Saturday, December 31, 2011

William Law - Holiness and Thankfulness

Here's a brilliant quote I came across today from William Law:

Would you know him who is the greatest saint in the world? It is not he who prays most or fasts most; it is not he who gives most alms; but it is he who is always thankful to God, who receives everything as an instance of God's goodness and has a heart always ready to praise God for it.

If anyone would tell you the shortest, surest way to all happiness and perfection, he must tell you to make a rule to thank and praise God for everything that happens to you. Whatever seeming calamity happens to you, if you thank and praise God for it, it turns into a blessing. Could you therefore work miracles, you would not do more for yourself than by this thankful spirit; it turns all that it touches into happiness.

Quoted by Robert Atwell in Celebrating the Saints, page ii.


Daniel Hill said...

Here's a worked example from Matthew Henry:
A man once stole Matthew Henry’s wallet. In reflecting on the incident, Henry said, “1.) I am thankful that he never robbed me before. 2), I am thankful that although he took my wallet, he did not take my life. 3) Although he took all I had, it was not much. And 4), I am glad that it was I who was robbed, not I who did the robbing.”

Laura Dickenson said...

I have been looking for this William Law quote for a long time. I heard it 30 years ago! I love the part that says "thank and praise God for it..." Thanks!!