Statutes and Songs

The accepted definition of the word "statute" brings to thought a prohibitory decree to which a penalty is attached, a mortal concept of law. But as we are taught in Christian Science to reverse a mortal concept in order to know the spiritual fact, we see that God's statutes are not prohibitory decrees but laws of progress; laws that unfold themselves in love and beauty, ever-increasing good and glory, revealing man's divine origin and power; laws that create in our hearts songs of praise. The psalmist wrote, "Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage."

In this reversal of the material concept of law it will be seen that God's statutes neither prohibit nor command. They cannot be reversed, perverted, misconstrued, or made subservient either to human fear or desire. They are God's purpose brought down to human consciousness. Men can neither hinder nor help their operation; they can only realize man's harmony with them, and any failure to realize this harmony is due to ignorance of what constitutes God's law. When it is known that God's laws are purely spiritual, emanating from infinite Life, Truth, and Love, man will have "recourse to the spiritual and be at peace" (Science and Health, p. 329). Who would not be willing to obey the law of Love if he understood the transcendent joy and blessing of selfless service? Who would not be willing to obey the law of Life if he understood the nothingness of death, or the law of Truth if he understood the omnipotence of good? So this ignorance of the law of God, of what His statutes are, has seemed to create fear in the hearts of men, instead of songs. The curse of condemnation and penalty seems to cast its shadow over all human living, to crush out all joy, all spontaneous praise and thanksgiving to the only lawmaker, whose law commands "his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song."

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October 10, 1914
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