Tag Archives: James Wilson

First Principles: It Is Preposterous To Attempt Separating the Law of Nature From the Law of Revelation

“The law of nature and the law of revelation are both Divine: they flow, though in different channels, from the same adorable source. It is indeed preposterous to separate them from each other.” – James Wilson, of the Law of … Continue reading

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First Principles: It is Our Duty To Resist Wrongful Force Exerted For Bad Purposes

“Has force, exerted for the purposes of malevolance, a right to command? Can it impose an obligation to obey? No. Resistance to such force is a right, and, if resistance can prove effectual, it is a duty also.” – James … Continue reading

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First Principles: Parents Have A Duty To Maintain Children Decently In Accordance With Their Circumstances

“It is the duty of parents to maintain their children decently, and according to their circumstances; to protect them according to the dictates of prudence; and to educate them according to the suggestions of a judicious and zealous regard for … Continue reading

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First Principles: Careful Discussion of Proposed Legislation Is the Proper Way To Legislate

“In planning, forming, and arranging laws, deliberation is always becoming, and always useful.” – James Wilson (1791)          

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First Principles: To Be Legitimate, A Government Should Secure and Enlarge The Natural Rights of Its Society

“Government, in my humble opinion, should be formed to secure and to enlarge the exercise of the natural rights of its members; and every government, which has not this in view, as its principal object, is not a government of … Continue reading

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First Principles: Without Law, Liberty Becomes Licentiousness

“Without law, liberty … loses its nature and its name, and becomes licentiousness.” – James Wilson (1790)      

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First Principles: Mankind Is Equal Before God and Law but Not In Talents, Abilities and Application of These

“When we say, that all men are equal; we mean not to apply this equality to their virtues, their talents, their dispositions, or their acquirements.” – James Wilson, Man as a Member of Society, 1791      

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First Principles: Resistance To Malevolence Is A Right and Duty

“Has force, exerted for the purposes of malevolence, a right to command? Can it impose an obligation to obey? No. Resistance to such force is a right, and, if resistance can prove effectual, it is a duty also.”  – James … Continue reading

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First Principles: The Chief Aim of Criminal Jurisprudence Is to Prevent Crimes

“To prevent crimes, is the noblest end and aim of criminal jurisprudence. To punish them, is one of the means necessary for the accomplishment of this noble end and aim.” – James Wilson (1790)            

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First Principles: Without Liberty, Law Becomes Oppression; Without Law Liberty Become Licentiousness

“Without liberty, law loses its nature and its name, and becomes oppression. Without law, liberty also loses its nature and its name, and becomes licentiousness.”  – James Wilson, Lectures on Law, 1790 An excellent resource with respect to this work … Continue reading

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