IN 1728 Franklin is still dissatisfied with the religions with which he is acquainted, "every . . . sect supposing itself in possession of all truth," he wrote, " and that those who differ are so far in the wrong; like a man traveling in foggy weather; those at some distance before him on the road he sees wrapped up in the fog, as well as those behind him, and also the people in the fields on each side; but near him all appear clear; though in truth he is as much in the fog as any of them."
It was about this time, he says, that he "conceiv'd the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection." He is, as we have seen, at work on a plan or design which will guide him through life. The impulse to complete it is probably hastened by his reflections following his recovery from the illness which brought him close to death. He feels the need of a creed which will have more positive and less negative elements than those contained in his "Dissertation pamphlet written in London. He also wished to avoid "those articles which," as he afterward expressed it, "without any tendency to inspire, promote, or confirm morality, serv'd principally to divide us, and make us unfriendly toward one another."
He therefore begins to draw up a creed of his own and then a liturgy, because he finds innate in man the need of something to worship. Franklin carefully writes it all out in a little pocket-size book entitled "Articles of Belief andActs of Religion."