It has been a while since I posted one of Peter Martyr Vermigli’s Preces Sacrae from the book of Psalms. Let’s get back to it.
Here is his first prayer from Psalm 4, the eighth in the collection as a whole.
From Psalm 4.
We call upon you, almighty God, constrained by the greatest distresses and dangers, in order that we, helped by your aid, may at last have wide-open ways out from our present tribulations.
We confess that we are unworthy of your help, since we have very frequently and very gravely turned away from you. Deign, however, we beseech you, not to look upon our individual actions, but upon the worthiness of the cause. And since, O God, it is your custom to be the vindicator of the justice of your words, please guard your worship and gospel powerfully for us, even if corrected and chastised according to your will.
We bewail this at the present time before your face: how the potentates of this world, united by their greatest efforts, drive the glory of your gospel and religion into shame–nay, rather, into nothing at all, on account of the vain desires and deceptive hopes that they have proposed to themselves.
Would, O God, that you would reveal and show to them the form of the true church, which you have chosen for yourself, and which you hear, when it faithfully calls upon you with its prayers and cries. Perhaps they might perceive, they might be more disquieted, they might watch out for themselves, lest they sin against it. They might give themselves to meditation, even on their own bed, as to what account they should take of it, and perhaps might find repose, and might possibly be led to offer the sacrifices of true justice together with it.
But now, blinded, they desire nothing more than to satisfy their rage against it, and they hold overturning it to be the highest good. But we, O God, however many of us worship you in spirit and in truth, have prayed to you very often for the salvation of our enemies themselves; and when their affairs had good and happy issue, we rejoiced from the heart.
Grant therefore, in accordance with your mercy, that at last they permit us to live peacefully and tranquilly; grant, I say, that we find repose in you alone, and, relying upon your faithfulness, dwell securely with you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.1
E.J. Hutchinson is Assistant Professor of Classics at Hillsdale College.
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