Humble, Affectionate, and Earnest Address to the Clergy
by William Law
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William Law saw many changes during his lifetime: the laws and authorities of his
British homeland underwent a major shift, he switched from one career to another, and
his personal spiritual philosophies evolved dramatically over time. Among his many
writings, Law wrote polemical tracts, practical devotional books, and, later in his life,
mystical reflections. His work influenced some of the greatest minds of the 18th century,
including Samuel Johnson, George Whitefield, and John and Charles Wesley. Law sent
his last work, his Address to the Clergy, to the press just a few days before his
death in 1761. With the mystical passion of his later years, he entreats Christian leaders
to focus on the fundamentals of the faith: repentance of sin, dependence upon Christ, and
leading renewed, holy lives in obedience to the Holy Spirit. As Christ’s primary teachers
and representatives, clergy members have a unique responsibility for the salvation of
their congregations. Law’s final words reaffirm the Christian message, and call all
Christians to share that message with others.
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