CSEC ON-LINE REFERENCE LIBRARY



Spirit and Law
MARY BAKER EDDY


         We are accustomed to think and to speak of gravitation as a law of matter; while every quality of matter, in and of itself, is inert, inanimate, and non-intelligent. The assertion that matter is a law, or a lawgiver, is anomalous. Wherever law is, Mind is; and the notion that Mind can be in matter is rank infidelity, which either excludes God from the universe, or includes Him in every mode and form of evil. Pantheism presupposes that God sleeps in the mineral, dreams in the animal, and wakes in a wicked man.

         The distinction between that which is and that which is not law, must be made by Mind and as Mind. Law is either a moral or an immoral force. The law of God is the law of Spirit, a moral and spiritual force of immortal and divine Mind. The so-called law of matter is an immoral force of erring mortal mind, alias the minds of mortals. This so-called force, or law, at work in nature as a power, prohibition, or license, is cruel and merciless. It punishes the innocent, and repays our best deeds with sacrifice and suffering. It is a code whose modes trifle with joy, and lead to immediate or ultimate death. It fosters suspicion where confidence is due, fear where courage is requisite, reliance where there should be avoidance, a belief in safety where there is most danger. Our Master called it "a murderer from the beginning."

         Electricity, governed by this so-called law, sparkles on the cloud, and strikes down the hoary saint. Floods swallow up homes and households; and childhood, age, and manhood go down in the death-dealing wave. Earthquakes engulf cities, churches, schools, and mortals. Cyclones kill and destroy, desolating the green earth. This pitiless power smites with disease the good Samaritan ministering to his neighbor's need. Even the chamber where the good man surrenders to death is not exempt from this law. Smoothing the pillow of pain may infect you with smallpox, according to this lawless law which dooms man to die for loving his neighbor as himself, — when Christ has said that love is the fulfilling of the law.

         Our great Ensample, Jesus of Nazareth, met and abolished this unrelenting false claim of matter with the righteous scorn and power of Spirit. When, through Mind, he restored sight to the blind, he figuratively and literally spat upon matter; and, anointing the wounded spirit with the great truth that God is All, he demonstrated the healing power and supremacy of the law of Life and Love.

         In the spiritual Genesis of creation, all law was vested in the Lawgiver, who was a law to Himself. In divine Science, God is One and All; and, governing Himself, He governs the universe. This is the law of creation: "My defense is of God, which saveth the upright in heart." And that infinite Mind governs all things. On this infinite Principle of freedom, God named Himself, I AM. Error, or Adam, might give names to itself, and call Mind by the name of matter, but error could neither name nor demonstrate Spirit. The name, I AM, indicated no personality that could be paralleled with it; but it did declare a mighty individuality, even the everlasting Father, as infinite consciousness, ever-presence, omnipotence; as all law, Life, Truth, and Love.

         God's interpretation of Himself furnishes man with the only suitable or true idea of Him; and the divine definition of Deity differs essentially from the human. It interprets the law of Spirit, not of matter. It explains the eternal dynamics of being, and shows that nature and man are as harmonious to-day as in the beginning, when "all things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made."

         Whatever appears to be law, but partakes not of the nature of God, is not law, but is what Jesus declared it, "a liar, and the father of it." God is the law of Life, not of death; of health, not of sickness; of good, not of evil. It is this infinitude and oneness of good that silences the supposition that evil is a claimant or a claim. The consciousness of good has no consciousness or knowledge of evil; and evil is not a quality to be known or eliminated by good: while iniquity, too evil to conceive of good as being unlike itself, declares that God knows iniquity!

         When the Lawgiver was the only law of creation, freedom reigned, and was the heritage of man; but this freedom was the moral power of good, not of evil: it was divine Science, in which God is supreme, and the only law of being. In this eternal harmony of Science, man is not fallen: he is governed in the same rhythm that the Scripture describes, when "the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy."

 

Excerpted from Miscellaneous Writings
by Mary Baker Eddy, pp. 256-259
 

| Home | Library |

Copyright © 1996-2005 CSEC