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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 179

to turn their
backs on all that is human and accept all that is divine; on all
that is of earth, and receive all that is from heaven; to open the
Scriptures and receive all that came from the Lord, as set forth in
his own revelation; receive the religion of Christ itself, as he has
laid it before the world, in his own word, and nothing else, is so
manifestly correct, indisputably safe and right, that it can not fail
to strike the mind favorably. It is simply a plea to turn away from
all human religions, and except the only divine religion. This is the
sum and substance of the whole matter. We have thrown overboard all
that is human, and simply maintain what is divine. If the Bible can
be maintained over all human books; if the religion of Christ can be
maintained over all human religions; if the doctrine of the Lord, and
the commandments of God, can be maintained over the doctrines and
commandments of men; if “the right way of the Lord,” can be maintained
over the wrong ways of men, then the plea we have been making can be

But we should not expect to revolutionize the public mind at once. Such
a thing is impossible in the nature of things, and is not desirable. We
could not maintain the position if gained in that way. We desire a
healthy and a reliable state of things. Sudden revolutions always
leave things in an unsettled state. A gradual change is transcendently
better. It is, then, not of impulse, sensation or emotion, but of
faith. When the testimony comes to the mind gradually, and the faith
becomes stronger and stronger, it finally rises to “the full assurance
of faith;” a settled conviction, and the soul is established. But the
leaven is working in the meal, much faster than many are aware of, and
the mind of the people is changing, and the way is opening more and
more. We have never seen a reason for a doubt about the righteousness
of the cause, and the possibility of maintaining it, since the day we
entered it. We are now as firm in the conviction that it is the only
true ground, and the only ground that can be maintained, and the only
ground on which all the true Israel of God can unite and stand, as we
are that the Bible is a divine book. In all this the past year has
furnished additional assurances.


There is no such thing in this country as Campbellism, nor is there
any such

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 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

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Page 11
--Water-spouts and Whirlwinds compared 240 To Alexander Small.
Page 34
To become sensible of this by an experiment, let a person keep his position in the bed, but throw off the bedclothes, and suffer fresh air to approach the part uncovered of his body; he will then feel that part suddenly refreshed; for the air will immediately relieve the skin, by receiving, licking up, and carrying off, the load of perspirable matter that incommoded it.
Page 40
What now avails all my toil and labour in amassing honey-dew on this leaf, which I cannot live to enjoy? What the political struggles I have been engaged in for the good of my compatriot inhabitants of this bush, or my philosophical studies for the benefit of our race in general! for, in politics, what can laws do without morals? Our present race of ephemerae will in a course of minutes become corrupt like those of other and older bushes, and, consequently, as wretched.
Page 48
She is the companion of the gods, the joy of heaven, the light of the earth, the pedestal of justice, and the basis of good policy.
Page 52
He had, like other philosophers, a thermometer to show him the heat of the weather, and a barometer to mark when it was likely to prove good or bad; but there being no instrument invented to discover, at first sight, this unpleasing disposition in a person, he for that purpose made use of his legs; one of which was remarkably handsome, the other, by some accident, crooked and deformed.
Page 54
I must conjure you to give yet further credit to my latest words, when I assure you that yonder sun, which now appears westward, beyond the water, and seems not to be far distant from the earth, in my remembrance stood in the middle of the sky, and shot his beams directly down upon us.
Page 67
aimed at the subversion of the government, but concealed his designs under a deep hypocrisy: a method which his predecessor, in the beginning of his reign, scorned to make use of.
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angry, forbid me the house, and told his daughter that if she married me he would not give her a farthing.
Page 96
Direct your letters to be left for me at the Pennsylvania Coffee-house, in Birchin Lane, London.
Page 102
I am going from the Old World to the New, and I fancy I feel like those who are leaving this world for the next; grief at the parting; fear of the passage; hope of the future: these different passions all affect their minds at once, and these have _tendered_ me down exceedingly.
Page 112
I shall make but small use of the old man's privilege, that of giving advice to younger friends.
Page 147
" "Dr.
Page 153
I was an agent for a few provinces, and now act for them all.
Page 189
Now this depth of 43,528 fathoms is only a seventy-fourth part of the semi-diameter of the earth.
Page 193
Thoresby; or, lastly, those in New-England in 1663 and 1670, by Dr.
Page 194
of it; but does not extend to the making or creating new matter, or annihilating the old.
Page 200
A lump of salt, though laid at rest at the bottom.
Page 243
Born in the humblest station, he raised himself, by his talents and his industry, first, to the place in society which may be attained with the help only of ordinary abilities, great application, and good luck; but next, to the loftier heights which a daring and happy genius alone can scale; and the poor printer's boy, who at one period of his life had.