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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 164

see the absurdity of it. Outside of _any church_ is not only outside
of churches of human device, but outside of the church of the living
God, the pillar and support of the truth. The Lord has established one
church, one body, one kingdom. He gave himself for that church. He
built it on the rock. He sanctified and cleansed it with the washing of
the water by the word. He made one new man, so making peace, or _one
new church_. It is the Lord’s _one flock_ of which he is the one
Shepherd; the temple of God, in which God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit
dwell; the kingdom which we have received that _can not be moved_.
Outside of _any church_ is outside of _this church_. Outside of this
church is the world, and inside of it is the kingdom of God—all
spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.


We find some brethren call a few members of the church who sit
together and lead the singing a choir. This is no choir in the popular
sense, nor is it at all objectionable, specially if the singing is so
conducted that the members generally sing. But this is not the meaning
of choir. The choir in a church is composed of artistic performers,
who _sing for the church_; sing difficult pieces that the masses can
not sing, _for music_ and _musical display_, to attract, entertain and
gratify the people—to charm them with _music_. These are _professional
singers_, chosen without any regard to their piety, and frequently
without any regard to their moral character. They sing to show how they
can sing, amuse and entertain.


Any man who is a christian, or is in Christ, can be received into the
fellowship of the church. If a man is not a christian, not in Christ,
he can not, in any consistency, be received into the church or into
the pulpit. We would not give much for any man’s principles, who can
set them aside for a little act of _courtesy_, or a little pretence
of _liberality_. It is nothing but a sham, an empty pretence and
hypocrisy, to receive a man into the pulpit, and recognize him before
the people, to whom you would not give the right hand of fellowship.

It is liberality to allow every man the same liberty you enjoy, but
a sham, a pretence and hypocrisy to recognize him as a preacher of
Jesus, when you do not believe he is in Christ, and would not give
him the right hand of fellowship and take him into

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin Representative selections, with introduction, bibliograpy, and notes

Page 52
[i-214] But Rae reasonably counters: "It ought of course to be borne in mind that Smith had been in the constant habit of hearing much about the American Colonies and their affairs during his thirteen years in Glasgow from the intelligent merchants and returned planters of that city.
Page 90
"[i-488] He expressed his creed just before his death in the often-quoted letter to Ezra Stiles.
Page 108
It is theoretically probable also that belief in man's innate altruism could furnish emotional if not logical sanction for laissez faire--but this abstraction is in Franklin's case futile, since like Swift he was not blind to man's malevolence! [i-237] _Writings_, IV, 245; see also _ibid.
Page 197
--Then he propos'd to Roberts, a Publisher in Paternoster Row, to write for him a Weekly Paper like the Spectator, on certain Conditions, which Roberts did not approve.
Page 222
My original habits of frugality continuing, and my father having, among his instructions to me when a boy, frequently repeated a proverb of Solomon, "Seest.
Page 231
To avoid the trouble of renewing now and then my little book, which, by scraping out the marks on the paper of old faults to make room for new ones in a new course, became full of holes, I transferr'd my tables and precepts to the ivory leaves of a memorandum book, on which the lines were drawn with red ink, that made a durable stain, and on those lines I mark'd my faults with a black-lead pencil, which marks I could easily wipe out with a wet sponge.
Page 245
Both streets were fill'd with his hearers to a considerable distance.
Page 277
Page 318
Whether by the Fire, or in a Battle, or choak'd with a Dishclout, or by a Stroke against a Stone, thy Dissolution happens; 'tis all alike to thy avaritious Owner; he grieves not for thee, but for the Shilling with which he purchased thee! If thy Bottom Part should chance to survive, it may be preserv'd to hold bits of Candles, or Blacking for Shoes, or Salve for kibed Heels; but all thy other Members will be for ever buried in some miry Hole; or less carefully disposed of, so that little Children, who have not yet arrived to Acts of Cruelty, may gather them up to furnish out their Baby Houses: Or, being cast upon the Dunghill, they will therewith be carted into Meadow Grounds; where, being spread abroad and discovered, they must be thrown to the Heap of Stones, Bones and Rubbish; or being left until the Mower finds them with his Scythe, they will with bitter Curses be tossed over the Hedge; and so serve for unlucky Boys to throw at Birds and Dogs; until by Length of Time and numerous Casualties, they shall be press'd into their Mother Earth, and be converted to their original Principles.
Page 374
*(page break)* =JANUARY.
Page 446
[Jupiter] _healed.
Page 518
And numberless Mercies from God, who is infinitely above being benefited by our Services.
Page 539
We may make these Times better if we bestir ourselves.
Page 550
Billy is well, but in the country.
Page 551
The world is too full of compliments already.
Page 575
Page 608
The latter I remember was the word _charms_; viz.
Page 682
Your Accounts of your Journies and how you pass your Summers please me much.
Page 721
Britain has not yet well digested the loss of its dominion over us, and has still at times some flattering hopes of recovering it.
Page 776
They were published again in _The London Magazine_, February, 1766, and in _The Pennsylvania Chronicle_, January 16, 1769.