The Saints and Martyrs of England
Preserve me, O God, for in you have I taken refuge; I have said to the Lord, ‘You are my lord, all my good depends on you.’ All my delight is upon the godly that are in the land, upon those who are noble in heart. Though the idols are legion that many run after, their drink offerings of blood I will not offer, neither make mention of their names upon my lips. The Lord himself is my portion and my cup; in your hands alone is my fortune. My share has fallen in a fair land; indeed, I have a goodly heritage. I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel, and in the night watches he instructs my heart. I have set the Lord always before me; he is at my right hand; I shall not fall. Wherefore my heart is glad and my spirit rejoices; my flesh also shall rest secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Death, nor suffer your faithful one to see the Pit. You will show me the path of life; in your presence is the fullness of joy and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.
O sing to the Lord a new song; sing his praise in the congregation of the faithful. Let Israel rejoice in their maker; let the children of Zion be joyful in their king. Let them praise his name in the dance; let them sing praise to him with timbrel and lyre. For the Lord has pleasure in his people and adorns the poor with salvation. Let the faithful be joyful in glory; let them rejoice in their ranks, With the praises of God in their mouths and a two-edged sword in their hands; To execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples; To bind their kings in chains and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute on them the judgement decreed: such honour have all his faithful servants.
For now the Sovereign, the Lord of hosts, is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah support and staff—all support of bread, and all support of water—warrior and soldier, judge and prophet, diviner and elder, captain of fifty and dignitary, counsellor and skilful magician and expert enchanter. And I will make boys their princes, and babes shall rule over them. The people will be oppressed, everyone by another and everyone by a neighbour, the youth will be insolent to the elder, and the base to the honourable.
Someone will even seize a relative, a member of the clan, saying,
‘You have a cloak; you shall be our leader, and this heap of ruins shall be under your rule.’
But the other will cry out on that day, saying,
‘I will not be a healer; in my house there is neither bread nor cloak; you shall not make me leader of the people.’
For Jerusalem has stumbled and Judah has fallen, because their speech and their deeds are against the Lord, defying his glorious presence.
The look on their faces bears witness against them; they proclaim their sin like Sodom, they do not hide it. Woe to them! For they have brought evil on themselves. Tell the innocent how fortunate they are, for they shall eat the fruit of their labours. Woe to the guilty! How unfortunate they are, for what their hands have done shall be done to them. My people—children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, your leaders mislead you, and confuse the course of your paths.
The Lord rises to argue his case; he stands to judge the peoples. The Lord enters into judgement with the elders and princes of his people: It is you who have devoured the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses. What do you mean by crushing my people, by grinding the face of the poor? says the Lord God of hosts.
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him,
‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.’
But he answered,
‘It is written, “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”’
Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him,
‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, “He will command his angels concerning you”, and “On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.” ’
Jesus said to him,
‘Again it is written, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” ’
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour; and he said to him,
‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.’
Jesus said to him,
‘Away with you, Satan! for it is written, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.” ’
Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.
God, whom the glorious company of the redeemed adore, assembled from all times and places of your dominion: we praise you for the saints of our own land and for the many lamps their holiness has lit; and we pray that we also may be numbered at last with those who have done your will and declared your righteousness;
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.