The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be.
As soon as you begin to say We have always done things this way -- perhaps that might be a better way, conscious law-making is beginning. As soon as you begin to say We do things this way -- they do things that way -- what is to be done about it? men are beginning to feel towards justice, that resides between the endless jar of right and wrong.
In effect, to follow, not to force the public inclination; to give a direction, a form, a technical dress, and a specific sanction, to the general sense of the community, is the true end of legislature.
Our law very often reminds one of those outskirts of cities where you cannot for a long time tell how the streets come to wind about in so capricious and serpent-like a manner. At last it strikes you that they grew up, house by house, on the devious tracks of the old green lanes; and if you follow on to the existing fields, you may often find the change half complete.
I have enforced the law against killing certain animals and many others, but the greatest progress of righteousness among men comes from the exhortation in favor of non-injury to life and abstention from killing living beings.