"Good and wise men, in all ages, have embraced a very dissimilar theory. They have supposed, that the deity, from the relations, we stand in, to himself and to each other, has constituted an eternal and immutable law, which is, indispensibly, obligatory upon all mankind, prior to any human institution whatever.
"This is what is called the law of nature, 'which, 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 authority, mediately, or immediately, from this original.' Blackstone."
Friday, December 17, 2021
Very few people who read this appreciate the irony that Hamilton was citing Blackstone for the opposite conclusions to which Blackstone endorsed: Absolute Parliamentary Supremacy.
When inquiring on the "Christian nation" debate, I've seen some Christian nationalists try to dig further into that quotation from Blackstone and note how Blackstone, writing further, elevated revealed law (revelation) over natural law (reason). The problem for the Christian nation proposition is that Hamilton doesn't invoke revealed law in The Farmer Refuted, but only natural law. And he does so in a way to reach the opposite position that Blackstone did or would have reached on the American Revolution.
Blackstone died in 1780 after the American Revolution began. I know he was a Tory who taught absolute Parliamentary supremacy. Though I haven't yet come across any quotations of his where he directly addressed the American Revolution. I know when in Parliament, he voted against the repeal of the Stamp Act that was directed against the Americans.
Blackstone may have been an orthodox Anglican -- though I don't see him as a very zealous one. Though I have concluded that when Hamilton wrote The Farmer Refuted, he was a theist, though not an orthodox Christian. He became orthodox later on in life shortly before he died. But in any event, Hamilton is citing theistic natural law, not the Bible or revealed law against "The Farmer," who was a Bishop of impeccable (Anglican) orthodoxy: Samuel Seabury.