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 William Law Quotes
76 Famous Quotes by William Law
- 4/9/1761
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About William Law

Be intent upon the perfection of the present day.

Life Quotes, by William Law

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Receive every day as a resurrection from death, as a new enjoyment of life; meet every rising sun with such sentiments of God's goodness, as if you had seen it, and all things, new-created upon your account: and under the sense of so great a blessing, let your joyful heart praise and magnify so good and glorious a Creator.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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If our common life is not a common course of humility, self-denial, renunciation of the world, poverty of spirit, and heavenly affection, we do not live the lives of Christians.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Commemoration of Mary Slessor, Missionary in West Africa, 1915 Covetousness, pride, and envy are not three different things, but only three different names for the restless workings of one and the same will or desire. Wrath, which is a fourth birth from these three, can have no existence till one or all of these three are contradicted, or have something done to them that is contrary to their will. These four properties generate their own torment. They have no outward cause, nor any inward power of altering themselves. And therefore all self or nature must be in this state until some supernatural good comes into it, or gets a birth in it. Whilst man indeed lives among the vanities of time, his covetousness, envy, pride, and wrath may be in a tolerable state, may hold him to a mixture of peace and trouble; they may have at times their gratifications as well as their torments. But when death has put an end to the vanity of all earthly cheats, the soul that is not born again of the Supernatural Word and Spirit of God, must find itself unavoidably devoured and shut up in its own insatiable, unchangeable, self-tormenting covetousness, envy, pride, and wrath.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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THE PRESENTATION OF CHRIST IN THE TEMPLE Persons that are well affected to religion, that receive instructions of piety with pleasure and satisfaction, often wonder how it comes to pass that they make no greater progress in that religion which they so much admire. Now the reason of it is this: it is because religion lives only in their head, but something else has possession of their heart; and therefore they continue from year to year mere admirers and praisers of piety, without ever coming up to the reality and perfection of its precepts.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Feast of Chad, Abbot of Lastingham, Bishop of Lichfield, Missionary, 672 God is always present and always working towards the life of the soul and its deliverance from captivity under flesh and blood. But this inward work of God, though never ceasing or altering, is yet always and only hindered by the activity of our own nature and faculties, by bad men through their obedience to earthly passions and by good men through their striving to be good in their own way, by their natural strength and a multiplicity of holy labours and contrivances. Both these sorts of people obstruct the work of God upon their souls. For we can cooperate with God no other way than by submitting to the work of God, and seeking, and leaving ourselves to it.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Continuing a Lenten series on prayer: When a man has had so much benefit from the gospel, as to know his own misery, his want of a redeemer, who he is, and how is he to be found; there everything seems to be done, both to awaken and direct his prayer, and make it a true praying in and by the Spirit. For when the heart really pants and longs after God, its prayer is a praying, as moved and animated by the Spirit of God; it is the breath or inspiration of God, stirring, moving and opening itself in the heart. For though the early nature, our old man, can oblige or accustom himself to take heavenly words at certain times into his mouth, yet this is a certain truth, that nothing ever did, or can have the least desire or tendency to ascend to heaven, but that which came down from heaven; and therefore nothing in the heart can pray, aspire, and long after God, but the Spirit of God moving and stirring in it.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Feast of William Law, Priest, Mystic, 1761 Commemoration of William of Ockham, Franciscan Friar, Philosopher, Teacher, 1347 Commemoration of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Priest, Scientist, Visionary, 1955 The pure, mere love of God is that alone from which sinners are justly to expect that no sin will pass unpunished, but that His love will visit them with every calamity and distress that can help to break and purify the bestial heart of man and awaken in him true repentance and conversion to God. It is love alone in the holy Deity that will allow no peace to the wicked, nor ever cease its judgments till every sinner is forced to confess that it is good for him that he has been in trouble, and thankfully own that not the wrath but the love of God has plucked out that right eye, cut off that right band, which he ought to have done but would not do for himself and his own salvation.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Feast of Philip & James, Apostles Here is opened to us the true reason of the whole process of our Saviour's incarnation, passion, death, resurrection, and ascension into Heaven. It was because fallen man was to go through all these stages as necessary parts of his return to God; and therefore, if man was to go out of his fallen state there must be a son of this fallen man, who, as a head and fountain of the whole race, could do all this -- could go back through all these gates and so make it possible for all the individuals of human nature, as being born of Him, to inherit His conquering nature and follow Him through all these passages to eternal life. And thus we see, in the strongest and clearest light, both why and how the holy Jesus is become our great Redeemer.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Trinity Sunday The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is wholly practical; it is revealed to us, to discover to us our high origin and the greatness of our fall, and to show us the deep and profound operation of the triune God in the recovery of the divine life in our souls: that by the means of this mystery thus discovered, our piety may be rightly directed, our faith and prayer have their proper objects, [and] the workings and aspiring of our own hearts may cooperate and correspond with that triune life in the Deity, which is always desiring to manifest itself in us.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Wonder not then that all the true followers of Christ, the saints of every age, have so gloried in the cross of Christ, have imputed such great things to it, have desired nothing so much as to be partakers of it, to live in constant union with it. It is because His sufferings, His death and cross, were the fulness of His victory over all the works of the devil. Not an evil in flesh and blood, not a misery of life, not a chain of death, not a power of hell and darkness, but were all baffled, broken, and overcome by the process of a suffering and dying Christ. Well, therefore, may the cross of Christ be the glory of Christians!

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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The Son of God did not come from above to add an external form of worship to the several ways of life that are in the world, and so to leave people to live as they did before, in such tempers and enjoyments as the fashion and the spirit of the world approve; but as He came down from Heaven altogether Divine and heavenly in His own nature, so it was to call mankind to a Divine and heavenly life; to the highest change of their own nature and temper; to be born again of the Holy Spirit; to walk in the wisdom and light and love of God, and to be like Him to the utmost of their power, to renounce all the most plausible ways of the world, whether of greatness, business, or pleasure; to a mortification of their most agreeable passions; and to live in such wisdom, purity, and holiness as might fit them to be glorious in the enjoyment of God to all eternity. (Continued tomorrow).

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Whatever, therefore, is foolish, ridiculous, vain, or earthly, or sensual, in the life of a Christian is something that ought not to be there; it is a spot and a defilement that must be washed away with tears of repentance. But if anything of this kind runs all through the course of our life, if we allow ourselves in things that are either vain, foolish, or sensual, we renounce our profession. For as sure as Jesus Christ was wisdom and holiness, as sure as He came to make us like Himself and to be baptized into His Spirit, so sure is it that none can be said to keep to their Christian profession but they who, to the utmost of their power, live a wise and holy and heavenly life. This, and this alone, is Christianity, a universal holiness in every part of life, a heavenly wisdom in all our actions, not conforming to the spirit and temper of the world but turning all worldly enjoyments into means of piety and devotion to God.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Oh, plain, and easy, and simple way of salvation! wanting no subtleties of art or science, no borrowed learning, no refinements of reason; but all done by the simple natural motion of every heart that truly longs after God. For no sooner is the finite desire of the creature in motion towards God, but the infinite desire of God is united with it, co-operates with it; and in this united desire of God and the creature is the salvation and life of the soul brought forth.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Commemoration of William Morris, Artist, Writer, 1896 Commemoration of George Kennedy Bell, Bishop of Chichester, Ecumenist, Peacemaker, 1958 Thus was the Cross of Christ, in St. Paul's day, the glory of Christians; not as it signified their not being ashamed to own a master that was crucified, but as it signified their glorying in a religion which was nothing else but a doctrine of the Cross that called them to the same suffering spirit, the same sacrifice of themselves, the same renunciation of the world, the same humility and meekness, the same patient bearing of injuries, reproaches and contempts, and the same dying to all the greatness, honours, and happiness of this world, which Christ showed on the Cross.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Commemoration of Samuel Seabury, First Anglican Bishop in North America, 1796 Here you have the true reason why revenge or vengeance is not allowed to man: it is because vengeance can only work in the evil or disordered properties of fallen nature. But man, being himself a part of fallen nature and subject to its disordered properties, is not allowed to work with them, because it would be stirring up evil in himself, and that is his sin of wrath or revenge. God therefore reserves all vengeance to Himself, not because wrathful revenge is a temper or quality that can have any place in the holy Deity, but because the holy supernatural Deity, being free from all the properties of nature, whence partial love and hatred spring, and being in Himself nothing but an infinity of love, wisdom, and goodness, He alone knows how to overrule the disorders of nature, and so to repay evil with evil, that the highest good may be promoted by it.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Feast of Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, c.326 If I now want to add something of my own (i.e., inner assurances) to this faith, if this great and glorious faith is defective and saves me not till I can add my own sense and my own feeling to it at such a time or place, is not this saying in the plainest manner that faith alone cannot justify me? ... All I would say of these inward delights and enjoyments is this: they are not holiness, they are not piety, they are not perfection, but they are God's gracious allurements and calls to seek after holiness and spiritual perfection.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Commemoration of Gladys Aylward, Missionary in China, 1970 If Religion has raised us into a new world, if it has filled us with new ends of life, if it has taken possession of our hearts, and altered the whole turn of our minds, if it has changed all our ideas of things, given us a new set of hopes and fears, and taught us to live by the realities of an invisible world -- then we may humbly hope that we are true followers of the Holy Jesus, and such as may rejoice in the Day of Christ.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Others again, perhaps truly awakened by the Spirit of God to devote themselves wholly to piety and the service of God, yet making too much haste to have the glory of saints, the elements of fallen nature -- selfishness, envy, pride, and wrath -- could secretly go along with them. For to seek for eminence and significancy in grace is but like seeking for eminence and significancy in nature. And the old man can relish glory and distinction in religion as well as in common life, and will be content to undergo as many labours, pains, and self-denials for the sake of religious, as for the sake of secular glory.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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There is nothing safe in religion, except in such a course of behaviour that leaves nothing for corrupt nature to feed or live upon; which can only then be done when every degree of perfection we aim at is a degree of death to the passions of the natural man.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Feast of William Law, Priest, Mystic, 1761 Commemoration of William of Ockham, Franciscan Friar, Philosopher, Teacher, 1347 Commemoration of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Priest, Scientist, Visionary, 1955 Read whatever chapter of Scripture you will, and be ever so delighted with it -- yet it will leave you as poor, as empty and unchanged as it found you unless it has turned you wholly and solely to the Spirit of God, and brought you into full union with and dependence upon Him.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Feast of Aelred of Hexham, Abbot of Rievaulx, 1167 Commemoration of Benedict Biscop, Abbot of Wearmouth, Scholar, 689 We must alter our lives in order to alter our hearts, for it is impossible to live one way and pray another.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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A life devoted unto God, looking wholly unto Him in all our actions, and doing all things suitably to His glory, is so far from being dull and uncomfortable, that it creates new comforts in everything that we do.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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If we are to live unto God at any time, or in any place, we are to live unto Him at all times and all places. If we are to use anything as the gift of God, we are to use everything as His gift.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Holy Saturday Commemoration of Jack Winslow, Missionary, Evangelist, 1974 The progress of these terrors is plainly shown us in our Lord's agony in the garden, when the reality of this eternal death so broke in upon Him, so awakened and stirred itself in Him, as to force great drops of blood to sweat from His body... His agony was His entrance into the last, eternal terrors of the lost soul, into the real horrors of that dreadful, eternal death which man unredeemed must have died into when he left this world. We are therefore not to consider our Lord's death upon the Cross as only the death of that mortal body which was nailed to it, but we are to look upon Him with wounded hearts, as being fixed and fastened in the state of that twofold death, which was due to the fallen nature, out of which He could not come till He could say, "It is finished; Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit.".

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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