From William Law
If we are to be new creatures in Christ, we must show that we are so by new ways of living in the world. If we are to follow Christ, it must be in the way we spend each day.
For if the doctrines of Christianity were practiced, they would make a man as different from other people as a civilized man is from a savage. If the doctrines of Christianity were practiced, it would be as easy a thing to know a Christian by the outward course of his life as it is now difficult to find a person who lives the Christian life.
by William Law
It was this general intention that made the primitive Christians such eminent examples of devotion, that made the goodly fellowship of the saints, and that made all the glorious army of martyrs and confessors. And if you will stop here and ask yourself why you are not so devoted as the primitive Christians, your own heart will tell you that is neither through ignorance nor inability but purely because you never thoroughly intended it.
They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32)
from William Law
Although the goodness of God and his rich mercies in Christ Jesus are sufficient
assurance to us that he will be merciful to our unavoidable weaknesses, we have no reason to expect the same mercy toward those sins which we have not intended to avoid.
You may say that all people fall short of the perfection of the gospel and, therefore, you are content with your failings. But this is not the point. The question is not, Can gospel perfection be fully attained? but, Have you come as near it as a sincere intention and careful diligence can carry you? If you have made as much progress in the Christian life as you can, then you may justly hope that your imperfections will not be laid to your charge. But if your defects are the result of your negligence and lack of sincere intention, then you leave yourself without excuse.
If my religion is only a formal compliance with those modes of worship which are in fashion where I live; if it costs me no pain or trouble; if it puts me under no rules and restraints; if I have no careful thoughts and sober reflections about it – is it not foolish to think that I am striving to enter in at the strait gate? How can it be said that I am working out my salvation with fear and trembling?
[I included the quotes above by Law with some reservation. I don't think he's suggesting that our works... or even our intentions... can save us. What I did like about his comments, and why I chose to include them, is his emphasis against an antinomian attitude of... "I'm saved by grace, therefore, I don't have to pursue holiness." That's the interpretation of his words that I'm sticking with for the purpose of including them here.]
Devotion is neither private not public prayer, but a life given to God. He is the devout man, therefore, who considers and serves God in everything and who makes all of his life an act of devotion by doing everything in the name of God and under such rules as are conformable to his glory.
For any way of life, any employment of our time, our talents, or our money, that is not strictly according to the will of God is as great an absurdity and failing as prayers that are not according to the will of God.
The Fellowship of The Burning Heart
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