Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Prayer of the East India Company's Servants, 1689

Reginald Reynolds, gives us this, in "The White Sahibs in India": "[This prayer, used by the Company's servants, is given as quoted by the Rev. John Ovington, sometime chaplain to the Company's factory in Surat, in his book, A Voyage to Suratt in the Year 1689. (Published in London, 1696.) Three such prayers were in 1698 "approved by His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lord Bishop of London."]


O Almighty and most Merciful God, who are the Sovereign Protector of all that Trust in Thee, and the Author of all Spiritual and Temporal Blessings, we thy unworthy Creatures do most humbly implore thy goodness for a plentiful Effusion of thy Grace upon our Employers, thy Servants, the Right Honourable EAST INDIA Company of ENGLAND.  Prosper them in all their publick Undertakings, and make them famous and successful in all their Governments, Colonies and Commerce both by Sea and Land; so that they may prove a publick Blessing by the increase of Honour, Wealth and Power to our Native Country, as well as to themselves.  Continue their Favours towards us, and inspire their Generals, Presidents, Agents and Councils in these remote parts of the World, and all others that are entrusted with any Authority under them, with Piety towards Thee our God, and with Wisdom, Fidelity and Circumspection in their several Stations;  That we may all discharge our respective Duties faithfully, and live Virtuously, in due Obedience to our superiors, and in Love, Peace and Charity one towards another;  That these INDIAN Nations among whom we dwell, seeing our sober and righteous Conversation, may be induced to have a just esteem for our most holy Profession of the Gospel of our Lord, and Saviour Jesus Christ, to whom be Honour, Praise and Glory, now and for ever.