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LANCELOT ANDREWES, D.D.,
Successively Lord Bishop of Chichester, Elg,
A NEW EDITION.
EDITED, AND REVISED, BY
EDMUND VENABLES, M.A.,
Precentor and Canon Besidentiary of Lincoln Cathedral.
WITH A PREFACE BY
Lord Bishop of Elg.
IE Devotions of Bishop Andrewes have
now for more than two centuries maintained a recognized position amongst us, not only as a memorial of the piety of a former age, but as a practical help to the spiritual life of successive generations. In accounting for this extensive and continued use of the Devotions, we may note the following characteristics :
I. THEIR CLEAR AND DISTINCT ARRANGEMENT.
The Order of Daily Devotion is divided into
(a) An introductory commemoration of the Divine works in Nature and in Grace belonging to each day of the week.
(6) An Act of Confession. (c) An Act of Prayer. (d) An Act of Profession of Faith. (e) An Act of Intercession, (f) An Act of Praise.
These divisions are so plainly marked, that whilst combined they constitute a complete Service of Holy Worship, any one portion may be omitted, in case of need, without impairing the integrity of the rest.
II. THEIR MINUTENESS.
In the Devotions the attention is never allowed to be dissipated by vague generalities, but the mind is drawn on to a close recollection of faults committed, of mercies received, of personal necessities, both spiritual and temporal. This minuteness gives an intense reality to the several Acts of Confession, Prayer, and Praise.
III. THEIR BREADTH AND COMPREHENSIVENESS.
The worshipper is not permitted to be absorbed in the thought of his own personal needs, but is in his whole Act of Worship made to feel himself a member of the great Fellowship of Christ. All sorts and conditions of men ; every Branch of the Church Catholic—the Eastern, the Western, the British; the Angels and all the heavenly Powers one to another crying continually, and we the while, weak and unworthy, under their feet; those who have no intercessor in their own behalf; all spirits and all flesh; the saints living and departed—all are brought within the soul's survey, either in the Acts of Intercession or of Praise. Apart from higher considerations, one obvious result of this breadth is the variety of interest imparted to the Devotions.
IV. THEIR GRAVITY OF STYLE.
This is in complete accord with the sobriety of the English mind, and the reverential tone of the Book of Common Prayer. The language of Holy Scripture is inextricably woven into the Devotions; but it is not that passages of the inspired books are elaborately pieced together, so as to form a kind of Scripture mosaic, but rather that the mind of Andrewes was so impregnated with Scripture, that its expressions became the natural vehicle of his own thoughts. Many a little-known verse will be found to start into new life and meaning by its juxtaposition with the writer's own devotional utterances; whilst over all is thrown a veil of true poetry which blends into unity the Divine and the human.
I may perhaps be permitted to quote here what I said on the same subject in a public lecture :
“The question arises whether the Devotions of Bishop Andrewes are calculated for general use in the present day. I have no hesitation in expressing my opinion that they are in many ways singularly adapted for such use. They are at once reverent and warm, close and