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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 118

he continues in impenitence. For his impenitence,
if he persists in it, he must perish. In the order of God, it is the
second step, and unless taken, will eternally stand between him and the
third step. No advance can ever be made till he repents. “Except ye
repent, ye shall perish.” It is true, that Ananias did not command Saul
to repent; but it was not because it was omitted in his case, for no
man ever entered the Kingdom of God without repentance; but he was not
commanded to repent, for the good reason he had repented before Ananias
came to him. We are not to expect any historian, in giving records of
conversions, and so many instances, to mention all the items in each


This has been a puzzling question. It is hard to find out precisely
what it is. Not a man yet, of all who have been engaged in fighting
this monster, has defined it, explained it, or told what it is. It
has been called a dangerous _heresy_, and so many hideous warnings
have been given against it, that the hair would almost stand upon
a man’s head to hear about it, and yet no one has told what it is.
The reason no one has defined _Campbellism_, is, simply, that _there
is no such thing in existence_, except in the imaginations of some
misguided doctors. As near as any man can now come, at what they mean
by Campbellism, it is _Christianity itself_, unmixed, unadulterated,
and without any other name. This is evident, for, when they hear a man
preach, who preaches nothing but Christianity, nothing but Christ,
simply aiming to convert men to him, and induce them to receive him
as their only Leader, they call it _Campbellism_. It is nothing but a
nick-name they have given the gospel, to keep men from hearing it. In
the same way, they call the preacher a _Campbellite_, who will preach
nothing but the gospel, nothing but Christianity, to raise prejudice
against him and prevent people from hearing him. In precisely the same
spirit, here comes Rev. N. L. Rice, of heresy-hunting memory, in a
tract of forty pages against Campbellism, which the reader may think as
he pleases about, but which is as much against the religion of Christ,
and those trying to receive it, practice it, and maintain it, and it
_alone_, as was in the power of Dr. Rice to make it, without, in so
many words, saying so. No man in this country, at this time, can preach
simply the gospel of Christ

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 3 [of 3]

Page 35
Britain had been borne by the settlers themselves? and would not the hardship appear yet greater, if the people of the new country should be allowed no representatives in the parliament enacting such impositions? Now I look on the colonies as so many countries gained to Great Britain, and more advantageous to it, than if they had been gained out of the seas around its coasts, and joined to its lands; for being in different climates, they afford greater variety of produce, and materials for more manufactures; and being separated by the ocean, they increase much more its shipping and seamen: and, since they are all included in the British empire, which has only extended itself by their means; and the strength and wealth of the parts is the strength and wealth of the whole; what imports it to the general state, whether a merchant, a smith, or a hatter, grow rich in Old or New England? and if, through increase of people, two smiths are wanted for one employed before, why may not the _new_ smith be allowed to live and thrive in the _new_ country, as well as the _old_ one in the _old_? In fine, why should the countenance of a state be _partially_ afforded to its people, unless it be most in favour of those who have most merit? and if there be any difference, those who have most contributed to enlarge Britain's empire and commerce, increase her strength, her wealth, and the numbers of her people, at the risque of their own lives and private fortunes in new and strange countries, methinks ought rather to expect some preference.
Page 43
_Secondly_, The representatives of the people in general assembly met, by virtue of the said royal grant, and the charter of privileges granted by the said William Penn, and a law of this province, have right to, and ought to enjoy all the powers and privileges of an assembly, according to the rights of the free-born subjects of England, and as is usual in any of the plantations in America: [also] it is an indubitable and now an incontested right of the commons of England, to _grant aids_ and supplies to his majesty in any manner they think most easy to themselves and the people; and they [also] are the sole judges of the _measure_, _manner and time_ of granting and raising the same.
Page 62
Page 64
If there is danger, as the remarker supposes, that "extravagant expectations" may embarrass "a virtuous and able ministry," and "render the negotiation for peace a work of infinite difficulty[19];" there is no less danger that expectations too low, through want of proper information, may have a contrary effect, may make even a virtuous and able ministry less anxious, and less attentive to the obtaining points, in which the honour and interest of the nation are essentially concerned; and the people less hearty in supporting such a ministry and its measures.
Page 84
It is said, that Ireland pays near a million sterling annually to its absentees in England: the balance of trade from Spain, or even Portugal, is scarcely equal to this.
Page 110
The 5th reason is, "_That_ debtors _in the assemblies make paper-money_ with fraudulent views.
Page 112
The Maryland bills however began to rise as the term shortened, and towards the end recovered their full value.
Page 136
" None but their wisdoms could have known before-hand, that a speech which they never heard, and a copy of which they had never seen, but were then requesting to see, was "a spirited defence," and "of our charter privileges," and that "the publication of it would be of great utility, and give general satisfaction.
Page 162
This seemed intended to awe the people into a compliance with the other act.
Page 189
" You will find those messages on your own journals every year of the war to the very last; and you did accordingly give 200,000_l.
Page 215
"--The minister however judged the _discussion_ of _dubious_ rights over growing states, a better policy than possession, discretion and silence; he turned civilian, and lost an empire.
Page 239
* * * * * Yours most affectionately, B.
Page 243
it as our duty to grant aids to the crown, upon requisition, towards carrying on its wars; which duty we have cheerfully complied with, to the utmost of our abilities; insomuch that frequent and grateful acknowledgments thereof by king and parliament appear on their records[146].
Page 261
England, on the contrary, an old, corrupt, extravagant, and profligate nation, sees herself deep in debt, which she is in no condition to pay; and yet is madly, and dishonestly running deeper, without any possibility of discharging her debt, but by a public bankruptcy.
Page 283
PRESIDENT, I confess that I do not entirely approve of this constitution at present: but, Sir, I am not sure I shall never approve it; for having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise.
Page 352
Believing therefore, that it is my _duty_, I shall honestly.
Page 353
Pensylvania, indeed, situate in the centre of the colonies, has hitherto enjoyed profound repose; and though our nation is engaged in a bloody war, with two great and powerful kingdoms, yet, defended, in a great degree, from the French, on the one hand, by the northern provinces, and from the Spaniards, on the other, by the southern, at no small expence to each, our people have, till lately, slept securely in their habitations.
Page 361
"What," say they, "shall we lay out our money to protect the trade of Quakers? Shall we fight to defend Quakers? No; let the trade perish, and the city burn; let what will happen, we shall never lift a finger to prevent it.
Page 378
Hoping that this vindication of Dr.
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Kennersley, 261.