My review of

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Peter McCullough, editor.  Lancelot Andrewes: Selected Sermons and Lectures. Edited with an Introduction and Commentary by Peter McCullogh.  Oxford University Press, 2005, pp.491

The most notable rediscovery of Lancelot Andrewes, Hooker and the Caroline divines over the last four hundred years was that undertaken by the leaders of the Oxford Movement almost midway between the times of Andrewes and our own. Their work constituted the birth of the modern interest in Andrewes. Newman had, within two or three years from his ordination to the diaconate in 1824, passed from Evangelicalism to being, according to his own recollection, “eagerly, but not very logically, High Church” (letter January 26, 1867). In his book Phases of Faith, p.10, Newman’s brother Frank wrote that “in rapid succession, (his brother John  Henry) worked out views which I regarded as full-blown ‘Popery.’ I speak of the years 1823-6: it is strange to think that twenty years more had to pass before he learnt the place to which his doctrines belonged.” With this transition to High Church views and sentiments, Newman belonged to the tradition in English theological thought that looked back to Andrewes and Hooker, and while as time proceeded his overall theological judgment of their writings profoundly changed, his regard for their ability and devotion remained. He himself had translated part of Andrewes’ Preces Privatae into English, and the book was still to be found on his prayer desk at the end of his life. Writing in the next century, T.Eliot claimed that the work of Hooker and Andrewes made the Church of England more worthy of intellectual assent.

  The fact is, though, that throughout this period the editions of Andrewes’ works have been very restricted. In his Introduction to this present Selected Sermons and Lectures of Andrewes, Peter McCullogh points out that the entire tradition of understanding of Andrewes has been based on the first collected edition, XCVI. Sermons, a commemorative folio edited by Buckeridge and his pupil William Laud. McCullogh claims that this edition “consciously presented Andrewes’ writings as a Laudian manifesto.” The great majority of these sermons were preached during a certain restricted period (after Andrewes’ consecration as bishop under James I), and organized only according to the church’s liturgical year. While the volume did, therefore represent many of Andrewes’ views late in his life, it gave the impression of full support for the vision of the church held by Laud and Charles I. Whatever about that judgment, the very interesting point McCulloch makes is that any reader of the sermons of Andrewes since the publication of the edition of 1629 - including the writers of the Oxford Movement who produced the first new edition of Andrewes since XCVI Sermons - read an Andrewes selected and presented by Laud and Buckeridge. The result is that Andrewes has been understood simply as a court preacher and a “Caroline divine’. His surprisingly early critique of the English Reformation and English Calvinist orthodoxy was lost from view. In view of this, Peter McCullogh has aimed to provide us with a much wider representation of his sermons and lectures, governed by attention to his biography. Most periods of his life are represented.

  Born in 1555 Andrewes was ordained in 1580, and then began his distinguished career as a preacher. Within five years his reputation had spread well beyond his College (Pembroke Hall, Cambridge) where he delivered lectures on the fundamentals of the faith, and notes survive of these lectures. They show, among other things, that Andrewes was criticizing mainstream moderate puritanism at least a decade prior to Hooker’s Laws (1593, 1597). By the late 1580s he was preaching at both St Giles Cripplegate and St Paul’s Cathedral, and elected master of Pembroke, and earning his reputation as a conscientious pastor, preacher and lecturer. In 1590 he gained his doctor of divinity degree, was appointed chaplain to Archbishop John Whitgift, and appointed as well to be one of the twelve chaplains to queen Elizabeth. In 1597 Elizabeth appointed him a canon of Westminster and offered him two bishoprics, the latter of which he refused. In 1601 Elizabeth appointed him canon of Westminster, and in November 1605 he was appointed by James VI bishop of Chichester (on the day before the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot) as well as the king’s lord high almoner. This in turn led to his preaching his remarkable sermons on the high feast days of the immediate years ahead. These sermons are perhaps Andrewes’ finest. In 1609 he was translated to the diocese of Ely, and in 1618 to the diocese of Winchester where he died in 1626.

  McCullogh’s agenda is, unlike any previously, to provide an annotated critical edition of various prose works of Andrewes representing as comprehensive a range of subject, date and place for his sermons as he can. He hopes that his assembled texts will illustrate the origins, development and final achievement of Andrewes’ work. He presents the texts of twelve complete sermons, two prayers before sermon, and five excerpt from Andrewes’ Cambridge catechetical lectures. It is the first fully annotated edition of works by Andrewes and for each selection there is commentary consisting of a textual essay, an introductory headnote, a summary of the most significant sources together, suggestions for further reading, and lengthy and impressive notes on specific words and passages in the text. McCullogh claims that Andrewes’ knowledge of the Bible was probably greater than any other English contemporary. He was steeped in the patristic writings of both the Eastern and Western churches of the first six centuries, most especially St Augustine. He also drew upon poetic, historical and moral classical texts, especially of Cicero and Seneca, though he liked quoting Homer and others, including the philosophy of Aristotle. McCulloch has done a truly excellent job.

The first item consists of “Two most excellent Praiers, which the Preacher commonly used before his Exercises.” This goes for a little over three pages. The second piece is taken from the work entitled The Pattern of Catechetical Doctrine at Large: or a Learned and Pious Exposition of the Ten Commandments. Andrewes’ Pattern is a lengthy work, a set of 110 lectures on the Ten Commandments and was probably given over two or three academic years while he was catechist at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge. Only small representative selections from it are given here, occupying 35 pages, and it includes parts of Andrewes’ Introduction and his treatment of the first, second and fourth commandments. Then there follow two sermons, one preached at St Mary’s Hospital on Wednesday of Easter Week, 1588 (the earliest datable sermon of Andrewes’ to survive in complete form), the second preached at the University of Cambridge as part requirement for his DD degree (1590). This second sermon is intimately linked with Andrewes’ Divinity Act thesis that “Tithes ought not be abrogated”.  There is then a lecture-sermon on Genesis 2:18 (the creation of Eve) (October 1591), followed by a Sermon preached before Queen Elizabeth (“Remember Log’s Wife”, 1594), and a Sermon preached at the Court, on Good Friday of 1597 (“They shall look upon me, whom they have pierced”). Then there is given a Sermon on Isaiah 6:6-7 (1598, one of four preached at St Giles Cripplegate on the Eucharist), then the first (in 1606) of his ten Gunpowder Plot sermons, three more sermons preached before the king on different dates (1609, 1610, 1618), and finally an Easter-Day sermon preached at Whitehall in April of 1620. The collection concludes with an appendix, a Sermon preached at the Spittle in April 1588, on Wednesday of Easter Week. This last sermon was unknown to modern scholars until discovered by Dr Mary Morrissey in 2004.

The book has to be regarded as most valuable, and a superb introduction to the writings of Lancelot Andrewes. It displays very great industry worthy of the expert that McCullogh proves himself to be. This reviewer is very glad to have read it and now to have a copy.

                                                                                                                                                     (E. J. Tyler)