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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 272

than this to sectarianism, and one that will be much
less trouble, and that is, to go back at once to some sect that has
set aside the law of God, and made one of its own, and adopted it.
They have made as good human laws as we can make, and better, for they
are old and experienced hands, and we would be but new and bungling
beginners. The efforts we have seen are mere _abortions_.


Our heart is enlarged and our spirit is stirred within us, when we look
at the great opening before us. The Lord has not raised us up, put into
our hands such immense power, and made us such a great people, without
an object. He has a great work for the Reformers of the nineteenth
century. We, as a people, are set for the defence of the gospel. We
occupy the only ground upon which man can stand and successfully do
battle with unbelievers, with schismatics of every sort, and maintain
the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. We are the only people
who occupy the proper ground for the evangelization and salvation of
the world. We have cut ourselves loose from every thing but Christ.
We present him to the world and defend him, both in his divinity and
humanity, as the ineffably glorious person in whom dwells the fullness
of the Godhead bodily. We believe in him, in all he ever said or did,
in his religion, beginning, middle and ending, and nothing else. We
will defend him and all he ever said and did. We will defend his word,
his doctrine, the whole of it. Our work is not to defend our views, our
doctrines, or ourselves, but to defend our Master and his doctrine. Our
work is pre-eminently the following:

_First._ To convert the world to Christ, put men under him as their
Leader, Savior and everlasting trust, to follow him for evermore.

_Second._ To collect from Babylon—spiritual Babylon—the wandering,
bewildered and confused children of God, bring them back to their one
shepherd, one fold, and unite them in one body under Christ, their only
living head, that their name may be one, that they may be one, as he
and his Father are one.

_Third._ To defend the faith once delivered to the saints, maintain it
and spread it throughout the world.

_Fourth._ To inculcate piety, humanity, works of righteousness—in one
word, implicit submission to Jesus the Lord in all things.

This is our work, and this, the Lord being our helper, _we will do_.
We are

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

Page 16
So I escaped being a poet, most probably a very bad one; but as prose writing has been of great use to me in the course of my life, and was a principal means of my advancement, I shall tell you how, in such a situation, I acquired what little ability I have in that way.
Page 22
He agreed with the captain of a New York sloop for my passage, under the notion of my being a young acquaintance of his that had got into trouble, and therefore I could not appear or come away publicly.
Page 34
The sloop putting in at Newport, Rhode Island, I visited my brother John, who had been married and settled there some years.
Page 35
The then governor of New York, Burnet (son of Bishop Burnet), hearing from the captain that a young man, one of his passengers, had a great many books, desired he would bring me to see him.
Page 49
My always keeping good hours, and giving little trouble in the family, made her unwilling to part with me; so that, when I talked of a lodging I had heard of, nearer my business, for two shillings a week, which, intent as I now was on saving money, made some difference, she bid me not think of it, for she would abate me two shillings a week for the future; so I remained with her at one shilling and sixpence as long as I stayed in London.
Page 73
These I esteemed the essentials of every religion; and being to be found in all the religions we had in our country, I respected them all, though with different degrees of respect as I found them more or less mixed with other articles which, without any tendency to inspire, promote, or confirm morality, served principally to divide us, and make us unfriendly to one another.
Page 80
| * | * | * | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | R[esolution] | | | * | | | * | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | F[rugality] | | * | | | * | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | I[ndustry] | | | * | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | S[incerity] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | J[ustice] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | M[oderation] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | C[leanliness] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | T[ranquillity] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | C[hastity] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | H[umility] | | | | .
Page 90
of the virtues, as in the before-mentioned model; that the existence of such a society should be kept a secret till it was become considerable, to prevent solicitations for the admission of improper persons, but that the members should each of them search among his acquaintance for ingenuous, well-disposed youths, to whom, with prudent caution, the scheme should be gradually communicated; that the members should engage to afford their advice, assistance, and support to each other in promoting one another's interests, business, and advancement in life; that, for distinction, we should be called "The Society of the Free and Easy:" free, as being, by the general practice and habit of the virtues, free from the dominion of vice; and particularly, by the practice of industry and frugality, free from debt, which exposes a man to confinement and a species of slavery to his creditors.
Page 93
Finding this took up too much of the time I had to spare for study, I at length refused.
Page 112
"] Sec.
Page 116
In 1751 Dr.
Page 121
" I have since had doubts of the practicability of the latter part of this proposal, on account of the narrowness of some streets, and the difficulty of placing the draining sleds so as not to encumber too much the passage; but I am still of opinion that the former, requiring the dust.
Page 125
I said, "No; you may, on the contrary, have a very comfortable one, if you will only take care not to enter into any dispute with the Assembly.
Page 136
This guard being disordered, the general hurried the troops up to their assistance, which was done in great confusion, through wagons, baggage, and cattle; and presently the fire came upon their flank.
Page 143
The first night, being in a good bed, I could hardly sleep, it was so different from my hard lodging on the floor of our hut at Gnaden, wrapped only in a blanket or two.
Page 148
A copy of them happening to fall into the hands of the Count de Buffon, a philosopher deservedly of great reputation in France, and, indeed, all over Europe, he prevailed with M.
Page 158
One would have the sails trimmed sharper or flatter than another, so that they seemed to have no certain rule to govern by.
Page 160
I had always understood from our charters that our laws were to be made by our Assemblies, to be presented indeed to the king for his royal assent, but that being once given, the king could not repeal or alter them; and as the Assemblies could not make permanent laws without his assent, so neither could he make a law for them without theirs.
Page 163
] [Footnote 197: "Ensign staff," i.
Page 168
A little neglect may breed great mischief; for want of a nail the shoe was lost, for want of a shoe the horse was lost, and for want of a horse the rider was lost, being overtaken and slain by the enemy; all for want of a little care about a horseshoe nail.