Bryan Owen: Lancelot Andrewes

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Good to remember him on his feast day.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer

Posted September 26, 2008 at 6:38 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. WilliamS wrote:

He’s one of the reasons I became an Anglican:

“Look to the persons, Adam and Christ: shall Adam, being but a ‘living soul,’ infect us more strongly than Christ, ‘a quickening Spirit’ can heal us again? Nay then, Adam was but ‘from the earth, earthy, Christ ‘the Lord from Heaven.’ Shall earth do that which Heaven cannot undo? Never.”


William Shontz

September 26, 7:52 pm | [comment link]
2. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Thanks Kendall for posting this memorial to a great saint.  As one of the earliest and most influential “Caroline Divines,” Lancelot Andrewes was one of the chief instruments in helping to recover more of the patristic or catholic side of Christianity that had been so severely (though understandably) downplayed by the English Reformers (J. Jewel, N. Ridley, H. Latimer etc.).

I particularly like his famous 1-2-3-4-5 list of authorities for us Anglicans: one Bible, two Testaments, three Creeds (i.e., Apostles’, Nicene, and “Athanasian”), four Councils (Nicea to Chalcedon), and the first five centuries, i.e., the teaching of the main Church Fathers during that formative period.

For better or worse, and I personally think it’s much for the better, Lancelot Andrewes stands at the fountainhead of the re-catholicizing of the C of E, or perhaps I should say of restoring the balance between the evangelical and catholic dimensions of Anglicanism.  To my mind, he represents classical Anglicanism better than Richard Hooker, or any other early figure in our history.  It’s no accident that his Latin private prayers were translated into English by none other than John Henry Newman.

David Handy+

September 26, 7:59 pm | [comment link]
3. Hursley wrote:

Andrewes is one of the main reasons (along with G. Herbert) I am an Anglican. I keep his feast day each year with solemnity and thanksgiving to God. While Andrewes was far from perfect, his scholarship, liturgical influence, and evidence of a deep life of prayer has set a high and useful standard for me in my life as a disciple.

I am making my way through his sermons, and I am struck again and again by the profundity of his knowledge of the Scriptures, his Patristic integration of word/sacrament/ascesis, and his keen awareness of beauty and humility. My copies of the various translations of his Private Prayers continue to be central to my own devotional life. His faithfulness to the Anglicanism of his own day—deeply rent by partisan division as in our own time—is something I contemplate a good deal, as well.

In Christ,


Non clamor sed amor psallit in aure Dei

September 26, 10:29 pm | [comment link]
4. Dr. William Tighe wrote:

Two of the best and most stimulating essays on Andrewes, his theological thought and his influence that I have ever read are:

(1) “Lancelot Andrewes, John Buckeridge and Avant-Garde Conformity at the Court of James I” by Peter Lake, in *The Mental World of the Jacobean Court* ed. Linda Levy Peck (Cambridge University Press, 1991).  Here is a reference to it:

(2) “Lancelot Andrewes and the Myth of Anglicanism” by Nicholas Tyacke, in *Conformity and Orthodoxy in the English Church, ca. 1560-ca. 1660* ed. Peter Lake and Michael Questier (Boydell & Brewer, 2000).  You may be able to read that essay, in whole or in part, here:

(Actually, you can read here only the introduction to the book and the first half of Tyacke’s essay there, but at least you can get a sense of it.  Note well, in particular, on the last page reproduced here, Andrewes slashing, if understated, attack on the interior/liturgical arrangements of English churches ca. 1590.  Tyacke argues that while in some respects the “early Andrewes” shared some ideas with Calvinists, e.g., predestinarianism [which he later repudiated] and sabbatarianism [which he retained to his dying day], his views on the regenerating effect of baptism and especially on the sanctifying and cleansing effect of the physical reception of Christ’s Body and Blood in the bread and wine of the Eucharist, was the central point on which his whole theology pivoted and on which his later developed sacramental and ecclesiological ideas were founded.  Both Tyacke and Lake see Andrewes as rather more important than Hooker [as well as distinctly more “extreme” in his views] for the later development of “high-church” Anglicanism and its tendency to disavow or repudiate any real connection with continental Protestantism, save perhaps a political one.)

September 27, 10:25 am | [comment link]
5. Dr. William Tighe wrote:

I should have written above:

“Note well, in particular, on the last page reproduced here, Andrewes’ slashing, if understated, attack on the interior/liturgical arrangements of English churches ca. 1590—an attack that clearly echoed attacks by Marian Catholic authors in the 1550s on the liturgical arrangements and worship practices of the Church of England from 1549 to 1553, when the Latin Catholic services had been suppressed and replaced by those of the successive Prayer Books.”

September 27, 10:28 am | [comment link]
6. Dr. William Tighe wrote:

Sorry; here is the link to the second article:,M1

I mistakenly pasted the link to the first one twice above in #4.

September 27, 10:31 am | [comment link]
7. Crypto Papist wrote:

And let’s not forget T.S. Eliot.

September 27, 2:37 pm | [comment link]
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