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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 286

Paul looked upon him here, and gloried in him. It was not
the cross that he gloried in, literally. The expression is metonymical.
The cross stands for Him who hung upon the cross. “God forbid that I
should glory, save in him who hung upon the cross.” We are not to glory
in men; neither in Paul, Apollos, nor Cephas, but in Christ.


In precisely the same way, the appointment in the case of Naaman, in
itself, had no virtue to cure leprosy. If another leper had gone to the
place the next day, and dipped himself, he would not have been healed.
Naaman did not go home praising the waters of Jordan, nor exulting in
his dipping, nor his faith, but he said: “Behold, now I know that there
is no God in all the earth, but in Israel.” II. Kings v. 15. The Lord
purposely selected an appointment that had not in it, in itself, any
curative efficacy, that the man might know the cure came directly from
God, and might believe and put his trust in the God of Israel. The same
is true of the appointment for the Israelites, bitten of the fiery
serpent. The Lord wisely selected something that all men would know had
no efficacy, in itself, to heal the bite of the serpent, that the glory
might be given to God and not to the brazen serpent. It is no question
about whether the Lord _could_ have saved the Israelites in some other
way. No one doubts that he _could_. But the question, in this case, is
simply about what _he did_. The people did not heal themselves. Their
faith did not heal them. Their prayers did not heal them. Their looking
did not heal them. The brazen serpent did not heal them. _God healed
them._ When did he do it? When they obeyed him. Where did he do it? In
his own appointment.

The faith of the army of Joshua did not throw down the walls of
Jericho. There is nothing in faith, in itself, to do a work of this
kind. The marching round Jericho, did not throw down the walls, nor
have any tendency to throw them down, if they had continued to march
round till this time. The blowing of the trumpet did not throw down
the walls. Nor did the shout of the army. God broke down these massive
walls. When did he do it? When they obeyed him. Where did he do it?
In his appointment. The work was just as much of

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

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1, 1805.
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half bound 1 0 Wonders of the Horse, recorded in Anecdotes, Prose and Verse, by Joseph Taylor 2 6 Tales of the Robin & other Small Birds, in Verse, by Joseph Taylor 2 6 Instructive Conversation Cards, consisting .
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Darton, Junr.
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is worth two to-morrows," as Poor Richard says, and farther, "Never leave that till to-morrow, which you can do to-day.
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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 horse-shoe nail.
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You call them goods; but, if you do not take care, they will prove evils to some of you.
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" Gain may be temporary and uncertain; but ever, while you live, expense is constant and certain; and "It is easier to build two chimneys, than to keep one in fuel," as Poor Richard says: so, "Rather go to bed supper-less, than rise in debt," Get what you can, and what you get hold, 'Tis the stone that will turn all your lead into gold.
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[Illustration: FINIS.