"Therefore also now, saith the Lord, Turn ye even to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning. And rend your heart, and your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God."
For this time hath the Church made choice of this text. The time wherein, howsoever we have dispensed with it all the year beside, she should have us seriously to entend and make it our time of turning to the Lord. And that now, the first word of the text.
For she holds it not safe to leave us wholly to ourselves to take any time it skills not when, lest we take none at all ...
She hath found this same keeping of continual Sabbaths and Fasts, this keeping the memory of Christ's birth and resurrection all the year long hath done no good; hurt rather. So it has seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to her to order there will be a solemn set return once in the year at least. And reason; for once a year all things turn. And that once is now at this time, for now at this time is the turning of the year. In Heaven, the sun in his equinoctial line, the zodiac and all the constellations in it, do now turn about to the first point. The earth and all her plants, after a dead winter, return to the first and best season of the year. The creatures, the fowls of the air, the swallow and the turtle, and the crane and the stork, know their seasons, and make their just return at this time every year. Everything now turning that we also would make it our time to turn to God in.
Lancelot Andrewes' sermon before King James I, Ash Wednesday 1619