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Laws, Loves, and Liberty

For centuries men have gathered together in order to institute forms of government to secure to themselves and their posterity the blessings of liberty under God by the securing of natural rights. To guarantee the loyalty or fidelity of the members of their community or nation in the face of chaos and calamity, in what is often a perilous world, numerous methods and schemes of society and government have been relied upon or applied.

The symbiotic relationship of men and their governments alters both. This change is wrought according to the spirit moving in the hearts and mind of the people. Government has no mind, no heart, no soul of its own. Its character is entirely dependent upon the character of the people who form it, give it purpose, and life. There seems to be two forms of fidelity at war in the formation of all governments. One born of the “love of law” and the other born of the “law of love”.

Because the opinions of men are as varied as men themselves we must define terms like law and love to understand the conflict and the paradox.

Two Kinds of Law

Though, “[I]t was believed that the King derived all the power he enjoyed in the colonies from the compacts [charters and contracts] he had made with the settlers.” The “Natural law was the first defense of colonial liberty.”1

“In respect to the ground of the authority of law, it is divided as natural law, or the law of nature or of God, and positive law.” The Law of Nature or Natural Law is, “The divine will, or the dictate of right reason, showing the moral deformity or moral necessity that there is in any act, according to its suitableness or unsuitableness to a reasonable nature.”2 Positive Law is, “Law actually ordained or established, under human sanctions, as distinguished from the law of nature or natural law, which comprises those considerations of justice, right, and universal expediency that are announced by the voice of reason or of revelation…”3

Understanding the difference between Natural and Positive law is necessary in order to understand either. One critical difference is found in the maxim:

“The laws of nature are most perfect and immutable; but the condition of human law is an unending succession, and there is nothing in it which can continue perpetually.”
“Human laws are born, live, and die.”4

It is “love of human law” of which we warn because it is not only dependent upon the character of those who create it but it is subject to change and mutation. The laws men make for themselves are created by contracts and constitutions,5 which requires the consent of the people.6 “All government without the consent of the governed is the very definition of slavery!” 7 This is because “What is mine cannot be taken away without consent.”8 “The civil law is what a people establishes for itself.”9

That consent may or may not be written. It may be given by our deeds or lack of them.

The Declaration of Independence was not about rebellion by the people, but the unwarranted usurpations of George III in his rebellion against the Charters and the rights subsequently obtained through natural exercise of responsibility of men engaged in a noble struggle long before any declaration was applied with ink to paper.

Americans had begun to realize that with every right there is a correlative responsibility. It was there uncommon struggle to accept the burden of those responsibilities for centuries prior to the revolution that set Americans free. It was the daily unselfish sacrifice of settlers who cared for themselves, their families, and their neighbor which set the spirit of liberty a flame in the hearts and minds of the people. The exercise of responsibility by those who came to America seeking civil and religious freedom had made the King's acts both an unwarranted breach and usurpations of natural rights.

That Declaration did not complain of taxation without representation but, “For imposing taxes on us without our Consent:”10 Governments receive all their lawful power to govern through the consent of the governed. That consent is given by executed or implied acts of agreement. Those agreements are the contracts. And “The contract makes the law”11 i.e human law.

There is no perfect contract because there are no perfect men. Contracts create obligations and power. “Constantly bearing in mind that entering into society individuals must give up a share of liberty…”12 The more power governments obtain authority by contract the less liberty the people have. No creation of an alternative institution or government may free us from or impair that obligation of contract.13

Pacta sunt servanda.”14

The more we seek to benefit from institutions of government the more we enter into their realm of authority and the less liberty we will have. The more we seek to provide for ourselves and our community without a reliance on government the freer we will become. “As long as we look to government to solve our problems we will always suffer tyranny.”15

 

Two Kinds of Love

love

Some people love cats and some cats love birds, but these two kinds of love produce entirely different results.

There is the love for things that give us life and the love we have that gives life to others. If the latter gives us life more abundant16 then the former will take away our lives. It is a selfish love of desire taking from others for the benefit of ourselves. It is the dominance or presence of one form of love or the other in the hearts and minds of the people that determines the nature of their government and the freedom and liberty enjoyed by their society.

This truth is why the Bible tells us in the words of Moses17 and Christ18 that we must love our neighbor, his rights, his life, and his liberty, his soul as much as we love our own. If we do not, then the government we create shall be more a snare than a salvation. Many have understood that “This Bible is for the Government of the People, by the People, and for the People.”19

“When people have to obey other people’s orders, equality is out of the question.”20 The Bible warns us not to consent,21 not to make covenants or contracts,22 to not take oaths or swear,23 but also to not take benefits from men who can exercise authority.24

While it is good to take care of the needy of your society it must be done by charity. One reason to avoid men who call themselves benefactors but exercise authority is because they only offer to us what they have already taken from our neighbor and we know we are not to covet our neighbor's goods.25 Once we accept the idea that it is okay to take from our neighbor as long as it is taken by government first, then a whole nation may be corrupted.

“All who have ever written on government are unanimous, that among people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist.”26

There are several reasons why we should not want to benefit in such social schemes, but at least one is to keep us from being snared back into the bondage of Egypt.

Men who seek power often offer benefits to get the people to enter deeper into the realm and authority of government until what should have been for our welfare becomes a trap and a snare.27 While it is essential for a society to take care of its needy the methods of modern Socialism lead only to despotism and destruction.

“The real destroyers of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.” 28

It is not love to covet our neighbor's goods, to wish to compel our neighbor's contributions to secure our personal welfare. Christ made it clear that covetousness comes from within, and defile the man.29 It is that temptation offered by some forms of government that causes neighbor to consume neighbor 30and destroys the potential for liberty in our societies.31 Thou shalt not covet32 was the foundational law of a free society and socialism imposed by government is the antitheses of that law. Those who desire the benefits of governments that exercise authority33 are Antichrist and criminals in the eyes of God's law. They are classified in the status of thieves and robbers, adulterers and fornicators, of liars and deceivers and certainly do not love one another.

“While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.” 2 Peter 2:19

The cruelty of covetous social welfare schemes implemented by an exercising authority brings us into bondage.34 Christ instituted the Church to provide for the needs of the people by faith, in hope and through charity under the perfect law of liberty35 so that they would never have to apply to those rulers of nations who exercise authority one over the other in the provision of their welfare and benefits.

A Christians prayers36 was only to God the Father and not the fathers of earth.37

The Modern Church often talks about love but they send the needy of their congregations to those false benefactors who make men merchandise, humane resources. They have abandoned the “rituals and ceremonies” of “pure religion”38 found in the early Church. The Churches have failed the people and have done contrary to the early Church and the words of Christ who came to set them free.

We cannot expect to be free until we set our neighbor free from our own desires.

 

Footnotes:

1Origins of the American Revolution, By John C. Miller. Published by Stanford University Press, 1959. And The Other Side of the Question: or A Defence of the Liberties of North America. In answer to a ... Friendly address to all reasonable Americans, on the subject of our political confusions. By a Citizen, New York, 1774, J. Rivington, 16. Bulletin of the New York Public Library. By New York Public Library

21.3 Bouvier, Inst. n. 3064; Greanleaf, Ev. É 44.

3Bouvier’s.

4Leges naturæ perfectissimæ sunt et immutaviles; humani vero juris conditio semper in infinitum decurrit, et nihil est in co quod perpetuo stare possit. Leges humanæ nascuntur, vivunt, moriuntur.7 Coke, 25.

5“The contract makes the law.” Legem enim contractus dat. 22 Wend. N.Y. 215,223.

6“Consent makes the law.” Consesus facit legem. Branch. Prine. Black’s.

7Jonathon Swift.

8Quod meum est sine me auferri non potest. Jenk. Cent. Cas. 251.

9Jus civile est quod sibi populus constituit.1 Johns. N.Y.424, 426.

10The Declaration of Independence

11Legem enim contractus dat. 22 Wend. N.Y. 215,223.

12Andrew Jackson (March 4, 1833)

13“No State shall ...pass any ... Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts...”. Article 1 Section 10

14“agreements must be kept.” General Principles of International Commercial Law, Jus Gentium.

15William Pitt.

16Matthew 10:39 “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”

Matthew 16:25 “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”

Mark 8:35 “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.”

Luke 9:24 “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.”

17Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

18Matthew 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

19Then John Wycliffe introduced his translation of the Bible in 1382 with the words, “This Bible is for the Government of the People, by the People, and for the People.”

20Sir John Thomas Gilbert.

21“My son, if sinners entice thee, consent not.” Proverbs 1, 10

22Exodus 23:32,33 “Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.”

2 Corinthians 6:16 “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

23“If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.” (Nu 30:2)

“Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.” (Pr 6: 2)

“But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” Matthew 5:34, 37

“But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.” James in Chapter 5, verse 12

24Proverbs 23:1 “When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee: And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.”Ex 34:12, Ps 69:22, Luke 22:25, Matthew 20:25, Mark 10:42.

25Exodus 20:17 “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”

Romans 7:7 “ What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”

2 Peter 2:2, 3 “And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”

26Edmund Burke.

27“Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee:” (Ex 34:12)

“Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap.” (Ps 69:22)

“And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompense unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.” (Romans 11:9, 10 )

28Plutarch, 2000 years ago.

29Mark 7:22 “Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”

30Galatians 5:15 “But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.”

31Galatians 5:1 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”

Galatians 5:13, 14 “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

32Exodus 20:17 “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”

33Luke 22:25 “And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so:..” Matthew 20:25, Mark 10:42. See Polity

342 Peter 2:1-3 “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”

35James 1:25 “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”

36Matthew 6:9 “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name....”

37Matthew 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

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