Lancelot Andrewes on the Resurrection  

Posted by Joe Rawls in ,

Today I begin a series of comments by Anglican theologians on the Resurrection. Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626) enjoyed a brilliant career in both academia and the church. He eventually became Bishop of Winchester and his most lasting achievement was probably his role in preparing the King James Version of the Bible. In his own lifetime he was a renowned preacher, being a favorite of King James I. (Andrewes was a staunch supporter of the divine right of kings, which was of course a big help). The following excerpt dealing with the role of Mary Magdalen was preached before James on Easter Sunday of 1622.

The risen Christ gave Mary Magdalen a comission. "Go" is her mission and "tell my bretheren" is her comission. A comission, to publish the first news of his rising, and as it falls out, of his ascending too.

The Fathers say that by this word she was by Christ made an apostle, nay, "an apostle to the apostles themselves". An apostle: for what lacks she? Sent first, immediately from Christ himself; and what is an apostle but so? Secondly, sent to declare and make known. And last, what was she to make known? Christ's rising and ascending. And what are they but "the gospel", yea the very gospel of the gospel?

This day, with Christ's rising, begins the gospel; not before. Crucified, dead and buried, no good news, no gospel in themselves. And them the Jews believe as well as we. The first gospel of all is the gospel of this day; and the gospel of this day is this Mary Magdalen's gospel, the prime gospel of all, before any of the other four. That Christ is risen and upon his ascending, and she the first that ever brought these glad tidings. At her hands the apostles themselves received it first, and from them we all.

Which, as it was a special honour, and "wheresoever this gospel is preached, shall be told for a memorial of her", so was it withal, not without some kind of reproaching to them, to the apostles, for sitting at home so drooping in a corner, that Christ not finding any of them is fain to seek him a new apostle. And finding her where he should have found them and did not, to send by the hand of her that he first found at the sepulchre's side, and to make himself a new apostle. And send her to them, to enter them as it were, and catechise them in two articles of the Christian Faith, the resurrection and the ascension of Christ. To Mary Magdalen, they and we both owe them, the first notice of them.

This entry was posted on Sunday, April 12, 2009 at Sunday, April 12, 2009 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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