The monument of matrones conteining seuen seuerall lamps of virginitie, or distinct treatises; whereof the first fiue concerne praier and meditation: the other two last, precepts and examples, as the woorthie works partlie of men, partlie of women; compiled for the necessarie vse of both sexes out of the sacred Scriptures, and other approoued authors, by Thomas Bentley of Graies Inne student.
Bentley, Thomas, student of Gray's Inn., Abergavenny, Frances Nevill, Lady, d. 1576., Marguerite, Queen, consort of Henry II, King of Navarre, 1492-1549. Miroir de l'âme pécheresse. English & French., Catharine Parr, Queen, consort of Henry VIII, King of England, 1512-1548. Lamentacion of a sinner., Tyrwhit, Elizabeth, Morning and evening prayers., Catharine Parr, Queen, consort of Henry VIII, King of England, 1512-1548. Prayers or meditacions.

The foure lamentations of the daughter of Zion, the Church, wher∣in with weeping, sighing, howling, and with an heauie and wo∣full hart she sorowfullie bewaileth hir miserable estate, being plagued of God, and forsaken of hir spouse Christ, for his sinnes, vnfaithfulnesse, and rebellion.

Lament. 1.

The first Lamentation.

ALas, how doth the citie [Jerusalem] re∣maine so solitarie and desolate, that sometime was full of people? How is she become like a widowe? How is she brought vnder tribute, that was great among the nations, & ruled the lands and prouinces as princesse?

She weepeth sore continuallie in the night, and the teares run downe by hir cheekes: [so that shée taketh no rest.] For among all hir louers she hath none to com∣fort hir, yea all hir next friends trangresse against hir, and haue dealt vnfaithfullie with hir, and are become hir enimies.

Iuda is caried away captiue, bicause of [hir crueltie] affliction and great bondage, or seruitude, [and oppressi∣on of their seruants, and the poore:] she dwelleth [now] among the heathen, and findeth no rest: all hir persecutours tooke hir in the strait places, where shee could not es∣cape.

Page  25 The waies and streets of Zion mourne and lament, bicause no man commeth anie more [with mirth and ioie as they were woont] to the solemne feasts: all hir gates are desolate: hir priests sigh and make lamentation: hir virgins are discomfited, hir maides are carefull, and she hir selfe is in great heauinesse.

Hir aduersaries are the chiefe [rulers ouer hir,] and hir enimies prosper. For the Lord hath chastened and afflicted hir for hir great wickednesse, and hir children are gone into captiuitie before the enimie, for the mul∣titude of hir transgressions.

And from the daughter of Zion all hir beautie is gone and departed, hir princes are become like harts that finde no pasture, [euen as men pined awaie with sorowe, and haue no courage,] and they are driuen awaie, and gone without strength before the enimie and pursuer, so that they haue no more power.

Now Ierusalem remembred, in the time of hir mi∣serie and affliction, bare estate and rebellion, all hir toie and pleasure that she hath had in times past: see∣ing hir people is brought downe vnder the power of the enimie, and there is no man for the helpe hir. The enimies stand looking at hir, and laugh and mocke hir Sabboth daies [that is, hir Religion and seruing of God,] to scorne.

Ierusalem hath greeuouslie sinned, therefore is she come in decaie, and had in derision: all they that had hir in honour [now] despise hir, because they haue seene hir filthinesse: yea she sigheth and turneth backward, as she that is ashamed of hir selfe.

Hir filthinesse is in hir skirts [and manifest,] yet she [was not ashamed of hir sinne, nor] remembred hir last end: therefore is hir downe-fall so woonderfull, and there is no man to comfort hir. O Lord, behold mine afflicti∣on, and consider my trouble, for mine enimie hath the vpper hand, and hath proudlie magnified himselfe.

Page  26 The enimie hath put his hand to all the pretious things that she had: yea euen before hir eies came the heathen, and entred in and out of hir Sanctuarie, whome thou (neuerthelesse) didst command and for∣bid to come within thy Church and congregation.

All hir people sigh, and seeke their bread with heaui∣nesse: and looke what pretious or pleasant thing euerie man hath, that giueth he for meate to saue his life, and refresh his soule. Consider O Lord, and see, how vile I am become.

Haue ye no regard [to pitie me] all yee that passe by this waie? Behold and see, if there be anie sorowe like vnto mine, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted or trou∣bled me, in the day of his fierce and fearefull wrath, [and learnc to beware by mine example.]

From aboue hath he [euen GOD] sent downe a fire into my bones, which preuaileth and burneth them cruellie: he hath spred or laid a net for my feete, turned me backe, and throwne me wide open: he hath made me desolate, so that I am dailie in heauines, and must euer be mourning.

The yoke of my transgressions is bound fast to [God] his hand, they are wrapped or wreathen, and come vp vpon my necke, [so that by no meanes it can be shaken off, or remitted, but onlie of his speciall grace and mercie.] He hath made my strength to faile: the Lord hath deliuered me into their hands, neither am I able to rise vp, and quit my selfe from them [that haue me in bondage.]

The Lord hath troden vnder foote, and destroied all my valiant and mightie men, that were in the middes of me: he hath proclauned an appointed time, and cal∣led an assemblie to slaughter and destroie all my best yoong men. The Lord hath troden downe the virgin, the daughter of Iuda, like as it were [grapes] in a wine-presse.

Therefore do I weepe, and mine eies, euen mine eies Page  27 gush out with water, because the comforter that should quicken me and refresh my soule, is far from me. My children are driuen awaie and desolate. And why? Because the enimie hath gotten the vpper hand, and preuailed.

Zion casteth out hir hands, and there is none to comfort hir: the Lord hath laid the enimies of Iacob round about him, and Ierusalem is as a menstruous woman, [who for hir pollution, is separate from hir husband,] and is become abhomination in the middest of them.

The Lord is righteous, for I haue rebelled against his commandements, & prouoked his countenance to anger. O heare I praie you, and take heede all ye peo∣ple, behold my sorowe, and consider my heauinesse: my virgins, my maidens, and my yong men are led awaie [prisoners, and] gone into captiuitie.

I called for my louers, but they deceiued me: for my priests and counsellers, but they perished [and died for hunger] in the Citie, euen whiles they sought for meate to saue their liues, and refresh their soules.

Behold, O Lord, and consider how I am troubled, my bowels swell, my wombe is disquieted, my hart turneth about within me, and I am full of heauinesse, because I rebelled stubbornelie: the sword spoileth me abroade, as death doth at home.

They heare my mourning, but there is none that will comfort me: all mine enimies haue heard of my trouble, and are glad thereof, because thou hast done it: [but] thou wilt bring forth the daie and time that thou hast pronounced, and calledst, when they also shall be like vnto me.

Let all their wickednesse come before thee, and do thou vnto them, as thou hast done vnto me for all my transgressions and trespasses. For my sorowe is verie great, my sighes are manie, and mine hart is heauie.

Page  28

The second lamentation of Zion.

ALas, how hath the Lord darkned the daughter of Zion in his wrath, [and brought hir from prosperitie to aduersitie?] How hath he cast the beautie and honour of Israel downe from heauen vnto the earth, and [gi∣uen hir a most sore fall,] not remembring his owne foote∣stoole, [the Temple of Ierusalem,] in the daie of his wrath, when he was angrie?

The Lord hath cast out and destroied all the habita∣tions of Iacob, without anie fauour: all the strong places or holdes of the daughter of Iuda hath he bro∣ken in his wrath, and throwne them downe to the ground, and not spared hir kingdome, and the princes thereof hath he prophaned and polluted.

In the wrath of his fierce indignation he hath bro∣ken all the horne [or power and strength] of Israel, he hath drawne backe his right hand [of succour] from before the enimie: yea a flame of fire was kindled in Iacob, which hath consumed & deuoured vp all round about.

He hath bent his bowe like an enimie, his right hand was stretched vp and fastned as an aduersarie, and euerie thing that was pleasant to the eie to see, he hath slaine, he hath powred out his wrath like a fire into the tabernacle of the daughter of Zion.

The Lord is become as it were an enimie, he hath deuoured Israel, and consumed all his palaces: yea all his strong holds hath he destroied, and filled and greatlie increased the daughter of Iuda with much sorrowe and heauinesse, lamentation and mourning.

For he hath destroied his tabernacle as a garden, his solemne meetings or congregation hath he put downe, yea the Lord hath brought it so to passe, that the high solemne feasts and sabboths are cleane for∣gotten in Zion, and hath despised in the heauie dis∣pleasure and indignation of his wrath [both] the king Page  29 and the priest.

The Lord hath forsaken his owne altar, and hath abhorred his owne Sanctuarie: he hath giuen the walles of hir palaces and towers into the hand of the enimies, who haue made a noise [with blasphemous shou∣tings and criengs] in the house of the Lord, as in the daie of solemnitie and feasting [when the people were accustomed to praie.]

The Lord hath determined to breake downe the walles of the daughter of Zion, he spread out his line, and hath not withdrawne his hand from destroieng: therefore he maketh the [insensible things, euen the] ram∣part turrets, and walles [as it were to take part of the so∣rowe, and to] mourne & lament, because they fell downe and were destroied together.

Hir gates are sunke downe to the ground, hir bars are broken and smitten in sunder, hir king and princes are caried awaie to the Gentiles, they haue not the lawe, neither haue hir Prophets anie vision from the Lord.

The Senatours and Elders of the daughter of Zion sit vpon the ground, and keepe silence, they haue cast vp dust and ashes vpon their heads, and girded themselues with sackcloth: the virgins or maides of Ierusalem hang downe their heads to the ground.

Mine eies do faile through weeping, and abundance of teares: my bowels swell, my liuer is powred vpon the earth, for the great hurt and destruction of the daughter of my people, bicause the children, babes, and sucklings faint and sowne in the streetes of the Citie.

They haue said to their mothers, Where is bread and drinke? when they sowned and fell downe as the wounded in the streetes of the citie, and when they gaue vp the ghost, and died in their mothers bosome.

What thing shall I take to witnesse against thee? Or what thing shal I liken to thee, O daughter Ieru∣salem. Page  30 [Thy calamitie is so euident, that it néede no further proofe.] To whome then shall I compare thee, O thou virgin daughter Zion, to comfort thee withall? For the breach [in thy hart] is like [the breach in] a maine sea. Who may heale thee?

Thy [false] Prophets haue looked out vaine and foo∣lish things for thee, and they haue not discouered thine iniquitie, or shewed thee of thy wickednesse, to turne a∣waie thine affliction, and to keepe thee from captiuitie: but they [to flatter thée in thy sinnes] haue seene or looked out for the false prophesies, and causes of banishment, [and destruction.]

All that passe by the waie, clap their hands at thee, hissing and wagging their heads vpon the daughter Ierusalem, and saie: Is this the Citie that men call so faire, the perfection of beautie, and the ioie of the whole earth?

Al thine enimies gape vpon thee with open mouths, they hisse at thee, and grinde their teeth, saieng: Let vs deuoure it, for certainlie this is the daie, the time that we looked for is come, we haue found, and seene it.

The Lord hath fulfilled the thing that he was pur∣posed to doo, and performed his word that he had deui∣sed and determined of old time long ago: he hath throwne downe, destroied, and not spared: he hath cau∣sed thine aduersarie to reioice and triumph ouer thee, and hath set vp the horne [or power] of thine enimie.

Their hart cried vnto the Lord: O thou wall or ci∣tie of the daughter Zion, let thy teares run downe like a riuer: daie and night take thee no rest, neither let the apple of thine eie cease or leaue off [wéeping.]

Arise, stand vp, and crie in the night, in the beginning of the watches: powre out thy hart like water before the face of the Lord, lift vp thine hands towards him, for the liues of the yong children that faint and die for hunger in the corners of all the streets.

Page  31 Behold, O Lord, and consider to whome thou hast done thus. Shall ye women then eate their own fruit, euen their children of a span long? Shal the Priest and the Prophet be slaine in the Sanctuarie of the Lord?

The yong & the old lie on the ground in the streetes: my virgins and my yong men are slaine, and fallen with the sword: thou hast slaine them and put them to death in the daie of thy wrathfull indignation: yea e∣uen thou hast killed them, and not spared.

My terrours [euen mine enimies whom I feared] that are round about me, hast thou called as it were to a feast-daie, so that in the daie of the Lords wrath none esca∣ped, neither was anie left behinde: those that I haue nourished and brought vp, hath mine enimie destroied and consumed.

The third lamentation of Zion.

HOw is the gold [or the princes] become so dimme? the most fine gold so changed? How are the stones of the Sanctuarie [or the priests] so scattered in the corner of euerie streete?

The noble men of Zion that were alwaie in ho∣nour, and cloathed with the most pretious gold, how are they esteemed, and now become like the earthen vessels, the worke of the potters hand? [of small estima∣tion, and without anie honour.]

The Dragons [though they be cruell, yet for pitie] drawe out their breasts, and giue sucke to [nourish] their yong ones: but the daughter of my people is become cruell, [and the women forsake their children] like the Estriches in the wildernes, [which forsake both egge and bird.]

The tongs of the sucking children cleaue to the roofe of their mouths for verie thirst, the yong children aske bread, but there is no man that giueth it them.

They that were woont to fare delicatelie, perish in the streets: they that afore were brought vp in purple and scarlet, now make much of doong.

Page  32 For the iniquitie of the daughter of my people is beecome greater than the wickednesse of zodome, that suddenlie was destroied, and not taken with hands, nor anie camps pitched against hir.

Hir Nazarites or absteiners were purer than the snowe, and whiter than the milke: their colour in bo∣die was fresh & red as corall, and their beautie like the polished Saphyr, [so greatly were they once in Gods fauour.]

But now their faces be verie blacke as a cole, in so much that none can knowe them in the streetes: their skinne cleaueth to their bones, it is withered, and be∣come like a drie stocke, [and they are in greatest abhomina∣tion vnto him.]

They that be slaine with the sword, are happier than they that are killed or die with hunger. For they fade [and pine] awaie, as they were striken through for the lacke of the fruits of the field [and foode.]

The women, which of nature are pitifull, haue sod∣den their owne children with their hands, that they might be their meate in the miserable destruction of the daughter of my people.

The Lord hath performed his heauie wrath, he hath powred out the furiousnesse of his wrathfull displea∣sure: he hath kindled a fire in Zion, which hath consu∣med the foundations thereof.

Neither the kings of the earth, nor all the inhabi∣tors of the world, would haue beleeued, that the eni∣mie and aduersarie should haue entred and come into the gates of Ierusalem.

Which neuerthelesse [contrarie to all mens expectation] is come to passe, for the sinnes of hir Prophets, and the iniquities of hir Priests, that haue shed the bloud of the iust and innocent in the midst of hir.

As blind men went they stumbling in the streets, and stained or polluted themselues with bloud, so that the heathen would not touch their garments.

Page  33 But they cried vnto them, Depart and flee ye pollu∣ted: Awaie, get you hence, touch not [those priests,] for they are vncleane, and be remoued. Therfore they fled awaie, and wandered, yea they haue said among the heathen, They shall no more dwell there.

The anger, wrath, & countenance of the Lord hath scattered them, and shall neuer looke more vpon them, nor regard them. For they themselues neither regar∣ded, nor reuerenced the face of the priests, nor had compassion or pitie of their Elders.

Wherefore our eies failed, whiles we yet looked for our vaine helpe of man. For in our waiting we haue looked for [the Aegyptians,] a nation & people that could doo vs no good, nor saue vs.

They hunt our steps, and lay so sharpe wait for vs, that we can not go safe in the streets: our end is neere at hand, our daies are fulfilled, for our end is come.

Our persecutors are swifter than the Eagles of the aire, they pursued & followed vpon vs ouer the moun∣taines, and laid wait for vs in the wildernesse.

The verie breath of our nostrels, euen [Iosias the king and] the annointed of the Lord, (himselfe) [in whome stood our hope of Gods fauour, and on whome depended our state and life,] was taken in their nets, [and slaine,] of whome we said, Under his shadowe we shall be preserued aliue a∣mong the heathen.

And thou, O daughter Edom, that dwellest in the land of Huz, [go to,] be glad and reioice [at our destruction and fall: yet be thou sure thou shalt not escape.] For the cup [of Gods wrath] shall passe through, and come vnto thee al∣so: thou shalt be dronken, and discouer thy nakednesse, and vomit [vp thine owne shame.]

[Be of good comfort therefore] O thou daughter Zion, thy sinnes are fullie punished, and thy punishment accom∣plished. [For after seuentie yeres, thy sorowes shal haue an end.] He will no more carie thee awaie into captiuitie: but Page  34 thy wickednesse, O daughter Edom, shall he visit, and will discouer thy sins: [so that the wicked shall be tormented for euer.]

The fourth lamentation or complaint of Zion.

I Am she, that through the rod of his wrath haue expe∣rience of miserie.

He droue me foorth, and led me: yea into darkenesse, but not into light.

Surelie against me is he turned, he turneth his hand dailie against me.

My flesh and my skinne hath he made to waxe old, and my bones hath he brused and broken.

He hath builded against me, and closed me in with gall and trauell.

He hath set me in darke places, as they that be dead for euer.

He hath hedged me in, that I can not get out, and he hath laid heauie linkes and chaines vpon me.

Also, though I crie and call pitiouslie, yet heareth he not my praier.

He hath stopped vp my waies with hewen or squa∣red stones, and made my paths crooked.

He laieth waite for me like a Beare, and as a Lion in a hole, or secret places.

He hath stopped vp my waies, and broken me in pee∣ces, he hath laid me waste, and made me desolate.

He hath bent his bowe, and made me a marke to shoote at with the arrowe.

The arrowes of his quiuer [I saie] hath he shot [at me,] and they are entred euen into my reines.

I am laughed to scorne and had in derision of all my people, and they make songs [or ballets] vpon me all the daie long.

He hath filled me with bitternesse, and made me dronken with woormewood [and with great anguish and so∣rowe Page  35 he hath made me loose my senses.]

He hath smitten my teeth in peeces with stones, and rolled me in the dust.

Thus my soule was farre off from peace, I forgat prosperitie, and all good things.

And I said, My strength and mine hope is perished from the Lord.

O remember yet my miserie, and my trouble, the woormewood and the gall.

Yea in remembring, my soule doth still remember them, and is humbled within me.

I consider these things in my hart, and therefore I get hope againe.

Namelie, it is of the Lords mercies, that we are not vtterlie consumed for our wickednesse: for truelie his pitifull compassions faile not.

New mercies shall the Lord shew vpon thee earlie in the daie springing euerie morning. O Lord great is thy faithfulnesse: [for we féele thy benefits continuallie.]

The Lord is my portion, saith my soule, therefore will I hope in him.

O how good is the Lord vnto them that put their trust in him, and to the soule that seeketh after hun!

The good man with silence and patience doth both trust and waite for the health and saluation of the Lord.

It is good for a man to take and beare the yoke vp∣pon him, in and from his youth vp.

He sitteth alone [and murmureth not, but is patient,] and holdeth him still, and keepeth silence, because he hath taken and borne the Lords yoke vpon him.

He laieth his face vpon the earth [and humbleth him∣selfe, waiting with patience,] if there may happen to be anie hope [of succour.]

He offreth his cheeke to the smiter, he will be con∣tent with reproches.

Page  36 For the Lord will not forsake for euer.

But though he send affliction, and punish, yet will he haue compassion, and according to the multitude of his mercies he receiueth to grace againe.

For he doth not plague willinglie, nor [delighteth to] afflict the children of men, [but doth it of necessitie for our a∣mendment.]

To treade all the prisoners of the earth vnder his feete,

To ouerthrowe the right of a man before the face of the most high,

To condemne a man in his cause: the Lord hath not pleasure in such things.

What and who is he then that saith, And it com∣meth to passe, And the Lord commandeth it not. [For without his prouidence nothing is done.]

Out of the mouth of the most high proceedeth not euill and good: [both prosperitie and aduersitie.]

Wherefore then mourneth the liuing man, [when God afflicteth him?] Let him mourne, and be sorowfull for his owne sinnes, for which he suffereth.

Let vs search and trie, and looke well vpon our owne waies, and remember our selues, and turne againe to the Lord.

Let vs [without hypocrisie] lift vp both our harts and our hands vnto God, that is in the heauens, [and saie:]

We haue sinned, and rebelled, therefore hast thou not spared.

Thou hast couered vs in thy wrath, and persecuted vs: thou hast slaine without anie fauour.

Thou hast hid thy selfe as in a cloud, that our prai∣ers should not passe through.

Thou hast made vs the offscowring and reffuse in the mids of the people.

All our enimies haue opened their mouths against vs, and gape vpon vs.

Page  37 Feare and snare is come vpon vs, yea desolation and destruction.

Whole riuers of waters gush out of mine eies, for the destruction of the daughter of my people.

Mine eie droppeth without staie, and ceaseth not: for there is no rest,

Till the Lord looke downe from heauen, & consider.

Mine eies breake mine hart, [and I am ouercome with wéeping:] bicause of all the daughters [or people] of my Citie.

Mine enimies hunted and chased me sore like a bird, yea and that without a cause.

They haue shut vp my life in a dungeon, and cast a stone vpon me.

The waters flowed ouer mine head: then thought I, Now I am destroied.

I called vpon thy name, O Lord, out of the deepe pit, and lowe dungeon.

Thou hast heard my voice: stop not thine eare from my sighings and crieng.

Thou drewest neere vnto me in the daie when I cal∣led vpon thee, and hast said, Feare not.

O Lord, thou hast maintained the cause of my soule, and hast redeemed my life [that was in danger.]

O Lord, thou hast seene my wrong: take thou my cause vpon thee, and iudge it.

Thou hast seene all their vengeance, and all their de∣uises against mee.

Thou hast hard their reprochfull & despitefull words O Lord, yea and all their imaginations against me.

The lips also of those that rise against me, and their deuises and whisperings that they take against me all the daie long.

Behold also their sitting downe, and their rising vp: how I am now their song.

Reward them, O Lord, according to the works of Page  38 their hands.

Giue them sorrowe of hart, and an obstinate hart, euen thy curse to them.

Persecute them, O Lord, with thine indignation, and root them out, and vtterlie destroie them from vn∣der the heauen.

The fift lamentation, or praier of Zion.

CAll to remembrance, O Lord, what is come vpon vs: consider and behold our confusion and reproch.

Our inheritance is turned to the strangers, and our houses to the aliens.

We are vnderlings without fathers, and our mo∣thers are as widowes.

We haue drunken our water for monie, and our wood haue we by sale sold vnto vs.

Our necks are vnder persecution: we are wearie, and haue no rest.

Aforetime we yeelded our selues to the Aegyptians, and now [we haue submitted our selues] to the Assyrians, onlie that we might be satisfied, & haue bread inough.

Our fathers which now are gone haue sinned, and we must beare their wickednesse.

Seruants haue the rule of vs, and no man deliue∣reth vs out of their hands.

We must get our liuing with the perill of our liues, bicause of the drought of the wildernesse.

Our skin is made blacke like as an ouen, bicause of the trouble, famine, and verie sore hunger.

They rauish and defile the wiues in Zion: and the maidens in the citie of Iudea.

The princes are hanged vp by their enimies hand: they haue not honoured the old sage mens faces.

They haue taken the yoong men [for slaues] to grind, and the boies fainted vnder the burden of wood, [not able to abide it.]

Page  39 The elders haue ceased from the gates, [so that there were no more lawes, nor forme of Commonwealth:] and the yoong men from their songs.

The ioie of our hart is gone, our danse and melodi∣ous meeting is turned into mourning.

The garland or crowne of our head is fallen: Wo now vnto vs, and alas that euer we sinned.

Therfore our hart is full of heauinesse, and for these things our eies are dimme [with wéeping.]

Bicause of the hill or mountaine of Zion, which is destroied and desolate, insomuch that the foxes runne vpon it.

But thou, O Lord, remainest for euer, and thy seate & throne from generation to generation, world with∣out end: [and therefore thy couenant and mercies can neuer faile.]

Wherefore dost thou forget vs for euer, and forsake vs so long time?

Turne thou vs vnto thee, O Lord, and so we shall be turned: renew our daies as in old times.

But thou hast vtterlie banished and reiected vs: and thou art exceedinglie angrie and displeased against vs.