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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 217

and it is no
argument against them as a class, but against the individual.


Nothing short of the highest morality and the most perfect
subordination can ever secure complete success. Most indispensable is
high reputation in all its public functionaries. A religious body whose
public organs do not sustain purity of morals, chastity of address,
and dignity of character, with most elevated natural and acquired
attainments, can never do much towards the purification and elevation
of the debased and degraded children of men. So important is this that
some rule seems to be necessary to enable us to distinguish those who
labor to show themselves off to a good advantage, from those who seek
the honor of the blessed Master. It is one thing to preach in such a
way as to make the people think of and confess their sins, but it is
quite another thing for the mere actor to show himself off, in such a
way as to induce the hearers to say, _he is the greatest man we ever
heard_! A fine speaker may present such a beautiful theory on faith,
as to delight a popular audience, without producing faith in a single
soul, while the most immethodical speaker, whose heart is greatly
impressed with the facts to be believed, will throw out the great
realities of revelation with such earnestness and zeal as to make
believers wherever he goes. Just so fine theories on repentance may be
delivered in the shape of sermons, and listened to with applause,
without inducing any one to think of repenting, while some old-fashioned
preacher reasoning upon righteousness and a judgment to come, in the
most immethodical manner, will cause sinners to tremble all around. The
reason of this is not that one class has method while the other has
not, but one class presents the mighty truth of God, while the other
simply presents a fine theory concerning the truth. The result is that
in one case the truth itself is believed and admired, while in the
other case the fine theory is the only thing seen, and the preacher who
delivered it the only object adored.


We wish to allude to some errors into which some elders have fallen,
for their advantage. We have an opportunity of being better acquainted
with some difficulties in churches than the elders themselves can.
When we visit some congregations, the elders complain that they will
not turn out to meeting. The brethren say the reason more will not
turn out is, that the elders are in the habit of preaching

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin Representative selections, with introduction, bibliograpy, and notes

Page 4
Franklin's Literary Theory and Practice, xlvi IV.
Page 139
Page 171
There was another Bookish Lad in the Town, John Collins by Name, with whom I was intimately acquainted.
Page 179
There were Canoes on the Shore, and we made Signs and hallow'd that they should fetch us, but they either did not understand us, or thought it impracticable.
Page 215
Meredith was no Compositor, a poor Pressman, and seldom sober.
Page 224
Page 313
in't at all.
Page 335
"May it please the honourable bench to indulge me in a few words: I am a poor, unhappy woman, who have no money to fee lawyers to plead for me, being hard put to it to get a living.
Page 352
When our Boys read _English_ to us, we are apt to imagine _they_ understand what _they_ read, because _we_ do, and because 'tis their Mother Tongue.
Page 356
] TO THE PRINTERS OF THE GAZETTE By a Passage in one of your late Papers, I understand that the Government at home will not suffer our mistaken Assemblies to make any Law for preventing or discouraging the Importation of Convicts from Great Britain, for this kind Reason, '_That such Laws are against the Publick Utility, as they tend to prevent the_ IMPROVEMENT _and_ WELL PEOPLING _of the Colonies_.
Page 421
| +----+----------------+----------------------------------------------+ | 1 |[Aries] 22 | [Mars] rise 2 30 | | 2 |[Taurus] 5 | [Venus] set 10 28 | | 3 | 18 | [Moon] w [Mercury] [Sextile] [Saturn] [Mars] | | 4 |[Gemini] 2 | _If you would_ | | 5 | 16 | [Moon] with [Venus] _reap_ | | 6 |[Cancer] 0 | [Conjunction] [Sun] [Mercury] _Praise_ | | 7 | 14 | [Moon] with [Jupiter] _you_ | | 8 | 28 | 7 *s set 7 56 | | 9 |[Leo] 13 | .
Page 483
| 1 10 | 4 | 16 | | 28 | 7 9 | 2 3 | 5 | 17 | | 29 | 8 0 | 2 56 | 5 | 18 | | 30 | 8 56 | 3 48 | 6 | 19 | | 31 | 9 42 | 4 39 | 7 | 20 | +----+----------+-----------+----+------+ us and the Sun, we see a small Part of her Body enlightned, and so on still more and more, till she comes to be in Opposition to the Sun, and then we see all that Side of her which the Sun shines upon, when we say she is full; though the Sun does not, in Reality, enlighten any more of her Body at Full than at new Moon; only her enlightened Side is turned towards us in the one Case, and from us in the other.
Page 560
And indeed, why should I fear they will ever forget me, when I feel so strongly that I shall ever remember them! I sympathise with you sincerely in your Grief at the Separation from your old Friend, Miss Pitt.
Page 579
" This looks as if he conceived the war had been carried on at the sole expense of Great Britain, and the colonies only reaped the benefit, without.
Page 610
Thus wigs were first made to imitate a good natural head of hair; but when they became fashionable, though in unnatural forms, we have seen natural hair dressed to look like wigs.
Page 611
Page 632
And behold a man, bent with age, coming from the way of the wilderness, leaning on a staff.
Page 665
Page 681
If you have learnt what was the Degree of cold and how it was observed, and what Difference between the Night and the Day, you will oblige me by communicating it.
Page 787
Mecom, Franklin's sister.