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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 125

door, crying, Lord, Lord, open to us, whom
the Master refuses to receive. His language now is, “Whoever will, let
him come and take of the water of life freely.” “He who cometh to me, I
will in no wise cast out.” “He who seeks shall find; to him who knocks,
it shall be opened,” and “whoever calls upon the Lord shall be saved.”
But the time will come, when the Lord shall have arisen and shut the
door, and men shall stand without, knocking and crying, Lord, open to
us; but He refuses them admittance and thrusts them away, declaring
that He never approved them.—Nothing like this can be found in this
life. It refers to the time when the fear of the wicked cometh as a
whirlwind; when distress and anguish shall overtake them; then shall
they call upon the Lord, but He will not answer them. See Prov. i. 26,
27.

Another passage to which we refer, to show that death is the boundary
line of repentance, is the case of the rich man and Lazarus, Luke xvi.
19, 31. This rich man died, “and in hell he lifted up his eyes, being
in torments.” Here we find a man in torments after death. Lazarus has
also died, and been carried by angels to Abraham’s bosom. Dives, once
the _rich man_, but now a beggar, looks up and seeth Abraham afar off,
and Lazarus in his bosom, and cries to him, “Father Abraham, have
mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger
in water, and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame.” Now,
the question of repentance, or obtaining relief from punishment after
death, is fairly before us. In a case stated by our Lord himself, an
application is made for the mitigation of torment after death. But what
is the response of Abraham, who speaks in the place of the Almighty,
here? It is, “Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime received thy good
things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and
thou art tormented.” Here are two men after death, one _comforted_
and the other _tormented_. Can any change be made in their condition?
Let us hear Abraham. He then proceeds: “Besides all this, between
us and you there is a great gulf fixed; so that they who would pass
from hence to you can not; neither can they pass to us that would
come from thence.” This is an end of all change of condition. In that
world there is no turning to God

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

Page 11
My early readiness in learning to read, (which must have been very early, as I do not remember when I could not read,) and the opinion of all his friends that I should certainly make a good scholar, encouraged him in this purpose of his.
Page 13
This has been a convenience to me in traveling, where my companions have been sometimes very unhappy for want of a suitable gratification of their more delicate, because better instructed, tastes and appetites.
Page 21
I, too, was taken up and examined before the council; but, though I did not give them any satisfaction, they contented themselves with admonishing me, and dismissed me, considering me, perhaps, as an apprentice, who was bound to keep his master's secrets.
Page 30
He had been one of the French prophets,[49] and could act their enthusiastic agitations.
Page 45
Circulating libraries were not then in use; but we agreed that, on certain reasonable terms, which I have now forgotten, I might take, read, and return any of his books.
Page 63
They were sensible of the difference; it strengthened.
Page 69
[106] About this time, our club meeting not at a tavern but in a little room of Mr.
Page 78
This being acquired and established, Silence would be more easy; and my desire being to gain knowledge at the same time that I improved in virtue, and considering that in conversation it was obtained rather by the use of the ears than of the tongue, and therefore wishing to break a habit I was getting into of prattling, punning, and joking, which only made me acceptable to trifling company, I gave Silence the second place.
Page 90
I therefore filled all the little spaces that occurred between the remarkable days in the calendar with proverbial sentences,[118] chiefly such as inculcated.
Page 95
He was fast declining in his health, and requested of me that, in case of his death, which he apprehended not far distant, I would take home his son, then but ten years of age, and bring him up to the printing business.
Page 96
These are the things which the lawgiving mind has implanted in the souls of men.
Page 97
201.
Page 106
My answer to him was, that I had read or heard of some public man who made it a rule never to ask for an office and never to refuse one when offered to him.
Page 108
Being thus secure of a majority, I went up, and after a little seeming hesitation agreed to a delay of another hour.
Page 128
There was, indeed, little or no money at that time in the office, and therefore I proposed that the orders should be payable in a year, and to bear an interest of five per cent.
Page 131
TO THE INHABITANTS OF THE COUNTIES OF LANCASTER, YORK, AND CUMBERLAND.
Page 140
In order to march thither, I assembled the companies at Bethlehem,[176] the chief establishment of those people.
Page 142
It appeared that their number was not great, and it seems they saw we were too many to be attacked by them with prospect of advantage.
Page 150
This summary was then printed in their "Transactions;" and some members of the society in London, particularly the very ingenious Mr.
Page 155
Whether he did or not, I never heard; but, as he represented the injury to his affairs, it was very considerable.