A SERIOUS CALL TO A DEVOUT AND HOLY LIFE
By WILLIAM LAW, A.M.
Adapted to the State and Condition of All Orders of Christians
He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
And behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me.
St. LUKE viii. 8.
REV. xxii. 12
LONDON: Printed for WILLIAM INNYS,
at the West End of St. Paul's.
Concerning the nature and extent of Christian devotion.
DEVOTION is neither private nor public prayer; but prayers, whether private or public, are particular parts or instances of devotion. Devotion signifies a life given, or devoted, to God.
He, therefore, is the devout man, who lives no longer to his own will, or the way and spirit of the world, but to the sole will of God, who considers God in everything, who serves God in everything, who makes all the parts of his common life parts of piety, by doing everything in the Name of God, and under such rules as are conformable to His glory.
CHAPTER I. Concerning the nature and extent of Christian devotion.
CHAPTER II. An inquiry into the reason, why the generality of Christians fall so far short of the holiness and devotion of Christianity.
CHAPTER III. Of the great danger and folly, of not intending to be as eminent and exemplary as we can, in the practice of all Christian virtues.
CHAPTER IV. We can please God in no state or employment of life, but by intending and devoting it all to His honour and glory.
CHAPTER V. Persons that are free from the necessity of labour and employments, are to consider themselves as devoted to God in a higher degree.
CHAPTER VI. Containing the great obligations, and the great advantages of making a wise and religious use of our estates and fortunes.
CHAPTER VII. How the imprudent use of an estate corrupts all the tempers of the mind, and fills the heart with poor and ridiculous passions, through the whole course of life; represented in the character of Flavia.
CHAPTER VIII. How the wise and pious use of an estate naturally carrieth us to great perfection in all the virtues of the Christian life; represented in the character of Miranda.
CHAPTER IX. Containing some reflections upon the life of Miranda, and showing how it may, and ought to be imitated by all her sex.
CHAPTER X. Showing how all orders and ranks of men and women, of all ages, are obliged to devote themselves unto God.
CHAPTER XI. Showing how great devotion fills our lives with the greatest peace and happiness that can be enjoyed in this world.
CHAPTER XII. The happiness of a life wholly devoted to God farther proved, from the vanity, the sensuality, and the ridiculous poor enjoyments, which they are forced to take up with who live according to their own humours. This represented in various characters.
CHAPTER XIII. That not only a life of vanity, or sensuality, but even the most regular kind of life, that is not governed by great devotion, sufficiently shows its miseries, its wants and emptiness, to the eyes of all the world. This represented in various characters.
CHAPTER XIV. Concerning that part of devotion which relates to times and hours of prayer. Of daily early prayer in the morning. How we are to improve our forms of prayer, and how to increase the spirit of devotion.
CHAPTER XV. Of chanting, or singing of psalms in our private devotions. Of the excellency and benefit of this kind of devotion. Of the great effects it hath upon our hearts. Of the means of performing it in the best manner.
CHAPTER XVI. Recommending devotions at nine o'clock in the morning, called in Scripture the third hour of the day. The subject of these prayers is humility.
CHAPTER XVII. Showing how difficult the practice of humility is made, by the general spirit and temper of the world. How Christianity requireth us to live contrary to the world.
CHAPTER XVIII. Showing how the education which men generally receive in their youth makes the doctrines of humility difficult to be practised. The spirit of a better education represented in the character of Paternus.
CHAPTER XIX. Showing how the method of educating daughters makes it difficult for them to enter into the spirit of Christian humility. How miserably they are injured and abused by such an education. The spirit of a better education, represented in the character of Eusebia.
CHAPTER XX. Recommending devotion at twelve o'clock, called in Scripture the sixth hour of the day. This frequency of devotion equally desirable by all orders of people. Universal love is here recommended to be the subject of prayer at this hour. Of intercession, as an act of universal love.
CHAPTER XXI. Of the necessity and benefit of intercession, considered as an exercise of universal love. How all orders of men are to pray and intercede with God for one another. How naturally such intercession amends and reforms the hearts of those that use it.
CHAPTER XXII. Recommending devotion at three o'clock, called in Scripture the ninth hour of the day. The subject of prayer at this hour is resignation to the Divine pleasure. The nature and duty of conformity to the will of God, in all our actions and designs.
CHAPTER XXIII. Of evening prayer. Of the nature and necessity of examination. How we are to be particular in the confession of all our sins. How we are to fill our minds with a just horror and dread of all sin.
CHAPTER XXIV. The conclusion. Of the excellency and greatness of a devout spirit.
Appendix A. From the Introduction to the Methuen edition, by C. Bigg, DD
Appendix B. From the Introduction to the Dent Everyman edition.
Appendix C. The electronic edition.
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This document is from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library
at Calvin College. Last updated on July 16, 1999.