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The Laws of England, Compiled and translated into the Māori language.

§ 1

[i roto i te reo Māori]

§ 1.

This is an explanation of that which is called the Law,—the Law of England,—the Law of the Queen.

There are two kinds of Law in force in the world;—one is the Divine Law;—the other is Human Law.

Divine Law is that which is written in the Holy Scripture. This prescribes rules for the spirit and the conscience of a man; it puts a bridle on his heart to guide and to control it. The Law of God condemns the evil thoughts and evil desires of the heart of which the outward actions are the manifestations. This Law prescribes the punishment of evil, whether hidden within the heart, or manifested in the actions.

Those to whom the Divine Law is committed, and whose duty it is to expound it, are the Bishops, Ministers, and Teachers.

Human Law lays down rules for the guidance of the bodily and outward actions of men. Man cannot look into the heart of man, therefore he cannot frame a Law to control the heart, as he can to control the body. It is the evil acts of men, the manifestations of their evil thoughts, which are condemned by human Law. Human Law prescribes punishment for evil deeds.

Those to whom the charge of human Law is committed, and whose office it is to administer and expound it are, in England, The Queen,—and, here, the Governor with the Magistrates and those who have been commissioned for that purpose by the Queen. Its Guardians and those who enforce it are all right-thinking men, that is, the People as a body.

Whether the Law be Human or Divine, it ought to have the same fountain, that is, God. Divine Law was revealed by God Himself; and good Human Law is built up by man upon Divine Law. That, Divine Law, was first; this, Human Law, afterwards. That is for within, this is for without. Evil is from within. While yet within, it is seen by God, and is condemned by His Law, and will be punished by him. But it must first shew itself before it can be seen by man, or be condemned and punished by his Law.

Matters relating to the Divine Law, that is to Christianity, will not be spoken of here. What we desire now to speak of are Human Laws, that is, The Queen's Laws, which prescribe rules for the actions of men: which condemn evil actions and punish them.