Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

Preces Sacrae 1

Peter Martyr Vermigli’s Preces Sacrae ex Psalmis Davidis Desumptae have been translated into English several times already, including recently by John Patrick Donnelly (an edition I have not seen). I’m planning to translate some of them anyway, so that they will be available for free to anyone who wishes to use them or incorporate them in various kinds of devotional settings. These should be considered to be in the public domain, and can be freely copied.

Below is the first, from Psalm 1.

Text and Translation

Aufer a nobis Deus Optime Maxime prava consilia, secundum hoc peccata: vitam improbam atque flagitiosam ne sinas nos incurrere: demumque a contemptione pietatis, et risu virtutum procul animos nostros removeas. Et loco istarum pestium largire ut in lege tua, et sacris literis perpetuo meditemur. Quo non instar impiorum ab omni vento affectionum, et doctrinarum, ut levis pulvisculus et inanes quisquiliae circumferamur. Sed potius veluti arbores iuxta rivos aquarum sitae, vita spiritus et fide donati, bona quoque opera exterius fructificemus, atque ad laudem gloriamque tui nominis, et nostrae salutis cumulum, prospere cedat quicquid agimus. Tandemque in iudicii tui examine cum impii iam ceciderint, nos pro tua misericorida et stemus et absolvamur. Per Iesum Christum dominum nostrum, Amen.

Take away from us, O God Best and Greatest, wicked counsels, and, next after this, take away our sins; do not allow us to rush headlong into a wanton and shameful life; finally, remove our minds at a distance from the scorning of piety and the mocking of the virtues. And in place of these diseases grant it that we may meditate continually on your law and the sacred writings, so that we may not be carried about as light dust and useless rubbish by every wind of the affections and of doctrine as the impious are. But, rather, like trees planted by streams of water, may we who have been endowed with the life of the Spirit and with faith bring forth the fruit of good works outwardly as well; and may whatever we do prosperously accrue to the praise and glory of your name and to the crowning of our salvation. And finally, when the impious will forthwith fall in the testing of your judgment, may we stand and be absolved according to your mercy. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

By E.J. Hutchinson

E.J. Hutchinson is Assistant Professor of Classics at Hillsdale College.