§. 15. Of the respects for which man and wife may for a time liue asunder.
Quest. May there be any iust causes for man and wife wil∣lingly to liue asunder?
Answ. There can nor ought to be any cause of vtter re∣linquishing one another, which is a kinde of *desertion: but for liuing asunder for a time there may be iust causes, as
1. Weighty and vrgent affaires which concerne the good of the Church, or commonwealth: as when a man is sent forth to warre, or on an ambassage (in which case though he may take his wife with him, yet is he not necessarily bound there to, especially if the place whither he is sent be farre off, the passage thereto difficult and dangerous, and his abode there not long.) When bReuben, Gad, and halfe the tribe of Manassch passed ouer Iorden to helpe their brethren in their battels Page 232 against the Canaanites, they left their wiues behinde them in their families: c when Vriah went to warre, he left his wife at home: and d when Moses was to bring Israel out of Egypt, his wife remained at her fathers house.
2. Maine duties of their particular calling: as of Mariners, who are oft to be on the sea: Merchants who trade in other countries: Lawyers who attend publike places of iustice: Cour∣tiers, who in their months, or quarters, attend their Prince: Keepers of women in child-bed, and sicke persons: and other nurses.
Prouided alwaies that in these, and other like cases, there be * a ioynt and mutuall consent of both parties: for if man and wife may not defraud one another for a time to giue them∣selues to fasting and praier without consent: much lesse may they for lighter occasions liue any time asunder without * consent. Prouided also that they take no delight to liue asunder, but rather be grieued that they are forced so to doe: and in testimony thereof to take all occasions that they can to manifest their longing desire one after another by letters, messages, tokens, and other like kindnesses: and to returne with all the speed they can. No distance, or absence ought any whit to diminish their mutuall loue.