Edited to 2003 American English by Curtis I. Caldwell, 06 March 2003 - 26 March 2003
appointed to be read in
In the time of the late Queen Elizabeth I
of famous memory.
And now thought fit to be reprinted by
Authority from the KING'S most
Printed by JOHN BILL, Printer to
the King's most Excellent
The Preface, as
it was published in the
Edited to 2003 American English by Curtis I. Caldwell on 28 November 2003.
Considering how necessary it is that the word of God, which is the only food of the soul, and that most excellent light that we must walk by, in this our most dangerous pilgrimage, should at all convenient times be preached unto the people, that thereby they may both learn their duty towards God, their Prince, and their neighbors, according to the mind of the Holy Ghost, expressed in the Scriptures, and also to avoid the manifold enormities which heretofore by false doctrine have crept into the church of God, and how that all they who are appointed ministers have not the gift of preaching sufficiently to instruct the people, which is committed unto them, whereof great inconveniences might rise, and ignorance still be maintained, if some honest remedy be not speedily found and provided. The Queen's most Excellent Majesty, tendering the soul health of her loving subjects, and the quieting of their consciences, in the chief and principle points of Christian religion, and willing also by the true setting forth, and pure declaring of God's Word, which is the principle guide and leader unto all godliness and virtue, to expel and drive away as well all corrupt, vicious, and ungodly living, as also erroneous and poisoned doctrines, tending to superstition and idolatry, has by the advice of her most honorable counselors, for her discharge in this behalf, caused a book of homilies, which heretofore was set forth by her most loving brother, a prince of most worthy memory, Edward the Sixth, to be printed anew, wherein are contained certain wholesome and godly exhortations, to move the people to honor and worship Almighty God, and diligently to serve him, every one according to their degree, state and vocation. All which homilies, her Majesty commands, and strictly charges all parsons, vicars, curates, and all other having spiritual cure, every Sunday and holyday in the year, at the ministering of the Holy Communion, or if there be no Communion ministered that day, yet after the Gospel and creed, in such order and place as is appointed in the Book of Common Prayers, to read and declare to their parishioners plainly and distinctly one of the said homilies, in such order as they stand in the book, except there is a sermon, according as it is enjoined in the Injunctions Book of her Highness' Injunctions, and then for that cause only, and for none other, the reading of the said homily to be deferred unto the next Sunday, or holyday following. And when the aforesaid book of homilies is read over, her Majesty's pleasure is that the same be repeated and read again, in such like sort as was before prescribed. Furthermore, her Highness commands, that notwithstanding this order, the said ecclesiastical persons shall read her Majesty's Injunctions, as such times, and in such order, as is in the book thereof appointed. And that the Lord's Prayer, the Articles of the Faith, and the Ten Commandments be openly read to the people, as in the said Injunctions is specified, that all her people, of whatever degree or condition they are, may learn how to invoke and call upon the name of God, and know what duty they owe both to God and man, so that they may pray, believe, and work according to knowledge, while they shall live here, and after this life be with him that with his blood has bought us all. To whom with the Father and the Holy Ghost, be all honor and glory forever. Amen.
A Table of the Sermons
Contained in this Present Volume.
I. A Fruitful exhortation to the reading of holy Scripture.
II. Of the misery of all mankind.
III. Of the salvation of all mankind.
IV. Of the true and lively faith.
V. Of good works.
[Specific references to being subjects of the king were deleted, as not fitting the United States circumstance.]
VI. Of Christian love and charity.
VII. Against swearing and perjury.
VIII. Of the declining from GOD.
IX. An exhortation against the fear of death.
X. An exhortation to obedience.
[Specific references to English royalty were deleted where necessary. King and Prince was replaced with more generic "ruler" where use of King and Prince did not fit the United States circumstance.]
XI. Against whoredom and adultery.
XII. Against strife and contention.
[Specific reference to English men were generalized. "God save the King" was changed to "God bless our nation".]