Rick Shrader‘s Review:
William Law (1686-1761) was an English churchman and juror who followed the era of Richard Baxter and lived in the days and knew personally the Wesleys, William Wilberforce and Samuel Johnson. Law was a supporter of the Stuarts, especially James II, believing in their divine right to the throne. When their reign ended during the monarchy, the Hanoverian house later gained control specificaly with Charles I. William Law refused, as a minister of the church, to sign the oath of allegiance to Charles and was therefore barred from the ministry in the Church of England. Because of this,
Law sympathized with the dissenters but was not of their independent ecclesiology. In fact, he later sympathized with the Jacobites (Literally the house of James) who wanted to see the Catholicism of the Stuarts reinstated in England.
That said, William Law wrote many books on Christian piety which incluenced many believers in his time including John and Charles Wesley. This book is an interesting read if you are searching for a deeper walk in your Christian life. Law’s proposition, in 353 pages, is that if religious actions such as prayer, Scripture reading, church attendance, are the best things a Christian can do, why wouldn’t we cultivate more of them and do those things with greater fervency? If humbling ourselves before God during prayer, for example, is one of the best things we can do, shouldn’t we humble ourselves all the time? The same argument can be made for all the Christian virtues. It is a long and tedious read but worth the time.
One further note: This volume is published by Westminster Press in Philadelphia in 1948 and the editor discusses Law’s weakness in explaining the gospel. His explanation is that Law assumes the reader knows about personal faith and therefore talks only of Christian living. I was able to mark not a few passages that really do blurr the issue of personal faith.