Originally published at the beginning of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, a time when rational criticism of religious belief was perhaps at its peak, William Law's A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life succeeded in inspiring the most cynical men of the age with its arguments in favor of a spiritual life. More than simply a set of rules to live by, Law's book examines what it means to lead a Christian life and criticizes the perversion of Christian tenets by establishments---whether secular or spiritual---whose real aim is temporal power. With a preface by the Reverend William Sloane Coffin, Jr., pastor emeritus of New York's Riverside Church, whose engagement in social causes continues to find inspiration in Law's argument, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life is a book that can still speak to our time.
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