Tuesday, September 13, 2011

John Adams and Ben Franklin Write The Law of Nature is The God of the Bible

First, Adams writes his cousin Samuel Adams first presented the principles in the Declaration of Independence:
As you justly observe, there is not an idea in it [the Declaration of Independence] but what had been hackneyed in Congress two years before. The substance of it is contained in the Declaration of Rights, and the Violations of those Rights, in the journals of Congress in 1774. Indeed, the essence of it is contained in a pamphlet voted and printed by the town of Boston before the first Congress met, composed by James Otis, as I suppose, in one of his lucid intervals, and pruned and polished by Samuel Adams." (John Adams's Works, II. 514).
Franklin approved Samuel Adams' Rights of the Colonists:
To the sentiments expressed in the report of the committee, and adopted by the inhabitants of the town, he fully assented. This is proved by his sending a copy of the proceedings to the press, as soon as he received it in London, with a prefatory notice written by himself. The pamphlet was entitled "The Votes and Proceedings of the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of the Town of Boston, in Town Meeting assembled, according to Law. Published by Order of the Town." -- Sparks.
Here, John Adams writes Christianity is The Law of Nature. Likewise, Yahweh is the Law of Nations in Article 1, section 8 of the Constitution:

One great advantage of the Christian religion is that it brings the great principle of the law of nature and nations...
--Adams Diary, August 24, 1796.

9 comments:

Tom Van Dyke said...

One great advantage of the Christian religion is that it brings the great principle of the law of nature and nations...
--Adams Diary, August 24, 1796.


This means "natural law." In fact, the great theorists Suarez and Hugo Grotius did much of their work on "natural law" as "the law of nations." This is what Adams is referring to, since natural law was part of Christian thought from Aquinas and even before.

["For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves." Romans 2:14]

Our Founding Truth said...

Grotius believed sola scriptura--not sure about Suarez. Over and over the framers link revelation with reason in the term "law of nature." These quotes are on this blog. Why would they do that?

My point is, although mentioned in his diary, from the Colonist's point of view, the law of nature includes the Christian religion or Jesus Christ:

"In whom [Jesus Christ] we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God.. For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist..For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness [the Godhead] dwell."
--Colossians 1:14-19

Tom Van Dyke said...

After all this time, you still don't get natural law.

"What we have been saying would have a degree of validity even if we should concede that which cannot be conceded without the utmost wickedness, that there is no God."
---Grotius

Our Founding Truth said...

Tom,

You may understand Natural Law, but you do not understand what the Founding Fathers entailed in the appellation--The Laws of Nature.

In "The Laws of Nature" many times the framers included revelation. You keep thinking "it only refers to man's reason."

Our Founding Truth said...

Tom,

Moreover, you didn't source your quote, and with no context. What degree is Grotius referring to? Truth? Only a degree?

Rest assured you could find many of his quotes referring to the laws of nature that included revelation. Because it is derived from the same source, the framers sometimes included both in the appellation:

"The laws of nature are the laws of the almighty God, whose authority is superseded by no other power on earth or beyond."

--George Mason, General Court of Virginia, 1772.

“[The]‘Law of nature’ is a rule of conduct arising out of the natural relations of human beings established by the Creator and existing prior to any positive precept…these…have been established by the Creator and are, with a peculiar felicity of expression, denominated in Scripture, “ordinances of heaven.”
--Noah Webster

"In the supposed state of nature, all men are equally bound by the laws of nature, or to speak more properly, the laws of the Creator.”

Samuel Adams, Writings of Samuel Adams 356 (Harry Alonzo Cushing, ed., 1908) (to the Legislature of Massachusetts on January 17, 1794).

Tom Van Dyke said...

You still get it wrong. The Laws of nature are established by the creator, but are not synonymous with revelation. Every quote you just posted is consistent with that understanding. You just refuse to get it.

Our Founding Truth said...

Tom,

Why did Hooker and Blackstone write Revelation was part of the Laws of Nature? Moreover, if you are correct, Mason's quote, "superceded by no other power on earth or beyond" would include the Bible right? Is not the Bible a different power than man's reason?

Did Calvinist Sam Adams understand the laws of the Creator were man's reason only or did the laws include Revelation?

Tom Van Dyke said...

Is not the Bible a different power than man's reason?

---Yes. This is the difference between "general" revelation [natural law] and "special revelation [scripture].

Our Founding Truth said...

Tom,

You are claiming Mason believed man's right reason is superior to the Bible(the other power). However, Mason did not believe that. How do you explain that apart from my conclusion?