Monday, October 10, 2011

Benjamin Franklin's version of the Lord's Prayer

Like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin was fascinated with the New Testament; Franklin had on occasion considered bringing out his own edited edition of the New Testament, but that idea, sadly, never came to fruition. Franklin did, however, edit the Lord's Prayer, commonly known as the Our Father, to better reflect what he thought the true meaning of the prayer was. Those who consider Franklin to be a deist would do well to ponder the words he chose to use in this prayer, words that indicate that God is both our provider and our judge:

1.  Heavenly Father, 
2.  May all revere thee, 
3.  And become thy dutiful children and faithful subjects. 
4.  May thy laws be obeyed on earth, as perfectly as they are in heaven. 
5.  Provide for us this day, as thou hast hitherto daily done. 
6.  Forgive us our trespasses, and enable us to forgive those who offend us. 
7.  Keep us out of temptation, and deliver us from evil. 
Taken from In God We Trust:  The Religious Beliefs and Ideas of the American Founding Fathers, edited by Norman Cousins (Harper & Brothers: 1958), pg. 21.


Anonymous said...

I see no anti-deist message here.

bpabbott said...

Sounds compatible with Deism to me.

* There is one Supreme God.
* He ought to be worshipped.
* Virtue and piety are the chief parts of divine worship.
* We ought to be sorry for our sins and repent of them
* Divine goodness doth dispense rewards and punishments both in this life and after it.
—Lord Herbert of Cherbury