Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, Reformation Martyr, 1556
I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He brought me out of the roaring pit, out of the mire and clay;
he set my feet upon a rock and made my footing sure.
He has put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
many shall see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.
Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not turn to the proud that follow a lie.
Great are the wonders you have done, O Lord my God.
How great your designs for us!
There is none that can be compared with you.
If I were to proclaim them and tell of them they would be more than I am able to express.
Sacrifice and offering you do not desire but my ears you have opened;
Burnt offering and sacrifice for sin you have not required;
then said I:
‘Lo, I come.
‘In the scroll of the book it is written of me that I should do your will, O my God;
I delight to do it: your law is within my heart.’
I have declared your righteousness in the great congregation;
behold, I did not restrain my lips, and that, O Lord, you know.
Your righteousness I have not hidden in my heart;
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your loving-kindness and truth from the great congregation.
Do not withhold your compassion from me, O Lord;
let your love and your faithfulness always preserve me, for innumerable troubles have come about me;
my sins have overtaken me so that I cannot look up;
they are more in number than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails me.
Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;
O Lord, make haste to help me.
Let them be ashamed and altogether dismayed who seek after my life to destroy it;
let them be driven back and put to shame who wish me evil.
Let those who heap insults upon me be desolate because of their shame.
Let all who seek you rejoice in you and be glad;
let those who love your salvation say always,
‘The Lord is great.’
Though I am poor and needy, the Lord cares for me.
You are my helper and my deliverer;
O my God, make no delay.
Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but stands fast for ever.
As the hills stand about Jerusalem, so the Lord stands round about his people, from this time forth for evermore.
The sceptre of wickedness shall not hold sway over the land allotted to the righteous, lest the righteous turn their hands to evil.
Do good, O Lord, to those who are good, and to those who are true of heart.
Those who turn aside to crooked ways the Lord shall take away with the evildoers;
but let there be peace upon Israel.
Concerning the prophets:
My heart is crushed within me, all my bones shake;
I have become like a drunkard, like one overcome by wine,
because of the Lord and because of his holy words.
For the land is full of adulterers;
because of the curse the land mourns,
and the pastures of the wilderness are dried up.
Their course has been evil,
and their might is not right.
Both prophet and priest are ungodly;
even in my house I have found their wickedness,
says the Lord.
Therefore their way shall be to them like slippery paths in the darkness,
into which they shall be driven and fall;
for I will bring disaster upon them
in the year of their punishment,
says the Lord.
In the prophets of Samaria I saw a disgusting thing:
they prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray.
But in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a more shocking thing:
they commit adultery and walk in lies; they strengthen the hands of evildoers,
so that no one turns from wickedness; all of them have become like Sodom to me,
and its inhabitants like Gomorrah.
Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets:
‘I am going to make them eat wormwood, and give them poisoned water to drink;
for from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has spread throughout the land.’
Thus says the Lord of hosts: Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you; they are deluding you. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They keep saying to those who despise the word of the Lord, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to all who stubbornly follow their own stubborn hearts, they say, ‘No calamity shall come upon you.’
For who has stood in the council of the Lord so as to see and to hear his word?
Who has given heed to his word so as to proclaim it?
Look, the storm of the Lord!
Wrath has gone forth, a whirling tempest;
it will burst upon the head of the wicked.
The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intents of his mind.
In the latter days you will understand it clearly.
I did not send the prophets, yet they ran;
I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied.
But if they had stood in my council, then they would have proclaimed my words to my people,
and they would have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.
Am I a God near by, says the Lord, and not a God far off? Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them? says the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? says the Lord. I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ How long? Will the hearts of the prophets ever turn back—those who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart? They plan to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, just as their ancestors forgot my name for Baal. Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let the one who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? says the Lord. Is not my word like fire, says the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces? See, therefore, I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who steal my words from one another. See, I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who use their own tongues and say, ‘Says the Lord.’ See, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, says the Lord, and who tell them, and who lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or appoint them; so they do not profit this people at all, says the Lord.
The next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting,
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord—
the King of Israel!’
Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written:
‘Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion.
Look, your king is coming,
sitting on a donkey’s colt!’
His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him. So the crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to testify. It was also because they heard that he had performed this sign that the crowd went to meet him. The Pharisees then said to one another, ‘You see, you can do nothing. Look, the world has gone after him!’
Father of all mercies,
who through the work of your servant Thomas Cranmer renewed the worship of your Church
and through his death revealed your strength in human weakness:
by your grace strengthen us to worship you in spirit and in truth
and so to come to the joys of your everlasting kingdom;
through Jesus Christ our Mediator and Advocate,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.