The Sacrifice of a Contrite Heart in Teares, Meditations, and Prayers

In Teares, Meditations, and Prayers.

Penned by JOHN EVANS Minister of Gods Word.

(JAMES 5.)If any be afflicted, let him pray: If any be merry, let him sing Psalmes.
LONDON: Printed by A. M. for Richard Hamond, and are to be sold at his Shop at the upper end of Fleete lane. 1630.
PUBLISHED FOR Richard Hamond 1630
[Page 85]

1. A godly Meditation, wherein the distressed sheweth his unfained griefe and sorrow, for having offended so powerfull a God, and so mercifull and gracious a Father

ALas that I offended ever,
this God of gods, this Lord of powers;
That can in peeces all men shiver,
and overturne the stateliest towers:
Ah, woe is me that I offended,
and justly God stirr'd up to ire;
Who by his Law hath sinne condemned.
unto the pit of endlesse fire.
I daily see Gods creatures all,
justly for sinne displeas'd with me;
Mens hearts are hardned and with gall,
feede me that have offended thee:
My God thy blessings all on earth,
tho duoest with-hold and from me keepe,
Alas my soule sustaines a dearth
of grace, unto thy grace I creepe.
But what to doe, or what to say,
I know not Lord, but I know this;
[Page 86]
My griefes encrease more day by day,
my mirth is moane, bane is my blisse.
One evill doth another call,
like waves on waves in raging seas;
My weary burthen makes me fall,
I finde no comfort, helpe, nor ease,
I hope of helpe, but that hope quailes,
in crosses are my comforts ended;
I flie to Faith, but then Faith failes,
when I neede most to be defended,
As if I were the onely man,
prepos'd by thine intendement;
Whom heaven [a]nd earth must curse and ban,
as subject of all punishment:
Thy justice damnes me, I appeale
to mercy, then appeal'd I feare
To be rejected, thus cold zeale,
and secret sinnes with griefe I beare.
Shall I thinke it a fruitlesse taske,
unto my God for to repaire;
That sinners cals and bids them aske,
and they shall have all things by prayer:
Can it be bootelesse downe to fall,
before his throne of Majestie;
[Page 87]
And with repentant tongue to call,
for pardon for mine iniquitie.
May not unfaigned cries, at last
prevaile with him thats pittifull,
To pardon mine offences past,
revive my soule which now is dull:
Ile frame my heart to meditate,
my tongue to utter what may please
Him, whom best knoweth my estate,
and seeke his wrath for to appease.
To him ile goe in Christ his name,
in whom I know he is well pleas'd;
And will confesse my sinne with shame,
and so mine heart shall sure be eas'd:
For Christs sake looke on me againe,
he is God all-sufficient;
He doth behold and see my paine,
my inward faithfull hearts intent.
He knoweth what I goe about,
all I thinke, speake, or doe amisse
He writes or notes without all doubt,
in his remembrance booke it is:
I know he will in worth accept,
what justly I intend to be;
[Page 88]
And cannot it performe, except
he put his helping hand thereto;
He knoweth that I am but flesh,
and what is flesh but fraile and ill:
And what is man, a lumpe of trash,
whom vaine desires doe fully fill:
And will this God Jehovah high,
so strong and powerfull set his might;
Against a worme so weake as I,
a silly man, a shade of night.
What conquest can there be in God,
to worke revenge on me poore soule;
Who still corrects me with his rod,
whose Justice doth my sinnes controle:
Shall I dispute with thee, nay rather,
poore wretch I should fall prostrate downe,
And humbly kneele unto my Father,
and pray with teares when he doth frowne.
If he afflict more, be it so,
if further plague me, le't be so,
If he will kill with paines and woe,
doe what he will, let it be so:
For I am his, doe what he will,
with me and all that mine can bee;
[Page 89]
It is his owne, and must be still,
there's no disputing (Lord) with thee.
There is no Art, or Eloquence,
can quench thy coales of burning ire;
It is not words can make defence,
nor friends can save me from the fire:
Nor take me from thy powerfull hands,
so full of might, force, strength and power;
Or breake in sunder, thy strong bands,
nor ease one minute of an houre.
Ile yeeld me therefore to his will,
Lord doe what thy good pleasure is;
Turne me as may, thy minde fulfill,
ile waite the time of happy blisse:
Ile waite thy pleasure, time will come,
wherein I may the issue see
Of my afflictions all and some,
and what thy purpose is with me.
The meane time I will with thy word,
consult and use my exercise;
And comfort take through hope ô Lord,
refresh dull spirits, and cleare dimme eyes:
With dewe of thy sweete promises,
laying aside all fleshly aide;
[Page 90]
I onely rest on thy mercies,
in holy word as thou hast saide.
And in true faith will I remaine,
and seeke thee (being the true way)
Wherein who walkes, at length shall gaine,
true blisse and happinesse for aye:
Who this embraceth shall not erre,
wherein who lives, shall never dye;
But weare a crowne past reason farre,
and live with God eternally.
[Page 274]

2. A Prayer for the fruits of the earth, and other nourishments of this mortall life.

O Eternall God, which feedest with thy blessing every living thing: and satisfiest the desires of thy servants, with thy bountifull goodnesse, wee wretched sinners, unworthy of the least of thy blessings and benefits, doe most humbly beseech thee to be pleased, to blesse all the fruits of the earth, that wee and all thy servants may be partakers of thy comforts therein, for the nourishment of this life. Give us, O Lord, this day our daily bread, prepare our ground, and prosper our corne. Blesse the seede time with the first and latter raine, and meete temperature of ayre. Keepe our fruits while they bee in the earth, from haile and thunder, from excessive droughts, and immoderate raines, from mildewes, [Page 275] and all noysome wormes. Send us a joyfull Harvest, and give a blessing to that which wee shall rea[?]pe, that for our unthankfulnes it waste not away without our reliefe. Increase our cattell, with all other our provision, which we shall carefully labour for. Replenish our basket, and blesse our store, that wee may have wherewith, as to furnish our selves, so to give some reliefe unto others. Protect our servants and workefolkes, that they may be strong to labour, wise to forecast, and faithfull in their businesse. Keepe our Garners, Barnes, and Storehouses, from fire, and boysterous windes, Theeves, and suddaine inundations. Prosper our workes and travels, whether by sea or land, and blesse and prosper all them that any way labour for any of those things that we shall have occasion to use.

Send remedy, O Lord, for all hardnesse and misery, turne our [...] [Page 276] dearth into cheapenesse, and our scarcity into plenty. Open the hearts of rich men, to whom thou hast given much, that they may have a charitable respect of the poore at all times. Helpe us (O Lord) and give us such things as we stand in neede of, and make us to desire such things onely as may bee pleasing unto thee, to search them wisely, and to finde them easily. Oppresse us not with too much poverty, neither puffe us up with too much plenty; but give us a competent store of things necessary for this life, and grace to use them soberly to thy glory, and our comfort, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

[Page 337]

3. LACHRIM. 8.
The penitent acknowledgeth mans wildnesse, and Gods mercies; by faith and example of Gods providence, relieth on his goodnes.

O Lord, thy name's most excellent,
in all the world thy glory is spread;
Through heavens and the firmament,
and by all creatures uttered.
In universall harmonie,
extoll'd in heaven and in earth:
Exprest in song and melodie,
with all alacritie and mirth.
What thou bestowest, what man can number
upon us slaves, and sonnes of men:
Who by our sinnes are put asunder
from thy deare love, by acts uncleane,
Forgetfull, and so capeable
[Page 338]
of sinne as powder is of fire.
In all our workes and words unstable,
and know not what we should desire.
Above all creatures we forget,
thy grace are prone to disobay:
And if thy mercy did not let,
all Adams broode thou shouldst destroy.
And I for my part me confesse,
guilty of all sinnes, and all evills.
And that I have deserv'd no lesse,
then to be damn'd amongst the devills.
The world for disobedience
didst punish, and thou moughtest subvert,
But chiefely me for negligence,
mayest plague with all plagues, 'tis desert.
I am not worthy to breathe in ayre,
nor have the use of any creature:
Much lesse to thee to make my prayer,
cause 'gainst my God I am a traytour.
Thou worthily me do'st afflict,
at me thou takest just offence:
All punishments thou doest inflict,
because thy wrath I did incense.
My trespasses doe more offend,
[Page 339]
then I can please with my best zeale:
The worthinesse I best intend,
I not performe, my soule Lord heale.
I shame at mine unworthinesse,
yet faine would be at one with thee:
Thou art a joy in heavinesse,
a succour in necessity,
To them that doe their lives reforme,
and rightly frame their penitence:
Sincerely follow and performe,
thy will without all negligence.
All this to doe I doe desire,
and what thou sayest I doe beleeve:
Thy pardon graunt me I require,
release and pardon Lord me give.
O be with them that doe thee seeke,
and yeeld them helpe that hold by thee:
Instructing humble men and meeke,
that wisedome seeke by thy mercy.
Sith I so long to thee have cried,
so long thee sought, yet hope I will:
Though my sad soule in silence bide,
in constant Patience I wayte still.
Thou rightly hear'st my inward groanes,
[Page 340]
my sorrowes, sighes, wants and desire:
And doest respect the outward moanes,
of men distrest that feare the fire.
Though in their lips they mute doe seeme,
and doe speake nothing with their tongues.
What they conspire, thou doest it deeme,
and present art to right my wrongs.
But loe the time is not expir'd,
of mine ordained punishment:
Nor of that freedome I desir'd,
Ile waite by hope in languishment.
My helpe, my comfort and my life,
salvation mine depends on thee:
Within my conscience stint the strife,
and give me grace and liberty.
My life, my comfort, helpe, and all
salvation, on Christ dependeth:
'Tis he doth raise me when I fall,
he all begins, and he all endeth.
I will not murmure, neither grudge,
nor seare, nor faint; but alwayes waite:
He is my Saviour, and my Judge,
his grace decreed, who can retrait.
Is there not an appointed time,
for all things that by God be wrought?
[Page 341]
Job was brought low, at last did clime,
to wealth and honour he was brought.
And Joseph was afflicted long,
by brethren, and by false accuse:
He was shut up in prison strong,
didst all his cause and wrongs peruse.
At length brought'st him to honour great:
and David was at fi<r>st cast downe,
And then inthroan'd in Princely seate,
and long enjoyed the royall Crowne.
Poore widdowe of Sarepta shee,
and hers were ready for to pine:
Her barrell and her Cruse by thee
were blest, and that Prophet thine,
Her meale and oyle did never faile,
thou send'st that Saint even to that end,
That they in dearth should never quaile,
so didst from famine her defend.
Wherefore a little while Ile waite,
I know the appointed time will come:
I shall be freed from sinnes deceite,
wilt mercies send in miseries roome.
Thou art my portion and my strength,
my defence, and salvation:
[Page 342]
Thou seest my troubles, and at length
wilt give me consolation.
Thou send'st them not as ignorant,
of them, thou know'st thou didst me make:
Therefore what's needfull God me graunt,
good Lord doe never me forsake.
I am brought to the very pit,
of all confusion men suppose:
Thou hast decreed the time most fit,
of my delivery from my foes.
To me unknowne that being seene,
I may attribute to thee then,
The praise who praised ere hast beene,
without the ayde of mortall men.
Which I have sought so long in vaine,
yea while I called thee upon:
Let me acknowledge helpe againe,
to come from thee or else from none.
And all that the world can afford,
be but the effects of thy deare Love:
Thy power, thy providence, thy word,
doe send me comfort from above.
O blessed man whom thou doest chuse,
and callest by crosses unto thee,
Whom thou by death seem'st to refuse,
[Page 343]
by secret sweetnesse lives by thee.
With inward consolation,
fed with the Manna of thy love:
Who dwells in thy protection,
with lively hope, can never move.
He fainteth not at mightiest frowne,
so I (O Lord) assured rest:
Thou art my portion and my crowne,
to dignifie those love thee best.
Thou tendrest me as a deare sonne,
though thou me visite with thy rod:
Yet sufferest not me for to runne
with sinners, and to fall from God.
Although I seeme of hope depriv'd,
and that my wonted comforts past:
Yet I (O Lord) shall be reviv'd
by thee, and by thy grace at last,
For all my long and instant cries
I will not shrinke; though knowing this
Thy wonderous power and great mercies,
most infinite thy mercy is.
If thou mad'st the rocke a water spring,
thy thirsty people to refresh:
From mine hard hearted foes canst wring
[Page 344]
some comfort, for my woes redresse.
If thou rain'dst Manna from above,
and Raven sent thy Saint to feede:
Thousands of men didst feede with love,
when there was little shew of bread.
If to thy people thou sendest Quailes,
in desert where all foode was scant:
And since thy goodnesse never failes,
should I suppose that I should want.
Confirme my faith for evermore,
that I most constantly beleeve,
Thou canst and wilt encrease my store,
and all good things thou wilt me give.
All power belongeth unto thee,
who can imagine or will say:
Thou canst not in my neede helpe me,
or that thy love is tane away.
Sith thou hast done such mighty things,
so freely for men in distresse:
Should not I flye with swiftest wings,
to thee in time of heavinesse.
But loe, O Lord, all things are thine.
the heavens are thine, the earth also:
The cattell, fowles, the shrubs, the vines,
all things in heaven and earth belowe.
[Page 345]
All things above, all things beneath
is thine, who truly then can say?
Thou canst not give, or them bequeath,
to whom thou wilt, who can say nay?
Thou mak'st the corne to spring and grow,
and waterst the earth with thy sweet showres:
Thou causest beasts with thanks to lowe,
with dewes thou water'st fr grant flowres.
Since then thou art the Lord of all,
sith thou command'st, and doest forbid.
The rich and poore makest, proud men fall,
that downe canst throwe and raise at neede.
Sith that thou try'st and wilt reward,
sith thou doest what shall please thy will:
And in what manner wilt regard,
and whom thou wilt canst save or spill.
No living man commandeth thee,
not all the world can thee controle:
O Lord I still will pray to thee,
for health of body and of soule.
Let it be thus, O Father deare,
for Christ his sake, thy dearest Sonne,
That dy'd, and rose my soule to cleare:
in all things (Lord) thy will be done.
[Page 346]
All glory to the Trinity,
to Father, Sonne, and holy Ghost:
Combin'd in holy unity,
of power, and might, and glory most.
This is a selection from the original text


bread, drought, earth, fruit, rain, waste

Source text

Title: The Sacrifice of a Contrite Heart in Teares, Meditations, and Prayers

Author: John Evans

Publisher: A. M.

Publication date: 1630

Edition: 2nd Edition

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Early English Books Online: Bibliographic name / number: STC (2nd ed.) / 10586 Physical description: [22], 354 p. Copy from: Folger Shakespeare Library Reel position: STC / 644:03

Digital edition

Original author(s): John Evans

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) Title Page
  • 2 ) contents, pp.85-90 (poem), 274-76 (prayer), 337-46 ("Lachrim.8")


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: Britain > poetry

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.