Human beliefs and superstitions, the dogmas of scholastic theology and the dicta of materia medica, have surrounded mortals with spurious laws to which habit and custom have given almost the force of genuine laws. When a patient appeals for help, it is the duty of the Christian Science practitioner to loose him from the bondage of these so-called laws. The practitioner knows that there is but one Lawgiver, and that divine law is the only law of the universe. Knowing this, he knows that the patient is not subject to the law of heredity, of limitation, or of penalty, because he knows that all spurious laws are without validity, force, or effect. That this consciousness of the practitioner is efficacious in breaking the apparent effect of such laws, is shown in a very simple way by the analogous case of a lawyer and client.

We will suppose that the Legislature, the lawmaking body of a state, has before it for consideration an act in relation to taxation. This is passed by both the House and Senate, is signed by the Governor, and takes its place on the statute-books of the state. It is recognized by all as the law of the land. The officials levy the tax and the citizens pay it. One citizen, however, goes to his attorney and says that the tax levied against him is unjust, and wants to know if he cannot be given relief from the imposition of the tax. The lawyer takes up the case. He knows that the fundamental and supreme law of the state is its constitution. He compares the law with the constitution and becomes convinced that it is contrary thereto. He files a suit to relieve his client from the burden of the taxation and the case goes to trial. In due course of procedure—and this course is often very tedious and tiresome to the client—the case is called and heard by the supreme court, which sustains the contention of the lawyer and pronounces the law unconstitutional and inoperative, thus absolving the client from the burden of the tax and from any penalty for his non-payment thereof.

It is, of course, apparent that such a law never existed and never had any effect. The enforcement by officials and the consent thereto of the citizens did not give it power, nor did the supreme court unmake any law. It merely declared that it was not a law. It will appear, upon reflection, that whatever force this supposed law had by reason of the belief of the community that it was a law, was broken so far as the client was concerned the moment the lawyer realized for himself that it was unconstitutional. The client could not have found relief, however, had his attorney continued in the belief that the law was valid, for so believing he could not have properly and effectually presented the case.

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September 30, 1911

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