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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 169

practice and enjoy it? We claim that we can find it, practice it and
enjoy it. Can we determine what it requires us to believe, what it
requires us to do, and what it promises us? If we have to say no to
all this, we are in a deplorable condition truly. But we claim that we
can find the true religion, determine what it is, practice and enjoy
it; that we can determine what it requires us to believe, what it
requires us to do, and what it promises us. This being so, there is
not an excuse for any man being irreligious, taking up with a wrong
religion, thinking that something is the true religion that is not,
believing something that it does not require, doing something it does
not command, or hoping for something it does not promise.

There is one book in which the religion of Christ is set forth. That
one book is the Bible. In that book the one religion, the only true
religion, is set forth; set forth correctly by the unerring Spirit of
all revelation and all divine wisdom. Not another religion is found in
that book, now in force. No man goes to that book to find an account
of the Pope, a Cardinal, or an Archbishop of the Papal type. No man of
intelligence goes there to find an account of Mohammed, or the Koran.
No man of intelligence goes to the Bible to find an account of the
Church of England, its origin, rise, or any part of its history. No
man goes to the Bible to find an account of Lutheranism, its origin,
rise, or any part of its history. There never was a Lutheran before
Martin Luther lived, in the sixteenth century. No man goes to the Bible
to find an account of the origin of Presbyterianism. There never was
a Presbyterian before John Calvin. No man goes to the Bible to find
the origin, rise, or any part of the history of Methodism. There never
was a Methodist before John Wesley. We do not go to the Bible to find
an account of George Fox, Ann Lee, Joe Smith, etc.; nor of Quakerism,
Shakerism, or Mormonism. These persons are not Bible characters, and
these religions are not Bible religions. They came not into existence
till long ages after the last words of the Bible were written. The true
religion had been in the world ages before these were born. This ends
all controversy about their claims to be the true religion. The true
religion was a finality. In its

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 1 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 7
in Northamptonshire, my uncle Benjamin and father Josiah adhered to them, and so continued all their lives: the rest of the family remained with the Episcopal church.
Page 30
" As I seemed at first not to think so ill of them as she did, she mentioned some things she had observed and heard that had escaped my notice, but now convinced me she was right.
Page 45
I had improved my knowledge, however, though I had by no means improved my fortune; but I had made some very ingenious acquaintance, whose conversation was of great advantage to me, and I had read considerably.
Page 52
We settled with Keimer, and left him by his consent before he heard of it.
Page 56
Among my friends in the house I must not forget Mr.
Page 77
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 thou a man diligent in his calling, he shall stand before kings, he shall not stand before mean men_," I thence considered industry as a means of obtaining wealth and distinction, which encouraged me; though I did not think that I should ever literally stand before kings, which, however, has since happened; for I have stood before five, and even had the honour of sitting down with one (the king of Denmark) to dinner.
Page 87
What reverses may attend the remainder is in the hand of Providence: but if they arrive, the reflection on past happiness enjoyed ought to help his bearing them with more resignation.
Page 92
Whenever I was solicited to insert anything of that kind, and the writers pleaded (as they generally did) the liberty of the press, and that a newspaper was like a stagecoach,.
Page 93
He was a man of learning, but ignorant in matters of account; and, though he sometimes made me remittances, I could get no account from him, nor any satisfactory state of our partnership while he lived.
Page 105
, _That as we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously_.
Page 112
It was just before I went to England, in 1757, and did not pass till I was gone, and then with an alteration in the mode of assessment, which I thought not for the better; but with an additional provision for lighting as well as paving the streets, which was a great improvement.
Page 140
But, in the mean time, the packet had sailed with my sea stores, which was some loss to me, and my only recompense was his lordship's thanks for my service, all the credit of obtaining the accommodation falling to his share.
Page 145
The captain said she had once gone at the rate of thirteen knots, which is accounted thirteen miles per hour.
Page 180
It is my desire that this institution should take place and begin to operate within one year after my decease; for which purpose due notice should be publicly given previous to the expiration of that year, that those for whose benefit this establishment is intended may make their respective applications; and I hereby direct my executor, the survivers or surviver of them, within six months after my decease, to pay over the said sum of two thousand pounds sterling to such persons as shall be duly appointed by the selectmen of Boston and the corporation of Philadelphia to receive and take charge of their respective sums of one thousand pounds each for the purposes aforesaid.
Page 181
_] "THE BODY OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, PRINTER, (like the cover of an old book, its contents torn out, and stripped of its lettering and gilding), lies here food for worms; yet the work itself shall not be lost, for it will (as he believed) appear once more in a new and more elegant edition, revised and corrected by THE AUTHOR.
Page 191
aid, which they think ought to be asked of them and granted by them, if they are to pay it, and can be granted for them by no others whatsoever, whom they have not empowered for that purpose.
Page 199
_ In my opinion they would, money as well as men, when they have money, or can make it.
Page 207
"The religion of the Daggestans," says he, "is generally Mohammedan, some following the sect of Osman, others that of Haly.
Page 208
So that, when there is fear of a war about to break out between England and Spain, an English merchant there, who apprehends the confiscation of his goods as the goods of an enemy, thinks them safe if he can get a Spaniard to take charge of them; for the Spaniard secures them as his own, and faithfully redelivers them,.
Page 217
But how contemptibly soever these gentlemen may talk of the colonies, how cheap soever they may hold their assemblies, or how insignificant the planters and traders who compose them, truth will be truth, and principle principle, notwithstanding.