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Friday, April 01, 2005

Actors on a Stage

One of the things that made Lancelot Andrewes a man of such great insights and reflection into the human soul was his role as confessor and penitentiary. In a brilliant attack on hypocrisy in one of his Ash Wednesday sermons he says,

The heathen man long since observed, that Mundus scena, that in his conceit, 'the world for all the world was like a stage or theatre,' scarce a true face in it, all in a manner personate; and the actions in the world not much unlike to their acting of their parts in the acts and scenes of a stage-play; but our Saviour Christ He goes farther, He tells us here [Matthew 6:16] of a stranger matter. That there want not that make His Church a very stage, and play with religion, and play religion and every part of it, so carrying themselves in things pertaining to God as if they had some play or pageant in hand. It is but too true this. If you will set up a stage, I will find you actors for it enow.

For the hypocrite, Andrewes had nothing but scorn.

2 Comments:

Blogger Me-cow said...

Brilliantly said. And how sobering.

6:14 pm  
Blogger Jeff said...

Indeed. It was one of those things that made you look out the window and stare a while, if you know what I mean. I have found some wonderful devotional "type" quotes in my reading of Andrewes that has proven that his abilities as a preacher were due to the sincere desire for true religion that was a result of his devotion to faithful prayer.

js

3:49 am  

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    O God, most glorious, most bountiful, accept, we humbly beseech thee, our praises and thanksgivings for thy holy Catholic Church, the mother of us all who bear the name of Christ; for the faith which it hath conveyed in safety to our time, and the mercies by which it hath enlarged and comforted the souls of men; for the virtues which it hath established upon earth, and the holy lives by which it glorifieth both the world and thee; to whom, O blessed Trinity (+), be ascribed all honour, might, majesty and dominion, now and for ever. Amen.
    --Bishop Lancelot Andrewes

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