Abraham Cowley Quote

“The liberty of a people consists in being governed by laws which they have made themselves, under whatsoever form it be of government; the liberty of a private man, in being master of his own time and actions, as far as may consist with the laws of God and of his country.”

~ Abraham Cowley

Ratings and Comments

  • Reply
RBESRQ    8/3/10

I would give it five but he added the word God.

Waffler, Smith

I give it one for being true but drivel.

J Carlton, Calgary

As opposed to laws made by an unreachable Federal Government that is at war with our freedom's and liberties. It's time we rcognized the enemies of freedom and ousted them with our ballot.

Mike, Norwalk

The quote tries to be too broad and all inclusive. Man can not make law, only God can make law. Cowley tried to blend natural law with positivist law (a philosophical oxymoron - what ever man says, 'IS', law for his country) There are many 'forms' of government that are tyrannical (democracy, all forms of socialism, monarchies, etc.) with no actual name or title ever given throughout man's history for a 'form' that is indicative of a private man's liberty or an individual's sovereign status among equals. A rating of 5 stars an innumerable times for the segment: "the liberty of a private man, in being master of his own time and actions, as far as may consist with the laws of God". A thumbs down for the rest.

jim k, Austin,Tx

I'm with J Carlton on this one.

  • Reply
Anon    8/3/10

If the laws they are talking about are the self evident truths we know as the laws of God then it's fine by me. I find it quite remarkable that in most cases once one mentions God the conversation is over because of their fears. To those who discover the power God gave us and use it to claim themselves as God(s) are ok but should never forget who put us here.

E Archer, NYC

Nice attempt by Cowley, given it was in the 1600's. This was the Classic Liberalism that spurned the birth of republican government. Of course, he dared to use the 'G' word, so it immediately offends some. I guess they don't believe in the unknowable, unfathomable, creative force that some call God. Since no 2 people will define 'God' in the same way, it seems pointless to be prejudiced by the use of the word. Taken in context, 'laws of God' mean the laws of nature that cannot be 'repealed' as it were -- we may not know what they are, but gravity makes itself known eventually. 'Every action has an equal and opposite reaction' -- an example of a theory about the laws of nature. We are still learning...


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