The Stubborn Wife's Warning Piece, or Good Instructions for a Scolding Wife

Author(s): Anonymous


Subborn Wifes
The Wifes Duty of Obeying her
Huband is proven from
Scripture & Reaſon.
Glaſgow, Printed by Robert Sanders,
One of His Majesties
Printers, Anno Dom 1700.
A Wife to her Husband.
IT is obſervable, that the Holy Ghoſt,
where-ever he mentioneth the Duties
of Husbands and Wives, doth in
the firſt place alwayes ſet down the Duties
of the Wife, as Eph. 5. 22. Col. 3.
8. I Pet. 3. 1, 2, 3. of which a double
reaſon is given by Learned Davenant,
firft, Becauſe the duty of a Wife is moſt
difficult: Affection or Love, which is the
Husbands Chief Duty, is pleaſant; but
Subjection or Obedience, which is the
Wifes main Duty, is painful. Subjection
is ſo much againſt the Hair, that
many like untamed Heifers, kick and
ing if the Yoke come but near their
Necks, though the harder their Task
is, the greater is their Credit, if they
perform it conſcienciouſly. Secondly
becauſe the Love of an Husband doth
very much depend upon the Subjection
of a Wife: Women cannot rationally expect,
, that their Husbands ſhould affect
them unleſs they Obey their Husbands.
An obedient Wife is the liklieſt woman
in the world to command her Husband
The Wifes ſpecial Duty conſiſteth
Principally in theſe Particulars.
Firſt, In Honouring her Husbands Perſon.
The Perſian Ladies have the Reſemblance
of a Foot worn in the Top of
their Coronets, in token that the Top
of their Glory doth Stoop to their Husbands
Feet. The Moon in the Suns abſence
takes upon her the Government
of the Heavens, but in his Preſence
Vails her ſelf. The Wife next to her
Husband Shines in her Houſe, far above
all thoſe Stars which are fixed
there; but GOD hath appointed that
ſhe give place to her Husband, and be
willing to prefer him. Rebeckah when
ſhe approached Iſaac, took a Vail and
Covered her Head (Geneſis 24. 56.) in
token of Subjection to her Husband,
and for this Cauſe (namely, in ſign of Subjection
) ought the Women to have Power
(that is a vail) over their Heads, I Cor, 1.
11. 10. ſaith the Apoſtle.
Womens Reverence to their Husbands
muſt be outward in their Expreſſions
and Actions; Sarah called Abram
Lord (I Pet. 3. 6.) not out of Flattery,
but to acknowledge his Authority; not
as deſirous to humour his Pride, but as
willing to know her own place. Jezabel
and Zipporah are both ſtigmatized in
Holy Write, for their ſaucie, ſinful Language
to their Husbands, Exod. 4. 25. I
King. 2. 1. 7. If a woman anſwer her Husband,
it muſt be with Modeſty; if ſhe
would adviſe him, it muſt be with Lenity;
and if ſhe admoniſh him, with much
Humility. If ſhe ſpeak of him, it muſt be
Reſpectfully; if ſhe ſpeak to him, it muſt
be Reverently. The Humble Poſture of
her Body upon all occaſions, ſhould
ſpeak the Reverent temper of her Mind.
The fault of ſome Wives, is very foul,
who out of diſreſpect, refuſe to call their
Husbands by their names, but have ſome
Paſſ Periphraſis to decipher them
by, this Man, or this Fellow, or (it may
be) this Fool; as Saul in deriſion called
David, The Son of Jeſſe, and the Jews in
contempt, called Chriſt, The Carpenters
The Woman is called the Glory of the
Man, I Cor. 11. 7. becauſe it is an high
Honour to him, that ſo Excellent a Creature
as a Woman, ſhould be his Inferior.
Surely then, Wives, which refuſe this
Reverence, are their Husbands Shame
and Diſgrace. When once a Woman
Harbours contemptible thoughts of her
Husband, this one evil Weed will ſo over-run,
and ſpread in her Words and
Actions, that no good thing will grow
by it. O! 'tis a moſt doolful living, where
the Wife in ſtead of Reverencing is always
railing at, and wrangling with her
husband. There are wives that are worſe
than their Dogs; their Dogs tho' they
bark at Strangers, will not bark at their
Maſter; but they ſpare not the Husband
(the maſter of the houſe) in their curſed
Peeviſhneſs and Paſſions. Nay the very
Devils, amongſt them have order, they
will acknowledge a Prince, a Superiour
among them; but theſe Wives will acknowledge
none above them, but muſt
Rule all themſelves, or elſe the Houſe
muſt quickly be made too hot for their
Husbands. A Serpent is as good a Companion
as ſuch a Wife; for a Serpent, if
it Kill, doth it ſuddenly; but ſuch a Wife
makes her Husband die Lingeringly, for
his whole Life is a Civil Death: I thank
my God, I never ſo much as taſted thoſe
ſower Herbs, but truely I have from my
Heart pitied ſome Husbands, whoſe
outward Beings have by ſuch Wives
been made as Miſerable as is almoſt
poſſible on this ſide Hell. Its a Thouſand
pities that the Tongues of ſuch Shrews
have not as many bliſters as their Jaws
have Teeth; 'tis never better with their
Husbands, than when they are hoarſe;
and it were well if ſuch Blemiſhes of their
Sex, ſuch Monſters in Nature, and
ſuch Plagues to a Family, were gagged
till they had Learned better Language.
Some of the Rabbies give us this Reaſon
why ſhe was made of a Rib taken
from under the Arms of Adam, that ſhe
might acknowledge her Subjection to
him, as well as that he be minded of giving
Protection to her. And indeed the
Titles given to the Husband in Scripture,
ſpeak both his Superiority and her
Subjection. He is called her Lord, her
Maſter, her Guide, her Head, I Pet. 3.
6. Eſther 1. 17. Prov. 2. 17. I Cor. 11.
3. How many Reaſons are laid down
for this Reverence?
1. Becauſe the Woman was made after
the Man, therefore ſhe ſhould not
go. before the Man; that which was firſt
in this Senſe, muſt not be laſt; and that
which is laſt firſt, I Tim. 2, 13. For Adam
was firſt formed, then Eve.
2. Becauſe the Woman was made of
Man, I Cor. II. 8. For the Man is not
of the Woman, but the Woman of the Man.
She is a Branch ſpringing from him as
her Root, and did receive her Original
and Being, under God, from him. Now
the effect is ever leſs Noble and inferior
to the Cauſe.
3. Becauſe the Woman was made for
Man, I Cor. II. 9. Neither was the
Man Created for the Woman, but the Woman
for the Man. In Reaſon, that which
ſerveth to any end, is leſs than the end
to which it ſerveth.
4. Becauſe the Woman was firſt in ſin,
Gen. 3. 16. I Tim 2. 14. Sin brings
ſhame; therefore ſhe that was firſt in
ſin, muſt not expect to be firſt in honor.
Since he ſinned in being Ruled by her,
It's fit that ſhe ſhould be Ruled by him.
5. Becauſe the Man is the Head of the
Woman, Eph. 5. 23. The Members are
Subject to the head, without Rebelling
or Reaſoning. This Duty of Reverence
is Natural as well as neceßary.
6. Becauſe the Man is the Image and
Glory of God, I Cor. II. 7. In Man there
is a Reſemblance of Gods Dominion and
Authority, being Lord of the World;
The Woman is the Image and Glory of
God, according to her Original Creation,
for ſhe was made as holy and happy
as the Man, but not according to her perſonal
Relation, to her husband; for Dominion,
which is the Mans Priviledge, is
Gods Glory and Prerogative, and not
Subjection, which is the Womans Duty.

7. Becauſe God hath given the Man
Dominion over his Wife, Thy deſire
be to thy husband, and he ſhal Rule over thee,
Gen. 3. I5. The Cities, ſaith Iſrael to the
King of Ammon, which thy God Chemoſh
hath given Thee to Poſſeſs, wilt
thou not Poſſeſs them? Judg. 11. 15 ſo
ſay I: The ſuperiority which our God
hath given men to enjoy, ſhall they not
enjoy it?
Reader, If thou haſt any fear of God,
I know thou wilt fear thy husband,
and then thy Language to him, and of
him, will be not Rude but Reverent.
and thy Carriage will be not pouting and
Louring, frowning and Fuming, but ſuch
as is cloathed with the Garment of meekneſs.

Secondly, In Obeying his Lawful Precepts,
thy work is not to Complain of,
but to comply with thy husbands Commands;
Obedience will ariſe Naturally
from Reverence, and is the beſt Teſtimony
of it. Many Women are noted for
queſtioning and quarrelling at their husbands
Power, but few for obeying their
husbands Lawful pleaſure. Sarah was
Chronicled and Crowned in Scripture
for obeying Abraham; but, 'tis clear ſhe
had never a Natural Daughter. The
Rabbies tell us, that ten Cabs or meaſures
of Speech deſcended into the World, and the
Woman took away Nine of them. Many
are indeed (I ſpeak not of all) full of
words, but Barren of Works, apter to
Diſpute their husbands Authority then
to obey it. But holy Women will be like
Dorcas, full of Good Works, and know
the place in which God hath ſet them.
How infamous is that Family where the
Wife like Jezabel Rules the Roaſt, and
the husband like Achab lets her do what
ſhe liſteth If the Moon get the upper
hand of the Sun, the wife of the husband,
the next thing to be expected is an Eclipſe
of the honour of that houſe; that
houſe, ſaith one, is an hutch backt houſe,
where the Man makes himſelf an underling
to his Wife. Wives (ſaith the Apoſtle)
ſubmit your ſelves to your own Husbands, as
unto the Lord; For the husband is the head of
the Wife, as Chriſt is the head of the Church.
Therefore as the Church iſ ſubject unto Chriſt
ſo wives be to their own husbands in every
thing, Epheſ. 5. 22, 23, 24.
Indeed, ſad are the conſequences of
unruly Wives; as when the Order of nature
is diſturbed, there enſue great inconveniencies,
as Earth-quakes, Thunders
and Deluges; ſo when this Order of
wives Subjection to her husband is
denyed, there follow ſad inconveniencies;
their hearts tremble like an Earthquake
with jealouſie of each other; their
houſe is full of the Thunder of Brawling
and Scolding, & their whole Lives
ſeeith an Innundation of weeping and bitterneſs.

The obedience of the Wife muſt be
performed willingly; if ſhe do the thing
commanded for the Matter, and do it
not in a Cheerful manner, her obedience
loſeth its luſture,it's little worth. When
a Man payeth his juſt debts but grumblingly,
and (as we ſay ) with much ado,
becauſe the Law would otherwiſe
him, it's a ſign of a diſhoneſt mind.
Truely, many that make a great Profeſſion,
are exceeding faulty in this particular
of Subjection. The Geographer
tells us of the Italian Women, That that
they are Angels in the Streets, Saints in the
Church, and Devils in their houſes. I wiſh
it might not be ſaid ſo of many Scots women:
Sure I am, the Goſpel ſuffers by
the unquiet carriage of ſome Profeſſors.
Some Hebrews obſerve, that Woman
was made of a Bone, to ſhew her hard
and intollerable Nature: And others tell
us, that in the Controverſie of Free-will,
it ſeems without Controverſy,that when
Man loſt Free-will, the Woman found
it, and ſtill keeps it; but they are Commanded,
ſaith the Apoſtle, to be under
Obedience (I Cor. 14. 34.) as alſo
ſaith the Law, even that Law which God
himſelf Preached to the Woman, Gen.
3. 15. It's no leſs then a breach of Gods
Law for a Man to make himſelf lower
than God hath ſet him,. A King will
never thank the Mayor of a Town for
ſurrendering his Place to his Inferior,
and ſuffering his Inferior to trample his
Authority under his Feet. God will never
thank theſe fond or Fooliſh husbands
that Deliver up that Dominion
which he hath given them, and ſuffer
their Wives to Triumph over it, and
trample on it: In permitting themſelves
thus to be trampled on, they ſuffer the Image
& glory ofGod to be trampled on.
It is not kindneſs but baſeneſs, not humility,
but Iniquity, to be Ruled by one whom
he ſhould Rule. Such a perſon like a
Cowardly Captain, leaves his Place and
Station without Order to a lower Officer,
and muſt expect to be accountable
for it to the Lord of hoſts.
If the husband enjoin what is inconvenient,
ſhe may meekly deſire it may
be waved, and humbly offer her Reaſons;
but if he perſiſt, ſhe muſt Obey, tho
it be Painful; if it be poſſible, ſhe muſt
ſet about it, And truly, though thy
husband be never ſo peeviſh, endeavour
to thine outmoſt to pleaſe him; for
tho' he take all thy Actions ill, yet thy
God will take them well, and ſo doing
thou ſhalt be ſure to pleaſe God, when
the harder thy Task is by reaſon of the
husbands untowardlineſs, will take it the
Kinder at thy hands. Only, if he Command
what is ſinful, ſhe may, nay ſhe
muſt refuſe to Obey him, for then he
Commandeth beyond his Power. It is
ſaid therefore, Col, 3. 19. Wives ſubmit
your ſelves to your own husbands, as it is
in the Lord; mark, in the Lord, not againſt
the Lord. As God muſt be loved above
an husband, ſo God muſt be pleaſed
before an husband. As thy husband is
to be loved next to God, ſo he muſt be
pleaſed next to God, but not before God.


Cite this Document

APA Style:

The Stubborn Wife's Warning Piece, or Good Instructions for a Scolding Wife. 2023. In The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved September 2023, from

MLA Style:

"The Stubborn Wife's Warning Piece, or Good Instructions for a Scolding Wife." The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2023. Web. September 2023.

Chicago Style

The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing, s.v., "The Stubborn Wife's Warning Piece, or Good Instructions for a Scolding Wife," accessed September 2023,

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing. 2023. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


The Stubborn Wife's Warning Piece, or Good Instructions for a Scolding Wife

Document Information

Document ID 133
Title The Stubborn Wife's Warning Piece, or Good Instructions for a Scolding Wife
Year group 1700-1750
Genre Journalism
Year of publication 1700
Wordcount 2313

Author information: Anonymous

Author ID 493
Surname Anonymous