Because of the intersection between natural and natural law, natural law was claimed or attributed as a key element in the Declaration of Independence of the United States (1776), the Declaration of Human and Citizen Rights (1789) of France, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) of the United Nations and the European Convention on Human Rights (1953) of the Council of Europe. Natural law was by nature teleological, but it is certainly not ethical. For Christians, the law of nature is the way man manifests the divine image in his life. This imitation of one`s own life of God is impossible to achieve, except by the power of grace. Thus, while deontology systems require only certain obligations, Christianity explicitly observes that no one can actually fulfill any obligation in the absence of grace. For Christians, the law of nature does not come from divine commandments, but from the fact that humanity is made in the image of God, humanity is strengthened by the grace of God. Living the natural law is, as humanity shows the gifts of life and grace, the gifts of all that is good. The consequences are in the hands of God, the consequences are generally not in human control, so in natural law, acts are judged on three things: (1) the intention of the person, (2) the circumstances of the action and (3) the nature of the action. The apparent consequence, good or bad, resulting from the moral act, is not relevant to the action itself. The specific content of natural law is therefore determined by how the action of each human being reflects the inner life of God`s love. To the extent that one lives the natural law, temporal satisfaction may or may not be attained, but salvation will be attained. The state, bound by the law of nature, is conceived as an institution whose purpose is to help bring its subjects to true happiness.
True happiness arises from life in harmony with the Spirit of God in the image of the living God. There is no change in political theory as surprising in its completeness as the transition from Aristotle`s theory to the later philosophical vision of Cicero and Seneca… We believe that this cannot be better illustrated than in relation to the theory of equality of human nature.  Charles H. McIlwain also notes that “the idea of human equality is the deepest contribution of Stoics to political thought” and that “their greatest influence lies in the change in the conception of the law that has resulted in part.  Sir Edward Coke was the eminent jurist of his time.  Coke`s supremacy extended over the ocean: “For the leaders of the American revolution, the law meant Sir Edward Cokes in need of reason and law.”   Coke defined the law as “a perfect reason for dominating things that are just and necessary and forbid opposite things.”  For coke, human nature has determined the purpose of the law; and the law was superior to a person`s reason or will.  Coke`s discussion of natural law appears in his report on calvin`s case (1608): “The law of nature is what God, at the time of the creation of man`s nature, has incorporated into his heart for his preservation and instruction.” In that case, the judges found that “the infidelity or faith of the subject is due to the king by the law of nature: secondly, that the law of nature is part of the law of England: third, that the law of nature was above all judicial or municipal right: fourth, that the law of nature is immutable.” To support these assertions, the assembled judges (as reported by Coke, who was one of them) cited Aristotle, Cicero and the Apostle Paul as authorities; as well as Bracton, Fortescue and St.