Love of God

From the last writings of William Law

Reaching down into his profound love of God, we find what he has found in the inmost sanctuary of his life where he is visited by his Maker, Redeemer and Sanctifier:

‘Thus saith my heart without speaking a word: Let nothing live in me but the redeeming power of the Holy Jesus, nothing pray in me but the Holy Spirit. This is my ship in which I would be always at sea. All that I seek or mean either for my self or for others by every Height and Depth of Divine know ledge given us by God … is only for this end, only that we may be more willing and glad to become such little children as our Lord has told us are the only heirs of the Kingdom of God. He whose eyes are open to see into the Mystery of all things sees nothing but Death to himself and to everything that he had called and delighted in as his own. This is the bold depth of his knowledge; and if you would know the aspiring Height, it consists in learning to know that which the Angels and twenty-four Elders about the ‘Throne of God know when they cast down their crowns before Him that sat on the Throne saying: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, Thou art worthy to receive Glory and Honour and Power, Thou hast created all things, and for Thy good pleasure they were and are created. It is to know that the Triune Majesty of Father, Son and Holy Spirit are the threefold Power, Life, Glory and Perfection, of every creature that sings praises to God in heaven and earth.’

A profound wisdom

Law was writing almost to the hour of his death that Address to the Clergy, which is his last work. He had found among the clergy of the Church of England some real disciples, and there had stirred in his heart a hope of:

‘Another kind of a much awakened people in most parts of these kingdoms who, in the midst of the Noise and Multiplicity of all Church strife, having heard the still and secret voice of the true Shepherd, are turned inwards … and are searching after the mystical spiritual instruction which leads them from the Outward Cry of a ‘Lo, here or there is Christ’, to seek Him and His redeeming Spirit within them.’

His faithful clergy disciples published his last work after his death, so there must have been a considerable body of those ‘much awakened people’ who found a well-spring of worship and adoration and a profound wisdom in the books that Law wrote in his Kingscliffe years. ND

Edited by Arthur Middleton