Law, William

(1686–1761)
   Devotional Writer and Polemicist.
   Law was born in Northamptonshire, and he was educated at the University of Cambridge.
   In 1711 he was ordained into the Church of England ministry, but he refused to take the oath of allegiance to the Hanoverian King George I and, as a result, could not hold a position within the Church. For several years he served as tutor to Edward Gibbon, father of gibbon the historian. Among his writings were various polemical works including Three Letters to the Bishop of Bangor, which made fun of the Bishop’s conviction that sincerity was all that was required in the profession of religion. Today, however, he is remembered for his Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, which remains a classic of English spirituality. It was widely read and was influential on such diverse figures as Samuel Johnson and John Wesley.
   A.K. Walker, William Law: His Life and Thought (1973);
   P. Stanwood (ed.), William Law, Classics of Western Spirituality Series (1978).

Who’s Who in Christianity . 2014.

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