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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 158

are their works? A streak of desolation has followed in their train
all the way. They have divided churches, set the people of God at
variance, and sown the seeds of discord. This is the kind of fruit that
has been gathered from their work. Look back over the ground and see
what has followed every man that has stranded among us. Nothing but
ruin has followed. Men that stood fair, had line talent and valuable
attainments, by some kind of departure or other, have gone, little by
little, blaming those that loved them, and would, had it been in their
power, have done anything to make them happy, till all is lost and
they feel averse to almost everything. This is what it brings to get
restless and dissatisfied with the plain truth of the Scriptures.

The race of some men is short, and the mischief they do is certain.
The ruin they bring to the churches is inevitable. Nothing is more
important than that the churches should guard against false teachers.
In the place of being flattered that all is well, and that they mean
all right, we should be on the lookout; watch all unscriptural words
and phrases; every false move and pretence; every doubtful man and
measure, and encourage that which is safe, sound and good. Make every
public man sensible that it is of importance to him, and to the cause,
to be known to be sound in teaching; to hold fast the form of sound
speech that can not be condemned; to be entirely safe and reliable;
to have a good record during his past history as a preacher. Make all
our young men specially sensible of the importance to them to become
permanent men, firm, decided and determined in their course. We want
no milk-and-water men, a little this way and a little that, but men of
settled principles, religious convictions and reliable purposes. Be
careful who you “indorse” as preachers of the gospel. Men who want good
indorsers should be good men.


Nothing is more common than reading of the dedication of the Temple
by Solomon as appropriate on dedication occasions. Only a few short
years ago, a young brother of fine talent read of the dedication
of the temple, and appropriated it to the occasion of dedicating a
new meeting-house. But this is a perversion of a very inexcusable
character. It loses sight of the significance of one of the most
important types of the Old Testament. The temple was no type of
a meeting-house, nor was the dedication of the temple a

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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 22
He met him, and accosted him in so winning a manner, that he first obliged him to hearken to his discourse.
Page 27
Page 38
The exact quantity and quality being found out, is to be kept to constantly.
Page 40
I have lived seven of those hours, a great age, being no less than four hundred and twenty minutes of time.
Page 47
[3] Truth is brighter than light.
Page 71
Are we farmers the only people to be grudged the profits of our honest labour? And why? One of the late scribblers against us gives a bill of fare of the provisions at my daughter's wedding, and proclaims to all the world that we had the insolence to eat beef and pudding! Has he not read the precept in the good book, _thou shall not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn_; or does he think us less worthy of good living than our oxen? Oh, but the manufacturers! the manufacturers! they are to be favoured, and they must have bread at a cheap rate! Hark ye, Mr.
Page 111
By these early marriages we are blessed with more children; and from the mode among us, founded by nature, of every mother suckling and nursing her own child, more of them are raised.
Page 129
Ingenhausz, who brought it, having stayed long in Holland.
Page 140
Will you permit me to express another hope that, now your friends are in power, they will take the first opportunity of showing the sense they ought to have of your virtues and your merit? "Please to make my best respects acceptable to Mrs.
Page 142
"It is hardly necessary to add, that the hospitals of enemies should be unmolested; they ought to be assisted.
Page 150
But when my grandson returns, come with him.
Page 158
My health and spirits continue, thanks to God, as when you saw me.
Page 160
That peace has been some time made, but, alas! the promise is not yet fulfilled.
Page 182
Does not the apparent wreck of the surface of this globe, thrown up into long ridges of mountains, with strata in various positions, make it probable that its internal mass is a fluid, but a fluid so dense as to float the heaviest of.
Page 184
I visited last summer a large coalmine at Whitehaven, in Cumberland; and in following the vein, and descending by degrees towards the sea, I penetrated below the ocean where the level of its surface was more than eight hundred fathoms above my head, and the miners assured me that their works extended some miles beyond the place where I then was, continually and gradually descending under the sea.
Page 187
obstruction in the pores or passages through which it used to ascend to the surface, becomes, by such means, preternaturally assembled in a greater quantity than usual into one place, and therefore causeth a great rarefaction and intumescence of the water of the abyss, putting it into great commotions and disorders, and at the same time making the like effort on the earth, which, being expanded upon the face of the abyss, occasions that agitation and concussion we call an earthquake.
Page 207
The whirlwind at Warrington continued long in Acrement Close.
Page 228
Now, how many rivers that are open to the sea widen much before they arrive at it, not merely by the additional waters they receive, but by having their course stopped by the opposing flood-tide; by being turned back twice in twenty-four hours, and by finding broader beds in the low flat countries to dilate themselves in; hence the evaporation of the fresh water is proportionably increased, so that in some rivers it may equal the springs of supply.
Page 232
He therefore advised, that some days before that season, all the green timber should be thrown into the water, and kept under water till the season was over.
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