Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Foundational Law Quotes IX

“The great law does not arise from our conventions and compacts; on the contrary, it gives our conventions and compacts all the force and sanction they can have. It does not arise from our vain institutions. Every good gift is of God; all power is of God; and He who has given the power, and from whom alone it originates, will never suffer the exercise of it to be practiced upon any less solid foundation than the power itself. If, then, all dominion of man over man is the effect of the Divine disposition, it is bound by the eternal laws of Him that gave it, which no human authority can dispose – neither he that exercises it, nor even those who are subject to it; and if they were mad enough to make express compact that should release their magistrate from his duty, and should declare their lives, liberties, and properties dependent upon, not the rules and laws, but his mere capricious will, that covenant would be void. . . . Law and arbitrary power are in eternal enmity.”

Edmund Burke

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