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A PRAYER AND THANKSGIVING fit for this present : and to be
used in the time of Common prayer.
Imprinted at London by Christopher Barker, Printer to the
Queen's most excellent Majesty 1587.
A prayer and thanksgiving fit for this present : and to be
used in the time of Common prayer.
O Lord God of hosts, most loving and merciful Father, we thy humble servants prostrate ourselves before thy divine Majesty, instantly beseeching thee of thy gracious goodness to be merciful to thy Church militant here upon earth, many ways vexed and tormented by the malice of Satan and his members, and at this time, as it were, environed on every side with strong and subtle adversaries. We confess and acknowledge, O Lord, (with all humble and hearty thanks) the wonderful and great benefits which thou hast bestowed upon this thy Church and people of England, in giving unto us not only peace and quietness, but also in preserving our most gracious Queen thy handmaid so miraculously from so many perils and dangers, and in granting her good success against the attempts of her adversaries : for the which so wonderful and great benefits, we humbly beseech thee to stir up our dull minds to such thankfulness and acknowledging of thy mercies as becometh us, and as may be acceptable unto thee. O Lord, let thine enemies know, and make them confess, that thou hast received England into thine own protection. Set (O Lord, we pray thee) a hedge about it, and evermore mightily defend it. Let it be a comfort to the afflicted : a help to the oppressed: a defence to thy Church and people persecuted abroad. And, forasmuch as thy cause is now in hand, we beseech thee to direct and go before such as have taken the same upon them. Pitch thy tents about them, and grant unto them (O Lord) so good and honourable victories, as thou didst to Abraham and his company,
against the four mighty kings': to Josua against the five kings, and against Amalech : and as thou usest to do to thy children when they please thee. We acknowledge all power,
[ The following prayer for the earl of Leicester (see p. 467) contains a similar reference:
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, who was crucified for our sins, and rose again for our justification, and, ascending up into heaven, sittest now at the right hand of the Father, with full power and authority, ruling and disposing all things according to thy glorious and gracious purpose. We, most miserable and sinful creatures, prostrate ourselves and our prayers before thy divine Majesty, beseeching thy gracious goodness, according to thy accustomed mercy, to be merciful to thy poor Church militant, miserably vexed in this world, by the malice of Sathan and his brood, enemies to all Christian peace and concord, so that thy little flock is distressed on every side. Notwithstanding (O merciful Father) so many strifes and debates of men, among so many brands of discord, tossed to and fro by the devils, enemies of truth, having neither rest without, nor peace within: we humbly confess, yielding all thanks unto thy divine Majesty, that this Island of ours, by thy direction from above, hath been so peaceably and quietly governed by her Majesty, that it hath been like a golden Cup in thy gracious hand; for which mercy
of thine, as it is more sweet unto us than to other our neighbours, so we beseech thee to stir up our dull minds to such thankfulness and acknowledging of thy mercies, that all the enemies of thy truth may still (though with weeping hearts) confess, because of the continuance of thy goodness towards us, that thou hast made England a chosen shaft, and put him in thy quiver. And forasmuch (O Lord) as this discord abroad reacheth almost to the throat of our Church and commonweal, and that the enemies, O Lord, especially those that have the mark of Antichrist, seek to build like the Moth in another man's possession and garment, and seek to swallow up thy people as a grave; make, O Lord (we pray thee), a hedge about us and thy house, and let thy Church be like Salomon's bed, about the which there was always a watch, and let the fruit of the English Church be meat unto others, and the leaf thereof medi. cinable unto thy afflicted and scattered people. Break, O Lord, the Hydra his heads, or strangle him within his cave, that he do no more hurt: and that our prayers may be more welcome to thy gracious presence, grant unto us thy Holy Spirit, that every one of us may unfeignedly sorrow for our sins, and confess the majesty of thy word, and our great contempt of thy workmen, before thou do seal this great and known sum with some sharp and notable plague. And forsomuch as thy cause is now taken in hand by our gracious Sovereign, we beseech thee that thou wilt direct and go before her, and her noble wise Counseller, the honourable Earl of Leicester, her highness' Lieutenant in those Countries, and grant unto him so good and honourable victories, as Josua had against the five Kings, which sought to destroy the Gabaonites : fight for him,
strength and victory to come from thee. Some put their trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember thy name, O Lord our God. Thou bringest the counsel of the heathen to nought, and makest the devices of the people to be of none effect. There is no king that can be saved by the multitude of an host, neither is any mighty man delivered by much strength: A horse is but a vain thing to save a man. Therefore we pray unto thee, O Lord : thou art our help and our shield. And, that our prayers may be the more effectual and acceptable unto thee, grant unto us, we beseech thee, true repentance for our sins past, namely for our unthankfulness, contempt of thy word, lack of compassion towards the afflicted, envy, malice, strife and contention among our selves, and for all other our iniquities. Lord, deal not with us as we have deserved: but of thy great sweet Saviour, as thou didst for Abraham, when he overcame the four mighty Kings, which conquered the Kings of the five Cities, and destroyed the men of Sodom and Gomora : and grant that as Josua overcame Amalech, that sought to hinder the children of Israel, by the prayer of Moses, that our noble Counseller, valiant Soldier, and faithful servant to her Majesty, may prevail and vanquish thy enemies, which disturb thy peace, and afflict our poor neighbours of the Low Countries, and that through our earnest prayers and hearty tears, which we most humbly and with unfeigned hearts pour forth before thy divine Majesty, who, seeking not to climb by pride, lest he should fall, but as a faithful member of thy Church, laboureth to defend thy truth and thy glorious Gospel. We confess, O heavenly Father, all power to come from thy seat: neither the Trumpets of Rams' horns wherewith Jerico fell, nor Samson's jaw bone, nor David's stone, nor the Pitchers of Gedion have power or strength to prevail without thee. The voice of the Lord breaketh the Cedars, yea, thou, O Lord, breakest the Cedars of Lebana. Therefore, O Lord, take the wicked by the heel, disclose the juggling of that popish unholy league. Bruise them, O Lord, with a Sceptre of iron, and break them in pieces like a Potter's vessel; that all thy faithful Children may confess and say, The roaring of the Lion, the voice of the Lioness, and the teeth of the Lion's whelps are broken. Grant also (O Lord) that the soldiers and faithful followers of thy religious Captain may so behave themselves in thy fight, that thou mayest have a pleasure in them, because they fear thy name, and fight thy battle: send thy holy Angel to pitch his Tent amongst them, and ever mightily defend them. Let them, O Lord, love together like Brethren, fight together like Lions; and not fear to die together like men. We beseech thee unite and sanc tify them to thee, that they may war like faithful soldiers on earth, and enjoy the peace thou hast provided for them in this world, and if the world to come, for ever and ever. Amen.]
goodness and mercy do away our offences.
O Lord, give good and prosperous success to all those that fight thy battle against the enemies of thy Gospel : shew some token continually for our good, that they which hate us may see it and be confounded; and that we, thy little and despised flock, may say with good King David, Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord Jehovah, and blessed are the folk that he hath chosen to be his inheritance. These and all other graces necessary for us, grant (O heavenly Father) for Jesus Christ's sake, our only Mediator and Redeemer. Amen.
Hereunto may be added the Collect of the Litany appointed to be used in the
time of war. And other prayers heretofore published upon the like occasions, according to the discretion of the Minister. And when there are no Sermons, then to read one of the Homilies of repentance, fasting, and
alms-deeds, lately published'. Some of these Psalms may be said or sung at the days and times before
mentioned, after the prayer.
One of these Chapters may be reud on Wednesdays and Fridays, at the dis
cretion of the Curate.
Lessons. Exod. 14.
2 Kin. 19. Exod. 17. begin at the
1 Sam. 17.
2 Chron. 20. unto 2 King 7.
the verse 30. Josua 10. until the 28. verse.
It were very convenient, and to be wished, that every one should forbear one
meal at the least every week, over and above the ordinary appointed fasting days : to the end they might be more able to relieve the poor, and be more apt to prayer, hearing of the word, and other godly exercises.
[" See p. 594.]
A FORM OF PRAYER, necessary for the present time and
Imprinted at London by the Deputies of Christopher Barker,
Printer to the Queen's most excellent Majesty. 1588.
ince, and to
We be taught by many and sundry examples of holy Scriptures, that upon occasion of particular punishments, afflictions and perils, which God of his most just judgment hath sometimes sent among his people, to shew his wrath against sin, and to call his people to re the redress of their lives, the godly have been provoked and stirred up to more fervency and diligence in prayer, fasting and alms-deeds, to a more deep consideration of their consciences, to ponder their unthankfulness and forgetfulness of God's merciful benefits towards them, with craving of pardon for the time past, and to ask his assistance for the time to come, to live more godly, and so to be defended and delivered from all further perils and dangers. So king David in the time of plague and pestilence, which ensued upon his vain numbering of the people, prayed unto God with wonderful fervency, confessing his fault, desiring God to spare the people, and rather to turn his ire to him-ward, who had chiefly offended in that transgression. The like was done by the virtuous kings Josaphat and Ezechias in their distress of wars and foreign invasions. So did Judith and Hester fall to humble prayers in like perils of their people. So did Daniel in his captivity, and many other mo in their troubles. Now therefore, calling to mind, that God hath been provoked by us many and sundry ways, and doth after a sort threaten us with wars and invasion : it behoveth us to pray earnestly and heartily to God, to turn away his deserved wrath from us, and as well to defend us from the fierceness and fury of our enemies, (which combine and conspire together against us,) as also from all other plagues and punishments, which our unthankfulness and contempt of his word hath justly deserved. And although it is every christian man's duty, of his own devotion to pray at all times : yet for that the corrupt nature of man is so slothful and negligent therein, he hath need by often and sundry means to be stirred up, and put in remembrance of the same.
It is therefore meet and requisite: First, that all Curates and Pastors should exhort their Parishioners to endeavour themselves to come unto the Church, with so many of their families as may be spared from their necessary business, and they to resort not only on Sundays and Holidays,
[" This is copied almost entirely from the Form issued in 1563. See