The Definition of Liberty from 1828 and earlier

Earlier

Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.  

II Corinthians 3:17

liberty bell video pic cover

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1828 edition of Webster’s American Dictionary

of the English Language

the definition of liberty:

Source

liberty

LIB’ERTY, n. [L. libertas, from liber, free.]

1. Freedom from restraint, in a general sense, and applicable to the body, or to the will or mind. The body is at liberty, when not confined; the will or mind is at liberty, when not checked or controlled. A man enjoys liberty, when no physical force operates to restrain his actions or volitions.

2. Natural liberty, consists in the power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, except from the laws of nature. It is a state of exemption from the control of others, and from positive laws and the institutions of social life. This liberty is abridged by the establishment of government.

3. Civil liberty, is the liberty of men in a state of society, or natural liberty, so far only abridged and restrained, as is necessary and expedient for the safety and interest of the society, state or nation. A restraint of natural liberty, not necessary or expedient for the public, is tyranny or oppression. civil liberty is an exemption from the arbitrary will of others, which exemption is secured by established laws, which restrain every man from injuring or controlling another. Hence the restraints of law are essential to civil liberty.

The liberty of one depends not so much on the removal of all restraint from him, as on the due restraint upon the liberty of others.

In this sentence, the latter word liberty denotes natural liberty.

4. Political liberty, is sometimes used as synonymous with civil liberty. But it more properly designates the liberty of a nation, the freedom of a nation or state from all unjust abridgment of its rights and independence by another nation. Hence we often speak of the political liberties of Europe, or the nations of Europe.

5. Religious liberty, is the free right of adopting and enjoying opinions on religious subjects, and of worshiping the Supreme Being according to the dictates of conscience, without external control.

6. Liberty, in metaphysics, as opposed to necessity, is the power of an agent to do or forbear any particular action, according to the determination or thought of the mind, by which either is preferred to the other.

Freedom of the will; exemption from compulsion or restraint in willing or volition.

7. Privilege; exemption; immunity enjoyed by prescription or by grant; with a plural. Thus we speak of the liberties of the commercial cities of Europe.

8. Leave; permission granted. The witness obtained liberty to leave the court.

9. A space in which one is permitted to pass without restraint, and beyond which he may not lawfully pass; with a plural; as the liberties of a prison.

10. Freedom of action or speech beyond the ordinary bounds of civility or decorum. Females should repel all improper liberties.

To take the liberty to do or say any thing, to use freedom not specially granted.

To set at liberty, to deliver from confinement; to release from restraint.

To be at liberty, to be free from restraint.

Liberty of the press, is freedom from any restriction on the power to publish books; the free power of publishing what one pleases, subject only to punishment for abusing the privilege, or publishing what is mischievous to the public or injurious to individuals.

Posted by Sandra Crosnoe for Finding Gems & Sharing Them

The Clarity of NO and the Power of Abstaining

Election 2010 is upon us and I want to talk to you about a matter that has been weighing on my heart for a while. For many years I have been involved in civic action, Republican party politics, conservative issues, and legislative grassroots activism.  So I come to you with a bit of experience in the fray.  Although I have invested much time and expended much energy over the years, what I am most pleased about is the circle of friends that I have who make a difference wherever they go and whatever they set their hands to doing.  They are awesome and serve as salt and light wherever they go.  The political process can be vicious and wicked and de-energizing, but if you are surrounded by people of principle who serve the Lord above man, then you find that what matters first and foremost is pleasing Him.  You also find that you are not alone and understand that it is not so much about winning, but about how you run the race.

Observing the political process might convince you to believe that we live in a left-right paradigm battle. I have learned over the years that such a notion is a distraction from what is really important, so much of the time and much of my life has been spent working on conservative matters and Christian values which I am not walking away from because they reside at the core of my being.  It is important to note that our Father God is the one who made us and created us and gave us a free will.  He calls us to come to Him and receive salvation and redemption from sin via His son’s death on the cross in our behalf.  He does not compel us to do so, but He does explain the consequences of not doing so clearly.  The consequences of failing to repent and turn are not good but altogether understandable in that righteousness cannot tolerate sin and still retain it’s own character.

So, if you feel that the political process is especially wicked and vicious, then welcome to the battle.  Did you really expect power to lay down and give up without a fight?  Did you really expect the enemy to say, “ahhh you were right and I was wrong – here are the reigns of power for you to constrain me from stealing from you and yours?”  Here are a couple of diagrams for you to ponder:

If you believe that reality is more like the latter, then you will want to consider the possible wisdom of protecting the constitutional rights of all the people all the time.  Which brings me to the real point of this piece – the power of abstaining and the importance of saying NO.

If you have not been given a legislative matter that is in complete agreement with the constitution – then just say NO.

If there isn’t a candidate on your ballot who you know to be a person who will bind themselves to the chains of the constitution, then abstain from voting for the ‘lesser of two evils’ and work hard to get some better choices next time.

I have a personal policy of not supporting people who vote for bailouts and stimulus spending and/or support abortion. Needless to say, the list of people I will vote for is shorter than most people’s list. I do not feel compelled to mark every slot. I vote for people of principle as best I can ascertain in any given cycle.

You will hear a lot about the lesser of two evils this cycle and you will have to ascertain how far you can go down that slippery slope until you get into the morass of actually being complicit with evil.  I find that all the joy goes out of the election process for me when I am coerced and encouraged to vote for people who I know have defrauded me.  Therefore I choose to vote for and work for people of principle in the primary.  If we get to the general election and there is noone of principle in the race who conforms to my personal standards of ethics and decency – I simply skip the slot and move on.  I encourage you to do the same.  You will feel a lot better about your vote and the political process.  You will understand how important it is to be engaged and involved along the way.  You may even find that you understand some of our legislators a little better and pray for them as they make difficult decisions along the way.  I hope so because the heart of the king is the Lord’s hands!

The king’s heart [is] in the hand of the LORD, [as] the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.  Proverbs 21:1

We must learn to let our yes be yes and our no be no.

But above all things, my brothers, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yes be yes; and your no, no.  James 5: 12

We must abstain from evil and not permit certain practices in our homes and in our communities.  We must understand the power of abstaining from evil in a society where it is rampant and often even called ‘good’.  We must be salt and light and occupy until He returns.

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?    Matthew 5:13

Go vote even if you run a blank ballot through with a prayer – but this cycle there are several state questions deserving of a clear NO and a few candidates worthy of support in my opinion.  I will be posting on the state questions here soon.  I might even endorse a candidate or two, so stay tuned!

Blessings

Sandie

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