Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Lancelot Andrewes -- I Like 'Em

Lancelot was the Bishop of Chichester and then Winchester in early 17th Century England. He is one of the Caroline Divines -- a group of leaders in the Church of England during the reign of Charles I who emphasized the catholic nature of the Church of England. Although Andrewes was alive during Elizabeth's and James' reign, he is placed with the Caroline's because of his theology and churchmanship.

Lance was a brilliant guy. He was so good at Hebrew that he translated Genesis through 2 Kings of the Authorized Version (KJV). We now know some of his translations were imperfect. But hey, give the guy his props. He did what he could with what he had. The long life of the KJV attests to his intellectual prowess. I mean hey, could you do that?

He was also a man of deep piety. He wrote his own book of prayers for private prayer entitled the Precis Privatae. The original handwritten copy still exists and much of the writing is blurred by tear stains. I guess good repentance makes for good Christianity.

When writing about Holy Communion, Andrewes struck a typically Anglican position in contradistinction to the Roman view:

"As to the Real Presence we are agreed; our controversy is as to the mode of it. As to the mode we define nothing rashly, nor anxiously investigate, any more than in the Incarnation of Christ we ask how the human is united to the divine nature in One Person. There is a real change in the elements—we allow ut panis iam consecratus non sit panis quem natura formavit; sed, quem benedictio consecravit, et consecrando etiam immutavit." (Responsio, p. 263).


Adam Gonnerman said...

My Latin isn't great. What was he saying there?

Peter said...

Sorry -- I don't know a lick of Latin. :)

Robert Lancaster said...

I haven't taken Latin in almost 15 years but I think he is saying something like "the bread I consecrate is not the bread which is from nature"...or something like that.