Tag Archives: Benjamin Franklin

Daniel Webster born JANUARY 18, 1782


The Moral Liberal

Defending the Judeo-Christian Heritage, limited government, and the American Constitution

Daniel Webster born JANUARY 18, 1782

Daniel Webster 2American Minute with Bill Federer

One of the five greatest Senators in U.S. history, the State of New Hampshire placed his statue in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall.

His career spanned almost four decades, serving as Secretary of State for Presidents William Harrison, John Tyler and Millard Fillmore.

His name was Daniel Webster, born JANUARY 18, 1782.

From a New Hampshire farm, he attended Dartmouth College and became the highest paid attorney of his day.

He fought the slave trade and negotiated the Webster-Ashburton Treaty, which set the nation’s Northeast boundary.

When South Carolina threatened nullification, Daniel Webster stated:

“Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!”

When asked what the most profound thought was that ever passed through his mind, Daniel Webster responded:

“My accountability to God.”

At the age of 20, Daniel Webster served as the headmaster of Fryeburg Academy in Fryeburg, Maine, where he delivered a Fourth of July Oration in 1802:

“If an angel should be winged from Heaven, on an errand of mercy to our country, the first accents that would glow on his lips would be,

‘Beware! Be cautious! You have everything to lose; nothing to gain…’”

Daniel Webster continued:

“We live under the only government that ever existed which was framed by the unrestrained and deliberate consultations of the people.

Miracles do not cluster. That which has happened but once in six thousand years cannot be expected to happen often.

Such a government, once gone, might leave a void, to be filled, for ages, with revolution and tumult, riot and despotism.”

At the age of 70, just eight months before his death, Daniel Webster addressed the New York Historical Society, February 23, 1852:

“If we, and our posterity, shall be true to the Christian religion, if we and they shall live always in the fear of God, and shall respect his commandments, if we, and they, shall maintain just, moral sentiments, and such conscientious convictions of duty as shall control the heart and life, we may have the highest hopes of the future fortunes of our country…

It will have no Decline and Fall. It will go on prospering and to prosper.

But, if we and our posterity reject religious instruction and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political constitution, which holds us together, no man can tell, how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us, that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity.

Should that catastrophe happen, let it have no history! Let the horrible narrative never be written!…”

Daniel Webster continued:

“We may trust, that Heaven will not forsake us, nor permit us to forsake ourselves.

We must strengthen ourselves, and gird up our loins with new resolution; we must counsel each other; and, determined to sustain each other in the support of the Constitution, prepare to meet manfully… whatever of difficulty, or of danger…or of sacrifice, the Providence of God may call upon us to meet.

Are we of this generation so derelict, have we so little of the blood of our revolutionary fathers coursing through our veins, that we cannot preserve, what they achieved?

The world will cry out ‘shame’ upon us, if we show ourselves unworthy, to be the descendants of those great and illustrious men, who fought for their liberty, and secured it to their posterity, by the Constitution of the United States…

We have a great and wise Constitution. We have grown, flourished, and prospered under it, with a degree of rapidity, unequaled in the history of the world.

Founded on the basis of equal civil rights, its provisions secure perfect equality and freedom; those who live under it are equal, and enjoy the same privileges…”

Daniel Webster added:

“The Constitution has enemies, secret and professed… They have hot heads and cold hearts. They are rash, reckless, and fierce for change, and with no affection for the existing institutions of their country…

Other enemies there are, more cool, and with more calculation. These have a deeper and more fixed and dangerous purpose…

There are those in the country, who profess, in their own words, even to hate the Constitution…

Friends of the Constitution must rally and unite…act, with immovable firmness, like a band of brothers, with moderation and conciliation… looking only to the great object set before them, the preservation of the Constitution, bequeathed to them by their ancestors.

They must gird up their loins for the work. It is a duty which they owe to these ancestors, and to the generations which are to succeed them…”

Daniel Webster concluded:

“Gentlemen, I give my confidence, my countenance, my heart and hand, my entire co-operation to all good men…who are willing to stand by the Constitution…

I hardly know…the manner of our political death… We shall die no lingering death…

An earthquake would shake the foundations of the globe, pull down the pillars of heaven, and bury us at once in endless darkness.

Such may be the fate of this country and its institutions. May I never live, to see that day!

May I not survive to hear any apocalyptic angel, crying through the heavens, with such a voice as announced the fall of Babylon,

‘Ἔπεσεν, ἔπεσεν, Αμερικη ἡ μεγάλη, καὶ ἐγένετο κατοικητήριον δαιμονίων, καὶ φυλακὴ παντὸς πνεύματος ἀκαθάρτου.’ (Greek: ‘Is fallen, is fallen, America the Great has become a habitation of demons and a hold for every unclean spirit.’)


Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal Contributing Editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s bookshere.

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Benjamin Franklin – an American Icon


Benjamin_Franklin_engravingAmerican Minute with Bill Federer

On JULY 26, 1775, Benjamin Franklin became the first Postmaster General of the United States, a position he held under the British Crown before the Revolution.

Franklin’s public career began when he organized Pennsylvania’s first volunteer militia during threaten attacks from Spanish and French ships.

He then proposed a General Fast, which was approved by the Colony’s Council and printed in his Pennsylvania Gazette, December 12, 1747:

“As the calamities of a bloody War…seem every year more nearly to approach us…there is just reason to fear that unless we humble ourselves before the Lord & amend our Ways, we may be chastized with yet heavier Judgments,

We have, therefore, thought fit…to appoint…a Day of Fasting & Prayer, exhorting all, both Ministers & People, to observe the same with becoming seriousness & attention, & to join with one accord in the most humble & fervent Supplications;

That Almighty God would mercifully interpose and still the Rage of War among the Nations & put a stop to the effusion of Christian Blood.”

Franklin published evangelist George Whitefield’s sermons, thereby spreading The Great Awakening Revival.

He established a volunteer fire department, a circulating public library, an insurance company, a city police force, a night watch and a hospital.

He set up the lighting of city streets and was the first to suggest Daylight Savings Time. He invented bifocal glasses, the Franklin Stove, swim fins, the lightning rod, and coined the electrical terms “positive” and “negative.”

In 1754, Franklin wrote a pamphlet, “Information to Those Who Would Remove to America,” for Europeans interested in sending their youth to this land:

“Hence bad examples to youth are more rare in America, which must be a comfortable consideration to parents. To this may be truly added, that serious religion, under its various denominations, is not only tolerated, but respected and practised.

Atheism is unknown there; Infidelity rare and secret; so that persons may live to a great age in that country without having their piety shocked by meeting with either an Atheist or an Infidel.

And the Divine Being seems to have manifested his approbation of the mutual forbearance and kindness with which the different sects treat each other; by the remarkable prosperity with which he has been pleased to favor the whole country.”

On September 28, 1776, as President of Pennsylvania’s Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin signed the State’s first Constitution, “the most radically democratic Frame of Government the world had ever seen.

It stated:

“Government ought to be instituted…to enable the individuals…to enjoy their natural rights…which the Author of Existence has bestowed upon man; and whenever these great ends…are not obtained, the people have a right…to change it, and take such measures as to them may appear necessary to promote their safety and happiness…”

Pennsylvania’s Constitution continued:

“All men have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences…

Nor can any man, who acknowledges the being of a God, be justly deprived or abridged of any civil right…

No authority…shall in any case interfere with…the right of conscience in the free exercise of religious worship.”

Pennsylvania’s Constitution added:

“And each member…shall make…the following declaration, viz: I do believe in one God, the Creator and Governor of the Universe, the Rewarder of the good and the Punisher of the wicked. And I do acknowledge the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine Inspiration. And no further or other religious test shall ever hereafter be required.”

Pennsylvania’s Constitution had in Section 45:

“Laws for the encouragement of virtue, and prevention of vice and immorality, shall be…constantly kept in force…Religious societies…incorporated for the advancement of religion…shall be encouraged.”

At the end of the Revolutionary War, Franklin signed the Treaty of Paris, September 3, 1783, which began: “In the name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity…”

As Pennsylvania’s President (Governor), Ben Franklin hosted the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, where on June 28, 1787, he moved:

“That henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessing on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning.”

Franklin composed his epitaph:

“THE BODY of BENJAMIN FRANKLIN – Printer.
Like the cover of an old book,
Its contents torn out,
And stripped of its lettering and gilding,
Lies here, food for worms;
Yet the work itself shall not be lost,
For it will (as he believed) appear once more,
In a new, and more beautiful edition,
Corrected and amended By The AUTHOR.”

Franklin wrote April 17, 1787:

“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.

As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”


Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.

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Constitutional Convention


 

June 28, 1787

This Saturday (June 28), marks the 227th anniversary of Founding Father Benjamin Franklin calling the Constitutional Convention to prayer after several weeks of difficult discussions and frequent impasses. The Founders well understood the need to seek God and the important part that God played both in establishing this nation and in the writing of the Constitution.

 

Constitutional Convention

 

As Alexander Hamilton reported after its completion:

For my own part, I sincerely esteem it a system which without the finger of God [Luke 11:20] never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests.

 

James Madison agreed, and reported:

It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in it the finger of that Almighty Hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the Revolution.

 

As far as these delegates were concerned, the finger of God – that is, His Divine power – had guided their writing of the Constitution.

 

Benjamin Franklin also believed this to be the case, explaining:

[I] beg I may not be understood to infer that our general Convention was Divinely inspired when it formed the new federal Constitution . . . [yet] I can hardly conceive a transaction of such momentous importance to the welfare of millions now existing (and to exist in the posterity of a great nation) should be suffered to pass without being in some degree influenced, guided, and governed by that omnipotent, omnipresent, and beneficent Ruler in Whom all inferior spirits “live and move and have their being” [Acts 17:28].

 

George Washington (president of the Convention) similarly attested:

As to my sentiments with respect to the merits of the new Constitution, I will disclose them without reserve. . . . It appears to me then little short of a miracle that the delegates from so many different states . . . should unite in forming a system of national government.

 

Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration from Philadelphia who closely monitored the proceedings, concurred, openly testifying:

I do not believe that the Constitution was the offspring of inspiration, but I am as perfectly satisfied that the Union of the States in its form and adoption is as much the work of a Divine Providence as any of the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testament were the effects of a Divine power.

(For more about the Founders’ views of the “finger of God” and what that meant historically, see the article on this in the Founders’ Bible, from Luke 11:20).

 

As we look forward to celebrating America’s 238th birthday next week. Let us remember that God truly has had His hand involved in the formation of our government and let us take time out, as George Washington recommended, “to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor” on America again.

 

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