Fr. William Law (10 APR)


“O God, by whose grace thy servant William Law, enkindled with the fire of thy love, became a burning and shining light in thy Church: Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline, and may ever walk before thee as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, liveth and reigneth, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.”

 – From Holy Women, Holy Men

“William Law (1686 – 9 April 1761) was an Anglican priest who lost his teaching position at Emmanuel College, Cambridge when his conscience would not allow him to take the required oath of allegiance to the first Hanoverian monarch, George I. Law had previously given his allegiance to the House of Stuart and is sometimes considered a second-generation Non-Juror (an earlier generation of nonjurors included Thomas Ken). Thereafter, Law first continued as a simple priest (curate) and when that too became impossible without the required oath, Law taught privately, as well as wrote extensively. His personal integrity, as well as mystic and theological writing greatly influenced the evangelical movement of his day as well as Enlightenment thinkers such as the writer Dr. Samuel Johnson and the historian Edward Gibbon. Law’s spiritual writings remain in print today, anthologized by various denominations, including in the Classics of Western Spirituality series by the Catholic Paulist Press.”

 – From Wikipedia


Fr. William Law was quite the interesting priest. He functioned at a time in which clergy would align themselves with the political elite who would best fund and or support their rise in ecclesiastical authority. [I guess its not much different now with some clergy] A very learned priest, he was propositioned by the German royal dynasty, the House of Hanover. Holding on to his integrity, he refused the offer. As a result, he was relegated to less than viable way of life.

While a weaker man would have given in, Law stayed true to his convictions and wrote countless manuscripts which upset some, yet empowered many. In the end, Law viewed the nature of the priesthood as something bigger than himself and his livelihood. He viewed it, and the education he obtained as something that needed to be shared and distributed, no matter the cost.

I, at times, must remind myself that all the education I have, and continue to obtain, means nothing if its not benefiting someone in their journey to Christ. This is the reason why I began this blog in the first place. When I was a Baptist Minister, I felt very distant from the saints, martyrs and heroes of Christianity. It is my hope that the brief synopsis (from Wikipedia and other sources) and my reflections can help someone grow in their journey with and to God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost.

 – JMH+

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