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.

A praier to be said before the receiuing of the Lords Supper.

OMnipotent GOD and father euerlasting, whose mercie is infinite, and whose kingdom hath none end; vouchsafe I beseech thee, of thine exceeding goodnes, to increse our faith, that as thy ghests repaire to the table of thy sonne Iesus Christ, who hath left vnto vs, before he gaue his bodie to be crucified, and his bloud to be shed large∣lie on the crosse for our redemption, as a pledge of his great loue and abundant kindnesse, the celebration of his glorious supper, wherein as it were in a looking glasse, the death of our great maister, the high shep∣heard of our soules Iesus Christ, is most liuelie set foorth vnto vs. Giue vs grace therefore from aboue, rightlie to vnderstand the diuine mysteries offered vnto vs thereby, and not to wrest or wring the same Page  164 contrarie to thy will.

Let it be far from our thoughts, good Lord, to leaue thine eternall veritie; and to build on the doctrine of men, who following their owne imaginations, run headlong to the gaping gulph of danger and destructi∣on. Plucke the scales of ignorance from our eies, that we may cleerlie descerne and behold, by the light of thy glorious Gospell, how we may truelie communicate and participate the fruits of thy grace, represented vnto vs in this comfortable Sacrament. Indue vs plentifullie with such pure knowledge, that we may not once thinke or saie after anie grosse forme, or car∣nall maner, we feede vpon, or eate thy flesh reallie, or carnallie; but make vs alwaies constantlie to beleeue, that thy glorious bodie is ascended vp into heauen, and sitteth on the right hand of thy Father, concer∣ning thy humanitie; and cannot be thence remooued, till the time that thou shalt come with legions of An∣gels, to iudge the quicke and the dead, before whose presence shall run a consuming fire.

And moreouer, wee doo most humblie beseech thee so to confirme vs in the truth of thy blessed testament, that we may confesse thy diuine nature to be equall with the Father and the holie Ghost; and to beleeue that thy power is not a power particular, but a pow∣er generall; and such as doth and shall gouerne in hea∣uen and earth, in the deepe and lowe waters: yea and in the nethermost parts of hell. Strengthen vs there∣fore good Lord, that stand; least that in falling from the true knowledge of thee, we perish euerlastinglie.

And sith thou hast called vs by thy word, as thy ghests to this blessed banket, wherin ye mouths of our carnall bodies are fostered & fed with bread and wine: so Lord confirme our faith in thee, that the mouths of our soules may feed spirituallie vpon thy sweetest flesh, and drinke thy deerest blood, and so be nourished to euer∣lasting Page  165 life, and heauenlie blessednesse. Which reward as a dowrie due, thou hast promised to all those that faithfullie build vpon thee, which art the rocke and strong piller of our saluation.

And as these most holie mysteries must set foorth vn∣to vs most liuelie thy death and passion; so make vs thankefull to thee for the same: and thereby giue vs grace, to print in our harts thy great loue and excee∣ding clemencie, that sparedst not to giue thy bodie to the most vile, shamefull and slanderous death of the Crosse; and thy bloud to be shed for our offences.

Indue vs with loue and charitie to all men; make vs readie to forgiue, to loue, and pardon our enimies, persecutors and slanderers. Turne our harts & minds from all impietie, couetousnesse, blasphemie, pride, gluttonie, fornication, and all other detestable euils. And if at anie time we haue defeated the fatherlesse of his right, the widowe of hir dowrie, or gathered togi∣ther our goods wrongfullie, by violence, oppression, fraud, collusion, or deceit: giue vs grace to make resti∣tution, and to aske with sorowfull plaints and fluds of teares, from the bottome of our harts, pardon and free forgiuenesse of thee, for such and all other our of∣fences whatsoeuer wee haue done, or committed in thought, word, will and deed, against thy diuine Maie∣stie, or anie other our brethren and sisters.

Take awaie from vs ali bitternes, cursed speaking and backbiting. Giue vs grace to come woorthilie, by the vertue of a true and fruitfull faith, to this holie and blessed supper, that our soules feeding faithfullie on thy sweetest flesh, and drinking thy deerest bloud, wee may both in bodie and soule be nourished by thee to euerlasting and endlesse glorie in heauen, where with thee and the felowship of thy chosen Saints, we shall enioie the fruition of the euerlasting kingdome, which thou hast ordeined for all those that ouelie and alone, Page  166 without wauering doo build vpon thee.

Sanctifie and make cleane our harts and minds, by the power of thy holie Ghost, the verie comforter of thy chosen. Purge thou our cankred consciences, infe∣cted with sinne, by the working of thy good grace, least that by the presuming to this thy table, O Lord, we in∣cur thy displeasure; and being vnrepentant for our of∣fences, we be found vnmeet ghests to come to thy holie banket, and so we eate and drinke to the vtter confusi∣on of our soules and bodies. Giue vs grace therefore good Lord, to conuert vs wholie vnto thee, and we shall be turned from all our sinne and iniquitie. Giue vs grace to rest onlie vpon thee, and we shall be made safe. Giue vs thine aid from aboue, we beseech thee, by faith to striue with the man of sinne, and so to vanquish him, that he may die to vs, and we may liue to thee, which art the giuer of life. Grant this, O most gratious God, for Iesus Christ his sake, to whom with thee and the holie Ghost be giuen all praise, honour and glorie, for euer and euer:

Amen.