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Benjamin Franklin's notion of good works

Letter to Joseph Huey

Franklin: "I have not the vanity to think I deserve heaven."
Franklin: "I have not the vanity to think I deserve heaven."

I can only show my Gratitude for those Mercies from God, by a Readiness to help his other Children and my Brethren. For I do not think that Thanks, and Compliments, tho’ 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 (as you suppose) that I shall 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 Reward: 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, compar’d with those who think they deserve Heaven for the little Good they do on Earth. Even the mix’d 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 own 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 preserv’d and bless’d 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. — from a Letter to Joseph Huey, June 6, 1753

Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) was one of the founding fathers of the United States. Renowned for his wide-ranging knowledge and scholarship, his various careers reflected the capaciousness of his intellect. Serving at one time or another as a writer, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor and diplomat, Franklin was also a major contributor to the American Enlightenment and furthered the cause of science through his experiments and discoveries regarding electricity. A strong proponent of organized religion as a complement to civic order, Franklin considered himself a deist and a Christian and unsuccessfully petitioned for daily prayer during the Constitutional Convention of 1787.

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Franklin: "I have not the vanity to think I deserve heaven."
Franklin: "I have not the vanity to think I deserve heaven."

I can only show my Gratitude for those Mercies from God, by a Readiness to help his other Children and my Brethren. For I do not think that Thanks, and Compliments, tho’ 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 (as you suppose) that I shall 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 Reward: 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, compar’d with those who think they deserve Heaven for the little Good they do on Earth. Even the mix’d 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 own 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 preserv’d and bless’d 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. — from a Letter to Joseph Huey, June 6, 1753

Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) was one of the founding fathers of the United States. Renowned for his wide-ranging knowledge and scholarship, his various careers reflected the capaciousness of his intellect. Serving at one time or another as a writer, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor and diplomat, Franklin was also a major contributor to the American Enlightenment and furthered the cause of science through his experiments and discoveries regarding electricity. A strong proponent of organized religion as a complement to civic order, Franklin considered himself a deist and a Christian and unsuccessfully petitioned for daily prayer during the Constitutional Convention of 1787.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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