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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 246

the earth shall be blessed.”
He succeeded this promise by many clear predictions of the prophets,
and divine testimonies from their hallowed lips. Yet these things were
not understood by mortal man. Great and good men believed the promise
and the testimonies of the prophets, rested in hope and died in faith,
without understanding; fully appreciating or comprehending the full
import of the good things to come. Eye had not then seen, ear had not
heard, nor had it entered into the heart of man to conceive the good
things God had prepared for them that love him. The things now revealed
in the gospel, had been hid for ages, and not made known to the sons of
men. Christianity is now a mystery explained, a secret revealed—that
which was hid in God, made known—the purpose of God developed—a
promise fulfilled according to the Scriptures of the prophets, and the
commandment of the everlasting God, made known among all nations for
the obedience of faith.




EARNESTLY CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH.


An apostle has thought it needful to enjoin upon us, “Earnestly contend
for the faith formerly delivered to the saints.” An old soldier of the
cross, when about to put off his armor, rejoiced that he had fought a
good fight, kept the faith and finished his course. In the course of
his warfare, we are informed that he disputed “two whole years” in a
certain school, or contended for the faith. This warfare, disputing or
contending, is an advocacy, a defence and maintenance of the faith once
delivered to the saints. The first thing, in order to this advocacy,
is to ascertain what the “faith once delivered to the saints” is, and
the next thing is to advocate it, maintain and defend it with every
power. The faith exists in two forms: 1. In its concentrated, embodied,
or constitutional form, as it is presented for the confession of the
new convert, in a single proposition, that it may be received or
rejected by either an affirmative or a negative answer. 2. In its fully
developed or detailed form, as we find it spread upon the pages of the
christian Scriptures. This is the creed of the church by which she is
governed and guided in all her journey through this world.

The whole of the detailed or fully developed creed, so far as its
truth or authority is concerned, is in the concentrated, embodied or
constitutional creed. Indeed the whole system of christianity was in
the purpose of God, which he purposed in Christ before the world, in
the promise to Abraham, in the good news

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

Page 3
At home taxes were levied by every device.
Page 4
They submitted willingly to the government of the Crown, and paid, in their courts, obedience to the acts of Parliament.
Page 14
'Tis perhaps only negligence.
Page 15
And after some time an ingenious tradesman, Mr.
Page 18
I determined to go into it.
Page 21
And perhaps this might be one occasion of the differences that we began to have about this time.
Page 22
It was not fair in me to take this advantage, and this I therefore reckon one of the first errata[37] of my life; but the unfairness of it weighed little with me when under the impressions of resentment for the blows his passion too often urged him to bestow upon me, though he was otherwise not an ill-natured man.
Page 39
Osborne dissuaded him, assured him.
Page 61
Robert Grace, a young gentleman of some fortune, generous, lively, and witty; a lover of punning and of his friends.
Page 68
Keimer and D.
Page 69
None of the inconveniences happened that we had apprehended; she proved a good and faithful helpmate, assisted me much by attending shop, we throve together, and have ever mutually endeavored to make each other happy.
Page 80
| * | * | * | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | R[esolution] | | | * | | | * | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | F[rugality] | | * | | | * | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | I[ndustry] | | | * | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | S[incerity] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | J[ustice] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | M[oderation] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | C[leanliness] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | T[ranquillity] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | C[hastity] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | H[umility] | | | | .
Page 90
This is as much as I can now recollect of the project, except that I communicated it in part to two young men, who adopted it with some enthusiasm; but my then narrow circumstances, and the necessity I was under of sticking close to my business, occasioned my postponing the further prosecution of it at that time; and my multifarious occupations, public and private, induced me to continue postponing, so that it has been omitted till I have no longer strength or activity left sufficient for such an enterprise; though I am still of opinion that it was a practicable scheme, and might have been very useful, by forming a great number of good citizens; and I was not discouraged by the seeming magnitude of the undertaking, as I have always thought that one man of tolerable abilities may work great changes, and accomplish great affairs among mankind, if he first forms a good plan, and, cutting off all amusements or other employments that would divert his attention, makes the execution of that same plan his sole study and business.
Page 97
] [Footnote 123: "Pro and con," i.
Page 102
" Some of Mr.
Page 131
TO THE INHABITANTS OF THE COUNTIES OF LANCASTER, YORK, AND CUMBERLAND.
Page 162
Some changes were, however, recommended, and we also engaged they should be made by a subsequent law, but the Assembly did not think them necessary; for one year's.
Page 165
Judge, then, how much I must have been gratified by an incident I am going to relate to you.
Page 167
Many, without labor, would live by their wits only, but they break for want of stock; whereas industry gives comfort and plenty and respect.
Page 177
* Footnotes moved to the end of the appropriate chapters.