Charlotte Mason on the Power of Natural Law

“As for this superior morality of some non-believers, supposing we grant it, what does it amount to? Just to this, that the universe of mind, as the universe of matter, is governed by unwritten laws of God…and that those who do ascertain and keep any divine law inherit the blessing due to obedience.” ~Charlotte Mason

Although many modern mothers may never have heard of Charlotte Mason, she was a powerful influence on education in her day. Her ideas influenced how children were treated and taught throughout the Western world. Today, her legacy lives on in the homeschooling world and many mothers are turning to her for answers as to how to educate their children at home.

Yet, what many don’t know, is that her central purpose was NOT to aid educators, teachers or even parents in educating their children. It was to empower parents to teach their children God’s natural laws and principles so that they could be guided by them and obtain the blessings God intended for them. She could see that as education became more secularized and as more and more individuals and families became more atheistic, the result would be children who could not harmonize what they learned at church and what they learned at school.

She knew natural law could bridge this gap and help their children see that blessings come through obedience to law and even those who do not confess the lawgiver can obtain those blessings through their obedience. 

Join Audrey for this half hour discussion of a key selection from the first book in Charlotte Mason’s series on education and see how clearly and powerfully Mason states the need for parents to understand, live and teach true principles to their children!

Listener’s Guide:

Use the time stamps below to skip to any part of the podcast. 

0:58  A gem from Charlotte Mason
1:51  A little background
10:17  Charlotte Mason on Natural Law and education
27:58  Why parents must educate themselves concerning Natural Law

Quotes from this episode:

“As for this superior morality of some non-believers, supposing we grant it, what does it amount to? Just to this, that the universe of mind, as the universe of matter, is governed by unwritten laws of God; that the child cannot blow soap bubbles or think his flitting thoughts otherwise than in obedience to divine laws; that all safety, progress, and success in life come out of obedience to law, to the laws of mental, moral or physical science, or of that spiritual science which the Bible unfolds; that it is possible to ascertain laws and keep laws without recognising the Lawgiver, and that those who do ascertain and keep any divine law inherit the blessing due to obedience, whatever be their attitude towards the Lawgiver; just as the man who goes out into blazing sunshine is warmed, though he may shut his eyes and decline to see the sun.  Conversely, that they who take no pains to study the principles which govern human action and human thought miss the blessings of obedience to certain laws, though they may inherit the better blessings which come of acknowledged relationship with the Lawgiver.” ~Charlotte Mason

“These last blessings [of the spirit]  are so unspeakably satisfying, that often enough the believer who enjoys them wants no more.  He opens his mouth and draws in his breath for the delight he has in the law, it is true; but it is the law of the spiritual life only.  Towards the other laws of God which govern the universe he sometimes takes up an attitude of antagonism, almost of resistance, worthy of an infidel.” ~Charlotte Mason

“Now, believing parents have no right to lay up this crucial difficulty for their children.  They have no right, for instance, to pray that their children may be made truthful, diligent, upright, and at the same time neglect to acquaint themselves with those principles of moral science the observance of which will guide into truthfulness, diligence, and uprightness of character.  For this, also, is the law of God. Observe, not into the knowledge of God, the thing best worth living for: no mental science, and no moral science, is pledged to reveal that.  What I contend for is, that these sciences have their part to play in the education of the human race, and that the parent may not disregard them with impunity.  My endeavour in this and the following volumes of the series will be to sketch out roughly a method of education which, as resting upon a basis of natural law, may look, without presumption, to inherit the Divine blessing.” ~Charlotte Mason

This appears to me the threatening danger to that confessed dependence upon and allegiance to Almighty God which we recognise as religion––not the wickedness, but the goodness of a school which refuses to admit any such dependence and allegianceMy sense of this danger is my reason for offering the little I have to say upon the subject of education,––my sense of the danger, and the assurance I feel that it is no such great danger after all, but one that parents of the cultivated class are competent to deal with, and are precisely the only persons who can deal with it.” ~Charlotte Mason

“I hope you can appreciate why I am so in love with this selection, and what an incredible impact it had on me and what a huge impact I hope it will have on you to be one of the many voices out there crying for us to be more principle centered, for us to seek out God’s natural laws and to put our lives and our homes in compliance with them so that we can earn the blessing that’s attached to them and reap the rewards that obedience to them creates.” ~Audrey Rindlisbacher

Books from this episode:

Selection From This Episode – Click to Download