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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 231

man of a perverted mind and
heart; one who has rejected Jesus; resisted the testimonies of the Holy
Spirit, and despised the Bible during an earthly pilgrimage of many
years, which God has mercifully and graciously granted him. But the
fact that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God—that he is divine—that
he is alive and lives forever and ever, is a fact sustaining a
different relation to time. It is not a speculative fact for idle
curiosity; not a mere theme for empty, cold and unfeeling hearts; for
idle, confused and wandering brains; but a fact, intimately connected
with all mankind; a fact, in which the destinies of all men are
involved; one, too, bearing upon the lives and conduct of all men. Here
is the reason that many are so slow to believe this, the greatest and
most important of all the facts presented for the belief of mankind:
it _requires a holy life_. A strange feature truly is it, in men, that
they should prefer to believe that which requires nothing, proposes
nothing and promises nothing, to that requiring the purest life, most
exalted character, and ennobled feelings, promising the approbation of
the Almighty now, and eternal joy in the world to come!

What reason can any man give for such opposition? No man believes that
the Lord Jesus Christ ever made any human being worse. No man sincerely
believes that the Bible makes any person worse; or that the Christian
religion does any harm to any one of our sinful race. No human being
solemnly believes that any harm could result from the universal
prevalence of pure christianity, as set forth upon the pages of the
New Testament, throughout the world. All men, upon cool and deliberate
reflection, must be satisfied, that if all the peoples, nations, tribes
and tongues of the earth, were fully under the power and influence of
the Bible, mankind would be infinitely blessed by it. Not a sceptic in
the world can give a reason for his opposition to the Lord Jesus and
the Bible. O, that men knew Jesus! O, that they possessed his spirit
and temper! O, that they would love him and be blessed by him!


The act of uniting with a church is not with the idea of being
_changed_ or _made better_, in ourselves, but to be placed in the right
relation. The man who is a christian ought to be united with other
christians in a congregation where he can worship according to the
Scriptures. It is one thing to become a christian, and another thing to
find and

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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

Page 9
Jordain 187 To Miss Hubbard 189 To George Wheatley 190 To B.
Page 19
Remember, Job suffered, and was afterward prosperous.
Page 44
A shilling spent idly by a fool may be picked up by a wiser person, who knows better what to do with it.
Page 55
as the views of this vainglorious insect were confined within the narrow circle of his own existence, as he only boasts the magnificent cells he has built and the length of happiness he has enjoyed, he is the proper emblem of all such insects of the human race, whose ambition does not extend beyond the like narrow limits; and notwithstanding the splendour they appear in at present, they will no more deserve the regard of posterity than the butterflies of the last spring.
Page 66
_Prynn_, _Burton_, and _Bastwick_.
Page 84
A negro slave in our colonies, being commanded by his master to rob and murder a neighbour, or do any other immoral act, may refuse, and the magistrate will protect him in his refusal.
Page 86
GAZETTEER, I am an honest tradesman, who never meant harm to anybody.
Page 99
_Leave_, they say, is _light_, and it seems to me a piece of respect that was due to his aunt to ask it, and I can scarce think she would have refused him the favour.
Page 104
I fear it will be a mischievous one.
Page 119
Page 131
But, since my opinion seems to be desired, I give it for continuing to the end of the term, under all the present disagreeable circumstances: the connexion will then die a natural death.
Page 134
[23] A Vocabulary of the Language of one of the Indian Tribes in North America.
Page 143
, not to come too soon, lest it should seem braving and insulting some who ought to be respected.
Page 160
Of the Vinys, and their jaunt to Cambridge in the long carriages.
Page 169
grandson, W.
Page 199
As frequent mention is made in public papers from Europe of the success of the Philadelphia experiment for drawing the electric fire from clouds by means of pointed rods of iron erected on high buildings, &c.
Page 204
Hence our general cold winds are about northwest, our summer cold gusts the same.
Page 221
Accordingly, if I lay one hand part on the lock and part on the wood, and after it had laid on some time, I feel both parts with my other hand, I find the part that has been in contact with the lock very sensibly colder to the touch than the part that lay on the wood.
Page 224
But this opinion takes it for granted that all water was originally fresh, of which we can have no proof.
Page 234
But as it is often lost time to attempt accounting for uncertain facts, I determined to make an experiment of this when I should have convenient time and opportunity.