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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 139

truth, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the
Living God, to belief; with the divine testimony that incontestably
proves the truth. But he does not compel any man to read the testimony,
to hear it read, to examine it, try to understand and appreciate it.
He lays it before the world, and demands of the nations to hear it.
It is like all the other blessings God has afforded man; it must be
sought, inquired after and received, or do men no good. Men may be none
the better of its ever entering into the world. It may be that God has
created a rich mine of gold in some part of the earth. One man seeks
all the information he can obtain, in reference to it, becomes
satisfied of its richness and accessibility; he makes a proper effort
and obtains a fortune. Another man, with equally as good endowments,
treats the whole question with indifference to it. Without examining
the testimony, he pronounces all delusion, humbuggery, a chimera, and
ridicules it, and the man that seeks information, or inquires into it.
What good will the gold mine do him? None whatever. So far as he is
concerned, it might as well never have been created.

But, it fares infinitely worse than this with him who treats with
indifference the pearls of Jesus Christ. He who prefers the darkness
of this world to the light of the Son of God, turns away his ears from
the holy and lovely lessons of the benevolent Redeemer, refuses to
inform himself in reference to Him, to whom God requires all nations
to be attentive, incurs a responsibility for which he will certainly
answer at the most solemn tribunal. He who turns his back upon the Lord
of heaven and earth, when we would call attention to him, not only
loses or forfeits the benefits proposed through him, but incurs censure
for indifference, ingratitude and disrespect, if not contempt of his
Creator and merciful Benefactor. God has created him with a heart to
believe, given the truth, and furnished the testimony to convey it to
the understanding, and holds him responsible for the exercise of his
abilities. Come, then, dear reader, and let us fix our minds upon Jesus
of Nazareth, and carefully consider his claims upon our attention. The
whole question is about him. What do you think of him whom we claim as
the Savior of the world? Do you love him and those like him? Or, are
you opposed to him?


We take it as Wesley did, that “by one Spirit,” is by

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Way to Wealth; or, "Poor Richard Improved"

Page 0
"This little work is intended as an easy Introduction to the Mythology of ancient Greece and Rome, and is particularly adapted to the use of Schools, being divested of the obscene allegories introduced by the ancients in their usual figurative style.
Page 1
Proprietors, W.
Page 2
Judge, then, how much I must have been gratified by an incident I am going to relate to you.
Page 3
"He that hath a trade, hath an estate; and he that hath a calling, hath an office of profit and honour," as Poor Richard says; but then the trade must be worked at, and the calling well followed, or neither the estate nor the office will enable us to pay our taxes.
Page 4
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Poor Dick farther advises, and says, "Fond pride of dress is sure a very curse, Ere fancy you.
Page 7
Darton, Junr.
Page 8
When you have got your bargain, you may, perhaps, think little of payment; but, as Poor Richard says, "Creditors have better memories than debtors; creditors are a superstitious sect, great observers of set days and times.
Page 9
However, I resolved to be the better for the echo of it; and, though I had at first determined to buy stuff for a new coat, I went away, resolved to wear my old one a little longer.