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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 163

degraded it.

The Romish apostasy now has some forty _holy days_ in a year, and
as many human laws about observing them, while those involved in
it gormandize, drink, revel and gamble on the _Lord’s day_, and
thus encroach upon the laws of a civilized and enlightened people.
Protestants are patronizing them in this, and recognizing their
_holy days_, and at the same time making nothing of celebrating the
sufferings of our Lord, on the first day of every week, as all history
assures us was the practice of the first church! Instead of recognizing
the glorious resurrection of our Lord, in the assembling on the first
day of the week, they talk of the _Sabbath_, and instead of “the
communion of the blood and body of the Lord”—the commemoration of
his great sufferings for us, they listen to a pitiful ditty called “a
sermon,” and then put on long faces and keep Christmas, Good Friday,
Easter, etc., not named in the law of God at all, but derived from
paganism. If we had no other objection to sectarianism but this,
we would stand clear. People who see nothing in “the first day of
the week”—“the Lord’s day”—but _Sabbath_, or _rest_, and see not
the importance of celebrating the Lord’s death, commemorating his
sufferings, in obedience to some of his last instructions, such as the
injunction, “Do this till I come”—“Do this in memory of me”—need to
be enlightened before they can be regarded as worshipers in any true
sense, under Christ. This is the very life, the heart, the soul, and if
it be left out, all is a sham, an empty pretence—nothing. The question
is not about Christmas, Good Friday, nor Easter, of Romish and pagan
authority, but of “the Lord’s day,” and “the communion of the blood and
body of the Lord,” having the supreme and absolute authority of the
Great King.


We think it is quite proper for men who belong to no church to make it
known, and then if people want to uphold such anarchy, disorderly men,
as preachers of the gospel, they can do so with a clear understanding.
If preachers can live out of any church and do the will of God, other
people can do the same. This is not all nor the worst of it. These men
claim not only that they can live out of any church and do the will
of God, but they claim that they can do more good out of any church
than in one. This only needs to be run out to its legitimate result

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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 2
42 On Luxury, Idleness, and Industry 45 On Truth and Falsehood 50 Necessary Hints to those that would be Rich 53 The Way to make Money plenty in every Man's Pocket 54 The Handsome and Deformed Leg 55 On Human Vanity 58 On Smuggling, and its various Species 62 Remarks concerning the Savages of North America 66 On Freedom of Speech and the Press 71 On the Price of Corn and the Management of the Poor 82 Singular Custom among the Americans, entitled Whitewashing .
Page 19
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.
Page 37
He that murders a crown, destroys all that it might have produced, even scores of pounds.
Page 44
In some cases, indeed, certain modes of luxury may be a public evil, in the same manner as it is a private one.
Page 76
I have been told that an action at law was once brought against one of these water nymphs, by a person who had a new suit of clothes spoiled by this operation; but, after long argument, it was determined by the whole court that the action would not lie, inasmuch as the defendant was in the exercise of a legal right, and not answerable for the consequences: and so the poor gentleman was doubly nonsuited, for he lost not only his suit of clothes, but his suit at law.
Page 90
I read a great deal, ride a little, do a little business for myself (now and then for others), retire when I can, and go into company when I please so; the years roll round, and the last will come, when I would rather have it said _he lived usefully_ than _he died rich_.
Page 97
"DEAR SISTER, "I received your kind letter of the 9th instant, in which you acquainted me with some of your late troubles.
Page 101
" * * * * * "_Lord Kames.
Page 105
"The reasons given by the Assembly to the governor for the refusal are, that they understand the act to mean the furnishing such things to soldiers only while on their march through the country, and not to great bodies of soldiers, to be fixed, as at present, in the province; the burden in the latter case being greater than the inhabitants can bear; that it would put it in the power of the captain-general to oppress the province at pleasure, &c.
Page 108
Page 116
Hence the various purposes or inclinations that alternately prevail, and the uncertainty that perplexes us.
Page 136
Adieu, my dear friend, and believe me ever, yours affectionately, "B.
Page 141
I am covetous, and love good bargains.
Page 153
acquainted with all the springs and levers of our machine not to see that our human means were unequal to our undertaking, and that, if it had not been for the justice of our cause, and the consequent interposition of Providence, in which we had faith, we must have been ruined.
Page 180
Craven-street, Jan.
Page 182
starting game for philosophers, let me try if I can start a little for you.
Page 191
Of all wells, from one fathom to six or seven, the water flew out at the top with a vehement motion.
Page 221
to the flesh, the parts are separated too far, and pain ensues, as when they are separated by a pin or lancet.
Page 222
Clothing, thus considered, does not make a man warm by _giving_ warmth, but by _preventing_ the too quick dissipation of the heat produced in his body, and so occasioning an accumulation.
Page 228
actually do in such cases, that the river loses itself by running under ground, whereas, in truth, it has run up into the air.