In the time of War and Tumults.
O ALMIGHTY God, King of all kings, and Governor of all things, whose power no creature is able to resist, to whom it belongeth justly to punish sinners, and to be merciful to those who truly repent; Save and deliver us, we humbly beseech thee, from the hands of our enemies; abate their pride, assuage their malice, and confound their devices; that we, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore from all perils, to glorify thee, who art the only giver of all victory; through the merits of thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Lesson from the Epistle of St Paul the Apostle to the Romans.
Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God. Therefore he that resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God. And they that resist, purchase to themselves damnation. For princes are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good: and thou shalt have praise from the same. For he is God's minister to thee, for good. But if thou do that which is evil, fear: for he beareth not the sword in vain. For he is God's minister: an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil. Wherefore be subject of necessity, not only for wrath, but also for conscience' sake. For therefore also you pay tribute. For they are the ministers of God, serving unto this purpose. Render therefore to all men their dues. Tribute, to whom tribute is due: custom, to whom custom: fear, to whom fear: honour, to whom honour.
Be ye subject therefore to every human creature for God's sake: whether it be to the king as excelling; or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of the good. (I Peter ii, 13-14)
From all sedition, privy conspiracy, and rebellion,Good Lord, deliver us.Looting and violence in the UK (not at all unusual, historically speaking): time for the army to enforce law and order, methinks. Those who smash, burn and steal should be dealt with harshly. A curfew and orders to shoot looters would do nicely for starters. Is it still done to read the Riot Act? (It would not be at all unusual for all this to be done to suppress the violence on the streets, taking the long view.)
Civilization is a thin veneer over barbarism; in our atavistic modern age, amorality and glorying in destruction are just beneath the surface. If the genie is let out the bottle, it will prove all too potent in working mischief. Time for punishments to be meted out. "Thou shalt not steal." – I wonder if many of the thieves know about this Commandment, or Whose it is, or what awaits those who commit mortal sins? And what of those who destroy what the hard work of others has built up? Let them pay the price.