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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 24

been found. They were in the
camps of Moses and among the first followers of Jesus. They have been
the timid, faithless time-servers, afraid of the people and lovers of
the world. But these are only spots in the feast, mere blemishes, and
no more to the great body than the spots in the sun compared with that
wonderful body. These poor little souls that desire to be _like the
clergy_, or to be actual _clergymen themselves_; that want titles, and
the people to call them _Dr._, _Rev._; that get on the white cravat,
the priestly coat buttoned up to the chin; that drop on their knees and
make a _public private_ prayer, as they enter the “sacred desk,” and
that teach the disciples to drop the head and offer a _secret private
public prayer before an assembly_, are not the men whom God sends. They
are the men who think the _largest offer in money is the loudest call
from God_, and the call which they obey most implicitly. They can be
bought and sold like sheep and oxen. God never calls such men as these.
They are a burlesque on the religion of Jesus Christ; the plainness,
simplicity and humility of our Lord. The idea has never entered into
their heads to be _servants_ of Jesus Christ. Their idea is to be
_masters_. They are not thinking of obeying, unless to obey the men
with the largest purses; but their idea is to be obeyed. They are not
thinking of adoring, but of being adored. The third epistle of Peter is
the one in which they find their likeness, and they are following the
directions in that epistle. Some of these may be reformed, and others
will go to their own place. They are not the men that _run the world_;
the world _runs them_.

But there is another class, that do not worship at the same altar
with these, nor are they of the same stripe. They do not draw their
divinity from clerical titles or clerical attire, nor from _public
private prayers_, from imitating Jewish rabbis, or sectarian rabbis,
from imitating ancient or modern Pharisees or Sadducees, but from the
living oracles of the living God. They are not under the thumbs of
rich men, nor under the influence of high salaries; nor ancient nor
modern priests. They cannot be bought and sold. They are the Lord’s
_free men_. They have cut loose from the bondage of the world of
sin, of sectarianism and the clergy. They belong to Christ. They get
their gospel from him. They are his servants. They

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Way to Wealth; or, "Poor Richard Improved"

Page 0
Page 1
Proprietors, W.
Page 2
Page 3
"One to-day.
Page 4
" And again, "Three removes are as bad as a fire," and again, "Keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee:" and again, "If you would have your business done, go; if not, send.
Page 5
] 'Trusting too much to others' care is the ruin of many; for, "In the affairs of this world, men are saved, not by faith, but by the want of it:" but a man's own care is profitable; for, "If you would have a faithful servant, and one that you like,--serve yourself.
Page 6
You expect they will be sold cheap, and, perhaps, they may for less than they cost; but, if you have no occasion for them, they must be dear to you.
Page 7
"--What would you think of that prince, or of that government, who should issue an edict forbidding you to dress like a gentleman or gentlewoman, on pain of imprisonment or servitude? Would you not say that you were free, have a right to dress as you please, and that such an edict would be a breach of your privileges, and such a government tyrannical? And.
Page 8
'This doctrine, my friends, is reason and wisdom; but, after all, do not depend too much upon your own industry, and frugality, and prudence, though excellent things; for they may all be blasted without the blessing of Heaven; and therefore, ask that blessing humbly, and be not uncharitable to those that at present seem to want it, but comfort and help them.
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Richard says.