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descending, and forgiving, using clemency, protecting innocent distress, avoiding cruelty, harshness, and oppression, insolence and unreasonable severity,—Help me, O Father!
That I may refrain from calumny and detraction; that I may abhor and avoid deceit and envy, fraud, flattery and hatred, malice, lying, and ingratitude,—Help me, O Father!
That I may be sincere in friendship, faithful in trust, and impartial in judgment, watchful against pride, and against anger (that momentary madness,)—Help me, O Father.'
That I may be just in all my dealings, temperate in my pleasures, full of candor and ingenuousness, humanity and benevolence,—Help me, O Father!
That I may be grateful to my benefactors, and generous to my friends, exercising charity and liberality to the poor, and pity to the miserable,— Help me, O Father!
That I may possess integrity and evenness of mind, resolution in difficulties, and fortitude under affliction; that I may be punctual in performing my promises, peaceable and prudent in my behavior,—Help me, O Father!
That I may have tenderness for the weak, and reverent respect for the ancient; that Iiriaybe kind to my neighbors, good-natured to my companions, and hospitable to strangers,—Help me, a'Father!
That I may be averse to craft and over-reaching, abhor extortion, perjury, and every kind of wickedness,—Help me, O Father!
That I may be honest and open-hearted, gentle, merciful, and good, cheerful in spirit, rejoicing in the good of others,—Help me, O Father!
That I may have a constant regard to honor and probity, that I may possess a perfect innocence and a good conscience, and at length become truly virtuous and magnanimous,—Help me, good God: 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 favors I receive from heaven.
For peace and liberty, for food and raiment, for corn and wine, and milk, and every kind of healthful nourishment,—Good God, I thank thee!For the common benefits of air and light; for useful fire and delicious water,—Good God, I thank thee!
For knowledge, and literature, and every useful art; for my friends and their prosperity, and for the fewness of my enemies,—Good God, I thank thee!
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!
END OF THE FIRST PART.
[N. B. No continuation of this has been found among Dr. Franklin's -manuscripts.]
A PARABLE AGAINST PERSECUTION, IN IMITATION OF SCRIPTURE LANGUAGE.1
[Referred to in Memoirs of the Life, Part V.]
1 And it came to pass after these things, that
1 Lord Kaimes, in his Sketches of the History of Man, (Vol. II. p. 472, 473.) thus expresses himself on the subject of this parable:
"The following parable against persecution was communicated to me by Dr. Franklin, of Philadelphia, a man who makes a great figure in the learned world; and who would still make a greater figure for benevolence and candor, were virtue as much regarded in this declining age as knowledge.
"The historical style of the Old Testament is here finely imitated; and the moral must strike every one who is not sunk in stupidity and superstition. Were it really a chapter of Genesis, one is apt to think, that persecution could never have shown a bare face among Jews or Christians. But alas! that is a vain thought. Such a passage in the Old Testament, would avail as little against the rancorous passions of men, as the following passages in the New Testament, though persecution cannot be condemned in terms more explicit. 'Him that is weak in the faith, receive you, but not to doubtful disputations. For,'" &c.
Abraham sat in the door of his tent, about the going down of the sun:
2 And behold a man, bowed with age, came from the way of the wilderness, leaning on a staff.
3 And Abraham rose and met him, and said unto him, Turn in, I pray thee, and wash thy feet, and tarry all night, and thou shalt arise early on the morrow, and go on thy way.
4 But the man said, Nay, for I will abide under this tree.
5 And Abraham pressed him greatly; so he turned, and they went into the tent, and Abraham baked unleavened bread, and they did eat.
6 And when Abraham saw that the man blessed not God, he said unto him, Wherefore dost thou not worship the most high God, Creator of heaven and earth?
7 And the man answered and said, I do not worship the God thou speakest of, neither do I call upon his name; for I have made to myself a god, which abideth alway in mine house, and provideth me with all things.
8 And Abraham's zeal was kindled against the man, and he arose and drove him forth with blows into the wilderness.
9 And at midnight God called unto Abraham, saying, Abraham, wherels the stranger?
10 And Abraham answered and said, Lord, he would not worship thee, neither would he call upon thy name, therefore I have driven him out from before my face into the wilderness.
11 And God said, Have I borne with him these hundred ninety and eight years, and clothed him, notwithstanding his rebellion against me; and couldst not thou, that art thyself a sinner, bear with him one night?
12 And Abraham said, Let not the anger of the Lord wax hot against his servant; lo, I have sinned; forgive me, I pray thee.
13 And Abraham arose, and went forth into the wilderness, and sought diligently for the man, and found him, and returned with him to the tent; and when he had entreated him kindly, he sent him away on the morrow with gifts.
14 And God spake again unto Abraham, saying, For this thy sin shall thy seed be afflicted four hundred years in a strange land:
15 But for thy repentance will I deliver them; and they shall come forth with power, and with gladness of heart, and with much substance.
ON PERSECUTION IN FORMER AGES—OF DISSENTERS, STATE OF TOLERATION, &C.
To the Printer of the London Packet, June 3, 1772.
I understand from the public papers, that in the debates on the bill for relieving the dis