William Law (1686 – 1761) was an English spiritual writer and mystic who wrote quite a number of excellent books. ‘Mystic’ in the sense that he was acknowledged as having a personal closeness to God and Christ on a moment to moment basis. He even alludes to this in one of his writings. Google the term ‘Christian mystic’…..it is an interesting subject and an example of why all true Christians should be labeled as such.
I read so many of his books I forgot in which one (I believe it was either THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT or THE SPIRIT OF LOVE) he said (and I paraphrase) that we can study the Bible almost continuously , and yet, if it does not eventually lead us to depend TOTALLY on God and Christ Jesus in all things, it is of little or no value. ‘Eventually’ in the sense that this always does take time.
The point he was making is that we cannot depend on how much we study God’s Word, read ‘spiritual’ writings, go to church, throw ourselves into Christian ’causes’, do good works, offer our material possessions abundantly, pray night and day…..if it ‘eventually’ does not bring us to completely forsake our depending our human reason, etc. and, moment by moment, seek God and Christ in ALL we do, we fall far short of achieving the ultimate goal of our calling.
He correctly pointed out that we receive all of our thoughts and spiritual motivation from 1 of 3 sources at any given moment. (1) Ourselves …..any good from these are very limited to what is ‘naturally’ instilled in us, or our basic survival instincts…the rest of them are almost always tainted by self serving interests (even our most noble acts), (2) Satan and his demons….we obviously know where this will lead or (3) God and Christ….receiving from Them is certainly the best of the 3! And, that is why we must look in that direction moment by moment. (Note: The ‘world’…other humans…do NOT have the ability to originate/instill or implant thoughts WITHIN us as do the 3 above.)
He acknowledged (as do all the ‘mystics’) that this can be difficult at times, especially at the beginning, and even seem unnatural. But once the glorious presence of God and Christ becomes a continual reality to us…..words cannot describe the ‘supernatural’ ongoing joy one experiences, as well as the ability to serve as Christ did.
And, yes, Mr. Law believed in the salvation of all. Greatly admired by Andrew Murray, it is believed that Mr. Murray also accepted this view in his later years…..reference http://www.tentmaker.org/biographies/murray.htm.
An excellent writing on the experience of a ‘mystic’ can be found in PRACTICING THE PRESENCE OF CHRIST by Brother Lawrence….http://thepracticeofthepresenceofgod.com/onlinetext/
Take care, and see you later.
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