Another praier for the preseruation of the Church.
O Celestiall God, and Father of infi∣nite mercie and compassion, which not onelie gatherest to thy selfe an holie Church in this world, out of mankind, through the operation of the holie Ghost, and preaching of thy word; but also preseruest the same being gathered, and adornest it with all kind of temporall things, and which more is, with eternall blisse: we humblie beseech thee, gra∣tious Lord, that of thy goodnesse, thou wouldest vouch∣safe euermore to mainteine this thy little flocke, em∣bracing, Page 459 preaching, and professing thy word, through thine especiall grace. Continue thy fauour toward the same, keepe it in sound doctrine, constant in confessing, in the lawfull vse of thy holie Sacraments, and in purenesse of life; that neither the gates of hell, the rage of Sathan, nor yet the rigorousnesse and tyran∣nie of this world oppresse the same. Protect and keepe this thy boate and little barke, tossed among manie perillous tempests, and miserable surges, in the ra∣ging sea of this trouble some world, that it perish not being ouerwhelmed. Uphold thy Church, which is builded vpon a sure rocke, and dependeth vpon Christ a sound and vnmoueable foundation.
O Lord of hostes, returne; looke downe from hea∣uen, and behold; visit thy Uine, and make it perfect, which thy right hand hath planted, and thou hast cho∣sen to thy selfe. Hedge the same about with thy strong defence, that the branches thereof being spread out and pruned, may bring foorth aboundance of fruite. Raise vp thy power, come, O God, and saue vs. Con∣uert vs, shewe foorth thy countenance, and we shall be saued. Encrease thy sheepe within thy hardels, so shall we be quiet from all inuasion and scatterings, nei∣ther can anie drawe vs by force out of thy hands. De∣fend vs from such as seeke the vtter ouerthrowe of pure religion, and in place thereof labour to bring in the shamefull instauration of blasphemous idolatrie. Suffer not thy word, that most cleere and vnchange∣able light to be corrupted, or put out by our meanes: but gather to thy selfe, through the sound of the Gos∣pell, such a Church, as may harken vnto thee, honour and sanctifie thy name, as well in word, as in honest conuersation, that so thou maist haue a righteous and holie generation, celebrating thy goodnesse for euer∣more. O ioine vs vnto that companie, which doth worship thee continuallie, that we may be citizens of Page 460 thy kingdome among thy Saincts.
Grant that we erre not frō the foundation of whol∣some doctrine, answering to the rules of the sacred Scripture; and that we offend not against our con∣science: but separate vs from the companie of the vn∣godlie ones, and from the damned crue of the repro∣bate. Let vs not so much as take their names into our mouths, which powre out heapes of blasphemies to thy great dishonour, and defacing of thy truth; vn∣to whom thy sonne is a destruction and stone of of∣fence. For they despise his base estate, and the foolish preaching of thy Gospell; and the deformed shew of the Church, placed in the midst of all kind of miseries, they loath and abhor; preferring vncertaine riches, lordlie authoritie, and the vaine pleasures of this transitorie world, before the profession of the truth; & so making warre with thy sonne, they doo purchase euerlasting destruction vnto themselues.
Keepe vs euermore, that wee may abide in that Church, which is trulie Catholike, consisting of mem∣bers of manie nations; but linked vnto thee in one and the same confession. Sanctifie vs with thine ho∣lie spirit, that our sinnes being forgiuen vs, wee may take another trade of life, in acknowledging thee to be the onlie true God, and Iesus Christ whom thou hast sent. Giue vnto thy Church resting places, and nests, where they may sound thy sacred Gospell purelie, without corruption. Suppresse the diuell, which spre∣deth blasphemies against thy doctrine; that so neither feined gods may be erected, nor superstitious inuoca∣tions confirmed, nor thy glorie defaced. Weaken the power of thine enimies, which boile in hatred against thy truth, and conspire the death of thine elect: so nei∣ther shall stables of woolues be made, nor dennes of theeues established.
O Lord returne and quicken vs; so shall thy people Page 461 reioice in thee. Let all such as trust in thee reioice and triumph for euer. Dwell thou in them, and let those which loue thy name, reioice in thee. O Lord remem∣ber not our offences. Thou which wast somtime mer∣cifull, and forgauest the wickednesse of thy people, and hidst all their sinnes; which withdrawedst all thine anger, and turnedst from the fiercenesse of thine indig∣nation; be mindfull of thy woonted mercie, and receiue vs into thy fauour. For we depend vpon thee alone, be∣ing destitute of all worldlie aid; our trust wholie is in thee, and all our confidence resteth in thy stretched-out arme. O Lord, couer vs with thy grace, as it were with a shield, that so we may be blessed; and abiding in the house of thy congregation, may acknowledge and call vpon thee, according to thy word reuealed, and praise thee euermore, through our Lord Iesus Christ,