Daily Reading for April 10 • William Law, Priest, 1761
Sometimes the light of God’s countenance shines so bright upon us, we are so affected with the wonders of the love and goodness of God, that our hearts worship and adore in a language higher than that of words, and we feel transports of devotion, which only can be felt. On the other hand, sometimes we are so sunk into our bodies, so dull and unaffected with that which concerns our souls, that our hearts are as much too low for our prayers; we cannot keep pace with our forms of confession, or feel half of that in our hearts which we have in our mouths; we thank and praise God with forms of words, but our hearts have little or no share in them.
It is therefore highly necessary to provide against this inconstancy of our hearts, by having at hand such forms of prayer as may best suit us when our hearts are in their best state, and also be most likely to raise and stir them up when they are sunk into dullness. For, as words have a power of affecting our hearts on all occasions, as the same thing differently expressed has different effects upon our minds, so it is reasonable that we should make this advantage of language, and provide ourselves with such forms of expression as are most likely to move and enliven our souls, and fill them with sentiments suitable to them.
From A Serious Call to the Devout and Holy Life by William Law, from the Treasures from the Spiritual Classics series, compiled by Roger L. Roberts (A. R. Mowbray and Co Ltd, 1981).