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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 281

with men’s hands, as
though he needs anything, seeing that he gives to all life, and breath,
and all things, and has made of one blood all nations of men to dwell
on all the face of the earth, and has determined before the times
appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek
the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he
be not far from every one of us.”

Not content with this attack on their altar, and the inscription on it,
he proceeds to quote and turn their own poets against them: “Certain
of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also his offspring.’” Hear
him as he proceeds, and see how he wades into their ignorance and
superstition, and, above all, how utterly exclusive he is: “For as much
then, as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the
Godhead is like gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s
device.”

Now for the charitable part of his discourse: “And the times of this
ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to
repent.” “The times of this ignorance” was before the gospel came, and
the “now,” brought in contrast with it, is since the gospel has come.
Seeing that the light has come, men are inexcusable to be in ignorance.

He proceeds to give a reason for the commandment, “to all men
everywhere to repent,” in the following words: “Because he has
appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness
by that man whom he has ordained.” But he knew that some man might
call that in question, when he closed up with the following: “Whereof
he has given assurance to all men in that he has raised him from the
dead.” That is, he has given assurance to all men, by the resurrection
of Jesus Christ from the dead, that he will judge the world in
righteousness, by that man whom he has ordained. The logic runs thus:
As he raised Christ from the dead, he will judge the world; and as he
will judge the world, all men, everywhere, are commanded to repent, in
view of the judgment.

The inscriptions to the unknown God must be set aside, with all the
doctrines and commandments of men; the traditions of Jewish rabbis
and Romish priests, with all the unauthorized lumber of Protestants,
and the devotees to each and all of them, must be shown that they are
unauthorized, and the man who shuns to do this, only does

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

Page 0
"This little work is intended as an easy Introduction to the Mythology of ancient Greece and Rome, and is particularly adapted to the use of Schools, being divested of the obscene allegories introduced by the ancients in their usual figurative style.
Page 1
DARTON_, And of most Booksellers in the United Kingdom.
Page 2
I stopped my horse, lately, where a great number of people were collected at an auction of merchants' goods.
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
" II.
Page 5
Octr.
Page 6
You call them goods; but, if you do not take care, they will prove evils to some of you.
Page 7
"--What would you think of that prince, or of that government, who should issue an edict forbidding you to dress like a gentleman or gentlewoman, on pain of imprisonment or servitude? Would you not say that you were free, have a right to dress as you please, and that such an edict would be a breach of your privileges, and such a government tyrannical? And.
Page 8
Those have a short Lent, who owe money to be paid at Easter.
Page 9
The frequent mention he made of me must have tired any one else; but my vanity was wonderfully delighted with it, though I was conscious that not a tenth part of the wisdom was my own, which he ascribed to me; but rather the gleanings that I had made of the sense of all ages and nations.