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.
Page  331

The third part conteining three Chapters.

CAP. I.

BUT, O Lord my God, who am I thy sinfull seruant, that thou hast been thus mindfull of me? And what haue I deserued (who of all o∣thers haue least deserued, and am thy most vnworthie handmaid,) that thou shouldest thus re∣gard me, and exalt me to so high dignitie before manie others?

Thou hast annointed me with the oile of gladnesse before my fellowes, and set a most pretious diademe vpon my head. Thou makest me to sit in the highest place of dignitie and estate, far aboue other men that are my subiects. Yea thou, O God, which art Lord of the whole earth, hast brought into subiection the peo∣ple that lie neere vnto me, ouer whome I haue autho∣ritie; and hast honoured me in deede with that hea∣uenlie name, whereby thine authoritie ouer all men is declared.

Thou hast crowned me, I saie, with great glorie and honour, causing my renowme and fame to spread far and neere; yea thou hast made me nothing inferiour to other Potentates of the world; but ordeined mee Lord ouer the works of thine hands in souereigne wise, so that thou causest all to serue me dutifullie.

Thou, my King & my God, hast powred foorth vpon me (I confesse) all thy bountie and graces, that none is able to be compared vnto mee.

Thou hast caused both Kings and Queenes to come from far, and to bring presents and rich gifts vnto me: and thou hast made me honourable, euen to strange people, of whome euen the most mightie and rich ho∣nouring me, haue and doo desire greatlie my friendship and fauour.

Thou hast preuented me with thy blessings, and Page  332 without anie asking, giuen me the people for an inhe∣ritance, and the ends of the earth for my possession.

Surelie a most pleasant place, and a most beautifull portion of inheritance is fallen vnto me from thee, O Lord, which art my portion, my reward, and alone to me all-sufficient.

Thou art he that hast giuen me this most large and excellent heritage, and planted me in a most fat and wealthie place; by whose power I may worthilie glo∣rie of my dignitie and honour, and that by thy singular benefit; and for none other cause, but onlie that it hath pleased thee to receiue me into thy speciall fauour.

For surelie, there is no cause why I should ascribe the atteining of this kingdome to mine owne worthi∣nesse (although I called oft vpon thy name) or that I should imagine that I haue resisted so manie, and so mightie people, by mine owne power and strength; neither by the trusting in mine owne bowe or sword haue I obteined so manie victories, and driuen awaie mine enimies: but thou thy selfe, O Lord, hast done it by the strength of thine owne arme, and that onlie be∣cause it so pleased thee, I saie, of thine owne meere mercie and goodnesse to preserue and deliuer both me and my people.

CAP. II.

NEither hath thy mercie ceassed heere, O God: for it hath not failed euer since my comming to the Crowne, to gouerne me afterward by thy wisdome and grace; and miraculouslie to preserue and defend me by thy princelie power, from all mine enimies, visible and inuisible, domesticall and foraigne.

Hitherto hast thou bene vnto me a most safe refuge, & a most sure tower against all the powers of Satan.

Oh how great and maruellous things do I see, that thou, O God, hast brought to passe for me thine vnwor∣thy Page  333 seruant, by thy mightie power!

For when there wanted not such, who rebelled a∣gainst me, and resisted thy power and ordinance: yet I doo see my selfe sufficientlie armed by thee continual∣lie with sharpe arrowes, wherewith to wound the ve∣rie harts of mine enimies, and so to cast them downe.

Moreouer, how long and how often haue the sonnes of men laboured greatlie to distaine mine honour, re∣ioicing and persisting in vanitie and superstition? And what secret and wicked counsell they haue taken to bring vngodlie things to effect against me; thou, O Lord, well knowest, and I haue prooued.

For I am she, against whom the superstitious eni∣mies haue intended all these euils. I am she, against whom they haue inuented, and dailie doo inuent that wickednesse, which they shall neuer be able to bring to passe.

For thou, Lord, hast had mercie vpon me, and made frustrate the deuises and desires of all my craftie and cruell enimies, and established me in my throne, that according to the office and authoritie thou hast giuen me, I might iustlie punish their infidelitie.

Thou hast scattered the people that delight in war, and caused the runnagates to turne their backs vnto me, by directing their owne swords to light vpon their owne necks, and their owne darts against their faces.

For in thy wrath, Lord, thou hast cast the vngodlie into the flaming fire; and vtterlie destroied and con∣sumed them and their posteritie, by the heate of thy fu∣rie, that proudlie rose vp against thee, and thine An∣nointed.

Yea, thou hast caused me to be reuenged on the hea∣then, to breake mine enimies asunder with an iron rod, and to crush them in peeces like potshards on the earth. Mine hand, I saie, hath taken mine enimies, O God, through thy power; and thou wilt bring to passe, Page  334 that my right hand shall apprehend them that hate me without cause.

For vndoubtedlie now I knowe, that thou doost not hate me; but loue me tenderlie, euen by this; that thou hast not suffered mine enimies to triumph ouer me, as they verelie hoped: but hast made me stand fast and sure, through thy defence, whereby I knowe thou wilt alwaies care for me.

O God my God, what shall I saie? Uerelie I doo greatlie reioice, that thou hast, with so great fauour, embraced me; euer preuenting my praiers, and giuing helpe vnto hir that called vpon thee, with a mind free from all euill imaginations. For else thou wouldest not haue heard me, nor restored my life, when it was as good as lost, as thou hast done.

But I, calling hartilie vpon thy name, chieflie in mine aduersities, thou hast deliuered me out of all my troubles, frights, and feares, and defended me, and wast my refuge in extreme dangers; and by thy mercie hast brought to passe, that not onelie I dailie behold my traitrous enimies to haue their condigne punish∣ments: but also this people, whom thou hast appoin∣ted to be gouerned by me, to consider this thy iudge∣ment extended vpon those guiltie rebels, superstitious aduersaries, and prophane men, that so wilfullie resist thine ordinance and authoritie in me: and to be suffici∣entlie taught by their example and destruction, to re∣member the feare, dread, and reuerence due vnto thee their God, and their Prince.

CAP. III.

MOreouer, O Lord, I do greatly reioice, when I bethinke me what a tower of strength, a safe hauen, & vnassaultable habitation thou hast euer beene, not onlie vnto me: but also vnto my predecessours & forefathers, Kings and Prin∣ces Page  335 of this land, succeeding one another in order. And how thou hast beene the honour, and also the strength both of them and me: and hast from time to time, with a certaine speciall power, defended this little Island, which thou hast chosen to be thy peculiar heritage, & giuen it first vnto them, and now vnto me in possession.

Yea, what alterations or changes of things or times soeuer haue fallen; yet hast thou, O most mightie Go∣uernour (whose kingdome for euer hath beene, is, and alwaie shall be most sure, stable, permanent, vnchang∣able, and vnmooueable) lift vp the head of thine hand∣maid, as it were of an Unicorne, being annointed by thee with fresh oile, and laden with new benefits con∣tinuallie.

Thou art he, I saie, by whose power consisteth what∣soeuer is high in the world: euen by thy might, which as it establisheth the kingdoms and policies, whereby mankind is preserued: so also by these testimonies of thy most mightie power, the inhabitants of the earth being conuinced, doo tremble and keepe silence. And this peace being restored in my dominion, thou causest that my people againe doo leade their liues both daie and night in comfortable peace, & godlie tranquillitie.

Wherefore thou hast giuen me great cause of new ioie, and to reioice in thee, O Lord my God, who hast thus mercifullie dealt with me thine handmaid; and especiallie, bicause thou hast granted vnto me to ouer∣come all mine enimies, how manie, and how mightie soeuer; and to compose and set my kingdome in peace∣able order; and to place in Iuda the throne of iudge∣ment and iustice, being directed by thy word, O GOD, which I haue, and whereof I glorie, & still will glorie.

To conclude, I doo reioice; bicause thou, Lord, art my louing shepheard, and feedest me in the greene pa∣stures and sweet medowes of thy word with ioie and solace; making me, that was sometime as a barren Page  336 woman, without comfort, now a ioifull and glad foster mother of manie spirituall children to thee.

Yea, euen in the verie sight of mine enimies dooest thou, O most bountifull Father, prepare a deintie ta∣ble for me, and reaching vnto me a full cup, thou giuest me drinke of thy pleasant springs; and causest thy good∣nesse and mercie, thy bountie and liberalitie to followe me, wheresoeuer I become: blessing both me and my people with all thy blessings continuallie.

Finallie, it is thou, O Lord, onlie; who of thy singu∣lar goodnesse hast assuredlie fortified my hill woonder∣fullie with honour, health, peace, and securitie: and that dooest presentlie keepe me in safetie, and causest me quietlie to lie downe and take my rest in thee.

Thou doost ward the gates of my Cities with bars, and mightilie multiplie and cherish thy familie my ci∣tizens. Thou bringest me into amitie with my neigh∣bors, and feedest me with the finest flower of wheate.

And these things verelie doo testifie most plainlie, both thine infinite goodnesse and power; yet surelie they are nothing, in comparison of that benefit of the doctrine of saluation and holie word, which thou hast bestowed vpon thy people; and deliuered vnto vs, as a rule to lead our liues both godlie and honestlie: nei∣ther is there anie nation vnder heauen, with whom thou hast so dealt, as with vs herein. Therfore, hauing such experience of thy support, I will comfort my selfe in thee, my strength & my shield, in whom my hart doth rest; neither will thine Annointed trust in anie other: but onelie in thee, which giuest power vnto Princes.

Euen I will blesse and praise thee, O Lord, which thus hast blessed both me and my people with thy con∣tinuall blessings. And in this my present blessed state, I will not cease to magnifie thee, O Lord, my deliue∣rer; but I will declare & set foorth before all people the maruellous works, which thou, my God, hast done for Page  337 me; and whereof I my selfe, from the beginning of my life, vnto this houre, haue had good proofe & experience.