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CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE

From the August 1914 issue of The Christian Science Journal


THE uncertainty of conclusions based upon circumstantial evidence is familiar to the average person, and numberless are the instances known to lawyers where the application of the supposed scientific rule of proof by circumstances has been anything but sure in its nature and just in its effect. Much of legal anecdote rests upon the uncertainty of circumstantial evidence, and it would be harrowing to enumerate the cases in history where judgments which have been carried to execution have subsequently appeared to have proceeded from false premises. The great Teacher said, "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment."

Although from the earliest records of laws among civilized peoples, thinkers here and there have recognized the scientific foundation of the fact that all men are equal, nevertheless ages passed in the endeavor to solve the questions arising among groups of people, with an almost entire neglect of that fundamental truth. Black-stone says in his "Commentaries" on the law: "Positive proof is always required, where from the nature of the case it appears it might possibly have been had. But next to positive proof, circumstantial evidence . . . must take place."

Christian Science has proclaimed a message to this age in which widely separated multitudes have been able to discern the clarion note that positive proof is always at hand. On page 519 of the text-book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mrs. Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says: "Mortals can never know the infinite, until they throw off the old man and reach the spiritual image and likeness. . . . How shall we declare Him, till, in the language of the apostle, 'we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ'?"

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