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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 111

gospel—the power of God unto salvation, to every
one who believes. He must look to heaven for the means to move men
to repent; he must appeal to God, keep God and his works before his
audience, and in this way show that his confidence is in Christianity
itself, and the author of it, and not in himself, not in man. Whether
men have what the world calls learning or not, they must know God, and
have the love of God in their hearts, if they would induce others to
love him and turn to him.




THE BIBLE INFALLIBLY SAFE.


Can men lead the people astray by insisting upon their adhering
strictly to the law of God, uniting upon it, living in peace and love?
Let the Lord reign. Let his law be the supreme authority. The Bible
is right if anything is right. All led by it are led rightly; all
under its influence are under proper influence; all opposed to it are
wrong—all the way wrong.

There is not one ray of light from heaven that has ever reached the
abodes of men in any creed, any book, or any man that is not in the
Bible.

If the man who honestly reads the Bible to know his duty or the will
of God, and does it to the best of his ability, praying daily for the
divine aid, both in understanding and doing, is not safe, infallibly
safe and right; no man in this world is safe.




EXCUSE FOR CREEDS.


One of the most common excuses offered for human creeds is, that “We
want something to keep us together—something to bind us in union.”
This apology is based virtually upon the same two preposterous
assumptions we have before mentioned. It assumes, with great apparent
innocence, that the Bible can not keep us together, that it cannot bind
us in union. Then it assumes, with much modesty, that a human creed
_can_ keep us together—bind us in union—_can do_ what the Bible _can
not do_. This, it appears to us, should startle any good man at once.
These assumptions are arrogant in the extreme, and not only arrogant,
but made without any regard to facts. Do human creeds keep churches
together? We assert, fearless of successful contradiction, that the
whole history of human creeds proves that they do not keep churches
together. Let us take one look at three of the most popular creeds in
this country, and see what they have done in keeping churches together.
How has the Baptist creed succeeded? Has it kept the Baptists together?
By no means. From the one original

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

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