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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 131

receive him without it. This would
only lead him to doubt whether we saw or cared for the importance of
it ourselves. It never can have a good influence on any sensible man
to see religious people so anxious to get him into their party as to
set aside their own established principles, and what they hold to be
clearly the _law of God_, for a man not willing to submit to the law of
induction into the heavenly family. This is not _liberality_, but
_disloyalty_ all around. It is not a question about what _we_ will do,
but what the _Lord_ will do.

Mere refinement and respectability have nothing to do in the matter. It
is a matter of faith and respect to the supreme and absolute authority.
Has a man the faith, the humility and the obedient spirit that will
learn of Jesus and yield to what he requires? We are not vying with any
people in this country in efforts to be liberal and easy in our views
and practice, but we desire to see who can live nearest to the Lord
and follow him most closely. He laid down the law of induction, or the
law for receiving members, and we have no discretionary power in the
matter. We do not make the terms, but simply exhort men to comply with
them, as found in the Book of God.


The American people are so familiar with the name and character of
Henry Ward Beecher, that no explanation of what follows, is needed
by the present generation. Beecher is the most gifted and noted
_liberalist_ and progressionist in America. He is out at sea, without
chart or compass. The movements of the wind, and the motion of the
current, determine his course. He cares not whither he sails or where
he lands, or whether he lands at all or not, so that the breeze is
pleasant and the waves smooth. His great mind, glib tongue, and
tireless pen, have enabled him to unsettle and pervert the faith of
thousands of honest and unsuspecting people. Even some preachers
among the disciples, who are noted for their adherence to the fixed
principles of revealed religion, have been seduced by Beecher. The good
providence of God, in time, revealed the true character of the man
of no faith, and men now see it blackened and tarnished by crime and
immorality. Let the liberalists and progressionists among the disciples
of Christ, take warning from the downfall of the far famed Beecher.

Scandal has come; disgrace and shame that would make any conscience,
not seared

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

Page 3
thinking it a favorable opportunity, joined the whole weight of the proprietary interest to get me out of the Assembly; which was accordingly effected at the last election by a majority of about twenty-five in four thousand voters.
Page 49
My always keeping good hours, and giving little trouble in the family, made her unwilling to part with me; so that, when I talked of a lodging I had heard of, nearer my business, for two shillings a week, which, intent as I now was on saving money, made some difference, she bid me not think of it, for she would abate me two shillings a week for the future; so I remained with her at one shilling and sixpence as long as I stayed in London.
Page 53
] [Footnote 74: The woman who, according to legend, wiped the face of Jesus on his way to Calvary, and carried away the likeness of his face, which had been miraculously printed on the cloth.
Page 62
But my giving this account of it here is to show something of the interest I had, every one of these exerting themselves in recommending business to us.
Page 65
I think this was in or about the year 1729.
Page 68
But this affair having turned my thoughts to marriage, I looked round me and made overtures of acquaintance in other places; but soon found that, the business of a printer being generally thought a poor one, I was not to expect money with a wife, unless with such a.
Page 69
The match[105] was indeed looked upon as invalid, a preceding wife being said to be living in England; but this could not easily be proved because of the distance; and though there was a report of his death, it was not certain.
Page 85
The man came every now and then from the wheel to see how the work went on, and at length would take his ax as it was, without farther grinding.
Page 86
15, 16.
Page 91
Whenever I was solicited to insert anything of that kind, and the writers pleaded, as they generally did, the liberty of the press, and that a newspaper was like a stagecoach, in which any one who would pay had a right to a place, my answer was that I would print the piece separately if desired, and the author might have as many copies as he pleased to distribute himself, but that I would not take upon me to spread his detraction; and that, having contracted with my subscribers to furnish them with what might be either useful or entertaining, I could not fill their papers with private altercation, in which they had no concern, without doing.
Page 93
This detection gave many of our party disgust, who accordingly abandoned his cause, and occasioned our more speedy discomfiture in the synod.
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 109
Syng, one of our members: "If we fail, let us move the purchase of a fire engine with the money; the Quakers can have no objection to that; and then, if you nominate me and I you as a committee for that purpose, we will buy a great gun, which is certainly a fire engine,"--"I see," says he, "you have improved by being so long in the Assembly; your equivocal project would be just a match for their 'wheat or other grain.
Page 118
By talking and writing on the subject I was at length instrumental in getting the street paved with stone between the market and the bricked foot pavement that was on each side next the houses.
Page 121
And here let me remark the convenience of having but one gutter in such a narrow street, running down its middle, instead of two, one on each side, near the footway; for where all the rain that falls on a street runs from the sides and meets in the middle, it forms there a current strong enough to wash away all the mud it meets with; but when divided into two channels, it is often too weak to cleanse either, and only makes the mud it finds more fluid, so that the wheels of carriages and feet of horses throw and dash it upon the foot pavement, which is thereby rendered foul and slippery, and sometimes splash it upon those who are walking.
Page 124
Part of what passed between us on the occasion may also be seen among those papers.
Page 126
Hamilton, grew tired of the contest, and quitted the government.
Page 134
I commiserated their case, and resolved to endeavor procuring them some relief.
Page 136
The wagoners took each a horse out of his team, and scampered; their example was immediately followed by others, so that all the wagons, provisions, artillery, and stores were left to the enemy.
Page 170
Pride breakfasted with Plenty, dined with Poverty, and supped with Infamy.