"Act of God"

Upon my desk is a legal diary, each leaf of which carries a daily statement of some so-called principle of (human) law. These "principles of law" are the crystallizations of centuries of argument and consideration by the greatest lawyers and judges who have adorned our human forums, and are the clearest statements of "law" of which the human mind has been capable. Three centuries ago Lord Coke, one of the greatest lawyers, judges, and legal commentators who have sought to clarify human reason, declared, Lex est summa ratio (Law is the highest reason), evidently meaning that through the combined studies, arguments, and consideration of the ablest and brightest of human minds, aided generation after generation by the labors of those who have gone before but who have left the records of their labors behind them, men are able to rise to clear statements of fundamental laws which are the ultimate of achievement of the human reason.

One of these statements of the "highest reason," approved and confirmed by the highest legal authorities for centuries and accepted today as absolute and unquestionable authority by every judge and every lawyer in every civilized country, now lies before me. Let it be transcribed exactly, so there may be no mistake:—

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November 13, 1915
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