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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 261

come to inevitable ruin. But they are not subtle, deep and
profound principles, requiring the utmost stretch of intelligence to
set them forth or understand them. These lie upon the surface, are the
first things we come to, and may be easily learned, and understood
sufficiently for all practical purposes. God has wisely arranged, in
both nature and grace, or in the temporal and spiritual kingdoms,
so that what we _must know_ may be easily learned, thus showing his
benevolence in both, and that both have marks of the same Authorship.
In these matters there is no excuse for being misled. In other words,
if any one is misled, he must be an _easy dupe_, a _willing victim_.

In religion, on the part of the man of faith, certain principles
are settled, and not to be opened anew, and investigated from the
foundation, every time any new phase may appear. Certain other matters
are so self-evident, that they need only to be well stated to satisfy
any ordinary mind. These are the matters that move the world, and
not the abstruse and subtle things. They are the matters that carry
conviction to the mind, settle the understanding, and leave it in a
state of satisfaction and rest. They call out the response, almost
involuntarily, _that is so_. It does not have to be proved again.

As an illustration:—In a union meeting in which we participated, many
years ago, and after the discussions had continued eight days and
nights, in which some ten parties participated, on the last evening of
the meeting, a gentleman rose and inquired if he might speak, at the
same time explaining that he was a sceptic. The chairman said that it
was no church meeting, and if he intended speaking to the point before
the meeting, he should be heard. Several expressed a desire to hear
him, and no one objected. He said he only intended to say a few words.
Pointing to those of us who contended for union on the Bible, he said:
“If the Bible is true, these men are right, for they insist on your
taking _the Bible and going by it_. If the Bible is not true, _I am
right_, and there is no show at all for the balance of you.” That is a
case that needs no argument.

Before we belonged to the church, we spent a few days in a worthy
family. The head of the family was a class leader in the M. E. Church,
a kind-hearted and good man. He was zealous, and desired to benefit
us religiously, and made sundry

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

Page 20
Hearing their conversations and their accounts of the approbation their papers were received with, I was excited to try my hand among them; but, being still a boy, and suspecting that my brother would object to printing anything of mine in his paper if he knew it to be mine, I contrived to disguise my hand, and, writing an anonymous paper, I put it in at night under the door of the printing house.
Page 36
He left me then, promising to remit me the first money he should receive in order to discharge the debt; but I never heard of him after.
Page 40
But no excuse would be admitted; produce I must.
Page 45
While I lodged in Little Britain I made an acquaintance with one Wilcox, a bookseller, whose shop was at the next door.
Page 47
I thought it a detestable custom; but it was necessary, he supposed, to drink strong beer that he might be strong to labor.
Page 57
I am sensible I am no workman; if you like it, your skill in the business shall be set against the stock I furnish, and we will share the profits equally.
Page 61
From hence the long continuance of the club, which I shall.
Page 64
Thus the matter rested for some time, when I said to my partner, "Perhaps your father is dissatisfied at the part you.
Page 70
each took his books home again.
Page 83
Page 92
them manifest injustice.
Page 129
[164] Our Assembly, apprehending from some information that he had conceived violent prejudices against them as averse to the service, wished me to wait upon him, not as from them, but as postmaster-general, under the guise of proposing to settle with him the mode of conducting with most celerity and certainty the dispatches between him and the governors of the several provinces, with whom he must necessarily have continual correspondence, and of which they proposed to pay the expense.
Page 139
To promote the association necessary to form the militia, I wrote a dialogue,[175] stating and answering all the objections I could think of to such a militia, which was printed, and had, as I thought, great effect.
Page 142
When they enlisted, they were promised, besides pay and provisions, a gill of rum a day, which was.
Page 152
In behalf of the Assembly, I urged all the various arguments that may be found in the public papers of that time, which were of my writing, and are printed with the minutes of the Assembly; and the governor pleaded his instructions, the bond he had given to observe them, and his ruin if he disobeyed, yet seemed not unwilling to hazard himself if Lord Loudoun would advise it.
Page 153
This of course the governor passed, and I was then at liberty to proceed on my voyage.
Page 160
as possible.
Page 163
] [Footnote 199: A watch is a certain part of a vessel's officers and crew who have the care and working of her for a period of time, commonly for four hours.
Page 170
But ah! think what you do when you run in debt; you give to another power over your liberty.
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an order of people.