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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 234

maintained in opposition to them, that, by the deeds
of their law, no man could be justified in the sight of God; but man is
now; justified by the faith of Christ, that works by love and purifies
the heart—through the deeds of the gospel—the good works of the
gospel—not the deeds of law, but the works of faith, like the works of
Abraham, of which James speaks.

Neither Paul nor James believed that justification was by faith alone.
Neither of them believed, or taught, that justification was by the
deeds of the law of Moses. Neither of them believed that a man could
be justified by faith, without the works of the gospel. Justification
is by faith, not in the law of Moses, but in Christ; not alone, but,
as Paul has it, in the “good works (of the gospel) which God hath
ordained that we should walk in them;” or, as James has it, in the
case of Abraham, his faith, wrought with his works, and through the
divine appointment of both his faith and his works, the Lord justifies
those who come to him. It is neither faith nor works, either of law or
gospel, that justifies the sinner. It is God that justifies; but he
only justifies those who come in a proper spirit, to his appointments.


Let no man infer from this, however, that we favor, or in any way
encourage, a _love for controversy_. This is another thing entirely.
By no means do we love controversy. It is deplored always, or at
least the occasion of it. But shall a man, because he deplores
controversy—because he is sorry to come in collision with men—because
he knows unpleasantness will arise, and the smooth surface will
be ruffled, evade the issues between light and darkness—between
christianity and everything else? We did not make these issues and are
not responsible for them. They exist whether we say anything about them
or not, or whether we see them at all. The simple question is, whether
we will stand by christianity and maintain it—whether we will face the
issue, in a kind, a manly and noble manner, or shrink, depart from it
and allow it to be crushed down. Our motto is, _Meet the issue fairly
and squarely, in every instance of opposition to the gospel, in that
way that shall prove most effectual_. Let there be no evasion, but
stand firm and present an unbroken front.


Many brethren are inquiring of us about the Spirit, “correct views
of the Spirit,” and of “the influence of the Spirit,” and insisting
that we

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Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 1
Business Success and First Public Service 126 IX.
Page 16
In that case the stool was turned down again upon its feet, when the Bible remained concealed under it as before.
Page 26
While I was intent on improving my language, I met with an English grammar (I think it was Greenwood's), at the end of which there were two little sketches of the arts of rhetoric and logic, the latter finishing with a specimen of a dispute in the Socratic[21] method; and soon after I procur'd Xenophon's Memorable Things of Socrates, wherein there are many instances of the same method.
Page 40
Page 52
Mandeville, author of the "Fable of the Bees," who had a club there, of which he was the soul, being a most facetious, entertaining companion.
Page 59
He had heard by some means or other of my swimming from Chelsea to Blackfriars, and of my teaching Wygate and another young man to swim in a few hours.
Page 69
[56] To arrange and lock up pages or columns of type in a rectangular iron frame, ready for printing.
Page 73
[61] [61] Paper money is a promise to pay its face value in gold or silver.
Page 75
The old folks encourag'd me by continual invitations to supper, and by leaving us together, till at length it was time to explain.
Page 91
Franklin's own suggestion that the scheme smacks of "foppery in morals" seems justified.
Page 93
My list of virtues contain'd at first but twelve; but a Quaker friend having kindly informed me that I was generally thought proud; that my pride show'd itself frequently in conversation; that I was not content with being in the right when discussing any point, but was overbearing, and rather insolent, of which he convinc'd me by mentioning several instances; I determined endeavouring to cure myself, if I could, of this vice or folly among the rest, and I added _Humility_ to my list, giving an extensive meaning to the word.
Page 110
This was much spoken of as a useful piece, and gave rise to a project, which soon followed it, of forming a company for the more ready extinguishing of fires, and mutual assistance in removing and securing of goods when in danger.
Page 121
In order of time, I should have mentioned before, that having, in 1742, invented an open stove[84] for the better warming of rooms, and at the same time saving fuel, as the fresh air admitted was warmed in entering, I made a present of the model to Mr.
Page 147
" I gave them the reasons of my doubting; the subscription was dropt, and the projectors thereby missed the mortification they would have undergone if the firework had been prepared.
Page 149
In conversation with the bishop, Spangenberg, I mention'd this my surprise; for, knowing they had obtained an act of Parliament exempting them from military duties in the colonies, I had suppos'd they were conscientiously scrupulous of bearing arms.
Page 151
With these coals they had made small fires in the bottom of the holes, and we observ'd among the weeds and grass the prints of their bodies, made by their laying all round, with their legs hanging down in the holes to keep their feet warm, which, with them, is an essential point.
Page 160
[112] A satirical poem by Alexander Pope directed against various contemporary writers.
Page 167
We had a watchman plac'd in the bow, to whom they often called, "_Look well out before there_," and he as often answered, "_Ay, ay_"; but perhaps had his eyes shut, and was half asleep at the time, they sometimes answering, as is said, mechanically; for he did not see a light just before us, which had been hid by the studding-sails.
Page 174
THE WAY TO WEALTH (From "Father Abraham's Speech," forming the preface to Poor _Richard's Almanac_ for 1758.
Page 185
all the Blanks in the most authentick Forms, and correctly printed; may be had At the Publishers of this Paper, who perform all above sorts of Printing at reasonable Rates.