The Certainty of the Operation of Divine Law


Dallas, Sunday Lesson

 

from the Writings of William Fenton Tyree, Sr.
Compiled & Edited by C. Virginia Tyree
May, 1990

  
 That statement seems simple enough, and it does not appear
 that it would require any elucidation.  However, when you
 step over into the realm of law, you have entered a universe
 of simplicities and of complications.
 
 The law to be discussed is not municipal law nor canon law,
 as used in this connection, I do not mean the law of God as
 revealed in Scripture.  I rather mean those rules of order
 and government that operate upon all objects, animate or
 inanimate; vegetable or mineral; animal or spiritual.  Laws
 that are so operating regardless of our knowledge or lack of
 knowledge of their existence.
 
 The law of gravitation existed and operated with as great
 invariable certainty and perfection before its existence was
 discovered by man as it has since such discovery.  The
 discovery added nothing to and subtracted nothing from the
 law.
 
 The combining of one part hydrogen and two parts oxygen had
 formed water both before and since man discovered that law,
 his recent acquisition of the knowledge of the law does not
 affect the law in any way.  Such laws exist not because man
 has discovered or enacted them.   They continue to function
 and to deliver the fullest impact of their operation upon
 each and every object within their influence, wholly without
 reference to whether or not we know of their existence.
 
 It is an inherent quality of divine law that it must manifest
 itself not only with certainty but with perfect completeness
 upon every occasion.  It can not be laggard in one instance
 and overly active in another.  It is this quality in divine
 law that establishes certainty of operation.  If we can learn
 what these laws are and how they operate, we are assured that
 they will operate exactly the same way upon every occasion
 and in every instance.
 
 If any law is a divine law, what is commonly referred to as
 natural law is as truly divine as moral or spiritual law can
 be.  All such laws are properly related to divinity and to
 divinity only.  To go a step farther, I would not look upon
 these laws as the arbitrary enactments of a supreme
 intelligence, but I would rather look upon them as the
 harmonious expressions of the perfectly balanced nature of
 God, emanating from that nature as rays of light from the
 central sun.  In this respect divine law exists independent
 of any specific enactment or decree, and wholly without any
 oral or written statement declaring or defining the same.  In
 other words, natural and spiritual laws exist and operate as
 truly, perfectly, certainly and universally without our
 knowledge of their existence as they do after we have
 acquired knowledge of their existence.  These laws maintain
 the eternal fitness of things both tangible and intangible,
 physical and spiritual, temporal and eternal.  And, in the
 highest sense, they cannot be violated.  For convenience of
 expression, we speak of violation of divine law, but, in all
 nature, such a thing is impossible.  What we may term a law
 of death is just as eternal, just as divine, just as holy,
 and just as good as a law that we may describe as the law of
 life or of growth.
 
 These divine laws are self executing -- there is no possible
 denial or delay, and each such law, as before stated, must in
 every instance deliver and execute its full force, without
 diminution or enlargement.  In the administration of our
 human civil and criminal laws, we frequently find delay,
 uncertainty, perversion or miscarriage of justice, laxity of
 enforcement, and escape from the penalties pronounced by such
 laws, but, such is not the case and cannot be the case where
 the administration of divine law is involved.  This court is
 always in session, the judge is always on the bench, the
 decrees, mandates, orders, judgments and sentences of this
 court are immediately carried out or executed.
 
 Science gives universal testimony in support of this truth as
 it is revealed in the certainty of the uniform, complete and
 instantaneous action of natural law.  The laws governing the
 inanimate clod, or the animate plant or animal, which we call
 natural law, are neither less nor more certain, inviolable,
 eternal nor divine than the laws governing the moral or
 spiritual realm of existences.  There is no more possibility
 of escape from the complete and perfect operation of the one
 than from the other.  The relation of natural law, so called,
 to spiritual law does not rest in analogy, but is rather an
 inherent unity of the entire system, as all such laws proceed
 from God and emanate from his nature.  In this sense a lack
 of uniformity is not conceivable.
 
 It is not my purpose to submit the proofs, nor, in any way,
 attempt to prove the existence of a spiritual nature or
 universe peopled with spiritual beings.  I am assuming that
 you possess a spiritual nature.  This spiritual nature is
 inclusive: it includes what is commonly termed our
 intellectual, moral and spiritual entities, and I shall use
 the term, spiritual nature or being, in that inclusive sense.
 
 It is inconceivable, even as a matter of abstract reasoning,
 that this spiritual being would not exist under law, and one
 of the great errors of scientists has been their failure to
 recognize evidences of, the operation of and the
 inviolability of these laws.  The greatest possible field for
 future exploration and conquest is the field of mental, moral
 and spiritual science.  Some of these days we will come to
 realize that the spiritual world is as real as the physical
 world, making the challenge of its mysteries all the more
 inviting and alluring to the sober and honest mind.
 
 For the sake of brevity, I exclude from consideration, in
 this article, the lower forms of animal life, and would
 confine myself to a discussion of the relation of mankind to
 divine law.  Man is an animal plus; he possesses a full and
 complete animal nature, but, in addition possesses a full and
 complete spiritual nature.  Some may ask, "How do you know
 that mankind possesses a spiritual nature?"  I would answer,
 in brief, that I acquire this knowledge as a fact of
 consciousness in the same manner as I acquire knowledge of
 any other fact.  It is not of consequence as to whether or
 not I acquire this knowledge mediately or immediately:  the
 important fact is that I have this consciousness just as
 truly and certainly as that I am conscious that I am.  As I
 have before stated, I would include in the spiritual nature
 of man, his mental and moral perceptions.
 
 Now, this spiritual being can exist and function only under
 law.  There is and can be no change in the nature of the law
 governing the spiritual from that governing the physical or
 natural man.  This law will and must be equally as certain,
 immutable and positive in its operation as natural law, so
 called.
 
 I apprehend that there are many laws governing our spiritual
 existence, life, development and welfare, that are, as yet,
 unknown to us, and many that are very vaguely understood by
 us.  But the same rule holds here, as in the other case;
 these laws not only exist, but they continue to function and
 to execute themselves without regard to our knowledge or lack
 of knowledge of their existence.  The progressive farmer
 knows more about how to successfully raise hogs and sheep and
 cattle and horses, than was formerly known by men engaged in
 that industry.
 
 The horticulturist and agriculturist, as a result of the
 study of the laws governing the vegetable kingdom, are able
 to perform seeming miracles.
 
 The modern mother is much better qualified to properly care
 for her child than were her grandmothers.  Unparalleled
 advancement has been made along these similar lines during
 the last half-century.
 
 I wish as much could be said with reference to the realm of
 the spiritual.  I cannot avoid the conviction that, instead
 of making progress we have been retrograding.
 
 Our failure, first, to recognize the spiritual, and, second,
 to realize that the spiritual is as truly under law as the
 physical, has plunged us into all kinds of error and
 disaster.
 
 I am convinced that it, also, follows that abstractly
 considered, from a purely legal point of view, the spiritual
 is as completely dominated and controlled by law as is the
 physical.  No chemical formula is more exact nor certain as
 to the results from combining certain chemical substances in
 certain proportions, than the law, "The wages of sin is
 death" or "The soul that sinneth it shall die."  One is as
 changeless and as certain as the other, and, understand, I do
 not mean to say that the law of sin and of death is the
 arbitrary decree of a tyrant nor a despot, but this law like
 every law of nature or a spirit, is grounded in a fixed,
 unalterable eternal fitness.  It is equivalent to an
 assertion having the dignity of law, that a certain manner of
 thought and life will as certainly bring about and result in
 a certain spiritual state or condition as that an object,
 heavier than air, when thrown into the air will certainly
 return to the earth.  These laws press upon the spirit from
 every side, they will not be denied, they cannot be set
 aside, modified, repealed nor annulled.  They have their
 place in an orderly and established government just as truly
 as the laws of nature, upon which scientists so confidently
 rely.  With them, "There is no variableness neither shadow of
 turning."  There is and can be no more caprice or uncertainty
 about spiritual law and its full and complete execution of
 itself than in what we term natural law.
 
 Thus far, we have found no place for the operation of moral
 law, if there is a moral law; that is to say, if some actions
 or states are either moral or immoral.  Abstractly
 considered, all substances, things and created beings of
 every class and order, are neither moral nor immoral but,
 rather, are unmoral.  The flowers may be beautiful and pure
 as a flower, but we cannot ascribe to it moral qualities, and
 the same is also true as to the entire animal kingdom, as
 such.
 
 There must be something more than mere things, organisms or
 life upon which to predicate morals.  No sort of dextrous or
 agile argument can overcome the unalterable truth that
 morality can only be predicated upon freedom of determination
 and action.
 
 The thoughts I have brought to you thus far are in keeping
 with the theories of the determinists.  Determinism is only
 another word for fatalism.  The determinist seeing no farther
 than the physical is driven into fatalism, and however much
 he may try to gloss it over, he has no more power for
 independent action nor to, in any way, alter his course than
 the most senseless clod under the foot of man.
 
 The intellectual undoing of science, so called, rests right
 here.  Every fact of consciousness and every human experience
 give the lie to such erroneous conclusions.  No secondary
 proof is required to convince a sane man that he possesses
 volition, that his life has a moral status.  In this respect,
 he stands alone in the midst of a living throbbing universe.
 The fatalist leaves man bound, as a Hercules, in the
 unbreakable fetters of heredity and environment.  No matter
 though he feels himself linked to eternity and one with God,
 filled and thrilled with a consciousness of moral freedom, he
 is, nevertheless, eternally restrained from the exercise of
 such God-like powers, by unalterable fate.  If such were the
 case, there could be neither morality nor immorality.
 
 It is fundamental that a measure of freedom of action is
 necessary before any action can partake of moral quality.  I
 do not attempt to say that such freedom is a necessary
 adjunct to the powers of a human being, but I do say that he
 cannot be subject to either praise or blame, merit or
 demerit unless he has the power and privilege of volition.  I
 can conceive of how there could exist a race of beings such
 as ourselves, in appearance, and yet wholly devoid of moral
 freedom or volition; such a being, however, could be classed,
 only, as an animal, - a brute.
 
 I both am and am free.
 
 It is this freedom that distinguishes us and sets us apart
 from every other creature or being upon the earth.  I
 therefore conclude that man is such a free being -- a free
 moral agent.
 
 It therefore becomes us to inquire, what is his relation to
 the law we have been discussing?  Can he defy it, or ignore
 it?  Can he remove himself from the area of its operation and
 its force?  By no means.  He is as complete - under and
 subservient to law as any other organism, -- in a sense, more
 completely under law, in that he not only becomes conscious
 of the existence and operation of divine law, but, also has
 power, as a free agent to adjust himself to such law.  I
 repeat, -- He cannot violate the law.  It is just as truly
 the law that certain exercises of his volition will end in
 consequences which we know as sin, as that certain other
 exercises of his volition will end in what we term holiness
 or happiness.  The law executes itself upon his spiritual
 being, with absolute certainty and dispatch.  It must
 necessarily follow that if any line of conduct is viscous and
 unclean in its nature, the immutable law will work itself out
 upon him and he will be viscous and unholy in a substantive
 way, and not merely a technical transgressor of law.  What I
 am trying to get at here is that certain exercises of
 volitional powers necessarily terminate in a corruption of
 the spiritual nature, as a matter of law.  Such corruption,
 we know as immorality, unholiness, uncleanness, spiritual
 death.

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