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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 280

from I. Cor.
xiii. 4-8, setting forth affirmatively and negatively, or what love
_will and will not_ do. First look at the affirmative side, or what
love will do:

1. It suffers long.
2. It is kind.
3. It rejoices in the truth.
4. It bears all things.
5. It believes all things.
6. It hopes all things.
7. Endures all things.

This is the affirmative side, or what love _will do_; but the divine
authority does not stop at that, but tells us what love _will not do_.
See the following:

1. It is not envious.
2. Vaunts not itself.
3. Is not puffed up.
4. Does not behave itself unseemingly.
5. Seeks not her own.
6. Is not easily provoked.
7. Thinks no evil.
8. Rejoices not in iniquity.
9. Never fails.

The negative is longer than the affirmative in this enumeration.

The man with his affirmative gospel is like the man with his two oars,
faith and works, to his skiff. He pulled one alone for a time, and run
round and round one way, and then pulled the other, and run round and
round the other way, and then seized both and pulled them at the same
time, when his skiff moved straight ahead beautifully. We must take the
whole of the divine teaching, the affirmative and negative; what we are
to believe, and what we are not to believe; what we are to do, and what
we are not to do. We are to show not only what is truth, but what is
not truth; what is of divine authority, but what is not of divine
authority.

Had some of our affirmative gospel men been in the place of Paul, when
he came to Athens, they would have made no attack on the altar with
the inscription: “TO THE UNKNOWN GOD,” but would have gone on
with their affirmative gospel. Paul was not of that type of preacher,
but brought their view of the unknown God into direct contrast with
the revelation of the true God—the Jehovah. He admits that theirs was
to them an “unknown God,”—“God who made the world, and all things
therein”—“Lord of heaven and earth,” and who “dwells not in temples
made with men’s hands,” and “is not worshipped

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