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The Empire of Law.

The Empire of Law.

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Published by glennpease


" Oh, how love I Thy law! It is my meditation all the day."
—Psalms 119:97.


" Oh, how love I Thy law! It is my meditation all the day."
—Psalms 119:97.

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Published by: glennpease on Sep 16, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE EMPIRE OF LAW.By DAVID SWIG" Oh, how love I Thy law! It is my meditation all the day." —Psalms 119:97.rr^HERE is not much that is accidental in the life-^ of an individual or a nation. One of thefacts that the modern times are establishing is thatthe whole universe is under the reign of law. Fromthe most immense and most remote sun to thesmallest atom of dust, law is forming and retainingand guiding all things at all moments. othing isindependent. Things and events once referreddirectly to God are now referred to the laws of God as to the invariable agent of the Almighty.This great inference affects not in the least theidea or providence of God, for here as among humanactors the principle applies that what one doesthrough an agent he does through himself.Some declare that the world seems less sacredand charming to them since science has brought in238 THE EMPIRE OF LAW.such an array of second causes between them andthe marvels of nature, filling up with physical ormental forces a place once full of the HeavenlyFather. But this disappointment is destined to beonly temporary, for as soon as the mind can becomefully acquainted with the conception of a universeof law, it will find the old world of accident ormiracle a poor, small thing compared with a universeall moving under law. When God was supposed tobe in the thunder or in the quick lightning, or in
the pestilence, or in the conflagration of cities, or inthe earthquake, he was taken from all other eventsand places so as to be employed in one flash of lightning or in one material crash. The philosophyof law exalts God into the infinite and occupiesHim at once with all the worlds and all theircontents. He no longer comes and goes, one dayalarming by a calamity and then leaving society tofeel that He has gone away and may not return foryears, but He is always in us, and with us, andaround us, not intermittent, but everlasting. Thisfact is not an argument for atheism, but rather forpantheism, for in such a world God is omnipresentindeed.We dwellers in such a methodical planet maytherefore rest assured that the outcome of our livesTHE EMPIRE OF LAW. 239will depend upon what rules we break and whatrules we regard. If we are law-abiding children,then shall we find success ; if we are law-breaking,then shall we suffer defeat A human soul is sentinto being just as is sent a tree, or flower, or aplanet, or an empire. Its laws are around it, theministering angels to bear it up.History is full of the ruins of empires and cities.Could you sit down by each ruin and find thecauses that brought it, only one report would comefrom Palmyra, or Thebes, or Babylon, or Athens, orAlexandria : " We violated the laws of life and aredead." Within their once-living hands and heartsthe laws of industry, of morals, of social life, of political well-being, were broken and death came.If from any cause the law of gravitation should bebroken for an hour by our earth, it would fall away
never to run her beautiful circle again. The sun'sfieiy ocean would, in a brief period, receive thefalling, unfortunate star. But the law of gravitationis only one upon the great statute book. The oldnations have all fallen because they regarded notthe mighty decalogue written upon their rocks, theirfields, their palaces, their homes, their hearts. Thestory of Moses is perpetual and universal. Encampwhere men may, at Sinai or in America, there is240 THE EMPIRB OF LAW.always a Moses coining with shining face carryingin his arms the laws of God. The soul that sinnethit shall die. But it shall be well with the righteous.From this thought, that man is set down in themidst of laws, let us pass to a second reflection,that "law-abiding" is a term that blinds many asoul to the real significance of life. The word"law" has become so associated with only theprohibitions of God and nature that many a soulthinks itself a saint when it simply has not broken.the few prohibitory statutes of its Maker. " Law-abiding" is a term that points out only the harmlesssoul. It shows us one who has never been wicked,not one who has been or shall be great. The TenCommandments keep the soul from the gallows orfrom contempt, but they make no great character.As well might the philosopher Franklin, or the poetBryant claim that their success had come from beingobedient to the laws of ew York as for a soul topoint to the Ten Commandments as the basis of thehalo of a saint. When the young man told Christhe " had kept all these from his youth up," Christinformed him that he lacked one thing yet — helacked not the simple abstaining from sin, but anardent espousal of some virtue. The decaloguesaves weak souls from sin and vice, but it makes no

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