Ben Franklin: “Thou abhorrest in Thy creatures treachery and deceit, malice, revenge, Intemperance and every other hurtful Vice…”

Benjamin Franklin in his ‘Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion‘, November 20, 1728:

“It is that particular wise and good God, who is the Author and Owner of our system, that I propose for the Object of my praise and adoration. For I conceive that He has in Himself some of those passions He has planted in us, and that, since He has given us reason whereby we are capable of observing His wisdom in the Creation, He is not above caring for us, being pleas’d wit our praise and offended when we slight Him, or neglect His Glory. I conceive for many reasons that He is a good Being, and as I should be happy to have so wise, good and powerful a Being my Friend, let me consider in what Manner I shall make myself most acceptable to Him.”

“Being mindful that before I address the Deity my soul ought to be calm and serene, free from passion and perturbation, or otherwise elevated with rational joy and pleasure, I wrought to use a countenance that expresses a filial respect, mixed with a kind of smiling that signifies inward joy and satisfaction and admiration.”

“O Creator, O Father, I believe that Thou are Good, and Thou art pleas’d with the pleasure of Thy children.

Praised be Thy Name forever.

By Thy Power hast thou made the glorious Sun, with his attending worlds; from the energy of Thy mighty Will they first received their prodigious motion, and by Thy Wisdom hast Thou prescribed the wondrous laws by which they move.

Praised be Thy Name forever.

By Thy Wisdom hast thou formed all things, Thou hast created man, bestowing life and reason, and plac’d him in dignity superior to Thy other earthly Creatures.

Praised be Thy Name forever.

Thy Wisdom, Thy Power, and Thy GOODNESS are every where clearly seen; in the air and in the water,, in the heavens and on the earth; Thou providest for the various winged fowl, and the innumerable inhabitants of the water; Thou givest cold and heat, rain and sunshine in their season, and to the fruits of the earth increase.

Praised be Thy Name forever.

I believe Thou hast given life to Thy creatures that they might live, and art not delighted with violent death and bloody sacrifices.

Praised be Thy Name forever.

Thou abhorrest in Thy creatures treachery and deceit, malice, revenge, Intemperance and every other hurtful Vice; but Thou art a Lover of justice and sincerity, of friendship, benevolence and every virtue. Thou art my Friend, my Father, and my Benefactor.

Praised be Thy Name, O God, forever. Amen.”

“That I may be preserved from atheism and infidelity, impiety and profaneness, and in my addresses to Thee carefully avoid irreverence and ostentation, formality and odious hypocrisy, Help me, O Father.”

“And forasmuch as ingratitude is one of the most odious of vices, let me not be unmindful gratefully to acknowledge the favours I receive from Heaven… For all Thy innumerable benefits; For life and reason, and the use of speech, for health and joy and every pleasant hour, my Good God, I thank Thee.”

“I believe there is one Supreme most perfect being… I believe He is pleased and delights in the happiness of those He has created; and since without virtue man can have no happiness in this world, I firmly believe He delights to see me virtuous.”

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