My review will consist of three parts: a review of Lancelot Andrewes' devotions, a review of this Kessinger hardback edition, and some excerpts from and an outline of the work itself.
The Devotions of Bishop Lancelot Andrewes are, in my opinion, one of the greatest resources for private prayer available to Christians - and one of the least known. They can be used by Christians from all traditions and are some of the finest prayers and meditations composed by man. I use these prayers all the time for my own devotional use and on other occasions.
Lancelot Andrewes was an Anglican priest of the 17th century who was a very gifted preacher and an extraordinary linguist, having mastered Latin, Greek, Hebrew and eighteen other languages. Kurt Vonnegut suggested in one of his novels that Andrewes was the greatest writer in the English language, offering the first few verses of the 23rd Psalm as his proof. Andrewes was also one of the translators of the King James Bible.
His Devotions, often called The Private Devotions of Lancelot Andrewes, were originally written in Greek and Latin with a little Hebrew. The first translator of the Private Devotions (originally called the Preces Privatae) said that Andrewes' work was "slubbered with his pious hand and watered with his penitential tears." Andrewes' Devotions is an amazing work not primarily for the amazing language or scholarship that lies behind it but because of how the prayers so powerfully lead the Christian in prayer. There is poetry in Andrewes' prose, and holiness on every page, and, not surprisingly, he spent hours a day in prayer. These prayers were composed originally for Andrewes' own personal use, and as a result there is an intimacy that is joined to the reverence.Read more ›
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