"God governs in the affairs of man. 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 in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel" -Benjamin Franklin, Constitutional Convention of 1787 | original manuscript of this speech
"In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered... do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?" [Benjamin Franklin, Constitutional Convention, Thursday June 28, 1787]
When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obliged to call for help of the civil power, 'tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one. - Benjamin Franklin, in a letter to Richard Price. October 9, 1790. Unfortunately, the United States has given itself over to supporting the religion of Secularism: Atheism, Evolutionism, Humanism, Unitarianism, New Age, etc. These denominations of Secularism could never support themselves. They draw money from those who don't believe in any of their Secularist doctrines. All the while, they are both claiming that Secularism is not a religion, and, at the same time, claiming that Secularism is better than all other religions.
In Benjamin Franklin's 1749 plan of education for public schools in Pennsylvania, he insisted that schools teach "the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern."
History will also afford the frequent opportunities of showing the necessity of a public religion, from its usefulness to the public; the advantage of a religious character among private persons; the mischiefs of superstition, &c. and the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern.
Benjamin Franklin, Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1749), p. 22.
In 1787 when Franklin helped found Benjamin Franklin University, it was dedicated as "a nursery of religion and learning, built on Christ, the Cornerstone."
History will also afford the frequent opportunities of showing the necessity of a public religion, from its usefulness to the public; the advantage of a religious character among private persons; the mischiefs of superstition, and the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern. Benjamin Franklin, Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1749), p. 22.
Go constantly to church, whoever preaches. The act of devotion in the Common Prayer Book is your principal business there, and if properly attended to, will do more towards amending the heart than sermons generally can do. For they were composed by men of much greater piety and wisdom, than our common composers of sermons can pretend to be; and therefore I wish you would never miss the prayer days; yet I do not mean you should despise sermons, even of the preachers you dislike, for the discourse is often much better than the man, as sweet and clear waters come through very dirty earth. I am the more particular on this head, as you seemed to express a little before I came away some inclination to leave our church, which I would not have you do. Benjamin Franklin, to his daughter, The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Jared Sparks, ed. (Boston: Tappan, Whittmore, and Mason, 1838), Vol. VII, pp. 269-271, letter to his daughter, Sarah, on November 8, 1764.
As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think his system of morals and his religion, as he left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is like to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting changes, and I have, with most of the present dissenters in England, some doubts as to his divinity; though it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an opportunity of knowing the truth with less trouble. I see no harm, however, in its being believed, if that belief has the good consequence, as probably it has, of making his doctrines more respected and more observed; especially as I do not perceive, that the Supreme takes it amiss, by distinguishing the unbelievers in his government of the world with any peculiar marks of his displeasure. Benjamin Franklin, late in his life, Sparks, Works of Franklin, Vol. X, p. 424. It is believed that, later in life, Franklin, Jefferson, and Paine fell in among the ungodly who seem to have subverted their firm faith.
Note: There are many quotes on humanist, atheist, and otherwise antichrist web sites that would indicate that Ben Franklin went through some period of time when he was drawn away from his faith in Christ. I have NOT been able to confirm or deny those quotes, so I haven't used them here--why add to the confusion that is already out on the Internet. I would welcome any help in finding a credible source to either confirm or deny these types of quotes.
In many of the liberal web sites, the authors take some real quote, then they extend that quote to falsely create the illusion that the quote proves (which it does not prove) some liberal argument that does not follow from the quote. This is just poor scholarship, and appears to be linked to a conscious desire, on the part of these liberals, to deceive.
Some have said that, late in Franklin's life, he fell in with liberals and his faith was ruined as a result. I have found no credible evidence of this, but would welcome any definitive information from a credible source that would either confirm or deny such a statement. In the mean time, it must be remembered that bad friends ruin good morals. If you must function among liberals, remember that they are not guided by the same restrictions as Christians regarding what is fair, true, or right. They can make up false facts and violate no liberal moral code, since Liberalism takes away all restraint in these matters. If you must function among liberals, you have a greater need to spend time in fellowship with other believers, reading your Bible, praying, and seeking your Lord. You also need to make sure that you do minister the truth in season and out of season, so you will need supernatural assistance from your Creator God.
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Adams, John Quincy
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