Women's Writing in Stuart England: The Mother's Legacies of Dorothy Leigh, Elizabeth Joscelin, and Elizabeth Richardson
It may peradventure ... appear strange to thee to recyve theas lines from a mother that dyed when thou weart born. So writes Elizabeth Joscelin to her unborn daughter, shortly before dying in childbirth on 12 October, 1622. As a godly woman, Joscelin was aware of her duty to instruct her child in religion. Prophetically fearing her death, she chose to embody her instruction in a text, a mother's legacy, through which she could (as it were) speak to her child from the dead. In 1624, a Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Goad, published Joscelin's legacy for a wider audience - but with significant changes.
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Not to neglect priuate prayer 21 Men become worse for want of using good meanes
To lay hold on CHRIST is the best thing in the world
What neede is there to speake much of Christ
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able acceptable Amen aske assistance benefits beseech blessed body Book bring child Christ Church comfort Commandements continue daily daughter deare death desire diuell duty earth Elizabeth enemies eternall evill faith Father favour feare finde follow giue give glory Gods gracious hand hath haue heare heart heauen helpe himselfe Holy Ghost hope humbly Jesus John Joscelin keep Kingdome labour learned legacy Leigh live Lord loue meanes minde mother neuer night offences pardon performe poore praise pray prayer present promise receive rest Richardson saith sake salvation Saviour seek serue servant sinner sinnes sins soule Spirit suffer sweet thee thine things thinke thou art thou hast thoughts thy grace thy holy thy mercies thy selfe true unto unto thee vnto vouchsafe vpon wicked wilt woman women writing
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