Jeremy Taylor, Bishop of Down and Connor, Teacher of the Faith, 1667
Florence Nightingale, Nurse, Social Reformer, 1910
Octavia Hill, Social Reformer, 1912
His foundation is on the holy mountains.
The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
Glorious things are spoken of you, Zion, city of our God.
I record Egypt and Babylon as those who know me;
behold Philistia, Tyre and Ethiopia: in Zion were they born.
And of Zion it shall be said, ‘Each one was born in her, and the Most High himself has established her.’
The Lord will record as he writes up the peoples, ‘This one also was born there.’
And as they dance they shall sing, ‘All my fresh springs are in you.’
My song shall be always of the loving-kindness of the Lord:
with my mouth will I proclaim your faithfulness throughout all generations.
I will declare that your love is established for ever;
you have set your faithfulness as firm as the heavens.
For you said: ‘I have made a covenant with my chosen one;
I have sworn an oath to David my servant:
‘ “Your seed will I establish for ever and build up your throne for all generations.” ’
The heavens praise your wonders, O Lord, and your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones;
For who among the clouds can be compared to the Lord?
Who is like the Lord among the host of heaven?
A God feared in the council of the holy ones,
great and terrible above all those round about him.
Who is like you, Lord God of hosts?
Mighty Lord, your faithfulness is all around you.
You rule the raging of the sea;
you still its waves when they arise.
You crushed Rahab with a deadly wound
and scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
Yours are the heavens; the earth also is yours;
you established the world and all that fills it.
You created the north and the south;
Tabor and Hermon rejoice in your name.
You have a mighty arm;
strong is your hand and high is your right hand.
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
steadfast love and faithfulness go before your face.
Happy are the people who know the shout of triumph:
they walk, O Lord, in the light of your countenance.
In your name they rejoice all the day long and are exalted in your righteousness.
For you are the glory of their strength, and in your favour you lift up our heads.
Truly the Lord is our shield;
the Holy One of Israel is our king.
The Lord created me at the beginning of his work,
the first of his acts of long ago.
Ages ago I was set up,
at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
When there were no depths I was brought forth,
when there were no springs abounding with water.
Before the mountains had been shaped,
before the hills, I was brought forth—
when he had not yet made earth and fields,
or the world’s first bits of soil.
When he established the heavens, I was there,
when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
when he made firm the skies above,
when he established the fountains of the deep,
when he assigned to the sea its limit,
so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
then I was beside him, like a master worker;
and I was daily his delight,
rejoicing before him always,
rejoicing in his inhabited world
and delighting in the human race.
‘And now, my children, listen to me:
happy are those who keep my ways.
Hear instruction and be wise,
and do not neglect it.
Happy is the one who listens to me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting beside my doors.
For whoever finds me finds life
and obtains favour from the Lord;
but those who miss me injure themselves;
all who hate me love death.’
When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered round him; and he was by the lake. Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, ‘My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.’ So he went with him.
And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. Now there was a woman who had been suffering from haemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, ‘If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.’ Immediately her haemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ And his disciples said to him, ‘You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, “Who touched me?” ’ He looked all round to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.’
Holy and loving God,
you dwell in the human heart
and make us partakers of the divine nature
in Christ our great high priest:
help us who remember your servant Jeremy Taylor
to put our trust in your heavenly promises
and follow a holy life in virtue and true godliness;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.