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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 257

absolute authority of the Bible, and are now commanding respect in a
remarkable degree, not as a _new denomination_, but as the people of
God, called out from the world and from Babylon, and planted upon the
Rock of God.

The man that runs against this cause and opposes it is not simply
running against men and opposing them, but against God, and must come
to nothing. The cause is simply right, infallibly right, and nothing
opposed to it is right. In this view we started in it, and have never
had a doubt about its correctness and supreme authority over everything
else in the name of religion. In our incipient movements every member
was a _preacher_, if not _publicly_, _privately_, and every preacher
was at work, as opportunity opened the way, in private, the social
circle, the prayer-meeting, the established and regular meeting on the
Lord’s day for the commemoration of the suffering of Jesus, anywhere
and everywhere, as a sense of propriety dictated on all occasions.
There were additions at almost every meeting, whether for prayer, or on
the Lord’s day, and frequently when there were no meetings. All were
_missionaries_, and missionaries _all the time_. Great numbers were
almost daily added to the church, of both men and women. Indeed, many
of the sectarian priests became obedient to the faith.

We had _discipline_ in the church—order, and the members were looked
after; not only the popular and rich, but the afflicted and the poor.
All were enlisted in the work, and had time to give attention to it.
The evangelists were self-sacrificing men, seeking the salvation of the
people, and preached in private dwellings, school houses, in barns,
mills, groves, anywhere and everywhere that a few people could be
found, who would hear the word of the Lord. The people crowded out to
hear, and, hearing, believed to the salvation of their souls. They were
of one heart and of one soul. The Bible was their book. “Thus saith
the Lord” was their watchword, and a man that would sneer at it would
have been regarded as a skeptic. “It is written” would be heard in the
preaching and conversations. “The chapter and verse” were demanded. It
was not the _novelty_ of the cause that gave it the victory, but the
certainty that it was right—that it was from God and of supreme
authority—that carried it to the hearts of the people. It was not
unsupportable human schemes and devices that gave it power among the
people, but the invulnerable nature of the cause itself. It was not
the polish of classical and plausible

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 1
Braddock's Expedition 253 XVII.
Page 9
In fact, the expression is so homely and natural that his grandson, William Temple Franklin, in editing the work changed some of the phrases because he thought them inelegant and vulgar.
Page 54
I thought it an imposition, as I had paid below; the master thought so too, and forbade my paying it.
Page 56
"I have ask'd her," says my landlady, "how she, as she liv'd, could possibly find so much.
Page 59
days' leisure.
Page 64
But I found no vacancy there, and so remained idle a few days, when Keimer, on a prospect of being employ'd to print some paper money in New Jersey, which would require cuts and various types that I only could supply, and apprehending Bradford might engage me and get the jobb from him, sent me a very civil message, that old friends should not part for a few words, the effect of sudden passion, and wishing me to return.
Page 69
George Webb, who had found a female friend that lent him wherewith to purchase his time of Keimer, now came to offer himself as a journeyman to us.
Page 75
However, as he kept the post-office, it was imagined he had better opportunities of obtaining news; his paper was thought a better distributer of advertisements than mine, and therefore had many more, which was a profitable thing to him, and a disadvantage to me; for, tho' I did indeed receive and send papers by the post, yet the publick opinion was otherwise, for what I did send was by bribing the riders, who took them privately, Bradford being unkind enough to forbid it, which occasion'd some resentment on my part; and I thought so meanly of him for it, that, when I afterward came into his situation, I took care never to imitate it.
Page 86
the virtues successively.
Page 87
8} 9} Work.
Page 105
But, when I had attained an acquaintance with the French, Italian, and Spanish, I was surpris'd to find, on looking over a Latin Testament, that I understood so much more of that language than I had imagined, which encouraged me to apply myself again to the study of it, and I met with more success, as those preceding languages had greatly smooth'd my way.
Page 113
He preach'd one evening from the top of the Courthouse steps, which are in the middle of Market-street, and on the west side of Second-street, which crosses it at right angles.
Page 120
It was in allusion to this fact that, when in our fire company we feared the success of our proposal in favour of the lottery, and I had said to my friend Mr.
Page 137
Hamilton, grew tir'd of the contest, and quitted the government.
Page 151
[105] Here the pole connecting the front and rear wheels of a wagon.
Page 155
Finding me not so forward to engage as he expected, the project was dropt, and he soon after left the government, being superseded by Captain Denny.
Page 161
This of course the governor pass'd, and I was then at liberty to proceed on my voyage.
Page 164
I was at the entertainment given by the city of New York to Lord Loudoun, on his taking upon him the command.
Page 169
I recollected that about 20 years before, a clause in a bill brought into Parliament by the ministry had propos'd to make the king's instructions laws in the colonies, but the clause was thrown out by the Commons, for which we adored them as our friends and friends of liberty, till by their conduct towards us in 1765 it seem'd that they.
Page 172
That the assessors were honest and discreet men under an oath to assess fairly and equitably, and that any advantage each of them might expect in lessening his own tax by augmenting that of the proprietaries was too trifling to induce them to perjure themselves.