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Title: A godly medytacyon of the christen sowle, concerninge a loue towardes God and hys Christe

Author: King of Navarre consort of Henry II Queen Marguerite

Editor: John Bale

Translator: Queen of England Elizabeth I

Release date: May 23, 2023 [eBook #70848]

Language: English

Original publication: Germany: Dirik van der Straten, 1548

Credits: The Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive)


Transcriber’s Note: Biblical references in the sidenotes are not always possible to make out, due to the quality of the print. Where this is the case it has been noted with [unclear] or [unreadable], as appropriate.

[fol. 1]

A Godly Medytacyon
of the christen sowle, concerninge
a loue towardes God and hys
Christe, compyled in frenche by lady
Margarete quene of Nauerre, and aptely
translated into Englysh by the
ryght vertuouse lady Elyzabeth
doughter to our late souerayne
Kynge Henri the .viij.

Inclita filia, serenissimi olim Anglorum
Regis Henrici octaui Elizabeta, tam Græcæ
quam latine fœliciter in Christo

[fol. 2]

To the ryght vertuouse
and christenly lerned yonge
lady Elizabeth, the noble doughter of
our late souerayne Kynge Henry the
.viij. Iohan Bale wysheth helth
with dayly increace of Godly


Diuerse and many (most gracyouse lady) haue the opynyons bene amonge the prophane philosophers and christen dyuynes, concernynge ryght Nobylyte, and no fewar stryues and contencyons for the same. Some autours haue vaynely boasted it to take orygynall of the olde Goddes of the Gentyles, as euery lāde hath had hys peculyar Saturne, Iupiter, & Hercules, yea our Englāde here and all. Some hath fatt it from the foure generall monarchyes of the Assyrianes, Perseanes, Grekes, and Romanes. Some haue attrybuted it, to the bolde battayles and bloudshedynges, in Ninus of Babylon the first inuētour of polycyes in warre, in our great Albion the Chamesene, whych first in thys regyon suppressed the posterite of Iaphet, vsurpynge therin the first monarchy, in Brute that more than six hondred yeares after defaced of hym the tyrannouse yssue, in Ebrāck and Dunwallo, in Brenne and Belyne, in great Constantyne, Artoure, Cadwalader, Engist, Egbert, Alphrede wyllyam cōquerour & soch other, for lyke cōquestes of the Romanes, Grekes, Galles, pyctes, Brytaynes, Saxons, Danes, Iryshens and Englyshens.

Kyndes of Nobylyte.

The hawty Romanes set not yet a lyttle by themselues, that they haue rysē of Aeneas & Romulus, of whom the one most shamefully betrayed hys owne natyue kyndred and contraye, and the other most vnnaturally slewe hys owne brother for worldly domynyō. Lyke as our walshemen here in Englande, aduaūcynge their successyon or progeny aboue the Englysh wyll nedes come of Sardanus & Bute, a foūdacyō not all vnlyke to the other. These gloryouse champyons for thys farre fatched groūde of their Nobylyte, accoūte all other nacyons and peoples, ignoble, profane, and barbarouse, as is to be seane in the monumētes of their writers. But in the meaneseason, they are not aware that[fol. 3] they wndyscretely prefarre cursed Cham to blessed Iaphet, by whose posteryte the Iles of the Gentyles were first sorted out in to speches, kyndredes, and nacyons, Gene. 10. and not by Chams ofsprynge, of whome the Troianes and Romanes had their noble begynnynge. That the Chamesenes had in those Iles, was by cruell vsurpacyon & tyrāny, as testyfyeth Berosus the Caldeane and therfor that groūde of Nobylyte is not all the best. Ouer and besydes all thys, some haue applyed it to renomed byrth or successyon of bloude, some to the habūdaūce of pleasures worldly some to the mayntenaūce of great famylyes, some to the sūptuousnesse of notable buyldynges, some to the hygh stomake & stature of persone, some to valeaūtnesse in marcyall feates, some to semely maners of courtesye, some to lyberalyte of rewardes and gyftes, some to the auncyentnesse of longe coūtynuaunce, some to wysdome lernynge & stody for a cōmēwelth with soch lyke. And these are not all to be dysalowed, for we fynde them in Abraham, & Dauid with other iust fathers.


But now foloweth, a monstruouse, or whether ye wyll, a prestygyouse nobylyte. The Romysh clergye ymagenynge to exalte themselues aboue the lewde layte (as they shame not yet to call the worldly powers) haue geuen it in a farre other kynde, to mytars, masses, Cardynall hattes, crosers, cappes, shauen crownes, oyled thombes, syde gownes, furred amyses, mōkes cowles, and fryres lowsy coates, becōmynge therby pōtyfycall lordes, spirytuall sirs, and ghostly fathers. Thys kynde of Nobylyte dygged out of the dongehyll, haue I seane gorgyously garnyshed with the retoryckes of Porphyry, Aristotle, Duns, and Raymundus decretals, in the bokes of Iohan Stanbery byshopp of herforde, De superioritate ecclesiastica, De discrimine iurisdictionum, and De potestate pōtificia. In the bokes also of Walter hūte an ordynary reader sūtyme in Oxforde, De precellētia Petri, & De autoritate ecclesie. Yea, and amōge thēselues they haue moch contended both by disputacyon & writynges, whych of their seeres myght other excell in the nobylnesse of christen perfection. The monkes in publyque scoles, by a dystynccyon of the actyue and contemplatyue lyfe, haue aduaunced their ydell mōkery aboue the[fol. 4] offyce of a byshopp, and the fryres their scalde crauynge beggery, aboue the degrees of thē Both. As is largely seane in the brawlynge workes of Rycharde Maydeston, Thomas walden, Wyllyam Byntre & other whych haue written Contra wicleuistas, & Pro mēdicatione fratrū.

4. orders.
O Deuils īcarnate.

In the dayes of kynge Edwarde the fourt, Iohan Myluerton prouyncyall of the Carmelytes, was full thre yeares, a prysoner in the castell of Angell at Rome at the sute of the byshoppes of Englande for the same, and lost so the byshopryck of saynt Dauids, wherunto he was a lyttle afore elected. Thys matter haue I hearde, vndre the tyttle of Euangelyck perfeccyon, most depely reasoned in their ordynary dysputacions at their concourses cōuocacyons, and chapters (as they than called them) yea by those whome I knewe most corrupt lyuers, Berūto for fournyshynge out the same, the graye fryres added. S. frances paynted woūdes, the blacke fryres. S. Domynyckes bolde dysputynge with heretykes, the whyte fryres our ladyes fraternyte, and the Augustyne fryres the great doctryne of their patrone. In the vnyuersytees afte moch to and fro, hath it bene concluded, that the order of a prest haue farre excelled in dygnyte the order of a byshopp. And thys haue they left behynde them for a most graue and depe reason therupon. Marke their more than lucyferyne presumpcyon therin. Soch power hath a prest (saye they) as hath neyther Angell nor yet Man, be he of neuer so great autoryte, scyēce, or vertu. For a prest by worde maye make hym agayne, that by worde made heauen & earth. A prest maye euery daye both byget hym and beare hym, where as hys mother Marye bygate hym (beare hym they wolde saye) but ones. These are their very wordes in a boke entytled, De origine Nobilitatis. ca. 5. with moch more cyrcumstaunce of matter. O blasphemouse bellybeastes, & most ydell wytted sorcerers. How ydolatrously exalte they themselues aboue the eternall lyuynge God & hys Christ?


Iohan Chrisostome a man taught and brought up in the christen philosophy, defyneth the true Nobylyte after a farre other sort, than ded the prophane writers. He calleth it not with Aristotle, a worthynesse of progeny, neyther yet with[fol. 5] Varro ā opulēcy of ryches, but a fameuse renome obtayned by lōge exercysed vertu. He is pusaunt, hygh, ād valeaunt (sayth he) and hath Nobylyte in right course, that dysdayneth to geue place to vyces and abhorreth to be ouercomen of them. Doctryne greatly adourneth a mā hyghly borne, but a godly endeuoure of christyanyte bewtyfyeth hym most of all. By nō other wayes haue the Apostles and Martyrs obtayned a noble report, than by the valeaunt force of pure doctryne and fayth. A gētyll hart (sayth Seneca) or a stomake that ys noble, moueth, prouoketh, and sturreth, only to thynges honest. No man whych hath a noble wytte, delyteth in thynges of small value, moch lesse in matters of fylthynesse or supperstycyon. Chefely apperteyneth it to men and women of syncere Nobylyte, to regarde the pure doctryne and faythe, vnto soch hath God promysed in the scriptures, habundaunce of tēporall thynges, longe lyfe, fortunate chyldren, a kyngedome durable, with soch other, Deut. 28.

Asa rex.
Ecclesia. 49.

A most worthy conquerour is Gedeon noted in the scriptures, for destroyenge false relygyō & renuynge the kyngedome of faythe. Iudi. vj. So is kynge Asa, for remouynge the male stues from the prelates abhorrynge marryage, & for puttynge downe ydolles whych hys forefathers maynteyned. 3. Reg. 15. So is kynge Iosaphat, for beynge couragyouse in the wayes of God, and for puttynge downe the hyll aulters & their sacrifices. 2. parali 17. So is kynge Iehu, for sleynge the ydolatrouse Prestes, and for breakynge and burnynge their great God Baal, and for makynge, a Iakes of their holy churche 4. Reg. 10. So is kynge Ezechias for clēsynge the house of the lorde from all fylthynesse, afore hys tyme therin occupyed. 2. Parali. 29. and for breakynge downe the brasen serpent and ydolatrouse ymages with their aulters and sanctuaryes. 4. Reg. 18. So is kynge Iosias, for suppressynge relygyouse persones and aulter prestes, for cōsumynge their iewels & ornamētes, & for ouerthrowynge their buggery chambers in the howse of the lorde 4. Reg. 23. Thys noble kīge also destroyed all theyr carued ymages, he strewed the dust of thē vpon their graues that had offered to them, and brent the prestes bones vpō their aulters, restorynge agayne[fol. 6] the lawes of the lorde. 2. parali. 34. Iesus Syrach reporteth of hym fynally, that he whollye dyrected hys hart to the lorde, & toke awaye all abhomynacyons of the vngodly. Eccle. 49. Besydes that is spoken of kynge Dauid and kynge Salomon.

Edwarde vj. rex.

Not I only, but many thousandes more whych wyll not from hens fourth bowe any more to Baal, are in full & perfyght hope, that all these most hyghly notable and pryncely actes, wyll reuyue & lyuely florysh in your most noble and worthy brother kynge Edwarde the sixt. Most excellent & godly are hys begynnynges reported of the very foren nacyōs callynge hym for hys vertuouse, lerned, and godly prudent youthes sake, the seconde Iosias. Those hys wonderfull pryncyples in the eyes of the worlde, and no lesse gloryouse afore God thus beynge to hys honoure, that eternall lyuynge God contynue and prospere to the ende, that he maye haue of them as had these vorthy kinges afore rehearced, a ryght noble and famouse report. Nobylyte sought by wycked enterpryses and obtayned by the same (as in many afore our dayes, and in some now of late) is not els but a publyque and notable infamye, and in the ende eternall dāpnacyon. Nobylyte wonne by the ernest sekynge of Gods hygh honour, is soch a precyouse crowne of glory as wyll neuer perysh here nor yet in the worlde to come.

O Noble Kyndred.

Cain after a worldly maner, or amōge the vngracyouse sort, is holden noble for slaynge hys brother Iudas of the prelates (for he receyued of thē, a noble rewarde) for betrayenge Christ, Herode of the Iewes for murtherynge the innocētes. And what is there more worthy reproche, dyshonour, and shame, than are these execrable factes? The nature of true Nobylyte (as I haue sayd afore) is not to ryse of vyce but of vertu, though many men there seke it. Of the most excellēt kinde of Nobylyte is he sure (most vertuouse and lerned lady) whych truly beleueth and seketh to do the wyll of the eternall father, for therby is he brought forewarde, and promoted into that heauenly kyndred Ioā. 1. By that meanes becometh he the deare brother, syster, & mother of Christ Math. 12. a cytizen of heauen with the Apostles and Prophetes, Ephe. 2. yea the chylde of adopcyon and heyre togyther with Christ in the heauēly inherytaunce[fol. 7] Roma. 8. No soch chyldren left Socrates behynde hym, neyther yet Demosthenes, Plato, nor Cicero, with all their plesaūt wysdome and eloquēce. No soch heretage coulde great Alexander the Macedoneane, byqueth to hys posteryte neyther yet noble Charles, Artoure, nor Dauid.

.4. tūges.
Men lerned.

Of thys Nobylyte, haue I no doubt (lady most faythfully studyouse) but that yow are, with many other noble women & maydēs more in thys blessed age. If questyon were axt me, how I knowe it? my answere wolde be thys. By your godly frute, as the fertyle tre is non other wyse than therby knowne, Luce. vj. I receyued your noble boke, ryght frutefully of yow translated out of the frenche tunge into Englysh. I receyued also your golden sentences out of the sacred scriptures, with no lesse grace than lernynge in foure noble lāguages, Latyne, Greke, Frenche, & Italyane, most ornately, fynely, & purely writtē with your owne hande. Wonderfully ioyouse were the lerned men of our cytie, Murseus, Buscoducius, Bomelius, Lithodius & Imānus, as I shewed vnto them the seyd sentences, in beholdynge (as they than reported) so moch vertu, faythe, scyence, & experyēce of lāguages & letters, specyally in noble youth & femynyte. Through whych occasyon there be of thē (I knowe) that can not witholde their lerned handes frō the publyshynge therof, to the hygh prayse of God the geuer, neyther yet from wrytynge to your worthy grace for studyouse contynuaunce in the same. Your seyd sētēces, they saye farre passeth the Apohthegmes of Plutarchus, the Aphorismes of Theognis, the Stratagemes of Isocrates, the graue golden coūsels of Cato & the manyfolde morals of Iohan Goldeston the great allegoryser, with soche other lyke.

The first clause.

Your first written clauses in .iiij. speches latyne, frenche & Italyane, out of the xiij. Psalme of noble Dauid, mēcyoneth that the vnfaythfull reckeneth folyshly in their hartes, there is no God. Wherupō so corrupt they are in their vayne coniectures, and so abhomynable in their dayly doynges, that not one of their generacyō is godly. By thys do your grace vnto vs sygnyfye, that the baren doctryne & good workes without fayth of the hypocrytes, whych in their vncōmaunded latyne ceremonyes serue their bellyes & not Christ,[fol. 8] in gredyly deuourynge the patrymony of poor wydowes & orphanes, are both execrable in themselues, and abhomynable afore God for though those paynted sepulchres haue the name of the lorde in their mouthes, & greatly boast the good workes of the lawe, yet knowe they not what belongeth to hys true honoure, but hate in their wycked hartes both hys gloryouse name and worde. The true doctryne of faythe, and the feare of God, wyll that wycked sort (whome thys psalme wryngeth) not heare, but styll tormēt the conscyences of myserable wretched ydyotes for aduauntage of Masses and momblynges. Happy are they of thys latter age, that in the Gospell haue receyued the sauynge helth out of Syon (as your grace hath done) beynge clere from the stynge of those vyperouse wormes. Blessed be those faythfull tuters & teachers whych by their most godly instruccyons haue thus fashyoned your tender youth into the ryght ymage of Christ and not Antichrist. Yea most blessed be those godly gouernours and magistrates, whych haue traueled and yet laboryously trauayle with worthy Moses, to brynge Gods people clerely out of their most wretched captyuyte.

The latter clause.

Your latter clause in the Greke, incyteth vs to the ryght worshyppynges of God in sprete and veryte Ioā. 4. to honouringe of our parētes in the semely offyces of naturall chyldren. Ephe. vj. and to the reuerent vsynge of our christen equalles in the due mynystracyons of loue. 1. Pet.

Robert Kylwarby.
A change.
The boke.

2. Neyther Benedyct nor Bruno, Domynyck nor Frances (whych haue of longe yeares bene boasted for the pryncypall patrones of relygyon) euer gaue to their superstycyouse bretherne, so pure preceptes of syncere christyanyte. Neyther yet Peter lombarde in hys .iiij. bokes of sentēces, with whose smokye dyuynyte, the lowsy locustes monkes, chanons, prestes, and fryres haue these .iiij. hondred yeares darkened the clere sunne, whych is the veryte of God, Apoca. 9. If godly wyse men wolde do nomore but conferre thys lernynge of yours and of other noble women ī these dayes, with the doctryne of Robert Kylwarby archebyshopp of Canterbury and Cardynall, whych the vnyuersytees of Oxforde & Parys were sworne to, for mayntenaunce of that christyanyte in the[fol. 9] yeare of our lorde. 1276, by the consent of all masters regentes & non regentes, I doubt it not but they shulde fynde iust cause to holde vp both their handes and prayse their lorde God for changynge that helle into thys heauen. An vnsauery gust therof shall they fynde, adioyned of the Paryseanes as necessary dyuynyte, to the foreseyd sentēces of Peter lombarde.

An hart.
Noble womē lerned.

In your forenamed boke, cōposed first of all by the ryght vertuouse lady Margarete, syster sūtyme to the frenche kynge Frances, and quene of Nauerre, And by your noble grace most dylygently and exactly translated into Englysh, fynde I most precyouse treasure concernynge the sowle, Wherfor I haue added therunto the tytle of a Godly medytacyon of the sowle, concernynge a loue towardes God and hys Christ. Most lyuely in these and soch other excellent factes, expresse ye the naturall emphasy of your noble name Elischabeth in the hebrue, is as moch to saye in the latyne, as Dei mei requies, in Englysh, the rest of my God. Who can thynke God not to rest in that harte whych sendeth fourth soch godly frutes? I thynke nō that hath ryght dyscressyon. Your pēne hath here plenteouslye vttered the habundaūce of a Godly occupyed harte, lyke as ded the vyrgynall lyppes of Christes most blessed mother, whan she sayd with heauenly reioyce, My sowle magnyfyeth the lorde and my sprete reioyceth in God my sauer, Luce. 1. Many noble women of fresh literature haue bene afore tyme in thys regyon, whose nomēclature or rehearsall of names I intende to shewe in the ende of thys boke, but non of thē were euer yet lyke to those whych are in our age. No, neyther Cambra, Martia, Constantia, Agasia, Vodicia, Bunduica, Claudia, Helena, vrsula, hilda, nor soch other lyke. Thys one coppye of yours haue I brought into a nombre, to thintēt that many hungry sowles by the inestymable treasure contayned therin, maye be swetely refreshed. The sprete of the eternall sonne of God Iesus Christ, be alwayes to your excellent grace assystent that ye maye sende fourth more soch wholsome frutes of sowle, and become a noryshynge mother to hys dere congregacyon to their confort and hys hygh glorye Amen.

Your bounde oratour

Iohan Bale

[fol. 10]

A Godly Medytacyon
of the christen sowle, concerninge
a loue towardes God and hys
Christe, compyled in frenche by lady
Margarete quene of Nauerre, and aptely
translated into Englysh by the
ryght vertuouse lady Elyzabeth
doughter to our late souerayne
Kynge Henry the .viij.

The preface.

Math. 5.
Hebre. 11.
1. Ioā. 4.

If thu do throughly reade thys worke (dere frynde in the lorde) marke rather the matter than the homely speache therof, consyderynge it is the stodye of a woman, whych hath in her neyther cōnynge nor scyence, but a feruent desyre that yche one maye se, what the gifte of God the creatour doth whan it pleaseth hym to iustyfye a hart. For what is the hart of a Man, concernynge hys owne strēgth, before he hath receyued the gift of faythe? Therby only hath he knowledge of the goodnesse, wysedome, and power of God. And as sone as he through that faythe, knoweth pythely the truthe hys hart is anon full of charyte and loue. So that by the feruentnesse therof, he excludeth all fleshly feare, & fyrmely trusteth in God vnfaynedly, for certaynely the gifte, whych God the creatour geueth frely at the begynnynge, doth neuer cease tyll it hath made hym godly, whych putteth hys full trust in God.

Ioan. 6.

O happy and fortunate gifte, whych causeth a Man to possesse a grace so desyred. Alas no man coulde thys vnderstande, onles by soch gyfte God had geuen it hym. And great cause he hath to doubte of it, ōles God had made hym to feale it in hys harte. Therfor gētyll reader, with a godly mynde I besyche the pacyently thys worke to peruse, whych is but small in quantyte, and taste nothynge but the frute therof. Prayenge to God full of all goodnesse, that in thy harte he wyll plāte the lyuely faythe. Amen.

finit præfatio.

liber incipit

Iob. 7.
Roma. 7.
Psal. 94.

Where is the helle full of trauayle, payne, myschefe, and torment? Where is the pytte of cursednesse, out of whych doth sprynge all desperacyon? Is there[fol. 11] any helle so profounde, that is suffycyent to ponnysh the tenth part of my synnes, whych are so many in nombre, that the infynyte swarme of them so shaddoweth my darkened sences that I can not accompte them neyther yet wele se them? I am farre entered in amongest them, and (that moch wors is) I haue not the power to obtayne the true knowledge of the depe daūgers of them. I perfyghtly fele, that their roote is in me. And outwardly I se non other effecte but all is eyther braūche leafe, or els frute that it bryngeth fourth all aboute me. If I thynke to loke for better, a braūche cometh and closeth myne eyes, and in my mouthe doth fall whan I wolde speake, the frute so bytter to swalowe downe. If my sprete be sturred for to harken, than a great multytude of leaues doth entre in myne eares, and my nose is all stopped with flowers.

2. Cor. [unreadable].
Iob. 12.

Now beholde how in paynes cryenge & wepynge, my poore sowle, a slaue and prysoner, doth lye without lyghte, hauynge her fete bounde through her concupyscēce & also both her armes through euyll vse. Yet the power to remedy it, doth not lye in me, neyther haue I power to crye for helpe. Agayne, so far fourth as I can perceyue, I haue no hope of socour, but through the grace of God that I can not deserue, whych maye rayse euery one from deathe. By hys bryghtnesse he geueth lyght to darkenesse. And hys power examynynge my faulte, doth breake all the vayle of ignoraunce, and geueth me clere vnderstādynge, not only that thys cometh of me, but also what thynge abydeth in me. Where I am and wherfor I do laboure. Who he is whom I haue offended, to whom I ded obeye so seldome. Therfor it is cōuenyent that my pryde be suppressyd.

Iob. 14.
Sapi. [unreadable].

And humbly with wepynge harte, I do confesse that I am moch lesse thā nothynge, before my byrth myer, after a dungehyll, a body prompte to all euyll not wyllynge other stodye, also subiect to care, sorowe, and payne. A short lyfe, and thende vncertayne. The whych vndre synne by Adam is solde, and by the lawe iudged to be damnyd. For I had neuer the power to obserue one only cōmaundemente of God, I do fele the strength of synne in me, therfor is my synne no whyt the lesse to be hydden. And the more he is dyssembled outwardly, so moche the more he encreasyth[fol. 12] within the harte. That whych God wyll, I can not wyll, and what he wolde not, I ofte tymes desyre to perfourme. Whych thynge doth constrayne me by importable sorowe, to wyshe thende of thys myserable bodye through desyred death, bycause of my werye & ragynge life.

Roma. [unreadable].
Gene. [unreadable].
Psal. 37.

Who shall be he than, that shall delyuer and recouer suche good for me? Alas it can not be a mortall man, for hys power and strength is not suche, but it shall be the only good grace of the almyghty God whych is neuer slacke to preuent vs with hys mercye. O what a master is that, without deseruynge any goodnesse of hym? I serued hym slouthfully, and without ceasynge offended hym euery daye, yet is he not slacke in helpynge me. He doth se the euyll that I haue, what and how moche it is, and that of my selfe I can do nothynge that good is, but with hart and body so enclyned am I to the contrarye, that I feale no strength in me onles it be for to do euyll. He doth not tarry tyll I humbly praye hym, or that (seynge my helle & dāpnacyon) I do crye vpō hym. For with hys sprete he maketh a waylynge in my harte greatter than I can declare, whych asketh the gyfte wherof the vertu is vnknowen to my lytele power.

Luce. 19.
Collo. 3.

And thys the same vnknowne syghte doth brynge me a newe desyre, shewynge the good that I haue lost by my synne, & gyuē me agayne through hys grace & boūtye, that whych hath ouercome all synne. O my lorde what grace and goodnesse is thys, whych doth put out so manye synnes. Now maye we se that thu art full of all godly loue to make me of a synner, thy seruaūt & chyelde. Alas my God, I ded not seke the but I fled & rāne awaye frō the. And here beneth thu camyst to me whych am nothynge but a worme of the earthe, all naked. What do I saye, worme? I do hym wrōge, that am so naughtye, & swarme so full of pryde, deceyte, malyce & treason. The promyse whych my fryndes made whā I was baptysed is such, that I alwayes through faythe in thy passyō shuld fele the mortyfycacyō of my fleshe & dwelle alwayes with the ī the crosse where thu wert fast nayled (as I beleue) and yelded death dead as I also shuld yelde all synne.

Mar. 16.
Ioan. 6.

Thys haue I often tymes taken downe agayne, vntyed, and set at large, I haue broken, denyed, and falsyfyed my promyse[fol. 13] & through pryde, I haue lyft vp my wyll in suche a maner, that through slouth, my dewtye towardes the was forgoten. And that moche more is, as wele the profyte or value of thy promyse, whych I had of the in the daye of my baptysme, as also thy sauynge loue and promyses folowynge, I haue all alyke neglected. What shall I saye more? Albeit that often tymes thu perceyuynge me wretched and vnhappye hast geuē me so many warnynges in fayth and in sacramētes, admonyshynge me by preachynges, and confortynge me by the recayuynge of thy worthye bodye and sacred bloude, promysynge also to put me in the nombre of them that are now adourned with perfyght innocencye. Yet haue I all these hygh benefyghtes, throwne into forgetfullnesse.

Hiere. 7.
Psal. 118.

Often tymes haue I with the broken couenaunte. And partly for that my poore sowle was to moche fed with euyll breade or dāpnable doctryne of hypocrytes, I despysed such socoure and ghostly physyck in Gods worde as wolde haue holpe me. And if I had bene wyllynge to loke for it yet knewe I at that tyme no teachers cōuenyent. For there is neyther man, saynte, nor Angell, for whome the harte of a synner without thy sprete wyll change. Alas good Iesus, thu beholdynge my blyndenesse, and that at my neade I coulde haue no socour of men, dedyst open the waye of my saluacyon. O how great is the goodnesse, and how inestymable the swetnesse whych thu hast shewed therin? Is there any father so naturall to the daughter or brother to the syster, whych wolde euer haue done as he hath done? For he came into the helle to socour my sowle, where agaynst hys wyll she was, intendynge to haue peryshed, because she ded not loue.

1. Ioā. 3.
Ioā. 5.
Ephe. 3.

Alas swete lorde thu hast loued her yea, to the very outshedynge of thy most precyouse bloude. O charyte feruent and incōparable. Not slacke art thu in loue that so louest euery synner, yea, and also thyne enemyes, not only in forgeuynge their offences, but also in geuynge thy selfe for their saluacyon, lybertie, and delyueraunce, to the death, crosse, trauayle, payne and sufferaunce. Whan I cast in mynde, what shulde be the occasyō of thy loue towardes me. I can se nothynge els but a loue wonderfull, whych moueth the to geue me that I can not deserue. Than[fol. 14] my God as farre fourth as I can se, I ought to geue no thākes for my saluacyon but only vnto the, to whome I owe the prayse ther of, as to hym whych is my sauyour & creatoure. What a thynge is it that thu hast done so moche for me? Thu art not only contented to haue forgyuen me my synnes, but also hast gyuē vnto me the ryght fortunate gifte of grace.

Roma. [unreadable].
Math. 12.

For it shulde suffyse me, I cōmynge out of suche a daunger, to be lyke a straunger vsed. But thu dost handle my sowle, (if I durst so saye it) as a mother, daughter, syster and wyfe. I lorde, I am the trespaser whych am not worthy to come nere the dore of thy ryght hygh place to aske breade, where thy dwellynge is. O what grace is thys, that so sodenly thu vouchesauyst to drawe my sowle in to suche hyghnesse, that she felyth her selfe ruler of my bodye. She poore, ignoraunte and lame, doth fynde her selfe wyth the, ryche, wyse, and stronge, because thu hast written in her harte the roote of thy sprete, & holy worde, geuynge her true fayth for to receyue it. Whych thynge made her to conceyue thy sonne, in beleuynge hym to be man, God, sauyour, and also the true remytter of synnes. Therfor dost thu assure her, that she is mother to thy sonne of whom thu art the only faither.

Phil. 2.
Gene. 1.

And farthermore, O my father here is a great loue, for thu art not wery of wele doynge syth that thy sonne full of dyuynyte hath taken the bodye of a man, & ded myngle hymselfe with our ashes, whych thynge a man can not vnderstāde vnlesse he hath a true faythe. It hath pleased the to put hym so neare vs, that he ded ioyne hymselfe vnto our fleshe. Than we seynge hym to be called man, we are bolde to call hym syster and brother. Now the sowle whych maye saye of her selfe, that she is the syster of God, ought to haue her harte assured. After thys dost thu declare with greate loue, how her creacyon is only of the good wyll, whych it pleaseth the alwayes to haue towardes her, geuynge assuraunce that before her first daye, or tyme of beynge prouyded for her, thu bestowedest thy loue on her, & how through loue thu hast made her (as alone of power thu cannyst wele do it) and also how thu dedyst put her within thys body, not for to sleape with slouth, but that both of them shulde haue non other exercyse, but only[fol. 15] to thynke how to do some seruyce vnto the.

Tren. 2.
Colos. 2.

Than the truthe maketh her to feale that there is in the, true paternyte. O what honoure, what swetnesse, and what glory hath the sowle, whych doth alwayes remēber that she is thy daughter, & in callynge the fayther, she doth thy commaundement? What is there more? Is that all? No, It doth please the to gyue her an other name, to call her thy wyfe, & that she agayne do call the husbande, declarynge how thu hast frely manyfested the marryage of her. By the baptysme thu hast made a promes, to gyue her thy goodes and ryches, and thu agayne to take her synnes, for she hath nothynge els by herytage of her first father Adam. All her treasures, that she hath of nature, are nothynge els but synnes, whych thu hast tyed vpon the, and payed all her whole debte with thy goodes and landes.

Roma. 1[unclear].
Ioā. 5.
Prouer. 13.

Thu hast made her so ryche, and with so great a ioynter endued her, that she knowynge her selfe to be thy woyd wyfe, doth beleue to be quytt of all that she oweth, estemynge very lytel that she hath here beneth. She forsaketh her olde father, & all the goodes that he gyueth, for her husbandes sake. Surely (o my God) my sowle is sore hurte to be fedde with suche good, and agayne releued in leauynge the pleasure of thys worlde for that whych is eternall, where peace is without warre. I maruayle that she, thys remembrynge, doth not lese her witt, coūtenaunce, and speache. Father, father, alas what ought I to thynke. Shall my sprete be so bolde as to take vpon hym to call the father? Yea, and also our Father, for so hast thu taught in the Pater noster. But to call the daughter, hast thu so sayd? I besyche the, tell me. Alas yea, whan with great swetnesse, thu saydest daughter, lend me thy harte.

Apoca. 13.
Luce. 11.

O my God, in stede of lendynge, he is ready to geue hym selfe wholly vnto the. Receyue hym than, & do not permyt that any creature put hym from the, so that for euer with faythfull stedefastnesse he maye loue the with a daughterly loue. Now my lorde if thu be my father, maye I thynke that I can be thy mother? Indede I can not wele preceyue, how I shulde conceyue the that createdyst me. But thu dedyst in thys matter satisfye my doubte, whan in preachynge and in[fol. 16] streatchynge fourth thy hādes dedyst saye Those that shall do the wyll of my father they are my bretherne, also my syster and mother. I beleue than, that hearynge & readynge the wordes whych thu hast taught & vttered by thy holy prophetes, the same also whych through thy true preachers, thu dost dayly declare vnto mē in beleuynge it and stedefastly desyerynge to fulfyll, I cōceyue the & beare the by loue.

Math. 1.
1. Cor. 15.

Therfor without āye feare, wyll I take vpō me the name of a mother. What mother of God? O swete vyrgyne Marye, I besyche the, be not angry that I take vp suche a tytle. I do neyther stele, nor vsurpe any thynge vpon thy pryuylege. For thu only hast aboue all womē receyued of hym so great honoure, that nomā can in hymselfe comprehende how he hath bene wyllynge to take in the our fleshe. For thu arte mother and perfyght vyrgyne before and after, and in hys holy byrth. In thy blessyd wombe thu dedyst beare hym and norysh hym. Thu dedyst folowe hym in hys trybulacyons, and also in hys teachynges. Now breuely to conclude. Thu hast with God founde suche grace, as the enemye through malyce and deceyte, had caused Adam & hys posteryte to lose. By Eue and hym we had lost it, & by thy sonne hath it bene yelded vnto vs agayne.

Luce. 1.
Acto. 12.

Therfor hast thu bene ryghteously called full of grace. For thu lackedyst neyther grace nor vertu, sith that he whych is the best amonge them that be good, also the sprynge of all goodnesse and power whych hath created in the so pure innocēcye that thu arte the example of all uertues, hath buylded in the hys dwellynge & temple. He through loue ded conforme hymselfe with the, and thu arte transfourmed in hym. Therfor if any man shulde thynke to geue the greatter prayse than God hymselfe hath done, it were a fule blasphemye. For there is no suche prayse, as is the same whych commeth from God. Thu also hast had faythe so fyrme and cōstaunt, that (by grace) she had the power to make the godly. Wherfor I wyll not take vpon me, to geue the greatter prayse than the honoure whych thy souerayne lorde hath geuen vnto the. For thu arte hys corporall mother, and also through fayth hys spyrytuall mother.

Roma. 8[unclear].
Canti. 4.

And I folowynge thy fayth with humblenesse, am hys spirytuall mother also.[fol. 17] Alas my God the brotherlynesse that thu hast towardes me through thy humblenesse, in callynge me syster, is great. Dedyst thu euer saye ī it any thynge afore? Alas yea. For thu hast broken the kyndred of my olde father, callynge me doughter by adopcyon. Well than, seynge that we haue both but one father, I wyll not feare to call the my brother. For so hast thu reported it by Salomon in hys bellet, saynge, My syster and spouse thu hast wounded my harte with the swete loke of one of thyne eyes, and with one cheyne of thy necke. Alas my brother, I wyshe for nothynge els, but that in woūdynge the, I myght fynde my selfe wounded with thy loue. To that wolde I geue ouer my selfe. And lyke wyse thu dost call me wyfe in that place, shewynge largely that thu louyst me, saynge by these wordes amorouse.

Canti. 2.
Luce. 8.

Aryse my dere doue, and come hytherwarde my dylectable spouse. Therfor shal I saye with louynge fayth, thu arte myne and I am thyne. Thu dost call me thy loue & fayre spouse. If it be so, suche hast thu made me. Alas, doth it please the, to gyue me suche names? They are truly able to breake a mannys harte, and cause it to burne through loue vnspeakeable, whan he thynketh vpon the honoure that thu dost vnto hym, whych is moche greatter than he hath deserued. A mother, a mother? Alas but of what chylde is it? Truly of suche a sonne, that my harte doth breake for loue. My God, my sonne? O Iesus what speache thys is, mother, daughter. O happy kynrede. O what swetnesse doth proceade out of that paternyte. But what doughterly and reuerent feare ought I to haue towardes hym, my father, yea & my creatour, my protectour and sauer? To be thy syster, alas here is a great loue.

Canti. 8.
Acto. 4.
Ezech. 33.

Now dost thu breake my harte ī the myddest to make rowme for the same so swete a brother. So that no other name be writē in the same, but only my brother Iesus the sonne of God. Non other man wyll I geue place to, for all the scourgynge and beatynge, that they cā do vnto me. Reape my harte then, my brother and frynde, & lete not thy enemy entre into it. O my father, chylde, brother, and spouse, with handes ioyned, humbly vpon my knees I yelde the thankes and prayses, that it pleaseth the to turne thy face towardes me conuertynge my harte, and coueryng me[fol. 18] with suche grace, that thu dost se nomore my euyls & synnes. So wele hast thu hydden them, that it semeth, thu hast put thē in forgetfulnesse. Yea, & also they seme to be forgoten of me, whych haue cōmytted them, for fayth and loue causeth me to forget them, puttynge wholly my trust in the alone.

Psal. 31.
Luce. 15.
Ezech. 18.

Than my father, in whom lyeth vnfayned loue, wherof can I haue feare in my harte? I confesse that I haue done all the euyll that one creature can do, and that of my selfe I am nought. Also that I haue offended the as the prodygall chylde ded, folowynge the folysh trade of the fleshe, wherewith I haue spente all my substaūce, and the habundaūce of goodes whych I had receyued of the. For pouerte had wetheryd me awaye euen as heye and yelded my sprete dead for hunger, seakynge to eate the releafe of swyne. But I founde very lytle sauoure in suche meates. Than I seynge my lyfe to be so myserable, I ded returne vnto the my father agayne, sayenge. Alas I haue synned in heauen and before the. I am not worthy (I tell it before euerybodye) to be called thy chylde. But O bountyfull father, do no worse to me, than to one of thy howsholde seruauntes.

Luce. 15.
Esa[unclear]. 27.

Alas what loue and zele is thys? for thu woldest not tarry my commynge and prayer but stretchynge out thy hāde receyuedyst me, whan I ded thynke that thu woldest not loke vpon me. And in stede to haue ponnyshed, thu dedyst assure me of my saluacyon. Where is he thē that shall ponnysh me, whan my father shall denye hym my synne? There is no iudge that can condēpne anye creature, vnlesse God hymselfe wolde dampne hym. I feare not the want of goodnesse, syth I haue my God for my father. My enemye shall do me no harme, for my father shall take all hys strength awaye. If I owe anye thynge, he shall paye it all for me, If I haue deserued death, he (as a kynge) shall pardō me, & delyuer me frō pryson & hāgynge.

Roma. 7.
3. Reg. 3.

But here is the worst. What maner of mother haue I been? For after that I by fayth, had receyued the name of a true mother, I became very rude vnto the, by cause that after I had conceyued and brought the fourth, I left reason. And beynge subiect to my wyll, not takynge heade vnto the, I fell a slepe and gaue[fol. 19] place to my great enemye. The whych ī the nyght of ignoraunce, I beynge a sleape ded steale the from me craftely, and in thy place, she ded put her chylde whych was dead. So ded I lese the, whych is an harde sorowe and remorce for me. Now haue I lost the by myne owe faulte (my sonne) bycause I toke no hede to kepe the. Sensualyte my neyghbour (I beynge in my beastly sleape) ded steale the from me, & gaue me, an other chylde whych had no lyfe in hym, named synne, whom I wyll not haue, for I do vtterly forsake hym.

2. Cor. 6[unclear].
3. Reg. 3.

She affirmed that he was myne owne but I knewe hym to be hers. For as sone as I came to the lyght of grace, whych thu haddest gyuē me, thā I knewe my glory to be changed, whan I sawe the dead chylde not to be myne. For the same whych was alyue (whom she had taken awaye) was myne owne. Betwene Iesus & synne is the chaunge so apparant. But here is a straunge thynge. Thys olde woman causeth me to kepe hym whych is dead, whom she reporteth to be myne, and so she wyll maynteyne. O Salomō, a full true iudge, thu hast hearde thys lamentable processe and ordayned to cōtent the partyes, that the chylde shulde be deuyded in two partes. The false woman agreyth, it shulde be so. But I remembrynge hym to be myne owne sonne, was rather contente to lese hym, than to se hys bodye parted in two peces. For true and perfyght loue is neuer contente with one halfe of that it doth loue.

2[unclear]. Cor. 4.
Sapi. 3.
Gene. 6.

I had rather to wepe for my whole losse, than to recouer but one halfe. My mynde coulde not be satysfyed, if I had recouered one halfe without lyfe. Alas gyue her rather the chylde whych is alyue. Better it is for me to dye, than to se Iesus Christ dyuyded. But O my lorde, thu dedyst loke better to it than I. For thu seynge the anguysh that I ded suffer, & how I ded rather forsake my ryght, than to beholde suche cruelnesse Thu saydest, thys is the true mother and so caused them to gyue me my chylde agayne, for whom my harte was so sorowfull. O swete Iesus, I founde the after, to haue proued me if I ded loue the. Yea, I whych had lost the yet dedyst thu returne vnto me. Alas dost thu vouchesaue to come agayne to her, whych beynge lett with synne coulde not kepe the, my swete chylde, my sonne, my[fol. 20] helper, my norysher, of whome I am a ryght humble creature. Do not permytt that euer I do leaue the agayne, for I do repent my selfe of the tyme passed.

Esa. 32.
Psal. 118.

Now come my sensualyte with synnes of all qualytees, for thu hast no power to make me receyue the chylde whych is dead. The same that I haue is stronge ynough for to defende me, & he shall not permyt that thu take hym awaye from me. He is alredy more stronge than anye man is. Therfor I maye sleape and take rest neare hym. For all thynges wele consydered, he shall kepe me moche better than I coulde hym. Then as I thynke I maye take rest. O swete rest of the mother & the sonne togyther, my swete chylde. O my God, honoure & prayse be vnto the only, so that euery creature maye se how it hath pleased the to call me a mother, lesse than nothynge. The more that the thynge is straunge and harde to be done, the more ought thy goodnesse to haue prayse for it. And also I fynde my selfe more bounde vnto the than euer I ded for thys, that it pleaseth the to haue retayned me for thy syster.

Nume. 12.
Deute. 5.

I am syster vnto the but so naughty a syster, that better it were for me, that I were without the name, for I forgate the honoure of adopcyon in so noble a kyndred, & also thy so good & brotherly behauer towardes me. I with pryde ded ryse agaynst the and, not remembrynge my faultes, but goynge astraye from the, ded agree with my brother Aaron, beynge in wyll to geue iudgment agaynst thy workes. Priuely I grudged agaynst the also, whych thynge causeth me to haue a great remorce in my conscyence. Alas ryght bountyfull God, brother and true Moses, whych doist all with goodnesse and Iustyce. I haue estemed thy workes to be euen synne, beynge so bolde to speake euyn rashely, saynge, Wherfor hast thu marryed a straunge woman? Thu gyuest vs a lawe, and ponnyshemente if we do not fulfyll it. And thu woldest not be bounde to it, forbyddynge vs the thynge whych thu thy selfe doist.

Exo. 32.
Exo. 34.
Ezech. 18.
Nume. 12[unclear].

For thu doist forbyd vs to kylle anye man, and thu doist kylle and sparist non of thre thousande whych thu causydest to be slayne. Also God gaue vs in commaundemente by the, that we shulde not marry the doughter of a straunger. Yet[fol. 21] thu tokest thy wyfe amonge them. Alas my dere brother, with a great meany of soche wordes (whom I knowe to be folyshe) with Aaron (whych is my owne wytte) I imbrayded the, Wherof I do repente. For the lyuely voyce of God, rebukyngly toke me vp, before I wente out of the place. What woldest thu than of my synne? Alas my brother thu woldest not haue me ponnyshed, but rather woldest my saluacyon and helthe, in askynge for me, thys great benefyght, that it shulde please God to mytygate hys iudgemente. The whych thynge thu couldest not obtayne. For I became a lazar, so that whan any body shulde loke vpō me, they myght wele se that I had not bene wyse. And so was I put out from the tentes and tabernacles of the people, bycause that a sycke bodye maye infecte thē whych be in helthe.

Ezech. 33.
1. Ioā. 2.
Psal. 50.

Oh, a sowle can not haue a greatter Pōnyshement, than to be bannyshed out of the cumpanye of them whych are holye and good. But what dedyst thu seynge my repentaunce? Thu prouydedyst that my penaunce was sone at an ende, and with true loue dedyst make meanes for me, wherupon I ded returne. O what a brother wolde, instede to ponnyshe hys folysh syster, so naturally cleaue vnto her? For iniurye, grudge, & great offēce, thu geuyst her grace & loue in recōpēce. Alas my brother how excedynge is thys thy loue? Moch more is it, than brotherhede is bounde to geue to so poore & wretched a woman as I am. I haue done the euyll, and thu geuyst me good for it, I am thyne, and thu sayest, thu arte myne. Euē so I am, and wyll be so for euer. I feare nomore the great folyshenesse of Aaron, for nomā maye separat me frō the. Now that we are brother & syster togyther, I care very lytle for all other men. Thy landes are myne owne inherytaunce.

Phil. 2.
Hester. 14.

Lete vs than kepe (if it please the) but one howsholde. Syth it haue pleased the to humble thy selfe so moche, as to ioyne thy hart with myne, in makynge thy selfe a leuely mā, I do ryght hartely thāke the. And as to do it as I ought, it lyeth not in my small power. Take my meanynge than, and excuse my ignoraunce, seynge I am of so great a kyndred as to be thy syster. O my God, I haue good cause, to loue, to prayse, & to serue the vnfaynedly and not to feare, nor to desyre any thynge[fol. 22] saue the only. Kepe me wele than, for I aske nō other brother nor frynde. If anye father haue had anye pytie vpon hys chylde. If anye mother haue take anye care for her sonne. If anye brother haue hyd the synne of hys syster, it is thu. I neuer sawe (or els it was kepte wōders secrete) that euer husbande wolde througly forgyue hys wyfe, after she had hym ones offended, and ded returne vnto hym.

Hiere. [unreadable].
Deut. 24.

There haue bene ynough of thē whych for to auēge their wronges, haue caused the iudges to put them to deathe. Other beholdynge their synnes, ded not spare their owne hādes, sodenly to kylle them. Other also seynge their faultes to apere, ded sende thē home agayne to their owne fryndes. Some perceyuynge their euyll dysposycyons, haue shut them vp faste in a pryson. Now breuely to conclude vpon their dyuerse complexyons. The ende of their pretence is ponnyshment, and the least harme that euer I coulde perceyue in pōnyshynge thē, is thys, that they wolde neuer se thē agayne. Thu shuldest rather make the skye to turne thā, so to forsake thy wyfe for her mysdoynge. Wherfor my God, I can fynde nomā to be cōpared vnto the. For of loue thu arte the perfect example. Now my God, more than euer I ded, I confesse that I haue broken my othe and promyse.

Ioan. 15.
Luce. 6.
Psal. 50.

Alas thu haddyst chosen me for thy wyfe, and dedyst set me vp in great state & honoure. For what greatter honoure maye one haue, than to be in the place of thy wyfe, whych swetely taketh her rest so nere the. Of all thy goodes quene, mastres, and lady, and also in suretie both of body and sowle. Of great fauoure is it, that I so vyle a creature, am so ennoblyshed by the. Now to speake it breuely, I haue more, & better than any man mortall can desyre. Wherfor my harte hath cause to sygh alwayes, and with habundaunce of teares, myne eyes to come out of my heade. My mouthe can not make to many exclamacyons. For there is neyther newe nor auncyent writynges, that can shewe so pytiefull a case, as the same is whych I wyll tell now. Shall, or dare I tell it? Maye I pronounce it without shame? Alas yea. For my confusyon is it not to shewe the great loue of my husbāde. Therfor I care not, if for hys worshyp I do declare my faulte.

Esa. 5.
Iob. 10.

O my sauer, whych dyed & was crucyfyed[fol. 23] on the crosse for my synnes. Thys dede is not suche, as a father to leaue hys sonne, or as a chylde to offēde hys mother or els as a syster to grudge & chyde. Alas thys is worse. For the offence is greatter where more loue & knowledge is. For the more famylyaryte we haue with God & the more benefytes we receyue of hym the greatter is our offēce whan we with hym dyssemble. Specyally that I shuld so do, whych am called hys spouse, and loued of the as thyne owne sowle. Shall I tell the truthe? Yea. I haue lefte the, forgoten the, & ranne awaye from the. I ded leaue the for to go at my vayne pleasure. I forsoke the and chose other. Yea, I refused the, the welsprynge of all goodnesse and faythfull promyse. I ded leaue the. But whyther went I? Into a place where nothynge was but cursednesse.

Hebre. 12.
Luce. 8.

I haue lefte the my trusty frynde and louer, worthy to be loued aboue all other. I haue put the asyde, o welsprynge of all helthesomnesse, by myne owne wretched wyll. Yea, I haue forsaken the, full of bewtie, goodnesse, wysdom, and power, & sought to withdrawe me from thy loue. I haue accepted thy great enemyes, that is the deuyll, the worlde, and the fleshe, agaynst whōe thu faughtest so sore on the crosse, to ouercome for my sake, to set me at lyberte, whych was by thē of lōge tyme a prysoner slaue. And so bounde, that no man coulde cause me to humble my selfe. And as for the loue & charyte that I shulde haue had towardes the, they ded quēche it so that the name of Iesus my husbāde, whych before I had founde so swete, was to me tedyouse & hatefull. So that often tymes I ded iest at it. And if any man (I hearynge a sermon) had sayd vnto me, the preacher sayth wele. I wolde afferme it but the worde went awaye from me, as a fether doth in the wynde.

Hiere. 2.
Math. 25[unclear].

I went neuer yet to the preachynge, but for maner only. All my dedes were playne hypocresye, for my mynde was in other places. I was anoyed whan I hearde speake of the, for I was more wyllynge to go at my pleasure. Now breuely to conclude, All that thu dedyst forbyd me, I fulfylled & all that thu cōmaūdedyst me to do, I ded eschewe. And thys was the cause (my God) I ded not loue the. But yet lorde, for all thys that I ded hate the and forsake the, ranne awaye from the, &[fol. 24] betrayed the, shulde I geue thy place to an other? Or hast thu suffered that I shulde be mocked, eyther yet beatē or kylled? Hast thu put me in darke pryson, or bannyshed me for euer, settynge nought by me? Hast thu taken awaye thy gyftes agayne from me, and precyouse iewels, to ponnysh me for my vnfaythfull frutes? Haue I lost my ioynter whych thu promysedyst me, through my offēce agaynst the? Am I accused by the afore the eternall father, for a naughty woman? Yea, hast thu forbyd me thy presēce (as I deserued) & that I shulde neuer apere in thy howse?

Luce. 15.
Psal. 4.
Math. 11.

O most true husbāde, & pure perfyght frynde, the most louynge yet amonge all good louers. Alas thu hast done otherwyse. For thu soughtest for me dylygenly, whan I was goynge into the most depe place of helle, where all the euyls are done. Whan I was fardest from the both in harte and mynde, & clerlye out of the true waye. Than dedyst thu louynglye call me backe, saynge, My dere doughter harken, and se, and bowe thy hearynge towardes me. Forget that straunge nacyon to whom thu dedyst ronne awaye and also the house of thyne olde father, where thu hast dwelled so longe. Than shall the kynge full of all faythfulnesse, desyre thy bewtie. But whan thu sawest that thy swete & gracyouse callynge, ded not profyte me, than begannyst thu to crye lowder. Come vnto me all yow whych are wearyly loaden with laboure, for I am he that shall plenteously refreshe yow and feade yow with my breade of lyfe. Alas vnto all these swete wordes wolde I not harken.

Esa. 5.
Canti. 6.
Hiere. 3.

For I doubted whether it were thu, or els a fabyllouse writynge that so sayde. For I was so folyshe, that without loue I ded reade thy worde. I consydered not wele the comparyson of the vyneyearde whych brought fourth thornes & bryers in stede of good frute, that it sygnyfyed me whych had so done. I knowe it wele ynough, that whan thu dedyst call the baren wyfe, saynge, Returne Sulamyte. All thys dedyst thu speake that I, shulde forsake my synne. And of all these wordes ded I, as though I had vnderstande neuer a whytt. But whan I ded peruse Hieremy the prophete, I confesse that I had in the readynge therof, feare in my harte and bashefulnesse in my face. I wyll[fol. 25] tell it, yea with teares in myne eyes, and all for thy honoure, and to suppresse my pryde. Thu hast sayde by that holy prophete, if a woman hath offended her husbande, and is so left of hym for goynge astraye with other. Namely if he therupō refuseth her for euer, is she not to be estemed poluted and of no value?

Ezech. 18.
Hiere. 3.

The lawe doth consente to put her in the hādes of iustyce, or to dryue her awaye & so neuer to se her or to take her agayne. Thu hast made the sepracyon from my bedde (sayth he vnto me) & placed foren louers in my roume, commyttynge with them fornycacyon. Yet for all thys thu mayst returne vnto me agayne. For I wyll not alwayes be āgrye agaynst the. Lyfte vp thyne eyes, & loke aboute the on euery syde. Thā shalte thu wele se, into what place thy synne hath led the, & how thou lyest downe in the earthe. O poore sowle, loke where thy synne hath put the. Euen vpon the hygh wayes, where thu dedyst wayte, and tarrye for to begyle thē that came by, euen as a thefe doth whych is hydden in the wyldernesse. Therfor thu in fulfyllynge thy wicked pleasure, hast with fornycacyon infected all the earthe whych was aboute the. Thyne eye, thy foreheade, and thy face haue loste all their honest good maner. For they were suche as an harlot hath, and yet thu haddest no shame of thy synne.

Iob. 10.
Hebre. 11.

And the surplus that Hieremy sayth, constrayneth me to knowe my wretched lyfe, & to wyshe with sorowfull syghes, the houre, the daye, the moneth, the tyme and the yeare, that I ded leaue it, yeldynge my selfe condempned, and worthy to be for euer in the euerlastynge fyre. The same feare whych doth not of me but of the procede, and exceadeth many of thy other gyftes, put me rather in hope than dyspayre, as often as I ded remembre my synne. For as sone as thu knewest my wyll bowynge vndre thy obedyence, than puttynge in me a lyuely fayth, thu dedyst vse great clemencye. So that after I knewe the to be that lorde, master, and kynge whom I ought to haue feared. Than foūde I my feare not quenched, but mixed with loue, beleuynge that thu wert so gracyouse, gentyll, and swete, & so pytiefull an husbande, that I whych shulde rather haue hydde me, than to haue shewed my selfe, was not than in feare to go fourth[fol. 26] and to loke for the. And in so sekynge I founde the.

Psal. [unreadable].
Canti. 4.
Roma. 8.

But what dedyst thu than? Hast thu refused me? Alas my God, no, but rather hast excused me. Hast thu turned thy face from me? No, for thyne eye so swete ded penetrate my harte, woūdynge it almost to the deathe, and geuynge me remorse of my synnes. Thu hast not put me backe with thy hande, but with both thy armes and with a swete, and māly harte thu dedyst mete with me by the waye, and not ones reprouynge my faultes, enbrasydest me. I coulde not se in beholdynge thy coūtenaunce, that euer thu dedyst ones perceyue myne offence. For thu hast done as moche for me, as though I had bene good and honest. For thu dedyst hyde my faulte from euery body, in geuynge me agayne the parte of thy bedde, and also in shewynge that the multitude of my synnes are so hyddē & ouercome by thy great vyctorye that thu wylte neuer remembre thē. So that now thu seyst nothynge in me, but the graces, gyftes and vertues whych it hath pleased thy fre goodnesse to gyue me.

Esa. 43[unclear].
Math. 11.

O charyte most precyouse. I do se wele that thy goodnesse doth consume my lewdenesse, & maketh me a newe godly and bewtyfull creature. The euyll that was myne, thu hast destroyed, and made me so perfyght a creature, that all the good whych a husbande can do vnto hys wyfe thu hast done it to me, in geuynge me, a faythfull Hope in thy promyses. Now haue I through thy good grace recouered the place of thy wyfe. O happye & desyered place, gracyuse bedde, trone ryght honourable, seate of peace, rest from all warre, hygh steppe of honoure, separate from the earthe. Dost thu receyue thys vnworthy creature, geuynge her the scepture and crowne of thy empyre and gloryouse realme? who ded euer heare speake of suche a storye? as to rayse vp one so hygh, whych of her selfe was nothynge & maketh of great value, that of it selfe was naught.

Ioan. 3.
Sapi. 14.

Alas what is thys? for I castynge myne eyes on hygh, ded se thy goodnesse, so vnknowne grace, & loue so incomprehēsyble that my syght is wonderfull. Than am I constrayned to loke downe, & in so lokynge downewarde, I do se what I am, and what I was wyllynge to be. Alas I do se in it, the lewdenesse, darkenesse, and[fol. 27] extreme depenesse of my euyll. My deathe whych by hūblenesse closeth myne eye. The admyrable goodnesse of the, & the vnspeakeable euyll whych is in me, Thy ryght hyghnes & pure maiestie, my ryght fragyle and mortall nature, Thy gyftes, goodes, & beatytude, my malyce & great vnkyndnesse. O how good thu arte vnto me, and how vnkynde am I to the? Thys that thu wylte, and thys that I pursue. Whych thynges consydered, causeth me to maruele, how it pleasyth the to ioyne thy selfe to me, seynge there is no comparyson betwene vs both.

Esa. 64.
Colos. 2.

Thu arte my God, and I am thy worke, thu my creator, and I thy creature. Now to speake breuely, though I can not defyne what it is to be of the, yet knowe I my selfe to be the least thynge that maye be compared vnto the, O loue, thu madyst thys agrement whan thu dedyst ioyne lyfe, and deathe togyther. But the vnyon hath made alyue deathe. Lyfe dyenge, and lyfe without ende, haue made our deathe a lyfe. Deathe hath geuen vnto lyfe a quyckenesse. Through suche deathe I beynge dead, receyued lyfe, and by deathe I am rauyshed with hym whych is alyue. I lyue in the, and as for me, of my selfe I am dead. And as cōcernynge the bodyly deathe, it is nothynge els vnto me, but a cōmynge out of pryson. Deathe is lyfe vnto me. For through deathe, I am alyue. Thys mortall lyfe fylleth me full of care, and sorowe, and deathe yeldeth me content.

Apoca. 14.
Roma. 8.

O what a goodly thynge it is to dye, whych causeth my sowle to lyue. In delyuerynge her frō thys mortall deathe, it exēpteth her frō the deathe myserable, & matcheth her with a most myghty louer, & vnlesse she thus dyeth, she lāguyssheth alwayes. Is not thā the sowle blameles, whych wolde fayne dye for to haue suche lyfe? Yes trulye, & she ought to call deathe her welbeloued, frynde O swete deathe, plesaunt sorowe, myghty keye delyuerynge from all wyckednesse. Those whych trusted in the (o lorde) and in thy deathe, were mortyfyed, because they ded trust in the, and in thy passyon. For with a swete slepe thu dedyst put them oute of that deathe whych causeth manye to lamente. O how happye is the same slepe vnto hym, whych whan he awaketh, doth fynde through thy deathe, the lyfe euerlastynge.[fol. 28] For the deathe is nō other thynge to a christen man, but a lyberte or delyueraunce from hys mortall bande.

Roma. 7.
Psal. 35.
Ioan. 15.

And the deathe whych is fearfull to the wycked, is plesaunt and acceptable to them that are good. Than is deathe through thy deathe destroyed. Therfor my God, if I were ryghtly taught, I shulde call the deathe lyfe, and thys lyfe deathe, ende of laboure, and begynnynge of euerlastynge ioye. For I knowe that the lōge lyfe doth lett me from thy syght. O deathe, come, and breake the same obstacle of lyfe. Or els loue, do a myracle now, syth that I can not yet se my spouse. Transfourme me with hym both bodye & sowle, and than shall I the better tarry for the cummynge of deathe. Lete me dye that I maye lyue with hym. For there is nō that can helpe me, onles it be thu only. O my sauer through. Faythe I am planted, and ioyned with the. O what vnyon is thys, syth that through faythe I am sure of the. And I maye call the, father, brother, sonne, and husbande. O what giftes thu dost gyue, by the goodenesse of those names.

Apoca. 12.
Luce. 8.

O my father, what paternyte, O my brother what fraternyte, O my chylde, what dylectyon, O my spouse, what coniunctyon is thys? Father full of humylyte, Brother hauynge our symylytude, Sōne engendered through faythe, & loue, Husbande louynge, and releuynge in all extremyte. But whom doist thu loue? Alas it is she whom thu hast withdrawen from the snare, wherin, through malyce she was bounde, and put her in place, name and offyce of a doughter, syster, mother, and wyfe. O my sauer, the same is a great sauoure of swetnesse, ryght plesaūt, and dylectable, whan a man, after the hearynge of thy worde, shall call the without feare, hys father, brother, chylde, & spouse. I in hearynge that worde, do perceyue my selfe to be called there thy mother, syster, doughter, & spouse. Alas the sowle whych doth fynde suche swetnesse, maye consume, and burne for loue.

Ioan. 14.
2. Cor. 3.

Is there any loue, onles it be thys, but it hath some euyll condycyon? Is there anye pleasure to be herto estemed? Is there any honoure, but maye be accompted shame, to thys compared? Yea, is there any profyte equall to thys? More ouer to conclude it breuely. Is there any thynge[fol. 29] that I coulde more ernestly loue? Alas no. For he that vnfaynedly loueth God, reputeth all these thynges worldly, of lesse value than the dūge hylle. Pleasure profyte, honoure of thys worlde, are all but vayne tryfles vnto hym whych hath founde God. Suche loue is so profytable, honourable, & abundaunt, that (I dare saye) she only suffyseth the harte of a godly man, and yeldeth hym so content, that he neuer desyreth or wolde haue other. For who so euer hath God, as we ought to haue hym, accounteth all other thynges superfluouse or vayne.

Phil. 2.
Esa. 55.
Ioā. 10.

Now thanked by the lorde, through faythe haue I gotē the same loue, wherfor I ought to be satysfyed and content. Now haue I the my father, for defence of my longe youth from wanton folyshnesse. Now haue I the my brother, for to socoure my sorowes wherin I fynde non ende. Now haue I the my sonne, for my feble age as an only staye. Now haue I the a true, & faythfull husbande, for the satisfyenge of my whole harte. Now syth that I haue the, I do forsake all them that are in the worlde. Syth I holde the, thu shalte escape me nomore. Seynge that I se the, I wyll loke, vpon non other thynge that myght kepe me backe from the beholdynge of thy dyuynyte. Seynge that I do heare the, I wyll heare nothynge that letteth me frō the fruycyō of thy voyce. Syth that I maye frely talke with the, I wyll cōmen with non other. Seynge it pleaseth the to put me so nere the, I wyll rather dye than to touche any other. Seynge that I serue the, I wyll serue non other master.

2[unclear]. Thes. 2.
Exo. 15.

Seynge that thu hast ioyned thy harte with myne, if he depart from thyne, lete hym be ponnyshed for euer. For the departynge from thy loue is harder than is any dampnacyon. I do not feare the payne of ten thousande helles, so moche as I do feare the ones losynge of the. Alas my God, my father, and creator, do not suffer that the enemy, inuentor of all synne, haue suche power, that he make me to lese thy presence. For who so euer hath once felte the losse of thy loue, he shall saye that he wolde rather be bounde for euer in helle, than to feale the payne that one shall haue by the losse of the same thy loue one momente of tyme. O my sauer, do not permytt that euer I departe from the. But[fol. 30] if it please the, put me in suche a place, that my sowle through wantonnesse of synne be, neuer separated from thy loue.

Roma. 7.
Hebre. 9.
Eccle. 4[unclear].

In thys worlde I can not haue perfyghtly thys my dsyre. Whych thynge consydered maketh me feruently & with all my harte, to desyre the departynge from thys bodye of synne, not fearynge the deathe nor yet any of her instrumentes. For what feare ought I to haue of my God, whych through loue offered hymselfe and suffered deathe, not of dett or dewtye, but because he wolde for my only sake vndo the power that mortall deathe had. Now is Iesus dead, in whom we are all dead, and through hys deathe he causeth euery man to lyue agayne. I meane those whych through faythe are partakers of hys Passyon. For euen as the deathe before the great mystery of the crosse, was harde to euery bodye, and there was no mā but was feared therwith, consyderynge the copulacyon of the bodye & the sowle, their order, loue, and agrement, so were their sorowes extreme in the departynge of the one from the other.

Sapi. 3.
1. Ioā. 4.

But sens it hath pleased the swete lambe to offer hymselfe vpon the crosse, hys great loue hath kyndeled a fyre within the harte so vehement, that euery true beleuer estemeth the passage of deathe but a playe or pastyme, and so preuoketh other constauntly in hys truthe to dye. And euē as the feare of deathe ded retarde vs, so ought loue to gyue vs a desyre to dye. For if true loue be vnfaynedly within the harte of a man, he can fele non other thynge, because that loue is so stronge of itselfe, that she kepith all the roume, and putteth out all other desyres, not sufferynge any thynge there but God only. For whersoeuer true and perfyght loue is, we do neyther remēbre feare nor yet sorowe.

Deute. 16.
Eccle. 1.

If our owne pryde for to attayne honoure, maketh vs to seke deathe so manye straunge wayes. As if for to haue a folysh pleasure, a man putteth hym selfe in ieopardye of lyfe. If a merchaūte to obtayne ryches, doth daunger hymselfe, somtyme for the value of a shyllynge. If the first cōceyuynge of robery or murther, crueltie or deceyte, doth so blynde a man, that he doubteth nothynge the daunger of deathe, neyther yet mysfortune whan he seketh to auēge hymselfe or doth any other euyll. If the fury of syckenesse or the rankenesse[fol. 31] of Melancholy causeth a creature fearcely to wyshe for deathe, & oft tymes to drowne, hāge, or kylle thēselues. For suche euyls are somtymes so great that they cause their payned pacyentes to chose deathe for lyberte. If it so be than that these paynes full of euyll, and imperfectyons, causeth them not to feare the hasarde of deathe, but rather to thynke that deathe tarryeth to longe.

Roma. 8[unclear].
2. Cor. 3.

Alas what ought true and laudable loue to do? What ought the loue of the eternall creatour to wyshe? Shulde she sturre a harte suche wyse, that he beynge transported with suche affectyon, shulde fele non other thynge in hym? Alas yea. For deathe is a plesaunt thynge to the sowle, whych is in loue with God, and estemeth the passage easye, through the whych she commyth out of pryson. For the harde waye, wherthrough she commeth, can not wearye her for to enbrace her husbande. O my sauer, how good is the same deathe, through whom we shall haue the ende of all sorowes? By whom I shall enioye thy syght without impedyment, and be transfourmed into the lykenesse of thy maieste?

Canti. 5.
1. Cor. 15.

O deathe, through thy dede I trust to haue suche honour, as vpon my knees with cryenge and wepynge I do dayly desyre. Therfor come quyckely, and make an ende of my sorowes. O happy doughters, ryght holy sowles ioyned to the cytie hierusalem, open your eyes and with pytie loke vpon my desolacyon. I beseche yow that in my name ye do shewe vnto me bestbeloue, my God, frynde & kynge, how at euerye houre of the daye, I do languysh for hys loue. O swete deathe, through suche loue come vnto me, and with loue brynge me vnto my lorde God. O deathe where is thy stynge and darte? Alas they are bannyshed from myne eyes, for rygour is changed into swetnesse seynge that my frynde ded suffre deathe vpon the crosse for my sake. Hys deathe doth so incourage my harte, that thu wert wonders gentyll to me, if I myght folowe hym.

Ioā[unclear]. 9.
Apoca. 20.
Psal. 11.

O deathe, I beseche the come to put the frynde with hys loue. Now syth that deathe is so plesaunt a lyfe, that she pleasith me more than feareth me, than ought I to feare nothynge but the ryght iudgement of God. All my synnes with hys iust[fol. 32] balaūce shall be wayed & shewed opēly. Thys that I haue done, also my thought and worde shall be better knowne, than if they were written in a rolle. And we maye not thynke that charyte wolde offēde iustyce & truthe. For whoso euer doth lyue vnfaythfully, shall be ponnyshed in euerlastynge payne. God is iust and hys iudgemēt is ryghteouse. All that he doth is perfyght in all thynges. Alas what am I consyderynge my ryghtousnesse, I wretched and poore creature?

Esa. 64.
Hebre. 18[unclear].
Luce. 18[unclear].
Ioan. 6[unclear].

I knowe that all the workes of iust mē are so full of imperfectyon, that afore God they are more fylthye than myer or any other vylenesse. What wyll it be than cōcernynge the synnes whych I do cōmyt, wherof I feale the burden importable? I can saye nothynge els but that I haue wonne by them dampnacyon. Is thys the ende? Shall dyspayre than be the conforte of my greate ignoraūce? Alas my God no. For the inuysyble faythe causeth me to beleue, that all thynges whych are impossyble to men, are possyble vnto the. So that thu do conuerte my worke, whych is nothynge, into some good worke of thyne in me, whych is specyally faythe. Than my lorde, who shall condempne me, & what iudge wyll dāpne me, syth that he whych is geuen me for a iudge, is my spouse, my father, and refuge? Alas what father? Suche as doth neuer condempne hys chyelde, but alwayes doth excuse and defende hym.

1. Ioā. 2.
Math. 18.
Colo. 2.

Than I perceyue to haue non other accuser but Iesus Christ, whych is my redemer, whose deathe hath restored vs our lost inherytaunce. For he made hym selfe our man of lawe, shewynge hys so worthye merytes afore God, wherwith my great debte is so habundauntly recōpenced, that in iudgement it is accompted for nothynge. O redemer, here is a great loue? We fynde but fewe suche mē of lawe. Swete Iesus Christ, it is vnto the that I am a detter, yet dost thu both praye, and speake for me. And moreouer whan thu dost se that I am poore, with the abūdaūce of thy goodes thu dost paye my debte. O incomprehensyble see of all goodnesse. O my father, dost thu vouchesaue to be my iudge, not wyllynge the deathe of a synner? O Iesus Christ, true fysher, and sauer of the sowle, frynde aboue all fryndes. For thu beynge my man of lawe dedyst[fol. 33] excuse and speake for me, where thu couldest iustly haue accused me.

Esa. 53.
1. Pet. 2.
1. Ioā. 4.

I feare nomore to be vndone by any man for the lawe is satisfyed by the for all. My swete spouse hath made the payment so habundaunt, that the lawe can aske nothynge of me but is payed of hym. For as I beleue, he hath taken all my synnes vpō hym, and hath geuē me in place of them, hys owne goodes in habundaunce. O my sauer, presentynge thy vertues, thu dost content the lawe. Whan she wyll reproche me of my synnes, thu dost shewe her how willyngly in thyne owne fleshe, thu hast taken the dyscharge of thē, through the coniunctyon of our marryage. Also vpon the crosse through thy passyon, thu hast made satisfactyon for it. Moreouer thy only charyte hath geuē me thys, that thu hast for me deserued. Therfor seynge thy meryte to be myne, the lawe can aske nothynge of me. Than wyll I feare nomore the iudgement, but with desyre rather than parforce, I do tarry for the tyme that I shall se my iudge, and heare a iust iudgemente of hym.

Psal. 119[unclear].
Math. 25.
Luce. 13.

Yet I knowe that thy iudgemēte is so iust, that there is no faulte therin, & that my infydelyte is worthye to suffer the cruelnesse of helle. For if I do only consydre my deseruynge, I can se nothynge in it that can keape me from the fyre of helle. True it is, that the torment of helle was neuer prepared but for the deuyll, and not for reasonable men. Neuerthelesse if any man haue set in hys mynde to be lyke to the deuyll, than ought he as the deuyll to be payed with a lyke rewarde. But if a man through cōtemplacyon of the sowle, do holde of the, hys Angell of coūsell, vertue, goodnesse & perfectyō, he is sure to obtayne heauen, whych is a place of thy deseruynge for hym. Than shall the vycyouse be ponnyshed with the same, to whom they ioyned themselues. For sith that they folowed Sathan, they must holde suche place as is for hym and hys angels prepared.

Hebre. 1.
Luce. 11.

Now I consyderynge the dyuersyte of both the sortes, am lytle conforted in spreet by thys. For I can not denye but I am more lyke the deuyll than the Angell of lyght, wherfor I feare and tremble. For the lyfe of the Angell is so pure & myne so vnpure, that I am nothynge lyke vnto hym, thys do I confesse. But to the other[fol. 34] I am so lyke in my doynges, and so accustomed in hys wayes, that of hys payne & tormente I ought to be partaker. For the cruell synne whych hath bounde me in helle, is so great and hys force so stronge, that it leteth nothynge to come from it, neyther feareth it the cōtrary assaulte of any man. But he whych is in thys kynde stronge, knoweth not how hys strength goth awaye, whan a stronger than he cōmyth. Synne is stronge whych bryngeth vs to helle.

Phil. 2.
1. Cor. 15[unclear].
Roma. 5[unclear].

And I coulde neuer yet se, that anye man by meryte or payne takynge, coulde euer yet vanquyshe that helle, saue only he whych ded the great assaulte through hys vnspeakable charyte, whan he humbled hym selfe to the crosse. Wherby he hath ouercomen hys enemye, broken helle and hys power so that it hath no farther strength to keape anye sowle prysoner, that hath put her trust in God. Than beleuynge in the great strength that he hath, I do not set by helle and synne, No not so moche as a strawe. So that synne can neuer haue holde of me, vnlesse it be for to shewe how my God is mercyfull, stronge, myghtie, & a pusaūt vanquysher of all the euyls whych were within my harte. If my synne forgyuē, is the glorye of my most louynge sauer, I ought also to beleue, that my glorye is encreased therwith, seynge that I am planted or engrafted in hym.

Apoca. 5.
1. Cor. 15.
Apoca. 21.

Hys honoure only doth honoure all hys, and hys ryches doth replenysh euery one of hys with hys goodes. Than deathe, helle and synne are ouercome by hym. O glottonouse helle, where is thy defence? Thu cruell vyllayne synne, where is thy tyrannouse power? O deathe where is thy stynge & vyctorye, whych are so moche spoken of? In steade of deathe, thu deathe geuyst vs lyfe, and so dost thu contrary to thy wyll. Also thu synne which couetyst to drawe yche creature to dāpnacyon thu geuest vs a ladder to reache therby that goodly cytie Hierusalem. Yet woldest thu of thy cursed nature that our eternall maker shulde lose hys creature. But through hys loue and grace, the sorye remēbraunce of thy vncomelynesse, doth cause her by repentaunce to come agayne, and submyt her selfe vnto God more than euer she dyd. Hys inestymable goodnesse causeth the to lose the whole[fol. 35] labour whych thu takest all the weke.

Osee. 13.
Ioan. 6.
Math. 10.

Therfor helle hath not had all the nomber that he did pretende to haue, bicause that the solacyouse shaddowe & power of hys passyon, is suche a myghtye protectyon to the sowle, that she therby nedeth neyther to doubte deathe, synne, nor helle. Is there anye thynge can pull me backe if God be wyllynge through hys gyfte of faythe to drawe me to hym? I meane suche faythe as we must nedes haue to obtayne the hygh graces from aboue, & also suche faythe as through charyte doth ioyne the humble seruaunt to hys maker. I beynge ioyned vnto hym, ought to haue no feare of trauayle, payne, nor sorowe. For who so euer doth wyllyngly suffer anye maner of deathe or sorowe for the truthe, as ded Christ, he doth feale in suche torment great consolacyon for hys sowle, knowynge that as for my selfe, I am weake, and with God I am ryght stronge.

Roma. 8.
1. Ioā. 4.

Through hys confort I maye do all thynges. For hys loue is so cōstaūt & permanēt that it varyeth not for anye worldly thynge. Who can thā withdrawe me from hys grace? Surely the great heyth of heauen, nor the deapenesse of helle, nor the breadeth of the whole earthe, neyther deathe nor synne, whych doth warre euery daye agaynst me, can separate me one mynute from the great loue & charyte, that my heauenly father through Iesus Christ hath vnto me. Hys goodnesse is suche, that he loueth me whych haue not at all tymes loued hym. And if I now loue hym, than shall I feale hys loue to increase in me. But bycause that my loue is not worthy to loue hym, I desyre hys loue to be myne the whych I feale suche as though it were myne owne. Hys desyre is to loue, and through hys loue he causith my harte to be inflamyd with loue.

Ioan. 13.
Roma. 11.
Ephe. 2[unclear].

And through suche loue he fyndeth hym selfe so welbeloued, that hys owne dede yeldeth hym wele content, & not my loue or strengthe. Contentynge hys selfe, hys loue doth increase more in me, than I can of hym desyre, O true louer, fountayne, or welsprynge of all charyte, and only purse of the heauēly treasure. Ought I to thynke, or dare I saye what thu art? Maye I write it, or can anye mortall man comprehende thys goodnesse & loue? And if thu prēte in anye mānys harte, cā he expresse[fol. 36] it? No surely. For the capacyte of no man can comprehende the vnmesurable goodnesses whych are in the, for naturall reasō doth shewe vs how there is no cōparyson betwyne an eternall & a mortall thynge. But whan through loue the mortall is ioyned with the eternall, the mortall thynge is so fulfylled with the eternall, that it can not fynde the ende therof. For it hath in it more good therby, than it can contayne or holde.

Roma. 8.
Eccs. 10.
Psal. 118.

Therfor doth a man thynke, whych hath the loue of God, that he hath all the goodes in the worlde therwith. Euen as we se the sūne with one only sparcle of hys lyght doth blynde the eye, and yet doth she witholde her great lyghte. But aske the eye what he hath seane, and he wyll saye that he hath beholden the whole bryghtnesse of the sunne. But that is a great lye. For he beynge dymmed with a lytle sparcle, coulde not se the whole cleartye therof. And neuertheles he is so contente, that it semith vnto hym as though he had so moche lyght as the sunne contayneth. Yet if he had more than the seyde sparcle, he were not able to suffer it. Euen so the sowle whych through faythe doth fele one sparcle of the loue of God, doth fynde therwith the heate so great and maruelouse, so swete and delycyouse, that it is impossyble to her to declare what thynge the same loue is.

Phil. 1.
1. Ioā. 4.

For a lytle threof that she hath felte doth yelde her mynde satisfyed & desyerynge of more wherof she hath ynough. So doth she lyue languyshynge & syghynge. The harte doth fele wele, that he hath receyued to moche, but he hath cōceyued suche desyre in thys to moche, that he alwayes desyerith to receyue the thynge whych he can not haue, neyther is he worthye to receyue it. He knowith the good that he hath alredy to be vnspeakeable, and yet wolde he haue more of that wherof he can not stylle. Truly he can not fele or thynke the good whych is in hym. Then lyeth it not in my power, to tell what thynge the loue of God is, sith that I haue no knowlege of the feruentnesse therof. He that thynketh to haue all thys loue withyn hys harte, can not truly declare what thynge it is. Happye is he wych hath suche abundaūce of thys loue, that he maye saye, My God, I haue ynough of it.

[fol. 37]

Iaco. 3.
Apoca. 3.
Math. 25.

He whych hath thys loue within hym, dare not moche boaste therof, least in moche speakynge he lose it, vnles it be to edyfye hys neybour vnto saluacyon. The impossybylyte than of the declaracyon of thys loue shall make me to holde my peace. For there is no Saynte so perfyght, if he wyll speake of the loue of the hygh God, of hys goodnesse, swetnesse, graces, and of all thynges els whych pertayneth to hym, but lokynge a lowe shall fynde hymselfe vnworthye, and so stoppe hys mouthe. I than a worme of the earthe, lesse than nothynge, ought to cease and not to speake of the incomparable hyghnesse of thys loue. Yet were it to moch vnkyndenesse to be noted in me, if I had writen nothynge, hauynge that done vnto me whych wolde satisfye a moche better wytte than myne is. For he that wolde hyde the goodnesse of God, so good a mastre, shulde commytt a synne worthye to be ponnyshed with the euerlastynge payne.

2. Cor. 12.
Roma. 11.
Sapi. 17.

Therfor come, O happye Paule, whych hast tasted so moche of the same swete honye, beynge blynded for the space of thre dayes, & rapte vp vnto the thirde hauē. Now I besech the, satisfye my ignoraūce & faulte, & tel me what in suche vysyon thu hast seane. Harkē thā what he sayth. O the vnspeakeable hyghnesse of the abūdaunt ryches or treasure both of the wysdome & knowledge of God. How incomprehēsyble are hys iudgemētes & how vnsearchable hys wayes vnto our weake wittes? O holye Paule, thy wordes causeth vs moche to maruayle, that thu hauynge knowledge of so heauēly secretes, woldest speake no further in them. At the least yet tell vs, what thynge we maye hope to haue one daye through suche godly loue. Geue eare and ponder the wordes that he sayth.

1. Cor. 2.
Esa. 64.
Roma. 8.
1. Ioā. 4[unclear].

Neyther hath the eye seane, nor yet the eare hearde, neyther yet hath it euer entred into the harte of anye man, what God hath prepared for them that loue hym. And wolde he speake it no farther? No truly. Yet all thys that he sayeth here, is for non other purpose, but to prouoke vs ernestly to loue. He wylleth vs also therin to esteme, that he neyther can declare nor yet name it, & so to geue forth our hartes to pacyēce & hope of that thynge whych neuer mā yet coulde se, neyther yet dyscerne, what though many through loue for it hath dyed. O excellent gyfte of faythe[fol. 38] wherof so moche good cōmyth, that it can sith man to possede the thynge whych he can not cōprehende. Faythe ioyned with the truthe, bryngeth fourth hope, wherby perfyght charyte is engēdered. And charyte is God, as thu knowist. If we haue charyte, thā we haue also God therwith.

Ioā. 1[unclear].
Roma. 12[unclear].
1. Timo. [unreadable].

Than is God in vs, and we are in hym. And all thys cometh through the benefyte of faythe. For he dwellith in all men whych haue true faythe. Thus haue we a greatter treasure thā we cā tell of, or yet anye man expresse vnto vs. Now to cōclude. Syth that so great an Apostle as saynt Paule is, wyll speake no further of God & hys inestymable loue, accordynge to hys ryghtouse exāple and doctryne, I wyll holde my peace & be stylle, folowynge neuerthelesse hys teachynges. Notwithstādynge yet though herin I acknowledge my selfe but earthe and duste, yet maye I not fayle to yelde thankes vnto my eternall lyuynge God, for suche great graces, and benefytes, as it hath pleased hym to gyue me. Vnto that euerlastynge kynge of heauen immortall, inuysyble, incōprehensyble, myghty, and wyse only, be all honoure, prayse, glorye, magnyfycence, and loue for euer & euer. Amen.

Textes of the scripture.

These .iiii. clauses of the sacred scripture added my lady Helisabeth vnto the begynnynge and ende of her boke, and therfor I haue here regestred thē in the ende.

Eccle. 25.

There is not a more wycked heade, than the heade of the serpente. And there is no wrathe aboue the wrathe of a womā.

Eccle. 25.

But he that hath goten a vertuouse woman, hath goten a goodly possessyon. She is vnto hym an helpe and pyller, whervpon he restith.

Eccle. 25.

It were better to dwelle with a lyon and dragon, than to kepe howse with a wycked wyfe.

Eccle. 7.

Yet depart not from a dyscrete and good woman, that is fallen vnto the for thy porcyon in the feare of the lorde, for the gifte of her honestie, is aboue golde.

[fol. 39]

The Conclusyon.

The lorde.

Certayne, & sure am I (most gentyll reader) that all they whych shall peruse thys godlye boke, shall not therwith be pleased. For amonge feaders are alwayes sondry appetytes, and in great assemblyes of people, dyuerse, and varyaunt iudgementes, As the saynge, is, so many heades, so many wyttes. Neyther fyne paynted speche, wysdome of thys worlde, nor yet relygyouse hypocresye (whych for pryuate commodyte many men seketh) are herin to be loked for, And a reason why, For he that is here famylyarly commoned with, regardeth no curyosyte, but playnesse and truthe. He refuseth no synner, but is wele contented at all tymes to heare hys hombly tale. Hyde not thy selfe from me (sayth he) whan thu hast done amys, but come boldely face to face, and commen the matter with me. If thy synnes be so redde as scarlet, I shall make thē whyter than snowe. And though thy factes be as the purple, yet shall they apere so whyte as the wolle. Esa. 1. For as truly as I lyue (sayth he) no pleasure haue I in the deathe of a synner, but wyll moch rather that he turne and be saued. Eze. 33.

S. Iohā.

If the hombly speche here do to moche offēde, cōsydre it to be the worke of a woman, as she in the bygynnynge therof, haue most mekely desyered. And yet of nō other woman, than was most godly mynded. Marke Dauid in the psalter, whych was a man both wyse and lerned, and ye shall fynde hys maner in speakynge not all vnlyke to thys. Faythe (saynt Paule sayth) standeth not in floryshynge eloquence, neyther yet in mannys polytyque wysdome, but in the grace and power of God. 1. Cor. 2. If the ofte repetynge of some one sentence, engendereth a tedyouse werynesse to the reader, lete hym wele peruse the holy workes of S. Iohan the Euāgelyst, & I doubt it not but he shall fynde there the same maner of writynge. And hys occasyon is (as all the chefe writers afferme) the necessary markynge of the preceptes of helthe, or of matter chefely concernynge the sowles saluacyon. For a thynge twyse or thryse spoken, entereth moche more depely into the remēbraunce than that is vttered but ones.

Lady helisabeth.
Her first frute.

And as touchynge the porcyon that my ladye Helisabeth, the kynges most[fol. 40] noble syster hath therin, whych is her trāslacyon. Chefely haue she done it for her owne exercyse in the frenche tunge, besydes the spirytuall exercyse of her innar sowle with God. As a dylygent & profytable bee, haue she gathered of thys floure swetnesse both wayes, and of thys boke consolacyon in sprete. And thynkynge that other myght do the same, of a most fre christen harte, she maketh it here cōmen vnto them, not beynge a nigarde ouer the treasure of God. Math. 25. The first frute is it of her yonge, tender, and innocent labours. For I thynke she was not full oute xiiii. Yeares of age, at the fynyshynge therof. She haue not done herin, as ded the relygyouse and anoynted hypocrytes in monasteryes, couētes and colleges, in spearynge their lybraryes from men studyouse, and in reseruynge the treasure contayned in their bokes, to most vyle dust and wormes. But lyke as God hath gracyously geuen it, so do she agayne most frely dystrybute it.

The aged.

Soch noble begynnynges are neyther to be reckened chyldysh nor babysh, though she were a babe in yeares, that hath here geuē them. Seldome fynde we them that in the closynge vp of their wythered age, do mynystre lyke frutes of vertu. An infynyte swarme beholde we of olde dottynge bawdes and beastes, that with cōscyences loaden with synne (as S. Paule reporteth them) taketh euery paynted stocke & stone for their God, besydes the small breades that their lecherouse chaplaynes hath blowen vpon. They shall not be vnwyse, that shall marke herin, what commodyte it is, or what profyght myght growe to a christen cōmen welthe if youth were thus brought vp in vertu & good letters. If soch frutes come forewarde in chyldehode, what wyll folowe and apere whan dyscressyon and yeares shall be more rype and auncyent? A most manyfest sygne of Godlynesse is it in the fryndes, where youth is thus instytute, and a token of wonderfully faythfull dylygence, in the studyouse teachers, tuters, and dayly lokers on.

Clauses added.

Nobylyte whych she hath gotē of bloude in the hyghest degre, hauynge a most vyctoryouse kynge to her father, & a most vertuouse, & lerned kynge agayne to her brother, is not in the earely sprynge dystayned with wanton ignoraūce, neyther[fol. 41] yet blemyshed with the commen vyces of dyssolute youth, But most Plenteously adourned with all kyndes of languages, lernynges, and vertues, to holde it styll in ryght course. The translacyon of thys worke, were euydence stronge ynough, if I had not els to laye for the matter. But marke yet an other moch more effectuall and clere, at the whych not a fewe lerned men in Germany haue wondered. In .iiij. noble languages, Latyne, Greke, Frenche, and Italyane, wrote she vnto me these clauses folowynge. Whych I haue added to thys boke, not only in commendacyon of her lerned youth, but also as an example to be folowed of other noble men and women, cōcernynge their chyldren. The written clauses are these, whych she wrote first with her owne hande, moch more fynely than I coulde with anye prentynge letter set thē fourth.


Stultus dixit in corde suo, non est Deus. Illi corrupti sunt, & abhominabiles in sua impietate, nullus est qui aliquid boni facit.


Le foldisoit en sō cœur, il n’a nul Dieu. Ilz sont corumpus & sont abhominables en leur impiete, il n’a nul qui faict bien.


Is stulto disse uel suo core, non v’ e alcuno Dio. Corrutti sono & abhominabile nella loro impietà, nissuno è buono.


Ton theon phoboŭ, tous de goneis tima, tous de Philous aeschynou.

The first clause in thre lāguages, latyne, Frenche, and Italyane, comprehēdeth thys only sentence, as I shewed afore in the Epystle dedycatory.

Antichrist Hys clergy.

The fole sayth in hys harte, there is no God. Corrupt they are, and abhominable in their wyckednesse (or blasphemyes agaynst God) not one of them doth good.

The Greke clause is thus to be Englyshed.


Feare God, honoure thy parentes, and reuerence thy fryndes.

The pope.
All sortes.

Thus haue she geuen vs coūsell, both to go and to come, to leaue and to take. To[fol. 42] declyne from the euyll, and to do that is good Psal. 36. To flee from the Antichrist & hys great body of synne or blasphemouse cruell clergy, & to returne to God by a perfyght feare, honoure, and loue. So lyuely Apothegmes, or breue and quyck sētences, respectynge christyanyte, haue seldom come from women. I haue serched Plutarchus, Boccatius, Bergomas, Textor, & Lander of Bonony, whych all wrote of the vertues and worthy actes of womē. But amonge them all haue I founde no counsels so necessary to the cōmen welthe of our christyanyte. I denye it not, but excellent thynges they vttered, and matters of wysdome wonderfull, concernynge morall vertues. But these most hyghly respecteth the kyngedome of fayth and regymēt of the sowle, whych Iesus Christ the eternall sonne of God, from heauen by hys doctryne and death so busyly sought to clere. Many graue sentences had they concernynge pryuate causes. But vnyuersally these are for all sortes of people, hygh, lowe, hayle, sycke, ryche, poore, lerned, & vnlerned, that myndeth to haue fredome by Christes deadly sufferynges, or to be delyuered frō helle, synne, deathe, & the deuyll, by the pryce of hys precyouse bloude.


No realme vndre the skye hath had more noble women, nor of more excellent graces, than haue thys realme of Englande, both in the dayes of the Brytaynes, and sens the Englysh Saxons obtayned it by valeaunt conquest. Guendolena the wyfe of Locrinus the seconde kynge of Brytayne, beynge vnlaufully dyuorced from hym for the pleasure of an whore, whom he longe afore had kepte, tryed it with hym by dynte of the swerde, had the vyctory, and reigned after hym as kynge the space of .xv. yeares, tyll her sonne Maddan come to laufull age. Cordilla the doughter of kynge Leyer, and least of all her systers, as her father was deposed, & exyled out of hys lande, she receyued, conforted, and restored hym agayne to hys princely honoure, and reigned alone after hys deathe, for the space of .v. yeares. Cambra the doughter of kynge Belyne, and wyfe to Antenor than Kynge of France, ded not only excede in bewtie, but also in wysdome. In so moch that she first instructed the noble men how to buylde cyties, castels, and other stronge holdes, the cōmē people more comely maners, and the womē a most semely[fol. 43] deckynge of their heades. She made their cyuyle lawes, whych vpon her name were called. Leges Sycambrorum. She taught them to sowe flaxe and hempe, to watter it, drye it, dresse it, spynne it, weaue it, whyten it, and fashyon it, to all maner of vse for the bodye.


Martia the wyfe of kynge Guythelyne, a lady excedyngly fayre, wyse, & lerned in all the lyberall scyences, inuented thynges wonderfull by the hygh practyse of her wytt. After the death of her husbāde she reigned .vij. yeares as kynge, tyll Sicilius her sonne came to age. She redressed the commen welthe, refourmed the grosse maners of the people, and made most honest lawes, called of her name, Leges Martiane. So delyghted the Frenche kynge Nicanor in the wysdome, lernynge, and comely maners of hys wyfe Constantia, the doughter of kynge Eliodorus, that he not only holpe her brother Geruntius in see battayle agaynst the kynge of Orchades, but also sent hys most dere sonne Priamus into Brytayne to haue the same selfe bryngynge vp. The Scottysh kynge Finnanus, thought hys pryncely honour most gloryously increased, as he had obtayned Agasia the doughter of kynge Blegabridus, to be coupled in maryage with Dorstus hys sonne, for the manyfolde graces that he behelde in her. What though the seyd vngracyouse Dorstus, in spyght of the Brytaynes, ded afterwarde vse her most wyckedly. Bundwyca a womā both hygh of stature, and stomacke, also of myst noble lynage amonge the Brytaynes, perceyuynge the hauoke whych the Romanes dayly made in the lande, with great pusaunce of worthy warryours she inuaded them, slewe them, hynge vp their captaynes, and folowed the remnaunt of them to the very Alpes of Italy. Where at the lattre by reason of dayly labours, she syckened and so dyed, euen the uery glory of women, sayth Ponticus Virunnius.

Claudia Rufina.

Voada the first wyfe of kynge Aruiragus, a woman of wonderfull force & hart strongly armed her selfe, her .ij. doughters, and .v. thousande women more of the Britannysh bloude in battayle agaynst the furyouse fearce Romanes, to suppresse their tyranny and execrable fylthynesse in abusynge maydes, wyues, and wydowes. But as she behelde the vyctory vpon their sydes bycause she wolde not come vndre[fol. 44] their captyuyte, she poysened her selfe, & so dyed. Voadicia her yonger doughter, afterwarde escapynge the handes of the seyd Romanes, with a myghty power of the Brytanes entered into the yle of Māne, and in a nyght battayle, there slewe thē in a wonderfull nombre, destroyenge their fortalyces, and holdes. Notwithstandynge at the lattre beynge taken, she was byheaded, her eldar syster beynge maryed to kynge Marius. Athildis the doughter of the seyd kynge Marius, was also a most noble woman, whom the Frenche kynge Marcomerus marryed for the only naturall gyftes and scyences whych she had aboue other women, and had .vij. sonnes by her. Claudia Rufina, a noble Brytayne, wyttye and lerned both in Greke and Latyne, hauynge to husbande one Aulus Rufus a lerned knyght, a poete of Bonony & a phylosopher of the Stoycall sort, is moch cōmēded of Martialis the poete, for the Epygrammes and poemes whych she than compyled in both those tunges.

Helena Flauia.

Emerita the syster of kynge Lucius, whych is called the first christened kynge, a lady most vertuouse and faythfull for cōstauntly affermynge the veryte of Christ, suffered most tyrannouse death and was brent in the fyre. Helena Flauia, the doughter of kynge Coelus, and mother to great Constantyne the Emprour, was a woman of incomparable bewtie and lernynge. Non coulde be founde lyke her in the artes lyberall, neyther yet in the fyne handelynge of all instrumentes of musyke. She excelled all other in the dyuerse speches of nacyons, specyally in the Latyne, Greke, and Hebrue. She made a boke of the prouydence of God, an other of the immortalyte of the sowle, with serten Greke poemes, epystles, and dyuerse other treatyses. Constantia her doughter, was also a woman of most excellent giftes, had she not in the ende declyned to the detestable secte of the Arryanes, by serten hypocrytysh prestes. Vrsula Cynosura, the floryshynge douter of Dionothus the duke of Cornewale, was so nobylly brougt vp in all lyberall dyscyplyne, that Conanus the kynge of lytle Brytayne desyred her to wyfe, and as she went thydrewarde with .xi. thousande Brytaynes wyues more, by chaūce of wether and vyolence of see rouers both she and they peryshed by the waye.

Annae duae.
Tres filiae.

Anna the syster of Aurelius Ambrosius[fol. 45] whych was afterwarde marryed to Lotho the kynge of Pyctes, & Anna the twynne syster of kynge Arthure, are of writers magnyfyed, for their dyuerse and excellent graces. Morganis a woman of incomparable loue towardes her parentes, and contraye, so secretly and wysely conuayed the body of kynge Arthure, the most worthy gouernour of the Brytaynes, that the Englysh Saxons coulde neuer come to it, to do their vyolēce theron. Hermelinda, rysynge of the Englysh Saxons bloude, for her excellent bewtie and noble behauer became the wyfe of Cunibertus the kynge of Lombardy. Hylda, a noble woman, both godly, wyse, and lerned, not only dysputed in the open Synode at Streneshalce in the North contraye agaynst the prelates, concernynge their newly founde out celebracyon of Eastre, and their crowne shauynge, with other ceremonyes, but also wrote a treatyse agaynst byshopp Agilbert a Frenche man, the busyest amonge them. The thre doughters of kynge Alphrede, Elfleda, Elfritha, and Ethelgora, were wonderfully experte in the lyberall scyences. Alenor the wyfe of kynge Henry the seconde, was lerned also, & wrote dyuerse epystles to pope Celestyne the thirde, & also to kynge Iohan her yongest sonne.


Ioāna the yongest doughter of the seyd kynge Henry, so moch delyghted in good letters, that before she shulde be marryed to kynge wyllyam of Cycyll, she caused her father to sende ouer .ij. lerned men of Englande, walther and Rycharde with a French doctour called Petrus Blesensis to instruct hym in them, specyally in the arte of versyfyenge. And at her cōmynge thydre, the one of those Englysh men was made archebyshop of Panorme, & the other byshop of Siracusa, in recompēce of their labours. Margarete the noble mother of kynge Henry the .vij. so plenteously mynded the preferment of scyences & goynge forewarde of lernynges, that she buylded in Cambryge for the same porpose, the colleges of Christ & of S. Iohan the Euāgelyst, and gaue landes for their mayntenaunce, as quene Helisabeth ded afore, to the quenes college there. Longe were it to rehearce the excedynge nombre of noble women, whych in thys lande of Brytayne or realme of Englande, haue excelled in bewtie, wytte, wysdome, scyence lāguages, lyberalyte, polycyes, heroycall force,[fol. 46] and soch other notable vertues, and by reason of them done feates wonderfull. Eyther yet to sort out their Names and regestre them one by one, whych haue bene marryed out of the same, to Emprours, kynges, dukes, earles, worthy captaynes, Phylosophers, phesycyanes, astronomers, poetes, & other of renomed fame and letters, only for their most rare graces and gyftes.

Alenora Cobham.
Double honoure.

Though non in thys lande haue yet done as ded amonge the Grekes Plutarchus, & amonge the Latynes Boccatius with other authours afore named, that is to saye, left beynde them Cataloges or Nomenclatures of famouse and honorable women, yet haue it not at any tyme bene barrayne of them. No, not in the dayes of most popysh darkenesse. As apereth by Alenor Cobham, the wyfe of good duke Vmfrey of Glocestre, brother to kynge Hēry the fift. Whom Antichristes grande captaynes, the byshoppes than of Englāde, in hate of her name and beleue, accused of sorcerouse inchauntmentes and experymentes of Necromancy agaynst their holy horned whorysh churche. And at the last slewe her noble husbande in a false parlement at Bury, by their owne hyred slaughter man Pole, as they neuer are without soch. If they were worthy prayse, whych had these aforenamed vertues syngle, or after a bodyly sort only, we must of congruence graunt them worthy double honoure, whych haue them most plēteously doubled. As now sens Christes Gospell hath rysen, we haue beholden them, & yet se them styll to thys daye in many noble women, not rysynge of flesh and bloude as in the other, but of that myghty lyuynge sprete of hys, whych vanquyshed deathe, helle, and the deuyll.

Anne Askewe.

Consydre yet how strongly that sprete in Anne Askewe, set them all at nought with all their artyllery and mynysters of myschefe both vpon the racke and also in the fyre. Whose memory is now in benedyccyon (as Iesus Syrach reporteth of Moses) and shall neuer be forgotten of the ryghteouse. She as Christes myghty membre, hath strongly troden downe the head of the serpent, and gone hence with most noble vyctory ouer the pestyferouse seede of that vyperouse worme of Rome, the gates of helle not preuaylynge agaynst her. What other noble women haue,[fol. 47] it doth now, and wyll yet herafter apere more largely by their godly doctryne and dedes of fayth. Marke thys present boke for one, whose translacyon was the worke of her, whych was but a babe at the doynge therof. Marke also the graue sentences, whych she geueth fourth to the worlde, & laude that lyuynge father of our lorde Iesus Christ, whych hath thus taken hys heauenly wysdome from the great graue senyours, that only are wyse in their owne consaytes, and geuen it so largely to chyldrē, Math. 11. That heauenly lorde graūt her and other noble women longe contynuaūce in the same to hys hygh pleasure. That lyke as they are become gloryouse to the worlde by the stody of good letters, so maye they also apere gloryouse ī hys syght by dayle exercyse in hys dyuyne scriptures, Whose nature is in processe of tyme to kyndle their myndes and inflame their hartes in the loue of Christ their eternall spouse, as thys present boke requyreth, So be it.

Thus endeth thys godly Medytacyon of the christen sowle concernynge a loue towardes God and hys Christ, aptely translated into Englysh by the ryght vertuouse lady Elyzabeth doughter to our late souerayne Kynge Henry the .viij.

¶ The .xiij. Psalme of Dauid, called,
Dixit insipiens, touched afore of
my lady Elizabeth.

Fooles that true fayth, yet neuer hod,
Sayth in their hartes, there is no God.
Fylthy they are, in their practyse,
Of them not one, is godly wyse.
From heauen the lorde, on man ded loke,
The knowe what wayes, he vndertoke,
All they were vayne, and went a straye,
Not one he founde, in the ryght waye,
In harte and tunge, haue they deceyte,
Their lyppes throwe fourth, a poysened beyte.
Their myndes are mad, their mouthes are wode.
And swyft they be, in shedynge blode.
So blynde they are, no truth they knowe,
No feare of God, in them wyll growe.
How can that cruell sort be good?
Of Gods dere folcke, whych sucke the blood?
On hym ryghtly, shall they not call,
Dyspayre wyll so, their hartes appall.
[fol. 48]
At all tymes God, is with the iust,
Bycause they put, in hym their trust.
Who shall therfor, from Syon geue,
That helthe whych hāgeth, in our beleue.
Whan God shall take, frō hys the smart,
Than wyll Iacob, reioyce in hart.
Prayse to God.

Imprented in the yeare of our lorde 1548, in Apryll.