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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 275

with all the malice and fury of the
Prince of the bottomless pit; and then, compute the change made in the
condition of the church and the world? No one, short of the Infinite
Being Himself, can compute the vast number that will be seriously
injured, in one century, by such a miserable being. Who, then, can tell
the difference his conduct can make in the condition of the world, at
the adjudication of all things? Let preachers, then, remember that they
are laborers together, and that no one can be lost without an injury to


We have, in our own mind, long since repudiated pulpits entirely, as a
useless, and worse than useless appendage. No work done, that we know
of, with the idea of usefulness, more completely misses its aim than
that of erecting pulpits in which for men to stand to preach the gospel
of Christ. We have, for a long time, utterly refused to go into many of
the castles we find around the country. In many houses the preacher is
hoisted high in a pulpit, from twenty to thirty feet from the nearest
person to him, and many of his hearers fifty and sixty feet off. This
is all as irrational as it can he. If there had been a special study
how to defeat the preacher, no better method than this could have been

In a large house, there should be a platform some fifteen feet square
and sixteen inches high, with a small table, the height of a common
table, for a Bible and hymn book, which the preacher could set in front
of him, if he desire it, or if not, set back against the wall. There
should also be a few chairs on or about the platform for speakers,
where there are several, or for persons hard of hearing. The speaker
can then advance forward near enough to the people to address them
effectively, and they can see him from head to foot. The floor of the
house should rise some twelve inches in twenty feet. If the house is
crowded, persons can then be seated all round the speaker, leaving
him simply room to stand. There should be two brilliant lights back
of him, near the wall, elevated a little above his head, and some ten
feet apart, so as to shine down each side of him into the book before
him. If the speaker desire to stand back near the wall, he can then
do so; or if he prefers, as we certainly do, to stand on the front of
the platform,

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Way to Wealth; or, "Poor Richard Improved"

Page 0
" _Repository, June, 1809.
Page 1
& T.
Page 2
However, let us hearken to good advice, and something may be done for us; "God helps them that help themselves," as Poor Richard says.
Page 3
There are no gains without pains; then help hands, for I have no lands;" or if I have, they are smartly taxed.
Page 4
Page 5
1, 1805.
Page 6
Perhaps they have had a small estate left them, which they knew not the getting of; they think "it is day, and will never be night:" that a little to be spent out of so much is not worth minding; but "Always taking out of the meal-tub, and never putting in, soon comes to the bottom," as Poor Richard says; and then, "When the well is dry, they know the worth of water.
Page 7
1, 1805.
Page 8
When you have got your bargain, you may, perhaps, think little of payment; but, as Poor Richard says, "Creditors have better memories than debtors; creditors are a superstitious sect, great observers of set days and times.
Page 9
[Illustration: FINIS.