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Good Thoughts in Bad Times and Other Papers.
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III. SELF WITHOUT OTHER SELF.

SOME loving wife may perchance be (though not angry with) grieved at her husband for excluding her from his private prayers; thus thinking with herself, Must I be discommuned from my husband’s devotion? what, several closet-chapels for those of the same bed and board? Are not our credits embarked in the same bottom, so that they swim or sink together? May I not be admitted an auditor at his petitions, were it only to say Amen thereunto?

But let such a one seriously consider what the prophet saith: The family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart. [Zech. xii. 12.] Personal private faults must be privately confessed. It is not meet she should know all the bosom sins of him in whose bosom she lieth. Perchance being now offended for not hearing her husband’s prayers, she would be more offended if she heard them. Nor hath she just cause to complain, seeing herein Nathan’s wife is equal with Nathan himself; what liberty she alloweth is allowed her, and may as well as her husband claim the privilege privately and apart to pour forth her soul unto God in her daily devotions.

Yet man and wife at other times ought to communicate in their prayers, all other excluded.

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