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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 302

wrestle not against flesh
and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the
rulers of the darkness of this world, against wicked spirits in the
heavenly regions.” Our King commanded one of his men, when he drew a
sword, and commencing battle with it, struck off the ear of the servant
Malchus, to _put up the sword_, adding that they who take the sword
_shall perish by the sword_. The apostle Paul fits out the christian
soldier and equips him for his work. The following are the habiliments
for the warfare: The loins are to be girt about with _truth_, the
breast-plate of _righteousness_ is to be put on, the feet are to be
shod with a _preparation of the gospel_. The shield of _faith_ is to be
taken, the helmet of _salvation_ and the sword of the _Spirit_, which
is the _word of God_. Here is the christian armor—our preparation
for war. There is nothing carnal about it—no preparation to war
against flesh and blood. We must hold fast to this armor—the heavenly
armor—and use it with skill, resorting to no other, and we shall see
the tall sons of men in thousands fall before us and join the army.


Public men must be prudent, judicious and noble in their bearing,
presenting the truth in the love of it. Men must not miscalculate their
influence, their power, and time for presenting things. Preachers
must know _when_ and _where_ things are to be said and done. Many men
drive their audiences away, by their repulsive course, and think it
the opposition of the people to the truth, that drives them away. We
speak plainly on all the great issues between ourselves and the parties
around us, in the pulpit, and yet seldom give offense, and never fail
to have a good hearing from the parties around us, and seldom fail to
gain some of them to the truth. And, what is better, when they are
gained, _they are gained indeed_—not by persuading them that there
is but little difference between us, but by making them both _see and
feel_ the difference, _and convincing them of the truth_. Any thing
short of this is of no account.

Some men are for using a little Jesuitism. They would preach on
common ground matters till they draw their hearers on and gain their
attention. But we have nothing to do with any such policy. There is
a vast amount of the most important and plain truth in the gospel,
that the parties around us know comparatively nothing about, and
consequently have no objection to it. They will

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 1 of 2] With His Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

Page 1
_New-York, Sept.
Page 19
When he found I would leave him, he took care to prevent my getting employment in any other printing-house in town, by going round and speaking to every master, who accordingly refused to give me work.
Page 24
I found in the shop the old man, his father, whom I had seen at New-York, and who, travelling on horseback, had got to Philadelphia before me.
Page 30
" As I seemed at first not to think so ill of them as she did, she mentioned some things she had observed and heard that had escaped my notice, but now convinced me she was right.
Page 36
Ralph did it justice, remarked some faults, but applauded the beauties.
Page 44
He at length proposed to me travelling all over Europe together, supporting ourselves everywhere by working at our business.
Page 53
Had I known him before I engaged in this business, probably I never should have done it.
Page 69
It is in _youth_ that we plant our chief habits and prejudices; it is in youth that we take our party as to profession, pursuits, and matrimony.
Page 70
"The little private incidents which you will also have to relate, will have considerable use, as we want, above all things, _rules of prudence in ordinary affairs_; and it will be curious to see how you have acted in these.
Page 71
Franklin will hold not only in point of character, but of private history) will show that you are ashamed of no origin; a thing the more important as you prove how little necessary all origin is to happiness, virtue, or greatness.
Page 79
My conduct might be blameable, but I leave it without attempting farther to excuse it; my present purpose being to relate facts, and not to make apologies for them.
Page 84
With knowledge, conscious peace, and virtue pure; Sacred, substantial, never-fading bliss!" The precept of _Order_, requiring that _every part of my business should have its allotted time_, one page in my little book contained the following scheme of employment for the twenty-four hours of a natural day.
Page 155
modern date, and has been attributed to the Abbe Bertholon, who published his memoir on the subject in 1776.
Page 156
The assessment was made upon the strictest principle of equity; and the proprietary estates bore only a proportionable share of the expenses of supporting government.
Page 160
Grenville's stamp-act, and the opposition made to it, are well known.
Page 169
All the bells in the city were muffled, and the very newspapers were published with black borders.
Page 175
Company of Philadelphia I give to my grandson Benjamin Franklin Bache, confiding that he will permit his brothers and sisters to share in the use of it.
Page 188
The stamp-act says we shall have no commerce, make no exchange of property with each other, neither purchase nor grant, nor recover debts; we shall neither marry nor make our wills, unless we pay such and such sums; and thus it is intended to extort our money from us, or ruin us by the consequences of refusing to pay it.
Page 189
They will not find a rebellion: they may indeed make one.
Page 210
" "But he is a white man," they cried; "the white men are all bad, and we will kill them all.