An Humble, Affectionate, and Earnest Address to the Clergy
An Humble, Affectionate, and Earnest Address to the Clergy
William Law

Table of Contents


Title Page

Address 1: The reason of my humbly and affectionately addressing this discourse to the clergy…

Address 2: If it be asked, What this one thing is? It is the SPIRIT OF GOD…

Address 3: Everything else, be it what it will, however glorious and divine in outward appearance…

Address 4: All scripture bears full witness to this truth, and the end and design of all…

Address 5: The grounds and reasons of which are as follow.…

Address 6: All possible goodness that either can be named, or is nameless…

Address 7: All that can be called goodness, holiness, divine tempers…

Address 8: God could not make the creature to be great and glorious in itself…

Address 9: But now, if all that is divine, great, glorious…

Address 10: The matter therefore plainly comes to this, nothing can do…

Address 11: Now the reason why no work of religion, but that which is begun…

Address 12: All TRUE religion is, or brings forth, an essential union and communion of the spirit…

Address 13: Now as no animal could begin to respire, or unite with the breath of this…

Address 14: Take away inspiration, or suppose it to cease, and then no religious acts or affections…

Address 15: A religious faith that is uninspired, a hope, or love that proceeds not from the…

Address 16: A religion that is not wholly built upon this supernatural ground…

Address 17: No man therefore can reach God with his love…

Address 18: Divine inspiration was essential to man's first created state.…

Address 19: Hence it plainly appears that the gospel state could not be God's last dispensation…

Address 20: Now from these words let this conclusion be here drawn…

Address 21: Now as infinitely absurd as this conclusion is, no one that condemns continual immediate inspiration…

Address 22: Behold a pride, and a humility, the one as good as the other…

Address 23: The necessity of a continual inspiration of the Spirit of God…

Address 24: Now when Christ had told them of the necessity of an higher state than that…

Address 25: Here are two most important and fundamental truths fully demonstrated…

Address 26: Secondly, that as the apostles could not, so no man…

Address 27: For why could not the apostles, who had been eye witnesses to all the whole…

Address 28: But if the belief of the necessity and certainty of immediate continual divine inspiration…

Address 29: Now this middle way has neither scripture nor sense in it…

Address 30: And here lies the TRUE unchangeable distinction between God…

Address 31: This must be the case of all fallen Christendom…

Address 32: But to return now to the doctrine of continual inspiration.…

Address 33: And what is well to be noted, everyone, however high in human literature…

Address 34: Our divine master compares the religion of the learned Pharisees "to whited sepulchers…

Address 35: Now whence was it, that a religion, so serious in its restraints…

Address 36: And yet, sad and satanical as this self is…

Address 37: But to all this it must yet be added…

Address 38: Let then the writers against continual immediate divine inspiration take this for a certain truth…

Address 39: Hence it is, that grieving, quenching, or resisting the Spirit…

Address 40: "When I am lifted up from the earth," says Christ…

Address 41: Now that which we are here taught, is the whole end of all scripture…

Address 42: "Ye are not in the flesh," says the apostle…

Address 43: "Lo, I am always with you," says the holy Jesus…

Address 44: Again, Christ, after his glorification in heaven, says, "Behold I STAND at the DOOR and…

Address 45: Now the matter is not at all about the different effects or works proceeding from…

Address 46: It is to no purpose to object to all this…

Address 47: But as I do not begin to doubt about the necessity…

Address 48: Another charge upon me, equally false, and I may say…

Address 49: I have elsewhere shown the gross darkness and ignorance which govern that which is called…

Address 50: And here truth obliges me to say, that scholastic divinity is in as great ignorance…

Address 51: Now hard as this may seem to unregenerate nature…

Address 52: "Except ye be converted, and become as little children…

Address 53: Now whether this self broken off from God, reasons…

Address 54: Hence also it is, that Christendom, full of the nicest decisions about faith…

Address 55: A scholar, pitying the blindness and folly of those who live to themselves in the…

Address 56: But that I may fully show the perverseness of my accusers…

Address 57: "You shall see reason possessed of all that belongs to it.…

Address 58: "Man, considered as a member of this world, who is to have his share of…

Address 59: "Now besides these organs of sense, he has a power or faculty of reasoning upon…

Address 60: "Now how is it, that the good things of this world are communicated to man?…

Address 61: "Now here, you must degrade reason just as much as it is degraded by religion…

Address 62: "Now it is only thus helpless and useless in religion…

Address 63: "For the good of religion is like the good of food and drink to the…

Address 64: "But as soon as it is known and confessed…

Address 65: Hence may be seen the great and like blindness both of infidels and Christians…

Address 66: Our Lord says, "It is expedient for you that I go away…

Address 67: Christ says further: "I have many things to say unto you…

Address 68: Christ also says, "If any man loves me, my Father will love him…

Address 69: Christ from heaven says, "Behold I stand at the door…

Address 70: "Rabbi," says Nicodemus to Christ, "we know that thou art a teacher come from God.…

Address 71: It would be great folly and perverseness, to charge me here with slighting…

Address 72: I exceedingly love, and highly reverence the divine authority of the sacred writings of the…

Address 73: But now, if this is not thought that fullness of regard that is due to…

Address 74: I shall now only add this friendly hint to the doctor…

Address 75: Now if the doctor did that, though it was only from humility…

Address 76: Let it be supposed, that our Lord was to come again for a while in…

Address 77: Let the doctor figure to himself the gaudy pageantry of a divine high mass in…

Address 78: O vainest of all vain projects! For what is Christianity…

Address 79: I come now to the quotation from the pastoral letter of Mr.…

Address 80: I cannot more illustrate the sense, or extol the judgment…

Address 81: "A judicious naturalist observes, that sound and strong lungs are that on which…

Address 82: These two instances are proof enough, that as soon as any man trusts to natural…

Address 83: Whence is it, that we see genius and natural abilities to be equally pleased with…

Address 84: The other instance of delusion from book learning, relates to Mr.…

Address 85: "The things of God," says St.…

Address 86: The reports that are to be acknowledged as TRUE concerning the Holy Spirit and his…

Address 87: "I am the way, the truth, and the life…

Address 88: Here again may be seen, in the highest degree of certainty…

Address 89: Take away this power and working life of the Spirit from being the one life…

Address 90: How much then is it to be lamented, as well as impossible to be denied…

Address 91: How is it that the logical, critical, learned Deist comes by his infidelity? Why just…

Address 92: Through all scripture nothing else is aimed at or intended for man…

Address 93: But this truth being lost or given up, vain learning and a worldly spirit…

Address 94: Hence it is, that the scripture-scholar is looked upon as having divine knowledge of its…

Address 95: Now to call such scripture skill divine knowledge, is just as solid and judicious…

Address 96: That one light and Spirit, which was only one from all eternity…

Address 97: "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.…

Address 98: For where can God's kingdom be come, but where every other power but his is…

Address 99: What now have parts, and literature, and the natural abilities of man…

Address 100: Now let this simple question decide the whole matter here…

Address 101: Look now at the present state of Christendom, glorying in the light of Greek and…

Address 102: In the first gospel church, heathen light had no other name than heathen darkness…

Address 103: The simplicity indeed, both of the gospel letter and doctrine…

Address 104: But now, what follows from this new risen light? Why…

Address 105: And indeed, if we consider the nature of our salvation…

Address 106: His intellectual faculties are, by the fall, in a much worse state than his natural…

Address 107: Who then can enough wonder at that bulk of libraries…

Address 108: What a grossness of ignorance, both of man and his savior…

Address 109: This will be more or less the case with all the salvation- doctrines of Christ…

Address 110: How came the learned heathens by their pride and vanity…

Address 111: Self is the root, the tree, and the branches of all the evils of our…

Address 112: All the vices of fallen angels and men have their birth and power in the…

Address 113: What is then, or in what lies the great struggle for eternal life? It all…

Address 114: And here it is to be observed, that every son of Adam is in the…

Address 115: The enemies to man's rising out of the fall of Adam…

Address 116: There has been much sharp looking out, to see where and what anti-Christ is…

Address 117: But to know with certainty, where and what anti-Christ is…

Address 118: What therefore has everyone so much to fear, to renounce and abhor…

Address 119: This is that full-born natural self, that must be pulled out of the heart…

Address 120: Now what is it in the human soul that most of all hinders the death…

Address 121: Let then the high accomplished scholar reflect, that he comes by his wit…

Address 122: The finest intellectual power, and that which has the best help in it towards bringing…

Address 123: Yet so it is, in this fallen state of the gospel church…

Address 124: However, to make way for parts, criticism, and language- learning…

Address 125: The first and main doctrine of Christ and his apostles was…

Address 126: This was the kingdom of God come to them…

Address 127: No higher, or other thing is here said, than in these other words…

Address 128: But now, is not this kingdom gone away from us…

Address 129: What is the difference between man's own righteousness and man's own light in religion? They…

Address 130: But lamentable as this is, the letter of scripture has been so long the usurped…

Address 131: The TRUE nature, and full distinction between literal and divine knowledge…

Address 132: Now clear and evident as this distinction is, between a mere literal direction to a…

Address 133: Thus, as soon as a man of speculation can demonstrate that…

Address 134: Again, another, forming an opinion of faith from the letter of scripture…

Address 135: How trifling therefore to say no worse of it is that learning…

Address 136: When the holy church of Christ, the kingdom of God came among men…

Address 137: Hence it is, that from a religion of heavenly love…

Address 138: It may perhaps be here said, Must there then be no learning or scholarship…

Address 139: To this the first answer is, Happy, thrice happy are they…

Address 140: Secondly, with regard to the demand of learned knowledge in the Christian church…

Address 141: There is no knowledge in heaven, but what proceeds from this birth of love…

Address 142: Let this be my excuse to the learned world…

Address 143: One of Christ's followers said, "Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father"…

Address 144: The holy Jesus said, "I am the light of the world…

Address 145: But to see the exceeding folly of expecting ability in divine knowledge…

Address 146: For what is, or can be the fall of a divine Adam under the power…

Address 147: But if fire and Spirit from heaven can alone make heavenly creatures…

Address 148: Behold then your state, ye ministers, that wait at Christian altars…

Address 149: Complain then no more of atheists, infidels, and such like open enemies to the gospel…

Address 150: Our Lord has said, "The kingdom of God is within you…

Address 151: Say now, out of reverence to sound literature, and abhorrence of enthusiasm…

Address 152: What a sobriety of faith and sound doctrine is it…

Address 153: What wonder, if sacraments, church-prayers, and preachings, leave high and low…

Address 154: That the Jewish and Christian church stand at this day in the same kind of…

Address 155: But is it not as easy to see, that the whole Christian church are in…

Address 156: God said to Moses, "Put off thy shoes, for the place whereon thou standest is…

Address 157: But here lies the great mistake, or rather idolatrous abuse of all God's outward dispensations.…

Address 158: Need it now be asked, whether the TRUE Christ of the gospel be less blasphemed…

Address 159: Christian doctors reproach the old learned rabbis, for their vain faith…

Address 160: But nevertheless, in these condemners of rabbinic blindness, St.…

Address 161: But now corruption, sin, death, and every evil of the world…

Address 162: Let then the eager searcher into words for wisdom…

Address 163: Now strange as all this may seem to the labor-learned possessor of far-fetched book- riches…

Address 164: Show me a man whose heart has no desire…

Address 165: On the other hand, show me a scholar as full of learning…

Address 166: Again, all learned Christendom agrees in the same charge against temporal power in the church…

Address 167: And first, can it be said that Mammmon is less served by Christians…

Address 168: Look at things spiritual, and things temporal, and say if you can…

Address 169: Again, secondly, "Ye have heard," says our Lord, "that it hath been said by them…

Address 170: "He that despiseth me," says Christ, "despiseth not me…

Address 171: If the swearing law was to order, that instead of kissing the gospel-book…

Address 172: If it here be asked, whether I would have all private Christians to beggar themselves…

Address 173: What I write, is not to show that Christendom's oaths…

Address 174: When the matter of an oath is a manifest lie…

Address 175: When a person swears of his own accord, or wantonly…

Address 176: But here let it be well observed, that nothing that has here been said…

Address 177: In a word, that which calls for, and requires oaths among Christians…

Address 178: But to proceed now to a third and last instance…

Address 179: In the darkest ages of Romish superstition, a martial spirit of zeal and glory for…

Address 180: The light which broke out at the reformation, abhorred the bloody superstitious zeal of these…

Address 181: Now who can help seeing, that satan, the prince of the powers of darkness…

Address 182: Now fancy to yourself Christ, the Lamb of God…

Address 183: But if this be too blasphemous an absurdity to be supposed…

Address 184: Blinded Protestants think they have the glory of slaughtering blind papists…

Address 185: When a Most Christian Majesty, with his catholic church…

Address 186: A glorious Alexander in the heathen world is a shame and reproach to the human…

Address 187: Can the duelist, who had rather sheathe his sword in the bowels of his brother…

Address 188: Now imagine the duelist fasting and confessing his sins to God today…

Address 189: What blindness can well be greater, than to think that a Christian kingdom…

Address 190: Look at that which the private Christian is to do to his neighbor…

Address 191: Love, goodness, and communication of good, is the immutable glory and perfection of the divine…

Address 192: And if long and long ages of fiery pain…

Address 193: O poor sinner, whoever thou art, repent and turn to God…

Address 194: To prevent all this, and make thee a child of the first resurrection…

Address 195: Now from this view of God's infinite love and mercy in Christ Jesus…

Address 196: The temporal miseries and wrongs which war carries along with it…

Address 197: But there is still an evil of war much greater…

Address 198: That God's providence over his fallen creatures is nothing else but a providence of love…

Address 199: Among unfallen creatures in heaven, God's Name and nature is LOVE…

Address 200: Sing, O ye heavens, and shout all ye lower parts of the earth…

Address 201: Look now at warring Christendom, what smallest drop of pity towards sinners is to be…

Address 202: Here my pen trembles in my hand; but when…

Address 203: For the GLORY OF HIS MAJESTY'S ARMS, said once a Most Christian king…

Address 204: Again, would you further see the fall of the universal church…

Address 205: Here now, let the wisdom of this world be as wise as ever it will…

Address 206: "Demas," says St. Paul, "hath forsaken me, having loved this present world.…

Address 207: This wisdom has asked me, how it is possible for Christian kingdoms in the neighborhood…

Address 208: This question is so far from needing to be answered by me…

Address 209: But to know whether Christianity wants, or admits of war…

Address 210: Now what follows from this going up of the nations to the mountain of the…

Address 211: Would you see when and where the kingdoms of this fallen world are become a…

Address 212: See here a kingdom of God on the earth…

Address 213: As to the present fallen state of universal Christendom…

Address 214: But the Christendom which I mean, that neither wants…

Address 215: In these last ages of fallen Christendom, many reformations have taken place…

Address 216: The wisdom of this world, with its worldly spirit…

Address 217: This wisdom was the great evil root, at which the reforming ax should have been…

Address 218: St. Paul speaks of a natural man, that cannot know the things of God…

Address 219: This is the great anti-Christ, which is neither better nor worse…

Address 220: If therefore you take anything to be church- reformation…

Address 221: On this ground it is, that the apostle said…

Address 222: Many are the marks, which the learned have given us of the TRUE church…

Address 223: The scripture knows no Christians but saints, who in all things act as becometh saints.…

Address 224: The same which Paul says, is said by Christ in other words…

Address 225: The pleader for imperfection further supports himself by saying…

Address 226: But surely he that is left under a necessity of sinning as long as he…

Address 227: Of Christ it only can be said, that he is in himself the TRUE vine…

Address 228: The sober divine, who abhors the pride of enthusiasts…

Address 229: Our Lord has said this absolute truth, that unless we be born again from above…

Address 230: Whence now comes all this folly of doctrines? It is because the church is no…

Address 231: See how St. Paul sets forth the salvation…

Address 232: What now is become of this TRUE church, or where must the man go…

Address 233: Look at all that is outward, and all that you then see…

Address 234: But truth, to the eternal praise and glory of God…

Address 235: That this new birth of the Spirit, or the divine life in man…




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An Humble, Affectionate, and Earnest Address to the Clergy
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