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    UNLIKE HUMAN LAW

    The common opinion in regard to the letter and the spirit of the law, is most erroneous. The error arises from supposing that the law of God is similar to human laws. It is quite common to speak of the spirit of a law made by man, when all that is meant is the intent of the law. Thus: No human law is perfect; its framers can not possibly foresee all the circumstances that may arise to be judged by it. Then, too, the language of the law may be obscure. So the judge often finds it necessary to decide what was the intent of the lawmakers. A man might be technically or literally a violator of a law, while still acting fully in harmony with the intent of its framers. This is what is meant by the mistaken use of the term “letter and spirit,” as applied to human laws.LESP 3.3

    Now the great difference between the nature of human laws and the divine law is that there is no spirit to the former, while the latter is wholly spiritual. Spirit is life; but there is no life in human laws. They can not give life. No man can get anything more out of a human law than he puts into it. If men ignore any human law, then it is said to be “a dead letter.” But it has no more life in itself when it is obeyed than when it is disregarded; the life is in the people, who make their acts conform to the words of the law.LESP 4.1

    The law of God is wholly different. It is alive whether people regard it or not. It is alive because it is spiritual. The man who serves in “the oldness of the letter” does not really serve at all, because, no matter how good his purpose, or how strong his endeavors, to keep the law, he is simply reproducing himself, and not the law. In trying to do what the law tells him to do, he is merely doing what his own nature allows him to do. While in a carnal state, he is “not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Romans 8:7.LESP 4.2

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