SIX VOLUMES IN ONE
BY THE DISTINGUISHED EXPONENTS OF CATHOLICISM
REV. HENRY DODRIDGE, D. D.
REV. HENRY EDWARD MANNING, D. D.
REV. F. LEWIS, of Granada
REV. STEPHEN KEENAN
REV. BERNARD VAUGHAN, S. J.
REV. THOMAS N. BURKE, O. P.
Q. What are laws ?
A. They are the ordinances and commandments of superior powers, as rules to know what is to be performed, and what avoided.
Q. How are laws distinguished ?
A. Eternal and temporary, divine and human, natural and positive, old and new, ecclesiastical and civil, etc.
Q. Explain the nature of these laws.
A. Eternal, is the divine will, in order to make our will conformable to his. The law of nature, is the impression made by nature by informing us of truth and falsehood, right and wrong; whereby we first know general principles, both speculative and practical, viz.: That something is certain, as for example, our own existence; that the same thing can be, and cannot be, at the same time; good is to be done, evil avoided ; do as you would be done by. The secondary principles are contained in the decalogue, or ten commandments, and regard God, our neighbor, and ourselves. The third are drawn from the former. Conscience is an inward persuasion, that this or that particular action is good or bad. Now, conscience is sometimes rightly informed, other times erroneous, probable, scrupulous, doubtful, or opinionative. God's positive law is what is written in the Old and New Scripture, or known by tradition. The old law is what was delivered by Moses, either moral, judicial, or ceremonial. The new law are the writings and traditions of Christ and the evangelists. The difference between the old and new law is, they agree in the law of nature, and all moral laws: they differ in the judicial and ceremonial laws, which are abrogated. The law of Moses was but for a time, as to the judicial and ceremonial part. The old law chiefly regarded temporal felicity; the new law, future happiness : the old law was the figure ; the new law, the substance. Human laws are given by men, and must proceed from a lawful power: they must be for the public good, and be promulgated. Ecclesiastical laws regard the good of the soul, civil laws regard life, liberty, and property ; both equally binding in conscience.