Magistrate: What do you propose to do then, pray? Lysistrata: You ask me that! Why, we propose to administer the treasury ourselves Magistrate: You do? Lysistrata: What is there in that a surprise to you? Do we not administer the budget of household expenses? Magistrate: But that is not the same thing. Lysistrata: How so - not the same thing? Magistrate: It is the treasury supplies the expenses of the War. Lysistrata: That's our first principle - no War!
Every answer he [President John Adams] gives to his addressers unmasks more and more his principles and views. His language to the young men at Philadelphia is the most abominable and degrading that could fall from the lips of the first magistrate of an independent people, and particularly from a Revolutionary patriot.
We cannot distinguish truth from falsehood, right from wrong, or know what obedience we owe to the magistrate, or what we may justly expect from him, unless we know what he is, why he is, and by whom he is made to be what he is.... I cannot know how to obey unless I know in what, and to whom; nor in what unless I know what ought to be commanded; nor what ought to be commanded unless I understand the original right of the commander, which is the great arcanum.
Men are apt to mistake, or at least to seem to mistake, their own talents, in hopes, perhaps, of misleading others to allow them that which they are conscious they do not possess. Thus lord Hardwicke valued himself more upon being a great minister of state, which he certainly was not, than upon being a great magistrate, which he certainly was.
He who takes the oath today to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States only assumes the solemn obligation which every patriotic citizen . . . should share with him. . . . Your every voter, as surely as your Chief Magistrate, under the same high sanction, though in a different sphere, exercises a public trust.
Protection, therefore, against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough; there needs protection against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling, against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them.
John Stuart Mill
But the Jews are so hardened that they listen to nothing; though overcome by testimonies they yield not an inch. It is a pernicious race, oppressing all men by their usury and rapine. If they give a prince or magistrate a thousand florins, they extort twenty thousand from the subjects in payment. We must ever keep on guard against them.
I met two or three men who were very kind to me. There was a magistrate who couldn't stand priests, and a priest who didn't have a good word to say for magistrates; and there was a landlord who let furnished rooms by the hour and spoke highly of both priests and magistrates, because both were his best clients.
It seems then, say I, that you leave politics entirely out of the question, and never suppose, that a wise magistrate can justly be jealous of certain tenets of philosophy, such as those of Epicurus, which, denying a divine existence, and consequently a providence and a future state, seem to loosen, in a great measure, the ties of morality, and may be supposed, for that reason, pernicious to the peace of civil society.
[T]hat the opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous falacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty.
It is so difficult to draw a clear line of separation between the abuse and the wholesome use of the press, that as yet we have found it better to trust the public judgment, rather than the magistrate, with the discrimination between truth and falsehood. And hitherto the public judgment has performed that office with wonderful correctness.
None of the modes by which a magistrate is appointed, popular election, the accident of the lot, or the accident of birth, affords, as far as we can perceive, much security for his being wiser than any of his neighbours. The chance of his being wiser than all his neighbours together is still smaller.
Thomas B. Macaulay
King is a title which translated into several languages, signifies a magistrate with as many different degrees of power as there are kingdoms in the world, and he can have no power but what is given him by law; yea, even the supreme or legislative power is bound by the rules of equity, to govern by laws enacted, and published in due form; for what is not legal is arbitrary.
The history of human conduct does not warrant that exalted opinion of human virtue which would make it wise in a nation to commit interests of so delicate and momentous a kind as those which concern its intercourse with the rest of the world, to the sole disposal of a magistrate, created and circumstanced, as would be a president of the United States.
The care of every man's soul belongs to himself. But what if he neglect the care of it? Well what if he neglect the care of his health or his estate, which would more nearly relate to the state. Will the magistrate make a law that he not be poor or sick? Laws provide against injury from others; but not from ourselves. God himself will not save men against their wills.
In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate. Constant apprehension of War, has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty.
On the other side of St John's house is a fake egg timer who can't maintain an erection. He shares the property with a glossy beef burger called Tom, who has been painted by a seven year old magistrate in order to be entered for this year's Miss East Lancashire competition. Next door to them is a Dundee cake with a lisp.
St John Morris
During the games of the Circus, he had, imprudently or designedly, performed the manumission of a slave in the presence of the consul. The moment he was reminded that he had trespassed on the jurisdiction of another magistrate, he condemned himself to pay a fine of ten pounds of gold, and embraced this public occasion of declaring to the world that he was subject, like the rest of his fellow-citizens, to the laws, and even to the forms, of the republic.
It may not be improper, however, to remark two consequences, evidently flowing from an extension of the federal power to every subject falling within the idea of the "general welfare." One consequence must be, to enlarge the sphere of discretion allotted to the executive magistrate... The other consequence would be, that of an excessive augmentation of the offices, honors, and emoluments, depending on the executive will.
Remember that you are an actor in a play, and that the Playwright chooses the manner of it: If he wants you to act a poor man you must act the part with all your powers; and so if your part be a cripple or a magistrate or a plain man. For your business is to act the character that is given you and act it well. The choice of the cast is Another's.
The policy of the emperors and the senate, as far as it concerned religion, was happily seconded by the reflections of the enlightened, and by the habits of the superstitious, part of their subjects. The various modes of worship, which prevailed in the Roman world, were all considered by the people, as equally true; by the philosopher, as equally false; and by the magistrate, as equally useful. And thus toleration produced not only mutual indulgence, but even religious concord.
Any single man must judge for himself whether circumstances warrant obedience or resistance to the commands of the civil magistrate; we are all qualified, entitled, and morally obliged to evaluate the conduct of our rulers. This political judgment, moreover, is not simply or primarily a right, but like self-preservation, a duty to God. As such it is a judgment that men cannot part with according to the God of Nature. It is the first and foremost of our inalienable rights without which we can preserve no other.
The grateful applause of the clergy has consecrated the memory of a prince, who indulged their passions and promoted their interest. Constantine gave them security, wealth, honours, and revenge; and the support of the orthodox faith was considered as the most sacred and important duty of the civil magistrate. The edict of Milan, the great charter of toleration, had confirmed to each individual of the Roman world the privilege of choosing and professing his own religion.
No gilded dome swells from the lowly roof to catch the morning or evening beam; but the love and gratitude of united America settle upon it in one eternal sunshine. From beneath that humble roof went forth the intrepid and unselfish warrior, the magistrate who knew no glory but his country's good; to that he returned, happiest when his work was done. There he lived in noble simplicity, there he died in glory and peace.
Edward Everett Hale
The framers of our Constitution understood the dangers of unbridled government surveillance. They knew that democracy could flourish only in spaces free from government snooping and interference, and they put restraints on government overreaching in the Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights. . . . These protections require, at a minimum, a neutral arbiter - a magistrate - standing between the government's endless desire for information and the citizens' desires for privacy.
Religion, or the duty we owe to our Creator, and manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and, therefore, that all men should enjoy the fullest toleration in the exercise of religion according to the dictates of conscience, unpunished and unrestrained by the magistrate, unless under color of religion any man disturb the peace, the happiness, or safety of society, and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love and charity toward each other.
The civil magistrate cannot function without some ethical guidance, without some standard of good and evil. If that standard is not to be the revealed law of God... then what will it be? In some form or expression it will have to be the law of man (or men) - the standard of self-law or autonomy. And when autonomous laws come to govern a commonwealth, the sword is certainly wielded in vain, for it represents simply the brute force of some men's will against the will of other men.
Greg L. Bahnsen
Bricks will be most serviceable if made two years before using; for they cannot dry thoroughly in less time. When fresh undried bricks are used in a wall, the stucco covering stiffens and hardens into a permanent mass, but the bricks settle and... the motion caused by their shrinking prevents them from adhering to it, and they are separated from their union with it. ...at Utica in constructing walls they use brick only if it is dry and made five years previously, and approved as such by the authority of a magistrate.
Marcus Vitruvius Pollio
Men have dragged us by our hair through the ages, and whether they give us crumbs or bright, shiny rocks, they truly give us nothing at all. If you have not opened your legs for them so that they could drawl out as babies or crawl in as men, they they will leave you to starve like a dog on the street. So now we are done playing the way they want us to play. Now we are moving to music they cannot hear, to a rhythm they cannot understand. They call it madness and we call it truth and find me the magistrate you can trust to judge between the two? Bah. So we dance on, we dance on.
If Aristotle, Livy, and Harrington knew what a republic was, the British constitution is much more like a republic than an empire. They define a republic to be a government of laws, and not of men. If this definition is just, the British constitution is nothing more or less than a republic, in which the king is first magistrate. This office being hereditary, and being possessed of such ample and splendid prerogatives, is no objection to the government's being a republic, as long as it is bound by fixed laws, which the people have a voice in making, and a right to defend.
I think Martin Luther correctly distinguished between what he called the magisterial and ministerial uses of reason. The magisterial use of reason occurs when reason stands over and above the gospel like a magistrate and judges it on the basis of argument and evidence. The ministerial use of reason occurs when reason submits to and serves the gospel... . Should a conflict arise between the witness of the Holy Spirit to the fundamental truth of the Christian faith and beliefs based on argument and evidence, then it is the former which must take precedence over the latter.
William Lane Craig
In principle, to be sure, the Reformation idea of the universal priesthood of all believers meant that not only the clergy but also the laity, not only the theologian but also the magistrate, had the capacity to read, understand, and apply the teachings of the Bible. Yet one of the contributions of the sacred philology of the biblical humanists to the Reformation was an insistence that, in practice, often contradicted the notion of the universal priesthood: the Bible had to be understood on the basis of the authentic original text, written in Hebrew and Greek which, most of the time, only clergy and theologians could comprehend properly. Thus the scholarly authority of the Reformation clergy replaced the priestly authority of the medieval clergy.
I happened to notice that among the men who had willingly presented themselves for jury-service was one whom I knew to be the father of seven children. Under a law of Augustus's he was exempt for the rest of his life; yet he had not pleaded for exemption or mentioned the size of his family. I told the magistrate: "Strike this man's name off. He's a father of seven." He protested: "But, Ce¦sar, he has made no attempt to excuse himself." "Exactly, " I said, "he wants to be a juryman. Strike him off." I meant, of course, that the fellow was concealing his immunity from what every honest man considered a very thankless and disagreeable duty and that he therefore was almost certain to have crooked intentions. Crooked jurymen could pick up a lot of money by bribes, for it was a commonplace that one interested juryman could sway the opinions of a whole bunch of uninterested ones; and the majority verdict decided a case.
My conclusions, on this point, are as follows: when the Law Commission says committal of judgment debtors is an anomaly that cannot be justified and should be abolished; when it is common cause that there is a general international move away from imprisonment for civil debt, of which the present committal proceedings are an adapted relic; when such imprisonment has been abolished in South Africa, save for its contested form as contempt of court in the magistrate's court; when the clauses concerned have already been interpreted by the Courts as restrictively as possible, without their constitutionally offensive core being eviscerated; when other tried and tested methods exist for recovery of debt from those in a position to pay; when the violation of the fundamental right to personal freedom is manifest, and the procedures used must inevitably possess a summary character if they are to be economically worthwhile to the creditor, then the very institution of civil imprisonment, however it may be described and however well directed its procedures might be, in itself must be regarded as highly questionable and not a compelling claimant for survival.
If Makar Denisych was just a clerk or a junior manager, then no one would have dared talk to him in such a condescending, casual tone, but he is a 'writer', and a talentless mediocrity! People like Mr Bubentsov do not understand anything about art and are not very interested in it, but whenever they happen to come across talentless mediocrities they are pitiless and implacable, They are ready to forgive anyone, but not Makar, that eccentric loser with manuscripts lying in his trunk. The gardener damaged the old rubber plant, and ruined lots of expensive plants, and the general does nothing and goes on spending money like water; Mr Bubentsov only got down to work once a month when he was a magistrate, then stammered, muddled up the laws, and spoke a lot of rubbish, but all this is forgiven and not noticed; but there is no way that anyone can pass by the talentless Makar, who writes passable poetry and stories, without saying something offensive. No one cares that the general's sister-in-law slaps the maids' cheeks, and swears like a trooper when she is playing cards, that the priest's wife never pays up when she loses, and the landowner Flyugin stole a a dog from the landower Sivobrazov, but the fact that Our Province returned a bad story to Makar recently is know to the whole district and has provoked mockery, long conversations and indignation, while Makar Denisych is already being referred to as old Makarka. If someone does not write the way required, they never try to explain what is wrong, but just say: 'That bastard has gone and written another load of rubbish!
A Great Rabbi stands, teaching in the marketplace. It happens that a husband finds proof that morning of his wife's adultery, and a mob carries her to the marketplace to stone her to death. There is a familiar version of this story, but a friend of mine - a Speaker for the Dead - has told me of two other Rabbis that faced the same situation. Those are the ones I'm going to tell you. The Rabbi walks forward and stands beside the woman. Out of respect for him the mob forbears and waits with the stones heavy in their hands. 'Is there any man here,' he says to them, 'who has not desired another man's wife, another woman's husband?' They murmur and say, 'We all know the desire, but Rabbi none of us has acted on it.' The Rabbi says, 'Then kneel down and give thanks that God has made you strong.' He takes the woman by the hand and leads her out of the market. Just before he lets her go, he whispers to her, 'Tell the Lord Magistrate who saved his mistress, then he'll know I am his loyal servant.' So the woman lives because the community is too corrupt to protect itself from disorder. Another Rabbi. Another city. He goes to her and stops the mob as in the other story and says, 'Which of you is without sin? Let him cast the first stone.' The people are abashed, and they forget their unity of purpose in the memory of their own individual sins. 'Someday,' they think, 'I may be like this woman. And I'll hope for forgiveness and another chance. I should treat her as I wish to be treated.' As they opened their hands and let their stones fall to the ground, the Rabbi picks up one of the fallen stones, lifts it high over the woman's head and throws it straight down with all his might it crushes her skull and dashes her brain among the cobblestones. 'Nor am I without sins,' he says to the people, 'but if we allow only perfect people to enforce the law, the law will soon be dead - and our city with it.' So the woman died because her community was too rigid to endure her deviance. The famous version of this story is noteworthy because it is so startlingly rare in our experience. Most communities lurch between decay and rigor mortis and when they veer too far they die. Only one Rabbi dared to expect of us such a perfect balance that we could preserve the law and still forgive the deviation. So of course, we killed him. -San Angelo Letters to an Incipient Heretic
Orson Scott Card