A praier vpon the posie prefixed.
ALmightie God and most mercifull Father, who in mercie hast ordeined these lamps for thy chosen virgins, and commanded that with our loines girt about, and our lamps burning bright, we should take heed and be readie to execute the charge, which is committed vnto vs, and watch full warilie and continuallie in our seuerall callings by feruent and instant praier for the comming of thy sonne our spirituall Spouse, souereigne Lord, and sweet Sauiour IESVS: giuing vs in the meane season diuerse gifts and talents to occupie and imploie till he come; and set∣ting dailie before our eies the iust iudgement, that he shall execute and giue in that dreadfull daie of his sudden com∣ming, both vpon the quicke and dead; doo thou vouch∣safe euen thine owne selfe (we praie thee) to gird and com∣passe our Ioines about, that no iniquitie haue power ouer vs, nor we decline or bow to anie sinne. Oh suffer vs not to take that contentation or vaine de∣light and pleasure of anie thing in this wretched world, that may lull or bring vs fast asleepe in the cursed cradle of senselesse securitie: nor with the foolish virgins to neglect the houre and daie of our last visitation, or to forget to wait and attend for thine appearing in the clouds. But so direct vs (we beseech thee) in this short race of our perilous pilgrimage by thy holie spirit our heauenlie loadesman, that in the lawfull vse of thy good gifts whatsoeuer bestowed vpon vs, our cheefest care may alwaies be to depart from all iniquitie, and how with them wee may liue soberlie to our selues, holilie to thee, and vprightlie to the world, and thereby gaine much profit and fruit to the better increase of thy kingdome.
Moreouer, make thou our lampes to burne cleere and bright in the sight of men and Angels; and keepe thou them light and euer burning: that our loue towards thee wax neuer key cold, nor our charitie towards our neighbour be quite extinguished, nor yet our faith, deuotion, zeale, and gifts of the spirit be vtterlie quenched in vs. But being euermore both within and without kindled, inlightened, and inflamed by thee, which art a consuming fire, and a purifieng flame of vnspeakable feruent heate: let all our thoughts, words, and works be alwaies directed to doo thy holie will and righteous iudgements, that in all our works begun, continued, and en∣ded in thee, we may euer glorifie thy holie and reuerent name.
Finallie, make vs verie carefullie to keepe this castle of our soules and temple of the holie Ghost (our bodies I meane) pure, holie, and vndefiled: and to watch continuallie in all maner of well dooing vnto the end: that when thy Sonne our heauenlie bridegroome shall come to iudge the world, to condemne the wicked, to reiect the reprobate, to cast awaie the vnprofita∣ble, and to shut the gates of heauen against all vnbeleeuers and retchlesse virgins; he finding vs heedfull, watchfull, praieng, well occupied and readie, as those that haue beene verie well con∣tent with our estates here for the time, and hauing our lamps filled brim full of the oile of his righteousnesse, grace, mercie, and merits, may (thereby onelie) escape the heauie iudgement and direfull doome of the dreadfull daie: and not perish in that common destruction and gene∣rall desolation of the wicked worldlings, and vnprofitable seruants; but be receiued to himselfe as those that are made woorthie onelie by him, ioifullie to enter with him and all the elect and chosen wise virgins, into the celestiall wedding chamber of thine eternall kingdome: there and then to possesse that mansion place, which before all worlds thou hast prepared for thy chosen, and to receiue (of his gift) that which here now with deepe sighes and groanes we greatlie long for: that is, euen the saluation of our soules, and the coronation of thy gifts in vs: that both with thee (ô Father) and with him thy Sonne, in the vnitie of the holie Ghost, we may liue and reigne in the full perfection, holinesse and puritie of his euerlasting virginitie, to blesse, praise, and glorifie thee, ô glorious and blessed Trinitie, with all virgins, angels, and crea∣tures, by all ages, through∣out all eternitie,