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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 117

enemies
mentioned shortly after, admitting that it was known to all who dwelt
in Jerusalem and that they could not deny it, and at the close of a
discourse which they had heard, and which had convinced them that the
work was of God. The Holy Spirit, on this occasion, demanded of them
to repent, reform, or amend their lives. This demand too, is as wide
as the actual sinners among men. In the times of ignorance before the
gospel, God did not hold men to a strict account for their sins, “but
now he commands all men, everywhere, to _repent_, because he hath
appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness,”
Acts xvii. 30-31. Repentance, too, is indispensable. “Except ye repent,
ye shall all likewise perish.” Luke xiii. 3. What does the Lord mean by
this word, “except”? John iii. 3, he says, “except a man be born again,
he can not see the kingdom of God.” Two verses after this, he says,
“except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he can not enter into
the kingdom of God.” Here we have the same word, “except,” again. What
does he mean by it? At verse seven, he explains as follows: “Marvel not
that I said unto thee, _Ye must be born again_.” _You must repent_ or
_perish_, then, is the meaning of the words, “except ye repent, ye
shall perish.” Repentance is then required of “all men, everywhere,”
and is indispensable—_must be_.

But what evidence have you that repentance is the second item? It is
the second item, because we have shown that faith is the first, which
shows that repentance can not be the first; and because Peter—Acts ii.
3, and iii. 19,—addressing people who believed, but had not repented
or done anything else, commanded them to repent. He makes it the second
item. It is the second item, because a man can not repent till he
believes in the Lord, before whom he must repent, and who convinces him
of sin, for, “by the law is the knowledge of sin,” which shows that it
must follow after faith; and because there is no other item in all the
records of conversions required, that he can acceptably comply with,
till he does repent. An impenitent person can not pray, confess, be
baptized, or do anything acceptable to God. The person, therefore, who
is a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, can not get over repentance, or
do any thing else acceptable to God till he repents. His faith will do
no good so long as

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

Page 8
My grandfather had four sons that grew up, namely, Thomas, John, Benjamin, and Josiah.
Page 19
" This habit, I believe, has been of great advantage to me when I have had occasion to inculcate my opinions, and persuade men into measures that I have been from time to time engaged in promoting; and, as the chief ends of conversation are to inform or to be informed, to please or to persuade, I wish well-meaning, sensible men would not lessen their power of doing good by a positive, assuming manner, that seldom fails to disgust, tends to create opposition, and to defeat every one of those purposes for which speech was given to us,--to wit, giving or receiving information or pleasure.
Page 33
Then I took an opportunity of letting them see my watch; and lastly (my brother still grum and sullen) I gave them a piece of eight[52] to drink, and took my leave.
Page 51
The thing pleased me, for I was grown tired of London, remembered with pleasure the happy months I had spent in Pennsylvania, and wished again to see it; therefore I immediately agreed on the terms of fifty pounds a year, Pennsylvania money; less, indeed, than my present gettings as a compositor, but affording a better prospect.
Page 53
] 4.
Page 62
have frequent occasion to speak further of hereafter.
Page 69
It was liked and agreed to, and we filled one end of the room with such books as we could best spare.
Page 74
] [Footnote 86: A crimp is one who brings recruits to the army or sailors to ships by false inducements.
Page 85
It may be well my posterity should be informed that to this little artifice, with the blessing of God, their ancestor owed the constant felicity of his life, down to his seventy-ninth year, in which this is written.
Page 91
The piece, being universally approved, was copied in all the newspapers of the Continent, reprinted in Britain on a broadside,[120] to be stuck up in houses, two translations were made of it in French, and great numbers bought by the clergy and gentry to distribute gratis among their poor parishioners and tenants.
Page 106
It was thought by some of my friends that by my activity in these affairs I should offend that sect, and thereby lose my interest in the Assembly of the province, where they formed a great majority.
Page 107
Only one Quaker, Mr.
Page 115
We found they had made a great bonfire in the middle of the square.
Page 122
To do this a variety of improvements were necessary.
Page 136
his profession, and said no more.
Page 142
Beatty, who complained to me that the men did not generally attend his prayers and exhortations.
Page 147
] [Footnote 175: This dialogue and the militia act are in the Gentleman's Magazine for February and March, 1756.
Page 160
They are then, so far as they relate to you, the law of the land, for the king is the legislator of the colonies.
Page 163
] [Footnote 201: Measurements of the depth of the water with a plummet and line.
Page 165
" The other letter, from Mr.