9 Men in 10 are suicides.
Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1749
In 1730, I wrote a piece on the other side of the question, which began with laying for its foundation this fact: “That almost all men in all ages and countries, have at times made use of prayer.” Thence I reasoned, that if all things are ordained, prayer must among the rest be ordained. But as prayer can produce no change in things that are ordained, praying must then be useless and an absurdity. God would therefore not ordain praying if everything else was ordained. But praying exists, therefore all things are not ordained, etc. This pamphlet was never printed, and the manuscript has long been lost. The great uncertainty I found in metaphysical reasonings disgusted me, and I quitted that kind of reading and study for others more satisfactory.
Benjamin Franklin, letter to Benjamin Vaughan, November 9, 1779
I believe there is one Supreme most perfect Being, Author and Father of the Gods themselves.
For I believe that Man is not the most perfect Being but One, rather that as there are many Degrees of Beings his Inferiors, so there are many Degrees of Beings superior to him.
Benjamin Franklin, Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion, Part 1, November 20, 1728
Little Rogues easily become great ones.
Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1754
Odd, but I thought of children.
Never be discouraged by any Apprehension that Arts are come to such Perfection in England, as to be incapable of farther Improvement. As yet, the Quantity of Human Knowledge bears no Proportion to the Quantity of Human Ignorance.
Benjamin Franklin, letter to William Shipley, November 27, 1755
Though there are Numbers of Shopkeepers, who scorn that mean Vice of Lying, and whose Word may very safely be relied on; yet there are too many, who will endeavor to deceive, and, backing their Falsities with Asseverations, pawn their Salvation to raise their price.
Benjamin Franklin, Lying Shopkeepers, November 19, 1730
If you’d have it done, Go: If not, send.
Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1743
The Remissness of our People in Paying Taxes is highly blameable; the Unwillingness to pay them is still more so. I see, in some Resolutions of Town Meetings, a Remonstrance against giving Congress a Power to take, as they call it, the People’s Money out of their Pockets, tho’ only to pay the Interest and Principal of Debts duly contracted. They seem to mistake the Point. Money, justly due from the People, is their Creditors’ Money, and no longer the Money of the People, who, if they withold it, should be compell’d to pay by some Law.
Benjamin Franklin, letter to Robert Morris, December 25, 1783
A Man compounded of Law and Gospel, is able to cheat a whole Country with his Religion, and then destroy them under Colour of Law: And here the Clergy are in great Danger of being deceiv’d, and the People of being deceiv’d by the Clergy, until the Monster arrives to such Power and Wealth, that he is out of the reach of both, and can oppress the People without their own blind Assistance.
Benjamin Franklin, Silence Dogood No. 9, July 23, 1722