English: The front cover of William Blackstone...

English: The front cover of William Blackstone’s An Analysis of the Laws of England (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Q.       Who was Sir William Blackstone?

Sir William Blackstone was a renowned English barrister, law professor, jurist, legislator, lecturer, and commentator.  But his most notable achievement was the writing of his Commentaries on the Laws of England.  The Commentaries, first publish in 1765, were cited and quoted by the Founding Fathers and by the early American courts more than any English or American authority.  They are, therefore, foundational to any understanding of the American constitutional and legal system.

Q.       What did the Commentaries say about the law?

Blackstone wrote about the Law of Nature, “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.”

He also wrote about the Law of Revelation, “The doctrines thus delivered we call the revealed or divine law, and they are to be found only in the holy scriptures.  These precepts, when revealed, are found upon comparison to be really a part of the original law of nature, as they tend in all their consequences to man’s felicity.”

He concluded, therefore, “Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered to contradict these.”

Q.       What is the Blackstone Initiative?

The Blackstone Initiative is a blog devoted to this principle that upon these two foundations the law of nature and the law of Scripture depend all human law and that no human laws shall be suffered to contradict these.

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