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This One Thing
by William Law

I would not turn my own thoughts, or call the attention of Christians, to anything but the one thing needful, the one thing essential and only available to our rising out of our fallen state, and becoming, as we were at our creation, an holy offspring of God, and real partakers of the divine nature.

If it be asked, What this one thing is? It is the SPIRIT OF GOD brought again to his FIRST POWER OF LIFE IN US. Nothing else is wanted by us, nothing else intended for us, by the Law, the prophets, and the gospel. Nothing else is, or can be effectual, to the making sinful man become again a godly creature.

Everything else, be it what it will, however glorious and divine in outward appearance, everything that angels, men, churches, or reformations, can do for us, is dead and helpless, but so far as it is the immediate work of the Spirit of God breathing and living in it.

All scripture bears full witness to this truth, and the end and design of all that is written, is only to call us back from the spirit of satan, the flesh, and the world, to be again under full dependence upon, and obedience to the Spirit of God, who out of free love and thirst after our souls, seeks to have his first power of life in us. When this is done, all is done that the scripture can do for us. Read what chapter, or doctrine of scripture you will, be ever so delighted with it, it will leave you as poor, as empty and unreformed as it found you, unless it be a delight that proceeds from, and has turned you wholly and solely to the Spirit of God, and strengthened your union with and dependence upon him. For love and delight in matters of scriptures, whilst it is only a delight that is merely human, however specious and saintlike it may appear, is but the self-love of fallen Adam, and can have no better a nature, till it proceeds from the inspiration of God, quickening his own life and nature within us, which alone can have or give forth a godly love. For if it be an immutable truth, that "no man can call Jesus, Lord, but by the Holy Ghost," it must be a truth equally immutable, that no one can have any one Christ-like temper or power of goodness but so far, and in such degree, as he is immediately led and governed by the Holy Spirit.

taken from An Address To The Clergy by William Law