Sunday, November 13, 2011

A fable

"A Parable Against Persecution," by Benjamin Franklin:
1. And it came to pass after those things, that Abraham sat in the door of his tent, about the going down of the sun.

2. And behold a man weary with travel came from the way of the wilderness.

3. And Abraham arose, and met him, and said unto him, Turn in, I pray thee, and warm thy feet, and tarry all night, and thou shalt arise early on the morrow, and go thy way.

4. But the man said, Nay, for I will abide under this tree.

5. And Abraham pressed him greatly; so he turned, and they went into the tent; and Abraham baked unleavened bread, and they did eat.

6. And when Abraham saw that the man blessed not God, he said unto him, Wherefore dost thou not worship the most High God, Creator of Heaven and Earth?

7. And the man answered and said, I do not worship the God thou speakest of; neither do I call on his name; for I have made to myself a God, which abideth always in mine house, and provideth me with all things.

8. And Abraham's zeal was kindled against the man, and he arose, and fell upon him, and drove him forth with blows into the wilderness.

9. And at midnight God called unto Abraham saying, Abraham, where is thy stranger?

10. And Abraham answered and said, Lord, he would not worship thee, neither would he call upon thy name. Therefore have I driven him out from before my face into the wilderness.

11. And God said, Have I borne with him these hundred ninety and eight years, and nourished and clothed him, notwithstanding his rebellion against me, and couldst not thou, that art thyself a sinner, bear with him one night?
(Via; h/t H.W. Brands, The First American, at 305-06; Brand prints verses 7-11, to which I have conformed.)

... Plagiarized, it appears, though Franklin later claimed he had only sought to improve its style.

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