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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 192

inability on the
part of brethren, or parsimoniousness, we must bear hardness as good
soldiers of Jesus Christ, suffer and toil on, for we shall reap if we
faint not. We must not raise up a money-loving and worldly people;
and in order to this end we must not be _money-loving preachers_, nor
_worldly_ men ourselves. This is our security against the evil of

We do not believe the Lord will accept meeting in two or three
conventions in a year, and making three or four contributions and a few
speeches for missionary work. We must have more telling evangelizing
than this. This kind of work is demoralizing the brethren and drying up
all the veins of generosity in them. We shall have more and more _dying
churches_ till we change our course and go out into the field as we did
thirty-five and forty years ago, and hunt up these churches and wake
them up. We must not live with the idea of _sending_ some one to them,
but we must _go to_ them; and they must not be _helpless creatures_,
and think to support those who go to their relief by _relating their
stories about their being few and poor_, but do according to their
ability, and not let the preacher who visits them sacrifice more than
a dozen of them, and they only do their little _occasionally_, and he
making his sacrifices _every meeting_. This will not stand in the day
of judgment.


All we have to do to stand right before the people, is to _be sound_
in heart, in the faith, in the life; true to the gospel of our Lord
Jesus Christ; honest and faithful in the whole matter; maintaining,
defending, advocating it, as the only divine and gracious system
for the salvation of a lost world; enforcing it on men for its own
sake, and for the sake of humanity. Our safety is not in a tribunal
of learned men, who are _censors_ for us, but in the _judgment of an
intelligent and enlightened brotherhood_. They render no hasty judgment
and make no uncertain decisions. They do not anathematize nor hate
any man. They do not pronounce on a man for a single utterance or an
inadvertence. But when a man becomes perverse, his general course and
bearing evincing alienation, and a disposition to be in the wrong—an
aversion to the good, the true and the faithful—they begin to lose
their interest in him. Every step he takes in the wrong direction
lessens the affection for him in the hearts of the people

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Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 11
Imagining it may be equally agreeable to you to know the circumstances of my life, many of which you are yet unacquainted with, and expecting the enjoyment of a week's uninterrupted leisure in my present country retirement, I sit down to write them for you.
Page 13
The notes one of my uncles (who had the same kind of curiosity in collecting family anecdotes) once put into my hands, furnished me with several particulars relating to our ancestors.
Page 19
My mother had likewise an excellent constitution: she suckled all her ten children.
Page 21
By my rambling digressions I perceive myself to be grown old.
Page 40
My father, tho' he did not approve Sir William's proposition, was yet pleas'd that I had been able to obtain so advantageous a character from a person of such note where I had resided, and that I had been so industrious and careful as to equip myself so handsomely in so short a time; therefore, seeing no prospect of an accommodation between my brother and me, he gave his consent to my returning again to Philadelphia, advis'd me to behave respectfully to the people there, endeavour to obtain the general esteem, and avoid lampooning and libeling, to which he thought I had too much inclination; telling me, that by steady industry and a prudent parsimony I might save enough by the time I was one-and-twenty to set me up; and that, if I came near the matter, he would help me out with the rest.
Page 89
{12} { 1} { 2} { 3} { 4} I enter'd upon the execution of this plan for self-examination, and continu'd it with occasional intermissions for some time.
Page 92
But it so happened that my intention of writing and publishing this comment was never fulfilled.
Page 94
"_][73] [73] This is a marginal memorandum.
Page 101
Page 104
During the contest an unlucky occurrence hurt his cause exceedingly.
Page 107
, twelve.
Page 108
This is another instance of the truth of an old maxim I had learned, which says, _"He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged.
Page 120
But, if the demand was not directly from the crown, that phrase was found not so proper, and some other was to be invented.
Page 132
"That in the dry summer months the dust be all swept up into heaps at proper distances, before the shops and windows of houses are usually opened, when the scavengers, with close-covered carts, shall also carry it all away.
Page 159
[110] An English baronet (died in 1709), donator of a fund of L100, "in trust for the Royal Society of London for improving natural knowledge.
Page 162
He delivered to me some letters from my friends there, which occasion'd my inquiring when he was to return, and where he lodg'd, that I might send some letters by him.
Page 163
Under his able administration, England won Canada from France.
Page 176
You ask what I mean? You love stories, and will excuse my telling one of myself.
Page 183
Page 184
Therefore he would request his Readers, at proper Seasons, to peruse it thro', and among 340 sacred Hymns they may find out several that suit their own Case and Temper, or the Circumstances of their Families or Friends, they may teach their Children such as are proper for their Age and by treasuring them in their Memory they may be furnish'd for pious Retirement, or may entertain their Friends with holy Melody.