CHARTIST PRAYER FOR COLLINS & OTHER LEADERS
LONDON ~ 1840
A prayer delivered at the opening of a Chartist church in London which refers to a much wished for time when the Chartist leaders including John Collins "shall shake the Senate House by their eloquence, and direct the realm by their wisdom ... ..."
O Lord, the fountain of all goodness, by whom our valleys at this time are covered with corn, and our hills teeming with innumerable flocks, the Maker of one blood of all nations that dwell upon the face of the earth, and who hath declared Thyself no respecter of persons by levelling crowned heads with beggars in one mighty sepulchre, and mingling the dust of proud and haughty tyrants with that of the meanest slave.
Ere our lips give utterance, thou art acquainted with our desires and the interests of our hearts, the cruel and wicked judgments of which the tribunals of the land resound, are all naked before Thee, and no secret can be hid.
Hear the prayer of Thy persecuted servant, and the silent breathings of the oppressed that surround him, on behalf of those of our brethren by whom Thy violated law hath spoken out and for which they are now breathing the polluted air of the dungeon, reduced to skeletons, with the months of their harsh and rigorous endurance.
Be Thou with them, support them, preserve them, and teach them, that they may come forth from the prison cell, as giants refreshed with new wine, mighty in power to the pulling down of the strongholds of corruption, and in boldness and self possession work out the political redemption of the British People.
O Lord, hasten the long wished for period, when such men as honest O'Connor, Vincent, Lovett, Collins, and many others, shall shake the Senate House by their eloquence, and direct the realm by their wisdom, that iniquity may be compelled to hide her head, and the iron rod of despotism be forever broken; when the laws for the separation of husband and wife shall be no more; when those ties that have been so rudely broken, shall again be united; when bastiles, the monuments of wicked legislation, shall tumble to the ground, and peace be proclaimed upon earth, and good will amongst men.
Hear us, O Lord, on behalf of a wicked and persecuting church, which exists by violence and plundering of goods, instead of the freewill offerings of the heart; convert our bishops and clergy to Christianity, and release the martyr Thorogood from gaol.
May tithe-barns cease to be their temples and money their God.
May they abandon all choice schemes which tend to the destruction of liberty and genuine knowledge.
While thus assembled to offer prayers to Thee, we supplicate for her who sits upon a human bone-and-blood built throne, swaying the sceptre of this mighty empire; may she henceforth counsel her wicked councilors, and teach her foolish senators wisdom; that her people's requests may be granted, and herself in reality be Queen Victoria by the grace of God, instead of queen of slaves.
Hear us on behalf of the countless thousands of India, whom designing men are seeking to destroy by the game of horror and war ; may we, as a nation and a people, refuse to take part in the shedding of human blood, and show the world, by our lives and conduct, we are determined to obey God rather than man.
We pray for all sorts and conditions of men, for all spies, for all false witnesses, for all perjured jurors, for all unjust judges, and for all the victims made now at home and abroad; aid and assist us in the mighty work we have to perform; prepare us to brave persecution, and enable us to surmount every difficulty and may we never relax our exertions until our birthright, the Charter, do come.
That on earth, as in heaven, Thy will may be done.
To this may all our hearts respond, and every tongue exclaim Amen.