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James Wilson’s Lectures on Law


James Wilson’s Lectures on Law

James_Wilson American Minute with Bill Federer

He was one of six founding fathers to sign both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

President Washington appointed him to be a Justice on the Supreme Court.

His name was James Wilson.

Born in Scotland, James Wilson was one of the first to argue against British dominance.

In 1774, James Wilson wrote “Considerations on the Nature and Extent of the Legislative Authority of the British Parliament,” reasoning that since the colonies had no representation in Parliament, the Parliament had no authority over the colonies.

In 1775, James Wilson was commissioned as a Colonel and by the end of the Revolution he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General of the Pennsylvania State Militia.

One of the most educated and prominent lawyers in America, James Wilson was chosen as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, where he spoke 168 times.

After the Federalist Papers, James Wilson’s speech in the statehouse yard, October 6, 1787, was the most influential in convincing the States of ratify the U.S. Constitution.

The first law professor of the University of Pennsylvania, James Wilson wrote in his Lectures on Law, 1789-91, that all law comes from God, being divided into four categories:

Law Eternal,”

Law Celestial,”

Laws of Nature,”

and:

Law…communicated to us by reason and conscience…has been called natural; as promulgated by the Holy Scriptures, it has been called revealed…”

James Wilson continued:

But it should always be remembered, that this law, natural or revealed…flows from the same divine source; it is the law of God…

Human law must rest its authority, ultimately, upon the authority of that law, which is divine.”

James Wilson concluded:

Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other.”

To interpret statutes, James Wilson wrote:

The first and governing maxim in the interpretation of a statute is to discover the meaning of those who made it.”

James Wilson described the “Will of God” as the:

“…efficient cause of moral obligation – of the eminent distinction between right and wrong…(and therefore the) supreme law…

(It is revealed) by our conscience, by our reason, and by the Holy Scriptures.”

At the age of 55, James Wilson died AUGUST 21, 1798.

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania recorded in 1824:

The late Judge James Wilson, of the Supreme Court of the United States, Professor of Law in the College in Philadelphia…for our present form of government we are greatly indebted to his exertions…

In his Course of Lectures (3d Vol. of his Works, 122), he states that…’Christianity is part of the common-law.’”

James Wilson remarked at Pennsylvania’s ratifying convention, November 26, 1787:

Governments, in general, have been the result of force, of fraud, and accident.

After a period of 6,000 years has elapsed since the creation, the United States exhibit to the world the first instance…of a nation… assembling voluntarily… and deciding calmly concerning that system of government under which they would wish that they and their posterity should live.”

Daniel Webster made a similar statement in 1802:

We live under the only government that ever existed which was framed by the unrestrained and deliberate consultations of the people.

Miracles do not cluster. That which has happened but once in 6,000 years cannot be expected to happen often.”

Yale President Ezra Stile had stated May 8, 1783:

Most of the States of all ages…have been founded in rapacity, usurpation and injustice…

The military history of all nations, being but a description of the wars and invasions of the mutual robbers and devastators of the human race…

All the forms of civil polity have been tried by mankind, except one: and that seems to have been referred in Providence to be realized in America.”

John Adams wrote in his notes of A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, February 1765:

I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence for the illumination of the ignorant, and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth.”

John Jay, the First Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, stated September 8, 1777:

The Americans are the first people whom Heaven has favored with an opportunity of…choosing the forms of government under which they should live.

All other constitutions have derived their existence from violence or accidental circumstances.”

Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote:

America…appears like a last effort of divine Providence in behalf of the human race.”

President Calvin Coolidge stated in 1924:

The history of government on this earth has been almost entirely…rule of force held in the hands of a few.

Under our Constitution, America committed itself to power in the hands of the people.”

President Millard Fillmore stated in 1852:

Our free institutions…were planted in the free charters of self-government under which the English colonies grew up…

European nations have had no such training for self-government, and every effort to establish it by bloody revolutions has been, and must without that preparation continue to be, a failure.”

Theodore Roosevelt stated October 24, 1903:

In no other place and at no other time has the experiment of government of the people, by the people, for the people, been tried on so vast a scale as here in our own country.”

President Ronald Reagan stated in 1961:

In this country of ours took place the greatest revolution that has ever taken place in the world’s history.

Every other revolution simply exchanged one set of rulers for another.

Here for the first time in all the thousands of years of man’s relation to man…the founding fathers established the idea that you and I had within ourselves the God-given right and ability to determine our own destiny.”

 


Bill Federer The Moral Liberal Contributing Editor,William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s bookshere.


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Our father’s God, to Thee, Author of Liberty…


Samuel Francis SmithAmerican Minute with Bill Federer

“My country, ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From every mountainside,
Let freedom ring!”

This hymn was written by Samuel Francis Smith, who died NOVEMBER 16, 1895.

A Harvard classmate of poet Oliver Wendell Holmes, Smith went to Andover Theological Seminary and became a Baptist minister.

While a student in 1832, Samuel Francis Smith admired a tune while translating a German Hymnal – the same tune was used for British, Canadian, Russian, Danish, Swedish and Swiss National anthems.

Smith stated:

“I instantly felt the impulse to write a patriotic hymn of my own, adapted to the tune.

Picking up a scrap of waste paper which lay near me, I wrote at once.”

In proclaiming “Let Freedom Ring Day,” July 3, 1986, President Ronald Reagan recalled the hymn’s 4th stanza, stating:

“As the golden glow of the Statue of Liberty’s rekindled torch calls forth…throughout our land, let every American take it as a summons to rededication, recalling those words we sang as children:

‘Our father’s God, to Thee,
Author of Liberty,
To Thee we sing,
Long may our land be bright
With Freedom’s Holy Light.
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, Our King.’”

If you are interested in quotes on
“My Country” see below:
“If it be the pleasure of Heaven that my country shall require the poor offering of my life, the victim shall be ready, at the appointed hour of sacrifice…But while I do live, let me have a country, and that a free country!” – John Adams

“While my country calls for the exertion of that little share of abilities, which it has pleased God to bestow on me, I hold it my indispensable duty to give myself to her.” – Gouverneur Morris

“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” – Nathan Hale

“I shall anticipate…the place to be assigned me in the history of my country, and die contented with the belief that I have contributed… to…prolong the duration of American liberty.” – Andrew Jackson

“I implore the Spirit from whom every good and perfect gift descends to enable me to render essential service to my country.” – John Quincy Adams

“The ends I aim at shall be my country’s, my God’s, and Truth’s. I was born an American; I will live an American; I shall die an American.” – Daniel Webster

“I will never forget that I am an American fighting man, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.” – President Eisenhower, Code of Conduct for Military

“No, this is a service for my country, and it doesn’t matter whether I do it as an officer or as a plainsman. The big thing is to do it.” – Kit Carson

“No personal consideration shall induce me to abandon the righteous cause of my country. Tell Governor Gage it is the advise of Samuel Adams to him no longer to insult the feelings of an exasperated people.” – Samuel Adams

“Our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality…I dwell on this prospect with every satisfaction which an ardent love for my country can inspire.” – George Washington

“I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.” – Thomas Jefferson


Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.

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H.G. Wells Science Fiction entertained and inspired


H G Wells 1st Men on the Moon book coverAmerican Minute with Bill Federer

“New Jersey is being invaded by Martians!” exclaimed actor Orson Welles.

He was reading the script of a 1938 radio drama based on the novel War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells, who died AUGUST 13, 1946.

Herbert George Wells was from an impoverished lower middle class family.

He failed as a draper and chemist assistant before going into literature.

H.G. Wells wrote many best-selling science fiction novels:

The Time Machine, 1895;

The Island of Doctor Moreau, 1896;

The Invisible Man, 1897;

The War of the Worlds, 1898;

and

The First Men in the Moon, 1901, which inspired a boy named Robert Goddard to become the father of modern rocketry.

President Ronald Reagan referred to H.G. Wells in an address at the National Space Club, March 29, 1985:

“Dr. Goddard once wrote a letter to H.G. Wells…

‘There can be no thoughts of finishing, for aiming at the stars…is a problem to occupy generations…there is always the thrill of just beginning.’”

Reagan added:

“Personally, I like space. The higher you go, the smaller the Federal Government looks.”

In Outlines of History, (NY: MacMillian Co., 1920), H.G. Wells commented of the U.S. Constitution:

“Its spirit is indubitably Christian.”

H.G. Wells wrote in The Pocket History of the World (August, 1941):

“Ideas of human solidarity, thanks to Christianity, were far more widely diffused in the newer European world, political power was not so concentrated,

and the man of energy anxious to get rich turned his mind, therefore, very willingly from the ideas of the slave and of gang labour to the idea of mechanical power and the machine.”

Though admittedly not a follower of traditional religion, H.G. Wells wrote regarding education:

“Education is the preparation of the individual for the community, and his religious training is the core of that preparation.”

H.G. Wells wrote in Outlines of History (NY: MacMillian Co., 1920, Vol. 2, p. 13):

“Because Mohammed too founded a great religion, there are those who write of this evidently lustful and rather shifty leader as though he were a man to put beside Jesus of Nazareth or Gautama or Mani.

But it is surely manifest that he was a being of commoner clay; he was vain, egotistical, tyrannous, and a self-deceiver; and it would throw all our history out of proportion if, out of an insincere deference to the possible Moslem reader, we were to present him in any other light.”

Though initially against a Jewish homeland, after the Nazi holocaust atrocities H.G. Wells changed to supporting the Jews, even initiating correspondence with chemist Chaim Weizmann, the future first President of the State of Israel. (David Lodge, The Man of Parts, Harvill Secker, 2011, p. 403):

“My own…tactlessness, aroused the resentment of Jews who are essentially at one with me in their desire for a sane equalitarian world order. For centuries the Jewish community, whatever its Old Testament tradition, has been the least aggressive of all nationally conscious communities. Mea Culpa.”

In The Secret Places of the Heart, 1922, H.G. Wells reflected:

“Sir Richmond and Miss Grammont went out into the moonlit gloaming…crossed the bridge…and followed the road beside the river towards the old Abbey Church, that Lantern of the West…

Said Sir Richmond…’It’s only through love that God can reach over from one human being to another. All real love is a divine thing.”


Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s bookshere.

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