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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 297

If there is any
sure lamp to the path of weary and dying pilgrims in this world, it is
the Bible. All other books are nothing compared with the Bible. It is
_the book_ of all books, _the authority_ of all authorities, the only
sure and infallible guide from this world of sin to the land of rest.


The Lord said once to a preacher, “Simon, lovest thou me more than
these?” This question has been variously expounded. It has had at least
the following three interpretations given to it:

1. “Lovest thou me more than these other disciples love me?”
2. “Lovest thou me more than thou lovest these other disciples?”
3. “Lovest thou me more than thou lovest these fisheries?”

1. The Archbishop of Cincinnati had the honor—if it be any—of giving
the people the first of these, in the debate with Mr. Campbell. He
thinks the Lord meant, “Simon, lovest thou me more than these other
disciples love me?” He thinks Peter did love his Lord more than
the other disciples did, and this is one of his mighty arguments
to prove that Peter was the first Pope. But how Peter could answer
such a question as that, unless, indeed, he was already the Pope,
and _infallible_, we can not conceive. Certainly the Lord did not
expect Peter to know whether he loved his Master better than the
other disciples loved him, unless he was infallible. The Lord himself
could have answered that question, but certainly no man could. Such a
question was not only, in the very nature of the case, one that no man
could answer, but one that could have no practical bearing nor use.
Not only so, but the answer of the Lord was inappropriate, if he had
intended Peter to be Pope. He commanded him, “Feed my sheep.” This was
the last thing he would have commanded him if he had intended him to be
Pope. In that case he would have commanded him, “_Fleece_ my sheep,”
and not “_feed_ my sheep.” The business of Popes has ever been to
_fleece_ the sheep, and not to _feed_ them.

2. The question, “Lovest thou me more than thou lovest these other
disciples?” though Peter might have been able to answer it, would
certainly have been one of but little importance. Not only so, but the
language is scarcely capable of this import, and, therefore, it is not
probable that such was the intention of it.

3. The sum of the question was,

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Text Comparison with A Book of Gems Choice selections from the writings of Benjamin Franklin

Page 13
73 Poimeen—Shepherd—Evangelist—Overseer 25 Policy in Preaching .
Page 25
Men and women must give the money, if it is given at all.
Page 37
What currency, then, has the word “pastor” in the New Testament? The word is in the New Testament, in some translations, in _one place_.
Page 38
Page 74
Till this is done, it is useless to tell men what he says, or what he commands.
Page 85
all that is in it.
Page 114
In one short sentence: “The Spirit of God would not lead men to disobey what he has clearly required in the Bible.
Page 118
Rice, of heresy-hunting memory, in a tract of forty pages against Campbellism, which the reader may think as he pleases about, but which is as much against the religion of Christ, and those trying to receive it, practice it, and maintain it, and it _alone_, as was in the power of Dr.
Page 151
” Such is but a tithe of what abounds of this description throughout the New Testament.
Page 157
The Lord gave the commemoration of his sufferings and death to _his disciples_, and Paul, in Corinth, gave it to the congregation of the saints, and not to any others.
Page 161
If you are a business man, you will reply, “Yes, and I have trusted many more than that, all of whom paid, but I have trusted a long list that did not pay, and you need not preach to me that all will pay.
Page 174
We are speaking of gospel subjects, and the way set forth for them to come to God.
Page 197
This is simply all there is of it.
Page 216
The flock means the church, and the shepherd is the correlative of flock, and is applied to an overseer, or one who oversees or looks over the flock as a shepherd.
Page 228
the man of God and thoroughly furnish him for all good works.
Page 234
By no means do we love controversy.
Page 263
We never say _my church_.
Page 267
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It is before them when they rise up and when they lie down.
Page 320
” We shall hear these words, and be judged by them, in a day when we shall feel their force.