Cicero—True Law

DAILY DABBLE IN THE CLASSICS WITH STEVE FARRELL

We live in a time where revolutionary forces are attempting to convince mankind that there are no moral absolutes, no Higher or Eternal Laws to which men, states, and nations will be held accountable. But no matter how loud they shout, how sophisticated, or how emotional their arguments, how heavy-handed their tactics, those laws do still exist, and men, states, and nations will be held accountable for their actions in relationship to them. Our Founders knew it, the ancient prophets knew it, and even well reasoned pagans such as Rome’s most famous statesmen Marcus Tullius Cicero knew it.

Over two millennia ago he warned:

True law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is universal in its application, unchanging and everlasting; it summons to duty by its commands, and averts from wrongdoing by its prohibitions…It is a sin to try to alter this law, nor is it allowable to repeal any part of it, and it is impossible to abolish entirely. We cannot be freed from its obligations by senate or people, and we need not look outside ourselves for an expounder or interpreter of it. And there will not be different laws at Rome and Athens, or different laws now or in the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, that is God, over us all, for he is the author of this law, its promulgator, and its enforcing judge. Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature, and by reason of this very fact will suffer the worst punishment.

Imagine that, from a Pagan. His counsel and warning ought to give us pause.


Source: Cicero as quote in Ebenstein. Great Political Thinkers, p. 133.


Daily Dabble in the Classics is researched, compiled, and edited (with occasional commentary and explanatory notes) by Steve Farrell, Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Self-Educated American.


Copyright © 2019 Steve Farrell.