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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 121

all
ground of suspicion against him, as an aspirant to the throne, or any
other part in the civil government, or one who would in any way meddle
in the civil institutions of his country, by declaring that his kingdom
is not of this world. This declaration was no evasion, but a clear,
important and divine truth, and must be shown in the lives of the
disciples of Christ, by following his example, or the cause will suffer
immeasurably.

Our Lord was so careful to keep his kingdom and his mission distinct
from civil affairs, that when he was appealed to, to arbitrate a
dispute touching an inheritance, he inquired, who made him an arbiter
in such matters, or where was there any authority for him to step aside
from his mission, or, rather, pervert his mission and his office from
their high, spiritual and divine object, to a worldly, temporal and
business object. He was so careful to keep his mission distinct from
the world, and worldly relations, that when engaged in the work of his
mission, he refused to recognize a fleshly relation—his own mother,
brother and sister. In his kingdom he recognized no fleshly relation,
as a basis for any application to him, or a reason for his institution
conferring any benefit on any human being, not excepting his own
mother, according to the flesh. Those who _do the will of God_,
regardless of all fleshly ties, political conditions, or worldly
circumstances, whether male or female, bond or free, are mother, sister
or brother, to the Redeemer and Savior of man. So perfectly distinct
did our Lord and the apostles keep their mission from politics that
there is not the remotest hint that they ever participated in civil
affairs, in a single instance, in the whole of the sacred record. They
either never participated in politics in any way, or else looked upon
the whole matter as so distinct from their mission and work, as not to
be once mentioned in the whole Christian revelation. So distinct is
the New Testament from political institutions, that it contains not
one word of instruction to civil officers, in regard to their duties,
not one hint what kind of men we should vote for, or what form of
government we should favor. It simply enjoins that Christians “obey
every ordinance of man, for the Lord’s sake:” “submit to the powers
that be; for the powers that be are ordained of God,” and declares that
“rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil”; that “the
ruler is the minister of God, and bears not

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 1 of 2] With His Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

Page 7
The last six lines I remember, but have forgotten the preceding ones of the stanza; the purpose of them was, that his censures proceeded from good-will, and, therefore, he would be known to be the author.
Page 9
not then justly conducted.
Page 15
My brother, being yet unmarried, did not keep house, but boarded himself and his apprentices in another family.
Page 19
A very flimsy scheme it was; however, it was immediately executed, and the paper was printed, accordingly, under my name for several months.
Page 48
I had seen types cast at James's in London, but without much attention to the manner; however, I now contrived a mould, and made use of the letters we had as puncheons, struck the matrices in lead, and thus supplied, in a pretty tolerable way, all deficiencies.
Page 66
[7] F.
Page 90
write at home (Philadelphia), August, 1788, but cannot have the help expected from my papers, many of them being lost in the war.
Page 99
He was at first permitted to preach in some of our churches; but the clergy, taking a dislike to him, soon refused him their pulpits, and he was obliged to preach in the fields.
Page 111
every man's donation would be doubled: thus the clause worked both ways.
Page 115
Thus, without studying in any college, I am to partake of their honours.
Page 120
When I was about to depart, the returns of wagons to be obtained were brought in, by which it appeared that they amounted only to twenty-five, and not all of those were in serviceable condition.
Page 124
This general was, I think, a brave man, and might probably have made a figure as a good officer in some European war; but he had too much self-confidence, too high an opinion of the validity of regular troops, and too mean a one of both Americans and Indians.
Page 147
[13] I set out immediately, with my son,[14] for London, and we only stopped a little by the way to view Stonehenge, on Salisbury Plain; and Lord Pembroke's house and gardens, with the very curious antiquities at Wilton.
Page 154
In September, 1752, Franklin entered upon a course of experiments to determine the state of electricity in the clouds.
Page 164
There is good reason to believe that Dr.
Page 169
"It was the first piece of sculpture of that size which had been seen in America.
Page 182
, and a number of other persons, were "ordered to attend the committee of the whole House of Commons, to whom it was referred to consider farther the several papers relative to America, which were presented to the House by Mr.
Page 194
Government here was at that time very sensible of this.
Page 203
It is said that Shehaes, being before told that it was to be feared some English might come from the frontier into the country and murder him and his people, he replied, "It is impossible; there are Indians, indeed, in the woods, who would kill me and mine, if they could get at us, for my friendship to the English; but the English will wrap me in their matchcoat and secure me from all danger.
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[19] Some of the colonies had been reduced to the necessity of bartering, from the want of a medium of traffic.