Page:Tetrachordon - Milton (1645).djvu/19

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.



in the passeover sound and safe transgressors of the literall command, which also dispenc'd not seldom with it self; and taught us on what just occasions to doe so: untill our Saviour for whom that great and God-like work was reserv'd, redeem'd us to a state above prescriptions, by dissolving the whole law into charity. And have we not the soul to understand this, and must we against this glory of Gods transcendent love towards us be still the servants of a literall indightment?

[Created he him.] It might be doubted why he saith, In the Image of God created he him, not them, as well as male and female them; especially since that Image might be common to them both, but male and female could not, however the Jewes fable, and please themselvs with the accidentall concurrence of Plato's wit, as if Man at first had bin created Hermaphrodite: but then it must have bin male and female created he him. So had the Image of God bin equally common to them both, it had no doubt bin said, In the Image of God created he them. But St. Paul ends the controversie, by explaining that the woman is not primarily and immediatly the image of God, but in reference to the man. The head of the woman, saith he, 1 Cor. 11. is the man: he the image and glory of God, she the glory of the man: he not for her, but she for him. Therefore his precept is, Wives be subject to your husbands as is fit in the Lord, Coloss. 3. 18. In every thing, Eph. 5.24. Neverthelesse man is not to hold her as a servant, but receives her into a part of that empire which God proclaims him to, though not equally, yet largely, as his own image and glory: for it is no small glory to him, that a creature so like him, should be made subject to him. Not but that particular exceptions may have place, if she exceed her husband in prudence and dexterity, and he contentedly yeeld; for then a superior and more naturall law comes in, that the wiser should govern the lesse wise, whether male or female. But that which far more easily and obediently follows from this verse, is that, seeing woman was purposely made for man, and he her head, it cannot stand before the breath of this divine utterance, that man the portraiture of God, joyning to himself for his intended good and solace an inferiour sexe, should so becom her thrall, whose wilfulnes or inability to be a wife frustrates the occasionall end of her creation, but that he may acquitt himself to freedom by his naturall birth-right, and that indeleble character of priority which God crown'd him with. If it be urg'd that sin hath lost him this, the answer is not far to seek, that from her the sin first proceeded, which keeps her justly in the same proportion still beneath. She is not to gain by be-

B 2