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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 119

in the name of the Lord, under any other
name, and maintain the law of God, as the only rule of faith, without
being called a Campbellite, and branded with preaching Campbellism.


The young man who would become a preacher, while he is receiving
knowledge, or obtaining the theory, must ply himself to the work,
making a practical use of what he learns. A man may study for years and
acquire an immense amount of knowledge, but having no practical use of
it, he is as helpless as an infant. In precisely this predicament are
thousands who have gone through the manufacturing process of making
preachers, without any practical use of all they have learned. Indeed,
many of them have learned nothing of consequence, of one of the most
important chapters in a real preacher’s learning, viz: “The ways of the
world.” The knowledge of the Bible—general “book-learning,” is all
right. It is indispensable. But to _know man_, is equally important.
Man must be studied to be known. We must converse with him face to
face. We must know the world by actual contact with it. We must know
the church by actual observation. We must know the obstructions in the
way of truth and righteousness by actual contact with them, with actual
and personal efforts to remove them.

Not only so, but the people must know the preacher—see him, hear
him, and have personal interviews with him. His work can not be done
by proxy. He must go _himself_ and put his own hands to the work. He
must be with them and give them a personal example of deportment and
religious conversation, read the Bible to them, pray with them in
their families, give thanks at their tables, go with them to the place
of worship, preach to them and persuade sinners to repent. A man who
does not do this, is really no preacher of Christ, and will accomplish
nothing for his name.


Christianity literally subverts everything else, sets aside all
isms, doctrines and commandments of men of every grade, as the most
insignificant childish play. It comes to men, claiming the right to
have the attention of all as though all beside were undeserving of
any note or any regard whatever. Not only so, but it gives no chance
to assail, expose and refute, for it maintains nothing but the Bible,
but Christianity, but what God has given by inspiration and proved by
supernatural signs and wonders, accompanied with gifts of the Holy
Spirit, which all its assailants have to admit true! Can we expect to
present the only

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