Book: THE OBEDIENCE OF A CHRISTIAN MAN & How Christian Rulers Ought to Govern

“SERVANTS, obey your carnal masters with fear and trembling, in singleness of your hearts, as unto Christ; not with service in the eye-sight as men-pleasers, but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with good will, even as though ye served the Lord, and not men.” ( Ephesians 6) And, 1 Peter “Servants, obey your masters with all fear, not only if they be good and courteous, but also though they be froward. For it cometh of grace, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what praise is it, if when ye be buffetted for your faults, ye take it patiently? But and if when ye do well, ye suffer wrong and take it patiently, then is there thanks with God.

Hereunto, verily, were ye called. For Christ also suffered for our sakes, leaving us an ensample to follow his steps.”

In whatsoever kind, therefore, thou art a servant, during the time of thy covenants thy master is unto thee in the stead and room of God; and God through him feedeth thee, clotheth thee, ruleth thee, and learneth thee. His commandments are God’s commandments; and thou oughtest to obey him as God, and in all things to seek his pleasure and profit. For thou art his good and possession, as his ox or his horse; insomuch that whosoever doth but desire thee in his heart from him, without his love and license, is condemned of God, which saith, “See thou once covet not thy neighbour’s servants.” ( Exodus 20) Paul the apostle sent home Onesimus unto his master, as thou readest in the epistle of Paul to Philemon: insomuch that, though the said Philemon, with his servant also, was converted by Paul, and owed to Paul, and to the word that Paul preached, not his servant only but also himself; yea, and though that Paul was in necessity, and lacked ministers to minister unto him in the bonds which he suffered for the gospel’s sake; yet would he not retain the servant necessary unto the furtherance of the gospel without the consent of the master.

O how sore differeth the doctrine of Christ and his, apostles from the doctrine of the pope and of his apostles! For if any man will obey neither father nor mother, neither lord nor master, neither king nor prince, the same needeth but only to take the mark of the beast, that is, to shave himself a monk, a friar, or a priest, and is then immediately free and exempted from all service and obedience due unto man. He that will obey no man (as they will not) is most acceptable unto them. The more disobedient that thou art, unto God’s ordinances, the more apt and meet art thou for theirs. Neither is the professing, vowing, and swearing obedience unto their ordinances, any other thing than the defying, denying, and foreswearing obedience unto the ordinances of God.