Parliamentary Law A World Institution -- By: Raymond L. Bridgman

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 066:264 (Oct 1909)
Article: Parliamentary Law A World Institution
Author: Raymond L. Bridgman


Parliamentary Law A World Institution

Raymond L. Bridgman

Every man in the United States has a personal concern in parliamentary law. So does every woman who believes in woman suffrage, or who is or desires to be a member of a woman’s club, or of a charitable, missionary, or maternal association, or of a Pomona grange, or of any other kind of woman’s organization which transacts business. So does every boy in the United States. So does every girl who expects to become such a woman as is mentioned. Still further, so does every man and woman, every boy and girl, in every country which has a parliamentary branch of government. So does every man and woman, boy and girl, in every country which is under despotic government, for only by action under forms of parliamentary law giving the training necessary for self-government can despotism be permanently overthrown. So does every man and woman, boy and girl, in every tribe so unorganized as not to have a form of government, for only through action in which the principles of parliamentary law reign can development occur from unorganization to organized government and to the institutions of civilization. When a savage chief, with the silence of his hearers, addresses them upon matters of common concern, there is the vital germ of parliamentary procedure. So parliamentary law is worldwide and world-old in its age and importance.

Universal as parliamentary law is in its importance to mankind, it has an intellectual magnificence which corresponds

with its universality. Comparing the development of the organized common sense of the race with the evolution of the physical creation from nebulous star-dust, Parliamentary Law-may fittingly say, with Wisdom :—

“I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning;

When he marked out the foundations of the earth,
Then I was by him as a master workman;

And my delight was with the sons of men.”

Not even the form of beginning the expression of the organized common sense of men can be made without bringing into play the principles of parliamentary law. When a man stands forth from the midst of a company assembled with a common purpose, but without a means of expression, and calls the meeting to order, proposes that a certain man be chairman and puts the question, then a beginning of order has been made, without which nothing can be done. Before that, there was intellectual chaos, taking the company as a whole. It was a status like that of nebulous star-dust before rotation of the mass had begun and before gravitation began, — if such a condition be conceivable. Order, “Heaven’s first law,” is the first and supreme law of the inte...

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