William Law

William
Law
1686
1761

English Author, Cleric, Divine and Theological Writer, Important figure in the Latter Day Saint movement

Author Quotes

All people desire what they believe will make them happy. If a person is not full of desire for God, we can only conclude that he is engaged with another happiness.

Grant that I may worship and pray unto Thee with as much reverence and godly fear, as if I saw the heavens open and all the angels that stand around Thy throne. Amen.

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... 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.

Nothing hath separated us from God but our own will, or rather our own will is our separation from God.

Reformation If it be the earnest desire and longing of your heart to be merciful as He is merciful; to be full of His unwearied patience, to dwell in His unalterable meekness; if you long to be like Him in universal, impartial love; if you desire to communicate every good to every creature that you are able; if you love and practice everything that is good, righteous, and lovely for its own sake, because it is good, righteous, and lovely; and resist no evil but with goodness; then you have the utmost certainty that the Spirit of God dwells and governs in you.

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.

Weak and imperfect men shall, notwithstanding their frailties and effects, be received as having pleased God, if they have done their utmost to please Him.

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.

All that is sweet, delightful, and amiable in this world, in the serenity of the air, the fineness of seasons, the joy of light, the melody of sounds, the beauty of colors, the fragrancy of smells, the splendor our precious stones, is nothing else but Heaven breaking through the veil of this world, manifesting itself in such a degree and darting forth in such variety so much of its own nature.

He that is endeavoring to subdue, and root out of his mind, all those passions of pride, envy and ambition, which religion opposes, is doing more to make himself happy, even in this life than he that is contriving means to indulge them.

It is much more possible for the sun to give out darkness than for God to do or be, or give out anything but blessing and goodness.

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.

Religion is not ours till we live by it, till it is the Religion of our thoughts, words, and actions, till it goes with us into every place, sits uppermost on every occasion, and forms and governs our hopes and fears, our cares and pleasures.

There is nothing noble in a clergyman but burning zeal for the salvation of souls; nor anything poor in his profession but idleness and worldly spirit.

What a strange thing is it, that a little health, or the poor business of a shop, should keep us so senseless of these great things that are coming so fast upon us!

You may indeed do many works of love and delight in them -- especially at such times as they are not inconvenient to your state or temper or occurrences in life. But the Spirit of Love is not in you till it is the spirit of your life, till you live freely, willingly, and universally according to it.

As the health and strength or weakness of our bodies is very much owing to their methods of treating us when we were young, so the soundness or folly of our minds is not less owing to those first tempers and ways of thinking which we eagerly received from the love, tenderness, authority, and constant conversation of our mothers.

He that rightly understands the reasonableness and excellency of charity will know that it can never be excusable to waste any of our money in pride and folly.

It is not his intent to live in such ways as, for aught we know, God may perhaps pardon, but to be diligent in such ways as we know that God will infallibly reward.

Now since our eternal state is as certainly ours, as our present state; since we are as certainly to live forever, as we now live at all; it is plain, that we cannot judge of the value of any particular time, as to us, but by comparing it to that eternal duration, for which we are created.

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."

There is nothing safe in religion, except in such a course of behavior 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.

What an immense workman is God! in miniature as well as in the great. With the one hand, perhaps, He is making a ring of one hundred thousand miles in diameter, to revolve round a planet like Saturn, and with the other is forming a tooth in the ray of the feather of a humming-bird, or a point in the claw of the foot of a microscopic insect. When He works in miniature, everything is gilded, polished, and perfect, but whatever is made by human art, as a needle, etc., when viewed by a microscope, appears rough, and coarse, and bungling.

Being thus saved himself, he may be zealous in the salvation of souls.

He that seeks God in everything is sure to find God in everything. When we thus live wholly unto God, God is wholly ours and we are then happy in all the happiness of God; for by uniting with Him in heart, and will, and spirit, we are united to all that He is and has in Himself. This is the purity and perfection of life that we pray for in the Lord's Prayer, that God's kingdom may come and His will be done in us, as it is in Heaven. And this we may be sure is not only necessary, but attainable by us.

Author Picture
First Name
William
Last Name
Law
Birth Date
1686
Death Date
1761
Bio

English Author, Cleric, Divine and Theological Writer, Important figure in the Latter Day Saint movement