• Let it be observed, that slovenliness is no part of religion; that neither this, nor any text of Scripture, condemns neatness of apparel. Certainly this is a duty, not a sin. Cleanliness is indeed next to godliness.

    Sermons on Several Occasions Sermon 88 (1788). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs notes, "Next in this proverb means 'immediately following,' as in serial order." The ODP refers to a passage in Francis Bacon, Advancement of Learning (1605), reading, "Cleannesse of bodie was euer esteemed to proceed from a due reverence to God."