Richard H. will appreciate this, and the rest of us should, even if we must consider Franklin’s words a bit of hyperbole.
Ben Franklin said “There seem to be but three ways for a nation to acquire wealth. The first is by war, as the Romans did, in plundering their conquered neighbors. This is robbery. The second by commerce, which is generally cheating. The third by agriculture, the only honest way, wherein man receives a real increase of the seed thrown into the ground, in a kind of continual miracle, wrought by the hand of God in his favor, as a reward for his innocent life and his virtuous industry.” Franklin’s message communicates both the magnificence and sovereignty of God and the inherent virtue of agriculture. Both those shining lights, I fear, have faded in contemporary eyes.
This from Ray Bowman’s blog. There’s more to read about the Fourth.