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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 156

never be enlightened or brought to the
knowledge of the truth. The truth condemns them and they do not want
it. They hate it and those who love it.

Truth has one grand quality about it; the more you know about it,
the more clearly you see that it is the truth. It is like an honest
man; the more you know about him, the more clearly you see that he is
an honest man. The more you know about error, the more clearly you
perceive it to be error. In the same way, the more you know about
dishonest and heartless men the more clearly you see that they are

Be careful and occupy the right ground, the true position, and no man
can ever overthrow it, or prove it to be anything else but the true
ground. It is a great thing in favor of an army to take a _strong

We have taken the strongest position that can be taken, and if we fall
back from that, no matter what we fall back to, we shall find it a
weaker position. We have gone back to our Lord and looked up to him,
and committed ourselves to him. He has given us a position and placed
us on it. It is not _our_ position but _his_ position. We know it is
right, because it came from him and is his. We have simply received
him, with all he said and did—his holy and inspired apostles, with
all they said and did. We have nothing of _our own_, but have received
Christ and his gospel, the apostles of Christ, and the gospel of the
grace of God, which they preached; the teaching of Christ and his
apostles; all things as they came from this divine source, without
anything added or taken away, anything more or less. None can find a
position above this. It is the highest ground that can be taken. The
gospel which the apostles preached is right. The apostles’ teaching for
the churches is right. This nobody denies. We have no position of _our
own_, or doctrine of _our own_, but have taken precisely the position
of the first Christians, and the teachings under which they were
placed, and no other. We, therefore, have nothing but our Lord, his
gospel and teachings, as they emanated from himself and his inspired
apostles, and no position only the one on which they have placed us to

We are weak and can do but little. Let us not rely on _our own_
position, but the one the Lord has appointed; _our

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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 12
--Observations on the prevailing Doctrines of Life and Death 282 Lord Brougham's Portrait of Dr.
Page 49
A man given to romance must be always on his guard, for fear of contradicting and exposing himself to derision; for the most _historical_ would avoid the odious character, though it is impossible, with the utmost circumspection, to travel long on this route without detection, and shame and confusion follow.
Page 50
I will acquaint them with the true secret of money-catching, the certain way to fill empty purses, and how to keep them always full.
Page 51
This arises very much from the different views in which they consider things, persons, and events, and the effect of those different views upon their own minds.
Page 66
They were each of them fined five thousand pounds, and adjudged to lose their ears on the pillory, to be branded on the cheeks with.
Page 72
Some folks seem to think they ought never to be easy till England becomes another Lubberland, where it is fancied the streets are paved with penny-rolls, the houses tiled with pancakes, and chickens, ready roasted, cry, Come eat me.
Page 94
Two more are to be built, one on each side of this, at about fifteen miles' distance.
Page 114
_ "Passy, June 7, 1782.
Page 141
During seven or eight days I shall be very busy; after that, you shall hear from me, and the carriage shall be at your service.
Page 157
And I think we are daily more and more enlightened; so that I have no doubt of our obtaining, in a few years, as much public felicity as good government is capable of affording.
Page 176
I now can assure you that I am perfectly clear in the remembrance that the map we used in tracing the boundary was brought to the treaty by the commissioners from England, and that it was the same that was published by _Mitchell_ above twenty years before.
Page 179
You see I have given a loose to imagination; but I approve much more your method of philosophizing, which proceeds upon actual observation, makes a collection of facts, and concludes no farther than those facts will warrant.
Page 198
Thus the pointed rod either prevents the stroke from the cloud, or, if a stroke is made, conducts it to the earth with safety to the building.
Page 201
Page 203
Hence gusts after heats, and hurricanes in hot climates.
Page 214
But you object, if water may be thus carried into the clouds, why have we not salt rains? The objection is strong and reasonable, and I know not whether I can answer it to your satisfaction.
Page 221
The sensation that the separation by fire occasions we call heat or burning.
Page 224
The sun raises the vapours from the sea, which form clouds, and fall in rain upon the land, and springs and rivers are formed of that rain.
Page 225
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146 virtuons --> virtuous 6.