Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Forgotten Martyr

I've always found the period of history around the time of Henry viii to be fascinating. When I was in my teens I read many books, fiction and non fiction on his wives, but also on Lady Jane Grey, Queen Elizabeth, Mary Queen of Scots, etc. Perhaps it won't surprise you to find that history and writing were my favorite subjects in school?:-). Anyway I was very interested to find this trailer for a movie that is being made on Lady Jane Grey on facebook. While I'm kind of doubtful that as a protestant she would praying in front of a cross, overall this looks interesting and one to go on my list of movies to watch. For more information on the movie go here, and to read more on Jane, this link which is a chapter from Foxe's Book of Martyrs is excellent.






Perhaps some of you will remember her prayer that I posted on here last winter. I liked it so much that I framed a copy of it in my room, but since then I have found the whole version of it here and am copying it below. Notice how familiar she is with scripture, her prayer is filled with verses, reminding God of his promises.


A prayer of the Lady Jane.
            "O Lord, thou God and Father of my life, hear me, 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 affliction, unquieted with troubles, wrapped in cares, overwhelmed with miseries, vexed with temptations, 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 saidst thou wouldst not suffer us to be tempted above our power, be merciful unto me now, a miserable wretch, I beseech thee; who, with Solomon, do cry unto thee, humbly desiring thee, that I may neither be too much puffed up with prosperity, neither 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 unto me out of this great misery, or else give me grace, patiently to hear 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 hundred years did oppress them, and keep them in bondage. Let it therefore, likewise, 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 now. How long wilt thou be absent? for ever? O Lord, hast thou forgotten to be gracious, and hast thou shut up thy loving-kindness in displeasure? Wilt thou be no more entreated? Is thy mercy clean gone for ever, and thy promise come utterly to an end for evermore? Why dost 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 mistrusting 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 girded about with verity, having on the breastplate of righteousness, and shod with the shoes prepared by the gospel of peace: above all things taking to 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 that it shall please thee to send me; seeing such troubles be profitable for me, and seeing I am assuredly persuaded that it cannot be but well, all that thou doest. Hear me, O merciful Father! for his sake, whom thou wouldest should be a sacrifice for my sins: to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory. Amen."


Lady Jane Grey



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"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Isaiah 55:6,8-1