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tural born subject, a man in truth of no religion (as now appeareth), under colour seeking to be a diligent and most careful servant to our gracious Queen, and pretending to discover to her, by his own privity, how her person was in danger of murdering, and how the same might be withstood, he himself did of long time, even whilst he had gotten credit with her Majesty, and with her Court, determine very often most desperately and resolutely to have with his own cursed hands destroyed her Majesty's sacred person: and if, Lord, thy mighty and unsearchable power had not at many times diverted his desperate heart, and his bloody hand, by reverence of the Majesty of her person, as by his own voluntary confession is declared; we do now perceive, with trembling of our hearts, that she could not at sundry times by the space of one whole year3 and more have escaped the danger of violence, wickedly and resolutely by him intended. Wherefore we now thy humble creatures, acknowledging our unworthiness of these great graces, beseech thee, O Lord, that thou wilt, without regard of our former unthankfulness, shew thy mercy to us, and continue thy blessings over us, that we may for these so unspeakable benefits be more thankful than we have been, not only in words, but in deeds also, according to the direction of thy Holy word, whereof we, under the protection of our gracious Queen, by thy ordinance have by the Ministry of many thy good servants had plentiful instruction: and we do firmly hope in thy great goodness, that our Sovereign Lady the Queen, thy humble servant, having so notable proofs of thy special providence in her whole life, besides thy unknown works of favour towards her far above that which thou shewest to many other Princes, shall by her continual thankfulness, and by constancy in serving of thee and maintaining of thy Holy Word, procure to herself and us the continuance of these thy favourable graces, still to preserve her from all manner of open or secret perils, which the Enemies of thy word are known to intend against her, whereby her years may be prolonged, as far as it may please thee to grant, by the course of nature, to any other prince in this world, for the maintenance of the glory of thy Son Jesus Christ and of his Gospel, and for continuance of us thy people her natural subjects in the due fear and service of [3 together.] ['violent death.]
thee, and in our natural obedience to her, whereby we and our posterity may enjoy such peace, as we have had these many years under her Majesty's government, far above any like example, in any age by past, either in this our natural Country, or any other within the limits of Christendom. Grant this, 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. Amen.
AN ORDER FOR PUBLIC PRAYERS to be used on Wednes- xxiv. days and Fridays in every Parish Church within the Province of Canterbury, convenient for this present time:
Set forth by authority.
Imprinted at London by Christopher Barker, Printer to the Queen's most excellent Majesty.
Cum gratia & Privilegio.
THE Fatherly care and goodness, which Almighty God by his Prophets in many places declared unto his people, never appeared more abundantly toward any nation, than of late years it hath done toward this Realm of England. For when we were in thraldom and captivity under the tyranny of Rome, and carried away with the false worshipping of God, he, by our gracious Sovereign, delivered us: he planted the elect and chosen vine of his gospel among us, by law and authority: he raised up servants to dig and delve about this vineyard, that it might prosper : he hath continually fenced us from our enemies on all sides, by his gracious and mighty providence: beyond the reach of man's policy he hath revealed their conspiracies, defeated their purposes, and made frustrate their counsels and devices: he hath erected a watch-tower of wise and godly government: he hath shed down from heaven, and blessed us with his manifold graces, as well of spiritual gifts, as of all plenty of earthly creatures. And for these his manifold benefits he hath looked for some fruits at our hands according to our duties, that his name by our good doings might be glorified: but, as the world seeth, and our own consciences accuse us, we have yielded little other than sour and unsavoury grapes, unpleasant unto God, and moving him to wrath toward us, that is, contempt of his word, worldly security, infidelity, hypocrisy, using religion only for a shew, and dishonouring the name of God and profession of the Gospel in deed, with the practice of all manner of wickedSeeing therefore his mercy and goodness will not allure us, the Arm of his justice will be stretched out against us: For he can abide nothing less than the contempt of his word and merciful calling. Remember the words of God uttered by Jeremy the Prophet in the 7. Chapter, Because you have done all these works, and I rose up early [v. 13.]
and spake unto you, but when I spake, you would not hear, neither when I called would ye answer: Therefore will I do unto this house, whereupon my Name is called, wherein also ye trust, even to the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Silo; and I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, &c. Let us therefore remember ourselves in time, and call upon God with earnest repentance, before he turn his face clean from us: let us follow the good counsel of the blessed Prophet Esay, Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is nigh us: let the wicked man forsake his wicked ways, and the evil man his naughty cogitations, and return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon us. Let us return unto God: for he is ready to forgive. Yea, God himself calleth us by the Prophet Joel: Turn unto the Lord (saith he) with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rent your hearts and not your clothes, and turn unto the Lord your God: For he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil that he hath purposed. Let us therefore embrace the mercy of God while it is offered: he hath not yet stretched out his arm against us: only as a merciful Father he hath shaken the rod of his justice toward us, to wake us out of the deep slumber of our security. The Lord God grant, that in time we may take warning thereby, and not harden our hearts, and make stiff our necks against our gracious God! These are therefore in the fear of God to charge the watchmen of the Lord's city, diligently and carefully to sound the Trumpet in Sion, to gather the people together, to teach them in sackcloth and ashes to repent, to will them inwardly to rent their hearts, and not outwardly their garments only: sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, call the young ones, and even those that suck the breast. Let the bridegroom and his spouse, let them that live in delicacy and pleasure of this life, in what state or condition soever they be, high or low, cast away their mirth and solace, and come and weep and cry with bitter repentance before the mighty God, saying, Spare thy people (O Lord) and give not thine heritage and beloved vineyard into reproach, that the wicked seed of Antichrist rule over it. Let not the enemies of thy truth say among themselves, Where is now their God, in whom they have put their trust? Then undoubtedly will the Lord be jealous over this land, and spare his people; yea, the Lord will answer, and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and you shall be satisfied therewith, and I will no more make you a reproach among mine enemies, and I will remove far from you the Northern army, that is, the Antichristian power, and I will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the East sea, and his end to the uttermost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his corruption shall ascend, because he hath exalted himself against the truth of God. Fear not (O land), but be glad and rejoice, for the Lord will do great things for thee. This godly admonition was given to the prince, priests, and people, with great zeal and earnestness by Joel the prophet, in the days of that good king Ezechiah, and is the only way to turn away the wrath of God from us, and to obtain the continuance of his gracious goodness toward us, and his divine protection over us in all our difficulties and distresses.
That therefore this admonition or exhortation may take the better effects in men's hearts, it is ordered and straitly charged, that in every parish where there is a preacher allowed by the Ordinary, that every Sunday in some public Sermon he shall put the people in remembrance of God's exceeding benefits and blessings bestowed upon us these many years, and of our unthankful receiving and using of the same; and exhort them to sincere and true repentance, and that in such sort, as they declare the inward affection of their hearts with the outward exercises of prayer, fastings, and alms-deeds, that the world may testify and see that they truly return to their Lord God. In other places, where such sufficient and discreet preachers be not, the Ministers upon the same days shall read some part of these Homilies following, distinctly and reverently, that the people may be moved thereby to the effect of that which is before mentioned. Moreover, upon the Wednesdays and Fridays the Ministers in every Parish shall say Divine service morning and evening, in such sort as hereafter followeth: at which Service one of every house in the parish shall be present. And if either the Ministers shall be negligent in doing their duties appointed unto them in this service, or the people disobedient in coming or resorting to this godly exercise, the Churchwardens and other discreet men of the Parish are required to complain thereof unto the Ordinary, that the slackness of each party may be corrected. The people also at each time of assembly would be admonished to make their charitable contributions to the relief of the poor, at the least according to the order of the Statute'.
The order of this book.
First, the Confession, as it is in the Book of Common prayer, with some one or two of the sentences of Scripture set before the same.
Then two or three of these Psalms following in order.
Then some one of these Chapters
following: Esai. v. lviii. lix. lxv. Ezechiel xvii. Zachar. vii. Joel i. ii. Jonas iii. Luke xvi. xxi. Matthew xxv. i John iii.
['An act of parliament passed in the fifth year of Elizabeth's reign (cap. 2) ordered, that very soon after Midsummer-day, 'when the people are at the Churche at Dyuine Seruice,' parish officers duly appointed on the previous Sunday should ask 'gentelly' such as were of ability, what they would give weekly towards the maintenance of the poor, and write the sums they mentioned against their names in a book. Doubtless there were many who endeavored to frustrate this merciful enactment.]
[LITURG. QU. ELIZ.]