Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556): Although my sins be great, yet thy mercy is greater


“O Father of heaven, O Son of God, Redeemer of the world, O Holy Ghost, proceeding from them both, three Persons and one God, have mercy upon me, a most wretched caitiff [coward] and miserable sinner. I have offended both heaven and earth, more than my tongue can express. Whither then may I go, or whither shall I flee for succour? To heaven I may be ashamed to lift up mine eyes, and in earth I find no refuge or succour. What shall I then do? Shall I despair? God forbid. O God, thou art merciful, and refusest none that cometh unto thee for succour. To thee, therefore, do I run; to thee do I humble myself, saying, O Lord God, my sins be great, but have mercy upon me for thy great mercy. God was not made man for our small offences. Thou didst not give thy Son unto death for small sins only, but for all and the greatest sins of the world, so that the sinner return to thee in his heart, as I do here at this present. Wherefore have mercy on me, O Lord; for although my sins be great, yet thy mercy is greater. I crave nothing, Lord, for mine own merits, but for thy name’s sake, that it may be hallowed thereby, and for thy dear Son, Jesus Christ’s sake. And now therefore, O Father, that art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, &c.”

– Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556), “The Prayer and Saying of Thomas Cranmer, a little before Ms death, all written with his own hand, as followeth,” in Works, 2:565.


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