The First Blast of the Trumpet against the monstrous regiment
John Knox

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The First Blast of the Trumpet against the monstrous regiment of Women.

The English Scholar's Library etc.

No. 2.

The First Blast of the Trumpet, &c.


Edited by EDWARD ARBER, F.S.A., etc.,


15 August 1878.

No. 2.

(All rights reserved.)

[Transcribers Note: The image source for this book was a .pdf of the
above edition. The production of the pdf seems to have generated some
errors e.g. royal1 for royall. Such errors have been fixed but otherwise
the text aims to be true to the printed book.]




Extracts from Mr. DAVID LAING'S Preface

* * * * *

The First Blast of the Trumpet &c.


The wonderful silence of the godly and zealous preachers, the learned men
and of grave judgment, now in exile, that they do not admonish the
inhabitants of "greate Brittanny" how abominable before GOD is the Empire
or Rule of Wicked Woman, yea, of a traitress and bastard.

This is contrary to the examples of the ancient prophets.

I am assured that GOD hath revealed unto some in this our age, that it is
more than a monster in nature that a Woman shall reign and have empire
above Man.


Why no such doctrine ought to be published in these our dangerous days.

(a) _It may seem to tend to sedition._

(b) _It shall be dangerous not only to the writer or publisher, but to all
as shall read the writings, or favour this truth spoken._

(c) _It shall not amend the chief offenders, because

1. It shall never come to their ears

2. They will not be admonished_.

If any think that the Empire of Women is not of such importance that for
the surpressing of the same any man is bound to hazard his life: I answer,
that to suppress it, is in the hand of GOD alone; but to utter the impiety
and abomination of the same, I say, it is the duty of every true messenger
of GOD to whom the truth is revealed in that behalf.

The First Blast to awake Women degenerate.


_The_ Proposition. To promote a Woman to bear rule, superiority, dominion
or empire above any realm, nation or city is

A. Repugnant to nature.

B. Contumely to GOD.

C. The subversion of good order, of all equity and justice.

A. Men illuminated only by the light of nature have seen and determined
that it is a thing most repugnant to nature, that Women rule and
govern over men.


1. Woman in her greatest perfection was made to serve and obey man, not to
rule and command him.

2. After the fall, she was made subject to man by the irrevocable sentence
of GOD. In which sentence there are two parts.

(a) A dolour, anguish and pain as oft as ever she shall be a mother.

(b) A subjection of her self, her appetites and will to her husband and
his will.

From the former part of this malediction can neither art, nobility, policy
nor law made by man deliver women: but, alas, ignorance of GOD, ambition
and tyranny have studied to abolish and destroy the second part of GOD's

3. This subjection, understood by many to be that of the wife to the
husband, is extended by Saint PAUL to women in general To which consent

4. The two other Mirrors, in which we may behold the order of Nature.

(a) The natural body of man

(b) The civil body of that Commonwealth [_of the Jews_] in which GOD by
his own word hath appointed an order.

C. The Empire of a Woman is a thing repugnant to justice, and the
destruction of every commonwealth where it is received.

(a) If justice be a constant and perpetual will to give to every person
their own right: then to give or to will to give to any person that which
is not their right, must repugn to justice. But to reign above Man can
never be the right to Woman: because it is a thing denied unto her by GOD,
as is before declared.

(b) Whatsoever repugneth to the will of GOD expressed in His most sacred
word, repugneth to justice. That Women have authority over Men repugneth
to the will of GOD expressed in His word. Therefore all such authority
repugneth to justice.


1. _The examples of DEBORAH [Judges_ iv. 4] _and HULDAH_ [2
_Kings_ xxii 14.]

2. _The law of MOSES for the daughters of ZELOPHEHAD [Numb_. xxvii. 7,
and xxxvi. 11]

3. _The consent of the Estates of such realms as have approved the Empire
and Regiment of Women._

4 [_The long custom which hath received the Regiment of Women. The valiant
acts and prosperity. Together with some Papistical laws which have
confirmed the same_.

*** This objection was not directly replied to; but instead, the two
following ones.]

(a) _Albeit Women may not absolutely reign by themselves; because they may
neither sit in judgment, neither pronounce sentence, neither execute any
public office: yet may they do all such things by their Lieutenants,
Deputies, and Judges substitutes_.

(b) _A woman born to rule over any realm, may choose her a husband; and to
him she may transfer and give her authority and right_.


And now to put an end to the First Blast. Seeing that by the Order of
Nature; by the malediction and curse pronounced against Woman; by the
mouth of Saint PAUL, the interpreter of GOD's sentence; by the example of
that Commonwealth in which GOD by His word planted order and policy; and
finally, by the judgment of the most godly writers: GOD hath dejected
women from rule, dominion, empire and authority above man. Moreover,
seeing that neither the example of DEBORAH, neither the law made for the
daughters of ZELOPHEHAD, neither yet the foolish consent of an ignorant
multitude: be able to justify that which GOD so plainly hath condemned.
Let all men take heed what quarrel and cause from henceforth they do
defend. If GOD raise up any noble heart to vindicate the liberty of his
country and to suppress the monstrous Empire of Women: let all such as
shall presume to defend them in the same, most certainly know; that in so
doing they lift their hand against GOD, and that one day they shall find
His power to fight against their foolishness.

JOHN KNOX to the Reader




20 July. JOHN KNOX'S Declaration to Queen ELIZABETH



5 Aug. JOHN KNOX'S Second Defence to Queen ELIZABETH

Extracts from JOHN KNOX'S History of the Church of Scotland


The First Blast of the Trumpet etc.


A. _As a separate publication_.

1. 1558. [i.e. early in that year at Geneva. 8vo.] See title at _p_. I.

B. _With other Works_.

None known.


A. As a separate publication.

2. [?1687? Edinburgh.] 8vo. The First Blast of the Trumpet against the
monstrous Regimen[t] of Women.

4. 15. Aug. 1878. Southgate London N.

_English Scholar's Library_. The present impression.

B. With other Works.

1846-1848. Edinburgh. 8vo. _Bannatyne Club_. The Works of JOHN KNOX.
Collected and edited by DAVID LAING. In 6 Vols. A special and limited
edition of 112 copies of the First Two Volumes was struck off for this
Printing Club.

1846-1848. Edinburgh. 8vo. _Wodrow Club_. The same Two Volumes issued
to this Society.

1854-1864. Edinburgh. 8vo. The remaining Four Volumes published by Mr. T.
G. STEVENSON. The First Blast &c. is at Vol. iv. 349.

Early Replies to the First Blast etc.

1. 26 Apr. 1559. Strasburgh. 4to. [JOHN AYLMER, afterwards Bishop of

An Harborovve for faithfull and trewe subiectes, agaynst the late blowne
Blaste, concerninge the Gouernmente of VVemen wherin he confuted all
such reasons as a straunger of late made in that behalfe, with a breife
exhortation to Obedience. Anno. M.D. lix.

[This calling John Knox a "stranger" sounds to us like a piece of
impudence, but may bring home to us that Scotland was then to Englishmen a
foreign country.]

2. 1565-6. Antwerp. 8vo. PETRUS FRARINUS, M.A.

Oration against the Vnlawfull Insurrections of the Protestantes of our
time, under the pretence to refourme religion.

Made and pronounced in the Schole of Artes at Louaine, the xiiij of
December. Anno 1565. And now translated into English with the aduise of
the Author. Printed by JOHN FOWLER in 1566.

The references to KNOX and GOODMAN are at E. vj and F. ij. At the end of
this work is a kind of Table of Contents, each reference being
illustrated with a woodcut depicting the irightful cruelties with which
the Author in the text charges the Protestants. One woodcut is a curious
representation of GOODMAN and NOKES.

Doctor FULKE wrote a _Confutation_ of this work.

3. 1579. Paris. 8vo. DAVID CHAMBERS of Ormond.

Histoire abregée de tous les Roys de France, Angleterre et Escosse, etc.
In three Parts, each with a separate Title page.

The Third Part is dated 21 August 1573; is dedicated to CATHERINE DE
MEDICI; and is entitled

Discours de la legitime succession des femmes aux possessions de leurs
parens: et du gouernement des princesses aux Empires et Royaumes.

4. 1584. [Printed abroad]. 8vo. JOHN LESLEY, Bishop of ROSS.

A treatise towching the right, title and interest of the most Excellent
Princesse MARIE, Queen of Scotland, And of the most noble King JAMES, her
Graces sonne, to the succession of the Crowne of England. ... Compiled ahd
published before in Latin, and after in English. The Blast is alluded
to at C. 2.

5. 1590. [Never printed.] Lord HENRY HOWARD [created Earl of NORTHAMPTON
13 March 1604.], a voluminous writer, but few of whose writings ever came
to the press.

A dutifull defence of the lawfull Regiment of women deuided into three
bookes. The first conteyneth reasons and examples grounded on the law of
nature. The second reasons and examples grownded on the Ciuile lawes. The
third reasons and examples grounded on the sacred lawes of god with an
awnswer to all false and friuolous obiections which haue bene most
vniustlie cowntenaunced with deceitfull coulores forced oute of theis
lawes in disgrace of their approued and sufficient authorytie. _Lansd.
MS_. 813 and _Harl. MS_. 6257.


At the time this tract was written the destinies, immediate and
prospective, of the Protestant faith seemed to lay wholly in the laps of
five women, viz:--


MARIE DE LORRAINE, Queen Regent of Scotland, whose sole heir was her
daughter MARY, afterwards Queen of Scots.

MARY TUDOR, Queen of England, having for her heir apparent the Princess

Of these, the last--also of least account at this moment, being in
confinement--was the only hope of the Reformers. The other four, largely
directing the affairs of three kingdoms, were steadfastly hostile to the
new faith. Truly, the odds were heavy against it. Who could have
anticipated that within three years of the writing of this book both MARY
TUDOR and MARY DE LORRAINE would have passed away; that KNOX himself would
have been in Scotland carrying on the Reformation; and that ELIZABETH
would have commenced her marvellous reign. So vast a change in the
political world was quite beyond all reasonable foresight.

Meanwhile there was only present to the vision and heart of the Reformer
as he gazed seaward, from Dieppe, but the unceasing blaze of, the martyr
fires spreading from Smithfield all over England. Month after month this
horrid work was deliberately carried on and was increasing in intensity.

We se our countrie set furthe for a pray to foreine nations, we
heare the blood of our brethren, the membres of Christ Iesus most
cruellie to be shed, and the monstruous empire of a cruell women
(the secrete counsel of God excepted) we knowe to be the onlie
occasion of all the miseries: and yet with silence we passe the
time as thogh the mater did nothinge appertein to vs. _p_. 3.

The vigour of the persecution had struck all heart out of the Protestants.
Was this to go on for ever? Heart-wrung at the ruthless slaughter--as we,
in our day, have been by the horrors of the Indian mutiny or of the
Bulgarian atrocities---the Reformer sought to know the occasion of all
these calamities. At that moment, he found it in the Empire of Woman.
Afterwards he referred much of this book to the time in which it was
written [_pp_. 58 and 61]. Shall we say that his heart compelled his head
to this argument, that his indignation entangled his understanding on this
subject? Just as MILTON was led to the discussion of the conditions of
divorce, through his desertion by his wife MARY POWELL; so the fiery
martyrdoms of England led KNOX to denounce the female sex in the person of
her whom we still call "Bloody MARY" that was the occasion of them all.

If in the happiest moment of his happiest dream, JOHN KNOX could have
foreseen our good and revered Queen VICTORIA reigning in the hearts of the
millions of her subjects, and ruling an Empire wider by far than those of
Spain and Portugal in his day; if he could have seen England and Scotland
ONE COUNTRY, bearing the name which, as almost of prophecy, he has
foreshadowed for them in this tract, "the Ile of greate Britanny;" if he
could have beheld that one country as it now abides in its strength and
its wealth, the most powerful of European states; if he could have
realized free Italy with Rome, the Popes without temporal power, and
modern civilisation more than a match for Papal intrigues; if he could
have known that the gospel for which he lived had regenerated the social
life of Great Britain, that it was tha confessed basis of our political
action and the perennial spring of our Christian activities, so that not
merely in physical strength, but in moral, force and mental enlightenment
we are in the van of the nations of the world: if the great Scotch
Reformer had but had a glimpse of this present reality, this tract would
never have been written, and he would willingly have sung the paean of
aged SIMEON and passed out of this life.

But this work was the offspring of the hour of darkness, if not of
despair. Something must be done. A warrior of the pen, he would forge a
general argument against all female rule that would inclusively destroy
the legal right of MARY to continue these atrocities.


The first note of this trumpet blast, "The Kingdom apperteineth to our
GOD," shows us the vast difference between the way in which men regarded
the Almighty Being then and now. Shall we say that the awe of the Deity
has departed! Now so much stress is laid on the Fatherhood of GOD: in
KNOX'S time it was His might to defend His own or to take vengeance on all
their murderers. Both views are true. Nevertheless this age does seem
wanting in a general and thorough reverence for His great name and

KNOX seems like some great Hebrew seer when he thus pronounces the doom of
MARY and her adherents.

The same God, who did execute this greuous punishment, euen by the
handes of those, whom he suffred twise to be ouercomen in batel,
doth this day retein his power and iustice. Cursed Iesabel of
England, with the pestilent and detestable generation of papistes,
make no litle bragge and boast, that they haue triumphed not only
against Wyet, but also against all such as haue entreprised any
thing against them or their procedinges. But let her and them
consider, that yet they haue not preuailed against god, his throne
is more high, then that the length of their hornes be able to
reache. And let them further consider, that in the beginning of
their bloodie reigne, the haruest of their iniquitie was not comen
to full maturitie and ripenes. No, it was so grene, so secret I
meane, so couered, and so hid with hypocrisie, that some men (euen
the seruantes of God) thoght it not impossible, but that wolues
might be changed in to lambes, and also that the vipere might
remoue her natural venom. But God, who doth reuele in his time
apointed the secretes of hartes, and that will haue his
iudgementes iustified euen by the verie wicked, hath now geuen
open testimonie of her and their beastlie crueltie. For man and
woman, learned and vnlearned, nobles and men of baser sorte, aged
fathers and tendre damiselles, and finailie the bones of the dead,
as well women as men haue tasted of their tyrannie, so that now
not onlie the blood of father Latimer, of the milde man of God
the bishop of Cantorburie, of learned and discrete Ridley, of
innocent ladie Iane dudley, and many godly and worthie preachers,
that can not be forgotten, such as fier hath consumed, and the
sworde of tyrannie moste vniustlie hath shed, doth call for
vengeance in the eares of the Lord God of hostes: but also the
sobbes and teares of the poore oppressed, the groninges of the
angeles, the watch men of the Lord, yea and euerie earthlie
creature abused by their tyrannie do continuallie crie and call
for the hastie execution of the same. I feare not to say, that the
day of vengeance, whiche shall apprehend that horrible monstre
Iesabal of England, and suche as maintein her monstruous crueltie,
is alredie apointed in the counsel of the Eternall; and I verelie,
beleue that it is so nigh, that she shall not reigne so long in
tyrannie, as hitherto she hath done, when God shall declare him
selfe to be her ennemie, when he shall poure furth contempt vpon
her, according to her crueltie, and shal kindle the hartes of
such, as sometimes did fauor her with deadly hatred against her,
that they may execute his iudgementes. And therfore let such as
assist her, take hede what they do.

Within a year of the writing of this MARY TUDOR was dead, and the system
of which she was the centre was dead too.


There are some notable incidental matters in this tract.

First in matters of State. As

The spaniardes are Iewes and they bragge that Marie of England is
the roote of Iesse. _p_. 46.

That most important testimony that the Reformation under EDWARD VI was
mainly the work of the King and his court; as it had been in the days of
his father HENRY VIII.

For albeit thou diddest not cease to heape benefit vpon benefit,
during the reigne of an innocent and tendre king, yet no man did
acknowledge thy potent hand and meruelouse working. The stoute
courage of capitaines, the witte and policie of counselers, the
learning of 'bishoppes[1], did robbe the of thy glorie and honor.
For what then was heard, as concerning religion, but the kinges
procedinges, the kinges procedinges must be obeyed? It is enacted
by parliament: therefore it is treason to speake in the contrarie.
_p. 30._

The political shrewdness of the Writer on the entanglement of England in
the Spanish War against France, whereby we lost Calais on the 6th
January 1558.

They see their owne destruction, and yet they haue no grace to
auoide it. Yea they are becomen so blinde, that knowing the pit,
they headlong cast them selues into the same, as the nobilitie[2]
of England, do this day, fighting in the defense of their mortall
ennemie the Spaniard. Finallie they are so destitute of
vnderstanding and iudgement, that althogh they knowe that there is
a libertie and fredome, the whiche their predecessors haue
inioyed; yet are they compelled to bowe their neckes vnder the
yoke of Satan, and of his proude ministres, pestilent papistes and
proude spaniardes. And yet can they not consider that where a
woman reigneth and papistes beare authoritie, that there must
nedes Satan be president of the counsel, _p. 31._

The absence of any specific allusion to Calais shows that this book
was wholly written before its capture.

Next, in the imagery with which he expresses his insight into the
nature of things. As

It is a thing verie difficile to a man, (be he neuer so constant)
promoted to honors, not to be tickled some what with pride (for
the winde of vaine glorie doth easelie carie vp the, drie dust of
the earth). _p. 19._

The wise, politic, and quiet spirites of this world, _p. 8._

The veritie of God[3] is of that nature, that at one time or at
other, it will pourchace to it selfe audience. It is an odour and
smell, that can not be suppressed, yea it is a trumpet that will
sound in despite of the adversarie.

Lastly, the marvellous lashing of women, throughout: climaxing in

Woman ... the porte and gate of the deuil.


This work is therefore to us rather "the groaning of this angel,"
this "watchman of the LORD" at the national subjection, the fiery
martyrdoms, "the sobs and tears of the poor oppressed;" than the
expression of any fundamental principle on which GOD has
constituted human society. Intellectually, there is partiality,
forgetfulness and disproportion in the argument. It applies as
much to a Man as to a Woman, and more to a wicked than a good
Woman. He started on the assumption that almost all women in
authority were wicked. Time however alters many things; and he
lived to love and reverence Queen ELIZABETH.

So these trumpet notes are the outpouring of a very great nature,
if not of a great thinker; of one whose absolute and dauntless
devotion to GOD, to truth, to right, whose burning indignation
against wrong-doing and faith in the Divine vengeance to overtake
it, fitted him to do a giant's work in the Reformation, and will
enshrine his memory in the affection of all good men till time
shall end.

[Sidenote 1: what robbed God of his honor in England in the time
of the Gospell.]

[Sidenote 2: The nobilitie and the hole realme of England, caste
themselves willing in to the pit.]

[Sidenote 3: The propertie of Goddes truth.]


With some other hints, gratefully acknowledged.

Of the various writings of the Reformer, no one was the occasion of
exciting greater odium than his _First Blast against the monstrous
Regiment or Government of Women_. Unlike all his other publications, it
appeared anonymously, although he had no intention of ultimately
concealing his name. His purpose was, as he tells us, "Thrice to Blow the
Trumpet in the same matter, if GOD so permit," and, on the last occasion,
to announce himself as the writer, to prevent any blame being imputed to
others. This intention, it is well known, was never carried into effect.
That KNOX'S views were in harmony with those of his colleagues, GOODMAN,
WHITTINGHAM, and GILBY, need hardly be stated: but the reception of the
little work fully confirmed the Author's opinion, that it would not escape
"the reprehension of many." This may in a great measure be attributed to
the course of public events within a few months of its publication.

The subject of Female Government had engaged his attention at an earlier
period. One of his Questions submitted to BULLINGER in 1554 was "Whether a
Female can preside over, and rule a kingdom by divine right?" And in
answer to some doubts regarding the Apparel of Women, he himself says that
"if women take upon them the office which GOD hath assigned to men, they
shall not escape the Divine malediction." In his _Additions_ to the
_Apology for The Protestants in prison at Paris_, he expresses his
conviction that the government of Princes had come to that state of
iniquity that "no godly person can enjoy office or authority under them."
This assertion indeed was not specially applicable to Female government,
but his feelings in reference to the persecutions in England under MARY,
and in Scotland under the Queen Regent, impelled him to treat of a subject
which all others at the time seemed most sedulously to avoid.

His First _Blast_ was probably written at Dieppe towards the end of 1557;
and it was printed early in the following year at Geneva, as is apparent
upon comparison with other books from the press of JOHN CRESPIN in
that city.

A copy of the work having been sent to JOHN FOX, then residing at Basle,
he wrote "a loving and friendly letter" to the author, in which he
expostulates with him on the impropriety of the publication. In KNOX'S
reply, dated the 18th of May 1558, he says, he will not excuse "his rude
vehemencie and inconsidered affirmations, which may appear rather to
proceed from choler than of zeal or reason." "To me," he adds, "it _is_
enough to say, that black is not white, an'd man's tyranny and foolishness
is not GOD's perfect ordinance."

The similar work of GOODMAN on _Obedience to Superior_ Powers which
appeared at Geneva about the same time, was also suggested by the
persecuting spirit which then prevailed. But both works were published
somewhat unseasonably, as such questions on _Government_ and _Obedience_,
it is justly observed, might have been more fitly argued when a King
happened to fill the throne. The terms used by GOODMAN in reference to
MARY, Queen of England, are not less violent than unseemly. She died on
the 17th of November 1558, and her successor regarded the authors of those
works with the utmost dislike; although neither of them, in their
writings, had any special reference or the least intention of giving
offence to Queen ELIZABETH....

That these works, and every person supposed to entertain similar
sentiments, should be regarded with marked aversion by Queen ELIZABETH,
need excite no surprise.

In the beginning of the year 1559, CALVIN having revised and
republished his _Commentaries_ on _ISAIAH_, originally dedicated
to EDWARD VI. in 1551; he addressed the work in a printed
_Epistle_ to Her Majesty: but his messenger brought him back word
that his homage was not kindly received by Her Majesty, because
she had been offended with him by reason of some writings
published with his approbation at Geneva.

CALVIN felt so greatly annoyed at this imputation, that he addressed a
letter[1] to Sir WILLIAM CECIL, in which he expresses himself with no small
degree of asperity on the subject of KNOX'S First _Blast_. He says--

Two years ago [i.e. _in_ 1557] JOHN KNOX asked of me, in a private
conversation, what I thought about the Government of Women. I
candidly replied, that as it was a deviation from the original and
proper order of nature, it was to be ranked, no less than
slavery, among the punishments consequent upon the fall of man:
but that there were occasionally women so endowed, that the
singular good qualities which shone forth in them made it evident
that they were raised up by Divine authority; either that GOD
designed by such examples to condemn the inactivity of men, or for
the better setting forth of His own glory. I brought forth Huldah
and Deborah; and added, that GOD did not vainly promise by the
mouth of Isaiah that "Queens should be nursing mothers of the
Church"; by which prerogative it is very evident that they are
distinguished from females in private life. I came at length to
this conclusion, that since, both by custom, and public consent,
and long practice, it hath been established, that realms and
principalities may descend to females by hereditary right, it did
not appear to me necessary to move the question, not only because
the thing would be most invidious; but because in my opinion it
would not be lawful to unsettle governments which are ordained by
the peculiar providence of GOD.

I had no suspicion of the book, and for a whole year was ignorant
of its publication. When I was informed of it by certain parties,
I sufficiently shewed my displeasure that such paradoxes should be
published; but as the remedy was too late, I thought that the
evil, which could not now be corrected, should rather be buried in
oblivion than made a matter of agitation.

Inquire also at your father in law [Sir ANTHONY COOKE] what my
reply was, when he informed me of the circumstance through Beza.
And MARY was still living, so that I could not be suspected
of flattery.

What the books contain, I cannot tell; but KNOX himself will allow
that my conversation with him was no other than what I have
now stated.

Calvin then proceeds to say, that great confusion might have arisen by
any decided opposition, and there would have been cause to fear, that in
such a case--

By reason of the thoughtless arrogance of one individual, the
wretched crowd of exiles would have been driven away, not only
from this city [of Geneva] but even from almost the whole world.

Some years later, and subsequent to CALVIN'S death, BEZA, in a letter
to BULLINGER, adverts to Queen ELIZABETH'S continued dislike to the
Church of Geneva. In his letter, dated the 3rd of September 1566, he

For as to our Church, I would have you know that it is so hateful
to the Queen [of England], that on this account she has never said
a single word in acknowledgement of the gift of my _Annotations
[on the New Testament]_. The reason of her dislike is twofold;
one, because we are accounted too severe and precise, which is
very displeasing to those who fear reproof; the other is, because
formerly, though without our knowledge, during the lifetime of
Queen MARY, two books were published here in the English language,
one by Master KNOX against the _Government of Women_, the other by
Master GOODMAN on the _Rights of the Magistrate_.

As soon as we learned the contents of each, we were much
displeased, and their sale was forbidden in consequence; but she,
notwithstanding, cherishes the opinion she has taken into
her head[2].

[Footnote 1: The letter is not dated, but it was subsequent to one written
on the 29th of January 1559 [i.e. 1560], _Zurich Letters_. Second
Series, _p_. 35.]

[Footnote 2: _Zurich Letters_. Second Series, p. 34.]


Veritas temporis filia,



[Sidenote a: the Negligence of watchemen.]
[Sidenote b: The diligence of the olde prophetes of God.]
[Sidenote c: I. Reg. 12.]
[Sidenote d: Ezech. 16.]
[Sidenote e: Ierem. 29.]
[Sidenote f: Ezech. 7,8,9.]

Wonder it is, that amongest so many pregnant wittes as the Ile of greate
Brittanny hath produced, so many godlie and zelous preachers as England
did somtime norishe, and amongest so many learned and men of graue
iudgement, as this day by Iesabel are exiled, none is found so stowte of
courage, so faithfull to God, nor louing to their natiue countrie, that
they dare admonishe the inhabitantes of that Ile how abominable before
God, is the Empire or Rule of a wicked woman, yea of a traiteresse and
bastard. And what may a people or nation left destitute of a lawfull head,
do by the authoritie of Goddes worde in electing and appointing common
rulers and magistrates. That Ile (alas) for the contempt and horrible
abuse of Goddes mercies offred, and for the shamefull reuolting to Satan
frome Christ Iesus, and frome his Gospell ones professed, doth iustlie
merite to be left in the handes of their own counsel, and so to come to
confusion and bondage of strangiers. But yet I feare that this vniuersall
negligence[a] of such as somtimes were estemed watchemen, shall rather
aggrauate our former ingratitude, then excuse this our vniuersall and
vngodlie silence, in so weightie a mater. We se our countrie set furthe
for a pray to foreine nations, we heare the blood of our brethren, the
membres of Christ Iesus most cruellie to be shed, and the monstruous
empire of a cruell woman (the secrete counsel of God excepted) we knowe to
be the onlie occasion of all these miseries: and yet with silence we passe
the time as thogh the mater did nothinge appertein to vs. But the
contrarie examples of the auncient prophetes[b] moue me to doubte of this
our fact. For Israel did vniuersalie decline frome God by embrasing
idolatrie vnder Ieroboam. In whiche they did continue euen vnto the
destruction of their common welthe[c]. And Iuda withe Ierusalem did
followe the vile superstition and open iniquitie of Samaria[d]. But yet
ceased not the prophetes of God to admonishe the one and the other: Yea
euen after that God had poured furthe his plagues vpon them[e]. For
Ieremie did write to the captiues of Babylon, and did correct their
errors, plainlie instructing them, who did remaine in the middest of that
idolatrouse nation. Ezechiel[f] frome the middest of his brethren
prisoners in Chaldea, did write his vision to those that were in
Ierusalem, and sharplie rebukinge their vices, assured them that they
shuld not escape the vengeance of God by reason of their abominations

[Sidenote g: God alway had his people amongst the wicked, who neuer
lacked their prophetes and teachers.]
[Sidenote h: Isaie. 13. Ierem. 6. Ezech. 36.]
[Sidenote i: Examples what teachers oght to do in this time.]
[Sidenote j: Ezech. 2, Apoca. 6.]
[Sidenote k: Thre chef reasons, that do stay man from speaking the
[Sidenote l: 1. Cor. 9.]
[Sidenote m: Mat. 26. Act. 18, 21.]
[Sidenote n: Psalm. 2. Act. 4.]
[Sidenote o: It is necessarie for everie man to open the impietie,
whiche he knoweth to hurt his commonwelth.]
[Sidenote p: No man can repent except he knowe his synne.]

The same prophetes for comfort of the afflicted and chosen saintes of God,
who did lie hyd amongest the reprobate of that age[g] (as commonlie doth
the corne amongest the chaffe) did prophecie and before speake the changes
of kingdomes, the punishmentes of tyrannes, and the vengeance[h] whiche
God wold execute vpon the oppressors of his people. The same did Daniel
and the rest of the prophetes euerie one in their season. By whose
examples and by the plaine precept, which is geuen to Ezechiel, commanding
him that he shall say to the wicked: Thou shalt die the death. We in this
our miserable age are bounde to admonishe[i] the world and the tyrannes
thereof, of their sodeine destruction, to assure them, and to crie vnto
them, whether they list to heare or not. That the blood of the saintes,
which by them is shed, continuallie crieth and craueth[j] vengeance in
the presence of the Lorde of hostes. And further it is our dutie to open
the truthe reueled vnto vs, vnto the ignorant and blind world, vnlest that
to our owne condemnation we list to wrap vp and and hyde the talent
committed to our charge. I am assured that God hath reueled to some in
this our age, that it is more then a monstre in nature, that a woman shall
reigne and haue empire aboue man. And yet with vs all, there is suche
silence, as if God therewith were nothing offended. The naturall man,
ennemy to God shall fynd, I knowe, many causes why no suche doctrine oght
to be published in these our dangerous dayes. First, for that it may seme
to tend to sedition[k]: secondarilie, it shal be dangerous, not onlie to
the writer or publisher, but also to all such as shall reade the
writinges, or fauor this truth spoken: and last it shall not amend the
chief offenders, partlie because it shall neuer come to their eares, and
partlie because they will not be admonished in such cases. I answer, yf
any of these be a sufficient reason that a truth knowen shalbe conceled,
then were the auncient prophetes of God very fooles, who did not better
prouide for their owne quietnes, then to hasard their liues for rebuking
of vices, and for the opening of such crimes, as were not knowen to the
world, And Christ Iesus did iniurie to his Apostles, commanding them to
preache repentance and remission of synnes in his name to euerie realme
and nation. And Paule did not vnderstand his owne libertie, when he cried,
wo be to me, if I preache not the Euangile. Yf feare, I say, of
persecution[l], of sclander, or of any inconuenience before named might
have excused, and discharged the seruantes of God[m], from plainlie
rebuking the sinnes of the world; iuste cause had euerie one of them to
haue ceased frome their office. For sodeinlie their doctrine was accused
by termes of sedition, of newe learning, and of treason: persecution and
vehement trouble did shortlie come vpon the professours with the
preachers[n]: kinges, princes and worldlie rulers did conspire against
God and against his anoynted Christ Iesus. But what? Did any of these moue
the prophetes and Apostles to faynt in their vocation? no. But by the
resistance, whiche the deuill made to them by his suppostes, were they the
more inflamed to publishe the truthe reueled vnto them and to witnesse
with their blood, that greuous condemnation and Goddes heuie vengeance
shuld folowe the proude contempt of graces offred. The fidelitie, bold
courage, and constancie of those that are passed before vs, oght to
prouoke vs to folowe their footsteppes, onles we loke for an other
kingdome then Christ hath promised to such as perseuere in profession of
his name to the end. Yf any think that the empire of women, is not of such
importance, that for the suppressing of the same, any man is bounde to
hasarde his life, I answer, that to suppresse it, is in the hand of god
alone. But to vtter the impietie and abomination of the same, I say, it is
the dutie of euerie true messager of God, to whome the truth is reueled in
that behalfe. For the especiall dutie[o] of Goddes messagers is to
preache repentance, to admonishe the offenders of their offenses, and to
say to the wicked, thou shalt die the death, except thou repent. This, I
trust, will no man denie to be the propre office of all Goddes messagers
to preache (as I haue said) repentance and remission of synnes. But nether
of both can be done, except the conscience of the offenders be accused and
conuicted of transgression. For howe shall any man repent not knowing wher
in he hath offended? And where no repentance is founde[p], there can be
no entrie to grace. And therfore I say, that of necessitie it is, that,
this monstriferouse empire of women, (which amongest all enormities, that
this day do abound vpon the face of the hole earth, is most detestable and
damnable) be openlie reueled and plainlie declared to the world, to the
end that some may repent and be saued. And thus farre to the first sorte.

[Sidenote q: The propertie of Goddes truth.]
[Sidenote r: 2. Reg. 6.]
[Sidenote s: Mat. 14.]
[Sidenote t: Rum. 1.]
[Sidenote u: The ignorant multitide hath set up the authoritie of
women not knowinge the danger.]

To such as thinke that it will be long before such doctrine come to the
eares of the chief offenders, I answer that the veritie of God is of that
nature, that at one time or at other, it will pourchace to it selfe
audience. It is an odour and smell, that can not be suppressed[q], yea it
is a trumpet that will sound in despite of the aduersarie. It will compell
the verie ennemies to their own confusion, to tes tifie and beare witnesse
of it. For I finde that the prophecie and preaching of Heliseus was
declared in the hall of the king of Syria by the seruantes and flatterers
of the same wicked king[r], making mention that Heliseus declared to the
king of Israel, what so euer the said king of Syria spake in his most
secret chamber. And the wonderous workes of Iesus Christ were notified to
Herode[s], not in any greate praise or commendation of his doctrine, but
rather to signifie that Christ called that tyranne a fox: and that he did
no more regarde his authoritie then did Iohn the Baptist, whom Herode
before had beheaded for the libertie of his tonge. But whether the bearers
of the rumors and tidinges were fauourers of Christ or flatterers of the
tyranne, certain it is that the fame, as well of Christes doctrine, as of
his workes came to the eares of Herod: euen so may the sounde of our weake
trumpet, by the support of some wynd (blowe it from the south or blowe it
from the northe it is no mater) come to the eares of the chief offenders.
But whether it do or not, yet dare we not cease to blowe as God will giue
strength[t]. For we are debters to mo then to princes, to witte, to the
multitude of our brethren, of whome, no doubte a greate nomber haue here
to fore offended by errour and ignorance, geuing their suffragies, consent
and helpe to establishe women in their kingdomes and empires[u], not
vnderstanding howe abominable, odious and detestable is all such vsurped
authoritie in the presence of God. And therfore must the truthe, be
plainlie spoken, that the simple and rude multitude may be admonished.

[Sidenote v: A very dangerous thing to speake against olde errors.]
[Sidenote w: Accomptes will be had of Goddes giftes.]
[Sidenote x: The cause mouing the author to write.]
[Sidenote y: Ezech. 33.]

And as concerning the danger, which may hereof insue, I am not altogether
so brutishe and insensible, but that I haue laid mine accompt what the
finishinge of the worke may coste me for mine own parte. First, I am not
ignorant howe difficile and dangerous it is to speake against a common
error[v], especiallie when that the ambitious mindes of men and women are
called to the obedience of goddes simple commandement. For to the most
parte of 'men, laufull and godlie appeareth, what soeuer antiquitie hath
receiued. And secondarilie, I looke to haue mine aduersaries not onlie of
the ignorant multitude, but also of the wise, politike, and quiet spirites
of this worlde, so that aswell shall suche as oght to mainteine the truth
and veritie of God become ennemies to me in this case, as shall the
princes and ambitious persons, who to mainteine their vniust tyrannie do
alwayes studie to suppresse the same. And thus I am most certeinlie
persuaded, that my labour shall not escape reprehension of many. But
because I remembre that accomptes[w] of the talentes receiued must be
made to him, who nether respecteth the multitude, nether yet approueth the
wisdome, policie, peace, nor antiquitie, concluding or determining any
thinge against his eternall will reueled to vs in his moste blessed worde,
I am compelled to couer myne eyes, and shut vp myne eares, that I nether
se the multitude, that shall withstand me in this mater, nether that I
shall heare the opprobries, nor consider the dangers, which I may incurre
for vttering the same. I shalbe called foolishe, curious, despitefull, and
a sower of sedition: and one day parchance (althogh now I be nameles) I
may be attainted of treason. But seing that impossible it is[x], but that
ether I shall offend God, dailie calling to my conscience, that I oght to
manifest the veritie knowen, or elles that I shall displease the worlde
for doing the same, I haue determined to obey God, not withstanding that
the world shall rage therat. I knowe that the world offended (by Goddes
permission) may kill the bodie, but Goddes maiestie offended, hath power
to punishe bodie and soule for euer. His maiestie is offended, when that
his preceptes are contemned, and his threatninges estemed to be of none
effect. And amongest his manifold preceptes geuen to his prophetes, and
amongest his threatninges, none is more vehement, then is that, which is
pronounced to Ezechiel in these wordes[y]: Sonne of man, I haue appointed
the a watchman to the house of Israel, that thou shuldest heare from my
mouthe the worde, and that thou maist admonishe them plainlie, when I
shall say to the wicked man: O wicked, thou shalt assuredlie die. Then if
thou shalt not speake, that thou maist plainlie admonishe him, that he may
leaue his wicked way, the wicked man shall die in his iniquitie, but his
blood will I requier of thy hand. But and if thou shalt plainlie admonishe
the wicked man, and yet he shall not turne from his way, such a one shall
die in his iniquitie, but thou hast deliuered thy soule.

[Sidenote z: For the Authors name.]

This precept, I say, with the threatning annexed, togither with the rest,
that is spoken in the same chapter, not to Ezechiel onlie, but to euerie
one, whom God placeth whatchman ouer his people and flocke, (and watchman
are they whose eyes he doth open, and whose conscience he pricketh to
admonishe the vngodlie) compelleth me to vtter my conscience in this
mater, notwithstanding that the hole worlde shuld be offended with me for
so doing. Yf any wonder, why I do concele my name, let him be assured,
that the feare of corporall punishement is nether the onlie, nether the
chef cause. My purpose is thrise to blowe the trumpet in the same mater,
if God so permitte[z]: twise I intende to do it without name, but at the
last blast, to take the blame vpon my selfe, that all others may
be purged.


To promote a woman to beare rule, superioritie, dominion or empire aboue
any realme, nation, or citie, is repugnant to nature, contumelie to God, a
thing most contrarious to his reueled will and approued ordinance, and
finallie it is the subuersion of good order, of all equitie and iustice.

In the probation of this proposition, I will not be so curious, as to
gather what soeuer may amplifie, set furth, or decore the same, but I am
purposed, euen as I haue spoken my conscience in most plaine and fewe
wordes, so to stand content with a simple proofe of euerie membre,
bringing in for my witnesse Goddes ordinance in nature, his plaine will
reueled in his worde, and the mindes of such as be moste auncient amongest
godlie writers.

[Sidenote 1: Causes why women shuld not have preeminence ouer men.]

And first, where that I affirme the empire of a woman to be a thing
repugnant to nature, I meane not onlie that God by the order of his
creation hath spoiled woman of authoritie and dominion, but also that man
hath seen, proued and pronounced iust causes why that it so shuld be. Man,
I say, in many other cases blind, doth in this behalfe see verie clearlie.
For the causes be so manifest, that they can not be hid. For who can denie
but it repugneth to nature, that the blind shal be appointed to leade and
conduct such as do see? That the weake, the sicke, and impotent
persones[1] shall norishe and kepe the hole and strong, and finallie, that
the foolishe, madde and phrenetike shal gouerne the discrete, and giue
counsel to such as be sober of mind? And such be al women, compared vnto
man in bearing of authoritie. For their sight in ciuile regiment, is but
blindnes: their strength, weaknes: their counsel, foolishenes: and
iudgement, phrenesie, if it be rightlie considered.

[Sidenote 2: Priuate example do not breake the generall ordinance.]
[Sidenote 3: 2 Politicorum Aristotelis.]
[Sidenote 4: Reade Isaie the thirde chaptre.]
[Sidenote 5: Amazones were monstruouse women, that coulde not abide
the regiment of men, and therfore killed their husbandes, reade Iustine.]
[Sidenote 6: Arist. 2. Politic.]
[Sidenote 7: Lib. 50. de regulis iuris.]
[Sidenote 8: What women may not be.]
[Sidenote 9: 3. 16. lib. Digestorum.]
[Sidenote 10: Ad Senatus consul, Veleianum.]
[Sidenote 11: Lib. 3. de posulationse Tit. 1.]
[Sidenote 12: Calphurnia.]

I except such as God by singular priuiledge, and for certein causes knowen
onlie to him selfe, hath exempted from the common ranke of women[2], and
do speake of women as nature and experience do this day declare them.
Nature I say, doth paynt them furthe to be weake, fraile, impacient, feble
and foolishe: and experience hath declared them to be vnconstant,
variable, cruell and lacking the spirit of counsel and regiment. And these
notable faultes haue men in all ages espied in that kinde, for the whiche
not onlie they haue remoued women from rule and authoritie, but also some
haue thoght that men subiect to the counsel or empire of their wyues were
vn worthie of all publike office. For this writeth Aristotle in the
seconde of his Politikes[3]: what difference shal we put, saith he,
whether that women beare authoritie, or the husbanesd that obey the empire
of their wyues be appointed to be magistrates? For what insueth the one,
must nedes folowe the other, to witte, iniustice, confusion and disorder.
The same author further reasoneth, that the policie or regiment of the
Lacedemonians (who other wayes amongest the Grecians were moste excellent)
was not worthie to be reputed nor accompted amongest the nombre of common
welthes, that were well gouerned, because the magistrates, and rulers of
the same were to [o] muche geuen to please and obey their wyues. What
wolde this writer (I pray you) haue said to that realme or nation, where a
woman sitteth crowned in parliament amongest the middest of men. Oh
fearefull and terrible are thy iudgementes[4] (o Lord) whiche thus hast
abased man for his iniquitie! I am assuredlie persuaded that if any of
those men, which illuminated onelie by the light of nature, did see and
pronounce causes sufficient, why women oght not to beare rule nor
authoritie, shuld this clay liue and see a woman sitting in iudgement, or
riding frome parliament in the middest of men, hauing the royall crowne
vpon her head, the sworde and sceptre borne before her, in signe that the
administration of iustice was in her power: I am assuredlie persuaded, I
say, that suche a sight shulde so astonishe them, that they shuld iudge
the hole worlde to be transformed into Amazones[5], and that suche a
metamorphosis and change was made of all the men of that countrie, as
poetes do feyn was made of the companyons of Vlisses, or at least, that
albeit the owtwarde form of men remained, yet shuld they iudge that their
hartes were changed frome the wisdome, vnderstanding, and courage of men,
to the foolishe fondnes and cowardise of women. Yea they further shuld
pronounce, that where women reigne or be in authoritie, that there must
nedes vanitie be preferred to vertue, ambition and pride to temperancie
and modestie, and finallie, that auarice the mother of all mischefe must
nedes deuour equitie and iustice. But lest that we shall seme to be of
this opinion alone[6], let vs heare what others haue seen and decreed in
this mater. In the rules of the lawe thus it is written[7]: Women are
remoued from all ciuile and publike office[8], so that they nether may be
iudges, nether may they occupie the place of the magistrate, nether yet
may they be speakers for others. The same is repe[a]ted in the third and
in the sextenth bokes of the digestes[9]: Where certein persones are
forbidden, _Ne pro aliis postulent_, that is, that they be no speakers nor
aduocates for others. And among the rest are women forbidden, and this
cause is added, that they do not against shamefastnes intermedle them
selues with the causes of others[10], nether yet that women presume to vse
the offices due to men. The lawe in the same place doth further declare,
that a naturall shamfastnes oght to be in womankind[11], whiche most
certeinlie she loseth, when soeuer she taketh vpon her the office and
estate of man. As in Calphurnia[12] was euidentlie declared, who hauing
licence to speake before the senate, at length became so impudent and
importune, that by her babling she troubled the hole assemblie. And so
gaue occasion that this lawe was established.

[Sidenote 13: De statu homino Titul. 8. Frome women.]
[Sidenote 14: power is taken away by the Ciuile lawe ouer their own
[Sidenote 15: Dig. lib. 24. de donatione inter virum et foeminane.]
[Sidenote 16: women be couetous therefore vnmete gouernors.]
[Sidenote 17: Lib. 1. Digest. de le gib. et senatuscon Titul. 3,
Politic. 2.]
[Sidenote 18: England and Scotland beware.]

In the first boke of the digestes[13], it is pronounced that the condition
of the woman in many cases is worse then of the man. As in iurisdiction
(saith the lawe[14]) in receiuing of care and tuition, in adoption, in
publike accusation, in delation, in all populat action, and in motherlie
power, which she hath not vpon her owne sonnes. The lawe further will not
permit, that the woman geue any thing to her husband, because it is
against the nature of her kinde, being the inferiour membre to presume to
geue any thing to her head[15]. The lawe doth more ouer pronounce
womankinde to be the most auaricious[16] (which is a vice intolerable in
those that shulde rule or minister iustice). And Aristotle[17], as before
is touched, doth plainly affirme, that wher soeuer women beare dominion,
there must nedes the people be disorded, liuinge and abounding in all
intemperancie, geuen to pride, excesse, and vanitie. And finallie in the
end, that they must nedes come to confusion and ruine[18].

[Sidenote 19: Great imperfections of women.]
[Sidenote 20: Ronsilda the wife of Gisulphus betrayed to Cacanus the
dukedome of friaul in Italie.]
[Sidenote 21: Iane quene of Naples hanged her husband.]
[Sidenote 22: Athalia, 4. Reg. II. Hurene, Anton. Sabell.]
[Sidenote 23: If the lesse thinges be denied to women, the greater
cannot be granted.]
[Sidenote 24: woman in her greatest perfection was made to serue man.]
[Sidenote 25: I. Cor. II.]
[Sidenote 26: A good comparison.]
[Sidenote 27: A newe necessity of womans subiection. woman by the
sentence of God, subiect to man. Gene. 3.]
[Sidenote 28: The punishment of women unjustlie promoted and of their
promoters. ]
[Sidenote 29: Gene. 3.]
[Sidenote 30: Let all women take hede.]

Wold to god the examples were not so manifest, to the further declaration
of the imperfections of women[19], of their naturall weaknes, and
inordinat appetites. I might adduce histories, prouing some women to haue
died for sodein ioy, some for vnpaciencie to haue murthered them selues,
some to haue burned with such inordinat lust, that for the quenching of
the same, they haue betrayed[20] to strangiers their countrie and citie:
and some to haue bene so desirous of dominion, that for the obteining of
the same, they haue murthered the children of their owne sonnes. Yea and
some haue killed with crueltie their owne husbandes[21] and children. But
to me it is sufficient (because this parte of nature is not my moste sure
foundation) to haue proued[22], that men illuminated onlie by the light of
nature, haue seen and haue determined, that it is a thing moste repugnant
to nature, that women rule and gouerne ouer men. For those that will not
permit a woman to haue power ouer her owne sonnes, will not permit her (I
am assured) to haue rule ouer a realme[23]: and those that will not suffer
her to speake in defense of those that be accused, nether that will admit
her accusation intended against man, will not approuel her, that she shal
sit in iudgement crowned with the royal crowne, vsurping authoritie in the
middest of men. But now to the second part of nature: In the whiche I
include the reueled will and perfect ordinance of God, and against this
parte of nature, I say, that it doth manifestlie repugne that any woman
shal reigne or beare dominion ouer man. For God first by the order of his
creation, and after by the curse and malediction pronounced against the
woman, by the, reason of her rebellion, hath pronounced the contrarie.
First, I say, that woman in her greatest perfection, was made to serue and
obey man[24], not to rule and command him: [25] As saint Paule doth reason
in these wordes. Man is not of the woman but the woman of the man. And man
was not created for the cause of the woman, but the woman for the cause of
man, and therfore oght the woman to haue a power vpon her head (that is a
couerture in signe of subiection). Of whiche words it is plaine that the
Apostle meaneth, that woman in her greatest perfection shuld haue knowen,
that man was Lord aboue her: and therfore that she shulde neuer haue
pretended any kind of superioritie aboue him, no more then do the angels
aboue God the creator[26], or aboue Christ Iesus their head. So, I say,
that in her greatest perfection woman was created to be subiect to man:
But after her fall and rebellion committed against God, their was put vpon
her a newe necessitie, and she was made subiect to man by the irreuocable
sentence of God, pronounced in these wordes[27]: I will greatlie multiplie
thy sorowe and thy conception. With sorowe shalt thou beare thy children,
and thy will shall be subiect to thy man: and he shal beare dominion ouer
the. Herebie may such as altogither be not blinded plainlie see, that God,
by his sentence, hath deiected all woman frome empire and dominion aboue
man. For two punishmentes are laid vpon her, to witte, a dolor, anguishe
and payn, as oft as euer she shal be mother; and a subiection of her
selfe, her appetites and will, to her husband, and to his will. Frome the
former parte of this malediction can nether arte, nobilitie, policie, nor
lawe made by man, deliuer womankinde, but who soeuer atteineth to that
honour to be mother, proueth in experience the effect and strength of
goddes word. But (alas) ignorance of God, ambition, and tyrannie haue
studied to abolishe and destroy the second parte of Goddes punishment.
For women are lifted vp to be heades ouer realmes, and to rule aboue men
at their pleasure and appetites. But horrible is the vengeance, which is
prepared for the one and for the other, for the promoters, and for the
persones promoted, except they spedelie repent. For they shall be deiected
from the glorie of the sonnes of God[28], to the sclauerie of the deuill,
and to the torment that is prepared for all suche, as do exalte them
selues against God. Against God can nothing be more manifest, then that a
woman shall be exalted to reigne aboue man. For the contrarie sentence
hath he pronounced in these wordes[29]: Thy will shall be subiect to thy
husband, and he shall beare dominion ouer the. As God shuld say: forasmuch
as thou hast abused thy former condition, and because thy free will hath
broght thy selfe and mankind in to: the bondage of Satan, I therfore will
bring the in bondage to man. For where before, thy obedience shuld haue
bene voluntarie, nowe it shall be by constraint and by neeessitie: and
that because thou hast deceiued thy man, thou shalt therfore be no longar
maistresse ouer thine own appetites, ouer thine owne will nor desires. For
in the there is nether reason nor discretion, whiche be able to moderate
thy affections, and therfore they shall, be subiect to the desire of thy
man. He shall be Lord and gouernour, not onlie ouer thy bodie, but euen
ouer thy appetites and will. This sentence, I say, did God pronounce
against _Heua_, and her daughters, as the rest of the Scriptures doth
euidentlie witnesse. So that no woman can euer presume to reigne aboue
man, but the same she must nedes do in despite, of God, and in contempt
of his punishment, and maledictjon[30].

[Sidenote 31: Answer to an obiection. ]
[Sidenote 32: 1 Tim. 2. ]
[Sidenote 33: I. Cor. 14.]
[Sidenote 34: From a general privilege is woman secluded.]
[Sidenote 35: She that is, subject to one may not rule many.]

I am not ignorant, that the most part of men do vnderstand this
malediction of the subiection of the wife to her husband, and of the
dominion, which; he beareth aboue her[31]: but the holie ghost geueth to
vs an other interpretation of this place, taking from all women all. kinde
of superioritie, authoritie and power ouer man, speaking as foloweth, by
the mouth of saint Paule[32]. I suffer not a woman to teache, nether yet
to vsurpe authoritie aboue man. Here he nameth women in generall,
excepting none, affirming that she may vsurpe authoritie aboue no man. And
that he speaketh more plainly, in an other place in these wordes[33]: Let
women kepe silence in the congregation, for it is not permitted to them to
speake, but to be subiect as the lawe sayeth. These two testimonies of the
holy ghost, be sufficient to proue what soeuer we haue affirmed before,
and to represse the inordinate pride of women, as also to correct the
foolishnes of those that haue studied to exalt women in authoritie aboue
man, against God, and against his sentence pronounced. But that the same
two places of the apostle may the better he vnderstand: it is to be noted,
that in the latter, which is writen in the first epistle to the Corinthes
the 14. chapitre, before the apostle had permitted that all persones shuld
prophecie one after an other: addinge this reason: 'that all may learne
and all may receiue consolation'. And lest that any might haue iudged,
that amongest a rude multitude, and the pluralitie of speakers, manie,
thinges litle to purpose might haue bene affirmed, or elles that some
confusion might haue risen: he addeth, the spirites of the prophetes are
subiect to the prophetes: As he shuld say, God shall alwayes raise vp
some, to whome the veritie shalbe reueled, and vnto such ye shal geue
place, albeit they sit in the lowest seates. And thus the apostle wold
haue prophecying an exercise to be free to the hole churche, that euerie
one shuld communicate with the congregation, what God had reueled to them,
prouidinge that it were orderlie done. But frome this generall priuiledge
he secludeth all woman, sayinge: let women kepe silence in the
congregation. And why I pray you? was it because that the apostle thoght
no woman to haue any knowledge? no he geueth an other reason, saying; let
her be subiect as the lawe saith[34]. In which wordes is first to be
noted, that the apostle calleth this former sentence pronounced against
woman a lawe, that is, the immutable decree of God, who by his owne voice
hath subiected her to one membre of the congregation[35], that is to her
husband, wherupon the holie ghost concludeth, that she may neuer rule nor
bear empire ahoue man. For she that is made subiect to one, may neuer be
preferred to many, and that the holie ghoste doth manifestlie expresse,
saying: I suffer not that women vsurpe authoritie aboue man: he sayth not,
I will not, that woman vsurpe authoritie aboue her husband, but he'nameth
man in generall, taking frome her all power and authoritie, to speake, to
reason, to interprete, or to teache, but principallie to rule or to iudge
in the assemblie of men. So that woman by the lawe of God, and by the
interpretation of the holy ghost, is vtterly forbidden to occupie the
place of God in the offices afore said, which he hath assigned to man,
whome he hath appointed and ordeined his lieutenant in earth: secluding
frome that honor and dignitie all woman, as this short argument shall
euidentlie declare.

[Sidenote 36: A strong argument.]
[Sidenote 37: NOTE.]
[Sidenote 38: Tertullian de habitu mulierum.]
[Sidenote 39: Let women hearken what Tertullian an olde Docto saith.]
[Sidenote 40: NOTE]
[Sidenote 41: Tertull, lib 8. de virginilis verlandis.]
[Sidenote 42: In proĉmio 6. lib. contra Marcionem.]

The apostle taketh power frome all woman to speake in the assemblie[36].
_Ergo_ he permitteth no woman to rule aboue man. The former parteis
euident, whereupon doth the conclusion of necessitie folowe. For he that
taketh from woman the least parte of authoritie[37], dominion or rule,
will not permit vnto her that whiche is greatest: But greater it is to
reigne aboue realmes and nations, to publish and to make lawes, and to
commande men of all estates, and finallie to appoint iudges and ministers,
then to speake in the congregation. For her iudgement, sentence, or
opinion proposed in the congregation, may be iudged by all, may be
corrected by the learned, and reformed by the godlie. But woman being
promoted in souereine authoritie, her lawes must be obeyed, her opinion
folowed, and her tyrannic mainteined: supposing that it be expreslie
against God, and the prophet [_profit_] of the common welth, as to[o]
manifest experience doth this day witnesse. And therfore yet againe I
repete that, whiche before I haue affirmed: to witt, that a woman promoted
to sit in the seate of God, that is, to teache, to iudge or to reigne
aboue man, is amonstre in nature, contumelie to God, and a thing most
repugnant to his will and ordinance. For he hath depriued them as before
is proued, of speakinge in the congregation, and hath expreslie forbidden
them to vsurpe any kinde of authoritie aboue man. Howe then will he suffer
them to reigne and haue empire aboue realmes and nations? He will neuer, I
say, approue it, because it is a thing most repugnant to his perfect
ordinance, as after shalbe declared, and as the former scriptures haue
plainlie geuen testimonie. To the whiche, to adde any thing were
superfluous, were it not that the worlde is almost nowe comen to that
blindnes, that what soeuer pleaseth not the princes and the multitude,
the same is reiected as doctrine newelie forged, and is condemned, for
heresie. I haue therfore thoght good to recite the mindes of some auncient
writers in the same mater, to the end that suche as altogither be not
blinded by the deuil, may consider and vnderstand this my iudgement to be
no newe interpretation of Goddes scriptures, but to be the vniforme
consent of the most parte of godlie writers, since the time of the
apostles. Tertullian[38] in his boke of womens apparell, after that he
hath shewed many causes why gorgious apparell is abominable and odiouse in
a woman, addeth these wordes, speaking as it were to euery woman by name:
Dost thou not knowe (saith he) that thou art Heua? the sentence of God
liueth and is effectuall against this kind, and in this worlde of
necessity it is, that the punishment also liue. Thou art the porte and
gate of the deuil. Thou art the first transgressor of goddes law. thou
diddest persuade and easely deceiue him whome the deuil durst not
assault[39]. For thy merit (that is for thy death) it behoued the son of
god to suffre the death, and doth it yet abide in thy mind to decke the
aboue thy skin coates? By these and many other graue sentences, and quicke
interrogations, did this godlie writer labour to bring euerie woman in
contemplation of her selfe, to the end that euerie one depelie weying,
what sentence God had pronounced against the hole race and doughters of
Heua, might not onely learne daily to humble and subiect them selues in
the presence of God, but also that they shulde auoide and abhorre what
soeuer thing might exalte them or puffe them vp in pride, or that might be
occasion, that they shuld forget the curse and malediction of God. And
what, I pray you, is more able to cause woman to forget her owne
condition, then if she be lifted vp in authoritie aboue man? It is a
thingverie difficile to a man, (be he neuer so constant) promoted to
honors, not to be tickled some what with pride (for the winde of vaine
glorie doth easelie carie vp the drie dust of the earth). But as for
woman[40], it is no more possible, that she being set aloft in authoritie
aboue man, shall resist the motions of pride, then it is able to the weake
reed, or to the turning wethercocke, not to bowe or turne at the
vehemencie of the vnconstant wind. And therfore the same writer expreslie
forbiddeth all woman to intremedle with the office of man. For thus he
writeth in his book _de virginibus velandis_[41]: It is not permitted to a
woman, to speake in the congregation, nether to teache, nether to baptise,
nether to vendicate to her selfe any office of man. The same he speaketh
yet more plainly in the preface of his sixte boke writen against
Marcion[42], where he recounting certain monstruous thinges, whiche were
to be sene at the sea called _Euxinum_, amongest the rest, he reciteth
this as a greate monstre in nature, that women in those partes, were not
tamed nor embased by consideration of their own sex and kind: but that all
shame laide a parte, they made expenses vpon weapons and learned the
feates of warre, hauinge more pleasure to fight, then to mary and be
subiect to man. Thus farre of Tertullian, whose wordes be so plain, that
they nede no explanation. For he that taketh from her all office
apperteining to man, will not suffre her to reigne aboue man: and he that
iudgeth it a monstre in nature, that a woman shall exercise weapons, must
iudge it to be a monstre of monstres, that a woman shalbe exalted aboue a
hole realme and nation. Of the same minde is Origen, and diuers others.
Yea euen till the dayes of Augustine, whose sentences I omit to auoide

[Sidenote 43: August. lib. 22. contra Faustum, c.31.]
[Sidenote 44: De Trinitat, lib. 12 cap. 7]
[Sidenote 45: In quaect. veteris Testamenti, quaest. 45.]
[Sidenote 46: NOTE.]
[Sidenote 47: Lib. de Continentia cap. 4.]
[Sidenote 48: Ambros. in Hexaemero lib. 5. c. 7.]
[Sidenote 49: Cap. 5.]
[Sidenote 50: Ambros. super. 2. c. I epist. ad Timoth.]
[Sidenote 51: Ambros. in I. epist. ad Corin. cap. 14.]
[Sidenote 52: Genes 3.]
[Sidenote 53: whose house I pray you ought the parliament house to
be, Goddes or the deuilles?]
[Sidenote 54a: Rufus is by S. Paul saluted before
his mother.]

Augustine in his 22. boke writen against Faustus[43], proueth that a woman
oght to serue her husband as vnto God: affirming that in no thing hath
woman equall power with man, sauing that nether of both haue power ouer
their owne bodies. By whiche he wold plainlie conclude, that a woman oght
neuer to pretend nor thirst for that power and authoritie which is due to
man. For so he doth explane him selfe in an other place[44], affirming
that woman oght to be repressed and brideled be times, if she aspire to
any dominion: alledging that dangerous and perillous it is to suffre her
to procede, althogh it be in temporall and corporall thinges. And therto
he addeth these wordes: God seeth not for a time, nether is there any newe
thinge in his sight and knowledge, meaninge therby, that what God hath
sene in one woman (as concerning dominion and bearing of authoritie) the
same he seeth in all. And what he hath forbidden to one, the same he also
forbiddeth to all. And this most euidentlie yet in an other place he
writeth, mouing this question: howe can woman be the image of God, seing
(saith he[45]) she is subiect to man, and hath none authoritie, nether to
teache, nether to be witnesse, nether to iudge, muche lesse to rule, or
beare empire? These be the verie wordes of Augustine, of which it is
euident that this godlie writer[46], doth not onelie agree withe
Tertullian before recited, but also with the former sentence of the lawe,
whiche taketh frome woman not onelie all authoritie amongest men, but also
euerie office apperteining to man. To the question howe she can be the
image of God, he answereth as foloweth. Woman (saith he) compared to other
creatures is the image of God, for she beareth dominion ouer them: but
compared vnto man, she may not be called the image of God, for she beareth
not rule and lordship ouer man, but oght to obey him &c. And howe that
woman oght to obey man, he speaketh yet more clearlie in these words: the
woman shalbe subiect to man as vnto Christ. For woman (saith he[47]) hath
not her example frome the bodie and from the fleshe, that so she shalbe
subiect to man, as the fleshe is vnto the spirite. Because that the flesh
in the weaknes and mortalitie of this life, lusteth and striueth against
the spirit, and therfore wold not the holie ghost geue example of
subiection to the woman of any suche thing &c. This sentence of Augustine
oght to be noted of all women, for in it he plainlie affirmeth, that woman
oght to be subiect to man, that she neuer oght, more to desire preeminence
aboue him, then that she oght to desire aboue Christe Iesus. With
Augustine agreeth in euerie point S. Ambrose, who thus writeth in his
Hexaemeron[48]: Adam was deceiued by Heua, and not Heua by Adam, and
therfore iust it is, that woman receiue and acknowledge him for gouernor
whom she called to sinne, lest that again she slide and fall by womanlie
facilitie. And writing vpon the epistle to the Ephesians[49], he saith: let
women be subiect to their owne husbandes as vnto the Lorde: for the man is
heade to the woman, and Christ is heade to the congregation, and he is the
sauiour of the bodie: but the congregation is subiect to Christ, euen so
oght women to be to their husbandes in all thing-es. He procedeth further
saying: women are commanded to be subiect to men by the lawe of nature,
because that man is the author or beginner of the woman: for as Christ is
the head of the churche, so is man of the woman. From Christ, the church
toke beginning, and therfore it is subiect vnto him: euen so did woman
take beginning from man, that she shuld be subiect. Thus we heare the
agreing of these two writers to be such, that a man might iudge the one to
haue stolen the wordes and sentences from the other. And yet plain it is,
that duringe the time of their writinge, the one was farre distant frome
the other. But the holie ghost, who is the spirite of Concorde and vnitie,
did so illuminate their hartes, and directe their tonges, and pennes, that
as they did conceiue and vnderstand one truth, so did they pronounce and
vtter the same, leauing a testimonie of their knowledge and Concorde to vs
their posteritia. If any thinke that all these former sentences, be spoken
onelie of the subiection of the maryed woman to her husband, as before I
haue proued the contrarie, by the plain wordes and reasoning of S. Paule,
so shal I shortlie do the same, by other testimonies of the forsaid
writers. The same Ambrose writing vpon the second chapitre of the first
epistle to Timothie[50], after he hath spoken much of the simple arrayment
of women: he addeth these wordes: woman oght not onelie to haue simple
arrayment, but all authoritie is to be denied vnto her: for she must be in
subiection to man (of whome she hath taken her originall) aswell in habit
as in seruice. And after a fewe wordes he saith: because that death did
entre in to the world by her, there is no boldenes that oght to be
permitted vnto her, but she oght to be in humilitie. Hereof it is plain,
that frome all woman, be she maried or vnmaried, is all authoritie taken
to execute any office, that apperteineth to man. Yea plain it is that all
woman is commanded, to serue, to be in humilitie and subiection. Whiche
thing yet speaketh the same writer, more plainlie in these wordes[51]. It
is not permitted to women to speake, but to be in silence, as the lawe
saith[52]. What saith the lawe? Vnto 'thy husband, shall thy conuersion
be, and he shall beare dominion ouer the'. This is a speciall lawe (saith
Ambrose) whose sentence, lest it shulde be violated, infirmed, or made
weake, women are commanded to be in silence. Here he includeth all women.
And yet he procedeth further in the same place saying[53]: It is shame
for them to presume to speake of the lawe in the house of the Lord, who
hath commanded them to be subiect to their men. But moste plainly speaketh
he writing vpon the 16. chapitre of the epistle of S. Paule to the
Romaines, vpon these wordes[54a]: Salute Rufus and his mother. For this
cause (saith Ambrose) did the apostle place Rufus before his mother, for
the election of the administration of the grace of God, in the whiche a
woman hath no place. For he was chosen and promoted by the Lorde, to take
care ouer his busines, that is, ouer the churche, to the whiche office
could not his mother be appointed, albeit she was a woman so, holie, that
the apostle called her his mother. Hereof it is plaine that the
administration of the grace of God, is denied to all woman. By the
administration of Goddes grace, is vnderstand not onely the preaching of
the worde and administration of the sacramentes, by the whiche the grace
of God is presented and ordinarilie distributed vnto man, but also the
administration of ciuile iustice, by the whiche, vertue oght to be
mainteined, and vices punished. The execution wherof is no lesse denied to
woman, then is the preaching of the Euangile, or administration of the
sacramentes, as herafter shall most plainlie appeare.

[Sidenote 54: Chrysost. homil. 17. in genes.]
[Sidenote 55: NOTE]
[Sidenote 56: Homil. 15 in Genes.]
[Sidenote 57: God graunt all womens hartes to understand and folow
this sentence.]
[Sidenote 58: In Mat. cap. 23. homil. 44.]
[Sidenote 59: woman can no haue vertue in equalitie with man. Ad
Ephe. cap. 4. sermone 13. NOTE]
[Sidenote 60: The body lackinge the head, can not be well gouerened
nether can common welth lackinge man.]
[Sidenote 61: In ca. 22. Ioh. homil. 87.]
[Sidenote 62: In Ioh. homil. 41.]
[Sidenote 63: Basilius Mag. in aliquot scripturae locos.]

Chrysostome amongest the Grecian writers of no small credit, speaking in
rebuke of men, who in his dayes, were becdmen inferior to some women in
witt and in godlines, saith[54]: for this cause was woman put vnder thy
power (he speaketh to man in generall) and thou wast pronounced Lorde ouer
her, that she shulde obey the, and that the head shuld not folowe the
feet. But often it is, that we see the contrary, that he who in his ordre
oght to be the head, doth not kepe the ordre of the feet (that is, doth
not rule the feet) and that she, that is in place of the foote, is
constitute to be the head. He speaketh these wordes as it were in
admiration[55], that man was becomen so brutish, that he did not consider
it to be a thing most monstruouse, that woman shulde be preferred to man
in any thing, whom God had subiected to man in all thinges. He procedeth
saying: Neuer the lesse it is the parte of the man, with diligent care to
repel the woman, that geueth him wicked counsel: and woman, whiche gaue
that pestilent counsel to man, oght at all times to haue the punishment,
whiche was geuen to Heua, sounding in her eares. And in an other place he
induceth God speaking to the woman in this sorte[56]: Because thou left
him, of whose nature thou wast participant, and for whome thou wast
formed, and hast had pleasure to haue familiaritie with that wicked beast,
and wold take his counsel: therfore I subiect the to man, and I apointe
and affirme him to be thy Lorde, that thou maist acknowledge his dominion,
and because thou couldest not beare rule learne well to be ruled. Why they
shulde not beare rule, he declareth, in other places, saying[57]:
womankinde is imprudent and soft, (or flexible) imprudent because she can
not consider withe wisdome and reason the thinges which she heareth and
seeth: and softe she is, because she is easelie bowed. I knowe that
Chrysostome bringeth in these wordes[58] to declare the cause why false
prophetes do commonlie deceiue women: because they are easelie persuaded
to any opinion, especiallie if it be against God, and because they lacke
prudence and right reason to iudge the thinges that be spoken. But hereof
may their nature be espied, and the vices of the same, whiche in no wise
oght to be in, those, that are apointed to gouerne others: For they oght
to be constant, stable, prudent and doing euerie thing with discretion and
reason, whiche vertues women can not haue in equalitie with men. For that
he doth witnesse in an other place, saying: women haue in them selues a
tickling and studhe of vaine glorie, and that they may haue common with
men: they are sodeinlie moued to anger, and that they haue also common
with some men. But vertues. in which they excell[59], they haue not common
with man, and therfore hath the apostle remoued them from the office of
teachinge, which is an euident proof that in vertue they farre differ
frome man. Let the reasons of this writer be marked, for further he yet
procedeth: after that he hath in many wordes lamented the effeminate
maners of men, who were so farre degenerate to the weaknes of women, that
some might haue demanded: why may not women teache amongest suche a sorte
of men, who in wisdome and godlines are becomen inferior vnto women? We
finallie concludeth: that not withstanding that men be degenerate, yet
may not women vsurpe any authoritie aboue them, and in the end, he addeth
these wordes: These thinges do not I speake to extolle them (that is
women) but to the confusion and shame of our selues, and to admonish vs to
take again the dominion, that is mete and conuenient for vs, not onelie
that power which is according to the excellencie of dignitie: but that
which is accordinge to prouidence, and according to helpe, and vertue. For
then is the bodie in best proportion[60], when it hath the best gouernor.
O that both man and woman shulde consider the profound counsel and
admonition of this father! He wolde not that man for appetit of any vaine
glorie shuld desire preeminence aboue woman. For God hath not made man to
be heade for any suche cause: but hauing respecte to that weaknes and
imperfection which alwayes letteth woman to gouerne. He hath ordeined man
to be superior, and that meaneth Chrysostome, saying: then is the bodie in
best proportion, when it hath the best gouernor. But woman can neuer be
the best gouernor, by reason that she-being spoiled of the spirit of
regiment, can neuer attein to that degree, to be called or iudged a good
gouernor. Because in the nature of all woman, lurketh suche vices, as in
good gouernors are not tolerable. Which the same writes expresseth. in
these wordes[61]: womankind (saith he) is rashe and foolhardie, and their
couetousnes is like the goulf of hell, that is, insaciable. And therfore
in an other place[62], he will that woman shall haue no thing to do in
iudgement, in common affaires, or in the regiment of the common welth,
because she is impacient of troubles, but that she shall liue in
tranquillitie; and quietnes. And if she haue occasion to go frome the
house, that yet she shal haue no matter of trouble, nether to, folowe her,
nether to be offered vnto her, as commonlie there must be to such as beare
authoritie: And with Chrysostome fullie agreeth Basilius Magnus in a
sermon[63] which he maketh vpon some places of scripture, wherin he
reproueth diuers vices and amongest the rest, he affirmeth woman to be a
tendre creature, flexible, soft and pitifull: whiche nature, God hath
geuen vnto her, that she may be apt to norishe children. The which
facilitie of the woman, did Satan abuse, and therby broght her frome the
obedience of God. And therfore in diuers other places doth he conclude,
that she is not apt to beare rule, and that she is forbidden to teache.
Innumerable mo testimonies, of all sortes of writers may be adduced for
the same purpose, but withe these I stand content: iudgeing it sufficient
to stoppe the mouthe of such as accuse and condemne all doctrine, as
hereticall, which displeaseth them in any point that I haue proued, by the
determinations and lawes of men illuminated onelie by the light of nature,
by the ordre of Goddes creation, by the curse and malediction pronounced
against woman, by the mouth of saint Paule, who is the interpreter of
Goddes sentence, and lawe, and finallie by the mindes of those writers,
who in the church of God, haue bene alwayes holden in greatest reuerence:
that it is a thing moste repugnant to nature, to Goddes will and apointed
ordinance, (yea that it can not be without contumelie committed against
God) that a woman shuld be promoted to dominion or empire to reigne ouer
man, be it in realme, nation, prouince or citie. Now resteth it in few
wordes, to be shewed, that the same empire of women is the subuersion of
good ordre equitie and iustice.

[Sidenote 64: De ordine lib. I C. 10]

Augustine defineth[64] ordre to be that thing, by the whiche God hath
appointed and ordeined all thinges. Note well reader, that Augustine will
admit no ordre, where Goddes apointment is absent and lacketh.

[Sidenote 65: De ciuit. Dei, lib. 19 cap. 13.]
[Sidenote 66: what soener done withowt the appointment of Goddes will
is done withowt ordre.]
[Sidenote 67: Two mirrors, in which we may beholde the ordre of
[Sidenote 68: Common welthes under the rule of women, lacke a laufull
[Sidenote 69: Idol.]
[Sidenote 70: Psal. 115.]
[Sidenote 71: The empire of a woman is an idol.]
[Sidenote 72: I. COY. II]
[Sidenote 73: NOTE.]
[Sidenote 74: I. COY. II.]
[Sidenote 75: Marke the similitude of Chrysostome.]
[Sidenote 76: NOTE.]
[Sidenote 77: Howe women be couered in England and Scotland.]
[Sidenote 78: Brute beastes to be preferred.]
[Sidenote 79: Insoluent ioy bringeth sodein sorowe.]

And in an other place he saith[65], that ordre is a disposition, geuing
their owne propre places to thinges that be vnequall, which he termeth in
Latin _Parium_ et _disparium_, that is, of thinges equall or like, and
thinges vnequall or vnlike. Of whiche two places and of the hole
disputation, which is conteined in his second boke de _ordine,_ it is
euident[66], that what soeuer is done ether whithout the assurance of
Goddes will, or elles against his will manifestlie reueled in his word, is
done against ordre. But suche is the empire and regiment of all woman (as
euidentlie before is declared) and therfore, I say; it is a thing plainlie
repugnant to good ordre, yea it is the subuersion of the same. If any list
to reiect the definition of Augustin, as ether not propre to this purpose,
or elles as insufficient to proue mine intent: let the same man
vnderstand, that in so doinge, he hath infirmed mine argument nothinge.
For as I depend not vpon the determinations of men, so think I my cause no
weaker, albeit their authoritie be denied vnto me. Prouided that god by
his will reueled, and manifest worde, stand plain and euident on my side.
That God hath subiected womankinde to man by the ordre of his creation,
and by the curse that he hath pronounced against her is before declared.
Besides these, he hath set before our eyes, two other mirrors[67] and
glasses, in whiche he will, that we shulde behold the ordre, which he hath
apointed and established in nature: the one is, the naturall bodie of
man: the other is the politik or ciuile body of that common welth, in
which God by his own word hath apointed an ordre. In the natural body of
man God hath apointed an ordre, that the head shail occupie the vppermost
place. And the head hath he ioyned with the bodie, that frome it, doth
life and motion flowe to the rest of the membres. In it hath he placed the
eye to see, the eare to hear, and the tonge to speake, which offices are
apointed to none other membre of the bodie. The rest of the membres, haue
euery one their own place and office apointed: but none may haue nether
the place nor office of the heade. For who wolde not iudge that bodie to
be a monstre, where there was no head eminent aboue the rest, but that the
eyes were in the handes, the tonge and mouth beneth in the belie, and the
eares in the feet. Men, I say, shulde not onlie pronounce this bodie to be
a monstre: but assuredlie they might conclude that such a bodie coulde
not long indure. And no lesse monstruous is the bodie of that common
welth[68], where a woman beareth empire. For ether doth it lack a laufull
heade (as in very dede it doth) or els there is an idol[69] exalted in the
place of the true head. An idol I call that, which hath the forme and
apparance, but lacketh the vertue and strength, which the name and
proportion do resemble and promise. As images haue face, nose, eyes,
mouth, handes and feet painted, but the vse of the same, can not the craft
and art of man geue them: as the holy ghost by the mouth of Dauid
teacheth vs, saying[70]: they haue eyes, but they see not, mouth, but they
speake not, nose, but they smell not, handes and feet, but they nether
touche nor haue power to go. And suche, I say, is euerie realme and
nation, where a woman beareth dominion. For in despite of God (he of his
iust iudgement, so geuing them ouer in to a reprobat minde) may a realme,
I confesse, exalt vp a woman to that monstriferous honor, to be estemed as
head[71]. But impossible it is to man and angel, to geue vnto her the
properties and perfect offices of a laufull heade. For the same God that
hath denied power to the hand to speake, to the bely to heare, and to the
feet to see, hath denied to woman power to commande man, and hath taken
away wisdome to consider, and prouidence to forsee the thinges, that, be
profitable to the common welth: yea finallie he hath denied to her in any
case to be head to man: but plainly hath pronounced that man is head to
woman, euen as Christ is heade to all man[72]. If men in a blinde rage
shulde assemble to gether, and apointe them selues an other heade then
Iesus Christ (as the papistes haue done their romishe Antichrist) shuld
Christ therfore lose his owne dignitie, or shulde God geue that counterfet
head power to geue life to the bodie, to see what soeuer might endamage or
hurte it, to speake in defense, and to heare the request of euerie
subiect? It is certein that he wold not. For that honor he hath apointed
before all times to his onelie sonne: and the same will he geue to no
creature besides: no more will he admit, nor accept woman to be the lauful
head ouer man[73], althogh man, deuil, and angel will coniure in their
fauor. For seing he hath subiected her to one (as before is saide) he will
neuer permit her to reigne ouer manie. Seing he hath commanded her to
heare, and obey one, he will not suffre that she speake, and with vsurped
authoritie command realmes and nations. Chrysostome explaning these wordes
of the apostle[74]: (the heade of woman is man) compareth God in his
vniuersall regiment to a king sitting in his royall maiestie[75], to whome
all his subiectes commanded to geue homage and obedience, appeare before
him, bearing euerie one suche a badge and cognisance of dignitie and
honor, as he hath geuen to them: which if they despise and contemne, then
do they dishonor their king, Euen so saith he oght man and woman to
appeare before God, bearing the ensignes of the condition, whiche they
haue receiued of him. Man hath receiued a certein glorie and dignitie
aboue the, woman, and therfore oght he to appeare before his high
maiestie, bearing the signe of his honor, hauinge no couerture vpon his
heade: to witnesse that in earth man hath no head, (beware Chrysostome
what thou saist, thou shalt be reputed a traytor if Englishe men heare
the[76]: for they must haue my souereine lady and maistresse, and Scotland
hath dronken also the enchantment and venom of Circes, let it be so to
their owne shame and confusion, he procedeth in these wordes) but woman
oght to be couered, to witnesse, that in earth she hath a head, that is
man. Trewe it is (Chrysostome) woman is couered in both the said
realmes[77], but it is not with the signe of subiection, but it is with
the signe of superioritie, to witt, with the royal crowne. To that he
answereth in these wordes: what if man neglect his honor? he his no lesse
to be mocked (saith Chrysostome) then if a king shulde depose himself of
his diademe or crowne and royal estat, and cloth him self in the habit of
a sclaue. What, I pray you, shulde this godlie father haue saide, if he
had sene all the men of a realme or nation fall downe before a woman? If
he had sene the crowne, sceptre, and sworde, whiche are ensignes of the
royall dignitie, geuen to her, and a woman cursed of God, and made
subiecte to man, placed in the throne of iustice, to sit as Goddes
lieutenant? What, I say, in this behalfe, shuld any hart vnfeinedlie
fearing, God haue iudged of suche men? I am assured that not onlie shulde
they haue bene iudged foolishe but also enraged, and sclaues to Satan,
manifestlie fighting against God and his apointed ordre. The more that I
consider the subuersion of Goddes ordre, which he hath placed generallie
in all liuinge thinges, the more I do wondre at the blindnes of man, who
doth not consider him self in this case so degenerate, that the brute
beastes are to be preferred vnto him in this behalfe[78]. For nature hath
in all beastes printed a certein marke of dominion in the male, and a
certeine subiection in the female, whiclie they kepe inuiolate. For no man
euer sawe the lion make obedience, and stoupe before the lionesse, nether
yet can it be proued, that the hinde taketh the conducting of the heard
amongest the hartes. And yet (alas) man, who by the mouth of God hath
dominion apointed to him ouer woman, doth not onlie to his own shame,
stoupe vnder the obedience of women, but also in despit of God and of his
apointed ordre, reioyseth, and mainteineth that monstruouse authoritie, as
a thing lauful and iust, The insolent ioy[79], the bonefiers, and
banketing which were in london and els where in England, when that cursed
Iesabell was proclaimed qwene, did witnesse to my hart, that men were
becomen more then enraged. For els howe coulde they so haue reioysed at
their owne confusion and certein destruction? For what man was there of so
base iudgement (supposing that he had any light of God) who did not see
the erecting of that monstre, to be the ouerthrowe of true religion, and
the assured destruction of England, and of the auncient liberties therof?
And yet neuer the lesse, all men so triumphed, as if God had deliuered
them frome all calamitie.

[Sidenote 80: Rom. I.]
[Sidenote 81: what robbed God OF HIS HONOR in England in the time of
the Gospell.]
[Sidenote 82: Goddes benefites shewed to England.]
[Sidenote 83: Discipline refused in England.]
[Sidenote 84: The nobilitie and the hole realme of England, caste
themselues willingly in to the pit.]
[Sidenote 85: Confession.]
[Sidenote 86: NOTE]

But iust and rightuouse, terrible and fearfull are thy iudgements, o
Lorde! For as some times thou diddest so punishe men for
vnthankfulnes[80], that man ashamed not to commit villanie withe man; and
that because, that knowinge the to be God, they glorified the not as God,
euen so haste thou moste iustlie nowe punished the proude rebellion and
horrible ingratitude of the realmes of England and Scotland. For when thou
diddest offre thy selfe moste mercifullie to them both, offering the
meanes by the whiche they might haue bene ioyned to gether for euer in
godly Concorde: then was the one proude and cruel, and the other
vnconstant, and fikle of promise. But yet (alas) did miserable England
further rebell against the. For albeit thou diddest not cease to heape
benefit vpon benefit, during the reigne of an innocent and tendre king,
yet no man did acknowledge thy potent hand and meruelouse working. The
stoute courage of capitaines, the witte and policie of counselors, the
learning of bishoppes[81], did robbe the of thy glorie and honor. For what
then was heard, as concerning religion, but the kinges procedinges, the
kinges procedinges must be obeyed? It is enacted by parliament: therefore
it is treason to speake in the contrarie. But this was not the end of this
miserable tragedie. For thou diddest yet precede to offre thy fauors,
sending thy prophetes and messagers, to call for reformation of life in
all estates[82]: For euen frome the highest to the lowest, all were
declined frome the (yea euen those that shuld haue bene the lanterns to
others) some I am assured did qwake and tremble, and frome the botome of
their hartes thirsted amendment, and for the same purpose did earnestly
call for discipline. But then brust forth the venome which before lurked;
then might they not conteine their despiteful voices, but with open
mouthes did crie: we will not haue suche a one to reigne ouer vs. Then, I
say, was euerie man so stoute, that he wolde not be broght in bondage[83]:
no not to the, O Lord, but with disdein did the multitude cast frome them
the amiable yoke of Christ Iesus. No man wolde suffre his sinne to be
rebuked, no man wolde haue his life called to triall. And thus did they
refuse the, O Lorde, and thy sonne Christ Iesus to be their pastor,
protector and prince. And therfore hast thou geuen them ouer in to a
reprobat minde. Thou hast taken from them the spirit of boldnes, of
wisdome and of rightuous iudgement. They see their owne destruction, and
yet they haue no grace to auoide it. Yea they are becomen so blinde, that
knowing the pit, they headlong cast them selues into the same[84]; as the
nobilitie of England, do this day, fighting in the defense of their
mortall ennemie the Spaniard. Finallie they are so destitute of
vnderstanding and iudgement, that althogh they knowe that there is a
libertie and fredome, the whiche their predecessors haue inioyed; yet are
they compelled to bowe their neckes vnder the yoke of Satan, and of his
proude ministres, pestilent papistes and proude spaniardes. And yet can
they not consider that where a woman reigneth and papistes beare
authoritie, that there must nedes Satan be president of the counsel. Thus
hast thou, O Lorde, in thy hote displeasure reuenged the contempt of thy
graces offred. But, O Lord, if thou shalt reteine wrath to the end, what
Aeshe is able to susteine? We haue sinned[85], O Lord, and are not worthy
to be releued. But worthy art thou, O Lord, to be a true God, and worthy
is thy sonne Christ Iesus, to haue his Euangil and glorie aduanced:
whiche both are troden vnder foot in this cruell murther and persecution,
whiche the builders of Babylon commit in their furie, haue raised against
thy children, for the establishing of their kingdome. Let the sobbes
therfore of thy prisoners, O Lord, passe vp to thine eares, consider their
affliction: and let the eyes of thy mercie looke downe vpon the blood of
such as die for testimonie of thy eternal veritie: and let not thine
ennemies mocke thy iudgement for euer. To the, O Lorde, I turne my
wretched and wicked hart: to the alone, I direct my complaint and grones:
for in that Ile to thy saintes there is left no comfort. Albeit I haue
thus (talkinge with my God in the anguishe of my harte) some what
digressed: yet haue I not vtterlie forgotten my former proposition, to
witt, that it is a thing repugnant to the ordre of nature, that any woman
be exalted to rule ouer men. For God hath denied vnto her the office of a
heade. And in the intreating of this parte, I remembre that I haue made
the nobilitie both of England and Scotland inferior to brute beastes, for
that they do to women, which no male amongest the common sorte of beastes
can be proued to do their females: that is, they reuerence them, and qwake
at their presence, they obey their commandementes, and that against God.
Wherfore I iudge them not onelie subiectes to women, but sclaues of Satan,
and seruantes of iniquitie. If any man thinke these my wordes sharpe or
vehement, let him consider that the offense is more haynous, than can be
expressed by wordes. For where all thinges, be expressedly concluded
against the glorie and honor of God, and where the blood of the saintes of
God is commanded to be shed, whome shall we iudge, God or the deuil, to be
president of that counsel?[86] Plain it is, that God ruleth not by his
loue, mercie, nor grace in the assembly of the vngocllie. Then it resteth,
that the deuii, the prince of this worlde, doth reigne ouer suche
tyrannes. whose seruantes, I pray you, shal then be iudged, such as obey,
and execute, their tyrannie? God for his great mercies sake, illuminate
the eyes of men, that they may perceiue in to what miserable bondage they
be broght, by the monstriferous empire of women.

[Sidenote 87: NOTE.]
[Sidenote 88: Deut. 17.]
[Sidenote 89: God hath apointed man his ministre and lieutenant.]
[Sidenote 90: Answer to an objection.]
[Sidenote 91: The election of a king floweth frome the moral lawe.]
[Sidenote 92: Iosue I.]
[Sidenote 93: Rulers should take hede to this.]
[Sidenote 94: Deut. 17]
[Sidenote 95: what vices magistrates oght to punishe.]

The seconde glasse, whiche God hath set before the eyes of man[87],
wherein he may beholde the ordre, whiche pleaseth his wisdome, concerning
authoritie and dominion, is that common welth, to the whiche it pleaseth
his maiestie to apoint, and geue lawes, statutes, rites and ceremonies not
onelie concerninge religion, but also touching their policie and regiment
of the same. And against that ordre it doth manifestly repugne, that any
woman shall occupie the throne of God, that is, the royall seate, whiche
he by his worde hath apointed to man. As in geuing the lawe to Israel,
concerning the election of a king, is euident. For thus it is writen[88]:
If thou shalt say, I will apoint a king aboue me, as the rest of the
nations, whiche are aboute me: Thou shalt make the a kinge, whome the
Lorde thy God shall chose, one frome amongest the middest of thy
bretheren, thou shalt apointe kinge aboue the. Thou maist not make a
strangier that is not thy brother. Here expressedly is a man apointed to
be chosen king, and a man natiue amongest them selues, by whiche precept
is all woman and all strangier secluded. What may be obiected for the
parte or election of a strangier, shalbe, God willinge, answered in the
blast of the second trumpet. For this present, I say, that the erecting of
a woman to that honor, is not onely to inuert the ordre, which God hath
established: but also it is to defile, pollute and prophane (so farre as
in man lieth) the throne and seat of God, whiche he hath sanctified and
apointed for man onely[89], in the course of this wretched life, to
occupie and possesse as his ministre and lieutenant: secluding from the
same all woman, as before is expressed. If anythinke the fore writen lawe
did bindethe Iewes onelie[90], let the same man consider, that the
election of a kinge, and apointing of iudges, did nether apperteine to the
ceremoniall lawe, nether yet was it mere iudiciall[91]: but that it did
flowe frome the morall lawe, as an ordinance, hauing respect to the
conseruation of both the tables. For the office of the magistrate oght to
haue the first and chief respect to the glorie of God, commanded and
conteined in the former table, as is euident by that, whiche was inioyned
to Iosue by God, what time he was accepted and admitted ruler and gouerner
ouer his people, in these wordes[92]: Thou shalt diuide the inheritance to
this people, the whiche I haue sworne to their fathers, to geue vnto them:
so that thou be valiant and strong, that thou maist kepe and do, according
to that hole lawe, whiche my seruant Moses hath commanded the. Thou shalt
not decline frome it, nether to the right hande, nether to the left hand,
that thou maist do prudentlie in all thinges, that thou takest in hand,
let not the boke of this lawe departe from thy mouth, but meditate in it,
day and night: that thou maist kepe and do, according to euery thing,
that is writen in it. For then shall thy wayes prosper, and then shalt
thou do prudently &c. And the same precept geueth God by the mouth of
Moses[93], to kinges, after they be elected, in these wordes[94]: when he
shal sit in the throne or seate of his kingdome, he shall write to him
self a copie of this lawe in a boke, and that shalbe with him, that he may
reade in it all the dayes of his life, that he may learne to feare the
Lorde his God, and to kepe all the wordes of this lawe, and all these
statutes, that he may do them &c. Of these two places it is euident, that
principallie it apperteineth to the king or to the chief magistrate, to
knowe the will of God, to be instructed in his lawe and statutes, and to
promote his glorie with his hole hart and studie, which be the chief
pointes of the first table. No man denieth, but that the sworde is
committed to the magistrate, to the end that he shulde punishe vice, and
mainteine vertue. To punishe vice I say, not onelie that, whiche troubleth
the tranquillitie and quiet estat of the common welth by adulterie, theft
or murther committed[95], but also suche vices as openly impugne the
glorie of God: as idolatrie, blasphemie, and manifest heresie, taught and
obstinatly mainteined: as the histories and notable actes of Ezechias,
Iosaphat, and Iosias do plainlie teache vs. Whose study and care was not
onlie to glorifie God in their own life and conuersation, but also they
vnfeinedlie did trauel to bring subiectes to the true worshipping and
honoring of God. And did destroye all monumentes of idolatrie, did punishe
to deathe the teachers of it, and remoued frome office and honors suche,
as were mainteiners of those abominations. Wherbie I suppose that it be
euident, that the office of the king or supreme magistrate, hath respect
to the lawe morall, and to the conseruation of both the tables.

[Sidenote 96: NOTE. The gentil no lesse bounde to the lawe moral then
the Jewe.]
[Sidenote 97: NOTE.]
[Sidenote 98: The first argument that the authoritie of women
repungeth to iustice.]

Nowe if the lawe morall, be the constant and vnchangeable will of God, to
the which the gentil is no lesse bounde, then was the Iewe[96]; and if God
will that amongest the gentiles, the ministres and executors of his lawe
be nowe apointed, as somtimes they were apointed amongest the Iewes:
further if the execution of iustice be no lesse requisite in the policie
of the gentiles, then euer it was amongest the Iewes: what man can be
foolishe to suppose or beleue, that God will nowe admit those persons, to
sit in iudgement or to reigne ouer men in the common welth of the
gentiles, whom he by his expressed word and ordinance, did before debarre
and seclude from the same? And that women were secluded from the royall
seate, the which oght to be the sanctuarie to all poore afflicted, and
therfore is iustlie called the seat of god (besides the place before
recited of the election of a king, and besides the places of the newe
testament, whiche be moste euident) the ordre and election which was kept
in Iuda and Israel, doth manifestlie declare. For when the males of the
kinglie stocke failed[97], as oft as it chaunced in Israel and sometimes
in Iuda, it neuer entered in to the hartes of the people to chose and
promote to honors any of the kinges doughters, (had he neuer so many) but
knowing Goddes vengeance to be poured furth vpon the father by the away
taking of his sonnes, they had no further respect to his stocke, but
elected suche one man or other, as they iudged most apt for that honor and
authoritie. Of whiche premisses, I conclude (as before) that to promote a
woman heade ouer men, is repugnant to nature, and a thinge moste
contrarious to that ordre, whiche God hath approued in that common welth,
whiche he did institute and rule by his worde. But nowe to the last point,
to wit, that the empire of a woman is a thing repugnant to iustice, and
the destruction of euerie common welth, where it is receiued. In probation
whereof, because the mater is more then euident, I will vse fewe wordes.
First, I say, if iustice be a constant and perpetuall will to geue to
euerie person, their own right (as the moste learned in all ages haue
defined it to be) then to geue, or to will to geue to any person, that
whiche is not their right, must repugne to iustice. But to reigne aboue
man, can neuer be the right to woman[98]: because it is a thinge denied
vnto her by God, as is before declared. Therfore to promote her to that
estat or dignitie, can be no thing els but repugnancie to iustice. If I
shulde speake no more, this were sufficient. For except that ether they
can improue the definition of iustice, or els that they can intreate God
to reuoke and call backe his sentence pronounced against woman, they
shalbe compelled to admit my conclusion. If any finde faute with iustice,
as it is defined, he may well accuse others, but me he shall not hurt. For
I haue the shield, the weapon, and the warrant of him, who assuredlie will
defend this quarel, and he commandeth me to crie:

[Sidenote 99: The second argument.]
[Sidenote 100: Nature doth confesse that repugnancie to Goddes will
is iniustice.]
[Sidenote 101: the reprobat confesse Goddes will iust.]
[Sidenote 102: Genes. 4. Mat. 27.]
[Sidenote 103: womans authoritie bringeth forth monstres.]
[Sidenote 104: Tim. 2.]
[Sidenote 105: Apoca. 2.]

What soeuer repugneth to the will of god expressed in his most sacred
worde, repugneth to iustice[99]: but that women haue authoritie ouer men
repugneth to the will of God expressed in his worde: and therfore mine
author commandeth me to conclude without feare, that all suche authoritie
repugneth to iustice. The first parte of the argument I trust dare nether
Iewe nor gentile denie: for it is a principle not onelie vniuersallie
confessed, but also so depelie printed in the hart of man, be his nature
neuer so corrupted, that whether he will or no, he is compelled at one
time or other, to acknowledge and confesse[100], that justice is violated,
when thinges are done against the will of God, expressed by his worde. And
to this confession are no lesse the reprobate coacted and constrained,
then be the chosen children of god, albeit to a diuers end. The elect with
displeasure of their facte, confesse their offense, hauing accesse to
grace and mercie, as did Adam, Dauid, Peter, and all other penitent
offenders. But the reprobat[101], not withstanding they are compelled to
acknowledge the will of God to be iust the which they haue offended, yet
are they neuer inwardlie displeased, with their iniquitie, but rage,
complain and storme against God, whose vengeance they can not escape[102]:
as did Cain, Iudas, Herode, Iulian called apostata, Yea Iesabel; and
Athalia. For Cain no doubte was conuict in conscience, that he had done
against iustice in murthering of his brother. Iudas did openlie, before
the high priest confesse that he had sinned, in betraying innocent blood.
Herode being stricken by the angel, did mocke those his flaterers, saying
vnto them: beholde your God (meaning of him selfe) can not nowe preserue
him self frome corruption and wormes. Iulianus was compelled in the end to
crie, O galilean (so alwayes in contempt did he name our sauiour Iesus
Christ) thou hast nowe ouercomen. And who doubteth but Iesabel, and
Athalia, before their miserable end, were conuicted in their cankered
consciences, to acknowledge that the murther, which they had committed,
and the empire whiche the one had six yeares usurped, were repugnant to
iustice: Euen so shall they I doubt not, whiche this daye do possesse and
mainteine that monstriferous authoritie of women[103], shortlie be
compelled to acknowledge, that their studies and deuises, haue bene bent
against God: and that all such as women haue usurped, repugneth to
iustice, because, as I haue saide, it repugneth to the will of God
expressed in his sacred worde. And if any man doubte herof, let him marke
wel the wordes of the apostle, saying[104]: I permit not a woman to
teache, nether yet to vsurpe authoritie aboue man. No man I trust will
denie these wordes of the apostle, to be the wil of God expressed in his
worde: and he saith openlie, I permit not &c. Which is asmuch as, I will
not, that a woman haue authority, charge or power ouer man, for so much
importeth the greke word [Greeek: anthentnin] in that place. Nowe let man
and angell conspire against God, let them pronounce their lawes, and say,
we will suffre women to beare authoritie, who then can depose them? yet
shall this one worde of the eternal God spoken by the mouth of a weake
man, thruste them euerie one in to hell. Iesabel may for a time slepe
quietlie in the bed of her fornication and hoordome, she may teache and
deceiue for a season[105]: but nether shall she preserue her selfe, nether
yet her adulterous children frome greate affliction, and frome the sworde
of Goddes vengeance, whiche shall shortlie apprehend suche workes of
iniquitie. The admonition I differe to the end.

Here might I bring in the oppression and iniustice, which is committed
against realmes and nations, whiche some times liued free, and now are
broght in bondage of forein nations, by the reason of this monstriferous
authoritie and empire of women. But that I delay till better oportunitie.
And now I think it expedient to answer such obiections, as carnal and
worldlie men, yea men ignorant of God, vse to make for maintenance of this
tyrannic (authoritie it is not worthie to be called) and most vniuste
empire of woman.

[Sidenote 106: Iudic.4 Parn.3. The defenses of the aduersaries]

First they do obiect the examples of Debora[106], and of Hulda the
prophetesse, of whom the one iudged Israel, and the other, by all
apparance, did teache and exhorte.

[Sidenote 107: Num. 27]

Secondarily they do obiect the lawe[107] made by Moses for the doughters
of zalphead. Thirdlie the consent of the estates of such realmes as haue
approued the empire and regiment of women. And last the longcustome, which
hath receiued the regiment of women. Their valiant actes and prospesitie,
together with some papistical lawes, which haue confirmed the same.

[Sidenote 108: Answer to the first obiection.]
[Sidenote 109: Examples against lawe haue no strength when the
question is of lawe.]
[Sidenote 110: NOTE.]
[Sidenote 111: Antithesis betwixt the former matrones, and our
[Sidenote 112: NOTE.]
[Sidenote 113: NOTE.]
[Sidenote 114: No godlie woman did euer claime authoritie ouer man by
reason of her birth and blood.]
[Sidenote 115: Why God sometimes worketh by extraordinarie meanes.]
[Sidenote 116: Iudic. 4.]
[Sidenote 117: Luc. 2]
[Sidenote 118: Iudic. 4]
[Sidenote 119: NOTE.]
[Sidenote 120: NOTE.]
[Sidenote 121: 2. Reg. 22.]
[Sidenote 122: Debora commanded not as princes vse to commande.]
[Sidenote 123: To iudge is not alway understand of the ciuil
[Sidenote 124: Isaie 2. Isaie 42. Mich. 4. Isaie. 5.]
[Sidenote 125: Ezech. 20. Ezech. 22. Ezech. 34]
[Sidenote 126: Ezech. 23]
[Sidenote 127: NOTE.]

To the first, I answer, that particular examples do establishe no common
lawe[108]. The causes were knowen to God alon, why he toke the spirite of
wisdome and force frome all men of those ages, and did so mightely assist
women against nature, and against his ordinarie course: that the one he
made a deliuerer to his afflicted people Israel: and to the other he gaue
not onlie perseuerance in the true religion, when the moste parte of men
had declined from the same, but also to her he gaue the spirit of
prophecie, to assure king Iosias of the thinges which were to come. With
these women, I say, did God worke potentlie, and miraculouslie, yea to
them he gaue moste singular grace and priuiledge. But who hath commanded,
that a publike, yea a tyrannicall and moste wicked lawe be established
vpon these examples? The men that obiect the same, are not altogether
ignorant, that examples haue no strength, when the question is of
lawe[109]. As if I shuld aske, what mariage is laufull? and it shulde be
answered that laufull it is to man, not onelie to haue manie wiues at
ones, but also it is laufull to marie two sisters, and to enioye them both
liuing at ones, because that Dauid, Iacob, and Salomon, seruantes of God
did the same. I trust that no man wold iustifie the vanitie of this
reason. Or if the question were demanded, if a Christian, with good
conscience may defraude, steale or deceiue: and answer were made that so
he might by the example of the Israelites, who at Goddes commandement,
deceiued the Egyptians, and spoiled them of their garmentes, golde and
syluer. I thinke likewise this reason shuld be mocked. And what greater
force, I pray you, hath the former argument? Debora did rule in Israel,
and Hulda spoke prophecie in Iuda: _Ergo_ it is laufull for women to
reigne aboue realmes and nations, or to teache in the presence of
men[110]. The consequent is vain and of none effect. For of examples, as
is before declared, we may establishe no lawe, but we are alwayes bounde
to the lawe writen, and to the commandement expressed in the same. And the
lawe writen and pronounced by God, forbiddeth no lesse that any woman
reigne ouer man, then it forbiddeth man to take pluralitie of wiues, to
mary two sisters liuing at ons, to steale, to robbe, to murther or to lie.
If any of these hath bene transgressed, and yet God hath not imputed the
same: it maketh not the like fact or dede lawfull vnto vs. For God being
free, may for suche causes as be approued by his inscrutable wisdome,
dispense with the rigor of his lawe, and may vse his creatures at his
pleasure. But the same power is not permitted to man, whom he hath made
subiect to his lawe, and not to the examples of fathers. And this I thinke
sufficient to the reasonable and moderate spirites. But to represse the
raging of womans madnes, I will descend somwhat deeper in to the mater,
and not feare to affirme: that as we find a contrarie spirit in all these
moste wicked women, that this day be exalted in to this tyrannouse
authoritie, to the spirite that was in those godly matrons: so I feare
not, I say, to affirme, that their condition is vnlike, and that their end
shalbe diuers. In those matrones we finde that the spirit of mercie,
truthe, iustice and of humilitie did reigne[111]. Vnder them we finde that
God did shewe mercie to his people, deliuering them frome the tyrannie of
strangiers, and from the venom of idolatrie by the handes and counsel of
those women: but in these of our ages, we finde crueltie, falshed, pride,
couetousnes, deceit, and oppression. In them we also finde the spirit of
Iesabel, and Athalia, vnder them we finde the simple people oppressed, the
true religion extinguished, and the blood of Christes membres most
cruellie shed. And finallie by their practises and deceit, we finde
auncient realmes and nations geuen and betrayed in to the handes of
strangiers, the titles and liberties of them taken frome the iuste
possessors. Which one thinge is an euident testimonie, howe vnlike our
mischeuous Maryes be vnto Debora, vnder whome were strangiers chased owt
of Israel, God so raising her vp to be a mother and deliuerer to his
oppressed people. But (alas) he hath raised vp these Iesabelles to be the
vttermoste of his plagues[112], the whiche mans vnthankfulnes hath long
deserued. But his secret and most iust iudgement, shal nether excuse
them, neither their mainteiners, because their counsels be diuers. But to
prosecute my purpose, let such as list to defend these monstres in their
tyrannie, prbue first, that their souereine maistresses be like to Debora
in godlines and pitie: and secondarilie, that the same successe doth
folowe their tyrannie, which did folowe the extraorelinarie regiment of
that godlie matrone. Which things althogh they were able to do[113] (as
they neuer shalbe, let them blowe til they brust) yet shall her example
profet them nothing at all. For they are neuer able to proue that ether
Debora, or any other godlie woman[114] (hauing the commendation of the
holie ghoste within the scriptures) hath vsurped authoritie aboue any
realme or nation, by reason of their birth and blood. Nether yet did they
claime it by right or inheritance: but God by his singular priuiledge,
fauor, and grace, exempted Debora from the common malediction geuen to
women in that behalf: and against nature he made her prudent in counsel,
strong in courage, happie in regiment, and a blessed mother and deliuerer
to his people. The whiche he did partlie to aduance and notifie the power
of his maiestie as well to his ennemies, as to his owne people[115]: in
that that he declared himself able to geue saluation and deliuerance, by
meanes of the moste weake vesselles: and partlie he did it to confound and
ashameall man of that age, because they had for the moste part declined
frome his true obedience. And therfore was the spirit of courage,
regiment, and boldnes taken from them for a time to their confusion and
further humiliation. But what maketh this for Mary and her matche
Phillippe? One thing I wold aske of suche as depend vpon the example of
Debora, whether she was widowe or wife, when she iudged Israel, and when
that God gaue that notable victorie to his people vnder her? If they
answer she was widowe, I wold lay against them the testimonie of the holie
ghost, witnessinge that she was wife to Lapidoth[116]. And if they will
shift, and alledge, that so she might be called, notwithstanding that her
husband was dead, I vrge them further, that they are not able to, proue it
to be any common phrase and maner of speache in the scriptures, that a
woman shall be called the wife of a dead man, except that there be some
note added, wherbie it may be knowen that her husband is departed, as is
witnessed of _Anna_[117]. But in this place of the iudges, there is no
note added, that her husband shuld be dead, but rather the expressed
contrarie[118]. For the text saith: In that time a woman named Debora a
prophetesse, wife to Lapidoth iudged Israel, The holie ghost plainlie
speaketh, that what time she iudged Israel, she was wife to Lapidoth. If
she was wife, and if she ruled all alone in Israel[119], then I aske why
did she not preferre her husband to that honor to be capitain, and to be
leader to the host of the Lord. If any thinke that it was her husbande,
the text proueth the contrarie. For it affirmeth that Barak, of the tribe
of Nephtalie was apointed to that office. If Barak had bene her husband:
to what purpose shuld the holie ghost so diligentlie haue noted the tribe,
and an other name then was before expressed? Yea to what purpose shuld it
be noted, that she send and called him? whereof I doubt not, but that
euerie reasonable man doth consider that this Barak was not her husband,
and therof likwise it is euident, that her iudgement or gouernement in
Israel was no such vsurped power, as our quenes vniustlie possesse this
day, but that it was the spirit of prophecie, which rested vpon her, what
time the multitude of the people wroght wickedlie in the eyes of the Lord:
by the whiche spirit, she did rebuke the idolatrie and iniquitie of the
people, exhort them to repentance, and in the end, did bring them this
comfort, that God shuld deliuer them from the bondage and thraldom of
their ennemies. And this she might do[120], not withstanding that an other
did occupie the place of the supreme magistral, (if any was in those dayes
in Israel) for, so I finde did Hulda the wife of Sallum in the dayes of
Iosias king of Iuda[121] 'speake prophecie and comfort the king': and yet
he resigned to her nether the sceptre; nor the sword. That this our
interpretacion, how that Debora did iudge in _Israel_ is the true meaning
of the holie ghost, the pondering and weying of the historic shall
manifestlie proue. When she sendeth for Barak, I pray you, in whose name
geueth she him his charge?[122] Doth she speake to him as kinges and
princes vse to speake to their subiectes in suche cases? No, but she
speaketh, as she that had a speciall reuelation frome God, whiche nether
was knovren to Barak nor to the people, saying: hath not the Lord God of
Israel commanded the? This is her preface, by the whiche she wold stirre
vp the dull senses of Barak, and of the people, willing to persuade vnto
them, that the time was comen, when God wold shewe him selfe their
protector and deliuerer, in which preface she vsurpeth to her selfe,
nether power nor authoritie. For she saith not, I being thy princes, thy
maistresse, thy souereine ladie and quene, commatide the vpon thine
allegeance, and vnder pain of treason to go, and gather an armie. No, she
spoileth her self of all power to commande, attributing that authoritie to
God, of whom she had her reuelation and certitude to apoint Barak
capitain, which after appeareth more plainlie. For when she had declared
to him the hole counsel of God, apointing vnto him aswell the nombre of
his souldiors, as the tribes, owt of which they shuld be gathered: and
when she had apointed the place of the batel, (whiche she coulde not haue
done, but by especiall reuelation of God) and had assured him of victorie
in the name of God, and yet that he fainted and openlie refused, to entre
in to that iourney except that the prophetesse wold accompanie him, she
did vse against him no external power, she did not threaten him with
rebellion and death, but for assurance of his faint hart and weake
conscience, being content to go with him, she pronounceth, that the glorie
shulde not be his in that iourney, but that the Lord shuld sell Sisera in
to the hand of a woman. Such as haue more pleasure in light then in
darknes, may clearlie perceiue, that Debora did vsurpe no such power nor
authoritie, as our quenes do this day claime. But that she was indued with
the spirit of wisdome, of knowledge, and of the true feare of God: and by
the same she iudged the factes of the rest of the people. She rebuked
their defection and idolatry, yea and also did redresse to her power, the
iniuries, that were done by man to man. But all this, I say, she did by
the spirituall sworde, that is, by the worde of God, and not by any
temporall regiment or authoritie, whiche she did vsurpe ouer Israel. In
which, I suppose, at that time there, was no laufull magistrate, by the
reason of their greate affliction. For so witnesseth the historic, saying:
And Ehud being dead, the Lorde sold Israel in to the hand of Iabin king of
Canaan. And he by Sisera his capitain afflicted Israel greatlie the space
of twentie yeares. And Debora her self, in her song of thankes geuing,
confesseth that before she did arise mother in Israel, and in the dayes of
Iael, there was nothing but confusion and trouble. If any sticke to the
terme, alledging that the holie ghost saith, that she iudged Israel[123]:
let them vnderstand, that nether doth the Ebrue word, nether yet the
Latin, alwayes signifie ciuile iudgement, or the execution of the
temporall sword, but most commonlie is taken in the sense, which we haue
before expressed. For of Christ it is said: he shal iudge many nations.
And that he shall pronounce iudgement to the gentiles.[124] And yet it is
euident, that he was no minister of the temporal sword. God commandeth
Ierusalem and Iuda to iudge betwixt him and his vineyarde, and yet he
apointed not them all to be ciuil magistrates. To Ezechiel it is
said[125]: shalt thou not iudge them sonne of man? and after: thou sonne
of man, shalt thou not iudge? shalt thou not iudge, I say, the citie of
blood? and also: behold, I shall iudge betwixt beast and beast. And such
places in great nombre, are to be founde thrughout the hole scriptures,
and yet I trust, no man wilbe so foolish, as to thinke that any of the
Prophetes were apointed by God to be politike iudges, or to punishe the
sinnes of man, by corporal punishment. No the maner of their iudgement is
expressed in these wordes[126]: Declare to them all their abominations,
and thou shalt say to them: Thus saith the Lorde God: a citie shedding
blood in the middest of her, that her time may approche and which hath
made idoles against her selfe, that she might be polluted. Thou hast
transgressed in the blood which thou hast shed, and thou are polluted in
the idoles, which thou hast made. Thus, I say, do the prophetes of God
iudge, pronouncing the sentence of God against malefactors. And so I doubt
not but Debora iudged, what time Israel had declined from God: rebuking
their defection, and exhorting them to repentance, without vsurpation of
any ciuill authoritie. And if the people gaue vnto her for a time any
reuerence or honour, as her godlines and happie counsel did well deserue,
yet was it no such empire, as our monstres claime[127]. For which of her
sonnes or nerest kinsmen left she ruler and iudge in Israel after her.
The holie ghost expresseth no such thing. Wherof it is euident, that by
her example God offreth no occasion to establish any regiment of women
aboue men, realmes, and nations.

[Sidenote 128: An answer to the second obiection.]

But now to the second obiection[128]. In whiche women require (as to them
appeareth) nothing but equitie and iustice. Whilest they and their patrones
for them, require dominion and empire aboue men. For this is their
question: Is it not lauful, that women haue their right and inheritance,
like as the doughters of Zalphead were commanded by the mouth of Moses to
haue their portion of grounde in their tribe?

[Sidenote 129: what woman wold not gladly heare.]
[Sidenote 130: the daughters of Zalphead desired to reigne ouer no
man in Israel.]
[Sidenote 131: women may succede to inheritance but not to office.]
[Sidenote 132: Num. 36]
[Sidenote 133: Our patrones for women do not marke this caution.]
[Sidenote 134: Realmes gotten by practises are no iuste posession.]
[Sidenote 135: NOTE.]
[Sidenote 136: The spaniardes are Iewes and they bragge that Marie of
England is the roote of Iesse.]
[Sidenote 137: Note the law which he hath proclaimed in France
against such as he termeth Lutherians.]
[Sidenote 138: Act. 17.]
[Sidenote 139: Deuter. 2.]
[Sidenote 140: Deut.32.]
[Sidenote 141: NOTE.]
[Sidenote 142: Cicero offic. lib. I.]
[Sidenote 143: Realmes gotten by mariage, is uniust conquest.]

I answer, it is not onlie laufull that women possesse their inheritance,
but I affirme also that iustice and equitie require, that so they do. But
therwith I adde that whiche gladlie they list not vnderstand[129]: that to
beare rule or authoritie ouer man, can neuer be right nor inheritance to
woman. For that can neuer be iust inheritance to any person, whiche God by
his word hath plainlie denied vnto them: but to all women hath God denied
authoritie aboue man, as moste manifestlie is before declared: Therfore to
her it can neuer be inheritance. And thus must the aduocates of our ladies
prouide some better example and strongar argument. For the lawe made in
fauor of the doughters of Zalphead, will serue them nothing. And
assuredlie greate wonder it is, that in so greate light of Goddes truthe,
men list to grope and wander in darknes. For let them speak of
conscience[130]: if the petition of any of these fore named women was to
reigne ouer any one tribe, yea or yet ouer any one man within Israel.
Plain it is, they did not, but onelie required, that they might haue a
portion of ground amonge the men of their tribe, lest, that the name of
their father shuld be abolished. And this was graunted vnto them without
respect had to any ciuil regiment. And what maketh this, I pray you, for
the establishing of this monstruous empire of women? The question is not:
if women may not succede to possession, substance patrimonie or
inheritance, such as fathers may leaue to their children, for that I
willinglie grant[131]: But the question is: if women may succede to their
fathers in offices, and chieflie to that office, the executor wherof doth
occupie the place and throne of God. And that I absolutelie denie: and
feare not to say, that to place a woman in authoritie aboue a realme, is
to pollute and prophane the royall seate, the throne of iustice, which
oght to be the throne of God: and that to mainteine them in the same, is
nothing els, but continuallie to rebell against God. One thing there is
yet to be noted and obserued in the lawe[132] made concerning the
inheritance of the doughters of Zalphead, to wit, that it was forbidden
vnto them to marie without their owne tribe, lest that such portion as
fell to their lotte, shuld be transferred frome one tribe to an other, and
so shuld the tribe of Manasses be defrauded and spoiled of their iust
inheritance by their occasion. For auoiding of which it was commanded by
Moses, that they should marie in the familie or housholde of the tribe and
kindred of their father. Wonder it is that the aduocates and patrones of
the right of our ladies did not consider and ponder this lawe[133] before
that they counseled the blinde princes and vnworthie nobles of their
countries, to betray the liberties therof in to the handes of strangiers.
England for satisfying of the inordinat appetites of that cruell monstre
Marie (vnworthie by reason of her bloodie tyrannie, of the name of a
woman) betrayed (alas) to the proude spaniarde: and Scotlande by the rashe
madnes of foolish gouerners, and by the practises of a craftie dame
resigned likewise, vnder title of mariage in to the power of France. Doth
such translation of realmes and nations please the iustice of God, or is
the possession by such means obteined, lauful in his sight? Assured I am
that it is not[134]. No other wise, I say, then is that possession,
wherunto theues, murtherers, tyrannes and oppressors do attein by theft,
murther, tyrannie, violence, deceit, and oppression, whiche God of his
secrete (but yet most iust) iudgement doth often permit for punishment, as
wel of the sufferers, as of the violent oppressors, but doth neuer approue
the same as laufull and godlie. For if he wold not permit that the
inheritance of the children of Israel shuld passe frome one tribe to an
other by the mariage of any doughter, not withstanding[135] that they were
all one people, all spake one tonge, all were descended of one father, and
all did professe one God, and one religion: If yet, I say, God wold not
suffer that the commoditie and vsuall frute, which might be gathered of
the portion of grounde limited and assigned to one tribe shulde passe to
an other: Will he suffer that the liberties, lawes, commodities and frutes
of hole realmes and nations, be geuen in to the power and distribution of
others, by the reason of mariage, and in the powers of suche, as besides,
that they be of a strange tonge, of strange maners and lawes, they are
also ignorant of God, ennemies to his truth, deniers of Christ Iesus,
persecutors of his true membres, and haters of all vertue? As the odious
nation of spaniardes doth manifestlie declare: who for very despit, which
they do beare against Christe Iesus, whome their forefathers did crucifie
(for Iewes they are[136], as histories do witnesse, and they them selues
confesse) do this day make plaine warre against all true professors of his
holie gospell. And howe blindlie and outragiouslie the frenche king, and
his pestilent prelates do, fight against the veritie of God, the flaming
fiers, which lick vp the innocent blood of Christes membres, do witnesse,
and by his cruel edictes is notified and proclaimed[137]. And yet to these
two cruell tyrannes (to France, and Spain I meane) is the right and
possession of England and Scotland apointed. But iust or laufull shall
that possession neuer be, till God do chaunge the statute of his former
lawe: whiche he will not do for the pleasure of man. For he hath not
created the earth to satisfie the ambition of two or three tyrannes, but
for the vniuersall seed of Adam[138]: and hath apointed and defined the
boundes of their habitation to diuerse nations, assigning diuers countries
as he him selfe confesseth, speaking to Israel in these wordes[139]: You
shal passe by the boundes and limiter, of your bretheren the sonnes of
Esau, who dwell in mount Seir. They shall feare you. But take diligent
hede, that ye shewe not your selues cruell against them. For I will geue
you no part of their land. No not the bredth of a foote. For mount Seir I
haue geuen to Esau to be possessed. And the same he doth witnesse of the
sonnes of Lot[140], to whom he had geuen Arre to be possessed. And Moses
plainlie affirmeth, that when the almightie did distribute, and diuide
possessions to the gentiles, and when he did disperse, and scatter the
sonnes of men, that then he did apoint the limites and boundes of peoples,
for the nomber of the sonnes of Israel. Wherof it is plain[141], that God
hath not exposed the earth in pray to tyrannes, making all thing laufull,
which by violence and murther they may possesse, but that he hath apointed
to euery seuerall nation, a seuerall possession, willing them to stand
content (as nature did teache an ethnik[142] to affirme) with that
portion, which by lotte and iust meanes they had mioyed. For what causes
God permitteth this his distribution to be troubled, and the realmes of
auncient nations to be possessed of strangiers, I delay at this time to
intreate. Onlie this I haue recited to geue the worlde to vnderstand, that
the reigne, empire, and authoritie of women[143], hath no grounde within
Goddes scriptures. Yea that realmes or prouinces possessed by their
mariage, is nothinge but vniust conquest. For so litle doth the lawe made
for the doughters of Zalphead helpe the cause of your quenes, that
vtterlie it fighteth against them, both damning their authoritie and fact.
But now to the thirde objection.

[Sidenote 144: Answer to the third obiection.]
[Sidenote 145: women may and oght to be deposed from authoritie.]

The consent, say they, of realmes and lawes pronounced and admitted in
this behalfe, long consuetude and custorne, together with felicitie of
some women in their empires haue established their authoritie[144]. To
whome, I answer, that nether may the tyrannie of princes, nether the
foolishnes of people, nether wicked lawes made against God, nether yet the
felicitie that in this earthe may herof insue, make that thing laufull,
whiche he by his word hath manifestlie condemned. For if the approbation
of princes and people, lawes made by men, or the consent of realmes, may
establishe any thing against God and his word, then shuld idolatrie be
preferred to the true religion. For mo realmes and nations, mo lawes and
decrees published by Emperours with common consent of their counsels, haue
established the one, then haue approued the other. And yet I thinke that
no man of sounde iudgement, will therfore iustifie and defend idolatrie.
No more oght any man to mainteine this odious empire of women, althogh
that it were approued of all men by their lawes. For the same God that in
plain wordes forbiddeth idolatrie, doth also forbidde the authoritie of
women ouer man. As the wordes of saint Paule before rehearsed do plainly
teach vs. And therfore whether women be deposed from that vniust
authoritie[145] (haue they neuer vsurped it so long) or if all such honor
be denied vnto them, I feare not to affirme that they are nether defrauded
of right, nor inheritance. For to women can that honor neuer be due nor
laufull (muche lesse inheritance) whiche God hath so manifestlie denied
vnto them.

[Sidenote 146: the fourth obiection.]
[Sidenote 147: women can make no laufull officer.]
[Sidenote 148: Let England and Scotland take hede.]
[Sidenote 149: woman in authoritie is rebel against God.]
[Sidenote 150: what the nobilite ough to do in this behalf.]
[Sidenote 151: 2 Reg. II.]
[Sidenote 152: Marke this fact, for it agreeth with Goddes lawe

I am not ignorant that the subtill wittes of carnall men (which can neuer
be broght vnder obedience of Goddes simple preceptes to maintein this
monstruous empire) haue yet two vaine shiftes[146]. First they alledge,
that albeit women may not absolutelie reigne by themselues, because they
may nether sit in iudgement, nether pronounce sentence, nether execute any
publike office: yet may they do all such thinges by their lieutenantes,
deputies and iudges substitute. Secondarilie, say they, a woman borne to
rule ouer anyrealme, may chose her a husband, and to him she may transfer
and geue her authoritie and right. To both I answer in fewe wordes. First
that frome a corrupt and venomed fountein can spring no holsome water:
Secondarilie that no person hath power to geue the thing, which doth not
iustlie appertein to them selues[147]: But the authoritie of a woman is a
corrupted fountein, and therfore from her can neuer spring any lauful
officer. She is not borne to rule ouer men: and therfore she can apointe
none by her gift, nor by her power (which she hathn ot) to the place of a
laufull magistrat. And therfore who soeuer receiueth of a woman[148],
office or authoritie, are adulterous and bastard officers before God. This
may appeare straunge at the first affirmation, but if we will be as
indifferent and equall in the cause of God, as that we can be in the cause
of man, the reason shall sodeinlie appeare. The case suposed, that a
tyranne by conspiracie vsurped the royall seat and dignitie of a king, and
in the same did so established him selfe, that he apointed officers, and
did what him list for a time, and in this meane time, the natiue king made
streit inhibition to all his subiectes, that none shuld adhere to this
traitor, nether yet receiue any dignitie of him, yet neuer the lesse they
wold honor the same traitor as king, and becomme his officers in all
affaires of the realme. If after, the natiue prince did recouer his iust
honor and possession, shuld he repute or esteme any man of the traitors
apointement for a laufull magistrate? or for his frende and true subiect?
or shuld he not rather with one sentence condemne the head with the
membres? And if so he shuld do, who were able to accuse him of rigor?
much lesse to condemne his sentence of iniustice. And dare we denie the
same power to God in the like case? For that woman reigneth aboue man, she
hath obteined it by treason and conspiracie committed against God. Howe
can it be then, that she being criminall and giltie of treason against God
committed, can apointe any officer pleasing in his sight? It is a thing
impossible[149]. Wherefore let men that receiue of women authoritie, honor
or office, be most assuredly persuaded, that in so mainteining that
vsurped power, they declare them selues ennemies to God. If any thinke,
that because the realme and estates therof, haue geuen their consentes to
a woman, and haue established her, and her authoritie: that therfore it is
laufull and acceptable before God: let the same men remembre what I haue
said before, to wit, that God can not approue the doing nor consent of any
multitude, concluding any thing against his worde and ordinance, and
therfore they must haue a more assured defense against the wrath of God,
then the approbation and consent of a blinded multitude, or elles they
shall not be able to stand in the presence of the consuming fier: that is,
they must acknowledge that the regiment of a woman is a thing most odious
in the presence of God. They must refuse to be her officers[150], because
she is a traitoresse and rebell against God. And finallie they must studie
to represse her inordinate pride and tyrannie to the vttermost of their
power. The same is the dutie of the nobilitie and estates, by whose
blindnes a woman is promoted. First in so farre, as they haue moste
haynouslie offended against God, placing in authoritie suche as God by his
worde hath remoued frome the same, vnfeinedly they oght to call for
mercie, and being admonished of their error and damnable fact, in signe
and token of true repentance, with common consent they oght to retreate
that, which vnaduisedlie and by ignorance they haue pronounced, and oght
without further delay to remoue from authority all such persones, as by
vsurpation, violence, or tyrannie, do possesse the same. For so did Israel
and Iuda after they had reuolted from Dauid, and Iuda alone in the dayes
of Athalia[151]. For after that she by murthering her sonnes children, had
obteined the empire ouer the land, and had most vnhappelie reigned in Iuda
six years, Ichoiada the high priest called together the capitaines and
chief rulers of the people[152], and shewing to them the kinges sonne
Ioas[h], did binde them by an othe to depose that wicked woman, and to
promote the king to his royall seat, which they faithfullie did, killinge
at his commandement not onlie that cruell and mischeuous woman, but also
the people did destroie the temple of Baal, break his altars and images,
and kill Mathan Baales high priest before his altars. The same is the
dutie aswell of the estates, as of the people that hath bene blinded.
First they oght to remoue frome honor and authoritie, that monstre in
nature. (so call I a woman cled in the habit of man, yea a woman against
nature reigning aboue man). Secondarilie if any presume to defende that
impietie, they oght not to feare, first to pronounce, and then after to
execute against them the sentence of deathe. If any man be affraid to
violat the oth of obedience, which they haue made to suche monstres, let
them be most assuredly persuaded, that as the beginning of their othes,
preceding from ignorance was sinne, so is the obstinate purpose to kepe
the same, nothinge but plaine rebellion against God. But of this mater in
the second blast, God willing, we shall speake more at large.

[Sidenote 153: An admonition.]
[Sidenote 154: Iudic. 20.]

And nowe to put an end to the first blast, seing that by the ordre of
nature, by the malediction and curse pronounced against woman, by the
mouth of S. Paule the intrepreter of Goddes sentence, by the example of
that common welth, in whiche God by his word planted ordre and policie,
and finallie by the iudgement of the most godlie writers, God hath
deiected woman frome rule, dominion, empire, and authoritie aboue man.
Moreouer, seing that nether the example of Debora, nether the lawe made
for the doughters of Zalphead, nether yet the foolishe consent of an
ignorant multitude, be able to iustifie that whiche God so plainlie hath
condemned: let all men take hede what quarell and cause frome hence furthe
they do defend[153]. If God raise vp any noble harte to vendicat the
libertie of his countrie, and to suppresse the monstruous empire of women,
let all suche as shal presume to defend them in the same, moste certeinlie
knowe, that in so doing, they lift their hand against God, and that one
day they shall finde his power to fight against their foolishnes. Let not
the faithfull, godlie, and valiant hartes of Christes souldiers be
vtterlie discouraged, nether yet let the tyrannes reioise, albeit for a
time they triumphe against such asstudie to represse their tyrannie, and
to remoue them from vniust authoritie. For the causes alone, why he
suffereth the souldiers to fail in batel, whome neuerthelesse he
commandeth to fight as somtimes did Israel fighting against Beniamin. The
cause of the Israelites was most iust: for it was to punishe that
horrible abomination of those sonnes of Belial[154], abusing the leuites
wife, whome the Beniamites did defend. And they had Goddes precept to
assure them of well doing. For he did not onelie commande them to fight,
but also apointed Iuda to be their leader and capitain, and yet fell they
twise in plain batel against those most wicked adulterers.

[Sidenote 155: Why God permitteth somtimes his owne souldiers to fail
in batel.]
[Sidenote 156: Iudic. 20]
[Sidenote 157: NOTE.]
[Sidenote 158: The authoritie of all women, is a wall without

The secret cause of this, I say, is knowen to God alone. Rut by his
euident scriptures we may assuredly gather[155], that by such means doth
his wisdome somtimes, beat downe the pride of the flesh (for the
Israelites at the firste trusted in their multitude, power and strength)
and somtimes by such ouerthrowes, he will punish the offenses of his owne
children, and bring them, to the vnfeined knowledge of the same, before he
will geue them victorie against the manifest contemners, whom he hath
apointed neuerthelesse to vttermost perdition: as the end of that batel
did witnesse. For althogh with greate murther the children of Israel did
twise fall before the Beniamites, yet after they had wept before the
Lorde, after they had fasted and made sacrifice in signe of their vnfeined
repentance, they so preuailed against that proude tribe of Beniamin[156],
that after 25 thousande strong men of warre were killed in batel, they
destroyed man, woman, childe and beaste, as well in the fieldes, as in the
cities, whiche all were burned with fier, so that onelie of that hole
tribe remained six hundredth men, who fled to the wildernes, where they
remained foure monethes, and so were saued. The same God, who did execute
this greuous punishment[157], euen by the handes of those, whom he suffred
twise to be ouercomen in batel, doth this day retein his power and
justice. Cursed Iesabel of England, with the pestilent and detestable
generation of papistes, make no litle bragge and boast, that they haue
triumphed not only against Wyet, but also against all such as haue
entreprised any thing against them or their procedinges. But let her and
them consider, that yet they haue not preuailed against god, his throne is
more high, then that the length of their hornes be able to reache. And let
them further consider, that in the beginning of their bloodie reigne, the
haruest of their iniquitie was not comen to full maturitie and ripenes.
No, it was so grene, so secret I meane, so couered, and so hid with
hypocrisie, that some men (euen the seruantes of God) thoght it not
impossible, but that wolues might be changed in to lambes, and also that
the vipere might remoue her natural venom. But God, who doth reuele in his
time apointed the secretes of hartes, and that will haue his iudgementes
iustified euen by the verie wicked, hath now geuen open testimonie of her
and their beastlie crueltie. For man and woman, learned and vnlearned,
nobles and men of baser sorte, aged fathers and tendre damiselles, and
finailie the bones of the dead, aswell women as men haue tasted of their
tyrannie, so that now not onlie the blood of father Latimer, of the milde
man of God the bishop of Cantorburie, of learned and discrete Ridley, of
innocent ladie Iane dudley, and many godly and worthie preachers, that can
not be forgotten, such as fier hath consumed, and the sworde of tyrannie
moste vniustlie hath shed, doth call for vengeance in the eares of the
Lord God of hostes: but also the sobbes and teares of the poore oppressed,
the groninges of the angeles, the watch men of the Lord, yea and euerie
earthlie creature abused by their tyrannie do continuallie crie and call
for the hastie execution of the same. I feare not to say, that the day of
vengeance, whiche shall apprehend that horrible monstre Iesabal of
England, and suche as maintein her monstruous crueltie, is alredie
apointed in the counsel of the Eternall; and I verelie beleue that it is
so nigh, that she shall not reigne so long in tyrannie, as hitherto she
hath done, when God shall declare him selfe to be her ennemie, when he
shall poure furth contempt vpon her, according to her crueltie, and shal
kindle the hartes of such, as somtimes did fauor her with deadly hatred
against her, that they may execute his iudgementes. And therfore let such
as assist her, take hede what they do. For assuredlie her empire and
reigne is a wall without foundation[158]: I meane the same of the
authoritie of all women. It hath bene vnderpropped this blind time that is
past, with the foolishnes of people; and with the wicked lawes of ignorant
and tyrannous princes. But the fier of Goddes worde is alredie laide to
those rotten proppes (I include the Popes lawe with the rest) and
presentlie they burn, albeit we espie not the flame: when they are
consumed, (as shortlie they will be, for stuble and drie timbre can not
long indure the fier) that rotten wall, the vsurped and vniust empire of
women, shall fall by it self in despit of all man, to the destruction of
so manie, as shall labor to vphold it. And therfore let all man be
aduertised, for the trumpet hath ones blowen.

Praise God ye that feare him.

The following postscript occurs at p. 78 of JOHN KNOX'S _Appellation
&c._, which is dated "From Geneua. The 14 of Iuly, 1558."


Because many are offended at the first blast of the trompett, in whiche I
affirme, that to promote a woman to beare rule, or empire aboue any
realme, nation or citie, is repugnant to nature, contumelie to God, and a
thing moste contrariouse to his reuealed and approued ordenance: and
because also, that somme hath promised (as I vnderstand) a confutation of
the same, I haue delayed the second blast, till such tyme as their reasons
appere, by the which I either may be reformed in opinion, or els shall
haue further occasion more simply and plainly to vtter my iudgement. Yet
in the meane tyme for the discharge of my conscience; and for auoyding
suspition, whiche might be ingendred by reason of my silence, I could not
cease to notifie these subsequent propositions, which by Gods grace I
purpose to entreate in the second blast promised.

1 It is not birth onely nor propinquitie of blood, that maketh a kinge
lawfully to reign aboue a people professing Christe Iesus, and his
eternall veritie, but in his election must the ordenance, which God hath
established, in the election of inferiour iudges be obserued.

2 No manifest idolater nor notoriouse transgressor of gods holie
preceptes o[u]ght to be promoted to any publike regiment, honour or
dignitie in any realme, prouince or citie, that hath subiected the[m] self
to Christe lesus and to his blessed Euangil.

3 Neither can othe nor promesse bynd any such people to obey and maintein
tyrantes against God and against his trueth knowen.

4 But if either rashely they haue promoted any manifest wicked personne,
or yet ignorantly haue chosen suche a one, as after declareth him self
vnworthie of regiment abouc the people of God (and suche be all idolaters
and cruel persecuters) moste iustely may the same men depose and punishe
him, that vnaduysedly before they did nominate, appoint and electe.


If the eye be single, the whole body shalbe clere.

[Underlying these Propositions is the great truth that the Rulers exist
for the people, and not the people for the Rulers.]


_JOHN KNOX's apologetical Defence of his_ First Blast &c. to _Queen


The spreit of wisdom heall your hart to the glorie of God and to the
comforte of his afflicted mind.

On[e] caus[e] of my present writing is ryght honorable humblie to requyr
you to Deliuer this other lettre enclosed to the quenes grace quilk
conteaneht in few and sempill wordes my confession what I think of her
authoritie, how far it is Just, and what may make it odious in
goddis presence.

I hear there is a confutation sett furht in prent against _the first
blast._ God graunt that the writar haue no more sought the fauours of the
world, no less the glory of God and the stable commoditie of his country
then did him who interprised in that _blast_ to vt[t]er his Conscience.
When I shall haue tym[e] (which now Is Dear and straitt vnto me) to peruse
that work I will communicat[e] my Judgement with you concernying the
sam[e]. The tym[e] Is now sir that all that eyther thrust Christ Jesus to
r[e]ing in this yle, the liberties of the sam [e] to be keapt, to the
inhabitantes therof, and theire hartis to be joyned together in love
vnfeaned ought rather to study how the sam[e] may be brought to pass then
vainly to trauall for the maintenance of that wharof allready we have seen
the daunger, and felt the smart.

_State Papers, Scotland, Vol_. Art. 57. in Public Record office, London.

20 JULY 1559. JOHN KNOX'S _Declaration_ to QUEEN ELIZABETH.

To the verteuus and godlie ELIZABEHT by the grace of GOD quen of England
etc JOHN KNOX desireht the perpetuall Encrease of the Holie Spiritt. etc.

As your graces displeasur against me most Iniustlie conceaned, hath be[en]
and is to my wretched hart a burthen grevous and almost intollerabill, so
is the testimonye of a clean conscience to me a stay and vphold that in
desperation I sink not, how vehement that ever the temptations appear, for
in GODDis presence my conscience beareht me reacord that maliciouslie nor
of purpose I inoffended your grace, nor your realme. And therfor how so
ever I be ludged by man, I am assured to be absolued by him who onlie
knoweht the secreatis of hartes.

I can not Deny the Writeing of a booke against the vsurped aucthoritie and
Iniust regiment of wemen, neyther yet am I mynded to retract or to call
any principall point or proposition of the sam[e], till treuth and veritie
do farther appear, but why that eyther your grace, eyther yit ony such as
vnfeanedlie favourthe libertie of England should be offended at the
aucthor of such a work I can perceaue no iust occasion. For first my booke
tuchheht not your graces' person in especiall, neyther yit is it
preiudiciall till any libertie of the realme yf the tyme and my Writing be
indifferently considered. How could I be enemy to your graces person? for
deliuerance quhairof I did mor[e] study, and interprise farther, than any
of those that now accuse me. And as concerning your regiment how could? or
can I envy that? which most I haue thrusted and for the which (as obliuion
will suffer) I render thankis vnfeanedlie unto GOD that is, that it hath
pleased Him of His eternall goodnes to exalt your head (which tymes wes in
Daunger) to the manifestation of his glorie and extirpation of Idolatrie.

And as for any offence whiche I haf committed against England eyther in
writeing that or of any other werk I will not refuse that moderate and
indifferent men Iudge and decerne betwixt me and thost that accuse me. To
witt Whither of the partijs Do most hurt the libertie of England, I that
afferme that no woman may be exalted above any realme to mak[e] the
libertie of the sam[e] thrall to a straunge, proud, and euell nation, or
thai that approve whatsoeuir pleaseth princes for the tyme.

Yf I were wer[e] asweall disposed till accuse, as som of them (till thair
owne schame) haue declared thame selves I nothing dowbt but that in few
wordis I should lett ressonabill men vnderstand that som that this Day
lowlie crouche to your grace, and lauboure to make me odious in your eyes,
did in your aduersitie neyther shew thame selvis faithfull frendis to
your grace, neyther yit so loving and cairfull ouer thair native cuntry as
now thai wold be esteamed.

But omitting the accusation of others for my owne purgation and for your
graces satisfaction I say. That nothyng in my booke conceaued Is, or can
be preiudiciall to your graces iust regiment prouided that ye be not found
vngrate unto GOD. Vngrate ye shalbe proued in presence of His throne,
(howsoeuir that flatterairs Iustifie your fact) yf ye transfer the glory
of that honour in which ye now stand to any other thing, then to the
dispensation of His mercy which onelye mackethe that lauthfull to your
grace Which nature and law Denyeth to all woman. Neyther wold I that your
grace should fear that this your humiliation befoir GOD should in any case
infirm or weaken your Iust and lauthfull authoritie befoir men. Nay madam
such vnfeaned confession of goddis benefittis receaued shalbe the
establishment of the sam[e] not onelye to your self, bot also to your sead
and posteritie. Whane contrariwise a prowd conceat, and eleuation of your
self shalbe the occasion that your reing shalbe vnstabill, trublesum
and schort.

GOD is witness that vnfeanedlie I both love and reverence your grace, yea
I pray that your reing may be long, prosperous, and quyet. And that for
the quyetnes which CHRISTIS membris before persecuted haue receaued vnder
yow but yit yf I should flatter your grace I were no freind, but a
deceavabill trater. And therfor of conscience I am compelled to say, that
neyther the consent of peopill, the proces of tyme, nor multitude of men,
can establish a law which GOD shall approve, but whatsoeuer He approveht
(by his eternall word) that shalbe approued, and whatsoeuer he dampneth
shalbe condampneth, though all men in earth wold hasard the iustification
of the sam[e]. And therfor[e] madam the onlie way to retean and to keap
those benefittes of GOD haboundandlie powred now of laitt Dayis vpon yow,
and vpon your realme is vnfeanedlie to rendir vnto GOD, to His mercy and
vndeserued grace the [w]holl glory of this your exaltatioun, forget your
byrth and all tytill which thervpon doth hing[e], and considder deaplie
how for feir of your lyfe ye did declyne from GOD, and bow till Idolatrie.
Lett it not appear a small offence in your eyis, that ye haue declyned
from CHRIST IESUS in the Day of his battale, neyther yit wold I that ye
should esteam that mercy to be vulgar and commone which ye haue receaued.
To witt, that GOD hath covered your formar offence, hath presented yow
when ye were most unthankfull, and in the end hath exalted and raised yow
vp not onlie from the Dust, but also from the portes [_gates_] of death to
reull above his people for the confort of his kirk. It aperteaneth to yow
thairfor to ground the iustice of your aucthoritie not vpon that law which
from year to year Doth change, but vpon the eternall prouidence of Hym who
contrarfy to nature, and without your deserving hath thus exalted
your head.

Yf thus in GODDis presence ye humill [_humble_] your self, as in my hart I
glorifie GOD for that rest granted to His afflicted flock within England
under yow a weak instrument, so will I with toung and pen iustifie your
aucthoritie and regiment as the HOLIE GHOST hath iustified the same In
DEBORA, that blessed mother in Israeli, but yf these premisses (as GOD
forbid) neglected, ye shall begyn to brag of your birth, and to build your
aucthoritie vpon your owne law, flatter yow who so list youre felicite
shalbe schort. Interpret my rud[e] wordis in the best part as written by
him who is no ennemye to your grace.

By diuerse letters I haue required licence to vesitt your realme not to
seik my self neyther yit my owen ease, or commodite. Whiche yf ye now
refuse and. deny I must remit my [?] to GOD, adding this for conclusioun,
that commonlie it is sein that such as luf not the counsall of the
faithfull (appear it never so scharp) are compelled to follow the Deceat
of flatteraris to thair owen perdition. The mighty Spreit of the Lord
IESUS move your hart to vnderstand what is said, geve vnto yow the
discretion of spirittes, and so reull yow in all your actlonis and
interprisis that in yow GOD may be glorified, His church edified, and ye
your self as a livelie member of the sam[e] may be an exempill and
mirroure of vertew and of godlie Lief till others.

So be it. Off Edinburgh the 20. Day of Julij. 1559.

By your graces [w]holly to command in godlynes.

_Endorsed._ JOHN KNOX.

To the ryght myghty ryght high and ryght excellent princesse ELZABETH quen
of England, etc.

Be these Deliuered _State Papers, Scotland, Vol. 1 Art. 65._

20 MARCH 1561. THOMAS RANDOLPH to Sir WILLIAM CECIL. [_From Berwick on

Master KNOX in certayne articles geuen vnto my Lord JAMES at this tyme
hath mytigated some what the rigour of his booke, referringe myche vnto ye
tyme that the same was wrytten.

_State Papers, Scotland, Vol. 6, Art. 37._

5 AUG. 1561. JOHN KNOX's second Defence to Queen ELIZABETH.

Grace from GOD the Father throught our Lord JESUS with perpetuall Encrease
of his holie spiritt.

May it please your maiestie that it is heir certainlie spoken that the
Queen of Scotland [_MARY Queen of Scots_] travaleht earnestlie to have a
treatise intituled _the first blast of the trompett_ confuted by the
answere of the learned in Diuerse realmes, And farther that she lauboureht
to inflambe the hartes of princes against the writar. And because that it
may appear that your maiestie hath interest, that she myndeht to trauall
with your grace, your graces counsell, and learned men for Judgement
against such a common enemy to women and to thair regiment. It were but
foolishnes to me to prescribe vnto your maiestie what is to be done in any
thing but especialie in such thinges as men suppose Do tuoch my self. But
of on[e] thing I think my self assured and therefor I Dar[e] not conceall
it. To witt that neyther Doht our soueraine so greatlie fear her owen
estate by reasson of that book, neyther yet Doth she so vnfeanedlie fauour
the tranquilitie of your maiesties reing and realme that she wo[u]lde tack
so great and earnest paines onles that her crafty counsall in so Doing
shot att a farther marck.

Two yeres ago I wrote vnto your maiestie my full Declaration tuoching that
work, experience since hath schawen that I am not Desirous of Innovations
[i.e. in _Government_], so that CHRIST JESUS be not in his members openlie
troden vnder the feitt of the vngodlie. With furthie purgation I will not
trouble your maiestie for the present. Besechinge the Eternall so to
assist your Highnes in all affaires, that in his sight you may be found
acceptable, your regiment profitable to your common wealht, and your
factes [deeds] to be such that Iustlie thei may be praised of all godlie
vnto the cuming of the lord JESUS to whose mighty protection I
unfeanedlie committ your maiestie.

From Edinburgh the 5 of August 1561

Your maiesties suruand to command in godlines

_Endorsed_ JOHN KNOX.

To the myghty and excellent princess ELIZABETH the Quenes maiestie of
ENGLAND be these deliuered.

_State Papers, Scotland, Vol. 6, Art 55._

Despite this triumphant appeal to his quiet citizenship under MARY STUART,
the following description of her mother shows that the great Scotchman
never altered his private opinion on this subject.

The peace as said is contracted. The Queene Dowager past by sea to
F[r]aunce with gallies that for that purpose were prepared and tooke with
her diuerse of the nobilitie of Scotland. The Earles HUNTLY, GLENCAIRNE,
together with all the kings sonnes, and diuerse Barrones, and gentlemen of
Ecclesiasticall estate: the Bishop of GALLOWAY, and manie others, with
promise that they should be rechlie rewarded for their good seruice. What
they receaued we can not tell, but few were made rich at their returning.
The Dowager had to practise somewhat with her brethren, the Duke of GWYSE
and the Cardinal of LORA[I]NE. The weight wherof the gouernour after felt:
for shortlie after his returning, was the gouernour deposed of the
gouernement (Iustlie by GOD, but most iniustlie by man) and she made
regent, in the yere of our Lord 1554. And a crowne put vpon her head, as
seemelie a sight (if men had eyes) as to put a saddle vpon the back of an
vnruly cow. And so beganne she to practise, practise vpon practise, how
Fraunce might be aduanced, hir friends made rich, and she brought to
immortall glorie. For that was her common talke, "So that I may procure
the wealth and honour of my friendes, and a good fame vnto my selfe, I
regarde not what GOD doe after with me." And in verie deede in deepe
dissimulation to bring her owne purpose to effect she passed the common
sort of women, as we will after heare. But yet GOD to whose Gospell she
declared her selfe enemie, in the end [did] frustrate her of her deuises.

The Historic of the _Church of Scotland_, pp. 192-193. [Ed. 1584].


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