THE THIRD LAMPE OF VIR∣GINITIE; Conteining sundrie formes of diuine meditations & Christian praiers; penned by the godlie learned, to be properlie vsed of the QVEENES most excellent Maiestie, as especiallie vpon the 17. daie of Nouember, being the daie of the gladnesse of hir hart, and memorable feast of hir coronation: so on all other daies and times at hir Graces pleasure.
Wherevnto also is added a most heauenlie HEAST spoken as it were in the person of GOD vnto hir Maiestie, conteining his diuine will and com∣mandement concerning gouernement: and a right godlie and Christian Vow vttered againe by hir Grace vnto God, com∣prehending the heroicall office and dutie of a Prince: faithfullie com∣piled out of the holie Psalmes of that Princelie Prophet King DAVID, as they are learnedlie explaned by Theodore Beza: ve∣rie profitable to be often read and meditated vpon of hir Maiestie, and all other Christian Rulers and Gouer∣nours, to the glorie of God; the benefit of his Church, and their owne euerla∣sting ioie and comfort in the holie GHOST.
Audi filia, & vide, & inclina aurem tuam, obliu•scere popul•… t••. & domus patris tui.
Et concupiscet Rex formam tuam, quia ipse est Dominus tu∣us, ipsum adorabis.
Omnis gloria filiae Regis intùs est.
Right godlie Psalmes, fruitfull Praiers, and comfortable Meditations to be said of our most vertuous and deere Souereigne LADIE Queene ELIZABETH, as at all times at hir Graces pleasure: so especiallie vpon the 17. daie of Nouem∣ber, being the memorable daie of hir Maiesties most ioifull deliuerance out of trouble: and happie entrie to hir bles∣sed reigne.
The 18. Psalme of DAVID, which he made for the first be∣ginning of his gratulation and thankesgiuing vnto God, in the entring into his kingdome, for the maruelous mer∣cies, victories and graces of God towards him: para∣phrasticallie explaned and opened by that godlie lear∣ned man THEODORE BEZA.
I Doo loue thee, O LORD, my strength: I doo loue thee, euen from the bottome of my hart.
The Lord is my rocke, and my for∣tresse, my deliuerer, my God, my mount, my refuge, my sheeld, the horne wherwith I driue awaie the enimie, and my high tower of defence.
I haue praised the Lord, and called vpon him: and he hath deliuered me from all mine enimies.
Page 254 The bands of death had compassed me round about & bound me: most wicked men, like most raging flouds, made me afraid, enuironing me round about.
I did lie as it were wrapped in my winding sheete, euen snarled with the snares of death.
I called vpon the Lord in these extremities, I cal∣led vpon my God, I saie, and he heard my voice out of his high palace: and receiued into his eares the crie that I made vnto him in the prison.
Then began the earth to quake and tremble, the verie foundations of the mountaines to shake and shudder.
And he breathed out smoke from his nostrels, spit∣ting foorth fire out of his mouth: yea casting foorth euen coales of fire.
He bowed the heauens and came downe, the darke∣nesse being spred all abrode vnder his feete.
He did ride vpon the wings of the Angels, and was caried with the wings of the wind.
Blacke darknesse enuironed his tabernacle round about, and he was caried with most darke and thicke clouds.
Untill his glistering brightnesse did breake those clouds, and the flames of fire did flash on euerie side.
At the length, he thundered from heauen, and filled all places with his mightie sounding voice, and with haile-stones and lightenings.
He shot foorth his fierie darts, and increasing his lightenings, he terrified mine enimies, and destroied them.
Then the deepe bottoms of the waters appeared, and the foundations of the world were discouered at thy rebuke, O Lord, and at the blustering wind of thy wrath.
So then hath he (stretching his right hand from the heauen) taken me, and drawne me out of the bot∣tome Page 255 of the deepe waters.
From the mightie enimie, I saie, and from the other enimies, by whose power I was oppressed.
For they verelie had almost cast me downe, and de∣stroied me at the sudden: but he was my staffe that staied mee.
And he hath drawne me out of these streights, and placed me in an open and large place: bicause it so pleased him (without my deseruing) to fauour me.
For he had regard indeed of me, that so was oppres∣sed of these men without cause, & granted these things to me being guiltlesse.
For I haue followed the waie that the Lord hath appointed me, howsoeuer these men vexed me: neither could I be drawne by anie of their iniuries, that I should fall from my God as the wicked vse.
For I had all his lawes before mine eies, neither did I put his statutes foorth of my sight.
But I behaued my selfe without hypocrisie with him, neither did I followe mine affections, which else would easilie haue caried me foorth of the waie.
Therefore had the Lord regard of me that was op∣pressed of them without anie cause: and fauoured mee the innocent partie.
For thou, O Lord, wilt shew thy selfe good and vp∣right to them that deale vprightlie.
And as thou shewest thy selfe sincere, with them that deale sincerelie: so the craftie men shall perceiue thee to be more cunning.
For although manie times thy seruants be sore vex∣ed: yet dooest thou preserue them, and dooest cast downe those that behaue themselues so proudlie.
Hence haue I my light, whereby thou causest me to shine: and driuest awaie my darknesse.
Thou hast made me to ouercome these dangers ea∣silie, and to leape ouer the wals and lets that were in Page 256 my waie.
For the waie whereby God leadeth vs is plaine, the word of God is most pure: the Lord doth defend all that trust in him as with a shield.
For who is God, but the Lord? And who is migh∣tie, but our God onelie?
He hath girded me with power, and hath made my waie safe.
He hath made me as swift as the Hinds, and hath placed me in most high and safe places.
He hath taught mine hands to fight, and he hath gi∣uen me so great strength, that I am able to breake a bowe of brasse with these mine armes.
Thou hast preserued me with the protection of thy shield, & thou hast staied me with thy right hand, when I was readie to fall, through thy great mercie.
Thou hast caused me to go safelie without danger, and thou hast staied my sliding steps.
Therefore haue I pursued mine enimies, and taken them, and I haue not turned back, till I haue destroi∣ed them.
I haue so beaten them downe, and troden them vn∣der foote, that they were not able to raise themselues againe.
For thou verelie hast giuen me such strength, that they which haue risen against me, haue fallen hedlong at my feete.
Thou hast giuen me power to strike off their heads, and that I might destroie them that pursued me.
Yet Lord, I grant they cried vnto thee: but thou hast not deliuered them, neither wouldest heare their crie.
Therefore did I beate them small, like the dust that the wind scattereth abroad: and I did beate them like the mire, which is tempered vnder the foote of them that walke the streets.
Yea, also thou hast deliuered me from domesticall and Page 257 inward troubles, and thou hast giuen me dominion o∣uer the nations that I neuer knewe before.
Unknowne people (I saie) obey my commande∣ments, and strangers be compelled for feare to submit themselues vnto me.
The hearts of the strangers haue failed, so that they fall downe for feare in their strongest forts.
Let the Lord liue, and let him that is my defence be knowledged and worshipped of all, as he worthilie deserueth. Let God my deliuerer bee praised euerie-where.
Euen God (I saie) who is mine aduenger, who hath subdued so manie people vnder me.
Thou hast saued me from mine enimies, thou hast deliuered me from them that rose vp against me, espe∣ciallie from that cruell curssing man.
Therefore will I praise thee, euen amongst the prophane nations, and I will sing vnto thy Maiestie.
For verelie thou hast maruellouslie preserued thy Queene, & not onlie ELIZABETH hir selfe, whom thou hast annointed Queene, but also thou hast shewed sin∣gular fauour to hir posteritie that shall remaine for euer,
The 118. Psalme made by DAVID, when he obteined his kingdome after the death of Saule.
OH acknowledge, & declare yee openlie that the Lord is good, for his bountious goodnesse is for euer.
Let Israel now con∣fesse this thing, for his bountious goodnes and mercie endureth for e∣uer.
Let the stocke of Aa∣ron now confesse, that his louing kindnesse is perpetuall.
Let all the sincere woorshippers of the Lord now confesse this, that his louing kindnesse is perpetuall.
I doubtlesse, being a notable example of his vn∣speakable bountie, haue not ceased (as yee knowe) to call vpon him in my greatest extremities: and he (as you your selues see) hauing heard me, hath exalted me into this most large roome.
Wherefore I, hauing experience that the Lord worketh for me, and that he is so neere at hand vnto me, God forbid that I should feare the power or the threats of anie man.
For the Lord himselfe is the chiefe leader of those that helpe me, so that I can not doubt at all, but that I shall see with mine eies those enimies which re∣maine iustlie punished of him.
Oh how far better is it to trust in the Lord, than in men!
Page 259 How far better is it to trust in the Lord, than in a∣nie men, how excellent soeuer they be!
Behold, manie nations compas me about, but I cal∣ling vpon ye Lord, shal most vndoubtedlie destroy them.
They compasse me in I saie, they beset me round about, but calling vpon the Lord, I shall most vndoub∣tedlie destroie them.
Mine enimies in great multitudes compasse me like swarmes of Bees, but I shall forthwith stiffle them, as though they were cast into the fire, and calling vpon the Lord, I shall most vndoubtedlie destroie them.
For in deede before, the most cruell enimie did so sore thrust at me, that I seemed euen now readie to fall: but as I was falling, the Lord supported me.
Therefore I accompt him mine onlie strength, I acknowledge him to be my Sauiour, and praise him in my song.
Heereof come those voices of those that sing, and re∣ioice together with me, out of their tabernacles, now doubtlesse the Lord hath aduanced the power of his most strong right hand.
The Lord hath now exalted that his right hand, now the Lord hath shewed foorth the power of his most strong right hand.
Behold me then that am yet aliue, and about to set foorth the works of God.
For though he hath striken me verie sore, yet hath he spared me life.
I praie thee therefore, let that gate now at the length be open vnto me, which onlie the louers of righ∣teousnesse must go vnto, that I being entred thither, may praise the Lord.
For it is consecrate vnto the Lord, therefore is it o∣pen to the iust alone.
Heere will I praise thee, O Lord, because thou gi∣uing eare hast deliuered me.
Page 260 For the stone which the verie chiefe builders haue so stubbornelie as yet reiected, as nothing fit, is not onlie now counted in the building: but euen as a prin∣cipall it vpholdeth the whole weight of the verie buil∣ding.
Uerelie, it is a worke of God indeede, which maketh all the beholders thereof to be amazed.
Go to then, seeing the Lord hath commanded this most ioifull daie to shine vnto vs, let vs passe it wholie in mirth becomming Saincts, and saie:
I beseech thee O Lord, preserue the Queene that is giuen vs from heauen. I praie thee, I saie, I praie thee O Lord giue the Queene ELIZABETH all prosperitie.
Let hir haue prosperitie and blisse, that commeth to gouerne vs in the name and commandement of God. We wish prosperitie to you also; that are the neerer inhabitants of the house of the Lord.
Iehoua is the onlie God, who shineth vnto vs, binde the Lambe with cords, that is brought to the hornes of the altar.
Thou art my God, I will praise thee, thou art my God, I will sing thy praises most lowd.
Confesse that the Lord is exceeding good, for his bountious goodnesse is euerlasting.
O Almightie GOD, most gratious Lord, and heauenlie Father, behold, I thine hand∣maid prostrate here be∣fore the throne of thy diuine Maiestie, meek∣lie confesse thee to bee my mercifull God, my highest King, and euer∣lasting Sauiour; and humblie I acknow∣ledge thee the Soue∣reigne Lord aboue all lords; the highest King of all kings, and the onelie omnipotent Creator, wise pre∣seruer, and woonderfull ruler of all thy creatures in heauen and earth, high and lowe, visible and inuisible: and my selfe also to be the worke of thine hands; the sheepe of thy pasture; a subiect and seruant to thy most high and sacred Maiestie, and a child depending alone and wholie vpon thy diuine and fatherlie prouidence for all things. And bicause I knowe vnthankfulnesse doth greatlie displease thee, (For it is the root of all spi∣rituall euill, and the onelie thing that dammeth vp the fountaine of thy godlie mercie for euer,). I will giue thanks vnto thee, O Lord, least I be vnthankfull to thee, my God, my deliuerer and Sauiour. And I yeeld thee now most humble and hartie thanks, for that it hath pleased thee, of thy singular mercie, to giue mee this especiall honour: first, to suffer for thy glorious truth much extreme miserie, feare, care, imprisōment, perill of bodie, trouble of mind, hazard of life, and dan∣ger of death, by sicknesse, fire, conspiracie, and sword: Page 262 and afterward blessedlie protecting and preseruing me from so manifold dangers, and miraculouslie deliue∣ring me out of the hands of all mine enimies; to call me to this excellent state & roiall dignitie of a Prince: and as this daie to cloath me with the garments of honour; to set the Crowne of gladnesse, and diademe of dignitie vpon mine head; to put the scepter of righ∣teousnesse, the globe of glorie, and the sword of thy po∣wer into mine hands, and to annoint and consecrate me thine handmaid QVEENE of this Realme, that I might bee the principall member and chiefe instru∣ment in the same to aduance thy glorie, and further thy Gospell, for the which I suffered. Yea, to be thy peoples Ioseph, their Moses, their Iosua, their Da∣uid, their Iosias, their Samuel, and their Salomon: finallie, to be their Deborah, their Iael, their Hester, their Iudith, and their Elizabeth; that is, their rest, staie, and staffe of Maiestie, their shepheard and ring-leader in the waie of vertue, holinesse, zeale, and sin∣cere religion. Which maruellous worke of thine, oh gratious GOD, for thy name sake, giue me grace, not onlie this daie; but all the daies and time of my life to remember and solemnize with woorthie thanks-gi∣uing: that with the Queene of Saba I may continu∣allie blesse thee, and saie; Blessed be thou O Lord my GOD, which thus hast loued me, and thy people, to set me in thy throne as QVEENE, and to establish them for euer, by making me their Gouernour ouer them in thy steed, to execute thy iudgement and iustice.
Neither can I now forget, but thankfullie also call to my remembrance all thy other great mercies, O mercifull God, shewed towards me since my comming vnto the Crowne: namelie, how often in thy mightie and maruellous mercie thou hast deliuered vnto mee & my Counsell, the wicked attempts, malignant de∣uises, and mischeeuous practises wrought and concei∣ued Page 263 of all my common, craftie, and cruell enimies, Sathan, and his ministers; who to exalt themselues, and to rob mee both of thy people, kingdome, peace, and religion, euen of verie malice and deadlie hatred, haue by all diuellish meanes raged, blasphemed, and conspired against thee, O GOD, and thy truth, like hypocrites: against mee and my Crowne, like trai∣tours; and against their Common-wealth and coun∣trie, like spoilers: and that for no offence of mine to themward, LORD, thou knowest; but onelie of cru∣ell spite they beare mee, bicause in truth I professe thy Christian religion, and seeke by establishing the same through good and godlie lawes, to serue thee zealous∣lie, sincerelie, and purelie; according to the rule and veritie of thine eternall word. Which thy great be∣nefits, when I well consider, togither with mine vn∣woorthinesse thereof, I am euen forced with my fa∣ther DAVID, to giue humble thanks, and to blesse thee before all the congregation, and saie: Blessed be thou, O LORD GOD of Israel, our Father for euer and euer. Thine, O LORD, is greatnesse, and power, and glorie, and victorie, and praise. For all that is in heauen and in earth is thine. Thine is the kingdome, O LORD, and thou excellest, (as head ouer all.) Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest ouer all; and in thine hand is po∣wer and strength: in thine hand, I saie, O mightie GOD, it is to make great, and to giue strength vnto all: now therefore I thanke thee, and praise thy glo∣rious name for euer. But who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my people, that thou hast brought mee to this honour, and thus redeemed and deliuered both mee and thy people out of thrall vnto thy selfe, and art beecome our GOD? Dooth this apperteine to man, O LORD? Or commeth not this rather of thy free mercie, more than of anie our woorthinesse? And Page 264 what can ELIZABETH saie more vnto thee? For thou Lord God knowest thy seruant, & euen for thy words sake, & according to thine owne hart, hast thou made my fountaine become a floud, and my light to shine as the sunne: and done all these great things, to make them knowne vnto thy seruant.
Now therefore, for this thy gratious fauour after so long restraint; so great dangers ouerpassed; such blu∣sterous storms ouerblowne; so many iniuries digested, & wrongs susteined, by thy mightie protection, O mer∣cifull God, to my no small comfort, & thy peoples com∣moditie, in exalting, erecting, and bringing me out of thrall to libertie; out of darknesse into light; out of danger to peace and quietnesse; from dread to dignitie; from miserie to maiestie; from mourning to ruling: breeflie, of a prisoner to make me a Prince, and to place me in the roiall throne, there to sit as Queene now full 24. yeeres, in the admirable rest, blessed quietnesse, and long peace, which I now enioie. For this thy diuine wisdome, O heauenlie father, in vnfolding, reuealing, & frustrating the proud platformes, & peeuish practises of Achitophels, & all mine enimes. For this thy meere mercie, O deere Christ, in spacing me and my people so long frō the bloudie hands of spoilers, oppressors, trai∣tors & vsurpers. For this thy heauenlie prouidence, O holie Ghost, in preuenting their diuelish purposes, and so gratiously protecting, preseruing and defending me, as wel before I was Queene, as since, from so extreme miseries, and manifold dangers, as also frō the hands and violences of al mine enimies, visible & inuisible, do∣mesticall & foraine. Finallie, for these & for all other thy great graces, singular blessings, and mestimable bene∣fits, & principall vertues, spirituall & corporall, O glo∣rious Trinitie, which through the mercie & merits of my sweet Sauior Iesus Christ, thou hertofore frō my birth hast, presentlie dooest, or hereafter vnto my death Page 265 shalt bountifullie bestowe vpon me and my people: I most hartilie laud, entirelie magnifie, and incessantlie extoll thy most high, holie and renowmed name, and sacred Princelie Maiestie.
And as I meeklie euen of dutie from the bottome of my hart, render vnto thee my GOD and my King, all condigne honour, woorthie praise, and possible thanks, togither with the vnfeined resignation of all empire, kingdome, power, rule, dominion, maiestie and glorie, both in heauen and in earth, as to thee onlie, and most iustlie belongeth: so now I most humblie and hartilie beseech thy diuine Maiestie, O excellent Father, and most mercifull GOD, to haue mercie vpon me thine humble handmaid and sinfull seruant. And be not pro∣uoked, good Lord, with my sinnes, nor with the sinnes of my parents & people, to giue vs ouer to the lust of our enimies. Make vs not a reproch vnto the foolish, nor let our aduersaries in our ouerthrowe triumph against vs, saieng, Where is now their God? But of thy rich mercie and woonted compassion in Christ Iesu, forgiue me my sinnes both old and new, both se∣cret and open, both past, present, and to come: yea from both mine owne and others faults, O God, I beseech thee deliuer me, and cast all mine offences into the bot∣tomlesse depth, out of thy remembrance and sight for euer: making the crosse and passion, the death and re∣surrection of thy most deere and onlie sonne my sweete Sauiour, and onlie Redeemer Iesus Christ the righ∣teous and immaculate Lambe, most effectuall in mee to all vertue, godlinesse of life, and pietie, as best be∣commeth thy daughter, thy virgin, thine annointed, and elect vessell of honour. That to all other thy good graces, & bountifull benefits alredie shewed towards me: the which of thine accustomed goodnesse I beseech thee to confirme, finish, and worke out in mee, as thou hast gratiouslie begun, and continue towards mee to Page 266 the end according to thy good pleasure, with such fur∣ther increase thereof from time to time, as best shall serue to the setting foorth of thy glorie, the benefit of thy Church to all posteritie, & mine eternall peace in Christ Iesus the Prince of peace. Grant, I saie, O Lord, this also may be added: namelie, that as it hath pleased thee in thy secret wisdome to quicken me, that was Tanquam ouis, euen as a seelie sheepe or lambe led to be slaine, to raise me vp out of the dust and mire of persecution, to lift me vp out of the pit and dungeon, and to set me the chiefe of the Princes of this land, and to make mee meete to inherīt the seate of glorie, yea to build me the chiefe and head piller of this thy Church of England, France and Ireland, wherevpon the whole bodie of thy Saints therein doo staie them∣selues in thy blessed peace and vnitie. As I saie, it is thy good will, not my deserts, to exalt the horne of thine annointed: to appoint me a fraile woman thy Lieu∣tenant here on earth: and to giue power vnto thy QVEENE to iudge the ends of thy dominions, and exe∣cute thine office here amongst thy people for a space in the regall seate of iustice and mercie: so vouchsafe thou, O gratious God, and louing Father, in like mer∣cie to powre downe continuallie vpon me all those thy speciall good gifts, princelie vertues, and heauenlie graces, fit for this my so high calling, that being plen∣tiouslie indued therewith, the bright shining beames thereof, as from a glittering Star in the firmament, or the glorious Sunne in his orient arising, to the set∣ting foorth of thy most glorious, inuisible, and eternall Maiestie, in this my fraile, earthlie and visible maie∣stie, may cleerelie shine and appeare in me, to the bene∣fit of thy Church farre and neere. And that I remem∣bring whose minister I am, may first aboue all things, in a perfect zeale of thy house, and loue of thy people, euer seeke thy honour and glorie, and studie continual∣lie Page 267 to preserue thy people committed to my charge, in wealth, peace and godlinesse. Deere Father, so blesse mee, so loue mee, so in the spirit of counsell, prudence, knowledge and fortitude, sanctifie, strengthen, and di∣rect me, that in a perfect faith, feare and loue, as in thy sight, I may walke vprightlie, without offence giuing, in the obedience of thy holie word, and fulfilling of thy blessed commandements all the daies of my life: and may be a true follower of that King, which is the So∣uereigne ouer the holie hill of Zion, whose seate and kingdome endureth for euer. Giue mee grace both thankfullie to acknowledge thy manifold great bene∣fits bestowed vpon mee, and also faithfullie and dili∣gentlie to discharge my dutie towards thee, and thy people, in executing thy iudgements indifferentlie without parcialitie, to the aduancement of thy king∣dome, the establishment of my throne, and the vniuer∣sall comfort and commoditie of all thy people.
Make me, good Lord, of an entire affection, and per∣fect hart towards thee: and of an humble and gentle spirit towards all vnder my gouernement, after the example of Christ our eternall King, who to fulfill thy will, O GOD, did vouchsafe to take flesh of the virgin Marie, and became man for man, that man might be∣come a God vnto men: and who also did verie much abase and humble himselfe as a seruant, euen vnto the death of the Crosse, to redeeme both Prince and peo∣ple out of thrall and bondage of sinne, Sathan, death and hell. Let my naturall affection and disposition, I saie, O Lord, continue to my foes terrible; to my sub∣iects amiable; to mine offenders mercifull; to the ver∣tuous bountifull; to all men indifferent; and parciall to none: that being guided by thee to gouerne thy peo∣ple iustlie, in all godlie peace and quietnesse, I may be able with a good conscience to witnesse of mine inte∣gritie before thee and all the world, as thy faithfull ser∣uants Page 268 Moses, Samuel, and Nehemias somtimes did of theirs, and boldlie and trulie with them saie: Be∣hold, here I am; beare record of me before the Lord, & before his annointed. Whose oxe, or whose asse haue I forceablie taken awaie? Or whom haue I done anie wrong to? Or whom haue I iniured or hurt? Or of whose hand haue I receiued anie bribes, to blind mine eies therewith, and I will restore it you: that my peo∣ple seeing, and well perceiuing my motherlie affection, faithfull gouernement, carefull diligence, and diligent watchfulnesse ouer them, by all meanes to doo them all the good I possiblie may or can in thee, may woorthilie witnesse, rightlie answere, and iustlie confesse and saie of me, to thy glorie, and my perpetuall praise, as the Israelites heretofore said of Samuel: That I haue not grieued them, nor troubled my land by oppression or iniurie: that I haue not hurt them, nor taken ought of anie mans hand, nor by anie meanes, either by my selfe or others, willinglie abused my power, or dealt vniustlie with my people.
Oh kindle more and more in my hart, I beseech thee, most holie Father, a pure zele aboue all things to pro∣mote thy glorie, and a vigilant care, not onelie to serue thee my selfe sincerelie; but also to haue thee diligentlie serued of my familie & people. And to this end vouch∣safe I praie thee, both to adorne me with all thy hea∣uenlie gifts: and also to blesse my whole familie, court and houshold with thy graces and vertues; that all these, both high and lowe, one and other, which are placed therein vnder me, may for their vertuous life, true faith, and right religion towards thee their God: and for their loiall harts, and conscionable obe∣dience towards me their Prince and Mistres: and for their entire affection and charitie one towards ano∣ther as brethren: and lastlie, for their hartie loue and naturall good-will they beare to their Commonwelth Page 269 and countrie, be an example and patterne of true god∣linesse and puritie, both in religion and life, for all the whole Realme and countrie, yea the whole world be∣sides to followe, as their head, fountaine and light.
Moreouer, O blessed God, as hitherto by thy migh∣tie protection thou hast preserued me, and in thy great mercie, maugre the heads of all mine enimies, mira∣culouslie hast deliuered me, and established me in this my kingdome, thus long in admirable peace and bles∣sed quietnesse, all glorie and praise be rendered vnto thy glorious name therfore: so I beseech thy gratious goodnesse, O Lord, in like mercie to blesse, preserue, maintaine, keepe and defend me, and my Realme still, from all both forreine and domesticall conspiracies, treasons, deceits, and violences of enimies, and from all other dangers and perils imminent and to come, both bodilie and ghostlie, publike and priuate: that I may still gouerne blessedlie ouer a blessed people, and my Realme and people, by thy defence and protection, continue in the truth of thy Gospell, and happie enioi∣eng of perfect peace and quietnesse both outward and inward.
Thou, O Lord of hosts, hast ordeined me the Gouer∣nour ouer thy people, and made my people to be thy people: and thou Lord art become our God, yea and our great and mightie God, besides whom wee haue none other God. I knowe also, my God, that thou tri∣est the hart, and hast pleasure in righteousnesse: be∣hold therefore, I offer, vow, and dedicate my selfe wil∣linglie and entirelie in the vprightnesse of my hart, to serue and worship thee onelie for euer with ioie, and therfore am I thine handmaid bold to praie this prai∣er vnto thee, beseeching thee for euer to keepe me, and to helpe me in this my good purpose of holie seruing and worshipping of thee. For that which I haue hitherto done, is nothing at all to speake of. O direct thou con∣tinuallie Page 270 the thoughts of my mind, and prepare my hart euermore vnto thee. Giue vnto me thine hand∣maid a perfect hart to keepe thy commandements, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and cause me to vse my power lawfullie, to the reforming both of thy house, and estates, according to the prescript rule of thy writ∣ten word & reuealed will, that so it may please thee O Lord God to confirme, for euer thy mercifull promises made vnto me in my father DAVID, and to blesse the throne or house of thy seruant, with thy blessing, that it may continue and be established before thee for euer.
And that this may the better come to passe, to the glorie of thy name, the benefit of thy Church, and wealth of my Realme, as I hartilie wish and desire: remoue far from thy Church, far from me O excellent father, all those which fall from thee by infidelitie, and are through obstinate wilfulnesse traiterous rebels to thy sacred Lawe, and sincere Religion, which I pro∣fesse. Let backbiters together with such as are proud, and those that dare shameleslie presume anie thing, be vtterlie rooted out: but contrariwise, let there be space in especiallie for such as be verie zealous of the truth, that they onlie may be conuersant with me before thee, and cause me to feede them with a singular faith and innocencie, and minister all things diligentlie vnto them.
Finallie, let not the enimies of thy Gospell I be∣seech thee O gratious and mightie God, thus despise thy grace offered them vnto repentance: but those that are to be conuerted, conuert and turne them O God speedilie, if it be thy will. Make thou Saule at the length to become a Paule: and let not the persecutor persist in his errours, but let them rather accompt thy long suffering, and my peaceable and vnbloudie go∣uernement, an occasion of saluation to their soules, and of vnfeigned loue to thy Church. Otherwise, if Page 271 they will needes remaine still disobedient to thy truth, disloiall vnto me, dangerous to the state, and enimies to their Countrie and Common-wealth, then O God of my saluation, arise, and helpe to wound the head of thine enimies, and the hearie scalpe of such as go on still in their wickednesse. Let thy right hand find out them that euerie daie prouoke thee, and reuenge thy selfe on those blasphemous hypocrites, that thus proudlie contemne thee to thy face. And as thou hast discouered them, and their peeuish practises, against thee and thine annointed, so discouer them still. As thou hast preuented their diuelish purposes, and execrable intents, so preuent them still. Yea let their firie eies waxe wearie with looking, their bloudie harts and hands faint with waiting for their golden daie, and that which commeth not yet; neither let come O Lord I beseech thee, but in thy good time, and according to thy will, a blessed and healthfull reigne vnto my selfe, much ioie and comfort to my subiects, and long peace to Zion for euermore.
Lastlie, O most mightie God, looke what remaineth yet of the happie building, enlarging and finishing of thy Church, and to the establishing and planting of thy Religion perfectlie therein, according to the pre∣script rule of thy blessed word, and full discharge of my dutie, when I shall be called to render an accompt before the iudgement seate of Christ: because that without thee I can do nothing, neither is it possible to please thee, do thou O father of light, from whome all good gifts doo come and proceede, vouchsafe to powre downe plentifullie of thy principall spirit vpon me, and so rauish my hart with the flame of the loue of thee and thy people, & with an earnest zeale of thy house, that with Ioseph I may carefullie and faithfullie prouide for thy people: with Moses painefullie leade them out of the deserts of errour and oppression: and with Io∣shua, Page 272 bring thy people into the land of promise: with Debora fight thy battels: with Iahel knocke Sisera of Roome in the temples of his vsurped headship: with Iudith cut off the head of proud Holophernes: with Hezekias and Iosias roote out and destroie all super∣stition and relikes of idolatrie: with Dauid and Sa∣lomon finish and consecrate to eternitie thy glorious Temple among thy people: and with them all most earnestlie and continuallie to praie vnto thee for their saluation. That heere on earth for the time, after their vertuous example, dooing that which is good in thy sight, reigning blessedlie, ruling prudentlie, and like a louing mother, and tender nursse, giuing my foster∣milke, the foode of thy word and Gospell aboundantlie to all, in all places of my dominion, and endeuouring my selfe faithfullie to discharge the great trust com∣mitted vnto me: when thy sonne, to whome not onlie the sea and windes, but all creatures are subiect, shall come as King of kings to require an accompt of the charge committed vnto me, I may be found faithfull, and not faile finallie in heauen, but in the purenesse of my virginitie, and holinesse of mine innocencie, be pre∣sented to the Lambe my souereigne Lord and onlie God, my heauenlie Bridegroome and spirituall spouse, my euerlasting King deere Christ, and onlie sweet Sa∣uiour Iesus, there to see the Saincts, and to be a Sainct, and with all the holie Patriarches, Iudges, Kings, and Queenes, yea with all the Archangels, Angels, Saints, Martyrs, Confessors, Uirgins, and the whole companie of thy celestiall and blessed spirits, to reigne with him ouer spirituall powers and princi∣palities for euer, and sing the sugred songs of my wedding-daie to my perpetuall ioie, and thine eternall praise, O most glorious Trinitie, the Father, the Son, and the holie Ghost, one inuisible God almightie, blessed for euer and euer:
Another praier to be said of the Queenes Maiestie.
BLessed art thou Lord God of Sab∣baoth, for vnto thee apperteineth all magnificence, and power, and glorie, to thee belongeth all honour and authoritie.
For whatsoeuer is either in the heauens aboue, or in the earth be∣neath, it is thine. Thine, O Lord, is the kingdome, thou art aboue all Princes & Kings. Riches are thine, glorie is thine, and thou art Lord o∣uer all. In thee remaineth vertue and power, great∣nesse and gouernement.
O God of my fathers, and Lord of mercie, which hast made all things by thy word, and by thy wisdome appointed man to rule the creatures which thou hast made, and to gouerne the world with equitie and iu∣stice; I praise thee, and extoll thy glorious name, for ap∣pointing me thy seruant, to rule and gouerne this thy people committed vnto my charge.
Now therefore, gratious Lord, fauourablie behold me, that I may treade the path of truth, righteous∣nesse, and sinceritie of hart in thy sight.
Let me not abuse mine authoritie, but gouerne with lenitie and gentlenesse the people vnder me, that li∣uing a godlie and honest life, mankind may enioie their desired peace.
Giue therefore vnto thy seruant an hart desirous of instructions, that I may iudge the people, and discerne betweene good and euill, and neither declining to the right hand, or to the left, stoutelie and valiantlie main∣teine the cause of the righteous.
Grant me counsell and assistance to doo such things as are gratefull vnto thee, good for thy Church, and Page 274 profitable for my people and Common-weale.
Giue me thy wisdome, and reiect me not from thy children: for I thy seruant and handmaiden am a fraile woman of a short time, and full weake in the vnder∣standing of iudgements and the lawes.
Thou hast chosen me a Gouernour of thy people, and a Iudge of thy sonnes and daughters; send mee therefore wisdome from thy sacred heauens, and from the seate of thy magnificence, that it may be with me, and labour with me, whereby I may perceiue what is acceptable in thine eies, and learne that I haue no po∣wer of my selfe, but from thee, which art Almightie, and reignest ouer the kingdomes of men, giuing them at thy pleasure.
Graunt that I neuer conceiue proudlie of my selfe, but may receiue in patience the discipline of thy Lawe.
Make me wise and circumspect, that I neither of∣fer iniurie to anie man, neither suffer anie to be iniu∣ried, that so equitie may be mainteined, and iustice a∣mong men preserued.
Let me at no time, vnder the shew and colour of e∣quitie, vphold or countenance a wicked cause: neither yet without sufficient examination and triall of both parties, giue sentence against anie.
Allow me such Counsellers, Gouernours, and O∣uerseers, as are of courage, fearing God, dealing vp∣rightlie, hating couetousnesse; that by them the bur∣then, charge, and care which I susteine, may be some∣what lightened.
Endue both me and them with thine holie spirit, that with earnest studie, and watchfull minds, we may discerne betweene matters, that no man through our negligence haue the ouerthrowe in a righteous cause, but that sentence be rightlie pronounced betweene a man and his brother, and a stranger, without respect of anie person in iudgement.
Page 275 Let vs heare as well the little as the great, and feare no man, because the iudgement is thine, which standest in the companie of iudges, and among the gods thou plaiest the Iudge; for the iudgement is not of man, but of the Lord, and whatsoeuer we shall iudge it will come vpon vs.
Wherefore, let thy feare be with vs, that we may doo all things with care and circumspection, that we prooue not children in vnderstanding: neither giue our selues to lusts & pleasures, but to eate our meate in due season, and that for strength, not for dronkennes.
For thou wilt make earnest and diligent inquirie of all our works, and search all our cogitations, because we are thy seruants and deputies to gouerne, men of a verie short life: and he which is to daie a King, to morowe may be dead: for we be all mortall, and subiect to one and the same corruption.
Besides, an horrible iudgement is nigh for such as walke not after the will of thee our God: for he that is most lowe, shall finde mercie: but the mightie shall be mightilie tormented: for thou which art the Lord o∣uer all, regardest not the person of anie, neither doest thou feare the greatnesse of the mightie, because as well the great as the small are the workemanship of thine hands; thy care is equall ouer all, & thou giuest to godlie Princes eternall happinesse, which art the Iudge both of the quicke and dead, liuing and reig∣ning with thy Son in the vnitie of the Spirit a God for euermore,
FOrasmuch as it hath pleased thee O King of kings, and Lord of lords, to appoint me a∣mong other, a Ruler of thy people: giue mee grace I beseech thee so to minister the Com∣mon-weale, and so to execute mine office, that I may please thee, and hurt no man in all my dooings, but Page 276 iudge equallie, and iustlie rule according to thy will, shew my selfe a Mother vnto thy people, and so be haue my selfe in all mine enterprises, that I seeking thy glo∣rie, the furtherance of thy blessed Gospell, and the weale of thy subiects, may, when thou shalt render to euerie one according to his deedes, be found blame∣lesse in thy sight, through Iesus Christ our Lord:
OAlmightie God, Lord of heauen and earth, which hast appointed me thy seruant to bee a gouernour of thy people, and a ruler ouer men: I most humblie beseech thee send me thy wisdome from aboue, whereby I may vprightlie iudge thy people, rightlie discerne betweene good and euill, and constantlie continue in dooing my dutie, without respect of persons.
Giue me power and wisdome to do that is gratefull in thy sight, profitable for my subiects, and good for the continuance of peace.
Let me alwaies remember that I haue no power of my selfe, but of thee, and that the iudgement is not of man, but of thee my God, which standest among the iudges, and plaiest the Iudge among the gods.
Giue me grace likewise to consider, that one daie, how soone I knowe not, thou wilt bring me to a reck∣ning, and make diligent inquirie, how I haue behaued my selfe in my place and office.
For I thy seruant haue but a short race to run, and such is the state of vs all; he which is to daie a King, to morrowe may be dead.
And forasmuch as an horrible iudgement shall be giuen vpon such as rule not vprightlie, nor walke after thy will; for mightie men shall mightisie be tormen∣ted: thou being Lord ouer all, wilt spare no person, nor feare anie greatnesse, for thou hast made the small and Page 277 great, and carest for all alike.)
I beseech thee gratious and eternall God, giue mee grace to learne what thy will is, and to deale wiselie, to infer none iniurie vnto anie, nor to suffer anie to be iniured, to countenance none euill cause, nor to slide from the path of iustice.
For I thy seruant am a fraile person, of a short time, and full weake in the vnderstanding of iudgments, and the lawes.
Send me therefore wisdome from the throne of thy Maiestie, that she may be with me, & labour with me, that I may knowe what is acceptable in thy sight, and be led by hir in all my dooings, and preserued by hir power, so shall my works be acceptable, and then shall I gouerne thy people righteouslie in Christ my Lord and Sauiour,
HEare mee, O LORD, thou high and mightie God, whose Maiestie may not bee comprehended, whose worde is true, whose commande∣ment is strong, thou that ridest vp∣on the Cherubins, & fliest with the wings of the wind. Thou God of all mercie, most woorthie to be sought, before whome the hosts of heauen stand with trem∣bling, whose ordinance is dreadfull, whose lookes drie vp the depths, whose hands rule the starrie firma∣ment, whose goodnesse onelie giueth the fruits of the earth, whose wrath maketh the mountaines to melt, and consumeth the wicked, whose truth beareth wit∣nesse, and mercie saueth the sorowfull sinner. Thou, thou incomprehensible Creator, that neuer tookest be∣ginning, Page 278 and wantest end. Sith of nothing thou hast wrought me (with the woonders of the world) to thy most seemelie shape, and vouchsafest thy dririe death and passion, to drowne the danger of my sinful deserts, and hast as a carefull captaine, cherished my bodie with comfortable gifts vnto this present daie: conti∣nue, O God, such goodnesse towards me vnwoorthie, which doo here with contrite hart, and bowed knees appeale to the heigth of thy mercie, and louing kind∣nesse, to accept mine vnequall thanks for the same: humblie beseeching thy fatherlie goodnesse, that thy holie hand may stil renew in me thy former gifts plen∣tiouslie powred vpon me from the prime of my birth vnto this present: not remembring, good Lord, mine vnwoorthinesse of the same, nor frailtie of my passed yeeres, that speaketh against me; but altering the mi∣nisters of thy wrath into mild mercie. Grant I be∣seech thee, that through the assistance of thy holie spirit I may be led to correct that is amisse, and that I may now perseuere in setting, ordering, and reforming all my trauels, counsels, and studies, as best may accord with thy blessed will, and cancell the bonds of my hea∣uie charge; wherein assist me, most puissant Prince of all power, with thy prudent skill and heauenlie grace, that I may be truelie able to aduance iustice, and to hate wrong, and so be found a faithfull minister ouer thy people. In whom plant, I beseech thee, thy heauen∣lie grace and feare, with obedience towards mee thy minister, and kindle in me the loue of thy holie spirit, that I may perseuere in the truth of thy word, with∣out doubt or wauering to the end. Grant this, oh mightie God of hosts, for the merits and passion of thy deere sonne my Lord and Sauior Iesus Christ,
The praier of King SALOMON for Wisdome to gouerne well. Wisd. 9.
O GOD of my fathers, and Lord of mer∣cie, which hast made all things with thy word, and ordeined man through thy wis∣dome, that he should haue dominion ouer the creatures which thou hast made, and gouerne the world according to equitie and righteousnesse, and execute iudgement with an vpright hart. Giue me wisdome, which is euer sitting aboue thy seate, and put me not out from among thy children. For I thy seruant and handmaid am a feeble person, and of a short time, and yet lesse in the vnder∣standing of iudgements and the lawes. And though a man be neuer so perfect among the children of men; yet if thy wisdome be not with him, he shall be no∣thing regarded. Thou hast chosen me to be a QVEENE vnto thy people, and the Iudge of thy sonnes & daugh∣ters. Thou hast commanded mee to maintaine thy Church, which from the beginning thou hast chosen.
Oh send out of thy holie heauens therefore vnto me, that thy wisdome, wherewith thou madest the world, gouernest thy works, and knowest what is accepta∣ble in thy sight, & right in thy commandements. Send hir, I saie, from the throne of thy Maiestie, that shee may be with mee, and labour with me, that I may knowe what is acceptable in thy sight, and right in thy commandements. For she knoweth and vnderstan∣deth all things, and she shall leade me soberlie in all my works, and preserue mee by hir power and glorie: so shall my works be acceptable, and then shall I gouern thy people righteouslie, and be well and woorthie to sit in my fathers throne,
Holie Praiers, and godlie Meditations, desciphering in Alphabeticall forme, the Roiall name of our vertuous Soue∣reigne Queene ELIZABETH, properlie to be vsed of hir Maiestie.
PSALME 143, verse 2.
O GOD, which dwellest in light that no man can attaine. O God, which art hid, and canst not be seene with bodilie eies, nor comprehen∣ded with anie vnderstanding, neither expressed with the tongue of men, or Angels. O my God, what is it to be righteous in thy sight? It is that wee should bee without sinne before thee, which no man euer was since the fall of Adam. For which cause the holie Pro∣phet DAVID saith in this wise: Enter not into iudge∣ment with thy seruant, O Lord: for no flesh is righte∣ous in thy sight. If then no flesh be righteous in thy sight; O vnhappie that I am, loden and burdened with sinne, who shall haue pitie or compassion on mee, or whither shall I go? My sinnes are euer before me, mine vnrighteousnesse condemneth me. What shall I doo? Shall I despaire? God forbid. For mercifull, Page 281 meeke, and louing is my Sauiour. My refuge therfore shall be in my God: for certaine I am, he will not for∣sake his owne image, neither wil he forsake the worke of his owne hands. Wherfore most meeke, louing, and mercifull Father, to thee come I all sad and sorowfull. But what shall I saie vnto thee? I will saie: Enter not into iudgement with thy seruant, O Lord: for no flesh is righteous in thy sight. And againe, I will with the Prophet powre out before thee the words of sor∣rowe. I will hartilie beseech thee, saieng: Haue mer∣cie on me, O God, haue mercie on me, according to thy great mercie: not after the mercie of men, but after thy great mercie, which is incomprehensible, which is vnmeasurable, and which passeth all sinnes without comparison. According therefore vnto that thy great mercie, by the which thou hast so loued the world, that thou gauest thy sonne for it; by the which thou hast ta∣ken awaie all our sinnes; by the which through his crosse thou hast lightened all men; by the which also thou hast restored all things in heauen, and in earth: wash me, I saie, O Lord, wash me in his bloud, restore me in his resurrection, and iustifie me by thy grace and fauour, and the redemption which is in Christ,
Psal. 51. verse 1.
THy mercie, O Lord, is the abundance of pitie; thy compassions are the works and processe of thy mercie; by the one thou lookest gentlie on the poore and wretched: by the other thou forgiuest the multitude of sinnes. O sweet, and mercifull Sauiour Page 282 Iesus Christ, the sorowfull and penitent sinner Ma∣rie Magdalen came prostrate before thy feet, she wash∣ed them with hir bitter teares, she wiped them with the heares of hir head: thou forgauest all hir sinnes, and sentest hir awaie in peace: this was, good Lord, one of thy compassions. Peter thrise denied thee; and forsooke thee with an oth: thou mercifullie lookedst on him, and he beholding thee bitterlie wept: and thou Lord forgauest him; which was another of thy com∣passions. The theefe on the Crosse was saued with one word: Paule in the furious madnesse of persecu∣tion was called, and by and by was filled with the ho∣lie Ghost: these all Lord are thy pitifull compassions.
Sith therefore that thou art the same our GOD, with whome is no alteration, neither shadowe of change; and sith there is but one Mediatour and at∣tonement betweene God and man, that is Christ Ie∣sus, which endureth for euer; why doost thou not powre out thy plentious compassions vpon vs, as well as thou didst vpon our forefathers? Why standest thou so far, O Lord, and hidest thy face in the needfull tune of trouble? Hast thou forsaken vs? Or are all thy mer∣cies spent, and none left? O Lord my God, I hartilie beseech thee, & most humblie praie thee, that thou wilt, according to the multitude of thy compassions, wipe awaie all mine iniquities: that as thou hast drawne and receiued innumerable sinners vnto thee, and hast made them righteous in thy sight: euen so thou wilt vouchsafe to drawe and take me, and also to make mee righteous through thy grace, and so to clense and puri∣fie my hart; that after all mine iniquities and vn∣cleannesse put out, it may be as a cleane ta∣ble, in the which thy finger, O GOD, may write the lawe of thy loue and charitie,
Ezech. 18, verse 27.
BEhold good Lord, now are the daies of sorowe, now are the daies of calamitie; and now is the time wherein I must call on thee. For now feele I mine old cankered and festered sores of sinne readie to breake foorth in me, to my vtter confusion. Behold good Lord, all my desires, and all my lamentable and sorowfull sighes, I powre them all before thee; crieng and saieng, O Lord cleanse me from my sinnes: for I am vncleane and filthie before thee. Increase therefore thy light in me, that I may be a vessell of thy grace: kindle my hart with thy loue; put out all feare: for per∣fect loue expelleth feare. Let the loue of the world, the loue of the flesh, the loue of vaine-glorie, and the loue of my selfe, vtterlie depart from me: that I may (through thy mercie) be cleansed from mine iniquities, by the which I haue offended thee. Cleanse me therefore, O Lord, with the water of thy gratious fauour, of which water he that drinketh, shall no more thirst, but it shall be made in him a fountaine of liuing water, running and flowing into eternall life. Cleanse mee I saie, O Lord, with the water of thy weeping teares; cleanse me with the comfortable waters of thy sacred Scriptures, that I may be numbred among them, vnto whome thou saiedst: Now are yee cleane through the words that I haue spoken to you:
Luke 19, verse 5.
O Mercifull God, how manie sinnes haue I don in thy sight, which I would in no wise haue done before mortall men? I feared men more than thee, because I was blind, and loued blindnesse. I had onlie eies of flesh, therfore did I onlie feare and looke on men which are flesh. O my God, behold, I stand before thy face, that I might finde mercie. I stand be∣fore thy goodnesse and benignitie, looking for thy fauo∣rable answere: haue mercie therefore on me. Thou sai∣edst to Zache, This daie I will abide in thy house, and he ioifullie receiuing thee, said; Lord, the halfe of my goods I giue to the poore, and if I haue done anie man wrong, I will restore him fourefold. But Lord Iesu, I will not part halfe that I haue, but I bequeath my selfe wholie vnto thee, reseruing nothing from thee, promising to serue thee for euer with a cleane and pure hart. O sweet Lord Iesus, what sawest thou in Zache? euen thine owne image, for he had cast off the image of the diuell, which before was on him, and had put on him thine image. If then thou didst see in Zache, by put∣ting from him the image of the diuell, that which did drawe thee to his house; take then from me, sweet Ie∣sus, all my sinnes and wickednesse; all I praie thee, that none may remaine in me, which may keepe thee from me; that I may put off, as Zache did, that euill which is in me; that thou maist see in me, which thou Page 285 sawest in Zache, that when thou shalt call me out of the figtree of this miserable world, thou maist saie vn∣to me, Come downe, for this daie I will abide with thee:
Psalme 51, verse 10.
ALas my Lord and Sauiour, my hart hath for∣saken thee, it is turned from thee, and is gone astraie: it is wandered into strange countries, and ensueth vanities: hir eies are in the vttermost part of the world. It is lost, gone, and sold vnder sinne. It is stonie, yea harder than the Flint or Adamant stone, which relented and yeelded at thy sonnes death. What now Lord? What shall I saie? A pure hart cre∣ate in me, a fleshie hart, a mollified and soft hart, an humble hart, a penitent hart, a mercifull hart, a de∣uout hart, a religious and zealous hart: yea and such a hart as will loue thee aboue all things. Create there∣fore good Lord such a hart in me, that it may be of such efficacie through thy grace, as nature is not able to make it. Giue me also a right spirit, that I may loue and worship thee, which art the chiefe and principall spirit. For thou art a spirit, and wilt be worshipped in spirit and veritie. My soule, good Lord, is also a spirit, and so made of thee, that of it selfe it is right. For of hir owne nature she loueth thee aboue hir selfe, and desi∣reth all things for thy glorie; so that hir owne natu∣rall loue is right, because it commeth of thee. Make stedfast therefore in me, O Lord, through thy gratious fauour, this spirit; that it may, according to his owne nature, leade and keepe me in the waie of thy com∣mandements; Page 286 and that by it my heart may be so in∣flamed with heauenlie loue, that it may cause me to sigh vnto thee, to embrace thee continuallie, and neuer to forsake thee; but alwaies to be firme and constant in thee. Giue me therefore an vpright spirit, not seeking hir owne glorie, but thy will and glorie. Renew it in me, I praie thee good Lord; renew it I saie, for my sins haue quenched the first that thou gauest me,
Psalme 51, verse 4.
TO thee onlie O Lord it is proper to forgiue, and to be mercifull, for through mercie and for∣giuenesse thou dooest declare thine almighti∣nesse. I graunt therefore Lord, and confesse, that a∣gainst thee onlie I haue offended, and haue done that which is euill in thy sight. Haue mercie therefore on me O Lord, haue mercie. Expresse and shewe foorth thine omnipotencie in me, that thou maist be iustified in thy words. For it is written, Thou camest not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Graunt me therefore good Lord a true repentant hart, and iu∣stifie me according to thy words. Call me, receiue me, and giue me thy grace; so that thereby I may do the works of repentance. Thou saiedst, When I am lif∣ted vp from the earth, I will drawe all vnto my selfe. Uerifie Lord the words on me, drawe me after thee, and let me run with thee in the sweetenesse of thine ointments. Againe, thou saiedst, Come vnto me all yee that labour, and are loden, and I will ease you. Behold Page 287 my Lord and my God, I a sinner do come vnto thee, all loden with sinnes, daie and night, labouring in the so∣rowe of my hart for thy grace and mercie. Refresh and ease me therefore good Lord, that thou maist be iusti∣fied and proued, when thou art iudged. For there are manie, which saie, There is no helpe for him in his God. Ouercome Lord these persons, when thou art thus iudged of them, and forsake not me at anie time: but giue to me thy creature thy mercie and pardon, and then are they vanquished which saie, There is no helpe for him in his God,
Psalme 51, verse 12.
IT is a great thing, O heauenlie father, that I desire of thee; seeing thou art a great Lord, and King aboue all gods. He doth thee iniurie which asketh of thee small things; and he which as∣keth of thee bodilie things, asketh but vaine trifles. He therefore that desireth spirituall things, desireth great things: but he that desireth thy ioie and sauing health, desireth the greatest thing thou hast to giue. What is thy sauing health, but Iesus Christ thy on∣lie sonne, which is verie God and euerlasting life? And forsomuch as thou hast bin so louing and liberall a fa∣ther, as to giue him vnto the death of the crosse, and there to offer him for me; why should I be ashamed to aske him of thee, whome thou hast giuen for me? Giue me therefore thy principall spirit, that I may reioice in thy sauing health. And forsomuch as in thy holie word thou biddest me aske and knocke, euen till I see me Page 288 importunate, and what can I aske that should be more wholesome to me, than that thou shouldest make me reioice in thy sonne our sauing health? I will ther∣fore continuallie crie to thee, saieng: Make me againe to reioice in thy sauing helth, and restore to me againe the thing which my sinnes haue lost. Restore to me that which through my fault is perished in me. Restore me I beseech thee for his mercies sake, that euer sitteth on thy right hand, and maketh intercession for me, that by his gratious fauour, I may at my last end enioie the fruitfull benefite of thy sauing health:
Psalme 51. verse 6.
WHat meaneth it to saie, Thou louest truth; but that of thy gratious mercie thou makest vs promises, and fulfillest them for thy truths sake? Thou didst promise vnto Abraham a sonne when he was aged: thou fulfilledst thy promise in old and barren Sara, because thou louest truth. Thou madest promise vnto Dauid thy seruant, saieng: Of the fruit of thy bodie will I set vpon the regall throne: and it came to passe, because thou louest truth. Thou hast promised vnto sinners, which will come vnto thee, for∣giuenesse and fauour, and thou hast neuer defrauded anie man: for thou louest truth. There are other in∣numerable promises, in the which thou hast euer bene faithfull, because thou louest truth. Loue therefore, O father of mercies, this truth in me, which with repen∣tant hart turneth to thee. Behold therefore thy crea∣ture, in whome thou maist keepe it, and to whome thou Page 289 maist forgiue manie sinnes. Spare good Lord, spare thy seruant, and command me to be of the number of the babes; that the vnknowne things of thy wisdome, which thou hast opened vnto me, may lead me vnto the fountaine of wisdome, which is on high; that thou maist be praised in the works of thy mercie, which thou dooest exercise towards thy seruant, O LORD, which neuer forsakest them that trust in thee:
Psalme 51. verse 16.
MY mouth, Lord, shall shew foorth thy glorious fame. For I knowe it to be most acceptable before thee, seeing thou hast declared it by the mouth of the Prophet, saieng: The sacrifice of praise shall glorifie me; by which meane (saith the Lord) I shall be entised to shew him my sauing health. Psal. 48. Therefore will I offer praise vnto thee for my sinnes, euen the praise of infants and sucklings. And why shall I offer praise for my sinnes, rather than sacrifice? Bicause thou delightest not in burnt sacrifice. For if thou hadst desired sacrifice, I had surelie offered them: but thou delightest not in them. And againe, thou sai∣edst, I require mercie, and not sacrifice. Ose. 6. There∣fore my mouth shall shew foorth thy praise, bicause thereby I doo shew foorth thy honour, and it sheweth me through thy grace the waie to my sauing health. O Lord, thou madest the bodie for the spirit, therfore see∣kest thou spirituall things, and not bodilie things. For thou saiest, My sonne giue thy hart vnto me. Prou. 23. Page 290 which is the sacrifice that pleaseth thee. Let me there∣fore offer vnto thee, O Lord, a hart repenting and sor∣rowing for my sinnes; and inflame it with a desired loue of heauenlie things, and then wilt thou desire no more of me: for with such sacrifices wilt thou, O Lord, be pleased,
Psalme 6, verse 1.
MY sinnes, O Lord, are so manie, that the bur∣den of them hath weakened me. My bones are so bruised, my sinewes are so shrunken, my strength so faileth me, the rod of thy displeasure hath so chastened me, that I feele no helpe in my selfe. I ap∣peale therfore, O Lord, to thy mercie, crieng out with the prodigall and vnthriftie sonne, saieng: O Father, I haue sinned against heauen, and before thee; haue mercie therefore, haue mercie on me; not bicause I haue deserued thy mercie, but bicause thou art merci∣full. Sith therefore thou art mercifull, what art thou, but euen the verie mercie it selfe? And what am I but verie miserie? Behold therefore, O God, which art mercie, behold miserie is before thee. What shalt thou doo, O mercie? Trulie thy works. Canst thou go backe from thy nature? And what is thy nature? Uerelie to Page 291 take awaie miserie. Haue mercie therefore on mee, O God. God, which art mercie, take awaie my miserie: for the depth of miserie requireth the depth of mercie. The depth of sinne requireth the depth of grace and fauour. Greater is the depth of mercie, than the depth of miserie. Let therfore, good Lord, the one depth swal∣lowe vp the other. Let the bottomlesse depth of mer∣cie swallowe vp the depth of miserie,
Acts 10, verse 6.
O Sweet Iesus, who euer came to thee with a pure and stedfast faith, and went awaie confu∣sed? Or who euer desired thy fauour, and went without it? Surelie thou passest in thine abundant pitie, both the deseruings and also the desires of them that praie vnto thee. For thou giuest more than man can desire. The woman of Canaan followed thee, she cried and made a pitious noise; she mooued thy Disci∣ples to compassion, & worshipped thee, and said: Lord helpe me; but yet wouldest thou not answere. Yet shee trusting in thy mercie, praied againe, saieng: Lord helpe me. Unto whose importunitie thou diddest an∣swere, saieng: It is not good to take the childrens bread, and cast it vnto dogs. O Lord, who would not haue beene confounded, and haue gotten him awaie at these thy words? And yet did this woman continue still in praier, and said: It is truth Lord that thou sai∣est: it is not meete to cast the childrens bread vnto dogs. But yet Lord, the dogs doo eate of the crums which fall from the childrens table. And thou Lord re∣ioicing Page 292 in hir great constancie, didst saie: O woman, great is thy faith, be it vnto thee as thou desirest. Now therefore sweet and mercifull Lord Iesu, as thou did∣dest vouchsafe to accept and heare the praier of Corne∣lius, and of this woman of Canaan; so I hartilie be∣seech thee to heare my humble praiers, which I make daie and night before thee; not onelie that thou shoul∣dest deliuer me from bodilie oppressions, but also from the spirituall power of the diuell, that after this mor∣tall life I may come to thy blessed presence, in the e∣uerlasting kingdome, where thou reignest God with the Father, and the holie Ghost:
Psalme 17. verse 1.
THy praise is a great thing, O Lord: for it pro∣ceedeth out of the fountaine whereof no sin∣ners drinke. There is no glorious praise in the mouth of a sinner. Deliuer me therefore O Lord from the waie of sinners, and my tongue shall magnifie thy righteousnesse; and my lips and my mouth shall shew foorth thy praise. Thou hast the key of Dauid, which shuttest, and no man openeth; and openest, and no man shutteth. Therefore open thou my lips, as thou hast opened the mouths of infants, out of whose mouths thou hast established thy praise. Trulie the Prophets and Apostles, and all other thy Saints praised thee, & despised themselues. The sucklings extoll thy fame and glorie, which they knowe through thy heauenlie Page 293 and celestiall grace. Thy friends, which spreading thy glorie, haue conuerted innumerable soules from sinne vnto vertue and true felicitie. Thy beloued haue open∣lie preached thy bountious gentlenesse, and mercifull fauour, which thou shewest in thy deere sonne vnto all the world. Now therefore mercifull God, giue me true humilitie, that thou maist stablish thy praise by my mouth. Make me as one of the infants and sucklings, that I may euer hang on the paps of thy wisdome. For thy paps, O Lord, are better than wine, and thy wisdome better than riches. Make me as one of thy friends or beloued, that I may constantlie abide in thee, that my mouth and voice may among the suck∣lings extoll and set foorth thy praise, saieng and sing∣ing, Ozanna in the highest,
Psalme 51. verse 7.
I Sope, Lord, is a lowe herbe, it is hot, and of a good sauour, which signifieth nothing else, but thine onlie sonne Iesus Christ, which humbled himselfe vnto death, euen vnto the death of the Crosse; which with the heate of his feruent loue loued vs, and washed vs from our sinnes in his bloud; which also with the redolent and sweet sauor of his beneuolence and righteousnesse hath replenished the world. There∣fore with this Isope shalt thou, O holie Father, sprin∣kle me, when thou shalt powre vpon me the vertue and bloud of thy deere sonne Christ, when he through faith Page 294 shall dwell in me; when through loue I am ioined with him, when I shall imitate and followe his humi∣litie and passion, then shall I be cleansed from all mine vncleannesse. Then shalt thou wash me with mine owne teares, which flowe out of the loue of thy sonne Christ. Then shall I sigh till I be wearie: then shall I water my bed euerie night with my teares, so that it shall swimme in them; and then Lord shalt thou wash me, and I shall be whiter than snowe,
Matth. 7, verse 21.
THy will is, O heauenlie father, that we do be∣leeue in thy beloued sonne, whome thou hast sent. Thy will is, that we beleeue that he, whome thou hast sent, is come in the flesh. And thy will is, that we imitate and keepe his saieng. Thy will is also, that we should heare him. For thou spakest from heauen, saieng: This is my welbeloued Sonne, in whome I delight, heare him. Giue me therefore, O heauenlie father, a stedfast faith, a strong faith, yea such a faith, that no tribulation, that no vexation, that no persecution may cause me to denie thy Son whom thou hast sent: but that I may with a pure and con∣stant faith confesse him to be come in the flesh, for the redemption of the world; and that I may imitate and folowe him, that I may keepe his saieng, who was de∣liuered for my sinnes, and was raised againe for my iustification. Giue me also, O holie father, a perfect Page 295 hearing, and not a corrupt hearing; but that I may, through the teaching of the holie Ghost, heare thee out of the Prophets, out of the Apostles, out of the pen of the Euangelists, and out of the mouth of thy Spouse the Catholike Church: to whome thou saiedst, I will send you a comforter, euen my spirit, which shall leade you into all truth. Grant me O Lord this spirit, for there is none that can saie Iesus is the Lord, but by this thy holie spirit,
Psalme 51. verse 17.
A Broken and troubled spirit, and not broken and troubled flesh pleaseth thee O Lord. For the flesh is broken and vexed, because it hath not the carnall things that it desireth, or else feeleth in it selfe things which it hateth. The spirit is broken and vnquieted for his fault, because it hath offended a∣gainst God, whom it loueth. He soroweth that he hath sinned against his maker and redeemer, and that he hath not regarded such a good and louing father. This broken and sorowing spirit, is vnto thee, O Lord, a sa∣crifice of most sweet sauour, which notwithstanding hath his confection of most bitter spices, euen of the remembrance of his sinnes. For when our sinnes are gathered together into the morter of the hart, and beaten with the pestle of compunction, and made into powder, and moistened with the water of teares, ther∣of is made an ointment, and sacrifice most sweet, which being offered to thee, O Lord, thou wilt not despise. Marie Magdalen, which was a great sinner, made Page 296 such an ointment, and put it into the Alablaster boxe of hir hart. She feared not to enter into the Pharises house, and there humbling hir selfe at thy feete, sweet Lord, washed them with hir teares, wiped them with hir heare, and annointed them with most pretious ointment, and ceassed not to kisse them. Surelie Lord, hir sacrifice was right acceptable, and pleased thee, so that thou preferredst it aboue the Pharisie, which in his owne sight was righteous. O Lord, great is thy power, great is thy might, which declareth it selfe most chieflie in sparing and hauing compassion on sin∣ners: shewing to vs, that a contrite and humble hart thou wilt not despise.
Accept therefore sweete Lord Iesu, this my sacrifice of praise, proceeding out of a broken and sorowfull hart. And if it be vnperfect, amend thou the fault, mer∣cifull Lord, which onlie art of power to doo it; that it may be an holie and acceptable sacrifice, inflamed with the feruent heate of thy bountious charitie; that it may be acceptable vnto thee, or at the least, that thou despise it not. I knowe well that I shall find fauour in thy sight, and that heereafter none of thy Saincts, ei∣ther in heauen or in earth, shall despise me. Accomplish therefore in me euen now O Lord, that which I so oft do craue of thee, which is, that thou wilt haue compas∣sion on me, according to thy great mercie; and that also thou wilt receiue me for a sacrifice of righteous∣nesse, for a holie oblation, for a burnt sacrifice of good liuing, and for a Calfe to be offered vpon thine Altar or Crosse: by the which I may passe this vale of miserie, vnto that ioie, which thou preparest for them that loue thee,
* ANOTHER. ELIZABETH.
ENgraue thy lawes in the depth of my heart, O Lord, that being instructed in thy commande∣ments, I may serue thee in feare, and reioice in thee with trembling, and take hold vpon thy disci∣pline in all things: least at anie time thou become an∣grie, and I perish from the right waie,
LORD giue me helpe from my trouble: for vaine is the helpe of man, in thee I haue strength, and thou bringest vnto nothing those things which trouble me: let my soule be subiect vnto thee. For from thee proceedeth my patience. For thou art my God and Sauiour, my helper, and I will not depart from thee. In thee is my helth and my glorie, thou art the God of my helpe, and my helpe is in thee,
I Haue broken thy fold, and wandered long as a lost sheepe: let me returne, O Lord, bicause I haue not forgotten thy commandements. The misdeeds and ignorances of my tender yeers remember not Lord, but according to thy mercie haue mind on me. For thy goodnesse, O Lord, keepe my soule, and deliuer me: let me not be ashamed, bicause I haue trusted in thee. Turne my heauinesse into ioie, cut off my sacke of so∣rowes, and gird me with gladnes, that my glorie may signe vnto thee, and I shall not be greeued.
ZORobabel King of Iuda in the depth of thy dis∣pleasure tasted of thy mercie and receiued by the mouth of Aggeus thy Prophet sweete comfort and knowledge of thy fauour and grace: yea af∣ter thy determination to destroie the whole kingdome of the heathen, thy right hand did preserue him, and thine incomparable mercie did choose him for a seale to thy selfe. Lord, this happie King in thy goodnesse was but an earthlie creature, and then could he haue no righteousnesse in himselfe to moue such thy compassi∣on. If it proceeded from the multitude of thy mercies, that surmount the iniquities of the whole world, and that thou didst onlie vouchsafe to behold in him the i∣mage of thy selfe: bow downe thine eies, Lord, and be∣hold the selfe-same in me. Certifie my conscience with remission of my sinnes, that my sorowfull soule may be at rest within me. Send downe thy holie spirit to remaine with me, that I may become with that good King thy chosen seale and seruant: and so graunt thy people, that I may with them, and they with me, ne∣uer deserue further than to tast of thy rod of fauorable correction: but that all my labours and studies may e∣uer bend to the performance of thy holie will, and dis∣charge of my dutie,
ARise and illuminate my mind (most benigne Sa∣uiour) that I sleepe not at anie time in death, least mine enimies saie, they haue preuailed a∣gainst me. They which trouble me, will be glad, if I be cast downe: but I haue fixed my hope in thy mercie. Enter not into iudgement with thy seruant, for no liuing creature shall be iustified in thy sight. I will euer looke vpon the Lord, for he shalbe on my right Page 299 hand, that I be not mooued. For this my hart is glad, and my tongue reioiceth, yea moreouer my flesh shall rest in hope,
BE thou vnto me O Lord in the daie time a defen∣dour, and in the night season a place of refuge, that thou maist saue me: for thou art my strength, and vnto thee I flie. Lord God deliuer me from the hand of sinners, and from the Lawe-breaker, and the wicked dooer: for thou Lord art my patience, thou art my hope, euen from my youth. In thee I am con∣firmed euen from my mothers wombe: thou art my protector, in thee shall be my song for euer and euer,
EUER my tongue shall be telling of thy rich mer∣cie and woonderous works O Lord, for thou hast caused me to passe through fire and water, and led me into a fresh place; thou hast giuen my soule life, and hast not suffered my feete to fall. According to the multitude of my sorowes, thy comforts haue made my soule merrie. My soule is like a Sparowe taken out of the Fowlers snare. Thou hast deliuered my life from death, and my hands from bloud, that I may please thee O Lord in the light of the liuing,
THOU art iust, O Lord, and all thy commande∣ments be true; and all thy waies mercie, truth and iudgement. And now Lord be mindfull of me, take not reuengement of my sinnes, remem∣ber not mine offences, neither the offences of my fa∣thers, because we haue not obeied thy precepts. Giue me an hart of vnderstanding, and set thy feare alwaies Page 300 before mine eies, that I may be obedient in word, deed and thought, to all that is thy will. Lord giue vnto me the power of thy holie spirit, to rule and gouerne thy people committed to my charge, in all godlie feare, and knowledge of thy word, and that I may be vnto them an example in all godlinesse and vertue, to the praise of thy holie name,
HEALE me Lord, and I shall be healed; saue me, and I shall be saued. My life cleaueth vnto the earth. Quicken me according to thy word, according to thy mercie releeue me; and I will keepe the testimonies of thy lips. Helpe me Lord, so shall I be safe, and I will from hencefoorth studie thy righteousnesse. Thy mercies are manie O Lord, according to thy word restore my health,
REgard my praiers, O thou God of my life; leaue me not in the thoughts of euill. Deliuer me from the wicked man: let not the foote of pride come vpon me, and to vaine-glorie giue me not. Take from me all sinfull lusts: let no desire of vncleannesse take hold vpon me: giue me not ouer to an vnshame∣fast and obstinate mind, but correct me in thy mercie: for into thy hands I commit me,
ENter thy iudgements in the tables of my hart, destroie mine affections with thy loue: send thy wisdome from the holie heauens, and from the seate of thy Maiestie, that she may be with me, and labour with me, that I may knowe what thing is acceptable before thee, and may iudge the people righteouslie, and discerne betweene good and euill.
GRatious Lord, thou that art the most high God aboue all the earth, long-suffering, and of much mercie, sorowing the sinnes of man: and of thy great goodnesse hast promised to the penitent re∣mission of sinnes: Lord I haue sinned, mine iniquitie is multiplied aboue the sands of the sea, and there is no hope of life in me, because I haue stirred thee to anger, in multiplieng offences before thee. And now, O Lord, trusting in thy mercie, I bow the knees of my hart, beseeching thee of thy goodnesse, destroie me not togither with mine iniquitie. For the dead, whose soules are out of their bodies, can neither praise nor thanke thee: but the sorowfull hart, and the thirstie soule ascribe praise vnto thee. O Lord, I powre my praiers before thee, and require mercie in thy sight; saue me which am vnwoorthie, and reserue not eter∣nall punishment for mee. For thine owne sake I aske it, and will praise thee all the daies of my life,
ILluminate my hart, O Lord, with the light of thy word: leade me Lord in thy waie, and I shall enter into thy truth. Print thy feare in my hart, that I may reioice in thee. Let thy word be a lanterne vn∣to Page 302 my feet, and a lampe of light vnto my paths, so shall I not erre from the right waie: but walke like a pure and wise virgin with an vpright hart, chaste mind, and cleane conscience, and single eie before thee this daie and euermore,
NEuer will I cease to call vpon thee, most migh∣tie God of hosts, which sittest vpon the Cheru∣bins, and hast dominion ouer all the kingdoms of the earth. Thou which madest the heauens, & all things comprehended in them, bow downe thine eare and heare, open thine eies and behold: saue mee from the hand of mine aduersaries, suffer no euill to happen vnto me, that all the people may knowe that thou alone art my God,
ASsist mee, O Lord my God, with thy heauenlie grace, and renew in mee a right spirit, that I may receiue strength & ablenesse to doo thy righ∣teous will, and to stand against all the assaults of wilie Satan, that they may haue no place in mee: but that the old man, which I beare about in my bo∣die, may be crucified, and dailie die in me, that the de∣sire of sinne, errour, and of worldlie vanities may vt∣terlie be destroied, that I may euermore be renewed in the spirit of my mind, that the life of my Sauiour Christ may alwaies appeare in me: to whome with the Father, and the holie Ghost, be all honour, triumph and glorie, for euer and euer,
EUen now and euer vouchsafe, O LORD, for thy deere sonnes sake to heare my humble petitions.
REceiue my praiers, I saie, O GOD, and in thy truth and mercie pardon mine offences, and grant mee thy grace.
O Emanuel, my Lord and my GOD Iesus Christ, sonne of the pure virgin Marie: thou art not onelie the sweete spouse of my soule; but with God the Father a most meeke Me∣diatour, full of mercie and truth. Wash awaie my sinnes with the most pretious bloud of thy holie passi∣on: make me rich in thy mercie, and my faith so strong in thee, that assisted with thy grace and holie spirit, to all duties and works in this life towards thee, I may enioie afterwards the glorie of thy blessed kingdome, with thy holie Saints and pure Uirgins in euerla∣sting honour and triumph,
O Roote of Iesse, my Lord and Sauiour Ie∣sus Christ, which hast redeemed all mankind from sinne, death and hell, thou which hast said: I am the waie, truth, and life. The waie in doctrine, commandements, and examples; truth in promises; life in reward. I praie thee by thine ineffa∣ble loue, wherewith thou hast vouchsafed wholie to bestowe thy selfe for our securitie; that thou wilt not suffer me euer to straie from thee, bicause thou art the waie: nor at anie time to distrust thy promses, which art the truth, and performest whatsoeuer thou pro∣misest: neither let me rest in anie other thing, bicause thou art eternall life, without the which there is no∣thing that ought to be desired, neither in heauen nor in earth.
By thee we learne the sure and expedient passage Page 304 vnto true helth, that we wander no longer in the La∣berinth of this world. Thou hast exactlie taught what to beleeue, and what to doo, what to hope for, and in whom we ought to rest. By thee wee learne how wee were of that first Adam vnfortunatelie borne: by thee we are assured there is no hope of health but through faith in thee: that thou art the onlie brightnesse, which giuest light to all men trauelling the darke desarts of this world, where is nothing but a profound dimnesse, wherby we neither see our calamities, nor frō whence we ought to seeke remedie of our euill. Thou vouchsa∣fedst to descend into the earth, & disdainedst not to take our nature vpon thee, that by thy doctrine thou migh∣test shake off the dimnesse of our ignorance: by thy commandements mightest direct our feete in the waie of truth & peace. By the examples of thy life thou hast shewed vs the waie to immortalitie, and by thy steps hast restored to vs a plaine, easie, & profitable waie, out of an vneeuen and rough waie. So thou art made vnto vs a waie, which knoweth no error, in the which, least we should be wearie, thou hast vouchsafed to vphold vs in thy benignitie with great & sure promises. For who can be wearie, accounting himselfe redie through thy steps to enter thy heauenlie heritage? Therefore whilest we be in this iournie, thou wouldest be a sure hope vnto vs, to be in steed of a staffe vnto vs, where∣with we are sustained. Neither was thy goodnes con∣tent with this, but knowing the weaknesse of our flesh in the meane while, with the comfort of thy spirit doo∣est so refresh our strength, whereby we run cheereful∣lie. And as thou being made vnto vs the waie, dooest driue awaie all errour: so being truth dooest thou take awaie all distrust. Finallie, being made life vnto vs, dooest reuiue the dead in sinne, to liue by thy spirit, re∣leeuing all things, vntill in the resurrection, all morta∣litie vtterlie abolished, we may alwaies liue with thee, Page 305 and in thee, when Christ shall be to vs all in all. For eternall life is, to knowe the Father, the Sonne, and the holie Ghost to be one true God; where now tho∣rough faith we behold onlie in a glasse and riddle. And then seeing more felowlie the glorie of the Lord, wee shall be transformed into the same image.
Therefore I beseech thee, most mercifull Sauiour, that thou wouldest nourish faith in thy seruant, that I may neuer wauer in thy heauenlie doctrine. In∣crease obedience, that I neuer turne from thy pre∣cepts; fortifie constancie, that entring into thy steps, I be not pulled backe, nor through the terrour or intise∣ments of Satan ouerthrowne, but may perseuere in thee, which art the true waie, vnto death. Build my sure trust, that accustomed with thy promises, I neuer waxe old in the exercise of vertue: but forgetting those things which are past, I may cōtinuallie striue to com to perfecter. Accept my contrite hart, the woonted sa∣crifice of thy delight, & the oblation of these my petiti∣ons, granting the summe of my requests. Blot out all mine offences for thine owne sake, and increase thy grace in me, that I may in all things carrie vpright swaie and equall iudgement: gouerne thy people in the light of thy word, and feare of thy lawes, and dailie more and more die to my selfe, and liue and be led by thy spirit, fearing nothing but thee, than the which no∣thing is greater or mightier: louing nothing beside thee, than whom nothing is more to be beloued: glori∣eng in nothing but in thee, which art the glorie of all Saints: requiring nothing beside thee, which art the best: desiring nothing but thee, which art the full and perfect felicitie with the Fa∣ther and the holie Ghost, aboue the starrie firmament: to whome be praise both now and euer,
The KINGS Heast, or GODS familiar speech to the QVEENE: Collected out of the holie Psalmes of good King DAVID, as they are learned∣lie expounded by THEODORE BEZA:
Wherein almightie GOD (after a diuine sort spea∣king vnto hir Maiestie, as he sometimes did vnto Dauid, though not in so mysticall maner) doth first declare his * mercifull prouidence in preseruing hir, and his gratious goodnesse in exalting hir to the Crowne, exhorting hir therewithall, humblie to acknowledge his souereigntie ouer all earthlie powers, and to worship him. Se∣condlie, * he describeth vnto hir Grace, the woorthie pro∣perties that are required to bee in euerie godlie Prince, and wise Gouernour, for the maintenance of his glorie, and their estates. Thirdlie, he exhorteth hir Maiestie to * the faithfull discharge of hir office and dutie in his feare and seruice, to the increase of vertue, and suppressing of vice. And so shewing the commodities that will insue thereby to hir and hir people, he fourthlie promiseth, not * onelie to be hir continuall defender against all hir eni∣mies; but also to blesse hir, and hir Realme, with manie large, sweet and comfortable benefits, both corporall & celestiall, and to make hir partaker of all his ancient mer∣cies, promised long since to hir father Dauid; namelie, vpon this condition: if finallie she perseuere in the * perfect loue and due obedience of hir spirituall spouse Christ Iesus.
¶ The first Chapter of the HEAST.
ELIZABETH, thou Uirgin mine, the KINGS Daughter, and fairest a∣mong women; most full of beautie and maiestie: attend a litle to my Heast, and marke what I shall say. Thou art my Daugh∣ter in deede, this daie haue I begotten thee, and e∣spoused thee to thy King CHRIST, my Sonne; crowned thee with my gifts, and appointed thee QVEENE, to reigne vpon my holie mount Zion.
Behold, I which am the onlie Lord (by full right and authoritie) of all men; and doo my selfe gouerne the Empires and Kingdoms, as the greatest King of all, and most mightie Monarch of the whole world: euen I the most high God, and celestiall father, haue elected thee a chosen vessell of high honour and price in my house, and to that end haue mightilie preserued thee, and miraculouslie deliuered thee out of so manie & so great dangers, and now at the last haue brought into thy subiection the people, ouer whome thou hast authoritie.
It is I, and none other, which haue consecrated thee vnto my selfe; and annointed thee with holie oile, to be the Queene, the Mother, and the Nursse of my people in Israel: and who onlie haue giuen thee this most excellent and goodlie heritage, which thou posses∣sest in peace.
Page 308 Thee I saie, O Daughter ELIZABETH, haue I raised vp, and chosen out a pure and perfect virgin from the rest of the whole people, and that because I loued thee most deerelie aboue them all; so that now thou maiest worthilie reioice and glorie of thy dignitie and honour, yet by my singular power and benefit, and for none other cause, but that it hath pleased me thy God to exalt thee aboue others, and to embrace and receiue thee into my speciall grace and fauour.
Therefore, to the intent I might alwaies vse thy diligent seruice, faithfull ministerie, and dutifull en∣deuour in this great businesse, and high office of a Queene and kinglie Gouernour; and that by thy po∣wer receiued from me, my people may be defended and cherished: behold, I haue ordeined a Lampe for thee mine annointed, and powred foorth vpon thee all my bountie, that none is able to be compared vnto thee: yea I haue adorned thee most bountifullie and beauti∣fullie with all my gifts and graces incomparable, which shall neuer be taken from thee.
Now then O deere daughter, consider diligentlie with thy selfe awhile, what maner of husband thou art coupled and conioined vnto: learne of him alone, (thy spouse Christ mine onlie Son I meane) to whom as this daie I married thee, what he requireth of thee: namelie, that thou shouldest forget thine owne Nati∣on, thy Fathers house, and all other worldlie things, now that thou art come vnder his authoritie, and in∣to the familie and spirituall societie of thy heauenlie Bridegroome.
Now therefore, I saie, bee wise O QVEENE, bee learned thou Iudge of the earth, that with all the Emperours, Kings, and Potentats of the world, thou maist giue place vnto the Lord, and resigne vp vnto him the honour of all glorie and power. Giue (I saie) vnto the GOD of gods, and King of kings, euen the Page 309 verie God of glorie, the maiestie and dominion due vn∣to his name, and fall downe and worship him: doo vnto him all possible reuerence, that giueth power to his people, and blesseth both prince and subiect with his continuall benefits: and reioice in him with feare and trembling.
O kisse this my sonne Christ thy spouse betimes, least he be angrie, and then thou suddenly perish, when his wrath shall flame foorth. Worship the Lord I saie with due worship, and trust in him alone, as she that wholie dependeth vpon his mercie, fauour, and prote∣ction: so shalt thou be blessed, and thy throne shall ne∣uer be shaken.
Confesse who it is that hath set thee in so high a place far aboue other men that are thy subiects, and remem∣ber also this, that I the most high God am present with thee, and thine assemblie of States and Sena∣tours; who haue not debarred my selfe of mine autho∣ritie ouer you, neither am I present as an idle behol∣der, but as your Iudge also.
And knowe this assuredlie, that as you are honou∣red in deed with that name (Gods,) whereby mine au∣thoritie ouer all men is declared. And albeit I haue embraced you with speciall fauour, as a father his children; yet thinke that I haue not exempted you from my power and authoritie: and that though you be Princes and Magistrates, yet knowe that you are mortall, euen as other men: yea remember that you shall once die, and shall stand at my iudgement-seate, e∣uen as euerie most vile and poore man, to render and giue an accompt of your stewardship, and of all things done in the flesh.
BEware therefore that yee abuse not this au∣thoritie giuen vnto you by me, vnder certaine lawes and conditions. See that you directlie Page 310 followe the waies that I haue appointed you to walke in, and take heed that you be not drawne awaie to the right hand, or to the left, with the error of the wicked, to forsake my lawes and ordinances, and to fall from me your God, who haue exalted you.
For be you sure that I haue placed you in this seate vpon this condition, and giuen it vnto you in plaine charge and commandement, that you should decree iust lawes, and execute iudgement by right and equitie, without fauour, parcialitie, or regard to anie partie: that you should deuise all manner of godlinesse, and shew your selues openlie to be freends to vertue, and foes to vice, and to weigh nothing but equitie and iu∣stice in your balance.
That as the verie lawe of Nature doth require, you should releeue them that are spoiled by violence, defend the fatherlesse, mainteine the poore against the iniuries of the rich: deliuer the miserable from the hands of the wicked, and see diligentlie that the wrin∣ging worldlings, and cruell extortioners exercise not their tyrannie and oppressions continuallie ouer the godlie and feeble of my people.
Moreouer, that you should make diligent inquisiti∣on for bloudshead and murther, to reuenge it, care∣fullie search out wickednesse and abhomination, to condemne it, to execute the traytor, murtherer, and theefe, to pull the praie out of the teeth of the spoiler, to breake downe the power of the wicked mightie ones, to destroie the workers of iniquitie, and vtterlie to roote out sinne and vngodlinesse from the earth: euen all such as conspire against the soules of the righte∣ous, & abusing iustice by colour of lawe, gather them∣selues together to sit & condemne the innocent bloud, and trouble my heritage.
Finallie, it is I that in the disordered state of the world, which seemed to be vtterlie void of iustice, haue Page 311 set thee, O Daughter of my people, now at the last to restore the same to that ancient and most right godlie order of iustice, religion and faith, that thou shouldest be a defence and fortresse among my people, and fol∣lowe me thy God with great cheerefulnesse, and haue thy delight fullie fixed in my lawes and statutes daie and night, that being well exercised therein, as it be∣hooueth, thou maist be able to knowe, sift and trie the waies of all men, and iudge betwixt right and wrong.
HArken therefore vnto me, O Daughter, and take heed that thou haue nothing to do with the stoole of wickednesse: and that the throne of iniquitie & tyrannicall domination, which forgeth wrong for a lawe, and adioineth authoritie to most wicked decrees, haue no fellowship nor be agreea∣ble with thee.
And bicause the wicked doo wander on euerie side, when the woorst men are exalted into the highest place of honour and offices in the Common-weale: therfore I aduise and counsell thee betimes, to expell and thrust out of thy Court and house, all the vnwoorthie and vn∣godlie men, flatterers, parasites, iesters, atheists, and reuengers of bloud: and place the woorthie and godlie in their roomes, that they may sit among the Princes of my people, and be assistant vnto thee.
O make much of them that feare the Lord, & let all thy delight be vpon my Saints, which are on earth: be carefull alwaie to preserue the vertuous, and exalt the best & most woorthie persons. Call such to be thy states of dignitie, Senatours, Counsellers, Iudges, and Magistrates vnder thee, as are graue, wise, learned, godlie, zealous of my truth, & gelous of thy renowme.
Aduance such men, I saie, to honour and office vn∣der thee, as be of a good conscience, sound religion, and Page 312 vpright life, such as will be painfull watchmen, and di∣ligent stewards, and both can and will make iust de∣crees, and execute good lawes, euen such as will care for nothing more, than to knowe what is their dutie, and that therefore are most willing to doo their dutie, hating vnfeinedlie all maner of vice, and louing intire∣lie all maner of vertue.
Come foorth, I saie, O deere Daughter; come foorth thou most beautifull of all women, and fairer than the children of men: thou, Ô QVEENE, Uirgin, I saie of incomparable eloquence and grace of speech; come foorth thus and shew thy beautie, so full of ma∣iestie and grace, that in this thy gouernement and pa∣storship, there may want neither integritie and vp∣rightnesse in taking of counsell, neither wisdome in performing of thine interprises: but doo all things pru∣dentlie and prosperouslie, caried vpon the triumphant Chariot, euen the word of God, as a wise and vertu∣ous Gouernour directing it: and let truth, mercie, iu∣stice, and equitie drawe it round about thy dominion.
Thus shalt thou declare thy selfe a bountifull Daughter of this Prince and woorthie Gouernour, if vsing thy power neither weakelie nor idlelie, thou go∣uerne my people by moderate equitie, and punish mine enimies and thine by seueritie of iudgement, as shee, before whom also sitting vpon thy throne of Maiestie, the two pillers, mercie and truth are seene to stand and support thee.
AND I, Ô QVEENE, will surelie performe my couenant (begun with thy father DAVID that chosen man,) vnto thee also his Daugh∣ter, whom I will indue also with eternitie, and make thy kingdome perpetuall in heauen: and I, as is his will, will continuallie defend thee with a cer∣taine Page 313 speciall power, together with the people and land, which I haue chosen and giuen vnto thee.
My hand, I saie, shall establish thee, and mine arme strengthen thee: so that no enimie shall ouercome thee by subtiltie, nor anie wicked man oppresse thee by force.
Yea and though thou shalt not want manie, & those most mightie enimies, both domesticall and forreine, which shall resist thee, O sacred QVEENE, and thy god∣lie proceedings: yet I assure thee, all their enterprises shall be in vaine and frustrate, and thou for all those miseries most greeuous; and battell, wherewith thou maist seeme to be vexed, shalt suffer no detriment: but contrariwise by this same meanes, as it is plaine by experience, thou louing righteousnes, & hating what∣soeuer is against it, and being armed with sharpe ar∣rowes, and the sword of the word, shalt not onlie ther∣with wound the hearts of thine enimies, cast them downe to the ground, and tread them vnder thy feete; but also bring maruellous things to passe in my name, by this thy mightie power.
For I the Lord IEHOVA, which am the reuenger of roiall dignitie, and the defender of DAVID my ser∣uants posteritie, will destroie all that would oppresse thee: before thy face I will slaie all thine enimies, and fill them with shame and confusion.
My mercie shall neuer faile thee, my truth shall ne∣uer forsake thee, and thou (trusting to my fauour) shalt lift vp thine head most high, crowned with euerlasting glorie.
I will cause thee to haue one hand vpon the sea, and another vpon the flouds, and thou shalt call mee thy Father, thy God, and thy safe tower.
And I will place thee as my first begotten Daugh∣ter, in the sacred familie of the Kings of the whole world, euen in a throne most high aboue others.
Yea, thou being a pure Uirgin borne of my kindred, Page 314 shalt be so highlie exalted of IEHOVA, which hath decreed this from all eternitie, that thou shalt sit a glo∣rious QVEENE, ouer a mightie people, and shalt haue rule & dominiō ouer all thy subiects without exception.
Euen I the mightie IEHOVA will giue vnto thee in Zion a kingdome of stabilitie ouer all the ends of the earth, in the which kingdome thy power shall be so great, that the more enimies thou hast, the more excel∣lent and more euident shall thy fame and renowme be to all nations.
And the people shall willinglie and obedientlie offer themselues to be gouerned by thee, after the infinite victories which thou shalt haue ouer the enimies that vexe thee.
And the daie shall come, that when thou hast ouer∣come all thine enimies, thou shalt muster all thine ar∣mies to appeare before thee, and to make a triumph also in garments of triumph which shall be holie, most pure, and most shining. Then I saie Ô QVEENE, thou shalt behold the multitude of thy most chosen yoong men, and beautifull virgins, which the morning of that most heauenlie light shall bring foorth vnto thee, by powring downe hir most plentifull deaw vpon the earth.
Yea, I will arme thee with a double edged sword in thy hand, wherewith thou maist punish the prophane Gentiles, and auenge the crueltie of the proud people, and also maist drawe their kings and nobles bound in chaines and iron fetters, and execute the iudge∣ment appointed and commanded by me thy Lord God vpon them.
And this verelie is the dignitie, the honour and re∣nowme that I will giue thee, O daughter; whome I haue receiued into my fauour, euen to bring into sub∣iection vnto thy kingdome the people far and wide and (sauing thine owne nation) to make an horrible Page 315 slaughter of the rebels and traitors euerie-where, that go about to ouerthrowe the Monarch, which ruleth, and shall rule, both far and neere.
I will defend thee I saie, O my deere Daughter, with euerlasting mercie, and my couenant made with thy father DAVID shall be established for euer in his ge∣neration.
Thy throne shall be as the Sunne before me, it shall continue as the Moone in all ages, and be as stable as heauen it selfe.
For I the holie one haue once sworne by mine owne selfe, and neither will I breake my promise, nor violate my couenant, nor will change anie of those things that I haue spoken to DAVID thy Father.
These things haue I promised of old I saie, and now will I vndoubtedlie bring them to passe. If thou my Daughter keepe my commandements, and do not vio∣late the ordinances that I haue commanded thee, but order thy selfe and thy people by the rule of the lawes that I haue prescribed vnto them.
So shall all things be in good order, and nothing confounded; yea the verie foundations of the earth al∣so shall be firme and remaine stable. Peace, righteous∣nesse, and iudgement, and all good things else shall re∣maine safe and sure amongst men.
Neither will I suffer that in this thy dangerous iournie, and perillous pilgrimage, thou shouldest so stumble, that thou shouldest fall, or be compelled to go backe: and though manie doo lie in wait for thy destru∣ction, yet I (preuenting all dangers) will bee thy watchfull keeper.
For seeing that I haue taken in hand freelie, of mine owne good will, to call thee to this excellent estate of a Prince, & haue hitherto bene verie carefull to defend thee, and my people Israel, I will not now once slum∣ber, much lesse will I be so deepe in sleepe, that I will Page 316 suffer thee to be oppressed.
Therefore let this be a thing certainlie determined vnto thee, and bee thou comforted and confirmed with this onlie hope in all distresse, that I the Lord am thy keeper; and a shadowe for thee against all stormes, and that I am present by thee, and will neuer faile thee.
And as I was present of old, when thou returnedst out of the Egypt, & bondage of the spirituall Pharao: so now also I will be present with thee against ye heate of the Sunne in the daie-time; & against the noisome humors, which the Moone vseth to raise in the night season.
For like as the Citie Ierusalem is compassed round about with massie mountaines, so I the Lord stand round about thee and thy people (trusting in me) on e∣uerie side, and will neuer forsake you.
But as I haue done hitherto, so surelie I will con∣tinue to defend them that loue vertue, and to bind thee vnto me by new benefits.
I will bring to passe that thou shalt enioie a stable peace, and sure tranquillitie, and that thou shalt see Ierusalem flourishing so long as thou doest liue.
Yea I the Lord will so blesse thee from heauen with most plentifull blessings, that by the power of my Maiestie, all thy counselles and enterprises shall pro∣sper, and haue good successe continuallie.
I will preserue thee safe against all discommodities, and defend thy life from violence: yea which waie soe∣uer thou shalt go or ride, I, euen I thy mightie maker and God will be with thee, when thou goest foorth, and commest in, from place to place; and not onlie in this temporall voiage or iournie, but for euer will I go∣uerne and guide thee.
Thou shalt neuer be laid open to the reproch of men.
Thy Crowne shall neuer be cast to the ground, nor Page 317 thy selfe reiected.
All thy fortresses and cities shall stand vnassaulted, and thy forts, and strong castels and holds shall not be battered, nor laid open with breaches to the spoile of passengers.
The edge of thy sword shall neuer waxe blunt, thy scepter neuer broken, nor thy crowne cast downe into the dust, nor thy power stained.
But I will minister continuall power, and cause of ioie vnto thee, ô QVEENE, and take awaie all courage and force from thine enimies, so that they shall not be able to arise or stand against thy mightie power.
Finallie, this my league, which I haue made with thee, shall neuer be abrogated. For I will come downe from my Sanctuarie to helpe thee, euen frō the mount Zion to strengthen thee in all dangers. And when thou callest vpon me by praier, I will heare thy petitions, and grant vnto thee that thy hart desireth, and accom∣plish all thy purposes, so that thou doubtlesse shalt bee preserued and deliuered a waie by me, that haue an∣nointed thee to be QVEENE.
THus, I saie my deere Daughter, if thou care∣fullie behaue thy selfe, & walke in the waies that I haue commanded, thou shalt be woor∣thilie honored indeed with that name, wher∣by mine authoritie ouer all men is declared: and I thy GOD and heauenlie Father will imbrace thee with my speciall fauour, as my deerelie beloued Dooue and obedient child.
Yea so shall the KING haue pleasure in thy fairenes, and loue thy goodlie personage: and it shall come to passe, that thou shalt bee more and more in the high fa∣uour of thy spirituall spouse Christ my sonne, to whom Page 318 onlie it is meete that thou shouldst be subiect, as to thy souereigne Lord, King and head, and vnder whose go∣uernement thou shalt remaine most honourable and admirable, for the singular and vnspeakeable gifts of his grace, to all maner of people, strangers & others: of whom euen the most mightie and most rich shall de∣sire to see thee, and to be linked in friendship with thee.
For then shalt thou come foorth of thy princelie yuo∣rie palace, and statelie roiall throne, most gloriouslie adorned with gorgious garments, and roiall robes that smell most fragrantlie, and yeeld their sweete sa∣uours, and odoriferous odours, most pleasantlie spred ouer all those men and people, who to declare their ioie and good-wils towards thee, shall run and presse togither by thousands, to see, praise, and extoll thy re∣nowmed name and Maiestie, crieng alowd, and sai∣eng: GOD saue the QVEENE.
To conclude, here in my house the Church thou shalt see thy children and offspring (who by publishing and promoting my Gospell, thou hast borne after a maner vnto thy husband Christ) flourishing, and spred both abroad and at home: and nothing inferiour vnto those thy most noble Elders, reigning ouer the prouinces of the whole world.
But at home chieflie, euen in heauen, with mee thy Father, and with thy husband Christ, thou shalt sit at my right hand, beautified with all my gifts, and most richlie beedecked all ouer with glorious garments, broidered with gold, hauing a crowne of most pure gold vpon thy head.
Euen thus roiallie, I saie, shalt thou then, O Uir∣gin, ô QVEENE, O deerlie beloued Daughter, be set before the KING thy husband, with such and so preti∣ous apparell, the Uirgins thy companions waiting vpon thee, and going with thee, vnto the most glorious Page 319KING of kings, whilest that you (altogither with most great triumph, mirth, ioie, & reioicing) shall enter into the highest mansion of the heauenlie Paradise, & most holie palace, there to enioie a most certaine, vnchange∣able, and euerlasting kingdome, glorie, dignitie, blisse and felicitie; and to sing praises vnto the name of the holie Trinitie, together with all Kings, Queenes, Saints, Uir∣gins, and elect people of the world, that euer were, are, or shall bee: worlds with∣out end.
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.