Imagine you were George Washington or any of the other Founding Fathers and it was up to you to get the United States off to a good start. You want to found it on God’s principles but wonder exactly how. Where would you turn? Yes, the Bible itself; but high on the list of the second most-quoted sources is the name of William Blackstone.
This man’s goal was not to assist our founding fathers but that was the side-effect of fulfilling what God led him to do.
12 year old William was orphaned in London in 1735. His uncle took him in and provided for his education at Oxford which he began at the age of 15. Through the next decade and a half his progress was slow and when he did begin practicing law he was not considered a talented advocate. On top of this he also struggled with his health.
But William had a burden from God. He saw a need. English laws were taught poorly if at all at this time so he began classes on the topic. This teaching is what later led to the writing of his priceless Commentaries on the Laws of England. These works would one day be a guiding light to the founders of our nation giving insight on the separation of powers and prompting many phrases such as “the laws of nature and nature’s God”. He wrote: “This law of nature 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 huan laws are of any validity if contrary to this…” He knew that God’s way works! No wonder our forefathers regarded Blackstone’s Commentaries as the foremost leal authority of the day. By 1775 there were more copies of his Commentaries sold in America than in England! Once Abraham Lincoln was asked what the best mode of obtaining a thorough knowledge of the law was. The first recommendation out of his mouth was “Begin with Blackstone’s Commentaries…” Blackstone didn’t know God would use his writings to guide a new nation in the forming of there law system, he was simply meeting a need he saw and had passion for.
Following his 6 years of lecturing, William Blackstone successfully held many positions in England including not only lawyer but judge, serving as the King’s Counselor and being elected to the House of Commons. He was also knighted and for the last 10 years of his life served as Justice of Common Pleas.
I write this example of William Blackstone to encourage you to also give 100% of yourself to what God has called you to do and trust Him to use it in many great, unexpected ways in His time.