Another praier for the increase of the Church.
THE Church is vnto thee, O most good and mercifull GOD, as a most roiall Queene espoused; to the intent she may bring foorth vnto thee a most plentifull and holie seede. Wherefore, forasmuch as thou hast coupled hir vnto thee, to be thy wife by faith; and that she is reputed of the vn∣godlie as a barren woman, because shee seemeth to Page 457 haue left off child-bearing: grant hir to be made vnto thee, through thy sacred word, and holie spirit, afruit∣full and ioifull mother of manie holie and vertuous children, by whome thy glorious name may be exalted with perpetuall praises, in thine holie house, euen as it becommeth them. Let hir be glad with a perfect and substantiall ioy, for the great number of hir most faith∣full & religious sonnes and daughters. Multiplie & in∣crease the issue of thy sacred Church (I saie) O God, with a plentifull and an innumerable issue; and let hir ingender godlie children vnto thee dailie more and more, euen such as are worthie of such a father & mo∣ther, and to be partakers of thy blessed spirit. Grant that we may altogether aspire vnto the loue of thee, our most delectable bridegroome, and that throughour labour laid together, in stead of our forefathers, who are now alreadie gathered vnto thee, manie mo faith∣full, religious, and holie children may be begotten vn∣to thee anew, with whom we may alwaies, in our po∣sterities, set out & celebrate thy famous honour, & most noble praises. Shine thou downe out of Zion, O God, euen from thine exceeding high & vnapprochable light, vpon the virgin thy blessed Church; & preserue hir from the number of perils, which she is in cōtinuall danger of. Let hir not fall to ruine, nor be as a lampe despised in the opinion of the rich & welthie men of this world; but let thy mountaines glister, and giue their light as lamps of fire. Yea let righteousnes & saluation breake forth out of zion, as a shining light and burning lamp; that all men may see it, and glorifie thee. Let the lamps of hir loue, I saie, O God, be as coales of fire, and a verie vehement flame of the Lord, to dazell, ouercome, and consume hir enimies after a woonderfull and mi∣raculous manner; and cause the seuen lampes of the Uirgins, euen all thy spirituall gifts and graces O GOD, in the Saincts to burne bright and cleere, Page 458 without anie quenching before thy throne for euer.
Let thy Church be as a flourishing Uine, spreading it selfe far abroade; so that Antichrist, with all his craft and industrie, may not be of force to cut and hew it downe. And euen as thou, O Lord, hast euerie where maruellouslie replenished the earth with thine inesti∣mable goodnesse, so in like manner, be so good, as to let the number of thy true and faithfull suppliants, bee dailie more and more greatlie enlarged. Let there bee continuall labouring in thy beloued Church, by do∣ctrine and example, to nurture the blessed children, so that their works may be a singular ornament thereof, to thy glorie, and the increase of all manner of vertue. Let hir (I saie) be made dailie like vnto a most fruite∣full woman, that may be compared to the ranke O∣liues, and exceeding fertile Uines: and grant, that a continuall ofspring of thy deere children, may be mul∣tiplied in thy blessed Church, and become notable in peace, in praises, and in puritie of life and doctrine, to the renowmed honour of thy glorious name, through Iesus Christ our Lord,