Edmund, King of the East Angles, Martyr, 870
Priscilla Lydia Sellon, a Restorer of the Religious Life in the Church of England, 1876
1 Hear my crying, O God, and listen to my prayer.
2 From the end of the earth I call to you with fainting heart; O set me on the rock that is higher than I.
3 For you are my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.
4 Let me dwell in your tent for ever and take refuge under the cover of your wings.
5 For you, O God, will hear my vows; you will grant the request of those who fear your name.
6 You will add length of days to the life of the king, that his years may endure throughout all generations.
7 May he sit enthroned before God for ever; may steadfast love and truth watch over him.
8 So will I always sing praise to your name, and day by day fulfil my vows.
1 On God alone my soul in stillness waits; from him comes my salvation.
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold, so that I shall never be shaken.
3 How long will all of you assail me to destroy me, as you would a tottering wall or a leaning fence?
4 They plot only to thrust me down from my place of honour; lies are their chief delight; they bless with their mouth, but in their heart they curse.
5 Wait on God alone in stillness, O my soul; for in him is my hope.
6 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold, so that I shall not be shaken.
7 In God is my strength and my glory; God is my strong rock; in him is my refuge.
8 Put your trust in him always, my people; pour out your hearts before him, for God is our refuge.
9 The peoples are but a breath, the whole human race a deceit; on the scales they are altogether lighter than air.
10 Put no trust in oppression; in robbery take no empty pride; though wealth increase, set not your heart upon it.
11 God spoke once, and twice have I heard the same, that power belongs to God.
12 Steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord, for you repay everyone according to their deeds.
While I was speaking, and was praying and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God on behalf of the holy mountain of my God—while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen before in a vision, came to me in swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice. He came and said to me, ‘Daniel, I have now come out to give you wisdom and understanding. At the beginning of your supplications a word went out, and I have come to declare it, for you are greatly beloved. So consider the word and understand the vision:
‘Seventy weeks are decreed for your people and your holy city: to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. Know therefore and understand: from the time that the word went out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the time of an anointed prince, there shall be seven weeks; and for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with streets and moat, but in a troubled time. After the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing, and the troops of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. He shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall make sacrifice and offering cease; and in their place shall be an abomination that desolates, until the decreed end is poured out upon the desolator.’
A great portent appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pangs, in the agony of giving birth. Then another portent appeared in heaven: a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, so that he might devour her child as soon as it was born. And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. But her child was snatched away and taken to God and to his throne; and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, so that there she can be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
And war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back, but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, proclaiming,
‘Now have come the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Messiah,
for the accuser of our comrades has been thrown down,
who accuses them day and night before our God.
But they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony,
for they did not cling to life even in the face of death.
Rejoice then, you heavens
and those who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
for the devil has come down to you
with great wrath,
because he knows that his time is short!’
So when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle, so that she could fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to her place where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. Then from his mouth the serpent poured water like a river after the woman, to sweep her away with the flood. But the earth came to the help of the woman; it opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her children, those who keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus.
Then the dragon took his stand on the sand of the seashore.
Eternal God, whose servant Edmund kept faith to the end, both with you and with his people, and glorified you by his death: grant us such steadfastness of faith that, with the noble army of martyrs, we may come to enjoy the fullness of the resurrection life; 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.