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 Christian praier both of the preacher and auditorie present.

OH Lord, how beautifull are the feete of them that bring the glad tidings of the Gospell of peace, of saluation, & of all good things! Surelie, with∣out preaching we should all perish. Blessed and praised be thou there∣fore, O Father, for that thou hast gi∣uen to vs thy Gospell, life, foode, do∣ctrine and peace in our time. Blessed and praised be thou therefore, O Christ, bicause thou giuest and re∣newest often the light of thy Gospell, and maitainest the ministers of thy word; and preseruest, cherishest, and defendest thy catholike Church, against the diuell, and all thine enimies. Yea blessed, I saie, and praised also be thou therefore, O holie spirit; bicause thou be∣ing powred vpon the Apostles, dooest now also kindle thy light in our harts, rulest, instructest, admonishest, helpest vs, gouernest and guidest o•• labours to a pro∣sperous end, and sanctifiest vs to eternall life.

And now, for as much as the chiefe authoritie of speaking, is indeed of thee, O Lord alone, (for a mortall man hath but a dead hart,) I humblie beseech thee to blesse this thy preacher heere present, with thy diuine grace; that he may doo the worke of an Euangelist, and make thy Gospell knowne vnto vs. Giue vnto him the spirit of feare, godlinesse, fortitude, counsell, zeale, knowledge, discretion, wisedome, vnderstanding, and Page  523 constancie; and let him, as he hath receiued thy gifts, so (like a good and faithfull disposer of thy manifold graces) trulie minister the same vnto vs. Lord, let him come vnto vs with abundant knowledge, and abilitie of the diuine mysteries of the blessings of the Gospell of Christ, to communicate and impart vnto vs. And now that he is about to speake, grant that he may speake in thee; that is, by thy helpe and grace: and as he is allowed of thee, so to vtter the words of God, as he hath receiued them from thee, that thou in althings maist be glorified. Put vpon his hart the breast-plate of perfect iudgement, the Urim of knowledge, and the Thumim of holines and righteousnes of life, and pu∣ritie of doctrine. Let thy word be in his hart, as a bur∣ning fire shut vp in his bones; yea let his bellie be as the wine, which hath no vent; or like the new bottles that burst: that being full of good matter, thy spirit within may compell him to speake his mind effectual∣lie. Yea, doo thou, O Lord, I saie, secretlie speake and worke in him; and let thy secret power and vertue be put here vnto this action, to this his labour and exer∣cise of faith, that he may accomplish that thou requi∣rest to be done, for the conuersion and saluation of thy people present. Giue him the earnest-penie of thy spi∣rit in his hart, and open the doore of vtterance vnto him; that he may make manifest the sauour of thy life and knowledg; vnto vs. Lord, thou hast said; Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. Open thou therefore his lips, that his mouth may shew forth thy praise; and shew vs the waie, wherein we may walke straight to thee. O let his mouth, I saie, be filled with thy praise, that he may preach thine vndefiled lawe, to the con∣uerting of soules, and giue wisdome to the simple, and light to the blind. Let vtterance be giuen now vnto him, that he may open his mouth boldlie, to publish the secrets of the Gospell, whereof he is an Ambassa∣dour; Page  524 that therein he may speake boldlie, as he ought to speake, not sparing anie man, nor hauing regard to please anie maner of person. Touch thou, O God, the mouth of this thy preacher, with the hot glowing cole of thy spirit, whereby he being first clensed, may the more feruentlie and purelie preach thy Gospell vnto his brethren, in the discharge of his dutie, as he that first is mooued with the zeale of thy glorie, and then touched with a carefull affection towards thy people, as Esaie was. Giue vnto this thy preacher the auda∣citie of Eliah & Iohn Baptist, that like the true mini∣ster of God, he may stoutlie & boldlie, without anie re∣spect of persons, or desire to please men, as he that fea∣reth God more than the faces of men, reproue the peo∣ple of their sinnes. Let him, as thou hast giuen in com∣mendement, crie alowd, and spare not: let him lift vp his voice like a trumpet, and with all diligence and dis∣cretion shew thy people their transgressions, and re∣prooue vice vnfeinedlie. And bicause, O Lord, in vaine shall he cast the net of thy word, except thou blesse the draught; and his labour yeeld no profit, vnlesse thou prosper it; doo thou therefore luckilie set him on: loose thou his tongue, to speake; and put thou into his hart what to saie. Blesse him, that thy word may be with him; that he may be able thoroughlie to instruct vs what is thy will, that he may catch our soules, and by thy secret & diuine power drawe vnto him the harts, minds, and eares of the hearers: so shall he conuert and win manie vnto thy Christ, and thou thereby be highlie glorified. Let thy spirit speake by him, and thy words be in his tongue; that he vtter nothing rashlie, or vndiscreetlie; but by the motion of thy good spirit, speaking sincerelie and holilie of thee, as in thy sight. Giue to him, and to all such as beare thy word, and are the ministers of the spirituall life, such care, zeale, and diligence, that they may indeuour faithfullie and pain∣fullie Page  525 to fulfill their office, to the vttermost. And final∣lie, let him not defile the euangelicall function by anie meanes, no not with the least suspicion of glorie or lu∣cre; neither let his mouth speake wickednesse, nor his tongue set foorth deceit: but as he dooth preach thy lawes, and take thy couenant in his mouth; so grant he himselfe also may not hate to be reformed, nor at anie time cast thy holie word behind his backe.

And now, bicause thou, O Lord, so mercifullie offe∣rest vnto vs thy saluation; I am to desire thee further∣more, in the behalfe of this congregation present, that we also, for our parts, may of our owne accord willing∣lie receiue the same saluation of the Gospell, now so gratiouslie offered vs: that as thy preachers, for their parts, doo publish thy glorious name: so we, as greene grasse, may receiue the heauenlie dew of thy doctrine: and that the barren earth of our harts, may be there∣by moistened with the liuelie water of thy grace, and holie spirit, to fructifie in the same. Grant that we may receiue these holie things, high mysteries, and most pretious pearles, not as dogs, or swine, to tread them contemptuouslie vnder our feete; as wicked Atheists, and vngodlie contemners of thy Gospell, to our dam∣nation: but as thy children, and those that are of God, and sheepe of his fold, with all meeknesse, obedience, christian feare and reuerence, grant that we may both heare, receiue, and fulfill them; to thy glorie, and our saluation. Furthermore, as thou in mercie openest their mouth to speake vnto vs; so giue vs grace to open our harts and eares, to receiue the wholesome instructions, and fatherlie admonitions, which proceed thereout. O giue vs grace, I saie, to applie our harts to instruction, and our eares to the words of know∣ledge. Let vs be still desirous of thy heauenlie king∣dome. Let the holie bread of thy Gospell, and foode of heauenlie dainties, be onlie sweet vnto vs, and sauorie Page  526 in our mouths; that we may depart well refreshed, and full fraught with the largesse and plentie of thy word, and Euangelike feast. Make thou vs true Con∣uerts, and more and more to increase and growe from faith to faith, & vertue to vertue. Let vs neuer loath this heauenlie Philosophie; but let vs be as the lear∣ned, that are taught of thee, and made meet by this thy preacher to receiue thy doctrine to our health. The preacher heere present is vndoubtedlie thy mouth and messenger, whom thou hast sent. O therfore let vs not dare either barbarously to misvse our selues towards him, in word, deed, or thought; or scornefullie disdaine to be taught of him: but with all feare of thy Maiestie, and reuerence towards him, let vs with all attentiue and ghostlie greedinesse marke his words well, to fol∣lowe whatsoeuer shall be godlie vttered by him. And finallie, touch thou so our harts, we beseech thee, O God, to beleeue thy word, and to repent with speed, that the preaching of thy Gospell may take place in vs, to practise the works of faith, and shew foorth fruits wor∣thie the same; so that we, with this and all other thy preachers, and they togither with vs, leading a right, vertuous, and godlie life, according to the rules pre∣scribed in thy word, may be brought in the end vnto thee, the chiefe shepheard of our soules; where wee may iointlie be partakers of eternall good things, and most excellent felicitie, thorough Iesus Christ our Lord,

Amen.