March 24: Lawyers and the Law

Day Williams created this graphic depiction of this date.


March 24
Lawyers and the Law

Lorenzo Dow, an evangelist of the last century, was on a preaching tour when he came to a small town one cold winter’s night. He entered the local general store to get some warmth, and saw the town’s lawyers gathered around the pot-bellied stove discussing the town’s business. Not one offered to allow Dow into the circle.
Dow told the men who he was, and that he had recently had a vision where he had been given a tour of Hell, much like the traveler in Dante‘s Inferno. When one of the lawyers asked him what he had seen, he replied, “Very much what I see here: all of the lawyers, gathered in the hottest place.”

If lawyers were to undertake no causes till they were sure they were just, a man might be precluded altogether from a trial of his claim, though, were it judicially examined, it might be found a very just claim.
~Samuel Johnson, Journal of a Tour of the Hebrides, August 15, 1773

There is a vague popular belief that lawyers are necessarily dishonest. I say vague, because when we consider to what extent confidence and honors are reposed in and conferred upon lawyers by the people, it appears improbable that their impression of dishonesty is very distinct and vivid. Yet the impression is common, almost universal. Let no young man choosing the law for a calling for a moment yield to the popular belief. Resolve to be honest at all events; and if in your own judgment you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer. Choose some other occupation, rather than one in the choosing of which you do, in advance, consent to be a knave.
~Abraham Lincoln, memorandum for law lecture, 1850


1 The LORD told Moses, 2 “Consecrate to me
Each firstborn male, for the first offspring of
Each womb among the Israelites belongs

To me, no matter whether it is human
Or animal,” 3 then Moses told the people,
“Commemorate this day, the day you came

From Egypt, from the land of slavery,
Because the LORD brought you out of it with
A mighty hand. Eat nothing that has yeast.

4 Today, within the month of Aviv, you
Are leaving. 5 When the LORD brings you into
The land of Canaanites and Amorites,

Hittites and Jebusites, the land he swore
Unto your ancestors to give you, land
That flows with milk and honey, you are to

Observe this ceremony in this month:
6 For seven days eat bread made with no yeast.
The seventh day, you’ll hold a festival

To God. 7 Eat the unleavened bread in those
Seven days; nothing with the yeast in it
Is to be seen among you, nor shall yeast

Be seen within your borders. 8 On that day
Tell your son, ‘I do this because of what
The LORD did for me when I came from Egypt.=’

9 For you this ceremony will be like
A sign upon your hand and a reminder

Upon your forehead that this law of God

Shall be upon your lips. For God brought you
From Egypt with his mighty hand. 10 You must
Maintain this ordinance at the appointed

Time year by year, 11 and after God brings you
Into the land of Canaanites and gives
It to you, as he has promised you and your

Fathers on oath, 12 you are to consecrate
Unto the LORD first-born from each womb.
All firstborn males among your livestock are

The LORD’s. 13 Redeem each firstborn donkey with
A lamb, but if you don’t redeem it, break
Its neck. Redeem each firstborn of your sons.

14 In days to come, when your son asks you, ‘What
Does this mean?’ say to him, ‘With a mighty hand
The LORD brought us from Egypt, from the land

Of slavery. 15 When Pharaoh stubbornly
Refused to let us go, God killed the firstborn
Of animals and people inside Egypt.

That’s why I make this sacrifice to God
Of the first male who’s born from every womb
And I redeem each of my firstborn sons.’

16 It will be like a sign upon your hand,
A symbol on your forehead that the LORD
Brought us from Egypt with his mighty hand.”

17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did
Not lead them on the highway through the land
Of Philistines, though that was shorter. For

God said, “If they face battles, they might change
Their minds and go back to the land of Egypt,”
18 So God led the people by the desert road

Toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went from Egypt

Prepared for battle. 19 Moses took the bones
Of Joseph with him, for he’d made Israelites

Declare an oath. He had said, “Surely God
Will come and help you, then you have to take
My bones up with you from this place.” 20 They left

Sukkoth and camped at Etham on the edge
Of wilderness. 21 By day God went ahead
Of them in a cloud pillar to guide them

And during night in a fire pillar to
Provide them light, so they could travel by
Day or night. 22 Neither the cloud pillar by

The day nor the fire pillar during night
Left from its place before the people’s sight.