The Queenes Vow, or selfe-talke with GOD: Collected out of the Psalmes of the princelie Prophet King DAVID, as they are pa∣raphrasticallie expounded by that godlie learned man, THEO∣DORE BEZA.
Wherein the Queenes Maiestie, after a most Christian ma∣ner, euen with Dauids spirit, his sweet words, and diuine sentences, first inciteth & prepareth hir hart and mind to*deuotion. Secondlie acknowledgeth the omnipotent power of God ouer all kings, kingdoms, and creatures:*and, after a true rehearsall of his manifold benefits besto∣wed vpon hir from hir birth, with an acknowledgement of hir souereigntie to come onelie from the Lord, she thirdlie confesseth hir vnwoorthinesse, and reioiceth*greatlie in his protection and mercie towards hir, since hir comming to the Crowne. Fourthlie, hauing his won∣derous works and benefits, done for hir preseruation, in*great admiration, shee not onelie yeeldeth condigne thanks for the same, but exhorteth all creatures, both in heauen and earth, to praise God together with hir. And so lastlie she bindeth hir selfe as it were by a solemne oth, vow and promise, to consecrate hir life wholie to the true*worship and sincere seruice of God, in all holie obe∣dience to his lawes, to the glorie of God, and full discharge of hir dutie, both in hir Court and Realme.
* The first part of the VOW.
RABBONI, my hart so voileth within mee, that I must needes burst foorth that, which it hath conceiued; euen a magnifical Uow of a QVEENE consecrated to the KING of heauen himselfe, and that with such zeale and feruen∣cie, that no penne may seeme to be able to at∣taine vnto the voice of the speaker.
Therefore, O my God, I being now prepared with my whole hart; with my whole hart and mind, I saie, haue great desire to speake vnto thee: and in this my present most happie estate, to call into my remem∣brance thy woonderfull works, wrought and brought to passe by thine almightie power for me, from my conception, euen vntill this houre.
Neither will I doo it, O Lord, with my mouth onlie, as hypocrites vse to doo; but I will vnfeinedlie testifie thee my God to be mine onlie maker, redeemer, preser∣uer, and Sauiour, with praise that shall proceed euen from the deepe bottome of my hart.
Go to then my tongue, go to my mouth, I saie; bee thou no longer dumbe; but open thy selfe wide, to speake out the most excellent praises of my God, and make thy har∣tie Uowes, and saie: as followeth.
The second part, conteining foure Chapters.
O Heauenlie Father, my almightie maker, my greatest King, mine onlie GOD, and soue∣reigne Sauiour; thou which art the King of glorie, and most glorious King; the Lord of hosts, strong, valiant, and mightie; whose seate is in the highest heauens, and thy dominion is stretched foorth ouer all things without exception.
I humblie acknowledge thee to be the verie God of Angels, and of men; the most sacred Emperour of the most mightie spirits, and holie companie of the hea∣uenlie armies, which celebrate thy truth and praise perpetuallie, in the regions aboue vs; yea, the greatest God, highest Lord, and most magnificall King, far a∣boue all Emperours, Kings, Lords and Princes, how great soeuer.
Euen the God of Abraham, Isaac and Iacob, and of my father Dauid, and his posteritie, Kings and Queenes my predecessors; which art higher than the heauens, and the mightie Monarch of the whole world; hauing of nothing made heauen and earth, and all things therein by thine almightie power; guiding, preseruing, and ruling by the same the state of king∣doms, and all the creatures and people that dwell in the world: reseruing in thy power and authoritie, as the Lord of all, both the lowe secret parts of the earth, the deepe bottoms of the Sea, and the high tops of the mountaines: reigning euer full of Maiestie, po∣wer, and authoritie, and that most gloriouslie and tri∣umphantlie, in an eternall and euerlasting kingdome.
For whereas all other kingdoms trulie are tran∣sitorie, and subiect to destruction; thy kingdome onlie O God, I confesse, is not limited in anie bounds, nor Page 323 subiect to anie tearme of yeares or time; but alwaies endureth one, and vnchangeable, from all eternitie to eternitie; as he whose throne is for euer and euer: and which hast raised a kingdome for thy selfe, among thine Angels and people, both in heauen and in earth of old, to continue alwaie most stable, firme, and vn∣moueable.
So that thou, Lord, onlie maist iustlie challenge vn∣to thy selfe, the authoritie of the kingdome in deede, o∣uer all nations vpon the earth: who art that most ge∣lous and dreadfull IEHOVA, vnto whome all the Emperours, Kings, and Gouernours in the world shall bow, submit themselues, and doo their homage and diuine seruice, with their scepters and crownes cast vnder thy feete: and who dooest declare thy selfe ve∣rie terrible to all the potentates and powers of the world, and cuttest off their courage, strength, and glo∣rie, throwing it in the dust, euen as the Gardener doth twist and proine his Uine.
AND therefore, most worthilie ascribing and resigning vp the honour and glorie of all empire, kingdome, rule, power and dominion vnto the holie, secret, maruellous, and renou∣med name of thy most high and sacred Maiestie, which art the father of lights, ancient of daies, the sauiour of all beleeuers, and the onlie redeemer, strength, glo∣rie and hope of Israel, and of all the ends of the earth, euen Alpha and Omega, the first without beginning, and the last without ending, that shalt come to iudge both the quicke & the dead, God blessed for euer, Amen.
I (according as it is meete, and my verie bounden dutie) doo now meekelie confesse, and protest to thy per∣petuall praise, that it is thou, O most mercifull God, and none other, which in the beginning, when I laie Page 324 as a rude lumpe without shape, being shut vp in the secret place of my mothers wombe, didst forme, fashi∣on, and nourish me; and at the time appointed, and set downe in thy booke, didst drawe me foorth of the darke caue, wherein I was fashioned, and broughtst me foorth of the bowels of my mother, as it were a midwife.
So that the verie bowels within me, are thine owne, by good right and authoritie; because thou ioi∣ning all my sinewes and bones togither, hast made me a mortall woman, and couered me within my mothers wombe. For there is no King or Queene that had anie other beginning of birth: for all men haue one en∣trance into life, and one going out in like manner.
Which worke of thine surelie, when I behold in my selfe, it is so wonderfull, O Lord, that I should vtterlie shew my selfe most senselesse and vnthankefull, vnlesse I praise thee for the same, and confesse, that thy works are exceeding maruellous in deede, seeing I doo per∣ceiue the thing so manifestlie as it is.
So soone also as I, thy workemanship, came, foorth a reasonable creature into this world, I receiued like aire as other men, and was committed vnto thee my Creator, at what time thou didst declare thy selfe to be my God, and causedst me to looke vp vnto thee, when I did hang yet on my mothers breasts.
Euen in my verie cradle and swadling clouts, O God, thou hadst a speciall care & regard ouer me, and tookest in hand fatherlie to foster and gouerne me so manie yeares ago, and to leade and guide me from my tender yeares vnto this daie.
Euer since I was borne, I saie, thou my God hast defended me from dangers, both when I was strong, and in the floure of my youth: neither hast thou forsa∣ken me now, being in my middle age, nor wilt (I trust) when I am graie-headed.
Page 325 O mine inlightener, it is thou that hast taught and instructed me with the knowledge of thee, from my childhood hitherto. Therefore haue I depended who∣lie vpon thee alone; vpon thee, I saie, O excellent Fa∣ther, haue I set all my hope, euen from mine infancie, and will doo so still euen vnto mine old age.
NEither hath thy prouidence and mercie towards me, ceased at anie tune. For sure∣lie, thou hast made me a singular & euerla∣sting example of thy fauour & mercie to all men, in that thou beholding me alwaies with thy pleasant countenance, and obseruing conti∣nuallie with thine heauenlie eie, what iniurie soeuer was offered me, hast not onelie woonderfullie comfor∣ted and preserued me in all my troubles: but also of∣tentimes most miraculouslie saued and deliuered mee out of most great and manifold miseries, imminent pe∣rils, and multitudes of mightie enimies, wherewith I haue beene assaulted, enuironed, vexed, afflicted, per∣secuted, and turmoiled from my tender age.
Yea so tenderlie, O God, hast thou loued mee, that thou hast not suffered me to be intrapped of thousands of aduersaries, that rose vp against me, saieng in their harts, Hir God can not helpe hir. But being the iudge of mine innocencie, my glorie, my shield, and my vali∣ant Champion, thou hast thy selfe smitten downe all mine enimies, brought me safelie out of distresse, and lift vp my head aboue all mine aduersaries.
Thou hast deliuered my life, I saie, foorth of the pre∣sent doores of death, staied the teares of mine eies, and established my feete, that I did not fall for any tempta∣tion: so that I walked safe & sound before thee, among the liuing that praised thee. And that I liue now to praise thee, I may onlie thanke thee my deliuerer, who Page 326 hast caused me thus to taste, feele, and enioie the most comfortable sweetnesse of thy goodnesse, mercie, and fa∣uour.
And though I was forsaken of all men; and the most mightie, together with my neerest friends, had mee in contempt: though the superstitious aduersaries, I saie, heaued vehementlie against me, and with great violence sought to cast me downe, and laie mine honor in the dust: yet hast thou, my God, by thine owne hand repulsed & driuen out all those mine irreligious foes, which so wickedlie resisted thy purpose; and to their confusion of faces, hast exalted me to the highest de∣gree of dignitie.
Wherefore, great cause of continuall ioie and har∣tie reioicing hast thou, O Lord, giuen vnto me, thine handmaid, which acknowledge my selfe mightilie and miraculouslie preserued by thy power.
Doubtlesse, now thou hast woonderfullie deliuered in deed thy QVEENE, that was annointed by thee, and hast heard me out of the highest Sanctuarie, & gran∣ted vnto me that, which I requested in my praiers.
For I put my trust, neither in chariot, nor horses, men nor munition: but onelie remembred thy name, and called vpon thee in all my troubles: and lo, thou, ô KING of heauen, hast heard me in all my necessities, and giuen me my harts desire, accomplishing all my purposes.
I required this thing onlie of thee, that I might es∣cape aliue and safe from persecution; but thou hast not onelie strengthened and comforted me out of Zi∣on, and placed me here in thy dominion and empire in safetie: but also hast granted vnto me a life that shall neuer faile; and that bicause I onelie set my hope still in thee, in whom all power remaineth, as I often∣times by good experience haue prooued.
Yea thou, O most excellent Father, hast done a no∣table Page 327 worke, woorthie to bee set foorth in writing to all posteritie, and to be limmed out in gold to euerlasting memorie; bicause, O Lord, thou hast not despised the praiers and teares of thy most miserable people; but from thy holie throne hast looked downe vpon me, and them, to heare the mournings of the prisoners, thy persecuted members; and to loose them foorth of bonds and fetters, of whose life it was vtterlie despaired: that in Zion once againe thy name, O Lord; and thy praises, I saie, in Ierusalem might be published by my ministerie, as it is this daie, manie nations and people running together to worship thee, who hast now shew∣ed thy selfe much more glorious therein, than at anie time before.
Therefore, O God, which art indeed the Gouernor and Lord ouer all people, in heauen and in earth: thou art our God by a peculiar right, and mine onlie honor. For so great glorie haue I attained, by this thy de∣fence and saluation; and so bright is the glittering of this honour, wherewith thou hast crowned me; that I may woorthilie triumph in thee, being thus preser∣ued and deliuered by thee: and also condignelie cele∣brate this daie wholie to thee, with banners displaied, which hast so gratiouslie granted all the petitions of thine handmaid.
Namelie, for that thou, Lord, being euer mindfull of thy promise and word, which is of force for euer, and prouiding for thine owne onlie glorie, didst so merciful∣lie and miraculouslie preserue me from dangers; and rebuking euen Kings and Princes for my sake, so pre∣tious and deere was my bloud in thy sight, that none should touch thine Annointed, nor doo me anie harme, at the time appointed by thee; thou allowing, iustifi∣eng, and commending me as innocent, whom others did maliciouslie condemne as guiltie of wickednesse, didst most faithfullie and freelie performe thy promises Page 328 towards me, and changing my miserable estate into blisse, didst bring me foorth glad and ioifull, whom thou hadst appointed thine elect handmaid, and chosen ser∣uant, to gouerne thy people and affaires in this king∣dome.
WHerefore, I humblie acknowledge that it is thou, O almightie GOD; which raisest vp the abiects, and exaltest the miserable from the dunghill, to place them among the Prin∣ces of the people: and which somtime laiedst helpe vp∣on one that was mightie, and didst exalt one chosen of the people (my father DAVID thy seruant I meane,) whom thou tookest from the sheepfold, and with thy ho∣lie oile didst annoint, and broughtest to feed thy people and inheritance in Israel.
Euen thou, O God, I saie, the selfe-same good God it is, I confesse, which hast also consecrated ELIZABETH to thy selfe, to gouerne thy people, ouer whome thou dooest chieflie rule: and who hast vouchsafed in like fa∣uour, and in as great mercie, to call me out of the pri∣son to the palace, and to appoint me to be the Prince and Pastor to feede the posteritie of Iacob, and most deere people of Israel, with the spirituall food of thine eternall word.
My preferment, Lord, and promotion I knowe, is come neither from the east, nor from the west; from the south, nor from the north; neither, as I haue well perceiued, was it in mine owne power to exalt my selfe, and to mount vp out of so great miserie to so high dignitie.
But it was thou my KING, and my God, euen thou most iust Gouernour of all things, (which bringest to passe mightie things, farre passing the condition of mankind, and rulest the state of kingdoms, to whom Page 329 alone it belongeth, and in whose power and authori∣tie it is, to cast downe whom thou wilt, and to exalt whom it pleaseth thee) which hast exalted mee thine handmaid, and giuen vnto me thine absolute authori∣tie, ouer all the great Princes and people of England; that I should gouerne the verie Magistrates & Com∣mons thereof, by the direction of thy word, wisdome, and counsell.
Yea, I take thee to record, O Lord, against the slan∣ders of all men, that I neuer desired this honour, as though I had deserued it; neither laboured that I should be brought vnto this dignitie; nor that I am now proud, being promoted by thee thervnto; nor that I doo so much as thinke or reioice that I am brought to this Kinglie office by bloud, birth, or by mine owne endeuour or power.
But alwaies I haue, and still will confesse, and hum∣blie acknowledge to thy glorie, that it was thou onlie, O Lord, my Redeemer and Sauiour, vpon whome I did earnestlie call and set mine eies, which (at what time it pleased thee to heare me) didst vouchsafe to em∣brace me with thy speciall grace and fauour, and to bestowe this so great a benefit vpon me. First, to choose and take me onelie out of the rest of the people, and to exalt me aboue others; and then to consecrate mee to thy selfe, and to annoint me with thy holie oile to be the QVEENE of this Realme, and that not for anie de∣sert of mine at all, I saie; but onlie bicause it so pleased thee to vse my seruice and endeuour, in this so weigh∣tie businesse, to defend thy people by my power recei∣ued from thee.
Finallie, it was thou, O heauenlie KING, who fa∣uouring me thine handmaid more than I deserued, didst richlie apparell mee in the roiall robes, and all ouer cloathedst and beedeckedst me with statelie gar∣ments, brodered with gold and pretious stones; and Page 330 as vpon this daie, settedst me in the regall throne, and causedst me most gloriouslie to come foorth from the yuorie Palace of my Coronation, accompanied with manie noble Princes, & goodlie Uirgins, and bearing the diademe or Crowne of pure gold vpon mine head. At what time also thou madest the most fragrant o∣dours of my sweet garments so spread it selfe, that no∣thing was more pleasant vnto the beholders; who as then vpon that happie daie, so continuallie euer since doo runne together, and presse in great multitudes vn∣to me, to see me; and to declare their thankefull harts to thee for me, and their good willes they beare toward me in thee; euermore they crie with lowd voices, and ioifull harts; vttering foorth to the praise of thy name, and my great comfort, these and such like hartie prai∣ers vnto thy Maiestie for mee, saieng: God saue the QVEENE: God saue the Queene ELIZABETH.
So that I may now iustlie saie, O most excellent father, that this is the daie in deede, wherein thou hast chieflie shewed thy mercie vnto me, and that this daie thou didst as it were beget me a deere Daughter vnto thy selfe; in that as vpon this daie thou didst so grati∣ouslie annoint me thy Minister and Queene, to deli∣uer thine afflicted Church, & to reigne vpon thy holie mount Zion, there to declare to all nations the woon∣derfull works that thou hast done for me, and thy people Israel; as I doo at this present. Go to therefore, O my soule, returne now to thy rest, and take thine ease; seeing that so no∣table a change of thine estate is happi∣lie wrought by the Lord, for he hath well deserued thereby euerla∣sting praise for his mercie.
The third part conteining three Chapters.
BUT, O Lord my God, who am I thy sinfull seruant, that thou hast been thus mindfull of me? And what haue I deserued (who of all o∣thers haue least deserued, and am thy most vnworthie handmaid,) that thou shouldest thus re∣gard me, and exalt me to so high dignitie before manie others?
Thou hast annointed me with the oile of gladnesse before my fellowes, and set a most pretious diademe vpon my head. Thou makest me to sit in the highest place of dignitie and estate, far aboue other men that are my subiects. Yea thou, O God, which art Lord of the whole earth, hast brought into subiection the peo∣ple that lie neere vnto me, ouer whome I haue autho∣ritie; and hast honoured me in deede with that hea∣uenlie name, whereby thine authoritie ouer all men is declared.
Thou hast crowned me, I saie, with great glorie and honour, causing my renowme and fame to spread far and neere; yea thou hast made me nothing inferiour to other Potentates of the world; but ordeined mee Lord ouer the works of thine hands in souereigne wise, so that thou causest all to serue me dutifullie.
Thou, my King & my God, hast powred foorth vpon me (I confesse) all thy bountie and graces, that none is able to be compared vnto mee.
Thou hast caused both Kings and Queenes to come from far, and to bring presents and rich gifts vnto me: and thou hast made me honourable, euen to strange people, of whome euen the most mightie and rich ho∣nouring me, haue and doo desire greatlie my friendship and fauour.
Thou hast preuented me with thy blessings, and Page 332 without anie asking, giuen me the people for an inhe∣ritance, and the ends of the earth for my possession.
Surelie a most pleasant place, and a most beautifull portion of inheritance is fallen vnto me from thee, O Lord, which art my portion, my reward, and alone to me all-sufficient.
Thou art he that hast giuen me this most large and excellent heritage, and planted me in a most fat and wealthie place; by whose power I may worthilie glo∣rie of my dignitie and honour, and that by thy singular benefit; and for none other cause, but onlie that it hath pleased thee to receiue me into thy speciall fauour.
For surelie, there is no cause why I should ascribe the atteining of this kingdome to mine owne worthi∣nesse (although I called oft vpon thy name) or that I should imagine that I haue resisted so manie, and so mightie people, by mine owne power and strength; neither by the trusting in mine owne bowe or sword haue I obteined so manie victories, and driuen awaie mine enimies: but thou thy selfe, O Lord, hast done it by the strength of thine owne arme, and that onlie be∣cause it so pleased thee, I saie, of thine owne meere mercie and goodnesse to preserue and deliuer both me and my people.
NEither hath thy mercie ceassed heere, O God: for it hath not failed euer since my comming to the Crowne, to gouerne me afterward by thy wisdome and grace; and miraculouslie to preserue and defend me by thy princelie power, from all mine enimies, visible and inuisible, domesticall and foraigne.
Hitherto hast thou bene vnto me a most safe refuge, & a most sure tower against all the powers of Satan.
Oh how great and maruellous things do I see, that thou, O God, hast brought to passe for me thine vnwor∣thy Page 333 seruant, by thy mightie power!
For when there wanted not such, who rebelled a∣gainst me, and resisted thy power and ordinance: yet I doo see my selfe sufficientlie armed by thee continual∣lie with sharpe arrowes, wherewith to wound the ve∣rie harts of mine enimies, and so to cast them downe.
Moreouer, how long and how often haue the sonnes of men laboured greatlie to distaine mine honour, re∣ioicing and persisting in vanitie and superstition? And what secret and wicked counsell they haue taken to bring vngodlie things to effect against me; thou, O Lord, well knowest, and I haue prooued.
For I am she, against whom the superstitious eni∣mies haue intended all these euils. I am she, against whom they haue inuented, and dailie doo inuent that wickednesse, which they shall neuer be able to bring to passe.
For thou, Lord, hast had mercie vpon me, and made frustrate the deuises and desires of all my craftie and cruell enimies, and established me in my throne, that according to the office and authoritie thou hast giuen me, I might iustlie punish their infidelitie.
Thou hast scattered the people that delight in war, and caused the runnagates to turne their backs vnto me, by directing their owne swords to light vpon their owne necks, and their owne darts against their faces.
For in thy wrath, Lord, thou hast cast the vngodlie into the flaming fire; and vtterlie destroied and con∣sumed them and their posteritie, by the heate of thy fu∣rie, that proudlie rose vp against thee, and thine An∣nointed.
Yea, thou hast caused me to be reuenged on the hea∣then, to breake mine enimies asunder with an iron rod, and to crush them in peeces like potshards on the earth. Mine hand, I saie, hath taken mine enimies, O God, through thy power; and thou wilt bring to passe, Page 334 that my right hand shall apprehend them that hate me without cause.
For vndoubtedlie now I knowe, that thou doost not hate me; but loue me tenderlie, euen by this; that thou hast not suffered mine enimies to triumph ouer me, as they verelie hoped: but hast made me stand fast and sure, through thy defence, whereby I knowe thou wilt alwaies care for me.
O God my God, what shall I saie? Uerelie I doo greatlie reioice, that thou hast, with so great fauour, embraced me; euer preuenting my praiers, and giuing helpe vnto hir that called vpon thee, with a mind free from all euill imaginations. For else thou wouldest not haue heard me, nor restored my life, when it was as good as lost, as thou hast done.
But I, calling hartilie vpon thy name, chieflie in mine aduersities, thou hast deliuered me out of all my troubles, frights, and feares, and defended me, and wast my refuge in extreme dangers; and by thy mercie hast brought to passe, that not onelie I dailie behold my traitrous enimies to haue their condigne punish∣ments: but also this people, whom thou hast appoin∣ted to be gouerned by me, to consider this thy iudge∣ment extended vpon those guiltie rebels, superstitious aduersaries, and prophane men, that so wilfullie resist thine ordinance and authoritie in me: and to be suffici∣entlie taught by their example and destruction, to re∣member the feare, dread, and reuerence due vnto thee their God, and their Prince.
MOreouer, O Lord, I do greatly reioice, when I bethinke me what a tower of strength, a safe hauen, & vnassaultable habitation thou hast euer beene, not onlie vnto me: but also vnto my predecessours & forefathers, Kings and Prin∣ces Page 335 of this land, succeeding one another in order. And how thou hast beene the honour, and also the strength both of them and me: and hast from time to time, with a certaine speciall power, defended this little Island, which thou hast chosen to be thy peculiar heritage, & giuen it first vnto them, and now vnto me in possession.
Yea, what alterations or changes of things or times soeuer haue fallen; yet hast thou, O most mightie Go∣uernour (whose kingdome for euer hath beene, is, and alwaie shall be most sure, stable, permanent, vnchang∣able, and vnmooueable) lift vp the head of thine hand∣maid, as it were of an Unicorne, being annointed by thee with fresh oile, and laden with new benefits con∣tinuallie.
Thou art he, I saie, by whose power consisteth what∣soeuer is high in the world: euen by thy might, which as it establisheth the kingdoms and policies, whereby mankind is preserued: so also by these testimonies of thy most mightie power, the inhabitants of the earth being conuinced, doo tremble and keepe silence. And this peace being restored in my dominion, thou causest that my people againe doo leade their liues both daie and night in comfortable peace, & godlie tranquillitie.
Wherefore thou hast giuen me great cause of new ioie, and to reioice in thee, O Lord my God, who hast thus mercifullie dealt with me thine handmaid; and especiallie, bicause thou hast granted vnto me to ouer∣come all mine enimies, how manie, and how mightie soeuer; and to compose and set my kingdome in peace∣able order; and to place in Iuda the throne of iudge∣ment and iustice, being directed by thy word, O GOD, which I haue, and whereof I glorie, & still will glorie.
To conclude, I doo reioice; bicause thou, Lord, art my louing shepheard, and feedest me in the greene pa∣stures and sweet medowes of thy word with ioie and solace; making me, that was sometime as a barren Page 336 woman, without comfort, now a ioifull and glad foster mother of manie spirituall children to thee.
Yea, euen in the verie sight of mine enimies dooest thou, O most bountifull Father, prepare a deintie ta∣ble for me, and reaching vnto me a full cup, thou giuest me drinke of thy pleasant springs; and causest thy good∣nesse and mercie, thy bountie and liberalitie to followe me, wheresoeuer I become: blessing both me and my people with all thy blessings continuallie.
Finallie, it is thou, O Lord, onlie; who of thy singu∣lar goodnesse hast assuredlie fortified my hill woonder∣fullie with honour, health, peace, and securitie: and that dooest presentlie keepe me in safetie, and causest me quietlie to lie downe and take my rest in thee.
Thou doost ward the gates of my Cities with bars, and mightilie multiplie and cherish thy familie my ci∣tizens. Thou bringest me into amitie with my neigh∣bors, and feedest me with the finest flower of wheate.
And these things verelie doo testifie most plainlie, both thine infinite goodnesse and power; yet surelie they are nothing, in comparison of that benefit of the doctrine of saluation and holie word, which thou hast bestowed vpon thy people; and deliuered vnto vs, as a rule to lead our liues both godlie and honestlie: nei∣ther is there anie nation vnder heauen, with whom thou hast so dealt, as with vs herein. Therfore, hauing such experience of thy support, I will comfort my selfe in thee, my strength & my shield, in whom my hart doth rest; neither will thine Annointed trust in anie other: but onelie in thee, which giuest power vnto Princes.
Euen I will blesse and praise thee, O Lord, which thus hast blessed both me and my people with thy con∣tinuall blessings. And in this my present blessed state, I will not cease to magnifie thee, O Lord, my deliue∣rer; but I will declare & set foorth before all people the maruellous works, which thou, my God, hast done for Page 337 me; and whereof I my selfe, from the beginning of my life, vnto this houre, haue had good proofe & experience.
The fourth part of the Vow, conteining fiue Chapters.
OH Lord my God, how excellent is thy name ouer all the earth! Aduancing mee thus to glorie, far aboue my deserts, I as one no∣thing able to compasse such great mercies, am euen astonished with the admiration of thine ex∣cellent liberalitie, and fatherlie prouidence ouer me.
O how greatlie doo these so manie, and so great be∣nefits binde me vnto thee! And what shall I giue a∣gaine vnto thee for all thy bountie, which thou hast be∣stowed vpon me? Uerelie I will paie that which on∣lie I am able; namelie, I will take in my hands the Lampe which thou hast ordeined for thine annointed, and will therein continuallie magnifie thy mercie.
I will take in my hands (I saie) the cup of thanke∣full sacrifice; and calling vpon thee by name, O Lord, I will testifie openlie, that I knowledge this my deli∣uerance and honour to be onelie of thee.
And those things which I vowed vnto thee, O Lord, when I was in danger, will I now paie in the pre∣sence of all the people. For thou art he, by whose be∣nefit I remaine aliue: thou art my defence, my tower, my sauiour, my sheeld, my refuge; finallie, thou art he, who onelie hast subdued all this people vnto me, and therefore well deseruest the renowme and praise of all these victories, by most worthie right.
Wherefore, by good right, O Lord, I will declare thy praises, euen with a sounding voice. And bicause it becommeth all men and women, that haue receiued benefits of thee, and to whome thou grantest the vse of this life, and deliuered from so manie, not dangers, but deaths, to doo this thing diligentlie and continual∣lie; I will labour to commit the memoriall of thy be∣nefits Page 338 vnto others, and exhort them to accompanie me in the dutie of thankefulnesse earnestlie, and saie:
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.
O All yee people, I saie, tribes, kindreds, and inhabitants of the earth; both noble and simple, rich and poore; clap your hands, and praise this most holie God with most ioifull voices.
Giue vnto the Lord the praise of all power, worship, and glorie: giue him the honour due vnto his name and maiestie. For lo, he is come to gouerne the earth. The Lord himselfe reigneth amongst you, and gouerneth the whole world with a iust and righteous gouerne∣ment, and ruleth altogether with the scepter of his iustice and truth.
Go to therefore O yee yong striplings, and old men, yong children, maidens & matrones, and you also all o∣ther that loue & feare God, come (I praie you) & praise ye name of ye Lord, euen of our most mightie IEHOVA, together with mee. For he alone deserueth most high praise, as he that is more deepe than the verie earth, and more high than the heauens, and far aboue all the powers and potentates of the world.
Go to also O ye damsels and virgins, stir vp your ioie to daie with songs of praise vpon timbrell & lute, but voide of wantonnesse: so that your ioie may tend to the glorie of God, your onlie strength; and celebrate this daie of your deliuerance, as festiuail to the Lord Page 342 our deliuerer.
O ye Uirgins and damsels vnmaried now reioice with me, I saie; and sing vnto the Lord a triumphant song. Praise the Lord also, O ye brides in your marri∣age songs with glorie and maiestie, that ye liue to see my daies, and that the flower of your youth is not consumed in the flame of Gods furie.
For the time was, when you being desolate and vn∣married, did remaine pensife without your marriage songs, and liued solitarie, sitting at home among the soote of pots: but now, the women that durst not come out of their houses, come foorth glittering like gold, and shining like dooues as white as snowe, and boldlie diuide the spoile of the enimie.
Go to therefore, O ye damsels of Iuda, and multi∣tude of Uirgins; seeing ye haue so great cause to re∣ioice; shew not your selues vnthankfull in anie wise: but praise the Lord together with me in Hymnes, and celebrate his name with spirituall songs, for his victo∣ries, goodnesse, and mercie towards vs.
Come foorth yee daughters of Zion, I saie; and breake out into gladnesse with me, reioice you of the iust iudgements of God vpon our enimies: yea, com∣passe you Zion round about, account hir towers, con∣sider diligentlie hir wals and bulworks, and set foorth the praises of hir peace and palaces; so that yee may spread foorth the memorie thereof, euen to all posteri∣tie. And doo you let all men to vnderstand, that this is God, euen our owne God for euer, which hath not for∣saken vs, neither will leaue vs, no not in the last mi∣nute of our life.
Go to now therefore I beseech you, let vs altogether praise the Lord, as we are bounden; let the whole companie of vs Uirgins plaie vpon the Timbrels on euerie side, and corner of the citie Zion, one exhorting and answering another by course, and that with new Page 343 and excellent songs of praise to the glorie of God.
Let vs magnitie that mightie and eternal name of his; for it is holie: let vs continuallie come before the Lord, and worship him; for he is holie.
For what should we rather doo, than to giue hartie and continuall thanks, by all possible meanes, vnto God; who, besides that he is God, and therefore hath bound all men vnto himselfe by good right, hath besto∣wed vpon vs so manie peculiar benefits? And againe, what can be more ioifull, and more to be desired, than such a testimonie of his fatherlie loue, who hath deli∣uered vs from so manie, not onlie dangers, but deaths also?
GO to also, O all ye Kings, Princes, Gouer∣nours, and Iudges of the earth; hold vp your hands humblie vnto God the eternall KING; acknowledge his power, which sit∣teth vpon the most high heauens from all eternitie, as it were vpon a chariot, and maketh a terrible and most mightie sound from the clouds.
O yee mightie Monarchs and Potentates of the world, now worship and praise ye the LORD our GOD together with me; doo him all possible reue∣rence: and reioice vnto him with feare and trembling, as I doo.
O ye Kings, and all ye of power, giue place vnto the Lord; giue vnto the Lord, I saie, the honour of all glo∣rie and power: giue vnto the Lord the maiestie and glorie due vnto his name, fall downe before his foote∣stoole, and worship him in his most holie temple: for he is holie; and seeke his glorie carefullie, as I doo.
For this chieflie becommeth all Princes to doo, whom God, of his vnspeakable fauour, hath consecra∣ted Page 344 vnto himselfe, and brought them into the most high state of dignitie, aboue others: but speciallie, it becom∣meth me to reioice, and to set foorth thy praises, O God, after a most exquisite maner; in whom thy most excellent Maiestie doth so gloriouslie shine, and who haue receiued so manie rare and singular benefits of thee, from my conception, to this houre.
Go to then, O my deere soule, and mine inward bow∣els, giue thanks vnto God with all your power: praise the Lord, O my soule, and declare thy selfe that thou art mindfull of all his benefits.
For what honour is not the Lord woorthie of, which of his vnspeakable mercie and compassion hath forgiuen thee all thy sinnes, healed the deadlie wounds thereof, cured thy diseases, borne thine infirmities, re∣deemed thy life from death, preserued thee from mise∣rie, renewed thy youth like the Egle that liueth most long, and adorned thee so richlie with all his benefits; as testimonies of his singular goodnes, and fatherlie mercie towards thee?
Go to therefore with me, you mightie spirits, being his apparitours, and the diligent executioners of his will; so soone as ye heare him speake, celebrate yee the praises of the Lord.
O yee mightie armies of his most obedient souldi∣ours, praise the Lord, I saie; O ye, euen the verie An∣gels, worship him as your Lord and King.
Praise ye the Lord, O all his works, in what place soeuer of his dominion; and whatsoeuer hath breath, let it sound and set foorth his glorie: finallie, thou my deere soule set thou foorth the praise of God.
AND I, O my God, my King, euen I thy handmaid and annointed, in thankefull re∣membrance, and worthie memoriall of thy woonderfull works and benefits, wrought Page 345 and shewed vnto me continuallie, doo againe (as it is meete) render vnto thee this acceptable sacrifice of praise and thankesgiuing.
I paie the vowes vnto thee, which I haue promised both secretlie among the faithfull, and openlie before the whole assemblie of thy people; and that in the courts of thy house, O Lord; and in the midest of the Citie Ierusalem, wherein by thy power and benefit I thus flourish.
I will praise thee with my whole hart, and magnifie thy name for euer; because I haue experience of thine infinite goodnesse in my selfe, and am deliuered from so manifold dangers of death and destruction.
Neither will I be ashamed to sing foorth thy praises also in songs, before the assemblie of the mightie, and before the verie Angels that stand about thine arke.
I will, together with all Angels, Spirits, & soules; and with all Kings, Queenes, virgins, and creatures both in heauen and earth, incessantlie magnifie thee in the palace consecrated to thy Maiestie; and will sing of thy mercie and truth, because thou hast gotten vnto thee now at the length most great honour; for that thou hast so maruellouslie, aboue expectation, surelie performed vnto me that which thou didst promise in thy word.
I, with the residue of the people of my dominion, as a mother with hir daughters, and the virgin with vir∣gins; being for this cause replenished with incredible ioie, and comforted with thy iudgments, O Lord, will reioice in thee, which (seeing nothing in me that should so moue thee) hast neuerthelesse embraced me with so great fauour, and mightilie also defended me: and with all the iust I will magnifie the holie remem∣brance of thee, so great a King continuallie, which sit∣ting vpon thy most holie throne, rulest the whole earth, and exaltest thy selfe far aboue all that is aloft Page 346 anie where.
For to this end chieflie thou, O Lord, hast consecra∣ted and set me ouer them, that I should diligentlie ex∣ercise the rites of thy diuine worship among them. Therefore I will delight my selfe in setting foorth thy praises more and more, and I will testifie my selfe in my whole life, to be desirous of thy honour and glorie, to whome all honour and glorie of right belongeth.
O my God, my King; I will highlie extoll thee, and celebrate thy name for euer and euer: I will consecrate all the daies of my life to set foorth thy glorie, and will amplifie thy name with songs, that neuer shall haue end.
For thou art great, O Lord; and no praise is suffi∣cient for thee: neither can anie man attaine to thy greatnesse.
For thy woonderfull works endure not for one gene∣ration and age alone; but as one age succeedeth ano∣ther, so likewise must some men commit the memoriall of them vnto others, vnlesse they will be negligent in dooing their dutie.
Wherefore trulie, be it far from me thy handmaid, that anie thing should be of greater authoritie with me, than that I should carefullie thinke, that the brightnesse of thy Maiestie, which shineth vnto vs in the verie dailie vse of things; and that thy deeds to me and my people-ward are greater, than can be com∣prehended, by the admiration or capacitie of all mor∣tall men and women.
And doubtlesse, Lord, though verie manie be most blockish, and woonderfull thankelesse; yet can there ne∣uer be wanting some, which shall euen against their willes confesse at the least thy terrible power, euen o∣uer all princes and people of the world. But admit that others be silent, and vnthankefull; yet I will ne∣uer cease to declare thy greatnesse; and the nations Page 347 most far off shall heare me publishing thy praises, and singing vnto thee, for deliuering and sauing me by thy power, whome thou hast chosen and loued.
But God forbid, that I alone should labour to doo this my dutie. For verelie, there will be alwaies some assemblie, which will by all meanes testifie the re∣membrance of thy peculiar goodnesse, and thy most vn∣doubted promises.
Namelie, that thou art most mercifull, and most rea∣die to exceeding mercie; and of whome a man may al∣most doubt, whether thou be more slowe to wrath, or more prone to pardon.
For is there anie thing, O Lord, void of thy good∣nesse? Naie, what is there in this whole world anie where, which doth not testifie thy clemencie, and euen of it selfe set foorth thy glorie in this point, that thou dooest suffer so manie generations and ages to passe and succeede in this world, that is defiled so manie and fundrie waies: and that thou dooest cause thy chosen people to knowe, and declare by experience, what thy dominion and power is, that is to saie, to be publi∣shers of thy praise and valiant acts, for committing the glorie of thy kingdome to their posteritie.
Wherefore by good right, O Lord, I will giue vnto thee due and conuenient praise, & declare thy woonde∣rous works, euen with a sounding voice; that all may heare, as it becommeth me; & all men, to whom thou grantest the vse of this life, to doo both diligentlie, and continuallie.
As for me, I will still call to mind the multitude of thy miracles, and woonderous works wrought for me; and I will consume all my life daies in praising thee therefore, so long as I shall remaine aliue. It shall be my speciall care to publish thy renowne with songs of praise. And would to God that my songs might be so plesant and acceptable vnto thee, as I with glad hart Page 348 and cheerefull mind will celebrate thy so manie and so great benefits bestowed vpon me.
And be it far awaie, and God forbid, O my soule, that euer we should forget the Lord our God. But let ra∣ther my right hand forget hir cunning, and all plaieng of instruments: and let the tongue of euerie one of vs rather cleaue to the roofe of our mouthes, than that it should be once vnmindfull of him; or at anie time aban∣don the due deserued praises, belonging to his most ho∣ly, glorious, mightie, and eternall name and Maiestie.
O all ye creatures in heauen and earth, agree yee vnto me, and saie herevnto with one hart and mouth, Amen. Praise ye the Lord; praise thou thy God, O my soule:
The fift and last part of the Vow diuided also into fiue Chapters.
AND now, O Lord, my God, and King; I thine handmaid being appointed QVEENE by thee, after such a maner of bountiful∣nesse, as neuer was heard, doo consecrate this song vnto thee, both of mercie and iudgement: wherevnto I doo vow and bind my selfe before thee this daie, to performe them in the gouern∣ment of the kingdome; as thou both fatherlie requi∣rest of me, and gratiouslie hast commanded.
And first I will endeuour my selfe wholie to pietie and godlinesse, and will labour diligentlie to preserue and to amplifie thy Church, that thy pure worship may be continuallie exercised therein, with as great care, deuotion, and holinesse as is possible.
I will go, I saie, into thy sanctified house, O Lord; euen into the holie habitation of thy most true wis∣dome will I enter, that I may there learne thy iudge∣ments, and vnderstand thy will reuealed, to doo to the Page 349 vttermost of my power, whatsoeuer thou requirest and commandest a King to doo.
For I doo testifie before thee, that I desire nothing more, than to visite and behold thy glorious Maiestie in thy Sanctuarie: and therefore will I hasten speedi∣lie to stand in the porches thereof, to taste and see those visible signes of thy power and Maiestie, shewed com∣monlie therein. For doubtlesse, thy goodnesse that of∣fereth it selfe as it were there to be handled and felt, is more sweet by far, than life it selfe, which causeth my soule so much the more to be inflamed with earnest de∣sire to seeke thy face, to see thy glorie, and to set foorth thy praises with all my power.
Especiallie, that the people, which are holie vnto thee, my God, might assemble together by tribes and thousands, after the maner apointed of thee, to powre foorth praises and praiers, and to celebrate thy holie name, to the safetie and preseruation of all the fami∣lies of our nation, that loue and fauour thy truth, to all posteritie.
Yea, euen I my selfe, O God, with my father DAVID, will gladlie go foorth with the multitude; and lead thy people, as he was woont, into thy holie house, O God, with the voice of ioifull praisings and thanksgiuings; as those that obserue thy sabaoths and festiuall daies, most glorious vnto thee, before the face of all people.
I will present my selfe often before thine altar, not onlie with my hands washed in water; but rather pu∣rified from all wickednes, that I may openlie stablish thy praise, and celebrate thy woonderfull works.
There will I sound foorth thy renowme with lowd voice, with all my hart, satisfied with the fatnesse and marowe of thy most holie delicates. I will lead my life therein, I saie, O God, setting forth thy magnificence; and there will I lift vp mine innocent hart and hands with others; and openlie, amids the whole multitude, Page 350 call vpon thy name, wherein is my safegard.
For there is nothing that I loue more deerlie than that Temple, wherein thou hast set thy seate of glorie, euen the house of thy Maiestie and holie Citie, where∣in the tribunall seate of my father DAVID (left to his posteritie to minister iustice indifferentlie to euerie one) is firmelie placed.
And why should not I doo so? Why should not my soule, I saie, he thus inflamed, and the zeale of thine house euen consume mee with feruent desire, and har∣tie longing, to seeke thy face, O Iacob? Seeing I haue had experience so oft of thy gratious goodnesse and mi∣raculous helpe; and seeing thou, O Lord, my God, hast set thy house in Ierusalem, that thy true worship might be by my diligence holilie exercised therein.
Therefore, O God, I, euen I thine handmaid, to whom thou hast appointed the kingdome, will reioice and praise thee in thy sacred Sanctuarie; and ioine my selfe as companion with those that doo worship thee trulie and deuoutlie therein: neither will I be far or long from thence; if I be, Lord, it shall be full sore a∣gainst my will, through some vrgent necessitie of my calling or office in this life.
And though I be absent in bodie at anie time from thy house, as manie times it commeth to passe, by rea∣son I change my place so often: yet I make a vow, I will doo that I am able; to wit, whersoeuer I become, I will cleaue vnto thee in my hart wholie, and will not cease to thinke of thee, and to meditate of thy manifold benefits powred vpon me.
Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I am accustomed to rise at mid-night, when other doo soundlie sleepe: and setting aside all other cares, as she that is euer mind∣full of thy statutes, I doo watchfullie thinke how I may please thee, and keepe thy commandements; and how I am woont to preuent the twy-light in the mor∣ning, Page 351 with my lowd praiers: yea, that I am so farre from following the example of the wicked, who lie snorting in sin & securitie; that contrariwise I, behol∣ding the excellent iudgements of thy iustice, in crow∣ning thy gifts in the righteous, seuen times a daie doo I celebrate thy praises: neither doo the watchmen doubtlesse so carefullie keepe their watch, as I am di∣ligent in meditating thy Heast and commandements.
ANd bicause, O Lord, though man be increa∣sed with neuer so high dignitie, riches, and honours: yet if he want thy wisedome, hee shall be counted to differ little or nothing in this life from the brute beasts, which wholie perish: (For he doth not long remaine in this worldlie pompe and glorie; but all his power shall vanish and flowe awaie, like water spilt on the ground, and brought to naught:) I will therefore number my daies, while I haue time; so that I may betimes applie my hart vn∣to thy wisedome, & endeuour my selfe to learne thy sta∣tutes by thine instruction; and to be taught the true knowledge, ioined with such a iudgement; whereby I may discerne all things aright, as it were by tasting a sauourie thing; bicause I desire to depend on thy com∣mandements, and to fulfill thy Heast.
Uerelie, Lord; I will meditate thy commandements continuallie, and will applie my whole mind to ob∣serue thy waies. I will delight my mind, I saie, in thy statutes, neither will I at anie time forget thy words.
For neither hast thou, O Lord, my heauenlie father, commanded mee anie thing vnaduisedlie in thy Heast: neither are they things that I shuld onlie vnderstand, or lightlie consider of: but thou hast wiselie spoken and commanded them vnto me, that they should be ob∣serued and kept of me with all diligence.
Page 352 And would to God that my maners and state might so be ordered by thy gouernement, that I might sin∣cerelie seeke to please thee; and holilie walke after the rule of the doctrine prescribed by thee; & that I might most constantlie perseuere in keeping most carefullie thy statutes! For then verelie I should leade an vp∣right and blamelesse life, at harts ease, with a quiet mind, and all things should go well with me; yea, by that meanes shall I onelie worship thee rightlie, and purelie, without following this or that maner of wor∣ship, not prescribed by thy lawe, nor alowed by thy word.
Therefore am I fullie purposed to keepe thy sta∣tutes firmelie to the end, and to hold the waie prescri∣bed by thy word. For I haue chosen this as the true waie, and I doo prefer this before all other things.
O Lord, I endeuour my selfe, I saie, with a pure hart, to cleaue fast vnto those things, which are ap∣prooued by thy testimonies; of the which my good pur∣pose grant, I beseech thee, that I doo neuer repent.
But direct me that am well entred into the waie of these thy precepts, and inflame me wholie more & more with great desire, both of true knowledge ioined with iudgement, wherby I may discerne all things aright; and also keepe thy lawes, as well in prosperitie as ad∣uersitie, vnto the end of my life; that I may finish the whole course of my reigne, by the direction of thy pre∣cepts, which are mine onelie counsellers; thy mercie and thy truth being my two keepers and assistants, wherevpon I also onlie trust.
Neither am I, O Lord, of their number, who haue no regard whither they walke, in the right or wrong waie before thee: but I haue searched carefullie by good aduise, what waie I should keepe; and I haue fa∣stened my steps in those paths, which thou hast testifi∣ed doo please thee. Neither haue I staied, when I did Page 353 knowe the matter so to be; but straightwaies bent my selfe to obserue thy commandements, and beene most willing and readie to accomplish thy will, in all things that might aduance thy glorie.
Oh how do I loue thy doctrine! Surelie thou knowst Lord, that I am woont to consume whole daies and nights in meditating of thy lawes. And I doo find, by experience, that I haue not done this in vaine. For I haue proued to be much wiser by thy precepts, than all mine aduersaries, which labour with all their po∣wer to destroie me, of how great dignitie or authoritie soeuer they be. For I haue obteined by thy gift, a wis∣dome that will neuer forsake me.
Yea thou hast made me better learned than my tea∣chers and maisters, euen because I haue giuen my selfe wholie, not to mans inuentions, but to meditate those things onlie, which thou hast giuen vnto vs for sound learning.
Finallie, I am more skilfull than anie of the anci∣ent; because I was bent not onelie to knowe thy com∣mandements, but also to keepe them in deede. For I held backe my feete, that I should not go the waie that leadeth vnto euill; but that I should alwaies ra∣ther hold the waie, which thou hast taught vs by thy mouth.
Thy precepts, O Lord, haue bene, and shall be like a burning Lampe in my hand; and as a light shining be∣fore me, to shew me the waie that I shall go: yea they haue taught me the true wisdome. And therefore I now abhor the other guids & rules of the order of this life, as wicked and false. For I see all the most absolute and perfect works come to an end: yea both the de∣crees & lawes, which mans wisdome doth set downe, to be subiect vnto change, and at length euen to come to naught. Onlie thy precepts, most true and most stable, are prolonged without measure, and without Page 352〈1 page duplicate〉Page 353〈1 page duplicate〉Page 354 anie end. Wherefore, I am wholie consumed, being inflamed with the loue of thee; because I see thy words despised of mine aduersaries.
Surelie I feele thy words more pleasant and sweet to my mouth, than if I had tasted honie; yea thy pre∣cepts are more pretious vnto me, than anie gold or iewels, be they of neuer so high price and estimation.
I doo, and will still affirme, that all thy commande∣ments are the most certaine and perfect rule of thy iu∣stice and truth, to direct me to equitie and godlinesse: and therefore I vtterlie abhor, as a thing appointed to deceiue vs, whatsoeuer leadeth vs from them: nei∣ther will I at anie time forsake thee, nor turne from thy lawes; but rest vpon thee, my teacher, and ghostlie instructer.
O Lord, thou knowest that I hate and abhorre all deceits, I saie; and that I embrace thy doctrine: yea and that I neuer conceiued more greefe of anie thing, than when I did perceiue those men, that are thine and mine enimies, to despise thy word so stubbornelie and impudentlie.
Mine eies verelie doo swimme with teares, when I behold the generall contempt of thy doctrine, and too bold prophanation of all thy holie Heasts and lawes, the which thing I neither would nor could dissemble. For euen so oft as I perceiued thy glorie to be dimini∣shed, I burnt with sorowe; & I accompted my selfe to be wounded with the reproches cast out against thee. Uerelie, there is nothing more pure than thy words. Wherefore I, euen I thy seruant, doo embrace them with an incredible loue and desire: yea I haue bound my whole heart for euer, euen to my last gaspe, to ob∣serue thy sta∣tutes.
IAm determined, O Lord, to imbrace with most great loue, those things, which thou hast testified vnto me; and to keepe all thy Heasts most diligentlie: yea, I will so behaue my selfe in this my gouernement, that none shall wor∣thilie complaine of me, that I haue committed anie thing against them, contrarie to right and equitie. For I doo beare thy Heast in my hand, as a Lampe ordeined of thee, for to lighten me in thy perfect paths and waie. And I laie vp thy word in my hart as a pre∣tious treasure, least I offend thee in anie least thing.
And how sincerelie I doo this; that is, how without all hypocrisie I applie my selfe to fulfill thy comman∣dements, and to accomplish and doo to the vttermost of my power, all things that thou hast testified vnto me, it is best knowne vnto thee, who being my witnesse, and priuie to all my thoughts and doings, I doo what∣soeuer I doo.
O Lord, vnto whome I appeale; and whome I can not deceiue, though I would: I am throughly knowne and manifest vnto thee I saie. For no part of my life is vnknowne vnto thee, whether I sit or I rise: yea thou doest euen vnderstand all my thoughts a far off; and thou obseruest narrowlie my walking, and my lieng downe; neither is anie of those things hidden from thee, which I go about. For thou knowest euen my words, O Lord, before my tongue pronounce them.
I submit my selfe, O God, in this thing therefore to thy triall; how I doo prefer the consideration of thy woonderfull works, words, and benefits, before all o∣thers; which are so great verelie, that I am not able once to accompt the summe of them, nor to reach to the height, depth, length, and bredth of thy great mer∣cies towards me. For I find them mo than the sands Page 356 of the sea, or the heares of my head. Wherefore I on∣lie refer my selfe to thee my God, I saie, that thou mai∣est throughlie prooue thine handmaid, and see if my hart be not altogether fixed vpon thee; and vtterlie search out all my thoughts, to write them downe in thy booke of consciences.
Finallie, consider Lord, I praie thee, whether I haue prouoked the vngodlie, with giuing anie offence: & as thou knowest me innocent, so preserue thou me, and gouerne the course of my life with thy counsels.
Yea thou knowest, O Lord, that I haue neuer bent mine eies to high things; nor entangled my selfe wil∣linglie with great matters, whereby I might win to my selfe the opinion of excellencie, aboue all other: nei∣ther yet haue reached vnto such things, as were a∣boue my capacitie. But contrarilie, vnlesse I haue bene content with my state howsoeuer; and haue staid my mind to depend wholie on thee, as they teach the weaned child to forget the Nursse, and to regard the mother alone: vnlesse, I saie, I haue so behaued my selfe hitherto, as the weaned infant, let me in deede be refused of thee.
Therefore, according to this mine innocencie, O Lord, by the assistance of thy grace, I will proceed: yea surelie, Lord, according to my power, as I haue begon in thee, so I will endeuour my selfe to end in thee, and to walke with thee vprightlie; and setting all my con∣fidence in thee alone, I am fullie minded to continue to the end of my life, without wauering in the faith of a right Christian feare and loue to thee.
That I stand vpright in the waie of thy truth, I doo attribute it onlie vnto thee, O Lord my God; and will therefore magnifie thy name in the publike congrega∣tion. And I doubt not, but thou, O Lord, thine owne selfe, wilt sullie performe the worke that I haue en∣terprised by thine authoritie. For this is thine euerla∣sting Page 357 mercie, testified by thy word: neither wilt thou, I knowe, leaue the worke vnperfect, which thou hast once begun by me, and in me.
And now surelie mine eies are still alwaies bent vp∣on thy goodnesse, and I haue appointed thy truth to be the guide and leader of my life: yea, I vnfeinedlie vow, and make a solemne promise before thee, and all thy ho∣lie Angels; that I will giue all possible diligence, both that I may throughlie knowe the right waie appoin∣ted by thee, and also may obserue the same purelie, in my house and Realme.
I will neuer set before me to doo anie wicked thing; but will endeuour my selfe to godlines more and more, and keepe my hands pure from all iniurie and wrong: that I may so liue the true life; and spend the whole course of this my peregrination, in setting foorth thy glorie.
HEnce from me therefore ye wicked ones, that I may keepe the precepts of my God so much more purelie. For I abhor the wauering and wanderings to and fro in religion; and I count thy word and doctrine most deere and pretious.
I will forsake them that are of corrupt maners; neither will I take such vnto me. I will put far from me the authors of euill counsels; neither will I em∣brace, at anie time, the thing that I knowe to be euill.
Yea, Lord, thou knowest how carefullie I haue a∣uoided the companie of these most vaine men; and I haue fled awaie from these deceitfull dealers.
They that run after another God, I vtterlie detest. Their drinke-offrings of bloudie sacrifice, which I am afraid euen once to name, will I not offer. All such ab∣homination my soule doth vtterlie abhor.
For I, as thou knowest, loue righteousnesse and ho∣linesse, Page 358 and hate whatsoeuer is against it. And bicause they hate thee, O Lord, which art righteousnesse it selfe; therefore doo I againe hate them, and doo euen abhor them, bicause I perceiue them to rise vp against thee.
I hate the superstitious crue of the vngodlie, I saie, vtterlie; and count them for my greatest enimies: much lesse will I ioine my selfe vnto them, or can a∣bide to winke at their wickednesse and rebellion.
Yea, I fullie determine to exercise thy power giuen vnto me, and to destroie the wicked and prophane vt∣terlie; that thy Church may be well purged, and free from these cruell and bloud-thirstie hypocrites; from these men, I saie, which speake blasphemie against thee: so great and so proud is the crueltie of those, not of mine enimies so much, as of thine. For they abuse thy holie name and Maiestie.
Those superstitious men, I saie, Lord, that beare thy name in hypocrisie, shall haue their mouthes stop∣ped, and be put to silence in the congregation; and that bicause they be deadlie enimies to thy word and holie Gospell, which I professe.
Therefore, bicause they resist not me; but thee, O God, thy selfe: therefore thou shalt carie in thy hand a cup full of troubled wine, and full of dregs, the which thou shalt giue to all the wicked to sucke vp, and to drinke euen the verie dregs thereof. Yea, with the edge of the sword will I cut off the horns of the wicked and rebellious; and will execute the iudgement appointed and commanded by thee my God, vpon them, till they be consumed; that the honor & dignitie of thy Saints may flourish in Israel in all pietie and peace.
All those wicked men, whom I see or heare doo abuse their authoritie vnder me, against the good and godlie, will I cast downe againe; but I will increase the iust with honours.
Page 359 The subtill man will I thrust out of my house; nei∣ther will I suffer those that be scoffers, and speake deceiptfullie, to tarrie in my sight.
The extortioner and cruell man, which doo speedilie put in execution their wicked deuises, and whose hands are full of bribes, those will I vtterlie destroie from off the earth.
I will bridle the proud and dissolute persons, I will terrifie the wicked, that they shall not lift vp their hornes so high, with blasphemous words against thee, and thine annointed.
Finallie, I will destroie the slanderer and false ac∣cuser; I will not suffer the proud and the ambitious to dishonor thee. Yea I will painefullie, and without anie delaie, worthilie punish whomsoeuer I shall vnder∣stand to be wicked; and will purge the holie Citie of the Lord from all wicked persons.
Contrariwise, I searching out on euerie side men that loue the truth, will take them to be my familiar companions and counsellers; and I will not vse, in dooing mine affaires, anie but such as are trustie and faithfull, both to God, and their Prince.
If I doo knowe anie that feareth thee, and that kee∣peth thy statutes, I will ioine him to my fellowship: those (I saie) whome I see doo worship thee trulie and deuoutlie, will I ioine my selfe as companions with me.
Yea, all my delight, Lord, shall be vpon the Saincts that are in the earth with me, to comfort them; and to promote such as excell in vertue and godlinesse. For o∣therwise, I am able to doo little or nothing that can profit thee. Neither will I suffer anie violence to bee done vnto them that be godlie, by anie man; but will rebuke euen the mightie Princes for their sakes. None shall touch thine annointed Priests, no man will I suffer to hurt anie of thy Prophets.
TO conclude, I will surelie care for nothing so much, now that I am set peaceablie ouer the kingdome, and haue the people by thy goodnesse committed vnto me, as to institute an holie and righteous gouernement. And thou gran∣ting me grace, when the case so standeth, that the bonds of the lawes are broken, and the kingdome is in anie thing disordered or confounded; I will carefullie compose, and set the same againe in good order; and e∣stablish the pillers and foundations thereof in their places, if they be remoued. And this will I doo by the direction of thy reuealed will, that all things may re∣maine safe among my people, by the difference of right and wrong preserued and mainteined; and that they may followe thee, our God, with great cheerefulnesse, whosoeuer delight in righteousnesse, when they see the disordered state of the Realme restored by me at the last, into the ancient most right order of discipline and iustice, prescribed by thy word.
Thus, by the grace and assistance of thy holie spirit, (the which I beseech thee plentifullie to powre downe vpon me) doo I thy seruant determine with my selfe, vnfeinedlie to serue and worship thy dreadfull Maie∣stie, O my God, in feare and trembling: and I will la∣bour to preserue and to amplifie thy Church, with as great care as is possible; that thy pure worship may continuallie to all posteritie be exercised therein.
For so haue I sworne, euen by an oth, and make my solemne Uowes, that I will doo; & that I will keepe thy most sacred Heasts, and iust lawes inuiolable; the which thing I will performe in deede. Neither will I suffer my selfe, at anie time, to be drawne awaie from thy iudgements; nor to depart one ynch from thy ho∣lie commandements, O God, which waie soeuer thou Page 561 leadest me. But trusting onelie vnto thee, by whose po∣wer and conduct I haue gotten the Empire and regi∣ment of so manie large prouinces, strong cities, and goodlie townes; I will now set my kingdome in good order, and place the throne of iudgement therein, euen the tribunall seate of my father DAVID, that iudge∣ment and iustice may be ministred indifferentlie there∣in to euerie one; and the safetie and welfare of the people that loue thee, and fauour thy truth, be procu∣red and maintained.
For to this end, O my God, hast thou giuen me this kingdome, the possession of so manie goodlie countries, and sundrie sorts of people; and caused me to obteine it with so great facilitie and ease; that being thus peaceablie placed therein, I should loue Ierusalem with all my hart: and that I should root out all the in∣habitants therein, that prophane the land with filthie superstition, and euill life; and cause all diligentlie to obserue thy statutes and lawes, giuen them of thee. And so I make a Uow I will, O Lord, I saie, accor∣ding to the simplicitie of my hart, both prouide faith∣fullie for thy people; and also guide them by good coun∣sell, and continuallie defend and preserue them by my power; as thou in thy heast hast commanded me.
And that I may the better perfourme these my Uowes vnto thee, and thoroughlie discharge my du∣tie to the glorie of thine eternall Maiestie; I beseech thee, shew me thy glorie, O God; and let thine honour beautifie and adorne me, O my KING. O gouerne thou our counsels and endeuours from heauen; yea all our enterprises, and our counsels guide and gouerne thou from the highest heauens; that thy glorie, O Lord, thy glorie may shine foorth in me thine humble Haudmaid, to all posterities; and the fame thereof fill the whole world, and be perpetuallie praised of al thy creatures, both in heauen and in earth, visible and inuisible, for Page 362 euer and euer: So; euen so shall it be, O my GOD: euen so let it be, Amen: Amen.
O Lord, I beseech thee, let the Uowes and free promises of my mouth, proceeding from an vnfeined hart, be accepted of thee; and teach me thy lawes more and more. For vnto thee and them I con∣fes that I owe my life.