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‘We hold these truths to be self-evident’

Maxims of Law

When Jesus spoke the Truth to his accusers, he would justify himself by quoting Law.  First, he would quote God’s Law, and after quoting God’s Law He would often quote the accuser’s law and use that against them as well.

For example, Jesus would say, ‘Did ye never read in the scriptures..?’ and then quote God’s Law.  Then he would turn around and say, ‘Is it not written in your law..?’ and quote their own law! 

His accusers would have no answer, they could not overcome Him.  How could anyone overcome somebody who is obeying both God’s Law and man’s law!?  If a man made law is just, it will be in harmony with God’s Law. […]

And when you are accused of ‘breaking the law’, you can do what Jesus did, and use both God’s Law and man’s law to justify your lawful acts, for this is the only thing that will excuse you.

Maxims of Law, Richard Anthony


Maxims in law are like axioms in geometry.  They are principles and authorities based on reason and not arbitrary concepts:

A self-evident truth that requires no proof.

A universally accepted principle or rule.

(Maths.) A proposition that is assumed without proof for the sake of studying the consequences which follow from it



An established principle or proposition. 

A principle of law universally admitted, as being just and consonant with reason.

The alterations of any of the maxims of the common law are dangerous.

Bouvier’s Law Dictionary, 1856


The principles and axioms of law, which are general propositions flowing from abstracted reason, and not accommodated to times or men, are wisely deposited in the breasts of the judges to be applied to such facts as come properly before them.

When a principle has been so long practiced and so universally acknowledged as to become a maxim, it is obligatory as part of the law.

William C. Anderson, A Dictionary of Law, 1893



An established principle of proposition.  A principle of law universally admitted as being a correct statement of the law, or as agreeable to reason.  Coke defines a maxim to be ‘a conclusion of reason’ Coke on Littleton, 11a.  He says in another place, ‘A maxim is a proposition to be of all men confessed and granted without proof, argument, or discourse.’ Coke on Littleton. 67a.

Black’s Law Dictionary, 3rd Edition, 1933


Maxims are but attempted general statements of rules of law and are law only to the extent of application in adjudicated cases.

Black’s Law Dictionary, 4th Edition, 1951



There is a clear consensus that maxims are mandatory authorities in law because they are based on reason and, through long usage, experience – apart from the 4th edition of Black’s Law, which for no apparent reason simply reverses the authority of a maxim.

Up to the 3rd edition, case law is subject to the force of a maxim, which means it is subject to reason.  After that, the position has reversed: a maxim only carries authority if it is part of case law.

No reason or authority is quoted for this about turn.  Crucially, it gives precedence to a previous ruling whether or not it is just and works in practice – a perverted form of case law – over wisdom, reason and experience.

Law ceases to be a living institution working practically for the common good and becomes instead an arbitrary and authoritarian system which not only allows tyranny to flourish but is also the very heart of the mechanism of repression [1].

The application of the maxim to the case before the court is generally the only difficulty.  The true method of making the application is to ascertain how the maxim arose, and to consider whether the case to which it is applied is of the same character, or whether it is an exception to an apparently general rule.  A full list of Maxims of Law follows.  They are subject to God’s Law.


maxim 8List of Maxims

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable [2] Rights

The US Declaration of Independence drafted by Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson


Many maxims are based on biblical wisdom.  They are all to be interpreted in the light of God’s Law.  Where they conflict with God’s Law, they have no validity.  The following Maxims have been approved for inclusion here by God, although I have made comments, which must be adopted with the maxim when using it to prevent injustice.  The maxims in red carry greater weight.  Comments and additions are in blue.

These maxims are taken from the following [3]:

  • Bouvier’s Law Dictionary, by John Bouvier (1856)
  • Legal Maxims, by Broom and Bouvier (1856)
  • A Dictionary of Law, by William C. Anderson (1893)
  • Black’s Law Dictionary, by Henry Campell Black (3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th Editions, 1933-1990)
  • Maxims of Law, by Charles A. Weisman (1990)


Accidents and Injury

  • An act of God does wrong to no one.
  • The act of God does no injury; that is, no one is responsible for inevitable accidents.
  • No one is held to answer for the effects of a superior force, or of an accident, unless his own fault has contributed.
  • The execution of the Law does no injury.

The same cannot be said be said of equity.

  • An action is not given to one who is not injured.
  • An action is given to him who has been injured.

Any injured man has the right to damages in recompense, although he may choose not to pursue them

  • He who suffers a damage by his own fault, has no right to complain.
  • Mistakes, neglect, or misconducts are not to be regarded as accidents.
  • There may be damage or injury inflicted without any act of injustice.
  • Not every loss produces an injury.
  • Whoever pays by mistake what he does not owe, may recover it back; but he who pays, knowing he owes nothing; is presumed to give.
  • No man ought to be burdened in consequence of another’s act.
  • A personal injury does not receive satisfaction from a future course of proceeding.
  • Wrong is wiped out by reconciliation.
  • An injury is extinguished by the forgiveness or reconcilement of the party injured.


Benefits and Privileges

In applying the maxims below, you must allow for the fact that a necessity is not a benefit.

  • Favours from government often carry with them an enhanced measure of regulation.
  • Anyone may renounce a law introduced for his own benefit.

‘A law’ here must be legislation as you cannot renounce the Law of God.  This demonstrates that legislation does not carry a duty of obedience

  • No one is obliged to accept a benefit against his consent.
  • He who receives the benefit should also bear the disadvantage.
  • He who derives a benefit from a thing, ought to feel the disadvantages attending it.
  • He who enjoys the benefit, ought also to bear the burden.
  • He who enjoys the advantage of a right takes the accompanying disadvantage.
  • A privilege is, as it were, a private law.
  • A privilege is a personal benefit and dies with the person.
  • One who avails himself of the benefits conferred by statute cannot deny its validity.
  • What I approve I do not reject. I cannot approve and reject at the same time. I cannot take the benefit of an instrument, and at the same time repudiate it.
  • He who does any benefit to another for me, and with my consent, is considered as doing it for me.



  • Usury is odious in law.
  • The payment of the price of a thing is held as a purchase.
  • Goods are worth as much as they can be sold for.

This holds as long as neither the seller or the buyer is involved in usury

  • Caveat emptor: Let the buyer or purchaser beware.
  • Let the seller or vendor beware.
  • The payment of the price stands in the place of a sale.
  • Mere recommendation of an article does not bind the vendor of it.
  • It is settled that there is to be considered the home of each one of us where he may have his habitation and account-books, and where he has made an establishment of his business.
  • No rule of law protects anyone who wilfully closes his ears to information, or refuses to make inquiry when circumstances of grave suspicion imperatively demand it.
  • Let everyone employ himself in what he knows.
  • He at whose risk a thing is done, should receive the profits arising from it.


Common Sense

  • When you doubt, do not act unless there is a pressing, urgent need to act.
  • It is a fault to meddle with what does not belong to or does not concern you.
  • Many men know many things, no one knows everything.
  • One is not present if he does not comprehend.
  • It avails little to know what ought to be done, if you do not know how it is to be done.
  • He who questions well, learns well.
  • What ever is done in excess is prohibited by law.

One man’s excess is another man’s moderation.  It is not the excess of something which causes the harm.  It is the dark heart of the man who is freed from restraint by excess of, for example, alcohol, which causes men to break the law.

  • No one is bound to give information about things he is ignorant of, but every one is bound to know that which he gives information about.
  • No man is bound to have foreknowledge of a Divine or a future event.
  • No one is bound to arm his adversary unless at the command of lawful authority as, for example, in the disclosure process at trial.


Consent and Contracts

  • The essence of a contract being assent, there is no contract where assent is wanting.

Proof of contract requires assent.  Bemused ignorance is not silent agreement or consent.  Any maxim containing the word ‘consent’must be interpreted in the light of this.  There is a world of difference between agreement and non-disagreement.  How can you prove silent agreement?  And agreement to what?

  • Consent makes the law. A contract is a law between the parties, which can acquire force only by consent.
  • Consent makes the law: the terms of a contract, lawful in its purpose, constitute the law as between the parties.
  • To him consenting no injury is done.
  • He who consents cannot receive an injury.
  • Consent removes or obviates a mistake.
  • He who mistakes is not considered as consenting.
  • Every consent involves a submission; but a mere submission does not necessarily involve consent.
  • A contract founded on a base and unlawful consideration, or against good morals, is null.
  • The agreement of the parties makes the law of the contract.

Contract law includes the Law of God

  • The contract makes the law.
  • Agreements give the law to the contract.
  • The agreement of the parties overcomes or prevails against the law.
  • Agreement takes the place of the law: the express understanding of parties supercedes such understanding as the law would imply.
  • Manner and agreement overrule the law.
  • In the agreements of the contracting parties, the rule is to regard the intention rather than the words.
  • Advice, unless fraudulent, does not create an obligation.
  • No action at law arises out of an immoral consideration.
  • No action at law arises on an immoral contract.
  • The right of survivorship does not exist among merchants for the benefit of commerce.
  • You ought to know with whom you deal.
  • He who contracts, knows, or ought to know, the quality of the person with whom he contracts, otherwise he is not excusable.
  • He who approves cannot reject.
  • When two or more persons are liable on a joint obligation, if one makes default the other(s) must bear the whole.
  • If anything is due to a corporation, it is not due to the individual members of it, nor do the members individually owe what the corporation owes.


A man has no duty to a corporation.

The executive members of a corporation are jointly and severally liable for its debts.

  • One who wills a thing to be or to be done to himself cannot complain of that thing as an injury.


Court and Pleas

  • There can be no plea of that thing of which the dissolution is sought.
  • A false plea is the basest of all things.
  • There can be no plea against an action which entirely destroys the plea.
  • He who does not deny, admits.

In any action at law, he who does not deny, when given ample opportunity to do so, admits.

  • No one is believed in court but upon his oath.
  • In law none is credited unless he is sworn. All the facts must, when established by witnesses, be under oath or affirmation.
  • An infamous person is repelled or prevented from taking an oath.

Convictions under the Babylonian system of criminal and civil ‘law’ are not enough in themselves to make a man ‘infamous’ or a ‘dead man’ or an ‘outlaw’ under the Law.  Any man established to have broken God’s Law who does not make the recompense commanded by the Law has the rights of a dead man, that is: none.  He therefore has no right to swear the oath.  He is still bound though by his duty to God.

  • An act of the court shall oppress no one.
  • The practice of a court is the law of the court.

So long as ‘law’ includes ‘the Law’

  • There ought to be an end of law suits.
  • It concerns the commonwealth that there be an end of law suits.
  • It is for the public good that there be an end of litigation.
  • A personal action dies with the person. ‘This must be understood of an action for a tort only.’  Discuss.
  • Equity acts upon the person.
  • No one can sue in the name of another.


Court Appearance

  • A general appearance cures antecedent irregularity of process, a defective service, etc.

According to Black’s Law, 9th edition, to ‘summons’ means to ‘request’.  Any one may turn down a request without consequence at law.  You therefore do not have to attend court unless lawfully commanded.  If you do go, make sure the judge knows you are attending voluntarily.

  • Certain legal consequences are attached to the voluntary act of a person.

But a person is a piece of paper.  It is a legal fiction that a piece of paper can act or perform a duty.  Legal consequences do not follow from the actions of a man.

  • The presence of the body cures the error in the name; the truth of the name cures an error in the description
  • An error in the name is immaterial if the body is certain.
  • An error in the name is nothing when there is certainty as to the person.
  • The truth of the demonstration removes the error of the name.


Crime and Punishment

  • A madman is punished by his madness alone.
  • The instigator of a crime is worse than he who perpetrates it.
  • They who consent to an act, and they who do it, shall be visited with equal punishment.
  • Acting and consenting parties are liable to the same punishment.

These maxims appear to confuse the old meaning of ‘consent’ – what we would now call ‘assent’ — with the new meaning of consent – ‘not disagreeing’.  There is a difference between those who assent – who actively contribute to an act even if it is by words only – and those who do not stop it but do not actively contribute either.  That difference and its effect will depend upon the facts of each individual case.

  • No one is punished for his thoughts.
  • No one is punished for merely thinking of a crime.
  • He who has committed iniquity, shall not have equity.

Anyone established to have broken the Law who does not make good his debt has committed iniquity and is a dead man under the Law.  As a dead man has no rights, he has no right to equity and no longer has a person.

  • He who is once bad, is presumed to be always so in the same degree.
  • He who is once criminal is presumed to be always criminal in the same kind or way.
  • Whatever is once bad, is presumed to be so always in the same degree.

The three maxims above appear contrary to God’s Law, which is founded on forgiveness and the salvation of sinners.  If we learn one thing from the parable of the Boy who cried Wolf, it is that previous behaviour does not necessarily condition current behaviour.  Just because a man lied in the past does not necessarily make him a liar now.

  • He who does not forbid a crime while he may, sanctions it.
  • He who does not blame, approves.
  • He is clear of blame who knows, but cannot prevent.
  • No one is to be punished for the crime or wrong of another.
  • No guilt attaches to him who is compelled to obey.
  • Gross negligence is held equivalent to intentional wrong.
  • Misconduct binds its own authors. It is a never-failing axiom that everyone is accountable only for his own offence or wrong.
  • In offences, the will and not the consequences are to be looked to BUT the intention amounts to nothing unless some effect follows.
  • It is to the intention that all law applies.
  • The intention of the party is the soul of the instrument.
  • Every act is to be estimated by the intention of the doer.
  • An act does not make a man a criminal, unless his intention be criminal.
  • An act does not make a person guilty, unless the intention be also guilty. This maxim applies only to criminal cases; in civil matters it is otherwise.
  • In offences, the intention is regarded, not the event.
  • Take away the will, and every action will be indifferent.
  • Your motive gives a name to your act.
  • An outlaw is, as it were, put out of the protection of the law.

An outlaw has the rights of a dead man: none.

  • Vainly does he who offends against the law, seek the help of the law.
  • Drunkenness inflames and produces every crime.
  • Drunkenness both aggravates and reveals every crime.
  • He who sins when drunk shall be punished when sober.
  • Punishment is due if the words of an oath be false.
  • A prison is established not for the sake of punishment, but of detention and guarding.
  • Those sinning secretly are punished more severely than those sinning openly.
  • Punishment ought not to precede a crime.
  • If one falsely accuses another of a crime, the punishment due to that crime should be inflicted upon the perjured informer [4].


Customs and Usages

Understanding the spirit of the Law is the best way to expound the Law.  While Custom can be preferred to ‘law’ in the sense of legislation – as legislation does not create a binding duty — it cannot be preferred to the Law, which is paramount and mandatory.  Since God is eternal without beginning and end, rights under his Law takes precedence as the more ancient law.

  • Long time and long use, beyond the memory of man, suffices for right.
  • Custom is the best expounder of the law.
  • Custom is another law.
  • A prescriptive and legitimate custom overcomes the law.
  • Custom leads the willing, law compels or draws the unwilling.
  • Usage is the best interpreter of things.
  • Custom is the best interpreter of laws.
  • What is done contrary to the custom of our ancestors, neither pleases nor appears right.
  • Where two rights concur, the more ancient shall be preferred.


Expressions and Words

  • The meaning of words is the spirit of the law [5].

The spirit of the law is justice.

  • It is immaterial whether a man gives his assent by words or by acts and deeds.
  • It matters not whether a revocation be by words or by acts.
  • What is expressed renders what is implied silent.
  • An unequivocal statement prevails over an implication.
  • In ambiguous expressions, the intention of the person using them is chiefly to be regarded.
  • The expression of those things which are tacitly implied operates nothing.
  • The expression of one thing is the exclusion of another.

The above two maxims seem too generally cast.  And will depend on the facts in each individual case.

  • A general expression is to be construed generally.
  • A general expression implies nothing certain.
  • General words are understood in a general sense.
  • When the words and the mind agree, there is no place for interpretation.
  • Every interpretation either declares, extends or restrains.
  • The best interpretation is made from things preceding and following; i.e., the context.
  • Words are to be interpreted according to the subject-matter.
  • He who considers merely the letter of an instrument goes but skin deep into its meaning.
  • Frequently where the propriety of words is attended to, the meaning of truth is lost.
  • Words are to be taken most strongly against him who uses them.
  • Multiplicity and indistinctness produce confusion; and questions, the more simple they are, the more lucid.
  • When two things repugnant to each other are found in a will, the least repugnant is to be confirmed.
  • Bad or false grammar does not vitiate a deed or grant.
  • Many things can be implied from a few expressions.
  • Language is the exponent of the intention.
  • Words are indicators of the mind or thought.
  • Speech is the index of the mind [6].
  • Laws are imposed, not upon words, but upon things.



  • A fiction is a rule of law that assumes something which is or may be false as true.
  • Where truth is, fiction of law does not exist.
  • There is no fiction without law.
  • Fictions arise from the law, and not law from fictions
  • Fiction is against the truth, but it is to have truth.
  • In a fiction of law, equity always subsists.

Fictions of law exist only in equity.  The Law does not recognise fictions of law.

  • A fiction of law injures no one.

The above is badly expressed and is superseded by the maxim directly below.  The above maxim should read: ‘A fiction of law must not injure anyone’

  • Fiction of law is wrongful if it works loss or injury to any one.


Fraud and Deceit

  • It is safer to be deceived than to deceive.
  • A deceiver deals in generals.
  • Fraud lies hidden in general expressions.
  • A concealed fault is equal to a deceit.
  • Out of fraud no action arises.

Fraud is actionable under the Law.

  • A forestaller [7] is an oppressor of the poor, and a public enemy to the whole community and the country.
  • It is a fraud to conceal a fraud.
  • Gross negligence is equivalent to fraud.
  • Once a fraud, always a fraud.

This is prejudice, not a maxim.  If a fraud only remains a fraud, if it is proved with regard to current evidence and analysis.  Under the Law of God,we give a man the benefit of the doubt.

  • What otherwise is good and just, if it be sought by force and fraud, becomes bad and unjust.
  • He is not deceived who knows himself to be deceived.
  • Let him who wishes to be deceived, be deceived.
  • He who does not prevent what he can, seems to commit the thing.
  • He who does not prevent what he can prevent, is viewed as assenting.
  • He who does not forbid what he can forbid, seems to assent.

Assent — as opposed to consent — requires action.  ‘Not preventing’ and ‘not forbidding’ do not appear to require action.  Your duty to God under the first commandment requires you to do everything within your ability to prevent and forbid iniquity.  That failure of duty is punishable in the same way as assenting to iniquity, only where the facts would show that the effect of the two would be similar.

  • He who does not forbid, when he might forbid, commands.

This maxim does not stand up to reasoned scrutiny.  He who does not forbid, when he might, consents.

  • He who does not repel a wrong when he can, induces it.
  • Often it is the new road, not the old one, which deceives the traveller.
  • Deceit is an artifice, since it pretends one thing and does another.


God and Religion

  • If ever the law of God and man are at variance, the former are to be obeyed in derogation of the later.
  • That which is against Divine Law is repugnant to society and is void.
  • He who becomes a soldier of Christ has ceased to be a soldier of the world [8].
  • Where the Divinity is insulted the case is unpardonable.

Except by the Christ who has the authority to forgive sins.

  • Human things never prosper when divine things are neglected.
  • No man is presumed to be forgetful of his eternal welfare, and particularly at the point of death.
  • The church does not die.
  • That is the highest law which favours religion [9].

‘Love God’ is the highest law.  It favours God and man over forms of groupthink, like Catholicism, communism or capitalism.

  • The law is from everlasting.

God’s Law is from everlasting.  Man’s legislation must have a date from which it takes effect.

  • He who acts badly, hates the light.
  • He who does not willingly speak the truth, is a betrayer of the truth.
  • He who does not speak the truth, is a traitor to the truth.

Truth comes from God.  Reject that which comes from God and you reject God.  There is no neutrality in the Eternal War of Good and Evil.

  • The truth that is not sufficiently defended is frequently overpowered; and he who does not disapprove, approves.
  • Suppression of the truth is equivalent to the expression of what is false.
  • Truth, by whomever pronounced, is from God.
  • Truth fears nothing but concealment.
  • We can do nothing against truth [10].
  • Truth is the mother of justice.
  • To swear is to call God to witness, and is an act of religion.

‘To swear’ is to call God as witness and potential judge.  ‘Religion’ means ‘binding together (again)’.  In the first instance, it means ‘binding together with God (again)’.

  • Earlier in time, is stronger in right. First in time, first in right.
  • He who is before in time, is preferred in right.

This is particularly true when considering the right to hold land or property.

  • What is first is truest; and what comes first in time, is best in law.

This applies to God’s Law.

  • No man is ignorant of his eternal welfare.
  • All men know God [11].

You would be hard pressed to find anyone who had not heard of God.  Knowing of God, it is up to each man to develop this knowledge.

  • The cause of the Church is a public cause.
  • The Law of God and the law of the land are all one, and both favour and preserve the common good of the land.
  • No man warring for God should be troubled by secular business.
  • What is given to the church is given to God.


Governments and Jurisdiction

  • That which seems necessary for the king and the state ought not to be said to tend to the prejudice of liberty of the Christ’s ekklesia [12].
  • The power which is derived from God cannot be greater than that from which it is derived God. [13]
  • The order of things is confounded if everyone preserves not his jurisdiction.
  • Jurisdiction is a power introduced for the public good, on account of the necessity of dispensing justice.
  • Every jurisdiction has its own bounds.
  • The government cannot confer a favour which occasions injury and loss to others.
  • A minor ought not to be guardian of a minor, for he is unfit to govern others who does not know how to govern himself.
  • The government is to be subject to the law, for the law makes government.
  • The law is not to be violated by those in government.



  • God, and not man, make the heir.
  • God alone makes the heir, not man.
  • Co-heirs are deemed as one body or person, by reason of the unity of right which they possess.
  • No one can be both owner and heir at the same time.
  • An heir is either by right of property, or right of representation.
  • An heir is the same person with his ancestor.

Because the ancestor, during his life, bears in his body (of law) all his heirs.

  • ‘Heir’ is a collective name or noun

So it is not private, and has no private rights.

  • Several co-heirs are as one body, by reason of the unity of right which they possess.
  • The law favours a man’s inheritance.
  • Heir is a term of law, son one of nature.
  • An heir is another self, and a son is a part of the father.
  • The heir succeeds to the restitution not the penalty.


Judges and Judgment

  • Let justice be done, though the heavens should fall.
  • One who commands lawfully must be obeyed.
  • Whoever does anything by the command of a judge is not reckoned to have done it with an evil intent, because it is necessary to obey. [14]

The test here is the word ‘command’An order is not a command.  A judge who does not respect the oath has no authority.

  • Where a person does an act by command of one exercising judicial authority, the law will not suppose that he acted from any wrongful or improper motive, because it was his bounden duty to obey.
  • A judgment is always taken as truth.
  • If you judge, understand.

Stand under the authority of God.  Comprehend what you are doing.

  • It is the duty of a good judge to remove the cause of litigation.
  • The end of litigation is justice.
  • To a judge who exceeds his office or jurisdiction no obedience is due.
  • One who exercises jurisdiction out of his territory is not obeyed with impunity.
  • A twisting of language is unworthy of a judge.
  • A good judge decides according to justice and right, and prefers equity to strict law.

Justice and right come from the Law, not from equity and legality.

  • Of the credit and duty of a judge, no question can arise; but it is otherwise respecting his knowledge, whether he be mistaken as to the law or fact.
  • It is punishment enough for a judge that he is responsible to God.

This will depend on the case.  If the judge has wilfully ignored his responsibility to God, then he deserves to be punished for failure to respect the oath, failure to do his duty to God and for undermining justice, failure to do his duty to man.

  • That is the best system of law which confides as little as possible to the discretion of the judge.
  • That law is the best which leaves the least discretion to the judge; and this is an advantage which results from certainty.
  • He is the best judge who relies as little as possible on his own discretion.
  • Whenever there is a doubt between liberty and slavery, the decision must be in favour of liberty.
  • He who decides anything, a party being unheard, though he should decide right, does wrong.
  • He who spares the guilty, punishes the innocent.

In the Bible, Jesus the Christ is crucified even though there is no charge against him and Jesus Bar Abbas [15] is spared even though he is a convicted criminal.

  • The judge is condemned when a guilty person escapes punishment.

Man does not have the authority to justly punish other men.  The guilty are sent to prison for reasons of rehabilitation and the safety of others.  That said, for the Law to work, similar sanctions must be made according to similar cases.  A judge should certainly not draw any benefit for imprisoning a man.

  • What appears not does not exist, and nothing appears judicially before judgment.
  • It is improper to pass an opinion on any part of a sentence, without examining the whole.
  • Hasty justice is the step-mother of misfortune.
  • Faith is the sister of justice.
  • Justice knows not father not mother; justice looks at truth alone.
  • A judge is not to act upon his personal judgment or from a dictate of private will, but to pronounce according to law and justice.
  • No one should be judge in his own cause.
  • No one can be at once judge and party.
  • A judge is to expound, not to make, the law.
  • It is the duty of a judge to declare the law, not to enact the law or make it.
  • Definite, legal conclusions cannot be arrived at upon hypothetical averments.
  • A judge is the law speaking.

When he follows the two commandments of the Law, a judge is a judge.  When he sits to decide legislation, he is an accountant.

  • A judge should have two salts: the salt of wisdom, lest he be insipid; and the salt of conscience, lest he be devilish.
  • He who flees judgment confesses his guilt.
  • No man should be condemned unheard.
  • The judge is counsel for the prisoner.
  • Everyone is presumed to be innocent until his guilt is established beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • Justice is neither to be denied nor delayed.
  • It is the property of a Judge to administer justice, not to give it.
  • Justice is an excellent virtue, and pleasing to the Most High.



  • A maxim is so called because its dignity is chiefest, and its authority most certain, and because universally approved of all.
  • All law has either been derived from the consent of the people, established by necessity, confirmed by custom, or of Divine Providence.
  • Nothing is so becoming to authority as to live according to the Law.

God is the only authority, despite what certain men might claim.  It pleases God that we live according to his Law.

  • He acts prudently who obeys the commands of the Law.
  • Law is the safest helmet; under the shield of the law no one is deceived.

Under the shield of the Law, no one is deceived.  Under the rules of Babylon everyone including the judge is deceived, it appears.

  • An argument drawn from authority is the strongest in law.

The higher the authority, the greater the weight of the argument, though still subject to right application and reason.  Donoghue v Stevenson established that the Bible was a higher authority than any other found in English case law.

  • An argument drawn from a similar case, or analogy, avails in law.
  • That which was originally void, does not by lapse of time become valid.
  • The law does not seek to compel a man to do that which he cannot possibly perform.
  • The law requires nothing impossible.
  • The law compels no one to do anything which is useless or impossible.
  • No one is bound to do what is impossible
  • Impossibility excuses the law.
  • No prescription runs against a person unable to act.
  • The law shall not, through the medium of its executive capacity, work a wrong.
  • The law does wrong to no one.
  • An act of the law wrongs no man.
  • The law never works an injury, or does a man a wrong.
  • The construction of law works not an injury.
  • An argument drawn from what is inconvenient is good in law, because the law will not permit any inconvenience.
  • Nothing inconvenient is lawful.
  • Nothing against reason is lawful.
  • The law which governs corporations is the same as that which governs individuals.

The Law which governs men is not the same as the legislation which governs persons, corporations and individuals all of which are godless entities.

  • The laws sometimes sleep, but never die.
  • A contemporaneous exposition is the best and most powerful in the law.
  • The law never suffers anything contrary to truth.
  • Law is the dictate of reason.
  • The law does not notice or care for trifling matters.
  • It is a miserable slavery where the law is vague or uncertain.
  • It is a wretched state of things when the law is vague and mutable.
  • Examples illustrate and do not restrict the law.
  • The disposition of law is firmer and more powerful than the will of man.
  • Law is established for the benefit of man. [17]

God’s Law is established for the benefit of man.  Legislation is the cack-handed attempt of man to act like God.  Although every statute must have as its basis the better protection of liberty, we now have legislation which allows hearsay evidence to be introduced into criminal hearings.

  • To be able to know is the same as to know. This maxim is applied to the duty of every one to know the law.
  • We may do what is allowed by law.
  • Ignorance of fact may excuse, but not ignorance of law.
  • Ignorance of facts excuses, ignorance of law does not excuse.
  • In a doubtful case, that is the construction of the law which the words indicate.
  • In doubt, the gentler course is to be followed.
  • In doubt, the safer course is to be adopted.
  • In a deed which may be considered good or bad, the law looks more to the good than to the bad.
  • In things favoured what does good is more regarded than what does harm.
  • In all affairs, and principally in those which concern the administration of justice, the rules of equity ought to be followed.

The Law comes above equity.

  • In ambiguous things, such a construction is to be made, that what is inconvenient and absurd is to be avoided.
  • Law is the science of what is good and evil.
  • The law punishes falsehood.
  • Reason and authority are the two brightest lights in the world.
  • The reason of the law is the soul of the law.
  • The reason ceasing, the law itself ceases.
  • When the reason, which is the soul of a law, ceases to exist, the law itself should lose its operative effect.
  • In default of the law, the maxim rules.
  • Human laws are born, live and die.
  • It is a perpetual law that no human or positive law can be perpetual.
  • If you depart from the law you will wander without a guide and everything will be in a state of uncertainty to every one. [17]
  • Where there is no law there is no transgression, as it regards the world. [18]

Legislation must be written down before it can have any force at all.

  • Everything is permitted, which is not forbidden by law.
  • All rules of law are liable to exceptions. [19]

There are exceptions to all rules.  God’s Law does not though consist of rules but of commandments.  There are no exceptions to God’s commandments or laws.  The fact that Jewish priests could be excused the rule about respecting the Sabbath proves that the so-called ‘Ten Commandments’ are rules, not Law.

  • An exception to the rule should not destroy the rule.
  • What is inconvenient or contrary to reason, is not allowed in law.
  • The laws serve the vigilant, not those who sleep upon their rights.
  • Relief is not given to such as sleep on their rights.
  • Nothing unjust is presumed in law.
  • Acts required by law to be done, admit of no qualification.
  • To know the laws, is not to observe their mere words, but their force and power.
  • We are all bound to our lawgiver, regardless of our personal interpretation of reality.
  • Legality is not reality
  • The law sustains the watchful.
  • Those awake, not those asleep, the laws assist.
  • Legal remedies are for the active and vigilant.
  • What is good and equal, is the law of laws.

Everyone must be treated equally under the Law.  There is no reason for discrimination.

  • Whose right it is to institute, his right it is to abrogate.
  • Laws are abrogated or repealed by the same authority by which they are made.
  • The civil law is what a people establishes for itself.

It is not established by God but must recognise God’s Law to be lawful

  • Many things have been introduced into the common law, with a view to the public good, which are inconsistent with sound reason.

The law of merchants was merged with the common law, which is not the Common Law or God’s Law

  • The people is the greatest master of error.
  • A man may obey the law and yet be neither honest nor a good neighbour.

Since the second commandment requires that you love your neighbour, then ‘the law’ in question cannot be God’s Law because if you obeyed that you would be a good neighbour.  Following legislation without following God’s Law that underpins it does not make you a good human being.

  • To investigate [inquire into] is the way to know what things are truly lawful. [20]
  • Those who do not preserve the law of the land, they justly incur the awesome and indelible brand of infamy.

Another maxim says: ‘The law of the land is the Law of God’

  • Laws should bind their own maker.
  • Necessity overrules the law.
  • Necessity makes that lawful which otherwise is not lawful.
  • Things which are tolerated on account of necessity ought not to be drawn into precedents.
  • It has been said, with much truth, “Where the law ends, tyranny begins.”



The following maxims only apply to civil law.  A husband or a wife is primarily and definitively a man or woman.  As such, they can, for example, give evidence for or against each other under the Law.  Marriage is not part of the New Covenant.

  • The law favours dower; it is the reward of chastity; therefore let it be preserved.
  • Husband and wife are considered one person in law.
  • A wife is not her own mistress, but is under the power of her husband.
  • The union of a man and a woman is of the law of nature.
  • Marriages ought to be free.
  • All things which are of the wife, belong to the husband.
  • Although the property may be the wife’s, the husband is the keeper of it, since he is the head of the wife.
  • Consent, and not cohabitation, makes the marriage.

There is no such thing as ‘common law’marriage.

  • Insanity prevents marriage from being contracted, because consent is needed.
  • A wife follows the domicile of her husband.
  • Husband and wife cannot be a witness for, or against, each other, because of the union of person that exists.
  • The right of blood and kindred cannot be destroyed by any civil law.
  • Children are the blood of their parents, but the father and mother are not of the blood of the children.

Souls come from God.  Every man incarnated has a soul.  Children therefore belong primarily to God.  Parents are responsible for their children up to the age of 10, when children can be held to account in law for their acts.



  • He who has the risk has the dominion or advantage.
  • There is no disputing against a man denying principles.

Without principles, he will not listen to reason so there is no point in arguing with him .

  • The immediate, and not the remote cause, is to be considered.. A consequence ought not to be drawn from another consequence.

‘Imminence’ is a key test in law.  There is a world of difference between a man who declares ‘Kill the rich’ at a rally and a man who says: ‘Kill him!’ to a man with a loaded gun.

  • He who takes away the means, destroys the end.
  • He who destroys the means, destroys the end.
  • He who seeks a reason for everything, subverts reason.
  • Every exception not watched tends to assume the place of the principle.
  • Where there is a right, there is a remedy.
  • For every legal right the law provides a remedy.
  • He who uses the right of another [belonging to Christ] ought to use the same right [of Christ].

In other words, don’t use something new, or something outside of Christ’s teachings.

  • Liberty is an inestimable good.
  • All shall have liberty to renounce those things which have been established in their favour.
  • Power is not conferred, but for the public good.
  • Power ought to follow, not to precede justice.
  • To know properly is to know the reason and cause of a thing.
  • The useful by the useless is not destroyed.
  • Where there is no act, there can be no force.
  • One may not do an act to himself.
  • A thing done cannot be undone.
  • No man is bound for the advice he gives unless he is paid for it or it is given in an official capacity.
  • He who commands a thing to be done is held to have done it himself.
  • When anything is commanded, everything by which it can be accomplished is also commanded.
  • The principal part of everything is the beginning.
  • To refer errors to their origin is to refute them.
  • The origin of a thing ought to be inquired into.
  • Human nature does not change with time or environment.
  • Anger is short insanity.
  • It is lawful to repel force by force, provided it be done with the moderation of blameless defence, not for the purpose of taking revenge, but to ward off injury.
  • The status of a person is his legal position or condition.
  • A person is a man considered with reference to a certain status.
  • The partner of my partner is not my partner.
  • Use is the master of things, experience is the mistress of things.
  • Protection draws to it subjection, subjection, protection.
  • Error artfully coloured is in many things more probable than naked truth; and frequently error conquers truth and reasoning.



  • Ignorance of the Law does not excuse misconduct in anyone, least of all a sworn officer of the law.
  • Summonses or citations should not be granted before it is expressed under the circumstances whether the summons ought to be made.
  • A delegated power cannot be again delegated. A deputy cannot appoint a deputy.
  • An office ought to be injurious to no one.
  • A neglected duty often works as much against the interests as a duty wrongfully performed.
  • Failure to enforce the law does not change it.
  • It is contrary to the Law of Nations to do violence to Ambassadors.
  • An Ambassador fills the place of the king by whom he is sent, and is to be honoured as he is whose place he fills.
  • The greatest enemies to peace are force and wrong.
  • Force and wrong are greatly contrary to peace.
  • Force is inimical to the laws.



  • No one gives who does not have.
  • No one can give what he does not own.
  • One cannot transfer to another a right which he has not.
  • He gives nothing who has nothing.
  • Two cannot possess one thing each in entirety.
  • A gift is rendered complete by the possession of the receiver.
  • What is mine cannot be taken away without my consent.
  • He that gives never ceases to possess until he that receives begins to possess.
  • A person in possession is not bound to prove that the possessions belong to him.
  • Things taken or captured by pirates and robbers do not change their ownership.
  • Things which are taken from enemies immediately become the property of the captors.
  • It is one thing to possess, it is another to be in possession.
  • Possession of the termer, [21] possession of the reversioner.


Property and Land

  • Land lying unoccupied is given to the first occupant.
  • What belongs to no one, naturally belongs to the first occupant.
  • Possession is a good title, where no better title appears.
  • Long possession produces the right of possession, and takes away from the true owner his action.
  • When a man has the possession as well as the right of property, he is said to havejus duplicatum – a double right, forming a complete title.

Under God’s Law, a right comes above a title.

  • Rights of dominion are transferred without title or delivery, by prescription,to wit, long and quiet possession.
  • Possessor has right against all men but him who has the very right.

No man may take your land off you lawfully except the Christ, the highest authority in law alive who therefore has the ‘very right’

  • Enjoy your own property in such a manner as not to injure that of another person.
  • He who owns the soil, owns up to the sky.
  • The owner of a piece of land owns everything above and below it to an indefinite extent.
  • Of whom is the land, of him is it also to the sky and to the deepest depths; he who owns the land owns all above and all below the surface.
  • Every person has exclusive dominion over the soil which he absolutely owns; hence such an owner of land has the exclusive right of hunting and fishing on his land, and the waters covering it.
  • Every man’s house is his castle.

You have no duty to open the door to any man unless he has a lawful signed warrant for entry, authorising the use of force.

  • A citizen cannot be taken by force from his house to be conducted before a judge or to prison.

A man must not be taken from his house by force without a lawful signed warrant of authority.

  • The habitation of each one is an inviolable asylum for him.
  • Whatever is affixed to the soil belongs to it.
  • Rivers and ports are public, therefore the right of fishing there is common to all.
  • Land comprehends any ground soil, or earth whatsoever; as meadows, pastures, woods, moors, waters, and marshes.


Right and Wrong

  • A right cannot arise from a wrong.
  • You are not to do evil that good may come of it.
  • It is not lawful to do evil that good may come of it.
  • That interpretation is to be received, which will not intend a wrong.
  • It is better to suffer every wrong or ill, than to consent to it.
  • It is better to recede than to proceed wrongly.
  • To lie is to go against the mind.
  • The multitude of those who err is no excuse for error. [22]
  • No one is considered as committing damages, unless he is doing what he has no right to do.
  • No one shall take advantage of his own wrong.
  • No man ought to derive any benefit of his own wrong.
  • No one ought to gain by another’s loss.
  • No one ought to enrich himself at the expense of others.
  • No one can improve his condition by a crime.
  • He who uses his legal rights, harms no one.

He who uses his rights under the Law harms no one.  A legal right often leads to abuse of a God-given right, without redress in civil courts of equity.

  • An error not resisted is approved.
  • He who is silent appears to consent.

The operative words here are ‘appears to.’How can you know?  A man cannot consent to what he does not comprehend, because consent is ‘silent agreement’ and you cannot agree with what you do not comprehend.

  • Things silent are sometimes considered as expressed.
  • To conceal is one thing, to be silent another.
  • Concealment of the truth is (equivalent to) a statement of what is false.
  • Suppression of fact, which should be disclosed, is the same in effect as wilful misrepresentation.
  • Evil is not presumed.
  • It is safer to err on the side of mercy.



  • Unequal things ought not to be joined.
  • Things unite with similar things.
  • The law is no respecter of persons.
  • Time runs against the slothful and those who neglect their rights.
  • Debts follow the person of the debtor.
  • The most favorable construction is made in restitutions. [23]
  • Where damages are given, the losing party should pay the costs of the victor.
  • In many counselors there is safety.
  • Remove the foundation, the structure or work will fall. [24]
  • A legacy is confirmed by the death of the testator, in the same manner as a gift from a living person is by delivery alone.
  • The will of a testator is ambulatory (alterable, revocable) up to his death.
  • Every will is completed at death. A will speaks from the time of death only.
  • The last will of a testator is to be fulfilled according to his real intention.
  • To insult the deity is an unpardonable offence. [25]
  • Women are excluded from all civil and public charges or offices.

This ‘maxim’ is refuted by the right to equal treatment under the Law.  Neither of the biblical authorities which are cited actually support the intention behind this rule, Timothy 2:12, 1 Corinthians 14:34.  No woman has authority over a man because no human being has authority over another.  There must be no discrimination.

  • He who is in the womb, is considered as born, whenever it is for his benefit.
  • He who first offends, causes the strife.
  • He who pays tardily, pays less than he ought.
  • The beaten path is the safe path; the old way is the safe way.

You don’t need to re-invent the wheel.


Servants and Slaves

A man may freely consent to be a servant or a slave.  But the moment he ceases to give that consent, he is once again free, no matter what he might have agreed to in any contract, and has all his rights in tact, as a creation of God.  Since no man has the right to keep another against his will, the rights of a man with regard to slave-keeping have no basis under the Law or any system of law.

Any attempt to enslave a man against his will will be met with the severest penalties under the Law.

  • Whatever is acquired by the servant, is acquired for the master.
  • A slave is not a person.

But he is a man with rights under the Law.

  • A slave, and everything a slave has, belongs to his master.

Only if the slave consents.

  • He who acts by or through another, acts for himself.
  • He who does anything through another, is considered as doing it himself.
  • The master is liable for injury done by his servant.
  • He is not presumed to consent who obeys the orders of his father or his master.


Wisdom and Knowledge

  • If you know not the names of things, the knowledge of things themselves perishes; and of you lose the names, the distinction of the things is certainly lost.
  • Names are mutable, but things immutable.
  • Names of things ought to be understood according to common usage, not according to the opinions of individuals.
  • A name is not sufficient if a thing or subject for it does not exist by law or by fact.
  • Not to believe rashly is the nerve of wisdom.
  • Reason is a ray of the Divine Light.
  • Abundant caution does no harm unless there is a pressing threat or need.
  • External acts indicate undisclosed thoughts.
  • External actions show internal secrets.
  • Outward acts evince the inward purpose.
  • You will perceive many things more easily by practice than by rules.
  • Remove the cause and the effect will cease.
  • Give the things which are yours whilst they are yours; after death they are not yours.


Witnesses and Proof

  • A witness is a person who is present at and observes a transaction.
  • The answer of one witness shall not be heard.

One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offence.  A matter must be established by the testimony of two or more witnesses. [26]

  • The testimony of one witness, unsupported, may not be enough to convict; for there may then be merely oath against oath.
  • This is a maxim of the civil law, where everything must be proved by two witnesses.
  • In law, none is credited unless he is sworn. All facts must, when established by witnesses, be under oath or affirmation.
  • A confession made in court is of greater effect than any proof.
  • No man is bound to produce writings against himself.
  • No one can be made to testify against himself or betray himself.
  • No one is bound to accuse himself.
  • No one ought to accuse himself, unless before God.
  • One making a voluntary confession, is to be dealt with more mercifully.
  • He ought not to be heard who advances a proposition contrary to the rules of law.
  • False in one (particular), false in all.

Not a good rule.  The one below is better:

  • Deliberate falsehood in one matter will be imputed to related matters but will not be held to be absolute evidence of further falsehood.
  • He who alleges contradictory things is not to be listened to.
  • Proofs are to be weighed not numbered; that is, the more worthy or credible are to be believed.

It doesn’t matter how many men say something, because the Word of God is superior to all.  It does not matter how many people believe a lie, it’s still a lie.

  • A presumption will stand good until the contrary is proved.
  • The presumption is always in favour of the one who denies.
  • All things are presumed to be lawfully done and duly performed until the contrary is proved.
  • When the plaintiff does not prove his case, the defendant is absolved.
  • When opinions are equal, a defendant is acquitted.
  • An act done by me against my will is not my act.
  • What does not appear and what is not is the same; it is not the defect of law, but the want of proof.
  • The faculty or right of offering proof is not to be narrowed.
  • The latter decisions are stronger in law.

A maxim of civil law, not God’s Law

  • No one is restrained from using several defences.
  • No one is bound to inform about a thing he knows not, but he who gives information is bound to know what he says.
  • No one is bound to expose himself to misfortune and dangers.
  • Plain truths need not be proved.
  • What is clearly apparent need not be proved.
  • One eye witness is better than ten ear ones.
  • An eye witness outweighs others.
  • What appears to the court needs not the help of witnesses.
  • It is in the nature of things, that he who denies a fact is not bound to prove it.
  • The burden of proof lies upon him who affirms, not on him who denies.
  • The claimant is always bound to prove: the burden of proof lies on him.
  • Upon the one alleging, not upon him denying, rests the duty of proving.
  • Upon the plaintiff rests the proving – the burden of proof.
  • The necessity of proving lies with him who makes the charge.
  • When the law presumes the affirmative, the negative is to be proved.
  • When the proofs of facts are present, what need is there of words.
  • It is vain to prove that which if proved would not aid the matter in question.
  • Facts are more powerful than words.
  • Negative facts are not proof.
  • Witnesses cannot testify to a negative; they must testify to an affirmative.
  • Better is the condition of the defendant, than that of the plaintiff.
  • What is not proved and what does not exist are the same; it is not a defect of the law, but of proof.
  • Principles prove, they are not proved.
  • There is no reasoning of principles.
  • All things are presumed to have been done in due and solemn form.


‘Is it not written in your law?’



[1] We will find many other examples of the meaning of words being changed in Black’s Law, usually to get around the Law of God (see Usury below)

[2] Although later drafts refer to ‘inalienable’, the original had ‘unalienable’ which is grammatically more correct.  ‘Unalienable’ means you cannot take out a ‘lien’ on these rights. ‘Alien’ literally means ‘without lien’.

[3] I am indebted to Richard Anthony for his research into maxims

[4] The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against a fellow Israelite, then do to the false witness as that witness intended to do to the other party. You must purge the evil from among you.  Deuteronomy 19.18-19

[5] Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.  Romans 8:2

[6] Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.  James 1:26

[7] To buy up (goods) in advance in order to increase the price when resold or to prevent sales at a fair, market, etc. by buying up or diverting goods.

[8] Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.  No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.  2 Timothy 2:3-4

[9] See the definition of ‘religion’.

[10] For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.  2 Corinthians 13:8

[11] No longer will they teach their neighbour, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.  Hebrews 8:11.

[12] ‘Ekklesia’ means ‘the congregation [of Christ]’.  In this case, it refers to anyone following the Law of God

[13] Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.  The authorities that exist have been established by God.  Romans 13:1

[14] For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; it is he who will save us.  Isaiah 33:22

[15] ‘Bar Abbas’ means Son of the Father.  It is the mob who condemn the Biblical Christ to death rather than a convicted criminal.  In Greek, ‘demos’ means ‘the mob’.  From it, we get ‘democracy’ – ‘the rule of the mob’, the opposite of the rule of Law

[16] Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.  Mark 2:27

[17] Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.  Then you will be prosperous and successful.  Joshua 1:8

[18] Because the law brings wrath.  And where there is no law there is no transgression.  Romans 4:15

[19] Haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent?  Matthew 12:5

[20] Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.  2 Timothy 2:15

[21] A ‘termer’ or ‘termor’ is someone who holds office, land or other property for an agreed term or period of time.  When the time is up, the property returns to the ‘reversioner’.

[22] Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong.  When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd.  Exodus 23:2

[23] Exodus 22:5-6

[24] They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock.  When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.  But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation.  The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.  Luke 6:48-49

See also: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’

[25] And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.  Matthew 12:31

[26] Deuteronomy 19:15, quoted at Matthew 18:16, Corinthians 13:1.