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

By Benjamin Franklin

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shortcomings, and nothingness in the sight
of God, how transcendently ridiculous to see egotism, self-laudation
and an effort to glorify the creature in the place of the Creator! And
how perfectly incompatible, too, such a spirit with the meek and lowly
spirit of Christ and the apostles!




PREACH CHRIST, NOT OURSELVES.


Paul says, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of
Christ.” Again, he says, “I determined to make known nothing among
you, but Christ and him crucified.” I come not to you with excellency
of speech, and the wisdom of men’s words, but with the demonstration
of the Holy Spirit and of power. He further asserts that the gospel
which he preached, he did not receive from man, but by the revelation
of Jesus Christ. Many such expressions are found in the writings of the
holy apostles going to show the precaution constantly used by them,
lest the glory of Christ should be attributed to them. The very first
sentence that escaped the lips of Peter in Solomon’s portico, was to
the same effect. “Why look ye so steadfastly upon _us_, as if by _our
own_ power or holiness, this man had been made whole?” He proceeds:
“The _name of Jesus Christ_, through faith in _his name_, hath given
him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all?”

The good Cornelius tried Peter, at the same point, on his first
approach into his presence. He fell down before the apostle and was
about to worship him. Peter told him to stand up—that he himself
was also _a man_, and demanded of him why he had sent for him. After
hearing the account given by Cornelius, of his prayer, his having seen
an angel, and what the angel said to him, the apostle began upon the
great burthen that he carried upon his soul. In a few words he declared
that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power.
This was the great subject the apostles carried upon their hearts.
Respecting themselves, they knew not what would befall them, save the
testimony of the Holy Spirit, that bonds and imprisonment awaited them;
nor did they count their lives dear unto themselves, but they counted
all things but loss, if they could but win Christ.




THE CHURCH OF CHRIST A PROSELYTING INSTITUTION.


One of the most striking differences between the Mosaic and Christian
institutions is, that the latter is a proselyting institution, while
the former was not. Errorists among the Jews, contrary to the spirit of
their institution, ran into great proselyting efforts; while errorists
in the kingdom of Christ, contrary

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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

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42 On Luxury, Idleness, and Industry 45 On Truth and Falsehood 50 Necessary Hints to those that would be Rich 53 The Way to make Money plenty in every Man's Pocket 54 The Handsome and Deformed Leg 55 On Human Vanity 58 On Smuggling, and its various Species 62 Remarks concerning the Savages of North America 66 On Freedom of Speech and the Press 71 On the Price of Corn and the Management of the Poor 82 Singular Custom among the Americans, entitled Whitewashing .
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--Theory of the Earth 203 To Dr.
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When you have got your bargain, you may, perhaps, think little of payment; but, as Poor Richard says, _Creditors have better memories than debtors; creditors are a superstitious sect, great observers of set days and times_.
Page 43
I am not sure that in a great state it is capable of a remedy, nor that the evil is in itself always so great as it is represented.
Page 45
What is the.
Page 74
* * * * * SINGULAR CUSTOM AMONG THE AMERICANS, ENTITLED WHITEWASHING.
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dreadful summoners grace!" This ceremony completed and the house thoroughly evacuated, the next operation is to smear the walls and ceilings of every room and closet with brushes dipped in a solution of lime, called _white wash_; to pour buckets of water over every floor, and scratch all the partitions and wainscots with rough brushes wet with soapsuds and dipped in stonecutter's sand.
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character as an _honest_ and faithful as well as _skilful_ workman, and then he need not fear employment.
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The truth is, they were planted at the expense of private adventurers, who went over there to settle, with leave of the king, given by charter.
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Heathcoat; for, though I have not the honour of knowing them, yet as you say they are friends to the American cause, I am sure they must be women of good understanding.
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"I am not at all displeased that the thesis and dedication with which we were threatened are blown over, for I dislike much all sorts of mummery.
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All wars are follies, very expensive and very mischievous ones: when will mankind be convinced of this, and agree to settle their differences by arbitration? Were they to do it even by the cast of a die, it would be better than by fighting and destroying each other.
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"The remissness of our people in paying taxes is highly blameable, the unwillingness to pay them is still more so.
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"REV.
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I am surrounded by my offspring, a dutiful and affectionate daughter in my house, with six grandchildren, the eldest of which you have seen,.
Page 169
In the mean time, if there be no impropriety in it, I would desire that this letter, together with another on the same subject, the copy of which is hereto annexed, be put upon their minutes.
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" * * .
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There is a certain quantity of this fluid, called fire, in every living human body; which fluid being in due proportion, keeps the parts of the flesh and blood at such a just distance from each other, as that the flesh and nerves are supple, and the blood fit for circulation.
Page 226
These imbibing pores, however, are very fine; perhaps fine enough, in filtering, to separate salt from water; for though I have soaked (by swimming, when a boy) several hours in the day, for several days successively, in salt water, I never found my blood and juices salted by that means, so as to make me thirsty or feel a salt taste in my mouth; and it is remarkable that the flesh of seafish, though bred in salt water, is not salt.
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--MODESTY IN DISPUTATION.