Franklin's Faith In Immortality
( Originally Published 1902 )
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, knowing that people had slandered him by misjudging and misrepresenting his religious opinions, determined to set the matter at rest for all time by writing the following epitaph, which was to be placed on his tomb :
" The Body of Benjamin Franklin, Printer, Like the Cover of an Old Book, Its Contents Torn Out, And Stripped of Its Lettering and Gilding, Lies Here, Food for Worms. Yet the Work Itself Shall not be Lost ; for it will, as He Believed, Appear Once More in a New and More Beautiful Edition, Corrected and Amended by The Author."
Franklin needed no tombstone and no epitaph. The trade which he honored, the brotherly love which he promulgated, the electrical inventions which have been the result of his early discovery, the great commonwealth which he had so important a share in founding, and his simple faith in God and obedience to his commandments are his monument and epitaph. Although these lines were never placed upon the tomb, they have been engraven in the hearts of Americans as an inspiration to a stronger faith in immortality and the resurrection.