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A prayer to be used of all housholders, with their whole family, every Evening before they go to bed, that it would please God to turn his wrath from us, threatened in the last terrible earthquake.
Set forth by authority.
Он eternal, mighty, and most loving Father, which hast no desire of the death of a sinner, but that he convert and live, and unto whom nothing is so pleasant as the repentant, contrite and sorrowful heart of a penitent person: for thou art that kind Father that fallest most lovingly upon the neck of the lost son, kissest, embracest and feastest him, when he returneth from the puddle of pleasures and swill of the swine, and disdainest not the repentant prayer of thy poor and sinful servants, whensoever with true faith they return and call upon thee, as we have most comfortable examples in David, Manasses, Magdalene, Peter, and the thief upon the gibbet: we most heartily and humbly beseech thy fatherly goodness, to look down from the throne of thy mercy-seat upon us most miserable and sinful slaves of Satan, which with fearful and trembling hearts do quake and shake at the strange and terrible token of thy wrath and indignation appearing most evidently unto us, by thy shaking and moving of the earth, which is thy footstool; whereby (if we be not utterly destitute of grace) we be warned that thy coming down amongst us, to visit our sins in most terrible manner, can not be far off, seeing thou treadest so hard upon this thy footstool the earth, which we most shamefully have polluted and defiled with our most wicked, sinful, and rebellious lives, notwithstanding thy continual crying and calling upon us by thy servants, the Prophets and preachers, by whom we have learned to know thy will, but have not followed it; we have heard much and done little, yea, nothing at all; but like most perverse and unthankful children have made a mock of thy word, derided thy ministers, and accounted thy threatenings trifles, and thy warnings of no weight or moment: wherefore we have justly deserved to taste most deeply of the bitter cup of thy anger and vengeance, by wars, famine, pestilence, yea, and eternal death, if thou shouldest not temper the rigour of thy justice
with the mildness of thy mercy. But such is thy fatherly affection towards us, that thou shewest thyself slow to anger, long suffering, and of much patience and mercy. Yea, thou art a thousand times more ready to forget and forgive, than we to ask and require forgiveness. Therefore, though we be not worthy of the least mite of thy mercy, yet, gracious Lord, look not upon us and our sins, but upon thy own self and thy Son Jesus Christ, the fountain of grace, the treasure of mercy, the salve of all sickness, the Jewel of joy1, and the only haven of succour and safety: by him we come to thee, in him and for him we trust to find that we have lost, and gain that he hath got he is the scale of Jacob, by whom we climb up to thee, and thou by the Angels of thy mercy comest down to us: him we present unto thee, and not ourselves, his death and not our doings, his bloody wounds and not our detestable deservings, whose merits are so great, as thy mercy can not be little, and our ransom so rich, that our beggarly and beastly sins are nothing in thy sight, for the great pleasure and satisfaction that thou takest of his pains and passion. Turn this Earthquake, O Lord, to the benefit of thine elect, as thou didst when thou shookest the prison, loosedst the locks, fetters, and chains of thy servants, Paul and Silas, and broughtest them out of prison, and converted their keeper: so, gracious Lord, strike the hearts of tyrants with the terror of this thy work, that they may know that they are but men, and that thou art that Sampson, that for their mocking and spiting of thee and thy word can shake the pillars of their palaces, and throw them upon the furious Philistines' heads. Turn thy wrath, O Lord, from thy children that call upon thy Name, to the conversion or confusion of thine enemies that defy and abhor thy Name, and deface thy glory. Thou hast knocked long at their doors, but they will not open to let thee in burst open therefore the brasen gates of their stony hearts, thou that art able of stones to raise up children to Abraham: and, finally, so touch our hearts with the finger of thy grace, that we may deeply muse upon our sinful lives, to amend them, and call for thy mercy to forgive and pardon them, through Christ our Lord, who liveth with thee, and the
[The title of one of Becon's treatises. See his works, Catechism, &c., p. 411.]
Holy Ghost, three persons and one eternal God, to whom be all dominion and glory, with praise and thanksgiving, for ever and ever. Amen.
1 THE Lord is our defence and aid, 7 The Lord of hosts doth take our The strength whereby we stand.
When we with woe are much dis
mayed, He is our help at hand.
2 Though th' earth remove, we
Though hills so high and steep
3 No, though the waves do rage so
That all the banks it spills; And though it overflow the shore, And beat down mighty hills. 4 For one fair flood doth send abroad
His pleasant streams apace, To fresh the city of our God, And wash his holy place.
5 In midst of her the Lord doth
She can no whit decay:
6 The heathen flock the kingdoms
The people make a noise :
When God puts forth his voice.
To us he hath an eye:
Our hope of health with all our heart
On Jacob's God doth lie.
8 Come here and see with mind
The working of our God:
9 By him all wars are hush'd and
Which countries did conspire: Their bows he brake and spears each one,
Their chariots brent with fire.
10 Leave off therefore (saith he)
I am a God most stout,
And all the earth throughout.
11 The Lord of hosts doth us defend,
He is our strength and tower: On Jacob's God do we depend, And on his mighty power.
To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
As in beginning was, is now,
Imprinted at Lon
don by Christopher Barker
Printer to the Queenes
Report of the Earthquake.
On Easter Wednesday, being the sixt of April, 1580, somewhat before six of the clock in the afternoon, happened this great Earthquake whereof this discourse treateth: I mean not great in respect of long continuance of time, for (God be thanked) it continued little above a minute of an hour, rather shaking God's rod at us, than smiting us according to our deserts: Nor yet in respect of any great hurt done by it within this Realm: For although it shook all houses, castles, churches, and buildings, every where as it went, and put them in danger of utter ruin; yet within this Realm (praised be our Saviour Christ Jesus for it) it overthrew few or none that I have yet heard of, saving certain stones, chimneys, walls, and pinnacles of high buildings, both in this City and in divers other places: Neither do I hear of any Christian people that received bodily hurt by it, saving two children in London, a boy and a girl: the boy, named THOMAS GRAY, was slain out of hand, with the fall of a stone shaken down from the roof of a Church; and the girl (whose name was MABEL EVERITE), being sore hurt there at the same present by like casualty, died within few days after : But I term it great in respect of the universalness thereof almost at one instant, not only within this Realm, but also without, where it was much more violent and did far more harm; and in respect of the great terror which it then strake into all men's hearts where it came, and yet still striketh into such as duly consider how justly GOD may be offended with all men for sin, and specially with this realm of England, which hath most abundantly tasted of God's mercy, and most unthankfully neglected his goodness, which yet still warneth us by this terrible wonder, what far more terrible punishments are like to light upon us ere long, unless we amend our sinful conversation betimes.
A3 godly Admonition for the time present.
MANY and wonderful ways (good christian reader) hath God in all ages most mercifully called all men to the knowledge of themselves,
[This Report does not appear to have belonged to the Form intended solely for the diocese of London: it is found, however, in that for the provinces of Canterbury and York, where it occupies its present position, and whence it has been now transcribed.]
[2 Christchurch, near Newgate, where they were hearing a Sermon.' Dr Williams's MS.]
[3 When published by itself, the Admonition was thus entitled :— A Discourse containing many wonderful examples of God's Indignation poured upon divers people for their intollerable sins, which Treatise may be read instead of some part of the Homily [p. 563], where there is no Sermon. Dr Williams's MS.]
and to the amendment of their Religion and conversation, before he have laid his heavy hand in wrathful displeasure upon them. And this order of dealing he observeth, not only towards his own dear children, but also even towards the wicked and castaways: to the intent, that the one sort turning from their former sins, and becoming the warer all their life after, should glorify him the more for his goodness in not suffering them to continue in their sins unreformed, to their destruction; and that the other sort should be made utterly unexcusable for their wilful persisting in the stubbornness of their hard and froward hearts, against all his friendly and fatherly admonitions.
He called Cayne to repentance, before he punished him for shedding his brother's blood, and gave him a long time to have bethought himself in.
He warned the old world a hundred year and more, before he brought the flood upon the Earth.
He chastised the Children of Israel divers ways, ere he destroyed them in the wilderness.
He sent Hornets and wild Beasts, as foregoers of his host, into the land of Canaan, before he rooted out the old inhabiters thereof.
He punished not David for his murder and advoutry1, until he had first admonished him by his Prophet.
He removed not the Israelites into captivity, until all the warnings of his Prophets, and all the former corrections which he had used in vain to reform them, did shew them to be utterly past hope of amendment. Before the last destruction of Jerusalem, there went innumerable signs, tokens, and wonders.
Finally, God never poured out his grievous displeasure and wrath upon any Nation, Realm, City, Kingdom, State, or Country, but he gave some notable forewarning thereof by some dreadful wonder.
To let pass the examples of foreign Nations, which are many and terrible: what plagues, pestilences, famines, diseases, tempests, overflowing of waters both salt and fresh, and a number of other most prodigious tokens happened successively long time together, before the displacing of the Britons by the hands of our ancestors, for their neglecting of God's word" preached and planted many hundred years among them! Likewise, what great warnings did God give to our forefathers, in divers Princes' reigns, before the alteration of the State, both by the Danes, and also by William the Conqueror! Again, even in these our days, how manifestly hath God threatened, and still doth threaten our contempt of his holy Religion, and our security and sound sleeping in
[2 See Josephus de Bello Judaico, Lib. iv. cap. 4. § 5: Lib. vi. cap. 5. § 3. Taciti Histor. Lib. v. cap. 13.]
[See the Historia (cap. 19, &c.), as well as Epistola, of Gildas. Bede (Hist. Eccles. Lib. i. cap. 14.) repeats his account, and in nearly the same words. See also Becon's works, Prayers, &c. pp. 10, 11.]