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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 274

he should eat or not. The matter of trouble among
the Corinthians was not to determine _who_ shall eat, but _how to eat
worthily_. They were not to do this by coming together and eating a
pagan feast, not discerning the Lord’s death and blood, by partaking of
the loaf and wine, as the Lord appointed.

It is not the work of the administrator to tell who are communicants,
when administering, any more than he should tell who should sing, pray,
or give thanks. The communion was delivered to the church, and we are
communicants by virtue of being in the church. If any are walking
disorderly they should be dealt with, and not allowed to continue in
disorder, but forbidden to commune. The whole church should be kept in
order and all worship, not at the Lord’s table only, but in all parts
of the worship. The question is about _who are members of the church_,
and not about _who shall commune_. All the members should commune, all
_christians_, and there should be no others in the church.


Every preacher that becomes secularized, and ceases to employ his
energies in behalf of the poor, of mercy, of righteousness, of God, is
an immense loss to the world. There is no calculating or estimating
the difference in the condition of the world, in the day of judgment,
all growing out of the indolence or indifference of one man, though he
might see that he was effecting but little in his operations. Let any
man of reflection select a preacher of but humble abilities, who was
operating zealously in the great cause of truth only twenty years ago,
and trace the effects which a finite being can clearly see have grown
out of his labors, and he will be astonished to see how different the
present state of society would have been, had he relaxed his energies.
But, let his influence extend twenty years more, and where will be
its boundaries? Let it extend one hundred years and who could compute
it? But all this may be but a drop to the ocean of the vast train of
influences that would all have been lost by one man failing to act
his part. With this before us, is it strange that God should hold him
highly accountable?

But this is not the worst case. Let a man of talent, influence and
energy, fall from his station, and become an apostate and enemy, let
the cause be made to bleed and suffer from his want of reputation,
while he hurls back his javelins

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

Page 23
Jonathan Shipley had his country house.
Page 34
This afterward occasioned me a good deal of uneasiness.
Page 36
The breaking into this money of Vernon's was one of the first great errata of my life; and this affair showed that my father was not much out in his judgment when he supposed me too young to manage business of importance.
Page 40
But no excuse would be admitted; produce I must.
Page 41
But he never fulfilled his promise.
Page 43
When we came into the Channel the captain kept his word with me, and gave me an opportunity of examining the bag for the governor's letters.
Page 48
From my example, a great part of them left their muddling breakfast of beer and bread and cheese, finding they could with me be supplied from a neighboring house with a large porringer of hot water gruel, sprinkled with pepper, crumbed with bread, and a bit of butter in it, for the price of a pint of beer, namely, three halfpence.
Page 66
" It was well received by the common people in general; but the rich men disliked it, for it increased and strengthened the clamor for more money, and they, happening to have no writers among them that were able to answer it, their opposition slackened, and the point was carried by a majority in the House.
Page 69
None of the inconveniences happened that we had apprehended; she proved a good and faithful helpmate, assisted me much by attending shop, we throve together, and have ever mutually endeavored to make each other happy.
Page 78
Page 93
Page 105
The pamphlet had a sudden and surprising effect.
Page 107
By our rules no money could be disposed of till the next meeting after the proposal.
Page 119
All the inhabitants of the city were delighted with the cleanliness of the pavement that surrounded the market, it being a convenience to all; and this raised a general desire to have all the streets paved, and made the people more willing to submit to a tax for that purpose.
Page 132
You have an opportunity of receiving and dividing among you a very considerable sum; for, if the service of this expedition should continue, as it is more than probable it will, for one hundred and twenty days, the hire of these wagons and horses will amount to upward of thirty thousand pounds, which will be paid you in silver and gold of the king's money.
Page 138
Before we had the news of this defeat, the two Doctors Bond came to me with a subscription paper for raising money to defray the expense of a grand firework, which it was intended to exhibit at a rejoicing on receipt of the news of our taking Fort Duquesne.
Page 151
The drinkers, finding we did not return immediately to the table, sent us a decanter of Madeira, which the governor made liberal use of, and in proportion became more profuse of his solicitations and promises.
Page 154
At length the fleet sailed, the general and all his army on board, bound to Louisburg,[194] with intent to besiege and take that fortress; all the packet boats in company ordered to attend the general's ship, ready to receive his dispatches when they should be ready.
Page 155
that province, and the savages had massacred many of the garrison after capitulation.
Page 173
In 1783, when concluding the Treaty of Peace with England, he tried to secure the adoption of a clause protecting the property of non-belligerents in subsequent wars.