Or, The King's Book
Edited by Edward Almack
London: A. Moring, Limited, At the De la More Press, 1904.
text from an "advance copy" of the first edition, 1649.
25. Penitentiall Meditations and KING'S solitude at Holmeby.
GIVE ear to my words O Lord, consider my Meditation, and hearken to the voice of my cry, my King and my God, for unto thee will I pray. I said in my haste I am cast out of the sight of thine eyes; neverthelesse thou hearest the voice of my supplication, when I cry unto thee.
If thou Lord shouldst be extream to mark what is done amisse, who can abide it? But there is mercy with thee, that thou mayest be feared; therefore shall sinners fly unto thee.
I acknowledg my sins before thee, which have the aggravation of my condition; the eminency of my place adding weight to my offences.
Forgive, I beseech thee, my Personall, and my Peoples sinnes; which are so farre mine, as I have not improved the power thou gavest me, to thy glory, and my Subjects good: Thou hast now brought me from the glory and freedome of a King, to be a Prisoner to my own Subjects: Justly, O Lord, as to thy over-ruling hand, because in many things I have rebelled against thee.
Though thou hast restrained my Person, yet enlarge my heart to thee, and thy grace towards Me.
I come far short of Davids piety; yet since I may equall Davids afflictions, give me also the comforts and the sure mercies of David.
Let the penitent sense I have of my sins, be an evidence to me, that thou hast pardoned them.
Let not the evills, which I and my Kingdomes have suffered, seem little unto thee; though thou hast not punished us according to our sins.
Turne thee (O Lord) unto me; have mercy upon me, for I am desolate and afflicted.
The sorrowes of my heart are enlarged; O bring thou me out of my troubles.
Hast thou forgotten to be gracious, and shut up thy loving kindnesse in displeasure?
O remember thy compassions of old, and thy loving kindnesses, which have been for many generations.
I had utterly fainted, if I had not beleeved to see thy goodnesse in the land of the living.
Let not the sinnes of our prosperity deprive us of the benefit of thy afflictions.
Let this fiery triall consume the drosse, which in long peace and plenty we had contracted.
Though thou continuest miseries, yet withdraw not thy grace; what is wanting of prosperity, make up in patience and repentance.
And if thy anger be not to be yet turned away, but thy hand of justice must be stretched out still; Let it I beseech thee be against me, and my Fathers house; as for these sheep, what have they done?
Let my sufferings satiate the malice of mine, and thy Churches Enemies.
But let their cruelty never exceed the measure of my charity.
Banish from me all thoughts of Revenge, that I may not lose the reward, nor thou the glory of my patience.
As thou givest me a heart to forgive them, so I beseech thee doe thou forgive what they have done against thee and me.
And now, O Lord, as thou hast given me an heart to pray unto thee; so hear and accept this Vow, which I make before thee.
If thou wilt in mercy remember Me, and my King-domes; In continuing the light of thy Gospell, and setling thy true Religion among us.
In restoring to us the benefit of the Lawes, and the due execution of Justice.
In suppressing the many Schismes in Church, and Factions in State.
If thou wilt restore me and mine to the Ancient rights and glory of my Predecessours.
If thou wilt turne the hearts of my people to thy self in Piety, to me in Loyalty, and to one another in Charity.
If thou wilt quench the flames, and withdraw the fewell of these Civill Warres.
If thou wilt blesse us with the freedome of public Counsels, and deliver the Honour of Parliaments from the insolencie of the vulgar.
If thou wilt keep me from the great offence of enacting any thing against my Conscience; and especially from consenting to sacrilegious rapines, and spoilings of thy Church.
If thou wilt restore me to a capacity to glorifie thee in doing good, both to the Church and State.
Then shall my soul praise thee, and magnifie thy name before my People.
Then shall thy glory be dearer to me then my Crownes; and the advancement of true Religion both in purity and power be my chiefest care.
Then will I rule my People with Justice, and my Kingdomes with equity.
To thy more immediate hand shall I ever own as the rightfull succession, so the mercifull restauration of My Kingdomes, and the glory of them.
If thou wilt bring Me again with peace, safety, and honour, to My chiefest City, and my Parliament.
If thou wilt againe put the Sword of Justice into My hand to punish and protect.
Then will I make all the world to see, and my very Enemies to enjoy the benefit of this Vow and resolution of Christian charity, which I now make unto thee O Lord.
As I doe freely pardon for Christ's sake those that have offended me in any kind; so my hand shall never be against any man to revenge what is past, in regard of any particular injury done to me.
We have been mutually punished in our unnaturall divisions; for thy sake O Lord, and for the love of my Redeemer, have I purposed this in my heart, That I will use all means in the waies of amnesty, and indemnity, which may most fully remove all feares, and bury all jealousies in forgetfulnesse.
Let thy mercies be toward me and mine, as my resolutions of Truth and Peace are toward my People.
Heare my prayer O Lord, which goeth not out of fayned lips.
Blessed be God, who hath not turned away my prayer; nor taken his mercy from me.
O my soule, commit thy way to the Lord, trust in him, and he shall bring it to passe.
But if thou wilt not restore me and mine, what am I that I should charge thee foolishly?
Thou O Lord hast given, and thou hast taken, Blessed be thy name.
May my People and thy Church be happy, if not by me, yet without me.