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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 176

alliances, leagues or confederations,
in an understood, settled and persistent ignoring of clear instructions
from the Lord in reference to the way of salvation, the approbation of
the Lord will not be there. It matters nothing about the number that
unite in these meetings, nor the variety of different parties, nor how
many conversions may be claimed, the approbation of the Lord is not
there so long as his authority is ignored in deference to people that
do not receive it.

These meetings, the different parties pushing into them, and the
various preachers participating in them, are simply demonstrations of
the confused state of the public mind. Neither the preachers nor the
people are settled. They are out at sea and ready for anything new, or
anything better, but know not where to find it. They have become so
bewildered that they can trust in almost anything, except the clear
revelation of God. Whatever a man thinks is right, that is right to
him, unless he thinks _the law of God is right_. They can not admit
that that is right if a man _does think it is right_! But _it is
right_, whether they think it is right or not, and will be right for
ever and ever.




WHERE IS THE ARMY OF THE LORD?


Where, then, is the army of the Lord? It is not in an aggregated body,
some vast assembly headed by great clergymen, making display and show,
of imposing ceremonies and vast assemblies. Like the ancient disciples,
they are “scattered abroad,” and are going “everywhere preaching
the word.” In their humble homes, their neighborhoods, among plain
and sincere people, they are sowing the good seed of the kingdom of
God, training their children in the way of the Lord, and, by their
godly lives, personal influence and pious instructions, spreading the
knowledge of God, and building up congregations. These are scattered
in all these States, and in all the principal Territories in our
countries. Some of them are found in all the British Provinces, except
Newfoundland, in America, in England, Ireland and Scotland, in Wales and
Australia, as also in Jamaica. If we could enumerate these, we should
find a larger army of them than many think. All of these, true to
their principles, and at work where the work is in their reach, and
most convenient to them, and so far as they, in any respect, promote
the work, advance the cause, and build up the kingdom of God, they are
co-operating in the same great work of _saving man_, and are “_laborers
together_ with God.” Their work is “associated effort” in

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

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_ FRONTISPIECE.
Page 1
with Biographical and Interesting Anecdotes 1 6 Watt's Catechism and Prayers, in 1 vol.
Page 2
Judge, then, how much I must have been gratified by an incident I am going to relate to you.
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[Illustration: Published by W.
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" [Illustration: Published by W.
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1, 1805.
Page 6
For, in another place, he says, "Many have been ruined by buying good pennyworths.
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" [Illustration: Published by W.
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" The day comes round before you are aware, and the demand is made before you are prepared to satisfy it; or, if you bear your debt in mind, the term, which at first seemed so long, will, as it lessens, appear extremely short: "Time will seem to have added wings to his heels as well as his shoulders.
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and T.