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A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life [Hardcover]

By William Law (Author)
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Item description for A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life by William Law...

Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: live every day in the same tempers, and the same design,s. and the same indulgences, as they did who knew not God, nor of any happiness in another life. Every body, that is capable of any reflection, must have observed, that this is generally the state even of devout people, whether men or women. You may see them different from other people so far as to times'and places of prayer, but generally like the rest of the world in all the other parts of their lives. That is, adding Christian devotion to an heathen life: I have the authority of our blessed Saviour for this remark, where he says, Take no thought. saying what shall we eat, or what'shall we drink, or wherewithal shall we be clothed ? for after all these things do the Gentiles seek. But if to be thus affected even with the necessary things of this life, shews that we are not yet of a Christian spirit, but are like the heathens; surely to enjoy the vanity and folly of the world as they did, to be like them in the mam chief tempers of our lives, in self- love and indulgence, in sensual pleasures and diversions, in the vanity of dress, the love of show and greatness, or any other gaudy distinction of fortune, is a much grenter sign of a heathen temper. And consequently they who add devotion to such a life, must he said to pray as Christians, but live as heathens. CHAP. II. An Hlquiry into the Reason, why the generality of Christians fall so far short of the Holiness and Devotion of Christianity. IT may now be reasonably inquired, how it comes to pass, that the lives even of the better sort of people are thus strangely contrary to the principles of Christianity. But before I give a direct answer to this, I desire it jnay also be inquired, how it comes to pass that swearing is so common a vice amongst Christians; it is...

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Sovereign Grace Publishers Inc.
Pages   172
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.37" Width: 6.2" Height: 0.67"
Weight:   0.84 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 24, 2001
Publisher   Sovereign Grace Publishers Inc.
ISBN  1589600584  
ISBN13  9781589600584  

Availability  83 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 27, 2016 07:18.
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More About William Law

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! William Law (1686-1761), English cleric and theological writer, was born at Kings Cliffe, Northamptonshire. The first of Law's controversial works was "Three Letters to the Bishop of Bangor" (1717), which were considered by friend and foe alike as one of the most powerful contributions to the Bangorian controversy on the high church side. Law's next controversial work was Remarks on Mandeville's Fable of the Bees (1723), in which he vindicates morality on the highest grounds; for pure style, caustic wit and lucid argument this work is remarkable; it was enthusiastically praised by John Sterling, and republished by F. D. Maurice. Law's Case of Reason (1732), in answer to Tindal's Christianity as old as the Creation is to a great extent an anticipation of Bishop Butler's famous argument in the Analogy. In this work Law shows himself at least the equal of the ablest champion of Deism. His Letters to a Lady inclined to enter the Church of Rome are excellent specimens of the attitude of a high Anglican towards Romanism. His controversial writings have not received due recognition, partly because they were opposed to the drift of his times, partly because of his success in other fields.

William Law was born in 1686 and died in 1761.

William Law has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Classics of Western Spirituality (Paperback)
  2. Pure Gold Classics

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Discipleship
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > Protestant
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > History

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Reviews - What do customers think about A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life?

Classic  Oct 18, 2008
This classic on what your daily walk should be like as a Christian is as relevant today as it was in 1728, when the book was first penned. Some terms and wording reminds one that this work is almost three hundred years old, but it nails so many issues that are dealt with today, that it just shows what a timeless work this is.

It is revealing and sobering. Not a light read. You have to be serious about your walk with Christ or it will be a total waste of time.
Very Timely  Jun 11, 2008
wow - what an inspirational, hard-hitting, right on read this has been. I'm still in the process of reading it but I already love it. This should be required reading for all Christians. Then perhaps the church would live differently than the world and perhaps we'd have less scandal.

So far I can see that there needs to be a balance. One could easily tend towards legalism and a justification by self-works type of mentality. Perhaps he'll cover in later chapters how it's the Spirit of God that now creates the will to do differently and also empowers us to do so as we allow him to lead us in all areas of our lives.

But as long as one is aware of this work of the Spirit in a believer's life, then this book can do nothing but stimulate one to self-reflection and love and good works.
Get plowed!!  Feb 27, 2008
Here is the clarion call to a true life that
glorifies God. Put the lies of culture aside
and learn the real truth.. and live it!!
A Serious but Dangerously Legalistic Call  Dec 12, 2007
The fact Pastor John Piper in some of his books, "Don't Waste Your Life" and "A Hunger for God" quoted Law in this book several times intrigued me to read it personally. As I went through the chapters, however, it is clear to me and will become clear to the readers as well that Law sounds eerily close to a Roman Catholic minus the devotions to the rituals. Despite many deep, excellent, stinging, uncomfortable, soul-searching reflections and illustrations on the Christian life contrasted against the futility of a self-centered life that I believe are profitable for Christians, particularly to defy the preaching of prosperity gospel that seems to "prosper" more than the true gospel, sadly Law embraces the fatally erroneous doctrine of justification by works. In his view, Christians need to practice the principles of piety, self-denial, generosity, meekness, simplicity of life and all the Bible, particularly the New Testament teaches, the best they can in order to be saved that sounds all too familiarly popish. What he mostly brings up from the Bible is the wonderful teachings of Christ. There is no mention of poverty of spirit, dependence on God's grace to live a sanctified life or to desire to live for him to begin with, let alone the cross, justification by faith, sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, and perseverance of the saints.

Well, the immediate questions that arise are of course, aren't Christians saved already, and that they are saved by grace on the basis of the finished atoning death and resurrection of Christ on the cross, and not by works? How does one know that he has done his best? What is the standard? Whose standard is it to use to determine whether one has done his best, man's or God's? If it is man's standard, which one? The Pope's? How can we be so sure if it is his standard to be used, not someone else's? If it is God's, where is it in the Bible that says God commands us to do the best we can and not rely on him for everything without excluding our responsibilities? Where is it in the Bible that God's standard says we are saved as long as we do the best we can? This is unquestionably deadly because in the end, it points to the perfectionist demand of the law where no one can meet, which is warned against by the Apostle Paul in his epistles, particularly to the Romans and Galatians. The meat of what Law talks about is all about doing and there is no mention of child-like dependence and trusting on God's grace in Christ through the Holy Spirit to enable us to follow what Law, in some cases, biblically and exquisitely exhorts to embrace and practice. To properly describe what Law offers here is a mixture of rich food and poison. The rich food is his biblical heart-piercing warnings, rebukes, reflections, illustrations and encouragements, specifically about prayer, fasting, simplicity, modesty, generosity, humility and self-denial that I must admit are too good, too important, and too bitter-sweet, eye-opening of an exposure and remedy to my own weaknesses to be overlooked as well as too precious to be neglected in practice. The poison is his constant insistence of justification by works. For the fullest benefit to be reaped, enjoy the rich food. Let it purify our souls and reform our lives, but spit the poison out. Instead, embrace and enjoy the even richer food of justification in Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone, and to the glory of God alone for these are the fountain that enables all true piety.
If you are ready to take your spiritual walk to a whole new level - read this book!  Jun 26, 2007
If you're looking for a challenge in your spiritual walk - this is the book for you. Law's classic book was the transforming resource in the lives of the Wesley brothers as well as abolitionist William Wilberforce - just as it changed their lives, this book will not leave you the same!

I've read an abridged and edited version for the modern reader by John Meister (158 pages) - but it wasn't enough - I had to order the small type 317 page version! This is not an easy read - on the difficulty scale of 1 - 10, this would be a solid 9. I wouldn't suggest this book to anyone in high school or even college - Law deals with real world issues and a little seasoning in life is necessary to get the full effect of his challenge. This is a perfect book for the Christian man who wants more than a Purpose Driven Life, the man looking for a profound, insightful, and challenging read that will deeply impact the core of his being!

You can find these books online. The longer version is a Vintage Spiritual Classics edition and retails for around $13.00. Rare will be the person that will want this book - but if you're the one, don't pass this one up! I give this my highest endorsement and recommendation.

Law deals directly with the concept of devotion to God - and asks some difficult questions about where man places his true devotion in life - in the things of this world, or in the Kingdom of Heaven? Law argues that a wise and reasonable man will wholly devote himself to the things of the Lord for they are far superior to the temporal and worthless things of this world. In fact, Law says that a lack of this devotion is a clear indicator of gross ignorance! The book gives several practical elements necessary for a devoted life including prayer, study, humility and confession. But it is not the elements about which Law writes, it is the manner in which he presents them to the reader that makes this book so exceptional - Law raises the bar and challenges the follower of Christ to live an exemplary life, a life worthy of their calling, a life comparable to the great saints who have walked before us or even to angels who minister above us!

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