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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 175


Suppose a modern popular revivalist such as Mr. Moody, in one of his
great meetings should tell his audience that he would read the great
commission of our Lord to his apostles, and proceed to read as follows:

“Go you, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them into the name
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to
observe all things whatever I have commanded you.”

“Go you into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He
that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not
shall be damned?”

Then, suppose he should follow this up with the words of Peter, in
reply to the three thousand on Pentecost, when they inquired, “What
shall we do?” when he said, “Repent, and be baptized every one of
you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you
shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit,” or that he should also
quote the instructions of Ananias to Saul: “Why do you tarry? Arise,
and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the
Lord;” what think you would become of the great union meeting and the
wonderful co-operation of so many parties? They would disperse almost
as rapidly as the Jews did from our Lord when he overthrew the tables
of the money changers and drove them out of the temple. They would hear
him no more.

These great union meetings, in which many of different parties unite
and co-operate, put a part of the word of God—the language of the
Spirit of God—on the same level with their partisan peculiarities and
opinions, and ignore all together, the human and the divine! They make
no difference between the human and divine, in ignoring, but simply
ignore the matters in which they do not agree, no matter whether human
or divine. We make this difference; _we ignore all that is human_, and
_recognize all that is divine_. The true union ground is _the divine_.
We are not to unite simply on what we agree about. We may agree in
the wrong—the erroneous—the false. The true ground is to ignore
everything that did not come from God, and recognize everything that
did come from God. The entire revelation from God to man is that on
which to unite. All included in that is of supreme authority, and all
not included in that is of no authority at all.

Men may join in union meetings, co-operate in them or unite permanently
in them, but so long as they are

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

Page 7
And, lastly, (I may as well confess it, since my denial of it will be believed by nobody,) perhaps I shall a good deal gratify my own vanity.
Page 14
Page 22
It was not fair in me to take this advantage, and this I therefore reckon one of the first errata[37] of my life; but the unfairness of it weighed little with me when under the impressions of resentment for the blows his passion too often urged him to bestow upon me, though he was otherwise not an ill-natured man.
Page 24
"Grub Street style," therefore, means poor or worthless in literary value.
Page 40
It was read and repeated; Watson and Osborne gave up the contest, and joined in applauding it.
Page 52
After many years, you and I had something of more importance to do with one of these sons of Sir William Wyndham, become Earl of Egremont, which I shall mention in its place.
Page 61
William Maugridge, a joiner, a most exquisite mechanic, and a solid, sensible man.
Page 87
hurtful because they are forbidden, but forbidden because they are hurtful, the nature of man alone considered; that it was, therefore, every one's interest to be virtuous who wished to be happy even in this world; and I should, from this circumstance, (there being always in the world a number of rich merchants, nobility, states, and princes, who have need of honest instruments for the management of their affairs, and such being so rare,) have endeavored to convince young persons that no qualities were so likely to make a poor man's fortune as those of probity and integrity.
Page 90
I therefore filled all the little spaces that occurred between the remarkable days in the calendar with proverbial sentences,[118] chiefly such as inculcated.
Page 95
I long regretted bitterly, and still regret, that I had not given it to him by inoculation.
Page 97
] [Footnote 123: "Pro and con," i.
Page 113
; those, in case of vacancy by death, were to fill it by election from among the contributors.
Page 131
Page 134
Jamaica spirits, 1 bottle flour of mustard, 2 well-cured hams, 1/2 doz.
Page 137
arrived at Philadelphia, where the inhabitants could protect him.
Page 152
Accordingly, he desired the governor and myself to meet him, that he might hear what was to be said on both sides.
Page 154
George on the signs, always on horseback, and never rides on.
Page 165
I concluded at length that the people were the best judges of my merit, for they buy my works; and, besides, in my rambles where I am not personally known, I have frequently heard one or other of my adages repeated with "As Poor Richard says" at the end of it.
Page 171
Get what you can, and what you get, hold, 'Tis the stone that will turn all your lead into gold.
Page 176
= Notice Franklin's alertness in suggesting the application of scientific methods to practical affairs.