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The Preces

These interjected prayers do not follow exactly the order of the
Collects and Prayers, which are to come next to them. The second
couplet belongs to the two prayers, for the King and for the Royal
Family: the third and fourth couplets belong to the prayer, for the
Clergy and People. The first, fifth, and sixth couplets belong to the
first, second, and third Collects respectively. The Great Breviary of
1531, according to the use of Sarum, had the 5th of these couplets as
an Antiphon for our 2nd Morning Collect for Peace, to be used at Lauds,
and also as an Antiphon at Vespers, for our 2nd Evening Collect for
Peace. The Student will find that this using of the old materials is
characteristic of the Revision of 1549. All the Preces are from the
Day Hours. With the exception of the Couplet just mentioned, they are
verses of the Psalms: First Couplet from the 85th Psalm, verse 7:
Second, from the 20th, v. 9: Third, from the 132nd, vv. 9 and 16:
Fourth, from the 28th, v. 9: Sixth, from the 51st, vv. 10 and 11.
The First couplet is that which anticipates the First Collect.

The Second couplet agrees with the Vulgate (Latin), and Septuagint
(Greek) Versions of the Psalms. Our Bible and Prayer Book Psalms
follow {133} the Hebrew division of the verse: Save, Lord: let the
King hear us when we call. The couplet in this place, being taken
from the Sarum Service, as a prayer for the King and people, was left
in its old form, when the correction was made in the Psalms.

In the Third couplet 'endue' means 'clothe.'

In the Fifth couplet the Respond appears to allege the want of earthly
helps as the reason why we ask God to give us peace. Since it is
obviously impossible that this is the meaning, it will be well to
enquire what other meaning there may be. The last verse of the 4th
Psalm has the same thought; I will lay me down in peace, and take my
rest: for it is thou, Lord, only, that makest me dwell in safety. If
the word only be omitted, the reason appears at once to be that God's
protection suffices to assure us of safety. The introduction of the
word, only, adds the thought that no other protection would suffice.
The same two thoughts are united in the Respond Because there is none
other that fighteth for us, but only thou, O God. It is as though we
said, 'Give us Peace, because thou hast the power; and we trust no
other power.'

This couplet was the Antiphon, in the Day Hours, to both the collects
for Peace; and must be taken as including both peace from "the assaults
of our enemies," and "that peace which the world cannot give." It is
suitable both to a time of External Peace, and also to a time when war,
with Peace for its object, is raging round us: the assaults, also, of
temptation are at times disturbing to our peace, in the sense which is
involved in this couplet.

The Sixth Couplet belongs to the Third Collects {134} which ask for
spiritual guidance, and spiritual light--Blessed are the pure in
heart, for they shall see God.

Next: The Collects

Previous: The Lord's Prayer As Set For The Service Of Prayer

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