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The Liturgical Calendar: The Church Remembers

Today the church remembers William Law, Priest, 1761.

"Receive every day as a resurrection from death, as a new enjoyment of life," wrote William Law. His influence was important in the work and ministry of the evangelical movement of the eighteenth century within the Church of England. John and Charles Wesley were among those upon whom Law had influence.

Born in 1686, Law entered Cambridge in 1705. In 1711, he was elected fellow of Emmanuel College and subsequently ordained. When George I became king in 1714, Law was unable to take the oath of allegiance on principle and was deprived of his position at Cambridge.

Law's influence consisted chiefly in his writings, notably A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life (1728) and A Practical Treatise Upon Christian Perfection (1726). Law's willingness to sacrifice a privileged living, coupled with his persuave and inspiring writing, earned him a place of affection in the hearts of many Anglicans.

"Devotion signifies a life given, or devoted to God," Law wrote. "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."

Our prayer comes from Law:

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.

Read the Wikipedia article here.

O God, by whose grace your servant William Law, kindled with the flame of your love, became a burning and shining light in your Church: Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline, and walk before you as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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