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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 145

greatly excited by it. On the other hand, when they
did believe it, they moved forward most warmly and energetically. It
was the character of the Jewish people to follow their impressions with
great tenacity.

To the people of our times, it would seem strange that the preaching
of the apostles should have so excited the people. This generation can
listen to doctrine entirely adverse to their views, with comparatively
little excitement. They will frequently seem scarcely to have heard
it. This is because they do not hold themselves responsible for what
is taught, nor feel any very deep concern and interest in forming the
public mind. They are indifferent to what is taught. This is one of
the most dangerous features of our times. It grows to a considerable
extent out of reading light trash, of a novel and imaginary character,
which throws away every thing sentimental, with all concern about the
impression it may make upon the human heart. It destroys concern for
one of the most important items in the world, and seems to suppose that
our children may, with perfect safety, hear whatever may chance to fall
in their path.

When a man becomes indifferent, or falls into such a state as not
to care what is taught, he is measurably beyond the reach of all
instruction, for he places no value upon instruction. When the gospel
of our Lord was first spoken, it moved the souls of those who heard
it, and caused them to act most energetically either for or against
it. This was because they cared for public sentiment, and were deeply
concerned about what was taught. They were really conscientious and
felt highly responsible for all their actions. But how different where
this feeling of responsibility is lost? The most awful consequences may
be referred to, the most terrible appeals may be made, and the most
powerful inducements may be placed before them, but Galio like, they
are all unheeded and unappreciated. In this case, conscientiousness,
if not even consciousness itself, if not entirely lost, is so greatly
diminished as entirely to cease to perform its office.

This state of indifference is not confined to the world alone, but has
long since entered the precincts of the church. It is in the way of
every meeting, of every ordinance, of every discourse, and of every
good work. Those under its influence are ever ready to drawl out, “It
is of no use”—“it can’t be done”—or, “I do not care anything about
it.” Sometimes it is evaded, by objections or some fault being found.
How perfectly disheartening all this is to

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 3 [of 3]

Page 102
_: to the ceded North American territory it has been 280,423_l.
Page 143
Dickinson, in particular, having taken a very.
Page 145
[69] Mr.
Page 167
Thus they get all our money from us by trade; and every profit we can any where make by our fisheries, our produce, or our commerce, centres finally with them;--but this does not satisfy.
Page 185
_ No; the money paid for the postage of a letter is not of the nature of a tax; it is merely a _quantum meruit_ for a service done; no person is compellable to pay the money, if he does not choose to receive the service.
Page 189
Every year the king sent down to the house a written message to this purpose, "that his majesty, being highly sensible of the zeal and vigour with which his faithful subjects in North America had exerted themselves, in defence of his majesty's just rights and possessions; recommended it to the house to take the same into consideration, and enable him to give them a proper compensation.
Page 241
Surinam, now a wealthy sugar-colony in Guiana, and which, but for that cession, might still have remained in our possession.
Page 244
STRAHAN, You are a member of that parliament, and have formed part of that majority, which has condemned my native country to destruction.
Page 248
It is a million of pities so fair a plan, as we have hitherto been engaged in for increasing strength and empire with _public felicity_, should be destroyed by the mangling hands of a few blundering ministers.
Page 272
These are all wild imaginations; and those who go to America with expectations founded upon them will surely find themselves disappointed.
Page 291
Cretico lives in a neighbouring province.
Page 292
As I am very well assured the greatest men among us have a sincere love for their country, notwithstanding its ingratitude, and the insinuations of the envious and malicious to the contrary, so I doubt not but they will cheerfully tolerate me in the liberty I design to take for the end abovementioned.
Page 293
Thus, Sir, I have all the trouble and pesterment of children,.
Page 304
They wander through the woods and bushes by day, to discover the marks and signs; at midnight they repair to the hopeful spots with spades and pickaxes; full of expectation, they labour violently, trembling at the same.
Page 314
do the same, thy profit will be as great as mine.
Page 316
_ At this time, when the general complaint is, that "money is scarce," it will be an act of kindness to inform the moneyless how they may reinforce their pockets.
Page 320
Hours of each night in which we burn candles 7 ------- Multiplication gives for the total number of hours 1,281 These 1,281 hours multiplied by 100,000, the number of inhabitants give 128,100,000 One hundred twenty-eight millions and one hundred thousand hours, spent at Paris by candle-light, which, at half a pound of wax and tallow per hour, gives the weight of 64,050,000 Sixty-four millions and fifty thousand of pounds, which, estimating the whole at the medium price of thirty sols the pound, makes the sum of ninety-six millions and seventy-five thousand livres tournois 96,075,000 An immense sum! that the city of Paris might save every year, by the economy of using sunshine instead of candles.
Page 322
Indeed, from the marriages that have fallen under my observation, I am rather inclined to think, that early ones stand the best chance of happiness.
Page 326
My brothers, and sisters, and cousins, understanding the bargain I had made, told me I had given four times as much for it as it was worth.
Page 396