Last update:  December 28, 2012

William Law
1686-1761

William Law On-Line Manuscripts

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Links to the On-line Manuscripts of William Law

 

A Letter from William Law ... to the Awakening Seekers who were (and are) partaking of his Writings.

Kings Cliffe, 1755

My dear Friend, — for so I must call you, though unknown to me ...

   Your true conduct under your present light is to turn inwards, and endeavor to find and feel the truth and reality of those doctrines there, which you begin to have a sight of.

   For all I have written is only to help mankind, in this age of darkness, controversy, and delusion, to find the full truth and fundamental ground of all the doctrines of salvation, as plainly written and demonstrated in the essence, state and condition of their own souls, as they are in scripture.

   Under such conviction as this, you come to this knowledge, that all is to be transacted between God and yourself; and that as you are, so is God towards you;   and therefore you are to look for no good, but from such a state of heart, or kind of prayer, as keeps you continually uniting yourself to God, in steadily believing, and fully expecting to be delivered from all your evil, through the merits, mediation, and heavenly birth of the holy Jesus in your own soul.

   Form no idea of the progress you make, nor stand upon the watch how it advances in you.  Give God your heart;  desire only to die to yourself and every thing that hinders your living unto Him, and then your road is safe and good, whatever you meet in it.

   All my books will at present be of use to you, provided you read them only as your instruction how to find and know the misery and corruption of your own fallen nature, and the absolute impossibility of ever being delivered from it, but by turning to God through Jesus Christ.  For they mean nothing else but to lead you from me, and from yourself, from all trust in created things, to expect and find all that you want, in God alone, in the immediate operation of his living Word and Spirit in your own soul.

   In all my writings, I urge you to read more with your heart, than with your head: and never exercise your mind in apprehending any difficult matters, or stay upon them, when ever you meet them.

   Your heart, given up to God, will have its sufficient daily illumination, and, in its proper time,  will have its true fitness for the understanding of every matter that can be a blessing to you.  And be assured of this, that no knowledge but that which is born within you from a heart in union with the eternal Word and Spirit of God, is worth a moment's thought.

My dear friend,  Adieu.

William Law

 

A Sample from William Law ... as to the missing Teachings from the false Christian Churches. 

"What now is become of this true Church, or where must the Man go, who would fain be a living Member of it? — He need go nowhere; because wherever he is, That which is to save him, and That which he is to be saved from, is always with him. — SELF is all the Evil that he has, and God is all the Goodness that he ever can have; But Self is always with him, and God is always with him. — Death to Self is his only Entrance into the Church of Life, and Nothing but God can give Death to Self. — Self is an inward Life, and God is an inward Spirit of Life; therefore nothing kills That which must be killed in us, or quickens That which must come to Life in us, but the inward Work of God in the Soul, and the inward Work of the Soul in God. — This is that Mystic Religion, which, though it has nothing in it but that same Spirit, that same Truth, and that same Life, which always was, and always must be the Religion of all God's holy Angels and Saints in Heaven, is by the Wisdom of this World accounted to be Madness.   As wisely done, as to reckon him mad, who says, that the Vanity of Things Temporal cannot be or give Life to the Things that are Eternal;  or that the Circumcision of the Flesh is but as poor a Thing, as the Whetting the Knife, in Comparison of that inward mystic Circumcision of the Heart, which can only be done by "that WORD of God, which is Sharper than any two edged Sword, and pierces to the dividing asunder of the Soul and Spirit," Heb. iv.1. — Now fancy to yourself a Rabbi-Doctor, laughing at this Circumcision of the two edged Sword of God, as Gospel Madness, and then you see that very same Christian Orthodoxy, which at this Day condemns the inward working Life of God in the Soul, as Mystic Madness."

"Look at all that is outward, and all that you then see, has no more of Salvation in it, than the Stars and Elements. — Look at all the good Works you can think of, they have no Goodness for you, but when the good Spirit of God is the Doer of them in you. — For all the outward Works of Religion may be done by the natural Man, he can observe all Church-Duties, stick close to Doctrines, and put on the Semblance of every outward Virtue; thus high he can go. But no Christian, till led and governed by the Spirit of God, can go any higher than this feigned, outward Formality of this natural Man;   to which he can add nothing, but his own natural fleshly Zeal in the Defense of it.   For all Zeal must be of this Kind, till it is the Zeal of That which is born of God, and calls every Creature only to that same new Birth from above. — "My little children," says St. Paul, "of whom I travail again in Birth, till Christ be formed in you."    This is the whole labour of an Apostle to the End of the World.    He has nothing to preach to Sinners, but the Absolute Necessity, the true Way, and the certain Means, of being Born again from above."

[ A Humble, Earnest and Affectionate Address to the Clergy: 1761  ]

 

On-Line Manuscripts

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E-Text Copyrights renew with each published update.  

Dear Reader,  If you are new to these later writings of William Law, the reading of them,
in the order that they were published, should prove beneficial.

Links to the On-line Manuscripts of William Law

Introduction to William Law 

Some brief Biographical Information about the 18th century life of the blessed instrument of God, William Law,  along with many Quotes about the impact of his written Works as noted by various "Voices from the Past".

[ Last update:  December 28, 2012:   On-line at PTW since April 22, 2000 ]

The Grounds and Reasons of Christian Regeneration 

or The New Birth — 1739:   A compelling Case for each Reader to consider that it is only while in the redeemable State of this Life, that each Soul has its chance to readily regain its own proper Light; that God can in no way redeem, save or enlighten a Soul in "any other Way than, as the Gospel proposes, by the Birth of the Son of God in it;  that for aught you know, Infidelity, or the refusing of this Birth of the Son of God, may, at the End of Life, leave you in such a State of Self-torment, as the infinite Love of God can no way deliver you from."

[ Last update:  December 28, 2012:   On-line at PTW since March 21, 1998 ]

The Spirit of Prayer  

The First Part — 1749   The Soul Rising out of the Vanity of Time, into the Riches of Eternity. provides a practical way for a Soul to turn its vain Desires from Self and the Things of the World, back toward God.

The Second Part — 1752 ... in three Dialogues between Academicus, Rusticus, and Theophilus, at which Humanus (a Deist) was silently present. This work stresses the necessity for one to have a worshipping Heart at all times and in all places — quite independent of the external forms and rites of Religion.   It calls for the slumbering Christian to awaken, to turn within, to search and dig in his "own field" for the "Pearl of Eternity" which has been covered by the corruption of the Fall.

[ Last update:  December 28, 2012:   On-line at PTW since January 1, 1998 ]

The Way to Divine Knowledge   

1752 — being several Dialogues (the First being a continuation of the thread begun in "The Second Part" of The Spirit of Prayer) between Humanus (by now converted to the uncorrupted Gospel and joining in the Dialogues), Academicus, Rusticus, and Theophilus.    This work continues the exposure of False Christianity.  "He that adheres only to the History of the Facts, Doctrines, and Institutions of the Gospel, without being born of its Spirit, is only such a Christian, and is no nearer to Christ, than the Jew, who carnally adhered to the Letter of the Law.   They both stand in the same Distance from Gospel Christianity.   For the Truth of Christianity is the Spirit of God living and working in it; and where this Spirit is not the Life of it, there the outward Form is but like the outward Carcass of a departed Soul.    For the Spiritual Life is as much its own Proof, as the natural Life, and needs no outward, or foreign Thing to bear Witness to it."

"Through all Scripture nothing else is aimed at or intended for Man as his Christianity, but the Divine Life, nor is any Thing hinted at, as having the least Power to raise or beget it, but the holy Life-giving Spirit of God.    How gross therefore is that Blindness which, when reading the Gospel and the History of Gospel Christians, cannot see these two fundamental Truths, (1) "That Nothing is Divine Knowledge in Man, but the Divine Life": (2) "That the Divine Life is Nothing else but a Birth of the Divine Nature within him". 

The Second and Third Dialogues contain discussions and openings of the Works of Jacob Boehme [Behmen], their Nature, Purpose and End, along with the right Use and Manner of reading them..

[ Last update:  December 28, 2012:   On-line at PTW since January 1, 1998 ]

The Spirit of Love  

The  First  Part   — 1752    in A Letter to a Friend. an Exposition that God is Love and that true Christianity is the Religion of Love, and all its gifts and graces are the Gifts and Graces of Love.  Moreover, Law deals with the reasons why Man, of his own efforts, can never achieve the practice of this wondrous Love. 
The  Second  Part — 1754
    in Three Dialogues. the Exposure of, and the Corrections to the erroneous teachings of modern Christianity regarding the terms of Righteousness, Justice, Wrath and Vengeance of God, as found so much in Scripture;  and how these terms are truly to be understood.

[ Last update:  December 28, 2012:   On-line at PTW since January 1, 1998 ]

An Humble, Earnest and Affectionate Address to the Clergy  

1761 — finished a few days before his death on April 9th, 1761 and published the same year in which Law exposed, in a firm and loving way, the Corruptions to the original Gospel being perpetrated on the Flock of Christ by the "Clergy";   these Adulterations, Convolutions, and Counterfeits  had already become prevalent in Law's time;   since then, they have multiplied a thousand-fold as we see them from the viewpoint of the 21st century.    Law's last work is a challenge to all those who consider themselves to be Followers of Christ, especially the Leaders, Elders, learned Bible Scholars, Evangelists, Teachers, Academics and Apologists of modern Christendom.

[Last update:  December 28, 2012:  On-line at PTW since January 1, 1998 ]

 

L I N K S  to  his  E A R L I E R   W O R K S  ( on Other Sites )

A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life    -   1728

An Appeal to All That Doubt the Truths of the Gospel   -   1740

 

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