Monday, April 6, 2009

Continental Congress Resolves to Open with Prayer

The following is from the Journals of the Continental Congress -- TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 1774. It settled the issue of opening sessions with prayer. Note that the "diversity in religious sentiments" talked about as a possible objection are probably talking about varying Christian views. Samuel Adams presented the practical solution, seen below.

"Resolved, That the Revd. Mr. Duché be desired to open the Congress tomorrow morning with prayers, at the Carpenter's Hall, at 9 o'Clock.1.

"[Note 1: 1 'After settling the mode of voting, which is by giving each Colony an equal voice, it was agreed to open the business with prayer. As many of our warmest friends are members of the Church of England,
thought it prudent, as well on that as on some other accounts, to move that the service should be performed by a clergyman of that denomination.' Samuel Adams to J. Warren, 9 September, 1774. John Adams says it was Cushing who made the motion that business be opened with prayer, and John Jay and Rutledge opposed it on the ground of a diversity in religious sentiments. That Samuel Adams asserted he was no bigot, and could hear a prayer from any gentleman of piety and virtue, who was at the same time a friend to his country; and nominated Duché. See note under September 7, post.]"

Read the context at the Library of Congress

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