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"by you, by whom my life should rather have been "lengthened, yet can I so patiently take it, as I yield "God more hearty thanks for shortening my woeful "days, than if all the world had been given unto my "possessions with life lengthen'd at my own will. And "albeit I am well assured of your impatient dolors, re"doubled manifold ways, both in bewailing your own 66 woes, and especially, as I hear, my unfortunate state; 66 yet, my dear father, if I may without offence rejoice "in my own mishaps, meseems in this I may account "myself blessed, that washing my hands with the inno66 cency of my fact, my guiltless blood may cry before "the Lord, mercy to the innocent. And yet, though "I must needs acknowledge, that being constrained, "and as you wot well enough, and continually assayed, "in taking upon me, I seemed to consent, and therein "grievously offended the queen and her laws; yet do I "assuredly trust, that this my offence towards God is 66 so much the less, in that, being in so royal estate as I 66 was, mine inforced honor never blended with mine "innocent heart. And thus, good father, I have opened "to you the state in which I presently stand, whose "death at hand, although to you perhaps it may seem "right woeful, to me there is nothing that can be more 66 welcome, than from the vale of misery to aspire to "that heavenly throne of all joy and pleasure with "Christ our Saviour; in whose stedfast faith, if it may "be lawful for the daughter to write to the father, the "Lord that hitherto hath strengthened you so continue
you, that at the last we may meet in heaven with the "Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost."
Another letter of this lady's is preserved, which was written in Latin, or as some authors say in Greek, at the end of a Greek Testament, and was sent by her to her sister Catharine,* the night before lady Jane was beheaded. The following is a translation:
*The lady Jane had two sisters younger than herself; this lady Catharine the eldest, and lady Mary the younger. The former was married to Lord Herbert, eldest son of the Earl of Pembroke.
"I have here sent you, good sister Catherine, a book "which although it be not outwardly trimmed with gold, "yet inwardly it is more worth than precious stones. "It is the book, dear sister, of the Law of the Lord. "It is his testament and last will, which he bequeathed "unto us wretches, which shall lead you to the path of "eternal joy, and if you with a good mind read it, and " with an earnest mind do purpose to follow it, it shall "bring you to an immortal and everlasting life. It shall "teach you to live, and learn you to die. It shall win 66 you more than you should have gained by your woeful "father's lands; for, as, if God had prospered him, 66 you should have inherited his lands, so, if you apply "diligently this book, seeking to direct your life after "it, you shall be an inheritor of such riches, as neither "the covetous shall withdraw from you, neither thief "shall steal, neither yet the moths corrupt. Desire "with David, good sister, to understand the Law of
the Lord God. Live still to die, that you by death 6. may purchase eternal life, and trust not that the ten"derness of your age shall lengthen your life, for as 66 soon, if God call, goeth the young as the old, and "labour always to learn to die. Defy the world, deny "the devil, despise the flesh, and delight yourself only "in the Lord. Be penitent for your sins, and yet de"spair not; be strong in faith, and yet presume not;
and desire with St. Paul, to be with Christ, with "whom even in death there is life. Be like the good "servant, and even at midnight be waking, lest when "death cometh, and stealeth upon you as a thief in the "night, you be with the evil servant found sleeping, "and lest for lack of oil you be found like the five "foolish women, and like him that had not on the wed"ding garment, and then ye be cast out from the mar"riage. Rejoice in Christ, as I do. Follow the steps "of your master Christ, and take up your cross. Lay .66 your sins on his back, and always embrace him. "And as touching my death, rejoice, as I do, good "sister, that I shall be delivered of this corruption, "and put on incorruption, for I am assured that I shall
for losing of a mortal life, win an immortal life, the "which I pray God grant you, and send you of his 66 grace to live in his fear, and to die in the true chris❝tian faith, from the which, in God's name, I exhort 66 you, that you never swerve, neither for hope of life, 66 nor for fear of death; for, if you will deny his truth
for to lengthen your life, God will deny you, and yet "shorten your days; and if you will cleave unto him, "he will prolong your days, to your comfort, and his 66 glory; to the which glory God bring me now, and 66 you hereafter, when it pleaseth him to call you! Fare 66 you well, good sister, and put your only trust` in "God, who only must help you."
We shall in a manner conclude the excellent compositions of this worthy lady, with a prayer drawn up by her in the time of her trouble, which will open to our readers the state of her mind in the near views of death and eternity.
"O Lord, thou God and Father of my life, hear me 66 poor and desolate woman, which flieth unto thee only ❝in all troubles and miseries. Thou, O Lord, art the "only defender and deliverer of those that put their "trust in thee, and therefore I, being defiled with sin, "encumbered with afflictions, unquieted with troubles, "wrapped in cares, overwhelmed with miseries, and "grievously tormented with the long imprisonment of "this vile mass of clay, my sinful body, do come unto
thee, O merciful Saviour, craving thy mercy and help, "without the which so little hope of deliverance is left, "that I may utterly despair of any liberty. Albeit it "is expedient, that seeing our life standeth upon trying, "we should be visited sometime with some adversity, "whereby we might both be tried whether we be of thy "flock or no, and also know thee and ourselves the "better; yet thou that saidest thou wouldest not suffer 66 us to be tempted above our power, be merciful unto "me, a miserable wretch, I beseech thee, that I may "neither be too much puffed up with prosperity, nei"ther too much pressed down with adversity, lest I "being too full, should deny thee, my God, or being
too low brought, should despair, and blaspheme thee, my Lord and Saviour. O merciful God, consider my "misery, best known unto thee, and be thou now unto me a strong tower of defence, I humbly require thee. "Suffer me not to be tempted above my power; but "either be thou a deliverer to me out of this great mi<< sery, either else give me grace patiently to bear thy "heavy hand and sharp correction. It was thy right "hand that delivered the people of Israel out of the
hands of Pharaoh, which for the space of four hun❝dred years did oppress them, and keep them in bond66 age. Let it therefore seem good to thy fatherly goodness to deliver me, sorrowful wretch, for whom thy "Son Christ shed his precious blood on the cross, out "of this miserable captivity and bondage, wherein I am 66 now. How long will thou be absent? For ever? "Oh Lord, hast thou forgotten to be gracious, and hast "thou shut up thy loving-kindness in displeasure? "Wilt thou no more be intreated? Is thy mercy clean 66 gone for ever, and thy promise come utterly to an ❝end for evermore? Why doest thou make so long "tarrying? Shall I despair of thy mercy, O God?
Far be that from me. I am thy workmanship, created "in Christ Jesus; give me grace therefore to tarry thy ❝leisure, and patiently to bear thy works, assuredly "knowing, that as thou canst, so thou wilt deliver me, "when it shall please thee, nothing doubting or mis"trusting thy goodness towards me, for thou knowest "better what is good for me than I do; therefore do "with me in all things what thou wilt, and plague me "what way thou wilt. Only in the mean time arm me, "I beseech thee, with thy armour, that I may stand "fast, my loins being girt about with verity, having on "the breast-plate of righteousness, and shod with the
shoes prepared by the gospel of peace, above all "things taking unto me the shield of faith, wherewith I may be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked, " and taking the helmet of salvation, and the sword of "the Spirit, which is thy most Holy Word, praying always with all manner of prayer and supplication,
that I may refer myself wholly to thy will, abiding "thy pleasure and comforting myself in those troubles "which it shall please thee to send me, seeing such "troubles be profitable for me, and seeing I am as"suredly persuaded that it cannot but be well all that "thou doest. Hear me, O merciful Father, for his "sake, whom thou wouldest should be a sacrifice for 66 my sins; to whom, with thee, and the Holy Ghost, "be all honor and glory. Amen."
These are the principal remains of this most excellent lady. It may not be displeasing to our readers to hear what judgment bishop Burnet has passed upon them: "One effect," says he, "of this, that is, of the frus"trated rising of Sir Thomas Wiat, was the proceeding "severely against the lady Jane and her husband, the "lord Guildford, who both suffered on the 12th of "February, 1554. The lady Jane was not much dis"ordered at it, for she knew, upon the first jealousy "that she must be the sacrifice, and had now lived six "months in constant expectation of death. Feckenham, "afterwards abbot of Westminster, was sent to her by "the queen, three days before, to prepare her to die. "He had a long conversation with her; but she answer"ed him with that calmness of mind and clearness of 66 reason, that it was astonishing to hear so young a ،، person of her sex and quality look on death so near "her with so little disorder, and talk so sensibly both "of faith and holiness, of the sacraments, the scriptures, " and the authority of the church. Feckenham left her "seeing he could work nothing on her; but procured ❝her, as it is said, the continuance of her life three days "longer and waited on her to the scaffold. She wrote "to her father to moderate his grief for her death, "which must needs have been great, since his folly had "occasioned it. She expressed her sense of her sin in "assuming the royal dignity, though he knew how un"willingly she was drawn into it; and that in her royal "estate her enforced honour had never defiled her inno"cent heart. She rejoiced at her approaching end, "since nothing could be to her more welcome than to