The Spirit of Prayer and the Spirit of Love

By William Law

The mature expression of the theology and religion of the 18th-century spiritual thinker.

ISBN: 9780718891367


William Law is best remembered today for his Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life. To those interested in his spirituality, however, other works have greater impact, in particular The Spirit of Prayer and The Spirit of Love, which are considered the finest and most appealing. In the years in which they were written, his vision had reached its fullest and most characteristic development, and his literary power was at its height. It is in these books that the profound influence of Jacob Boehme can be most clearly seen. His great synthesis of the mystical outpourings and orthodox Christian theology, provide an English spiritual classic.

Law’s understanding and interpretation of mysticism was more original than traditional, being dynamic and creative. He believed in the life of God working from within, and the flame of divine love being a link with and an understanding of God. He conceived that mysticism was a matter of life, that relied on willing rather than knowing, and that ultimately rested on trust in God.

Despite holding no official position he was widely regarded in his own time and later as a spiritual guide, and his trilogy The Spirit of Prayer, The Spirit of Love and The Way to Divine Knowledge was the mature expression of his theology and religion.

Additional information

Dimensions 216 × 140 mm
Pages 300


Trade Information LPOD

About the Author

Born at King’s Cliffe near Stamford and the son of a grocer, William Law was elected a fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, but, declining to take the oath of allegiance to George I, lost his fellowship. Edward Gibbon made him the tutor of his son, the father of the historian Gibbon, in c.1727 and he remained as an honoured friend of the family in their Putney home until 1740, when he returned to King’s Cliffe and became the centre of a small spiritual community which included the historian’s aunt Hester.



The Spirit of Prayer

Part One
I. Treating of Some Matters Preparatory to the Spirit of Prayer
II. Discovering the True Way of Turning to God, and of Finding
     the Kingdom of Heaven, the Riches of Eternity in Our Souls
A Prayer

Part Two
The First Dialogue
The Second Dialogue
The Third Dialogue

The Spirit of Love

Part One
In a Letter to a Friend

Part Two
The First Dialogue
The Second Dialogue
The Third Dialogue