Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Law: the workings of the self

Wednesday, January 11, 2017
    Commemoration of Mary Slessor, Missionary in West Africa, 1915
    If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
    —Galatians 5:25-26 (ESV)
    Covetousness, pride, and envy are not three different things, but only three different names for the restless workings of one and the same will or desire...
    Wrath, which is a fourth birth from these three, can have no existence till one or all of these three are contradicted, or have something done to them that is contrary to their will...
    These four properties generate ... their own torment. They have no outward cause, nor any inward power of altering themselves. And therefore all self or nature must be in this state until some supernatural good comes into it, or gets a birth in it...
    Whilst man indeed lives among the vanities of time, his covetousness, envy, pride, and wrath may be in a tolerable state, may help him to a mixture of peace and trouble: they may have at times their gratifications as well as their torments. But when death has put an end to the vanity of all earthly cheats, the soul that is not born again of the Supernatural Word and Spirit of God, must find itself unavoidably devoured, or shut up in its own insatiable, unchangeable, self-tormenting covetousness, envy, pride, and wrath.
    ... William Law (1686-1761), The Spirit of Love [1752-4], in Works of Rev. William Law, v. VIII, London: G. Moreton, 1893, p. 115-116 (see the book)
    See also Gal. 5:25-26; John 6:63; Rom. 8:1-2; Gal. 5:16; Phil. 2:1-3; 1 Pet. 5:5
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, show me my pride, that I may know how I offend You.
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