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).
Blessed art Thou, O Lord
Who didst bring forth of water
moving creatures that have life,
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.
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.
O my Lord, my Lord, I thank Thee
For that I am,
that I am alive,
that I am rational:
For Thy gifts of grace,
further calling manifold:
long longsuffering towards me,
For all good offices I have received,
Good speed I have gotten:
For any good thing done:
For the use of things present,
and my hope
touching the fruition of the good things to come:
For my parents honest and good,
benefactors always to be had in remembrance,
For all who have stood me in good stead
By their writings,
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?
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.
O Lord and Father, our King and God, by whose grace the Church Was enriched by the great learning and eloquent preaching of thy servant Lancelot Andrewes, but even more by his example of biblical and liturgical prayer: Conform our lives, like his, we beseech thee, to the image of Christ, that our hearts may love thee, our minds serve thee, and our lips proclaim the greatness of thy mercy; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
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.
Psalm 63:1-8 or 34:1-8
1 Timothy 2:1-7a
Luke 11:1-4 (St1)