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

By Benjamin Franklin

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can not be
saved, be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to
the light of nature or the laws of that religion which they possess;
neither is there salvation in any other, but in Christ alone, who is
the Savior only of his body, the church.” What becomes of all those
who die without remedy, with _their infant children_? If Presbyterian
ministers do not believe this horrible doctrine of infant damnation,
it is because they do not believe their own Confession of Faith, and
standard works. We can supply them with plenty more of the same sort,
if there is any demand for it.




THE WARNING.


The antediluvians would not be warned by the preaching of Noah, and
suspected nothing till the flood came, and swept them all away. The
Jews in like manner would not be warned by our Lord and his apostles,
and could not be aroused from their apathy and indifference till their
devoted city was invested with armies. So shall it be at the coming
of the Son of man. Great trials are upon those who intend to maintain
truth and righteousness. May we be able to stand the coming conflict.
The love of many is growing cold, and those weary of the restraints of
Christ are coming to the surface. Let us not slumber, but watch and
strengthen the things that remain and are ready to die. Let us hold
fast and be faithful, lest the trying hour come on us unexpected. Let
us sing, and sing with the spirit and the understanding: “Nearer, my
God, to thee.” May we find grace to stand in the evil day, and having
done all to stand.




HOW THE CAUSE OF REFORMATION WAS ADVANCED.


With preachers from the farms, shops, stores, law offices, doctors’
offices, with a little learning, and many almost without it, we carried
this cause forward, and in defiance of all opposition have triumphantly
planted it in all directions in this and in many other countries. The
power was not _in the men_ but in the truth of God; the clear and
unquestionable truth, that could be made plain and reliable to all men,
and that, too, with very little learning or talent. The ground taken
was invulnerable, manifestly right. The Bible is from God, divine, and
admitted by all to be right, and there is not a reason in the world for
not taking and going by it. We have struck down all human authorities,
human names, and humanism of every sort, and restored to the people
of this generation to a wonderful degree the divine, the supreme

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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 8
Asaph 181 To Mrs.
Page 41
You ask what I mean? You love stories, and will excuse my telling one of myself.
Page 43
The skipper of a shallop, employed between Cape May and Philadelphia, had done us some small service, for which he refused to be paid.
Page 55
Creatures only endowed with sensation may in a low sense be reputed happy, so long as their sensations are pleasing; and if these pleasing sensations are commensurate with the time of their existence, this measure of happiness is complete.
Page 60
The old men sit in the foremost ranks, the warriors in the next, and the women and children in the hindmost.
Page 64
that he excelled in that manly accomplishment was high treason.
Page 119
"I am ever yours most affectionately, "B.
Page 124
As to my future fame, I am content to rest it on my past and present conduct, without seeking an addition to it in the crooked, dark paths you propose to me, where I should most certainly lose it.
Page 159
How Tom, genius-like, struck out new paths, and, relinquishing the old names of the letters, called U _bell_ and P _bottle_.
Page 173
"Confiding in your compliance with this earnest request, I am ever, my dear friend, yours most affectionately, B.
Page 176
"Your letter found me under a severe fit of my malady, which prevented my answering it sooner, or attending, indeed, to any kind of business.
Page 179
You see I have given a loose to imagination; but I approve much more your method of philosophizing, which proceeds upon actual observation, makes a collection of facts, and concludes no farther than those facts will warrant.
Page 186
The _sulphur vive_, or natural brimstone, which is found in and about the burning mountains, is certainly the effects of sublimation, and those great quantities of it said to be found about the skirts of volcanoes is only an argument of the long duration and vehemence of those fires.
Page 191
Jamaica is remarkable for earthquakes.
Page 207
The whirlwind at Warrington continued long in Acrement Close.
Page 212
It seems easy to conceive how, by this successive condensation from above, the spout appears to drop or descend from the cloud, though the materials of which it is composed are all the while ascending.
Page 217
Immediately the air in the chimney, being rarefied by the fire, rises; the air next the chimney flows in to supply its place, moving towards the chimney; and, in consequence, the rest of the air successively, quite back to the door.
Page 219
Allowing common fire, as well as electrical, to be a fluid capable of permeating other bodies and seeking an equilibrium, I imagine some bodies are better fitted by nature to be conductors of that fluid than others; and that, generally, those which are the best conductors of the electric fluid are also the best conductors of this; and _e contra_.
Page 240
And if I had now boys to educate, I should prefer those schools (other things being equal) where an opportunity was afforded for acquiring so advantageous an art, which, once learned, is never forgotten.
Page 245
"In religion he would be reckoned by many a latitudinarian, yet it is certain that his mind was imbued with a deep sense of the Divine perfections, a constant impression of our accountable nature; and a lively hope of future enjoyment.