By Bill Federer, staff writer
The Journals of the Continental Congress recorded:
“Wednesday, SEPTEMBER 7, 1774, 9 o’clock a.m. Agreeable to the resolve of yesterday, the meeting was opened with prayers by the Rev. Mr. Duche’.
Voted, That the thanks of Congress be given to Mr. Duche’…for performing divine Service, and for the excellent prayer, which he composed and delivered on the occasion.”
Rev. Jacob Duche’ had prayed:
“O God of Wisdom…direct the counsel of this Honorable Assembly…that the scene of blood may be speedily closed…that Truth and Justice, Religion and Piety, prevail.”
John Adams wrote:
“Reverend Duche’…read the 35th Psalm… After this…unexpectedly to every body, struck out into an extemporary prayer, which filled the bosom of every man present. I must confess, I never heard a better prayer.”
The Library of Congress printed on an historical placard of Carpenter’s Hall, Philadelphia:
“Washington was kneeling there with Henry, Randolph, Rutledge, Lee, and Jay, and by their side there stood, bowed in reverence the Puritan Patriots of New England…
‘It was enough’ says Mr. Adams, ‘to melt a heart of stone. I saw the tears gush into the eyes of the old, grave, Pacific Quakers of Philadelphia.’”
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