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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 227

if we determine to know nothing but Christ, nothing but pure
Christianity, and confine ourselves strictly to the clear revelations
of heaven—preach the pure gospel of the grace of God—preach Christ,
and determine to know nothing else, while a mere carnal and worldly
priesthood harangue their assemblies on politics, mix up church
and State, law and gospel, turning their religious organizations
into mere political engines, the very thing we have condemned the
Romish priesthood for, thus wounding the feelings of all the more
spiritual-minded members and splitting their parties asunder, thousands
of them will seek a church where the name of Jesus has charms, where
the Lord is loved and worshipped, and where the true worshippers
worship the Father in spirit and in truth. Let us keep the way clear
for such, receive them to the fold of Christ, and show them how they
can serve God and get to heaven, whether they can ever understand the
slavery question or not.

Many of us have labored long and hard and sacrificed the main energies
of our lives in gathering the many thousands to the fold of Christ that
now throng places of public worship, and we can not remain silent and
see them scattered by the indiscreet and imprudent course of brethren,
in thrusting upon them, and seeming to think that their souls’
salvation is suspended upon their rightly understanding the question of
American slavery. We admonish the brethren to have nothing to do with
any such question in the church. The Lord has not required the church,
the preachers, or religious editors to make any decision, or to hold
any particular class of opinions on the subject, nor can any man be
blameless and push any such question into the kingdom of God. _We will
stand square upon the Bible, by the Lord, the apostles, and every man
who will stand by them._ The Lord direct us!


The Church of England has abounded toward her people in all wisdom and
prudence. In doing so she has supplied them with the “Prayer-Book,” not
only for weak members, who can not pray, but for her strong members,
specially the clergy, giving the very words they must pray on all
occasions. In this exuberance of her benevolence she has supplied a
deficiency in the will of God, an omission in the law of God, an item
that Paul overlooked when he “shunned not to declare the whole counsel
of God;” an item not in the “all things that pertain to life and
godliness,” mentioned by Peter, nor in “all Scripture given by
inspiration,” mentioned by Paul, to “perfect

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Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 6
Franklin shares with Washington the honors of the Revolution, and of the events leading to the birth of the new nation.
Page 7
He was the Edison of his day, turning his scientific discoveries to the benefit of his fellow-men.
Page 14
son for five generations back.
Page 31
But, having a trade, and supposing myself a pretty good workman, I offer'd my service to the printer in the place, old Mr.
Page 42
He had gam'd, too, and lost his money, so that I was oblig'd to discharge his lodgings, and defray his expenses to and at Philadelphia, which prov'd extremely inconvenient to me.
Page 44
We therefore had many disputations.
Page 48
For these letters I was appointed to call at different times, when they were to be ready; but a future time was still named.
Page 61
George Webb, an Oxford scholar, whose time for four years he had likewise bought, intending him for a compositor, of whom more presently; and David Harry, a country boy, whom he had taken apprentice.
Page 77
Grace's, set apart for that purpose, a proposition was made by me, that, since our books were often referr'd to in our disquisitions upon the queries, it might be convenient to us to have them altogether where we met, that upon occasion they might be consulted; and by thus clubbing our books to a common library, we should, while we lik'd to keep them together, have each of us the advantage of using the books of all the other members, which would be nearly as beneficial as if each owned the whole.
Page 91
What redeems.
Page 100
Page 111
Both house and ground were vested in trustees, expressly for the use of any preacher of any religious persuasion who might desire to say something to the people at Philadelphia; the design in building not being to accommodate any particular sect, but the inhabitants in general; so that even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.
Page 124
[87] I have been continued one of its trustees from the beginning, now near forty years, and have had the very great pleasure of seeing a number of the youth who have receiv'd their education in it, distinguish'd by their improv'd abilities, serviceable in public stations, and ornaments to their country.
Page 129
I sent one of these papers to each house, and in a day or two went round to see who would subscribe an agreement to pay these sixpences; it was unanimously sign'd, and for a time well executed.
Page 130
Those we found inconvenient in these respects: they admitted no air below; the smoke, therefore, did not readily go out above, but circulated in the globe, lodg'd on its inside, and soon obstructed the light they were intended to afford; giving, besides, the daily trouble of wiping them clean; and an accidental stroke on one of them would demolish it, and render it totally useless.
Page 145
Shirley, was killed by his side; and out of eighty-six officers, sixty-three were killed or wounded, and seven hundred and fourteen men killed out of eleven hundred.
Page 158
Page 159
" [Illustration: Gold medal of Sir Godfrey Copley.
Page 172
Charles, who was also an Agent of the Province for their ordinary affairs, when Lord Mansfield returned to the Council Chamber, where finally the law was allowed to pass.
Page 174
_If Time be of all Things the most precious, wasting Time must be, as Poor Richard_ says, _the_ _greatest Prodigality_; since, as he elsewhere tells us, _Lost Time.