¶ The sacrifice of Euangelicall deuoti∣on, conteining Christian Praiers and Meditations, to be vsed as speciallie vpon the LORDS daie: so gene∣rallie at all other times and seasons, to the comfort of the soule, and glo∣rie of God, and first:
So soone as ye awake in the morning, meditate thus, and saie:
AWake out of thy heauie sleepe and slumber, O my soule; shake off the deathfull slouth of this earthlie trunke. Up, I saie, O sinfull soule, and watch for the Lord, who is at hand prepared to iudgement. Arise, get thee before the Lord of grace and mercie, in lowlinesse and repentance, and cease not to praie for the forgiue∣nesse of thy sinnes. Labour perseuerantlie in thy du∣tie, then shalt thou find mercie and righteousnesse, and be made woorthie to enter in as a faithfull virgin, and beautifull ghest, with that ioifull bridegroome, to the feast of eternall mirth and delicacie, there to dwell in ioies for euer,
Ephes. 5, verse, 14.
Being well wakened, before you arise, praie thus.
WIth eies, hart, and hands lifted vp, O blessed God, and glorious Trini∣tie, I most entirelie thanke thee for all thy bountifull benefits bestowed vpon me, and all mankind: especial∣lie for that it hath pleased thee now in mercie to awake my bodie, to in∣lighten mine eies, to quicken my senses; and to reuiue and renew me whole againe, as it were from the death of sleepe, and that by the same spirit that raised Iesus from the dead. I thanke thee that thou hast not couered me with a spirit of slum∣ber, nor shut vp mine eies in obscure darknes, to cause me to sleepe a perpetuall sleepe, neuer to awake a∣gaine, nor to rise from the euils wherein I laie, as by my sinnes I haue iustlie deserued.
O good Father, grant also, I beseech thee, that as thou hast awaked my body from sleepe, and made mine eies to preuent the morning light: so vouchsafe in like mercie, thoroughlie to awaken, quicken, lighten, and deliuer my soule from all drowsinesse, & sleepe of sinne, securitie, and darknesse of this world, that from hence-foorth it neuer become emptie, faint, dead, or irksome, with longing after the vanities of this brittle life: but liuelie, quicke, and readie to serue and glorifie thee, to∣gether with my bodie, with all good works of true chri∣stianitie.
Oh deere God, that is but sleepe to thee, which is death to vs; I hartilie beseech thee therefore after death to restore to life that, which now is awaked out of sleepe; and in the meane while to make my bodie such a minister of godlinesse to my soule, in this present life, that at the last, when in the bessed resurrection it Page 365 shall be awaked vp after thy likenesse, out of the long sleepe of death, and called to appeare before thee, and all the holie Angels, it may ioifullie arise, and be par∣taker with the same of euerlasting happinesse in the life to come, and ioifullie behold thy face among the righteous, that so I maie be fullie satisfied both in bo∣die and soule, with thy glorious presence, and ioies e∣ternall, through Iesus Christ our Lord,
Esaie. 26, verse, 19.
1, Cor. 15, verse, 34.
HEre call to mind the great mirth and blessednesse of the e∣uerlasting resurrection; and remember to muse vpon that most cléere-light, bright morning, and new clearnesse of our bo∣die, after the long darknesse they haue béene in: all then shall be full of ioie.
Hearing the clocke strike, praie thus with your selfe.
GRant vnto me, O Lord God, I be∣seech thee, both an happie & health∣full houre of liuing, and a ioifull and blessed houre of dieng. And whatso∣euer I doo, or whatsoeuer I am, let the houre of thy sudden comming so runne in my mind, and keepe me watching, that I may euer thinke, I heare this voice sounding in mine eares: Arise yee dead, and come to iudgement.
In all time of our tribulation, in all time of our wealth, in the houre of death, and in the daie of iudge∣ment, good Lord deliuer vs,
Luke. 12, verse, 40.
CAll oft to thy mind the houre of thy death, and be carefull so to liue euerie houre in Gods fauour, as though euerie houre were indéede to thée the last houre to die in his faith.
Remember also, that as there is no houre or instant of time in all our life, wherein we haue not the vse of Gods great benefits, so ought there to be no moment, wherein we are not bound to haue him in perpetuall remembrance before our eies, to serue, loue, and praise his name, and that to the vttermost of our po∣wer, with all our hart, soule and strength.
So soone as ye see the daie breake, and light appeare in the skie, praie.
O Day-star most bright: O light most glorious and true, from whence this light of the daie dooth spring: O light which lightest euerie man that commeth into this world: without whome, all is most hor∣rible darkenesse. How is light gi∣uen to them that are in miserie? and life to a wretch that hath a heauie hart? I looked for light, and behold, I haue found it: I wished for daie, and lo, the starres of the twy-light doo appeere; and I see (I thanke thee) the dawning of the daie. Darkenesse dooth no longer possesse the night, nor the shadowe of death staine the daie. For the blacke man∣tell is gone, and the thicke clouds are dispearsed, so that the light dooth begin to shine, and spread it selfe a∣broad to our comfort.
O that the night of perturbations being ouerpas∣sed, Page 367 the morning light of comfort and grace might like∣wise spring in our hart! O that darkenesse might so be expelled, that light might be kindled, and the daie of gladnesse and ioie luckilie shine vpon vs: that beeing translated from darkenes to light, from perishing in∣to safegard, from death to life, from hell to heauen, we might continuallie praise thee, who onlie hast immor∣talitie, and dwellest in the light that none can attaine vnto,
Or saie thus.
BLessed be the Lord God of Israel, which hath redeemed his people, and deliuered vs out of the hands of all our enimies, and giuen vs free remission of all our sinnes, through the tender mercie of our God; whereby also the daie spring from an high, doth now visit vs, to giue light to them that laie in darkenesse, and in the shadowe of death, and to guide our feete into the waie of peace: that we might serue him without feare, in holinesse and righteousnesse before him, all the daies of our life,
2. Peter. 1, verse, 19.
MUse a little how much the light and eie of the mind and soule is better than of the bodie. And remember that we ought therefore much more to care for the soule, that it may sée well, than for the bodie. Thinke also that beasts haue bodilie eies as well as men: but men onlie haue eies of the mind, and that such as are godlie wise.
At the Sun-rising, praie.
O Lord Iesus Christ, which art the true Sunne of the world, euermore arising, and neuer going downe; which by thy most whole some appe∣ring and light, dooest bring foorth, preserue, nourish, and refresh all things, as well that are in heauen, as also that are on earth: I beseech thee mercifullie & fauourablie to shine into our harts, that the night and darkenesse of sinnes, and the mists of errors, on euerie side driuen awaie; thou brightlie shining within our harts, we may all our life space go without anie stumbling or offence, and may decentlie and seemelie walke as in the daie time, and cleare sun∣shine, being pure and cleane from the works of darke∣nesse, and abounding in all good works, which GOD hath prepared for vs to walke in,
Psal. 113, verse, 3.
Mala. 4, verse, 2.
O Mightie God, which hast created the heauens, and all the beautifull ornaments of the same, roiallie to set vp thy glorie, & to declare eueri∣where all the wonderfull works of thy hands, wrought through thy sonne Iesus Christ; whome as the bright shining Sunne of righte∣ousnesse and vnderstanding, thou hast assigned to haue his residence in those heauens. Suffer I beseech thee, that by the beames of his grace and beneuolence, Page 369 most louinglie shining and spread abroad, he may cast his light into the world, and kindle in the harts of men a feruour of spirit. Let him come foorth as a bride∣groome from his chamber; yea, let him appeare cou∣ragious as a valiant champion, to run through his course and iournie, euen till he haue conducted vs vnto the highest heauens, and holie citie Ierusalem, where shall be no need either of sunne or moone to shine, and where we shall walke with those that are saued in the light of the Lambe, and glorie of God,
Iudg. 5, 31.
REmember thy maker, that knew thée before thou wast, and knowe, that the eies of the Lord are tenne thousand times brighter than the Sunne (than the which though nothing be more cléere, yet shall it faile.) For God, which liueth for euer, beholdeth all the waies of men, and the bottomlesse depth; looking euen in∣to mens harts, be they in neuer so darke and secret corners. And therefore, wheresoeuer thou art, and whatsoeuer thou dooest, feare thou the eies of God, more than the eies of men.
Now also, while the light is swéet, and it is a pleasant thing to sée the Sunne, remember the daies of darknesse that followe, and are manie. And looke that béetimes, before the Sunne set, or that the light of the moone and starres be darkened, thou feare GOD, and vse the light, walking therein as a child of light: knowing that he that maketh the Sunne to shine, and arise, both vpon the good and bad, will call thée to an account for thy works done both in darknesse and in light.
Putting off your neerest garment, praie thus.
MOst gratious and mercifull Sauiour Iesus Christ, thou knowest how we be borne, cloa∣thed, and clogged with the greeuous & hea∣uie burden of the first woman Eue, who fell Page 370 awaie vnto fleshlinesse, through disobedience; vouch∣safe therefore, I beseech thee, to strip me out of the old corrupt Eue, which being soked in sinne, transformeth hir selfe to all incombrances and diseases of the mind, that they may lead vs awaie from thee. Rid me also quite and cleane of that hir tempter, the deceitfull ser∣pent, which turneth vs awaie from the obedience of the Father, So be it.
Cantic. 5, 3.
Beholding your nakednesse, praie thus.
LOrd how wretched, miserable, poore, blind and naked am I! I am naked, O Lord, yea euen starke naked, for that thou seest me in my bloud and corruption. Open mine eies also, I beseech thee, that I may more and more see my nakednesse; feele my mi∣serie, and confesse my wretchednes; that thou of verie pitie and compassion maist cloath me with thine innocencie, and holie vertues; and so couer my filthinesse, that mine enimies neuer behold the same to my reproch. Finallie, giue me the grace of perfect charitie, to doo the works of faith acceptable to thee, especiallie so to cloath the naked, and after my power to releeue the needie: that when I shall depart hence naked and bare, as euer I was borne, and shall carie awaie nothing of all my labours; yet in thy sight, at the generall iudgement daie, I may not appeere na∣ked of good works, or void of the marriage garment of faith, and the gifts of grace, through Iesus Christ our Lord,
Iob. 1, 21.
Putting on your neerest garment, praie thus:
PUt vpon me, O Lord, the pure gar∣ment of the innocencie and holines of Christ my Sauior. O couer thou my nakednesse and shame with the fine linnen robe of his righteous∣nesse and vertue; so shall not my fil∣thinesse be discouered vnto mine e∣nimies, for them to gaze and laugh at; as cursed Cham did at the nakednesse of his father Noah. Yea, make thou my linnen cloaths as white as snowe, and shining like the light, that I maie be of the number of those that haue beene called from the be∣ginning of the world, and shall be sanctified, that haue departed from the shadowe of the world, and shall re∣ceiue glorious garments; euen of those holie ones, I saie, that haue put off the mortall cloathing, and haue put on the immortall, which haue confessed thee, O God, and thy Christ, and are alreadie crowned with glorie, and haue receiued palmes of victorie in their hands, triumphing ouer all their enimies, and poli∣cies of this world, So be it.
Reuel. 16, 15.
Or praie thus:
LOrd, send me a ioifull resurrection; and while I liue, giue me grace so to ouercome the temptations of flesh and bloud, and Christianlie to confesse thy holie name, that in the last generall daie of thy iudgement, I maie be found among the num∣ber of thine elect seruants, which Page 372 shall stand on thy right hand, and being clad with the long white robes and shining raines of the righteous∣nesse of thy Saints, who haue hated euen the gar∣ments spotted by the flesh, and kept their consciences vnpolluted with sinne, and haue made their long gar∣ments white and cleane in the bloud of the Lambe Christ, I may togither with them enter into the ho∣lie citie, and remaine in the presence of the throne of God, and serue thee ioifullie daie and night in thy holie temple, for euer and euer,
Eccles. 9, 7.
THinke now how the children of GOD, while they are bur∣dened in this earthlie tabernacle, sigh, desiring to be clea∣thed, that mortalitie might be swallowed vp of life. For if they be found cloathed, and not naked, mortalitie shall be swallowed vp of immortalitie, and they shall walke with GOD, in white araie.
Being about to arise, and sitting vpright in your bed, praie.
O LORD Iesu Christ, which diddest vouchsafe to die for our sinnes, and diddest rise againe for our iustifica∣tion: haue mercie vpon me, and by that thy glorious resurrection, I beseech thee, raise me vp out of the bed of vices, and sepulchre of all my sinnes, wherein I haue long lien, to newnesse of life. For except I be raised vp by thee, I shall lie still for euer in darkenesse, shame, and miserie. O therefore put foorth thine hand, Page 373 and mercifullie raise vp againe, not onlie my bodie, but my mind and hart also, to the true knowledge and loue of thee: that my conuersation may be in heauen, where thou art. And giue me dailie part in the first resurre∣ction, to the intent that I may receiue some part in the latter resurrection, and be in the number of those thy faithfull ones, ouer whom the second death shall haue no power, but are receiued into life euerlasting.
Cantic. 3, verses 1, 5.
COnsider how fowle the fall of Adam and Eue was, by reason of their sinne and transgression: and so of euerie one of vs by them, from the high, excellent, and honourable estate of Gods grace, into shame and miserie. Againe, thinke vpon the inestima∣ble benefits of Christ Iesus, by whose helping hand we dailie arise againe from our naturall and originall declining and fallings: and be thankfull vnto him therefore.
In your arising, as you step out of your bed, praie:
I Arise, and enter into this daie, to doo all things in the name of the Father, and of the Sonne, and of the holie Ghost, who hath made me, redeemed me, sanctified me, and pre∣serued me. He rule me, keepe, blesse, and lead mee into all good works; and so direct and confirme me there∣in, that after ths fraile life ended, I may obteine a ioifull resurrection, with blisse perpetuall,
Psal. 3, verse, 5.
Col. 3, verse, 1.
Being risen, blesse and praie thus:
GOd be mercifull vnto me, and blesse me this daie and euer; and shew me the light of his countenance, and be mercifull vnto me; that I may knowe his way vpon earth, and his sauing health among all nations. God, euen our owne God giue mee his continuall grace, peace, mercie, and blessing.
And I beseech thee, O Lord Iesu Christ, which being reuiued from death to life, broughtest againe to mor∣tall men, that most desired and greatlie longed for daie which the Lord made. Grant that I, being now raised vp from the death of sinnes, to the life of grace, may walke in all Christian obedience: and at the last daie of the resurrection of all flesh, when thou shalt be made manifest in our life, I also may then be openly known, and appeere before thee in glorie; and ioifullie triumph ouer sinne, death and hell; saieng: O death, where is thy sting? O graue, where is thy victorie? Thanks be vnto GOD, which hath raised me from the death of sleepe, and giuen me victorie ouer all mine enimies, through our Lord Iesus Christ, So be it.
Reuel. 20, verse 6.
Psal. 1, verse 6.
In apparelling your selfe, praie:
CLoath mee, O Christ, with thine owne selfe, that I may be so farre from making prouision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof; that I may cleane put off all my carnall desires, and crucifie the kingdome of the flesh in me. Be thou vnto mee a garment to keepe me warme, and to defend me from the cold of this world. If thou be absent, deere Lord, all things will be vnto me foorth∣with cold, weake, and dead: but if thou be with me, all things will be warme, liuelie, fresh, and cheerefull. Grant therefore, that as I compasse this my bodie with this garment, so thou wouldst cloath me wholie; but especiallie my soule with thine owne selfe, So be it.
Col. 3, verse, 12.
1, Kings 20, verse, 11.
CAll to mind a little how we are incorporate into Christ, and how he dooth cloath vs, gouerne, and nourish vs; and vnder his wings, protection, and prouidence preserueth vs.
A consideration of our inward corruption, by the outward easement of the bodie.
OH wretch that I am, what am I but a rotten carcase, woorms meat, a stinking coffin, and food for fire? Againe, what am I, O Lord? Euen a darke dongeon, wretched, earth, a child of wrath, a vessell meet for dis∣honour; begotten in vncleannesse, liuing in miserie, and dieng in di∣stresse. Page 376 Out vpon me vile wreth! What am I? Wo is me, Lord. O Lord spare me. Alas, my maker; what shall become of me? I am a sacke of doong, a coffin of rottennesse, full of lothsomnesse and stinch; blind, poore, naked, subiect to manie exceeding necessities, woting neither when I came into the world, nor when I shall go out, mortall and miserable; whose daies passe and glanse swiftlie awaie, as a shadowe, or bubble of wa∣ter, now flourishing, and by and by withering; now aliue, now dead. Oh spare me a little, Lord; for my daies are nothing: and be mercifull vnto a wretch, that is not ashamed to acknowledge hir vilenesse be∣fore thee.
1. Mach. 2. verse 62.
COnsider the miserable state of the bodie, by the excrements that issue out of the eies, nose, mouth, eares, hands, arme-pits, fundament, féete, and other parts thereof: and thinke that no Bo∣cardo, no little ease, no dungeon, no prison, no sinke, no pit is so irkesome, lothsome, and euill a prison for the bodie, as the bodie is for and of the soule; by reason of sinne and filthie affections that haue their dwelling therein. Thinke also what madnesse it is, thus to pamper our bodies with delicate meats, to obeie the lusts ther∣of, prouoking to euill: and desire continuallie, with S. Paule, the dissolution thereof, and to be out of this stinking prison.
VVashing your hands, praie thus:
WAsh my soule, O God, with the wa∣ter of thy diuine grace, from all the filth and pollusion of sinne, where∣with it is altogither defiled in thy sight. Sprinkle it, Lord, with the hyssope of true repentance, and so∣rowfull contrition; that being clen∣sed in the most cleere fountaine of Page 377 thy grace, I may be whiter than snowe; and also bee able euer hereafter to serue thee, in holinesse and pure∣nesse of liuing, through Iesus Christ our Lord,
Isaias, 4, verse 8.
Psal. 26, verse, 6.
Or else praie thus.
HAue mercie vpon mee, O God, and pardon the wicked deeds which my hands haue committed. Wash my soule with the holie fountaine or well, which I beleeue did flow from thy hart, and naked side; and sanc∣tifie and purifie not onlie my hands and face from filth; but my hart, soule, and conscience also, from all contagion of sinne and iniquitie, that I may be pure both in bodie and soule, and serue thee in holinesse and puritie, all the daies of my life, So be it.
Iob. 9, verse, 30.
THinke now of thy vow and promise made to God at thy bap∣tisme, to forsake Sathan, to renounce the world, and to mor∣tifie the flesh; and how oft since thou hast broken it, and be harti∣lie sorie therefore. Thinke also vpon the vnspeakable loue and mercie of Christ our Sauiour, who hath washed vs from our sins in his owne pretious bloud, and purged our conscience from dead works, to the end we should serue him in holinesse and innocencie of life. And consider, that it shall little auaile thée to haue washed thy selfe, if thou touch filth againe; that is, if thou confesse thy Page 376〈1 page duplicate〉Page 377〈1 page duplicate〉Page 378 faults, and after commit them againe, and so wich the dog re∣turne to the vomit, and with the washed sow to the wallowing in the mire againe.
¶ When you be made readie, first before all things, looke that either by your selfe, or with your familie, with all humblenesse of mind you kneele downe by your bed∣side, in your parlour, or other sweete, cleane, and conue∣nient place; and there taking both time and leasure to serue the Lord, lift vp your hart, hands, and eies, and praie vnto his diuine Maiestie, saieng in manner and forme following.
A premeditation, or first forme of praier to be vsed before praier.
O Mercifull Lord, and louing father, without whose aid and motion I am not able to stir one member to∣ward heauenlie seruice, the bur∣then of this slowe and sinfull flesh doth so ouercharge my weak soule: according vnto thy fatherlie pitie looke vpon me, O God; prepare my hart to praier, and quicken my dull spirit with thy grace, to rise out of this miserable puddle, and to come before thy presence in humble repentance, crauing thy mercie for my miserable sinnes and wickednesse: and being released in the bloud and righteous∣nesse of Iesus Christ, I may ioifullie serue, honor, and praise thine eternall Maie∣stie, through thy deere sonne, my mercifull Lord and redeemer; to whom, with thee, and the holie Ghost, be all glorie and thanks for euer,
Another meditation before praier.
VNto thee, O heauenlie father, doo I heere prostrate on my knees, lift vp my hart, my hands, mine eies, and praiers; beseeching thy Maiestie, and saieng:
Helpe me, O my Lord, and God, in this my good purpose, and holie worshipping or seruing of thee: and grant vnto me to make a perfect entrance and be∣ginning this present daie, that I maie doo all things in the name of the Father, of the Sonne, and of the holie Ghost. For that which I haue hitherto done, is no∣thing at all.
The Confession and Praier.
O Father of heauen; O sonne of God, redeemer of the world; O holie Ghost, three persons and one God; haue mercie vpon me most wret∣ched caitife, and miserable sinner. I haue offended both heauen and earth, more than my tongue can ex∣presse; my sins are aboue all mens, both in number and greatnesse, which I haue com∣mitted. Whither then may I go? And whither should I flee? To heauen I may be ashamed to lift vp my face; and in earth I find no place of refuge or succour. To thee therefore, O Lord, doo I runne; to thee doo I humble my selfe, saieng: O Lord my God, my sinnes be great and innumerable: but yet haue mercie vpon me, for thy great mercie. The great mysterie that God be∣came man, was not wrought for little or few offen∣ces. Thou didst not giue thy sonne O heauenlie father vnto death for small sinnes onlie, but for all the grea∣test sinnes in the world: so that the sinner returne vnto Page 380 thee with his whole hart, as I doo heere at this pre∣sent. Wherefore haue mercie on me, O God, whose propertie is alwaie to haue mercie: wherefore haue mercie on me, O Lord, for thy great mercie. I craue nothing, O Lord, for mine owne merits, but for thy name sake, that it may be halowed thereby, and for thy deere sonne Iesus Christes sake; and now therefore, Our father of heauen, halowed be thy name, &c.
Another Confession and praier.
OH almightie euerlasting God, and most gratious deere louing father, I beseech thee, for Iesus Christes sake, thy most deere and onlie sonne, to haue mercie, pitie, and compas∣sion vpon me, most vile, wretched, and miserable sinner: whose innu∣merable offenses, both old & new, be most horrible, heinous, and great; where through I haue iustlie deserued thy greeuous wrath, and euer∣lasting damnation. But now, good Lord, heere I do ap∣peale to thy great mercie onlie, which far surmoun∣teth all thy works; as thou hast promised the same in thy holie and infallible word, where thou hast said, yea and sworne, as trulie as thou liuest, that thou wilt not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should con∣uert and liue. Ah deere Lord, I confesse that I am a great and greeuous sinner, and yet now by thy grace, and good working of thy holie spirit something turned vnto thee. Oh let me liue, and not die the euerlasting death of the soule, which I so deepelie haue deserued; but make me a vessell of thy great mercie, that I may liue and praise thy name among thy chosen children for euer. Oh let not my horrible sinnes separate me from the sweet sight of thy Maiestie, but let thy great po∣wer and mercie be magnified in me, as it is in Dauid, Page 381 in Peter, in Magdalen, and in the notable Theefe which was crucified with Christ thy deere sonne, in whose most pretious death and bloud-shedding onlie, O Lord, I put my whole trust and confidence. For he onelie hath taken awaie the sinnes of the world: he came not to condemne the world, but to saue it, that none that trulie beleeue in him should perish, but haue life euerlasting. He saith, he came not to call the righ∣teous, but sinners to repentance.
Oh gratious God, giue me true, earnest, hartie, and vnfeigned repentance, that I may, from the verie bot∣tome of my hart, continuallie lament my manifold sinnes and wickednesse, my great ingratitude and vn∣thankefulnesse towards thee, for all thy mercifull be∣nefits so aboundantlie powred vpon me, through Ie∣sus Christ: which wouldest vouchsafe, he being thine owne deere darling, in whome was and is all thy whole pleasure and delight, to giue him for me to the verie death of the Crosse: yea and that when I was thine vtter enimie, of mercie inestimable, and loue in∣comprehensible. Who euer sawe such a thing? God became man, and was crucified for me, that by his death I might liue. Alas that euer I should become so wicked a wretch, and vnkind a creature, to displease so louing, kind, and mercifull a God and father. Oh for∣giue me, forgiue me, for thy great mercie sake, for thy truth and promise sake; and I will neuer trespasse a∣gaine against thy diuine Maiestie anie more; but will gladlie serue thee in true holinesse and righteousnesse, all the daies of my life, by the grace and assistance of thy good and holie spirit, the which I beseech thee to giue me also, that he may gouerne me, and guide my hart, in thy true faith, feare, and loue: that in all my deeds, words, and thoughts, I may glorifie thy holie name, which liuest, and reignest, with the sonne, and the holie Ghost, three persons and one God, to whome Page 382 be all honour, glorie, praise, thanks, power, rule and dominion, for euer and euer,
Another confession of sinnes, proper for the Sabaoth daie.
OH my most mercifull father, the fa∣ther of mercies, and God of all con∣solation and comfort, my God, my father; I most wretched sinner con∣fesse and acknowledge my selfe vn∣feinedlie, with hart, mind & mouth, now before thee, to haue most gree∣noushe offended thy high Maiestie and goodnesse. I recognise and acknowledge my selfe to be full of sinne, full of vnfaithfulnesse, and a seruant vnprofitable. For all thy holie commandements haue I transgressed and broken.
First, I haue not set all my whole beleefe, confidence, trust, and hope in thee. I haue not loued and honoured thee with all my hart, with all my soule, mind, and po∣wers of my soule.
Secondlie, I haue diuided thine honour and wor∣ship from thee, and giuen it to thy creatures, and dead things imagined of mine owne fond fantasie, I meane in the adoring and worshipping of images.
Thirdlie, I haue abused thy most holie name, by false and deceitfull swearing, to the hinderance of my neighbour, and idlelie and vainlie haue I vsed thy ho∣lie name. I haue not said, nor done, neither thought all things to thy glorie.
Fourthlie, in the Saboth daie, I haue not giuen my selfe to hearing, reading, & learning the holie Scrip∣tures; neither haue I giuen meate to the hungrie, drinke to the thirstie, lodged the harbourlesse, clothed the naked, visited the sicke, comforted nor releeued the poore, and men in prison. For I haue not expended of Page 383 how great weight these words of thy sonne my Saui∣our Christ are; neither beleeued him, saieng: In as much as ye haue done these things vnto one of the least of these my brethren, ye haue done it vnto me. Matth. 25.
But I haue bestowed and spent my gold and siluer after my lewd lust and concupiscence, in excesse of meat and drinke, in gorgeous apparell of my bodie, of my children, seruants, and house, &c. where I should not haue bestowed it (or else not so largelie, delicatelie, nicelie, and excessiuelie haue bestowed it,) as I haue; not regarding in the meane time, to suffer the deere beloued brethren of Iesu Christ to go naked, and to pe∣rish for cold and hunger.
I haue, I saie, not ceased from mine owne sinfull will and lusts, praieng at all times, thy will, and not mine, to be fulfilled.
Furthermore, I haue not honoured my father and mother; I haue not so much set by them, esteemed them, and had them in such reuerence, as thou com∣mandest me; nor obeied them, neither comforted, relee∣ned, or helped them. I haue slaine, I haue broken wed∣locke, I haue stolne, I haue sold by false weights and measures, and borne false witnesse: finallie, I haue co∣ueted my neighbours house, I haue desired his wife, his seruant, his cattell, & his other goods vnlawfullie.
Thus most greeuouslie haue I sinned infinit waies, O Lord, omitting and leauing thy commandements, Oh Father, to fulfill the desire of my flesh, the world, and the diuell. Wherefore I crie thee mercie, my God, most mercifull father; and most humblie I desire and beseech thee, for the loue which thou bearest to thy deer sonne, mine onelie, whole, and entire Sauiour Iesu Christ, to haue mercie on me, and to forgiue me most miserable sinner, euen in his bloud, and for his preti∣ous death sake. For when I went about to seeke thee, Page 384 to trust vnto thee, or to doo anie thing to thy glorie; yet would not this lust and concupiscence, that contagi∣ous originall poison, and fleshlie dregges drawne of our father Adam, suffer me perfectlie to doo that I would haue done. Through this naturall concupis∣cence, I striue and fight dailie against the holie Ghost in me, which vnlawfull lust and desire I knowledge to be a greeuous sinne against thy highnes, if thou shoul∣dest iudge me straitlie after thy Lawe, without the which concupiscence I cannot be.
Wherefore I being a wretched, yea a most abho∣minable wretched sinner in my selfe, cleerelie destitute of all righteousnesse, of all godlinesse, of all holinesse, and all deseruings, am come now by faith before thee, vnto Christ his mercie seate and righteousnesse, vnto his goodnesse, deseruings, and satisfactions; desiring thee, O most mercifull father, for his deaths sake, that his righteousnesse, his wisedome, his holinesse, his goodnesse, his merits and satisfactions may be mine, and serue for my forgiuenesse and saluation. For like as thou gauest me him to die for my sinnes; euen so be∣leeue I, that thou hast giuen me with him all his to be mine, and to serue me for my saluation. Wherefore, glorie, honor, worship, empire, and rule be to thee, oh fa∣ther, with the sonne and the holie ghost for euer world without end, So be it.
Another Confession of sinnes for Sundaies, to be vsed in the forenoone or afternoone.
O Most mercifull Lord God, my ten∣der and deere father, vouchsafe, I hartilie beseech thee, to looke downe with thy fatherlie eies of pitie vpon me, most vile and wretched sinner, which lie heere prostrate in heart before the feete of thy bottomlesse mercie. For I haue sinned against Page 385 the throne of thy glorie, and before thee, O most deere Father, insomuch that I am not worthie to be called thy daughter. Yet neuerthelesse, forasmuch as thou art the God and Father of all mercie, and comfort; and againe, desirest not the death of a sinner: but like a true Samaritan takest thought for my sillie wounded soule; make me, I praie thee, by infunding of thy preti∣ous oile of comfort into my wounds, ioifullie to run with the lost sonne into the lap of thine euerlasting pi∣tie. For lo, thou art my hope and trust, in whom I on∣lie repose my selfe, hauing in thee full confidence and faith. And so I saie, with a verie faithfull hart, tru∣sting in thy mercie: I beleeue in thee, O God the Fa∣ther; in thee, O God the Sonne; and in thee, O God the holie Ghost; three persons, and one true and verie God; besides whom I acknowledge none other God in heauen aboue, nor in earth beneath.
Yea, and I poore sinner doo accuse my selfe vnto thee, deere Father, that I haue sore and greeuouslie offen∣ded thine almightie goodnesse, and diuine Maiestie, in committing of mine exceeding, greeuous, and manifold sinnes and wickednesse. For I haue not kept the least of thy most blessed commandements, like as thy righ∣teousnesse may require and demand the same of me.
I haue, I saie, not honoured thee like my God, nor dreaded thee like my Lord, loued thee like my Father; trusted in thee like my Sauiour and Creator. Thy ho∣lie and dreadfull name, vnto which all honour and glo∣rie belongeth, haue I vsed in vaine. I haue not sancti∣fied the Saboth and holie daies with works which be acceptable vnto thee, nor instructed my neighbour in vertue accordinglie. I haue not honoured my father and mother, nor beene obedient vnto them, through whom, as by an instrument, thou hast wrought my comming into this world. The high powers and ru∣lers, which take their authoritie of thee, I haue not Page 386 beene willinglie obedient vnto. I haue not kept my hart pure and cleane from man-slaughter: yea, had not thy mercie and grace defended me the better, I should haue committed the verie deed also. I likewise am not pure from theft, nor from adulterie, nor from false-witnesse-bearing: but haue in my hart and mind wished and desired my neighbours goods and things. I haue folowed the great Prince of the world Satan, which hath beene a lier from the beginning, in concu∣piscence of the flesh, in pride of liuing, in lieng, in deceit∣fulnesse, in lecherie, in hatred and enuie, in backbiting, in despaire, and also in mis-beleefe. My fiue wits also haue I fowlie mis-vsed and spent, in hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, and also feeling, which thou hast gi∣uen me to vse to thy honour and glorie, and also the edi∣fication and profit of my neighbour.
But in what maner soeuer I haue offended and sin∣ned against thine eternall Maiestie; (for no man kno∣weth throughlie his sinnes, as the Prophet witnes∣seth) whether it hath beene by daie, or else by night, yea euen from my childhood vnto this daie, were it in works, words, deeds, or thoughts; secretlie or openlie, O my mercifull God; I am sorie for it, euen from the bottome of my hart: yea, my soule mourneth for sor∣rowe, most mercifull Father, that I am not a thou∣sand times sorier than I am. Howbeit, in token of great repentance, though all harts be knowne well inough to thee, I doo knocke and strike my breast, and saie in bitternesse of hart and soule: Lord God Father haue mercie, Lord God Sonne haue mercie, Lord God holie Ghost haue mercie. Spare me of thine in∣finite goodnesse and mercie, good Lord, now and all the daies of my life hereafter; and let me haue part of thine abundant grace, so as I maie change my sinfull life, and put out of me the old man, with all his concu∣piscences, and also that I maie die vnto the world, Page 387 and that the world may be a crosse vnto me, and so go foorth in a new life.
Strengthen me, O Lord, in a true humble hart, in perfect loue, hope, and trust in thee. Giue my soule grace to desire thee onlie, in thee onlie to reioice and re∣pose my selfe, and that I may vtterlie renounce and forsake the vaine affiance of this world: so that thou maist find me readie with the good seruant, and wise virgins, in the midnight of death, which shall sudden∣lie steale vpon me like a theefe, ere I be aware. Be thou vnto me at that time of need, O Lord, a tower of strength, a place of refuge, and a defensible God, name∣lie, against the face of the feend, who like a roring Lion shall be then most readie to deuoure me, and against desperation, which then shall be busie to greeue me. Let then thy comfort cleane fast vnto me; thy mercie keepe me, and thy grace guide me. Fetch then againe, Lord God Father, that which thy puissant might hath shapen. Fetch then againe, Lord God Sonne, that which thou hast so wiselie gouerned, and bought with thy pretious bloud. Take then againe, Lord God holie Ghost, that which thou hast kept and preserued so lo∣uinglie, in this region of sinne, & vale of miserie. Three persons, and one true and also verie God, to whom be all laud and praise for euer and euer,
Another confession of sinnes, and praier for mercie and grace, commonlie called, Conditor coeli.
OH maker of heauen and earth, King of kings, and Lord of lords; which of nothing didst make me to thine image and likenesse, and diddest re∣deeme me with thy pretious bloud, whom I a sinner am not woorthie to name, to thinke on, neither to call vpon: I most humblie desire Page 388 thee, and meekelie praie thee, that gentlie thou behold me thy wicked seruant, and haue mercie vpon me, which hadst mercy of the woman of Canaan, & Marie Magdalen; which didst forgiue the Publican, and the theefe hanging on the Crosse. Unto thee I confesse my sinnes, most holie Father, which if I would, I cannot hide from thee. Haue mercie on me, O Christ; for I am a wretch, and haue sore offended thee in idolatrie, in superstition, in blasphemie, in prophaning of thy Saboths, in disobedience to my gouernours, in pride, in couetousnesse, in gluttonie, in lecherie, in vaine glo∣rie, in hatred, in enuie, in murder, in adulterie, in theft, in lieng, in backbiting, and false-witnesse-bearing, in sporting, in dalliance, in dissolute & wanton laughing, in idle words, in vncleane thoughts, in hearing, in ta∣sting, in touching, in thinking, in sleeping, in working; and finallie, in all waies, in which I a fraile woman, and most wretched sinner might sinne: My default, my most greeuous default.
Therefore I most humblie praie and beseech thy gentlenesse, which for my helpe didst descend from hea∣uen, which didst hold vp Dauid, that he should not fall into sinne, haue mercie vpon me, O Christ, which didst forgiue Peter thine Apostle, that did forsweare and forsake thee. Thou art my Creator and helper, my ma∣ker and redeemer, my gouernour, my Father, my Lord and God, my King and my spouse. Thou art my hope, my trust, my strength, my defense, my redemption, my sanctification, my life, my helth and resurrection. Thou art my stedfastnesse, my refuge & succour, my light and onlie hope. I therfore most hartilie and humblie desire thee to helpe me, defend me, and make me strong, com∣fort me, make me stedfast; make me merie, giue mee light, and visit me; reuiue me againe, which am dead: for I am thy making, and thy worke.
Oh Lord despise me not; I am thy seruant, thy bond∣woman, Page 389 although euill, although most vnworthie, and a detestable sinner. But whatsoeuer I am, whether I be good or bad, I am alwaies thine. Therfore to whom shall I flee, except I flee vnto thee? If thou cast me off, who shall or will receiue me? If thou despise me, and turne thy face from me, who shall looke vpon me? Re∣cognise and knowledge me, O Lord, to be thine; al∣though vnworthie comming to thee, although I bee vile and vncleane. For if I be vile and vncleane, as I confesse my selfe in deede to be, thou canst make mee cleane. If I be sicke, thou canst heale me. If I be dead and buried, thou canst reuiue me: for thy mercie is much more than mine iniquitie. Thou canst forgiue me more than I can offend. Therefore, O Lord, doo not consider, nor haue respect to the number of my sinnes; but according to the greatnesse of thy mercie forgiue me, and haue mercie on me most wretched sin∣ner. Saie vnto my soule, I am thy health; which sai∣edst, I will not the death of a sinner, but rather that he liue, and be conuerted, and turne to thee. O Lord bee not angrie with me, I beseech thee; but for thy great mercie sake forgiue and pardon me all my misdeeds, and bring me to the blisse that neuer shall cease,
Another forme of Confession and praier to be vsed of the Maister and Mistresse with their families in priuate houses euerie morning.
ALmightie God, and most mercifull Father; we doo not present our selues heere before thy Maiestie, trusting in our owne merits or woorthinesse, but in thy manifold mercies; which hast promised to heare our praiers, and graunt our requests, which we shall make to thee, in the name of thy beloued Sonne Iesus Christ our Lord: who hath also commanded vs to assemble Page 390 our selues together in his name, with full assurance, that he will not onelie be amongst vs; but also be our mediator and aduocate towards thy Maiestie, that we may obtaine all things, which shall seeme expedi∣ent to thy blessed will for our necessities. Therefore we beseech thee, most mercifull father, to turne thy lo∣uing countenance towards vs; and impute not vnto vs our manifold sinnes and offences, whereby wee iustlie deserue thy wrath and sharpe punishment: but rather receiue vs to thy mercie, for Iesus Christes sake; accepting his death and passion; as a iust re∣compense for all our offences, in whom onlie thou art pleased, and through whome thou canst not be offen∣ded with vs. And seeing of thy great mercies we haue quietlie passed this night; grant O heauenlie father, that we may bestowe this daie wholie in thy seruice; so that all our thoughts, words and deedes may re∣dound to the glorie of thy name, and good example to all men; who seeing our good works, may glorifie thee our heauenlie father. And forasmuch as of thy meere fauour and loue, thou hast not onlie created vs to thine owne similitude and likenesse; but also hast cho∣sen vs to be heires with thy deere sonne Iesus Christ, of that immortall kingdome, which thou preparedst for vs, before the beginning of the world; we beseech thee to increase our faith and knowledge, and to ligh∣ten our harts with thy holie spirit, that we may in the meane time liue in all godlie conuersation, and inte∣gritie of life; knowing that idolaters, adulterers, co∣uetous men, contentious persons, drunkards, glut∣tons, and such like, shall not inherit the kingdome of God.
And because thou hast commanded vs to praie one for another, we doo not onlie make request, O Lord, for our selues, and them that thou hast alreadie called to the true vnderstanding of thy heauenlie will: but for Page 391 all people and nations of the world, who as they know by thy wonderfull works, that thou art God ouer all; so they may be instructed by thy holie spirit, to beleeue in thee their onlie Sauiour and Redeemer. But foras∣much as they can not beleeue, except they heare; nor cannot heare, but by preaching; and none can preach, except they be sent: therefore, O Lord, raise vp faith∣ful distributers of thy mysteries, who setting apart all worldlie respects, may both in their life and doctrine onelie seeke thy glorie. Contrariwise, confound Sa∣than, Antichrist, with all hirelings, whome thou hast alreadie cast off into a reprobate sense, that they may not by sects, schismes, heresies, and errors, disquiet thy little flocke. And because, O Lord, we be fallen into the latter daies, and dangerous times, wherein ignorance hath gotten the vpper hand; and Sathan by his mi∣nisters seeke by all meanes to quench the light of thy Gospell; we beseech thee to mainteine thy cause a∣gainst those rauening Woolues, and strengthen all thy seruants, whom they keepe in prison and bondage. Let not thy long-suffering be an occasion, either to in∣crease their tyrannie, or to discourage thy children; neither yet let our sinnes and wickednesse be an hin∣derance to thy mercies: but with speede, O Lord, con∣sider these great miseries. For thy people Israel ma∣nie times, by their sinnes, prouoked thine anger; and thou punishedst them by thy iust iudgement: yet, though their sinnes were neuer so greeuous, if they once returned from their iniquitie, thou receiuedst them to mercie. We therfore, most wretched sinners, bewaile our manifold siunes, and earnestlie repent vs for our former wickednesse, and vngodlie behauiour towards thee. And whereas we cannot of our selues purchase thy pardon, yet we humblie beseech thee, for Iesus Christes sake, to shew thy mercie vpon vs, and receiue vs againe to thy fauour. Graunt vs, deere fa∣ther, Page 392 these our requests, and all other things necessa∣rie for vs, and thy whole Church, our Queene and Realme, according to thy promise in Iesus Christ our Lord; in whose name we beseech thee, as he hath taught vs, saieng: Our Father, &c.
Almightie and euerlasting God, vouchsafe, we be∣seech thee, to graunt vs perfect continuance in thy liuelie faith, augmenting and increasing the same in vs dailie, vntill we growe to the full measure of our perfection in Christ, whereof we make our confession, saieng: I beleeue in God the Father almightie, &c.
Almightie God, which hast promised to heare the petitions of them that aske in thy Sonnes name, wee beseech thee mercifullie to incline thine eares to vs, that haue now made our praiers and supplications vnto thee: and graunt that those things, which wee haue faithfullie asked according to thy will, may effe∣ctuallie be obteined, to the releefe of our necessitie, and to the setting foorth of thy glorie, through Iesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
The Lord blesse vs and saue vs, the Lord make his face to shine vpon vs, and be mercifull vnto vs; the Lord turne his fauorable countenance towards vs, and graunt vs his peace, Amen.
The grace of our Lord Iesus Christ, the loue of God, and the communion of the holie Ghost, be with vs, and remaine with vs for euer, So be it.
A Morning praier for Sundaie.
AFter due examination of my former life, with an humble and contrite hart, with a sorowfull and repen∣tant spirit, I sue vnto thee, most mercifull father; beseeching thee of mercie and forgiuenesse of mine of∣fences, which in this night, or at a∣nie time heeretofore, I haue com∣mitted Page 393 against thy godlie will and pleasure, by anie manner of vncleannesse of soule or bodie, that I haue fallen into by the illusion of the diuell; or else by frail∣tie of mine owne flesh, trespassing against thy godlie Maiestie, either in thought, consent, delectation, word or deede. And I most hartilie thanke thee for the sweet sleepe, and comfortable rest which thou hast giuen me this night: and that to the innumerable benefits hi∣therto powred vpon my soule and bodie, thou hast vouchsafed to preserue me this night past, from sudden death, and all other euill and mischiefe, spirituall and corporall, that anie person, man or woman, hath beene striken withall, by thy permission and sufferance; kno∣wing of a suretie, that the selfe-same, or such like, had worthilie light on my head also, haddest not thou de∣fended and preserued me, and giuen me time to amend my life, so that I might liue henceforth, not as I will, but as thou wilt.
And now, seeing thou, O almightie God, and most mercifull father, in the tables of the commandements deliuered to the hands of thy seruant Moses, vpon the mount Sina, among other precepts, diddest giue charge vnto thy chosen children of Israel, that in sixe daies they should doo all such works and aaffaires, as they had to doo, and rest from labour the seuenth daie: graunt, I beseech thee blessed father, that siuce I haue by thy mercie, happilie passed ouer this whole weeke, vnder thy gratious protection, I may not onelie rest this daie from my dailie trauels, but that I may ab∣staine also from the works of sinne and iniquitie, and sanctifie this daie wholie vnto thee, with praiers and thankes-giuing, abounding in all works of loue and charitie, as thou hast commanded in thy holie word, that I may be found pure, without spot or blemish, at that daie, when thy Sonne Iesus Christ shall come to iudge the world with righteousnesse and equitie.
Page 394 And forasmuch as thou hast ordeined this daie, a∣mong the rest, wherein we should meete all together with brotherlie loue and affection, to yeeld thee praises for the innnumerable benefits we haue receiued at thy hand; to acknowledge thy fatherlie loue and pitie to∣wards vs, from time to time; and to giue thee thanks in generall for all and vniuersall thy benefits hitherto bestowed vpon vs: I beseech thee to grant me thy holie spirit, that I may be the more zealouslie inflamed to serue thee, in true holinesse and integritie of life: and by the operation of that spirit, I may kill all carnall lusts, vnlawfull pleasures, concupiscence, and all other spots of vncleannesse; whereby I may be made thy child by adoption and grace; and my bodie the temple of the holie Ghost, being throughlie purged and purifi∣ed from the dregs of iniquitie and abhomination. Giue me grace, most mercifull Father, to spend this daie to thy pleasure, in all good works of the spirit; and chari∣tie, proceeding from an vndefiled faith in Christ Iesu; that I fall not into anie kind of danger: but that all my dooings may be ordered by thy gouernance, to doo alwaies that is righteous in thy sight, through Iesus Christ our Lord,
Another Morning praier on the Lords daie.
O Almightie and mercifull God, eter∣nall Father; Sonne, and holie Ghost; three in persons, one in sub∣stance, God in verie deede, and from euerlasting.
I extoll thy sacred Maiestie; I praise thine vnspeakeable mercie, thy diuine truth I exceedingly com∣mend; for that of thy fatherlie and woonderfull good∣nesse thou hast protected me this night, vnder the sha∣dowe Page 395 of thy wings. Yea, thou also hast made me quiet∣lie to take my rest, notwithstanding the dangerous snares of my deadlie enimie the diuell.
Thou art the God, which exaltest vs from the gates of the shadowe of death; and from the power of dark∣nesse thou deliuerest vs.
Therefore I will acknowledge thee for thy goodnes, and for the woonderfull things, which thou dooest a∣mong the sonnes of men.
I will magnifie thee in the great congregation, and among much people will I praise thee.
My hart is readie, O my God, my hart is readie. I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people, and sing to thee among the nations. For thy mercie is aboue the heauens, and thy truth vnto the clouds.
I will not hide thy mercie and truth in the great congregation; bicause it is a good thing to praise the Lord, and to sing to thee, O thou most high: to declare thy louing kindnesse in the morning, and thy truth in the night.
Blesse the Lord, O my soule; and all that is within me praise his holie name.
Which forgiueth all thine iniquities, and healeth all thine infirmities.
Which redeemeth thy life from destruction, & crow∣neth thee with mercie and compassion.
Which satisfieth thy longing with good things, and protecteth thee from thy youth.
Which also hath kept all my bones this night, not one of them is broken.
To the King euerlasting, immortall, inuisible, and onlie wise God, be honor and glorie for euer and euer, Amen.
VNto thee, O Lord, doo I lift vp my soule.
O God, earlie will I seeke thee; my soule thir∣steth for thee, my flesh lusteth after thee in a barren and Page 396 drie land, where no water is, to see thy strength and glorie.
O eternall God, which hast brought me to the be∣ginning of this daie, defend me with thy mightie pow∣er, that this daie I fall into no sinne, nor run into anie kind of danger: but let all my cogitations, words, and works tend to the setting foorth of thy righteousnesse.
Lighten my mind this morning with the shining and clearnesse of thy wisdome; that in my hart, that true daie-star may rise and shine, as it were a candle in a darke place.
Giue me the spirit of wisdome and reuelation in the knowledge of thee; and lighten the eies of mine vnder∣standing, that I may knowe what my hope is, how great the glorie of mine inheritance, and what the ex∣cellent greatnesse of thy power towards me is.
Fill me with thy mercie in this morning, so shall I be glad and reioice all my life long.
Mercifull God, endue me with thine holie spirit, that I may neither thinke, speake, or doo anie thing this daie, but that which may please thee, and tend to the aduancement of thy glorie, and health of my soule.
Gouerne thou mine vnderstanding and will, and so direct all the cogitations of my hart, that I may who∣lie be thine, and sauour of nothing besides thee my God and redeemer.
Teach mee the waie of thy commandements, O Lord; and I will keepe it vnto the end.
Giue me vnderstanding to keepe thy lawes, and to loue thee, my Lord and God, with all my hart, with all my soule, and with all my strength: and let all thy testi∣monies be my delight, and counsellers.
Comfort the soule of thy seruant; for vnto thee, O Lord, haue I lifted vp my soule. For thou, Lord, art good and gentle, and of great kindnesse to as manie as call vpon thee.
Page 397 Behold, O God, earlie now this morning I doo of∣fer my selfe a morning sacrifice vnto thee, a troubled spirit; a broken, and an humble hart, O Lord, thou wilt not despise.
Make me fit, that I may likewise dailie offer vp my bodie a liuing sacrifice, holie and acceptable vnto thee, which is a reasonable seruice, & gratefull obedience.
Both now and euerie daie, Lord, I commend my soule and bodie into thy hands; thou hast redeemed me, O God of truth.
Compasse me about with the watch of thine An∣gels, which are ministring spirits sent out for their de∣fence, which are the children of saluation; that they may pitch their tents about me, and incounter with Satan the dragon, to defend me from euill.
Giue thine holie Angels charge of me, that they pro∣tect me in all my waies, least happilie I hurt my feete against a stone: so will I praise thee, and magnifie thy name, which liuest and reignest a true and eternall God, worlds without end,
Another praier verie effectuall to be vsed vpon the Lords Sundaie, or other holie or festiuall daies.
SEing that the verie solemne times & festiuall holidaies doo vndoubted∣lie greatlie renew the reioicing of the godlie: yea, & that more is, with a certaine heape, as a man would saie, doo maruelouslie augment and increase their spirituall ioie in thee O most holie Lord God of Saboth, and make it greater than it was. For they are kept to continue, and stir vs vp vnto the remembrance and re∣counting of thy woonderfull acts, things, and mira∣cles wrought and done by thine almightie Maiestie, for the conseruation, and saluation of mankind: and by Page 398 that occasion, doo exceedinglie cheere vp and fill the harts of the godlie with spirituall ioies in thee.
Moreouer, bicause good exercises are to be renewed often; but especiallie vpon the Sundaie and holie daies, as though at that time we were departing out of this life, and going to the euerlasting holie daies of spirituall rest, and continuall ioie; and therefore ought we at that time especiallie to prepare our selues with carefulnes; & to shew our selues more godlie, and to doo thy cōmandements more straightlie, as they yt shall re∣ceiue reward of our trauels at thy hand ere it be long.
Behold, I thy sillie creature, desirous to keepe the godlie rest of the new Saboth, better than hitherto I haue done, (for which, as for all other my defaults I crie thee hartilie mercie) doo now therefore most hum∣blie beseech thee, O holie Father, to powre plentiouslie vpon me thy blessed spirit; through whose diuine pow∣er, vertue and grace, I may this daie be throughlie sanctified, clensed, dedicated, and prepared both bodilie and ghostlie, perfectlie to serue and worship thee, accor∣ding to thy will.
O holie God, which hast commanded vs to sanctifie our selues, and to be holie, as thou art; grant me grace with S. Iohn to be in the spirit on the Sundaie: and this daie to be holie with them that be holie, and alto∣gither giuen to serue & please thee in spirit and truth, as becommeth the true worshippers of thee.
Make thou me this daie to refraine my selfe from dooing anie bodilie labour, or seruile worke; and vtter∣lie to forbeare all maner of vngodlinesse displeasant vnto thee: as namelie, not to abuse or mispend this holie daie in pranking, packing, priinting, pointing, frisling, or vaine attiring of my selfe to be gorgious and gaie, and to prance in pride: neither yet in vnlaw∣full plaies, idle sports, games, Ethnicall pastimes, fea∣sting, banketting, bellie-cheere, gluttonie, riot, excesse, Page 399 chambering, wantonnes, nicenesse, contention, pride, couetousnesse, or in anie other fleshlie filthinesse, and vaine pleasures of this transitorie world; but contra∣riwise, to occupie and giue my selfe obedientlie vnto the vertuous works, and holie exercises of thy diuine precepts; namelie, vnto the expending of the spiritu∣all rest, and euerlasting repose of all Christian soules in heauen, vnto the meditation of thy woonderfull works, and vnspeakable benefits, which thou, O God, continuallie bestowest vpon thy Church, and to bee thankefull for the same: to studie the Scriptures, to heare and reade thy sacred word, and followe the same: to call vpon thee by ardent praier, with hartie thankesgiuing, for all thy mercies: to exercise thy holie Sacraments, and to comfort and giue almes gladlie according to mine abilitie, to the releefe of the poore, and comfort of the needie.
Make me (I saie) O Lord, with holie Dauid, both most willing and glad this daie to go foorth with my whole familie, and the multitude, into thy house and temple, in the voice of praise and thankes-giuing, a∣mong such as keepe it holiedaie vnto thee, and at all seasons by common order appointed, diligentlie to fre∣quent the populous resort and Christian assemblie of the congregation in the Church, and to be present with other thy people often in that most sacred place on earth; at the most holie, and alwaies to thee, O God, most acceptable sacrifice of praise, inuocation, di∣uine worship, giuing of thanks, singing of hymnes, hearing of thy word, vsing of thy holie Sacraments, praiers, intercessions, and supplications; which at the comming together of the whole congregation, is vsed ordinarilie to be made vnto thee in the Church, with verie great ceremonie and reuerence: that thus being free from the trauels and drudgerie of this world, and by thy grace cleansed from all mine owne carnall Page 400 affections, and wholie giuen ouer to serue and sancti∣fie thee in true rest and spirituall ease, as also to be∣stowe, consecrate, and hallowe this thy sacred Sab∣both or Sundaie, with all other festiuall holie daies, most glorious vnto thee, in all holie and spirituall exer∣cises of a faithfull and obedient Christian, according to thy will, I may euen heere in this vale of teares, a∣midst all my miseries, be thereby occasioned with cheerefull hart, both outwardlie and inwardlie, excee∣dinglie to reioice and trust in thee my most mercifull God and louing sauiour, and after this transitorie life ended, be worthie, happilie to enter into thy holie Mountaine, the Tabernacle of thine elect, and king∣dome of euerlasting blessednesse; where the soules of all holie folke doo rest, and there with them to be par∣taker of perfect holinesse, and of the vnspeakable bene∣fit of the wished wealefull rest, and eternall endlesse ioie of ioies, in the Paradise of God; to see, loue, and praise thee most ioifullie in happie mirth for euer and euer, through Iesus Christ our Lord: to whome with thee O Father, and the holie Ghost, be immortall glo∣rie, infinite power, euerlasting kingdome, perpetuall praise, and continual thanks-giuing, by all creatures, through all ages & worlds, world without end,
HEere call to mind the commandements of almightie God, concerning the kéeping of the Sabboth daie holie vnto him; as namelie, the third commandement, Remember thou keepe holie the Sabboth daie, &c. Exod. 20, verse 11.
Call to mind also his promises touching the same, who saith, If thou turne awaie thy foote from the Sabboth, from doo∣ing thy will on the Sabboth daie, and call the Sabboth a delight to consecrate it as glorious vnto the Lord, and shalt honor him, not dooing thine owne waies, nor seeking Page 401 thine owne will, nor speaking a vaine word, then shalt thou delight in the Lord, and I will cause thee to mount vpon the high places of the earth, and feede thee with the heri∣tage of Iacob thy father, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. Esaie 58, verses 13, 14.
Yea, blessed is he that keepeth the Sabboth, and pollu∣teth it not, and keepeth his hands from doing anie euill, Esaie 56, verse 2. Then his threatenings where he saith.
Yee shall therefore keepe the Sabboth, for it is holie vnto you: he that defileth it, shall die the death: therefore who∣soeuer worketh therein, the same person shall be euen cut off from among his people, Exod. 31, verse 14.
Of going to Church.
AND to the end you may the spéedilier addresse your selfe to frequent the Church often, not alone, but with your whole familie, as you ought; first call diligentlie to your mind some of these sentences of holie Scrip∣ture, following:
¶ Esaie 66, verse 23.
AND it shall come to passe, that from Moone to his Moone, from Sabboth to his Sabboth, all flesh shall come to worship before me, saith the Lord.
¶ Esaie 2, verses 2, 3.
AND it shall come to passe in the latter daies, the hill of the Lords house shall be prepared in the height of the mountaines, and shall be higher than the hilles, and all na∣tions shall prease vnto him, and a multitude of people shall go speaking thus one to another; Come, let vs ascend to the hill of the Lord, &c.
¶ Agge. 1, verses 4, 5, 6, &c. Zach. 14.
THus saith the Lord of hostes: Consider your owne waies in your harts, ô yee people: get yee vp to the mountaine and fetch wood, and build this house, and I will Page 402 take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord. Is it time for your selues to dwell in seeled houses, and this house lie waste? Ye haue sowne much, but ye bring little in: ye eate, but ye haue not ynough: ye drinke, but ye are not filled: ye cloath you, but ye be not warme: and he that earneth wages, putteth it into a broken bagge: ye looke for much, and lo, it came to little. And when ye brought it home, I did blowe vpon it: and why? saith the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that is waste, and you run eue∣rie one into his owne house. Therfore, vpon you is the hea∣uens staied from deaw, and the earth is staied from yeelding her increase; and I haue called for a drought vpon the land, and vpon the mountaines, and vpon the corne, and vpon the wine, and vpon the oile, and vpon all that the earth bringeth foorth, vpon men and vpon cattell, and vpon all the labour of thy hands, &c.
Thus hauing well perused and weied these holie sentences, stir vp your selfe, and exhort all your children, seruants, strangers and neighbours about you, with chéerefull minds, willinglie and dili∣gentlie to resort to the Church; especiallie euerie Sundaie and Holiedaie, saieng vnto them as followeth.
An exhortation to be vsed of Maisters and Dames euerie Sundaie morning.
COme, let vs ascend to the hill of the Lord, to the house of the God of Iacob; and he will there instruct vs of his waies, and teach vs how to walke in his paths. For out of Zion shall come a lawe, and the word of the Lord from Ierusalem, and hee shall giue sentence among the heathen, and shall reforme the multitude of the people. Come therfore, I saie; let vs cheerfullie ascend, and go vp to Ierusalem, the hill and house of the Lord. O let vs go our waies into his gates with thanks-gi∣uing, Page 403 and into his courts with praise; that we may present our selues to daie holie before the Lord, and serue him with gladnesse.
¶ When you be going towards the Church, the better to expell idle thoughts, and noifull cogitations, and to pre∣pare your harts to deuotion; euen by the waie as ye go, meditate and saie with your selfe some of these Psalmes and praiers following; the which also for more readi∣nesse would be learned by hart, and said without booke.
Praiers to be vsed going to Church. A Psalme.
I Was glad when they said vnto me; We will go into the house of the Lord; our feete shall stand in thy gates O Ierusalem.
Ierusalem is builded as a Citie that is at vnitie in it selfe.
For thither the Tribes go vp, e∣uen the Tribes of the Lord, to testi∣fie vnto Israel, and to giue thanks vnto the name of the Lord.
For there is the seate of iudgement, euen the seate of the house of Dauid.
O my soule, praie for the peace of Ierusalem, they shall prosper that loue it.
LORD, I haue loued the habita∣tion of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth; yea the zeale of thine house hath euen eaten me.
Therefore will I wash my hands in innocencie, O Lord; and so will I go to thine altar, that I may Page 404 shew the voice of thankes-giuing, and tell of all thy woonderous works in the great congregation.
Behold, I will go with the multitude, that by the motion of the spirit are brought forth into thy house, O God: euen vpon the multitude of thy mercies, & in thy feare will I (among such as keepe holiedaie) worship towards thy holy Temple, & make haste vnto thy Ta∣bernacle, to vnderstand thy worthie wais & diuine wil.
For vnto thee, O God, which hearest the praiers; vnto thee shall all flesh come, to worship thee in Zion: praier shall be made euer vnto thee, and dailie shalt thou be praised in Ierusalem.
O therefore let the congregation of thy people come about thee, O God; that they may shew all thy prai∣ses within the portes of the daughter of Zion, and re∣ioice in thy saluation.
Remember also, I beseech thee good Lord, according to the fauour that thou bearest vnto thy people; and visit me with thy saluation, that I may see the felicitie of thy chosen children, and reioice in the gladnesse of thy people, & giue thee thanks with thine inheritance.
O make me one of the houshold of faith, and congre∣gation of them that seeke thee: euen of them that seeke thy face, O Iacob, saieng; Lo, I come to fulfill thy will O God.
O send out the light of thy truth, that they may leade me, and bring me vnto thy holie hill, and to thy dwel∣ling; and that I may go vnto the altar of God, euen vnto thee, the God of my ioie and gladnesse.
With ioie and gladnesse, I saie, cause thou me to be brought to thy mansion house, and to enter into the Kings palace.
That I may ascend vnto the hill of the Lord, and rise vp holilie in his holie place.
That I may receiue the blessing from the Lord, and righteousnesse from the God of health and saluation.
Another verie godlie praier, to be vsed going to Church, either at morning, or euening praier.
IAm now entred into the voiage of saluation; conduct me, O Lord, luc∣kilie vnto the port; that deliuered by thee from the verie death, I may es∣cape all dangers, and come to the verie life. Behold Lord, my hart hunteth thee out; and would God I might dailie more and more trace thee out! yea I haue a great while sore longed, with so godlie affection as I could, to celebrate thee in the fre∣quented assemblies of the godlie, which trulie I will now doo accordinglie, by the grace and assistance of thy holie spirit; and that with a most readie and ioifull mind, as it behooueth. And that this mine enterprise and beginning may proceede to a further good successe, and amendment of my maners and imbettering of my life; doo thou finish the thing, O God, which thou hast begun in me, and make me continuallie to increase from faith to faith. Yea, so renew and shape me againe in innocencie and righteousnesse, O grations Lord, I beseech thee; that as a person new borne of thee, I may insearch thee againe and againe, both in the dawning of the daie, morning, noone, euening, and night. Now lead me forooard, O Lord, I beseech thee, in thy righte∣ousnesse: let thy louing spirit direct my feete, and make thy waies plaine before my face; bicause of my mortall and inuisible enimies. And doo thou vouchsafe luckilie to conduct my bodie this daie, vnto thy materiall tem∣ple, and to bring my soule at the last vnto thy holie hill, and blessed mountaine, which thou hast purchased with thy right hand, that I may rest both bodie and soule in heauen, and remaine with thee foreuer,
Or praie thus;
O GOD the word, who art the light; by whom light was made: who art the waie, truth, and life; in whom there is no darknes, ouersight, va∣nitie, nor death: shine foorth, O Lord my light, mine inlightening, and my welfare, whom I will reuerence; my Lord, whom I will honour; my Father, whom I will loue; my Iudge, whom I will feare; my Bridegroome, whom I will cleaue vnto, and keepe my selfe an vndefiled spouse. Shine foorth, O euerlasting light; shine foorth, I saie, and lighten the Lampe of my virginitie, with the oile of thy diuine grace and mercie; that this blind soule of mine, which yet sitteth in darknesse, and shadowe of death, may see the light, and eschew darknesse; see the waie, and es∣chew straieng; see the truth, and eschew leasing; see the life, and eschew death. And guide thou my feete vn∣to the waie of peace, that by thy mercifull protection, I may see the light, walke in the light, and neuer stum∣ble vpon the snares of Sathan, but may now passe thereby, into the palace of thy woonderfull taberna∣cle, and be able to climbe vp euen vnto the holie house and temple, with the voice of gladnesse and confes∣sion, there to abide, and receiue at thy hands both mercie, righteousnesse, health, bles∣sing, and euerlasting saluation, with my fellowe-citizens, thy Saints and houshold menie,
Another godlie praier to be said either going to∣wards, or being in the Church.
LOoke what earnest and feruent de∣sire soeuer the old fathers had, O most mightie GOD, to come vnto the place, wherein thou hadst ap∣pointed a tabernacle to thy selfe for that time; euen the like am I kin∣dled withall, in beholding the repai∣ring of thy sacred Church, and to see therin a very great companie of godlie men & women lawfullie assembled together, for the aduancement of thy glorie; hearing thy holie doctrine, & dulie receiuing of thy blessed Sacraments accordinglie. Wherefore, I humblie beseech thee, which art my God & my King, that I may this daie reioice to be there. For what fe∣licitie soeuer may be attained vnto in this fraile life, I doubt not but it will light vpon the sacred companie of the godlie there assembled. Giue eare therefore, O excellent Father, vnto mine earnest praiers; & grant that I make none other account of thy blessed house, than thy will and pleasure is I should doo. For a more blessed thing it were for me, to haue one daies meeting and abode therein; than if I abide neuer so great a time of continuance in the congregation of the vngod∣lie; or in such a one as is not lawfullie assembled, with the aduantage and ouer-plus of all the pleasures of this transitorie world. Seeing that therefore thou art our most splendent light, and strong defence; cause our assemblies on the earth; O God, so to redound to thine vnspeakable glorie, that our assured hope, by comming in the end vnto thee in the euerlasting tabernacles of the heauens, may be augmented, and verie much in∣creased, through Iesus Christ our Lord,
VVhen you enter into the Church, meditate thus with your selfe, and saie:
LORD, who shall ascend into thy high hill? Or who shall rise vp in thy holie place?
Euen he that hath cleane hands, and a pure hart; and hath not lift vp his mind vnto vanitie, nor sworne to deceiue his neighbour.
He shall receiue the blessing from the Lord, and righteousnesse from the God of his sal∣uation.
This is the generation of them that seeke him; euen of them that seeke thy face, O Iacob.
Lift vp your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift vp ye euerlasting doores: and the King of glorie shall come in, euen the Lord of hosts, most mightie and strong.
Open me the gates of righteousnesse, O Lord, that I (with the righteous nation that keepe thy truth) may go into them, and giue thanks vnto thee. This is the gate of the Lord, the righteous shall enter into it.
Yea, blessed are they that doo thy commandements, O God. For their power shall be in the tree of life, and they shall enter in through the gates, into the holie ci∣tie new Ierusalem.
But without shall be dogs, and inchanters, and whooremongers, and murderers, and idolaters: yea, there shall enter into it none vncleane thing, nei∣ther whatsoeuer worketh abhomination, or maketh lies: but they onlie, which are written in the Lambes booke of life,
LOrd, who shall enter into thy san∣ctuarie, to consider thy mightie po∣wer; except thou open it vnto him? And who shall open it, if thou shut it? Trulie, O Lord my God, I sillie worme and claie, am not able to en∣ter into thine euerlastingnesse; vn∣lesse thou, which hast made all things of nothing, doo lead me in. Yea, I knowe, Lord, I knowe and confesse, that I am vnwoorthie to enter vnder thy roofe: but yet I beseech thee, let a blessed en∣trance to the house of eternall felicitie, whither I haue dailie a feruent desire to come, be set open, and made as a free passage vnto me, O God. And giue mee leaue now, I praie thee, though a dog, and an vnwoor∣thie wretch, euen for thine owne honour sake, to enter into thy holie house, and to approch thy sacred pre∣sence, and confound not thy seruant that seeketh thee, and putteth all hir trust and confidence in thy mercie.
Oh suffer me not, I saie, good Lord, to knit vp and fi∣nish my last daies with malefactors, and wicked per∣sons: but grant that after my long and dailie trauell, in this transitorie world, I may in the end at length be permitted, through thy mercie, to enter the courts of thy diuine presence, and with thine elect and chosen seruants for euer inhabit the hauen of eter∣nall felicitie, through Ie∣sus Christ our Lord,
Or saie thus, as you enter into the Church.
O How amiable are thy dwellings, thou LORD of hosts! My soule hath a desire and longing to enter into the courts of the Lord, my hart and my flesh reioice in the li∣uing God.
When shall I enter in, to behold thy face? When shall I come to appeare before thy presence, O God?
For one daie in thy courts, is better than a thousand else where? I had rather be a doore-keeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of the vngodlie.
Yea, like as the Hart desireth the water brookes: so longeth my soule after thee, O God. My soule is a thirst for God, yea euen for the liuing God.
Now therfore I come into thy house, O Lord; euen vpon the multitude of thy mercies: and in thy feare doo I enter thy tabernacle, and will worship thee: God grant it according to thy will,
As you passe by the people in the Church vnto your Pue, salute the congregation, and saie:
PEace be within thy wals, O Ieru∣salem; and plentiousnesse within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions sakes I will praie for thy peace, and wish thee now pros∣peritie: yea bicause of the house of the Lord our God, I will seeke to doo thee good, and saie:
Blessed is he that commeth in the name of the Lord. The Lord prosper you, I wish you good lucke in the name of the Lord: So be it.
Being placed in your Pue, call to mind these sentences of holie Scripture following.
IT is written, My house shall be called a house of praier vnto all nations: but ye haue made it a den of theeues, and an house of marchandise. Matth. 21, verse 13.
Ye shall keepe my Saboths, and feare with reuerence my Sanctuarie. I am the Lord. Leuit. 19, verse 30.
Holinesse becommeth Gods house for euer. Ps. 93, ver. 5.
The Lord will vtterlie destroie euerie enimie that doth euill in his Sanctuarie, that prophaneth his holie temple, & polluteth the dwelling place of his name. Psal. 74, verse 3.
When thou commest into the house of God therefore keepe thy foote, and drawe nigh, that God which is at hand may heare; that thou giue not the offerings of fooles. For they knowe not but to doo euill. Eccles. 4, verse 17.
Be not hastie with thy mouth, I saie, and let not thine hart speake anie thing rashlie before God. For God is in heauen, and thou vpon earth: therefore let thy words be few. Eccl. 5, verse 1.
A Meditation, wherein is shewed how we ought to be verie intentiue to the Psalmes and praiers in the Church.
WHen thou entrest the temple to pray or sing Psalmes; leaue behind thee the heapes of wauering thoughts, and forget vtterlie the care of out∣ward things, that thou maist giue all thine attendance to diuine mat∣ters. For it is vnpossible for him to speake with God, that talketh with the whole world in silence. Intend thou him that in∣tendeth thee; heare him when he speaketh to thee; that he may hearken to thee when thou praiest to him: so shalt thou shew a carefull and due reuerence in mag∣nifieng Page 412 God, and a christian attendance in giuing heed to his holie word.
Understand not this, as though I performed that I speake of: yet I striue to doo it, repenting the omis∣sion of it in time past, and sorowing that I am not able to attaine it presentlie. But thou, to whom God hath beene more liberall of his graces, inclined his sacred eares towards thee; with hartie praiers, in sighs and teares beseech him most humblie, to pardon thee all thy riots, and excesse. Extoll and magnifie him in the excellencie of his works with spirituall songs. For this is most pleasing to the mightie Iehoua, as him selfe doth witnesse: The sacrifice of praise shall ho∣nour me.
O how happie wert thou, if it were granted thee to behold, with spirituall eies, the araie of the celestiall princes, that go before them that praise God in the midst of the damsels, plaieng with their Timbrels! Thou shouldest see doubtlesse with what endeuour and cheerefulnesse they accompanie them in singing, assist them in praier, in meditation comfort them, pro∣tect them in time of rest, direct them in all their af∣faires and businesse. Uerelie the heauenlie powers doo loue their felowe-citizens, and doo exceedinglie ioie in the societie of those, that are free heires of saluation; they with longing looke for our comming, and earnest∣lie attend, that the ruines and dis-peopling of their heauenlie citie may be filled vp againe, in the multi∣tude of our companies. They doo curiouslie inquire, and willinglie heare all good of vs. They be carefull messengers betweene God and vs, and beare a faith∣full witnesse of our dooing. They disdaine not now to be our seruants, that shall be our felowes: we haue made them reioice in our conuersion and repen∣tance. Let vs haste then to fulfill their ioies ouer vs. Wo be vnto thee then that louest a returne to thy Page 413 vomit and impuritie. Dooest thou thinke to haue those witnesse for thee in iudgement, whom thou hast berea∣ued of so great and long hoped-for ioie? They reioiced ouer vs, when we gaue our names first to Christ; as if they had seene vs pulled out of hell gates. But what will they doo then, when they shall see those turned backe from the gate of Paradise, who had alreadie al∣most one foote in heauen?
Wherefore, though our bodies be on earth, let vs set our harts on the highest heauens: let vs run thi∣ther, not with bodilie members, but with spirituall affections, desires, and longing; where not the angels onlie, but the Creator of angels doth long looke for vs. God the father looketh for vs, as his owne sonnes and heires, to commit the rule of all his treasure vnto vs. God the sonne looketh for vs, as his deere german bro∣thers, and coparteners, that he may present God his father with the fruite of his natiuitie, and price of his owne bloud. The holie Ghost also looketh for vs: for he verelie is that bountie and benignitie, wherein from euerlasting we were predestinate to saluation; and no doubt, he wisheth our predestination accomplished.
Seeing then the whole court of heauen doth so ear∣nestlie looke and wish for vs, let vs with all zealous af∣fection seeke after it. For with great shame, and a large cōfusion, shall he come thither, that is lead with a cold and luke-warme desire: but whosoeuer, in the strength of continuall praier, and dailie meditation, is alwaie conuersant there; shall both from hence depart with securitie, and there be receiued with triumphing ioie.
Therefore, wheresoeuer thou be, still praie within thy selfe. If thou chance to be far from thy closet, seeke no place. For thou to thy selfe art a place. If thou be in thy bed, praie; and praie often in the temple. And in prostrating thy bodie, lift vp thy mind to God. For as there is no time, wherein we doo not vse and enioie the Page 414 goodnesse & mercie of God: so there ought to be no mo∣ment, wherein his almightinesse ought not to possesse our memorie. But thou wilt saie, I praie continuallie, and yet I see no fruit of my praier: as I come vnto it, so I depart; none answereth, or speaketh vnto me; nothing is giuen me, but my labour seemeth vaine. This is the speech of humane follie, not obseruing what truth it selfe promiseth, saieng: Uerelie I saie vnto you, whatsoeuer ye aske in praier with faith, yee shall receiue it; and it shall be performed vnto you. E∣steeme not lightlie therfore of praier. For he to whome thou praiest, hath it in price; and before it proceed from thy mouth, commandeth it to be registred in his owne booke. One of these two we may vndoubtedlie hope for; that either he will giue vs our requests, or better. Thinke of God as highlie as thou art able, and yet be∣leeue more of him, than thou canst thinke. All the time wherein thou thinkest not vpon God, esteeme it lost; all other things be foraigne vnto vs, time onlie is our owne. Attend therefore vpon God; and wheresoeuer thou art, be all with him. Impart, but giue not vp thy selfe to worldlie affaires. Wheresoeuer thou art, cast thy thoughts vpon God. No place is vnfit for medita∣tion. Therefore, with all cheerefulnesse, gather vp thy spirits, dwell at libertie with thy selfe, and out of the largenesse of thy heart measure out a lodging for thy Lord Christ.
A wise mans mind is alwaie with God. He ought to be alwaies in our sight, by whome we haue our be∣ing, life, and knowledge. He is the author of our being, the teacher of our vnderstanding, the treasure of our spirituall and ioifull happinesse. Heerein we may ac∣knowledge the diuine image of the heauenlie Trini∣tie. For as he hath his being in excellencie of wisdome and goodnesse; so we, according to our creation, haue our subsistence; being endued also with reason, and Page 415 delight in knowledge, as a signature and impression of the diuine Maiestie. Esteeme therefore of thy selfe, as of the temple of God; seeing it pleased him to impart his likenesse to thee, as a high renowne, to adore and imitate God. Thou dooest imitate him, if thou be holie, as he is holie. For a holie mind is the temple of God; and a sincere hart, the most acceptable aultar. Thou dooest adore God, if thou be mercifull, euen as he is mercifull to all. For it is a pleasing sacrifice to God, to gratifie all for the cause of God.
Doo all things as the sonne of God, that thou bee not vnworthie of him, that hath vouchsafed to be thy father. Knowe that of all thy actions, God is a wit∣nesse. Beware therefore to fixe thine eie, or settle thy thought in anie vnlawfull delight: neither speake, nor doo anie ill, though thou maist. Offend not God, neither in deede nor purpose. For his almightinesse discoue∣reth thy deeds. Thou hast neede of a great watch, dis∣charging all the actions in the face of the Iudge; yet liue thou maist without securitie, if thou behaue thy selfe so, as he vouchsafe thee his presence. If he abide not with thee in fauour, he will come vnto thee in re∣uenge. And if he come in reuenge, wo be vnto thee; nay rather, wo if he come not. For God is most angrie with him, whose sinne he leaueth vnpunished. His damna∣tion is prepared, whome God reformeth not in father∣lie chasticement.
Another Meditation to the same effect.
GOod Lord bee mercifull vnto mee, that offend worst; where I ought most to mind the reformation of my faults. Praieng in the temple, of∣tentimes I heed not what I speak. I praie, but by the absence of my wandering mind, it is made fruit∣lesse. With my bodie I enter into Page 416 thy temple; but my hart standeth without: there∣fore my praier vanisheth awaie. For the outward sound of the voice, without the inward symphonie of the hart auaileth nothing. Then is it a great follie, naie madnesse, when by praier presuming to speake in presence of the mightie God, we doo brutishlie wander in vaine thoughts, and arrest our minds vpon verie trifles. An heinous offence also, and woorthie a gree∣uous punishment it is, that vile dust should not vouch∣safe audience to the Creator of the whole world spea∣king vnto him. But the woorthinesse of thy heauenlie bountie is vnspeakable, which euerie daie regardeth vs standing in wretchednesse and miserie, turning a∣side our eares, and hardening our harts. Yet he crieth out vnto vs, saieng: Returne into the waie yee trans∣gressours; attend, and see: for I am God. God spea∣keth to me in the Psalme, and I vnto him; yet in re∣peating the same, I regard not whose it is. Heerein I offer God great wrong, in desiring him to harken vnto my praier; which my selfe in making it, doo not heare. I request him to attend me, and I neither in∣tend him, nor my selfe; but that which worsse is, I doo violate his sacred presence with vnpure and vn∣profitable thoughts. Haue mercie vpon me, pardon mine offences, and renew mee with thy holie Spirit; that in all my Praiers, Psalmes, Songs, and Hymnes, I may both saie and sing to the honor and glorie of thy name,
¶ Heere, as time will conuenientlie serue, before Com∣mon praier begin, make your priuate petitions vnto Almightie God, and saie:Page 417
A salutation to God the Father, or first forme of praier, when yee kneele downe in the Church.
HAile our Father, GOD Almightie, full of grace, mercie, and comfort. Thy Sonne Ie∣sus Christ, verie God and man, is with thee in heauen. Blessed be thy name, O Father, both in heauen aboue, and in earth amongst all na∣tions, by thine onlie sonne our Lord,
Another first forme of praier in the Church at Morning praier.
O Most high and blessed Trinitie, the verie Father, Sonne, & holie Ghost, three glorious and vnseparable per∣sons in Trinitie, and but one God in Deitie, vncreate, incomprehen∣sible, eternall, inuisible, and almigh∣tie, one being power, wisdome, good∣nesse and Lord, of coequall, coeter∣nall, and vndefiled Maiestie: who before all worlds, in all worlds, and by all worlds into euerlasting, dooest liue, and dwellest alone in vnapprochable light: with all my verie hart and mouth doo I, beeing the least member of thy Church, fall downe lowe on my knees heere before thy footestoole; and confesse, praise, blesse, and worship thee, O glorious Trinitie. And now and euer, with all Angels, creatures and Elders, both in heauen and earth, I crie and saie; Holie, Holie, Holie Lord God of hostes, dreadfull, strong, righteous, mercifull, maruellous, praise-worthie, to be beloued. Heauen and earth are full of thy glorie. Glorie be to thee, O God, for euer,
A praier, that God would vouchsafe to heare the praiers of the Congregation afflicted, and graunt their requests.
OH Lord my God, most high; most holie holie holie Lord God of Sa∣baoth, most blessed and glorious Trinitie, Father, Sonne, and holie Ghost, three glorious persons of co∣equall and consubstantiall Maie∣stie, and one almightie and incom∣prehensible God in Deitie, alwais, by all meanes, of all creatures, aboue all things to be woorshipped in Unitie, and glorified in Deitie: looke downe from thy kinglie court and princelie pallace, where thou art placed, in the highest coasts of the hea∣uen of heauens; and sittest in the celestiall throne of eternall glorie, betweene the Cherubins and Sera∣phins. Looke downe, I saie, O most mightie Iehoua, and haue respect now, I beseech thee, vnto thy sacred Sanctuarie, and holie house of praier. Let thine eies I saie, O Lord, be euer open towards thy blessed Ta∣bernacle night and daie; euen towards thy Church, thy Temple, and most sacred place on earth; where thine honor dwelleth, and whereof thou hast said: My house shall be an house of praier for all people and na∣tions, and my name shall be called vpon therein, that thou maist harken this daie vnto the praiers, which we thy poore creatures, and most vnwoorthie seruants make before thee in this place.
Heare thou therefore, O our God, euen from hea∣uen, the place of thy glorious habitation, the supplica∣tions of thy seruants; and also what praiers and sup∣plications soeuer shall be made vnto thee, of anie par∣ticular man or woman, and of all the people. Giue good eare (I saie) O Lord, vnto all the cries, praiers, and petitions of thy people heere assembled, or that Page 419 shall be gathered together in thy name; who with rent harts, bowed knees, and stretched out hands returne vnto thee, and present themselues here this daie, to confesse thee, & call vpon thy holie name in this place. And when thou hearest, pardon the sinnes of thy ser∣uants, and be mercifull vnto the offences and iniqui∣ties of thy people, wherewith they haue sinned and transgressed, or shall offend against thy Maiestie. Heare vs, I saie, O Lord, O holie Lord God heare vs; we praie thee be mercifull vnto thine inheritance, and doo and giue to euerie one of vs, according vnto all and euerie thing that we call and praie for vnto thee, this daie, in this thy holie house, according to thy will, tho∣rough Iesus Christ our Lord:
A psalme of preparation to praier in the morning.
I will giue thanks vnto the Lord with my whole hart, secretlie among the faithfull, and in the congregation, and will saie:
O God, my hart is readie; my hart is readie here now now in thy holie house, to paie thee my vowes, which I promised with my lips, and spake with my mouth, when I was in trouble.
My voice shalt thou heare bee∣times, O Lord; earlie in the mor∣ning will I direct my praiers vnto thee, & will looke vp.
I my selfe will awake right earlie, to sing and giue praise vnto thee, with the best member that I haue.
Unto thee, my God, will I lift vp my hands & hart, in this thy holie habitation, towards the mercie-seat of thy holie temple.
In the voice of praise and thankes-giuing, among such as keepe it holie daie. For this is the daie, which Page 420 thou, O Lord, hast made, I will reioice, & be glad in it.
In this daie of thy power will I offer the free-will offerings, with an holie worship; and magnifie thee in the congregation of the people.
From the ground of my hart will I reioice, and giue thanks vnto thee my God, in the seate of the elders, for a remembrance of thy holinesse.
O let my mouth be filled with thy praise, that I may sing of thy glorie and praise, now and for euermore.
A Psalme to be vsed priuatelie before Euening praier, in the Church.
IN the euening and morning, and at noone daie will I praie, and that in∣stantlie; & he shall heare my voice.
My hart is fixed redie, O God, my hart is fixed redie; I will praise thee and thy faithfulnesse yet more & more with the best member that I haue: euen with all my hart will I thanke thee, and praise thy name for euermore.
My lips be faine to sing vnto thee, and so is my soule, whom thou hast deliuered: yea my soule shall be satis∣fied with marowe and fatnesse, when my mouth prai∣seth thee with ioifull lips.
For it is a good thing to giue thanks vnto the Lord; and to sing praises vnto thy name, O most high; to tell of thy louing kindnesse earlie in the morning, and of thy truth in the euening and night season: yea, a ioi∣full and pleasant thing it is, to be thankfull vnto thee our God alwaie.
Therefore I will sing seuen times a daie, and will praise thy mercie late in the euening, bicause of thy righteous iudgements.
As for me, I will be talking of thy worship, thy glo∣rie, Page 421 thy praise, and woonderous works from time to time. For great art thou, O Lord, and maruelous wor∣thie to be praised, and feared aboue all the gods: yea, thou canst not woorthilie be praised; for there is none end of thy greatnesse nor goodnesse.
Behold now therfore, praise the Lord all ye seruants of the Lord: ye that by night stand in the house of the Lord, euen in the middest of the courts of the house of our God.
Lift vp your hands in the sanctuarie, and praise the Lord together with me. For he is good and gratious, and his mercie endureth for euer.
Yea let euerie good man and woman sing of thy praise, O God: and speake of thine honour in thy tem∣ple, with cheerfull minds, and that without ceasing for euer, and saie:
The Lords name be praised, from the rising vp of the sunne, vnto the going downe of the same: blessed be the Lord God of Israel from euerlasting, & worlds without end,
Another preparation of the hart before euening praier in the Church.
LORD behold, mine hart is at this present readie to sing praises more and more vnto thee, and againe and againe to render vnto thee woorthie thanks here now in the assemblie of Saints. Onelie I desire thee to hallowe vs from heauen thy dwel∣ling place, & powre downe vpon vs thy holie sanctifieng spirit, which may so wholie pos∣sesse our soules, and preserue vs from all euill cogita∣tions, and motions of sinne and iniquitie, that we may hallowe thy name this euening, and euermore in all Page 422 things, flowe in thy word, render the sacrifice of praise and thankes-giuing vnto thee, and worship thee onelie in spirit and truth, as our God most mightie in heauen and earth, our righteous maker, and the worker of all goodnesse, in all such as beleeue in thee.
A cleane hart, O God, make thou in me; restore in me a willing and a right spirit; denie me not the holie Ghost. For of my selfe I can performe nothing that is good. Blesse me therefore, O benigne Lord, and indue me plentifullie with thy grace; to the intent I may offer the acceptable euening sacrifice of thankes-gi∣uing, (for nothing else verelie requirest thou) and with glad semblance imbrace and celebrate thy righteous∣nesse, espied in the releasing & forgiuing of my sinnes.
Giue mee of thy goodnesse to this end, that I may continuallie praise thy Maiestie daie and night, with mysticall Psalmes, & spirituall songs. Be thou euer∣more working through thy holie spirit in me, (which presentlie keepeth the godlie rest of the new Saboth) such things as be allowed and pleasant vnto thee; least at anie time cleauing to superstition and hypocrisie, I doo worship thee amisse: but fill my hart with grace, and stuffe it with sweetnesse of spirit, euen as my bodie is stuffed with abundance of meats. Lord rid me out of mine vngodlinesse, plucke from me mine ignorance of thee, banish my slothfulnesse of insearching thee. Compell my flesh through thy spirit to his bounden dutie and obedience, and bring to passe that I may now & alwaies applie my selfe wholie, without weari∣nesse and drinesse of mind, vnto the right sincere wor∣shipping and seruing of thee, here in thy presence. O Lord, open thou my lips, and then shall my mouth ex∣toll thy renowmed name, and publish thy praise, not with fained lips, but with a full glad hart, lustie sto∣mach, and quicke spirit, and saie with the congregati∣on: Our Father, &c. As at euening praier in the Church.
Another Meditation before Euening praier in the Church.
SEing thou hast beautified all those with a notable promise, O most mightie God, which are knit toge∣ther in the honouring of thy blessed name; so that thou wilt not onlie be present with them, but also be∣stowest excellent gifts and benefits vpon these men, whosoeuer they are that excell in sincere faith, and pure godlinesse, and haue an exceeding desire to be often in the blessed con∣gregation, in so much as there is nothing, which they more couet or desire, than to appeare diuers times in the daie before thee, in the sacred assemblies: yea it ought to be a most pleasant thing vnto vs, to celebrate thy high praises perpetuallie, and shew foorth thy maruellous works without ceasing. For the perfor∣mance whereof, godlinesse would require, that wee should not onlie doo the same in the daie time, but also in the night season. We will therefore lift vp pure hands in all places, touching the publishing of thy glo∣rious name, and render perpetuall thankes (accor∣ding to our bounden dutie) for thine vnspeakable goodnesse, and louing kindnesse extended towards vs. But seeing that this ought to be done in the most sa∣cred and holie assemblies, our earnest request is, to haue thee present heere with vs, and to bestowe thy plentifull blessings vpon thy beloued Israel. First de∣liuer vs, wee humblie beseech thee, from our heinous faults, enorme sinnes, and lewd corruptions, where∣with we haue greatlie defiled our selues. And then let our weake and feeble harts be strengthned in thy bles∣sed waie, and the withered powers of our mind (which are dried vp) watered with the holie Ghost; that we Page 424 being altogither repaired, and wholie renewed, may continuallie celebrate and praise thee, and haue a great desire to direct our praiers vnto thy mercie-seate, with a most holie intent, as Christians ought to doo.
Cause vs now, not constrained and brought there∣to by compulsion, but of a willing hart, to come before thy presence; and become true worshippers of thee: yea and such as doo thinke it a goodlie matter to spend, not onlie houres, but daies and nights; yea and all our yeares and life in the sincere seruice, and right worshipping and honouring of thee, in the sacred Church. Let nothing be so deere and pretious vnto vs, as to continue in the praises, and commendations of thy glorious name, from morning to night; praieng both publikelie and priuatelie for all other, as well as for our selues. Graunt O excellent father, that we in giuing due thanks for thy benefits, may ioifullie sing double praises to thy glorious name for euermore; that our minds, I saie, may dailie more and more bee strengthened, hartilie to confesse, couragiouslie to ex∣toll, and aboue all things to exalt thy wonderfull prai∣ses vncessantlie, through Iesus Christ our Lord and Sauiour,
A Psalme of exhortation to praier in the morning or euening.
O Come, let vs worship & fall downe, and kneele before the Lord our ma∣ker; and let vs hartilie reioice in the strength of our saluation.
Let our soules reioice, I saie, in the mercie of the Lord, and not be asha∣med to publish his praise. Let vs doo our duties betimes, both earlie and late, and he will giue vs a reward in his due time.
Page 425 For a good thing it is to giue thanks vnto the Lord, and to tell of his louing kindnesse earlie in the mor∣ning.
O come therefore, praise the Lord with me, and let vs magnifie his name together.
Bring hither the booke, take the Psalter, and sing vnto the Lord a new song. Let vs sing praises, I saie, lustilie vnto him, with a good courage, and shew our selues glad in him with Psalmes; euen now in the time appointed, and vpon our solemne feast-daie.
For great is the Lord, and highlie to be praised in the Citie of our God, euen vpon his holie hill of Zion.
Another Psalme, exhorting all creatures to praise God.
O Praise the Lord of heauen yee An∣gels of his, ye Saincts that excell in strength, and fulfill his comman∣dements, yee seruants of his that harken to the voice of his words, and doo his pleasure. Praise him in the height ye children of Zion, and be ioifull in your King with glorie.
For God is verie greatlie to be feared in the coun∣sell of his Saincts; and to be had in reuerence of all them that are about him.
Praise him all yee heauens, and ye waters that bee aboue the heauens. O God, the verie heauens shall praise thy woonderous works; and thy truth in the congregation of the Saincts.
Yea, let heauen and earth praise thee; the Sea, and all that moueth therein.
O sing vnto the Lord all the whole earth, woorship him, and stand in awe of his iudgements ye multitude Page 426 of Isles.
Praise the Lord, O Ierusalem; praise thy God, O Zion.
Praise the name of the Lord, O yee seruants of the Lord; yee that by daie or by night stand in the house of the Lord, euen in the courts of the house of our God.
O all yee righteous that loue and seeke the Lord, and be true-harted towards him; praise his holie name, and magnifie him all yee seed of Israel that feare and dread his Maiestie.
Praise the Lord also all ye heathen, and nations of the world; worship you him, and glorifie his name. For he is great, passing all praise.
Praise the Lord, O ye Kings of the earth; Princes, and all Iudges of the world: yea, worship him all yee gods. For he is higher than the heauens, and far ex∣alted aboue all gods.
O yee kindreds of the people, ascribe vnto the Lord the worship, power, and honour due vnto his name; bring presents, and come into his courts with praise.
Let the people praise thee, O God; yea let all the people praise thee: both yong men and maids, old men and children; let them all remember thy holie name, and declare thy power from one generation to ano∣ther, world without end.
O speake good of the Lord all yee works of the Lord in all places of his dominion.
Let euerie thing that hath breath, praise the Lord. For his name onlie is most excellent, and his praise a∣boue heauen and earth.
Praise the Lord, O my soule; and all that is within me, praise his holie name.
My mouth shall speake the praises of the Lord; and let all flesh giue thanks vnto his holie name for euer and euer.
A Psalme of Gods presence in the Church.
THE Lord hath chosen Zion to be an habitation for himselfe, he hath longed for hir; saieng:
This shall be my rest for euer, here will I dwell. For I haue a delight therein.
Behold, the Tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them; and they shall be his people, and God himselfe shall be their God with them.
The Lord is in his holie Temple, euen among thou∣sands of thine Angels, as in the holie place of Sinai.
Gods seate is in heauen, the Lord is in the midst of the holie place; euen of the Tabernacle of the most high.
This is Gods hill, euen an high hill, in the which it pleaseth him to dwell; yea the Lord will abide in it for euer.
As the hilles stand about Ierusalem; euen so stan∣deth the Lord round about his people, from this time foorth for euermore.
Another Psalme of the beautie of Gods house, and the soules delight to be therein.
O GOD, wonderfull art thou in thy holie places, euen thou God of Is∣rael.
It is well seene, O God, how thou goest: how thou my God and King goest in the Sanctuarie.
The singers go before, the musi∣cians follow after: in the midst are the virgins plaieng with the timbrels.
Page 428 Thou Lord hast giuen thy word plentiouslie, and great is the companie of the preachers.
The Lord is King, he sitteth betweene the Cheru∣bins, the Lord is great in Zion, and high aboue all people.
Thou, O God, art gone vp on high, thou hast led cap∣tiuitie captiue, and receiued gifts for men: yea euen for thine enimies, that thou, Lord, mightest dwell among them.
Righteousnesse and equitie are the habitation of thy seate, mercie and truth shall go before thy face.
Glorie and worship are before thee, power and ho∣nour are in thy sanctuarie.
This therefore shall be my resting place; here will I dwell, O Lord: euen in the temple and tabernacle of the mightie God of Israel. For I haue a delight therein.
Lord, here is verie good being for vs. For such as bee planted in the house of the Lord, shall flourish in the courts of the house of our God.
They shall bring foorth more fruit in their age, and shall be fat, and well liking; that they may shew how true thou my Lord and strength art, and that there is no vnrighteousnesse in thee.
Yea, blessed is the man, whom thou choosest and re∣ceiuest vnto thee: he shall dwell in thy courts, and shall be satisfied with the pleasures of thy house, euen of thy holie temple.
Blessed, I saie, are they that dwell in thy house; they will be alwaie praising thee. For in thy temple doth euerie man speake of thine honour; and that bicause holinesse becommeth thine house, O God, for euer.
This therefore shall be my resting place, euen here in thy temple will I dwell. For it is a good thing for me to be here continuallie in thy tabernacle, before thee my God for euer.
Page 429 Yea, here doo I wait for thy mercie and louing kind∣nesse, O God; euen in the mids of thy temple. O when wilt thou come vnto mee! that I may walke in thy house with a perfect hart, and praise thy name for euer,
A psalme for the prosperitie of the Church, and that all people may praise and blesse the Lord.
REturne, O Lord, to thy many thou∣sands of Israel. Arise now, I saie, to come into thy resting place, thou and the arke of thy strength, when the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms also to serue the Lord.
O thou shepheard of Israel, thou that sittest vpon the Cherubins, be fauourable and gratious vnto Zion: build it vp, and let thy glorie and worship appeere therein, throughout all generations.
Decke hir priests with health, and hir Saints shall reioice and sing.
Let the priests be clothed with the white reines of righteousnesse, and let thy Saints sing Psalmes with ioifulnesse.
Giue vs thy word still plentiouslie, and let the com∣panie of the godlie preachers be great.
Let none touch thine annointed ones, nor doo thy prophets anie harme.
O Lord saue thy people, and giue thy blessing vnto thine inheritance: feed them, and set them vp for euer.
Let the congregation of the people come about thee, O God; that they may offer the sacrifice of righteous∣nesse, and shew foorth thy praises within the ports of the daughter of Zion.
In this daie of thy power let the people make their Page 430 humble supplication before thee, and offer the free-will offrings with an holie worship.
In the Temple let euerie man speake of thine honor, & euerie good man sing of thy praise without ceasing.
O let the nations reioice and be glad: let the people praise thee, O God; yea let all the people praise thee, and all creatures both in heauen and earth blesse thee, and saie:
Blessed be thou, O Lord God of our fathers. For thou art praise and honor-worthie; yea and to be ma∣gnified for euermore.
Blessed be the holie name of thy glorie. For it is wor∣thie to be praised and magnified in all worlds.
Blessed be thou, O God, in the holie Temple of thy glorie. For aboue all things thou art to be praised, yea and more than worthie to be magnified for euer.
Blessed be thou in the throne of thy kingdome. For aboue all thou art worthie to be praised, and well spo∣ken of, and to be more than magnified for euer.
Blessed be thou that sittest vpon the Cherubims, & lookest through the deepe. For thou art worthie to bee praised, and aboue all to be magnified for euer.
Blessed be thou in the firmament of heauen. For thou art praise and honor-worthie for euer.
Blessed be the Lord God, euen the God of Israel, which onlie doth woonderous things: and blessed bee the name of his Maiestie for euer, and the earth shall be filled with thy Maiestie: Amen, Amen.
Blessed be the name of the Lord, from this time foorth for euermore.
Blessed, I saie, be the Lord God of Israel, from e∣uerlasting, and worlds without end: and let all the people saie Amen, Amen.
Blessing, and glorie, and wisdome, and thanks, and honour, and power, and might be vnto our God for e∣uermore:
A praier to be vsed at your first comming into the Church, for a pure and cleane soule.
SEeing that by the good motion and happie conduction of thy holy spirit, O gratious God, I am now entred into this thy holy house the Church, and most sacred place on earth, to worship thee; and forasmuch as ho∣lines apperteineth to thee, O Lord; for thou art holie, and nothing vn∣holie may appeare before thee: graunt that both now at this present, and so oft heereafter as I shall enter into this holie place and Tabernacle of the congre∣gation, and appeare before thee; I may be throughlie sanctified, both bodilie and ghostlie, by the diuine gra∣ces of thy spirit, the better therein to serue and wor∣ship thee. The which thing that I may euen now this daie, the better accomplish and doo, according to thy will (as I hartilie desire) and to the glorie of thy name, and the full discharge of my christian dutie: I most entirelie beseech thy Maiestie, first to sanctifie, purifie, cleanse, make happie, and keepe holie my wret∣ched soule and sinfull bodie; the posts whereof, deere father, are sprinkled with the pretious bloud of thy deere Sonne, who most deerelie bought them. O com∣fortable ghest of the soule, leaue not our houses deso∣late; cease not to fill vs by thy continuall presence, with thy life and righteousnesse. Dresse, cleanse, and sweepe the foreletten cottage once againe I saie, good Lord, with the beesome of thy celestiall grace, and hea∣uenlie felicitie, from all the pollution and filth of sinne and wickednesse. Once againe, O Christ, vouchsafe to cast out of the house of my soule, that vncleane spirit, and foule feend Sathan, mine old ghest and enimie, with the finger of God; and when he is cast out of me, Page 432 giue me grace to watch still continuallie, by hartie and earnest praier, that he enter not againe into me. For being once mine old ghest, he knoweth euerie hole and corner of my house. Therefore grant me grace to watch continuallie, I saie, O Lord, by feruent praier, and vertuous works proceeding from a firme faith; least he returne into the house, from whence hee was cast out, and finding it emptie, swept, and garnished, he go and take vnto himselfe seuen other foule spirits, worsse than himselfe, and they enter in also, and dwell there with him, and so mine end be woorsse than my beginning; which God forbid. Oh suffer not the holie house, Lord, of thy Diuinitie, and Temple of the holie Ghost, my bodie and soule I meane, cleansed with thy bloud, and decked with thy righteousnesse, to bee by my mortall enimies defiled, spoiled, or made a cage of vncleane birds, a dungeon of diuels, a den of theeues, a hell of wicked spirits, and a sinke of sinne, through de∣lectation in sinne, and infidelitie. Withdrawe not thy hand from me: let me not returne vnto my vomit like the dog: let not mine end be worse than my beginning, as hapned to Caine, Saule, Iudas, Arius, and manie mo. But as by thy great mercie, my body and soule are made the temple & tabernacle of ye holie spirit: so by the same thy rich mercie, & infinite goodnes, grant that the same may now become thy holie habitation, & sacred seate of euerlasting glorie; and so be purified, cleansed, throughlie sanctified, and made cleane by thy diuine in∣spiration, and gratious presence: that no heapes of soile, dregs of dust, or remnants of filth be to be found in any priuie or secret corner of this thy spiritual temple, to offend ye celestiall eies of thy diuine maiestie, so shall thy holie Hall, which is my clensed soule, in all reue∣rence, deuotion, & godlie worship, this daie and euer re∣sound in the Church, & all places of thy dominion, with thy perpetuall praises, to thine eternall glorie,
Another praier to serue God sincerelie in the Church.
O LORD God our celestiall Fa∣ther, whose fidelitie and truth is stablished in the high heauens, a∣mong thy chosen beleeuers, who al∣so art woonderfull in the congrega∣tion of the faithfull, and most migh∣tie, of all power, and present eue∣rie-where, beholding all things done in all places on earth. Forasmuch as thou, O gratious God, hast chosen this house, that thy name might be called vpon therein, and that it should be an house of praier and petition for thy people; merciful∣lie promising therewithall, that wheresoeuer two or three be gathered together in thy name, there thou wouldest be in the middest of them, and whatsoeuer they (beleeuing) asked of thee, it should be done vnto them. Behold, we therefore, whome by thy grace thou hast elected to be thy people and heritage, and with whome thou hast made an eternall couenant and pro∣mise to helpe, heare, assist and confirme in all goodnesse, righteousnesse, and holinesse; doo heere now at this present, through the motion of thy good spirit, assemble and gather our selues together in thy name, with one accord, to make our common supplications vnto thee: and according to our bounden dutie, with one mind and mouth, in spirit and truth, to laud and magnifie thy holie name and maiestie. Humblie beseeching thee, O Lord, to haue mercie vpon vs, miserable sinners, to purge vs and iustifie vs through faith, from all our of∣fences old and new: to inflame and lighten the lamps of our harts with the oile of sanctification, which is thy holie spirit: and so there-through to sanctifie our soules, to prepare our harts, and dispose all our mem∣bers Page 434 wholie to true pietie, godlinesse and deuotion; that we may be woorthie continuallie to lift vp in this holie place of thy glorious presence, and diuine habita∣tion, pure harts, innocent hands, and most feruent praiers vnto thee in heauen.
Grant also, O gratious God, that we with one hart and voice, in all holinesse and godlinesse, trembling, dread, Christian reuerence, humble obedience, spiritu∣all worship, and diuine seruice, may incessantlie giue all honour and glorie vnto thee, and for euer to cele∣brate thy most holie name and Maiestie, in this thy holie temple, as it apperteineth: euen by offering vp dutifullie vnto thy diuine Maiestie, the most sweet and acceptable sacrifice of broken and contrite harts, of zealous and true repentance, of humble and vnfeined confession, of pure and incessant praier, and of most woorthie and condigne lauds and praises: that so wee may continue blessed in thy holie mountaine for euer, and in the end, according to thy faithfull promise, ob∣taine euerlasting life, through Iesus Christ our Lord,
How the soule should rightlie worship and praise the Lord in all places.
O GOD, the true and the souereigne life; of whom, & in whom all things doo liue, whatsoeuer things doo liue trulie, and in happie state. O God, euen goodnesse and goodlinesse, from whom, through whom, & in whom are all good & goodlie things, which art good and goodlie. God, whose faith quickeneth, hope erecteth, and loue linketh vs. God, who hast commanded vs to praie vnto thee, and makest thy selfe to be found, and openest to him which knocketh. God, whom none seeketh, but the admoni∣shed; Page 435 and no man findeth, but the purged. God, whom to knowe is life; whom to serue, is to reigne; & whom to loue, is the saluation and ioie of the soule. Thee, both with my lips, and with mine hart, and with all my strength I doo praise, blesse and worship. To thy clemencie and goodnesse I doo yeeld humble thanks, for all thy benefits; and to thy Maiestie doo I sing, holie, holie, holie.
O blessed Trinitie, I beseech thee, vouchsafe to come vnto me, and to make me a meet temple for thine holi∣nesse. I doo praie the Father, through the Sonne; I praie the Sonne, through the Father; I praie the ho∣lie Spirit, by the Father and the Sonne; that all wic∣kednesse may be set far awaie from me, and that all the holie vertues may be implanted within me.
O infinite God, of whom, through whom, and in whom are all things made, both visible, and inuisible; which inclosest thine outward works, and fillest thine inward; gouernest them aboue, and bearest them be∣lowe; keepe me the worke of thine hands, which trust in thee, and hope onlie in thy mercie. Keepe me, I be∣seech thee, both here and euerie-where; now and al∣waie; within and without; before and behind; aboue and beneath; round about: so that there be no place for the snares of the enimie against me.
Thou art God almightie, keeper and protector of all that trust in thee; without whom none is in safetie, no man is free from danger. Thou art God, and beside thee there is none other, either in heauen aboue, or in earth belowe; which doost great things, and vnsearch∣able, and maruellous things without number. Meete it is therefore that thou be praised, that thou be hono∣red, that thou be magnified with commendations.
To thee, the whole troupe of Angels; to thee the heauens and the powers doo sing, and continuallie yeeld praises, as creatures to their Creator; seruants Page 436 to their Lord, souldiers to their King. Euerie creature doth extoll, and euerie soule doth glorifie thee the holie and vndefiled Trinitie. To thee the holie and humble men of hart, to thee the spirits and soules of the righ∣teous, to thee doo all the supernall citizens, together with all the orders of blessed spirits yeeld humble praise and glorie, and exalt thee aboue all things for euer. O Lord, gloriouslie and honourablie doo those heauenlie citizens adorne thee with praises. Man al∣so, the most excellent among thy creatures, doth mag∣nifie thee: yea, and I too, a miserable sinner, doo excee∣dinglie desire to praise thee; and greatlie doo I loue to loue thee aboue all things.
O my God, my life, my strength, and my praise; giue me grace to praise thee. Put thy light in my hart, and thy word into my mouth; that both my hart may thinke vpon thy glorie, and my tongue sing and speake out thy praises euerie daie. But for as much as praise is not seemelie in the mouth of a sinner, and I am a woman of polluted lips; purge mine hart, I beseech thee, from all iniquitie; sanctifie me both within and without, O almightie sanctifier, and make me worthie to sound foorth thy praise. Receiue in good part, from the hand of the hart, and from the loue of the mind; re∣ceiue, I praie thee, the sacrifice of my lips; and let it be acceptable in thy sight, and ascend vp vnto thee, like a sweete smelling sauour,
MY soule praise thou the Lord; and all that is within me praise his ho∣lie name. My soule praise thou the Lord, and forget not all his bene∣fits. Praise the Lord all yee his works, in all places of his domini∣on. My soule praise thou the Lord. Praise we the Lord, whom Angels Page 437 praise, dominions adore, powers doo reuerence, to whom the Cherubins and Seraphins continuallie doo crie, Holie, holie, holie. Ioine we therefore our voi∣ces to the voices of the holie Angels; and according to our abilitie, let vs praise the God which we both haue. For they, whose eies euermore be fixed vpon the Lord, whom they behold not through a glasse darklie, but face vnto face, they doo most purelie, and without cea∣sing praise the Lord.
O Lord, that immortall people of thine Angels doo praise thee; and the celestiall powers doo magnifie thy name, who haue no need either to read this our scrip∣ture, or to seeke after the knowledge of thee the holie and glorious Trinitie. For they alwaies behold thy face, where they read without syllables of time, what thine eternall pleasure is, they read, they choose, and they loue, yea alwaies they read, and what they read they forget not. By choosing, and louing, they read this constancie of thy counsell; and their booke shall at no time be shut and folded, bicause thy selfe art, and wilt euerlastinglie be this to them.
O much blessed are those heauenlie powers, that can religiouslie and purelie, with an exceeding delight, and vnspeakable ioie, magnifie thee with praises. Thence they praise, whence they reioice; forsomuch as alwaies they behold that, which offereth them continuall occa∣sion, both to praise and reioice. But we, pressed downe with the weight of flesh, and placed far awaie from thy countenance, in this exile, and distracted through varieties of the world, we (alas) are not able woorthi∣lie to praise thee, through faith. We praise thee not of perfect knowledge, but these angelicall spirits praise thee of knowledge, not through faith. For our flesh is the cause why we praise thee, otherwise than they doo. Notwithstanding, albeit we sing praises to thee after diuers sorts, yet thou art but one God, Creator of all Page 438 things, to whom is offered the sacrifice of praise, both in heauen and in earth. But one daie we shall come vnto their companie, with whom alwaies we shall see thee, and praise thee without ceasing.
Now then, O Lord, grant that whiles I doo liue in this fraile bodie, both mine hart and my tongue, and all my bones may glorifie thee, and saie: Lord, who is like vnto thee? Let thine holie memorie, and thy bles∣sed sweetnesse possesse my whole soule, and rauish me with desire of inuisible things. Let my soule, I beseech thee, passe from visible vnto inuisible, from terrestriall vnto heauenlie, from transitorie things vnto eternall; let it passe, I saie, and see thy woonderfull vision. Thou art God almightie, three in persons, yet but one in the substance of the Godhead, whom we serue and wor∣ship: namelie, the Father vnbegotten, the Sonne onlie begotten of the Father, the holie Spirit both proceeding from and remaining in them both, an holie & glorious Trinitie, one God almightie; which when we were not, didst mightilie make vs: and when tho∣rough our owne default we were lost, mercifullie and maruellouslie hadst deliuered vs.
Oh suffer vs not to prooue either vngratefull for so great benefits, or vnwoorthie so manifold mercies. Unto thee doo I praie, sue, and beseech; increase my faith, increase my hope, yea and increase my loue also. Through the same thy goodnesse make vs to be euer∣more stable in faith, and fruitfull in all good works, that by a right faith, and works agreeable vnto faith, we may come through thy mercie vnto euerlasting life, where seeing thy perfect and full glorie, euen as it is, we may worship thy Maiestie; and being made woor∣thie to behold thy glorie, may sing:
Glorie to the Father, who hath made vs.
Glorie to the Sonne, who hath redeemed vs.
Glorie to the holie Ghost, that hath sanctified vs.
Page 439 Glorie to the souereigne and blessed Trinitie, whose works are vnseparable, and whose kingdome hath none end. Unto thee belongeth all praise, all commen∣dation, all honour, blessing and loue. Glorie, power, and might be vnto thee, our God, for euermore,
Another praier verie forceable to mooue the mind vnto the praises of God.
O Iesus, who art our redemption, our loue, and desire; GOD of God, helpe me thy seruant. Upon thee doo I call, vnto thee doo I crie from the verie bottome of mine hart: for thee doo I call into my soule, O enter thereinto, and ioine it to thee, that thou maist possesse the same without spot or wrinkle. For a most cleane Lord must haue a cleane habitation. O then sanctifie me thy ves∣sell, which thou hast made; purge me from all wicked∣nesse, fill me with thy grace, and being replenished, keepe me so, that I may be a meete temple for thy dwelling, both here and foreuer.
O most good, most gratious, louing, deere, mightie, desired, pretious, amiable, and glorious God, thou art to me sweeter than honie, whiter than milke or snowe, more pleasant than Nectar, more pretious than gold and iewels, and deerer than all the wealth and promo∣tions of the world. What doo I saie, O my God, mine onlie hope, and so infinite mercie? What doo I saie, O happie and quiet sweetnesse? What doo I saie, when I saie these things? I saie what I am able, but I saie not all that I should. Would to God I could saie as the melodious quiers of Angels doo saie!
O how willinglie would I powre out my selfe who∣lie in thy praises! How deuoutlie without ceasing would I sing foorth those Psalmes of heauenlie mu∣sicke, Page 440 vnto the laud and praise of thy name, in the mid∣dest of the congregation! Notwithstanding, because I cannot doo so, shall I be still? Wo to them which talke not of thee, who openest the mouth of the dumbe, and makest the tongues of babes eloquent. Wo to them which talke not of thee; for they which babble much, are dumbe when they sing not thy praises. Who can praise thee woorthilie ynough, O vnutterable po∣wer, and wisedome of the father! And albeit I cannot find words, wherewithall I maie sufficientlie expresse the almightie and all-skilfull word, yet vntill thou call me vnto thee, where I may praise thee as I should, and ought; I will saie what I am able. Wherefore, mine humble request is, that thou wouldest respect, not that which I now doo saie, but that which I desire to saie. For indeed I doo mightilie desire to speake of thee, as I ought, and as becommeth me, bicause to thee praise, to thee Psalmes, to thee honor and glorie is due.
A complaint that we be not moued nor pricked in our contemplations and praiers, like as the An∣gels be, which tremble at the sight of GOD.
PArdon mee, O LORD, pardon mee, mercifullie forgiue mee, and haue mercie vpon mee: spare mine ignorance, and my great vnperfect∣nesse: doo not reprooue me as a rash woman, bicause I dare be so bold, which am but thy seruant. But would to God I were either a good seruant, or none vnprofitable or euill seruant! And therefore am I an euill woman, because I praise, blesse and worship thee, not as I ought to doo, which art our God almightie, terrible and verie much to be feared: I worship thee, I saie, without contrition of Page 441 hart, and without a well of teares. For if so be that the Angels, when they worship and praise thee, doo tremble, beeing fulfilled with maruellous gladnesse: I which am a sinner, whiles I stand before thee, saieng praises, and offering sacrifice, why am I not affraid in my hart? why am I not pale in my countenance? why doo not my lips quake, and tremble? why is not all my bodie afraid? and why doo I not mourne and bewaile before thee, after such a sort, that teares might spring out of mine eies? I would faine, but I am not able, bicause I cannot doo that which I desire to doo. This maketh mee trulie woonderfullie to maruell, that I am no more mooued, when I see with the eies of my faith, thee which art so fearefull.
But who can doo anie thing without the helpe of thy grace? Except thou make our stonie harts to relent, we of our selues are not able to mollifie them. For all our helth dependeth vpon thy great mercie. O wretch that I am! How is my soule made without anie fee∣ling or perceiuerance; that it is not afraid with ouer∣much feare, whiles it standeth before God, and singeth to him his owne praises? Alas, how is my hart so hard∣ned, that mine eies doo not gush out great flouds of teares without ceassing; when I, which am but a ser∣uant or bondwoman, doo commune, & talke in my Lord & maisters presence? Yea a woman with God, a crea∣ture with a Creator. I that am made of the slime of the earth, doo speake with him that made all things of nothing.
Put me before thee, O Lord; and whatsoeuer I perceiue of my selfe, in the secrets of my hart, I doo not keepe it close from thy gratious eares. Thou art rich in mercie, and liberall in rewards. Giue me of thy goods, that with them I may serue thee. For with no∣thing else can we serue or please thee, but with thine owne gifts, which thou hast vouchsafed to bestowe Page 442 vpon vs. Fasten, I beseech thee, thy feare in my flesh. Let my hart reioice and be glad to feare thy name. Would God my sinfull soule feared thee so much, as that holie man, the which said: I alwaies feared God, as though it were great swelling flouds should come and tumble vpon me.
O God the giuer of all good things, giue me among thy praises, a well of teares, with the purenesse of hart and reioicing of mind; that I louing thee per∣fectlie, and worthilie praising thee, may feele, taste, and fauour, in the palate of my hart, how sweete and plea∣sant thou art, O Lord, as it is written: Doo ye taste and see how sweet and delectable the Lord is. Blessed is the man that putteth his trust in him. Blessed is that people which knoweth glad and ioifull praising. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee, in whose hart are thy waies, which going through the vale of miserie, vseth it for a well. Blessed are the cleane in hart, bicause they shall see God. Blessed are they that dwell in the house of the Lord, they shall praise thee world without end,
A verie deuout praier for grace to praise God, and to be thankfull for his benefits.
O LORD Iesus Christ, which art the word of the father, which ca∣mest into this world to saue sin∣ners: I beseech thee, by the most lo∣uing bowels of thy mercy, to amend and repaire my life. Make better my deeds, take thou the ordering of my manners. Take from mee that that noieth & hurteth me, and displeaseth thee: and giue me that which thou knowest will please thee, and profit me. Who can make cleane that which is con∣ceiued of an vncleane seed, but thou alone? Thou art Page 443 the God almightie, of infinite pietie; which dooest iu∣stifie and make righteous, euen those that are wicked men; and raisest againe to life them that were dead in sinne; thou changest sinners, and they are, while they liue here, no deadlie or damnable sinners.
Take awaie therefore from me whatsoeuer is in me that pleaseth not thee. For thine eies doo see much vn∣perfectnesse in me. Laie the hand, I beseech thee, of thy pitie, on me, & whatsoeuer offendeth the eies of thy pi∣etie, remoue it from me. In thy sight is both my health & my disease: the one I beseech thee to preserue, the o∣ther to cure. Doo thou heale me, O Lord, and I shall be healed: do thou make me safe, & I shall be saued. Thou, I meane, which dooest make whole them that be disea∣sed, and dooest preserue them that be cured; which on∣lie with a becke dooest restore and repaire things that be decaied, and fallen into ruine. For if thou wilt vouchsafe to sowe anie good seed in the feeld of my hart, of necessitie thou must plucke vp first, with the hand of thy pittie, the thornes of vices which be in it.
O most gratious, most gentle, most louing, desired, amiable, and louelie of all others; powre in my hart, I beseech thee, so great plentie of delectation in thee, that I may desire no earthlie or carnall thing, nor yet thinke vpon them; but that I may loue thee alone, that I may haue thee onlie in my hart, & in my mouth. Write with thy finger in my brest, the delectable re∣membrance of thy sweet name, and so, that it may not be blotted out with anie forgetfulnesse. Write thy will in the tables of mine hart, and also thy iustificati∣ons; that I may alwaies, and in euerie place haue thee, O Lord, before mine eies, and in my sight.
Inflame my mind with that fire, which thou diddest send into the earth, and willedst it to be kindled, that I might offer vnto thee dailie, with teares, a sacrifice of a troubled spirit, and a repentant hart. O sweet Page 444 Christ, O good Iesu, euen according vnto my desire, and euen as I hartilie require thee with my whole mind, giue me thy holie and chast loue, which may re∣plenish and keepe me, and also fullie possesse me. Giue me an euident signe and token of thy loue, euen a flo∣wing well of teares, which will continuallie runne, that those teares may somewhat testifie thy loue in me; that they may shew foorth, and declare how much my soule loueth thee, whiles for the great delectation it hath in the sweetnes of thy loue, it may not refraine from shedding teares.
O good Lord, I call to my remembrance sometimes that vertuous woman Hanna, which came to the Ta∣bernacle to praie, that God would send hir a sonne; of whom the scripture maketh mention, that hir coun∣tenance, after hir teares and praiers, was not againe changed, or altered. But when I thinke vpon so great vertue, constancie, and stedfastnesse of that woman, I doo blush, and am vexed, with sorrowe, and confounded with shame; bicause I a wretch, doo perceiue my selfe to be fallen ouermuch from thee. For if that good wo∣man did weepe, after such a sort, and continued so in weeping, which did search for nothing else but a sonne, how ought my sinfull soule to mourne, and to persist and abide in weeping, that seeketh and looueth God, and hath a desire to come vnto him? How ought such a soule to mourne and weepe, which seeketh God daie and night, which will loue nothing but Christ? My teares now trulie should be made meate vnto me daie and night.
Looke vpon me therefore, O Lord, and take pittie on me; bicause the dolours and sorrowes of my hart are manie in number. Giue me thy heauenlie consolation, and doo not despise nor cast awaie a sinfull soule, for the which thou didst die. Giue me inward teares, I beseech thee, from the bottome of my hart, which may wash a∣waie Page 445 the spots of my sinnes. Replenish my soule al∣waies with heauenlie delectation and myrth, that I may obteine some little portion or part in thy king∣dome; although not amongst the perfect men, whose steps I cannot followe, yet at the least among the reli∣gious women and inferiour sort.
And heere now the maruellous deuotion of another woman, called Marie Magdalen, commeth into my mind, which with vertuous loue, and godlie affection, did seeke thee lieng in the sepulchre; which, when thy Disciples went awaie, and departed from thee, did re∣maine with thee hir selfe; which sate there sad and so∣rowfull, weeping long and verie much; and when she did arise, she searched with a diligent eie, and with ma∣nie teares the corners of the sepulchre, which was left emptie, if she might espie thee out in anie place, whom she with a feruent desire sought. Yea and moreouer, she went againe and againe to the sepulchre, but that was not inough vnto hir, neither did it satisfie hir de∣sire. For the grace of a good worke, is to perseuere and continue in the same. And bicause she did loue more than other, and that in louing she wept, and in wee∣ping she searched, and in searching she continued: ther∣fore was it thy pleasure, that she should first find thee, see thee, and talke with thee before all other. And not onelie this, but also shee was a tidings-bearer of thy glorious resurrection, vnto thy Disciples, when thou didst command and bid hir, saieng: Go, and tell my brethren, that they go vnto Galilie; there they shall see me, &c.
Seeing therfore that that deuout woman did weepe after such a sort, and continued in weeping, which did seeke thee that wast aliue among the dead, and touched thee with the hand of hir faith; how ought a soule to mourne and to continue in mourning, which belee∣ueth in thee, & with hir mouth doth acknowledge thee, Page 446 to be hir redeemer, that sittest now in heauen, and reignest euerie where? How much therefore ought such a soule to mourne and weepe, which loueth thee with all hir hart, and with hir whole desire dooth co∣uet to see thee?
Oh onlie refuge, the onlie hope of wretches; vnto whom no man or woman needeth at anie time to praie, without hope of mercie: grant vnto me this grace, for thy sake, and for thy holie name sake, that as oft as I thinke vpon thee, as oft as I speake of thee, write of thee, read of thee, confer of thee; as oft as euer I re∣member thee, stand before thee, offer vp praises, praiers, and sacrifice vnto thee; so oft I may weepe abundant∣lie with teares in thy sight, so that my teares may be to me in stead of bread daie and night.
Thou trulie, O King of glorie, and maister of all ver∣tues, hast taught vs with thy word, and with thine ex∣ample, to mourne and weepe, whereas thou saiest: Blessed be they that mourne, for they shall be comfor∣ted. Thou didst weepe for thy frend Lazarus that was dead: and didst let teares fall downe plentiouslie for the Citie, which should perish. I beseech thee, O good Iesu, by those most pretious teares, and by all thy mercies and pities, wherewith thou didst vouchsafe maruellouslie to helpe and succour vs that were lost, giue me the grace to weepe, and to be earnestlie repen∣tant for my sinnes; which grace my soule desireth and coueteth verie much: and except it come of thy gift, I cannot haue it, but by the holie Ghost, which dooth mollifie the hard harts of sinners, and prouoketh them to weeping.
Giue me the grace of teares, like as thou gauest to our forefathers and mothers, whose examples wee ought to followe; that I may bewaile my selfe in all my life, like as they did bewaile themselues daie and night. Giue me the deaw of thy grace from aboue, and Page 447 also a deaw of teares beeneth: that my teares may be vnto me in stead of bread daie and night: and that I may be made in thy sight, O Lord my God, by the fire of thy prouocation, a fat & acceptable sacrifice. Make me to be mortified and killed vpon the altar of mine hart, and that I may be receiued of thee, as a fat and a sweet smelling sacrifice. Giue vnto me, O good Lord, a plentifull, flowing, and cleere well of teares, in the which I may wash continuallie this fowle and spotted sacrifice. For although I haue offered vp my selfe who∣lie vnto thee, by the helpe of thy grace: yet neuerthe∣lesse, in manie things I offend thee dailie, bicause of my great fragilitie and weakenesse.
Giue me therefore the grace of teares, and continu∣all repentance, O blessed God: and most especiallie through the great sweetnesse of thy loue, and the re∣membrance of thy mercies, prepare this table for thy seruant, in thy sight; and giue me power, that as oft as I list I may be satisfied of it. Grant vnto me for thy goodnesse and pittie, that this thy cup, replenished and filled full, may satisfie my thrist, that my spirit may co∣uet thee, and that my mind may burne in thy loue, for∣getting all vanitie and miserie.
Heare, O my God; heare, O light of mine eies, thou that art the stirrer vp and quickener of my dull eares, heare what I desire and aske: and giue me grace to aske that which thou hearest. O pittifull Lord, which art woont to be easilie intreated, be not hard to be intreated of me, bicause of my sinnes, but for thy goodnesse receiue the praiers of thy seruant, and grant me the effect of my petition and desire,
A godlie and diuine Meditation of the ioies of the celestiall pa∣ra dise, to be vsed at conuenient times in the church, that is, either before, or after publike seruice: for to that all men present ought to be attentiue.
O My soule, let vs returne to the hea∣uenlie citie, wherin we be registred, & made free citizens. For like as we be fellowe-citizens of the Saints, and houshold-meanie of God; and like as we be the heires of God, and coheires with Christ: so let vs a lit∣tle consider the happie roialtie of our citie, so far foorth as it is possible for vs to consider it. Let vs saie with the Prophet, O how glorious things are spoken of thee thou citie of God! For thou art the dwelling place of all them that reioice, the ioie of the whole earth is founded vpon thee. There is not in thee anie age, nor miserie of age: there is not in thee anie maimed person, anie lame man, anie crooke backe, nor anie mishapen bodie. For all be growne vp to per∣fect men, after the full measure of the age of Christ.
What blesseder thing can there be, than such a life; where there is no feare of pouertie, nor weakenesse of diseases? No man is harmed there, no man is displea∣sed there, no man enuieth there. There is no burning of couetousnesse, no desire of meate, no ambitious su∣ing for honour and authoritie. There is no dread of di∣uell, no snares of feends, no feare of hell fire. There is no death, neither of bodie nor of soule: but pleasant life assured of immortalitie. Then shall there be no mi∣series, then shall there be no debates: but all things shall be at agreemeut, bicause all the Saints shall agree in one. Peace and mirth hold all things togither, all things are there calme and quiet.
There the seuen lamps of Gods spirits are still bur∣ning, before the throne of God: and there is continu∣all Page 449 light, not such as is now heere, but so much the brighter, as it is much happier. For as we read, that citie shall need no sunne, nor moone, nor light artificiall, because the Lord almightie shall shine in it; and the Lambe, as a lampe, shall be the light of it; where the Saints and wise Uirgins shall shine as the stars, for euer without end: and such as haue taught manie in the waie of righteousnesse, shall be as the brightnesse of the skie. Where there shall be no night, no darke∣nesse, no meeting of clouds, no painfulnesse of heate or cold: but there shall be such a temperatnesse as neuer eie hath seene, eare heard, nor hart of anie man concei∣ued. There shall be no companie, sauing onlie of them that are accounted woorthie to enioie the same, whose names are written in the booke of life.
But yet it is far aboue all these things, to be in fel∣lowship with the companies of Angels, Archangels, and all the heauenlie Powers, to behold the Patri∣archs and Prophets, to see the Euangelists and Apo∣stles, to woonder at the hosts of Martyrs and Confes∣sors, to view the companies of Uirgins, and to see all the Saints; yea and also to see our owne parents and kindred. Glorious are these things, O my soule; but much more glorious is it to behold the present counte∣tenance of God.
O happie plesantnesse; O plesant happinesse, to see the Saints, to be with the Saints, and to be a Saint! Yea, a passing excellent glorie shall it be, when we shall see God in himselfe; and when we shall both see, and haue him in our selues for euer and euer, of whom we shall neuer haue seene ynough.
O my soule, let vs thinke vpon this, I saie, with a diligent mind; let vs long after this with our whole hart, let vs sigh hartilie, desire earnestlie, and wish continuallie, that we may soone come vnto them, vnto that citie aboue, whereof so glorious things are spo∣ken, Page 450 and wherein is the habitation of all that reioice,
Another diuine Meditation, of the happinesse of the soules that are with God, especiallie to be vsed, when you haue sung a Psalme, after a funerall Sermon.
HAppie is the soule, which being let loose from the earthlie prison, flieth vp freelie into heauen, and there be∣holdeth thee hir most sweete Lord face to face, and is no more disquie∣ted with anie feare of death, but re∣ioiceth in the euerlastingnesse of incorruptible glorie. For it is safe and out of perill, and hencefoorth feareth neither eni∣mie nor death. It possesseth thee hir mercifull Lord, whom she hath long sought, and euer loued. And ac∣companieng hir selfe with the quiers of Psalme-sin∣gers, she singeth continuallie the sugred songs of e∣uerlasting mirth, to the glorie of thee, O King Christ, O gratious Iesu. For she is, as it were, made drunken with the bountifulnesse of thy house, and thou makest hir to drinke of the streame of thy pleasures.
Happie is the fellowship of the heauenlie citizens, and glorious is the solemnitie of all them that returne from the sorrowfull trauell of this our pilgrimage, to the pleasantnes of beautie, to the beautie of all bright∣nesse, and to the flower of all excellencie; where thy ci∣tizens behold thee continuallie, O Lord. Nothing that may trouble the mind is offered there to the eare. What songs, what instruments, what Carols, what melodie, what musicke soundeth there without end? There sound alwaies most pleasant tunes of Hymnes and Psalmes, most sweet melodie of Angels, and most woonderfull ditties of songs; which are sung to thy glorie, by the celestiall inhabitants, with heauenlie Page 451 harmonie.
No harshnesse, no gallie bitternesse, nor iangling discords haue anie roome within thy realme. For there is neither naughtie person, nor naughtinesse. There is none aduersarie, nor impugner, neither is there any inticement of sinne. There is no needinesse, no shame, no bralling, no mis-vsage, no excusing, no feare, no vn∣quietnesse, no penaltie, no doubtfulnesse, no violence, no discord or contention. But there is perfect peace full of loue, continuall reioicing and praising of God, carelesse rest without end, and euerlasting gladnesse in the holie Ghost.
O how luckie should I sillie wretch be, if I might heare the most pleasant Psalmes, Hymnes, and Ca∣rols of thy citizens, and their sugred songs, aduancing the praises of the souereigne Trinitie with due ho∣nour: but ouer happie should I be, might I once at∣taine to sing a song my selfe, I saie, to sing one of the sweet songs of Zion, to our Lord Iesus Christ.
Another longing after the ioies of heauenlie Zion.
O Lightsome and glorions house of God, I haue loued thy goodlinesse, and the place where the glorie of the Lord God, who both enioieth and hath created thee, doth dwell. In mine exile I sigh after thee both night and daie, mine hart longeth; my mind coueteth, and my soule de∣sireth to come vnto the societie of your happinesse.
My praier vnto him which made me, is, that he would possesse me in thee; bicause he hath made both me and you. For I desire your holie fellowship, and woonderfull glorie; not for anie merit of mine owne; but I trust to attaine therevnto, through the price of Page 352 his bloud; namelie of Iesus Christ, whereby we be re∣deemed.
I confesse, I haue gone astraie like a lost sheepe, and haue too long dwelled out of my natiue soile, and am far awaie cast from the face of the Lord my God, into this blindnesse of banishment, who driuen out of the ioies of paradise, I bewaile with my selfe dailie the miserie of my captiuitie; and sing a wofull song with great lamentation, when I remember thee, O mother Ierusalem, while my feete doo but stand in thy courts, O sacred and comlie Zion; and I am not able plainlie to looke into thine inner places.
Notwithstanding, I haue good hope, vpon the shoul∣ders of my good shepheard, thy Creator, to be brought back vnto thee, that I may triumph againe with that vnspeakable ioie, where withall they be cheered, which dwell with thee before God his Maiestie, and our Sa∣uiour Christ, which hath abrogated, through his flesh, the hatred; and pacified all things, both which are in heauen, and which are in earth, by his bloud. For he is our peace, which made of both one, and ioining the two contrarie wals together, hath promised that he will giue the euerlasting felicitie of your happinesse in himselfe, after the like maner and measure, when he said: They shall be like the Angels of God in heauen.
Another longing or desire of the soule after the supernall Ierusalem.
O Mother Ierusalem, the holie citie of God, and the deerly beloued spouse of Christ; after thee dooth mine hart couet, and my soule exceedingly is in loue with thy beautie. Oh how com∣lie, how glorious, how honourable art thou! Thou art all faire, & there is no spot in thee. Triumph and re∣ioice, Page 453 O beautifull daughters of the Princes. For the King hath a pleasure in thy fairenesse, and loueth thy goodlie personage. O thou fairer than the children of men! But what is my beloued, O thou fairest among women, of the welbeloued? My welbeloued is white and ruddie, the chiefe of ten thousand. Like as the ap∣ple trees of the forest; so is my welbeloued among the sonnes of men. Under his shadowe had I delight. Lo now I sit, and his fruit is sweet vnto my mouth. My welbeloued put in his hand by the hole of the doore, and mine hart was affectioned towards him. In my bed by night I sought him that my soule loued; I sought, and I found him. I hold, and will not let him go, vntill he bring me into my mothers house, into the chamber of hir that conceiued me. For there thou wilt giue mee thy teates most abundantlie, and perfectlie; and wilt satisfie mine hart with a maruelous satietie, so that I shall neither hunger nor thirst anie more.
Oh happie shall my soule be, yea happie and alwaies happie shall I be; could I once get to behold thy glo∣rie, thine happinesse, thy beautie, thy gates, thy wals, thy streets, thy manifold mansions, thy noble citizens, and thy mightie King in his Maiestie. For thy wals are of pretious stones, thy gates of the richest pearls, and thy streets of the pure gold; wherein is soong the ioifull Halleluiah without intermission. Thy manifold buildings are founded vpon squared stones, builded vpon Saphyres, inclosed with golden wals; wherein∣to none shall enter, but the cleane; neither shall anie vncleane person inhabit it. Beautifull art thou be∣come, O mother Ierusalem, and sweete in thy com∣forts. No such thing is in thee, as we suffer in this world, and as we behold in this wretched life. There is neither darknes nor night, nor anie change of times in thee. There shineth not in thee either the light of the lampe, or the brightnesse of the moone, or the glittering Page 454 of the starres: but the God of God, light of light, euen the sunne of righteousnesse euermore doth enlighten thee. The white and vnspotted lambe is thy pure and cleare light, thy sunne, the cleerenesse, and euerlasting contemplation of this most glorious king is all thine happinesse.
He is the King of kings in the middest of thee, and you are his ministers about him. There be the singing quires of Angels, there be the companies of supernall citizens, there the solemnitie of all, which haue re∣turned from this wofull peregrination vnto thy ioies. There be the prudent Prophets, the twelue Apostles, the victorious host of infinite Martyrs, and the sa∣cred conuent of holie Confessors is there. There be both vpright men, and holie virgins, which haue ouer∣come the pleasures of this world, and the weakenesse of sexe. There be those yoong men and maidens, old men & matrons, which haue spent their time in godlie conuersation. There be the sheepe & lambs that haue escaped the snares of this world, where they now triumph in their seuerall mansions. The glorie of each particular man differeth; but common is the ioie of them all. There full and perfect charitie doth reigne. For God there is all in all, whome they doo alwaies behold, and by beholding him, continuallie they burne the more in loue towards him. They loue, and they praise him; they praise, and they loue him: all their worke is to praise God without ending, without fain∣ting, without toiling. O happie, yea and euermore happie shall I be, if after the resolution of this mor∣tall bodie, I may heare those celestiall songs of melo∣die, which are sung vnto the praise of the eternall King by those citizens of the supernall countrie, and by the companies of the blessed spirits! Happie then, yea much happie should I be, might I be counted woor∣thie to sing those sugred songs, and to wait on my Page 455 King, my God, and my Captaine, to behold him in his glorie, according as he hath promised, saieng: Father, I will that they, whome thou hast giuen me, be with me, euen where I am; that they may behold my glo∣rie, which I had with thee before the foundation of the world. And in another place. If anie man serue me, let him followe me. For where I am, there shall also my seruant be. And againe, He that loueth me, shall be lo∣ued of my father, and I will loue him, and will shew mine owne selfe vnto him.
Another godlie and Christian praier for the Church and congregation presentlie assembled.
ALthough the holie Scriptures doo teach vs euerie where, that the hea∣uen, O most good and mercifull God, is thy dwelling place; yet the same doth in such wise set out thine infi∣nite goodnesse, as the Church is both called, and also is in deede, thy sanctified house, wherein thou most frequentest; wherein also thy blessed name is lifted vp with high praises, the faithfull instructed in thy sa∣cred words, and the holie Sacraments dulie receiued. And therefore the godlie, hauing an especiall regard to the honour of thy glorious name, most earnestlie, with a feruent mind, and vehement affection, doo con∣tinuallie stir vp one another, to make holie assemblies, with woonderfull exhortations; to the intent the pure worshipping, and holie inuocating of thy blessed name, might onlie be therein practised. Now therefore, and at what time so euer we shall come together in the ho∣lie congregation, our earnest request is, that wee may be there with cheerefull and verie desirous minds. For thou trulie hast, of an exceeding liberalitie, adorned thy holie Church with most flourishing & right excellent gifts; neither is there anie thing pretermitted, that Page 456 apperteineth to hir garnishing, which may either be∣long to the spirituall decking and beautifieng thereof, or to the plentious enriching of it, in abundance of all heauenlie good things. Which seeing they haue pro∣ceeded most fullie from thee; this onlie remaineth, that thou wouldest be present with vs and them, which are assembled together in the name of Iesus Christ; and so condescend vnto our feruent praiers, who thereby doo call vpon thee, as the members thereof may be an∣nexed together with a perpetuall concord. Cause all our meetings (I saie) good father, to be in such sort, as we may render due honour vnto thee. Let the sacred Scriptures be heere purelie and sincerelie interpre∣ted, and let thy glorious kingdome from daie to daie be more and more inlarged, making all these things to be established with thy ioious peace, and the tranquillitie of thy holie spirit, yea so long as we praie for the quiet∣nesse and felicitie heereof. Let vs procure substantiall and perfect good things, both to our neighbours, and also vnto thy blessed house, and holie sanctified Church. And cause that those Citizens, which doo credit the sa∣cred doctrine of thy holie Church, may by thy excellent benefit become frends and faithfull brethren one to a∣nother; and in the end beeing quite deliuered from thrall, bring thou to passe that one daie we may alto∣gether repose our selues in the true and most holie Ie∣rusalem; through Iesus Christ our Lord,
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,
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,
A praier for vnitie in faith and religion.
O Eternall God, and most mercifull Father, which hast called vs to the vnitie of the true Catholike faith, and gathered vs by thy word into the lap of the Christian congrega∣tion, that wee may be all of vs one bodie, and one spirit; euen as wee are called in one hope of our cal∣ling; one Lord, one faith, one baptisme, one God, and Father of all, which is aboue all, and through all, and in vs all. For euen as thou, O Father, art in thy sonne, and he in thee; so should we also be one in thee our God. And therefore we crie vnto thee, O almightie Father, and eternall God; teach vs thy waies, that we may walke in thy truth. O knit our harts vnto thee, that we may feare thy name. Grant that all the faithfull Page 462 may be like affected, and of one mind as thou art, thin∣king the same thing after the ensample of Christ our Sauiour; and that as well in minds, as with mouth, we may agree among our selues, both in true doctrine, and in outward behauiour of conuersation. For the scope of the Churches felicitie consisteth in the vnitie of true faith and religion.
Keepe vs in the true vnderstanding, and right know∣ledge of thy sacred Scriptures; that without strife and contention, we may speake one thing. Let there be no dissentions nor schismes among vs. Let nothing be done through contention, or of vaine glorie: but let vs be one bodie, indued with one mind and iudgment, ac∣cording to thy word reuealed; vntill we attaine to the vnitie of faith, and knowledge of thy sonne, into a per∣fect man, according to the measure of the age of the fulnesse of Christ, which is the head; by whom the whole bodie being coupled and knit together, by eue∣rie ioint, for the furniture thereof, according to the ef∣fectuall power, which is in the measure of euerie part, receiueth increase of the bodie, vnto the edifieng of it selfe in loue.
O most holie Father, keepe vs by thy name, that wee may be one in thee; and that among vs, which are be∣leeuers, there may be one hart and one mind. O Christ our onlie Sauiour and Mediatour, which before thy passion didst praie, that we might be one in thee, euen as thou art in thy Father: grant that thy Church may be at concord, and agree in one true faith and confessi∣on. Let there continue among vs a godlie counsell, let there be one agreement in faith, one mind in praier; that we may growe vp in thee, and that all our harts may be coupled togither by the bond of the spirit, vsing thy gifts as they should be, to the aduancement of thy glorie, and to the common profit both of thy Church and Common-weale; and walking woorthie our cal∣ling, Page 463 wherevnto we are called, with all humilitie and gentlenesse, with all lenitie, forbearing one another, through charitie, being carefull to keepe the vnitie of the spirit in the bond of peace.
Represse the furiousnesse of Satan, which soweth dissention among thy flocke, to weaken our faith, and to hinder our praiers, whereby thy glorie is defaced. Grant therefore, that we prooue not desirous of vaine glorie, prouoking one another, and enuieng one ano∣ther, that we bite not one another to our destructi∣on. For of emulation springeth contention, which being once inflamed, boile out into mortall diuisions. And as manie as maintaine emulations, conten∣tions, and factions, are carnall, and walke as men. Wherefore, take from vs the zeale of the flesh, which is foolish: and let all enuie, wrath, pride, and arrogan∣cie be far from vs. Likewise let vs auoid foolish and vn∣learned questions, knowing that they engender strife and contention, and serue for nothing, but to the sub∣uerting of the hearers, & ingraffing of errors. Where a desire of strife is, there certainlie God dwelleth not: and they which raise tumults of nothing, and disquiet thy flocke: those wilt thou, O sonne of God, destroie.
Come holie spirit, replenish the harts of the faith∣full here assembled, and else where: and inflame in them the fire of thy loue, which once didst gather the nations into the vnitie of the faith, through the diuer∣sitie of tongues. Ioine our harts togither, that wee may nourish christian concord among vs, and that wee all glued as it were together in louing harts, may be of one mind in thee: so shall thy pure doctrine zealouslie be mainteined, and no false interpretation of the scrip∣ture obstinatelie be defended. Bring home to thy fold all such as are turned from the vnitie of true religion, that thrre may be one pastor, and one fold. To such as are gone out from vs, grant constancie; that they may Page 464 continue with vs, teaching the Gospell to the saluati∣on of the hearers. And if it happen that anie, contra∣rie to the doctrine which they haue learned, raise dis∣sention and offences; grant that we may auoid them, least the harts of the simple, through their sweet per∣suasions and flatterie, be deceiued. O God, author of peace and concord, giue grace, that euerie of vs may thinke the same thing, acording to our Sauior Christ,