The sermon on Justification in Christ’s Name, preached in the year 1600, is an astonishing monument of the erudition, mastery and exegesis with which bishop Andrewes held forth as the champion of Christian orthodoxy at the end of the 16th century. Exemplifying the best of Anglican thought he eschews making Modern theologians his primary focus, and instead charges on ad fontes, To the Sources, reaching into and arraigning the very essence and foundations of Christian theology.
A nearly limitless array of verses and themes from Scripture connected with the Fathers of the Church and the Scholastic theologians are woven together to create an invincible explanation of Christian Justification, whose only possible meaning could be that of Imputed Righteousness. The bishop even delves into Roman Catholic theologians, illustrating their covert adoption of this universal doctrine, albeit driven by polemics to overtly profess an opposite opinion.
With this sermon the doctrine of Imputation became restored to pride of place in Anglican theology, and thereby in the broader Christian orthodoxy, as the centerpiece of Christ’s titanic achievement, for those who would follow Him.
This valuable work, published originally in Latin in 1651 and translated into English in the 1700’s, details a little-known attempt in Anglican history by a group of theologians in the late 16th century, to inject the views of John Calvin into the Articles of Religion. Foremost among these was John Whitaker. This treatise carefully details his opinions, and his conflicts with the theologians of the opposite party led by Dr. Peter Baro of Cambridge, leading to his failure to amend the Articles of Religion with his novelties.
The author (who has remained unknown) appended to his work several valuable treatises, published contemporary with the events of the time. Bishop Andrewes, who played an active role during these events, in the first two Treatises trains the knowledge of his encyclopedic mind upon this controversy, critiquing Whitaker’s opinions, and providing the correct way for a Christian to understand Predestination and Assurance of Salvation.
The last treatise is a work of high scholarship by Dr. John Overall, who had defended Dr. Baro’s views and succeeded in his seat at Cambridge; it provides a definitive commentary upon the XVIIth Article of Religion as the Church had then understood it, with a rich exploration of God’s omniscience, and the scope of Man’s choices.