Chapter I



He admires God's Majesty, and is inflamed
with a deep desire of praising him

MAGNUS es, domine, et laudabilis valde: magna virtus tua, et sapientiae tuae non est numerus. et laudare te vult homo, aliqua portio creaturae tuae, et homo circumferens mortalitatem suam, circumferens testimonium peccati sui et testimonium, quia superbis resistis: et tamen laudare te vult homo, aliqua portio creaturae tuae. tu excitas, ut laudare te delectet, quia fecisti nos ad te et inquietum est cor nostrum, donec requiescat in te. da mihi, domine, scire et intellegere, utrum sit prius invocare te an laudare te, et scire te prius sit an invocare te. sed quis te invocat nesciens te? aliud enim pro alio potest invocare nesciens. an potius invocaris, ut sciaris? quomodo autem invocabunt, in quem non crediderunt? aut quomodo credent sine praedicante? et laudabunt dominum qui requirunt eum. quaerentes enim inveniunt eum et invenientes laudabunt eum. quaeram te, domine, invocans te, et invocem te credens in te: praedicatus enim es nobis. invocat te, domine, fides mea, quam dedisti mihi, quam inspirasti mihi per humanitatem filii tui, per ministerium praedicatoris tui. GREAT art thou, O Lord, and greatly to be praised:  great is thy power, and thy wisdom is infinite.1 And man, who being a part of what thou hast created, is desirous to praise thee; this man, bearing about his own mortality with him, carrying about him a testimony of his own sin, (even this testimony, that God resisteth the proud;)2 yet this man, this part  of what thou hast created, is desirous to praise thee;  thou so provokest him, that he even delighteth to praise thee. For thou hast created us for thyself, and our heart cannot be quieted till it may find repose in thee. Grant me, Lord, to know and understand what I ought first to do, whether call upon thee, or praise thee? And which ought to be first, to know thee, or to call upon thee? But who can rightly call upon thee, that is yet ignorant of thee? For such an one may instead of thee call upon another, or art thou rather first called upon, that thou mayest so come to be known? But how then shall they call on him, in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe without a preacher?3 And again, they shall praise the Lord that seek after him : for, they that seek shall find; and finding they shall praise him.4 Thee will I seek, O Lord, calling upon thee; and I will call upon thee, believiug in thee: for thou hast been declared unto us. My faith, O Lord, calls upon thee, which thou hast given me, which thou hast inspired into me; even by the humanity of thy Son, and by the ministry of thy preacher.

All Quotes are from the Authorized Version of 1611 (KJV).

1Ps. cxlvii. 5, "Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite."
2James IV. 6, "But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble."
3Rom. x. 14,  "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?"
4Matt. vii. 7 , "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:"