Law, William,1686–1761, English clergyman, noted for his controversial, devotional, and mystical writings. One of the nonjurorsnonjurors
[Lat.,=not swearing], those English and Scottish clergymen who refused to break their oath of allegiance to James II and take the oath to William III after the Glorious Revolution of 1688.
..... Click the link for more information. , Law was deprived of his fellowship in Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and lost all chances for advancement in the church. Unexcelled among the controversialists of his day, he was also a leading devotional writer. In the former role he wrote Three Letters to the Bishop of Bangor (1717–19) in the Bangorian ControversyBangorian Controversy
, religious dispute in the Church of England during the early part of the reign of George I. Benjamin Hoadly, bishop of Bangor, Wales, delivered a sermon (1717) before the king in which he denied that the church had any doctrinal or disciplinary authority.
..... Click the link for more information. , and The Case of Reason (1731), in reply to Matthew Tindal, the deist. In the field of devotional writings, few books have been given so high a place as his Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life (1728). Its influence was acknowledged by John Wesley. In The Spirit of Prayer (1750) and The Spirit of Love (1754) is discernible the influence of Law's study of Jakob Boehme, the mystic. Law's collected works (9 vol., 1753–76) were edited by G. B. Morgan in 1892–93.
See biography by J. H. Overton (1881); W. R. Inge, Studies of English Mystics (1906); S. Hobhouse, William Law and Eighteenth Century Quakerism (1927); J. B. Green, John Wesley and William Law (1945).