THE moment one begins to think about law, in the light of Christian Science, that moment he begins to realize that the prevailing concepts of its meaning are confused and confusing to a degree which is most lamentable in view of the intimate, causal relation of law to life and conduct in human experience.

This word law is constantly being used in explanation of things, without there being any definite apprehension of the ideas to be conveyed or of the metaphysical facts of the case, and there results a vague and ofttimes self-contra-dictory sense of relation, where an exact sense is imperatively demanded. To ask the average person to give his definition of law is to hear perchance that it is "a binding practice or habit," or "the dictum of some authority," or "the order of nature's procedure," or "the commandment given to Moses," or "the demand of conscience." Every impulse, habit, tradition, prejudice, force, and philosophy, every human belief, indeed, and every physical phenomenon, asserts itself and makes its appeal in the name of law, and this clatter of tongues might well be named Babel.

That there is war to human thought in the realm of law cannot be questioned. Having the most venerated convictions, customs, and conformities for their sponsors and advocates, the claims of material sense are quite warranted in saying that they have been honored by every human tribunal, and that they have wielded a practically undisputed sway in all the centuries. Nevertheless, in the arena of every truth-awakened consciousness they are met face to face with the opposing assertions of spiritual sense, the decrees of the one divine law, and here every righteous human struggle finds its beginnings. This struggle is given an old-time and most dramatic setting in the story of the wrestling of Jacob upon the banks of the Jabbok. It is portrayed by St. Paul in his confessions of inner conflict, when he says: "I find . . . a law that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin." This is a specific and yet all-inclusive statement of the nature of all the asserted conflicts of law, and the apostle makes it clear that he recognized not only the powerlessness and illegitimacy of this "other law," but its unreality, when in his next sentence he identifies it with "death," falsity, nothingness. He was, however, in the midst of the mental turmoil with which we are all so familiar, and he found freedom only in so far as he realized that, since God is the only source of life and authority, the activities of good, divine Mind, express the only law.

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July 29, 1911

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