The praier of Queene Hester, which she made for the deliuerance of hir selfe, and hir people, out of the bloudie hands of Haman, that conspired their death.
Hester. 14, 3.
O My Lord, thou onlie art our King: helpe me desolate woman, which haue no helper but thee. For my danger, miserie, and destruction is hard at hand. From my youth vp I haue heard in the kindred of my father, that thou, O Lord, tookest Israel from among all people, and our fathers from their predecessors and foreelders, that they shuld be thy perpetuall inheritance. And looke what thou didst promise them, thou hast performed, and made it good vnto them.
Now Lord, we haue sinned before thee, therefore hast thou giuen vs into the hands of our enimies: bi∣cause we worshipped their gods. O Lord thou art righteous: neuerthelesse, it satisfieth them not that we are in bitter and heauie captiuitie, and oppressed among them. But they haue stroken hands with their idols, that they will abolish and take awaie the thing, that thou with thy mouth hast ordeined and appoin∣ted, and destroie thine inheritance, to shut, and to stop Page 47 vp the mouthes of them that praise thee, and to quench the glorie of thy temple, and worship of thine house and altar: and to open the mouthes of the heathen, that they may praise the power and vertue of the gods or idols, and to magnifie a fleshlie king for euer.
O Lord, giue not thy scepter vnto them that be no∣thing, least they laugh vs to scorne in our miserie and fall: but turne their deuise vpon themselues, and pu∣nish him [this wicked Haman I meane,] and make him an example, that hath begun the same against vs. Think vpon vs, O Lord, & shew thy selfe vnto vs in the time of our distresse & trouble: and strengthen mee, O thou King of gods, and Lord of all power. Giue me an elo∣quent and pleasant speech in my mouth before the li∣on, [king Ashuerus my husband.] Turne his hart to hate our enimies, and to destroie him, [that Hamam I meane,] and all such as consent vnto him: but deliuer vs with thy hand, and helpe me thine handmaid that am soli∣tarie, and haue no defence, nor helper, but onlie thee, O Lord.
Thou knowest all things, O Lord: thou wotest that I hate the glorie and worship of the vnrighteous, and that I abhor the bed of the vncircumcised, and of all the heathen. Thou knowest my necessitie, that I hate this token of my preeminence, worship, and dignitie, which I beare vpon mine head, what time as I must shew my selfe, and be seene, and that I abhor it as an vncleane or menstruous cloth and that I weare it not when I am quiet and alone by my selfe. Thou know∣est also, that I thine handmaid haue not eaten at Ha∣mans table, and that I haue had no pleasure nor de∣light in the kings feast, nor drunke the wine of the drinke offerings. And that I thine handmaid haue no ioie, since the daie that I was brought hither, vntill this daie, but in thee, O Lord GOD of Abraham. O thou mightie God aboue all, heare (therfore) the voice Page 48 of them that haue none other hope, and deliuer vs out of the hand of the wicked: and deliuer me out of my feare: So be it.