Sinner, Sovereign, and Saint: Calvinist Theology in the Prayers of Queen Elizabeth I
Palmer, Scott Raymond
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Elizabeth Tudor espouses a distinctly Calvinist vision of salvation throughout her prayers, emphasizing human depravity and predestination. She confesses her sins as evidence of God's grace at work within to acknowledge her sinfulness and her dependence upon His mercy to escape judgment. She traces her depravity from original sin, through the sins of her daily life, to the expectation of God's judgment. She portrays God's mercy, however, in electing her to salvation and transforming her life so that she can recognize her need for forgiveness and begin to reflect the divine image on earth. She then applies similar terms to her reign: confessing herself to be naturally weak and frail yet empowered by God to reign over England and to restore the Gospel to England. In doing so, she presents a religious and political defense of her reign framed in a distinctly Calvinist context.