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Lancelot Andrewes at Holyrood: The 1617 Whitsun Sermon in Perspective

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 January 2009

Kenneth Stevenson
Bishopsgrove, Fareham, Hants PO16 7DQ, England—UK


Early in March 1617, King James followed what he himself described as a ‘salmon-like instinct’ and made his first (and last) return visit to his native Scotland since his departure fourteen years previously on the death of Queen Elizabeth. The occasion was the fiftieth anniversary of his coronation, at the age of fifteen months, as James VI of the northern kingdom. Among the events in Edinburgh to celebrate the visit was the Whitsun eucharist in the Chapel Royal at Holyrood Palace. The sermon was delivered by the King's favourite preacher, Lancelot Andrewes, Bishop of Ely.

Research Article
Copyright © Scottish Journal of Theology Ltd 1999

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page 455 note 1 See The History of the Kirk of Scotland by Mr David Calderwood (edited by Thomson, Thomas) (Vol.VII), (Edinburgh: Woodrow Society, 1845) pp. 243 ff.Google Scholar (pp. 246 f., for a factual account of the Whitsun service, with no mention of Andrewes' part in it); and History of the Church of Scotland by the Rt Revd John Spottiswoode (edited by the Rt Revd Russell, M) (Vol.III) (Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, 1851) pp. 238ff.Google Scholar For further accounts of this trip, see Welsby, Paul, Lancelot Andrewes (1555–1626) (London: S.P.C.K, 1958), pp 215 ffGoogle Scholar; Ottley, Robert, Lancelot Andrewes (London: Methuen, 1894), pp 76 ffGoogle Scholar; Sprott, George, Scottish Liturgies of the Reign of James VI (Edinburgh: Edmonston and Douglas, 1871), pp. xxiv ffGoogle Scholar; Snow, W.G. Sinclair, The Times, Life and Thought of Patrick Forbes, Bishop of Aberdeen, (1618–1635) (Church Historical Society) (London: S.P.C.K, 1952) pp. 55Google Scholar and McCullough, Peter E, Sermons at Court: Politics and Religion in Elizabethan and Jacobean Preaching (Cambridge Studies in Early Modern British History) (Cambridge: University Press, 1998)Google Scholar. See also Lynch, Michael, Scotland: A New History (London: Century, 1991).Google Scholar

page 457 note 2 Carlton, Charles, Archbishop Laud (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1987), p. 24.Google Scholar

page 457 note 3 For example discussion in Stevenson, Kenneth, Covenant of Grace Renewed: A Vision of the Eucharist in the Seventeenth Century (London: Darton, Longman, and Todd, 1994), pp. 60 ff.Google Scholar

page 457 note 4 See works cited above, n.l; see also Stevenson, , Covenant of Grace Renewed, pp. 3966.Google Scholar

page 458 note 5 Bliss, J. (ed.), The Sermons of Lancelot Andrewes V (Library of the Anglo-Catholic Theology) (Oxford: Parker, 1843), pp. 82103Google Scholar; See also Stevenson, Kenneth, ‘“Human Nature Honoured”; Absolution in Lancelot Andrewes’, in Dudley, Martin (ed.), Like a Two-Edged Sword; The Word of God in Liturgy and History — Essays in honour of Canon Donald Gray (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 1995), pp. 113137.Google Scholar

page 459 note 6 Wordsworth, Christopher (ed.), The Manner of the Coronation of King Charles the First (Henry Bradshaw Society II) (London, 1892), pp. 110Google Scholar, 111, 112, 131, 133, 134 for references to Andrewes' place in the service in relation to the King.

page 459 note 7 Welsby, , Lancelot Andrewes, pp. 212 ff.Google Scholar

page 459 note 8 Mitchell, Leonel, ‘Episcopal Ordinations in the Church of Scotland, 1610–1688’, in Historical Magazine of the Episcopal Church 31 (1962), pp. 143 f.Google Scholar (For whole article see pp. 143–159.) See also Spottiswoode's, Archbishop John account in his History of the Church of Scotland (London: Royston, 1655), pp. 514 ff.Google Scholar

page 460 note 9 Richard Hooker, Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity V; see also Stevenson, , Covenant of Grace Renewed, pp. 1938.Google Scholar

page 460 note 10 For full text of sermon, see The Sermons of Lancelot Andrewes III, pp. 280–300; briefly discussed in Stevenson, Kenneth, Handing On; Borderlands of Worship and Tradition (London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1996), pp. 7881Google Scholar. For original text of sermon, XCVI. Sermons by The Right Honourable and Reverend Father in God, Lancelot Andrewes, late Lord Bishop of Winchester (London: Badger, 1629), pp. 698709.Google Scholar

page 461 note 11 Brighunan, F. E., The English Rite I (London: Rivingtons, 1915), pp. 443 ff.Google Scholar

page 461 note 12 The other texts for the Whitsun Sermons are, I (1606) Ac.2: 1–4 (preached at Greenwich); II (1608) Ac.l:4 (at Greenwich); III (1610) Jn.14:15–16 (at Whitehall); IV(1611) Jn 16:17 (at Windsor); V (1612) Ac 19:1–3 (at Whitehall); VI (1613) Eph.4:30 (at Whitehall); VII (1614) Ps.68:18 (at Greenwich); VIII (1615) Lk.3:21–22 (at Greenwich); IX (1616) Jn.20:22 (at Greenwich); XI (1618) Ac.2:16–21 (at Greenwich); XII (1619) Ac.lO:34–35 (at Greenwich);XII (1620) IJn.5:6 (at Whitehall); XIV (1621) Ja.l:16–17(at Greenwich);XVI.Cor.12:4–7(Prepared but never delivered through illness).

page 462 note 13 See, for example, the 1600 Sermon on Absolution, ‘To the Service of Ministry of which Divine work a Commission is here granted to the Apostles. And first, they have here their sending from the God the Father, their inspiring from God the Holy Ghost, their Commission from God the Son; that being thus sent from the Father, by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the person of Christ, they may perform the office or, as the Apostle calleth it, the embassage of reconciling sinners unto God, to which they are appointed’, The Sermons of Lancelot Andrewes V, p. 84; Whitsun 8 (1615) Sermon, ‘the Son in the water, the Holy Ghost in the dove, the Father in the voice’, The Sermons of Lancelot Andmues III, p. 675; and the Whitsun 14 (1621) Sermon, ‘the Father, the Fountain; the Son, the Cistern; the Holy Ghost, the Conduit-pipe, or pipes, rather (for they are many) by and through which they are derived down to us’, Ibid., p. 362.

page 462 note 14 Andrewes attributes this quotation to Basil of Caesarea, and, although it expresses Basil's thought, particularly in the De Spiritu Sancto, it is nowhere to be found. However, Dr Lionel Wickham has suggested to me that it might come from Gregory Nazianzus, Or. Theol III, 20, ‘he was baptised as a man, but as God, he was free of sin’.Preacher's memories—and commonplace books—are sometimes faulty, as are editors.

page 462 note 15 See, The Sermons of Lancelot Andrewes III, p. 261.

page 462 note 16 See, for example, Talley, Thomas J., The Origins of the Liturgical Year (New York: Pueblo, 1986), pp. 117128.Google Scholar

page 463 note 17 See Brightman, F.E., The Preces Privatae of Lancelot Andrewes Bishop of Winchester (London: Methuen, 1903).Google Scholar

page 464 note 18 Brightman, F.E., The English Rite II, p. 995Google Scholar. See Saint Augustine, Confessions (Translated with an Introduction and Notes by Henry Chadwick) (Oxford: University Press, 1991) p. 63 (IV 12.18).Google Scholar

page 466 note 19 Brightman, F.E., The Preces Privatae, p. 65Google Scholar, lines 23–27, ‘I have sinned, but I am ashamed, and I turn from my wicked ways, and I return unto my heart, and with all my heart I turn unto thee, and seek thy face’. See also Stevenson, , Handing On, pp. 25 ff, and p. 80.Google Scholar

page 466 note 20 See above n.5.

page 466 note 21 Brightman, , Preces Privatae, p. 70Google Scholar lines 31–33, ‘unto pardon, reconciliation, repropitiation’, and Stevenson Handing On, p. 80.

page 468 note 22 Hooker, Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity V 54.1 and 6. The reference is Theodoret, Dialogue III 4; See also Hooker, Richard, Of The Law of Ecclesiastical Polity: Introductions; Commentary (Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies) (New York: Binghampton 1993) pp. 724 f.Google Scholar For an important discussion of ‘the grace of unction’ in relation to Christology, see Loyer, Olivier, L' Anglicanisme de Richard Hooker, I: (Thèse préséntee devant l'universitedé Paris III—1.Juin 1997) (Paris: Champion, 1979), pp. 479483Google Scholar. On deification, see Allchin, A.M., Participation in God: A forgotten Strand in Anglican Thought (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1988), esp. pp. 723Google Scholar (Hooker and Andrewes).

page 468 note 23 Brightman, , The Preces Privatae, p. 93Google Scholar, lines 11–21, ‘be unto me, O Lord, always thy mighty hand for defence; thy mercy in Christ for salvation; thine all true word for instruction; the grace of thy life bringing one word Spirit for comfort until the end and in the end’ (text), and p. 331 (suggested sources).

page 469 note 24 For discussion of the origin and development of these texts, see Bradshaw, Paul, The Anglican Ordinal (Alcuin Club Collections 53) (London: S.P. C.K. 1971), pp. 5557.Google Scholar

page 469 note 25 Brightman, F. E., The English Rite II, p. 995.Google Scholar

page 469 note 26 Ottley, , Lancelot Andrewes, p. 77Google Scholar; and Welsby, , Lancelot Andrewes, p. 217.Google Scholar

page 470 note 27 The Sermons of Lancelot Andrewes III, p. 227.

page 471 note 28 Bradshaw, , The Anglican Ordinal, p. 57Google Scholar; text in Sprott, G.W. (ed.), Scottish Liturgies of the Reign of James VI, 2nd.ed., (Edinburgh: Edmonston and Douglas, 1901), pp. 111131.Google Scholar

page 472 note 29 See quotation from Aubrey's, Lives of Eminent Men, quoted in Lancelot Andrewes' Minor Works (Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology) (Oxford: Parker, 1854), p. ixixGoogle Scholar. Other versions of this tale are quoted in Higham, F., Lancelot Andrews (London: S.C.M., 1952), p. 75Google Scholar; and Davies, Horton, Worship and Theology in England from Andrewes to Baxter and Fox, 1603–1690 (Princeton: University Press, 1975), p. 147.Google Scholar

page 472 note 30 Also quoted in Horton Davies, , Worship and Theology in England, p. 147.Google Scholar

page 472 note 31 The first edition appeared in 1629 (see above n.10); second edition in 1631, the third in 1635, and the fourth in 1641.

page 472 note 32 For details, see Welsby, Lancelot Andrewes, p. 276; see also Nockles, Peter B., The Oxford Movement in Context; Anglican High Churchmanship 1760–1857 (Cambridge: University Press, 1994), p. 128 and n.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

page 473 note 33 See J. B. Mozley, ‘Sermons of Lancelot Andrewes, Sometime Lord Bishop of Winchester’, The British Critic and Quarterly Theological Review, 31:61 (Londonjan.1842), pp. 169–205; an oft-quoted passage is as follows: ‘he is so quick and varied, so dexterous and rich in his combinations; he brings facts, types, prophecies, and doctrines together with such rapidity; groups, arranges, systematizes, sets and re-sets them with such readiness and multiplicity of movement, that he seems to have a kind of ubiquity, and to be everywhere and in every part of the system at the same time’, p. 173.

page 473 note 34 See Eliot, T.S., For Lancelot Andrewes; Essays on Style and Order (London: Faber, 1928), pp. 1126Google Scholar; an oft-quoted judgement is as follows: ‘Andrewes’ emotion is purely contemplative; it is not personal, it is wholly evoked by the subject of contemplation to which it is adequate; his emotion is wholly contained in and explained by its object.’ (p. 24). See also Hewson, P. E., Select Writings of Lancelot Andrewes (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 1995).Google Scholar

page 473 note 35 Dorman, Marianne, The Sermons of Lancelot Andrewes; Volume 1, Nativity, Lenten and Passion (Edinburgh: Pendand Press, 1992)Google Scholar; Volume II, Paschal and Pentecostal (Edinburgh: Pentland Press, 1993)Google Scholar; see also Dorman, , ‘Lancelot Andrewes (1555–1626): Mentor of Reformed Catholicsm in the Post-Reformation English Church’, Bristol University Ph.D.Dissertation 1996Google Scholar. See also Lossky, Nicholas, Lancelot Andrewes the Preacher (1555–1626): The Origins of the Mystical Theology of the Church of England (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991), esp. pp. 208288CrossRefGoogle Scholar. See also Stevenson, Kenneth, The Mystery of Baptism in the Anglican Tradition (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 1998), pp. 5467Google Scholar (and notes on pp. 190–192); and Allchin, A.M., ‘Lancelot Andrewes’, in Rowell, Geoffrey (ed.), The English Religious Tradition in the Genious of Anglicanism (Wantage: Ikon Books, 1992), pp. 145164.Google Scholar

page 473 note 36 Paget, Francis, The Spirit of Discipline (London: Longmans, 1993), p. 324Google Scholar (whole essay, pp. 303–328). See also Church, R.W., Pascal and Other Sermons (London: Macmillan, 1895), pp. 5296.Google Scholar

page 474 note 37 Brightman, , The Preces Privatae, ‘The devotions are in fact an abstract of the sermons, the sermons a development and expansion of the devotions’, p. li.Google Scholar

page 474 note 38 For example in McAdoo, H.R., The Eucharist Theology of Jeremy Taylor Today (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 1988).Google Scholar

page 474 note 39 See Lossky, , Lancelot Andrewes the Preacher, p. 345Google Scholar. This article began life as a sermon delivered in Winchester Cathedral on 1st February 1995, on the occasion of the blessing of a commemorative plaque to Lancelot Andrewes; I am grateful to Bishop Colin James and Dean Trevor Beeson for their kind invitation.