This maxim is characteristic of the greater freedom of action of the equity courts, as compared with the common law courts, and of their efforts to do substantial justice rather than enforce technical rules.

The effects of the application of this doctrine are well illustrated in the case of equitable mortgages.7

This maxim has also been applied by the courts in the construction of trusts,8 and of contracts of suretyship.9 This maxim was applied in the case of equitable liens in the case of Badgerow vs. Manhattan Trust Co.,10 where the court said: "It must be remembered that the form of the agreement which creates a lien is not as material as the ultimate intent of the parties. Equity looks through form to substance. If the intent to charge designated property is established the lien follows."