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.
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A praier for the remission of sinne, and to ob∣teine a vertuous life.

FOrasmuch as (O bountifull Lord) it is most meet, right and iust, that all flesh shuld praise, magnifie, and worship thee, and should with∣out ceasing giue thanks vnto thee, who onlie art the Creator and maker of all things, as well visi∣ble as inuisible; who onlie art the treasure of all good∣nesse, and well of life, onlie God and Lord, whome the heauens, and heauen of heauens, the sunne, the moone, the starres, the earth, the sea, with all that moue ther∣in, yea the heauenlie companie of Martyrs, the soules of the Prophets and Apostles, Angels, Archangels, togither with the soules of all iust and righteous per∣sons doo laud and glorifie.

It is most requisite, that ech mortall creature li∣uing in this world, should also acknowledge thy mag∣nificence. Wherfore, most mercifull father, I with my hart and mouth doo acknowledge thee to be my King and Lord, the giuer of all goodnesse: I confesse thee to be omnipotent, reuerend, merciful, long suffering, God of all consolation, comfort, mercie and pitie.

I knowe that of thine infinite goodnesse onelie thou diddest make man after thy similitude and likenesse, placing him in the most delectable place of Paradyse. And although he did transgresse thy commandement, and thereby deserued eternall death and damnation: yet thou, like a most louing and pitifull Father, diddest not vtterlie reiect him, but gentlie correct him, and af∣ter that thou hadst sent him into the earth, comman∣ding him there to increase and multiplie, thou didst in∣struct his posteritie with thy lawe; thou didst teach them by thy Prophets, and after that sentest downe thine onlie begotten sonne to take vpon him our na∣ture, and to suffer death for our sinnes, therby to make Page  145 a recompense for the offence which man had commit∣ted against thee: and all this thou didst of thine excee∣ding great mercie and kindnesse, without anie desert of mankind, not being so much as by anie one praier, or yet intreatie therevnto incited.

Therefore I being boldened with such inestimable benefits, so freelie giuen and bestowed, doo without any feare at this time, appere before thy diuine Maiestie, prostrating my slefe before the seate of thy mercie, and with all humblenesse of hart and mind doo make this my praier vnto thee.

Despise me not (O Lord God) being defiled with sin and iniquitie. For behold, I present my selfe before thee, not presuming vpon mine owne woorthinesse, but trusting in thy goodnesse.

Be mercifull vnto me a sinner: light thou the dull sighted eies of my mind, open thou the stopped eares of mine hart, that I may both see, heare, perceiue and vnderstand that, which thou teachest, and alwaies doo that, which thou commandest. Make me not onelie a hearer of thy heauenlie doctrine; but also a perfect fo∣lower of the same: direct, sanctifie and gouerne my life: be thou alwaies present and readie, both to heare, and to helpe me. Saue and defend me from all shame and reproch: be thou my shield & buckler against all temp∣tations; clense my mind and thought from all vnclean∣nesse; keepe and preserue me from all danger both of bodie and soule. This fraile life is nothing else but a continuall warfare in this world: our sinnes most like to cruell enimies, assault vs on euerie side: againe our daies are but few in number.

Guide me therefore with thy grace, so to spend my small, short and transitorie time in this world, the ve∣rie fountaine, welspring, and vale of all miserie, that I may be made a member of Christ, & partaker of thine eternall felicitie. To the which, seeing that through Page  146 mine owne desert, I shall neuer be able to aspire, (for sinne trulie so aboundeth in me, that ech deed and act of mine, is not onelie infected, but altogither polluted therwith) none other remedie haue I to ease my selfe: none other salue to heale my sore, but onelie to take hold of that promise of thine wheras thou saiest: Come vnto me all ye that ye that labour, and be ouerladen, and I will refresh you.

This is my hold-fast; this is mine anchor and sure staie. For verelie (sweet Sauiour) when I looke vpon mine owne frailnesse, and behold how readie I am to offend thee; then I quake for feare, then I am almost in vtter despaire: but as soone as I call to mind thy great loue and kindnesse, and how that thou wilt not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should repent and liue, and that in what daie soeuer he doth hartilie repent and call vnto thee, thou wilt heare him: then I am releeued; then I am not a little comforted, know∣ing surelie that thou wilt performe that which thou hast promised, in faithfull assurance whereof, I now saie vnto thee:

Turne thou me, O my God, and I shall be turned: from all my wickednesse deliuer me. Heale my soule, which is wounded with sinne: for I doo acknowledge mine iniquitie, and am hartilie sorie for mine offences: correct me, O Lord, but yet not in thy furie, looke not vpon my weaknesse; but thinke vpon thine owne wor∣thinesse: remember thy louing kindnesse, and in the abundance and multitude of thy mercies, wipe cleane awaie, pardon and forget all my sinnes, through which I haue either in word, deede or though, or anie other kind of way offended thee, blot them out of thy remem∣brance, and let the bloud of that immaculate lambe Iesus Christ, wash them awaie: let mine old offences so decaie and die in me, that I neuer commit them any more, or by anie meanes renew them in thy sight.

Page  147 And in the meane time doo not withdrawe thy grace from me, but cause me to doo all that which good is. O Father, remoue thy wrath awaie from me, and restore vnto me thy fauour: turne thou thy louing counte∣nance vnto me, and plentifullie powre foorth thy mer∣cie vpon me. Incline my hart to doo that onelie, which is acceptable in thy sight: guide thou my footesteps in thy paths, and suffer me not at any time to straie from thy waies: let me alwaies haue the feare of thee in my hart, and the remembrance of thy benefits fresh in my memorie: and if at anie time through weakenesse and failtie, I doo transgresse thy commandements, yet doo not therefore reiect and cast me out of thy sight; but be thou that good Samaritane, and powre the oile and wine of mercie and forgiuenesse into those wounds, which sinne shall make in me. Disdaine me not for my reuolting; but haue mercie vpon me, according to thy great goodnesse, and according to the multitude of thy mercies wipe awaie mine iniquitie. Hide me vnder the shadowe of thy wings and protection: lighten mee with thy holie spirit. Make me thy seruant: so indue me with thy grace, that I may vnfeinedlie, with hart and voice, serue, honour, and praise thee all the daies of my life: