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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 260

in the
old institution. It is simply a figurative allusion to the anointing,
and not the actual use of oil. The praying for the sick, in the name of
the Lord, _is the anointing_.

The Lord raises sick people up, in numerous instances, without any
miracle. He may do this now, in answer to prayer, when consistent with
his will. It matters nothing that we can not tell _how_ he does it. He
_can do it_. This is enough.


There is nothing more important for individuals or bodies of people
than clearly defined and well settled principles. To stand the test,
and be of any importance to the world, the principles of an individual
or a body of people, must be correct, and of vital importance. They
should also be clearly defined, well understood, and constantly kept
in view. It is then not only safe, but of the highest importance to
adhere to them with the most determined pertinacity, fixed purpose
and inflexible firmness. When principles are of the character we have
described, it is dangerous to swerve, shrink or depart from them, in
the least degree. Adherence—the most strict, rigid and determined
adherence—to correct, clearly defined and settled principles, of
a vital character, is indispensable to permanence, stability and
happiness. If the principles thus defined are divine, departure from
them is _apostasy_.

We are not speaking of _subtle principles_, requiring the utmost
stretch of intelligence or learning to understand, or even to perceive
them, when clearly set forth. There may he principles of this kind,
correct ones, too, but we think, _never practical_. That which is
practical and vital, is never so subtle as to require the utmost
stretch of intelligence, either to set it forth or understand it. The
Bible has its deep things, profound and wonderful, requiring the utmost
stretch of human intelligence to set them forth, or understand them;
or, it may be, deeper than human intelligence can fully fathom, but
they are not the practical, and if vital in any sense, it is not vital
that we should understand them. If we could not be Christians, serve,
or please our heavenly Father, without understanding all such, it would
certainly put it out of the power of the masses, to be acceptable at
all. We know this is not so.

In precisely the same way, in nature, there are certain things that
we must know, or we can not enjoy the blessings God has in nature for
us. There are certain principles in nature that are _practical_ and
_vital_, and we must know them and act in continual reference to them,
or we will

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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 1
To Madame Brillon .
Page 21
Health of body, though so far necessary that we cannot be perfectly happy without it, is not sufficient to make us happy of itself.
Page 40
contention but the perfections and imperfections of foreign music.
Page 48
That the world does so, is visible by the derision with which his name is treated whenever it is mentioned.
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 67
The original design of comedy was perverted; it appeared in all the shocking circumstances of immodest _double entendre_, obscure description, and lewd representation.
Page 97
Once more adieu, my dear sister.
Page 111
Late marriages are often attended, too, with this farther inconvenience, that there is not the same chance that the parents shall live to see their offspring educated.
Page 118
" * * * * * "_Mr.
Page 136
"You do well to avoid being.
Page 162
, author of the Adventurer, and compiler of the account of the Discoveries made in the South Seas by Captain Cook.
Page 166
fast upon my heels; but, though you have more strength and spirit, you cannot come up with me until I stop, which must now be soon; for I am grown so old as to have buried most of the friends of my youth; and I now often hear persons whom I knew when children, called _old_ Mr.
Page 197
A small quantity of metal is found able to conduct a great quantity of this fluid.
Page 205
4, 1753.
Page 213
For, by inspection of the figure given in the opposite page, respecting a section of our spout, with the vacuum in the middle, it is plain that if we look at such a hollow pipe in the direction of the arrows, and suppose opaque particles to be equally mixed.
Page 218
Page 220
If part of this due proportion of fire be conducted away, by means of a contact with other bodies, as air, water, or metals, the parts of our skin and flesh that come into such contact first draw more near together than is agreeable, and give that sensation which we call cold; and if too much be conveyed away, the body stiffens, the blood ceases to flow, and death ensues.
Page 225
Craven-street, August 10, 1761.
Page 231
The bee, too, yields us its delicious honey, and its wax useful to a multitude of purposes.
Page 232
Thus fire purifies water all the world over.