Second National Bank
420 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
When America began, there was a major debate over monetary policy and the ownership of banks. Some felt they should be privately owned, whereas others felt they should be owned by the government. America started off with a government-owned national bank, which was eventually ended under Andrew Jackson’s presidency.
The Second National Bank was built in Greek revival architecture. It is a historic building that reminds us of a bygone era, but it underscores the foundational reality of the necessity of a strong economy for the well-being of a country.
One of the virtues advocated by our founders was thrift coupled with hard work which has obvious biblical roots. Deuteronomy 28:12 stresses the importance of thrift: “Thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow” (KJV).
Benjamin Franklin agreed with this as we find in his Way to Wealth: “…as Poor Richard says, ‘Creditors have better memories than debtors.’ … So, ‘Rather go to bed supperless, than rise in debt. Get what you can, and what you get hold, ‘Tis the stone that will turn all your lead into gold.’… But, after all, do not depend too much upon your own industry and frugality, and prudence though excellent things; for they may all be blasted, without the blessing of Heaven; and therefore, ask that blessing humbly, and be not uncharitable to those that at present seem to want it, but comfort and help them. Remember, Job suffered, and was afterwards prosperous.”