Lancelot Andrewes was the favorite preacher of King James the First. He was the author of a great number of eloquent sermons, particularly on the Nativity and the Resurrection. They are "witty," grounded in the Scriptures, and characterized by the kind of massive learning that the King loved. This makes them difficult reading for modern people, but they repay careful study. T. S. Eliot used the opening of one of Andrewes' Epiphany sermons as the inspiration for his poem, "The journey of the Magi:"
A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a Journey, and such a long journey:
The way deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.
Andrewes was also a distinguished biblical scholar, proficient in Hebrew and Greek, and was one of the translators of the Authorized (King James) Version of the Bible. He was Dean of Westminster and headmaster of the school there before he became a bishop, and was influential in the education of a number of noted Churchmen of his time, in particular, the poet George Herbert.
Andrewes was a very devout man, and one of his most admired works is his Preces Privatae ("Private Devotions"), an anthology from the Scriptures and the ancient liturgies, compiled for his own use. It illustrates his piety and throws light on the sources of his theology. He vigorously defended the catholicity of the Church of England against Roman Catholic critics. He was respected by many as the very model of a bishop at a time when bishops were held in low esteem. As his student, John Hacket, later Bishop of Lichfield, wrote about him: "Indeed he was the most Apostolical and Primitive-like Divine, in my Opinion, that wore a Rochet in his Age; of a most venerable Gravity, and yet most sweet in all Commerce; the most Devout that I ever saw, when he appeared before God; of such a Growth in all kind of Learning that very able Clerks were of a low Stature to him" (p. 396).
The compilers of Love's Redeeming Work: The Anglican Quest for Holiness (Oxford University Press, 2001) add this: "His theology is much marked by patristic and Eastern Christian themes, and his preaching shows a particularly 'high' sacramental doctrine" ( p. 111).
You can read sermons, prayers and other writings by Bishop Andrewes here.
The following is one of my favorite prayers that he wrote (those of you who pray the office of Compline in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer will recognize it):
I will lay me down in peace
and take my rest:
for it is Thou Lord only
that makest me dwell in safety.
Into thy hands, O Lord,
I commend my spirit,
for Thou hast redeemed me,
O Lord Thou God of truth.