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 complaint that we be not moued nor pricked in our contemplations and praiers, like as the An∣gels be, which tremble at the sight of GOD.

PArdon mee, O LORD, pardon mee, mercifullie forgiue mee, and haue mercie vpon mee: spare mine ignorance, and my great vnperfect∣nesse: doo not reprooue me as a rash woman, bicause I dare be so bold, which am but thy seruant. But would to God I were either a good seruant, or none vnprofitable or euill seruant! And therefore am I an euill woman, because I praise, blesse and worship thee, not as I ought to doo, which art our God almightie, terrible and verie much to be feared: I worship thee, I saie, without contrition of Page  441 hart, and without a well of teares. For if so be that the Angels, when they worship and praise thee, doo tremble, beeing fulfilled with maruellous gladnesse: I which am a sinner, whiles I stand before thee, saieng praises, and offering sacrifice, why am I not affraid in my hart? why am I not pale in my countenance? why doo not my lips quake, and tremble? why is not all my bodie afraid? and why doo I not mourne and bewaile before thee, after such a sort, that teares might spring out of mine eies? I would faine, but I am not able, bicause I cannot doo that which I desire to doo. This maketh mee trulie woonderfullie to maruell, that I am no more mooued, when I see with the eies of my faith, thee which art so fearefull.

But who can doo anie thing without the helpe of thy grace? Except thou make our stonie harts to relent, we of our selues are not able to mollifie them. For all our helth dependeth vpon thy great mercie. O wretch that I am! How is my soule made without anie fee∣ling or perceiuerance; that it is not afraid with ouer∣much feare, whiles it standeth before God, and singeth to him his owne praises? Alas, how is my hart so hard∣ned, that mine eies doo not gush out great flouds of teares without ceassing; when I, which am but a ser∣uant or bondwoman, doo commune, & talke in my Lord & maisters presence? Yea a woman with God, a crea∣ture with a Creator. I that am made of the slime of the earth, doo speake with him that made all things of nothing.

Put me before thee, O Lord; and whatsoeuer I perceiue of my selfe, in the secrets of my hart, I doo not keepe it close from thy gratious eares. Thou art rich in mercie, and liberall in rewards. Giue me of thy goods, that with them I may serue thee. For with no∣thing else can we serue or please thee, but with thine owne gifts, which thou hast vouchsafed to bestowe Page  442 vpon vs. Fasten, I beseech thee, thy feare in my flesh. Let my hart reioice and be glad to feare thy name. Would God my sinfull soule feared thee so much, as that holie man, the which said: I alwaies feared God, as though it were great swelling flouds should come and tumble vpon me.

O God the giuer of all good things, giue me among thy praises, a well of teares, with the purenesse of hart and reioicing of mind; that I louing thee per∣fectlie, and worthilie praising thee, may feele, taste, and fauour, in the palate of my hart, how sweete and plea∣sant thou art, O Lord, as it is written: Doo ye taste and see how sweet and delectable the Lord is. Blessed is the man that putteth his trust in him. Blessed is that people which knoweth glad and ioifull praising. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee, in whose hart are thy waies, which going through the vale of miserie, vseth it for a well. Blessed are the cleane in hart, bicause they shall see God. Blessed are they that dwell in the house of the Lord, they shall praise thee world without end,

Amen.