Law, William

(1686-1761)
   Divine, s. of a grocer at Kingscliffe, Northamptonshire, was ed. at Camb., and in 1727 became tutor to the f. of Edward Gibbon, the historian. About 1728 he pub. his best known book, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, a work which has had a profound influence upon the religious life of England, largely owing to the impression which it produced upon such minds as those of Dr. Johnson, the Wesleys, and others. In 1737 he became a student of the works of Jacob Boehmen, the German mystic, and devoted himself largely to the exposition of his views. The theological position of L. was a complicated one, combining High Churchism, mysticism, and Puritanism: his writings are characterised by vigorous thought, keen logic, and a lucid and brilliant style, relieved by flashes of bright, and often sarcastic, humour. His work attacking Mandeville's Fable of the Bees (1723) is perhaps that in which these qualities are best displayed in combination. He retired in 1740 to Kingscliffe, where he had founded a school for 14 girls.

Short biographical dictionary of English literature . . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Law, William — ( 1686 1761 )    theologian and writer whose ideas contributed to early Methodism    William Law, a minister in the Church of England who wrote several classics of Protestant spiritual literature, was born at King s Cliffe, Northamptonshire. He… …   Encyclopedia of Protestantism

  • 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… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Law, William — ▪ British author born 1686, King s Cliffe, Northamptonshire, Eng. died April 9, 1761, King s Cliffe       English author of influential works on Christian ethics and mysticism.       He entered Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in 1705 and in 1711 was …   Universalium

  • LAW, WILLIAM —    author of A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, born at Kingscliffe, Northamptonshire, son of a grocer; entered Cambridge in 1705; became a Fellow, and took orders in 1711; became associated with the family of the elder Gibbon, father of… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • LAW, William — (1686 1761)    English spiritual writer who was greatly appreciated by John WESLEY, George WHITEFIELD, and Henry VENN. Among his writings are On Christian Perfection (1726), and A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life (1728). He was inspired by… …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Law, William Arthur — (b. 1844)    Dramatic author. A Night Surprise (1877), Enchantment (1878), Castle Botherem (1880), Nobody s Fault (1882), A Mint of Money (1884), The Judge (1890), Country Mouse (1902), Three Blind Mice (1906), etc …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

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  • William O. Douglas — served the longest on the Supreme Court 36 years, from 1939–1975. Nolo’s Plain English Law Dictionary. Gerald N. Hill, Kathleen Thompson Hill. 2009 …   Law dictionary

  • law-abiding — I adjective according to law, acquiescent, bene moratus, complying, conforming, dutiful, ethical, evenhanded, high minded, high principled, honest, honorable, incorrupt, incorruptible, inviolate, inapproachable, law revering, licit, moral, noble …   Law dictionary

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