Auspicante Iehoua.

MARIES Exercise.

AT LONDON Printed by Thomas Este. 1597.

TO THE RIGHT Honorable and vertuous Lady, the Lady MARY Countesse of Penbrooke, Health, Happinesse, and Heauen.

RIght Honorable, my bounden Seruice in all duety remembred, I haue often red, and heard, which I vere­lye beeleeue, that in the Nature of Man, there is no greater blot of disgrace, then the vile note of ingratitude, with which wicked humor, fearing my long forgetfullnesse of your fauoure, may make my heart in some suspition vnhappily to bee touched, I haue presumed humbly to present vnto the faire eye of your discreete vertue a little fruite of my late, and best labours; VVherein your Ladyship may vouch­safe to see, that, although I cannot as I would finde meanes, to discharge the care of my duty, yet in my best thoughts [Page] I haue not forgotten you, when in my daiely praiers vnto God, I doe remem­ber you: and, as I daiely and hourelye, doe hartely pray vnto his holy Maiesty, for his blessings to light vpon you; so haue I set downe a few historicall pray­ers for you: VVhich, I hope, you will so finde applyed to your comfort, as shall giue you no discontentment, in the pre­sumption of my paines: and so though I haue soncke my fortune in the worlde, hauing only the light of vertue to leade my hope vnto Heauen, with humble thancks for your as yet vndeserued fa­uour, in continuall prayers to the God of all comfort, for his prosperous preserua­tion, of my good L. your Ladyship, & all yours, with increase of honour on earth, and eternall happinesse in Heauen: I humbly take my leaue in bounden duty.

Your La: sometime vnworthy Poet, and now, and euer poore Beadman. Nich. Breton.

TO THE LADIES and Gentlewomen Reeders.

LAdies and Gentlewo­men, so it is, that hauing passed some partes of the world, & beholding the stately pallaces of diuers princes, after my returne into my natiue country, finding the contemplatiue life, the most neere vn­to Angelicall nature, and no contempla­tiō so comfortable as the mercies of god, the first fruicts whereof, and the neuer ending Glory of the same, are no where so apparant as in the historie of the holy scriptures: where looking into the court of heauen, I finde the world but a base corner, when the King of Kinges, with the brightnesse of his glorie doth rauish the soules of his beeloued: and reading in this diuine historie of the excellencie of Gods loue, and emong many of his e­lected, of some women in his especiall fa­uour, I could not but acquaint your good mindes, with the memory of their names, [Page] & such matter touching them as you may and will (I hope) applie to your comfort, I finde them blessed for their faith, and beeloued for their humility, two Iewels of the soule, not cōmon to our humaine nature, but as it is incorporated to christ, but I will leaue the imperfect to Gods amendment, the faithfull to his blessing, and the elected to his loue: beeseeching him so to blesse you with his grace, in the feeling of his loue, that in praier to his mercy, yee may all liue to his glory, that hauing Christ for your loue, ye may liue in ioy for euer: and so wishing you happinesse on earth, & heauen hereafter: I rest in praier for yee & all faithfull in Christ Iesu: as I finde cause.

Your poore friend or seruant: N. B.

Maries Exercise.

A praier vpon the historie of Christ his comming vnto the house of Mary and Martha, to raise Lazerus frō death. Iohn. 11. The fruict thereof: The life of the dead, the glorie of God.

MOst mercifull Lord, my louing king & e­uerliuing god, sweet Iesu Christ, my hea­uenly maister, redee­mer, and Sauiour, vouchsafe mee leaue poore and vnworthy vessell of thy mercy, on the knees of my soule in the humilitie of my hart, to trouble thy patience with the lowly petition of my afflicted spi­rit: Lord whē to make knowen thy glory to the world y camest to Be­thania, vnto the house of Mary & Martha, to raise vp thy beloued lazarus [Page] frō death, what was the speech of the poore women, thy poore creatures vnto thy gratious & ho­ly Glorious maiestie? but onely this: Lord, if thou hadst ben heere, my brother Lazarus had not ben dead: but now whatsoeuer thou askest of God he will giue it thee: so my deere Lord let mee, I besech thee, saie vnto thee? now that by the gratious, mercifull, & comfor­table operation of thy holy Spirit, I feele, & see thee comming to the vnworthie house of my wounded soule, LORD if thou hadst beene heere, not my brother, but my self had not so long beene dead, dead I say in my sinnes, though onely liue in thy mercy: but oh Lord thy father hath giuen all power into thy hands, & therefore, if it please thee, thou canst raise me from this sorrowfull death, of iniquity, vnto the ioyfull life of thy grace: but as [Page 5] Martha saide, by hir brother Laza­rus, he had ben dead foure daies, & therefore did so stinck that he was vnfit to bee taken vp, so Lord, let mee saie of my selfe, I haue beene dead not foure daies, but many yeeres, yea, all the daies of my life, and therefore feele my self so vnsa­uory, and vnfit to presume beefore thy presence, that I can rather say with Peter, come not neere mee Lord, for I am a polluted creature, then thincke that euer thou didst loue mee, and therefore art come to raise mee from this death: yet sweet lord when I remember withall, thy blessed aunswere, and kinde chi­ding of the vnbeleeuing soule, in these wordes: said I not vnto thee if thou didst beleeue thou shouldst see the glorie of God: it giueth me comfort in my feare to come hum­bly to thy mercy; beseching thee so to strengthen my faith in thy incō ­prehencible [Page] power, that I may ra­ther reioice in feeling thy goodnes and seeing thy glorie, then distrust in thy power, or dispaire in thy mercie: that by the vertue of thy power, from the death of sinne, be­ing reuiued vnto grace, in the true fruicts of repentaunce, I may glo­rifie thy holy name.


An other praier vpon the same historie Chapter and place: the fruict ther­of: Christ his cōmendation of the hearers of his word.

ALmightie God and most mercifull Lord, my best maister and onely sweet Sauiour Iesus Christ, when it pleased thee of thy mercy, to enter into the house of Martha and Ma­ry, thy beloued vnworthy seruāts, whiles Mary, by the blessed in­spiration [Page 6] of thy holy spirit, was happely called, and wholy enclined to the attentiue hearing & ioyfull re­ceiuing of thy comfortable prea­ching; MARTHA, not so filled in hart or rather rauished in soule with the vnspeakable sweetnes of thy holy spitit, rather troubling hir head with an earnest care of worldly busines, then bending hir hart with any zealous desire, to the in­ward seeking of thy heauenly trea­sure, complained to thee of hir sis­ters mistakē & mistermed idlenes, that sitting still at thy feete she had no more care to helpe her in hir work, to prouide for thy welcom, nor to attend thy presence: but, my sweet Lord how sweetly didst thou reproue hir folly, and reueale hir fault in these few words: Mar­tha Martha thou carest, & art trou­bled about many things, but one thing is needfull, Mary hath chosen [Page] the good part, which shal neuer be taken awaie frō hir: oh deere Mai­ster now that by the secret light of thy gratious loue, I behold thy en­trance into the hart of my soule, though I am not worthie thou shouldst come vnder the roofe of my house, yet, since, it hath pleased thy holie maiestie in the infinit goodnesse of thy incomparable kindnesse, to comfort my hart with the gratious hearing of thy glorius mercy; giue me leaue not with Martha, to complaine of a sister, but to accuse my selfe of to much euill in so long combring my hart with the wretched cares of this wicked world, that I haue had almost no care to humble my soule to the happie hearing of thy holie word: let mee therfore beeseech thee of the abundant grace of thy glorious goodnes, by the mighty power of thy eternall mercy, to draw mee to [Page 7] thee by the heauenly vertue of thy hollie Spirit, that casting of all the combersome cares of this vncom­fortable worlde, I maie not onelie serue thee in bodie, on the knees of my heart, worshipping thy diuine will, but in the humilitie of my soule, sit with MARY on the ground with the tears of true repentaunce to wash the feete of thy mercie: that being both vnable & vnwor­thie to behold the glory of thy presence, I maie yet ioye in my soule to heare the sweetnes of thy prech­ing, that beeing cleerely healed of the euill part of sinne, I maie re­ceiue that good part of thy grace, that maie neuer bee taken from mee: but one thing is needfull, and that one thing art thou: it is thee sweet LORD that I haue need of: needful is thy grace, & vngrati­ous that I am, full of need am I of thy mercie: mercy my sweet Iesu, [Page] Oh let my pensiue hart heere the preaching of thy mercie, that bee­ing with LAZARVS reuiued, and with MARTHA rebuked, with Mary I may bee so comforted, that with the teares of my hart washing the feete of thy pittie, I may reioice in my soule to bee admitted into thy presence; wherein the obedience of my Loue, shewing the Ioye of my life, I may feede of thy mer­cy and singe to thy glory: Blessed is the house that dooth receiue thee, happy the hart, that dooth attend thee, but most ioyfull the Soule, that leauing the cares of the world hath all hir comfort but in thee: in thee I say sweet LORD, the lyght of the eternall wisdome, the lyfe of the dead, & the only comfort of the liuing; whose preaching most gratious, and whose presence most glori­ous, happye are they that heare, [Page 8] but most blessed that enioy: e­mong whome, alas, of the world most vnworthy, so blesse the sicke Soule of thy sinfull wounded ser­uant, that ouercome with the comfort of thy vnspeakable kindenes, in the swounding traunce of the treasure of thy Loue, I may rather dye at thy feete, then part a foote from thy fauoure: where with the teares of faithes thanckfulnesse, I may encrease the Glorie of thy Mercie.


An other vppon the same History, chapter and place, the fruite therof: The blessing of humilitie.

REmember sweet Lord Iesu thy Mercies that haue been euer of old, forgiue and forget the sinnes of thy humble repentaunt, though vnworthie seruants, think on thy poore Mary with the teares [Page] of hir heart humbling hir soule at thy feete, thincke I saye my sweet lord, a little vpon my great misery, that confesse my selfe vnworthie of the least looke of thy Mercie: Lord, it pleased thee to saie, Marie Magdaline loued much, but surelie thou louedst more, that so great and vnmeasurable a sinner, woldst vouchsafe so great a measure of thy Grace, beeing vnworthie, thy thought, to presume into thy pre­sence: sweet IESVS, art not thou the same CHRIST? who camest not to iustifie the righteous, but to call sinners to repentaunce? is thy mercie anye thing diminish­ed, or shall not thy Glorie euer encrease? it cannot bee, but thou art thy selfe, the Sunne of GOD, the Redeemer of the worlde, the Lambe of God, that takest away the sinnes of the world, and God alone, that hast the gouernement [Page 9] of the whole worlde: what thou hast bought then, who can take from thee? wher thou hast Mercie, who canne diswade thee? and ha­uing all thinges vnder thy feete, who can resist thee? Thou Crea­tedst man for thy selfe, thou Re­deemedst him by thy selfe, & dost comfort him, but with thy selfe; wilt thou then forget the worke of thine owne hands? wilt thou loose that thou hast bought with thine owne blood? or suffer it to be bla­sted that y hast blessed with thine owne Spirit? no, sweet God, thy goodnesse is to great to loose any parte of thy Glorie: though wee forget thy loue, thou canst not for­get thy Mercie, though wee loose our selues in this wildernesse, thou wilt bring vs home to thy folde, & though sinne seeke to driue vs to despaire, yet doth thy Grace assure vs of comfort; for thou art kinde, [Page] though wee are vnthanckfull, thou art mercifull, though wee are vn­faithful, yea thou art comfortable, when wee are most miserable: and why is all this? beecause thou art God, whose goodnesse hath no li­mit, whose mercies are infinit, and whose glorie shall haue no ende: why then oh Lord is my Soule so full of heauinesse, and my heart so disquieted within mee? can the world so werie mee, that Heauen cannot reuiue mee? or can sinne so infect mee, that thy mercie can not heale mee? or the diuell so te­rifie mee, that thou my God canst not comfort mee? no, my deere god, thou art able to forgiue more then I am able to offend, one drop of thy mercie, will heale all the woundes of my sinne, and where thou entrest with thy holly spirit, there is no place for the wicked fiende: what then can hurt mee if [Page 10] thou help mee? can sinne set a wal beetwixt thy mercie and my com­fort: whē thou hast troden downe the diuell, with all the power of his malice, can death afright mee that see my life in thy loue? or can sorrow dismaie mee that haue thee for my comfort? no, my sweet sauioure, let not my teares be one­ly witnesse of my sorrow for my sinnes, but of my ioie in thy mer­cie, that from the greatnesse of sin, hast called mee to thy grace, and li­uing long from the shadow of thy blessing, hast admitted mee into the Ioie of thy presence: Oh bles­sed Lord how admirable dooe I feele thy goodnesse in the inward works of thy grace? faith a fruict of thy mercy, repentaunce a fruict of faith, teares a fruict of repentance, Ioie a fruict of teares, & thou only the fruict of all; thou art oh Lord ye summe of all sweetnesse, the sub­staunce [Page] of all goodnesse, & in thy selfe to thy selfe the only height of all glorie: Thou art the ioie of the heart, the comfort of the minde, & the life of the soule: Thou art the portion of mine inheritance, the longing of my hearts loue, and the onely heauen that I hope for: who can know thee and not loue thee? or know what loue is, & is not ra­uished with the thought of thee? O my sweet Sauiour, since it hath pleased thee to call mee vnto thee, I humbly beeseech thee, let mee neuer goe from thee, but let mee liue and die with thee, that I maie die to liue with thee: for yu onely art the life, & the onely life of thē that come vnto thee: and to thee onely doe I come with sorowfull MARY beeseeching thy comfort, in the greatnesse of thy goodnesse, so to inspire my hart with the grace of thy holie spirit, that with ye teares [Page 11] of my soul mingled with one drop of thy pretious blood, I maie wash awaie the filth of my vnsauerie sinne, and in the comfort of thy kindenesse, I may kisse the feete of thy mercie, till out of the wret­ched vale of this worldly mise­rie, thou wilt bring mee to the ioies of the elected in thy loue, that there beeing preserued, by the hande of thy mercie, with the Angells of thy traine I maie sing to thy Glorie.


A prayer vppon Elizabethes meeting with hir cosen Mary the blessed virgin: Luke i. Chap. 4. i. verse: The fruict therof: The ioies of the elected that by the loue of grace are allied vnto Christ.

YF all the treasures of the world were layde toge­ther, were they any bet­ter then trash, compared (oh LORD) to the least thought of [Page] thy Loue? are not the Heauens them selues the workes of thy sin­gers? and is not the earth with all hir glory, most glorious in beeing thy footestoole? what thē are wee but drossie creatures of slimy clay? but wherin thou hast made vs gra­tious, to encrease the greatnesse of thy glory: shall we then attribute vnto our selues that is due only vnto thee? or thinck our selues to bee any thing, that haue our being but in thee? wilful were such a blinde­nesse, and wofull were such a sight, as taking night for the day, would seeke paradise in hell: LORD keepe vs from such a folly, cleere vs from such a blindenesse, & saue vs from falling into such an errour: be thou the light of our loue, the sence of our vnderstanding, the wisedome of our knowledge, the meditation of our hearts, and the ioy of our Soules: but sweet LORD, I reede [Page 12] that when ELIZABETH met with hir cosen MARY the blessed Virgin thy blessed mother, the babe sprāg in hir wombe, which after he came into the world, did preach of thy kingdome aboue the world: and now mee thincks, I feele thy holy Spirit making entraunce into my Soule, there rise vp thoughts in my heart to honour thee in the high­est Heauens; but the thought is yet yong, & cannot prosper with­out thy blessing, it is conceiued in my Soule by the blessing of thy grace, LORD preserue it with thy mercy, that I may bring ir foorth to thy glorie: though when it is at the best, as it is frō me it is vnwor­thy to loose the least latchet of thy shoe, yet as it is from thee a guift of thy Goodnesse, at the Feete of thy mercie, let it speake of thy glorie: thy grace hath begot it, let thy good spirit breed it, & thy holy [Page] hande so preserue it, y being fed in this infancy with the sweet milk of thy Mercy, it mai gather such force, in the faith of thy holy word, yt de­lighting in thy law, & liuing but in thy Loue, it may loath the whole world to be ye lest in thy kingdom: oh sweet Lord let my hart reioyce to heere of thee, my sences to serue thee, & my soule to praise thee, bee thou ye childe of my loue, the Lord of my life, & the life of my soul, let my soule euer conceiue thee & ne­uer part frō thee: yt hauing thee for my comfort, I may feare no crosse, nor care for any calamity, be yu swet Iesu my father, & my child, my hus­band, & my brother, my loue my life, my Lord & my god; in whom my spirit may reioyce when I but thinck of thy blessing: that beeing wholy rauished with the vertue of thy loue, in harmony of thy gra­ces, I may Glorify thy holly name.


A praier vpon the talke of Christ with the woman of Samaria. Ihon. 4. The fruict therof: the comfort of mercy.

PEereles loue, and purest life of thy beloued, par­don I beeseech thee the presūption of thy poore wounded creature, wounded with sinne, and cureles of hir sore, but onely in the merite of thy MERCY, in the oile of thy grace, & wounds of thy loue: oh sweet IESV, thou didst vouchsafe at Iacobs well of the woman of Samaria, to aske a little water; thou talkedst with hir, & reueledst thy selfe vnto hir, who vnworthy of thy comfort could not conceiue the greatnes of thy kindenes: but alas Lord, heere is another woman that commeth with another thirst, & to drinck of another fountaine: which foun­taine [Page] onely art thou alone, thou art the well of life, of which who drinketh shall neuer dye: long hath my soule thirsted after thee, yea in a barraine and drie land where no water is: oh that I might, so drinck of thy vertue, that beeing dronck with thy loue, I might bee so moi­stened with thy grace, that I might neuer thurst more after sinne: oh sweet Iesu how sweet is thy sweet­nes, no hart can Imagine nor tung can expresse; a fountaine neuer dri, of the abūdance of whose streams all the blessed come to drincke, all that drinck are in loue, and all that loue doe liue for euer: such a spring neuer drying, such a loue euer liue­ing, & such a life euer ioying, wher is it but in thee? & where art thou but it is? oh foūtaine of all blessed­nes, oh blessing of all happines, oh felicity of all ioyfulnes, quench the fire of my thirst with one droppe [Page 14] of thy grace, let fall the dew of thy blessing vpon the drie hart of my soule; that being refreshed with thy loue, I maie deuote my life to thy seruice: for, sweet LORD, though the woman of Samaria would not offer thee drinck, beecause the Sa­maritans would not meddle with the iewes, yet sweet Lord I am sure thou wilt not denie me thy mercy, because I am a sinner: for thou hast mercy in store for all them that come vnto thee, Iacob their father gaue yt well as it seemed, to an vn­courteous people, that would not giue thee a cuppe of their water: but God thy father hath giuen thee to all people a fountaine of life to all that in true faith thirst to drinck of thy loue: & how incom­parable is thy kindnes, that with the blood of thy hart didst seale the bond of thy loue: doest thou denie any one comfort, that callest [Page] all vnto thy mercy: or doest thou suffer any to perish that put their trust in thy word? doest thou not offer thy selfe freely? & shall I not beg thee with teares? yes sweet Lord I humbly thanck thee, I feele the sweetnes of thy loue, though I can not beeholde thy presence, I tast of thy goodnes though I see not thy persō, & drinck of thy ver­tue though I know not thine es­sence; for had not the medicine of thy mercy cured my soul of hir so­row, I had died in my sinne, ere I had tasted of thy grace, but sweet-LORD, the woman of Samaria had many husbands, & my soule desi­reth but thy loue, be thou I say the husband, of my loue, the loue of my life, and life of my soule, the fountaine of my faithes comfort, the water of my hopes life, & the sweet of my eternall felicitie: let me thirst only for thy grace, drinck [Page 15] onely of thy mercie, & liue onely to thy Glorie: that from the pud­dles of the worlde, deliuered by thy mercy, in the ioies of paradise, I may sing Halaluiah to thy holly Maiestie:


A prayer vpon the woman of Canaan, hir suite vnto Christ: Math: xv. verse 22. The fruict thereof: The blessing of faith.

ETernall, Almighty, euer­liuing, and euerloueing God, my deerest master, sweetest Lord, & onely Sauiour IESVS CHRIST, the com­fort of the sorrowfull, the hope of the faithful, and the life of the ioy­full, the Surgion of the heart, the Phisition of the minde, & the me­dicine of the soule, the power of vertue the wisdome of grace, & the glory of mercy, who liuing in the [Page] heauens beholdest all the dwellers vpon ye earth, hearest ye cries of the afflicted, asswagest the pains of the tormēted, & comfortest ye harts of the distressed, that in true faith of thy woord, fly to the mercy of thy will; emong those miserable sin­ners, that haue no hope of reliefe, but in the heauenly eye of thy mercy, vouchsafe sweet Christ, to cast one looke of pitty vppon the wounded heart of my vnworthy soule; whē the woman of syrophe­nissa came to thee, for the cure of hir daughter, possessed with a di­uel, though at the first, thou gauest hir a kinde of denying answere, in that it was not meete to giue the Childrens meate vnto dogges, yet to hir humble replie, that the dogs might eate of the crummes that fall from their masters table, to the glory of thy mercy thou madest a gratious Conclusion; wherein the [Page 16] humility of hir faith, had effected hir ioy in thy fauour: hir daughter was made whole, and shee de­parted away: but now oh Lord was she onely blessed in this abun­dant measure of thy mercy? or can sin haue such power in the world, as to bar thy seruants thy blessing? or shal any dispaire of thy comfort, when thou callest all vnto mercy? no, sweet Lord, I know thou art not partial in thy loue, that lookest onely into thy selfe, thou art not sparing of thy blessing, that art boū tifull to the whole world, nor wouldest the death of a sinner, & therfore wilt surely haue mecry on thy seruants: to thee therefore sweet Iesu I humbly come, not for my diseased daughter, but thy dis­tressed daughter, vnworthy of so good a father, yet praying thee, good father help me, & thi vnwor­thy seruant, beseeching thee sweet [Page] maister comfort mee, and thy vn­worthy creature, crying vnto thee oh God of all mercy haue mercy vpon mee, in the multitude of thy compassions do away all my offen­ces, in the oyle of the grace heale my soule of hir sinne, & in the po­wer of thy mercy deliuer me from euill, I know not with how many diuells I am daily & hourely temp­ted, by a world of illusions, to bee drawen from thy loue, but, were ther neuer so many, thou canst de­liuer me from them all; for, thy po­wer is inuincible, thy mercy is Al­mightie, and thy loue hath no li­mits; sinne is but an infection, the diuells are but ministers of thy wrath, & thou wilt haue mercy on thy seruants; heale therefore my di­sease, commaund away my tormen­tors, and bee glorious in thy good­nesse: where thy good spirit enter­eth, no euill spirit will bide, where [Page 17] thy grace toucheth, no sinne tarri­eth, and whom thou inspirest with thy loue, they are allready in hea­uen: but alas sweet IESVS mee thincks I heere thee accuse mee of so dogged a nature, that I am not worthy to feede of the fruict of thy fauour, Lord I cōfesse it that while dogs waite one their masters tren­chers, I haue not attended on the table of thy merry; & therfore am vnworthy of the least crum of thy comforte: yet sweet Lord, since thy mercy is ouer all thy workes, put mee not out of the booke of thy remembraunce: thou hast cal­led mee though I come late, giue mee a penny of thy charity though I deseure nothing of thy mercy: I am sick, & thou canst heale mee, bee thou gratious though I be sin­full, the diuell is a tirant, but thou art ye god of mercy, who with one looke of thine eie canst make him [Page] flye from thy presence, with one woord of thy mouth canst banish hi [...] from thy beloued, & with one blessing of thy hand canst make me liue euer: but, oh sweet LORD since I haue by [...]ine absence [...]rom attending on thy table, de [...]erued not onely to bee famished, with lack of thy comfort, & not to receiue the least crum of thy mercy, yet in the least looke of thy loue since thy glorie is [...]n thy mercy, loose no part of thy right: let me come behinde thee emong thē throng, of sinners, to touch the hem of thy garment, that by the vertue of my faith, I maie finde grace in thy fauour, & being cured of my sinne, & com­forted by thy mercy by the grace of thy holly spirite, I may Glorifiy thy holly name: & not with the Si­roph [...]n [...]ssiā, depart away with thy blessing, but with y ioy of thy mer­cy, folow thy shadow with my ser­uice, [Page 18] till being wholely deliuered, from the temptation of sin, in the saluation of thy mercy, with the elected of thy loue, by the good spirit of thy grace, I may euer sing to thy glory.


A prayer vpon the widdowes two Mi­tes: xii. of Marke 41 verse. The fruict thereof the praise of Charity.

NOthing is more comfor­table to my soule then the Meditation of thy mercy, sweet Iesu, thou alone art hee whom my soule lou­eth, and iust cause, for by thy onely loue, my soule liueth: when I be­holde thee in my hart, I haue e­nough for my comfort, & wanting thy grace, I comsume away with calamitie: oh vnspeakable sorrow, to misse the ioy of thy mercy, and how great is their heauen, that haue a feeling of thy loue, oh sweet [Page] Lord, how greatly wilt thou com­mend a little loue in thy seruant? but how infinitly art thou to bee glorified, that giuest thy selfe vnto sinners: oh imcōparable kinde loue to lay downe the life of thy beelo­ued: thou didst commend the poore widdow, for casting two mites into the treasury, & thou hast giuen vs thy selfe to bring vs into thy treasury: bee thou therefore commended aboue all commen­dation: shee gaue but a little, though all shee had; yu gauest thy selfe, without whom all things are nothing; let hir then bee commen­ded of thee, who sawest hir hart, & for thy bounty to the whol world, be thou glorified aboue the world: shee was called a poore widdow, beecause shee wanted both the wealth of the world and the com­fort of hir kind husband, but how much might shee bee comforted, [Page 19] to be cōmended by thy mercy? all comforts faile wher thou art wan­ting, and all ioies abound wher thy comfott is comming: O comfort of comforts, when wilt thou come vnto mee? LORD, thou art the hus­band of my soule, the onely com­fort of my hart, & whole substance of my felicity: a poore widow am I, that wanting the comfort of thy loue, haue no ioy in my life: I haue not a mite to present vnto thy mercy: had I a whole world, I would giue it for thy grace: but, a­las, I am poore, and hast thou any nede of welth? that hast the whole world at commaundement: doest thou care for drosse, that art the LORD of heuen & earth? no, LORD, thou wantest nothing, & therefore what though I haue nothing? thou hast giuen mee thy selfe, and can any thing take thee from mee? no sweet LORD, thou hast saide thou [Page] wilt haue mercy, & not Sacrifice: a burnt offering I know thou wouldest not accept, if I should giue it thee: but, if any Sacrifice will please thee, a contrite hart, and a troubled spirit is that which thou wilt not despise: with this sacri­fice therefore sweet Iesu I come to thee, beseeching thee, into the treasury of thy mercy, with the teares of my hart, to receiue me body & soule, which though lesse worth then one mite is all that I haue to giue thee: and well is mee, if thou wilt take them, to cure them of sin, to ease them of sorrow, & to bring them to ioie: but alas, I giue thee but thine owne, which thou hast bought with thy selfe, & therefore I beeseech thee refuse not thine owne, that belongeth to none but thy sel [...]e, & therefore since I haue nothing to giue thee, take thine owne vnto thee, commend whom [Page 20] it pleaseth thee, and be thou com­mended of all: of all I say, for all & aboue all, since that for all in all, thou deseruest all commendation; to thee sweet Iesus Christ the hus­band of my soule, the substance of my wealth, the ioy of my life, and assured hope of my saluation, that by the bitter death of thy body, & precious bloud of thy hart, hast deerely bought the loue of thy seruants, who by thy onely merit be­ing redeemed from hell, by the sa­uing faith of thy mercy, are assured of heauen, to thee I saie, deere CHRIST, my deere loue, my best husband, my heauenly father my gratious LORD & onely glorious King, with thy heauenly father & thy holy spirit, he eternal trinity in vnity, one onely almighrie and in­comprehensible good god, for the infinit comforts of thy infinit mer­cies, bee all infinit glory, honor, & [Page] Praise world without end.


A prayer vpon the request that the mother of Iames & Iohn, made vn­to Chrïst: Math: Chap: 20▪ The fruict thereof: Knowledge what to aske of God.

BLessed LORD, and Lord of all blessing, bountiful GOD, and GOD of all bounty, King of heauen and earth, to whom all the worlde are but beggers; emong the infinit number of thy incessaunt sutors, y neuer leaue to importunate thy mercy, vouchsafe sweet IESV I be­seech thee, to heere an humble pe­tition of thy poore wretched and vnworthy creature; The Mother of Iames, and Iohn, made a suite vnto thee for hir two sonnes, that the one might sit at thy right hand, and the other at thy left: little was [Page 21] hir discretiō to moue so presump­tuous a petition, little I say shee considered thy greatnesse, or lookt into hir owne smalnesse, that, de­seruing nothing but thy Wrath, woulde craue such a blessing of thy Grace: who beeing aunswe­red with deniall, escaped wel with­out thy further displeasure: oh my GOD, I come not to thee with a spirit of such boldnesse; but in the humility of fayth, with the teares of sorrow, my wounded hart, bee­commeth a sutor to thy mercy; an humble sutor I am oh heauenly King to thy holy Maiesty, not for my two sonnes, but the two parts of my selfe, my soule, & my body, y it will please thy gratious good­nesse, so farre to take them to thy mercy, as not to set them either at thy right hand, or thy left, but in one looke of thy comfort, to make thē but cushins for thy feet: where [Page] more ioyfull shall bee my teares, to wash, the feete of thy fauoure, then all the plesures of the world, to bee away from thy mercy: this, oh LORD, is all my sute, which in thy gratious pitty I beeseech thee to graunt me, that from this vale of misery, thou wilt take mee to thy mercy, that in the ioye of thy loue, I may euer sing or thy glory:


A prayer vpon the deuotion of Anna, Luke 2. Chap. The fruict thereof: The comfort of prayer.

RIghteous LORD, holy KING, and euerliuing GOD, who hast not to doe with the stoole of iniquitie, but, with thy Counte­naunce doest beehold the iust, for­giuest the sinnes of the Repen­taunt, and takest the faithfull vnto mercy. Enter not, I beeseech thee [Page 22] into iudgement with thy sinfull and vnworthy seruant; for, no flesh is righteous in thy sight: & I most vnrighteous, am ashamed to ap­peere beefore thy presence, with hope of comfort, or almost with­out despaire of mercy, but y in the greatnesse or thy goodnesse, seeing thee offer thy selfe vnto mee with all thy Graces, with a blushing feare, I fall at the feete of thy mer­cy, beeseeching thee, so to blesse mee with thy grace, that my wick­ednes may not destroy, that which thy goodnesse hath builded: Oh deere LORD, thy seruaunt ANNA, putting of the world and putting on thee, shaking of all vanities, and clothing hir self with thy comfort, leauing the world, beetooke hir selfe to thy Temple, where conti­nuing manye yeeres in fasting and praier, shee receiued at last the ioyefull fruict of hir hope, in the [Page] gratious beeholding of thy Glori­ous comming: but, oh Lord, wo is me, that haue so long looked af­ter the world, that I haue so little looked after thee, that I haue ra­ther lost my selfe in a wildernesse, then once set a steppe into thy Temple: I haue feasted my flesh with the pleasures of the world, & almost famished my soule with the lack of thy holy word, & haue beene rather lost many yeeres in vanity, then employed almost any houre in deuout prayer, as one ra­ther fearing thy wrath, then wish­ing thy presence: but, sweet Lord, thou art the God of Eternity, who hauing all time at thy commaun­dement, dost appoynt euery houre at thy plesure, to call thy seruants, vnto mercy, and to comfort them in thy blessing; to thee therefore my deere Lord, though long first, yet at last, & I hope neuer to late, [Page 23] on the knees of my heart with the tears of my loue I come vnto thy mercy, beseeching thee most hum­bly, in the spirit of thy grace, so to instruct mee to pray, and continue mee in praier vnto the presence of thy pitty, that putting of the de­lights of the vanitie of this world, I may put on the ioy of the vertue of thy loue, beetaking my selfe to the Temple of thy Truth, and only long in my soule to beehold the blessing of thy cōming: come I say, sweet Iesu, come downe in­to my heart, heale my wounded soule, quiet my troubled spirit, de­liuer mee from this sinfull prison, lighten my darckned eies, take me out of this deadly sorrow into the ioy of thy eternall mercy, where feeding on the fruict of my faith in the fauour of thy grace, at the feet of thy presence, I may see the para­dise of my soule: & in a new song [Page] of thanckes giuing, I may glorify thy holy name:


A prayer vpon the queene of sheba hir comming to Solomon: The fruict thereof: The treasure of true wise­dome which is onely in the word of GOD.

O Infinitte and eternall God, the ground of all vertue, and giuer of all goodnesse, the fountayn of vnsearchable deepe wisedome of the incomprehensyble Deity; looke, I humblye beeseech thee vpon the simple soule of thy silly creature: The Queene of Sheba came to thy seruaunt Solomon, to heere the wōder of his wit, which compared to thy wisedome, is as nothing, and shall not I come to thee for the knowledge of my cō ­sort? yes my deere LORD, let thy [Page 24] mercy be my tutor, thy wisdome, my lesson, thy comfort, my lyfe: Teach me euer how to pray, what to hope for in my prayer, and how to bee thanckfull or thy blessings: teach me wisdome to know thee, knowledge to serue thee, & Grace so to loue thee, that I may neuer liue to leaue thee: bee thou the cō ­templatiō of my study, the letters of my reading, & the woord of my continuall remembrance; the note of my Comfort the white of my loue, and [...]he light of my lyfe: In­spire my hart with thy holy spirit, leade mee in the way of thy truth, and blesse mee with the ioy of thy peace: that leauing this desart, where fooles loose their wittes, e­mong the followers of thy will, I may heere the wonders of thy wis­dome: where the saith of the s [...]m­ple, finde the summe of their fely­city: that beeing pardoned my [Page] faults, & healed of my folly, in the seruice of my faith I mai glorify thy holy Maiestie: but oh Lord shee brought gifts of great value, which she presented vnto thy seruaunt, & I haue nothing to giue thee but my selfe, vnworthy present for thy presence: but sweet Lord, I bee­seech thee refuse not thy seruant, though vnworthy thy fauour, and instruct me in thy law, though vn­worthy thy loue, that hauing thy lesson in my heart, I may teach thy wil vnto the world: graunt this oh deere God, for thy deere beloued Sonne IESVS CHRIST his onely sake, to whome with thee, and the holy Ghost, three persons, but one GOD, bee all Honour, and Glory, humbly ascribed of mee, and all thy poore vnworthy ser­uants, in all things, for all things, and aboue all things, world with­out ende:


A praier vpon the words of Peter vn­to Christ in the time of his transfi­guration. Luke ix. verse 33. The fruict therof: the ioy of the faithfull.

O How amiable are thy dwellings my deer Lord Iesu, how pleasant are thy graces? & how com­fortable are thy mercies? more sweet are they to my hart, then hony vnto my mouth, yea sweeter then hony and the hony combe: when thy holy Apostle Peter bee­held thee transfigured, beeing ra­uished in soule with the sweet of thy countenance, then could he say, heere is good beeing LORD: so my sweet sauiour, when in my soule I behold but one beame of thy bright loue, I can say to my self, it is good being with thee LORD: [Page] for better is it, not to be at all, then to be without the comfort of thy blessing: blesse mee therfore sweet IESV, I beeseech thee with the fee­ling of thy goodnes, the comfort of thy mercy, & the ioy of thi loue: and let mee saie, to my selfe, whiles I am in this body of sinne, in this wretched world, heere is ill being LORD, wher I am so much without thee, and, onely their is good bee­ing where I might neuer bee from thee, that being rauished with the sweetnes of thy brightnes, I might make my poore soule, a tabernacle for thy dwelling, that beeing clen­sed from my sinne, by the onely merite of thy mercy, & sweeted in my soule, by the oile of thy grace, in the fruicts, of thancks giue­ing, I may Glorifye thy holly name:


A praier vpon Mary Magdalens wee­ping at the Sepulcher: Iohn xvi: The fruict thereof: the vertue of constancy, in the loue of the faith­full.

KNock saiest thou sweet Iesus, & it shall bee ope­ned vnto vs, seeke & we shall finde, aske & wee shall haue: oh my deer God long haue I sought thee, with the zea­lous loue of my hart, knocking at the gates of thy grace, with the sighes of vnfained sorrow, & beg­ing with bitter tears, but one drop of thy mercy: but my deere God sinne did so blind mee, that I went still out of the way, that doth lead mee to thy will, sin did so oppresse me, I could not come at thy grace; yea, sinne did so dismaie mee, that I was afraide of thy mercy: but [Page] now sweet Lord being cleered of my blindnes, by the light of thy holy word, and seeing the gates of thy grace open to the passage of the Repentaunt emong the hopes of the faithfull, I beg an almes of thy mecry: I reed oh Lord of Ma­ry Magdalens great grace, who be­ing a great sinner yet by a great re­pentance, receiued a great measure of thy mercy: in sorrow she sought thee, in humility she loued thee, & in loue shee found thee: yea, aliue shee loued thee, dead, shee mourn­ed for thee, buried she sought thee: and risen she found thee: sweetly was shee blessed, that hauing once beegon to seeke thee could neuer leaue till she found thee, & hauing once found thee, did so deerely loue thee that in the depth of hir loue, shee had no ioie to liue from thee: sweet Iesu, so giue me grace to seeke thee, that in thy grace, I [Page 27] may finde thee, by thy grace I may loue thee, &, in thy gratious loue, I may liue to beehold thee: open mine eares, that I may heare thee call: and open mine eies, that I may see thy goodnesse: open my hart, that I may with teares attend thee, and open thy handes, to take mee wholy vnto thee: mortify my flesh, that my soule may liue, shut me not from the gates of thy grace, but keep mee vnder the shadow of thy wings: lead mee through the dark­nes of sinne, into the day light of thy loue; the first day in the weeke and earely in the morning let mee seeke thee, let the prime of my youth and the whole time of my pilgrimage, bee onely emploied to the finding out of thy fauour: let mee feare nothing while thou art my hope, nor bee satisfied with any thing till I be filled with thy loue: let mee weepe at thy graue, that I [Page] [...] [Page 27] [...] [Page] may ioy in thy grace; & so mourne for thy absence, that I may reioice in thy presence: let mee not depart with thy disciples, but abide with thine angells, till, in the pitie of my sorrow, thou wilt shew me thy self: when, hearing from thee, but Mary, I may aunswere, but master, wher­in my soule rauished with thy loue may deuote the seruice of my life: but, oh Lord, how should I most wofull, wretched, & wicked crea­ture, liueing in this vale of sorrow & misery, come to the comfortable hope to clime the hil of thi mercy? a polluted vessell of the earth, to behold the pure and bright Glory of the heauens? but oh LORD, doe I aske thee how? & haue thy holy word so cleere a lanthorne to my loue; forgiue my sweet Christ, my forgetfulnes of thy care, and giue me grace to remember the rules of my comfort: wherein I finde after [Page 28] storms faire weather is sweetest, af­ter troubles, peace is most comfor­table, & after death, life is most ioy full; sweet Iesu therefore that hast mortified mee with the stormes of this world, comfort mee with the Sunne shine of thy Grace, after the troublesome temptations, of e­uill spirits, giue mee peace in thy holy spirit, and after the death of this my carnall Absence, giue my soule life in the beeholding of thy presence: giue mee patience to seeke thee in thy passion, that I may reioyce to see thy Resurrecti­on: and that in the Merit of thy mercy, receiuing the Comfort of my saluation, I may with the tears of my hart witnesse the loue of my soule, not desiring to liue, but to Glorify thy holy name:


A prayer vpon Magnificate, not ap­plying the history: The fruict ther­of: The ioy of the soule that is raui­shed with the loue of CHRIST.

ESscence of eternity, in ye holy Maiesty of the Tri­nall vnity, in the heauen­ly DEITY, light of the Heauens, day of the world, beaw­ty of vertue, & Glory of wisdome, sweet IESV, the true and only bee­gotten and beeloued sonne, of the true, and only incomprehensible, euerliuing, and euerlouing GOD: my Creator in thy power, my Re­deemer in thy merite, my Sanctifi­er in thy loue, and my Sauiour in thy mercy; how shall I, clodde of claye, slime of the earth, dust and Ashes, wretched worme, & wicked creature, presume to the happi­nesse, to haue a thought of such [Page 29] holinesse, as to aspire, so high a blessing, as to touch the smallest tittle, of the due title of thy glory: yet, sweet IESV, seeing that ye dead Earth in hir Fruictes dooth praise thee, shall my soule liue, and in no seruice honor thee? and since the liuing doe adore thee, shall I dye, and not praise thee? God forbid: but, alas, shall darcknesse speake of light, Error of truth, basenesse of Glory, or a sinner, of God? when the Earth quakes, the Sea Roares, the Heauens shake, and the Aun­gells tremble at thy presence, and yet I see the Elements giue theyr natures: The Sunne his heate, the water hir coolenesse, the Aire hir moisture, and the Earth hir dri­nesse; The trees theyr fruicts, the flowers their sweets, the Sea hir fishes, the Earth hir gemmes, the Ayre hir comfort, the Fyre hir light, & the world hir welth in the [Page] seruice of hir Creatures in obe­dience to thy holy will, to Glorify thy holy name; and shall I of all the world most bound to thee in the whole world, that haue tasted so much of thy goodnesse, so much forget thy Greatnesse, as, in no work of thy Grace, to humble my soule to thy Glory? God forbid: no, my sweet God, I humbly bee­seech thee giue mee the patience of thy saincts, the faith of thy Mar­tiers, the ioy of thine Angells, and the wisedome of thy holy Spirit, that I may suffer all things for thy loue, I may die in thy seruice, and so sing of thy goodnesse, that in ringing out thy praises, the heuens may reioyce to heere thy glory in the world: oh my sweet CHRIST, help mee to honour thee: Inspire my heart with thy Loue, tell mee what to thincke of thee, teach mee what I shall say of thee, learne mee [Page 30] how I shall praie vnto thee; that in my Soule, I may neuer cease to prayse thee: O glory in the high­est heauens, highest glory of the heauens, onely glory beefore the heauens, bee thou glorified aboue the heuens: oh that my hrat could dissolue into teares, to wash the feete of thy fauour, or that my soule in sighes, could ascend a Sa­crifice to thy mercy, that in Soule and body, I might shew some ser­uice of my loue, which am worse then nothing, till I bee something in thee: but thou hast made mee, as it hath pleased thee, and canst make mee what it pleaseth thee, let it therefore please thee, I bee­seech thee, to make mee onely to please thee: I am a creature of thy will, worke mee onely to thy will: draw mee to thee, by thy holy spi­rit, hold mee to thee, by thy holy Loue, and inspire mee with thy [Page] holy wisedome, that loathing the worlde with the vanities thereof, in thy onely mercy, I may see the paradise of my soule: that hauing with patience passed my purgato­ry in this life, & in the merit of thy mercy, receiuing the comfort of my Saluation, where the Angells of thy loue, doe sing in Glory of thy grace, my poore humble Soule may sing Amen to their Musique.

Gloria in excelcis Deo.

LONDON ¶Printed by Tho­mas Este, dwelling in Aldersgate streete. 1597.

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