INSTRVCTIONS for the vse of the beades, conteining many matters of me­ditacion or mentall prayer, vvith diuerse good aduises of ghostly counsayle. VVhere vnto is added a figure or forme of the beades portrued in a Table. Compiled by Iohn Bucke for the benefi­te of vnlearned. And Dedicated to the honorable good Lady, ANNE LADY Hungarforde, sister to the Duchesse of Ferria.

[depiction of the virgin Mary and Jesus Christ or the Madonna and Child, encircled by rosary beads, with decades divided by two hands, two feet and a heart]

Imprinted at LOVAIN in the yere of our Lordre. 1589.

[depiction of the Visitation, featuring the virgin Mary, Elizabeth, and the infant John the Baptist; in the background is a city]
[blazon or coat of arms of Lady Anne Hungerford, née Dormer]

[Page 3] TO THE RICHT VER­tuous Lady, ANNE Lady Hun­garfoorde, his honorable good Maistres, Iohn Bucke VVisheth al healthe.

FOr so muche as man bor­ne in to this vvorlde hai­the no long time to liue Here, he being (as the Wy seman saithe) lent, not ge­uen to life: And for that vve must render an accompt, at the daye of Iudgemēt (before that dredefull Iud­ge, vvhiche is voyde of partialitie) not onlie of vvoordes and vvoorkes, but of eache moment of time spent here, yea euen vnto the thoughtes of our hartes, euerie one in his vocacion and degree: And for my part calling all this to the eyes of my minde: seing also all my acti­ons hithertho to be verie base and bar­rain in his sight, vvhiche is the true sear­cher of al thoughtes: I began to think hovv I might employe my selfe in some vvoorke acceptable to so bountifull and benigne a patrone, and lorde, as haith [Page 4]beside my creacion and redempcion, not onlie sanctified me and preserued me from my infancie: but also brought me out af that darke Egiptiacal England, (the verie sea of heresie) and placed me vnder so good and graciouse a ladie, in vvhom I dailie beholde manie examples of true Religion, goldie fear, cōstant pa­tience, and Christian pietie. Therfore finding nothing more agreable to hys diuine pleasure, than is the charitable trauail in mouing the deuociō of others to the effectuall seruice of his Diuine Maiestie by prayer and meditacion: and considering hovv great cōmoditie a litle direction in prayer may bring to the vn­learned and ignorāt, vvhose vveakenesse I vvolde be glad anie vvaye to releue: The first parte of this booke. I haue thought good to put foorth suche spirituall exercises, as I my selfe haue priuatlie vsed, vvith great comfort, in sayieng the Rosaire, Croune, or Psalter of our blessed laidie the virgin Marie, vpon the beades. The se­cōd part. And I haue also set doun sundry meditacions and conside­racions to be vsed othervvyse, touching asvvel the passion of our Sauiour and our redemption: as also the infinite benefites [Page 5]and Graces most plentifullie bestovved vpon euerie Christiā: to the ende that in thinking therof a good religiouse myn­de may be more diligent and attentiue to note and marke vvhat is sayd: more inflamed to deuocion: and more moued vvith compunction and sorovve for syn­nes committed. And thies meditations a man muy diuide in to seuen partes, ac­cording to the dayes of the vveeke: to the ende that a thankfull hart Dailie be­holding (as in a glasse) the bountifull guiftes of God maye take occasion to hate synne, and to loue God so good a be­nefactor and patrone. And because ma­ny vvel disposed parsones vvolde fayne vvalke accordīg to the vvil of their lorde and Creator: yet doe they vvander astray by vvant of good instruction, rather than vpon malice: The thrid parte. I haue collected out of de­uout authors certein lessons an directiōs shevveing, not oulie, good meanes to auoyde synne, and to frame the vvhole course of lyfe according to hys rule and commaundement, vvhiche sayeth; Hoe fac, & viues. Doe this, and thou shault ly­ue: but also profitable signes and argu­mentes, vvhereby one muy perceiue, [Page 6]vvhether he standeth in the state of God his grace and fauor, The fovverth parte. or no. Lastlie I haue added some rules to knovv from vvhēce cuell thoughtes do proced eand meanes to auoyde them: vvith a figure or por­trature of the beades, conteining your Lady shippes vsuall Meditacion vpon them.

Thies vvith suche lyke being the sclē ­der fruit of my barrain vvyt hauing no better crop to put in to the barne, I ha­ue published for the benefit of the vn­learned, vviche can not skill of curiou­se discourses penned by great clerkes. And I haue presumed to dedicat this fruit of my poor talent vnto your La­dyship, my honorable, and most boun­tifull Maistresse: by vvhose example of Christian lyfe and conuersacion I haue bene muche edified, and animated, as to other Christian exercises, so to this vvoork novv here set foorthe. VVhiche I hope shall fynde better entertein­ment; for that it passeth vnder the fa­uour of your honorable countenance. And good reason I haue so to think, for (to omit other places, times, and proo­fes testifyeing your vertues) synce your [Page 7]comyng in to thies Countries, you ha­ue geuen suche demonstracions of true Religion, by the fruits of your good ly­fe, as for your pittifoll hart, and cha­ritable compassion, vvith the effect of almoise and vvoorkes of mercie, I may vvel compare you to Paula, vvhom Seint Ierom so highlie commendeth. The tovvne of Louain and other pla­ces in time of plague famin, vvarre, and heresie can testifie your pietie. The naked then by you clothed, the hungrie then by you fedde, the sick of daungerouse diseases than by you vi­sited, comforted, and releued; the dead then by you buried, the captiues then by you ransomed, yea the simple sedu­ced soules then by your meants recon­ciled to God and his Churche are suf­fficient testimonies and prooses of your zeale to vertue, and of your perfecti­on in Catholique Religion: and vvill plead for you before God and man: that as the vvhole course of your lyfe hitherto haith bene accompted among the most honorable in vertue: so vvil your temporall ende be in dede aright famouse in all good memorie and your [Page 8]second lyfe in heauen verie gloriouse among holie Confessors, for (as Seynt Ierom truelie sayeth) seldome or neuer dieth that man an euell death, vvhich vvillinglie exerciseth the vvoorkes of Charitie. And hys reason is, for that su­che persones haue many intercessors a­mong good and vertuouse poor people: and verie vnlike it is and almost impossi­ble that none of theyr prayers shoulde not be herd.

And thoughe (good Madame) you haue endured many afflictions and gre­uous aduersities: yet haue you no cause therfore to be discouraged: for they are euident signes of the fauor that God beareth tovvard you. It is à peculiar proper­tie of God to punish them vvhom he loueth. Examples therof vve haue infi­nite in holy scripture and othervvhere. Holy Iob dyd neuer vvillinglie eat mor­sel of bread alone, vvithout company of some one or other poor and needy per­sone: yet vvere his plagues and afflictiōs so terrible, and his diseases so lothesome as vve tede not of any greater. VVho vvas more pittifull to the poor and nedie than olde Tobie, vvhiche buried the dead: fed [Page 9]the hungrie; and supplied the vvantes of many: visited and comforted his felo­vves captiues? Yet dyd he bear the bur­den of many heuye crosses. And vvhen he dyd stand in most nede of al comfort, he lost the vse of his sight: But vvith thies and suche examples of Scripture you are vvell acquainted. I vvill recompt vnto you others. It is vvell knovven hou charitable a hand and hart Seynt Grego­rie the great had, the restorer of Christiā Religion in England, to vvhom our Sa­uiour appeared among others poor beg­gars, as a special token that God vvas vvell pleased vvith that good mans al­moise dedes, and vvoorkes of charitie: yet vvas he vexed vvith bodilie siknesse continuallie. It is vvritten of a holie vvo­man called Liduina so pittifull tovvar­des the poor and needie, as vvhen she had not sufficient of her ovven to geue, she vvolde begge and borovv of others to releue the necessitie of the poor, Su­che encrcase ostentimes folovved her hand, as though she euer gaue vvhere need required, yet dyd her porcion fynde no decrease: In so muche as one time (if not oftener) thirtie poor persones vvere [Page 10]vvell releued of the meat that vvas put in one pot, and in the end as muche meat found in the pot as vvas at the fyrst put in to it. yea she had a purse vvhere in she vsed to put her almose money, vvhiche she called IESVS hys pot, for that it neuer failed: yet vvas this good vvoman euer siklic, and often afflicted vvith many most greuouse diseases and aduersities. And it is vvell knovven hou your Ladieshipp being at Namure in a time of great famin you releued the hun grie soldiors vvith flesh he and pottage, and hovv God so blessed your almoise, as the meat prouided in tuo pottes for thirtie parsones dyd suffice vvell nigh tvvo hundred people. Therfore as you haue Good cause vvith that good vvo­man Lidunia to magnifye God, vvhiche gaue you habilitie and good vvil to exer­cise the vvoorkes of charitie) and mul­tiplied your guystes in your handes: So haue you good matter of comfort by pa­tient bearing of your vvordlie afflictiōs, expect vvith Liduina the revvard prepa­red for faith sull and charitable Christia­nes: knovveing perfectlie that he vvhi­che geueth but a cup of colde vvater for [Page 11]the loue of Christ shall not leese his re­vvarde.

Thies examples shevv you that tem­poral afflictions casuallie falling vpon good men, are signes and argumentes of Gods fauour. For (as Seynt Gregorie doeth vvell note) there is no greater marke of Gods vvrathe and displeasure, then is a continuall good successe in he­althe, vvelthe, and vvordlye prosperitie. Yea siknesse and affliction doeth frame and conforme vs lyke to our Sauiour Ie­sus Christ: vvhom God the Father sent in to the vvorld not to reap the delica­te pleasures therof: but to suffer great paynes and miseries. What carefull trou­bles and dredefull perills dyd his blessed mother endure, vvhen it vvas knovven that our maister Iesus should be borne? And after he vvas borne a great nom­ber of deadlie enemies dyd dailye arise against that svvete babe and her. VVhat terrible fear and care vvith paynfull la­bors dyd she endure traualing ouer hil­les and dales; vvhen she heard the cries of mothers for their children haled out of their armes and mordered before their eyes: vvhen shedyd mete the cruell [Page 12]bouchers that sought to morder her dear childe by the cruell edict of vvicked He­rod, proclaming all male children from troo yeres olde and vnder to be slaine? vvhat soroufull cares and hard traunlyng dyd that blessed virgin endure to hyde and saue her oulie sonne from the cruel­tie of those synfull creatures, vvhom her sonne came to sane and kepe from hel and damnacion if they vvolde accept hym? Shal vve then look for priuileige and immunitie from vvordlie afflictiōs, vvhen vve see that spotlesse lamb the sonne of God, and the immaculat vir­gin his mother to haue endured all mi­series that the vvorlde could procure a­gainst them? In verie truthe, afflictions and miseries susteyned by a faithfull Christian are the bages of our lorde and Mai­ster. Therfore vve must not grudge to vvear our Maisters liuereys, and to bear our crosse and folovv hym: considering that in so doeing vve haue an assurāce of his entertainement vvith lyfe euerlasting in his high palace of heauen: VVhereun­to he that bought your laidyship bring you vvhen it shall please hym. In mean tyme I humblie beseche you accept this [Page 13]myte putin to the box. Interpret of it as I mynde to your honor and to all good Catholiques to vvhose vieue it shall co­me. I craue onlie the glorie of God he­reby to encrease, to vvhom I commend your Ladyshippe vvith all true Catho­liques.

Your Ladyshyppes obedient seruant Iohn Bucke.
[depiction of the virgin Mary and Jesus Christ or the Madonna and Child, in a room]

CERTAIN MATTERS OF Meditacion or mentall praeyer to be consi­dered in reciting the Rosaire, Psalter, on Croune of our Laidie the most blessed vir­gin Marie vpon the beades.

IT is an auncient exercise of deuout Christianes in tyme of prayer, and speciallie in the vse of the beades, to set before the eyes oft the Sou­le some conceit or Imagi­nacion of one or other matter contei­ned in the lyfe of our Sauiour, or of the blessed virgin Matie. And this conceit vvell imprinted in mynde, vvil kepe it from vvauering in the vain thonghtes, and vvill make it more attentiue and he­defull: vverby deuocion is soner kynd­led: vvithout vvhiche prayer yeeldeth small fruit. Therfore vvhen you are dis­posed to praey vpon the beades: you may thynke vpon thre sortes of myste­ries (vvherof fyue poinctes in every one are Ioyfull, fyue aredolorouse, and fyue are gloriouse) in maner folovveing.

[depiction of the Annunciation, featuring the virgin Mary in a room with the angel Gabriel in a cloud sending the Holy Spirit (in the form of a bird or dove inside a halo) towards her]

Of fyue Ioyfull Mysteries to be thought vpon when you are to pray vpon the beades.

THe first Ioyfull Mysterie or secret is the annunciation of the blessed vir­gin Mary. Ther fore vvhen you take your beades, and haue aduisedlie com­mended your selfe to God, blessing your selfe vvith, In nomine Patris & Filij & Spi­ritus sancti. Amen. The An­nūciation oft our Lady. Then may you fyrst set before the eyes of your soule, the An­nonciation of our blessed ladie: and Imagin in your mynde that you behol­de the Angel Gabriel presenting hym selfe before that blessed virgin vvith hys heauenlie salutacion Aue Maria, 1 and declaring to her hys message from the Councel of the Thrinitie.

And vvith that Imaginacion still kept in mynde, say the fyrst Pater noster, and ten Aue Maries folovveing (vvhiche is the fyrst part of the beades) attentiuelie, di­stinctlie, and deuoutlie: ther let thies co­gitaciōs folovveing renne through your mynde avvhile, before you goe any fur­ther.

First thinck hovv the Angel found her at praier: 1 and here admonish your selfe hovv nigh vnto you your good Angel standeth in time of praier: and hovv apt you are then to receiue heauenlie com­fort and good mocions: and that in con­sideracion hereof it is good to pray euer, more or lesse.

Secondlie marke vvith vvhat modest silence she gaue ear to the messaige, 2 not vttering any Idle or curiouse speeche: and studie you to folovve that example.

Thirdlie note her zeal to kepe her mai­denhode and virginitie, 3 vovved and pro­mised to Gode and so thinck to keep your Christian vovve made at your bap­tisme.

Fouerthlie consider her present faith in beleeuing the vvoordes of the Angel, 4 passing all naturall reason that she being [Page 17]a virgin shoulde bear a childe: and hete learn faithfullie to beleeue the promises of God.

Fyftlie beholde her humble obediēce, and resigned vvil to the disposicion of allmightie God. And vvhen you haue thus occupied your mynde some litle ti­me: then prepare your selfe to the se­conde Ioye.

[depiction of the Visitation, featuring Elizabeth reaching to touch the stomach of the pregnant virgin Mary at the entrance to a house]

THe seconde Ioyfull mysterie is her Visitacion of her cossein Seynt Eli­zabeth. The visi­ting of S. Elizabeth Here you may thynke that you see the meting of thad blessed virgin, 2 and that holie matrone, vvith the tvvo infantes in their vvombes: vvhat heuen­lie Ioye vvas there. And in this thought say the seconde Pater noster, and tenne Aue Maries, folovveing vvith like at­tencion and deuocion as before.

Then learn a lesson of great humili­tie and charitie of our lady. And vvhen thou hearest thy selfe commended geue all the thankes to God as she dyd. And if thou art aduaunced to any degree of honor: bear not thy selfe more highlie, nor neglect to doe good offices to others vnder thee. Consider also hovv effe­ctuall the vvoordes of our Ladie (then haueng conceyved our Sauiour in her vvombe) vvere to cause the babe Seynt Iohn to moue, in the vvombe of his mo­ther, vvhen the virgin saluted her. And therfore ceass not to laude and praise her, and to call vpō her helpe in thy need. And vvhē thou hast thus thought, begyn the third part of the beades, as foloweth.

[depiction of the Nativity, featuring the Holy family (the virgin Mary, Joseph, and the infant Jesus Christ in a stable with an ox and two figures in the background]

THe third Ioyefull mysterie is the Natiuitie and byrthe of our Sauiour. The Na­tiuitie of Christ. 3 [Page 19]Here thynk that thou seest svvete Iesus nevv borne, vvrapped in poor clothes, layd in a cryb betvvene tvvo beastes in an abiect place of a common Inne, for wāt of habilitie to hyre a better lodging. And vvith this thought say the third Pa­ter noster, ad tenne Aue Maries folovveing attentiuelie and deuoutlie as before.

Then consider vvith vvhat payn the most blessed virgin mirrour of humilitie vvent from Nazareth to Bethleem in colde vvinter, 1 yeelding obedience to the Emperour: And hovv the sonne of God vvolde before his byrthe shevv obediēce vvith humilitie at all seasons: yea to thy inferior if nede requyre or good occasiō.

Secondelie cōsider in vvhat poor estate the lorde of all the vvorlde vvolde be borne and brought in to this vvorlde: 2 and here learne to cōtemne al vvorldlie pompe. and vainglorious curiositie.

Thirdlie note here the loue of our Sauiour to mankynde, 3 and requite hym vvith loue again to the vttermost of all thy povvers. 4 Fouerthlie behol­de hovv the Angels from heauen prea­ched to poor Shepeheardes the comyng of our Redemer: And here learne [Page 20]to haue euer due regarde to the poor: and imitate thou those poor men vvhi­che vvith great zeale simplicitie and di­ligence sought our Sauiour, to yeelde vnto hym all that honor and seruice vvhiche vvas requisit. And after thies thoughtes prepare thy selfe to the fo­uerth loye deuoutlie as before.

[depiction of the Presentation in the Temple, featuring Simeon, the virgin Mary, Joseph and the infant Jesus Christ, with a male and a female figure]

THe fouerth Ioyefull mysterie is the Presentacion of our Redemer in the temple before the Byshop. christ pre­sented in the tēple. 4 And here be­holde our Lady offering her sonne in the temple of Ierusalem: regard hovv olde Simeon the Byshop (knovveing by reuelacion that babe to be the Sauiour so long looked for) tooke hym vp in his armes, and adored hym vvith all Ioye and reuerence, sayeing: Now thou doest dimisse thy seruant o lord, according to thy woord [Page 21]in peace. Because myne eies haue seen thy Salua­tion. And vvith this thought say the fo­uerth Pater noster, and tenne Aue Maries, folovveing, deuoutlie as before. And then learne to present thy selfe oftenty­mes in the Churche vvithall diligence, reuerence and deuocion, specially at the holy sacrifice of the Masse: that thou mayest be parttaker of great mysteries. And thynk hovv Iust and faithfull per­sones by deuout prayer, and godlie pa­tience, haue at last obteined their holie desires, as this man dyd. And here also marke hovv our Sauiour in his infancie, being but eight dayes olde, shed his bloode for thee at his holie Circumci­sion: and learne for his fake to suffer from thy childhode vvhat aduersitie so euer fall vpon thee: And vvith this thought prepare thy selfe to the fyst Ioye deuoutlie as before.

THe fyft Ioye is the finding of our Sauiour in the temple. Here behol­de our Lady and auncient Ioseph vvith great care seeking for her sonne, vvhom she had lost: and at last findeth hym dis­puting of deep mysteries, vvith great [Page 22]Doctors in the Temple. And vvith that Impression saye the fift and last Pater no­ster, and tenne Aue Maries folovveing, denoutly as before.

Then learne here of the virgin and good Ioseph to seeke for Christ vvith all care and diligence: 1 and rest not till thou finde him.

And thinke not to finde him vvith vvorldely affection tovvarde thy kinred, 2 nor among the delites of flesh and blou­de: but in the Churche of God, by often hearing the vvoord of God, and frequē ­ting the Sacramentes.

Allvvayes prouide to thy vttermost povver that thou kepe him in the cabi­net of thy harte: 3 and leese him not after thon hast founde him. This order thou must obserue in reciting the Rosaire the seconde and third time. And vvhen thou hast thus vvell ended the last parte of the beades: then vvith a cherefull couraige and bolde spirit thou mayst safelie say the conclusion, vvhiche is Credo in Deum, &c. And this muche for the fir­ste Rosarie, or first part of the psalter of our ladie.

Of fiue dolorous Mysteries to be thought vpon when you are to vse the beades.

[depiction of the Agony in the Garden, with Jesus Christ knelt in the Garden of Gethsemane, surrounded by the sleeping Apostles Peter, James, and John]

VVhen you haue sayd the Rosarie, Christ prayeng in the gar­den. or beades ones ouer, vvith the medita­cions and thoughtes before mencioned: then may you vvith like preparacion and order as before muse vpon the fiue dolo­rous mysteries: that is to say fiue speciall panges of the sorovves and paines that our Sauiour endured for our Redēpcion.

The first dolorous mysterie vvas the svveating of bloude and vvater vvhiche our lorde and Maister suffered in the Garden. And here beholde Christ in the Garden kneeling vpō his knees, holding vp his face and handes to heauen, and [Page 24]prayeing thriste to his Father, in this sor­te. Father if it be possible let this chalice passe from me: yet not my will, but thy will be done: And marke his great agonie vpon the impression and conceit of the great pay­nes vvhiche he vvas to suffer vpon the Crosse for mankynde: and hovv for ve­rie labour of sorovv he svveateth vvater mixed vvith bloude: and beholde vvith all an Angel sent from heauen so com­fort him. And vvith this Imaginacion say the first Pater noster, and tenne Aue Maries deuoutlie.

Then note first hovv in all aduersities thou must flee for succour to God. 1

Secōdly that it is not enough to praye vvith thy lyppes, 2 but that all thy senses and invvard povvers must be earnestlie bent to prayer, and that vvith conti­nuance.

Thirdlie hovv great nede you haue to pray for auoyding eternall payne, 3 vvhi­che you haue deserued for your sinnes: seing the Innocent sonne of God did flee to prayer for eschaping or patient enduring a temporall payne to be sustei­ned for the redempcion and deliuery of others.

Fovverthly comfortly continevv in prayer and think that God in the ende vvill hear the, and send his holy Angel to releeue thee vvhen neede shall re­quyre. This being doen prepare thy selfe as before to the second dolour.

THhe secounde dolorous mysterie is the apprehension and arraignement of our lorde and maister vvith all man­ner of contumelious skorne and despi­te. The arrai­gnement of Christ. 2 And here marke the traitour Iudas betrayeing his maister vvith a kysse, and the barbarous soldiours in armour vvith al violence taking holde of our Sauiour: hailing and dravveing hym by night from Iudge to Iudge, reviling, mocking, and vvith their filthines all bespitting hym: beholde vvhat sterne and sovver countenances they cast vpon hym: hovv rudely they bynde hym to a piller: hovv vnmarcifully they vvhip and vvound him vvith scourges made of hard cordes so as no parte of his holy bodie vvas free.

And vvith thees thoughtes say the se­conde Pater noster, 1 and tenne Aue Maries deuoutlie: and then consider that vvhen thou vpon vvillfull malice doest cōmit [Page 26]any deadly sinne, thou art become a per­secutor of thy Sauiour, and a part taker and cōpanion vvith Iudas in betrayeing, skornyng, vvhipping, and contumelious abusing thy Redemer.

Learne allso vvith patience to suffer all affliction layd vpon the for thy sinnes: 2 and refuse not any payne nor affliction that shall be offered to thee for his sake that suffered so muche for thee. This benig done prepare thy selfe to the third dolour as before.

[depiction of the Scourging at the Pillar, with Jesus Christ tied to a column while two men whip or beat him with tree branches; four other figure in the background]

THe thirde dolorous mysterie is the crovvning of our Sauiour vvith a crovvne of Sharpe thornes, The crovvne of thorne. 3 a horrible torment, and geuen vvith great despite: here beholde the most sauaige cruell In­fideles bringing vvith great mockerie a crovvne made of most boysterous shar­pe [Page 27]thornes, lyke vnto nailes, and beating the same violently in to his head: and vvith lothesome derision saluting hym as king. A terrible sight, hable to brust the hart of a good Christian to consider rightly. VVith this Imaginacion and conceyt saye the third Pater noster, and tenne Aue Maries. And then note the in­solent pryde and hypocrisie of all Ievves, heretikes, and infideles against the head of the Churche then, and novv against his membres. And learne to embrace the true adoring of our Sauiour vvithall humilitie and simplicitie, vvithout all pryde and insolencie. And here note that the propertie of all heretiques is euer vvhith most rigeur and malice to assault the head principall directors of true religion: vvhiche is a plain demon­stracion of their disobedience, thynke therfore hovv thou mayest take the con­trarie course, and embrace obedience in singlenesse of harte: vvhiche all mightie God more estemeth then sacrifice: and ther vpon conclude thou that Idolatrie is in no degree vvorse than is disobedi­ence: And vvith this thought prepare thy mynde to the fovverth dolour.

[depiction of the Condemnation of Christ, featuring Pontius Pilate surrounded by a group of male figures; including a soldier holding a cross]

THe fovverth dolorous mysterie vvas the false sentence of Christ his con­demnacion, Christ cō demned 4 and the heauye burden of his Crosse. Here beholde the dissem­bling iudge Pilate against his consciēce, Leading our Sauiour by the Arme, and deliuering that Innocent lambe in to the handes of his foes, to vvreak theire vvicked vvilles vpon him. And vievv the redemer of mankynde his holie bodie vvorne vvith stripes and blovves, all bloudye forced to beare a most heauie bur­den of the crosse, and for verie weakenes falling dovvn vnder it. And vvith this sorovvfull sight passe ouer deuoutlie the fovverth Pater noster, and tenne Aue Ma­ries. [Page 29]And then note that if vve vvill be perfect seruantes of Christ vve must bear our ovvn crosses: that is, vve must pa­tientlie suffer all paynes, afflictions, and aduersities vvhiche fall vpon vs for our synnes, or for his sake that endured so muche for vs. And here learne to detest all false Iudgement, and corrupcion of conscience for any fear or revvarde, lest thou become an other Pilat by condem­ning Christ in his members as he dyd Christ in his ovvne persone. And thus thinking prepare thy minde vvith good deuocion to the fist dolour.

[depiction of the Crucifixion, featuring Jesus Christ nailed to a cross at Golgotha; surrounded by the virgin Mary, John the Apostle, and a kneeling female figure]

THe fist dolorous misterie vvas the crucifieing of Christ. The cru­cifyeing of Christ. 5 And here be­holde hovv the cruell tormentors do boysterouslie pull of his clothes fast clea­uing to his fleshe vvhiche procured a [Page 30]nevv torment. Marke hovv they stre­ched hym alonge and nayled his handes and feete vvith rough and blunt nailes to the crosse. Consider vvhat huge tor­ture he endured in euery member and parte of his bodie, through all his senses ot one instant, vvhiles they hoysed hym vp thus hanging vpon nailes by his han­des and fete, vvith all the vveight of his bodie, hauing no other thing to rest vpō. And vvith this terrible sight say the fift and last Pater noster, and tenne Aue Ma­ries. And then dravv together all thy senses and vvith all the povvers of thy mynde consider hovv thou mayst fall in to a true mortificaciō of al thy vices and concupiscences, and prepare thy selfe to dye vvith hym that thou mayst be foūde vvoorthie to arise vvith hym. This sight onlie (if thou vievv all circumstances duelie and througlie) vvil be hable (by the grace of God to pull the avvay from all vvordlie delites, and to setle the loue of God rightlie in thy hart. Novv vvhen you haue vvell mused vpon thees mat­ters, you may conclude vvith a good confidence the Credo. And this muche for the second Rosarie or seconde part [Page 31]of the psalter of our ladie.

Of fyue glorious Mysteries to be thought vpon when you are to pray vpon the beades.

[depiction of the Resurrection, with Jesus Christ emerging from his tomb, surrounded by three soldiers]

VVhen you haue tvvyse sayd the Ro­sarie, The resurrection of Christ. or the beades tvvyse once vvith the meditacions and thoughtes be­fore mencioned: 1 then if your laisure serue, It shall be good vvith lyke deuo­cion as before to thinke vpon the fiue glorious mysteries vvhiche came after the death of our redemer.

The first glorious mysterie vvas the resurrection of Christ here may you pre­sent to the eyes of your minde in vvhat [Page 32]beautie, brightnes, and glistering clear­nes the bodie of our Sauiour so before disfigured vvith stripes and tormentes is novv risen again impassible, and immor­tall. Beholde hovv he visiteth first is so­rovvfull mother to comfort her. Hovv he shovveth him selfe to Marie Magda­len, and to all his disciples. And vvith this comfortable sight repeat the first Pater noster, and tenne Aue Maries de­uoutlie. And then vveaghe the glorious victorie of our Sauiour against vvhome neither deuell nor hell vvith all their mi­nisters vvas hable to preuail further than he hym selfe lysted. Note hovv all the practizes of Ievves against the Gospell are disapointed and ouerthrovven: Euen so shall all deuises of heretikes vvhen it shall please God. Therfore consider hovv in all tentacions afflictions, perse­cutions and troubles for a Iust cause, vve must not yeeld nor relent to the vvic­ked: but expect vvith true patience the vvil of God: vvho after a storme sen­deth fair vvether: after many troubles geueth quietnes, vvith euer lasting rest. And here may vve conceiue an assured hope of our resurrection in soule and bo­die: [Page 33]and in mean time by continuall prayers and good lyfe to haue many vi­sions and sightes of our Sauiour in our hartes: as the blessed Marie Magdalen and many others had visible after his re­surrection.

THe seconde glorious mysterie vvas the Ascension of our Sauiour fortie Dayes after his resurrection. The Ascē sion of Christ. 2 Here consi­der hovv our lorde after he had many ti­mes appeared to his dear mother and to his disciples, at last he called them all together on the mount oliuet: and there after a louing farevvell he mounted vp to heauen in all their sightes vvith great triumphe, accompanied vvith many Sayntes, vvhom before he had deliue­red out of Lymbo: and vvith this com­fortable sight recite the secound Pater noster, and tenne Aue Maries. And pray to God that thou may so humble thy selfe in this life and so kepe thy hart pure and Innocent as thou may ascend after him to those Ioyes vvhiche God hath prepared for his elect.

THe third glorious Mysterie is the coming of the holie Ghost. The co­ming of the holy Ghooste. And here thou may vievv the blessed mother of God our Redemer, 3 together vvith the holie Apostles and Disciples behol­ding the vvonderfull Ascension of our Sauiour: and remaining together in one place, vvith humble prayer and feruent deuocion attending the coming of the holie Ghost. And thou may marke hovv the holie Ghost to their great coumfort came doune in fyrie tongues in the day of Pentecost being the fif­tieth day after the Resurrection of our Sauiour. And vvith this thought reci­te deuoutly the third Pater noster, and tenne Aue Maries. And then note his faithefull performance of his promisse, and their firm faith and belefe in the same, and vse thou that example to thy benefit, here all so for thy instruction and coumfort consider six speciall cau­ses of the comyng of the holy Ghost: to vvitt, for to reioyçe the pensiue: to reuiue the deade in synne: to sanctifie the vnclean; to confirme his Disciples in loue: to saue the Iust: to teache the ignorant. Thees guyftes and graces are [Page 35]preserued and encreased in vs by speciall meanes. vvherof prayer vvith humilitie is one: diligent frequenting the Sacra­mentes vvith hearing diuine seruice is an other: continual exercife of the vvoorkes of Charitie is a third for thus it geueth strength against all assaultes and tentacions of ghostlie and bodilie enemyes. Therfore no perill nor perse­cucion can anoye that persone vvhiche hath the holy Ghost.

[depiction of the virgin Mary and Jesus Christ or the Madonna and Child, encircled by rosary beads, with decades divided by two hands, two feet and a heart]

THe fouerth glorious mysterie is the Assumpcion of our Ladie. The As­sumpcion of our la­die. 4 Here be­holde the blessed Virgin mother of God and man about the fyfteenth yere after the resurrectiō of her Sōne, hauing passed her time vvith exercises of pietie vvas assumed and taken vp to heauen in soule and bodye with inestimable trium­phe. And here conceiue the sight of her Sonne our Sauiour accōpanied vvith le­gions of Angells comyng to conduct her. [Page 36]Note hovv the Apostles being all dis­persed abrode in the vvorlde exercising their functions in seuerall farre distant places, are miraculouslie come to gether in a moment to testifie her death and as­sumpcion. And vvith thies thoughtes recite the fouerth Pater noster, and tenne Aue Maries. And here consider hovv our Sauiour can and vvil revvarde those vvhiche serue and loue him faithfullie. Marke also hovv dear she vvas to hym, and ther vpon hovv auailable her pray­ers are vvith hym.

THE fift glorious mysterie is the Crovvning of the blessed Virgin Marie, The crovv­ning of our ladie. 5 here beholde hovv that glorious Virgin before assumpted in bodie and soule vvas in the presence of all the holy companye in heauen vvith inestimable honor and glory by the Holie Trinitie crouned and placed aboue all Angells. And vvith this cogitacion recite the last Pater noster, and tenne Aue Maries. And then note hovv in heauen she maketh daily intercession for the good estate of holy Churche: and ys redy to assist ea­che one vvhiche vvith a contrite hart [Page 37]prayeth to her. For the more reuerence and deuocion vve bear tovvardes her, the greater helpe shall vve receiue of her sonne, in all our distresses. And this vve may be sure of, that lyuing here ac­cording to her example in continence, humilitie, pacience, and mortificacion vve shall arise at the last daye in bodie and soule to rest in heauen for euer. Vn­to vvhiche Ioye God of his mercie bring vs, vvhere that blessed virgin resteth in presence of the Holie Trinitie, the Fa­ther, Sonne, and holy Ghoost. To vvhom be all honor and glorie. Amen.

[depiction of the Jesus Christ wearing a crown of thorns and carrying his cross, followed by a group of male and female figures, also carrying crosses]

SEVEN SHORTE MAT­ters of Meditacion touching the benefites vvhiche God hath be­stovved vpon Mankynde.

IT is requisite and expedient for euery Christian often to thynke vpon the benefites that God haith geuen to man vvhiche being infinite in nomber and valevv may be reduced to seuen principall heades. And thees are the benefites of our Creacion, Gra­tificacion, Vocation, Iustificacion, Do­tacion, Gubernacion, and Glorifica­cion.

Touching the benefite of Creacion.

VVe may consider sex thinges tou­ching our Creacion.

First hovv God hath predestinated vs in perpetuall loue before the vvorlde vvas made. 1

Secondlie hovv he made man most lyke to him selfe. 2

Thirdlie hovv he hath geuen vs a bo­dy of a most seamly constitucion and [Page 39]proporcion, voyde of many deformities, and made it apt to serue him.

Fovverthly hovv he hath made our soule immortall, 4 and adorned it vvith many qualities most precious.

Fiftlie that he haith appointed for ea­che one of vs a Good Angell to guyde and keep vs. 5

Sixtlie that he hath geuen vs a prero­gatiue to be borne of Christian paren­tes, not of infideles nor heretiques. 6 And of thies matters you may thynke vpon, vvith great profit, geuing God due than­kes for the same euerie monday at mor­ning, noone, or night, as your laisure vvill permit.

Touching the benefit of Gratificacion.

VVe may cōsider six thinges touching Gratificacion. 1 First hovv God the Fa­ther hath sent among vs his vvelbelo­ued Sonne, to be our redemer and our exemplar to folovv.

Secondlie hovv he hath geuen vs the holie Ghoost in token of adopcion as a priuileige of loue, 2 and a pledge of dis­pensacion, communicating vnto vs his inspiracions, guyftes, and fruites.

Thirdlie hovv he haith bestovved on vs his holy Sacramētes in his holy Chur­che there to haue a refuge and place of succour (as in the Arke of Noe) from the fludde of synne and iniquities.

Fouerthly hovv by baptisme he haith purged vs of Originall sinne; 4 and as it vvere haith restored to vs the vesture and Innocencie of originall Iustice.

Fiftlie hovv he haith fortified vs vvith the Sacrament of Confirmacion; 5 vvher­by he haith armed vs agaynst many in­conueniences.

Sixtly hovv he haith made vs Christia­nes, 6 according to the name of our Saui­our Christ: making vs ther by the sonnes of God by adopcion, and coheyres of his kingedome. And of thies matters you may thynk of euery tevvestaye.

Touching the benefite of vocacion.

VVhe may consider six thinges tou­ching vocacion. 1 First vvith vvhat great patience he haith borne vvith vs falling so often from him after so many and so great benefites. Hovv he haith long ex­pected our returne to him: forbearing to condēne vs eternallie: not permitting vs [Page 41]to dye in our vvickednesse. 2

Secondlie hovv many vvayes he haith sought to recall vs: sometime by invvar­de inspiracions: sometime by admoni­cion of other men: sometime by exhor­tacions of holy scriptures: yea oft̄etimes by large and bountifull guyftes of natu­re, fortune, and grace: sometime by eui­dent shovves of eternall Ioyes.

Thyrdlie hovv he haith broken our hard hartes: 3 hovv he haith geuen vs a good vvil to vertue: and remoued all those Impedimentes that myght vvith­dravve vs from him.

Fouerthly hovv fatherlie he haith en­terteined vs vvhen vve haue returned to him: 4 hovv he imbrased vs as the father dyd his prodigall sonne and put vpon vs the stole of Innocencie vvhiche by sinne vve had loste.

Fiftly that he hath moued vs to harty repentance, 5 and therby haith called vs from the company of sinnefull people, as he called Loth from Sodom: Abra­ham from the Chaldees, and Nohe from the fludde.

Sixtlie hovv he hath put vs in a refor­med place, in his holy Churche: 6 vvhere [Page 42]vve may liue religiouslie doeing pen­nance for our sinnes. And hath set vs in a state to preuent the malice of sinne, and hath remitted our sinnes by the sa­crament of pennance. Of thies matters you may think euery vvedensdaye.

Touching the benefite of Iustificacion.

In considering this benefit of Iustifi­cacion: 1 vve are first to thank God for that he hath chaunged our vvill: made vs apt to doe pennance; and to doe that svveetly, vvhiche before vvas bitter to vs: and hath geuen vs the speciall guyft of continence.

Secondlie for that he hath geuen vs constant perseuerance in faith fear and loue: 2 vvhen many vvhiche dyd vvel be­gynne haue failed in the ende to their damnacion.

Thirdly for that he hath geuen vs the euangelicall vertue hope, 3 and grace to saue vs from leauing our good purpose: by inspiring into vs many internall con­solacions, vvith a minde to detest sinne, and a desire of the Ioyes to come.

4 Fouerthly for that he hath to our coū ­fort [Page 43]left vnto vs the blessed Sacrament of the bodie and bloude of our Sauiour, as a viaticum or necessarie prouision for our releefe in our iourney.

Fiftely for that he hath left vs the ho­ly Scriptures vvherein, as in a Glasse, 5 vve may beholde our defectes, and our alte­racions: and inflame our hartes vvith dailie desyre to be purged and iustified.

Sixtly, 6 for that he hath endued vs with the ornamentes of many vertues, therby to couer the filthynes of our sinnes. And hath left vs many examples of ho­ly martyrs, confessors, virgins and other Seyntes to kepe vs by imitating them from fallyng and faynting in our good purpose. And thies matters you may vse euery Thuresday.

Touching the benefite of Dotacion.

Here vve may first thynke of the guyf­tes of nature, 1 fortune and Grace vvhi­che he most largelie and beningnely haith bestovved vpon vs: as felyng, hea­ring, seyng, vnderstandyng, vvill and memorie: Riches, honor, and vvorldly vvealth: strength, beautie, and health: faith, hope, and charitie.

Secoundly hovv that among many o­ther prefermentes, 2 he hayth reduced vs home to the Shepefolde vvhen vve wan­dred and strayed abroade: and haith in­structed vs vvhen vve vvere ignorant: and lyfted vs vp vvhen vve vvere fallen in sinnefullnesse of lyfe.

Thirdly how he haith illuminated our vnderstanding vvith knovvleige of his secretes: 3 and haith vvrought in vs many godly mocions to deuout purposes.

Fovverthly hovv he haith inflamed our desires, 4 and haith delited our vnder­standing to cōtemplate, thynke, and me­ditate of heuenly thynges: and therby haith geuen vs a taste and entrance to e­uerlasting lyfe.

Fiftlye hovv he haith preserued vs from the vvounde of sinne, 5 putting avvay the occasiones: and haith geuen vs the grace to preuent or resist sinne: and so healed our affections, as vve may the better per­seuer in exercises of pietie.

Sixtly hovv he haith so delyuered vs from the daunger of tentacion, 6 as he haith raised vs when vve vvere fallen: and endevved vs vvith greater strengthe to resist than vve had before. And of thies [Page 45]matters you may consider euery fryday, and yeeld to him al devv thankes for the same.

Touching the benefite of gubernacion.

Here vve are to thinke hovv he haith preserued vs euer bodily and ghoostlye in good estate, 1 vvith encrease of streng­the and couraige to execute all good mo­cions.

Secoundly hovv from our Cradels to this moment he haith preserued vs from many enemies, diseases, daungers, 2 and in­conueniences.

Thirdly hovv he haith hitherto fur­nished vs vvith all necessaires of meat, 3 drinke, clothe, loging and other thinges.

Fovverthly hovv he haith for vs or­deined course and succession of times, 4 as day and night vvinter and sommer, spring tyme and haruest, vvith diuersitie of seasons and varieties of thinges for a­uoyding of vvearines, and tedious lothe somenes.

Fiftlie hovv he haith directed vs in pro­speritie and aduersitie: 5 in siknes and he­alth: and in the vvhole course of our lyfe. [Page 46]Bearing vvith our infirmities, remitting our enormityes: encreasing our merites: and of thies matters you may think euery Saterday and geue God thankes for these benefites.

Touching the benefite of glorificacion.

Here vve are to consider and to thank God for many thinges of diuerse degrees and qualities touching our glorificacion, vvhiche he hath ordeined for vs, if vve lyve and dye in his grace and fauour: and of thies, some are aboue vs, some nigh vs, some vvithin vs, others vvithout vs, some vnder vs, and many all about vs.

Touching the first, 1 vve are to thank hym for the Ioyes of heauen, vvhiche of his singular bountie and magnifence he hath promised vs: as the fruicion of his Diuinitie: the vision and sight of our redemer, vvith his blessed mother. And here consider vvhat vnspeakable Ioye it shalbe to beholde the blessed Virgin Ma­rie glorifyed in heauen: vvith all the orders of Angels.

And touching the second, 2 consider hovv vve shall there enioye the cōpaines [Page 47]of all patriarches, prophetes, martyres, confessors, virgines, and other Seyntes and deuout Christianes vvhiche haue bene syns the begynning of the vvorlde, and for their integritie of life are novv most cleare and bright, and in nomber infinite.

Touching the third poynt vve haue to cōsider and to thanke. 3 God for the glori­ficacion of our soules and bodies, clo­thed vvith immortalitie, bright shining a boue the clearenes of the sonne, proui­ded for vs if vve lyue in this vvorlde ac­cording to our profession.

As for the fovverth vve are to looke for a place most pleasant to beholde, 4 most delectable to all our senses and vn­derstanding: and in that respect to thyn­ke our selues at all times most bounde to thank, laude, and glorifie our redemer.

Touching the fift vve haue to con­sider hovv by diuine grace vve shal es­chape our terrible and cruell enemyes that are in the pyt of hell: 5 a singular motiue to induce vs euer to geue God thankes.

As to the sixt degree, to vvit, 6 of thyn­ges that are on euery syde about vs [Page 48]vve haue to thynke vpon many guyftes and graces that God haith bestovved v­pon vs, innumerable, inestimable, vnme­surable: And also to consider the infinit euels and miseries from vvhiche God hath preserued vs: and hovv vve shalbe in safetie and securitie deliuered from all that vve nede to fear: enioyeng all thinges vve can desyre.

Thus muche touching the benefites vvhiche God haith geuē vs. Theise thin­ges euerie good Christian is bovvnd to thynk vpon daily eyther in all or in par­te, and to endeuour him felfe to be than­kefull. For ingratitude is a great part of Iniustice. And among all Christian exer­cises, none is more easie, (if vve be vvil­ling) none more nedefull, (if vve regard our duetie) none more profitable (if vve look for revvarde) than is often to me­ditate consider and thynke of the great and manisolde benefites vvhiche vve ha­ue receiued of God: for vvhat may be the cause vvhy vve fele so great decrea­se and vvant of guyftes and graces vvhi­che in time past vve enioyed, but only our ingratitude? vvhat other better meā can vve fynde to preserue our selues in [Page 49]the fauour of God than by often callyng to mynde and memorie the benefites of God tovvardes vs? This kynde of me­ditacion is as it vvere a corde to hall and dravv vs to God. Nothing more kynd­leth in our hartes the loue of God (sayeth seynt Augustin) than often to vveagh and consider the benignitie of God to­vvarde vs.

Certein circumstances touching the passion of our Sauiour verie profitable to be often thought vpon to moue contricion and amendement of life.

[depiction of the Crucifixion, featuring Jesus Christ nailed to a cross at Golgotha; surrounded by the virgin Mary, John the Apostle, and a kneeling female figure]

A Man may vvith great commoditie meditate vpon the passion of Iesus Christ our Redemer, in admiring his vvonderfull great charitie, humilitie, and patience. vvhiche appeareth by fovver [Page 50]circumstances. To vvitt, if a man con­sider vvho he vvas that suffered: vvhat he suffered: by vvhom he suffered: and for vvhom he suffered. Vnderstand then that he vvhiche suffered vvas the Crea­tor of the vvorlde: Lord commaunder and gouernour of all creatures: Good­nesse it selfe: the sonne of God, and God him selfe: he suffred banishement, hungar, thurst, colde, tentacions, I kor­nes, contumelies, bondes, beatinges, vvoundes, and villanouse crueltie, vvith all despite that the deuill by man could execute against hym. Therfore in vvei­ghing of thies tvvo circumstances (who and what) you may easilie conceiue, that the parsone so persecuted vvas so great, and the indignities vvhiche he endured vvere so monstruous, as you may vvell say and thinke, that the Iudge of the vvorlde vvas him selfe arraigned and Iudged: Iustice it selfe vvas condemned: Innocencie it selfe vvas accused, bla­med and defamed: Glorie it selfe vvas vvith all opprobrie spit at: God him sel­fe openlie to his face blasphemed: light extinguished: and life vvas slaine: The Segnior, lorde, and maister of heauen [Page 51]and earthe vvas put to death: to the most cruell, most shamefull and most reprochefull death of the Crosse: and so horriblie abused, as the verie elemen­tes repined against the fact: The sonne loft his light, and the earthe trembled vvhith the horror therof. Here behol­de the meruelous pacience of the suffe­rer: vvhiche in a moment, vvith a thought, might haue consumed all tho­se vvreches, and throvvne them in to the fyre of hell. And at vvhose handes did he beare all thies indignities? of vvhom did he suffer thies contumclious cruel­ties? for suthe of his ovvn creatures vvhom he had made of naught: of his ovvn seruantes and vassailes, vvho had there being of him, and euerie other good thing else. VVhom he had cho­sen and picked out from the rest of the vvorlde for his ovvn peculiar people: vvhom he had higlie aduaunced in the sight of the vvorlde.

But for vvhome dyd he suffer thies afflictions? not for any fault that he him selfe committed: but euen for them that thus traiterouslie abused him: for them he suffered vvhiche contemne [Page 52]him and all goodnesse. he suffered these paynes to deliuer his enemies from pay­ne: to pay their ransome and to redeme them from the daunger of sinne, from damnacion, deathe and hell, if they vvol­de repent in time and reconcile them selues to him. If you deeplie thinke of thies fovver circumstances, you shall finde matter enough to vvonder at the marcie, clemencie, patience, longani­mitie and charitie of our Redemer: and Iust cause shal you see to accuse, blame, and condemne your selues of ingratitu­de, to fall in to repentance, grefe, and sorow for your sinnes: to seke to reforme your selues, and to flee to him for suc­cour: to studie vvith all loue and dutie to requite him vvith loue, vvhiche for your sakes endured all thies miseries.

Of thre speciall sortes of meditacion, some what hard to exercise, but passing profitable.

THere is one kinde of meditacion, 1 vvhiche if you can reache vnto, you shall need neither booke nor beade to direct you the vvay to life euerlasting. [Page 53]This kynde of meditacion is no more but to imitate and folow our Sauiour his life and conuersacion, as a most perfect patern and exemplar of all integritie in vvoorde, deed, and thought: to be cha­ritable, obedient, humble, patient, me­ke, and marcifull as he vvas: to renoun­ce proprietie and possession of Riches (at least in desire) as hedyd: to be poor and needy (at least in mynde and vvill) as he vvas: To professe and exercise all chasti­tie or continence as he dyd: to reiect all delicate fare, svvete odours, soft beddes, and daintines, as he dyd: to employ all your trauaill, industrie, and povvers in profiting others as he dyd for you all: yea patientlie to sustein affliction, contempt, and all persecucion, euen death it selfe, and death vvithcruell tormēt for truthe sake, and for defence of iustice, if oc­casion be offered, as he did for the de­liuerie of mankynd from damnacion: and for testimonie of true Religion. This is the most perfect kynde of medi­tacion, consideracion, and thinking of God that can be vsed.

There is an other kinde of meditaciō, 2 of great perfection, and commoditie, [Page 54]and is a good mean to help vs to the for­mor. And that is a continuall compassion and suffering vvith our Sauiour vvhiche suffered so muche for vs: As vvhen his afflictions and tormentes haue suche an Impression in our myndes and thoughtes as vvhe haue some sensible feeling therof in mynde and bodie or at least in mynde and affectiō. Suche an Impression had the blessed virgin, vvho as it vvere felt the stinges of the vvhippes, the prickes of the thornes, the stampes of the nailes, the tormentes of the crosse: and the vexaciōs of all his passion, vvho so euer can reache to this contemplacion, is in an highe de­gree of perfection.

There is yet a third speciall kynde of meditacion verie gainfull and cōmodious, 3 not so hard as the other too. And that is (if thou cannest not attayn to the one or thother of the too) yet to set dovvn a free resignacion, and perfect resolucion of thy vvill hart and mynde (vvith all thy povvers as farre as thou cannest) to fo­lovv the vertues of our Sauiour: and a desire to suffer vvith him and so to trans­forme [Page 55]thy vvil and mynde in to Iesus Christ crucified, as he be neuer or seldome out of thy sight, euen as he vvas hanging vpon nailes on the crosse for vs sinfull creatures, according to the sayeing of him vvhiche sayd he felt nothing in him selfe but Christ crucified, mocked and blasphemed. This continuall thinking of Christ vvith a desire to folovv his step­pes vvil vvoorke great effectes in suche as vse this.

An other sort of meditating of the pas­sion of our Sauiour by way of reioyesinge.

AS vve vse most commonlie to con­template the passion of our rede­mer vvith compassion, to break our har­tes vvith contricion and true repentan­ce: so may vve to the same effect thinke there of vvith great Ioye and comfort: And that for thre respectes: to vvitt, for the redempcion of mankynde: for the reparacion of the dekaye of Angels: and for the aduauncement of the ho­nour of God. VVho by the death, [Page 56]passion and resurrection of his sonne our Sauiour hath not only set vs free from the bondage of Sathan: but hath also vnited angels and mankynde in that hea­uenlie societie. And thus to his passing great honor and glorie hath geuen a most expresse demonstracion of his infi­nite mercie, clemencie, and loue tovvar­des vs. A matter of great loye consola­cion and comfort to vs. For eache man accompteth it a great cause of Ioye to be in great fauour of his temporall prince. Muche more glad and Ioyfull may vve be that the king of heauen and cōmaun­der of the vvorlde doeth so tenderlie lo­ue vs as he did vonchesafe to offer vp him selfe in sacrifice to his father for vs: and vvith his precious bloudde to rede­me vs. Thus vve may thinke, meditate, and consider of his most bitter passion, vvith great comfort and ioye. For if vve deeplie and duelie vveighe the matter: our hartes shall melt vvith feruor of de­sire to reuerence, serue, and loue him vvhiche so dearlie haith bought vs. Yea vve shal be so caried avvay vvith since­re affection tovvardes him; as vve shall cleare forget our olde man: and rest on­lie [Page 57]so resolued in Christ crucified, as vve shall delite in nothing but in him, and in doeing that vvhich is his vvil and plea­sure to be doen: vvhere vpon many good effectes vvil folovve. It vvill breed in vs a speciall lothesomenes, hatred, and dis­daine against all filthie vvoorkes, vvoor­des, and thoughtes: It vvill chase avvay the coldenes of spirit, the tedious slothe­fulnes of mynde: and inflame our deuo­cion: and setle in vs a perfect resolucion of minde and vvill to serue God, loue God, and honor God vvith all integritie: and bring vs to the highe tovvre of per­fect contemplacion.

Of six matters of meditacion to saue vs from relapse or falling again in to sinne after we be recon­ciled to God.

EMong many good thoughtes and consideracions, that help to preuent sinne, good men of experience in spi­rituall exercises haue noted six speciall meanes. 1 The first is often to meditate and thinke of death: that there is no­thing more certain than that vve must [Page 58]ones die: that nothing is more vncertein than the hovvre of deathe. Therfore saith holie Scripture: Remembre thy ende and thou shalt not sinne for euer. VVherby is ment that the memorie of deathe (if it be often ex­ercised) vvil vvorke in man suche com­punction as he shall not dye vvithout perfect repentance: And so by a conse­quence obtein suche remission as his sin­ne shall not burden him for euer. And Seint Augustin sayeth that nothing more vvithdravveth a man from sinne, than often to remember that he must dye. And Seynt Basil the great being asked vvhat is philosophie, ansvvered that the definition of the principal phi­losophie is nothing else but a medita­cion and continuall thinking of dea­the.

An other remedie is to think often of Christ his passion, 2 as many good men haue founde by experience. Therfore sayeth Seynt Augustin let man be asha­med to svvell vvith pride, sithe Christ his creator and redemer vvas so humble as to suffer death for him.

The third helpe is the remembrance of sinnes comitted, 3 and by God forge­uen. Therfore vvhen thou art temp­ted to sinne consider vvith thy selfe vve­ther thou hast bene culpable of that sinne before or no. If thou hast not bene so, then impute it to the grace of God that thou vvast so preserued. But if thou hast offended therein before, and by the sacrament of pennance God hath forgeuen thee: then thinke that he hath doen more for thee, than if he had made the lorde of the vvhole vvorlde. For Seynt Augustin sayeth that it is a matter of greater importance to Iusti­fye a sinner, than to creat heauen and earth of nevv.

The fovverth preseruature is often to thynke and meditate of the last Iud­gement or day of dome. 4 VVher vpon Seynt Ierom vvriteth thus: vvhether I sleep or vvake, or be other vvayes oc­cupied, that voice and crie euer soun­deth in my eare: Arise you that are dead, and come to Iudgement. And good reason he had to be carefull the­rein. For (as Seynt Barnard sayeth:) [Page 60]God at that day will call for acompt and reckeninge of euerie time and moment that vve haue spent in earthe.

The fift mean is to thinke and medi­tate of the paynes of hell, 5 vvhiche are so great and intollerable, as one spetk of that fyre (as a good man sayed) Doeth more greue a sinner, than the greuous panges of childebyrth can torment a vvoman if she should trauail a thousand yeres before her deliuerie. Yea (sayeth seynt Ambrose) if all men borne from Adam vvere liuing and preachers, and should striue to shovv their best elo­quence to describe expressely but one of the least paynes of hell, yet could they not doe yt. The reason is, for that it is infinite, and excedeth the capacitie of mannes vvit to comprehend: euen as on the contrarie parte, faith can not con­ceiue, hope can not reache vnto, nor cha­ritie comprehend vvhat and hovv many thinges God hath prepared for them that loue him.

The sixt remedie is to consider and meditate of the Ioyes of heauen: 6 VVhe­re, for taking litle paynes in this lyfe vve are sure of suche felicitye as can not be [Page 61]expressed by tongue, nor comprehended in the vnderstanding of man. A certein paynim being of great authoritie vnder one of the persecutors of Christians, ob­seruing hovv vvilling Christiā men vve­re to endure all tormentes, yea and death also for Christ his sake, demaunded of a presoner expecting death, vvhat great revvarde he looked for to recompence his patience. It vvas ansvvered thus: suche rewarde is looked for as no tonge can tell, nor ear hath heard, nor the hart of man can mea­sure. Then sayd the pagan (if it be so) I vvil be of your Religion. So he became à Christian, and aftervvard a martire. If a paynim vvas so touched vvith only ones hearing of those Ioyes: hovv ought vve to be moued that haue heard so ma­ny testimonies therof by so many de­nout martyres and confessors?

Of the miseries and Inconueniences that man doeth fall into by relapse and sin­ning again after reconciliacion to God.

VVhen a man hath rightlie profes­sed Christ in the Catholique Chur­che and aftervvarde falleth again: he is [Page 62]in vvorse state than euer he vvas, and brought in to extreme miserie.

For first he hath lost the fruit of his former pennance, 1 and of all confession, contricion, and satisfaction for his sin­nes past and forgeuen. For (as the prophet sayeth) if the Iust man diuert from his Iustice, all the good vvoorkes that he hath doen shal be put out of me­morie.

Secondly he is resembled to a dogge that svvalovveth his ovvn filthy vomit: 2 In that he resumeth his olde sinnes, that vvere ones caste ovvt by the sacrament of pennance.

Thirdly he falleth again in to the han­des of his greatest enemie against vvho­se vvill he vvas delyuered: 3 and geueth to him greater povver ouer him selfe, than he had before. For (as Seynt Augustin sayeth) he vvhiche heapeth sinne vpon sinne, maketh a roope to bynde him sel­fe vvithall.

Fovverthly he is made more impotēt, 4 and lesse hable to arise agayn. For as a skarre in a mans bodie is harder to be cu­red after the place be vvounded agayn: so is a sinner after he returne to his olde [Page 63]folie. Therfore our Sauiour sayd to the man vvhome he had healed: Iohn 5. Beholde thou art made whole: sinne no more, lest some worse thing chaunce to thee. And of this mischefe he vvarneth vs in an other place, vvhere he shevveth, that the vnclean spirit re­turneth in to the house vvhence he de­parted, and bringeth seuen other spi­rites vvorse than him selfe, and dvvelleth there. And the last of that man be made wor­se than the first.

Fiftlie he is accompted a derider and mocker of God: 5 and abuseth the mer­cie and clemencie of his redemer.

Sixtlie (as muche as in him lyeth) he causeth the Angels and blessed Seyntes in heauen to be pensiue and sade, 6 for as of their charitie they reioyse at the re­pentance of a Synner: so it may vvell be thought that they are forie for the fall of the Iust.

Seuenthly his soule is compared to a drie and wethered braunche cut of from the tree vvhiche receiueth no moysture nor norishement of the tree: 7 Euen so is he secluded from the benefite of all good mens prayers, and from the merites of Christes passion.

And here vve may call to mynde à nota­ble punishement of suche as after re­concilement haue fallen from God in to their former sinfull practizes. There vvas a company of certein youg men, vvhi­che at the time of easter repared to the churche, craued the benefit of the Sacra­ment of pennance, vvere absolued and receiued the blessed Sacramēt of Christ his bodie and bloudde. But they vvere no soner departed from that holie place, thā they dyd fall again to their olde vvicked Ryot, dronkinnes and filthy lyfe. VVhe­rupon they were greuouslie punished by the Iust Iudgemēt of God. For they were sodeinlie smitten vvith a greuous disea­se: and driuen in to suche an extreme vo­miting, as they dyd cast out of their mou­thes great abundāce of corrupt bloudde, vvith their ovvn excremētes verie lothe­somelie, contrarie to the course of natu­re. Their corne and other fruites vvere consumed vpon the grounde and des­troyed, som vvith vvater, and some vvith fier. Serpentes and venomous beastes dyd breed abundantly in their groundes, in suche sort as theyr persones were in great daungier. And thus brought in misera­ble [Page 65]distresse many lamented theyr case: Emong vvhome one deuout holie man vpon compassion prayed to God ear­nestlie for them, till at last an Angell of God appearing to him dyd demaund of him vvhat punishement he deserued that dyd put in to a filthie presone the Innocent sonne of a mightie Emperour: the good man ansvvered that he deser­ued greuous punishement. Yea (sayd the Angel) but vvhat punishement deser­ueth he vvhiche in the sight of all men doeth cast the blessed bodye and blood of Christ in to a filthy myre? he is to be brent as an heretique, sayd the good man. And euen suche felovves are all they (sayd the Angel) for vvhom thou hast so long prayde. Therfore it is expe­dient for euery good Christian, vvhen he hath receiued the blessed Sacrament, and is reconciled to God: then and euer after to take good heed of relapse: and often to calle to memorye these seuen miseries and inconueniences of relapse here mencioned.

[depiction of a deathbed scene, featuring a figure in a bed receiving a blessing from a robed male figure; a second robed male figure and a female figure stand nearby, while two other male figures kneel in prayer]

Certein signes and tokens Thereby a Chri­stian after he hath receiued the blessed sa­crament may probablie coniecture that he is in the fauour of God: all framed to the similitude of a syk man.

THe first signe and token of Gods fa­uour is compunction or harti sorow for sinne committed. 1 For as the sicke man so long as he yeeldeth breth, be he neuer so sick geueth good hope of lyfe: euen so a Christian after he haue recei­ued the Sacramēt of our Redempoion, if he cōceiue or cast ovvt sorocofull sighes [Page 67]for his sinnes by past, in respect that ther­by he had offended god, may vvell hope that the blessed sacrament doeth vvoork in him many good spirituall effectes, for (as Seynt Barnard sayeth) the more see­ling a man hath of sinne, the greater sob­bes and sighes he casteth out of his so­rovvfull harte.

The secounde signe or token is lauda­ble conuersacion of lyfe vvith good ex­ample. 2 For as a freshe naturall colour in a sikman is good argument of amen­dement: so is modesty and temperance a speciall signe of Gods grace. And good example is so necessarie that Seynt Gre­gorie sayeth, sinnefull men could neuer return to true repentance, if good exam­ple of lyfe vvere taken avvaye. And bles­sed is the soule of that persone (sayth Seynt Chrisostom) vvhose humilitie doeth confounde the pryde of an other. For (as Seynt Leo sayeth) so many as thou shalt vvinne by example of humi­litie and charitie: vvith them shalt thou possesse eternall revvarde in heauē. And for cōmendacion of good exāple I haue redde of a good Abbot whiche hearing that there vvas, not farre of his Abbey, a [Page 68]notable great theefe and robber vvhiche spoyled and mordered many passing by the common vvayes, had great compas­sion of this theefe for his sinfull lyfe, and studied hovv he might reclame hym. At last he thought the best vvay to be, first to talke vvith him. And though he knevv no mean to doe it vvithout per­sonall danger to him selfe: yet he pur­posed to geue a proofe: And taking a Monk in company vvith hym aduentu­red to passe through the place vvhere the theefe haunted. It so fell ovvt, that the theefe met the Abbot, and accor­ding to his profession, spoyled the Abbot and his companion of all that they had. After a vvhile the theefe hauing gotten his pray, vvaxed somevvhat more colde than before: for the Abbot vsed him sel­fe vvith all humilite in vvorde and coun­tenance tovvardes him. And the Abbot perceiuyng the rage of the theefe to be assuaged vsed the matter so as they tvvo fell in to familiar talke of common mat­ters: As of the great paynes that the theefe indured and of his continuall pe­rill: and of the commodities of securi­tie, and suche like. At last the Abbot as­ked [Page 69]him if he could be content to leaue that paynfull, daungerous, and disorde­red course of lyfe for a filthie and vncer­tein gayn: And to goe home vvith the Abbat, vvhere he should be assured of a sufficient liuing vvith great credit and honesty. After some discourse vpon the Abbots vvoord the theefe yeeldeth, and home he cometh vvith the Abbat to the Abbey, vvhere he syndeth all thinges that the Abbot had promised and more. Novv this good Abbot hoping by good example to vvinne the theefe, appoin­ted one of his monkes a deuout man to attend vpon the theefe, and to geue vvhat so euer he demaunded, vvith this admonicion to eat and drink euer in his company, and vvhat deinty meat so euer vvas set before the theefe, yet he him selfe should eat none of it: but content him selfe onlie vvith bread and vvater. The monke vvell performed vvhat vvas commaunded. In continuance of time the theefe obserued vvell the diet of the Monke: and being somevvhat amased there vvith all, asked the monke, vvhat great offence he had committed, that caused such straitnes of diet, vvhether [Page 70]he had committed any morder, incest, or great crime. No sayd the Monke, I am not culpable of any haynouse fact. But this austeritie I vse to the ende that the king of all kynges may be more merci­full to me at the latter day, vvhen euerie mans dedes shall appear. This ansvver strooke the theefe vvith suche remorse and repentance, as he came to the Ab­bot, and vvith great thankes so hum­bled him selfe, as he vvas admitted vnto that societie: and became so penitent, and after so religious, as in holynes and perfection of lyfe he excelled all the co­uent. Thus may vve see vvhat good fruit vertuous examples may bring forthe.

3 The third signe is patience in aduersi­tie. For as the greefe of siknes is estemed more or lesse by the mouynng or rest of the sicke mans pulse: so is our perfection and imperfection tried by toleracion of aduersitie. And as an empty vessel if you beat vpon it vvill yeeld an Eccho or ho­lovv sounde: but, if it be full, no noyse at all is heard from vvith in the vessel: So is a patient man tried from a vnpa­tient man by aduersitie. The one if he be touched vvith affliction exclameth [Page 71]against God and man: but thother is quyet, taketh all in good part vvhat so euer hapneth.

The fouerth signe is the sense of tast. 4 for so long as a sikman eateth his meat vvith a good tast, it is lyke he vvill re­couer his healthe; euen so if a man haue a delectacion to hear speake or thinke of the passion of our Sauiour: of the bles­sed lyfe of our lady, and of holy Mar­tyrs and Confessors, or to be fedd vvith any spirituall foode: these thinges doe argue sound health of the soule, and a good state of spirituall grace in any suche persone, for there can be no more accorde betvvene spirituall and vvorld­lie pleasures than betvvene fyre and vvater. Therfore it is impossible (sayth Seynt Ambrose) in this lyfe to liue deli­ted vvith all vvorldlie pleasures, and to enioye the pleasures prepared for the soule.

The fift signe is our tongue, 5 for it is a good signe of a mendement in a sickeman, vvhen his tongue faultereth not in his mouth, and he ottereth his speech easilie and playnlie. Euen so it is a right good signe of a spirituall grace, [Page 72]vvhen a man deliteth in godly talke, and conference of godly matters, vvithout detracting or bakbiting his neighbor, euer interpreting the deedes and vvoor­des of other men in the best sense. For often the tongue vvalketh after the af­fection. And of abundance of the hart, the mouth vseth to speake.

The sixt signe is a disposicion to doe good vvoorkes, 6 and to be in exercise of pietie, for a sik man, vvhen he begin­neth to recouer desireth to sturre and exercise his bodye: so he that hath a right feeling of the spirit of God is ne­ner Idle: but euer occupied in good vvoorkes. Other occupacion (vvhat so euer it be) is an Idlenes and not an oc­cupaciō nor exercise. Therfore all good vvriters exhort men to be euer occupied in some vertuouse exercise.

The seuenth signe is naturall heat: 7 a speciall argument of lyfe in a syk bodye. So is the spirituall heat of loue of God and our neighbour a sure signe of per­fection in a Christian. For (as saynt Au­gustin sayeth) loue is the lyfe of the soule: In so mucheas he vvhiche loueth not, is dead.

Of certein good documentes touching euell thougtes.

TOuching euell thoughtes vve haue to consider for our better instructiō diuerse speciall matters.

First the cause vvhereof they arise. 1

Secondlie the reason vve are so prone and inelined to them. 2

Therdlie the hurt that vve receuie by them. 3

Fouertlie hovv vve may arme our sel­ues against them. 4

Fiftlye by vvhat meanes vve may a­uoyd them. 5

1 As to the first it is vvel knovvn that euell thoughtes had their first origin and beginning of our professed enem ye the deuill: vvho first seduced our common mother Eue by his suggestion to con­ceiue a vviked thought and there vpon to eate the aple: vvhiche moued delite and lyking: then folovved the consent of Adam, and consequentlie the dis­pleasure and indignacion of allmighty God.

Touching the second poynt: 2 among many there are three speciall causes of


Certein godlie lessons and obseruacions touching the hart of man.

GOD requyreth the hart of man, and to haue the possession of yt. And three reasons may begeuen to moue hym therunto. One is, for that the hart is as it vvere the harbarovv of the All­mightie, and the proper bedchamber or cabinet of the king. Again the hart is the principall seate and first member that receyueth lyfe. And by naturall conse­quence the hart being full of bloudde is apter to conceiue an impression of hym that shedde is bloude for vs vpon the crosse.

God desireth a purified hart. And thre thinges there are vvhiche purifie the hart. The first is a carefull examinacion daily of our ovvn vvoordes, deades and thoughtes, vvith a speciall desire to geue good example to others. The second is, daily pennance vvith due confession cō ­trition and satisfaction for our offenses against God and our neigbour. The third is continuall crauing and begging of God by deuout prayer to be preser­ued by his Grace from all occasions and [Page 77]matters that may offend God. for (as the prophet Dauid sayeth) If our lorde haue not buylded the house; in vain haue they labored whiche buylded it.

A pure and clean hart is knovvne by three signes or markes. The first is the quicke and pregnant knouleige of our ovvne defectes. For as a small spot is sone espied in a verie vvhite linnen clothe: so a pure hart quickelie perceiueth a small fault in it selfe. The second is quietnes of conscience in all troubles and aduer­sities. For a pure good vvine in a cleane glasse changeth not his colour and clear­nes be it neuer so muche troubled: euen so a pure hart and cleane conscience is vvell setled and resteth euer in one estate vvhat aduersitie so euer hapneth. The third mark is encrease of couraige in time of affliction euen as a pure fresh vvine sprinkleth and leapeth vvhen it is vvith any force poured in to a Cuppe.

And our hart is preserued in puritie and cleannesse by a true fear of God: by a carefull gouernement of our externall senses, and by continuall exercise of the vvoorkes of charitie.

Fouer good lessons for preseruing our hope and confidence in God.

NOvv to make an end: vve must euer studie to establish our affiance and trust in God against all tentacions: And one speciall good mean therunto is a pa­tient and quiet mynd, neyther too negli­gent and recheles, nor too anxious and carefull about our temporall affayrs. As for example, touching our bodily susten­tacion and necessities vve must not be ouer solicitous: but rest vpon this groun­de, that sithe it is true that the geuer of all good thinges doeth nourish the byrdes of the eyr, fishes in the sea, and beastes on the earth euerie one in his degree and qualitie, to vvhom yet he hathe made no promis therof: hovv muche more cause haue vve to hope that he vvill prouide for vs, to vvhome his promys is past? as appeareth in the sixt of Seynt Mathevv, vvhere he deliuereth vs of all suche care, an sayth in expresse vvoordes. Be not care­full, sayeing, what shall we eat, or what shall we drinke, or were with shall we be couered? Seek first the kingdome of God: and all these thinges shalbe geuen you besides.

And too muche care for other tempo­rall thinges is forbidden as a very daun­gerous tentacion. As vvell for that in this vvorlde vve are but as pilgrimes or vvay­fayring men, hauing here no place of cer­tein abyding, but are to remoue vpon many suddain occasions; and to clogge and ouer lode our selues vvith superflui­ties vver mere solye: As all so and speci­ally for that suche carefullnes is seldome or neuer vvithout sinne, and vvithdra­vveth our myndes from prouiding for thinges of mere necessite and of great importance touching our soule: And it argueth in vs a greater loue and affection tovvardes thies vanities, than tovvardes the vvealth of our soul. Agayn vvhere they are not got vvithout great labour, nor kept vvithout care, they are quickie lost and notvvithout great greefe. Ther­fore this carefullnes and loue to vvorld­lye thinges is to be eschevved. For (as S. Gregorie sayeth,) That whiche is possessed without great loue or affection therto, ye also lost without any great greefe. Let vs then forsake the care of transitorie thinges, and setle our trust in God, vvho neuer failed those that put their affiance in him. Examples vve haue infinite to proue the same.

An other preseruatiue is a mature and rype discrecion and Iudgement in vvei­ghing and considering our sinnes. For many curiouse simple men, as vvell as the sinfull and vvicked vpon repentance looke so farre in to theyr lyfe only as they forget the mercie of God, and fall into despare and blasphemye. It is ther fore good and verie necessarie euer with all consideracions of our sinnes, to call to mynde the article of our faith, tou­ching remission of sinnes, and the pro­mises of God for the same: vvherof holy scripture hath great plentie. As vvhere the Prophet sayeth: In vvhat hovvre a sinner is sory and confesseth his sinnes they are all put out of mynde: God is bothe hable and vvilling to for­geue a penitēt sinner be his sinnes neuer so great. But no man can haue true re­pentance, nor doe right pennance vvhi­che doeth it not vvith a firm hope of forgeuenes, and vvithout all mistrust and diffidence of the promis of God. Accused ther fore at the desperat before our Sauiour vvhiche sayeth, I vvil not the death of a sinner, but rather that he be conuerted and liue.

Another good assurance vve haue to confirme our hope in god: 3 and that is his faithfull promis that he is vvillinge and reddie, graciouslie to hear vs in all our petitions vvhiche are for our good. For our Sauiour sayeth: Matth. 7. Aske and it shabbe ge­uen you: seeke and you shal finde: knocke and it shall be opened to you, for euerie one that asketh, receiueth, &c. And we know that he heareth vs (saith Seynt Iohn) what soeuer we shall aske ac­cordinge to his will. Alwayes prouided that we aske in fayth nothing doubting. as Seynt Ia­mes byddeth vs: For the asker of lavv­full thinges may not either mistrust gods povver and habilitie, or be in despair of his mercie: but that the doubte vve haue be onely in our ovvne vnvvoorthinesse or vndue asking.

A fouerth good staye vve haue to lean vpon, 4 and to preserue our hope and con­fidence. And that is the faithfull promi­se of eternall lyfe geuen vs by God, if vve liue here according to his vvill and commaundement doeing pennance for our sinnes, and leaning to his mercye in faith hope and Charitie: for God is most faithfull and euer keepeth his promisse vvith all men. Therfore if vve vvil not [Page 82]be lyke to the vvaues of the fea vvhiche are caried about vvith the vvinde: let vs flee from too muche care of transitorie thinges, and keep in our minde and me­morie the promise of God euer offering his grace to vs, reddie to hear and help vs. So shall vve preserue the hoope and confidence that God requireth of vs: to vvhom be all honor and glo­rie for euer. Amen.

A prayer to our blessed lady made by the most holy and auncient Ephrem.

MOther of God vndefiled, Queen of al, the hope of them that des­pair, my lady most glorious, higher than the heuenly spirites, more honorable than the Cherubines, holier than the Se­raphines, and vvithout comparison mo­re glorious than the supernall hostes, the hoope of the fathers, the glorie of the Prophets, the praise of the Apostles, by thee vve are recōciled to Christ my God, thy sonne: thou art the helper of sinners: the hauen for them that are tossed vvith [Page 83]stormes, the solace of the redempcion of captiues: vouchesafe me thy seruant to praise thee. Haile Lady Marie full of grace: Haile Virgin most blessed among vvomen.

An other prayer made by Seynt Cirill.

PRaise and glorie be to thee o holie Trinitie: to thee also be praise, o ho­ly mother of God, for thou art the pre­cious pearle of the vvorlde: thou art the cādel of vnguensheble light, the croune of virginitie, the scepter of the Ca­tholique faithe. By thee the Trinitie is glorifyed and adored in all the vvorlde: by thee heauen reioyceth, Angels and Archangels are glad, diuels are put to flyght, and man is called again to hea­uen, and euery creature that vvas held vvith the errors of Idols is turned to the knovvleidge of truthe: by thee Chur­ches are founded through the vvorlde: thou being their helper, the Gentiles come to pennance. O blessed Marie, vvho can be hable vvor thelie to praise or thanke thee: receiue our prayers, ob­tanie our requestes: for thou art the spe­ciall hoope of sinners, by thee vve hoope [Page 84]for perdone of our synnes: and in thee (o most blessed) is the expectacion of our revvardes.

An admonicion for the vnlearned touching the vse of the figure of the beades here after portrued.

THou hast here (gentle reder) a figu­re or forme of the beades; vvith cer­tein matters of meditacion to be vsed vvhen thou art disposed to recite the crovvne of our ladie vpon the beades vvhiche matters haue not bene before this tyme put into englishe meter, for the beter memorie and delectatiō of de­uout persons. Therfore if thou hast bene here to fore delited vvith vain ballads and sonets, thou may novv vpon better aduise please thy selfe vvith songes and ditties more profitable. And of vvhat good trade, occupacion or qualiue so e­uer you are, vvhiles you goe about your necessarie businesse in your vocation, or vvhiles you are traualing by the vvaye: or in tillinge or plovvinge the grovvnd that hit may bring great increase, you may not vvithstanding, some tyme a­mong, [Page 85]call vpon our Sauiour or vpon the blessed virgin mary, eyther in vvorde or in thought, and vvith great comfort, yea and profit also both spirituall and tem­porall, repeat or thinke vpon the Pater noster and Aue Mary, or some part ther of, and of the verses, or of some of them set dovvne in the table folovvinge. And ther vpon may you take occasion to mu­se and thinke lesse or more of the mat­ters conteyned in the verses or any of them. VVher vpon you by Gods grace shall be induced in to a svvete cogita­cion vvhat speciall graces God hath be­stovved vpon you; from vvhat euells he hath preserued you; to vvhat good ende he hath created you: vvhat good reward he hath prouided for you, yf you come to that end: and to come vnto it you are assured if you be so vvilling as you ought to be. Thus shall you also take occa­sion to kepe your self vvell occupied, auoyde idle thoughts, the snares of sa­than, and so kepe your self in the vvay tovvardes heauen.

WHer as I haue seen your Ladi­ship accept, such holy and ver­teus exercises, and holde them in great estimacion, and conster all faul­tes escaped by the print to verteus inter­pretacion: taking the meaning, and not the letter; so I hoope your holy vse vvil­be a meane, that I shall not be alto­geither disliked of such vvhos handes hit cometh vnto: But as I ashure my selfe, all banished parsons liuing for one cau­se, vvil not dispise good thoughtes pro­cedinge of holy desiers, and especially thos, vvhos vvisdoms knovv hovv hard it is to print our languaig, in a strāge coun­trie vvith out faultes: vvich maketh me so farre presume apon all holy Catho­licke persons, especially such of honora­ble consideracion, and haue so long ly­ued à banished lief for true religions sa­ke: as your honor hath donne this 17 Yeres. In this consideracion, I presume of all good Catholickes, that they vvill esteme of my meaning, and not the let­ter: as I shall not cease dayly and orderly to praye for all estates, trusting in IESV, he vvill hear a poor pilgrome and banis­hed parson: for his righteousnes sake: [Page 87]that hit shal please him to conuert our poor countery, vvher vve maye praye togeither, liue togeither, and die togei­ther, to the end vve maye be partakers of his heauenly kingdoome, vvher God the father, God the sonne, God the holy ghost, is glorefied: vvher the blessed Vir­en is crouned, vvher Angels, Saints, and marters reioys, at our repen­tance; for wich I daily praye to be geuen to all sin­ners sayinge.

Pater noster, Aue Maria.
Good reder remember me in the like. I. B.
[depiction of the virgin Mary]

Hic liber nihil mali aut erronei continet: conducit autem ad deuotionem & pietatem im­peritiorum Anglorum.


Horum duorum eruditorum & fide digno­rum virorum iudicio & ego subscribo

H. CVYCKIVS Apostolicus & Regius libro­rum censor.

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