“…fated to end in villainy and abuse.”

whitehorsekingFrom The White Horse King: The Life of Alfred the Great by Benjamin Merkle:

Once more, the king’s approach was marked by both conservation and innovation. First, Alfred stressed throughout the preface to his domboc [legal code] the importance of shunning rash or novel alterations in the legal code. Alfred insisted that justice was an eternal virtue — a virtue defined by the character of God and passed on to mankind through divine revelation. Therefore, hasty and ad hoc decrees that addressed immediate national problems without taking the time to reflect on and consider the eternal principles of justice were fated to end in villainy and abuse. Only those laws that had been founded on the eternal principles of justice, had stood the test of time, had been passed on from generation to generation, and had received the approval of the wisest of counsellors should be enacted and enforced by a just king.