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By William Law

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Extra info for A serious call to a devout and holy life : adapted to the state and condition of all orders of Christians

Example text

An intention to please God in all our actions. And if any one was to ask himself, how it comes to pass, that there are any degrees of sobriety which he neglects, any practices of humility which he wants, any method of charity which he does not follow, any rules of redeeming time which ho does not observe, his own heart will tell him, that it is because he never intended to be so exact in those duties. For whenever we fully intend it, it is as possible to conform to all this regularity of life, as it is possible for a man to observe times of prayer.

And yet if the way is narrow, if none can walk in it but those that strive, is it not as necessary for me to consider whether the way I am in be narrow enough or the labor I take be a sufficient striving as to consider whether I sufficiently observe the second or third commandment? The sum of this matter is this. From the above-mentioned and many other passages of scripture, it seems plain that our salvation depends upon the sincerity and perfection of our endeavors to obtain it. Weak and imperfect men shall, notwithstanding their frailties and defects, be received as having pleased God if they have done their utmost to please Him.

If we are to love our enemies, we must make our common life a visible exercise and demonstration of that love. If content and thankfulness, if the patient bearing of evil be duties to God, they are the duties of every day, and in every circumstance of our life. If we are to be wise and holy as the new-born sons of God' we can no other wise be so, but by renouncing every thing that is foolish and vain in every part of our common life. If we are to be in Christ new creatures, we must show that we are so, by having new ways of living in the world.

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