In celebration of Lancelot Andrewes’ feast day today, I quote from Richard Schmidt’s book, Glorious Companions: Five Centuries of Anglican Spirituality.
Andrewes’ life, theology, sermons, and devotions all reveal balance, order, and planning. Andrewes was catholic. He believed in “One canon [the Bible] reduced to writing by God himself, two testaments, three creeds, four general councils, five centuries, and the series of fathers in that period–the centuries, that is, before Constantine, and two after, determine the boundary of our faith.” That has been the norm for Anglican theologizing ever since. Andrewes’ chief legacy, however, is his Private Devotions. The heart of the Devotions [from which all excerpts will come this week] is a set of seven exercises, one for each day of the week. The themes follow the six days of Creation. All seven daily devotions are structured identically, with six sections…These are, clearly, the prayers of a man who prayed regularly and methodically. pp.36-37
I find in Andrewes writing a sense of beauty and wonder toward God, and a deep spirituality and humility. I hope you will find his writings to be likewise and edifying for you.
Teach me to do the thing that pleases thee, for you are my God;Let your loving Spirit lead me into the land of righteousness. Quicken me, O Lord, for your name’s sake, and for your righteousness sake bring my soul out of trouble; remove from me foolish imaginations, inspire those which are good and pleasing in your sight. Turn away my eyes lest they behold vanity; let my eyes look right on, and let my eyelids look straight before me. Hedge up my ears with thorns lest they incline to undisciplined words. Give me early the ear to hear, and open my ears to the instruction of your oracles. Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth, and keep the door of my lips. Let my word be seasoned with salt, that it may minister grace to the hearers.