James I, Meditation Upon the Lord's Prayer (1619)
King James, Meditation upon the Lord's Prayer
annotation on the title page, "Eliz.th Abbey" ... "King James his meditation on the Lords Prayer 1620"
Preface begins by twisting the famous first four words of the Aeneid (Ille ego qui quondam) -- virgil wanted to show how he had elevated his verse from simple pastoral to an epic about rulers; whereas James says he now descends "to meditate upon the plaine, smoothe and easie Lords Prayer, that euery ode wife can either say or mumble, and euery well bred child can interprete by his Catechisme" (A2v-A3r)
turning from meat for men to milk for babes
dedicated to Buckingham; better to be short and plain for him, since James knows he's busy with his work, and that he was "not bred a scholler"; claims Buckingham encouraged him to write these meditations down; claims he is "not onely your politike, but also your oeconomike Father, and that in a neere degree then vnto others"; is a New Year's gift to him; describes it in the margins as "This paper-friend" -- which "will not importune you at vnseasonable houres, come vncalled, nor speake vnrequired, & yet wil he neither flatter, lie, nor dissemble."
in prayer we "speake with God, and in a maner conferre with him"
in this age, zeal for prayer is "quite dried vp and cooled, and turned to pratling" (B3r)
- marginal note complains that "euery ignorant woman, and ordinary craftsman aking vpon them to interpret the Scriptures"
- complains about Puritans who don't pray continually but preach continually
the reason the Lord's prayer is the best is because "it is the onely Prayer that our Sauiour dictated out of his owne mouth, with a precept to vs o imitation" (B3v)
complains that Puritans want to pray whatever they make up in their own brains, not a set prayer; but "I iustly call it monstrous, since they will haue a thing both conceiued and borne at once, contrary to nature, which will haue euery thing to lie in th belly of the mother a certaine time after the conception, there to growe and ripen before it bee produced." (9-10)
since Puritans object to bishops, "to the woods and caues must they goe, like outlawes and rebels, to their Semons & diuine exercises" (14)
true visible church sits at the top of the hill -- be careful not to tumble down the hill into the pit
"Our Father" -- shows that "euery one of vs is a member of a body of a Church, that is compacted of many members" (23)
pray together "to shew and expresse our harmonie and holy zeale to praise God, ioyntly with the rest of the members" (29)