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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 124

lay his head—that he died for
us—think of the holy apostles and martyrs of Jesus, with all their
labors and sufferings—all we do, or can do, dwindles into perfect
insignificance. To God, over all, blessed for ever and ever, through
Jesus Christ, we owe eternal gratitude, praises and thanksgiving that
he has ever received us and permitted us to labor in his gracious cause
at all. To his name be honor and power everlasting.


The boundary line of repentance. Life is the boundary line of
repentance. What the Scriptures call “time,” contains the whole period
during which man can turn to God. “To-day if you will hear his voice,
harden not your hearts, as in the bitter provocation, in the day of
temptation in the wilderness.” If we are ever molded into the image of
Christ, made conformable to his death, and prepared for the society
of the blessed, it must be while we are in time. To show that we are
inside of the clear revelations of God, we shall make two or three
references to the New Testament. One man, more curious to know the fate
of the masses, than his own duty to God and man, in our Lord’s lifetime
asked him: “Lord are there few that be saved?” To this the Lord
responded: “Strive to enter in at the straight gate; for many, I say
unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” Luke xiii. 23,
24. He then proceeds to the time when this shall be, as follows: “When
once the Master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door,
and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord,
Lord, open unto us; and He shall answer and say unto you, I know you
not whence you are.” In reply, they make an appeal to the fact that the
Lord had been accustomed to eat and drink in their streets. He replies,
“I know you not whence you are; depart from me all ye workers of
iniquity.” This must be after death, for He refers to the future, “When
ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets in
the Kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out,” or thrust away. It
is after death, because the Master of the house has never risen up and
shut to the door of the kingdom, in this life. As we sing sometimes,
“The doors of gospel grace stand open night and day.” None, in this
life, stand and knock at the

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

Page 1
His experiments in electricity and his inventions had made him known, and the sayings of "Poor Richard" were already in the mouths of the people.
Page 8
When I searched the registers at Ecton, I found an account of their births, marriages, and burials from the year 1555 only, there being no registers kept in that parish at any time preceding.
Page 9
[11] He had formed a shorthand of his own, which he taught me, but, never practicing it, I have now forgot it.
Page 24
They were learned men who, with other works, prepared schoolbooks, among which was the "Art of Thinking," a logic.
Page 36
But Sir William, on reading his letter, said he was too prudent.
Page 46
Lyons, too, introduced me to Dr.
Page 62
I mention this industry the more particularly and the more freely, though it seems to be talking in my own praise, that those of my posterity who shall read it may know the use of that virtue, when they see its effects in my favor throughout this relation.
Page 65
" "No," said he, "my father has really been disappointed, and is really unable; and I am unwilling to distress him further.
Page 76
] [Footnote 108: See Note 1.
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 94
In returning, I called at Newport to see my brother, then settled.
Page 105
When the company separated and the papers were collected, we found above twelve hundred hands; and, other copies being dispersed in the country, the subscribers amounted at length to upward of ten thousand.
Page 112
By so dividing it I judged the subscription might be larger, and I believe it was so, amounting to no less, if I remember right, than five thousand pounds.
Page 119
It was unanimously signed, and for a time well executed.
Page 144
I inquired concerning the Moravian marriages, whether the report was true that they were by lot.
Page 153
He set out for New York before me; and, as the time for dispatching the packet boats was at his disposition, and there were two then remaining there, one of which, he said, was to sail very soon, I requested to know the precise time, that I might not miss her by any delay of mine.
Page 162
This is the purport of what I remember as urged by both sides, except that we insisted strongly on the mischievous consequences that must attend a repeal, for that the money, one hundred thousand pounds, being printed and given to the king's use, expended in his service, and now spread among the people, the repeal would strike it dead in their hands to the ruin of many, and the total discouragement of future grants; and the selfishness of the proprietors in soliciting such a general catastrophe, merely from a groundless fear of their estate being taxed too highly, was insisted on in the strongest terms.
Page 163
Page 169
For in another place he says, Many have been ruined by buying good pennyworths.
Page 173
There are no gains without pains.