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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 208

Bethany, the works he issued from
there and the establishment of the college, made employment for
many persons, called a number of these as educators and students,
established the church there, and resulted in building up quite a
village. This enhanced the value of the fine tract of land owned by him
there, and certainly without his foreseeing and working to that end,
made a considerable item in the estate he left behind him.

_Sixth._ The sale of his various works toward the latter part of his
life brought a considerable income. This could not have been foreseen
and planned to make money. In the early part of his life, and the time
he put forth his most vigorous efforts, he had no assurance that such
works as he issued would ever be a source of profit. Men who start out
to make money do not start out _against_ the main current of mankind.
We have some now whose business is _making money_, but they do not
start out nor travel the road trod by Alex. Campbell. They do not make
a square issue with the religious world, nor war upon the men in power.
They do not generally think that is the way to the gold mines. Had he
been starting with money in his eye, his keen perception would have
seen something of more promise than a square fight with the popular
clergy of the world; the creeds, councils, conferences, assemblies,
etc. It, however, turned out that his productions found a sale that
resulted in an income. There was no close management or calculating on
his part, nor careful looking after the matter.

But the pen of Alex. Campbell was a terror to men who did not love “the
right way of the Lord,” and his words were burning; but the idea that
he was morose and unamiable is entirely an erroneous one. His very
nature was amiable and lovely; and, in his devotions, he was as humble
as a child. We never heard any man who could pray like he could. His
terms, in addressing our heavenly Father, were characterized with a
sense of the absolute dependence, profound awe and reverence of us, the
creatures of mercy, and the simplicity of a child. All was easy and
utterly without affectation.

The reader may think we have occupied too much space with this matter.
We think not. There are great lessons in these matters.


Faith changes, purifies or christianizes the heart, or converts the
subject in heart. Repentance changes, purifies or christianizes
the man in character, or converts

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 13
I had caught it by reading my father's books of dispute about religion.
Page 18
Our disputes were often brought before our father, and I fancy I was either generally in the right, or else a better pleader, because the judgment was generally in my favor.
Page 27
I took leave of Keimer as going to see my friends.
Page 28
This visit of mine offended him extreamly; for, when my mother some time after spoke to him of a reconciliation, and of her wishes to see us on good terms together, and that we might live for the future as brothers, he said I had insulted him in such a manner before his people that he could never forget or forgive it.
Page 35
On this it was propos'd that we should each of us, at our next meeting, produce a piece of our own composing, in order to improve by our mutual observations, criticisms, and corrections.
Page 38
We arriv'd in London the 24th of December, 1724.
Page 41
Mandeville, author of the "Fable of the Bees," who had a club there, of which he was the soul, being a most facetious, entertaining companion.
Page 66
It almost insensibly leads the youth into the resolution of endeavoring to become as good and eminent as the journalist.
Page 81
" I used also sometimes a little prayer which I took from Thomson's Poems, viz.
Page 83
{ 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 87
, and I adopted, instead of them, I conceive, I apprehend, or I imagine a thing to be so or so; or it so appears to me at present.
Page 90
And observing that it was generally read, scarce any neighborhood in the province being without it, I consider'd it as a proper vehicle for conveying instruction among the common people, who bought scarcely any other books; I therefore filled all the little spaces that occurr'd between the remarkable days in the calendar with proverbial sentences, chiefly such as inculcated industry and frugality, as the means of procuring wealth, and thereby securing virtue; it being more difficult for a man in want, to act always honestly, as, to use here one of those proverbs, it is hard for an empty sack to stand up-right.
Page 97
On the whole, I proposed as a more effectual watch, the hiring of proper men to serve constantly in that business; and as a more equitable way of supporting the charge the levying a tax that should be proportion'd to the property.
Page 113
On taking my seat in the House, my son was appointed their clerk.
Page 116
erecting a new meeting-house.
Page 118
The mention of these improvements puts me in mind of one I propos'd, when in London, to Dr.
Page 124
" He, indeed, had labored hard to blacken the Assembly in all his messages, but they wip'd off his coloring as fast as he laid it on, and plac'd it, in return, thick upon his own face; so that, finding he was likely to be negrofied himself, he, as well as Mr.
Page 126
My Quincy return'd thanks to the Assembly in a handsome memorial, went home highly pleas'd with the success of his embassy, and ever after bore for me the most cordial and affectionate friendship.
Page 132
The waggoners took each a horse out of his team and scamper'd;.
Page 140
the office, and, with the help of a few hands to measure out the liquor, executed it to satisfaction, and never were prayers more generally and more punctually attended; so that I thought this method preferable to the punishment inflicted by some military laws for non-attendance on divine service.