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§. 3.

When the Angel came in unto her, and said, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among Women: she cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.[1]

I praise thy Holy Name[2],

O Blessed Jesus,

for the greatness of thine Eternal Love to this Holy Virgin,

 and to all mankind in her[3].

O make me sensible how highly I myself am favor’d in this great transaction[4],

since she was thus blessed among women[5],

that all the families of the farth might be blessed in her Seed[6].

A salutation of such infinite importance

doth worthily deserve to be frequently revolved in our minds[7],

which, being particularly brought to a private family in Jewry[8],

hath prov’d of universal concernment to the whole world[9].

O let me also taste and see [10]

how gracious the Lord hath been to my Soul:

No matter[11] for the favor of men,

so we find Grace with God[12].

[1] This is the next event in the Annunciation referenced in Luke 1:26-38.


            Bless the Lord, O my soul,

and all that is within me,

bless his holy name!

Psalm 103:1

Glory in his holy name;

let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!

1 Chronicles 16:10

Glory in his holy name;

let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!

Psalm 105:3

[3] Traherne is making a parallel in this prayer between Mary and Abraham. In Genesis 12, when God calls Abram, he promises him that in him all the nations of the earth shall be blessed:

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Genesis 12:1–3. That worldwide blessing is in in Abraham’s greater son, Jesus. Mary, being the virgin mother of Jesus is the last link in that chain of blessing.

[4] Traherne here counts himself in the blessing. Mary has been blessed by being the mother of Jesus. The promise to Abraham is fulfilled in the birth of Jesus. The blessing and promised and the blessing fulfilled have now overflowed to Traherne (and so also to us).

[5] After she has become pregnant, Mary travels to visit Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John the Baptist:

41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

Luke 1:41–43  

[6] Here he relates the promise to Abraham to the earlier promise made to Eve, by referring to Mary’s “seed”:

I will put enmity between you and the woman,

and between your offspring and her offspring;

                        he shall bruise your head,

and you shall bruise his heel.”

Genesis 3:15 (ESV)

[7] To just contemplate the truth of God is itself a good thing for the people of God.  Considering these things, or if you prefer, “meditate on these things” is absent element of our practice.

[8] The ancient Israelites.

[9] The scope of Jesus’ work is truly universal:

And they sang a new song, saying,

                        “Worthy are you to take the scroll

and to open its seals,

                        for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God

from every tribe and language and people and nation,

            10          and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,

and they shall reign on the earth.”

Revelation 5:9–10 (ESV)


            Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!

Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Psalm 34:8 (ESV)


Stop regarding man

in whose nostrils is breath,

for of what account is he?

Isaiah 2:22

[12] “No matter”, idiomatically, “who cares” what anyone thinks of me if I have found favor with God.