Gershom Carmichael was a teacher and writer who played an important role in the Scottish Enlightenment of the eighteenth century, not least by bringing the works of Grotius, Pufendorf, and Locke to the attention of his students and his readers throughout Europe. He drew upon the Reformed or Presbyterian theology taught in Scottish universities in that era to propose that in respecting the natural rights of individuals, one signifies one's reverence for God's creation. Inasmuch as all of mankind longs for lasting happiness or beatitude and such happiness can be found only in worship of or reverence for God, such reverence is the natural law which obliges all men to respect the rights of men and citizens.
Gershom Carmichael (1672-1729) was a teacher and writer of pivotal importance for the Scottish Enlightenment of the eighteenth century. He was the first Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Glasgow, the predecessor of Francis Hutcheson, Adam Smith, and Thomas Reid. He introduced the natural law tradition of Grotius, Pufendorf, and Locke to the moral philosophy courses he taught at the University of Glasgow.