Congress Hall Cafe
Jethro “You shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and shall show them the way in which they must walk, and the work that they must do.” Ex.18:20
Note: Holt writes the Henry II and sons educated their subjects in government. Stubbs remarks that the Great Charter was the consummation of such work by the kings. The fight to protect justice and rights against the tyranny, such as from King John, began with a citizenry trained in government, its process, and knowing the value of law to secure justice. America provides another example. George Washington called the American people enlightened for they understood attempted violations by the English parliament and king when they sought to undermine the colonial governments and local law. Jethro reveals the path to justice and liberty through the knowledge of government and law. 48.holt
If God judges elders (community leaders) with greater severity than the citizen, what incredible folly is it for the American people to put into public office those who will fail before the throne and judgment seat of God. Politicians, judges, public servants high and low who act and live contrary to God’s law while in public office are destined to the dungeons of Jesus Christ, and this due to the malfeasance of public duty by the people who put the corrupted into places of public trust. The sacred duty of every citizen is to keep the weekly Sabbath in order to review the laws of the land and the agents who execute them, and in knowledge and wisdom raise up only those who are free from accusation before the Lord their God. If the American public fails in this sacred duty, the people themselves will face God’s wrath for their negligence and sin.
Madison in his “Remonstrance” warned if government magistrates extend their authority outside the “metes and bounds” of the people’s constitutional requirements these magistrates are tyrants and the people themselves are oppressed slaves.
In 1790, John Philpot Curran said, “It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.” How do we become eternally vigilant? Plato writes in his Laws that men are the true guardians of the law, and they need a knowledge of them all. They must be able to illustrate and explain this knowledge in their speech and to adapt to it in their practice, and to discern the nature and division of good and evil. The God of Israel acknowledges the wisdom of being knowledgeable and active in the laws when He says in Deuteronomy 6.6-7 “… these words, which I command you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them for a sign on your hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the door posts of your house, and on your gates.”
Samuel Bryan “The celebrated Montesquieu, in his Spirit of Laws, says, that “slavery is ever preceded by sleep.” dc78
17. Celsus, Digest, Book XXVI. “To know the laws is not to be familiar with their phraseology, but with their force and effect.” scot.1.2
“Cato” I date 1787 : “…if you are negligent or inattentive, the ambitious and despotic, will entrap you in their toils, and bind you with the cord of power from which you, and our posterity, may never be freed; and if the possibility should exist, it carries along with it consequences that will make our community totter to its center.” dc31
Thomas Jefferson: “…so much as may enable them to read and understand what is going on in the world, and to keep their part of it going on right: for nothing can keep it right but their own vigilant and distrustful superintendence.” 534
Samuel Adams: “We may see, from the present State of Great Britain, how rapidly such a Spirit will drive a Nation to destruction. It is prudent for the People to keep a watchful Eye over the Conduct of all those who are entrusted with Public Affairs.” f/const.
Examples of American’s Lack of Vigilance
S.Crt. Justice Cardoza (1937)
“…in the field of substantive rights and duties the legislative judgment, if oppressive and arbitrary, may be overridden by the courts…”
In 2003, The Supreme Court decision “Lawrence v Texas” removed state laws against homosexuality and the decision tied the hands of fifty State legislatures, which is the expression of the will of the people, from ever legislating against it. This also can be said of Roe v Wade that sanction nationwide abortions. These two opinions by the Supreme Court are just a few of the state laws that the Court had deemed oppressive and arbitrary, although the American people though their elected representative had considered them necessary for the safety of children and for the preservation of society. The Court’s legislative decisions (not judicial) was based on “substantive” due process of the Fourteenth Amendment. The “substantive” addition to due process is an innovation by the Supreme Court – it incorporated “natural rights” [according to their opinion] to “due process” thereby transforming the Court into a law making body without any checks, without an appeal and without oversight by the American people or their representative. In order to overturn a Supreme Court decision can only be done by a national constitutional convention. Historically, the common law defined “due process” as the process of law and to violated “due process” was to violate the agreed laws of the community. How did we go from “due process ” of law according to the will of the people to “due process” according to the will of Court? First, by a self created judicial tool called judicial review, the Court created a powerful and absolute legislative tool. Initially, judicial review investigated the constitutionality of a state or federal law according to the will of the American people as expressed in their Constitution called the original intent. This Alexander Hamilton supported in the Federalist Papers. Later however, judicial review moved away from original intent of the US Constitution and toward abstract nouns like ‘”ordered liberty”, “right of privacy”, and other nouns based on the rights of an evolutionary or progressive society; judicial review became grounded on the Court’s social agenda and engineering. Secondly, the sovereign, the people, have forsaken their public duty to be guardians over their laws and the magistrates who execute them. They have violated the Sabbath, a weekly meeting or holy assembly of all the People for the work of eternal vigilance and accountability over civil government.
Thomas Jefferson: ” If once they (people) become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I , and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves.” m/l pg412.
Thomas Jefferson:”Withdrawn such a distance from the eye of their constituents, and these so dispersed as to be inaccessible to public information, and particularly to that of the conduct of their own representatives, they (the legislature) will form the most corrupt government on earth…” m/l 513
James Burgh:”No single man, or set of men, ought to be trusted with power without account to the people, the original proprietors of power. “There is not upon earth” (says the excellent Gordon) “a nation, which having had unaccountable magistrates, has not felt them to be crying and consuming mischiefs. In truth, where they are most limited, it has been often as much as a whole people could do to restrain them to their trust, and to keep them from violence; and such frequently has been their propensity to be lawless, that nothing but a violent death could cure them of their violence. This evil has its root in human nature; men will never think they have enough, whilst they can take more; nor be content with a part, when they can seize the whole.” f/const
Jame Burgh:”Nothing more dangerous than power without responsibility. But the species resembles an individual. As the father‘s experience does not make the son wiser, so neither does the history of the sufferings of former generations teach the succeeding to secure themselves against the mischiefs of unaccountable power.” f/const.
“Z” : “Does not every man know, that nothing is more liable to be abused than power. Power, without a check, in any hands, is tyranny; and such powers, in the hands of even good men, so infatuating is the nature of it, will probably be wantonly, if not tyrannically exercised.” 6.dc
A. Lincoln “While the people retain their virtue, and vigilance, no administration, by any extreme of wickedness or folly, can very seriously injure the government, in the short space of four years.” 147.aconst
Psalms 118:8 “It is better to take refuge in Yahweh, than to put confidence in man.”
John 2:24 “But Jesus didn’t trust himself to them, because he knew everyone…
Blackstone “For, as to such public oppressions as tend to dissolve the constitution, and subvert the fundamentals of government, they are cases which the law will not, out of decency, suppose; being incapable of distrusting those, whom it has invested with any part of the supreme power; since such distrust would render the exercise of that power precarious and impracticable. For, where-ever the law expresses it’s distrust of abuse of power, it always vests a superior coercive authority in some other hand to correct it; the very notion of which destroys the idea of sovereignty.”
Note: Blackstone’s principle that magistrates, kings and parliament, must be trusted otherwise and sense of distrust could lead to the destruction of sovereignty is a English principle not an American or Biblical principle. God of Israel, Jesus, and the American founding fathers understood the need of an exerted jealousy based on distrust of government. Without direct sovereign oversight by the people over the machinery of government, government will free itself from is constitutional cage and will rampage upon the life, liberty, and property of the people.
Hallam “…we should remember that, even when a constant watchfulness is exercised by means of political parties and a free press, a nation is seldom alive to the transgressions of the prudent and successful government.” 283