Grounds and Reasons of Christian Regeneration.
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. This short
essay, addressed to deists, argues that God does not merely exist, but that human beings
need a relationship with him. According to the deist philosophy popular among Law’s
contemporaries, God created the world, then left creation to itself—there was no need
for repentance and the forgiveness of sins. However, Law reminds his readers of sin’s
reality and the fallen nature of all people. Only being born again into a new life in Christ
can vindicate people of their sin. One cannot reduce Christian faith to mere facts and
propositions. “Religion is the most plain, simple thing in the world,” he wrote, “It is
only, ‘We love him, because he first loved us.’”