Law In General

1. Law is an expression of will.

The essential idea of law is that of a general expression of will enforced by power. It implies:

(a) A lawgiver, or authoritative will.

(b) Subjects, or beings upon whom this will terminates.

(c) A general command or expression of this will.

(d) A power, enforcing the command.

These elements are found even in what we call natural law. The phrase ?law of nature? involves a self-contradiction, when used to denote a mode of action or an order of sequence behind which there is conceived to be no intelligent and ordaining will. Physics derives the term ?law? from jurisprudence, instead of jurisprudence deriving it from physics. It is first used of the relations of voluntary agents. Causation in our own wills enables us to see something besides mere antecedence and consequence in the world about us. Physical science, in her very use of the word ?law,? implicitly confesses that a supreme Will has set general rules, which center the processes of the universe.

Wayland, Moral Science, 1, unwisely defines law as ?a mode of existence or order of sequence,? thus leaving out of his definition all reference to an ordaining will. He subsequently says that law presupposes an establisher but in his definition there is nothing to indicate this. We insist, on the other hand, that the term ?law? itself includes the idea of force and cause.

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