However excellent a disposition may be, considered with reference to the principles of abstract reasoning, it cannot be followed with propriety, if the consequences of it would be inconsistent with the authority or principles already subsisting in the society where it is proposed. Whatever may be the wisdom of a regulation, or the advantage of imitating it, it cannot be supplied by judicial construction, if in its nature and character it is merely matter of positive institution; for it is only in applying the principles of correct analogous reasoning, under circumstances of a similar character, that the benefit of conformity can be properly obtained;…

An Introduction to Pothier’s Treatise on the Law of Obligations or Contracts, 1806, by William D. Evans.