BENJAMIN FRANKLIN’S WORLDVIEW
These four quotes of Benjamin Franklin (Founding Father, author, statesman, inventor, member of the Committee of Five that drafted The Declaration of Independence) provide insight into his firm belief in God – emphasis added.
Fighting against the order of God and Nature…
“To relieve the misfortunes of our fellow creatures is concurring with the Deity, ’tis Godlike, but if we provide encouragements for Laziness, and supports for Folly, may it not be found fighting against the order of God and Nature, which perhaps has appointed Want and Misery as the proper Punishments for, and Cautions against as well as necessary consequences of Idleness and Extravagancy.”
Letter to Peter Collins, May 1753
God governs the affairs of men…
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 labor 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 ….
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 ….
Constitution Convention Address, June 1787
I believe in one God…
“Here is my creed: I believe in one God, the creator of the universe. That he governs it by his providence. That he ought to be worshiped. That the most acceptable service we render to him is in doing good to his other children. That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental points of all sound religion.”
Letter to Ezra Stiles, March 9, 1790
The blessings of God…
“Having emerged from the poverty and obscurity in which I was born and bred, to a state of affluence and some degree of reputation in the world, and having gone so far through life with a considerable share of felicity, the conducing means I made use of, which with the blessings of God so well succeeded, my posterity may like to know, as they may find some of them suitable to their own situations, and therefore to be imitated.”
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Part 1