Sunday, March 16, 2008

Benjamin Franklin (the Elder Statesman)

Benjamin Franklin is said to have been merely a deist. But still he acknowledged the need for God's Divine guidance during the Continental Convention. On June 28, 1787, he addressed George Washington, the Convention's President:

"How has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly appealing to the Father of Lights to illuminate our understanding. In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain when we were sensible to danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard and they were graciously answered... I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth - that God governs in the affairs of men. And, if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aide? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings that, 'except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.' ... I firmly believe this ... I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth, prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven and its blessing on our deliberation be held in this Assembly every morning."

(Voluntary daily prayers were instituted thereafter)

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