...] apparell. & costly appareld, but modestly & honestly for thys gorgyouse apparel is not els but a minstrelsy, pypyng vp a daūce vnto al lechery i. Pet iii. Remēbre that Peter saithr That the apparel of wemen maye not be vtwarde inbroydred, oute layd hear which is an whorishe fashyon, nor in hangyng on of golde, or puttynge on of costelye gorgious flaryng clothes, &c. The vtward light apparell declareth a corrupt proude and sinfull inward hert. Let shamefastnes chastite, mo­desty, mekenes few wordes sadnes and sobryete be the yong womans aparell to sette forthe hyr bewtye. For after thys maner, in the olde tyme sayth Peter were holy yonge wemen decked of theyr matrōs, & were obedient to theyr housban­des, As was Sara vnto Abrahā, callynge hym Lorde, whose doughters ye are as longe as ye do well: Let the examples of Rebecca and Ra­chell be at youre eyes, whyche godlye and fayer women desyryng and sekynge the loue of theyre husbondes were glad to please them, Learne al­so i. Tim. ii. of Paul howe to tyer your selues: Bewar [...] ye wound not your pouerty and proud hert and to precious and sumptuouse apparell, yf ye wyl go forthe in your prowde araye, so neglecte you the doctrine of god and procure youre selues dāp nacion.

[Page] But yf ye saye, ye decke your selues to be the more clenely, & so to please youre husbandes, I tell you agayne, that ther is a meane & measure in euery thynge, & accordynge to euerye state & degree theris a comlye apparell, whych comely­nes and measure no honest husbond nor honest wyfe wylbe glad to trāsgresse & exceade. Such eccesse & pryde maye procure the dyshonestye & harme to thy husbonde.

As for ientle wemen & suche, as are of noble Whether gē tle, wemenne [...]ay go so [...]y [...]ly appa­ [...]eled. byrthe, whether they maye excede in lyght & wā ton apparell, or in apparell to costly. I wyl first as [...] them whether they be Christen & faythfull wemen or vnfaythfull? If they be vnbeleuers then let them walke as they liste. And the more gorgyouse tenderlynges they be, the better shall they please theyr head the dyuyll. And seynge th y haue wantō proude sprytes, they muste ne­des haue lyke garmentes to declare what they b [...] within in herte and mynde, wyth these we­men I wyll not wrestle. But yf they be Chry­sten faythfull wemen, they maye well knowe that the holy Apostles Peter and Paule haue wrytē theyr erhortaciōs for sober apparell, vn­to them which haue such ryche Iewels, stones, gold & syluer, & not to poore women, that haue them not. Seyng then that the word of God is pryncypally spoken to you that be ientle womē [Page lxxvi] of noble parentel whych haue these ryches and Iewels to laye thē awaye wyth all youre pōpe and pryde, & wylbe taken for Chrysten folkes, then folowe you the exhortations of the myny­sters of Iesu Christ. What [...] y true nobil [...] te.

Moreouer ye shulde remember what is the very nobilite, & what maketh gentle men and wemē, that it is not apparell, but m [...]kenes, gen tle behauyour, discrete conuersacyon, prudence, wysdome, lernynge & vertue. And they that in Chryst Iesu are baptysed, are baptysed into one body of Chryst, where we are all one & no diffe­rence betwixte noble nor bloude, poore nor ritch Galat. iii. And therfore in thys respecte there is no boast to be made of bloude, but remember y [...]oble quene Hester, whych sayde: Thou kno­west my state o Lorde, & that I hate the sygne of preemynence & worshyp whych I beare vpon my head, what tyme I must go forth to be sene & that I abhorre it as an vncleane clothe, and that I weare it not whan I am quyet alone by Why ritche [...] be gyuen to menne of no bilite. my self. GOD therfore hath geuen you ryches to dystrybute them to the poore, & not to mayn tayne your pryde therwyth. So were Iewelles bestowed euen amonge the Heathē, for at Ro­me was a lawe called Lex Oppia, wherby all pompe & excesse of rayment was forbodden all honeste wemen, & they were commaunded that [Page] none (how myghty or rytche soeuer they were) shulde not weare aboue an vnce of golde vpon theyr bodies.

Cypriane sayeth that wemen, albe it they [...]yprian. be ryche, yet therfore ought they not to vse the more pompe & pryde, but to knowe those onelye to be riche, which are ernest in godlye workes, & helpyng the poore. A shamefull and blasphe­mous thynge it is, to weare syluer, golde, vel­uets Mark thys well o ye gē [...]il women and sylkes, and to suffer the poore to want clothes & foode. yee she that proudlye decketh her selfe, destroyeth hyr owne soule, & geuethe other folkes occasyon of destruccyon. For she stereth vp euell affeccyons and lustes in them that be­holde hyr, yee such one is poyson and swearde to thē that se her. Nether may suche gorgyouse fla rynge prowde wemen be iudged godlye nor ho­nest. i▪ Cor. xi. And therfore sayde Paul, That euerye woman comming into the church to pray or to heare the worde preached must be honestly coue red, and especially hyr heade, for yf she come in bare headed or shewyng any parte of her heare Marke Mala. ii. (as some saye it out, and manye haue borowed heare) she dishonest hyr head whych is hyr hous­band: let them therfore be decked and koueredde wyth comely veales for the angelles whyche are thē ministers and messāgers of God And what madnes were it to come into the church vnder [Page lxxvii] a pretence of humblenes to pray to God for gra ce, wher by such proude fashyons thou prouo­kest hys heuy wrath vpō the? It were better for such people to be thrust into a sacke, with a myl stone hanged aboute theyr neckes (as Christ sai eth) drowned, then thus to offende anye one of the least in the congregacyon.

What shame God threateneth vnto suche prowde personnes, ye maye reade Esa. iii. say­ynge: That for theyr chaynes of golde the shall haue halters of hempe and fetters and colers of yerne for theyr muske and pomaunders, they shal haue stynke for theyr brodred heare euerye man shall se them balde, and for theyr stoma­chers of golde they shall weare sack, whyche all wythe a myserable destruccion of Israhell and Iuda by theAssiryans and Babylonites came iustlye to passe in the dayes of these kynges Ioa chas Ioakim and Zedechias, Wherfore let xxii. cha. iiii. Lib. Reg. [...]. [...]o forth. euery honest woman accordyng to hyr state & abilite be comely clenly and honestely apparel­led auoydynge all sluttishnes and vnclennelye­nes, and so teche theyre chyldren and refrayne from all excesse and super fluite, that God may be praysed & noman offēded at your apparel, ra ther garnished with vertue & vtward honestye thē wt pryde whych procureth you euuye, and it wyll in conclusion haue a shamefull fall.

¶ The. xxi. Chapter.

¶ Howe daughters and maydens must be kepte.

NOw to returne to yong daughters how [...]. they shuld be enstru [...]t in prayer & know lege of theyr christē religiō according as it is set forth in dialoges & institutions of ye chri stians, yet shall they not be to busy in teachyng & reasoning openlye, but there to vse sylence and to learne at home, openly to heare, and at home let them reasone and teache eche other. Neyther wold I nothaue them euer shutte vp, as it were in cage, neuer to speake nor to come forthe, but Good coun­sel for mens daughters & maydes. sometymes to se the good fasshions and honest behauiour of other for to kepe thē euer in mew is ynough eyther to make thē starcke fooles, or [...]lles to make thē naughtes, whē they shal once come abroad into company. As for this thyng, euery discrete parente shall knowe by the afore­sayd rules howe to order them, to auoyd all wā tonnes and nycenesse in wordes, gestures and dedes, to eschewe all vnhonest games and passe tymes, to auoyd all vnhonest loues and occasi­ons of the same, as vnhonest daunsynge, wan­ton communicacion, company wythe rybaldes and fylthy speakers, teache them to auerte theyr syght and sences from all such inconueniences, let them auoyd ydlenes, be occupied ether doinge [Page lxxviii] some profitable thyng for your family, or e [...]es Bokes of [...] bles of fon [...] & lyght lou [...] women ought not t [...] reade. readynge some godly boke, lette them not reade bokes of fables, of fond and lyght loue, but call vpon God to haue pure hartes and chaste, that they might cleue only to theyr spouse Christ vn to hym maryed by fayth, which is the moost pu rest wedlock of vs all, pure virgins, beyng both maried and vnmaried. Euell wordes, saythe Paul, corrupte good manners, vnclennes and couetousnes, let them not once be named amōg Ephe. v. you, nor no foolysh rybaldry talkyng, nor light testyng, which are not comely, but be occupied in prayers and thankesgyuynge. Bokes of Ro­byn hood, Beues of Hampton, Tro [...]us, & such lyke fables do but kyndle in lyers lyke lyes and wanton loue, which ought not in yougth wyth theyr fyrst spettle to be dronckē in, lest they euer remayne in them. If ye delyght to synge songes ye haue the Psalmes and many godly songes & bokes in Englysh right frutefull & swete. Take the new Testament in your handes, & study it diligently, & learne your profession in baptyme to mortify your flesh, and to be reuyued in the spirite, learne the vse of the Lordes supper, to re member his death, and to gyue hym perpetuall thankes for thy redempciō. Mothers must also teache theyr doughters to worcke, to loue theyr husbandes and chyldren. And lette them laye [Page] their handes to spynne, sewe, weaue. etc, For Lerne them to worke. the noblest wemen, bothe amonge the Heathen Romans and Grekes & Hebrewes had greate commendacyons for theyr houswyfly working wyth theyr handes, as ye maye reade of Salo­mon, sayenge: He that fyndeth an honest fayth­full Pr [...]. xixi. woman, she is more worth then precious perles. The herte of her husband maye safelye trust to her. All the dayes of hyr lyfe wyll she seke hys profit. She occupieth woll and flaxe, and laboureth gladly wyth her handes, She is lyke a marchauntes shippe. et ce. It is expedient that a man handfast not his daughter before he hath good experience of hyr housewyfrye, & go uerning of an house. For it becometh hir better to haue a payer of roughe and harde handes, then tobe fayer & softe glisteryng with rynges Fay [...] han­ded and ten­der fyngered women are not to be praysed. or kouered cōtynually wyth smothe gloues. And let the parentes be ware that they bryng them not vp to tenderly wantōly and delicately or to nycely. And at dew tyme let thē be prouyded for so that they maye gouerne theyr owne houses wyth theyr owne husbandes.

Thus moche haue I spoken concernyng ho­ly wedlock accordyng to the Scriptures of god Desyryng all men, that shall reade thys lytyll treatyse hereby to take an occasyon to hate and deteste all vnclennes, & godly to embrace holye [Page] wedlocke, which is honorable among all person­nes, and so to lead theyr lyfe here in all godlynes and honeste, that after theyr departure oute of this world, they may reygne for euermore in perpetuall glorye with the Bryde. grome Iesus Christ, to whome be all honoure and prayse worldes wtout ende.

¶ Gyue the glory to God alone.

¶ Here after foloweth a table wher by thou shalte fynde, in what leafe euery Chapter begynneth, what is cōtayned in ye same chap­ter, & also al other princi pall thīges cōtayned in this boke.

¶ The fyrst Chapter.
  • [Page]WHo instituted wedlocke, where & whan, for what ende, &c. in the fyrst leafe.
  • The creacion of woman or of mā. ii.
  • Adam and Eue were marryed the leaf iii.
  • The occasions of loue & consent into mariage. The leaf iii.
  • The knot and couenaunt in mariage iii.
The second Chapter.
  • Wedlocke what it is. iiii.
The thyrd Chapter.
  • Contaynyng the declaracion of wedlok. v.
  • No man maye separate that God coupleth. v.
The fourth Chapter.
  • The iust couplyng togyther of man and wyfe The leaf vii.
  • Religion and fayth must be consydred. vii
The fyfte Chapter.
  • Chyldren must haue the consent of theyr paren tes or els the mariage is not right x.
  • Chyldren must honour theyr parentes xi.
  • Chyldren maye not vow nor promyse without theyr parentes consent. xii.
  • Menstealers and women stealers. xii.
  • Themistocles desyred a wyse wyfe rather then a rytche. xiii.
¶ The syxe Chapter.
  • The parentes maye not compell theyr chyldren [Page] to mary agaynst theyr wyl nor before theyr iust tyme. xiiii.
The seuenth Chapter.
  • Of the iust cōsent of both the parties into wed lock, and howe mariage ought to be fre and not compelled therto. xv.
  • The consent what it is. xv.
  • The wyll of maryage cometh of God. xvi.
  • The inordinate affecciō of yong folkes. xvii.
  • The inordinate affeccion of parentes xviii.
The. viii. Chapter.
  • Wherfore wedlocke should be cōtracted. xviii.
  • To brynge forth chyldren and to auoyd whore­dome. xviii.
  • The worke of wedlocke is no synne. xx.
  • Deflouryng of virgyns. xx.
  • Measure and shamefastnes. xxi.
  • To auoyd solenes of lyuyng, to helpe and con­forte one another. xxii.
The. ix. Chapter.
  • The ende, frute & comendaciō in wedlok. xxii.
  • How blyssed and honorable it is. xxii.
  • The operacion and ende of wedlok. xxii.
  • Wedlok is holy and honorable. xxii.
The. x. Chapter.
  • Howe shamefull and abhominable whoredome is. xxiiii.
  • Whoredom defylethe the members of Christe [Page] which are thyne owne body. xxliii.
  • Whordome robbeth God of his owne. xxv.
  • Whordome defyleth the temple of God, xxv.
  • Whordome shutteth men out of heauen. xxv.
  • Whordome spoyleth a man of his honeste, body and goodes. xxvi.
  • Whoremongers haue no rest. xxvi.
  • Stewes vpholders and mayntayners shall be punished greuously of God. xxvii.
  • Godly to mary maketh no beggers. xxix.
  • Whordome, wanton counsayle. xxix.
The. xi. Chapter.
  • Contayneth, howe shamefull & wycked a thyng is aduoutry, and how it hath of old tyme ben pu nyshed hitherto. xxx.
  • How god plaged aduoutry before ye law writtē. The punyshment of aduoutrye in the lawe of God. xxxi.
  • Howe aduouiry was punyshed among the He­then. xxxi.
  • How the Lepreanes, Locrenses and Germans punyshed it. xxxi.
  • Howe the Romans punyshed aduoutry. xxxii.
  • The lawes imperiall punysh it. xxxii.
  • Why aduoutry was so sore punyshed. xxxii.
  • Aduoutry compared with thefte. xxxiii.
  • Aduoutry alienate heretages. xxxiiii.
  • The defence that aduoutrers vse. xxxiiii.
  • [Page] Aduoutry punyshed wyth death. xxxv.
  • The aduoutry of Dauid was not punyshed wt death. xxxv.
  • The aduoutresse broght before Christ why she was not stoned to death. Repentaunce. xxxvi.
The. xii. Chapter.
  • Howe one should chose hym an apte, honest and vertuous mate. xxxvi.
  • Ther lyeth great wayght in the chosyng of thy mate, what the chosyng is. xxxvii.
  • The maner of riches in man or of mā. xxxviii.
  • The rytches of the mynde. xxxviii.
  • Language and the feare of God. xxxviii.
  • Reputacion, rayment, company, the bryngynge vp of chyldren. xxxix
  • Froward wicked qualities of the mynd. xxxix.
  • The dispysyng of Gods worde. xl.
  • Unshamefastnes, lyeng. xl.
  • Pryde, The rytches of the body, beauty. xl.
  • Temporall rytches, Nobilite. xli.
  • Wynnyng and occupyeng. xlii.
  • The effecte of the eleccion. xlii. Prayer. xliii.
  • A noble ensample of the eleccion and earande in the cause of matrimony. xliii.
  • A fourme of the earand in mariage. xlv.
  • Trueth in contractyng of mariage. xlv.
The. xiii. Chapter.
  • Of the weddyng. rlvi.
  • [Page] They must go to churche before they go to bed. The leafe. xlvi.
  • The cōmodities y come of this ordināce. xlvii.
  • The abuse at weddynges. xlviii.
  • [...] ynne & excesse cōmitted at weddynges. xlviii.
The. xiiii. Chapter.
  • Of the fyrst cohabitacion. l.
  • Daunger in the first cohabitacion. l.
  • How they must behaue them selues at first. li.
  • The duty of the maryed one to ye tother. lii.
  • The duty and obedience of wyues. liii.
  • The husband is the head of the wyfe. liii.
  • Howe he is the head. liiii.
  • How y wiues must obay & behaue thē selues. liiii
  • The duty and loue of husbandes. lv.
  • Howe men shulde loue theyr wyues. lv.
  • Howe holy a thyng loue matrimonial is. lv.
  • A man must loue his wyfe as his owne bodye. The leafe lvi.
The. xv. Chapter.
  • Howe the loue, faythfulnes and duty of the ma­ryed persons must be kepte. lvi.
  • One maye not cast another in the tethe. lvii.
  • Obsequtousnes and felawshyp. lvii.
  • Humanite and ientylnes, kepe no secret grudge. The lefe lviii.
  • Chyldren are the pledges of loue. lix.
  • To be frutefull was once ye blessyng of god. lx.
  • [Page] Chyldren are womens Iewels. lx.
  • Steppe children and step mothers. lxi.
  • Trouth and fayth must be kepte, clenlines. lxii.
  • Good conuersacyon, auoydynge gelousy lxiii.
  • Bostīg or praysyng of wyues or husbādes. l [...]iii
  • How ye shuld behaue you agaynst your seruaū tes. lxiiii.
The. xvi. Chapter.
  • Of cōuenient care and iust keping of the house. The lefe, lxiiii.
  • Ordinate care for our lyuynge. l [...]v.
  • Phidias dyd set the good houswyfe vnder ashel. The lefe. lxvi.
  • Comon sentences for the kepyng of thy house. The lefe. lxvi
The. xvii. Chapter.
  • How the maried must be mercyful & pacyent in aduersyte, & behaue them to theyr seruauntes. Affliccion techeth vs to knowe god. Tribulaciō is fyer and salt. lxviii
  • How seruantes must be entreted. lxviii.
  • The dewtye of seruauntes. lxix.
The. xviii. Chapter.
  • H [...]w children shuld be well brought vp. lxix.
  • Catus and Tyberius, why they were so elo­quent. [...].
  • Correction dew and discrete. lxxii.
The. xix. Chapter.
  • [Page] Children must be set to that science and crafte where vnto they be most apte. lxxii.
  • Why men now set not their chyldrē to scole as thyck, as they were wont. lxxii
  • Trauellyng among straungers. lxxiiii.
The. xx. Chapter.
  • Of yonge wemens apparell, lxxv.
  • Whether ientle women maye go so rychelye a­rayed. lxxv.
The. xxi. Chapter.
  • How daughters and maydens muste be kepte. The leafe. lxxvii.
The ende of the Table.

¶ Imprinted at London in Botulph lane at the sygne of the whyte Beare, by Iohn̄ Mayler for Iohn̄ Gough. Anno Dn̄i. 1543.

Cum priuilegio ad imprimendum solum. Per Septennium.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.