1r

The rule
Of the most blissed
Father
Saint Benedict
Patriarke
of all Munkes.

Tu iuxt a Regulam Patrum vivere stude: maxime auters
Confessoris Sancti Benedicti, ne declinas
ab ea quoquam, necilli addas quidquam nec
minuas. Totum quod sufficit habet &
numquam minus habet. Gregorius
Mag. in manuscripto
.

Indevour to live conformable to the Rule of the Fathers,
Butt especially of the Confessour Saint Benedict, do
nott swarve anyway from itt, neither add you
any thinge to itt, nor sake any thinge away; for
itt hath that which sufficeth, and is in nothing
defective.

Printed at Gant by Ioos Dooms.
16321632. See 2 Part

1v 2r

To the Honorable,
Right Reverende
And Her Most Respected Lady
The Lady
Eugenia Poulton,
Abbesse
Of the English Monastery
Of the Holy Order
Of S. Benedict

in Gant.

Honorable, and Right Reverende Madame

Never doe the newe risinge
sunne spreede forth his
beames, without a newe comfort
to the behoulders; neither doth the
splendours yealded to so many
dayes, years, and ages, any whitt
deminish the accustomed solace taken
by the newe Spectatours. And
can I doubt this glorious sunne, 2 our 2v
our Rule, abright beame of divine
light, newely raised to shine in this
place, by your lady shipps predicessour
āand your indevour, bringe lesse
them wonted joy to the injoyers, āand
though itt hath illustrated the worlde,
for many dayes, years, āand ages,
with so cleare beames of Illustrious
sanctity, cannonizinge with glorious
triūumph more thēen 3000 sainctes;
brought frōom the obscurity of idolitry,
to the light of faith, 33 nations ;
adorned the Church with 15000.
Bishopps 7000 Archbishops 200.
Cardinalls, and twentye foure
Popes, most of which shined
unto the world, as brightesflawed-reproduction1 letter
starres having taken ther lustrflawed-reproduction1 letter
and light, as from the sunne, from
this glorious Rule. Not to numbeflawed-reproduction1 letter the 3r
the innumerable florishinge monasteryes,
the shininge and illustrious
Doctours, and writters, the intyre
and purest Virgines, fruites, which
this holy rule, as a most comfortable
sunne, hath produced, fostered, and
brought up to inlightēen āand illustratt,
both with word, writinges and examples,
of singuler sanctitye, the
whole Occidentall church, Can I (as
I say) yet doubt, that the vigour
ther of, is any whitt deminished,
butt rather as an experienced and
an eye wittnesse can I avere, newe
comfort, joy, āand solace, raysed in the
mindes, and hares, of the newe
Embracers, who under your ladyshipps
goverment, happely doe a
newe injoy the splendour of that
light, and most comfortably do pertake:3 take 3v
the fire of charity, which with
her beames, she doth inkindle in our
hartes. Give me therefore leave, most
Respected Madame, though after
many ages, to lett this so holy a
rule spreed her rayes a broade in
our English tonge, under your ladishippes
protection, that as you instill
the love of it in our hartes, so
you would make itt abuious to our
Eyes, and a monge the rest to hers,
who defires to remaine as she this
day is become.

Your Ladyshipps.
Professed and vowed child,

Alexia Gray.

The 4r

The Breve
of
S. Gregory Pope
For The Confirmation
Of The Rule
Of
Saint Benedict.

I Gregory Pralat of the holy Romane Church have
writt, the life of Saint Benedict, and reade the
Rule which the Saint hath written with his owne hand,
I have praysed itt, and I have confrimed itt in a Holy
Counsell, and have comanded, that through sundry
partes of Italy, and wheresoever the Latine toung is
used, itt should bee exactly, observed by all whosoever
to the end of the worlde, should come to a retyred
life. And I also confirme the 12. Monasteryes the
holy Saint erected.

Ex originali in Monasterio sublancensi,

4 THE 4v

The Bull
of
Zachary Pope
Successor to Saint Gregory
The Greate For The
Approbation,
Of The Rule
Of The Most Holy
S. Benedict,

Zachary Byshop, servant of the servantes
of God. To all redeemed by the bloode of Christ,
wisheth health and Apostolicall Benediction. We give
thankes to Almighty God, whose mercy is more deare
then life, that he is glorious and admirable in his Saintes,
and bistoweth with unspeakable bounty his vertues,
āand giftes. For he hath putt the most Blessed Benedict
to bee the Father of all Munkes. He through the meritts
of this Saint, hath made the monastery of Cassina placed
in the grounde of Tertallus Patritius. to bee
above all the Monasteryes in the worlde. where the Saint
writt the Rule of Munkes, which our predicessour of holy
memory Greg.ory hath aboundantly approved āand praysed in
his booke of Diologs, āand wee approve and prayse, and declare
itt to bee holy, and in the dedication of that holy
church while wee are ther wish therteen Arckbishoppes,
threscore and eight Bishopes doe ordaine appointing that
whosoever shall dare to contradict itt, be excōommunicated.

Finis.

A1r

The Rule
Of Our Holy
Father S.t Benett.
The Preface

Harken daughter to the
commaundmēent of God thy
Master: and inclyne the
eare of thy hart, and willingly receave
the admonition, of thy pittifull
Father, and put it in execution;
to the end thou mayst retourne againe
unto him by the labour of thy
obedience; from whom thou deddist
depart by the negligence of thy disobedience.
To thee therefore, which A dost A1v 2
dost renounce thyn owne will with
intention to fight under Christ the
true king, and to take uppon thee
the strong armour of obedience thes
wordes are addressed; first of all
desire thou by most instant prayer,
that that good worke which thou
purposest to begin, in the may bee
perfected, that hee who hath vouch
safed to accoūunt us in the numbre of
his Children might not bee contristated
by our misdemeanour; and
soe wee must always obey him with
those good parts, that are in us, that
not onely hee may not at any tyme
like an angry Father desinheritt us
his childrēen, nor like a dreadfull lord
provoked by our offences, adjudge us A2r 3
us as naughty servants to perpetuall
punishment, which would not
follow him to his Glory; Now therefore
at lenghtth lett us rise, the
holy Scripture exciting us saying.
Now is the hower to rise out of sleep
and with open eyes and attentive
eares let us behould the devine
splendor, and heare that which the
voyce of God dayly crying doth
admonish saying. If this day you
shall heare his voyce harden not
your hartes. and againe: hee which
hath eares to heare lett him heare
what the spirritt sayth to the Churches;
āand what sayth it. Come hether
Children give eare to mee, I will
teach you the Feare of our lord God A2 Runn A2v 4
Runn while you have the light of
life, left the darcknesse of death
overreach you. And God seeking
his labour our amongst the Comon
sort of people, sayth furthermore:
what man is hee that wisheth life
and hath a desire to see good dayes?
and if thou hearing this dost make
answeare saying, I am hee. God
sayth unto thee againe, it you wilt
enjoy a true everlasting life refrayne
thy tonge from evill and thy
lipps from uttering lyes and deceipts,
shunn ewill and doe that
which is good, seeke peace and pursue
it; and at what tyme you shall
doe this, myne eyes shall watch
over you, and myne eares shal bee at- A3r 5
attentive unto your prayers &
before you shall call uppon mee I
will say unto you, be hold I am present,
what thing deare Sisters can
bee more pleasant to you, then this
voyce of God which thus doth invite
you behould how our lord of
his Bounty, hath Vouchsafed to
shew you the way of life; having
therefore our loynes girt with
fayth and the observance of Good
Workes, and our Feete shodd by
guydance of the Ghospell, lett us
goe forware in this way, that wee
may deserve to see him in his kingdome
whoe hath bestowed uppon
us this holy Vocation; In the Tabernacle
of whose kingdome if wee A3 desire A3v 6
desire to dwell, lett us laboure
earnesly to doe good workes, for
none commeth thither, but by meanes
of their good deserving;
lett us demaunde of God, saying
unto him with the holy Prophet,
lord whoe shall dwell in thy Tabernacle
or whoe shall rest in thy
holy hill? after wee have asked
this questiōon, lett us give eare unto
God answearing, and shewniing us
the way, leading unto this Tabernacle
saying, hee that walketh
without blemish of Sinne, and doth
that which is most just and righteous,
who speaketh truth in hishart,
and forgeth noe Guyle in
his toung: who doth noe wrong to his A4r 7
his Neighbour, and receaveth noe
reproatch against his Neighbour,
who hath cast out of his harte
that wicked Temper the devill
with all his perswasions, and hath
brought both him and his suggestions
to naught, āand hath taken his
Cogitations whyle they were new
and little, and hath dashed them
against the Rooke, which is Christ
who fearing god take not pride
in their well doing, but beleiving
that the good they have proceedeth
not of any power of theirs, but rather
from our lord, and therefore
they prayse and gloryfy him, thus
working in them saying with the
Prophett. Not unto us lord not A4 unto A4v 8
unto us, but give Glory unto thy
holy name, as S. Paul the Apostle
attributed not unto him selfe, that
followed of his preaching, for hee
sayth, by the grace of God I am
that I am, and moreover hee addeth,
hee that will glory, lett him
glory in our lord. And therefore
our lord sayth in the Ghospell,
every one that heareth these my
words and doth them, shal bee likned
to a wise man, that buylt his
house uppon a Rocke, the Floods
came the winds blew, and they
beate against the house and it fell
not, for it was founded uppon a
Rocke, our lord proceeding with us
in the same manner dayly expectethcteth A5r 9
that wee should bee correspondent
to his holy admonitions;
and therefore the dayes of this
present life are afforded unto us in
a manner of a truce, that there in
wee might amend our wickednesse
as the Apostle sayth, knowest thou
not that the benignitie of God bringeth
thee to Penance, for our
morcifull lord sayth, I will not the
death of a Sinner but that hee
should be cōonverted āand live, therefor
my good sisters when we have
Demaunded of God, that person
which is to dwell in his holy Tabernacle,
wee understand the precept
annexed to that habitation,
soe that if wee full fill the duty of A5 Inha- A5v 10
Inhabitants wee shalbee Inheritours
of the hevenly kingdonme,
Come therefore āand lett us prepare
our harts and bodyes to serve in
the holy obedience of his Commaundements,
and that which nature
is not able to worke in us, lett us
beeseech Almighty God that hee
will assist us with his holy grace, āand
if wee desire to Fly Hell Paynes,
and to attayne unto everlasting
life, whyle now wee may, and
that wee are in this mortall life,
that wee may atchive all these
things by the lights of grace, now
must wee run, now must wee
labour for that which may bee expedient
for us for ever hereafter wee A6r 11
wee must therefore sett upp a
Schoole to teath the Service of
God therein, wherein wee hope
nothing shalbee tought by us to
rigerous or to heavy, but if wee
proceede some what the more
stricktly according to the Rule of
Reason, for the correcting of Vice
and Conservation of Charitie,
thou must not therefore uppon
Feare forthwith abandon the way
of thy Salvation, which cannot
bee begun but by a narrow Entrance,
not with standing after
some tyme ymployed in this Conversation
at pleasure thou shalt
run in the way of Gods Commaundements,
having they hart dilated A6v 12
dilated by true Fayth and with
unspeakable sweetnesse of
Charitie, in such sort as wee never
forsaking the Schoole of God, but
persisting in his Doctrine, persevering
there in even untill death in
the Monastery, wee may bee made
pertakers of Christ paynes
and Passion. soe that hereafter
wee may deserve to bee his Compartners
in his glorious kingdome.

Here

A7r,A7v,A8r,A8v,B-B9,C-F8,Gr,Gv,G2r,G2v,G3r,G3v,G4r; pp. 13-103excerpt