A Looking-Glasse for
or, A Spie
Anonymous ["T. H."]
Note on the e-text: this Renascence
Editions text was transcribed in November 2001 by Risa S.
Bear, University of Oregon Library, from the 1644 edition. Content
unique to this presentation is copyright © 2001 The University of
Oregon. For nonprofit and educational uses only. Send comments and
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F O R
W O M E N,
A Spie for
of any outward adorning
attire of Haire,
either in laying forth
or in crisping
of the Haire, or in
all Women, but especi-
declared fully by the
Prov. 22.23. Buy
the Truth, and sell it not.
Col. 2.6. As
have therefore received the lord Iesus Christ,
so walk you
London Printed for R. W.
1 6 4 4.
E A D E R.
a long time sate down in my thoughts, to admire awhile, to see
the strain of the world, how that there is nothing wanting in them to
up their destruction, they will take paines to be drunk, to whore, to
to lie, to steale, to murder, to be proud, and a thousand sins more,
they are faithfull unto him to do who raignes in them as a prince, in
the Children of disobedience, yea, they would rather sink down
into hell, then to leave one sin; and the reason is, because they walk
according to the principles which rule in them.
And truly, upon
consideration of this particular, to see and observe that wicked men
be so at every command to him in whom they serve, and do walk according
to their own destruction.
It caused me to
how that godly men and women had
need to walk according to the pattern
which Iesus Christ hath left us, who ruleth in all his Elect; as their
only King, Priest and Prophet, and because my love is so dear vnto the
that I would have them walk according to the rule which Iesus Christ
left unto his Saints in his Word: It pleased the lord to stir up my
to consider vpon the lawfulnesse, or unlawfulnesse of wearing any
attire of haire in women, whether laying forth, or any other attire
and found it by the Word to be utterly unlawfull, against the minde and
rule of the Apostle Peter,
and of the Apostle Paul; and one great reason which made me
into this work, was, because that I saw many godly women do now adayes
it, yea, those whom we call Ministers wives, who have given up their
vnto Christ both in heart and mouth, Covenanting to walk with Iesus
among his members, in all the known truths of God, as it shall be from
day to day revealed unto them by his spirit from the Word of God.
outward attire of any outward adorning of haire to be unlawfull in any
woman whatsoever, but more especially among godly women. Considering
that many learned godly men have taken but little notice of it, who
have written far better then my weak capacity am able to understand.
any godly man or woman would not live in any known sin, if that they
it: Vpon these three considerations it moved me to declare my minde
the unlawfulnesse of laying forth the hair in women, and truly I should
not have so fully declared my minde vnto the world, if I had not found
the spirits of godly women affected to it so much as they are:
desiring such whom it may concern, to accept of these few lines, or
epitomy, as the tenderings and earnings of my love unto all those that
desire to live godly in this present evill world, and in their willing
acceptation of it, will my love be requited, not looking at any gain
except it be the calumnies and reproaches, which may be of my friends,
as well as of my enemies, but I shall wave whatsoever comes by, as
more at the good which I intended thereby, then at the evill which may
come vpon it, desiring the Lord that he would direct all our hearts,
of men and women, so to vvalk, that vve may see Iesus Christ in all our
servant in Jesus
F O R
W O M E N,
P I E for P R I D E.
commonly carries a faire glosse with it and I have observed that the
when he would present a sin unto any godly man or woman, he never
it in the same shape as it is in its own nature, but maskes it over
some seeming pretence or colour for it, I could instance it divers
wherein he doth it; but because we are upon this subject only; namely
prove its utterly unlawful for any woman to go in any outward adorning
of attire of haire, in laying it forth in any fashion whatsoever, under
that seeming pretence of a covering, and that it was given to them for
an ornament to deck themselves withall, which to say plainly, is but
and cometh from him who is the author of all sin.
Therefore, I shall
this worke from that portion of Scripture, which the Apostle Peter
hath laid down as a pattern for every godly woman to walke by, which is
out of the first of Peter 2.3. In these words, Whose
let it be, not that outward adorning, as of plaicing the haire.
These words are a
by the Apostle, setting forth the carriage of a Christian woman in her
outward adorning toward the gaining in of an unbelieving husband, as if
the Apostle should have said, you that have husbands in the state of
and you being in the state of grace, your conversation of life should
such, while they beholding of it being coupled with feare, might be wun
without the word, by the coversation of the wife; which cannot be saith
the Apostle in vaine, and outward adornings, and in the hidden man of
heart, but there will be such a conversation that every thing will be
unto it, both in your words, gesture, & attire, or outward
as if he should have said, be your speech never so gracious, and your
never so meeke, yet if your outward adorning be light or gaudy, what a
contradiction will here be, between light and darknesse, and we know
light and darknesse can never dwell together untill they be agreed, Amos
Now saith the
the consideration of this, what a hinderance will it be in the drawing
in of a yoke fellow here unto Christ, when as he shall see that you are
halfe for God, and halfe for the world, when as he shall see your
and gesture is after the minde of God, and your attire and outward
to be after the fashions of the world, which is contrary to the
sight of God; which once if the Lord be pleased to let it shine in men
or women, it will shine in every part of their conversation, now you
see the glorious light of Gods truth to shine in your outward adorning
of attire of haire, as in your speech and gesture, not that my meaning
is that you should place any godlinesse in it, but that it may shew
to the world that godlinesse is in you, and truly the apostle Paul
would not have bid us, fashion not our selves according to the world,
that the Spirit of God by him had not put a difference both between our
speeches and gesture, and outward adornings, to testifie unto the world
that you are such whom he hath chosen out of the world.
And truly those godly
that do use this outward adorning of laying forth the haire, a man can
hardly know them from the women of the world, nay and moreover, to
godly Christian men, and women, that hear such as are Christians that
were it, they not knowing of them, they will be but unto them as
Christians; and they will ground it from this, that if the heart were
and sound; their attire of laying forth their haire would not be light
and gaudy, because that Christ saith, Out of the abundance of the
heart the mouth speaks,
Mat. 12.34. that is whatsoever cometh forth out of the heart from man
or woman, either in word or action, it doth declare the heart to be
more holy, or lesse holy, that is, seeming holy, or reall holy, and
this was that which the Apostle James drove at, Jam.
2.17,18,19,20,21, that godly men should declare their faith by their
works, as if he should have said, though it be not workes that you can
be saved by, yet it is such that must give testimony to the world, that
you are such whom the Lord hath bin pleased for to call from among them
(that is) you cannot be a believer and a drunkard too, a believer and a
proud person too, a believer and a wanton person too, in your words,
gesture and attire, for this end he hath made a difference between you,
and the world, that you should walke nore holier before him, which must
be seen in your outward adorning, as well in your speech and gesture.
Now that we may see the odiousnesse of this unlawfull attire,
the better it will appeare in these foure particulars.
First your outward adorning, or laying forth the haire, is a
light attire, for the prophet Esay brings it in among the
rabble of those particulars which made up a light gesture, as you may
reade Esay 3.24.
Secondly, laying forth of the haire, or any such like outward
adorning, it is a vain attire, it is of no substantiall use, but to
please the fancy, it is so far from drawing men to see God in you by
it, as it provokes them more to lust, by seeing such weare it.
Thirdly, it is a proud attire, it was brought in among those
particulars of pride, in the place we mentioned before, Esay
3.24. as a judgement on those particularly that had misused their
haire, in these words, Instead of well set haire baldnesse, as
if the Lord should have spoke by the Prophet, you that have abused your
haire, by taking more delight in it, then in me, I will take this Idoll
out of your way, and instead of well set haire, place baldnesse.
Fourthly, it is an unseemly attire, not befitting grave and holy
women, and this will appeare also to be a truth, if we shall consider,
if it be vnseemly for a woman for to go in mens apparrell, how much
more it is unseemly for grave and holy Christian women to go in
Strumpets attire, and take ye no exception, at this kinde of terme, for
the Apostle Saint Paul speakes of the unseemlinesse of it,
especially in godly women, as you may reade 1 Tim. 2.9. where
it is said, that women adorn themselves in modest apparrell, with
shamefacednesse, and sobriety, and he begins first with broidered
haire, as if it were both an immodest, and a bold, and audacious
attire, and do you not think because the Apostle speaks of broidered
haire, and i being against laying forth the haire, that this is not to
the purpose: I suppose it is, for it was that fashion of haire that
those women did use in them dayes, as you know in every age fashions do
alter, and this your laying forth the haire, though it be the fashion
now, comes under that, and the Apostle would have reproved it as the
other, if it had beene worne in them dayes, as an immodest attire, very
unseemly becoming holy gracious women.
Secondly, if we do but consider those dangerous inconveniencies
which doth attend this outward adorning of attire of haire, it will
appear unto you to be utterly unlawfull.
First, in regard of themselves this outward adorning of attire
of haire will prove very inconvenient, because it is one of the
greatest instruments that Satan hath to set pride on worke; we commonly
say a Peacocke is a proud creature, and our reason is not taken from
the turning of his head, for so other creatures do, but from the
variety of coulers of his feathers, which we suppose is the cause of
the turning of his head, and hence comes that old phrase, to be as
proud as a Peacocke, and truly such godly women that go in such
gaudy attire, it must needs be a great instrument of stirring up of
pride in them, because it is so neere unto the eye, and it will be most
an end upon it.
Secondly, this attire of laying forth the haire, it will be a
dangerous inconvenience in regard of others, two wayes, either unto
godly persons, or else unto wicked men.
First, this kinde of outward adorning will be a very
inconvenient attire in regard of godly men and women, and because it
will be one great cause of their judging of them to be seeming holy,
when as it may be they may be really holy, and so by this means it may
cause the love that should be among the Saints, to be abated, and
instead of love to grow strange unto each other.
Secondly, this kinde of outward adorning of laying forth the
haire is a very inconvenient attire, in regard of wicked men to,
because it will rather provoke them to lust by beholding of such, then
by seeing any thing in that attire to draw them unto any good.
Now having discovered the unlawfulnesse of any outward adorning
of attire of haire in all women, but especially among godly women, I
now am come to answer these objections, which are seemingly made for
The first objection is this, oh but your ground worke, which you
have builded all this while upon, it is a rotten foundation, and not
taken in that sence which you understand it for to be, for read you but
the minde of the Apostle in the place of Peter 1.3.3 and you
shall finde that his meaning is cleane contrary, in that he saith let
not your conversation lie in your outward adorning of plaiting the
haire, or of wearing apparell, but let it be in the hidden man of the
heart, even the ornament of a quiet, and meeke spirit, implying thus
much, not that we should not lay our haire out, but that we should not
place any Religion in the plaiting of the haire, or any other adorning,
but only in the hidden man of the heart.
Answer, indeed in one sence it is understood so, because
it was all the drift of the Apostle Peter to beat men from
placing Religion in any thing here below, not onely in any outward
thing, but in any thing that was corruptible, as in gifts or graces, or
the like, but now if this were all the meaning of the Apostle here,
then this place of Scripture would seeme to prove that a woman might
wear her haire plaited, or gold, or any kinde of apparell, so that they
did not place any Religion in it, which if this exposition should
stand, then it would breake that rule which godly men holds, that one
place of Scripture, if it be understoode a right, it never thwarts
another, but this expostion doth two places of Scripture; first 1 Cor.
11.16. that of the Apostle Paul, Her haire is given her for a
covering, now a woman cannot be said to be covered, when as it is
broidered and plaited, or laid forth, aagain it contradicts that place
which the Apostle speakes of in 1 Timothy in 2.9. where he
saith, let women adorne themselves in modest apparrell with
shame-fastnesse, and sobriety, not with broidered haire or gold, or
pearles, or costly aray, but 10. ver. which becometh women
professing godlinesse, and good workes, implying, that the outward
adorning of laying forth the haire, is a very unbeseeming thing,
becoming women professing godlinesse.
Secondly, you may object and say my haire is not plaited nor
crisped, but onely laid forth, and therefore all the conclusions which
you draw from the Apostle Peters words is of no purpose, for he
speaks not so much to me, as to those who weare their haire crisped or
I answer, the word plaited here used by the Apostle is taken for
a generall expression, concluding all sorts in one terme, as if he
should have said, let not your conversation be in your outward
adorning, as plaiting of the hair, or any such like fashion, so that
whatever fashion it be, either crisped or broidered, or plaited, or
laid forth, if it come under the terme of an outward adorning, it is
utterly unlawfull from the rule of the Apostle Peter, as you
cannot deny but your attire of laying forth your haire; comes under the
terme of outward adorning.
Thirdly, you may object from the Apostles words 1 Cor.
11.16 that hair was given of God unto you for a covering, and you use
it for no other end.
Answer; first, that way you use it, it is but a seeming
covering, and no reall covering, and it will appeare that it is rather
an uncovering as you use it, then a covering, in that you take it out
of its proper place, to hang it down in another place. Secondly, its
against the rule of the Apostle so to do, for he saith you must be
covered, or else you must be shorne; the Apostle doth not mean here,
that your hair should only cover your head and ears, but that your
clothes should cover your hair, and therefore this was the reason that
men must have their hair cut, because men was to wear no clothes to
cover their head, therefore saith the Apostle, if you wil not cover
your heads, that part which is uncovered must be shorne or shaven,
implying, that his meaning is, that their clothes should cover their
haire. Thirdly, if you would have the meaning of the Apostle, that your
hair should be given you for an outward covering, then by this rule it
were unlawfull for any woman to wear any covering upon her hair, which
to understand it so will be ridiculous. Fourthly, if you should take
the Apostles meaning, that her hair was given her for an outward
covering, then by this rule she might wear it of any fashion, so that
it covers her head, though that it hang down all her neck, ears, and
forehead, being tied up neatly, to which you will say this is like more
unto a mad, frantick woman, then to a sober, grave, and holy woman.
Fiftly, you[r] laying forth of your hair, cometh under that admonition,
which the Apostle Peter gives of an outward adorning, for why
may not that part of the hair be tied up as wel as all the rest, or why
do you not let all the rest of your hair hang down about your head, as
well as that?
Fourthly, you may object [a]nd say, oh but my hair is given me
for an ornament, and I take no pride in my laying it forth.
Ans. I do not deny but that your hair is an ornament to
your head, because the Lord created it for that proper place, but that
your hair is given you as an ornament to deck your self withall, that
is against the rule of both the Apostles, for that the Apostle Paul
saith your hair is given you for a covering, and not to deck your self
withall, and the Apostle Peter condemnes it for an outward
decking, for if it had bin given an ornament to deck your selfe, the
Apostle Paul, 1 Tim. 29. would not have condemned it,
an unseemly attire, not befitting grave and holy women.
Fiftly, you may object and say, though I have no absolute rule
for it from the word of God, yet I have the examples of many godly
grave and holy women for it.
Ans. First you must never follow the example of any
godly man or woman then their example is regulated by the word.
Secondly,if you shall aske any of them upon what ground, they do
were it, they can give you no Scripture for it, but one of these two
reasons, or some other such like other carnal reasons, either they will
say it was a fashion that i was brought up in from my parents, who went
in the same fashion before me, or else they will say, why may not I
wear it as well as such and such women, poor answers to satisfie
conscience in such a case.
Sixtly, you may object and say, why do you thinke they are all
godly women, that goes close covered in their hair, or do you think
that they be all but seeming Christians, as you terme them that layes
their haire forth?
Answ. I neither say they are the one or the other, but
suppose a godly woman were walking with a wicked woman abroad, the
godly woman she having her haire forth, the carnall woman she is close
covered, you following of them, you meeting with a friend and say, I
pray Sir do you know those two women that passed by us? Yes, saith he
very well, I pray saith he, what is that woman that went in that modest
attire? oh saith he she is a very carnall woman, and what is the other
woman that had her hair forth? she is a very precious godly woman; good
lack saith he, it did not appear so to me by her gaudy attire, well
saith he, let the other carnall woman be vvhat she vvill she goeth more
modester, then the other godly vvoman, so that even nature may teach
women to be modester in their attire of haire, but more especially
Seventhly, you may object and say, oh but all this while you
have but drawn it out by consequences, that vvomens laying forth their
hair is a sin, you have brought never a place of Sc[r]ipture against
it, and therefore it may be your ovvn brain meaning more then the
meaning of the Sc[r]ipture.
Ans. Although there is no such place of Scripture, as
this, thou shalt not lay thy hair forth, yet doubtles, though it vvas
not spoken against by God himself, yet in so much as it vvas spoken
against by the Apostle Paul, vvho had the Spirit of God;
vvhatsoever he spoke then, vvas the minde of God had been a sin, but
such a one as Paul, vvho had such a measure of the spirit,
could not sin in such a case, as to speak his ovvn judgement vvhen it
vvas not the mind of God, therefore it must needs be the minde of God,
that laying forth of hair is unlawful, in that he used the apostle Paul
& Peter to minde us of it.
Eightly, you may object and say, oh, but my birth requires i[t],
and the company I keep withall daily requires it or else, I shall not
be fitting for such companie.
Ans. first vvill you prefer your naturall birth before
your spirituall birth? Secondly, if you can discerne vvhat a naturall
birth requires in your attire of haire, why cannot you as well then
discerne by the rule of the Apostle what a spirituall birth requires,
which is plainly discovered to be against your laying forth the haire.
Thirdly, as for the company you are with according to your ranke, you
must not be guided more by their rule then by the patterne of the word,
as the Lord hath put a difference betweene them, and you in their
soules condition, so the Lord hath put a difference between you and
them, in your attire.
Ninthly, you may object and say, why may not I as well go in
this attire of haire, as to go in gold and silver, seeing that is
lawfull for me to do, if it be according to my ranke and place.
Answ. For your gold and silver it is lawfull for to
weare, by such persons in whom the Lord is so pleased to bestow this
worldly wealth upon, as you may read in the booke of Exodus,
and in Job 32.11. but they that weare their haire out, have no
rule for it, but a flat rule against it.
Tenthly, you may object and say, oh but God requires that our
adorning should be decent and comely; and I never wore my haire but
decent, civill, and comely.
Answ. There can be nothing said to be dece nt and
comely, which is displeasing unto God, and it is as undecent in Gods
sight for a woman to weare their haire out, as it is undecent in mans
sight for a woman to go in mans apparell, and surely the Apostle Paul
and Peter would never have troubled themselves so much in
speaking of it, if it had not been both displeasing unto God and man,
nay the Lord would not threaten such a judgement on them for it, that
did abuse their haire, as you may read Esay 3.24. instead of
well set haire, baldnesse; read but out all the words in that verse,
and you shall finde that in every particular wherein they offended, and
displeased God, the Lord sent them a particular judgement for it, as
you may read instead of sweet smell, a stinke, implying it was
displeasing, & instead of beauty, burning or tanned, so that for
every particular sin the Lord had a judgement for it; for no doubt that
the Lord was not displeased with their naturall beauty, for then he
should despise his own creature that he made, but that artificiall
beauty which they put upon themselves, and so we must understand the
Lord sent a judgement of baldnesse upon those women that had well set
hair, not because it was his own workmanship, but because they abused
their haire, &c.
Eleaventhly, oh but this dressing in my haire becometh me more
better then my dressing in cloathes doth, and therefore I weare, and
for no other end.
Answ. First, take heed that this fashion blinde not your
eyes, that you cannot see the uglinesse in it, for pride and selfe love
blindes one that they cannot see, that which another seeth in them to
Secondly, do not perswade your selfe it is a seemly fashion best
becomming of you, for if you do but look upon it, you are in your
apparell more like an Hermaphrodite, that is to say halfe man and halfe
woman, that is, when as you shall be like to a woman downward in your
apparell, and you should be like to a man upward in your Hat, and
Thirdly, your wearing of hair forth is no such comely dressing,
because it takes away that modesty, and shamefastnesse, which would if
you were godly women appear in you, and to say the truth, those seeme
to be more viragines or men like women that do weare it, then modest
grave and holy women.
Twelfthly, oh but you may say, though you may prove it is
unlawfull for a woman to lay forth her haire, yet I hope it is not
unlawfull for one to go close covered wearing some lockes of haire
forth, doing it only for the setting forth of my person, as I do weare
my dressing for that end.
Answ. First, if it be unlawfull to do the greater, it
must needs follow to be unlawfull to do the lesse, if it be unlawfull
for a man to sweare a great oath it is as unlawful for a man to sweare
a little oath, & my reason is this, becuase the least sin in Gods
sight is as hainous to him as the greatest sin, because in the least do
we blemish the Image of God, though in the greater sins it be in a
greater degree, and truly a small sin given by a Saint unto God, is
more hainous then a greater sin given by a wicked man, because he that
doth not the will of God ignorantly shall not be excused, but he that
knoweth how to do the will of God, and doth it not, he shall be left to
be punished, without excuse: Luke 12.47,48.
Secondly, to weare your locks forth, it comes under the same
admonition as the Apostle Peter speakes of, and outward
adorning, and under the Apostle Pauls rule of, an immodest
Attire, not beseeming gracious holy women, professing godlinesse, and
therefore utterly unlawfull.
Thirdly, it is an object of pride, to set it a working in those
that do weare it, though perhaps all present may not do it for that
end, I instance thus: you will say it were a very unbeseeming thing for
a man to pray unto God to give him power over his lust of uncleannesse,
and yet you to see him daily to use lascivious pictures, and wanton
gestures, truely it is one and the same case in godly women, who
prayeth daily unto God for power over their sinnes, and among all the
rest, prayeth against the sin of pride, and against all those
Instruments which may be a means of stirring up of it in them, and yet
shall daily Locke forth their haire, which is not onely as great an
instrument to stir up pride in them, if there should be none, as it
giveth cause unto other godly persons, to be but pride it selfe, and
truely in conclusion, if there were no sin to be found in it, yet in so
much as it hath been these many yeers, such a great [o]ffence given
unto so many godly men and women, which by their wearing of it, hath
been a great cause to Censure them, though it may be they never
deserved it, if it were but onely upon this ground and none other, it
were enough to beat you from your pleading for it, and to lay it down,
as a thing both offensive unto God and man, and though your knowledge
may be very much, I know Paul had as much as you, and yet his
spirit came so low, as you may read, 1 Cor. 8.13. Wherefore if
meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world
standeth, which was a greater matter to abstaine from that food which
was so nourishing to his body, then for you to lay in your head of
haire, or locke of haire, and to be close Covered, seeing you have a
Rule, In case you give by any meanes any offence, to a weak Brother or
Sister, and so by this meanes make them to offend that Great God, to
whom be praise through Jesus Christ our Saviour and Redeemer, for ever
world without end.
F I N I S.