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76 Famous Quotes by William Law
- 4/9/1761
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They, therefore, who are hasty in their devotions and think a little will do, are strangers both to the nature of devotion and the nature of man; they do not know that they are to learn to pray, and that prayer is to be learnt as they learn other things, by frequency, constancy, and perseverance.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Feast of Saints & Martyrs of England The one supreme, unchangeable rule of love, which is a law to all intelligent beings of all worlds and will be a law to all eternity, is this, viz., that God alone is to be loved for Himself, and all other beings only in Him and for Him. Whatever intelligent creature lives not under this rule of love is so far fallen from the order of his creation, and is, till he returns to this eternal law of love, an apostate from God and incapable of the kingdom of Heaven. Now, if God is alone to be loved for Himself, then no creature is to be loved for itself; and so all self-love in every creature is absolutely condemned. And if all created beings are only to be loved in and for God, then my neighbour is to be loved as I love myself, and I am only to love myself as I love my neighbour or any other created being that is, only in and for God.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Commemoration of Thomas Merton, Monk, Spiritual Writer, 1968 They only renounce the world as they ought, who live in the midst of it without worldly tempers, who comply with their share in the offices of human life without complying with the spirit that reigneth in the world.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Commemoration of Brigid, Abbess of Kildare, c.525 We can all call to mind movements which have begun as pure upsurges of fresh spiritual vitality, breaking through and revolting against the hardened structure of the older body, and claiming, in the name of the Spirit, liberty from outward forms and institutions. And we have seen how rapidly they develop their own forms, their own structures of thought, of language, and of organisation. It would surely be a very unbiblical view of human nature and history to think -- as we so often, in our pagan way, do -- that this is just an example of the tendency of all things to slide down from a golden age to an age of iron, to identify the spiritual with the disembodied, and to regard visible structure as equivalent to sin. We must rather recognise here a testimony to the fact that Christianity is, in its very heart and essence, not a disembodied spirituality, but life in a visible fellowship, a life which makes such total claim upon us, and so engages our total powers, that nothing less than the closest and most binding association of men with one another can serve its purpose. ... Lesslie Newbigin, The Household of God February 2, 2000 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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Commemoration of Anne & Joachim, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary If you were to rise early every morning, as an instance of self-denial, as a method of renouncing indulgence, as a means of redeeming your time and of fitting your spirit for prayer, you would find mighty advantages from it. This method, though it seem such a small circumstance of life, would in all probability be a means [toward] great piety. It would keep it constantly in your head that softness and idleness were to be avoided and that self-denial was a part of Christianity... It would teach you to exercise power over yourself, and make you able by degrees to renounce other pleasures and tempers that war against the soul.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Commemoration of Charles de Foucauld, Hermit, Servant of the Poor, 1916 Whilst you are divided betwixt God and the world, you have neither the pleasures of Religion, nor the pleasures of the world, but are always in the uneasiness of a divided state of heart. You have only so much Religion as serves to disquiet you, to show you a handwriting on the wall, to interrupt your pleasures, and to appear as a death's-head at all your feasts, but not Religion enough to give you a taste and feeling of its pleasures. You dare not wholly neglect Religion, but then you take no more than is just sufficient to keep you from being a terror to yourself, and you are as loth to be very good as you are fearful to be very bad.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Each of these foregoing states has its time, its variety of workings, its trials, temptations, and purifications, which can only be known by experience in the passage through them. The one only and infallible way to go safely through all the difficulties, trials, temptations, dryness, or opposition of our own evil tempers is this: It is to expect nothing from ourselves, to trust to nothing in ourselves, but in everything to expect and depend upon God for relief. Keep fast hold of this thread, and then let your way be what it will -- darkness, temptation, or the rebellion of nature -- you will be led through it all, to an union with God: for nothing hurts us in any state but an expectation of some thing in it and from it, which we should only expect from God. (Continued tomorrow).

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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We are looking for our own virtue, our own piety, our own goodness, and so live on and in our own poverty and weakness -- today pleased and comforted with the seeming firmness and strength of our own pious tempers and fancying ourselves to be somewhat. Tomorrow, fallen into our own mire, we are dejected, but not humbled; we grieve, but it is only the grief of pride at the seeing our perfection not to be such as we had vainly imagined. And thus it will be, till the whole turn of our minds be so changed that we as fully see and know our inability to have any goodness of our own as to have a life of our own.

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 There is no wrath that stands between God and us, but what is awakened in the dark fire of our own fallen nature; and to quench this wrath, and not His own, God gave His only begotten Son to be made man. God has no more wrath in Himself now than He had before the creation, when He had only Himself to love... And it was solely to quench this wrath, awakened in the human soul, that the blood of the Son of God was necessary; because nothing but a life and birth, derived from Him into the human soul, could change this darkened root of a self-tormenting fire into an amiable image of the Holy Trinity as it was at first created.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Commemoration of Petroc, Abbot of Padstow, 6th century You have no questions to ask of any body, no new way that you need inquire after; no oracle that you need to consult; for whilst you shut yourself up in patience, meekness, humility, and resignation to God, you are in the very arms of Christ, your heart is His dwelling-place, and He lives and works in you as certainly as He lived in and governed that body and soul which He took from the Virgin Mary.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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When religion is in the hands of the mere natural man, he is always the worse for it; it adds a bad heat to his own dark fire and helps to inflame his four elements of selfishness, envy, pride, and wrath. And hence it is that worse passions, or a worse degree of them are to be found in persons of great religious zeal than in others that made no pretenses to it. History also furnishes us with instances of persons of great piety and devotion who have fallen into great delusions and deceived both themselves and others. The occasion of their fall was this: ... They considered their whole nature as the subject of religion and divine graces; and therefore their religion was according to the workings of their whole nature, and the old man was as busy and as much delighted in it as the new.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Feast of Hildegard, Abbess of Bingen, Visionary, 1179 Reading is good, hearing is good, conversation and meditation are good; but then, they are only good at times and occasions, in a certain degree, and must be used and governed with such caution as we eat and drink and refresh ourselves, or they will bring forth in us the fruits of intemperance. But the spirit of prayer is for all times and occasions; it is a lamp that is to be always burning, a light to be ever shining: everything calls for it; everything is to be done in it and governed by it, because it is and means and wills nothing else but the totality of the soul -- not doing this or that, but wholly ... given up to God to be where and what and how He pleases.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Feast of Alfred the Great, King of the West Saxons, Scholar, 899 Commemoration of Cedd, Founding Abbot of Lastingham, Bishop of the East Saxons, 664 Continuing a short series on prayer: All outward power that we exercise in the things about us is but a shadow in comparison of that inward power that resides in our will, imagination, and desires; these communicate with eternity and kindle a life which always reaches either Heaven or hell... Here lies the ground of the great efficacy of prayer, which when it is the prayer of the heart, the prayer of faith, has a kindling and creating power, and forms and transforms the soul into everything that the desire reaches after: it has the key to the Kingdom of Heaven and unlocks all its treasures; it opens, extends and moves that in us which has its being and motion in and with the divine nature. and so it brings us into real union and Communion with God.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Now men say, "I am in no wise prepared for this work, and therefore it cannot be wrought in me," and thus they have an excuse, so that they neither are ready nor in the way to be so. And truly there is no one to blame for this but themselves. For if a man were looking and striving after nothing but to find a preparation in all things, and diligently gave his whole mind to see how he might become prepared; verily God would well prepare him, for God giveth as much care and earnestness and love to the preparing of a man, as to the pouring in of His Spirit when the man is prepared. ... Theologia Germanica December 16, 2002 Repentance is but a kind of table-talk, till we see so much of the deformity of our inward nature as to be in some degree frightened and terrified at the sight of it... A plausible form of an outward life, that has only learned rules and modes of religion by use and custom, often keeps the soul for some time at ease, though all its inward root and ground of sin has never been shaken or molested, though it has never tasted of the bitter waters of repentance and has only known the want of a Saviour by hearsay. But things cannot pass thus: sooner or later repentance must have a broken and a contrite heart; we must with our blessed Lord go over the brook Cedron, and with Him sweat great drops of sorrow before He can say for us, as He said for Himself: "It is finished.".

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Feast of John, Apostle & Evangelist This is true Christian resignation to God, which requires no more to the support of it than such a plain assurance of the goodness of God as Abraham had of His veracity. And if you ask yourself what greater reason Abraham had to depend upon the Divine veracity than you have to depend upon the Divine goodness, you will find that none can be given.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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This therefore is a certain truth, that hell and death, curse and misery, can never cease or be removed from the creation till the will of the creature is again as it came from God and is only a Spirit of Love that wills nothing but goodness. All the whole fallen creation, stand it never so long, must groan and travail in pain, till every contrariety to the divine will is entirely taken from every creature. Which is only saying, that all the powers and properties of nature are a misery to themselves, can only work in disquiet and wrath, till the birth of the Son of God brings them under the dominion and power of the Spirit of Love.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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If you were to rise early every morning, as an instance of self-denial, as a method of renouncing indulgence, as a means of redeeming your time and of fitting your spirit for prayer, you would find mighty advantages from it. This method, though it seem such a small circumstance of life, would in all probability be a means [toward] great piety. It would keep it constantly in your head that softness and idleness were to be avoided and that self-denial was a part of Christianity... It would teach you to exercise power over yourself, and make you able by degrees to renounce other pleasures and tempers that war against the soul.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Though the light and comfort of the outward world keeps even the worst men from any constant strong sensibility of that wrathful, fiery, dark and self-tormenting nature that is the very essence of every fallen unregenerate soul, yet every man in the world has more or less frequent and strong intimations given him that so it is with him in the inmost ground of his soul. How many inventions are some people forced to have recourse to in order to keep off a certain inward uneasiness, which they are afraid of and know not whence it comes? Alas, it is because there is a fallen spirit, a dark, aching fire, within them, which has never had its proper relief and is trying to discover itself and calling out for help at every cessation of worldly joy.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Commemoration of Swithun, Bishop of Winchester, c.862 Commemoration of Bonaventure, Franciscan Friar, Bishop, Peacemaker, 1274 The Christ of God was not then first crucified when the Jews brought Him to the Cross; but Adam and Eve were His first real murderers; for the death which happened to them in the day when they did eat of the earthly tree was the death of the Christ of God or the divine life in their souls. For Christ had never come into the world as a second Adam to redeem it, had He not been originally the life and perfection and glory of the first Adam.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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A frequent intercession with God, earnestly beseeching Him to forgive the sins of all mankind, to bless them with His providence, enlighten them with His Spirit, and bring them to everlasting happiness, is the divinest exercise that the heart of man can be engaged in. Be daily, therefore, on your knees, in a solemn deliberate performance of this devotion, praying for others in such forms, with such length, importunity, and earnestness, as you use for yourself; and you will find all little, ill-natured passions die away, your heart grow great and generous, delighting in the common happiness of others, as you used only to delight in your own... It was this holy intercession that raised Christians to such a state of mutual love, as far exceeded all that had been praised and admired in human friendship. And when the same spirit of intercession is again in the world, when Christianity has the same power over the hearts of people that it then had, this holy friendship will be again in fashion, and Christians will be again the wonder of the world, for that exceeding love which they bear to one another.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Feast of John Vianney, Curè d'Ars, 1859 [Christ] is the breathing forth of the heart, life and spirit of God into all the dead race of Adam. He is the seeker, the finder, the restorer of all that, from Cain to the end of time, was lost and dead to the life of God. He is the love that prays for all its murderers; the love that willingly suffers and dies among thieves, that thieves may have a life with him in Paradise; the love that visits publicans, harlots and sinners, and wants and seeks to forgive where most is to be forgiven.

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Repentance is but a kind of table-talk, till we see so much of the deformity of our inward nature as to be in some degree frightened and terrified at the sight of it... A plausible form of an outward life, that has only learned rules and modes of religion by use and custom, often keeps the soul for some time at ease, though all its inward root and ground of sin has never been shaken or molested, though it has never tasted of the bitter waters of repentance and has only known the want of a Saviour by hearsay. But things cannot pass thus: sooner or later repentance must have a broken and a contrite heart; we must with our blessed Lord go over the brook Cedron, and with Him sweat great drops of sorrow before He can say for us, as He said for Himself: "It is finished.".

Christianity Quotes, by William Law

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Commemoration of Brooke Foss Westcott, Bishop of Durham, Teacher, 1901 As a good Christian should consider every place as holy, because God is there, so he should look upon every part of his life as a matter of holiness, because it is offered unto God. The profession of a clergyman is a holy profession, because it is a ministration in holy things, an attendance at the alter. But worldly business is to be made holy unto the Lord, by being done as a service unto Him, and in conformity to His Divine will.

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 Christianity does not consist in any partial amendment of our lives, any particular moral virtues, but in an entire change of our natural temper, a life wholly devoted to God.

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Feast of John Coleridge Patteson, First Bishop of Melanesia, & his Companions, Martyrs, 1871 Devotion signifies a life given, or devoted, to God. He therefore is the devout man, who lives no longer to his own will, or the way and spirit of the world, but to the sole will of God, who considers God in everything, who serves God in everything, who makes all the parts of his common life, parts of piety, by doing everything in the name of God, and under such rules as are conformable to His glory.

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