Sunday, April 7, 2013

Law and Freedom

The following quotes are from: John Locke, “Essay Concerning the True Original, Extent, and End of Civil-Government,” Two Treatises of Government (Awnsham & John Churchill, London, 1698).

"Wherever Law ends, Tyranny begins." (Chapter 18, sec. 202)

“[The positive laws of commonwealths often are ...] the fancies and intricate contrivances of men, following contrary and hidden interests put into words; for so truly are a great part of the municipal laws of countries, which are only so far right, as they are founded on the law of nature.” (Chapter 2, sec. 12)

"And that all men may be restrained from invading others' rights, and from doing hurt to one another, and the law of nature be observed, which willeth the peace and preservation of all mankind, the execution of the law of nature is in that state, put into every man's hands, whereby everyone has a right to punish the transgressors of that law to such a degree, as may hinder its violation." (Chapter 2, sec. 7)

"Law, in its proper Notion, is the Direction of a free and intelligent Agent to his proper Interest." (Chapter 6, sec. 57)

“The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom: For in all the states of created beings capable of laws, where there is no law, there is no freedom.” (Chapter 6, sec. 57)

"A man may owe honour and respect to an ancient or wise man; defence to his child or friend; relief and support to the distressed; and gratitude to a benefactor, to such a degree, that all he has, all he can do, cannot sufficiently pay it; but all these give no authority, no right to anyone of making laws over him from whom they are owing." (Chapter 6, sec. 70)

 "These are the bounds, which the trust that is put in them by the society, and the law of God and Nature, have set to the legislative power of every commonwealth. First, they are to govern by promulgated established laws, not to be varied in particular cases, but to have one rule for rich and poor, for the favourite at court, and the countryman at plough. Secondly, these laws also ought to be designed for no other end ultimately than the good of the people." (Chapter 11, sec. 142)


Laureen said...

So good to read these again today - thanks for posting them!

merna said...

I loved the quote about the end of law not being to restrain, but to preserve liberty. It's doctrine! It reminds me of Elder L. Tom Perry's talk this last conference called "Obedience to Law is Liberty." Great stuff!