Page images

A thanksgiving and prayer for the preservation of the Queen and the Realm.

O GOD, most merciful Father, who in thy great mercies hast both given unto us a peaceable princess and a gracious Queen, and also hast very often and miraculously saved her from sundry great perils and dangers, and by her government hast preserved us and the whole Realm from manifold mischiefs and dreadful plagues, wherewith nations round about us have been and be most grievously afflicted: have mercy upon them, O Lord, and grant us grace, we beseech thee, for these thy great benefits, that we may be thankful and obedient unto thee, to fly from all things that may offend thee, and provoke thy wrath and indignation against us, and to order our lives in all things that may please thee; that thy servant our sovereign Lady, and we thy people committed to her charge, may by thy protection be continually preserved from all deceits and violences of enemies, and from all other dangers and evils both bodily and ghostly, and by thy goodness may be maintained in all peace and godliness: grant this, O merciful Father, for thy dear Son's sake, our Saviour Jesus Christ, to whom with thee, and the Holy Ghost, one God immortal, invisible, and only wise, be all honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

A prayer.

O ALMIGHTY God and heavenly Father, who for the great iniquity which aboundeth in these latter days art justly provoked to send forth the heavy executioners of thy fierce wrath, the very fore-runners of the coming of thy Son, these cruel, unchristian, and unnatural wars, which have set the whole world out of course; nation rising against nation, people against people, and the same people against itself: We give thee (as we are bound) most hearty thanks, for that thou hast spared us thine unworthy servants so long, and not suffered us as yet to feel the grievousness of this universal plague in that measure, that our neighbours have done; but hast hitherto delivered us and blessed us, under the government of our true, natural, and gracious Queen, with a long and a wonderful peace. Our sins (we confess) are no less, if not greater than our neighbours': our unthankfulness much


more so that we must needs acknowledge thine undeserved mercy to be the greater in affording us this unspeakable benefit. Nevertheless, because their enemies and ours are all one, and the chief cause of their malice the same: We together with them (as true members of the same Communion) most entirely beseech thy divine Majesty to forgive our former transgressions and unthankfulness, and to be merciful unto us and them in assuaging the malice of our common enemies, confounding their blind and cruel devices, and in delivering of us from their cruel and bloody designments. And that the rather, because they are confederate with Antichrist, and sworn against the truth: and in the pride of their heart and confidence of their own strength they seek the suppression of thy Gospel, and the overthrow of all such as do profess it. Convert them (O Lord) if it be thy will make them to see the madness and wickedness of their enterprise, and that they do but kick against the prick to the end they may give over the pursuit of their bad cause, abstain from shedding Christian blood, and in time kiss thy Son in humility, whom in pride they have hitherto so unadvisedly impugned. Otherwise, if they go on in their malicious wickedness, and continue in their bloody purposes: We beseech thee to weaken their hands, to astonish their hearts, to infatuate their counsels, and to confound them; that they never be able to devise or execute any thing prejudicial to the cause of thy Gospel, or the weal of thy children. Establish (O Lord) in their hearts and kingdoms all such Princes and Governours, as profess and favour thy Gospel: and especially preserve in long life and prosperity thy servant our gracious Queen Elizabeth: that by her and them, as thy ministers, thy truth may have the upper hand, thy Gospel flourish, and all we with one voice say: Happy are the people, that be in such a case: yea, blessed are the people, which have the Lord for their God. Grant this (O heavenly Father) for thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ his sake. Amen.

Another prayer.

O MOST mighty Lord God, the Lord of Hosts, the governour of all creatures, the only giver of all victories, who [1 See p. 650, note 1.]

alone art able to strengthen the weak against the mighty, and to vanquish infinite multitudes of thine enemies with the countenance of a few of thy servants, calling upon thy Name, and trusting in thee: Defend, O Lord, thy Servant and our Governour under thee, our Queen Elizabeth, and all thy people committed to her charge. And especially at this time, O Lord, have regard to those her Subjects, which be sent to withstand the cruelty of those, which be common enemies as well to the truth of thy eternal word, as to this Crown and Realm of England, which thou hast of thy divine providence assigned in these our days to the government of thy servant, our sovereign and gracious Queen. O most merciful Father, if it be thy holy will, make soft and tender the stony hearts of all those, that exalt themselves against thy truth, and seek to oppress this Crown and Realm of England, and convert them to the knowledge of thy Son, the only Saviour of the world, Jesus Christ, that we and they may jointly glorify thy mercies. Lighten, we beseech thee, their ignorant hearts to embrace the truth of thy word: Or else so abate their cruelty, (O most mighty Lord,) that this our Christian region, with others that confess thy holy Gospel, may obtain by thy aid and strength surety from our enemies, without shedding of Christian and innocent blood: Whereby all they, which be oppressed with their tyranny, may be relieved, and all which be in fear of their cruelty, may be comforted. And finally, that all christian Realms, and especially this Realm of England, may by thy defence and protection enjoy perfect peace, quietness, and security: And that we, for these thy mercies, jointly altogether, with one consonant heart and voice, may thankfully render to thee all laud and praise, and in one godly concord and unity amongst our selves may continually magnify thy glorious name, who with thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, art one eternal, Almighty and most merciful God. To whom be all laud and praise, world without end. Amen.

CERTAIN PRAYERS to be used at this present time, for the xxxIII.
good success of the French King, against the enemies of
God's true religion and his State.

Imprinted at London, by the Deputies of Christopher
Barker, Printer to the Queen's most excellent Majesty.
Anno Domini 1590.

A1 prayer.

O LORD God of hosts, most mighty and merciful Father, who in thy unspeakable wisdom and mercy hast gathered unto thyself a Church truly professing thy holy name and Gospel: We do here most humbly acknowledge, that through our manifold sins and offences against thy heavenly majesty, committed by unthankful receiving of thy holy word, and by wicked led lives, we have made ourselves unworthy of the least of these and other thy singular blessings hitherto very abundantly poured upon us. Nevertheless (O heavenly Father) with an assured confidence, relying upon thy promises, we make bold to draw near unto the throne of thy grace, humbly craving forgiveness of our sins, and the continuance of thy blessings upon us, and upon all princes, countries and common wealths that have received and do embrace thine holy Gospel, and that at this time fight thy battles against the adversaries of thy Gospel, and those that uphold the kingdom of Antichrist. Therefore, being cast down in soul, we do bewail our iniquities, setting the bitter death and precious bloodshed of thy dear Son Christ Jesus betwixt us and thy just wrath conceived against us and them. Turn (O Lord) thy wrathful indignation from us and them: And forasmuch as it is not for our sins that our enemies in their purpose have thus banded themselves against us, but for the sincere profession of thy word and Gospel; with thy mighty arm confound and bring to nought the devices, power, and strength of all such as set themselves against the same. Thou knowest

[This and the next prayer are included, though not in exactly the same words, in the Forms for 1589 and 1590.]

(O Lord) how the heathen and such as hold of superstitious vanities, even at this present, in France and elsewhere, do rush into thine inheritance to make thy chosen Jerusalem, even thy Church, a desolate heap of stones, to lay waste thy holy sanctuary, yea, even to give up the flesh of thy dear children to the birds of the air, and the slain carcases of thy Saints to the beasts of the field. Wherefore, most mighty God of hosts, which art the Lord of glory and power, that canst arm the most base and meanest of thy creatures to the overthrow of all the mighty of the world that be enemies for thy truth's sake: advance thyself, like a mighty Giant, with a swift and terrible judgment against them; frustrate the counsels of all their Achitophels, break them down with an iron rod like an earthen vessel, send an host of Angels to scatter their armies, confound them as thou didst the host of the Assyrians, let thine own sword fight for thy servants, and devour up their enemies: be thou as fire unto them, and let them be as a stubble before thee. Finally, let them be as Oreb and Zeb, yea, like unto Zebah and Salmanah, and be made as dung on the face of the earth. Send (good Lord) upon them the spirit of fear and trembling, that they may flee before the host of thine Israel, as chaff before the wind, to the end they may be discomfited and overthrown by thy mighty hand; neither give thy servants (O Lord) to be a prey unto their teeth, or a by-word and reproach to such as hate the true profession of thy Gospel: for we do only rest assured under the shadow of thy wings. Protect in mercy as the apple of thine eye, and mercifully pour upon those armies that fight against the enemies of the Gospel the spirit of wisdom, foresight, counsel, strength, and courage, that, in full assurance of thine heavenly help fighting for them, ten of them may chase an hundred, and an hundred of them put to flight a thousand of their adversaries. Be thou (O Lord) their continual refuge and strong rock of defence; let thy holy Angels pitch their tents round about them, that they may know thy holy hand both stretched out for their help, and strongly set against their and our enemies. Teach their hands to war, and their fingers to fight: prosper that which they take in hand, O prosper thou their handy work, and make them always to rejoice in thy salvation and deliverance; that so all such as love not

« PreviousContinue »