George Herbert: 40 Days
Day 12: Evening
|Slight those who say amidst their sickly healths,
Thou liv'st by rule. What does not so, but man?
Houses are built by rule, and common-wealths.
Entice the trusty sunn, if that thou can,
From his Ecliptick line: becken the skie.
Who lives by rule then, keeps good companie.
Do not pay any attention to the sick [who make fun of
you by saying] "You live by rule." All the natural universe does, except
man. Both houses and commonwealths are built by rule. If you can, coax the
sun from his elliptic path; request the sky [to change its ways]. Who lives
according to rule, therefore, keeps good company [with nature and nations].
For all the libertines, free thinkers and personal liberty advocates who think their ideas advance the race toward mental health and truth, they mislead their society. They degrade anyone who follows someone else's law, even God's. Their health is sickly. Where everyone invents his own rules, anarchy reigns. Only men and woman can pretend to live without law. Those who pretend to live without rules live in a selfish, make-believe world. They will try to tempt you into that misty world of free will and emotional chaos, a stormy world subject to the wills of others.
Everything was created by the rules of the Creator. These rules and laws make everything work together. They set down times and seasons, the progress of nature and movement of the seas. Houses, governments and the universe exists by rules. So does mankind. Beyond these physical laws, moral precepts govern human relationships. More than social convention or legalities, ethical practice finally commands obedience, recognition and implementation. Laws confirm the health of the world, the harmony of the spheres.
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