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Franklin’s Credo

Portions of Benjamin Franklin’s statement of religious belief, composed shortly before his death:

“I believe in one God, creator of the universe. That he governs it by Providence. That he ought to be worshiped. That the most acceptable service we can render to him is doing good to his other children. That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental principles of all sound religion . . .

“As to Jesus of Nazareth . . . I think the system of morals and his religion as he left them to us, the best the world ever saw, or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting changes, and I have . . . some doubts as to his divinity . . . .I expect soon an opportunity of knowing the truth.”

—James Breig





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