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William Law on why religious people are sometimes so destructive

Here is the most lucid explanation of the ruination that some religious men and women inflict on others in the name of religion –

They turned toward God, but they did not turn away from themselves.

There are an awful lot of people whose actions and psychological motivations can be explained by William Law's breathtakingly simple sentence – the religious hypocrite, the religious tyrant, the religious careerist, the manipulating masochist, the political fanatic who turns toward an idol of God such as a candidate or cause. . .

Samuel Johnson considered William Law a genius. He was also a mystic. John and Charles Wesley went to him for spiritual direction. Law wrote A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life (1728), and spent much of his time helping the poor. He is remembered today in the Anglican Church’s lesser feasts and fasts.

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