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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 222

to the spirit of their institution,
leave the spirit of proselyting. Those Jews who had such a desire for
proselyting, should have been Christians, and the Christians who have
no zeal for proselyting should have been Jews. It would have suited
their capacity, views and feelings better, to have been born into a
church as they were born into the world; and a sign in the flesh, such
as circumcision, as a mark of distinction between them and the rest of
mankind, put upon them when eight days old; and when the numbers of the
church were replenished by natural generation and birth, and not in an
institution where men can not enter except by being born again—where
they are begotten, not of corruptible, but of incorruptible seed, by
the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever—where men can not
enter by natural generation, but must enter by _regeneration_ or not
enter at all.

If men who have no zeal to proselyte, had been born in an institution
where every child born of church members is also a church member, they
would have suited well to them the lessons from the law of Moses on
the Sabbath day, and perform the dull and spiritless ceremonies of
the synagogue. No doubt they could have gone through the performances
with as much formality and as little grace as a Jewish rabbi. Many
of these, if they had the priestly robe, Aaron’s rod, the pot with
manna, the shew bread, etc., would figure much more decorously back
among the types and shadows, than they do here among the good things
to come. They are better adapted for the letter than for the spirit,
for they almost convert the house of God—the spiritual building, where
the spirit of God dwells, and where we are required to worship in
spirit and in truth—into the dry and irksome ceremonies of the Jewish


What is there in teaching that Christians must keep the seventh, or
Sabbath day, to impart or perpetuate spiritual life? The very seed
of ruin is in such teaching. There is no Christ in it. It did not
originate with Christ, but is anti-christian. The Lord never taught
his disciples to keep the seventh or Sabbath day, nor did his apostles
ever teach this. The first Christians did not meet on the seventh
day “to break bread,” but on the _first day_. When they met on the
first day they did not observe it as the Sabbath. It was a different
day from the Sabbath, took its rise from a different event, and had
a different object

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

Page 6
Think how this must appear among the powdered heads of Paris! I wish every lady and gentleman in France would only be so obliging as to follow my fashion, comb their own heads as I do mine, dismiss their friseurs, and pay me half the money they pay to them.
Page 10
I was the youngest son, and the youngest child but two, and was born in Boston, New England.
Page 18
I was charmed with it, adopted it, dropped my abrupt contradiction and positive argumentation, and put on the humble inquirer and doubter.
Page 21
But my brother was passionate, and had often beaten me, which I took extremely amiss; and, thinking my apprenticeship very tedious, I was continually wishing for some opportunity of shortening it, which at length offered in a manner unexpected.
Page 29
The old gentleman said he would go with me to the new printer; and when we found him, "Neighbor," says Bradford, "I have brought to see you a young man of your business; perhaps you may want such a one.
Page 40
Osborne's was read; it was much better; Ralph did it justice; remarked some faults, but applauded the beauties.
Page 65
If you will take the debts of the company upon you, return to my father the hundred pounds he has advanced, pay my little personal debts, and give me thirty pounds and a new saddle, I will relinquish the partnership, and leave the whole in your hands.
Page 76
Page 102
He had a loud and clear voice, and articulated his words and sentences so perfectly that he might be heard and understood at a great distance, especially as his auditors, however numerous, observed the most exact silence.
Page 106
My activity in these operations was agreeable to the governor and council; they took me into confidence, and I was consulted by them in every measure wherein their concurrence was thought useful to the association.
Page 115
This was in the afternoon; they were near one hundred men, women, and children, and were lodged in temporary cabins, built in the form of a square, just without the town.
Page 116
In 1751 Dr.
Page 127
The magic circle is a modification of the magic square, one form of which was devised by Franklin.
Page 135
"After taking Fort Duquesne,"[172] says he, "I am to proceed to Niagara; and, having taken that, to Frontenac, if the season will allow time, and I suppose it will, for Duquesne can hardly detain me above three or four days; and then I see nothing that can obstruct my march to Niagara.
Page 154
At length the fleet sailed, the general and all his army on board, bound to Louisburg,[194] with intent to besiege and take that fortress; all the packet boats in company ordered to attend the general's ship, ready to receive his dispatches when they should be ready.
Page 155
On the whole, I wondered much how such a man came to be intrusted with so important a business as the conduct of a great army; but, having since seen more of the great world, and the means of obtaining and motives for giving places, my wonder is diminished.
Page 161
I did so soon after, but they put the paper into the hands of their solicitor, Ferdinand John Paris, who managed for them all their law business in their great suit with the neighboring proprietary of Maryland, Lord Baltimore, which had subsisted seventy years, and who wrote for them all their papers and messages in their dispute with the Assembly.
Page 162
" He then called in Paris, and after some discourse, his lordship's proposition was accepted on both sides; a paper to the purpose was drawn up by the clerk of the Council, which I signed with Mr.
Page 170
Poor Dick further advises and says: Fond pride of dress is sure a very curse; Ere fancy you consult, consult your purse.
Page 177
=Old Testament Narratives= (Baldwin) =Poe's= Selected Poems and Tales (Stott) =Pope's= Homer's Iliad.