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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 177

the knowledge of God, and filling the world with his glory. They are
_standing together_ as one man, and “striving for the hope of the


We believe that the heart of the great body is true as ever, and
that the army is stronger than ever, and there never was a greater
determination to maintain every word that proceeds out of the mouth
of the Lord, than at the present time. A vast army of young men are
rising, true as ever lived, determined to maintain their ground, and
will maintain it till the last. The pens of many are already employed,
and many more are ready for the conflict. Thousands of preachers are in
the field fighting the battle, and more are coming, and the ground will
be maintained every inch. The Almighty Arm is underneath and will carry
the work on.


There is no evidence in Scripture, or in any early writing, of any such
practice as _washing feet_, in time of worship, or associated with
worship, either public or private, as a religious rite, an ordinance,
an act of devotion, or in any other way. There is no intimation that
the washing of the saints’ feet alluded to, I. Tim. v. 10, was a
religious rite, or an ordinance connected with worship, any more than
lodging strangers. It is put down in the list of “good works,” and not
religious rites or devotions.

In like manner, the feet washing mentioned, John xiii. 1-10, was not
in time of worship, nor at the time of the Passover, but “before the
feast of the Passover,” and after supper, or “supper being ended,” he
“rose from supper and laid aside his garments, and took a towel, and
girded himself.” This was not in _public_ at all, but in the _private
circle_. It was not in a meeting, nor in time of worship at all, but
after a common meal. The washing of feet was not a new thing with them,
nor were any surprised at _feet washing_, for it was common, and a
_necessity_. That which was new about it, was for the Lord and Master
to wash the servants’ feet. Had the order been for the servant to wash
the Master’s feet, there would have been nothing new to them in it. But
they were abashed at the idea of their Lord and Master washing their
feet. With this view, Peter said, “Lord, dost thou wash my feet?”
The Lord responded, “What I do you know not now; but you shall know
hereafter.” Peter persisted, not against

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

Page 3
having turned them back and restored quiet to the city, I became a less man than ever; for I had by this transaction made myself many enemies among the populace; and the governor, .
Page 21
And perhaps this might be one occasion of the differences that we began to have about this time.
Page 24
The term, which always implied a sneer, was made current by Pope and Swift and their coterie.
Page 28
So not considering or knowing the difference of money and the greater cheapness, nor the names of his bread, I bade him give me threepenny worth of any sort.
Page 37
"Then," says he, "get yourself ready to go with Annis,"[55] which was the annual ship, and the only one at that time usually passing between London and Philadelphia.
Page 43
But Mr.
Page 44
He had brought no money with him, the whole he could muster having been expended in paying his passage.
Page 57
The New Jersey job was obtained, I contrived a copperplate press for it, the first that had been seen in the country; I cut several ornaments and checks[89] for the bills.
Page 69
one as I should not otherwise think agreeable.
Page 105
Meanwhile Colonel Lawrence, William Allen, Abram Taylor, Esq.
Page 107
The company consisted of thirty members, of which twenty-two were Quakers, and eight, only, of other persuasions.
Page 113
The Moravian happened not to please his colleagues, and on his death they resolved to have no other of that sect.
Page 117
leave was obtained chiefly on the consideration that the House could throw the bill out if they did not like it, I drew it so as to make the important clause a conditional one, namely: "And be it enacted, by the authority aforesaid, that when the said contributors shall have met and chosen their managers and treasurer, _and shall have raised by their contributions a capital stock of ---- value_, (the yearly interest of which is to be applied to the accommodating of the sick poor in the said hospital, free of charge for diet, attendance, advice, and medicines,) _and shall make the same appear to the satisfaction of the speaker of the Assembly for the time being_, that _then_ it shall and may be lawful for the said speaker, and he is hereby required, to sign an order on the provincial treasurer for the payment of two thousand pounds, in two yearly payments, to the treasurer of the said hospital, to be applied to the founding, building, and finishing of the same.
Page 122
The money may be soon spent, the regret only remaining of having foolishly consumed it; but in the other case, he escapes the frequent vexation of waiting for barbers, and of their sometimes dirty fingers, offensive breaths, and dull razors.
Page 126
In gay conversation over our wine after supper, he told us jokingly that he much admired the idea of Sancho Panza,[156] who, when it was proposed to give him a government, requested it might be a government of blacks, as then, if he could not agree with his people, he might sell them.
Page 131
Page 159
We arrived in London the 27th of July, 1757.
Page 161
He was a proud, angry man, and as I had occasionally in the answers of the Assembly treated his papers with some severity, they being really weak in point of argument and haughty in expression, he had conceived a mortal enmity to me, which discovering itself whenever we met, I declined the proprietaries' proposal that he and I should discuss the heads of complaint between our two selves, and refused treating with any one but them.
Page 166
Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears, while The used key is always bright, as Poor Richard says.
Page 174
= In his reference to Bunyan and Defoe, Franklin proves himself one of the first critics to recognize those writers as the fathers of the modern novel.