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The Miracle of 1787

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

by Jared Carman Head of School Last week we celebrated the signing of the US Constitution on September 17, 1787 with a special contribution from our high school students for weekly devotional.

The writing of the Constitution was described by George Washington as a "miracle."

Here is the story:

In the summer of 1787, after five weeks of arguing, the delegates had made little real progress writing the Constitution. They disagreed on many important issues, and were about to give up and go home. There in Independence Hall, where, eleven years earlier, delegates had signed the Declaration of Independence, 81-year-old Benjamin Franklin rose to his feet and called the delegates to prayer. Addressing the president of the convention, Benjamin Franklin said: “In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened…that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of Lights to illuminate our understanding? Benjamin Franklin continued: “In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for the Divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. He continued: “All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor... And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? Or do we imagine 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? Accordingly, on July 4, 1787, the delegates went to a nearby church. They first heard a sermon, then Reverend William Rogers prayed for the delegates, saying: “Favor them, from day to day, with thy immediate presence; be Thou their wisdom and their strength! The Reverend continued: “Enable them to devise such measures as may prove happily instrumental for healing all divisions...that the United States of America may furnish the world with one example of a free and permanent government...” Just ten weeks later, the delegates did what had before been impossible: they began to listen to each other; they solved difficult problems, one by one; They succeeded in finishing and signing a Constitution for the United States of America.

George Washington, Benjamin Rush, and many others called it a miracle. And to this day, every session of the US Congress opens with prayer to God.


This historical thought was delivered by our high school students at devotional on 9/21/23. Each week one class leads the student body in prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, scripture recitation, a meditation, and an historical thought. Family and friends are welcome, Thursdays 8:30-9:05 am.

Belmont is an independent K-12 school in the classical, Christian tradition. In partnership with parents, we invest in students — helping them acquire an education of the highest quality, find joy in life, and become influences for good in the world. If you are interested in receiving updates about Belmont, please subscribe to Exulto here by inserting your email.


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