A Prayer Of John Knox

Omnipotent and everlasting God,

Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who by thy eternal providence disposest kingdoms as seemeth best to thy wisdom: We acknowledge and confess thy judgments to be righteous, in that thou hast taken from us, for our ingratitude, and for the abusing of thy most holy Word, our native king and Earthly comforter.

Justly mayest thou pour forth upon us the uttermost of thy plagues, for we have not known the days and time of our merciful visitation.  We have scorned thy Word, and despised thy mercies; we have transgressed thy laws, for deceitfully have we wrought, every man with our neighbor; oppression and violence we have not abhorred; charity hath not appeared among us, as our profession requires.  We have little regarded the voices of thy prophets.  Thy threatenings we have believed to be vanity and wind.  So that in us, of ourselves, there remains nothing worthy of thy mercy, for all are found fruitless; even the princes with the prophets, as withered trees apt and meet to be burned in the fire of thy eternal displeasure.

But, O Lord, behold thy own mercy and goodness, that thou mayest purge and remove the burden of our most horrible offenses.  Let thy love overcome the severity of thy judgments, even as it did in giving to the world thy only Son, Jesus, when all mankind was lost, and no obedience was left in Adam or in his seed.  Regenerate our hearts, O Lord, by the strength of the Holy Spirit.  Convert thou us, and we shall be converted.  Work thou in us unfeigned repentance, and move thou our hearts to obey thy holy laws.  Take not from us the light of thy gospel.  Repress thou the pride of those that would rebel; and remove from all hearts the contempt of thy Word.  Look thou to the honor of thy own name, O Lord; and let thy gospel be preached with boldness in this realm.  If thy justice must punish, then punish our bodies with the rod of thy mercy and let us not faint under the cross of our Savior, but assist us with the Holy Spirit, even to the end.


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