¶ A certaine effectuall praier, made by the Ladie Jane Dudley, in the time of hir trouble, a little before hir death.
O Lord, thou GOD and father of my life, heare mee poore and desolate Woman, which flieth vnto thee onelie in all my troubles and miseries. Thou, O Lord, art the onlie defender and deliuerer of those that put their trust in thee. And therefore I, being defiled with sinne, incumbred with affliction, vnquieted with troubles, wrapped in cares, ouerwhelmed with miseries, vexed with temptati∣ons, and greeuouslie tormented with the long impri∣sonment of this vile masse of claie, my sinfull bodie and bloud, do come vnto thee O mercifull Sauiour, cra∣uing thy mercie and helpe; without the which, so little hope of deliuerance is left, that I may vtterlie despaire of anie libertie. Albeit, it is expedient, that seeing our life standeth vpon trieng, we should be visi∣ted sometime with some aduersitie, wherby we might both be tried, whether we be of thy flocke or no, and also knowe thee, and our selues the better: yet thou that saidst, that thou wouldst not suffer vs to be temp∣ted Page 99 aboue our power; be mercifull vnto me now, a mi∣serable wretch, I beseech thee; which with Salomon do crie vnto thee, humblie desiring thee, that I may neither be too much puffed vp with prosperitie; nei∣ther too much pressed downe with aduersitie, least I being too full, should denie my God; or being too lowe brought, should despaire, and blaspheme thee my Lord and Sauiour.
O mercifull God, consider my miserie best knowne vnto thee, and be thou now vnto me a strong tower of defence, I humblie require thee. Suffer me not to be tempted aboue my strength and power, but either be thou a deliuerer vnto me out of this great miserie, ei∣ther else giue me grace patientlie to beare thy heauie hand, and sharpe correction. It was thy right hand, O God, yt deliuered the people of Israel out of the hands of Pharao, which for the space of four hundred yeares, did oppresse them, and keepe them in bondage. Let it therefore like wise seeme good to thy fatherlie goodnes, to deliuer me, sorowfull wretch (for whome thy sonne Christ shed his pretious bloud on the Crosse) out of this miserable captiuitie and bondage, wherein I am now.
How long wilt thou be absent? For euer? Oh Lord, hast thou forgotten to be gratious, and hast thou shut vp thy louing kindnesse in displeasure▪ Wilt thou be no more intreated? Is thy mercie cleane gone for euer, and thy promise come vtterlie to an end for euermore? Why doest thou make so long tarieng? Shall I de∣spaire of thy mercie oh God? Far be that from me. I am thy workemanship, created in Christ Iesu; giue me grace therefore to tarie thy leasure, and patientlie to beare thy works: assuredlie knowing, that as thou canst, so thou wilt deliuer me, when it shall please thee, nothing doubting nor mistrusting thy goodnesse to∣wards me. For thou wotest better what is good for me, Page 100 than I doo.
Therefore doo with me in all things what thou wilt, and plague me what waie thou wilt; onelie in the meane time arme me, I beseech thee, with thine ar∣mour, yt I may stand fast, my loines being girded about with veritie, hauing on the brestplate of righteousnes, and shod with the shoes prepared by the Gospell of peace: aboue all things taking to me the shield of faith, wherewith I may be able to quench all the firie darts of the wicked; and taking the helmet of saluation, and the sword of the spirit, which is thy most holie word, praieng alwaies with all maner of praier and suppli∣cation, that I may referre my selfe wholie vnto thy will, abiding thy pleasure, and comforting my selfe in those troubles that it shall please thee to send me; see∣ing such troubles be profitable for me, and seeing I am assuredlie persuaded, that it cannot be but well all that thou doest. Heare me, oh mercifull father, for his sake, whome thou wouldest should be a slaine sacrifice for my sinnes, to whom with thee and the holie Ghost, be all honour and glorie for euer: