"In hope of Whitsuntide"

There seems to be a question here, whether best the Comforter come, or not come; that is, whether any Whitsuntide or no? The question of His coming grew out of another, of Christ's going; whether best Christ go or not go, that is, whether any Ascension day or no. The Apostles were all mainly against His going, and so opposed hard against the Ascension. But here Christ resolveth the point thus: if they were against the Ascension, they lost festum Paracleti, a feast which they might not miss out of their calendar; and so with promising them this, persuades them to beat with that; to yield to the Ascension in hope of Whitsuntide.

Which two feasts are both in the text, and the two main points of it ... Christ's going, that is the Ascension; the Holy Spirit's coming, that is Pentecost, the day which we now celebrate ... one to make amends for the other. And you will observe it as usual. After Christmas day, and the poor estate of Christ's birth, there comes the Epiphany with a star, and great men's oblations, as by way of compensation. Presently after Good Friday and the sorrow of His passion, Easter day follows straight, the day of His triumph, to revive us again. And even so here, upon His Ascension or going from us, there ensues Whitsunday, the mends together withal ... no going away to bring a loss, but a coming too to make a supply.

Lancelot Andrewes, Whitsunday sermon 1611.


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