BENJAMIN FRANKLIN HELPS TO FOUND FIRST HOSPITAL

“We need to look back to our past … before we look ahead to our future.”
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

Here is a great story I’ve been saving for some time now, and wish to share now. We can learn so much from our Founding Fathers, and should take every opportunity to learn about, and from, them.
Here’s one you may not know about Benjamin Franklin. In reading through this story, I found it so amazing, in light of our present times, that I had to research further.

I’m sorry, but I must be honest:
I, myself, fall victim to looking at the world around us now … and, then, when I read about what our country stood for-and against-in years past … well, I forget where prayer was so readily allowed … where the mention of God was so welcomed … Anyway … I write about success, and how often do we write that if we want to be successful, we look at what other successful people did, and just “do what they did.” I know that works individually … but, doesn’t that also work nationally? I mean … if we put God first … wouldn’t that put us first? If we put God last … or, maybe just don’t mention Him at all … Sorry, I can’t write the rest … All I need to do is just pick up the newspaper, and that tells me where our priorities are … or maybe, the proper explanation would be, “where we have gone.”

I don’t know about you, but I’d like to hear more about “what they did” than about “what I would do”
Ben Franklin Plaque
Yes, I’ve read a lot about Ben Franklin. And, about our Founding Fathers. How they lived. How they believed. Haven’t you? Remember, the worse we can make them look … the better we can look … the more we can justify our actions …

Anyway, I am researching Ben Franklin and his involvement with this Hospital: He said what? He did what? He wrote what? They used an example from what? This is still standing in the United States today? We can still read this? This is in public? Maybe “they” just don’t know about this, right?

So, I went to the website of the Pennsylvania Hospital, and checked other sources … I’m sorry, but I had to … I mean, I am seeing Scripture examples being used as a mission statement for a public entity … I read the cornerstone, and it mentions Christ and it asks for God’s blessing … I mean, these are still on public display today … I’m sorry, but I had to check this story out, I had to make sure this is “really real,” that in a vision statement of an institution in which its very existence is to heal, they are asking for God’s favor … I had to make sure that this is real, that this is true … and, that this is being allowed in this country ….
My research proves that this story is, indeed, correct. True. A fact.
Historical Marker
Faithful origins found in our nation’s first hospital

Founding Father Benjamin Franklin was responsible for many innovative and clever developments that improved the quality of life in early America. Among them was the founding of the Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia on May 11, 1751. Working with his close friend, Dr. Richard Bond, Franklin lent his support to the effort, thereby creating enough momentum for the idea of a hospital to be accepted by the skeptical public. The goal was to provide a place that would care for the sick, poor and insane who wandered the streets of Philadelphia.

Writing about the founding of the hospital, Ben Franklin recognized the manner in which God raised up physicians who were called to the task of medical care in this hospital and acknowledged their reliance on God’s help to bless the mission of the hospital:

“It would be a neglect of that justice which is due to the physicians and surgeons of this hospital, not to acknowledge that their care and skill, and their punctual and regular attendance, under the Divine Blessing, has been a principal means of advancing this charity to the flourishing state in which we have now the pleasure to view it. Relying on the continuance of the Favour of Heaven, upon the future endeavors of all who may be concerned in the management of the institution, for its further advancement, we close this account with the abstract of a sermon, preached before the Governors…”

A further reliance on God and His Word was evidenced in Franklin and Bond’s choice to model their mission after the story of the Good Samaritan from Luke 10. They placed these words from the Scriptures on the official seal of the hospital, “Take Care of Him and I Will Repay Thee.” The development of the hospital brought about a new attitude of Christian compassion and social responsibility to colonial life.
Hospital Seal
From “The History of Pennsylvania Hospital” website, including the first part of their Timeline:

The hospital has over 29,000 inpatient admissions and 115,000 outpatient visits each year, including over 5,200 births.
Pennsylvania Hospital is part of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and is located at 8th and Spruce Streets in the historic Society Hill district of Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania Hospital
Since its founding in 1751 by Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Thomas Bond, Pennsylvania Hospital has been an innovator in patient care, treatment techniques and medical research. In the years since its founding, Pennsylvania Hospital has provided the setting for many “firsts” of our nation, as well as many other noteworthy medical, historical and cultural milestones.
1751
On May 11, 1751, a charter is granted by the Pennsylvania legislature to establish a hospital to care for the sick-poor and insane who wander the streets of Philadelphia. The story of the Good Samaritan is chosen by Franklin and Bond as the official seal, and “Take Care of Him and I will repay Thee” ushers in a new attitude of social responsibility.

The original cornerstone, with its text drafted by Benjamin Franklin, can still be viewed. It is located at the southeast corner of the East wing of the Pine Building under a Plexiglas cover. The text reads:

In the year of Christ
MDCCLV.
George the second happily reigning
(for he sought the happiness of his people)
Philadelphia flourishing
(for its inhabitants were publick spirited)
this building
by the bounty of the government,
and of many private persons,
was piously founded
for the relief of the sick and miserable;
may the God of mercies
bless this undertaking.
cornerstone

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