From Sermon Preached upon Christmas Day, 1614
To conceive is more than to receive…. A vessel is not said to conceive the liquor that is put into it. Why? Because it yields nothing from itself. The blessed Virgin is said to conceive because she did. She did both give and take. She gave of her own substance whereof His body was framed; and she took power from the Holy Spirit… And this word is the bane of diverse heresies. It is hated by the Manicheans who taught that Christ had no true body... It is hated by the Valentinians… who taught that Christ had a true body, but one made in Heaven and sent into Mary… Such heretics decline his incarnation as a foul indignity, too foul for the great God of Heaven to undergo.
This indeed was the chief purpose of Christ’s being with us: to give us a capacity to be made the sons of God, by being born again of water and of the Spirit. He entered the womb of the Virgin toward us; he then placed us in the fountain of Baptism toward God… His being conceived and born the Son of man conceived and brings forth our being born again, our being the sons of God. His participation in our human nature means our participation in his Divine nature.
Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626) was Bishop of Chichester and Winchester, one of the most influential scholars and church leaders of his day. He was one of the principal translators of the Authorized “King James” Version of the Bible, and a widely admired preacher. He preached the 1614 Christmas Day sermon at Whitehall Palace in London before King James I. He is commemorated on September 26 on the calendar of several Anglican churches.