A verie necessarie praier against hypocrites, false teachers, and deriders of the Gospell.
WHosoeuer they be, O almighty God, that make a true account of sincere goodlinesse, and pure religion, are ex∣ceeding sorowfull, if they see the sa∣cred Church scattered, wholesome doctrine derided, the praises of thy diuine name had in contempt; and such things as appertaine to a de∣uout woorshipping of thee, turned vnto heathenish gewgawes, and voluptuous pleasures. To the intent therfore these things may in no wise happen as now vnto vs, which we see not to be far off; we powre foorth dailie before thee, with great submission, these our dol∣full complaints. That thou wouldest first, of thine ex∣ceeding great goodnesse, and louing mercie, blot out all our heinous sinnes and offences, being in a maner in∣finite and exceeding greeuous; committed, not onelie through weakenesse and ignorance; but also done of∣tentimes both maliciouslie, and of set purpose. Be fa∣uourable, I saie, O God, vnto our greeuous sinnes, and turne awaie from vs, in such sort, the most fierce wiles, and subtil laiengs await of Antichrist; as thy sacred Church be not depriued of all blessed ioie, and spirituall gladnesse. O Lord, I beseech thee, shew some experiment and proofe of thy selfe; declare thy name and thy power amongst those thy spitefull enimies. Bring downe Antichrists kingdome, with all his vn∣godlie sects, and schismaticall factions. Certes, ouer∣long it hath oppressed vs; yea, and at this verie daie it Page 538 still letteth, hindereth, and holdeth vnder foote verie manie, which else speedilie would haue run to the king∣dome of libertie, and beleeued the Gospell. Pull it ther∣fore downe, O Lord, with all his stumbling blocks, euill examples, peruerse doctrine; and neuer suffer it to recouer againe.
Lord, thou both seest, and right well perceiuest, how the cruell, malicious, and vngodlie Antichristians would inuade the Church, being so puft vp with pride, & inflamed with furie, scorning as well diuine lawes, as humane with like statelinesse and equall contempt; dooing nothing with courtesie and faithfulnesse; but practising mischiefe and naughtinesse, and endeuou∣ring so much as in them lieth, that thy blessed word may no where flourish; that true religion might be vtterlie extinguished; that the perfect inuocating and calling vpon thy glorious name might be quite rooted out; and to bring all things to naught by forged tales, mens traditions, politike deuises, diuelish deceipts, and verie much outrage. But as for thy beloued Isra∣el, sith she hath by thy great mercie enioied so long peace, and blessed tranquillitie, let hir be ioined more and more vnto thee hir welbeloued, so as she may con∣tinuallie laie sure hold vpon thy worthie praises. Suf∣fer not the mouths of hir good and wholesome instru∣ctors to be closed vp, and put to silence. Permit not thy due honour to be had in obliuion, nor yet let the hymnes and songs, wherwith thou art highlie praised and celebrated, be vsurped of such as will haue the same in derision and scorne. Finallie, we humblie be∣seech thee, O excellent father, that what wrath or in∣dignation so euer is due vnto vs, by reason of the hei∣nous sinnes we haue wickedlie committed, thou woul∣dest yet, for the glorie of thy famous name, turne it frō thy sanctified Church, thy deere spouse; and powre out the same rather vpon them, who with an enimie∣like Page 539 rage, and most malicious affection, imagine no∣thing else, but quite to marre, and vtterlie laie waste thy blessed heritage; and in deede be no lesse aduersa∣ries to thy blessed name, than of our peace and quiet∣nesse, through Iesus Christ our Lord,