William Law (1686 – 1761) was an English writer. After attending Emmanuel College, Cambridge, he was ordained in 1711. He remained there as a teacher until the accession of George I, when his conscience forbade him to take the oaths of allegiance to the new government, continuing as a simple priest until that too became impossible. He then began to teach privately and write extensively. The reading of Jacob Boehme’s works deeply moved Law, inspiring him to write his mystical works: The Spirit of Prayer, The Way to Divine Knowledge, and The Spirit of Love.
Quotes by William Law…
No one can see these truths in the manner that I have presented them, without being in some degree inclined to believe them, and in some degree stirred up to act in conformity to them.
Who has not at one time or other felt a sourness, wrath, selfishness, envy and pride, which he could not tell what to do with, or how to bear, rising up in him without his consent, casting a blackness over all his thoughts, and then as suddenly going off again, either by the cheerfulness of the sun or air, or some agreeable accident, and again, at times, as suddenly returning upon him? Sufficient indications are these to every man that there is a dark guest within him… often lulled to sleep by worldly light and amusements.
For the outward world is but a glass, a representation of the inward; and everything, and variety of things in temporal nature, must have its root or hidden cause in something that is more inward.
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.
I appeal to nothing but the state of your own hearts and consciences, to prove the necessity of your embracing this mystery of divine love.
These are not fictions of a visionary imagination, but sober truths, spoken by the word of God in scripture, and written and engraven in the book of every man’s own nature.
The greatest part of mankind, nay, of all Christians, may be said to be asleep. That particular way of life, which takes up each man’s mind, thoughts and actions, may be very well called his particular dream. The learned and the ignorant, the rich and the poor, are all in the same state of slumber, passing away a short life in a different kind of dream.