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SECTION II. AMERICAN POLITICS, SUBSEQUENT TO THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE UNITED STATES IN 1776.

Page A Dialogue between Britain, France, Spain, Holland,

Saxony, and America --. 457

Comparison of Great Britain and America as to Credit in

1777 ----- 46c

A Catechism relative to the National Debt - 471

On the Paper-Money of the United States of America 473 Retort Courteous - 480

PLATES

WHICH ILLUSTRATE THE PHILOSOPHICAL PAPERS
IN THE SECOND VOLUME.

Plate 1 to face Page 141

2 203

3 201

4 359

5 (with the Letter-Press) 393

6 406

7 431

8 477

SELECT WRITINGS

OP

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.

PART I.

MISCELLANIES.

SECTION I.
RELIGIOUS SUBJECTS.

ARTICLES OF BELIEF, AND ACTS OF RELIGION," IN TWO PARTS.

[Referred to in Memoirs of the Life, Part 7/.]

Here will 1 hold—If there is a power above us (and that there is, all nature cries aloud, through all her works), He must delight in virtue; and that which he delights in, must be happy. —Cato.

PART I.—FIRST PRINCIPLES.

I Believe there is one supreme most perfect Being, author and father of the gods themselves.

1 This paper is dated Philadelphia, Nov. 20, 1728. VOL. I. A

For I believe that man is not the most perfect being but one, but rather that there are many degrees of beings superior to him.-.'

Also when I stretch my imagination through and beyond our system of planets, beyond the visible fixed stars themselves, into that space that is every way infinite, and conceive it filled with suns like ours, each with a chorus of worlds for ever moving round him; then this little ball on which we move, seems, even in my narrow imagination, to be almost nothing, and myself less than nothing, and of no sort of consequence.

When I think thus, I imagine it great vanity in me to suppose, that the supremely-perfect does in the least regard such an inconsiderable nothing as man; more especially, since it is impossible for me to have any clear idea of that which is infinite and incomprehensible, I cannot conceive otherwise, than that he the infinite Father expects or requires no worship or praise from us, but that he is even

INFINITELY ABOVE IT. / . " . "V'- • i'

But since there is in all men something like a natural principle which inclines them to DevoTion, or the worship of some unseen power;

And since men are endued with reason superior to all other animals, that we are in our world acquainted with;

Therefore I think it seems required of me, and my duty, as a man, to pay divine regards to SomeThing.

I conceive then that the Infinite has created many beings or gods, vastly superior to man, who can better conceive his perfections than we, and return him a more rational and glorious praise.

As among men, the praise of the ignorant or of children, is not regarded by the ingenious painter or architect, who is rather honored and pleased with the approbation of wise men and artists.

It may be these created gods are immortal; or it may be that after many ages, they are changed, and others supply their places.

Howbeit, I conceive that each of these is exceeding wise and good, and very powerful; and that each has made for himself one glorious sun, attended with a beautiful and admirable system of planets.

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 pleased with 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 con

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