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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 160

followers and the church he established.
Those of whom the church on Pentecost was composed came out of that
old persecuting church, abandoned it and “were added to them”—to the
apostles and the one hundred and twenty brethren—the new church—the
one the Lord said (Matt. xvi. 18), “I will build.” “On this rock I
will build my church”—the “one new man” (Eph. ii. 15), “to make in
himself of twain one new man, so making peace.” “Man” here is used
figuratively, and stands for _church_, and one _new_ man is one
_new_ church. It is not the perpetuation of an _old_ church, Adamic,
Abrahamic, Mosaic or any other, but to build _one new church_ was what
the Lord intended and accomplished.

The matter now is, not to be a descendant of Abel, nor of Abraham, nor
Jacob, or Israel; nor to be of any particular line of flesh and blood,
but to be born again—born from above, born of God. “That which is born
of the flesh is flesh; that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
This new church has a new basis of membership, not in the flesh but
in the Spirit, not in being born in the family of Abraham, but in the
family of God, not in the first birth, but the second birth, not in a
birth of the flesh, but a birth of the Spirit, not founded in natural
generation, but in regeneration, not children of God by blood, but “all
the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”

This church in which we are “all the children of God by faith in
Christ”—by virtue of a new creation, a birth of water and of the
Spirit, is not the one in the wilderness, nor any other church,
congregation or assembly found before Pentecost, but it is the one the
Lord said, “I will build,” but which was not built when the Lord said
this; the one _new_ man, or _new_ church which the Lord made of the
twain, or the _two_, the Jews and the Gentiles. This is the “one body”
into which all were immersed in the time of the apostles—the body
of Christ—the “temple of God,” in which God and Christ and the Holy
Spirit dwell. To be “in Christ” is to be in this _one body_, to be “in
the kingdom of God,” “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of
the Holy Spirit,” to be in union with the Father and with the Son, with
the whole family in heaven and on earth. To be in

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 9
By this means he turned our attention to what was good, just, and prudent in the conduct of life; and little or no notice was ever taken of what related to the victuals on the table, whether it was well or ill dressed, in or out of season, of good or bad flavor, preferable or inferior to this or that other thing of the kind, so that I was bro't up in such a perfect inattention to those matters as to be quite indifferent what kind of food was set before me, and so unobservant of it, that to this day if I am asked I can scarce tell a few hours after dinner what I dined upon.
Page 10
Page 14
By comparing my work afterwards with the original, I discovered many faults and amended them; but I sometimes had the pleasure of fancying that, in certain particulars of small import, I had been lucky enough to improve the method or the language, and this encouraged me to think I might possibly in time come to be a tolerable English writer, of which I was extremely ambitious.
Page 22
Our acquaintance continu'd as long as he liv'd.
Page 30
I had shown an obliging readiness to do her some little services, which impress'd her I suppose with a degree of good will toward me; therefore, when she saw a daily growing familiarity between me and the two young women, which they appear'd to encourage, she took me aside, and said: "Young man, I am concern'd for thee, as thou has no friend with thee, and seems not to know much of the world, or of the snares youth is expos'd to; depend upon it, those are very bad women; I can see it in all their actions; and if thee art not upon thy guard, they will draw thee into some danger; they are strangers to thee, and I advise thee, in a friendly concern for thy welfare, to have no acquaintance with them.
Page 31
So he swore he would make me row, or throw me overboard; and coming along, stepping on the thwarts, toward me, when he came up and struck at.
Page 32
I had hitherto kept the proposition of my setting up, a secret in Philadelphia, and I still kept it.
Page 33
I presented him an inventory of a little print'g-house, amounting by my computation to about one hundred pounds sterling.
Page 39
On my expressing some concern about what I should do, he advised me to endeavor getting some employment in the way of my business.
Page 42
All was in vain; sheets of the poem continued to come by every post.
Page 61
My friends there, who conceiv'd I had been of some service, thought fit to reward me by employing me in printing the money; a very profitable jobb and a great help to me.
Page 72
Those who lov'd reading were oblig'd to send for their books from England; the members of the Junto had each a few.
Page 77
Page 83
I was surpris'd to find myself so much fuller of faults than I had imagined; but I had the satisfaction of seeing them diminish.
Page 103
I therefore, in 1743, drew up a proposal for establishing an academy; and at that time, thinking the Reverend Mr.
Page 113
[11] The House named the speaker (Mr.
Page 117
I then wrote and printed a paper setting forth the advantages to the neighbourhood that might be obtain'd by this small expense; the greater ease in keeping our houses clean, so much dirt not being brought in by people's feet; the benefit to the shops by more custom, etc.
Page 119
"That in the dry summer months the dust be all swept up into heaps at proper distances, before the shops and windows of houses are usually opened, when the scavengers, with close-covered carts, shall also carry it all away.
Page 122
My plan, with my reasons in support of it, is to be found among my political papers that are printed.
Page 150
his lordship's letters were not ready; and yet whoever waited on him found him always at his desk, pen in hand, and concluded he must needs write abundantly.