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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 157

own_ views or
theories, but the clear teachings of our Lord and his apostles. Here is
the strength, and those who stand here will find the Lord of hosts with
them. We must plead for the Lord, the gospel, the teachings of Christ
and the apostles, the ground on which they stood, maintain that and
nothing else. Here is the power, and it is nowhere else.


The Lord gave the commemoration of his sufferings and death to _his
disciples_, and Paul, in Corinth, gave it to the congregation of the
saints, and not to any others. Those who are his disciples, who are in
Christ, in the body, are communicants, and those not in Christ, are not
communicants. We “neither invite nor exclude,” but show to whom the
Lord has given the communion, and that no others have any right to it,
only those in good standing in the body, and _give it to no others_.

But for any preacher or church to arrange _purposely_ for communion
with persons whom they know are not in Christ, not in the kingdom, and
try to blur over the clear violation of the law of the kingdom, as thus
deliberately arranged for, by defining the position of his church to be
that they “neither invite nor exclude,” is certainly a weak and shallow
device. It is an attempt to ignore the very act by which we enter into
union with the Father and with the Son, as, also, the “whole family
in heaven and on earth,”—immersion into Christ, into the name of the
Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, under the sham pretext
of a _union_ meeting, a _union_ communion. There is no _Christian
union_ in any meeting that intends to ignore the clear law of induction
into the kingdom of God. It is only a _union in disloyalty_ to the
Great King—_ignoring his law_.


We know of two or three wandering pilgrims that are now old men, of
good enough talent to have made a permanent record long ago, and yet
received in doubt wherever they go, held in distrust, and, to say the
least, they have nothing that could be called a standing. To be safe,
all the overseers in the church need do is simply to receive no man
till he produces clear evidence of good standing. Look back over the
record and see where the men have gone to who have tried the _gospel
of soul sleeping_. Where are Elias Shortridge, Wm. P. Shockey, Wm.
S. Speer, J. K. Speer, Snooks, and others of the same ilk? and

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

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Virtue and Innocence, a Poem 1 0 The Economy of Human Life 1 0 Old Friends in a New Dress, or Selections from Esop's Fables, in Verse, 2 parts, plates 2 0 Little Jack Horner, in Verse, plain 1s.
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However, let us hearken to good advice, and something may be done for us; "God helps them that help themselves," as Poor Richard says.
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] "Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labour wears, while the used key is always bright," as Poor Richard says.
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Darton, Junr.
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Many a one, for the sake of finery on the back, have gone with a hungry belly, and half starved their families; "Silks and satins, scarlet and velvets, put out the kitchen fire," as Poor Richard says.
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] 'And again, "Pride is as loud a beggar as Want, and a great deal more saucy.
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And when you have got the Philosopher's stone, sure you will no longer complain of bad times, or the difficulty of paying taxes.
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The frequent mention he made of me must have tired any one else; but my vanity was wonderfully delighted with it, though I was conscious that not a tenth part of the wisdom was my own, which he ascribed to me; but rather the gleanings that I had made of the sense of all ages and nations.