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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 162

idea, we entertain not a doubt. Those determined to
reproduce the gospel of Christ and all its fruits, the Church, and all
its blessings to man, introduce no innovations; nothing new and foreign
to destroy the peace of the children of God, and are the cause of no
dissensions and no divisions. Those standing off are not from among
them. They will stand with God, with Christ, with the Holy Spirit, with
the things of God as set forth in Scripture. We stop not to count the
number, whether great or small, nor to consider whether they shall be
popular or unpopular, rich or poor. The only question is, are they of
God? Does God require that the gospel of his grace, as given by his Son
and the apostles, shall be reproduced? Does he require that the church
shall be reproduced? We maintain that he requires that the gospel, in
all its entirety and completeness, shall be reproduced, and we shall be
satisfied with nothing short of it. He requires that the Church, in
its entirety and completeness, shall be reproduced. These are matters
settled with us. The man whose heart is not in this work, and who aims
not at it, is not one with us, nor in sympathy with us.


We do not believe that the 25th of December is the birthday of our
Lord. We have seen abundant reasons for this, and could adduce them, if
the importance of the matter required it, though we have not the works
at hand now to refer to, as we think, settling the matter.

There is not an intimation of the first Christians making anything
of the birthday of our Lord, observing it religiously in any way, or
regarding it as a holiday, or a _holy day_ at all. This accounts for
the uncertainty about the day. If the first Christians had observed it,
or in any particular way celebrated it, as the Jews did the Passover,
there never could have been any doubt about the day. Anti-christ is
great on _holy days_, specially if, of his own appointment, or if some
paganism is mixed in them. This was one source of corruption in the
primitive church—the continual tendency to mix up pagan ceremonies
and superstitions with the simple, pure and holy religion of our Lord.
Worldly and carnal-minded men in the early ages conceived the idea of
popularizing the religion of Christ and commending it to the world by
mixing pagan ceremonies, customs and superstitions with it; adorning it
with philosophy and the pagan ideas of refinement. But all this only
corrupted and

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

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Page 1
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.
Page 2
Judge, then, how much I must have been gratified by an incident I am going to relate to you.
Page 3
[Illustration: The Sun shone yesterday, and I would not work, to-day it rains and I cannot work.
Page 4
Many, without labour, would live by their wits only, but they break for want of stock;" whereas industry gives comfort, and plenty, and respect.
Page 5
" "If you would be wealthy, think of saving, as well as of getting.
Page 6
These are not the necessaries of life; they can scarcely be called the conveniences: and yet only because they look pretty, how many want to have them?--By these, and other extravagancies, the genteel are reduced to poverty, and forced to borrow of those whom they formerly despised, but who, through industry and frugality, have maintained their standing; in which case it appears plainly, that "A ploughman on his legs is higher than a gentleman on his knees," as Poor Richard says.
Page 7
" [Illustration: Published by W.
Page 8
Remember, Job suffered, and was afterwards prosperous.
Page 9
However, I resolved to be the better for the echo of it; and, though I had at first determined to buy stuff for a new coat, I went away, resolved to wear my old one a little longer.