Ben Franklin Quotes

Ben Franklin Quotes from his own letters, speeches and writings. Benjamin Franklin is one of the most well known and beloved of America's Founding Fathers. Learn why as you read his thoughts about life and politics in his own words.

Many of these Ben Franklin Quotes are principles you can live by. Since they are arranged chronologically, the quotes on this page cover the time when Ben Franklin was a young man. He was born in 1706 and these quotes are from the time when he was aged 15-36. Several of them are from a work he wrote in 1728, at the age of 22, called Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion, describing his religious beliefs at the time. Most of the later ones on this page are from the time when he began publishing Poor Richard's Almanack, which became one of the best selling books in America, making Franklin a rich man.

There are links to further Ben Franklin Quotes, beyond 1739, at the bottom of the page. If you would like to learn more about Benjamin Franklin, check out our Facts about Benjamin Franklin page.

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"Without Freedom of Thought, there can be no such thing as Wisdom; and no such thing as public Liberty, without Freedom of Speech." - The New England Courant, July 9, 1722

"Mankind naturally and generally love to be flatter'd: Whatever sooths our Pride, and tends to exalt our Species above the rest of the Creation, we are pleas'd with and easily believe, when ungrateful Truths shall be with the utmost Indignation rejected. "What! bring ourselves down to an Equality with the Beasts of the Field! With the meanest part of the Creation! 'Tis insufferable!" But, (to use a Piece of common Sense) our Geese are but Geese tho' we may think 'em Swans; and Truth will be Truth tho' it sometimes prove mortifying and distasteful." - A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain, 1725

"It is that particular wise and good God, who is the Author and Owner of our system, that I propose for the Object of my praise and adoration. For I conceive that He has in Himself some of those passions He has planted in us, and that, since He has given us reason whereby we are capable of observing His wisdom in the Creation, He is not above caring for us, being pleas'd wit our praise and offended when we slight Him, or neglect His Glory. I conceive for many reasons that He is a good Being, and as I should be happy to have so wise, good and powerful a Being my Friend, let me consider in what Manner I shall make myself most acceptable to Him." - Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion, November 20, 1728

"Being mindful that before I address the Deity my soul ought to be calm and serene, free from passion and perturbation, or otherwise elevated with rational joy and pleasure, I wrought to use a countenance that expresses a filial respect, mixed with a kind of smiling that signifies inward joy and satisfaction and admiration." - Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion, November 20, 1728

"O Creator, O Father, I believe that Thou are Good, and Thou art pleas'd with the pleasure of Thy children.

Praised be Thy Name forever.

By Thy Power hast thou made the glorious Sun, with his attending worlds; from the energy of Thy mighty Will they first received their prodigious motion, and by Thy Wisdom hast Thou prescribed the wondrous laws by which they move.

Praised be Thy Name forever.

By Thy Wisdom hast thou formed all things, Thou hast created man, bestowing life and reason, and plac'd him in dignity superior to Thy other earthly Creatures.

Praised be Thy Name forever.

Thy Wisdom, Thy Power, and Thy GOODNESS are every where clearly seen; in the air and in the water,, in the heavens and on the earth; Thou providest for the various winged fowl, and the innumerable inhabitants of the water; Thou givest cold and heat, rain and sunshine in their season, and to the fruits of the earth increase.

Praised be Thy Name forever.

I believe Thou hast given life to Thy creatures that they might live, and art not delighted with violent death and bloody sacrifices.

Praised be Thy Name forever.

Thou abhorrest in Thy creatures treachery and deceit, malice, revenge, Intemperance and every other hurtful Vice; but Thou art a Lover of justice and sincerity, of friendship, benevolence and every virtue. Thou art my Friend, my Father, and my Benefactor.

Praised be Thy Name, O God, forever. Amen." - Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion, November 20, 1728

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"That I may be preserved from atheism and infidelity, impiety and profaneness, and in my addresses to Thee carefully avoid irreverence and ostentation, formality and odious hypocrisy, Help me, O Father." - Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion, November 20, 1728

"And forasmuch as ingratitude is one of the most odious of vices, let me not be unmindful gratefully to acknowledge the favours I receive from Heaven... For all Thy innumerable benefits; For life and reason, and the use of speech, for health and joy and every pleasant hour, my Good God, I thank Thee." - Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion, November 20, 1728

"I pronounce it as certain that there was never yet a truly great man that was not at the same time truly virtuous." - The Busy-Body, #3, 1728

"I believe there is one Supreme most perfect being... I believe He is pleased and delights in the happiness of those He has created; and since without virtue man can have no happiness in this world, I firmly believe He delights to see me virtuous." - Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion, 1728

"It might be judged an affront to your understandings should I go about to prove this first principle: the existence of a Deity and that He is the Creator of the universe; for that would suppose you ignorant of what all mankind in all ages have agreed in. I shall therefore proceed to observe that He must be a being of infinite wisdom (as appears in His admirable order and disposition of things), whether we consider the heavenly bodies, the stars and planets and their wonderful regular motions; or this earth, compounded of such an excellent mixture of all the elements; or the admirable structure of animate bodies of such infinite variety and yet every one adapted to its nature and the way of life is to be placed in, whether on earth, in the air, or in the water, and so exactly that the highest and most exquisite human reason cannot find a fault; and say this would have been better so, or in such a manner which whoever considers attentively and thoroughly will be astonished and swallowed up in admiration." - Ben Franklin Quotes from A Lecture on the Providence of God in the Government of the World, 1730

"That the Deity is a being of great goodness appears in His giving life to so many creatures, each of which acknowledges it a benefit by its unwillingness to leave it; in His providing plentiful sustenance for them all and making those things that are most useful, most common and easy to be had, such as water (necessary for almost every creature to drink); air (without which few could subsist); the inexpressible benefits of light and sunshine to almost all animals in general; and to men, the most useful vegetables, such as corn, the most useful of metals, as iron, & c.; the most useful animals as horses, oxen, and sheep, He has made easiest to raise or procure in quantity or numbers; each of which particulars, if considered seriously and carefully, would fill us with the highest love and affection. That He is a being of infinite power appears in His being able to form and compound such vast masses of matter (as this earth, and the sun, and innumerable stars and plan ets), and give them such prodigious motion and yet so to govern them in their greatest velocity as that they shall not fly out of their appointed bounds not dash one against another for their mutual destruction. But it is easy to conceive His power, when we are convinced of His infinite knowledge and wisdom. For, if weak and foolish creatures as we are, but knowing the nature of a few things, can produce such wonderful effects, . . . what power must He possess, Who not only knows the nature of everything in the universe but can make things of new natures with the greatest ease and at His pleasure! Agreeing, then, that the world was a first made by a Being of infinite wisdom, goodness, and power, which Being we call God." - A Lecture on the Providence of God in the Government of the World, 1730

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"That wise Men have in all Ages thought Government necessary for the Good of Mankind; and, that wise Governments have always thought Religion necessary for the well ordering and well-being of Society, and accordingly have been ever careful to encourage and protect the Ministers of it, paying them the highest publick Honours, that their Doctrines might thereby meet with the greater Respect among the common People." - On government and religion, 1730

"The happy State of Matrimony is, undoubtedly, the surest and most lasting Foundation of Comfort and Love; the Source of all that endearing Tenderness and Affection which arises from Relation and Affinity; the grand Point of Property; the Cause of all good Order in the World, and what alone preserves it from the utmost Confusion; and, to sum up all, the Appointment of infinite Wisdom for these great and good Purposes." - Rules and Maxims for Promoting Matrimonial Happiness, October 8, 1730

"A fine genius in his own country is like gold in the mine." - Poor Richard's Almanack, 1733

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"Whate'ers begun in anger ends in shame." - Poor Richard's Almanack, 1734

"And as to the Cares, they are chiefly what attend the bringing up of Children; and I would ask any Man who has experienced it, if they are not the most delightful Cares in the World; and if from that Particular alone, he does not find the Bliss of a double State much greater, instead of being less than he expected." - Reply to someone's advice, March 4, 1734

"Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead." - Poor Richard's Almanack, July, 1735

"Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." - Poor Richard's Almanack, October, 1735

"Here comes the orator! With his flood of words, and his drop of reason." - Poor Richard's Almanack, 1735

"God helps them that help themselves." - Poor Richard's Almanack, June, 1736

"God heals and the doctor takes the fees." - Poor Richard's Almanack, 1736

"A countryman between 2 Lawyers, is like a fish between two cats." - Poor Richard's Almanack, 1737

"A penny saved is twopence clear." - Poor Richard's Almanack, 1737

"Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards." - Poor Richard's Almanack, 1738

"Trust thy self, and another shall not betray thee." - Poor Richard's Almanack, 1739

Learn more about Ben Franklin on our Facts about Benjamin Franklin page. You can learn about Benjamin Franklin's studies with electricity here or learn about Benjamin Franklin's inventions here.

We have lots more Ben Franklin Quotes for you!

Did you enjoy these Ben Franklin Quotes? Check out these inspirational quotes from some other Founding Fathers

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