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Encyclopedia > William Law
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William Law (1686April 9, 1761), English divine, was born at Kings Cliffe, Northamptonshire. Events The League of Augsburg is founded. ... April 9 is the 99th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (100th in leap years). ... 1761 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Jump to: navigation, search Royal motto (French): Dieu et mon droit (Translated: God and my right) Englands location within the UK Official language English de facto Capital London de facto Largest city London Area - Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population - Total (mid-2004) - Density Ranked 1st UK... Northamptonshire (abbreviated Northants or Nhants) is a landlocked county in central England with a population of 629,676 (2001 census). ...

Contents


Early life

In 1705 he entered as a sizar at Emmanuel College, Cambridge; in 1711 he was elected fellow of his college and was ordained. He resided at Cambridge, teaching and taking occasional duty until the accession of George I, when his conscience forbade him to take the oaths of allegiance to the new government and of abjuration of the Stuarts. His Jacobitism had already been betrayed in a tripos speech which brought him into trouble; and he was now deprived of his fellowship and became a non-juror. Events Construction begins on Blenheim Palace, in Oxfordshire, England. ... In the 19th century, a sizar was one of a body of students in the universities of Cambridge and Dublin, who, having passed a certain examination, are exempted from paying college fees and charges. ... Full name Emmanuel College Motto - Named after Immanuel Previous names - Established 1584 Sister College Exeter College Master The Lord Wilson of Dinton Location Regent Street Undergraduates 494 Graduates 98 Homepage Boatclub Emmanuel front court and the Wren chapel Emmanuel College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, founded... Jump to: navigation, search George I (Georg Ludwig) (28 May 1660 – 11 June 1727) was Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) from 23 January 1698, and King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 1 August 1714, until his death. ... The Coat of Arms of Queen Anne, the last British monarch of the House of Stuart The House of Stuart or Stewart was a Scottish, and then Great Britains, Royal House of Breton(British) origin. ... Jump to: navigation, search This article is not about the Jacobite Orthodox Church, nor is it about Jacobinism or the earlier Jacobean period. ...


For the next few years he is said to have been a curate in London. By 1727 he was domiciled with Edward Gibbon (1666-1736) at Putney as tutor to his son Edward, father of the historian, who says that Law became the much honored friend and spiritual director of the whole family. In the same year he accompanied his pupil to Cambridge, and resided with him as governor, in term time, for the next four years. His pupil then went abroad, but Law was left at Putney, where he remained in Gibbon's house for more than ten years, acting as a religious guide not only to the family but to a number of earnest-minded folk who came to consult him. The most eminent of these were the two brothers John and Charles Wesley, John Byrom the poet, George Cheyne the physician and Archibald Hutcheson, MP for Hastings. Jump to: navigation, search Edward Gibbon (1737-1794). ... Putney is a place in the London Borough of Wandsworth. ... Charles Wesley (12 December 1707 - 29 March 1788) was a leader of the Methodist movement, the younger brother of John Wesley. ... John Byrom (February 29, 1692 - September 26, 1763) was an English poet. ... Hastings is a town and local government district in South East England, in the county of East Sussex. ...


The household was dispersed in 1737. Law was parted from his friends, and in 1740 retired to Kings Cliffe, where he had inherited from his father a house and a small property. There he was presently joined by two ladies: Mrs Hutcheson, the rich widow of his old friend, who recommended her on his death-bed to place herself under Law's spiritual guidance, and Miss Hester Gibbon, sister to his late pupil. This curious trio lived for twenty-one years a life wholly given to devotion, study and charity, until the death of Law on the 9th of April 1761. Jump to: navigation, search Events 12 February — The San Carlo, the oldest working opera house in Europe, is inaugurated. ...


Writer

Law was a busy writer under three heads:


Controversy

In this field he had no contemporary peer save perhaps Richard Bentley. The first of his 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. Thomas Sherlock declared that Mr Law was a writer so considerable that he knew but one good reason why his lordship did not answer him. 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 FD 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. Richard Bentley (January 27, 1662 – July 14, 1742) was an English theologian, scholar and critic. ... The Bangorian Controversy was a theological argument within the Church of England in the 18th century. ... Thomas Sherlock (1678 - July, 1761) was an English divine who served as a Church of England Bishop for 33 years. ... Bernard de Mandeville (1670- January 19 or 21, 1733?), was a philosopher and satirist. ... John Sterling (July 20, 1806 - September 18, 1844), was a British author. ... John Frederick Denison Maurice (August 29, 1805 - April 1, 1872) was an English theologian. ... Matthew Tindal (c. ... Joseph Butler (May 18, 1692 - June 16, 1752) was an English bishop, theologian, apologist and philosopher. ... Deism - Wikipedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... The Anglican Communion is a world-wide organisation of Anglican Churches. ... The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ...


Practical Divinity

The Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life (1728), together with its predecessor, A Treatise of Christian Perfection (1726), deeply influenced the chief actors in the great Evangelical revival. John and Charles Wesley, George Whitefield, Henry Venn, Thomas Scott and Thomas Adam all express their deep obligation to the author. The Serious Call affected others quite as deeply. Samuel Johnson, Gibbon, Lord Lyttelton and Bishop Home all spoke enthusiastically of its merits; and it is still the only work by which its author is popularly known. It has high merits of style, being lucid and pointed to a degree. In a tract entitled The Absolute Unlawfulness of Stage Entertainments (1726) Law was tempted by the corruptions of the stage of the period to use unreasonable language, and incurred some effective criticism from John Dennis in The Stage Defended. Jump to: navigation, search For entries on other people named John Wesley, see John Wesley (disambiguation). ... Charles Wesley (12 December 1707 - 29 March 1788) was a leader of the Methodist movement, the younger brother of John Wesley. ... George Whitefield was a minister in the Church of England and one of the leaders of the Methodist movement. ... Henry Venn (1725 - 1797), English evangelical divine, was born at Barnes, Surrey, and educated at Cambridge. ... Jump to: navigation, search Samuel Johnson circa 1772, painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds. ... John Dennis (1657 - January 6, 1734), English critic and dramatist, the son of a saddler, was born in London. ...


Mysticism

Though the least popular, by far the most interesting, original and suggestive of all Law's works are those which he wrote in his later years, after he had become an enthusiastic admirer (not a disciple) of Jacob Boehme, the Teutonic theosophist. From his earliest years he had been deeply impressed with the piety, beauty and thoughtfulness of the writings of the Christian mystics, but it was not till after his accidental meeting with the works of Boehme, about 1734, that pronounced mysticism appeared in his works. Law's mystic tendencies divorced him from the practical-minded Wesley, but in spite of occasional wild fancies the books are worth reading. They are: Idealized portrait of Böhmes from Theosophia Revelata (1730) Jakob Böhme (1575–1624) was a Christian mystic born in central Germany, near Görlitz. ... Events January 8 - Premiere of George Frideric Handels opera Ariodante at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. ...

  • A Demonstration of the Gross and Fundamental Errors of a late Book called a Plain Account, etc., of the Lord's Supper (1737)
  • The Grounds and Reasons of the Christian Regeneration (1731)
  • An Appeal to all that Doubt and Disbelieve the Truths of Revelation (1740)
  • An Earnest and Serious Answer to Dr Trapp's Sermon on being Righteous Overmuch (1740)
  • The Spirit of Prayer (1749, 1752)
  • The Way to Divine Knowledge (1752)
  • The Spirit of Love (1752, 1754)
  • A Short but Sufficient Confutation of Dr Warburton's Projected Defence (as he calls it) of Christianity in his Divine Legation of Moses (1757)
  • A Series of Letters (1760)
  • a Dialogue between a Methodist and a Churchman (1760)
  • An Humble, Earnest and Affectionate Address to the Clergy (1761).

Sources

  • Richard Tighe wrote a short account of Law's life in 1813. See also Christopher Walton, Notes and Materials for a Complete Biography of W Law (1848); Sir Leslie Stephen, English Thought in the 18th century, and in the Dict. Nat. Biog. (xxxii. 236)
  • WEH Lecky, History of England in the 18th Century
  • CJ Abbey, The English Church in the 18th Century
  • JH Overton, William Law, Nonjuror and Mystic (1881).

This article incorporates text from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, which is in the public domain. Sir Leslie Stephen (November 28, 1832 – February 22, 1904) was an English author and critic, the father of two famous daughters, Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell. ... The Dictionary of National Biography (or DNB) is a standard work of reference on notable figures from British history. ... William Edward Hartpole Lecky (March 26, 1838 - October 22, 1903) was an Irish historian and publicist. ... Jump to: navigation, search Supporters contend that the Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica (1910-1911) represents the sum of human knowledge at the beginning of the 20th century; indeed, it was advertised as such. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...


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