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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The second part, conteining foure Chapters.

CAP. I.

O Heauenlie Father, my almightie maker, my greatest King, mine onlie GOD, and soue∣reigne Sauiour; thou which art the King of glorie, and most glorious King; the Lord of hosts, strong, valiant, and mightie; whose seate is in the highest heauens, and thy dominion is stretched foorth ouer all things without exception.

I humblie acknowledge thee to be the verie God of Angels, and of men; the most sacred Emperour of the most mightie spirits, and holie companie of the hea∣uenlie armies, which celebrate thy truth and praise perpetuallie, in the regions aboue vs; yea, the greatest God, highest Lord, and most magnificall King, far a∣boue all Emperours, Kings, Lords and Princes, how great soeuer.

Euen the God of Abraham, Isaac and Iacob, and of my father Dauid, and his posteritie, Kings and Queenes my predecessors; which art higher than the heauens, and the mightie Monarch of the whole world; hauing of nothing made heauen and earth, and all things therein by thine almightie power; guiding, preseruing, and ruling by the same the state of king∣doms, and all the creatures and people that dwell in the world: reseruing in thy power and authoritie, as the Lord of all, both the lowe secret parts of the earth, the deepe bottoms of the Sea, and the high tops of the mountaines: reigning euer full of Maiestie, po∣wer, and authoritie, and that most gloriouslie and tri∣umphantlie, in an eternall and euerlasting kingdome.

For whereas all other kingdoms trulie are tran∣sitorie, and subiect to destruction; thy kingdome onlie O God, I confesse, is not limited in anie bounds, nor Page  323 subiect to anie tearme of yeares or time; but alwaies endureth one, and vnchangeable, from all eternitie to eternitie; as he whose throne is for euer and euer: and which hast raised a kingdome for thy selfe, among thine Angels and people, both in heauen and in earth of old, to continue alwaie most stable, firme, and vn∣moueable.

So that thou, Lord, onlie maist iustlie challenge vn∣to thy selfe, the authoritie of the kingdome in deede, o∣uer all nations vpon the earth: who art that most ge∣lous and dreadfull IEHOVA, vnto whome all the Emperours, Kings, and Gouernours in the world shall bow, submit themselues, and doo their homage and diuine seruice, with their scepters and crownes cast vnder thy feete: and who dooest declare thy selfe ve∣rie terrible to all the potentates and powers of the world, and cuttest off their courage, strength, and glo∣rie, throwing it in the dust, euen as the Gardener doth twist and proine his Uine.

CAP. II.

AND therefore, most worthilie ascribing and resigning vp the honour and glorie of all empire, kingdome, rule, power and dominion vnto the holie, secret, maruellous, and renou∣med name of thy most high and sacred Maiestie, which art the father of lights, ancient of daies, the sauiour of all beleeuers, and the onlie redeemer, strength, glo∣rie and hope of Israel, and of all the ends of the earth, euen Alpha and Omega, the first without beginning, and the last without ending, that shalt come to iudge both the quicke & the dead, God blessed for euer, Amen.

I (according as it is meete, and my verie bounden dutie) doo now meekelie confesse, and protest to thy per∣petuall praise, that it is thou, O most mercifull God, and none other, which in the beginning, when I laie Page  324 as a rude lumpe without shape, being shut vp in the secret place of my mothers wombe, didst forme, fashi∣on, and nourish me; and at the time appointed, and set downe in thy booke, didst drawe me foorth of the darke caue, wherein I was fashioned, and broughtst me foorth of the bowels of my mother, as it were a midwife.

So that the verie bowels within me, are thine owne, by good right and authoritie; because thou ioi∣ning all my sinewes and bones togither, hast made me a mortall woman, and couered me within my mothers wombe. For there is no King or Queene that had anie other beginning of birth: for all men haue one en∣trance into life, and one going out in like manner.

Which worke of thine surelie, when I behold in my selfe, it is so wonderfull, O Lord, that I should vtterlie shew my selfe most senselesse and vnthankefull, vnlesse I praise thee for the same, and confesse, that thy works are exceeding maruellous in deede, seeing I doo per∣ceiue the thing so manifestlie as it is.

So soone also as I, thy workemanship, came, foorth a reasonable creature into this world, I receiued like aire as other men, and was committed vnto thee my Creator, at what time thou didst declare thy selfe to be my God, and causedst me to looke vp vnto thee, when I did hang yet on my mothers breasts.

Euen in my verie cradle and swadling clouts, O God, thou hadst a speciall care & regard ouer me, and tookest in hand fatherlie to foster and gouerne me so manie yeares ago, and to leade and guide me from my tender yeares vnto this daie.

Euer since I was borne, I saie, thou my God hast defended me from dangers, both when I was strong, and in the floure of my youth: neither hast thou forsa∣ken me now, being in my middle age, nor wilt (I trust) when I am graie-headed.

Page  325 O mine inlightener, it is thou that hast taught and instructed me with the knowledge of thee, from my childhood hitherto. Therefore haue I depended who∣lie vpon thee alone; vpon thee, I saie, O excellent Fa∣ther, haue I set all my hope, euen from mine infancie, and will doo so still euen vnto mine old age.

CAP. III.

NEither hath thy prouidence and mercie towards me, ceased at anie tune. For sure∣lie, thou hast made me a singular & euerla∣sting example of thy fauour & mercie to all men, in that thou beholding me alwaies with thy pleasant countenance, and obseruing conti∣nuallie with thine heauenlie eie, what iniurie soeuer was offered me, hast not onelie woonderfullie comfor∣ted and preserued me in all my troubles: but also of∣tentimes most miraculouslie saued and deliuered mee out of most great and manifold miseries, imminent pe∣rils, and multitudes of mightie enimies, wherewith I haue beene assaulted, enuironed, vexed, afflicted, per∣secuted, and turmoiled from my tender age.

Yea so tenderlie, O God, hast thou loued mee, that thou hast not suffered me to be intrapped of thousands of aduersaries, that rose vp against me, saieng in their harts, Hir God can not helpe hir. But being the iudge of mine innocencie, my glorie, my shield, and my vali∣ant Champion, thou hast thy selfe smitten downe all mine enimies, brought me safelie out of distresse, and lift vp my head aboue all mine aduersaries.

Thou hast deliuered my life, I saie, foorth of the pre∣sent doores of death, staied the teares of mine eies, and established my feete, that I did not fall for any tempta∣tion: so that I walked safe & sound before thee, among the liuing that praised thee. And that I liue now to praise thee, I may onlie thanke thee my deliuerer, who Page  326 hast caused me thus to taste, feele, and enioie the most comfortable sweetnesse of thy goodnesse, mercie, and fa∣uour.

And though I was forsaken of all men; and the most mightie, together with my neerest friends, had mee in contempt: though the superstitious aduersaries, I saie, heaued vehementlie against me, and with great violence sought to cast me downe, and laie mine honor in the dust: yet hast thou, my God, by thine owne hand repulsed & driuen out all those mine irreligious foes, which so wickedlie resisted thy purpose; and to their confusion of faces, hast exalted me to the highest de∣gree of dignitie.

Wherefore, great cause of continuall ioie and har∣tie reioicing hast thou, O Lord, giuen vnto me, thine handmaid, which acknowledge my selfe mightilie and miraculouslie preserued by thy power.

Doubtlesse, now thou hast woonderfullie deliuered in deed thy QVEENE, that was annointed by thee, and hast heard me out of the highest Sanctuarie, & gran∣ted vnto me that, which I requested in my praiers.

For I put my trust, neither in chariot, nor horses, men nor munition: but onelie remembred thy name, and called vpon thee in all my troubles: and lo, thou, ô KING of heauen, hast heard me in all my necessities, and giuen me my harts desire, accomplishing all my purposes.

I required this thing onlie of thee, that I might es∣cape aliue and safe from persecution; but thou hast not onelie strengthened and comforted me out of Zi∣on, and placed me here in thy dominion and empire in safetie: but also hast granted vnto me a life that shall neuer faile; and that bicause I onelie set my hope still in thee, in whom all power remaineth, as I often∣times by good experience haue prooued.

Yea thou, O most excellent Father, hast done a no∣table Page  327 worke, woorthie to bee set foorth in writing to all posteritie, and to be limmed out in gold to euerlasting memorie; bicause, O Lord, thou hast not despised the praiers and teares of thy most miserable people; but from thy holie throne hast looked downe vpon me, and them, to heare the mournings of the prisoners, thy persecuted members; and to loose them foorth of bonds and fetters, of whose life it was vtterlie despaired: that in Zion once againe thy name, O Lord; and thy praises, I saie, in Ierusalem might be published by my ministerie, as it is this daie, manie nations and people running together to worship thee, who hast now shew∣ed thy selfe much more glorious therein, than at anie time before.

Therefore, O God, which art indeed the Gouernor and Lord ouer all people, in heauen and in earth: thou art our God by a peculiar right, and mine onlie honor. For so great glorie haue I attained, by this thy de∣fence and saluation; and so bright is the glittering of this honour, wherewith thou hast crowned me; that I may woorthilie triumph in thee, being thus preser∣ued and deliuered by thee: and also condignelie cele∣brate this daie wholie to thee, with banners displaied, which hast so gratiouslie granted all the petitions of thine handmaid.

Namelie, for that thou, Lord, being euer mindfull of thy promise and word, which is of force for euer, and prouiding for thine owne onlie glorie, didst so merciful∣lie and miraculouslie preserue me from dangers; and rebuking euen Kings and Princes for my sake, so pre∣tious and deere was my bloud in thy sight, that none should touch thine Annointed, nor doo me anie harme, at the time appointed by thee; thou allowing, iustifi∣eng, and commending me as innocent, whom others did maliciouslie condemne as guiltie of wickednesse, didst most faithfullie and freelie performe thy promises Page  328 towards me, and changing my miserable estate into blisse, didst bring me foorth glad and ioifull, whom thou hadst appointed thine elect handmaid, and chosen ser∣uant, to gouerne thy people and affaires in this king∣dome.

CAP. IIII.

WHerefore, I humblie acknowledge that it is thou, O almightie GOD; which raisest vp the abiects, and exaltest the miserable from the dunghill, to place them among the Prin∣ces of the people: and which somtime laiedst helpe vp∣on one that was mightie, and didst exalt one chosen of the people (my father DAVID thy seruant I meane,) whom thou tookest from the sheepfold, and with thy ho∣lie oile didst annoint, and broughtest to feed thy people and inheritance in Israel.

Euen thou, O God, I saie, the selfe-same good God it is, I confesse, which hast also consecrated ELIZABETH to thy selfe, to gouerne thy people, ouer whome thou dooest chieflie rule: and who hast vouchsafed in like fa∣uour, and in as great mercie, to call me out of the pri∣son to the palace, and to appoint me to be the Prince and Pastor to feede the posteritie of Iacob, and most deere people of Israel, with the spirituall food of thine eternall word.

My preferment, Lord, and promotion I knowe, is come neither from the east, nor from the west; from the south, nor from the north; neither, as I haue well perceiued, was it in mine owne power to exalt my selfe, and to mount vp out of so great miserie to so high dignitie.

But it was thou my KING, and my God, euen thou most iust Gouernour of all things, (which bringest to passe mightie things, farre passing the condition of mankind, and rulest the state of kingdoms, to whom Page  329 alone it belongeth, and in whose power and authori∣tie it is, to cast downe whom thou wilt, and to exalt whom it pleaseth thee) which hast exalted mee thine handmaid, and giuen vnto me thine absolute authori∣tie, ouer all the great Princes and people of England; that I should gouerne the verie Magistrates & Com∣mons thereof, by the direction of thy word, wisdome, and counsell.

Yea, I take thee to record, O Lord, against the slan∣ders of all men, that I neuer desired this honour, as though I had deserued it; neither laboured that I should be brought vnto this dignitie; nor that I am now proud, being promoted by thee thervnto; nor that I doo so much as thinke or reioice that I am brought to this Kinglie office by bloud, birth, or by mine owne endeuour or power.

But alwaies I haue, and still will confesse, and hum∣blie acknowledge to thy glorie, that it was thou onlie, O Lord, my Redeemer and Sauiour, vpon whome I did earnestlie call and set mine eies, which (at what time it pleased thee to heare me) didst vouchsafe to em∣brace me with thy speciall grace and fauour, and to bestowe this so great a benefit vpon me. First, to choose and take me onelie out of the rest of the people, and to exalt me aboue others; and then to consecrate mee to thy selfe, and to annoint me with thy holie oile to be the QVEENE of this Realme, and that not for anie de∣sert of mine at all, I saie; but onlie bicause it so pleased thee to vse my seruice and endeuour, in this so weigh∣tie businesse, to defend thy people by my power recei∣ued from thee.

Finallie, it was thou, O heauenlie KING, who fa∣uouring me thine handmaid more than I deserued, didst richlie apparell mee in the roiall robes, and all ouer cloathedst and beedeckedst me with statelie gar∣ments, brodered with gold and pretious stones; and Page  330 as vpon this daie, settedst me in the regall throne, and causedst me most gloriouslie to come foorth from the yuorie Palace of my Coronation, accompanied with manie noble Princes, & goodlie Uirgins, and bearing the diademe or Crowne of pure gold vpon mine head. At what time also thou madest the most fragrant o∣dours of my sweet garments so spread it selfe, that no∣thing was more pleasant vnto the beholders; who as then vpon that happie daie, so continuallie euer since doo runne together, and presse in great multitudes vn∣to me, to see me; and to declare their thankefull harts to thee for me, and their good willes they beare toward me in thee; euermore they crie with lowd voices, and ioifull harts; vttering foorth to the praise of thy name, and my great comfort, these and such like hartie prai∣ers vnto thy Maiestie for mee, saieng: God saue the QVEENE: God saue the Queene ELIZABETH.

So that I may now iustlie saie, O most excellent father, that this is the daie in deede, wherein thou hast chieflie shewed thy mercie vnto me, and that this daie thou didst as it were beget me a deere Daughter vnto thy selfe; in that as vpon this daie thou didst so grati∣ouslie annoint me thy Minister and Queene, to deli∣uer thine afflicted Church, & to reigne vpon thy holie mount Zion, there to declare to all nations the woon∣derfull works that thou hast done for me, and thy people Israel; as I doo at this present. Go to therefore, O my soule, returne now to thy rest, and take thine ease; seeing that so no∣table a change of thine estate is happi∣lie wrought by the Lord, for he hath well deserued thereby euerla∣sting praise for his mercie.