Ben Franklin’s 2 Questions

Posted: May 1, 2013 in Ben Franklin's 2 Questions, Category - Cultural War

Benjamin Franklin’s 2 Questions.

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In 1787, when delegates at the Constitutional Convention were divided and at an impasse how to build our government and frame the U.S. Constitution, an 81-year-old Benjamin Franklin stood and appealed to the other delegates to pray for divine intervention to help them out of their darkness:

In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? 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 aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that “except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments be Human Wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.

I therefore beg leave to move, that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of the City be requested to officiate in that service.

Those are riveting words and questions for any age and country, particularly our own.

The delegates at the Convention decided not to orchestrate a daily formal ceremony led by various clergy in the area due to the advanced stage of the Convention, not because they didn’t believe in the power of prayer or its necessity. They still heeded Franklin’s spiritual entreaty through their private prayers and, shortly after, the public institution of paid governmental chaplains. . .

Read the full article at WND

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