|Lancelot Andrewes, Bishop and Scholar 26 September 1626|
Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626), Bishop of Winchester, was on the committee of scholars that produced the King James Translation of the Bible, and probably contributed more to that work than any other single person. It is accordingly no surprise to find him not only a devout writer but a learned and eloquent one, a master of English prose, and learned in Latin, Greek, Hebrew and eighteen other languages. His sermons were popular in his own day, but are perhaps too academic for most modern readers. He prepared for his own use a manuscript notebook of Private Prayers, which was published after his death. The material was apparently intended, not to be read aloud, but to serve as a guide and stimulus to devout meditation.
What follows is a brief extract from the section for Thursday Morning. The reader will note that he commemorates three events associated with Thursday: (1) the creation of air and water animals (mostly birds and fish) on the Fifth Day of Creation as described in Genesis 1; (2) the institution of the Sacrament of the Lord's supper by Our Lord Jesus Christ on the evening before He was crucified (Matthew 26); and (3) the Ascension of Our Lord into heaven forty days after His resurrection (Acts 1).
COMMEMORATION Blessed art Thou, O Lord who didst bring forth of water moving creatures that have life, and whales, and winged fowls: and didst bless them, so as to increase and multiply. The things concerning the Ascension: Set up Thyself, O God, above the heavens and Thy glory above all the earth. By thine Ascension draw us withal unto Thee, O Lord, so as to set our affections on things above, and not on things on the earth. By the awful mystery of Thy Holy Body and Precious Blood in the evening of this day: Lord, have mercy. FAITH Coming unto God, I believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him: I know that my Redeemer liveth; that He is the Christ the Son of the Living God; that He is indeed the Saviour of the world; that He came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. Through the grace of Jesus Christ we believe that we shall be saved even as our fathers withal. I believe verily to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. THANKSGIVING O my Lord, my Lord, I thank Thee for that I am, that I am alive, that I am rational: for nurture, preservation, governance: for education, citizenship, religion: for Thy gifts of grace, nature, estate: for redemption, regeneration, instruction: for calling, recalling, further calling manifold: for forbearance, longsuffering, long longsuffering towards me, many times, many years, until now: for all good offices I have received, good speed I have gotten: for any good thing done: for the use of things present, thy promise and my hope touching the fruition of the good things to come: for my parents honest and good, teachers gentle, benefactors always to be had in remembrance, colleagues likeminded, hearers attentive, friends sincere, retainers faithful: for all who have stood me in good stead by their writings, their sermons, conversations, prayers, examples, rebukes, wrongs: for these things and all other, which I wot of, which I wot not of, open and secret, things I remember, things I have forgotten withal, things done to me after my will or yet against my will, I confess to Thee and bless Thee and give thanks unto Thee, and I will confess and bless and give thanks to Thee all the days of my life. What thanks can I render to God again for all the benefits that He hath done unto me? HOLY, HOLY, HOLY Thou are worthy, O Lord and our God, the Holy One, to receive the glory and the honour and the power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.
written by James Kiefer
O Lord and Father, our King and God, by whose grace the Church was enriched by the great learning and eloquent preaching of your servant Lancelot Andrewes, but even more by his example of biblical and liturgical prayer: Conform our lives, like his, to the image of Christ, that our hearts may love you, our minds serve you, and our lips proclaim the greatness of your mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.