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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 151

we have been wont to do, knowing, as we do, that we are
supported by the whole canon of sound criticism, and we most solemnly
admonish all who fear God, against the glosses of that sickening and
supercilious affectation, that induces any man, for one moment, to
hesitate to declare to his fellow man, in the most faithful manner, the
terrible threatenings of the Almighty against the impenitent.

Let no preacher shrink, in this age of sinfulness and pride; let no
man of God be deterred by the ridicule of Universalists, by low wit of
sceptics, or the vulgar mocking of atheists, from declaring the terrors
of the Lord, for he says, “The Lord shall judge his people.” “It is a
fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” “With lies you
have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad,
and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return
from his wicked way, _by promising him life_.” “It is better to enter
into life having one eye, than having two eyes, to be cast into hell,
into the fire that shall never be quenched.” “The rich man died, and in
hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torment.” Such is but a tithe of
what abounds of this description throughout the New Testament. Is he a
friend to his God or his fellow man, who knows such language to abound
in the word of God, and shuns to declare it to those who hear him?


What confidence would we have in the preacher who would exchange
pulpits with a priest of the Papacy, not only a member of the Romish
Church, but made such before he knew there was a God, or a Savior, an
idolater, or an unregenerated man? The book of God forbids the saints
from keeping company with such a man, or eating with him, or to bid
him God-speed. We can meet a Romish priest and treat him as a citizen,
if he is one, a neighbor, or gentleman, but we do not know him as a
preacher of Jesus, or as a teacher of saints, or as a Christian. He
bears no such relations as these to us, and we recognize him in none of
these relations. In the same way, any man made a member of the church
without any faith, or before he knew there was a church, or even a God,
or who has had water sprinkled on him for baptism, is not in the body
of Christ, and we

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 of 2] With his Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

Page 15
_ And again, _Three removes are as bad as a fire_; and again, _Keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee_; and again, _If you would have your business done, go; if not, send_.
Page 20
Covetousness is ever attended with solicitude and anxiety.
Page 23
He, therefore, who talks of undertaking a war, ought to know the strength on both sides, to the end that, if his party be the stronger, he may boldly advise for war, and that, if it be the weaker, he may dissuade the people from engaging themselves in so dangerous an enterprise.
Page 42
When I saw one too ambitious of court favour, sacrificing his time in attendance on levees, his repose, his liberty, his virtue, and perhaps his friends, to attain it, I have said to myself, _This man gives too much for his whistle.
Page 70
[6] Citizen's Journal.
Page 87
But my wife being entertained with tea by the good woman she visited, we could do no less than the like when they visited us; so we got a teatable, with all its appurtenances of China and silver.
Page 100
"I send my good girl the books I mentioned to her last night.
Page 104
The Parliament cannot well and wisely make laws suited to the colonies, without being properly and truly informed of their circumstances, abilities, temper, &c.
Page 105
"Indeed, the act of Parliament in question has not, as in other acts, when a duty is enjoined, directed a penalty on neglect or refusal, and a mode of recovering that penalty.
Page 119
_ Paris, February 8, 1777.
Page 149
It is now more than sixty years since I left Boston, but I remember well both your father and grandfather, having heard them both in the pulpit, and seen them in their houses.
Page 153
I, as a republican printer, always liked a form well _planed down_; being averse to those _overbearing_ letters that hold their heads so _high_ as to hinder their neighbours from appearing.
Page 172
Page 175
" * * * * * _Copy of the last Letter written by Dr.
Page 189
Chymistry furnishes us a method of making artificial earthquakes which shall have all the great effects of natural ones; which, as it may illustrate the process of nature in the production of these terrible phenomena under ground, we shall here add.
Page 205
When the air descends with a violence in some places, it may rise with equal violence in others, and form both kinds of whirlwinds.
Page 218
I have not had leisure to repeat and examine more than the first and easiest of them, viz.
Page 219
But it is said that a vessel of water, being placed in another somewhat larger, containing spirit, in such a manner that the vessel of water is surrounded with the spirit, and both placed under the receiver of an airpump; on exhausting the air, the spirit, evaporating, leaves such a degree of cold as to freeze the water, though the thermometer in the open air stands many degrees above the freezing point.
Page 233
The strong, thriving state of your mint, in putrid air, seems to show that the air is mended by taking something from it, and not by adding to it.
Page 243
were possible, from this instance, to invent a method of embalming drowned persons, in such a manner that they may be recalled to life at any period, however distant; for, having a very ardent desire to see and observe the state of America a hundred years hence, I should prefer to any ordinary death the being immersed in a cask of Madeira wine, with a few friends, till that time, to be then recalled to life by the solar warmth of my dear country! But since, in all probability, we live in an age too early and too near the infancy of science to hope to see such an art brought in our time to its perfection, I must, for the present, content myself with the treat which you are so kind as to promise me, of the resuscitation of a fowl or a turkey-cock.