Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/242

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poor. He died at Washington in October 1834, aged 78. By his second wife he had a daughter, Elizabeth Parke Law, who received a legacy under Washington's will, and subsequently married a Mr. Rogers of Maryland (Jared Sparks, Writings of Washington, i. 579). He had by a former marriage three sons, who were born in India, but all died before him. For some time he was a member of the Asiatic Society of Bengal.

Law wrote, besides the works mentioned:

  1. 'Letters to the Board [of Revenue, Fort William], submitting by their requisition a Revenue Plan for Perpetuity,' 4to, Calcutta, 1789, to which was appended 'Public Correspondence elucidating the Plan, in answer to questions thereon.'
  2. 'A Sketch of some late Arrangements and a View of the rising Resources in Bengal,' 8vo, London, 1792, an enlarged edition of his 'Letters,' published to promote the exportation of sugars from India. It was severely criticised by a former colleague named Nield, in 'Summary Remarks on the Resources of the East Indies … By a Civil Servant,' 8vo, London [1798 or 1799].
  3. 'An Answer to Mr. Princeps's [sic] Observations on the Mocurrery System,' 8vo, London, 1794. John Prinsep had attacked the system in a series of letters contributed in 1792 to the 'Morning Chronicle,' under the signature of 'Gurreeb Doss,' which were republished separately in 1794.
  4. 'An Address to the Columbian Institute on the question "What ought to be the Circulating Medium of a Nation?"' 8vo, Washington, 1830.

[Gent. Mag. new ser. ii. 437, 661; Law's Works; G. W. Parke Custis's Recollections; Correspondence of Charles, first Marquis Cornwallis, ed. C. Ross, i. 460, 466.]

G. G.

LAW, WILLIAM (1686–1761), author of the 'Serious Call,' son of Thomas Law, grocer, by his wife Margaret (Farmery), was born at Kings Cliffe, near Stamford, Northamptonshire, in 1686. He was the fourth of the eight sons in a family of eleven children. He probably had a religious education from his parents, who have been identified with the 'Paternus' and 'Eusebia' of his 'Serious Call.' He must have shown unusual promise to encourage them to send him to the university. Some rules drawn up by him, apparently upon entering college, begin by saying that the 'one business upon his hands' is 'to seek for eternal happiness by doing the will of God,' and embody resolutions for frequent prayer and self-examination. He entered Emmanuel College, Cambridge, as a sizar, 7 June 1705. He graduated B.A. 1708, M.A. 1712, and in 1711 was ordained, and elected fellow of his college. He studied the classics, and acquired some mathematical and philosophical knowledge at Cambridge (Byrom, vol. i. pt. i. p. 23). He kept his act upon Malebranche's doctrine, 'Omnia videmus in Deo.' On 17 April 1713 he was suspended from his degrees for a 'tripos speech' in which he gave offence by asking certain questions, e.g. 'whether the sun shines when it is in eclipse,' where the sun clearly meant the Pretender (ib. vol. i. pt. ii. pp. 20, 21; Wordsworth, University Life, p. 231; Hearne, Diary). On 7 July 1713 he preached a sermon at Haslingfield, near Cambridge, in support of the peace of Utrecht, with a loyal and ultra-tory apostrophe to Queen Anne. Another sermon, dated 1718, is mentioned by Walton, but does not appear to be extant. Upon the accession of George I he declined to take the oaths of allegiance and abjuration, and retained through life his sympathy for the exiled dynasty. His father died 10 Oct. 1714; his mother died in 1718, leaving six surviving children, each of whom appears to have received 115l. from the estate (Walton, p. 354). Law seems also to have inherited some house property from his father (Byrom, vol. i. pt. ii. p. 512). It is said that Law was for a time curate at Fotheringay; he certainly had a pupil at Cambridge. He mentioned that he had been a curate in London (Okely, Memoirs of Behmen), and it is said that he refused offers of preferment from his friend, Dean Thomas Sherlock (afterwards bishop of London). If so, Sherlock must have been under the erroneous impression that Law was capable of abandoning his nonjuring principles. In 1717 Law published his 'Three Letters to the Bishop of Bangor' (Hoadly), which are probably the most forcible piece of writing in the Bangorian controversy. They express the essence of the high church position. In 1723 he attacked Mandeville's 'Fable of the Bees,' arguing with remarkable power against the cynical theory of his opponent which reduced virtue to a mere fashion 'begot by flattery on pride.' This excellent tract was republished (with a preface) by F. D. Maurice, at the suggestion of John Sterling, in 1846. In 1726 appeared his unsparing attack upon the stage, which he condemns more unequivocally than Collier, and with less knowledge of the facts. John Dennis [q.v.] replied with some advantage derived from the unreasonable austerity of his opponent. In the same year appeared the first of his practical treatises on 'Christian Perfection,' which impressed Bishop Wilson as well as Wesley and the early methodists. It is said that an anonymous stranger presented him with 1,000l. after reading it. In 1727 Law founded a school for fourteen girls at