Cynibad's Cross

This cross fragment was found during the building of the new Vicarage for the Priory church at Lancaster in 1965. Little remains, but the inscription from all four sides is legible:

"Pray for the soul of Cynibad who had promised this work through his son to the glory of the Lord".

It sounds as though Cynibad the Saxon wished to impress God. Arranging with his son to erect a cross in his memory, to ask for prayers for his soul and to glorify God thereby, he hoped to enter heaven. Did it work? We do not know where Cynibad ended up in eternity. We can be sure, however, that his ability to erect crosses or persuade his son to spend his inheritance at the mason’s workshop, would never be enough to purchase heaven’s tickets. There is nothing we have that God envies and desires, no work we can perform which will earn His favour. The rich and their better resources will have no advantage over the poor who cannot afford expensive memorials.

God now commands all men everywhere to repent, desiring we turn from our sin and believe in His Son. Promising this work or that, by us or through our children, is not part of the deal.

’Tis finished! all the debt is paid;
Justice divine is satisfied;
The grand and full atonement made;
God for a guilty world hath died.

Saved from the legal curse I am,
My Saviour hangs on yonder tree:
See there the meek, expiring Lamb!
’Tis finished! He expires for me.

Charles Wesley