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Confessional Lutheran theology, hagiography, philosophy, music, culture, sports, education, and whatever else is on the fevered mind of Orycteropus Afer

26 September 2006
  + Lancelot Andrewes +
26 September AD 1626

Lancelot Andrewes was born in London in 1555. Possessed of a keen intellect, he studied at Cambridge and Oxford, was a distinguished lecturer, and entered religious orders in 1580. A career that saw him enjoy working among the people while still challenging himself and others intellectually led to royal associations and eventual consecration as Bishop of Chichester in 1605 and a position as lord almoner. In 1618, he attended the Synod of Dort, was made dean of the Chapel Royal, and became Bishop of Winchester.

Bishop Lancelot AndrewesActive in church and secular politics, especially in their overlap, Andrewes advised James I of England and was on the committee of scholars responsible of the Authorized Version of the Bible. Indeed, his name is first on the list of translators, since he both provided translations of early parts of the Old Testament and served as an editor general of the entire work.

Versed in Latin, Greek, Hebrew and eighteen other languages, Andrewes enjoyed popularity during his life for writings. Next to Bishop Ussher, he may have been the most learned and intellectually brilliant churchman of his day. His apologetic writings included two essays against Robert Bellarmine. Large collections of his sermons remain and may still be read profitably both by lovers of Christ and by lovers of the English language.

Perhaps one of his finest works was the Preces Privatae (Private Prayers). The collection was, however, unavailable to contemporaries but were published after his death. Some sections are complete prayers and collects, other appear to be guides to devout meditation. A biography by James Kiefer includes quotes from the Preces. These selections from the Thursday prayers emphasize three important happenings on that day — the creation of birds and fish on the Fifth Day of Creation, the institution of the Lord's Supper, the Ascension of our Lord on Easter's 40th day.

Andrewes' impact on English arts and letters extended well beyond his life. T. S. Eliot considered him a major influence and wrote an essay in his honor.

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