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increase and the stock wholly? When shall we willingly give over the love of wicked mammon, if not now when we can not hold nor use it, but, will we nill we, we must part from it? Wherefore, either now let us make us friends of it, who may receive us into the heavenly tabernacles, or else there is no hope that we ever will. When shall we relieve the poor in their need, if not now, thereby to provoke the Lord to succour us in this our great distress? When will we awake, that we sleep not in death, if not now at the point of death? When shall we ever truly remember the last times, thereby to avoid sin, if not now in the last times themselves? And as we ought now in affliction to flee all wickedness; so ought we to learn the love of righteousness, whereunto of long by gentleness God hath drawn us, and now by his just punishment meaneth to drive us. Let us learn the fear of God, now punishing us, which by his long sufferance and patience heretofore was almost clean Psal. 145. d. gone out of our hearts. For there be special promises that he will hear them that fear him. And when will we fear him, if not now when he punisheth us? Let us learn patience, knowing that affliction in the chil- Rom. 5. a. dren of salvation worketh patience, patience bringeth trial, trial hope, and hope shall not suffer us to be confounded. For the short evil of our troubles in this world, patiently taken, worketh in us an exceeding high and everlasting weight of glory in the world to come. Let us learn the contempt of this wretched life and wicked world, with all her trifling and uncertain joys, and manifold and horrible evils. For when shall we understand that this life is as a vapour, as a shadow passing and fleeing Jacob. 4. Job [7.] away, as a fading flower, as a bull rising on the water, if not now in the decaying, passing, and vanishing away of it? When shall we forsake this wicked world, if not now when it forsaketh us? Let us learn the desire of heaven, and the life to come, where be both many and most great and certain joys, mingled with no evils, no plagues of famine, war, pestilence, or other sickness, and miseries, whereof this wretched life is full, as we now by experience prove.

2 Cor. 1. b.

Jacob. 1. a.

2 Cor. 4. d.

To conclude, let us, giving over all wickedness, now at the last, when Esay 58. b. we are in most greatest danger to give over ourselves, and helping the Dani. 4. e. needy and poor, that the Lord in our necessities may relieve us; let us, I say, now at the last, turn unto the Lord our God, and call for help and mercy, and we shall be heard and relieved, according to the doctrine of God's word, and his merciful promises made unto us, and after the examples foreshewed to us out of the holy scriptures afore declared, and in infinite other places, to our great comfort. For if, as God by affliction goeth about, as our heavenly schoolmaster, to teach us thus to flee from sin, and to follow righteousness, to contemn this world, and to desire the life to come, with such other Godly lessons; so we, like his good disciples,

[That the end of the world drew near, was a very common notion in the middle of the sixteenth century. See p. 504. Becon's Works, Prayers, &c., Parker Society edition, p. 624. Preface to Bale's Declaration. Latimer's Works, Vol. i. pp. 172, 364.]

[ Bull (bulla): bubble.]

Job 13. c.

do well learn the same, we shall not need much to fear this plague as dreadful and horrible, but with the blessed man of God, Job, to trust in him, yea, though he should kill us bodily, and patiently to take our sickness as God's good visitation and fatherly correction, and in it quietly and constantly to commit ourselves wholly to the holy will of our most merDeute. 32. f. ciful Father, by our Saviour Christ, whether it be to life or death, knowing that he is the Lord of life and death, and that whether we live or die, we be the Lord's, for it can not perish which is committed unto him. In whom they that believe, though they die, shall live, and in whom all that live and trust faithfully in his mercy, shall not die eternally; and by whom, through our Saviour Christ, all that die in him have life everlasting, which I beseech the same our most

Sapien. 16.

Rom. 14.

John 18. b.

merciful heavenly Father, for the death of our Sa

viour Jesus Christ, to grant unto us all: Unto

whom with the Father and the Holy

Ghost, one eternal majesty of

the most glorious God, be
all honour, glory, and
dominion, world

without end.


C Imprinted at Lon

don in Powles Church yarde by Ry-
charde Jugge and John Cawood,
Printers to the Quenes


Cum priuilegio Regiæ Maieftatis.

A FORM OF MEDITATION, very meet to be daily used of v. house holders in their houses, in this dangerous and contagious time.

Set forth according to the order in the Queen's1 majesty's Injunction.

¶ Imprinted at London without Aldersgate, in little Britain street, by Alexander Lacy.

The master kneeling with his family in some convenient place of his house, perfumed before with Frankincence, or some other wholesome thing, as Juniper, Rosemary, Rose water and Vinegar, shall with fervent heart say, or cause to be said, this that followeth. The servants and family to every petition shall say: Amen.


Levi. 26.

WE read in thy holy word (O Lord) what blessings thou hast of thy Deut. 28. mercy promised to them that live obediently according to thy blessed will and commandments: we read also the curses that thy justice hath pronounced against such as despise thy word, or negligently pass not to live thereafter.

And, among the rest of thy heavy curses, thou threatenest by name the plague, and the Pestilence, with other noisome and most painful diseases, to such as forsaking thee worship strange gods, and follow their own vain fantasies, in stead of thy sacred ordinances.

We find also, how extremely thine own people the Jews, have oftentimes felt the performance of these thy bitter threatenings, and that for sundry and divers offences.

Because they loathed Manna, and were not contented with thy mira- Num. 11. culous provision, but would have Quails, and other dainty victuals to content their luxurious appetites, thou slewest so many with a sudden and mighty plague that the place of their burial was named thereof, and called the Graves of lust.

Also for murmuring against the ministers of thy word Moses and Num. 16. Aaron, thou destroyedst with a sudden plague xiiii. thousand and more, besides those traitors, whom the earth swallowed for their rebellion: And had not Aaron entreated for them, and gone between the quick and the

['Grindal (Remains, p. 258) writing to Cecil respecting the previous Form, says: It is to be considered by you in what form the fast is to be authorised, whether by proclamation, or by way of injunction or otherwise; for it must needs pass from the queen's majesty.]

Num. 14.

1 Reg. 4. 5. 6.


2 Reg. 24.

1 Cor. 11.

dead, thou wouldest have consumed them all, as thou wast minded to have done before, when they despised the plentiful land which thou hadst promised them (had not Moyses stayed thy wrath), when thou saidst: I will strike them with the pestilence, and utterly destroy them.

Furder, when they had lost thine Ark through their own sins, and the sins of their Priests the keepers thereof, after that the Philistines were forced through thy plaguing hand religiously to send it home again, thou stroockest with the plague fifty thousand of the Bethsamites thy people, for rashly presuming to look into the same, not having thy warrant so to do.

In the time of king David, thou destroyedst three score and ten thousand of thy people in three days, with thy wasting plague of Pestilence: moved thereto by the transgression of David, whom for the sins of his people thou sufferedst to be tempted and subdued with a vain curiosity to number the people.

Also shortly after the death of that immaculate lamb our Saviour, thou sufferedst the plague to reign among the members of his body (the church of the Corinthians) for not worthily preparing themselves, and for misusing the Sacrament of the body and blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and many died therefore: as thy holy Apostle saint Paul hath taught us.

Since which time, O Lord, as the monuments of thy church and other chronicles do declare, thou hast from time to time so plagued with pestilence not only cities, but also whole countries for these and other like causes, that we may justly look for the coming of our Saviour: so many and so horrible Pestilences have been among us already.

All which causes, O Lord, for the which thou hast so afflicted thy people, are through the malice of Satan and our wilful consenting unto him grown so ripe in us, that were it not for the exceeding greatness of thy mercy and compassion, we should all presently perish, and that worthily, so horrible and outrageous are our iniquities.

For we loathe not only the plentiful provision of wholesome victuals and apparel, which thou hast given us for our bodies more abundantly than to many nations, travailing by all means to get wherewith to pamper our flesh, with wines, spices, silks, and other vain costly delighting things; but the precious Manna of our souls, thy holy word and sacraments, we can not away with: we are so full that we are glutted therewith.

We so little esteem the heavenly kingdom, which our Saviour hath so dearly prepared and kindly promised to us, that we abhor it, and are ready to stone those few that commend it, and exhort us for our own good to travel thitherward: better liking and crediting those false prophets, the Epicures and papists, that with their lies discourage us therefrom.

What murmuring and grudging make we against the ministers of thy sword and word, which thou of thy especial goodness hast in mercy given us! How despise we our Bishops and Preachers, and other ministers of thy holy sacraments, whom thou hast commanded us to reverence and honour!

Did not we, through our wicked lives, wretchedly lose the Ark of thy holy word and the true ministration of thy sacraments not many years agone, which the popish Philistines took from us? And now, when thou through thy plagues laid upon them hast miraculously sent it us again; see how bold we be with the Bethsamites unreverently to receive it.

For many make of it a gazing-stock1 to serve their eyes and tongues, rather than a law to obey and follow in their lives.

Yea, the knowledge of thy truth, goodness, and mercy, breedeth in many of us a careless security, and a contempt of thy holy ordinances. For we presume upon thy mercy and promises, not regarding the conditions, nor any of thy commandments, which in our baptism we vowed to observe. Yea, we make thy Gospel a cloke of our covetousness: under colour whereof we seek our own lucre, and hide all our wicked and filthy practices.

If the Corinthians deserved to be plagued for abusing thy holy Sacrament, how much more are we worthy of fierce wrath, that not only abuse it, but also abhor and contemn it, because it is ministered as it ought! For thou knowest, O Lord, what a sort there are, which, bewitched with the Devil and the Pope's doctrine, do utterly abhor Christ's holy communion, and, saving for fear of the law3, would never come at it: In what sort these receive, and how they be prepared, is not unknown unto thee. How rashly also, and unadvisedly, and unprepared, the common multitude do frequent it, partly appeareth in that many of them never forgive old offences, nor reconcile themselves, nor in any thing do amend their old sins and vices.

Seeing then that we, Lord, the common sort and multitude, do thus abound in all kind of wickedness, how can it be, but that thou of thy justice must suffer our Magistrates to offend also in somewhat, to the end thou mayest justly take vengeance on our sins?

For these manifold heaps of sins and wickednesses, O Lord, thou hast justly at this present sent this dangerous Pestilence among us, as thou hast often and long time threatened by the mouths of thy faithful preachers, who continually have called upon us to stay thy wrath by earnest repentance and amendment of life: But we have alway been deafer and deafer; the delight in our sins not only stopped our ears, but also hardened our hearts, against their hearty and friendly admonitions: And in that we now, O Lord, do begin to feel and acknowledge our sins, it cometh more of thy rigor in plaguing us, than of any good inclination of our selves. Mollify therefore, O Lord, our flinty hearts with the suppling moisture of thy holy Spirit: Make us to reverence thee as

['Apparently, a reference to the permission allowed the congregation from 1552 to 1662 of standing by as gasers and lokers on them that do communicate.' See p. 187. Grindal's Remains, p. 267. Clay's Prayer Book Illustrated, p. 112.]

[Sort: multitude.]

[See p. 30; and also the last rubric on p. 198.]

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