and carries its sure and unchanging obligations over all nations and throughout all ages.? It is true even of a despot?s law, that it reveals his nature, and shows what is requisite in the subject to constitute him in harmony with that nature. A law, which does not represent the nature of things, or the real relations of the governor and the governed, has only a nominal existence, and cannot be permanent. On the definition and nature of law, see also Pomeroy, in Johnson?s Encyclopedia, art.: Law; Ahrens, Cours de Droit Naturel, book 1, sec. 14; Lorimer, Institutes of Law, 256, who quotes from Burke: ?All human laws are, properly speaking, only declaratory. They may alter the mode and application, but have no power over the substance of original justice?; Lord Bacon: ?Regula enim legem (ut acus nautica polos) indicat, non statuit.? Duke of Argyll, Reign of Law, 64; H. C. Carey, Unity of Law.
Fairbairn, in Contemp. Rev., Apl. 1895:478 ? ?The Roman jurists draw a distinction between jus naturale and jus civile and they used the former to affect the latter. The jus civile was statutory, established and fixed law, as it were, the actual legal environment; the jus naturale was ideal, the principle ofjustice and equity immanent in man, yet with the progress of his ethical culture growing ever more articulate.? We add the fact that jus in Latin and Recht in German have ceased to mean merely abstract right and have come to denote the legal system in which that abstract right is embodied and expressed. Here we have a proof that Christ is gradually moralizing the world and translating law into life. E. G. Robinson: ?Never a government on earth made its own laws. Even constitutions simply declare laws already and actually existing. Where society falls into anarchy, the lex talionis becomes the prevailing principle.?
Was this article helpful?