The Praiers made by the right Honou∣rable Ladie Frances Aburgauennie, and committed at the houre of hir death, to the right Worshipfull Ladie MARIE Fane (hir onlie daugh∣ter) as a Iewell of health for the soule, and a perfect path to Paradise, verie profitable to be used of euerie faithfull Christian man and woman.
A fruitfull praier to be said in the Morning.
AL mightie God, and most mercifull father, the fountaine of all felicitie, from whom onelie procee∣deth all good gifts, most humblie I beseech thee of thine abundant mercie & exceeding kindnesse, so to direct and gouern me this daie and euer with thy good guiding Spirit, that all my thoughts, words and deeds, may onelie be occu∣pied in thy seruice, faith, feare and loue, and so assist and strengthen me with thy grace, O most mercifull and louing father, for thy sonne Iesus Christ his sake, that neither sinne, death, hell, nor Sathan haue the dominion and vpper hand of me. Indue my hart with the true vnderstanding of thy true and liuelie word, that I may be readie and prone manfullie to fight vn∣der the standard of my glorious captaine Iesus Christ Page 140 against the world, the flesh, and that cruell Serpent the old Leuiathan, which hunteth continuallie, like a roring Lion, seeking the vtter destruction of my soule.
Make me constant in time of temptation, that when or at what time my rebelling and sinfull flesh shall in∣tise me, to lust after the pompes and vanities of this wicked world, I may by a strong, liuelie, and vnspeak∣able faith, through the bitter torments that my Sa∣uiour Christ Iesus suffered for me, and all that faith∣fullie beleeue and call vpon him; so mortifie and subdue the old Adam, that I may be dead and buried from sinne and all iniquitie; and the new man Christ Iesus may continuallie dwell and reigne in me, by whose meanes I shall be garnished and decked, by the means of a fruitfull faith, with immortalitie, and heauenlie blessednesse.
Uouchsafe, O Lord, I beseech thee, according to the multitude of thy mercies to looke vpon me, and by thy celestiall prouidence, so illuminate the eies of my soule, that I may continuallie watch for the glorious com∣ming of thine annointed son Iesus Christ. Roote out, O Lord, in and from me the vile and corrupt branches of rapine, deceit, auarice, luxurie, concupiscence, and all vngodlinesse, let the motions of my mind altoge∣ther depend vpon thee, prepare my tongue to publish thy praise; let my lips be locked vp from all scurillitie and vncomlie talke: let mine eares loath and abhor to heare thy glorious and blessed name blasphemed, and thy truth to be by anie Sectarian ill spoken of, & slan∣dered: keepe and defend me vnder the wings of thy comfortable protection, from all errours, schismes, and detestable heresies. Make me without faining, firme∣lie and constantlie to build vpon the truth, wherein is perfectlie set forth thy great mercie and diuine iustice. Let the zeale of thy promises in all distres be my chie∣fest ioie and consolation, & giue me grace from aboue, Page 141 that as I make my boast of thy mercies and louing kindnesse, by vertue whereof I am by my Sauiour Christ Iesus quickened from death to life, and in his deerest death and pretious bloud-shedding regenera∣ted, and borne anew, not of water, but of the spirit by faith.
So Lord, I may with thine abundant loue shewed to me ward, and the whole posteritie of Adam, I may be afraid wilfullie, or of a set purpose to transgresse thy commandements, and so incur therby thy displeasure, that the effects of thy iustice in the day of thy comming to iudgement, be pronounced against me to the vtter destruction of bodie and soule. Make me alwaies wil∣ling, good Lord, to heare thy word, by the power wher∣of my faith is increased, and there withall plant in me perfect loue and obedience, and so direct my footesteps in this vale of miserie, that I may tread the path that leadeth to thee, with whom my soule thirsteth to rest, euen as vehementlie as the Hart longeth after the water brookes. Grant this, O mercifull God, for the honour and glorie of thy name sake,
A fruitfull praier to be said at the going to bed of euerie Christian.
MOst mercifull Father, I most wretched and vnwoorthie sinner prostrate my selfe before the throne of thy heauenlie grace, yeelding vnto thee most humble and hartie thanks, that hast of thine exceeding loue and fauour preserued me this daie from all perill and danger, humblie besee∣ching thy diuine Maiestie, this night to preserue me, for the loue of thine onlie sonne, and my sweet Saui∣our Iesus Christ, mediatour and aduocate: who con∣tinuallie pleadeth and maketh intercession to thee for me, and all the rest of thy chosen children, presenting his bloudie wounds, and his glorious bodie all to bee Page 142 scourged in thy diuine presence, who thereby doth mi∣tigate thy wrath and indignation, iustlie conceiued a∣gainst me a miserable and wretched creature, and all mankind.
Make me Lord still to confesse mine vnwoorthinesse, and weaknesse to be such and so great, that of my selfe I am not worthie to lift vp mine eies to heauen, much lesse to be called thy sonne, or handmaiden, such and so great is the burden of my sinne & iniquitie, so that by the meanes of my corruption & filthinesse, I acknow∣ledge my selfe to be the child of death and destruction, yet build I still on thy promises, good Lord, and in this great danger I come vnto thee with teares, saieng:
O Father, I haue sinned against heauen, & against thee, and am no more woorthie to be called thy child. Of my selfe I haue nothing; but by thee I haue althings: of my selfe I acknowledge I haue iustlie deserued the heauie sentence of thine ire; but by grace of thee, O mightie Emanuel, I am regenerate, and borne againe from death to life; from danger to ioie; from perill to peace; from bondage to libertie, and so in fine, from hell and damnation, to blisse and saluation.
Such is the effect of thy mercie, so abundant is thy loue towards me, & all those that with contrite harts present themselues vnto thee. Increase my faith Lord, that it may abound in good and fruitfull works: so for∣tifie me, that I neuer swarue from thy veritie: giue me thy grace from aboue, O mercifull Iesu, that I may neuer shrinke from thy sacred testimonies.
And moreouer, I with all humilitie and reuerence of hart and mind, beseech thee this night, which thou hast ordeined for man to rest in, that thou wilt gard and protect me with thy good guiding spirit. And albe∣it my sinfull flesh shall sleepe and slumber, yet grant, good Lord, that my soule may continually keepe watch and ward: let not the enunie find me slumbering & slee∣ping, Page 143 as carelesse, in the cradle of sinfull securitie, least that whilest I am vnarmed, that is, naked and desti∣tute of thy grace and fauour, he enter in and breake vp the house of my sinfull bodie, and make such hauocke and spoile, that mine infected and leporous soule, defor∣med by meanes of mine iniquitie, and wounded with the dangerous darts of transgression, be thrown with the bodie of sinne into the lake of destruction, wherein is continuall wailing, and gnashing of teeth.
Make me still, O good Lord, to consider, that the bed is a plaine patterne and similitude of the graue, which continuallie calleth for me, & all other thy creatures. Make me to vnderstand, that when I am laid, (of my selfe) without thy heauenlie prouidence I can not bee able to rise againe. Make me to acknowledge that sleepe is the verie figure of death, to whose stroke, at thine appointed pleasure, I must submit my selfe. In∣due me with loue and charitie to all men, let my lampe O Lord be garnished with oile, that whensoeuer, or at what time soeuer thy messenger death shall drawe me, and knocke at the gates of my house, I may at his summons, in the daie of the resurrection of the dead, be readie to attend on thee and thy bride, with my bur∣ning lampe, that is, with a stedfast faith, when as by thee I shall be cloathed anew. For my mortall bodie shall then be couered with immortalitie; the corrupti∣on of my sinfull and rebelling flesh shall be changed to incorruption and perfect puritie: thy righteousnesse shall be mine; thy merits shall make me perfect and holie, by vertue whereof, hell shall loose his victorie; death shall loose his sting; my faith and hope shall haue end and reward, and I with thy Saints continuallie dwell in loue & charitie with thee, the heauenlie bride∣groome, Christ Iesus: to whom with the father, and the holie Ghost, bee ascribed all laud, glorie, power, praise and dominion, for euer:
A praier for the remission of sinne, and to ob∣teine a vertuous life.
FOrasmuch as (O bountifull Lord) it is most meet, right and iust, that all flesh shuld praise, magnifie, and worship thee, and should with∣out ceasing giue thanks vnto thee, who onlie art the Creator and maker of all things, as well visi∣ble as inuisible; who onlie art the treasure of all good∣nesse, and well of life, onlie God and Lord, whome the heauens, and heauen of heauens, the sunne, the moone, the starres, the earth, the sea, with all that moue ther∣in, yea the heauenlie companie of Martyrs, the soules of the Prophets and Apostles, Angels, Archangels, togither with the soules of all iust and righteous per∣sons doo laud and glorifie.
It is most requisite, that ech mortall creature li∣uing in this world, should also acknowledge thy mag∣nificence. Wherfore, most mercifull father, I with my hart and mouth doo acknowledge thee to be my King and Lord, the giuer of all goodnesse: I confesse thee to be omnipotent, reuerend, merciful, long suffering, God of all consolation, comfort, mercie and pitie.
I knowe that of thine infinite goodnesse onelie thou diddest make man after thy similitude and likenesse, placing him in the most delectable place of Paradyse. And although he did transgresse thy commandement, and thereby deserued eternall death and damnation: yet thou, like a most louing and pitifull Father, diddest not vtterlie reiect him, but gentlie correct him, and af∣ter that thou hadst sent him into the earth, comman∣ding him there to increase and multiplie, thou didst in∣struct his posteritie with thy lawe; thou didst teach them by thy Prophets, and after that sentest downe thine onlie begotten sonne to take vpon him our na∣ture, and to suffer death for our sinnes, therby to make Page 145 a recompense for the offence which man had commit∣ted against thee: and all this thou didst of thine excee∣ding great mercie and kindnesse, without anie desert of mankind, not being so much as by anie one praier, or yet intreatie therevnto incited.
Therefore I being boldened with such inestimable benefits, so freelie giuen and bestowed, doo without any feare at this time, appere before thy diuine Maiestie, prostrating my slefe before the seate of thy mercie, and with all humblenesse of hart and mind doo make this my praier vnto thee.
Despise me not (O Lord God) being defiled with sin and iniquitie. For behold, I present my selfe before thee, not presuming vpon mine owne woorthinesse, but trusting in thy goodnesse.
Be mercifull vnto me a sinner: light thou the dull sighted eies of my mind, open thou the stopped eares of mine hart, that I may both see, heare, perceiue and vnderstand that, which thou teachest, and alwaies doo that, which thou commandest. Make me not onelie a hearer of thy heauenlie doctrine; but also a perfect fo∣lower of the same: direct, sanctifie and gouerne my life: be thou alwaies present and readie, both to heare, and to helpe me. Saue and defend me from all shame and reproch: be thou my shield & buckler against all temp∣tations; clense my mind and thought from all vnclean∣nesse; keepe and preserue me from all danger both of bodie and soule. This fraile life is nothing else but a continuall warfare in this world: our sinnes most like to cruell enimies, assault vs on euerie side: againe our daies are but few in number.
Guide me therefore with thy grace, so to spend my small, short and transitorie time in this world, the ve∣rie fountaine, welspring, and vale of all miserie, that I may be made a member of Christ, & partaker of thine eternall felicitie. To the which, seeing that through Page 146 mine owne desert, I shall neuer be able to aspire, (for sinne trulie so aboundeth in me, that ech deed and act of mine, is not onelie infected, but altogither polluted therwith) none other remedie haue I to ease my selfe: none other salue to heale my sore, but onelie to take hold of that promise of thine wheras thou saiest: Come vnto me all ye that ye that labour, and be ouerladen, and I will refresh you.
This is my hold-fast; this is mine anchor and sure staie. For verelie (sweet Sauiour) when I looke vpon mine owne frailnesse, and behold how readie I am to offend thee; then I quake for feare, then I am almost in vtter despaire: but as soone as I call to mind thy great loue and kindnesse, and how that thou wilt not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should repent and liue, and that in what daie soeuer he doth hartilie repent and call vnto thee, thou wilt heare him: then I am releeued; then I am not a little comforted, know∣ing surelie that thou wilt performe that which thou hast promised, in faithfull assurance whereof, I now saie vnto thee:
Turne thou me, O my God, and I shall be turned: from all my wickednesse deliuer me. Heale my soule, which is wounded with sinne: for I doo acknowledge mine iniquitie, and am hartilie sorie for mine offences: correct me, O Lord, but yet not in thy furie, looke not vpon my weaknesse; but thinke vpon thine owne wor∣thinesse: remember thy louing kindnesse, and in the abundance and multitude of thy mercies, wipe cleane awaie, pardon and forget all my sinnes, through which I haue either in word, deede or though, or anie other kind of way offended thee, blot them out of thy remem∣brance, and let the bloud of that immaculate lambe Iesus Christ, wash them awaie: let mine old offences so decaie and die in me, that I neuer commit them any more, or by anie meanes renew them in thy sight.
Page 147 And in the meane time doo not withdrawe thy grace from me, but cause me to doo all that which good is. O Father, remoue thy wrath awaie from me, and restore vnto me thy fauour: turne thou thy louing counte∣nance vnto me, and plentifullie powre foorth thy mer∣cie vpon me. Incline my hart to doo that onelie, which is acceptable in thy sight: guide thou my footesteps in thy paths, and suffer me not at any time to straie from thy waies: let me alwaies haue the feare of thee in my hart, and the remembrance of thy benefits fresh in my memorie: and if at anie time through weakenesse and failtie, I doo transgresse thy commandements, yet doo not therefore reiect and cast me out of thy sight; but be thou that good Samaritane, and powre the oile and wine of mercie and forgiuenesse into those wounds, which sinne shall make in me. Disdaine me not for my reuolting; but haue mercie vpon me, according to thy great goodnesse, and according to the multitude of thy mercies wipe awaie mine iniquitie. Hide me vnder the shadowe of thy wings and protection: lighten mee with thy holie spirit. Make me thy seruant: so indue me with thy grace, that I may vnfeinedlie, with hart and voice, serue, honour, and praise thee all the daies of my life:
Another praier for the obteining of grace and mercie.
O Most mercifull Lord God, whose Maiestie is incomprehensible, & power infinite, whose magnificence is exalted aboue the heauens: vouchsafe, I beseech thee, frō thy high throne to behold the worke of thy hands: haue pitie on the vnhappie and desolate condition of thy creature. I am a sinner, conceiued in sinne, and of my selfe I haue no good thing: wherefore, O Lord, I cleaue to the altar of thy mercie. Thou art my anchor, my hope, my refuge Page 148 and staie. Therefore O Lord, haue mercie vpon me, for no flesh can be iustified in thy sight. Thou knowest the frailtie and weakenesse of men. We are taught by the fall of Peter, that we can doo nothing without thee. Graunt vs therefore good Lord thy grace, without which in this world, we are like by the waues of temp∣tations to be swallowed in the gulph and whirlepoole of sinne: to be drowned as the ship without anchor and Pilote in euerie tempest, to runne on the rocke and perish. Guide vs therefore by thy grace good Lord, through the flouds of this carefull world, that we may rest for euer in the pleasant port, and happie hauen of euerlasting ioie, with thine elected, through our bles∣sed Sauiour Iesus Christ: to whome with thee and the holie Ghost, be all honour and glorie, in all worlds,
A Confession to be said of the penitent person.
O Most mercifull Lord God, I haue offended against the throne of thy Maiestie; my sinnes are euer before mine eies: I am not worthie to liue or enioie the fruits wherewith thou hast blessed the earth. Mine owne conscience is my tormenter, bringing testimonie and witnesse against me. The Sunne doth hide his light against me, and the place is the woorsse wherein I become. O Lord what shall I doo? Shall I despaire? No, thou art mercifull, and more readie to forgiue, than we to aske. I will con∣fesse my sinnes to thee. I am wearie of my sinfull life. I am sorie in my soule for mine offences. Wherefore good Lord, thou which dooest ease them that are laden, and refresh them that trauell: thou which hast promised mercie to the penitent, looke on me thy seruant with thy cheerefull countenance: behold me with those piti∣full eies, with which thou didst Marie Magdalen, and Page 149 the woman taken in adulterie. Thou which hast shed thy bloud ou the altar of the Crosse, offering thy most pretious bodie an eternall sacrifice for our sinnes: de∣spise not that which thou hast redeemed. Thou which cammest into the world to call sinners to repentance, and to saue the lost sheepe of Israel, haue mercie vpon me, and leade me by thy grace to the fold, amóng thy sheepe, for they go in sweet pasture, and are not in dan∣ger of Wolues, for thou art their shepheard, and kee∣pest good accompt of euerie one of them. Though I haue gone astraie, wandring from thy flocke, and borne the marks of the world: yet good Lord disclaime not thy right, I beseech thee; but take me vnto thee, that I may be safe vnder the shadowe of thy wings. He may sleepe soundlie whome thou dooest keepe. Thou art the watchman of Israel. All honour and glorie be vnto thee for euer,
Another godlie Confession and meditation of the penitent.
I Altogether vnhappie and comfortlesse, haue greeuouslie offended my Lord God. What shall I do? Whether shall I go? I can not hide me from his sight. How oft haue I tres∣passed against him? How oft haue I deserued his dis∣pleasure? And yet how seldome hath he punished me? How oft hath he beene good and mercifull vnto me? How oft haue I promised and vowed amendment, and how little and seldome haue I performed it? This is a wofull case. Who will haue pitie on me, I dare not lift vp mine eies towards heauen, because I haue sinned against it: and in earth I can looke for no refuge, be∣cause I haue beene a slander and shame vnto it. What then? Should I despaire? No, God is mercifull, and a good Sauiour: he doth visit them that liue in darknes, and is a cheerfull light to them that sit in the shadowe Page 150 of death. He willeth vs to forgiue our brother, though he offend seuentie tunes, yea infinitelie. And God is more mercifull than anie man can be, and he must be the onlie refuge and comfort: he will not despise his creature, the image of himselfe.
Returne thee therefore O my soule vnto thy Lord God, praie to him humblie on thy knees for grace, and continue to bewaile thy sinnes past, because that he which loueth thee, prouoketh thee dailie with his gra∣tious gifts and blessings to loue him, and will not leaue thee, vntill he haue made perfect his worke be∣gunne, and brought his mercie to full effect in thee. What naturall cause beginneth his worke, and lea∣ueth it in the halfe waie imperfect? The vertue of seed sowne, doth not cease till the fruit be brought to per∣fection, yet that nature worketh not at once, but first prepareth the matter, and then disposeth and makes it fit to receiue the shape, which is the perfection and end thereof. And as by naturall order, and right course things do proceede and increase by little and little, from the lesse to the more, euen so doth God first dispose vs to his mercie, and then increasing his goodnesse dailie, bestoweth on vs in the end, the treasure of his grace and inheritance of euerlasting ioies. What bird forsaketh hir yong, till they be able to liue of themselues, and yet no auaile, for their paine com∣meth to them. Uerie loue worketh in naturall causes, to bring foorth their affects to perfection. If it be so in creatures, what will the Creator doo? which is loue it selfe, and infinite goodnesse; he will withdrawe thee from thy sinnes, make thee cleane and pure, and final∣lie blesse thee with eternall life, which he hath prepa∣red for thee. O Lord, I come to thee sad and mourning, I sit at thy feete, humblie waiting for thy mercie. Thou art my hope and helper, according to thy great mercies, haue mercie vpon me,
A praier to be purged from sinne and vncleannesse.
TAke awaie from me, O Lord, the burden of my corruption, which by the continuall exer∣cise of my sinne and wickednesse, hath woun∣ded my soule wofullie, with the dangerous darts of transgression; so that I feele my putrifaction abounding, and my festered conscience ouerladen with vncleannesse; so that I haue no other meane nor re∣medie, but to prostrate my selfe before the throne of thy glorious maiestie, beseeching thee intirelie, of thy gra∣tious goodnesse, to salue my sores with the comfortable oile of thy mercie.
Thou onlie (O Iesu) art the sweete Physition of my soule, sprinkle vpon me hysope, and I shall be made whiter than snowe. If thou of thine exceeding bountie and fauour good Lord, wilt vouchsafe to wash awaie the spots of my sinne and wickednesse, that heapeth thine indignation and furie against me, I shall then excell the gold that hath beene purified in the fornace seuen fold.
Let it therefore good Lord and mercifull father, seeme pleasant vnto thy diuine maiestie, to touch my corrup∣ted and vncleane hart, with the heauenlie finger of thy grace, that I may bring foorth the fruits of true repentance, which are more acceptable to thy glori∣ous and diuine presence, than the offering of calues, bullockes, sheepe, goates, or anie other burnt offe∣rings, or sacrifice of peace. A contrite and sorowfull soule, is the thing that thou doest most delight in. An humble and a lowlie spirit is the oblation that thou dooest desire. A cleane and pure hart, O Lord my God, I knowe thou dooest loue and fauour.
Wherefore I beseech thee, to purge me from my sinne and inquitie, of thy great mercie. Let the bitter Page 152 deploration of mine offences, and hartie contrition, through thy glorious merits and painefull passion, O Iesu, be the onlie meane and waie to set me free from the powers of hell, death and damnation. And sith I am by thy goodnes begotten and borne anew, streng∣then me good Lord, that I neuer slide nor fall from thee, but that I may continuallie beare in my remem∣brance, the state wherevnto I am called by thee. Through thine aboundant loue and kindnesse wipe a∣waie, good Lord, all my sins out of thy remembrance. Cleanse me in the bloud of thy spotlesse Lambe Iesus Christ, and I shall be made cleane, pure and safe. Graunt this most mercifull God, for the honour and glorie of thy name sake, through the bitter death of thy sonne Iesus Christ my onlie mediatour and aduocate, to whome with thee and the holie Ghost, be giuen all laud, glorie, power, and praise for euer and euer,
Another praier of the penitent for mercie.
O Lord I am a sinner, my sinnes are heauie vpon me, the burden of them is intollerable, refresh me with thy grace, wash awaie mine offences, and I shall be whiter than the snowe. Let the cheerefull beames of thy countenance shine vpon me, and giue light to the darkenesse of my life. We can looke for nothing as deserued, but punish∣ment due to our offences. Wherefore good Lord, not according to thy iustice, but in the multitude of thy mercies, deale with thy seruant. Remember not the sinnes of my forefathers: thinke not on the milde mea∣nour of my youth passed: haue pitie on thy creature, which according to the likenesse of thy selfe thou hast made and shaped of earth. How long wilt thou turne thy face awaie from me? Forsake me not, O my God, but renew in me thy holie spirit. Plucke awaie from Page 153 me all that withdraweth me from thee. Graffe in my hart thy grace, that I may loue thee, and feare thee, and so finallie reioice in thy goodnesse with the elected, and praise thee in thy woonderous works for euer. Graunt this most mightie God, for our Sauiour Ie∣sus Christ his sake, to whome with thee and the holie Ghost, be all honor and glorie for euer and euer,
Another praier to be said of the sinfull soule.
MY sinfull life increasing, and my sinnes still a∣bounding, good Lord; to whome shall I flee, or to whome shall I resort for succour? From offending thee I can not cease, neither daie nor night; and my sinnes are heauie vpon me, pressing me downe euen to hell, such is the weight thereof.
Moreouer, when I prepare my selfe to amendment of life, and thinke stedfastlie to serue and please thee, e∣uen soone after doth my corrupt and infected nature of∣fend and displease thy diuine Maiestie: so that I am prone and readie to run headlong into all kind of wic∣kednesse and sin, such is my strength, such is my force, (or rather weakenesse) in perfourming those things, which thou requirest at my hands. So that good Lord, I am readie vtterlie to despaire, and forsake thee, vn∣lesse thou of thy great mercie and pitie, send thine aide from aboue, and powre into me thy most healthfull grace, that I may make hast to flee vnto thee with most bitter teares, a sorrowfull hart, and bowing knees, lamenting my sinfull life, and greeuous offences committed against thee, trusting most assuredlie and faithfullie, in the merits of my Sauiour Iesus Christ, that by his most bitter death & bloud-shedding, which is of far greater force, vertue and effect in preseruing me, than all my sinnes and offences are in condemning and casting me awaie; for whose sake I most assured∣lie Page 154 beleeue all my sinnes and offences are cleerelie for∣giuen, and shall neuer be laid to my charge, but that I shall enter with thee in the last daie into thine euerla∣sting kingdome, there to be with thee for euermore, to whome be all honour, praise and glorie, for euer and e∣uer,
A praier to God the father.
ALmightie God the father of our Lord Iesus Christ, whome no desert, merit, or worthi∣nesse of ours; but thine owne great clemen∣cie, mercie and pitie caused to send downe thine onlie begotten sonne into this world, to beare the burden of our sinnes, with the which we most mise∣rable sinners were ouerladen, and that he should suf∣fer most cruell torments, yea and also most bitter and shamefull death, and sanctifie the reprochfull name of the crosse, with the renting of his blessed bodie, and shedding his most pretious bloud thereon; thereby to make attonement betweene thee and vs, thereby to paie the raunsome for our soules, thereby to consum∣mate and finish the perfection of our redemption, and saluation. Which thing it was thy good will that he should doo, not onelie to asswage thy wrath & indigna∣tion, but also to bring vs againe into thy grace and fa∣uour; and that we being deliuered out of the bondage of sinne and hell, might serue thee in righteousnesse and holinesse, all the daies of our life, and by the free gift and benefite of his death and passion, be made parta∣kers of his resurrection, and of thine endlesse and vn∣speakable glorie.
Wherefore my God, my maker, my Lord, my King, seeing thou hast so aboundantlie bestowed thy heauen∣lie gifts vpon me, and all mankind, and hast so plenti∣fullie powred out thy grace and fauour on vs, that for our sakes thou wouldest not spare thine owne sonne: how shall we escape thine indignation, which for this Page 155 care and kindnesse of thine, are most carelesse and vn∣kind? And among all other, which waie shall I poore creature turne me? How shall I, who haue beene most vnthankefull for thy benefits, and most vnmindfull of them, be so bold as to lift vp my hart or hands vnto the heauens, and to call vpon thee? Thou of thy singular goodnesse didst so prouide, that the wickednesse of old Adam should be purged and washed awaie with the bloud of Iesus Christ; but I haue wilfullie fallen into sinne againe. Thou madest me the child of light, but I haue made my selfe an inheritour of darkenesse. Thou madest me thine by creation, I haue made my selfe the child of perdition.
What shall I now therefore do? Shall I doubt of anie further mercie and forgiuenesse? No no, sweete Lord, so great is thy mercie, which surmounteth all thy workes; so large are thy promises; so sure is the performance of them to all such as take hold thereof; so deere in thy sight are the merits of thy sonne Iesus; so acceptable vnto thee is the hartie repentance of a sinner, that with the remembrance thereof, I am pro∣uoked to crie vnto thee, saieng: Father, I haue sinned against heauen, and against thee, I am no more wor∣thie to be called thy child. Neuerthelesse, behold thou me, not as I am, a greeuous offender, but as thy crea∣ture. Haue now no respect to mine offences, but behold my repentance: thinke not vpon my wickednesse, but vpon the wounds of my Sauiour Iesus. Looke not vpon my false hart, which hath wauered from thy lawes, but behold the bleeding hart of thy sonne Iesus Christ, which was pierced to release me, and set me free. My sinnes I cast vpon thy backe, beseeching thee that his merits may beare them, and thy mercie par∣don them.
Heare me O Lord my God, heare me: for I knowe, the more earnestlie that I seeke for, and desire thine Page 156 aide, the readier thou art to stretch foorth thine hand to helpe me. Heare me therefore, O Lord; bow downe and incline thine eare vnto my praier: inspire me so with thy holie spirit, that I may loue thee aboue all things, and that I neuer faile to put my hope and trust of saluation in him, whome thou wouldest to be my redeemer and sauiour.
Make me, by the forsaking of all wickednesse, so to rise from falling into sinne, that I may obtaine the true seruing of thee with innocencie, and purenesse of life. Graunt this O Lord, for Iesus Christs sake, to whome with thee and the holie Ghost be all honour and glorie,
A praier vnto God the sonne.
O Most sweet sauiour, O most mercifull redee∣mer; O bountifull Iesu, the sonne of God; who although thou art high, yet thou art most humble; although thou art omnipo∣tent, thou art also most meeke: and as thou art most mightie, so art thou most mercifull. To thee, O Christ, the guide of all felicitie, the father of heauen hath gi∣uen all power, both in heauen and in earth.
Thou art the true pastor of our soules, thou art our Messias. Thou castest off none that sue vnto thee, but as thou hast taken awaie the hand-writing that was against vs, and hast fastened it to thy crosse, so art thou readie to impart the merits of thy passion vnto all such, as with true repentance of their sins call vpon thee faithfullie.
Wherefore my sweet Iesus, I most faithfullie and vnfeinedlie acknowledge the benefits that thou hast bestowed vpon me, and stedfastlie beleeue, that thou be∣ing an immaculate lambe, in whose mouth was neuer found guile, didst suffer most cruell torments at the hands of sinners, for the loue of vs most wretched sin∣ners. Page 157 For the which cause, I most hartilie beseech thee, and most humblie praie thee, to accept me into the number of them, whom thou wilt make coinheritours of thy bitter paines. And although I of my selfe, be most vnworthie thereof, yet thy merits can make me woorthie: to them do I flie, crauing that I may be so armed and defended by them, that I may subdue the world, the flesh and the diuell, euen as thou hast glori∣ouslie conquered sinne, death and hell.
Thou seest, O my sauiour, how I am dailie and hour∣lie beset with these three enimies, and so hardlie besee∣ged of them, that without thy helpe, I can by no meanes escape, but that I must needs be a praie vnto one of them. Strengthen me therefore O Lord, that neither the one with carnall lusts, neither the other with delectable pleasures, nor Sathan himselfe with all his craftie and subtile deuises get the dominion o∣uer me.
Thou hast bought me, thou hast paid for me; take thou me, saue, keepe and defend me, be alwaies readie at the voice of my crieng; powre into me thy grace, pa∣tientlie to abide thy diuine will and pleasure in all things. Make me both at this present, and all the daies of my life, to haue in mind, and profoundlie to roote in my hart, the mysteries of thy painefull passion, and so to be filled with the remembrance thereof, that sin may no more enter into me, and that Sathan mine old enimie may well perceiue, that he hath neither part nor fellowship in me, but that I am both bodie and soule altogether thine, to whome be all praises world without end,
A praier vnto God the holie Ghost.
O Holie Ghost, O blessed and holie spirit, comfor∣ter of them that be afflicted: thou proceeding from the Father and the Sonne, art the true Page 158 instructor and teacher of the diuine and heauenlie ve∣ritie. Wherefore, I with all humilitie praie thee to renew and make in me a cleane hart, to graffe a right spirit in me, to guide and gouerne me, that I may thinke nothing, speake nothing, doo nothing, but that onlie which shall please thee.
And whereas I haue not ceased to offend my Lord God and maker, and most greeuouslie to transgresse a∣gainst Iesus my redeemer and sauiour; I praie thee that I may haue inward sorowe, repentance, and shame thereof; and that euer hereafter I may per∣forme my dutie, as I ought to doo, and so bring foorth the fruits of repentance, that the passion of Iesus Christ may defend me from all sinne and wickednesse, and bring me to the ioies of paradise: So be it.
A godlie praier for the true worshipping of God, which may be vsed in the Church before common praier.
STablish our harts and minds, O most gra∣tious God, in the true woorshipping of thy diuine maiestie; make vs to beleeue thy ho∣lie and sacred Gospell, wherein we are dailie and hourelie instructed to loue, feare, honour, and o∣beie thee: to hate sinne and iniquitie, to renounce all superstitious ceremonies, whereby thy worship is de∣faced, thy glorie prophaned, and thine honour greatlie diminished. Giue vs the grace to hate sinne and iniqui∣tie, to renounce and forsake the vanities and wanton pleasures of this wicked and sinfull world. Arme vs, we beseech thee, to mortifie and bring vnder the rebel∣lious appetites and straieng lusts of the flesh. And fi∣nallie giue vs power from aboue, to withstand Sa∣than the prince of darknesse, and all his damnable mi∣nisters, who by diuers temptations prouoke and al∣lure vs from godlie puritie, and perfect integritie, which passeth onlie from Christ Iesus vnto vs, who Page 159 is the fulnesse of our perfection and holinesse, to all kinds of euill, impietie and vncleannesse; by meanes whereof thy worship is greatlie prophaned, and of a set purpose contemned.
Make vs constant to skirmish against the world, sinne, death, and hell; and by the power of a fruitefull faith, giue vs grace to resist and bridle the concupis∣cence of our flesh, in such sort, that our soules may tri∣umph with victorie, and continue constant in woorship∣ping thee; from whom passeth the fulnesse of our ioie. Prepare our harts and minds (good Lord) now and e∣uer to spread foorth the glorie of thy name. Kéepe our tongues from all filthie talke, and vncomelie gesture, least by the exercise of such sinne, we contemne thy worship, and prouoke thee to displeasure and indigna∣tion. Set thou a watch before the gates of my mouth, that my lips by thy grace may be alwaies made open to sound foorth thy praise and euerlasting glorie. Be mercifull to our offences, thinke thou not on our vn∣righteousnesse; but vpon thy clemencie. Forgiue them freelie, and pardon gratiouslie our sinnes, make vs faithfull in Christ Iesus. Shorten the dangerous daies of iniquitie, increase the number of thy chosen and peculiar Saincts. Hasten thy comming, O sauiour Christ, that we with the felowship of the Saints, hea∣uenlie Angels, and the blessed companie of Martyrs, may celebrate thy praise, and worship thee in thy glori∣ous kingdome, before the father our God, and the ho∣lie Ghost, to whome be praise for euer,
Another praier that we may liue so vprightlie in this life, that at the last we may dwell in the euerlasting tabernacle.
O Lord, seeing that the righteous shall dwell in thy tabernacle, graunt me I beseech thee, a pure and vndefiled soule. O what is the shape of the earth, wherein Gods enimies Page 160 haue abiding; in comparison of the woonderfull beau∣tie of heauen, wherein righteousnesse doth dwell; in comparison of that place, wherein Angels, Archan∣gels, all good men, yea and God himselfe is abiding! What are the pleasures of the world, wealth, honour, companie of our parents and friends, wherein all our pleasure and sweetenesse is mixed with sowrenesse and sorowe; wherein euerie perfection hath his imperfe∣ction▪ What is all this to the vnspeakeable ioie in the kingdome of God? What is the companie of friends heere, in comparison to the companie of Abraham, I∣saac and Iacob, the Patriarches and Prophets, and all the Saints of God?
Oh the felicitie of euerlasting life, which is with∣out all discommodities; perpetuall, without all perill and molestation! Oh the glorious maiestie, the singu∣lar mirth, and passing ioies of the life to come! The eie hath not seene, nor the hart of man is able to conceiue in anie part, the happie estate of the blessed soules in heauen. Oh how amiable are thy tabernacles! My soule hath a desire to enter into the courts of the Lord. My hart and my soule reioice in the liuing God; blessed be they that dwell in thy house, they may be al∣waies praising thee. One daie in thy courts, is better than a thousand elsewhere. I had rather be a dore-kee∣per in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of vngodlinesse. The Lord God is a light and defence. My soule is athirst for God, euen for the liuing God. When shall I come before the presence of my God? My flesh longeth after thee in a barren and drie land, where no water is. Good Lord remember me, and graunt that I may weare the white gar∣ments of innocencie with thine e∣lected, in thine euerlasting kingdome,
A praier against the felowship of the vngodlie.
PRotect and defend me, O heauenlie Father, and most mercifull God, from the felowship of the vngodlie men, which dailie imagine mischiefe in their harts to harme the inno∣cent. Keepe me from the counsels of the foolish and vn∣godlie, which speake proud things against the glorie of thy blessed name. Defend me from faithlesse and de∣ceiptfull ones, whose guiltie stomaches are gorged with grudge, enuie, malice, hatred, disdaine, and all vncharitablenesse. For their throtes are like vnto an open sepulchre, or swallowing graue: their tongs are giuen to slander and backbite their neighbours: the poison of Adders lieth hidden vnder their lips; and in fine, they as thine enimies blaspheme thy holie and blessed name, and contemne thy testimonies.
O Lord giue me thy grace, to be conuersant with good and godlie men; such as fauour thy glorious Gos∣pell, and doo their indeuour to practise thy precepts, to the glorie of thy holie and blessed name. Make me, by their example, to exercise my selfe in the heauenlie ve∣ritie; that thereby I may be instructed in the liuelie knowledge of thy commandements, and obtaine such wisdome from aboue, that by faith I may cleaue to thee, and the felowship of those that feare thy holie name; and so auoide the companie of the wicked and vngodlie worldlings, which haue laid snares to intrap mee. Graunt this, O most mercifull Father, for thy sonne Iesus Christs sake, who euer liueth and reigneth with thee, and the holie Ghost, to whome be all laude, glorie, power and praise, for euer and euer,
A praier to be said before or after the Sermon.
MOst mightie GOD, which by thy word hast made all things, whose voice the flouds and hils doo knowe, whose heast both quicke and dead, heauen and hell obey, at whose displea∣sure the diuels in hell doo tremble: let thy word so ligh∣ten our harts, that by our good works we may testifie our profession, seeing that the tree which beareth not fruit shall be cut downe, & throwne into the fire. Grant that I may not onelie be a hearer, but also a dooer of thy holie word, that so finallie I may be partaker of thine euerlasting ioie and blisse.
O Lord grant me wisdome to knowe thee, and grace to followe thee in true humilitie: that as thou didst suf∣fer to be spitted at, and smitten of thine enimies; so we may beare the displeasures of the world, and rage of our enimies with patience. Thou hast blessed the lit∣tle ones, and reuealed vnto them the things hidden from the wise. For thou wilt haue mercie where it pleaseth thee. O set thy feare alwaies before mine eies, make me to vnderstand wisdome secretlie; and graffe thy faith so in my hart, that I may both knowe thee, and loue thee, and glorifie thy holie name for euer:
A praier for faith.
O Blessed Sauiour Iesus, sonne of the euerli∣uing God, the vnspeakeable ioie of thy ser∣uants, most present cōfort to sinners, which camest into the world to saue offenders, which so louedst the world, that thou sparedst not thy most pretious bloud to redeeme the losse of our first fa∣ther Adam, and to make vs coheires of the forfeited inheritance with thy selfe; that all which beleeue in thee might be saued. Good Lord, which hast promised Page 163 to them that knocke, it shall be opened; and that they which seeke shall find: grant I beseech thee, that I may search thy holie lawes, and find the truth of thy holie word; that I may alwaies constantlie confesse and shew thee and thy goodnesse, as well in my words as li∣uing. Inspire me with thy holie spirit, that I may knowe thee stedfastlie, trust in thee, and serue thee in praiers and well-dooing, all the time of my life. O most mercifull Lord and Sauiour of the world, for the glo∣rie of thy name sake, I beseech thee to heare my prai∣ers. My soule reioice in God my sauing health, for hee hath been good to thee, he hath kept thee from the snare of the hunter, and blessed thee. The Lord is a mercifull God, let all the earth feare him: let the mouths of all men sound praises vnto him. God is a good Lord, and dailie increaseth his good gifts to his seruants; the Lord will increase my faith in him, and I shall be sa∣ued: So be it.
A praier to be said before the receiuing of the Lords Supper.
OMnipotent GOD and father euerlasting, whose mercie is infinite, and whose kingdom hath none end; vouchsafe I beseech thee, of thine exceeding goodnes, to increse our faith, that as thy ghests repaire to the table of thy sonne Iesus Christ, who hath left vnto vs, before he gaue his bodie to be crucified, and his bloud to be shed large∣lie on the crosse for our redemption, as a pledge of his great loue and abundant kindnesse, the celebration of his glorious supper, wherein as it were in a looking glasse, the death of our great maister, the high shep∣heard of our soules Iesus Christ, is most liuelie set foorth vnto vs. Giue vs grace therefore from aboue, rightlie to vnderstand the diuine mysteries offered vnto vs thereby, and not to wrest or wring the same Page 164 contrarie to thy will.
Let it be far from our thoughts, good Lord, to leaue thine eternall veritie; and to build on the doctrine of men, who following their owne imaginations, run headlong to the gaping gulph of danger and destructi∣on. Plucke the scales of ignorance from our eies, that we may cleerlie descerne and behold, by the light of thy glorious Gospell, how we may truelie communicate and participate the fruits of thy grace, represented vnto vs in this comfortable Sacrament. Indue vs plentifullie with such pure knowledge, that we may not once thinke or saie after anie grosse forme, or car∣nall maner, we feede vpon, or eate thy flesh reallie, or carnallie; but make vs alwaies constantlie to beleeue, that thy glorious bodie is ascended vp into heauen, and sitteth on the right hand of thy Father, concer∣ning thy humanitie; and cannot be thence remooued, till the time that thou shalt come with legions of An∣gels, to iudge the quicke and the dead, before whose presence shall run a consuming fire.
And moreouer, wee doo most humblie beseech thee so to confirme vs in the truth of thy blessed testament, that we may confesse thy diuine nature to be equall with the Father and the holie Ghost; and to beleeue that thy power is not a power particular, but a pow∣er generall; and such as doth and shall gouerne in hea∣uen and earth, in the deepe and lowe waters: yea and in the nethermost parts of hell. Strengthen vs there∣fore good Lord, that stand; least that in falling from the true knowledge of thee, we perish euerlastinglie.
And sith thou hast called vs by thy word, as thy ghests to this blessed banket, wherin ye mouths of our carnall bodies are fostered & fed with bread and wine: so Lord confirme our faith in thee, that the mouths of our soules may feed spirituallie vpon thy sweetest flesh, and drinke thy deerest blood, and so be nourished to euer∣lasting Page 165 life, and heauenlie blessednesse. Which reward as a dowrie due, thou hast promised to all those that faithfullie build vpon thee, which art the rocke and strong piller of our saluation.
And as these most holie mysteries must set foorth vn∣to vs most liuelie thy death and passion; so make vs thankefull to thee for the same: and thereby giue vs grace, to print in our harts thy great loue and excee∣ding clemencie, that sparedst not to giue thy bodie to the most vile, shamefull and slanderous death of the Crosse; and thy bloud to be shed for our offences.
Indue vs with loue and charitie to all men; make vs readie to forgiue, to loue, and pardon our enimies, persecutors and slanderers. Turne our harts & minds from all impietie, couetousnesse, blasphemie, pride, gluttonie, fornication, and all other detestable euils. And if at anie time we haue defeated the fatherlesse of his right, the widowe of hir dowrie, or gathered togi∣ther our goods wrongfullie, by violence, oppression, fraud, collusion, or deceit: giue vs grace to make resti∣tution, and to aske with sorowfull plaints and fluds of teares, from the bottome of our harts, pardon and free forgiuenesse of thee, for such and all other our of∣fences whatsoeuer wee haue done, or committed in thought, word, will and deed, against thy diuine Maie∣stie, or anie other our brethren and sisters.
Take awaie from vs ali bitternes, cursed speaking and backbiting. Giue vs grace to come woorthilie, by the vertue of a true and fruitfull faith, to this holie and blessed supper, that our soules feeding faithfullie on thy sweetest flesh, and drinking thy deerest bloud, wee may both in bodie and soule be nourished by thee to euerlasting and endlesse glorie in heauen, where with thee and the felowship of thy chosen Saints, we shall enioie the fruition of the euerlasting kingdome, which thou hast ordeined for all those that ouelie and alone, Page 166 without wauering doo build vpon thee.
Sanctifie and make cleane our harts and minds, by the power of thy holie Ghost, the verie comforter of thy chosen. Purge thou our cankred consciences, infe∣cted with sinne, by the working of thy good grace, least that by the presuming to this thy table, O Lord, we in∣cur thy displeasure; and being vnrepentant for our of∣fences, we be found vnmeet ghests to come to thy holie banket, and so we eate and drinke to the vtter confusi∣on of our soules and bodies. Giue vs grace therefore good Lord, to conuert vs wholie vnto thee, and we shall be turned from all our sinne and iniquitie. Giue vs grace to rest onlie vpon thee, and we shall be made safe. Giue vs thine aid from aboue, we beseech thee, by faith to striue with the man of sinne, and so to vanquish him, that he may die to vs, and we may liue to thee, which art the giuer of life. Grant this, O most gratious God, for Iesus Christ his sake, to whom with thee and the holie Ghost be giuen all praise, honour and glorie, for euer and euer:
A praier or thankesgiuing to be said after the receiuing of the Communion.
WE giue thee most hartie thanks, O heauen∣lie Father, that hast at this present fed vs, and refreshed our hungrie soules with the flesh and bloud of our Sauiour Christ; not carnallie, but spirituallie. Giue vs grace therefore continuallie, by the meanes of an increasing and fruit∣full faith, to beleeue that thy flesh is meate indeed, and thy bloud is drinke indeed: and that vnneths we eate thy flesh, and drinke thy bloud, we can not enter into thy kingdome, nor be saued in the daie of thy comming. Giue vs grace therefore, being vnprofitable seruants, and vnwoorthilie called, by the reason of the multitude of our sinnes, to banket at thy table, whereas the cele∣bration Page 167 of thy supper hath beene vsed, and thy death by the visible elements of bread and wine represented vn∣to vs, to offer vp vnto thee continuallie the fruits of true, repentant, and sorowfull harts, that thy name may be glorified, we by thy grace comforted, thy dis∣pleasure turned to loue, thy wrath to compassion, our sinnes pardoned and forgotten, and our names writ∣ten in the booke of life.
And as it hath pleased thee at this present to account vs for thy ghests, and not onlie to feede vs with visible creatures, namelie bread and wine: but also in soule, which is thine owne similitude, to cherish vs with thy flesh and bloud, wheron by the vertue of a liuelie faith we haue to our great comforts most plentifullie fed: so now, O Lord, we beseech thee of thine abundant goodnesse, to increase our faith, that it may wax strong in thee, and fruitfull to exercise the works of charitie and loue to all men; that therby as we haue now been at the celebration of thy glorious and blessed supper, so we may, whensoeuer it shall please thee to call vs to thine heauenly banket, be found furnished: not emptie, not naked, but armed and couered with fruitfull faith and truth, and so, as thy ghests or vessels of honour enioie the participation of thy heauenlie and rich pa∣lace, whereas ioies neuer vade, but continuallie en∣dure. Take from vs the burden of our corruption; set vs free from the cursed clog of sinne; deliuer vs from the snares of death and destruction. Giue vs willing minds to obeie and heare thy commandements, clense thou our harts from all iniquitie, and giue vs grace henceforth to walke in newnesse of life, and godlie con∣uersation, that thy name may be glorified, and we sa∣ued in the daie of thy comming to iudgement. Grant this for Jesus Christ his sake our mediatour and aduo∣cate:
A godlie praier to be said of euerie Christian, espe∣ciallie at burials.
GOod Lord, which with thy hands doest staie the frame & engin of the earth, and rulest the course of the swift heauens, disposing and or∣dering all things by thy diuine prouidence, which hast apointed bounds to our life, which we can not pas: I besech thee that by my liuing, I learning to die, mortifieng by thy spirit the affections of the flesh, though not expelling them, yet subduing the rage of them, it may at the last, by the hauen of death, land in the most glorious citie of euerlasting life; where our bodies which are now darke, miserable and corrupti∣ble, shall be most bright, glorious and incorruptible, like to the immortall and shining bodie of our Lord Iesus Christ. We shall be like to Christ our Sauiour; euen as he is, so shall we be. And as we haue borne the image of the earthlie, so shall we beare the image of the heauenlie, and shine like to the sunne, as the face of Christ did in his transfiguration.
Oh Lord Iesus, blessed Sauiour, which by thy death hast triumphed ouer sinne and death; thou hast troden on the sting of the monster, our hidious enimie; the gates of hel haue not preuailed against thee: grant to me a true and liuelie faith, by which men passe from earth to heauen, from death to eternall life. This can we not doo without thee, thou must be our mediatour. For a child of a nights birth is not pure in thy sight. In sinne were we borne, and by nature we are the children of perdition, and firebrands of hell: but thou, O blessed Sauiour, art the perfection of the lawe to them that beleeue. As death came by sinnes; so by thy death and pretious bloudshedding is death conquered and exiled; and we that beleeue washed and clensed of our sinnes. All the Prophets beare witnesse, that they Page 169 which beleeue in thy name shall receiue remission of their sinnes. If we confesse our sinnes, thou art righ∣teous to forgiue vs our iniquities. Whosoeuer cal∣leth on thy name shall be saued. Thou hast no pleasure in the death of a sinner, but rather desirest that they should liue, and be conuerted. Thou hast so loued the world, that thou not onlie didst become man, and tooke our nature vpon thee, but wert content also to suffer most cruell death on the Crosse, to purge our nature from mortall sinne and corruption, and adorne it with immortalitie and eternall glorie; not onelie in thine owne person, but in vs also, to satisfie the iustice of the Father for our sinnes.
Oh blessed shepheard, thou doubtedst not to spend thy most pretious blood to saue thy beloued sheepe from rauine and spoile. Good Lord, so increase thy grace in me, that thy holie word may take roote, and flourish in me, that the good seed may not be choked with thornes. So order my liuing, that when by course of nature I shall be dissolued from the prison of my bodie, I may come to thee, that when thou more bright than the sun shalt come in the midst of the legions of Angels, in thy shining glorie and Maiestie to iudge the quicke & the dead, I may be in the number of the blessed ones, whom thou shalt call to possesse the kingdome prepa∣red for them, by thy Father, saieng: Come ye blessed children of my Father, receiue the kingdome prepared for you before the beginning of the world. Thou which didst die and rise againe, wilt raise and bring to life all those that are dead beleeuing in thy faith: So be it.
A praier to liue well.
GOod Lord so rule the eies of my hart, that they being kept simple and pure, my bodie may be a cleere and shining temple of thy ho∣lie spirit. So kindle in vs the loue of thy glo∣rious Page 170 sonne, that we following his steps, may doo that which is good, and decline from the euill; so that our light shining before men, we may glorifie thee by our good works, with thy blessed sonne our Sauiour, and the holie Ghost: to whose infinite Maiestie, in trini∣tie and vnitie be all honour and glorie for euer,
A praier for humilitie.
O Lord I am a sinner, and sorie for mine offen∣ces: I can not make satisfaction for my de∣faults. If I haue anie good thing, it com∣meth of thee. The most acceptable sacrifice to thee is a contrite and humble hart. O God let mee not be oppressed with the waues of sinne, let mee not sinke into the whirlepoole and gulph of despaire. Thou which liftest vp the fallen, and raisest the humble and meeke, clothing them with purple, and settest them vp with princes in the seates of honour; thou which de∣spisest the imaginations of the proud, and resistest their enterprises; blesse me in all my dooings, send mee happie successe in all mine affaires, that I may reioice in thy goodnesse, with thine elected for euer and euer. Accept my humble suite, good Lord, I beseech thee, for the glorie of thy name sake,
A praier for the obteining of Gods grace.
O Almightie and mercifull God, shine we be∣seech thee, through the power of our Lord Iesus Christ, and the comfortable working of thy sacred spirit, the heauenlie comforter, vpon our minds and harts, with the glorious beames of thy heauenlie grace. Giue vs such plentie of wise∣dome and vnderstanding from aboue, that through the knowledge of thee, the man of sinne, that is, our fraile and feeble flesh, with the wicked lusts and desire of con∣cupiscence Page 171 may lie dead and buried in vs. Giue vs, good Lord, the feeling of thy grace, that by the vertue and diuine operation of thy word, the eies of our soules may be illumined, and made so light, that the Prince of darkenesse, with all his vnrighteous ministers, may be expulsed and banished from our memories. So e∣stablish vs in thy truth, that our harts, minds, and thoughts, may continuallie be occupied in thy testimo∣nies: that thereby thou good Lord effectuallie shining in our harts, by the vertue of thy good spirit, we may learne to knowe and vnderstand, what is the fulnesse of our calling, and how rich thou art in the glorie of thy celestiall and heauenlie heritage of thy Saincts, and that excellent greatnesse of thy power and louing kindnesse towards vs, which beleeue without faining thy holie Gospell, according to the might and force of thy strength, which thou shewedst in Christ Iesus, when thou didst raise him from the dead, and didst set him on thy right hand, far aboue all empire, power, authoritie and dominion, and euerie name that is na∣med, not onlie in this world, but in the world to come. By whose pretious death, and deerest bloud-shedding, we are assured, that sinne, death and hell are vanqui∣shed, ouercome, and vtterlie destroied. And if we be∣leeue without wauering, we shall in him be able to re∣sist all the power of hell, and in Christ as conquerors, to triumph with victorie ouer sinne, death, and Sa∣than, and at the last to haue and enioie the fruition of his rich and glorious kingdome, which he by most painefull agonie, bloudie stripes, greeuous and blou∣die wounds, and lastlie by his most painefull death, purchased for his chosen and elect. To whome for our sanctification, iustification, redemption, and our salua∣tion be rendred, with his celestiall Father, and the ho∣lie Ghost, all laud, glorie, power, honour and domi∣nion for euer and euer,
A praier against presumptuous pride and vaine-glorie.
WE heare, O heauenlie Father, and are dailie taught and instructed out of thine eternall word, how greatlie the greeuous sinne of presumption, pride, and vaine-glorie displea∣seth thy diuine maiestie. We are learned, that for the practise of this pestilent and heinous euill, thou hast not spared the verie Angels, but hast throwne them in thy displeasure, for their pride, vaine-glorie, and pre∣sumption, from beatitude, to miserie: from ioie with∣out end, to perdurable paine: from brightnesse of thy glorious presence, to vtter extreame and palpable darkenesse: from the glorious fruition, and participa∣tion of thine euerlasting kingdome, to the bottomlesse pit of hell, death, damnation, and endlesse flames of fire. Besides this, we are taught that by the trans∣gression of Adam, whose haughtie presuming, through the entisement of the subtile and perillous allurement of the Serpent, thought to be as thy selfe; but in fine, thy iustice condemned him, and all his posteritie.
This pestiferous sinne of pride drowned him in the flouds of all dangerous euils, as gluttonie, luxurie, and such other perils; that had not thy mercie taken effect, to keepe and hold plea for his and our safegard; and thy sonne Christ embased the glorie and power of his diuine essence, and taken vpon him our flesh and fraile nature, sinne onlie except, who freelie offered his innocent bodie to the death of the crosse, we had peri∣shed euerlastinglie, and beene vtterlie confounded. Print therefore good Lord, and write these examples in my memorie, that I fall not from thy fauour, by the exercise of this detestable sinne. Make me still to con∣sider, that the proud and disdainefull are alwaies ab∣horred in thy sight. And sith it is thy good will, and gra∣tious Page 173 pleasure, to regard the humble and lowlie man, giue me such meekenesse from aboue, that I may con∣tinuallie present thee with the sacrifice of a gentle, meeke, and contrite spirit: that I may auoide the plagues and punishments which thou hast prepared for the proud and haughtie minded. Graunt this good Lord, for Iesus Christ his sake, mine onlie mediator & aduocate, who liueth and reigneth with thee and the holie Ghost, in glorie permanent & euerlasting,
A praier against couetousnesse, or too much care of the world.
GOod Lord, seeing that it is thy pleasure, that we shall not be carefull for worldlie things: if a sparowe falleth not on the ground with∣out thy fore-sight, how much more care doest thou take for vs thy children? Good Lord, thou feedest the birds of the aire, and cloathest the lillies of the feeld, which take no care. Wherefore good Lord, so pro∣uide for our necessitie and sicknesse, we beseech thee, that we casting all our care vpon thee, may cheeflie stu∣die to please thee, and serue thee, which liuest and reig∣nest king of all kings for euer,
A praier against lieng and euill imaginations.
O Lord cleanse my hart, I beseech thee, from all vnpure & wicked cogitations and thoughts; and giue me a cleere conscience, shamefast eies, innocent hands, and a tongue to tell the truth; seeing that there is nothing hid, that shall not be discouered. Good Lord I beseech thee to search my thoughts, and renew in me thy holie spirit. Direct my feete in thy waies, that walking after thee, in the path of the righteous, I may passe through this vale of mi∣serie, bearing thy banner stoutelie in my warfare, and obtaine euerlasting ioie; the promised hire to such as Page 174 here haue patientlie borne thy crosse, and valiantlie fought with the armour of faith, against temptations and all euils. Vouchsafe, O Lord, to graunt my petiti∣ons, I most humblie beseech thee, for thy onlie begotten sonne, our Sauiour Iesus Christ his sake,
A necessarie praier in Meeter against vices.
A thankesgiuing for benefits receiued at Gods hand.
O Most mercifull Father, I yeeld thee most humble thanks, for thy great benefits besto∣wed vpon me a sinner, of thy free mercie on∣lie. Thou hast of thy fatherlie loue brought me vp tenderlie, and instructed me in thy holie lawe. Thou hast giuen me knowledge and vnderstanding. Thou hast preserued me from manie dangers and e∣uils, which diuers men haue felt. Thou hast blessed me with health, quietnesse, ioie, plentie and wealth, which a number doo want. Thou hast taken care of me, and done all things for me. Lord, though I can deserue no∣thing but punishment by thy iust displeasure, yet good Lord, I trust to thy goodnesse, crauing mercie, and not iustice. And for thy mercie sake, I beseech thee to conti∣nue thy grace, and to increase thy good gifts towards me, and haue me in thy protection till my liues end. Good Lord blesse me, that I may enioie the fruits of the earth, and vse them to thy honour and glorie. Good Lord be thou mine aid and guide in all my dooings: my buckler and defence in all dangers, that I may freelie and ioifullie sing praises to thee, which liuest and reignest one God almightie and incomprehensible, worlds without end,
Another thankesgiuing for the goodnesse of God to vs.
O Almightie God, and euer-ruling King, whose infinite power and maiestie our wits can not comprehend; whose glorious brightnesse with Page 176 our mortall eies, we can not behold; whose woonde∣rous works and manifold mercies the tongs of men can not sufficientlie declare. Good Lord I yeeld thee most humble thanks, for thy singular great gifts and benefits bestowed vpon me a sinner. Good Lord thou hast blessed me with knowledge, with increase and plentie of all things; thou hast giuen mee friends, health, and rest, that I should eate my meate with ioie, and praise thee in all thy gifts and works. I knowe that I haue no good thing, but it commeth from thee, and oulie for thy mercies sake, thou hast so regarded me thy seruant. Wherefore good Lord, I beseech thee to graunt me thy grace withall, that I may vse these thy gifts to thy honour and glorie, and the comfort of them that neede; that vsing the talent which thou hast lent me, I may become a good seruant, and obtaine eternall blisse, the promised hire to such as doo well. Uouchsafe good Lord, for thy sonne our Sauiour Ie∣sus Christ his sake, to heare my praiers.
Almightie God, refresh me with thy grace, I beseech thee; comfort me with thy mercie, and blesse me; that safe from all euils, free from feare of all dangers, in peace and quietnesse, I may sing praises to thy holie name, and reioice in thee with thine elected for euer and euer,
A praier to be said in time of quietnesse and prosperitie.
GIue vs good Lord, the comfortable & health∣full spirit of thy grace and aboundant fa∣uour, that we may without ceasing make our continuall boast of thy praise. We know, and from the bottome of our harts confesse, that thou hast dealt more louinglie with vs, than thou hast done with our next neighbours, whose painefull miseries, and bloudie broiles may be a sufficient warning vnto Page 177 vs, to hate our sin and iniquitie, least the like calami∣tie or euer we be aware, do compasse and hedge vs round about. Giue vs grace therefore in time of peace and happie prosperitie, so to walke, that thy fatherlie blessings be not withdrawne nor taken from vs, and the rod of thy sharpe correction laid vpon our neckes, euen in such sort as thou hast visited our brethren in o∣ther countries, whose bodies, by the meanes of ciuill dissention, haue beene made a praie to the sword.
We heare and vnderstand, that not far off, but euen hard at the gates of our borders, the father is readie in armes to seeke the destruction of his sonne: the sonne is as greedie to gape for the bloud of his father. We heare how violentlie the brother thirsteth after the bloud of his brother, friend is against friend, neigh∣bour against neighbour, yong men are murthered, old men are suddenlie slaine, manie a wife is husbandlesse, manie a child is desolate and fatherlesse. The cruell harted enimie spareth none, he maketh hauocke, no teares can staie him from his affectioned tyrannie. The tender infants are haled from the earnefull paps of their weeping mothers, and torne to peece-meale be∣fore the sorowfull eies of their carefull parents. Old age is contemned, godlie matrones are abused, vir∣gins are defloured and rauished by violence; a spec∣tacle of extreame crueltie for vs to behold, and a glasse of great carefulnesse for vs to looke vpon, that haue worthilie deserued like or far greater punishments.
Yet with-holdest thou from vs thy scourge, although our offences are so great and diuers, that might heape vp the sentence of thine exceeding iustice against vs. In place of war and bloudie battell, thou hast giuen vnto vs prosperitie, and perfect peace. In place of pe∣nurie, dearth and scarsitie, thou hast giuen vs increase, fulnesse, and great plentie. In stead of discord and dis∣sention, thou hast sent vs vnitie and concord: and by thy Page 178 celestiall prouidence we are defended from the cruell enimie, and from the domesticall and ciuill war. And besides these thy gratious gifts, to heape vp our con∣solation and ioie, thou hast giuen vs thy true and liue∣lie word, as a lanterne to direct vs, and guide our foote∣steps from vanitie to vertue; from wickednes to god∣lie wisdome; from licentious libertie to newnesse of life, and godlie conuersation. Besides all these thine inestimable graces, freelie bestowed vpon vs, thou hast giuen vs godlie and zealous Preachers, which plenti∣ouslie breake vnto vs, out of thine eternall testament, the bread of life; whereon good Lord giue our soules such power to feede by faith, that they may be nourish∣ed to eternall ioie; and we by the diligent obseruing and obeieng of thy commandements, may be preser∣ued from all kind of dissention; and peaceablie enioie the fruits of pure peace & trustie tranquillitie. Grant this, O mercifull Father, for thy son Christs sake, our onelie Sauiour and Redeemer Christ Iesus,
A godlie and fruitfull praier to be said in time of bloudie battell.
O Lord our heauenlie Father, and euerliuing God, we thy wretched and most miserable creatures confesse and acknowledge, wee haue woorthilie deserued the rod of thy cor∣rection and punishment: and doo merit manie sharpe and bitter stripes, that knowing thy blessed and glori∣ous will, haue of set purpose contemned thy diuine and heauenlie precepts; for which cause the sentence of thy wrath is sharpelie kindled against vs, euen as it hath beene against thy chosen people Israel, in the daies of our forefathers, who glorieng in their wic∣kednesse, were plagued in the fulnesse of thine indig∣nation. The sword of their enimies beset them round about, and hemmed them in on euerie side. The Iebu∣sites, Page 179 the Ammonites, the Philistines and the Amo∣rites oppressed them diuerselie: their strong holds were rased, their cities were besieged, their houses were ransacked, their goods and their riches were ca∣ried awaie by force of the bloud-thirstie enimie: their yoong men were led awaie captiue, their virgins were wofullie defloured. But in fine, when thou Lord God didst behold their hartie and earnest contrition, thou didst withdrawe thy frowning countenance, & sentest them speedie and safe deliuerance.
One while thou Lord sentest them Moses, to bring them out of the seruitude of Pharao, the stonie and stubborne-harted king of the Aegyptians: another while Iephthah set them free from the sword of the Ammonites, wherewith they were greeuouslie afflic∣ted: and to make thy power and excellent glorie fullie knowne, thou gauest Samson much fortitude to bri∣dle the proud Philistines. Ouer & besides these, thou of thy loue and miraculous goodnes hast made feeble wo∣men mightie and victorious conquerors. Debora was a shield to thy people: Iudith comforted the distressed Bethulians, & cut off the head of proud Holophernes: that thy selfe good Lord, when thou beholdedst their teares, and hartie sorowe for their offences, didst pre∣pare thy selfe to go foorth with their hoasts. Thou thy selfe, I saie, with the breath of thy nostrils, didst con∣found and ouerthrowe their enimies.
So good Lord, be thou now present with vs in the fulnesse of thy diuine power: looke vpon vs with the eies of thy fauourable pitie. Forget our corrupt and most filthie offences: let our contrite and sorowfull harts be a meane to vanquish thy displeasure concei∣ued against vs: be thou present with vs in this time of necessitie and trouble: set thy hand to helpe and as∣sist vs against the enimie: be thou present with vs in this time of perill and danger: go thou foorth with our Page 180 hosts: then shall we be assured to preuaile: let not the multitude of furious foes dismaie vs. For victorie we doo knowe consisteth not in the power nor strength of manie men, horses, armour nor weapons; but it is thou, O mercifull Father, that giuest the conquest, where and to whom thou pleasest. To thee therefore in this great extremitie we flie and appeale; beseech∣ing thee of thine inestimable loue and kindnesse, for the loue of our Sauiour Iesus Christ, to looke vpon our true repentant harts, and in the fulnesse of thy mise∣rations and pities, to set vs free from the power of the raging enimie, and to pardon our sinnes and greeuous offences, that hencefoorth we may vow and dedicate our harts and minds wholie to walke in integritie and newnesse of life: which grant good Lord, to whom with thy sonne Christ Iesus, and the holie Ghost, be praise and glorie attributed for euer and euer, world without end,
A godlie praier to be said in time of anie common plague, priuate affliction or trouble.
OEternall and euerliuing God, the Father of all consolation & comfort, vouchsafe of thine infinite loue and kindnesse to strengthen mee with thy heauenlie grace, patiently to beare and with meekenesse to suffer this crosse of affliction and trouble, which thou hast laid vpon me for the vse of sinne and iniquitie. I knowe, O gratious and louing Father, that my deserts are such as woorthilie haue prouoked thee to displeasure. The burden of my sinnes are intollerable, for the which I must acknowledge, and earnestlie from the bottome of my hart confesse, that iustlie thou hast corrected and visited me; yet not in the fulnesse of thy furie, but according to thy father∣lie loue and kindnesse. And albeit thy rod lie heauie vp∣on my shoulders; yet in this time of thy correction I Page 181 am comforted greatlie, knowing assuredlie that thou correctest and simitest where thou louest: thou woun∣dest, and healest againe: thou throwest downe to hell, and liftest vp againe to heauen: such and so great is thine omnipotencie, that thou rulest aboue the firma∣ment, in earth, flouds, and the lowermost parts of hell.
In heauen the Angels, Archangels, the soules of thy Saints, the blessed companie of Martyrs giue thee praise, glorie and veneration. The sun, the moone, and glistering stars, ech one of them in their course and qualitie shew themselues obedient vnto thy will. In earth the beasts of the field, and the seelie feathered foules of the aire in their order seeme to set foorth thy glorie and praise. In the deepe waters the fishes of the sea are readie to obserue thy will, and in their maner they as thy creatures giue thee due honour and reue∣rence. But among these, man, whom thou by thy di∣uine will and pleasure hast indued with reason, and in his creation, concerning the inward man, hadst fashio∣ned him to thy similitude and likenesse, is now most prone and willing to be (by the ministers of darknesse) seduced and carried awaie from vertue to vice; from godlinesse to all impietie; from obedience to wilfull breach and contempt of thy precepts: so that diligence is banished by negligence. And such is the power of our flesh, that our eies, which should haue their chie∣fest contemplation and delight in perusing and rea∣ding thy glorious and sacred Gospel (wherein we may behold thee crucified and slaine, O sweetest Sauiour Christ Iesus, perfect God and perfect man, by whose innocent death & bloudie passion, attonement is made betwixt thy Father and vs) are so dazeled with the dimme and darke mists of Sathan, that they are oc∣cupied in the beholding of mundane and transitorie pleasures; all which in effect vanish and weare awaie, euen as the flower that either is parched by the force Page 182 of Phoebus radiant beames, or by Winters stormes and horie frosts consumed.
Our eares, which thou hast giuen to vs to heare, and vnderstand the sacred and diuine mysteries con∣teined in thy holie lawe, are made deafe of purpose; so that they glorie more in fables and lothsome leasings, than they conceiue delight in the zealous predication of thine Euangelicall and heauenlie doctrine. Our harts are hardened like the Adamant; so that for the greatest part they can not brooke thy testimonies: they continuallie lust and desire to be satisfied with worldlie wealth, honour and dignitie. And who beholdeth not in these daies, what cruell conflict and bloudie fight there is betwixt good conscience and filthie auarice, the roote of all mischiefe and euill? Naie, who seeth not in this age, plaine dealing murthered by deceit and faithlesse fraud? Who now beholdeth not true meaning strangled by forged flatterie and loathsome leasings? The bowels of compassion and pitie are shut vp by violent oppression and tyrannie.
Our feete are willing to tread the paths of pride, fornication and vncleannesse. Our hands are readie to offer wrong and iniurie to the innocent: yea and in fine, whatsoeuer thou hast giuen vnto vs to spread and set foorth thy glorie and honour, is by sinne so corrup∣ted, that we make the members of our bodies (which by grace and of pure loue are ingraffed in the bodie of Christ, the rich and great shepheard of our soules) the verie members of Sathan. So that of set purpose our transgression abounding, we flie from Christ the rocke and strong piller of our saluation; and run head-long to death and vtter destruction of bodie and soule. Yet like a louing God and mercifull Father, thou cal∣lest vs home againe by thy word, wherin not onlie thy mercies, but also thy terrible threats are thundered foorth against vs, for our impenitencie. But when nei∣ther Page 183 thy manifold mercies, freelie of thine abundant goodnesse offered vnto vs in Iesus Christ, can mooue nor stir vs to handfast contrition; neither yet thy ter∣rible comminations and thretnings can reclame nor call vs backe from the dangerous puddle of our sins: then thou sendest forth thy plagues and punishments; as pestilence, famine & bloudie sword, intending there∣by to driue vs to amendment of life, and to acknow∣ledge thine omnipotencie.
But when thou beholdest our true repentant harts, our sobs and sighing teares powred foorth before the throne of thy diuine Maiestie; thou withdrawest from vs the terror of thine indignation and vengeance; the rod of thy correction is laid aside; thy displeasure iust∣lie conceiued against vs for the continuall exercise of sinne, is vtterlie forgotten; and by the intercession of thy sonne Iesus Christ, that sitteth on thy right hand, in glorie permanent and euerlasting, like a louing Fa∣ther, and most mercifull God; the siluered scepter of peace is offered vnto vs, with all other thy gratious benefits; that thine anger is conuerted to clemencie; thy displeasure is turned to louing kindnesse; and in fine, thine indignation is so calmed by thine abundant grace and mercie; that like a louing and gentle Fa∣ther, thine armes are stretched foorth, ioifullie to em∣brace and receiue vs to thy fauour againe. All this I knowe to be most certaine and true. For when, or at what tune soeuer we shall appeare before the gates of mercie, and by the meanes and power of a constant and liuelie faith knocke therat; thou art redie to open vnto vs; not for anie of our deserts; but for the merits of Iesus Christ, the fulnesse of thy diuine miseration, compassion and pitie. And whensoeuer we shall call vpon thee, with lowlinesse and meekenesse of our harts and minds, bewailing wofullie our heinous offences committed against thee; thine eares are most atten∣tiue Page 184 to heare, & willinglie doest grant vs our petitions.
Wherefore, O most gratious and louing father, we come vnto thee with sorowfull and contrite harts, be∣seeching thee for the loue of thine annointed sonne Ie∣sus Christ our Messias, Sauiour, and Redeemer, to behold and looke vpon vs with the eies of compassion and pitie. And albeit we haue worthilie deserued this thy plague and punishment, yet respect thou not our deseruings, least in thy furie and indignation we be confounded & perish. Haue an eie rather to thy sonne Iesus Christ, behold his bloudie wounds, which yet are fresh and greene, and neuer stint bleeding. Thinke vpon the bitter and painefull torments that he suffe∣red for vs vpon the crosse, in whose name we beseech thee fauourablie to looke vpon our infirmities, merci∣fullie to heare our praiers and petitions offered vnto thee, and gratiouslie for the glorie of thy name sake, to take and withdrawe from vs this thy heauie rod of correction, which our sinfull liues, and contempt of thy precepts haue heaped heauilie on our neckes.
Giue vs patience to suffer whatsoeuer it shall please thee to laie vpon vs. Giue vs grace alwaie to call and crie vpon thy holie and blessed name, and faithfullie with teares to saie vnto thee continuallie: Spare vs good Lord, spare thy people, whom thou hast redeemed with thy pretious bloud, neither yet good Lord be thou angrie with vs for euer. Graunt this O mercifull fa∣ther, for the loue of thy onlie sonne Iesus Christ, to whome with thee and the holie Ghost, be all honour, glorie and praise ascribed foreuer,
A praier for patience in trouble, and meekelie to suffer aduersitie.
GRatious Lord, and omnipotent God, whose mercie is euerlasting and infinite, bowe downe thine eare, and harken vnto this my praier, which I make before thy diuine Ma∣iestie, Page 185 most humblie beseeching thee, of thine accusto∣med goodnesse, to indue me with the works of mercie, and deedes of charitie; and aboue all things to giue me patience in aduersitie, meekelie to suffer, and pati∣entlie to take, whatsoeuer it shall please thee to laie vpon me, and neuer to murmur or to grudge thereat, but alwaies to thinke thy louing and gentle correction to be much lesse, than the deserts of my great and ma∣nifold offences.
Againe, if I be not vnder correction, then am I not thy child. For what father is he, who correcteth not his children, whome he most intirelie loueth? This then is an euident token that thou louest vs, when as thou correctest vs. For as the scripture saith, Whome God loueth, him he chasteneth. Thou seest all things, thou vnderstandest and knowest all things; so that not so much as one little sparowe lighteth vpon the ground, without thy knowledge: yea our verie thoughts are foreknowne vnto thee. Thou disposest and orderest all things, as seemeth best to thy holie will and pleasure. By thy helpe I may doo all things; without thee I can doo nothing. When thou powrest vpon vs thy crea∣tures, thy good gifts and benefits: when thou besto∣west vpon vs prosperitie, health, wealth, and such like, thou dooest it to this intent, that we acknowledging the same, should thereby be incouraged to serue, ho∣nour, and humblie obeie thee, and alwaies praise and magnifie thy glorious name. Contrariwise, when thou strikest vs with thy rod of correction, as plaging vs with great mortalitie; suffering our enimies to in∣uade vs; robbers for to spoile vs; pouertie to oppresse vs; or fire to consume those things which thou hast lent vs, for the maintenance of our bodies in this mor∣tall life: thou doest it to put vs in mind, that we haue transgressed thy commandements, that we haue not harkned vnto thee, neither done that which is accep∣table Page 186 in thy sight, but willinglie falling into the puddle of sin, and following our owne appetites, haue prouo∣ked thy iust wrath and indignation against vs.
Thus thou dealest with vs, O Lord, to the intent that we suffering bodilie punishment, and feeling the smart of the same, may thereby be admonished of our dutie, and with true compunction of hart, desire to be released from thy scourges, which we haue deserued, and worthilie receiue: and then acknowledge our selues to be lost children, and straieng sheepe, may both see and be ashamed of our vnbrideled affections and wilfulnesse, which haue brought vs to calamitie and miserie, and with the true penitent to saie:
We are not worthie (most mercifull Father) to lift vp our eies or voice vnto thee, for our manifold sins and wickednesse. Neuerthelesse, presuming vpon thine aboundant mercie (who refusest none that doo call vp∣pon thee) most lamentablie we doo crie, Haue mercie vpon vs O Lord, haue mercie vpon vs miserable sin∣ners, being now greeuouslie afflicted with the burden of punishment and affliction, which thou hast laid vp∣on vs. Put thou therefore awaie displeasure concei∣ued against vs thy poore creatures, and grant vs, that beeing warned by this, we may euer heereafter serue thee in newnesse of life, and neuer commit anie thing which shall displease or offend thee.
This O heauenlie father, I acknowledge to be our dutie. But though I, for my part, haue not performed the same, as I ought to doo; yet I beseech thine inesti∣mable goodnesse, not to execute the rigour of thy iu∣stice vpon me: but to state thine hand, and before thou giue me anie greater wound, to behold my humilitie and repentance, which being not able to recompense and satisfie the trespasses, which I against thee haue committed; doo offer vnto thee (according as the poore widowe did) all that which I am able to giue, that Page 187 is, a sorowfull contrition of hart for my former offen∣ces done and passed.
Thy iustice, as it is right; so is it rigorous to sin∣ners. Thou art so gealous, and so much doest detest sin, that thou sparest not to punish thy verie elect and cho∣sen seruants, when as they fall into it. Who was more acceptable in thy sight, than that holie Prophet King Dauid, of whome thou thy selfe didst saie, I haue found a man according to mine owne hart, euen Da∣uid my seruant: yet neuerthelesse, diuers and sundrie waies didst thou punish him, when that he had swar∣ued from thy testimonies. Thou sufferedst him to be molested with the insurrection of his owne sonne; thou didst send the prophet vnto him, to offer him the choice of plagues which thou wouldest send vpon him, for his wicked liuing: but when he with sorowfull sighes, and trickling teares turned vnto thee, confessing his fault, crauing pardon, and promising amendment of life, thou forgatest thine anger, and forgauest his offence.
Other of thy chosen vessels thou hast permitted to be greeuouslie tormented, & vexed by sundrie troubles and aduersities, onlie to trie their faith and stedfast∣nesse towards thee. As thou didst suffer that patient man Iob, to be most cruellie intreated by that enimie of all mankind, to haue his houses burned and spoi∣led, his cattell taken awaie, his seruants driuen into bondage, his children to be slaine, his owne bodie to be afflicted with most loathsome diseases, plagues and sores. And all this thou didst not for anie euill deede of his, but to shewe thine omnipotencie and po∣wer. For when thou hadst tried him to the vtmost, and found that his enimie the diuell could not pre∣uaile against him, or by anie paine and greefe cause him to blaspheame and speake euill of thee, thou diddest reduce him to health, thou diddest enrich him againe, thou diddest restore vnto him againe his Page 188 children, friends, familie, and all his goods, with much more than euer he before possessed: shewing most ma∣nifestlie, that thou wilt reward them most plenti∣ouslie, which do loue thee, folowe and obserue thy com∣mandements.
Wherefore I beseech thee to giue me grace, that whatsoeuer waie it shall please thee to visit me with thy punishment, I may take it patientlie, and saie with patient Iob; Naked came I into this world, and naked shall I returne to the earth againe: the Lord giueth, the Lord taketh awaie, euen as it plea∣seth the Lord, so be it. Suffer me not to despaire, or to thinke that thou dealest vniustlie with me, but to saie; Shall I receiue prosperitie at the Lords hand, and not to be content with aduersitie? And alwaie to thinke vpon this, Happie are they whome thou doest punish. For though thou make a wound, thou also gi∣uest a plaister: though thou smitest, thy hand maketh whole againe. Mine iniquitie is great, but be thou merciful vnto my wickednes. O deliuer me from thine anger, and presse me not further than I shall be able to beare. But now that I acknowledge that whatsoe∣uer trouble thou hast sent me, or wilt laie vpon me, is either for the punishment of mine iniquitie, or for the triall of my constancie, I may with repentant Dauid find remission of my sins, and with patient Iob, re∣lease of mine aduersitie, and obtaine such fauour in thy sight, that thou neuer againe so greeuouslie punish me; but that I may so passe this life, that I may af∣terward liue with thee, to whome be honour and glo∣rie for euer and euer,
Another praier in trouble and aduersitie.
HAue mercie vpon me, O Lord, haue mercie vpon me most miserable creature, which doo that which I ought not, & feare that which I haue most iustlie deserued. If I weigh Page 189 with my selfe the wickednesse that I haue done; the punishment thereby deserued is not halfe so great, as the sinne that I haue committed. But thou art a mer∣cifull God, and thy iudgements are right, neither doo∣est thou at anie time punish vs vniustly. Thou almigh∣tie God madest vs, when as we were not; and when as we were lost and damned, thou didst miraculouslie re∣store vs. I knowe and I am sure, that our life is not led by sudden and vncertaine motions; but is disposed and directed by thee; thou hast a fatherlie care of vs all, but especiallie of such as doo put their whole trust and confidence in thy mercie.
Therefore I humblie praie and beseech thee, that thou wouldest not deale with me after my deseruings; but according to thy great mercie, which doth exceede the sinnes of the whole world. And as often as thou dooest punish me outwardlie, giue me grace inwardlie with patience to beare the same, and that thy praise neuer depart out of my mouth. Order my dooings, euen as shall be most necessarie both for my bodie and soule. Thou onlie hast power ouer all things, thou knowest all things, to thee be all honour for euer,
Another praier in trouble, for the obteining of mercie.
BEhold, out from the bottome of my hart doo I crie vnto thee, O Lord, beseeching thee that thou wouldest saue me from the bottomlesse pit of hell. I knowe that there is mercie with thee; doo not therefore marke what I haue done amisse. Enter not into iudgment with thy seruant, for then can I by no meanes be iustified in thy sight. The remembrance of mine offences is greeuous vnto mee, and therefore I right humblie craue pardon thereof. My hart is troubled, my soule is vexed, there is no health in my flesh. Forsake me not mine onlie staie and Page 190 comfort: despise not my contrite hart, open the bosome of thy mercie: take cleane awaie mine iniquitie, bring my soule out of tribulation, turne the extremitie of thy iustice, into thy tender mercie. And when thou shalt come to iudge the quicke and the dead, be not re∣uenged on me by eternall damnation; but to take mee amongst thine elect, into the blessed state of saluation. Grant this, O Father, for Christ his sake, our media∣tor and aduocate,
O Lord my God, although I haue committed that, whereby I am an offender, can I make my selfe not to bee thy creature? Though through sinne I haue lost my cleannesse and puritie; haue I also taken awaie thy goodnesse and mercie? Though I haue committed that, wherefore thou maiest condemne me; hast thou not done that, whereby thou maiest saue me? True it is, O Lord, that my conscience doth shew me, that I haue deser∣ued damnation; but thy mercie exceedeth all offensi∣on. Spare me, O God, bicause it is not vnpossible for thy power; it is not vnmeete for thy mercie, it is not vnaccustomed, or yet contrarie to thine infinite good∣nesse. Wherefore thou which hast created me, doo not destroie me. Thou, O Iesu, which hast redeemed me, doo not condemne me. Thou which hast made mee, let not thy worke be cast awaie by my wickednesse. Wipe awaie all that is mine, and draweth me from thee; and knowledge all that is thine in me, and may bring mee vnto thee, which liuest and reignest one God in persons three, to whom be all honour, now and euer,
Another praier, wherin the penitent longeth for comfort.
HOw long, O Lord, wilt thou turne awaie thy face from me? How long wilt thou bee angrie with thy seruant? How long shall I abide mourning and solitarie, as the bird Page 191 that hath lost hir yoong? O Lord thinke on me in thy mercies, and doo not correct me in thy wrath: for then shall I become as the dust and smoke in the wind. O Lord forsake not thy seruant Israel, whom thou hast chosen. My hart being comforted in thy mercies shall reioice, and I will sing vnto thee, and praise thee in thy good works and miracles, which thou hast done in our fathers time: So be it.
Being tempted by the ghostlie enimie (as all that feare God are) to doubt in anie article of the Catholike faith, to despaire in Gods mercie, to yeeld to melancholie fansies, to be vexed with vn∣kindnes of friends, or the malice of enimies, to be troubled with sicknesse, or anie other waies oppressed with griefe of bodie and mind: saie deuoutlie as followeth.
I Humblie accept most mercifull Iesus, this heauie temptation, which now I suffer at the hands of thy diuine prouidence; and would a greater if thou please to laie it on me for thy sake, who hast ordeined this from the begin∣ning, for the tender loue thou bearest to the health of my sinfull soule: and I most hartilie thanke thee for it. I confesse I haue deserued woorse for my sinne and vn∣kindnesse towards thee, and am not woorthie to re∣ceiue anie comfort or consolation at thy hands. Ther∣fore to the honour of the passion, and death, which thou willinglie sufferedst on the crosse, I offer my selfe to sustaine this, or anie other aduersitie, with all my hart, not seeking otherwise ease or reliefe, than in and by thee, O Lord, and as thy good will and pleasure shall appoint. Yet this one thing I craue and beseech thee, for the tender loue thou bearest to me, and all man∣kind, (for in me is no vertue, or ought that good is) to helpe and assist me with thy holie spirit, as my trust is thou wilt, who promisest that no man shall be tempted more than he shall be able to beare. And giue me all Page 192 what euer shall be necessarie, to sustaine with pati∣ence this crosse and temptation, which thy diuine wis∣dome hath appointed for me; to the intent that I bea∣ring the same willinglie with thee here in this world, may conceiue assured hope to be partaker of thy glo∣rie in the world to come. Grant this my request, most mercifull Sauiour, not for my merit or deseruing, but onlie for the merits of thy death and bitter passion, I humblie beseech thee,
A praier against the feare of worldlie casualties.
O Most bountifull and louing Father, mine onlie guider and comforter, the well of mer∣cie, the true light of the world, take awaie the darknesse of my mind, lighten my hart & senses, indue me with thy grace, arme me so stronglie with sure hope, confidence and trust in thee, that I ne∣uer be driuen into feare, either by the subtile inuasi∣ons of our ghostlie enimie Sathan, or by the craftie wilinesse of the world, neither yet by losse, damage, hurt or hinderance of anie of those vaine and transito∣rie things, which we in this world doo possesse: but al∣waies whatsoeuer shall becom of them, to thinke that they are but things lent, and not our owne, and that we shall make a streight account of the vse or abuse of them; whereby the more we possesse thereof, the grea∣ter shall be our paine, if we abuse them.
Wherefore take from mee all inward heauinesse, thought and care, for anie losse or discommoditie recei∣ued by worldlie goods; and alwaies to thinke, that as well pouertie as riches, needinesse as abundance; sick∣nesse as health; aduersitie as prosperitie; come from thee: and that it is knowne to thine inscrutable iudge∣ment onlie, why and wherefore thou sendest either of these vpon vs. And therefore let not my mind be trou∣bled Page 193 with anie feare of things to chance, (sauing onlie to feare to displease thee:) but alwaies to be merrie in thee with sobernes, and to cast all my care of world∣lie affaires vpon thee; forasmuch as thou hast com∣manded that we should not be carefull what to eate, or what to drinke, or with what raiment we shall be clo∣thed. For thou wilt not see the righteous forsaken, or their children begging their bread; and that thou tur∣nest all things to the best to them that serue thee, and flie vnto thee for succour, in the time of their distresse.
Let this, O Lord, be euermore fresh in my memorie, grauen in my hart; and readie in my mouth: so that I leauing all needlesse feare, may alwaies giue thanks vnto thee, and praise thy holie name,
A praier to be deliuered from enimies and dangers.
O Most mightie Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Iacob, which didst leade the children of Israel through the red sea, and madest the streames of Iordan runne backe into their springs againe, that thy people might passe through the midst thereof. Good Lord, whose heasts the flouds obeied; at whose voice the hils doo leape, and the earth doth tremble. O most mightie Lord, which canst de∣stroie the proudest kings with verie flies and ants: which madest little Dauid to triumph on the giant Goliah, which deliueredst his enimie king Saule into his hands: gauest Gedeon thy seruant, with his few souldiours, victorie of so manie legions of strong men. Thou which hast subdued so manie mightie kings, and sundrie nations, vnto thy people Israel. O God, which workest all in all things, which giuest victorie alwaies as seemeth best to thine vnsearchable wisdome: defend me alwaies, I beseech thee, against mine enimies, and all euils; that my ship tossed and beaten in the waues Page 194 of this world, may rest in thy happie hauen of euerla∣sting ioie for euer.
My soule cleaueth vnto thy mercie, as to an holie sanctuarie. O God, if thou shouldest not be mercifull, who could abide the heat of thy displeasure? But thou O Lord, art good to thy seruants: and I hope to see thy goodnesse in the land of the liuing. All glorie be to the most high and mercifull God, for euer and euer,
A praier for righteous iudgement, in mat∣ters of controuersie.
O Lord God of all iustice, which in equall bal∣lance dooest weigh the cause of the Prince and of the poorest man, which despisest not the suites of the simple, which deliuerest the captiue, and comfortest the desolate and carefull. O Lord, which hast blessed them that are poore in spirit: releeue thy seruant oppressed with griefe, remooue from me the clouds of my sorowes. O Lord, stretch forth thy mightie hand, and helpe me. Let me not sinke in the seas of slander and shame. Thou knowest the se∣crets of my hart: defend me in mine innocencie, pleade thou my cause against the vngodlie, which haue laid their net for me. O God, thou which hast deliuered Ioseph, Daniel, Mardocheus & Susanna, from capti∣uitie and instant death; and didst cloth them with ho∣nour: good Lord strengthen me, and be my defender against all euils: and let not the poisoned arrowes of malicious tongues doo me anie harme. Grant these my praiers, good Lord, I beseech thee, for our Sauiour Iesus Christ his sake,
A Psalme to be said after trouble escaped.
MY soule reioice in God, for he is my light, and my defence, my helpe, the lanterne to my feet. He hath heard my praier, when I called on him, he hath holpen me in my neede, he hath Page 195 deliuered me in my dangers. The Lord is the keeper of my life, from whome shall I shrinke; whome shall I feare? Lieng prostrate at the feete of my Lord, I be∣wailed my case, and he heard my plaint; he forsaketh not his seruants. Wherefore, if armies of men stood vp against me, I should not feare. For if God be on my side, who can preuaile against me? He is happie and safe, whome God, the mightie God of Israel keepeth. The Sun shall not burne him by daie, nor the Moone by night. Chrise blessed is he that feareth the Lord, for he shall see happie daies. As the Hart thirsteth af∣ter the water springs, so my soule hath longed for my Lord, the liuing God. When shall I come to appeare before thy presence, to see thee in thy glorious maiestie, face to face? O Lord let thy kingdome come. Come Lord Iesus, that I may see the daie of my redemption. Good Lord make hast to helpe me. All glorie, maiestie, and empire, be vnto God the Creator, God the Redee∣mer, and God the holie Comforter, for euer and euer,
Comfortable exhortations against the manifold assaults of Sathan.
IF thou perceiue that the storme of tempta∣tion doth verie often and greeuouslie assault thee, dismaie not therefore thy selfe, neither be displeased with thy selfe, as though al∣mightie God nothing regarded thee; but rather thank him that he instructeth and teacheth thee, as one to be his heire; that he punisheth and correcteth thee, as his most deere soune; that he prooueth and assaieth thee as his welbeloued freend. It is a manifest and great to∣ken, that man is reiect from the mercie and fauour of God, when he is troubled with no temptation.
In thy temptation remember the holie Apostle S. Paule, which being rapt to the mysteries of the third heauen, was vexed with the Angel of Sathan. Page 196 Remember the temptation of the holie man Iob, and other which were greeuouslie troubled with their of∣fences. O happie and fortunate man, in whome this earthlie Adam is so mortified and subdued, that it in no wise resisteth the spirit! But whether this perfect quietnesse may be in anie, I will not affirme; perad∣uenture it is not necessarie to be. For Paule in this life, notwithstanding his high perfection and grace, had a motion of the flesh to vexe and trouble him. And when he thrise desired God to be deliuered from the said motion, he onelie had this answere: Paule, my grace is sufficient, for vertue is made perfect by vexa∣tion. Paule was vexed by pride, that he should not be proud: to be perfect and strong in God, he was caused to be weake and feeble. For he caried the treasure of heauenlie reuelation in a fraile and brittle vessell, that the honour and victorie should onlie be in God, not in himselfe. This one example of Paule, is erudition and learning in manie things, when that we be entised and moued to sinne, that we diligentlie call to almigh∣tie God by praier.
Remember that Dauid the Prophet, King Salo∣mon, and Peter the Apostle, notwithstanding they were great lights and examples of holinesse, yet they fell into greeuous and great sinnes, whome almightie God peraduenture suffered to fall for this cause, speci∣allie that thou shouldst not despaire. Lift vp thy selfe therefore vpon thy feete, and with high courage, and bold stomach returne againe into battell against thy enimies, not onlie more fierce and bold, but also more ware and diligent. And thinke with thy selfe what in∣tollerable and inuincible temptations Christ suffered for thee; wherein there appeared no helpe, comfort, aide, nor defence anie where; wherein God and the whole world seemed to be his most cruell and malici∣ous enimies, when that he cried alowd, My GOD, Page 197 my GOD, why hast thou forsaken me? Trulie this was a most greeuous, painefull, and bitter temptati∣on, which Christ suffered for vs, that he might make the waie of the crosse easie for vs.
Therefore prepare thy selfe patientlie to drinke of that cup, which Christ Iesu thy head hath so willing∣lie dronke on, for the saluation of all mankind. And see∣ing therefore that Christ so willinglie put himselfe in subiection, and dipped himselfe in those so horrible and intollerable sorowes and calamities (our most louing and heauenlie father willing the same out of doubt,) he also vnderstandeth and knoweth our infirmitie: out of doubt he taking compassion on vs, will not extreme∣lie deale with vs; but will rather beare with our im∣becillitie and weakenesse. Doth not he himselfe calling all men vnto him saie? Come vnto me all yee that la∣bour and are heauie laden, and I will refresh you. What greater comfort I praie you can be giuen vs? How could Christ speake more mercifullie vnto vs?
There be manie things that greeuouslie vexe and trouble man, but what thing can more cruellie vexe and torment his conscience ouerwhelmed with sinne, than when he doubteth of the mercie of God? When he dreadeth least God be his aduersarie, and will reiect him? When he is not able to conceiue this faith of his mercie; and doth imagine himselfe to be cast awaie, as a drie member that is cut off?
Be present heere, O Iesus Christ with thine aide and helpe; heere we haue neede of thy comfort: let not this blacke, violent and horrible tempest of troubles ouerthrowe and drowne wretched man.
But there is no cause why we should doubt. Christ is true, he will make his promise to appeare, he will helpe vs and refresh vs. Therefore, whereas thy faith is not strong ynough; whereas thou feelest thy selfe to doubt of Gods mercie; and hast well-neere no faith Page 198 at all; streightwaies call vpon God; bewaile thy mi∣serie and lacke of beleefe before him; seeke for his aide and succour by feruent praier, and he will both helpe and refresh thee; he hath taken vpon him thus to doo, and he will bring it to passe.
But take heede thou cease not to call vpon God; be∣seech thou, without ceasing, the father of all consolati∣on and comfort, with sighes from the bottome of thine heart, that he turne not his face from thee: laie thy weakenesse vpon him, and powre out into his bosome all things which trouble and torment thee. Crie out with his disciples; O Lord increase my faith. Like∣wise saie thou with the father of the lunatike childe; Lord, I beleeue, helpe thou mine vnbeleefe; make haste O Lord to helpe me, before that I oppressed with this weight be drowned. O most louing and most mercifull father; Lord God of my health, our onlie helpe and refuge: enter not into iudgement with thy seruants. Christ is my righteousnesse, redemption and innocen∣cie, which suffered most bitter and cruell death for my sake. Let those things moue thee O father of all com∣passion; haue mercie vpon me for thy sonnes sake; confirme and strengthen my hart by faith in Christ; comfort me with the consolations of the holie Ghost, that I may enioie the true ioies of euerlasting life, through the merits of my Lord and Sauiour Iesus Christ: to whom with the Father and the holie Ghost, be all praise and glorie for euer and euer,
A godlie meditation of the vnspeakable ioies of heauen, and the intollerable paines of hell, verie often to be remembred.
O God, my Lord, my harts delight, with whom my soule longeth to dwell in that heauenlie Ierusalem; wherein is continuall health, eternall felicitie, happie libertie, and perfect Page 199 blessednesse; where men shall be like vnto the Angels of God, and iust men shall shine as the Sunne, in the euerlasting kingdome, wherein is no heauinesse, no sorrowe, no greefe, no feare, no labour, no death, no dis∣ease, no lacke, no hunger, no thirst, no cold, nor heate; no wearinesse of fasting, nor temptation of the enimie, no will to sinne, nor power to doo euill, no old age, no lame or deformed person, no feare of pouertie, or weak∣nesse by disease; but a quiet harbour of all ioie, and e∣uerlasting happinesse, where men in the societie of Angels, shall continuallie dwell without anie infirmi∣tie of the flesh. For there is infinite ioie, and eternall blisse, from whence none shall be remoued, that once by thy prouidence shall enter therein.
There is rest from labours, peace from the enimie, a new kind of ioie and delight, such as no hart can con∣ceine, saue onlie by taking a maruellous delight, and exceeding pleasure in the beholding of thee my Lord God, my glorious redeemer, and the heauenlie comfor∣ter, which proceedeth from the Father and the Sonne. O heauenlie Ierusalem, thou art sweet and beautifull in all thy ioies and delights! There are no such mise∣ries in thee, as we feele and suffer in this poore and mi∣serable life. There is in thee no darkenesse, nor change of time: the shining of the Moone; the twinkling brightnesse of the Stars giueth not light in thee: but onlie the God of all power, glorie & maiestie, the light of lights. For in thee the Sun of iustice giueth light to those that are adopted in his bloud to euer-during blessednesse.
The bright and immaculate Lambe, a most beauti∣full light is thy light, that doth illuminate his chosen children. The King of kings is in the middest of thee, enuironed on ech side with his beloued Saints, and redie to crowne them with euerlasting glorie. In thee are legions of Angels, singing of sweet Hymnes and Page 200 songs, that set foorth the praise and honor of thy name: in thee are the felowship of heauenlie citizens: in thee resteth the sweete solemnitie of all such as returne from this miserable pilgrimage vnto thy glorie; the companie of the Prophets, Apostles, and victorious armie of Martyrs; holie men and women, which haue vanquished the pleasures of the world, haue their abi∣ding with thee. There are yoong children and maidens, which haue passed ouer their daies in holinesse of life, publishing thy praise in all puritie and pietie. Euerie one reioiceth in his degree, though not equall in glorie, yet like in ioies and gladnesse. For there reigneth per∣fect charitie, & God is all in all, whose Maiestie with∣out end they see continuallie, and still in beholding him their loue increaseth.
Of this eternall blessednesse the holie Apostle Pe∣ter had as it were a shadowe, or a tast, vpon the mount Thabor, at the transfiguration of Christ, from whence he desired he might not depart. Paule also had a proofe of it, when he was rapt or taken vp into the third heauen, where he heard words, and sawe things so maruellous and secret, as far passeth all mans vnder∣standing, and such as were not to be told or reuealed vnto men. Moses his face became so bright, through the conuersation that he had with the diuine glorie vpon mount Sinai; that the Israelites could not abide it. What then shall become of vs, when perpe∣tuallie with thee (which art the Lord of all glorie) we shall be conuersant, after the maner of thy children and familiar friends? Who is he then, that will not seeke and desire by all meanes possible, to be a dweller there; both for the desire of peace, ioie and eternitie; and for the perfect sight of God?
Contrariwise, who is able to expresse the torments appointed for the vngodlie and vnrepentant liuers; in that deadlie place called Hell, which Sathan him∣selfe Page 201 abhorreth? What other thing can be there, but continuall paines, eternall tribulation, and infinite calamitie, repleat with all euils? There dwell wic∣ked and ouglie Angels, whose horrible lookes bring sudden feare, greeuous paines, and fearefull death, with continual clouds of euer-during darknes. There is nothing but howling, wailing, lamentation and mourning without all end; fearfull scriches, & confu∣sed cries are there in all places suddenlie raised. There the woorme of conscience neuer dieth: in that damna∣ble dungeon, there is fire vnquenchable, and perpetu∣all gnashing of teeth. The miserable soule findeth there no rest, but is afflicted with all kind of torments, and such as can neuer be expressed; all which endure for euer.
Alas, little auaileth it those that are subiected as firebrans of hell, to crie vnto the Lord: for he will not heare them. Then shall they knowe, that all things which they had in this life are vaine; and such things as they thought to be pleasant, to be found more bit∣ter than gall or poison. Then where is the pleasure of the flesh, so termed falslie? For there is none other pleasure, but to feare the Lord. Then shall they con∣fesse and saie, that the iudgement of God is true and righteous, saieng: Did we not heare of this, and yet would not be conuerted from our wicked deeds? But then shall nothing preuaile. No sorowe can find com∣fort; no complaints, anie remorse; no torments, ease; nor painfull passions an end: such and so exceeding are the vexations of the second death, wherewith all the bodies and soules of the vnrighteous shall for euer be enuironed.
Sith therefore, O heauenlie Father, and most gra∣tious God, it seemeth good to thine eternall wisdome, by the knowledge of thine euerlasting truth, to giue me knowledge of thine inestimable mercie offered free∣lie Page 202 vnto me in Iesus Christ my mercifull Sauiour, in whose bloudie death and painfull passion I am assu∣red of eternall life and blessednesse. Giue me grace to print in my remembrance thy manifold mercies, that feeding my soule by faith in thee, I may attaine vnto those endlesse ioies, that thou hast prepared for thine adopted sonnes and chosen children, in the kingdome of euerlasting righteousnesse: and so escape those euer∣lasting torments, which thou hast prepared for the di∣uell and his Angels. From the which place of wofull vexation and endlesse miserie, deliuer me O heauenlie Father, for the loue of Iesus Christ his sake, to whom with thee and the holie Ghost, be all laud and praise for euer,
A praier to be said of the sicke, at the houre of death.
MOst mightie art thou, O Lord, in all thy deeds, and most holie in all thy waies. Bles∣sed be the name of my father, my God, and glorious Creator; who by his diuine power, and celestiall prouidence, of nothing made all things, fish, flesh, foules, fruites, trees, hearbes, and all other things, whatsoeuer are conteined both in heauen, earth, seas, and the nethermost parts thereof. Man, concerning the outward parts, thou by thy celestiall prouidence and fatherlie bountie, framedst and crea∣tedst of claie; but concerning the inward substance of thy creature man, thou didst fashion and make him euen according to thine owne similitude and likenesse. Moreouer, such and so great was thy loue and good will towards him, that all the creatures, or works of thy creation serued to this vse. In earth thou madest him lord and king ouer the fruits thereof: the beasts of the field, the foules of the aire, and the fishes of the little flouds and great waters. In the firmament Page 203 thou hast placed the glistering Sunne, with his orient beames to giue him light by daie, and therewith thou hast giuen him the Moone and the starres to gouerne him by night. For the which cause, aboue all other the works of thy creation, man should and ought of right to giue thee that glorie, that to thee belongeth.
But alas, such and so great is the corruption of our fraile and sinfull flesh, that for all these thy graces wee are carried awaie from thee, and enter into contempt of thy precepts. For which cause thou oftentimes doost correct and punish vs, to the intent we might thereby (feeling thy rod of correction) be driuen to imbrace har∣tie and true repentance. But when thy threats, and the stripes of thy displeasure laid vpon vs, can not take place amongst vs: thou oftentimes giuest vs vp to fo∣lowe our lusts and affections: but at last, when thou dooest behold our enormities, thou in a moment, by the power of thy diuine iustice, restrainest the rope of our disordered libertie, and cuttest in sunder the bridle of our voluptuousnes, either by sudden death, sword, fire, famine, sicknesse, or other the diuine sentences of thy conceiued ire; to the intent that other thy creatures might, by the terrour of thy iustice, auoid sinne, and learne to amend their liues, least they fall into the like calamitie or danger.
True, and most true it is, good Lord, that by the ex∣ercise of sinne we are the children of death and destru∣ction: but by grace of the almightie and victorious conquerour sweete Iesus Christ, we are the adopted sonnes of thy Father, and made fellowe-heires with thee our perfect Emanuel. In whose name with all humilitie and lowlinesse of hart and mind, I come vn∣to thee in this great extremitie of sicknesse and danger of death; beseeching thee to be present with me, to for∣get mine offences, to thinke vpon thy mercies. And al∣though I haue not deserued so much as the least drop Page 204 of thy fauour, by meanes of the great burden of my sinnes, which are in the presence of thy diuine Maie∣stie, most ouglie and loathsome to behold: yet respect thou not, O Father, mine iniquitie; but haue an eie, I beseech thee, to the merits of my Sauiour Christ Ie∣sus, to whom as my Mediator, Sauiour and Redee∣mer, I appeale: who hath promised comfort and sweete consolation to all those, that in his name flie vnto thee for releefe.
I confesse that woorthilie thou hast visited me with this sicknesse and disease, and yet not according to the multitude of my sinnes; but in the fulnesse of misera∣tion and fatherlie pitie. Giue me grace therefore in these bitter brunts of death, who vehementlie at this present beginneth to combat with fainting and feeble life, constantlie to cleaue vnto thee. Let not the plea∣sures of this wicked world be a let or impediment for me to come vnto thee: let not my fraile and feeble flesh subiect to sinne, which hath through my transgression made me a bondman to death, mooue me to despaire in thy great mercie: neither yet let the caueling aduersa∣rie, the enimie of mankind, at my last end, triumph o∣uer me. Giue me patience to suffer, and gladlie to beare and abide this thy scourge and visitation; and so fortifie me in soule and bodie, that so long as life shall endure in me, I may neuer cease to call vpon thy holie and blessed name. Yea and when death is most busiest, make thou me most constant: yea when he see∣keth most stronglie to assaile my feeble bodie; giue me thy grace, good Lord, that I may in spirit, hart, mind, and all the powers of my soule, giue praises vnto thee, that of thy grace and inestimable kindnesse, hast sent thy sonne Christ Iesus to ransome me, by his bloudie death and passion, from the power of hell.
Giue me grace therfore, now that thou hast appoin∣ted thy messenger death to finish the daies of my pil∣grimage, Page 205 and to call me by his summons from out of this vale of miserie and wretchednesse, to build sted∣fastlie vpon him, and faithfullie to hope for life and sal∣uation, in & alone through him. Let the remembrance of my former wickednesse be no more thought vpon: let mine offences be blotted out of thy glorious sight. Be∣hold my sorowfull & true repentant hart, which come vnto thee with teares, not building on my merits; but vpon thy mercies. Though I be sinfull; thy sonne my Sauiour is righteous: though I be wicked; yet he is most holie: though I be full of impietie; yet he is full of all goodnesse: though I haue greeuouslie offended thee; yet he hath fullie contented thee: though I haue transgressed thy lawe; yet he hath fulfilled the same, and hath promised in his bloud, to wash awaie their sinnes, that by faith continue in him constant to the end. I therefore, in this my great and painfull agonie, beholding death to be at the gates of my bodie, come vnto thee, by the vertue of a fruitfull faith; beseeching thee, when thou shalt see it meete and conuenient, that he shall dissolue the bands of this vading life, which endureth but a while (for a thousand yeeres are as ye∣sterdaie in thy sight) to take my soule into thy glori∣ous and blessed hands; and so to confirme me in thy truth, that at the last, when it shall please thee, by the sound of a trumpe, to raise my bodie from the graue, when and in which time bodie and soule shall vnite and come before thy presence, I may by faith in thee passe ouer the mount of my corruption, shake off the bands of sinne, be set free from death and destruction; and be∣ing by the vertue of thy righteousnesse made holie, I may triumph with happie victorie ouer sinne, death, and all the powers of hell, and enter with thee, and the felowship of thy chosen Saints, into euerlasting rest. Grant this, most louing Father, for Christ Iesus sake, to whom with thee and the holie Ghost, be rendred all Page 206 laud, glorie, honour and praise, for euer, Amen.
The Lord God be mercifull to me; pardon and for∣giue me my sinnes, looke vpon me with his gratious and blessed countenance: preserue me from the second death, and euerlasting destruction of bodie and soule. The Lord God iustifie me in his death and bloud; cloath me with his euerlasting righteousnesse; and register my name in the booke of life. The Lord God comfort my guiltie conscience with the euerlasting light of his bountifull fauour; and lot my place among his Saints in his heauenlie kingdome. The Lord God for his mercies sake, after this my bodilie death, giue me the fruition of his presence, in his rich palace of endlesse glorie, to whose mercifull protection I com∣mend with all humilitie and reuerence my soule. Lord Iesus preserue me, Lord Iesus comfort me, Lord Ie∣sus refresh me, Lord Iesus praie for me. For onlie into thy hands that hast redeemed mee, O Lord God of truth, I commend my soule,
A deuout meditation to be vsed after praier.
REmember not, O Lord God, thine anger a∣gainst me an offender, but be mindfull of thy mercie towards me a true penitent. Forget that through pride I haue prouoked thee to ire; and fauourablie harken vnto my praier. What is Iesus, but a Sauiour? Therefore O bountifull Ie∣su, be thou my Sauiour, rise vp in thine owne strength to helpe me. Saie vnto my soule, I am thy safegard. In thy goodnesse doo I trust, in thee is my helpe. And forasmuch as thou hast willed, that we should with∣out ceasing seeke and sue vnto thee; behold, I beeing counselled and foretold by thy commandements, doo now both aske, seeke, and knocke. But thou which com∣mandest me to aske; graunt that I may receiue: thou Page 207 biddest me seeke; make me to find: thou hast taught me to knocke; open vnto me that stand knocking: strengthen me that am weake; restore me that am lost; reuiue me that am dead by sinne; make me to serue thee, to liue to thee, to giue my selfe wholie to thee. I knowe my God, that because thou madest me, I owe my selfe vnto thee: and for that thou hast redeemed me, I should owe thee more than my selfe. But behold, I haue no more to giue, neither can I giue my selfe vnto thee, vnlesse thou make me willing therevnto. Take thou me, draw me vnto thee, that as I am thine by creation, so I may be thine by following of thee, which liuest and reignest for euer and euer,
A Praier deciphering in Alphabet forme, the name of the right Woorshipfull Ladie MARY FANE.
MOst mightie art thou Lord in all thy deedes, and holie in all thy works. Haue mercie vp∣on me, and giue me vnderstanding therefore from aboue, to consider the substance where∣of thou hast framed me; and by the knowledge thereof, make me to consider mine owne weakenesse and infir∣mitie to be such, that vnlesse thou set to thy hand spee∣dilie to helpe me that am oppressed with sinne, I shall perish in my wickednesse.
AS my sins are innumerable, and redder than scar∣let, so giue me grace to acknowledge thy greate mercies, which are surmounting the sands of the seas; and that thou by thy grace, at thy good pleasure canst wash awaie my deformitie, and make me to excell the snowe of Libanus. I beseech thee, O mercifull father, let it be far from my thought, wilfullie, or of a set pur∣pose, Page 208 to fall into the danger of sinne, or to commit anie heinous sinne, or greeuous wickednes against thine e∣ternall maiestie. For by the exercise of such and so great euill, I by meanes of my presumption prouoke thee to displeasure. Giue me grace therefore to stand in awe of thy iustice, least that thy mercie be with-held and kept from me, and thou giue me ouer, as thou didst proud Pharao, to the lust and affections of mine owne hart, and so I be drowned in the dangerous gulph of destruction.
REadie art thou Lord at all times to heare, and giue eare vnto the petitions of thy people: but more readier are we to run astraie from thy will, and to transgresse thy sacred lawes and diuine statutes, than we are to leaue the lusts of carnalitie, the plea∣sures of this vaine and wicked world; so greatlie are we affected to licentious libertie, and all other kind of notorious euill. But yet O mercifull father, of thine abundant loue, fauour, and exceeding kindnesse, giue me grace to renounce sinne, to hate this transitorie and vading world, to mortifie my fraile and feeble flesh, which rebelleth against the spirit, and by faith in Christ, in this my dangerous pilgrimage, so giue me strength, that mine enimies may be ouerthrowne, and I being deliuered from the snares of hell, may by thee, which art the author of mans felicitie, haue the fruiti∣on of thy kingdome, and celestiall mansion of endlesse and sempiternall glorie.
YDlenesse is the nurse and roote of all infectious e∣uils. Giue me thine aid therefore, O Lord, to loath and detest this deadlie and dangerous sinne, least ther∣by I run headlong into thy heauie displeasure. Make me alwaies and euer to be occupied (good Lord) in thy Page 209 holie lawe, that with all the powers of my soule, hart, mind and vnderstanding, I may giue thee continuall praise, honor and glorie. Yeeld plentiouslie vnto me al∣so, good Lord, thy grace from aboue, that I may conti∣nuallie make my boast of thine euerlasting name, & by hartie contrition, and bitter deploration of my sinnes and wickednesse, obtaine thy fauourable pardon, and by thee being sanctified, and made cleane from all mine vncleannesse and vngodlinesse, I may enter with thee at the last daie into the celestiall and glorious king∣dome, purchased in the bloudie death of my Sauiour Iesus Christ. Yea, illuminate mine eies (I saie) O good Lord, that I sleepe not in darkenes, but giue me grace good Lord, continuallie to keepe watch and ward, least that the enimie find me slumbering in the cradle of carelesnesse, the gates of my bodie be broken vp, and in the daie of thy comming to iudgement, the sentence of thy displeasure be pronounced against me, to the vtter confusion of my bodie and soule.
FAith is to be embraced of all those that hope for felicitie and blessednesse in Iesus Christ. Giue me therefore such wisdome from aboue, that I may be dailie desirous to learne thy sacred pre∣cepts, and walke in the path-waie of thy glorious sta∣tutes, that by the exercise of thy will, sinfull vice and iniquitie may be vanquished, and vertue may haue the dominion and souereigntie in me.
ABstinence coupled with constant and faithfull praier, is a thing that much pleaseth thy maiestie, and withdraweth from vs the force of thy heauie in∣dignation. Giue me grace then with praier, to exercise such fasting, as may hold downe the man of sinne, that he swell not in pride, excesse, gluttonie, or superfluous Page 210 eating or drinking. Make me alwaies to vse thy gifts so moderatelie, that thy name may be glorified; and I fasting from sinne with hartie praier faithfullie, may beate at the gates of thy grace, and so obtaine the full effects of thy fatherlie loue and fauourable kindnesse. Finallie, abate I beseech thee, the pride of the vngodlie that trouble me. Confound in thy iustice the imagina∣tions of the foolish, which sticke not to saie in their harts, There is no God. Breake the iawe bones of those in sunder, that consult and take counsell togither how they may harme the innocent and weake. From the bloud-thirstie and deceiptfull man, deliuer me O Lord my God. Looke fauourablie vpon me, glad thou my hart with the cheerefull lookes of thy gratious and louing countenance. Saie vnto my soule, I am thy safegard. Be thou euer with me, then shall I not need to feare the power of my subtile and cruell enimies; but at thine appointed will and heauenlie pleasure, I shall be made safe, and with the felowship of thy chosen Saints, enioie the fruition of thine euerlasting king∣dome.
NOthing O Lord I brought into this world, and nothing shall I carie hence with mee. Giue mee grace and power therefore to consider that all world∣lie things are vaine, and shall vanish awaie like smoke. Make me to vnderstand that I am a stranger heere, and far from my countrie, the new Citie of Ierusa∣lem, which thou hast in the fulnesse of thy great mercie ordeined for those, that continue faithfull in thee to the end. And sith that all earthlie things are subiected to consuming, as meere vanities, endue me with such vn∣derstanding, that I may laie my treasure plentifullie in heauen, with Iesus Christ; to whome in the water of baptisme by grace in spirit, I am coupled and knit. Withdrawe me therefore from the delight of worldlie Page 211 pleasures, and giue me streugth to offer my selfe vp wholie into his blessed and heauenlie hands, that my hart, my mind, the powers of my soule, and all that I haue, may depend on him, with whome my treasure resteth, that being vnder the comfortable gard of his defence, I may be deliuered from all danger of bodie and soule. Naked was I borne, and naked to the graue shall I returne againe; the Lord giueth, and the Lord taketh awaie, euen as it pleaseth his maiestie, all things are brought to passe, whose glorious name be praised for euer. No man can escape the sting of death, all flesh must bow vnto the graue. Giue me a feruent faith therefore, O Lord, to continue faithfull in Iesus Christ, that whensoeuer it shall please thee to send thy messenger death to arrest me, I may be readie at his summons, ioifullie to beare his stroke, and by the po∣wer of a liuelie faith, so to withstand sinne and Sa∣than, that death may with the enimies of mans felici∣tie, be vanquished and subdued, and I by him may liue in Iesus Christ.
EXpell and roote out in and from my remembrance, the detestable branches of wrath, pride, concupis∣cence, vaine-glorie, and all other horrible vices and noisome euils, that heape vp thy greeuous displeasure against me. Take from me all abuse, let me neuer blas∣pheme thy blessed and glorious name, let my tong be purged by thee from all corrupt and vncomelie talke, let all my thoughts be occupied in thy seruice, faith, feare and loue. Make me good Lord alwaies obedient to doo thy will, and to walke in the waies of thy com∣mandements, and to delight in thy blessed testimonies. And graunt me thy grace, that by the hearing of thy Euangelicall and heauenlie doctrine, my faith may be increased, made strong and fruitfull, to exercise the works of charitie and loue to all men; and chieflie to Page 212 those that constantlie fauour thy Gospell, and conti∣nue faithfull in Christ Iesus. Euermore (I saie) good Lord, giue me thy blessings from aboue, and let my hart, my soule and tong, be euer readie, for thy grati∣ous benefits receiued, to publish and set foorth thy glo∣rie and praise in weale and wo, in pouertie, and prospe∣ritie, in time of peace and in time of danger. Stretch foorth thy hand to protect me; and I by thee deliuered from all perils, shall make my boast of thy mercies freelie showne vnto me without my deserts; and with the felowship of thy Saints, giue such honour, praise, and reuerence vnto thee, as of right and bounden du∣tie I ought to doo.
And forasmuch as not euerie one that saith Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdome of God and Christ, make me not then a professor of thy word with my lips, but an earnest louer of the same, & a faithfull folower of thy commandements, least at the comming of the great and rich Bridegroome Iesus Christ, I be refu∣sed, as were the fiue vndiscreet and foolish virgins, that wanted oyle to garnish their Lamps. For if thou O Lord passe by, and finde me vnprouided, the gates of thy grace being fast shut vp, and locked close, I shall then stand knocking and calling the Lord all in vaine. For thou wilt giue answere, thou knowest me not, and being forsaken of thee, I shall perish euerlastinglie. Giue me grace therefore O good Lord, to be readie pre∣pared with my wedding garment, and oyle in my Lampe, that I may continuallie watch thy comming, and so enter with thee as thy ghest, to the rich banqueting house of euerlasting glorie,