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WHICH ILLUSTRATE THE PHILOSOPHICAL PAPERS
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ARTICLES OF BELIEF, AND ACTS OF RELIGION,' IN TWO PARTS.
[Referred to in Memoirs of the Life, Part J/.]
Here will 1 hold—If there is a power above us (and that there is, all nature cries aloud, through all her works), He must delight in virtue; and that which he delights in, must be happy. —Cato.
PART I.—FIRST PRINCIPLES.
I Believe there is one supreme most perfect Being, author and father of the gods themselves.
* This paper is dated Philadelphia, Nov. 20, 1728. VOL. I. A
For I believe that man is not the most perfect being but one, but rather that there are many degrees of beings superior to him.
Also when I stretch my imagination through and beyond our system of planets, beyond the visible fixed stars themselves, into that space that is every way infinite, and conceive it filled with suns like ours, each with a chorus of worlds for ever moving round him; then this little ball on which we move, seems, even in my narrow imagination, to be almost nothing, and myself less than nothing, and of no sort of consequence.
When I think thus, I imagine it great vanity in me to suppose, that the supremely-perfect does in the least regard such an inconsiderable nothing as man; more especially, since it is impossible for me to have any clear idea of that which is infinite and incomprehensible, I cannot conceive otherwise, than that he the infinite Father expects or requires no worship or praise from us, but that he is even
INFINITELY ABOVE IT.
But since there is in all men something like a natural principle which inclines them to DevoTion, or the worship of some unseen power;
And since men are endued with reason superior to all other animals, that we are in our world acquainted with;
Therefore I think it seems required of me, and my duty, as a man, to pay divine regards to SomeThing.