1599 Geneva Bible Prayers, Morning Prayer part one

A long time ago T.W.O. wanted to type or write up the prayers in the 1599 facsimile of the Geneva Bible that he brought into the marriage, can’t recall which.  In any case, that is a small thing I can use this blog for.  The script is difficult to read, and the texts aren’t online as far as I’ve found.  So I think this can be a nice occasional thing to post.

Something to remember is that Geneva Bibles were very DIY.  You went to the printer and received specifically what you requested.  So you could have a “Bible” that was only the Old Testament and a Psalter, as an example.  This lack of standardization is an interesting and curiously modern feature.  It also means what I copy in modern English is not necessarily from every 1599 facsimile available.

After the Sternhold-Hopkins Psalter in the facsimile we own, there follows a short list of prayers with this title: “A form of prayer to be said in private houses every Morning and Evening.”

This is part of the first one (asterisks are my best guess, the text is not always sharp enough to make out easily):

Morning Prayer

Almighty God and most merciful father, we do not present our selves here before thy Majesty, trusting in our own merits or worthiness, but in thy, manifold mercies, which [hath promised]* to hear our prayers and grant our requests, which we shall make to thee in the name of thy beloved Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who also hath commanded us to assemble our selves together in his name, with full assurance, that he will not only be amongst us, but also be our mediator and adjudicate to thy Majesty, that we may obtain all things which shall seem expedient to thy blessed will, for our necessities. Therefore we beseech thee sweet Father, to turn thy loving countenance towards us, and impute not unto us our manifold sins and offenses, whereby we most justly deserve thy wrath and sharp punishment, but rather receive us to thy mercy, for Jesus Christ’s sake, accepting his death and passion as a just recompense for all our offenses, in whom only thou art pleased, and through whom thou canst not be offended with us. And seeing that of thy great mercy we have quietly passed this night: Grant (O heavenly Father) that we may bestow this day wholly in thy service, so that all our thoughts, words, and deeds, may redound to the glory of thy name and good example of all men, who seeing our good works, may glorify thee our heavenly Father. And for as much as of thy mere favor and love, thou hast not only created us to thine own similitude and likeness, but also hast chosen us to be heirs with thy dear son Jesus Christ, of that immortal kingdom, which thou preparedst for us before the beginning of the world: we beseech thee to increase our faith and knowledge, and to lighten our hearts with thy holy spirit, that we may in the meantime live in godly conversation and integrity of life, knowing that Idolaters, adulterers, covetous men, contentious persons, drunkards, gluttons and suchlike, shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Part Two of this prayer another day, translating on the fly into modern English is hard!

Advertisements