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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 134

he made
man, who would be saved and who would be lost,” and, if he did, “why he
created those he knew would be lost,” “whether angels are a distinct
order of beings from men,” “whether we shall know each other in the
eternal state,” “with what body the dead will be raised,” “whether the
righteous and wicked will rise at the same time,” “where the spirit is
between death and the resurrection,” “whether it is conscious, or can
exist separate from the body,” “when the end of the world will be,”
etc., etc.

We have now an immense swarm of these idle dreamers; some of these
have already reasoned themselves into the hallucination that they are
in the New Jerusalem state, and that the christian dispensation, or
the mediatorial reign of our Lord Jesus Christ has passed away! These
idle away their time in discussing the ascension, through the different
grades of spheres, which they imagine they shall eternally be attaining
and passing through, with other kindred topics. Another class reason
themselves into absolute fatalism. With them, all the actions of men,
and the very thoughts that lead to them, are of _necessity_, and cannot
be anything else! There is no praise of one class, or condemnation of
another, for all do just what they do from an eternal necessity! Off,
at another angle, another party is found, theorizing upon the whimsical
notion of human pre-existence, in which state, they think a consistent
origin for sin may be found! Yet another class perceive, that deep
down in the Bible, where, till recently, none had ever penetrated, the
doctrine is found, that, at judgment, the wicked will be stricken out
of existence, thus ridding them of the idea of endless punishment,
which had previously given them much distress! Still another class
of these, have rid themselves of the same distressing and annoying
doctrine, by making the astonishing discovery, that there is no devil,
no hell, nor punishment of any kind, beyond the present state, and,
therefore, no danger of any endless punishment! Still another class
became perplexed with these metaphysical reasonings, subtleties and
theorizings, in things that they cannot help feeling conscious can have
no possible beneficial effects upon mankind, and rid themselves of the
entire concern, by making the discovery that all things come by chance,
that there is no God, Savior, angel or spirit, and death is an eternal
sleep! But we sicken at the effort of trying to describe the vain and
idle speculations of all these “wandering stars,” and shall proceed to
something more tangible.

Scepticism has no foundation, no basis, no reality upon which

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Text Comparison with A Book of Gems Choice selections from the writings of Benjamin Franklin

Page 9
Giving up Principles 397 Glorying in the Cross of Christ 439 Hardening Pharaoh’s Heart 15 Hear ye Him 123 How a Preacher may Stand Fair 281 How the Cause of Reformation was Advanced 391 How the World Regards Dancers 297 Household Baptisms 433 Imperfect Medium for a Perfect Revelation 482 Individuality after Death 369 Infant Sin—Infant Salvation 108 Influence of the Dance 245 Innovations in the Church of Christ 413 In Season and out of Season 38 Is.
Page 14
467 Popular Amusements 451 Popular Union Meetings 249 Praise God by Singing 232 Prayer 364 Prayer Books 341 Preachers Belonging to no Church 229 Preach Christ, not Ourselves 329 Preacher did not Suit 30 Present Punishment will not Save 133 Progressing Backward 46 Protracted Meetings, Excitements, etc.
Page 31
He permits them to rule and rule badly, do wickedly; oppress the people, as vessels of dishonor and wrath, making them examples to all the earth, in their overthrow and utter ruin, to teach other rulers and the people that they are all in the hands of the Lord.
Page 45
There is not a non-essential in it.
Page 48
1st.
Page 53
On the other hand, the church party should review the whole ground carefully, and see to it that _all they can do_ to open the way for the disaffected party to become reconciled and brought into the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace _be done_.
Page 62
Judaism is abolished.
Page 70
No, we can not be excusable; the love of Christ constrains us; the value of the souls of men urges, and the example of all the ancient worthies impels us to go into the great harvest and help to reap it down.
Page 100
Men brought up in school houses, fed and clothed from their father’s pockets, without ever knowing what it was to earn a dollar, or a coat for their backs, without knowing anything about the hardships and buffetings of the world, no matter if they become scholars, and learn how to say a few fine things, _never will_ and _never can_ do the work we are speaking of.
Page 212
The gospel is his power for salvation.
Page 214
” Suppose we could see them standing in a long rank, and among the most distinguished we could see Enoch, Elijah and the venerable Abraham.
Page 234
The simple question is, whether we will stand by christianity and maintain it—whether we will face the issue, in a kind, a manly and noble manner, or shrink, depart from it and allow it to be crushed down.
Page 239
While this evil exists among the believers, can we pray in faith for the conversion of the world? Can carnal professors, in the absence of the Spirit of the Lord, without a sufficiency of the love of Christ, to fellowship but a small portion of those for whom Christ died, and who profess to love and serve him, hope that God will make them instrumental in converting the world? No, we need not flatter ourselves with the fond conceit, that anything like general saving influence will ever be felt by the world, until those for whom Jesus prayed are _one_.
Page 249
” JESUS REVEALED AS THE SAVIOR.
Page 263
Such men will flounder and think themselves abused if we do not think they are perfectly _sound_.
Page 267
This is ridiculous.
Page 269
We think some of the Greeks do this to the present day.
Page 279
“_Nor_ stands in the way of sinners.
Page 287
But had they refused to march round the walls, shout and blow the trumpet, though they might have prayed till now, the Lord would not have answered them nor saved them.
Page 314
If the worst things infidels have ever said of him were true, it is better and safer to follow him, than them; for they admit that he was better than they, and his teaching better than their own.