BLOG: Cooperating With Natural Law, Not Deity (1930)

The following comes from “The Supreme Discovery of the Ages: The universe is governed by natural law, not by a deity,” delivered by Rev. John Dietrich on March 9, 1930.

… Natural laws are not the same type of thing as statute laws — they are merely the expression by man of fixed relations existing between things.

… For instance, under certain conditions two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen unite to form a molecule of water. That is a constant relationship, that is, under the same conditions this always takes place, so we call it a chemical law. This does not mean that this relationship was previously and consciously designed.

… It is only because we can thus depend upon natural law that life and civilization are possible. It is because we know that the laws of sunshine and soil and seed and moisture are always and everywhere the same that we are able to plow and sow and reap and harvest, giving food to the whole earth. If these laws controlling the growth of grain were subject to change we would not know how to produce food.

…By the laws of nature we erect our houses and towering office buildings, and lay out the streets of our cities. It is the unchanging law that makes us rest at night, with no fear that it will change before morning, and permit our houses to tumble down about our heads.

…If this law could in the least be disturbed, either by miracle or by prayer, this would, indeed, be a sorry world in which to live. There would be no assurance of anything… Everything that is done in this world is done just because men depend upon the unchangeableness of natural law.

… Suppose a farmer wants to raise a successful crop, in recognition of the reign of law, he will not pray for the crop, nor will he expect God to grow it for him in any unusual way. He will find out the laws of soil and seed and culture and comply with them. If a man wishes to fly in the air, he does not pray to God to give him the wings of an angel, he studies the laws of power and air resistance and planes, and builds himself an aeroplane.

…Suffice it to say that all success, all progress, all happiness depends upon knowing and co-operating with the laws of the universe.

It means that we no longer depend upon some outside force, but upon ourselves; it means that we transfer our efforts from seeking help from God to seeking help in knowledge of the laws, which control this universe; it means that the minds, which have heretofore been occupied with the methods of gaining divine favor must be occupied with the study of the methods of the universe… that prayer will be replaced by effort.

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