The Latin Collect
Deus, qui omnipotentiam tuam parcendo maxime, et miserando manifestas: multiplica super nos misericordiam tuam; ut ad tua promissa currentes, caelestium bonorum facias esse consortes.
The Collect 1549
GOD, which declarest thy almighty power, most chiefly in shewyng mercy and pitie; Geve unto us abundauntly thy grace, that we, running to thy promises, may be made partakers of thy heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christe our Lorde.
The Collect 1662
O GOD, who declarest thy almighty power most chiefly in shewing mercy and pity; Mercifully grant unto us such a measure of thy grace, that we, running the way of thy commandments, may obtain thy gracious promises, and be made partakers of thy heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
This collect originates from the Gelasian Sacramentary of about AD 750, being assigned, in the Sarum Missal to this Sunday, and in the Tridentine to the 10th after Pentecost. Archbishop Cranmer’s translation of 1549 is quite literal and preserves the poetic imagery of the original. The compilers of 1662, apparently reaching for more elegant language, managed to change the emphasis subtly from God’s promise to our obedience, which seems a pity, inasmuch as this latter theme is very common among other collects, and this one prayer seems to stand almost alone in content. It is the 1662 version that has come down to Americans in the 1928 BCP.
God, who created the heavens and the earth, to whom all the laws of nature are subject, in whose hands are held the awesome powers of the elements, shows His almighty power in many ways, but chiefly and most importantly in the apparent weakness of a Cross whereon mercy and pity and grace are dramatically revealed. In our awe at this counter-intuitive manifestation of divinity, we ask His grace, not that we may do better and thus earn his favor, but that we may run to his promises, that we may accept what He so freely offers us by that Cross, that by those promises we may receive the great treasure that He has prepared for us sinners. May we ever run with all our effort into His everlasting arms.
Amen! There is an old Baptist hymn that urges sinners to "flee to the Cross." I remember it from my childhood.
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