Of the most blissed
of all Munkes.
Tu iuxt a Regulam Patrum viuere ſtude: maxime flawed-reproduction 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 Iflawed-reproductionos Dooms.
16321632. See 2 Part
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 iv 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; flawed-reproduction brought frōom the obſcurity of idolitry, flawed-reproduction to the light of faith, 33 nations flawed-reproduction adorned the Church with 15000 flawed-reproduction Bishopps 7000 Archbishops 200flawed-reproduction Cardinalls, and twentye fourflawed-reproduction Popes, moſt of which shineflawed-reproduction unto the world, as brighteſflawed-reproduction ſtarres having taken ther luſtrflawed-reproduction and light, as from the ſunne, from this glorious Rule. Not to numbeflawed-reproduction the v 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 vi 3v take 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,
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,
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.
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 2 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 2 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 4 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- 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 A5r 9 cteth 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- 10 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 11 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 12 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.
A7r,A7v,A8r,A8v,B-B9,C-F8,Gr,Gv,G2r,G2v,G3r,G3v,G4r; pp. 13-103excerpt