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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 180

body of people as Campbellites. There is a people in this
country that have gone back to our Lord to learn what he gave to the
apostles and authorized them to preach, and to the apostles and learned
what they preached to the world, and what they taught the church; who
receive what the apostles preached and taught, and believe it in full;
no more, no less. In this they claim to receive the religion of Christ
itself, as he and his authorized ambassadors set it forth. They receive
and believe it on the authority of its divine founder, the Lord, from
heaven, and enforce it on all who hear them, as the only complete,
perfect and divine system in the world; the only true religion; the
religion of Christ itself. They claim to be Christians, followers of
Christ, children of God. The body to which they belong is simply the
body of Christ, the kingdom of God, the church. Christ is their head;
their infallibility. They believe on him. They obey him. They hope for
all he has promised, and fear all he has threatened. To be in him is
to be in his body, in the kingdom, in the church, to be a Christian, a
follower of Christ. They receive him and all he has said, but reject
all that did not come from him. This is no Campbellism, nor Methodism;
but the religion of Christ itself. That is what we are for, and we are
for it because it is from God, and has the authority of God in it.


They must be brought to know that they must be revolutionized, created
anew, conformed to Christ, and then taught to worship according to the
Scriptures. The work is not to be done by wholesale, nor by the device
of man. Nor need we think we can take the great cities by getting a
few rich or popular men. We must preach the gospel to _the people_,
the _whole people_, and turn _them_. The gospel invariably commences
with the humbler classes, and works up through them till it reaches
all grades. It did not commence by converting emperors, kings, or
governors; nor did it reach these for a long time. It did not commence
by converting rich men, but mainly with the poor; but in time reached
the rich. It did not commence with converting priests, but after a time
we read that a great number of priests became obedient to the faith.

In the main, this has been the case in our time. We commenced with the

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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

Page 3
To Mrs.
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"_If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be_, as Poor Richard says, the _greatest prodigality_; since, as he elsewhere tells us, _Lost time is never found again; and what we call time enough, always proves little enough_.
Page 65
When Queen Mary, of cruel memory, ascended the throne, the Parliament, in order to raise a _fence_ against the violent prosecutions for words, which had rendered the lives, liberties, and properties of all men precarious, and, perhaps, dreading the furious persecuting spirit of this princess, passed an act whereby it was declared, "That if a libeller doth go so high as to libel against king or queen by denunciation, the judges shall lay no greater fine on him than one hundred pounds, with two months' imprisonment, and no corporeal punishment: neither was this sentence to be passed on him except the accusation was fully proved by two witnesses, who were to produce a certificate of their good demeanour for the credit of their report.
Page 70
"That this piece may not be lost to our own country, I beg you will give it a place in your Repository: it was written in favour of the farmers, when they suffered so much abuse in our public papers, and were also plundered by the mob in many places.
Page 76
You may have seen a house-raising or a ship-launch, when all the hands within reach are collected together: recollect, if you can, the hurry, bustle, confusion, and noise of such a scene, and you will have some idea of this cleaning match.
Page 77
He considers this, which I have called a custom, as a real periodical disease, peculiar to the climate.
Page 80
The English author is for hanging _all_ thieves.
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" * * * * * "_To Mr.
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Page 113
The latter had been raving against America, as traitorous, rebellious, &c.
Page 126
Your parliament never had a right to govern us, and your king has forfeited it by his bloody tyranny.
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You will have the goodness to place my delay in answering to the account of indisposition and business, and excuse it.
Page 154
"I must agree with you that the gout is bad, and that the stone is worse.
Page 167
"The violence of our party debates about the new constitution seems much abated, indeed almost extinct, and we are getting fast into good order.
Page 191
Jamaica is remarkable for earthquakes.
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Hence the more equal temper of seawater, and the air over it.
Page 209
I would only first beg to be allowed two or three positions mentioned in my former paper.
Page 212
The condensation of the moisture contained in so great a quantity of warm air as may be supposed to rise in a short time in this prodigiously rapid whirl, is perhaps sufficient to form a great extent of cloud, though the spout should be over land, as those at Hatfield; and if the land happens not to be very dusty, perhaps the lower part of the spout will scarce become visible at all; though the upper, or what is commonly called the descending part, be very distinctly seen.
Page 223
One would expect that, from all this attracted acquisition of fire to the composition, it should become warmer; and, in fact, the snow and salt dissolve at the same time into water, without freezing.
Page 242
If this be the case, it might prove a commodious method of transporting from distant countries those delicate plants which are unable to sustain the inclemency of the weather at sea, and which require particular care and attention.