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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 196

very nature it proposes to sweep
them all away. It leaves not an inch of ground for one of them to stand
on. We came not with a new doctrine, but with the gospel of Christ, a
distinct entity in itself, not only having no fellowship with any other
gospel, but pronouncing a curse on man or angel who shall preach any
other, no matter whether near like it or not near like it—a perversion
of it or mutilation. The gospel of Christ itself is the thing to be
preached, and nothing else; the power of God to salvation to every
one that believes; the preaching of the cross, the wisdom of God, and
the power of God. To this nothing is to be added, and from it nothing
is to be taken away. In this gospel, Christ, the “one Shepherd,” is
presented, and the one kingdom of God, or one body of Christ. All the
followers of Christ are members of this one body, or citizens of this
one kingdom. There are no “denominations” of them. They are all members
of his body, citizens of his kingdom by faith, the children of Abraham,
heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, saints, holy brethren. They
know no other king but the “King of kings, and Lord of lords.” Their
King, in his times, will “show who is the only Potentate.” Their King
has no negotiations with any other spiritual kings. He puts them down
_against him_. He has no communications nor negotiations with Pope
Pius, or any other Pope. He has no _fraternal greetings_ for any of
them, but his Father has sworn with an oath that he shall reign till he
shall put down all rule and all authority and power—till he has put
all his enemies under his feet.

The kingdom of Christ recognizes no other kingdom. It is an absolute
monarchy. Christ is the Monarch. He has no Parliament, no Senate or
Congress, no legislative body in his kingdom. As the rightful Sovereign
and the absolute Monarch, he is the Law-giver. His will is the law,
as spread on the pages of Scripture—the absolute authority—and his
subjects have simply to consult the law, ascertain what it requires,
and _obey it_. They are not responsible for the law. They need not
trouble themselves about results or consequences. Do as the Supreme
Authority commands, and leave the consequences with him. He is so wise,
good and great, that he will bring all out right, for all those that
put their trust in him. His subjects stop not to counsel with those
who have other

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Text Comparison with A Book of Gems Choice selections from the writings of Benjamin Franklin

Page 44
This includes the entire faith, obedience and hope of the gospel.
Page 52
When brethren become alienated they frequently do not want to settle their difficulties, but to get an advantage over an opposing party.
Page 76
It is the _supreme_ and the _absolute authority_.
Page 108
of the blood of the everlasting covenant, by the glories of heaven, or the terrors of hell, to turn to the Lord and follow him who loved us and gave himself for us? Is the public mind so distracted, and are the people so confused and lost to all that God has said and done, that they can not be induced to love Christ better than all human theories, regard him and feel the force of all his love to our lost and ruined world? Are the people so set upon gnawing the bone of contention, keeping up sectarian feuds; disputing upon the lifeless, soulless and profitless controversies thrust upon them, that they will neither hear the Lord nor be interested in the word of his grace? Must the public mind be wholly occupied with the useless distinctions between the views of men, the useless comparisons of doctrines and commandments of men, the comparative merits of different human systems, and an eternal train of customs unknown to the primitive church, thus bewildering the people and blinding their minds that they may neither see the Lord nor regard his authority? Is it impossible to bring the authority of the Almighty again to bear upon the world, to lift up the Lord before the people, that he may draw all men unto him, convert them to the Lord and place them under him? Is it impossible to rescue the people from the blinding influences of these times—from being merely followers of men, and believing human theories, which have no power to save, in the place of believing the great truth, that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures—that he was buried, and that he rose from the dead? Is it impossible to interest the public mind with the things of God—with the revelation from God to man, with the religion of Christ itself? Is the love of God gone from the world? Has the Holy Spirit of God abandoned the church? Is the human race mad, insane and ruined, so that all pleadings and entreaties to turn to God must fail? Must the holy religion of Christ be set aside for the silly disputes of these times? Shall that holy religion that saved such vast multitudes in the days of the apostles, fired the hearts of the missionaries of the cross and supported the holy martyrs in passing through all the cruel scourgings, tortures and privations for the name of the Lord, be contemned, despised and rejected by the people of our day? O, that God would enable us to _arouse_ the people of this.
Page 121
It simply enjoins that Christians “obey every ordinance of man, for the Lord’s sake:” “submit to the powers that be; for the powers that be are ordained of God,” and declares that “rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil”; that “the ruler is the minister of God, and bears not.
Page 128
” In a few words, he says, “Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him.
Page 139
We take it as Wesley did, that “by one Spirit,” is by.
Page 155
_ It leads him to exercise the utmost discrimination, to distinguish between truth and error, that he may not be imposed on and deceived, and induced to think something is the truth that is not, and thus have a spurious article imposed on him.
Page 179
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.
Page 186
Churches should not be compelled to hear preaching every Lord’s day, and that the dullest and dryest kind, from the same man, the same thing, over and over again; but instead of this, have a variety of good songs; sundry readings of interesting Scriptures, from different persons, each occupying from five to ten minutes, with two or three prayers at suitable intervals, and words of exhortation.
Page 198
We may add nothing to the religion of Christ, the faith or practice, the precept or example, the worship, the rewards or punishments.
Page 226
“Well, sir, what would you have a christian do in regard to rulers and civil governments?” says one.
Page 237
The old party always decides that a new one, that breaks off from it, is a heresy.
Page 250
thus it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness.
Page 255
Let us hear the Larger Catechism, page 195: “They who have never heard the gospel, know not Jesus Christ, and believe not in him,.
Page 271
He soon has more opinions than faith, more expedients than commandments of God, more charity than law or gospel, more love for the pious unimmersed than for immersed believers, more charity than hope.
Page 280
The negative is longer than the affirmative in this enumeration.
Page 285
It is admitted, that no creed but the Bible, was given by the infallible wisdom of God.
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Page 331
Dear me! Well, let them read the Life of Benjamin Franklin and become ashamed of themselves.