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not in 22. years received the Communion. At his being in the parts beyond the seas, having first reconciled himself to the Church of Rome at Paris, and then at Milan, conceived with himself a mean (as he pretended) to relieve the Catholics of this Realm, which was by killing of the Queen's Majesty.
And nothing stayed him in this conceit, but only to be assured in conscience, that it was lawful and meritorious, and before the execution thereof to receive absolution from the Pope. For his assurance, or rather settling of his conscience herein, he received full satisfaction, first from an old Jesuit in Venice; next from the Pope's Ambassador, resident there, then from other good fathers (as he termeth them) in Lyons and Paris, and lastly, was encouraged to proceed therein by the Nuncio to the Pope, resident at Paris, who promised him, after he assented to that wicked enterprise, to recommend him at the altar, and also to procure the like to be done generally through Paris, which was accordingly performed in general terms, by Recommending of one that had taken upon him to do some dangerous enterprise, tending greatly to the advancement of the Catholic religion The said Nuncio did also convey the said Parry's letters directed to the Pope, and to the Cardinal'; by the which he did signify to them his full resolution to proceed in his enterprise, and for his better success in the same prayed his benediction Apostolical, whereunto answer was made by letters written in Rome by the Cardinal, dated the last of January, which he received from him when the Court lay at Greenwich, in March last.
The tenor of those letters was a commendation of his enterprise, an allowance thereof, an absolution in his holiness' name of all his sins, and a request to go forward in it, in the name of God.
Which letters confirmed his resolution to kill her Majesty, and made it clear in his conscience, that it was lawful and meritorious, as he setteth down in his said confession. Whereupon he insinuated himself into the Court, and by ways and means sought to win credit, &c. to the intent
[The cardinal Como, or, of Como, was prime minister to the Pope. The other personages referred to were named Palmio, Campeggio or Campeius, and Ragazzoni.]
to bring his wicked purpose to pass. Which at sundry times he had done, had not the gracious providence of God, by strange means, interrupted his purpose.
A Prayer for the Queen.
O ETERNAL God and merciful Father, with humble hearts we confess that we are not able, either by tongue to utter, or in mind to conceive, the exceeding measure of thine infinite goodness and mercy towards us wretched sinners, and towards this our noble Realm and natural country. Not many years since, when for our unthankful receiving of the heavenly light and truth of thy Gospel we were justly cast into thraldom and misery, and thrust again under the kingdom of darkness, so that our consciences lay groaning under the heavy burdens of error, superstition, and idolatry; even then, even then, O Lord, thou didst vouchsafe of thy great goodness, not only without our desert, but far beyond our hope and expectation, to preserve for us thy faithful servant our gracious prince and Sovereign Queen Elizabeth, and to save her from the jaws of the cruel Tigers, that then sought to suck her blood, and to work to us perpetual tyranny and bondage of conscience. This thou didst, O gracious Lord, undoubtedly, that she might be to this thy church of England a sweet and tender nurse, and that this realm under her happy government might be a blessed Sanctuary, and place of refuge for thy poor afflicted Saints, in these dangerous days persecuted and troubled in many countries for the profession of thy Gospel: yea, and that this our benefit and their comfort might be the more assured, thy divine providence from time to time hath many ways mightily and miraculously preserved and kept her from the crafty, cruel, and traitorous devices of her bloody adversaries, and the deadly enemies of thy Gospel, which with barbarous cruelty have sought to extinguish the light thereof, by shedding her Majesty's most innocent blood: but this thy gracious goodness and mighty providence never so apparently shewed itself at any one time, as even within these few days, when a traitorous subject, never injured or grieved by her, but sundry times holpen, relieved, and countenanced far above his state and worthiness, had of long time retained a wicked and devilish purpose, and often sought occasion and opportunity
to lay violent hands upon her royal person, and to have murdered her. But still the vigilant eye of thy blessed providence did either prevent him by some sudden interruption of his endeavour, or by the majesty of her person and princely behaviour towards him didst strike him so abashed, that he could not perform his conceived bloody purpose. And at the last this wretched villany was by thy means disclosed, and his own tongue opened to confess his detestable and wicked intent. For this thy inestimable goodness towards us (O heavenly Father) with humble hearts and minds we thank thee: and bless thy name for ever and ever. For assuredly if thou hadst not been now on our side (as the prophet David saith), the whole floods and waves of wickedness had overwhelmed us, and we had been sunk into the bottomless pit of infinite and unspeakable miseries. We beseech thee therefore (O Lord), that thou wilt bless us so with thy grace, that we may be rightly and truly thankful to thee: that is, not in word only, but in deed also, daily studying to frame our lives according to the direction of thy holy word, which thou hast sent among us: And that her Majesty, thus feeling the mighty hand of thy providence fighting for her safety, may more boldly and constantly with an heroical spirit stand in the protection and defence of thy blessed Church, which by thy word thou hast planted among us. And lastly, that the cruel spirits of Antichrist, that seek the subversion of the Gospel, may by the hand of thy justice feel what it is to set to sale for money the innocent blood of thine anointed Princes, which thou hast prepared and set up, to be the nurses and protectors of thy truth: Grant this, O heavenly Father, for Jesus Christ's sake, thy only Son our Saviour, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be given all honour and glory, world without end.
A PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING for the deliverance of her xix. majesty from the murderous intention of D. Parry.
O2 ETERNAL God and merciful Father, we thy unworthy Creatures most humbly do confess, that we are not able with our tongues to utter, nor in our hearts to conceive, the exceeding measure of thine infinite goodness, graces, and favours in this later age shewed to this Noble Realm, in that thou (O Lord) hast in most dangerous times, a few years past, by thy goodness and providence, beyond expectation of man, directed and preserved the tender and noble person of our now Sovereign lady Elizabeth, by thy grace, according to her right, to come to this kingdom and Royal seat of her noble father, and by her, being therein stablished, as thy dear beloved chosen servant3, to deliver us thy people, that were as Captives to Babylon, out of bondage and thraldom, and to restore us again to the free fruition of the Gospel of thy Son our Saviour Christ; for the enjoyment whereof now these many years, we do confess and acknowledge that beyond all our deserts, yea truly, O Lord, when we by our daily unthankfulness for the benefit of thy Gospel, and by our sinful lives, contrary to our bold profession, have most justly provoked thee to withdraw thy favour from us, thou, O Lord, with thy merciful favour and mighty power did strength thy good blessed servant, our most gracious queen, constantly against the roaring and threatenings of the mighty of the world, to persist in maintenance of us her subjects and thy unworthy servants to draw out our days in all manner of prosperity, peace, and wealth; but most singularly, in a peaceable freedom, to enjoy the
[Had not this Prayer been properly authorised for public use, according to Strype's notion (see p. 466), we can scarcely understand why it should have been altered, and incorporated into the Form issued on account of Babington's conspiracy.]
[ See p. 585.]
[ minister. These notes shew the readings of the uncorrected manuscript.]
[thraldom of the Enemies of thy true Churche.]
[ now many.] [of.]
blessed benefits of thy holy word, against the mighty roaring of Bulls and Tigers, the Enemies of thy Church, daily conspiring round about us, and partly amongst ourselves, against this Realm, and specially against the royal person of our blessed queen, thy humble servant, and true Handmaid, whose estate being in the expectation of the number of wicked persons many times in great and secret dangers, yet thou, Lord, that art the Lord of lords, and King of kings, of thy heavenly goodness hast always preserved and defended her by many miraculous means: And as we have good cause to think, by many other means, and at many other times, than to us are yet known, but yet of late time we have fully felt thy marvellous goodness by the discovery of some Attempts most apparently taken in hand against her person, by certain wicked unnatural subjects, the stay whereof only hath proceeded, good Lord, by thy most continual tender and fatherly Care over her, thy dear beloved Daughter and servant, and not by the wit, providence, or strength, of any worldly Creature, as was most notably to be seen the last year to have been Sommervile, attempted by one malicious and furious person resolutely prepared, by persuasion of others, wicked Traitors, to have committed a bloody fact upon her person, but marvellously by thy ordinance (O Lord God) discovered, by the troubled desperate conscience of the very Malefactor, and so most happily stayed: for the which thy blessed favour then shewed, if we were not so thankful to thee, O Lord, as we ought to have been, yet, Lord God, we are now most urgently stirred up to acknowledge our most bounden duties of praise and thanksgiving, by a very late manifestation of thy singular favour so largely above that former, as, all wonderful circumstances considered, we may compare it with any Example of thy most wonderful kindness shewed to any Kings or Nations of old time, testified to us in thy Holy Scriptures: For, Lord God, what can be added to this thy secret favour now lastly shewed to her, when neither she being the queen of the whole realm, nor we being in number an exceeding multitude of her subjects, could imagine, or once think of the same, much less have withstanded it2, in that a miserable wretched unna
[For an account of this man see the notes to the Form put forth in 1594.]
[ the same.