A Book of Gems Choice selections from the writings of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 110

vice and virtue—except the
reward of one and the punishment of the other, received in this life.
It proposes to believe the Bible, and would have men believe that it
teaches that he who was an atheist, a deist, and a scoffer at all that
God has said, and a blasphemer of the name of God till he breathed the
last breath, shall be received up into glory, and seated down with the
holy martyrs of Jesus, and enjoy God forever! No other system has so
far imposed upon the credulity of mankind, as to face the world, as
well as the heavens, and declare that the lake of fire prepared for the
devil and his angels, where the beast and the false prophet shall be
tormented day and night, forever and ever—the _gehena_ of fire, where
the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched—is in this world, and
that the wicked we see are actually enduring its punishments!

No infidel desires any better opposition to religion than this. No
man who hates the Bible, and wishes its influence upon the world
counteracted, desires any more effectual method of doing it than this,
so far as men will receive it. Those who fall under its influence will
neither worship God nor keep his commandments. Atheism itself has all
the incentives to a righteous life found in this system, and may be
trusted just as far. Its influence is to harden the heart, and fill the
world with impenitence and indifference.




VALUE OF LEARNING.


If a man’s learning is combined with piety, devotion, and consecration
to Jesus Christ, and he is possessed with the humility and meekness
inculcated in Christianity, and his learning enables him to unfold
the unsearchable riches of Christ, with the simplicity, sincerity and
devotion necessary to commend it to the hearts and consciences of men,
it is of great value. If the Lord dwells in a man, if the great matters
of the kingdom of God fill his soul, and if his learning is used in
presenting the simple gospel of Christ in meekness, it may be of great
service to him; but, it requires much care to keep the Lord in front
of it, so that the hearers will see nothing but him. The more gifted
the man, the more learned and powerful, the better, if all his powers
are engaged in setting forth and honoring the Lord, sanctifying _Him_
in the eyes of the people. At the same time, he should rely upon not
learning only, or talent, or power that he possesses, but upon the
Lord, upon his

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Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

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He left me then, promising to remit me the first money he should receive in order to discharge the debt; but I never heard of him after.
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It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the Deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough Deist.
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We ventured, however, over all these difficulties, and I took her to wife, September 1st, 1730.
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11.
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Ven.
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_Sloth, like Rust, consumes faster than Labor wears; while the used key is always bright, as Poor Richard says.
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McMaster in a volume of _The American Men of Letters Series_; his life as a statesman and diplomat, by J.