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

By Benjamin Franklin

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feel kindly toward him as a fellow-creature, as a
citizen, neighbor or gentleman, if he is one, but we do not know him as
a preacher of Jesus, nor a teacher in the kingdom at all. We can extend
to him all the amenities and courtesies of life as a fellow-creature,
citizen, neighbor, gentleman, etc., but we simply know him, not as a
preacher of Jesus, or a teacher of the children of the kingdom. He is
not in the kingdom, and is not the man to perform any service there.

The first thing for him to do, is to submit to the divinely ordained
process by which to enter the kingdom and become a citizen, according
to the law of the Great King, and then he is ready to do any service
for which he is qualified in the kingdom. But he can not work in the
kingdom till he is in it, and it is a sham, a pretense and hypocrisy
to act toward him as if he were in the kingdom, an insincerity before
the people that leads to a false impression with some, and destroys the
confidence with others.

Such procedure is intended as a show of liberality, broad and liberal
views. But is it sincere? Is it candid? Is it honest? What is meant by
it? If these men with whom you exchange pulpits are not in Christ, what
do you mean when you place them before the people as preachers of the
gospel and teachers of the saints? Do you mean that in your expanded
liberality you would act toward a man as if he were a brother and a
preacher, when you know he is not in the kingdom at all, but if he
wanted to become a member of the church, you would not receive him, or
give the right hand of fellowship till he was immersed? This will do
for people with no religious convictions, no settled principles and no
law of God on which to act. They can act in this way or that as they
think will be popular, or suit the caprice of the people. But among
men with religious convictions, settled principles, and the law of God
before them, it is only a want of principle, consistency, and regard
for the law of God. It is simply a manifest disrespect to the Majesty
of heaven and earth, a bold, open showing that the law of God is
ignored, overlooked and disregarded, in courtesy to a man not in the
kingdom at all, in deference to a man that was

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

Page 4
393 A Suggestion 99 A Working Ministry 130 Activity in the Ministry 453 Adhering to the Bible 207 Affirmative Gospel 428 All Things Common 94 Annihilation—Future Punishment 100 Anointing with Oil 396 Apology for Creeds 120 Authority of a Single Congregation 243 Baptism of the Holy Spirit 407 Be firm in the Right .
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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.
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Human Creeds 438 The Cause of Christ is Above Partisan Politics 469 The Christian Ministry 44 The Church in the Wilderness .
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We do not want money extracted from the pockets of the people by the Church offering them sensual gratification, amusements and entertainments,.
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This is all the difficulty there is.
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listen to a discourse concerning Jesus and the resurrection, and preach the unsearchable riches of Christ; make all men see and turn them to God.
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It is virtually a surrender to the world, and an acknowledgement on the part of the preacher, that he has no confidence in the gospel, or his ability to preach to attract the attention of the people, draw them out, or turn them to God when they are drawn out.
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What assurance does that give? It is the assurance that God has given that he has appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained.
Page 163
The question is not about Christmas, Good Friday, nor Easter, of Romish and pagan authority, but of “the Lord’s day,” and “the communion of the blood and body of the Lord,” having the supreme and absolute authority of the Great King.
Page 198
Where is the divine authority for doing this or that? If there is no divine authority for doing this or that, in religion, or worship, that very circumstance is _divine authority against it_.
Page 238
How vain and imaginative the thought, that the existing parties of our times, will ever be instrumental in the hand of God, in converting the world, when the structure of their own organization, in itself, has a continual tendency to infidelity.
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If we can not determine what the gospel is, we can not decide who comes near to it, or swerves far from it.
Page 261
As an illustration:—In a union meeting in which we participated, many years ago, and after the discussions had continued eight days and nights, in which some ten parties participated, on the last evening of the meeting, a gentleman rose and inquired if he might speak, at the same time explaining that he was a sceptic.
Page 262
On all these matters a man might preach philosophically, learnedly and correctly, but not another grain of corn would grow, for all his fine talk.
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We never say _my church_.
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And again, they said, Alleluia, and her smoke rose up forever and ever.
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