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doctrine and worship which I do not agree with: but I do not therefore condemn them, or desire to shake your belief or practice of them. We may dislike things that are nevertheless right in themselves: I would only have you make me the same allowance, and have a better opinion both of morality and your brother. Read the pages of Mr. Edwards's late book, entitled, 'Some Thoughts concerning the present Revival of Religion in NewEngland,' from 367 to 375; and when you judge of others, if you can perceive the fruit to be good, don't terrify yourself that the tree may be evil; but be assured it is not so, for you know who has said, 'Men do not gather grapes off thorns, and figs off thistles.' I have not time to add, but that I' shall always be your affectionate brother,
"B. FRANKLIN. "P.S.-It was not kind in you, when your sister commenced good works, to suppose she intended it a reproach to you. 'Twas very far from her thoughts."
"To Mr. George Whitefield.
"Philadelphia, June 6, 1753.
"I received your kind letter of the 2d instant, and am glad to hear that you increase in strength; I hope you will continue mending till you recover your former health and firmness. Let me know whether you still use the cold bath, and what effect it has.
"As to the kindness you mention, I wish it could have been of more service to you. But if it had, the only thanks I should desire is, that you would always be equally ready to serve any other person that may need your assistance, and so let good offices go round; for mankind are all of a family.
"For my own part, when I am employed in serving others, I do not look upon myself as conferring favours, but as paying debts. In my travels and since my settlement, I have received much kindness from men to whom I shall never have an opportunity of making the least direct return, and numberless mercies from God, who is infinitely above being benefited by our services. Those kindnesses from men I can therefore only return on their fellow-men, and I can only show my gratitude for these mercies from God by a readiness to help his other children and my brethren. For I do not think that thanks and compliments, though repeated weekly, can discharge our real obligations to each other, and much less those to our Creator. You will see in this my notion of good works, that I am far from expecting to merit heaven by them. By heaven we understand a state of happiness infinite in degree and eternal in duration: I can do nothing to deserve such rewards. He that, for giving a draught of water to a thirsty person, should expect to be paid with a good plantation, would be modest in his demands compared with those who think they deserve heaven for the little good they do on earth. Even the mixed, imperfect pleasures we enjoy in this world are rather from God's goodness than our merit: how much more such happiness of heaven! For my part, I have not the vanity to think I deserve it, the folly to expect it, nor the ambition to desire it; but content myself in submitting to the will and disposal of that God who made me, who has hitherto preserved and blessed me, and in whose fatherly goodness I may well confide, that he will never make me miserable, and that even the afflictions I may at any time suffer shall tend to my benefit.
"I wish you health and happiness. "B. FRANKLIN."
"To Mrs. D. Franklin.
"Guadenhathen, January 25, 1756.
"MY DEAR CHILD,
"This day week we arrived here; I wrote to you the same day, and once since. We all continue well, thanks be to God. We have been hindered with bad weather, yet our fort is in a good defensible condition, and we have every day more convenient living. Two more are to be built, one on each side of this, at about fifteen miles' distance. I hope both will be done in a week or ten days, and then I purpose to bend my course homeward.
"We have enjoyed your roast beef, and this day began on the roast veal; all agree that they are both the best that ever were of the kind. Your citizens, that have their dinners hot and hot, know nothing of good eating; we find it in much greater perfection when the kitchen is fourscore miles from the dining-room.
"The apples are extremely welcome, and do bravely to eat after our salt pork; the minced pies are not yet come to hand, but suppose we shall find them among the things expected up from Bethlehem on Tuesday; the capillaire is excellent, but none of us having taken cold as yet, we have only tasted it.
"As to our lodging, 'tis on deal feather beds, in warm blankets, and much more comfortable than when we lodged at our inn the first night after we left home; for the woman being about to put very dainp sheets on the bed, we desired her to air them first; half an hour afterward she told us the bed was ready and the sheets well aired. I got into bed, but jumped out immediately, finding them as cold as death, and partly frozen. She had aired them indeed, but it was out upon the hedge. I was forced to wrap myself up in my greatcoat and woollen
trousers; everything else about the bed was shockingly dirty.
"As I hope in a little time to be with you and my family, and chat things over, I now only add that I am, dear Debby, your affectionate husband, "B. FRANKLIN."
"To the same.
86 Easton, Saturday morning, November 13, 1756. "MY DEAR CHILD,
"I wrote to you a few days since by a special messenger, and enclosed letters for all our wives and sweethearts, expecting to hear from you by his return, and to have the northern newspapers and English letters per the packet; but he is just now returned without a scrap for poor us. So I had a good mind not to write to you by this opportunity; but I never can be ill-natured enough, even when there is the most occasion. The messenger says he left the letters at your house, and saw you afterward at Mr. Dentie's, and told you when he would go, and that he lodged at Honey's, next door to you, and yet you did not write; so let Goody Smith give one more just judgment, and say what should be done to you; I think I won't tell you that we are well, nor that we expect to return about the middle of the week, nor will I send you a word of news; that's poz. My duty to mother, love to the children, and to Miss Betsey and Gracey, &c., &c. "B. FRANKLin.
"P.S.--I have scratched out the loving words, being written in haste by mistake, when I forgot was angry."
"Mrs. Jane Mecom, Boston.
New-York, April 19, 1757.
"I wrote a few lines to you yesterday, but omitted to answer yours relating to sister Dowse. As having their own way is one of the greatest comforts of life to old people, I think their friends should endeavour to accommodate them in that as well as anything else. When they have long lived in a house, it becomes natural to them; they are almost as closely connected with it as the tortoise with his shell they die if you tear them out of it. Old folks and old trees, if you remove them, 'tis ten to one that you kill them, so let our good old sister be no more importuned on that head: we are growing old fast ourselves, and shall expect the same kind of indulgences; if we give them, we shall have a right to receive them in our turn.
"And as to her few fine things, I think she is in the right not to sell them, and for the reason she gives, that they will fetch but little, when that little is spent, they would be of no farther use to her; but perhaps the expectation of possessing them at her death may make that person tender and careful of her, and helpful to her to the amount of ten times their value. If so, they are put to the best use they possibly can be.
I hope you visit sister as often as your affairs will permit, and afford her what assistance and comfort you can in her present situation. Old age, infirmities, and poverty joined, are afflictions enough. The neglect and slights of friends and near relations should never be added; people in her circumstances are apt to suspect this sometimes without cause; appearances should therefore be attended to in our conduct towards them as well as relatives. I write by this post to cousin William, to continue his care, which I doubt not he will do.