Symbols many and diverse have been given both to man and woman; to him of rule, to her of subjection: and among them this also, that she should be covered, while he hath his head bare. If now these be symbols you see that both err when they disturb the proper order, and transgress the disposition of God, and their own proper limits, both the man falling into the woman’s inferiority, and the woman rising up against the man by her outward habiliments.http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf112.iv.xxvii.htmlVer. 7. “For a man indeed ought not to have his head veiled, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God.”
This is again another cause. “Not only,” so he speaks, “because he hath Christ to be His Head ought he not to cover the head, but because also he rules over the woman.” For the ruler when he comes before the king ought to have the symbol of his rule. As therefore no ruler without military girdle and cloak, would venture to appear before him that hath the diadem: so neither do thou without the symbols of thy rule, (one of which is the not being covered,) pray before God, lest thou insult both thyself and Him that hath honored thee.
And the same thing likewise one may say regarding the woman. For to her also is it a reproach, the not having the symbols of her subjection. “But the woman is the glory of the man.” Therefore the rule of the man is natural.
[5.] Then, having affirmed his point, he states again other reasons and causes also, leading thee to the first creation, and saying thus:
Ver. 8. “For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man.”
But if to be of any one, is a glory to him of whom one is, much more the being an image of him.
Ver. 9. “For neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man.”
This is again a second superiority, nay, rather also a third, and a fourth, the first being, that Christ is the head of us, and we of the woman; a second, that we are the glory of God, but the woman of us; a third, that we are not of the woman, but she of us; a fourth, that we are not for her, but she for us.
Ver. 10. “For this cause ought the woman to have a sign of authority on her head.”
“For this cause:” what cause, tell me? “For all these which have been mentioned,” saith he; or rather not for these only, but also “because of the angels.” “For although thou despise thine husband,” saith he, “yet reverence the angels.”
It follows that being covered is a mark of subjection and authority. For it induces her to look down and be ashamed and preserve entire her proper virtue. For the virtue and honor of the governed is to abide in his obedience.
Again: the man is not compelled to do this; for he is the image of his Lord: but the woman is; and that reasonably. Consider then the excess of the transgression when being honored with so high a prerogative, thou puttest thyself to shame, seizing the woman’s dress. And thou doest the same as if having received a diadem, thou shouldest cast the diadem from thy head, and instead of it take a slave’s garment.