A Lancelot Andrewes sermon for his Feast Day–‘One, that should save His people from their sins; save not their bodies for a time, but their souls for ever’

There is born a Saviour, is the first. The Angel addeth farther, Saviour Which is Christ. For, many saviours had been born, many had God sent them that at divers times had set them free from divers dangers of their enemies; Moses, from the Egyptians; Joshua, from the Canaanites; Gideon, from the Midianites; Jephtha, from the Ammonites; Sampson, from the Philistines. And indeed, the whole story of the Bible is nothing else but a calendar of saviours that God from time to time still stirred them up.

But these all were but petty saviours, there was One yet behind that was worth them all. One, that should save His people from their sins; save not their bodies for a time, but their souls for ever, which none of those saviours could do. One therefore must spoken of, wished for, and waited for, a Saviour Which was Christ. When He came they looked for great matters, as said the woman at the wells side, for He was the most famous and greatest Saviour of all. And this is He, a Saviour Which is Christ. He, of Whom all the promises made mention, and He the performance of them all; of Whom all the types under the Law were shadows, and He the substance of them all; of Whom all the prophecies ran, and He the fulfilling of them all; He, of Whom all those inferior…saviours were the figures and forerunners, and He the acomplishment of all in them was wanting. This is He; Jacob’s Shiloh, Isaiah’s Immanuel, Jeremiah’s Branch, Daniel’s Messias, Zachary’s oriens ab alto, Aggei’s desideratus cunctis gentibus, the desire of all the nations then, and now the joy of all nations, a Saviour Which is Christ.

And what is meant by this term Christ? A Saviour anointed; or, as in another place it is said more agreeable to our phrase of speaking, a Saviour sealed a Saviour under God’s Great Seal. That is, not as those other were, saviours raised up of a sudden upon some occasion, to serve the turn for the present, and never heard of till they came; but a Saviour in God’s fore-counsel resolved on, and given forth from the beginning; promised and foretold, and now signed and sent with absolute commission and fullness of power to be the perfect and complete Saviour of all.

And to be it, ex officio; His office, His very profession, to be one, that all may have right to repair unto Him, and find it at His hands. Not as Saviour incidentally, as it fell out; but one, ex professo, anointed to that end, and by virtue of His anointing appointed, set forth, and sent into the world to exercise this function of a Saviour; not for a time, but for ever; not to the Jews, as did the rest, but even to all the ends of the earth. So runs His bill, Venite ad Me omnes, come all; and, qui ad Me venerit non ejiciam foras, of them that come to Me, I will cast none out.Servator omnium hominum, the Saviour of all men, and as the Samaritans said of Him, Servator mundi, the Saviour of the world, of Samaritans, Jews, Gentiles; of kings, of shepherds, and all.

And there is yet more particularity in this word Christ: three offices did God from the beginning erect to save His people by, and that, by three acts the very heathen took notice of them1. Purgare, 2. Illuminare, 3. Perficere. 1. Priests, to purge or expiate; 2. Prophets, to illuminate or direct them; 3. Kings, to set all right, and to keep all right in that perfection which this world admitteth. And all these three had their several anointings. Aaron the Priest, Elisha the Prophet, Saul the King. In the Saviour Which is Christ, His will was all should meet, that nothing in Him might want to the perfecting of this work. That He might be a [76/77] perfect Saviour of all, He was all. A Priest after the order of Melchizedek; a Prophet to be heard when Moses should show his peace; a King to save His people, Whose name should be Jehova Justitia nostra. David’s Priest, Moses’ Prophet, Jeremy’s King.

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Church of England (CoE), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics