A popular belief says that famous men of history were atheists or agnostics who broke from the religious conventions of their day and achieved greatness because of their independence from God. We have often quoted words of faith from famous scientists, but likewise, there are famous non-scientists who expressed faith in God and the Bible.
Allen Webster, in his periodical “House to House/Heart to Heart,” collected these quotes:
Charles Dickens – “I commit my soul to the mercy of God, through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and exhort my dear children humbly to try to guide themselves by the teachings of the New Testament.”
William Shakespeare – “I commend my soul into the hands of God, my Creator, hoping and assuredly believing, through the only merits of Jesus Christ my Savior, to be made partaker of life everlasting.”
George Washington – “The hand of providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations.”
Benjamin Franklin – “Young man, my advice to you is that you cultivate an acquaintance with and firm belief in the Holy Scriptures, for this is your certain interest. I think Christ’s system of morals and religion, as He left them with us, is the best the world ever saw or is likely to see.”
John Quincy Adams – “My custom is to read four or five chapters of the Bible every morning immediately after rising … which seems to me to be the most suitable manner of beginning the day. It is an invaluable and inexhaustible mine of knowledge and virtue.”
Abraham Lincoln – “I am profitably engaged in reading the Bible. Take all of this Book that you can by reason and the balance by faith, and you will live and die a better man.”
William Penn – “We believe the Scriptures to contain a declaration of the mind and will of God. They ought also to be read, believed, and fulfilled in our day. We accept them as the words of God himself.”
William Gladstone – “I have known 95 great men of the world in my time, and of these, 87 were all followers of the Bible.”
This is just a sample of the famous non-scientists who expressed faith in God and the Bible.
Benjamin Franklin called this animal a respectable bird. They are large birds native to North America where they’re called “turkeys.” The origin of that name is disputed, but it apparently has a connection with the country of Turkey.
Turkeys were brought to England from America, on merchant ships from the Middle East area of Turkey. After being domesticated in England, turkeys spread throughout the British Empire, including India. From India, they were taken to various other countries where they were known as “a bird from India.” For that reason, the name for turkeys in several languages is connected to India. In the country of Turkey, turkeys are called “hindi” which means “India” in Turkish. To make things even more confusing, in Portuguese a turkey is called a “peru” which is apparently derived from the name of the country of Peru. To further compound the confusion, there are several other birds in other countries that have “turkey” names but are not related to the American turkey.
Native Americans first used turkeys for their feathers in about 800 BC. It was almost 2,000 years later before they used turkeys for meat. In the United States, turkeys are a popular meat on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas.
Skeptics frequently take statements of the founding fathers of America and lift them out of context to make them appear to be rejecting Christianity. A careful study makes it obvious that they were certainly not opposed to Christianity and in fact embraced it. We even see it in Benjamin Franklin’s wisdom.
Franklin made comments in Europe that appear to be antagonistic to Christianity, and he is often cited by skeptics as an unbeliever. However, on July 28, 1787, the Constitutional Convention was deadlocked and could not agree how to draft the United States Constitution. After five weeks of proposals and counter-proposals, Benjamin Franklin (who was 81 years old) stood up and addressed the convention. This is part of what he said as recorded by James Madison:
“…have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? 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…” “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 this City be requested to officiate in that Service.”