Page images

vare, nique volunt

[ocr errors]


send thy Mercy to us, &c.—Thou that bringest forth fødder for the Cattel, and green herbs for the service of Man, save both Man and Beast which cry unto thee,Euchol. in ficcit.p.775. The Argument is the same as in ours, though the phrase be different. And doubtless we cannot heartily call upon God in our wants, unless we fully believe his Providence; for,as Cicero well notes, those Philosophers, who denyedGod's peculiar Providence in these things, (p) Sin autem Dii took the ready way to banish all neque poffunt nos juReligion out of the World, and to withdraw all men from divine hominum vitam per

nec eft quod ab his ad worship (p): In which nothing manare poßit, quid eft makes us more serious and constant, quod ullos Deis immorthan the believing his Providence

talibus, cultus, honoand sense of our own dependance

res, preces, adbiben.

mus. Cicero de nat. thereupon, which if we can ob- Deor,lib.l. tain, it will be the best Preparative to the following Petition. S.IV.B #bold,we beseech thee,the affligions of the

People, and grant that the scarcity and dearth, which we do now mott fatig laffer for our Inigatty.]

The former Part of this Petition doth represent our Misery, as well under the general title of aflatons, as by the special Character of dearth and scarcity; the latter part doth declare the Intguttg, which is the Cause: fo that it is not unlike that Prayer of David, look upon my Adversiiy and Misery,and forgive me all my Sins, Pfal. XXV.17. And doubtless want of necessaries for our Suftenance, and Famine are very sad afflictions, when men cat their Bread by weight,and drink theirDrink by measure, when the Children cry for food and are not satisfied, and many men die for want, or live a Life worse



than Death, yea the very beasts of the field mourn and dye for Hunger. Surely (if ever) it is then time to cry mightily to God. He seems to turn away his face in anger from us ; but we must call so loud, and so earnestly that he may cast one graeious look upon us: for if he fee us in this Distress, his bowels cannot but yearn upon us. We beseech thee,O'thou Creator and preserver of all things, Have mercy upon w: 0 Lord, have mercy upon us behold the Birds are in Distress, the Beasts cry unto thee for bana ger. Regard the tears of Infants, the complaints of youth, the misèries of old men, the helplesness of Orphans, the distress of Widows and the supplicatiug voice of all thy People; as the Euchologion doth elegantly describe this Calamity. But we muit together with this complaint of our misery also make a Confession of our Sin:For famine is threatned to a finful People, and is always a fcourge for a wicked Generation; and God expects we Mould do him so much Justice, as to confess he is not an

gry without a Cause (9): And if (9) Hanc peocati

there be some particular Sin at jamem nostra merentur,hymn. Ambrof.

which this punishment aims, we (r) Tèy giôtov, must acknowledg that also, as the orris siuio doxas Greck Forms do The abuse of donnárojev ev á- plenty ( r ), which is one of the outc«Euchul.Can. most usual Causes, and the most just Supplex.

occasion of Famine. If we take

too much of God's good Creatures, 'tis but just we should know what the want of them means.If we abuse our plenty to pamper our Lusts, 'tis likely we shall shortly want wherewith to supply our neceility; and they that scorn and trample upon mean, but wholesom fare,fall feel what it is to lack a bit of bread. · The Talmud saith there is an Angel of the Crums, whose

Office it is to punith those with want, who wilfully waste their Bread, Talm,traci.Cholin.cap.8. Whatsoever


the Sin be, I hope the severity and smart of this punishment will make us bewail it, and warn us,that we do not commit such Evils any more.

S.v.gady through the goodnessbe mercifully turneo

Into cheapnels and plenty, foz the Love of Jelas Cbritt our Lo2b, to whom with thee and the lo10 Gbot be all bonout and glory now and ever, A. men.]

The property of Contraries is, that they become one anothers Cure ; whereupon we who have suffered by scarcity and dearth, do pray to be relieved by their contraries, cheapness and plenty. When all sorts of provisions are scarce they are also then 'very dear; and when the Cities are impoverished by the decay of Trade and the Country by the loss of its expected Harvest, then we are leaft able to give, and yet then the price of all things is most excellive,to the utter ruine of many poor families : so that we beseech the Lord, that he will send such plenty, that all necessaries may be cheap and eafie to be purchased by those that stand in need. There are fome persons it may be so full of Money, and so well ftored with all sorts of provisions that they can scarce hear. tily say this Prayer; because they feel not what the poor endure, and are hardened by the hopes, and the advantage of selling their stores at dearer Rates, and for this Cause it may be (5) Inhumanum eft secretly with the Dearth may conti

ex pauperüm calami. nue: But these men are become bar- ditus excogitare.Bafil.

tatibus fibi ipfi redbarous by their Covetousness, which in Pfal. 15. hath devested them of humanity as Nunquam alienis newell as Chriftian Charity. What is fitatibus miferum

tibi conferatur pecu. more inhumane (s) than to desire

nie augmentum. Jul. or delight in the miscries of Man- Firmic. in Mather. kind for our own private gain ?


X 3

What more impious than to make Merchandise of the judgments of God and the Calamities of Men? We may be contident such a cruel Avarice shall not go unpunished. Wherefore let us all desire the Common Good, and heartily pray for cheapness and plenty,whatever our Circumstances be,and then we shall gain the love ofGod, and shew our selves truly Christians. Now we have here some Motives annexed to this Petition, that it may be the more likely to prevail. The first is taken from the goodness of the Father, of whose power and ability we heard before: We know he can help us, and we beseech him of his goodness, that he will mercifully do it : His Goodness is communicative, and inwardly moves him to do good to those in necessity, and such we are now, so that we hope it will intercede for us : Our Famine is caused by his suspending that usual blelling , which of his goodness he is wont to give to all things, and now we entreat him to let his Mercy run into its accustomed Charnel. Secondly, we plead also through the Love of God the Son, au Argument taken out of St. Ambrose his Hymn on this occasion: O Christ, favour them whom thou hast bought. We hope the Father will not cast them off, whom the Son hath redeemed; nor the Son forget those whom he hath purchased so dearly. If Jesus had not loved us, he would not have dyed for

us; and if he love us, the Father (t) Æterne Genitor, will love us for his fake,and pity us gloria Chrifto

as we are his : he will not suffer Semper cum genito fit tibi fanéto

those to perish for lack of Bread, for Compar spiritui , qui whom Jesus hath procured a right

to the Kingdom of Heaven. Finally Pollens perpetuis in the whole prayer is concluded with

clyte feclis. Hymn. Amb. Tom. a Doxology taken almoft verbabatim

out of the aforesaid Ambrosian (t) Hymn, which ends in the same man

[ocr errors]

V. pag.360.


ner. And it is very fit we should glorifie God in the very fire, to Thew our hope in his Mercy, and onr Expectations of Deliverance. We have some blessings yet to praise him for, and having now made our Prayers we are in good hopes of relief; wherefore we must even now begin to bless the Father who feeds us, the Son who intercedes for us, and the Holy Ghost who comforts us : And if we do this with Faith and Sincerity, it will be a means to obtain the Bleffings, which we delire ; for God is not wont to let us praise his name in vain.

The Pahaphrase of the first Prayer.

D God, ]to whom should wefly in this our extreme necessity, but unto thee, our [heavenly Father, ] who halt made us and sustained us hitherto, by [whose gift it 18 that] the Cloulds distill their dew, and [the rain doth fall] in sweet and pleasant showrs, whereby (the Earth ts frattfal, ] yeilding both grain and grass in great abundance? Thou provides for brute Creatures: by thee the (beatts] of the Earth are fed, and do [encrease; by thee the fouls of the Air, [and #thes] in the Sea do [maittplg,] and all for the food and nourishment of Mankind: Wherefore, O Lord, who hast such infinite Power to help us, [behold) and pity, [we beseech thee, the affligions] which hunger and want have brought upon so many [ of the People,] who were wont to be the Objects of thy peculiar love and care ; Oh help us, and grant that the scarcity] which punisherh the rich, the intollerable prices [and Dearth] which pincheth the poor, and this Famine [which we do not] most fadly complain of, and yet (mott fattir suffer for our] former abuse of plenty, and all rol kinds of intqatty] : Grant, O Lord, that,fince w

« PreviousContinue »