« PoprzedniaDalej »
An Order for PRAYER AND THANKSGIVING (necessary to be XLI. used in these dangerous times) for the safety and preservation of her Majesty and this Realm.
Set forth by Authority. Anno 1594. And renewed with some alterations upon the present occasion.
¶ Imprinted at London by the deputies of Christopher Barker, printer to the Queen's most excellent Majesty. Anno 1598.
An admonition to the Reader.
THERE have been sundry, but heathen men (as Plato and others), being no better instructed than the lame reach of reason could guide them, nor any clearer enlightened than by the dimmed glimpse of nature, who nevertheless arrived thus far, as to know and acknowledge that God, who is above all, extendeth his careful providence over all, and especially in preservation of kingdoms, and of other politic societies, and of their Governors and Rulers. For that which may be known of God, is manifest Rom. i. 19, 20. (saith Saint Paul) among them: for God hath opened it unto them. For his invisible things being understood by his works through the creation of the world, are seen: that is, both his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse. Then how much more must all Christians, to whom the Day-star hath in greater brightness and measure appeared, and the treasures of God the Father in his Son Christ Jesu been opened, acknowledge this his providence, and reverently adore and magnify that good God, which to the heap of all other his mercies towards them addeth this blessing and protection of Magistracy and government, whereby men live peaceably with all honesty in this life!
But if ever any Nation, yea, if all the nations in the world besides, have cause with thankfulness to acknowledge this kind of benefit, surely, we the people of England have most just and abundant occasion of all others, to perform this duty unto God. First, for placing over us our most gracious dread Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth, by whose happy government we have so long breathed from the burden of intolerable miseries of scarcity, bloodshed, and spiritual bondage, under which afore we lay grovelling, and pitifully groaned. Then, for preserving these her Realms and Dominions so long in the true profession of the Gospel, and in peace and tranquillity, notwithstanding the sundry privy conspiracies and open hostilities practised both inward and outward for the interruption of our quiet repose and holy profession. Thirdly, for protecting so long and so often her sacred Royal person from the cruel and bloody hands of such and so many several detestable and treacherous Conspirators. And like
wise for the Lord's provident and watchful eye over her and us, and for the wonderful happy discoveries of so manifold cruel designments so closely plotted against her innocent life, and so dangerously against her Highness' Realms and dominions. Which mischievous devices as they have all flowed from none other fountain, than from that City of seven Apoc. 13.& 17. hills, the See of Rome, and seat of the Beast, not in regard of any desert
of ours, but because we have abandoned the cup of spiritual abominations, wherewith these have long intoxicated the Kings of the earth: So have they been continually projected, carried forward, and managed by idolatrous Priests and Jesuits his creatures, the very loathsome Locusts that crawl out of the bottomless pit. Howbeit they have been and are mightily seconded by certain Potentates of the earth, who do nothing else but serve themselves of that idolatrous Romish religion, as of a Mask and stalking-horse, therewith to cover the unsatiable ambition, wherewith they are possessed, of usurping other men's kingdoms. For if we will first particularly cast our eyes upon the variable conspiracies that have been entered into but against her Highness' Realms: shall we not find that treason of the two Pooles1, of Felton, and of the late Duke of Northfolk, of Throgmorton, of Englefield, of Paget, of Shelly, and Stanley, and Yorke, and of all the Seminary Priests and Jesuits, to have been tickled up by Romish busses and practices, and to have been carried forward by their own gross dotage upon that absurd Religion?
As for those other attempts against her dominions, which have not stayed themselves in the bare terms of conspiracy only, but have also broken farther into open rebellion and hostility: they likewise have no less been blown up by that brood of Massing Priests, being unnatural subjects (for the most part) of these kingdoms. For was not Moreton a priest sent from the Pope's own side to stir up the two Earls and others unto the Northern rebellion? Did not Sanders second his bookish treasons even with banner displayed, and by commotion in Ireland? And doth not that carnal arch-traitor Allen proclaim to the world, unto his own everlasting reproach, that he and others excited the king of Spain's invincible Navy (vainly so surnamed) by invasion to have conquered his own native country, and to have swallowed us all up? And those unnatural and disloyal defections in Ireland, which turned eftsoons into violent commotions, and in the end brast out into open rebellion, and that cruel bloodshed wherewith that country is now so sorely afflicted and gored, arose they not from the irreption of those undermining vermin the Priests and Jesuits covertly sent in, first alienating the minds of true subjects from their Prince, and the faith of sound professors from religion, and then inciting and persuading them to this open hostility and cruelty? Yea, and in all those their latter hidden, hellish and damnable designs against her Majesty's own person and life, such Priests have also been the principal stirrers and agents under their unholy father. Somerfield and Arden, were they not drawn into that action by Hall the priest? Parry by Cardinal Como, and by certain English fugitive priests at Milan
[See pp. 655-658 for explanatory notes.]
and Paris, and also by Allen's traitorous writings? Babington and all the other bloody conspirators his complices by Ballard the priest? So Lopez his late purposed empoisoning is said to have been first plotted and set forward in Spain by Parsons the Jesuit Friar. And Patrick o' Cullen, Laton, Kale, Poule Wheele, and sundry others, very lately were animated by Holt, Hart, Sherewood, and other priests, the detestable instruments. of the Bish. of Rome, and of the King of Spain's most dishonourable intended executions.
But that which passeth the rest, and may be an effectual motive to work in all Christian hearts a sounder devotion of thankfulness to our God, and a greater detestation of that blood-sucking Romish Antichrist with his whole swarm of shavelings, was that dreadful attempt of Squire', being appointed not only quite to extinguish one of the bright stars of Octob. Anno our Nobility, the Earl of Essex, even in the time of that his great employment for the Realm and State; but withal, which we her true subjects do tremble at to remember, utterly to quench the light of Israel, and by poison to make away our Sovereign Prince; both which he to his power executed, as well on her Majesty's Saddle, as the Earl his Chair, by a confection so strong, that the very smell thereof did presently strike dead a Dog, upon which he first had tried it. To which horrible practice the said Squire in his voluntary confession, without any torture at all, professed that he was first incited, and afterward at several times persuaded, and, appearing somewhat backward, at last encouraged by one Walpoole, a cursed Jebusite (Jesuite, I should say) both by a blasphemous application or rather detortion of that excellent Scripture, Unum necessarium, One thing is necessary, as if our Saviour by that One had meant the treasonable slaughter of his Holy ones; as also by a promise of a large Fee from D. Bagshaw, the Pope's Judas or purse-bearer (as it seemeth), and withal the hope of eternal merit from God, as if with such bloody sacrifices of Christian princes God were promerited*, (to use their own Rhem. Testa. word, Heb. xiii. 16,) and in the end armed with the confection itself from Walpoole to effect it throughly, and adjured, by receiving the Sacrament,
[Edward Squire [of Greenwich] had been at first an ordinary Scrivener, afterward a Groom in the Queen's stable, and going as a Souldier in Drake's last expedition [in 1595, against the Spanish settlements in the West Indies] was taken prisoner, and carryed into Spaine [to Seville], there he became acquainted with one Wallpoole, an English Jesuite, who caused him to be put into the Inquisition for an Heretick, and the fellow, tasting of misery, was easily drawn to become a Papist, and afterward to attempt any thing for the Catholique cause.' Baker's Chronicle, Elizabeth, p. 101. Foulis, p. 465. Squire was arraigned at Westminster, November the 9th, 1598, and executed at Tyburn on the 13th. Stow, p. 1308. Lingard, Vol. vi. p. 453.]
[In 1597, Essex had been promoted to the dignity of Earl Marshal of England. Hume, Vol. v. p. 384.]
[And beneficence and communication do not forget, for with such hostes God is promerited."]
to perform it secretly. These and many other complots we see how desperately they have been attempted, yet (thanked be God) are not achieved: how perilously plotted, but are not perfected: how secretly devised, yet most happily hitherto discovered, and this last attempt most Judg. 7. 22. strangely revealed, their own consciences, like the Midianites' swords, mutually disbowelling their own secret conspiracies. For Walpoole, having received intelligence that Squire, being in the Earl's company, had fit opportunity to execute it, yet the purpose not effected; in an affrighted mind fearing that Squire had of himself revealed it, and yet with a mischievous device more devilishly to act it, addressed over one Stanly and others, to detect the plot and designment of Squire; by which mask of Discovery an easier entry being made for the said Stanly into the Earl's affection and company, he might more safely and with less suspicion execute and effect the intended villany. So that it may aptly be verified, that her Majesty's life hath all this while been sustained in manu Altissimi, and that under the shadow of his wings she hath not miscarried: and that the sacred oil, wherewith he hath anointed her royal majesty, is a sovereign Antidote and preservative against all the venomous infections, or empoisoning confections, whether Romish or Spanish.
All which whosoever he be that will attentively weigh and consider, and cannot see the very finger of God mightily working herein by his providence and mercy, no doubt he is insensibly blockish: who seeth and will not acknowledge it, is wilfully malicious: but who acknowledgeth and also tasteth of the sweet blessings that are enjoyed thereby, and is not most heartily thankful to God therefore, is extremely impious, and doth but add this ungratefulness unto the mass of all his other wickedness, even unto his own greater damnation. Let every one of us therefore, who have good will to Sion, turn from our wicked ways, and from the evil that is betwixt our hands, and incessantly with heart and voice yield most humble and hearty thanks to God our deliverer. But let it not be for a day or two only, whiles the intended wound doth (as it were) present itself fresh and green before the eyes of our minds; but continually, even so long as we may justly imagine the same devil in his imps still to rage and to be prest to devour us; so long as our habitatios is amongst the Tents of Mesech, and our souls amongst Lions who hunt after our lives, and do greedily seek to give our Dearling to the dog, and to lay our honour in the dust; to the intent, that (if it be so God's good will) our joy may long and long be redoubled and trebled unto us, under the happy government of so gracious a Sovereign. Which our bounden duty that it may the more frequently and fruitfully be performed of us; it hath been thought meet to publish this form of prayer for the continuance of God's mercies towards us, and of thanksgiving for his unspeakable goodness in detecting so many conspiracies, and averting so great mischiefs intended against us. Which duty of praying and thanksgiving there is no doubt but every true hearted Englishman and faithful Subject will both privately and publicly from the bottom of his heart perform.
Psalm 20. Psalm 21.
Psalm 27. Psalm 31.
Prayers for the preservation of the Queen's Majesty.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, Creator and Governor of all the world, by whom Kings do bear rule, and under whose providence they are wonderfully and mightily oftentimes protected from many fearful dangers, by which the malice of Satan and his wicked imps do seek to entrap them: We give unto thy heavenly Majesty most humble and hearty thanks, for that it hath pleased thee of thine infinite mercy and goodness in Christ Jesu so wonderfully to uphold, deliver and preserve thine Handmaid, our most dread and Sovereign Queen Elizabeth, so many and sundry times from the cruel and bloody treacheries of desperate men, who address themselves to all wickedness; and at this time especially, wherein her innocent life was not only attempted, but had it not been thy merciful power to prevent it, much endangered by wretched traitors appointed to that purpose, who had performed, as much as in them lay, their wicked designments of impoisoning her sacred Majesty, which notwithstanding it pleased thee most strangely to defeat, causing the authors thereof to be their own betrayers, and killing the force of that strong confection provided for her and applied. And what are we, that thou shouldest thus respect us? or what may we do to requite these thy benefits, but still most humbly and from the bottom of our hearts pray and beseech thee in Christ Jesu, to continue this thine unspeakable goodness towards her and this Realm, and evermore to defend and protect them. O Lord, dissipate and confound all practices, conspiracies, and treasons against her, against this Realm of England, and against the truth of thine Holy word here taught and professed: so that the whole world and all posterity may see and know, how mightily with thy fatherly care and providence thou watchest over and defendest those which put their trust in thee, and that we, whom thou vouchsafest these thy favours more than ordinary, may the more devoutly give thanks unto thee, and hereafter more carefully labour to serve and please thee in newness of