Tag Archives: William Law

The greatest sinner that you know!

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The greatest sinner that you know!

(William Law, “A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life“)

“This is a true saying, and worthy of all acceptance:Ā ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’–andĀ I am the worst of them all.” 1 Timothy 1:15Ā 

You may truly look uponĀ yourselfĀ to beĀ the greatest sinner that you knowĀ in the world. For though you may know many people to be guilty of some gross sins with which you cannot charge yourself–yet you may justly condemn yourself as the greatest sinner that you know, because you know more of the folly of your own heart, than you do of other people’s hearts. You can charge yourself with various sins, that only you know of yourself, and cannot be sure that others are guilty of them.Ā 

So that as you know more of the folly, the degradation, the pride, the deceitfulness and vileness of your own heart, than you do of any one’s else–so you have just reason to consider yourself asĀ the greatest sinner that you know; because you know more of the greatness of your own sins, than you do of other people’s sins.Ā 

God Almighty knows greater sinners than you are; because He sees and knows the circumstances of all men’s sins.Ā But your own heart, if it is faithful to you, can discover no guilt so great as your own.

Perhaps that person who appears so odious in your eyes, would have been much better than you are–had he been altogether in your circumstances, and received all the same favors and graces from God that you have. And thereforeĀ the greatest sinner that you know, must be yourself.

This is a very humbling thought.Ā 

A serious and frequent reflection upon this will mightily tend to . . .
Ā  humble us in our own eyes,Ā 
Ā  make us very sensible of the greatness of our own guilt,Ā 
Ā  and very tender in censuring and condemning other people.

When I grumble about the weather

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“The Lord has heard all your grumblings against Him!” Exodus 16:8

Does God really hear every discontented word which I ever speak?

Does He hear when I grumble about the weather . . .
about the hard winter,
about the late spring,
about the dry summer,
about the wet harvest?

Does He hear when I grumble . . .
about the frosts,
about the drought,
about the high winds,
about the storms?

Does He hear when I grumble . . .
about my circumstances,
about the hardness of my lot,
about my losses and disappointments?

If we could get into our heart, and keep there continually, the consciousness that God hears every word we speakā€”would we murmur and complain so much as we now do?

We are careful never to speak words which would give pain to the hearts of those we love. Are we as careful not to say anything that will grieve our heavenly Father?

“I tell you thisā€”that you must give an account on judgment day of every idle word you speak!” Matthew 12:36

“He who complains of the weatherā€”complains of the God who ordains the weather!” William Law

(J. R. Miller, “Miller’s Year Bookā€”a Year’s Daily Readings”)


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