Sunday, 31 March 2013

A Paschal Sermon...

Igitur, si con-surrexistis cum Christo, quae
sursum sunt quaerite, ubi Christus est in
dextera Dei sedens.
Quam sursum sunt sapite, non quae super terram.
Colossians 3:1-2

A very Happy Easter to you all; that is to those of you who use the Gregorian Kalendar. On Easter Day in the Year of Our Lord 1613 Lancelot Andrewes preached a beauteous sermon before His Majesty King James VI and I on the subject of the aforesaid Scripture about how right it is that on Easter Day we seek after Christ, just as the holy women sought for him in the morn. The reason we seek above, as says the Scripture, is because that is Christ's most comely abode and thither we shall see His glory. It is there that we have our rest after all the travails of life under the sun of this world. The great man of the Golden Age of Anglicanism says:
''For this day was, indeed, a day of seeking. I know whom you seek, you seek Jesus Who was crucified, says one angel. Why seek you the living among the dead? says another. To rise when He rose, to seek Him when He was sought. This day He was sought by men, sought by women. Women, the three Maries; men, the two apostles. The women at charges, the apostles at pains. Early by the one, earnestly by the other. So there was seeking of all hands.
''And they who sought not went to Emmaus, yet they set their minds on Him, had Him in mind, were talking of Him by the way. So that these do very fitly come into the agendum of this day; thus to seek and set our minds. At least not to lose Him quite, that day we should seek Him, or have our minds farthest from Him, that day they should be most upon Him.
''The Church by her office, or agendum, does her part to help us therein, all she may. The things we are willed to seek she sets before us, the blessed mysteries. For these are from above; the Bread that came down from heaven, the Blood that has been carried into the holy place. And I add ubi Christus for ubi Corpus, ubi sanguis Christi, ibi Christus, I am sure. And truly here, if there be an ubi Christus, there it is. On earth we are never so near Him, or He us, as then and there. There in efficacia, and when all is done, efficacy, that is it must do us good, must raise us here, and raise us at the last day to the right hand; and the local ubi without it of no value.
''He was found in the breaking of the bread; that bread she breaks, that there we may find Him. He was found by them who had their minds on Him: to that end she will call to us, Sursum corda, which, when we hear, it is but this text iterated, Set your minds, have your hearts where Christ is. We answer, We lift them up; and so I trust we do, but I fear we let them fall too soon again.
''Therefore, as before so after, when we hear, Thou Who sitteth at the right hand of the Father; and when again Glory be to God on high, all is but to have this. But especially, where we may sentire and sapere quae sursum, and gustare donum caeleste, taste of the heavenly gift, as in another place he speaks; see in the breaking, and taste in the receiving, how gracious He was and is; was in suffering for us, is in rising again for us too, and regenerating us thereby to a lively hope.  And graciously in offering to us the means, by His mysteries and grace with them, as will raise us also and set our minds, where true rest and glory are to be seen.
''That so at this last and great Easter of all, the Resurrection day, what we now seek we may then find; where we now set our minds, our bodies may then be set; what we now but taste, we may then have the full fruition of, even of His glorious Godhead, in rest and glory, joy and bliss, never to have an end.'' The Sermons of Lancelot Andrewes, Volume II: Paschal and Pentecostal, pp.83-84.

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