O All yee holie spirits, the apparitors of the Lords Maiestie, which are diuided into in∣numerable garrisons, go yee before others in this his praise, and sound them foorth, e∣uen from the most high heauen.
O yee Citizens of Zion, reioice yee in the Lord your King and Gouernour, and set foorth his praise far and wide, not onlie priuatelie, but also publikelie.
Praise the Lord, I saie; for his infinite goodnesse and euerlasting mercie deserueth the same.
O you the innumerable multitude, whome God hath deliuered out of manifold dangers, and foorth of the hands of your enimies and persecutors, praise the Lord; for his infinite goodnesse and euerlasting mercie deserueth the same, and acknowledge this thing with me.
For how manie hath he gathered from the begin∣ning of the world, which were scattered from the East and the West, from the North and South Ocean sea?
How manie wandering wretches in the waste wil∣dernesse, and seeking a Citie commodious to dwell in, halfe dead, and killed with famine and thirst; crieng vnto thee, O God, in their extreame miseries, hast thou heard; and drawing them foorth of their distresse, hast brought into the right waie, and led them into com∣modious Cities of refuge to dwell in peace?
O let these men therefore set foorth this thy great mercie before thee, O Lord thy selfe, and shew foorth thy maruellous works to other men; who hast thus refreshed them panting for thirst; and fed them so mercifullie, being hunger-starued!
How manie also being shut vp in darke prisons, and Page 339 euen as it were in the darkenesse of death, being chai∣ned in their mind with sorow, and in their bodies most strictlie with iron fetters? And that worthilie (I con∣fesse,) because they did not obeie thy commandements oh God, which are engrauen in the minds of all men, but rather followed their owne lusts, than the whole∣some counselles of thee their God.
Notwithstanding, when thou, O God, thereby well hadst tamed their fiercenesse, and hadst brought them to this point, that they could find no help in anie; thou gratiouslie heardst them crieng vnto thee in their di∣stresse, and deliueredst them from their miserie, and broughtst them from the dongeons of the prisons, and darkenesse of death, breaking their iron fetters in sunder.
O praise yee therefore this so great mercie of the Lord before him, and declare his woonderfull actes to other mortall men, who hath broken the brasen gates, and hath dashed in peeces their iron barres.
How manie also being driuen awaie through perse∣cution, vnto that prophane Babylon, euen auoiding so much as laie in you, the sight of the wicked enimies, did confesse with most dolefull silence, euen with a∣bundance of teares, both your sinnes and sorowes, at the flouds of Euphrates, being mindfull of Zion.
And though you caried your harps euen to be your comfort in so great calamitie, yet being outragiouslie mocked and derided in your miserie, by the enimie that draue you awaie into most miserable captiuitie, you were faine to hang them vp vpon the sallowe trees, and make no noise in the sight of the persecutors; as they that sawe more cause rather to mourne than sing in that time and place.
Notwithstanding, the Lord did not forget you for e∣uer, but seeing the crueltie of the persecutors, in his good time turned awaie your captiuitie & mourning, Page 340 and restored you to libertie and ioie againe, so that you liue and see the daie, wherein Babylon is destroied, and hir children dashed against the stones. For the Lord hath giuen hir prosperitie vnto vs, to deale with them againe, as they haue dealt with vs.
Yea, the Lord hath armed his people with double edged swords in their hands, wherewith they may punish the prophane Gentiles, and auenge the cruel∣tie of the oppressed; & also may drawe their kings and nobles bound in chaines and iron fetters, euen to exe∣cute the iudgements appointed and commanded by thee O Lord. And this verelie is the dignitie and the honour of all them, whome God hath receiued to his fauour.
Wherefore, O ye glorious people, vpon whome the Lord hath bestowed so manie benefits, now see that yee in this your great quietnesse and rest, sing & triumph.
Praise the Lord in deede, O Israel, and delight thy selfe in setting foorth his praise continuallie, whose worke thou art as it were newlie formed, being deliue∣red from so manie not dangers but deaths.
What shall I speake, Lord, furthermore of them, who by their owne foolishnesse, going in the waie of wickednesse, and being oppressed by manifold plagues and diseases, doo dailie suffer the reward of their mad∣nesse; and loathing all manner of meate, are at deaths dore; whom notwithstanding thou, O Lord, diddest heare crieng vnto thee in their miserie, and thou deli∣ueredst them out of their distresse; yea thou speaking but one word, diddest take awaie all the cause of their deadlie disease, and restoredst them to health.
Let these men also, I saie, praise this thy so great mercies, O Lord, and publish thy maruellous works before other mortall men. Let them offer the sacrifi∣ces of praise vnto thee, O God, in the middle multitude of the people standing about them; and let them re∣hearse Page 341 with great ioie, what he hath done for them, in the assemblie of the cheefest.
Go to therefore, O all yee people; praise the Lord our God together with me; who when wee were op∣pressed with Pharaos tyrannie, was mindfull of vs; and with a strong force deliuered Israel from the slauerie of Egypt, and hath giuen this dominion to be possessed by ELIZABETH his handmaid; for his mer∣cie endureth for euer.