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BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER
WITH ANGELS AND ARCHANGELS THEREFORE with Angels and Archangels, and with all the Company of Heaven, we laud and magnify Thy glorious Name; evermore praising Thee, and saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts, Heaven and Earth are full of Thy Glory: Glory be to Thee, O Lord most High. Amen. The Order for the Administration of the Lord's Supper.
DEATH Man that is born of a woman, hath but a short time to live, and is full of misery. He cometh up, and is cut down like a flower; he fleeth as it were a shadow, and never continueth in one stay.
In the midst of life we are in death: of whom may we seek for succour, but of Thee, O Lord, who for our sins art justly displeased?
The Order for the Burial of the Dead.
I WILL CONSIDER FOR I will consider Thy heavens, even the works of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained. What is man that Thou art mindful of him: and the son of man, that Thou visitest him? Thou madest him lower than the angels, to crown him with glory and worship. Thou makest him to have dominion of the works of Thy hands; and Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet; all sheep and oxen, yea and the beasts of the field; the fowls of the air, and the fishes of the sea, and whatsoever walketh through the paths of the seas.
IN CONVERTENDO When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, then were we like unto them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with joy. Then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them. Yea, the Lord hath done great things for us already, whereof we rejoice. Turn our captivity, O Lord, as the rivers in the south.
They that sow in tears, shall reap in joy. He that now goeth on his way weeping, and beareth forth good seed, shall doubtless come again with joy, and bring his sheaves with him.
I AM NOT HIGH-MINDED LORD, I am not high-minded; I have no proud looks. I do not exercise myself in great matters which are too high for me. But I refrain my soul, and keep it low, like as a child that is weaned from its mother: yea, my soul is even as a weaned child.
Psalm cxxxi. SIR WALTER RALEGH
THE STARS And certainly it cannot be doubted, but the Stars are instruments of far greater use, than to give an obscure light, and for men to gaze on after sunset; it being manifest that the diversity of seasons, the Winters and Summers more hot and cold, are not so uncertained by the Sun and Moon alone, who alway keep one and the same course, but that the Stars have also their working therein.
And if we cannot deny but that God hath given virtues to springs and fountains, to cold earth, to plants and stones, minerals, and to the excremental parts of the basest living creatures, why should we rob the beautiful Stars of their working powers? For seeing they are many in number, and of eminent beauty and magnitude, we may not think that in the treasury of his wisdom, who is infinite, there can be wanting (even for every star) a peculiar virtue and operation; as every herb, plant, fruit, and flower adorning the face of the Earth hath the like. For as these were not created to beautify the earth alone, and to cover and shadow her dusty face, but otherwise for the use of man and beast, to feed them and to cure them; so were not those uncountable glorious bodies set in the firmament to no other end than to adorn it, but for instruments and organs of his divine Providence, so far as it has pleased his just will to determine. The History of the World, Book I, chap.i.
DEATH “I HAVE considered," saith Solomon, "all the works that are under the Sun, and behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit”: but who believes it, till Death tells it to us? It was Death which, opening the conscience of Charles the Fifth, made him enjoin his son Philip to restore Navarre; and King Francis the First of France, to command that justice should be done upon the murderers of the Protestants in Merindol and Cabrières, which till then he neglected. It is therefore Death alone that can suddenly make man to know himself. He tells the proud and insolent that they are but abjects, and humbles them at the instant; makes them cry, complain, and repent, yea, even to hate their forepassed happiness. He takes the account of the rich, and proves him a beggar; a naked beggar, which hath interest in nothing but in the gravel that fills his mouth. He holds a glass before the eyes of the most beautiful, and makes them see therein their deformity and rottenness; and they acknowledge it.
O eloquent, just and mighty Death! whom none could advise, thou hast persuaded; what none hath dared, thou hast done; and whom all the world hath flattered, thou only hast cast out of the world and despised; thou hast drawn together all the farstretched greatness, all the pride, cruelty, and ambition of man, and covered it all over with these two narrow words, Hic jacit.
The History of the World, Book V, chap. vi. RICHARD HOOKER
THE LAWS OF NATURE Now if Nature should intermit her course, and leave altogether, though it were but for a while, the observation of her own laws; if those principal and mother elements of the world, whereof all things in this lower world are made, should lose the qualities which now they have; if the frame of that heavenly arch erected over our heads should loosen and dissolve itself; if celestial spheres should forget their wonted motions, and by irregular volubility turn themselves any way as it might happen; if the prince of the lights of Heaven, which now as a giant doth run his unwearied course, should as it were through a languishing faintness begin to stand and to rest himself; if the moon should wander from her beaten way, the times and seasons of the year blend themselves by disordered and confused mixture, the winds breathe out their last gasp, the clouds yield no rain, the earth be defeated of heavenly influence, the fruits of the earth pine away as children at the withered breasts of their mother no longer able to yield them relief; what would become of man himself, whom these things now do all serve? See we not plainly, that obedience of creatures unto the law of nature is the stay of the whole world?
Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, I, iii, 3.