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.

Another verie deuout praier, before the receiuing of the holie Communion.

O Most sweet and louing Lord Iesu Christ, whom now I deuoutlie and hartilie desire to receiue this daie: thou knowest mine infirmities and necessities, which I suffer; in how manie euils and vices I lie, where∣with I am often greeued, tempted, troubled, and vnquieted, and defiled. Unto thee doo I come for remedie, vnto thee doo I ear∣nestlie praie for comfort and helpe. I speake vnto thee, who knowest all things; vnto whom, euen all my ve∣rie secret thoughts are manifest; and who onlie canst perfectlie comfort and helpe me. Thou knowest what good things I lacke before all things, and how poore and beggerlie I am in vertues. Behold, I stand before thee, requiring grace and mercie. Feed and cherish thy hungrie begger, kindle my coldnesse with the fire of thy loue, lighten my blindnesse with the bright cleere∣nesse of thy presence: turne all earthlie things into bitternesse vnto me; all heauie, greeuous, hard, pain∣full, and contrarie things, into patience to me. Lift vp Page  584 my hart vnto thee in heauen, and suffer me not to wan∣der or go astraie from thee vpon the earth. Thou onlie, from this time foorth for euermore, dooest waxe sweet vnto me, because thou onelie art my meate and my drinke, my loue, my ioie, my sweetnesse. Oh, would to God thou wouldest vouchsafe altogether to enflame, burne, and euen consume me with thy presence; and to change me into thy selfe, that I may be made one spi∣rit with them by grace of the inward vnitie, and soft∣ning of thy feruent loue! Suffer me not to depart an hungred nor thirstie from them, but worke mercifullie with me, as thou hast often heeretofore maruellouslie wrought with thy Saincts. What maruell is it, if I should be altogether set on fire, & inflamed with thee, and should faile in my selfe, and be changed? Sith thou art a fire euer burning, and neuer failing; a loue puri∣fieng the hart, and lightening the vnderstanding.

Behold therefore, I wretched sinner, not presuming of mine owne merits, but trusting onlie of thy mercie and goodnesse, am bold to come in trembling and feare vnto this thy table of most sweete deinties, O most holie Lord Iesu Christ. For I haue an hart and bodie defiled, marred, and polluted with manie faults and offences; a mind and a tongue not chastlie nor wari∣lie kept. Therefore, O holie Deitie, O dredfull Maie∣stie, I wretched caitife, in great perplexitie of mind, taken vnwares betwene many troublsome straights, doo now run againe to thee, the fountaine of all mer∣cie. Unto thee doo I hasten me, to be healed and cured: vnder thy protection doo I flie. And whome I can not endure as a Iudge, I earnestlie desire to haue a Sa∣uiour. To thee, O Lord, doo I open and shew my woundes; vnto thee doo I vncouer and detect my shamefastnesse. I knowe that my sinnes are great, for the which I am sore afraid; but I hope and repose my trust in thy great mercies, which are infinite, surpas∣sing Page  585 number. Turne thine eies of thy mercie towards me, O Lord Iesu Christ, heauenlie King, euerlasting God, man crucified for man; heare me trusting in thee, and haue mercie vpon me full of all miserie and sinne. Thou which art the flowing fountaine, and vndrai∣nable wel-spring of all mercie and pitie, I beseech thee from the bottome of my hart, that thou wilt forgiue me all my sinnes, and in this life so to purge awaie the rust and filth thereof, that in the life to come they may not be imputed vnto me.

O God of vnspeakable pitie, whose power is infi∣nite, without whome I can not possiblie resist sinne, comfort and helpe me so greatlie, that I neuer heere∣after anie more commit anie mortall or deadlie sinne; and from hencefoorth may ouercome all the temptati∣ons of the diuell, that I may direct my whole life, thoughts, words and works altogether vnto thee, and that thou maist in the end of my life, so preserue and keepe me, that Sathan vrge me not with his ter∣rours and feares, and so bring me into desperation. O flowing fountaine of charitie, make my mind free from all the creatures, which might drawe me from thy loue and fauour, that in thy loue I may profit, go for∣ward, and preuaile; that now verelie, and in the end of my life, I may worthilie receiue thee, and so my soule being powred out of the sacke of my bodie, doo thou in mercie bring it vnto the euerlasting palace of thy heauenlie father, to see and behold the cleere renow∣med glasse of the holie Trinitie.

Remember thy creature, O Lord, whome thou hast redeemed with thy pretious bloud. Wo is me that e∣uer I haue offended thee; but now I purpose, by thy grace, to amend my life. Take from me therefore, O mercifull father, all my sinnes and iniquities. Cast out of my soule all the filthie fowle matter of the vene∣mous contagion and infection of sinne, and by thine Page  586 ancient and accustomed mercies, powre thy heauen∣lie medicine, and preseruatiue of thy loue, into my wounds, which may refresh and restore me to my for∣mer puritie and cleannesse, that being purified both in bodie and mind, I may deserue and be made fit tho∣rough Christs merits, woorthilie to tast of these most holie mysteries.

Come this daie, O Lord, and minister vnto my sicke and languishing soule some heauenlie cordiall of com∣fort, not because I am iust, but a sinner; because not the whole, but the sicke haue neede of a Physician. O verie true Charitie, in which is euerlasting felicitie! O the onlie hope of my soule! haue mercie vpon me, and blot out all my misdeeds. Thee doth my hart ex∣pect and desire, fulfill my lust and longing, which thou hast put in me, euen as thou wouldest. I am thine, O Christ, forsake me not as vnmeete, or a stranger. Let thy right hand alwaie preuent me, and defend me from all euill. Come, O Lord, whome I wretch haue sore offended, and forgiue and forget all mine offences, for the which thou hast shead thine owne most preti∣ous hart bloud. Come, sweet Lord, and giue me the meate of eternall health. Come, O vnspotted sacrifice, deliuer me from euerlasting death. Come thou Phy∣sician of the weake and diseased. Come thou food of the hungrie. Come Lord, visit this house dedicated and consecrated in thy name. And behold I come to thee, whome with all my hart I couet and desire, to∣wards whome with all earnest consideration of mind, I aspire, and studie to attaine; whome with all mine entrailes I hartilie loue and embrace; whose blessed bodie and bloud in these holie mysteries I earnest∣lie desire to receiue; that thou maist alwaies abide in me, and neuer forsake me, or de∣part from me, O most sweet father: So be it.