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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 287

God, as divine and
miraculous, done in this appointment, as if it had been done without
any appointment at all. The appointment was precisely such an one, as
to direct the heart of the people to God, as the author of the victory.
But had they refused to march round the walls, shout and blow the
trumpet, though they might have prayed till now, the Lord would not
have answered them nor saved them. In all these cases, they might
have prayed for saving power till they breathed the last breath, and
no saving power would have come. The saving power was promised, but
promised in certain appointments—not because the Lord _could not_, but
because he _would not_ save in any other way, only as he had appointed.

The same is true of saving men in our time. We have no dispute about
what the Lord _can_ do. The only question we have is about what the
Lord _will_ do. The Lord will do precisely what he has promised, and
no man in the world can produce one particle of evidence that he will
do anything else, to save any man. If the Lord had said, “He that
believeth and prays, and is prayed for, shall be saved,” every one that
prays and is prayed for, would be saved. But such, it is admitted on
all hands, is not the fact. Many pray, and are prayed for, who, it is
admitted, are not saved or pardoned. The Lord’s appointment is, “He
that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved. Repent and be baptized
every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of
sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Why tarriest
thou? arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the
name of the Lord.” Here is the Lord’s appointment, and he who comes
here, has the promise of the Lord that he shall be saved, or pardoned.
This appointment is like those we have been looking at. It is evident
to all, there is no virtue or merit in faith, in itself, to save a man.
It is equally evident that there is no merit or virtue in repentance,
in itself, to save any one. It must be equally evident to all, that
there can be no virtue, merit, or efficacy in baptism, in itself, to
save or pardon. It is God that pardons. Who does he pardon? Those who
obey him. When does he pardon them? When they obey from the heart, that
form of doctrine delivered to them.

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 3 [of 3]

Page 17
In summer time, the passages are frequently performed in a week from Charles Town to Philadelphia and New York; and from Rhode Island to New York through the Sound, in two or three days; and from New York to Philadelphia, by water and land, in two days, by stage boats and wheel-carriages that set out every other day.
Page 72
They, who can be moved by the apprehension of dangers so remote, as that of the future independence of our colonies (a point I shall hereafter consider) seem scarcely consistent with themselves, when they suppose we may rely on the wisdom and vigour of an administration for their safety.
Page 83
There is, in short, scarce a single instance in history of the contrary, where manufactures have once taken firm root.
Page 100
3,486,268 1 2 _Second term, from 1754 to 1758, inclusive.
Page 108
When colonies are so different in their circumstances, a regulation, that is not inconvenient to one or a few, may be very much so to the rest.
Page 141
But is it not a fact known to you all, that the assembly _did_ endeavour to strengthen the hands of the government? That, at his honour's instance, they prepared and passed in a few hours a bill for extending hither the act of parliament for dispersing rioters? That they also.
Page 174
Which is best (supposing your case) to have a total separation, or a change of the seat of government?--It by no means follows, that promoting and advancing the landed interest in America will depress that of Britain: the contrary has always been the fact.
Page 175
_ To be sure it would; as many of the inhabitants could not get stamps when they had occasion for them, without taking long journeys, and spending perhaps three or four pounds, that the crown might get six-pence.
Page 202
_ _Craven Street, Nov.
Page 211
--And hence it is, that all the like rights, privileges and powers, follow the use, exercise and application of the great seal of each colony and plantation within the precincts of said jurisdiction, as doth, and ought of right to follow the use, exercise, and application of the great seal.
Page 213
--In 1756, when the Speaker went up to present the money-bills, he said among other things, that "England was capable of fighting her own battles and defending herself; and although ever attached to your majesty's person, ever at ease under your just government, they cannot forbear taking notice of some circumstances in the present situation of affairs, which nothing but the confidence in your justice could hinder from alarming their most serious apprehensions.
Page 251
With sincere and great esteem and respect, I am, sir, Your most obedient, humble servant, B.
Page 256
[156] This design was printed on a _card_, and Dr.
Page 265
Therefore, as soon as they arrive within hearing, they stop and hollow, remaining there till invited to enter.
Page 270
The different factions, which at present divide us, aim all at the public good: the differences are only about the various modes of promoting it.
Page 279
And the Divine Being seems to have manifested his approbation of the mutual forbearance and kindness with which the different sects treat each other, by the remarkable prosperity with which he has been pleased to favour the whole country.
Page 336
For when the body is uneasy, the mind will be disturbed by it, and disagreeable ideas of various kinds will, in sleep, be the natural consequences.
Page 376
His death was an affliction which was to happen to us at some time or other.
Page 381
403.
Page 387
_Circle_, magical, account of, ii.