Reading the Book of Nature

Daily Reading for September 26 • Lancelot Andrewes, Bishop of Winchester, 1626; and Wilson Carlile, Priest, 1942

When Andrewes was a young scholar in the University, and so all his time onward, he never loved or used any games or ordinary recreations, either within doors, as cards, dice, tables, chess, or the like; or abroad, as hilts, quoits, bowls, or any such: but his ordinary exercise and recreation was walking either alone by himself, or with some other selected companion, with whom he might confer and argue, and recount their studies; and he would often profess that to observe the grass, herbs, corn, trees, cattle, earth, waters, heavens, any of the creatures, and to contemplate their natures, orders, qualities, virtues, uses, &c., was ever to him the greatest mirth, content, and recreation that could be: and this he held to his dying day.

. . . Of the fruit of this his seed-time, the world, especially this land, hath reaped a plentiful harvest in his sermons and writings: never went any beyond him in the first of these, his preaching, wherein he had such a dexterity, that some would say of him, that he was quick again as soon as delivered; and in this faculty he hath left a pattern inimitable. So that he was truly styled, Stella prædicantium, and “an angel in the pulpit” And his late Majesty took especial care in causing that volume of his sermons to be divulged, though but a handful of those which he preached, by enjoying whereof this kingdom hath an inestimable treasure.

From “An Exact Narration of the Life and Death of the Late reverend and learned Prelate, and painfull Divine Lancelot Andrewes, Late Bishop of Winchester” by Henry Isaacson; found at

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