The Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God

Not only did our founding fathers have a Biblical worldview, they rested our nation’s entire philosophy of liberty and the Constitution on “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.”  Here is how those terms are defined in Sir William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Law, the only law book in the Colonies at the time of the American Revolution:

Blackstone explained how God equipped man to discover and obey the law of nature. First, God gave man reason, the ability, we might say, to determine causes and effects. So, for example, we might observe that acts like murder and theft produce bad consequences, and so conclude that these acts are bad. Second, Blackstone said, God made man in such a way that man cannot be truly happy unless he follows God's law. Thus, our own self-interest, our own desire to be happy, tends to make us do what is right and avoid doing what is wrong. This inner drive to obtain happiness by doing what is right both stimulates our logical reasoning to discover what is right and depends on our ability to employ logic to determine the right path in any given situation.

But, Blackstone said, our ability to reason logically is not "as in our first ancestor before his transgression, clear and perfect, unruffled by passions, unclouded by prejudice, [or] unimpaired by disease or intemperance . . . ." Because man's "reason is corrupt, and his understanding full of ignorance and error," Blackstone observed that God had not left the discovery of His natural law to man's reasoning powers alone. Rather, "in compassion to the frailty, the imperfection, and the blindness of human reason," God has been pleased, "to discover and enforce [His] laws by an immediate and direct revelation. The doctrines thus delivered what we call the revealed or pine law, and they are to be found only in the holy scriptures." So the second pillar on which the Founders based our freedom and independence - "the Laws of Nature's God" - is the Bible.

"Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation," Blackstone said, "depend all human laws." Blackstone explained that the natural law discovered by man's reason and the Bible were one and the same thing, but the Bible was "of infinitely more authenticity than that moral system which is framed by ethical writers," because the Bible is "expressly declared... by God himself; the other is only what, by the assistance of human reason, we imagine to be that law."

The governing constitutions of all 50 states recognize our Creator whether called Almighty God, pine Goodness or Supreme Ruler of the Universe and many, in their preamble acknowledge that He is the author of liberty.  In fact, gridlock plagued the delegates at the 1787 Constitutional Convention until Benjamin Franklin reminded them in a famous speech that:

“God governs in the affairs of men, and we have been assured…in the sacred writings, that ‘except the Lord build the house they labour in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be pided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages.”

In his Notes on the State of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson boldly proclaimed that "God who gave us life gave us liberty” and then pondered “can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath?” 

Knowing that our rights are a gift from God, not government, do we cower to political correctness and speak the truth only in our homes and churches?  Doesn’t this help usher in the removal of a conviction in the minds of the people that our liberties are a gift from God?  It already has – and consequently, liberty is on the brink of destruction.

“This great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been and are afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”

Religion is the practice of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe and man.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the fundamental precept that:

`“…inpidual man is infinitely important. Inpidual man is imperfect, yet God so loved him that He sent His only begotten Son to save him from sin.”

“After that basic Christian idea had worked for centuries in the finite minds of men, it led to an obvious conclusion: Inpidual man, the object of such infinite grace and mercy, is the most important creature on earth.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the origin of the basic American political ideal that man gets all his rights and powers from God, the Creator; that government was created by man and is instituted among men for the equal protection of inpidual God given rights.

What is the consequence of rejecting or neglecting this fundamental truth in our country and not holding government accountable to its proper role?  Nothing less than the progressive destruction of these rights to life, liberty and property.  Nothing less than the promotion of the same tyranny that has plagued most of mankind throughout all of history.

Liberty cannot be maintained apart from this moral and unchanging foundation.  The modern theory of a “living Constitution” (changing foundation) is what provided the framework for the post-New Deal liberal state.   “…fifty years of liberal jurisprudence has left American constitutionalism in a state of intellectual and moral confusion.”  Now contemporary constitutional theory is little more than "a veiled apology for rule by a liberal oligarchy.”

“The goal of the Constitution Party is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations…”

With this phrase, we are often accused of being theocrats – or of advocating a merger of church and state.  Here is the key word to consider: RESTORE.  The definition of jurisprudence is, “the science or philosophy of law.”  Simply put, the philosophy of law in America was founded upon “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” – the stated authority in the Declaration of Independence.

From the time of the War for American Independence to the time of the War Between the States, the primary law book in America was Sir William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of Englandwhich was published in 1760.  It was widely circulated through Colonial America, and became the leading textbook for teaching law.

Blackstone defined law as “a rule of action which is prescribed by some superior and which the inferior is bound to obey.”  To illustrate this concept, he goes on to explain:

“When the Supreme Being formed the universe and created matter out of nothing, He impressed certain principles upon that matter from which it can never depart, and without which would cease to be.”

Blackstone drew a parallel from the laws governing the physical world to the laws governing man’s affairs:

“Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his Creator for he is entirely a dependent being…As man depends absolutely on his Maker for everything, it is necessary that he should, in all points conform to his maker’s will.”

Blackstone called the maker’s will the “law of nature” which was fixed when God created man:

“For as God, when He created matter, and endued it with a principle of mobility, established certain rules for the perpetual direction o the motion, so when He created man, and endued him with free will to conduct himself in all parts of live, He laid down certain immutable laws of human nature, whereby that free will is in some degree regulated and restrained.”

“This law of nature, being coeval with mankind, and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original.”