James Wilson, founding father, died August 21, 1798


jameswilsonAmerican 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 the Supreme Court.

Born in Scotland, he was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, speaking 168 times.

His name was James Wilson and he died AUGUST 21, 1798.

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…

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 continued:

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

James Wilson stated:

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

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, as far as we can learn, 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.”

In expounding on the “Will of God,” James Wilson described it 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.”

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania records in Updegraph v. Commonwealth, 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.’”


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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