Samuel Cooke Quote

“Fidelity to the public requires that the laws be as plain and explicit as possible, that the less knowing may understand, and not be ensnared by them, while the artful evade their force.”

~ Samuel Cooke

May 30, 1770, Sermon before the Massachusets Bay provincial House of Representatives

Ratings and Comments

Cal, lewisville, tx

But then our government comes along with IRS rules and laws no one can ever figure out.

jim k, Austin, Tx

Almost everyone in the congress is or has been a lawyer. Maybe that explains the mess we're in.

Mike, Norwalk

The quote's foundation and fundamental precept is from a philosophy of legal positivism (man as a god has the ability to create law). Law enforcement is an oxymoron. Can man enforce gravity, math, fiscal law, etc.? NO ! The artful can not evade law's force (but, the occupying statitst theocracy infesting this land's canons and otherwise tyranny can sometimes be artfully evaded). Co-eternal with existence, law (the laws of nature or of nature's God - natural law) exists and man can only pass codes, ordinances, regulations, rules, statutes, etc. at harmony with or antagonistic thereto). To the first part of the statement: of the sovereigns' servants, fidelity is a requirement absolute in making rules, statutes, etc. as plain, explicit as possible, and in harmony with law.

H Rearden, Burr Ridge IL

This guy must be rolling in his grave. Jim K has it exactly right. We have filled our Congress with lawyers, who produce nothing, to regulate and tax the producers in the country... a sure prescription for societal suicide.

Kimo, USA
  • 2
  • Reply
Kimo, USA    2/14/12

Not only the layman cannot understand most of the laws, but now, even the 25 year educated master, cannot properly interpret the law. Simply said, now, we are in a civil "cold war" and the corruption of the laws, is being used as a weapon, against those who seek truth, and those who are law abiding. This has been done [in the opinion of many] to ensure that any man, or group of men, who challenge the current admin, have no chance. WE THE PEOPLE, have lost all trust in gov. Our chance now lies in local LEO, and certain states, even with all this bad happening, it is indeed a joy, to know that the silent majority is so strong. As we all know, we now stand, at the gates of history, a battle between right and wrong, evil and good. And the fate of the free world hangs in the balance. If not for the millions of good men and women in our country, I would feel really alone, but we are many, and we are law abiding, and we watch, and each day brings more wisdom, and more laws. No matter what, those of us who are older, KNOW something is very wrong. That's putting it lightly.

E Archer, NYC

Considering that "ignorance of the law is no excuse" the entire population is expected to know of and obey every law on the books while even lawyers and judges merely know a tiny percentage of the laws. This is primarily due to the merging of commercial law and common law jurisdictions -- almost all of the legislative statutes coming out of Washington can only apply to government employees and commercial entities operating under the terms and conditions of the government -- they cannot lawfully apply to the common man acting in his own sovereign capacity. That is why the Uniform Commercial Code is pretty much the only codified laws on the books. The Commerce Clause of the Constitution has been stretched beyond its intended limits to the point D.C. has now co-opted the jurisdictions of the States and even the people themselves.

Mick, Manchester

Law for lawyers profit and that a few privileged individuals rather than for what is just and fair is now seemingly the status quo in both civil and criminal courts in so called civilized western countries. For a slightly broader perspective - "Justice" is for those who can afford it not those who deserve it and litigation is seen as a means of reward, compensation and the pursuit of inflated damages. The 'artful' make profit from law as well as evade it. Contrast the citizens of Bhopal India attempts to gain justice and compensation from Union Carbide and Dow for the gas leak that killed thousands in one December night in 1984 and still causes pain and misery to thousands with the recent swift settlement of billions from BP to the USA for the environmental 'disaster' in the form of an oil leak that killed sea birds and ruined the prawn fishing season. Good luck to those who are now free to sue Saudi Arabia for damages in relation to it's role in 911 atrocities. Presumed good luck also for the innocent victims of violence in Iraq who may now feel justified in suing a nation (USA, UK) for the mass death and destruction caused by the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction that did not exist.

E Archer, NYC

Mike, do you think if instead of calling them "laws" they were called "rules," which in fact they are, would people obey them? I assert that people aren't actually 'obeying' laws, just not intentionally breaking them as they know them -- they act as they do based upon the circumstances and the potential reward or cost, or they act emotionally without consideration of 'law' or consequences. The codified 'law' then is really just used for making claims against another -- to be determined in a court of law with jury if the complaint is serious enough.

But, Mike, the word 'law' has been used for 'statutes' and 'rules' by the founders and colonists. Remember, the King's rule IS law -- that is a tough mental habit to break, that no man can make 'law,' he can only make 'rules'. Legal jurisdictions are still referred to as 'common law,' 'commercial law,' 'equity law,' & 'admiralty/maritime law.' I do not expect Harvard Law School being changed to 'Harvard Statute School.' As long as we use these terms -- and they are used in the Constitution, obviously, which is considered the "Law of the Land" -- they will remain proliferated. The corruption of words can happen with ANY words, so I think this will be a very difficult change to make across the board in people's minds.

Declaring independence from Pope and King, was HUGE! The next revolution will have its equivalent, again throwing off the yokes of what have become our current masters... ;-)

Mike, Norwalk

Archer, said well, I understand and I agree. My continually harping on the subject (out of kilter with the norm) is for anybody paying attention. The founders and Constitution made great strides. For freedom, liberty, law, justice, rights and our sake, we need to take it to the next level.

E Archer, NYC

Mike, I applaud your efforts to keep reminding us of the fact. If we realized that students attend a 'Statute School' instead of a 'Law School,' we might be able to protect ourselves from the arbitrary rules they make for us. Most of the 'laws' on the books are for commercial entities, paper corporations, not living breathing flesh and bones -- their rules do not apply! But as long as they have convinced the common man that he is obligated to follow their dictates, commercial statutes will be applied to the common man as if 'law.'

Mike, Norwalk

The quality or state of being faithful to an abstract collective requires a rigid belief and enforcement of carnal god canons  — a perceived dominion that exceeds the concept of individual sovereigns (joint heirs with Christ) inalienable rights and liberty inclusive of servants to a representative republic.


Get a Quote-a-Day!

Liberty Quotes sent to your mail box daily.