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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 308

one place,
go to another, and try again. Remember Noah, who preached one hundred
and twenty years, without an addition, and preach on and pray on. Trust
in the Lord, and work on.

He must be a man that can not be discouraged. He must be determined
that he will listen to no discouraging tales. When met by some
faint-hearted, sickly, and half-believing brother, who doles out his
story about the troubles among the brethren, the opposition to be
encountered, and how “hard a place it is,” where he is operating, he
must pay no attention to it, but rise above it, and bear it in mind
that there are good and honest-hearted souls in every community, who
will receive and obey the gospel, if it is faithfully presented. Keep
these in your mind, preaching brother, and try to save them, and you
will succeed in a vast majority of cases. Inspire your audience with
courage and confidence, especially the brethren. Allow no whining,
complaining, and saying, “We can’t do anything,” and believe nothing
of the kind. You _can do something_, and you must tell the people so,
and _keep on_ till you do it. You must not work in doubt, but in strong
confidence that you have the truth—that you are advocating the cause
of righteousness—that God is in it, will be with you, never leave you
nor forsake you—that you can, by the help of the Lord, make the cause
prosper, and will do it.


It is one thing for a man to _say_ he is for the Bible, the whole Bible
and nothing but the Bible, and it is quite another thing to _learn_
and _practice_ some of the first and clearest lessons of the Bible.
The only authority there is in the Bible for preaching the gospel at
all, requires that it be preached in all the world—to every creature.
Yet, strange to say, the first thing many seem to think of, and the
only thing, is the mere vicinity where they reside. They are frequently
few, weak and uninfluential; can get no preacher to their vicinity; or
if they do get one once in a great while, they entertain him with an
account of their weakness and inability to pay, make him sacrifice more
to preach for them than they all sacrifice to support him. In other
words, if they ought to give him thirty dollars, by a hard stretch they
raise fifteen dollars, and send him off fifteen dollars minus what he
ought to have had. After thus disheartening him, breaking him down and
starving him, or especially

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

Page 3
to execute, that of being one of the commissioners appointed by law to dispose of the public money appropriated to the raising and paying an army to act against the Indians and defend the frontiers.
Page 7
Since such a repetition is not to be expected, the next thing like living one's life over again seems to be a recollection of that life, and to make that recollection as durable as possible by putting it down in writing.
Page 9
He was very pious, a great attender of sermons of the best preachers, which he took down in his shorthand, and had with him many volumes of them.
Page 36
same house with me and at my expense.
Page 41
[59] He became, however, a pretty good prose writer.
Page 47
This, however, was not then of much consequence, as he was totally unable; and in the loss of his friendship I found myself relieved from a burden.
Page 48
have me in the composing room, I left the pressmen; a new _bien venu_,[70] or sum for drink, being five shillings, was demanded of me by the compositors.
Page 61
[n] The first members were: Joseph Breintnal, a copier of deeds for the scriveners, a good-natured, friendly, middle-aged man, a great lover of poetry, reading all he could meet with, and writing some that was tolerable; very ingenious in many little knick-knackeries, and of sensible conversation.
Page 68
Whether this was a real change of sentiment, or only artifice, on a supposition of our being too far engaged in affection to retract, and therefore that we should steal a marriage, which would leave them at liberty to give or withhold what they pleased, I know not; but I suspected the latter, resented it, and went no more.
Page 74
Keeping holy the Sabbath day.
Page 96
Wherein have I transgressed? What have I done? What duty have I omitted? So shall we measure our lives by rules.
Page 101
Whitefield with the idea of building an orphan house[128] there, in which they might be supported and educated.
Page 113
The Moravian happened not to please his colleagues, and on his death they resolved to have no other of that sect.
Page 117
Unwilling to make myself disagreeable to my fellow-citizens by too frequently soliciting their contributions, I absolutely refused.
Page 136
, to be destroyed, that he might have more horses to assist his flight toward the settlements and less lumber to remove.
Page 137
In their first march, too, from their landing till they got beyond the settlements, they had plundered and stripped the inhabitants, totally ruining some poor families, besides insulting, abusing, and confining the people if they remonstrated.
Page 147
] [Footnote 175: This dialogue and the militia act are in the Gentleman's Magazine for February and March, 1756.
Page 157
It has been remarked, as an imperfection in the art of ship building, that it can never be known, till she is tried, whether a new ship will or will not be a good sailer; for that the model of a good sailing ship has been exactly followed in a new one, which has proved, on the contrary, remarkably dull.
Page 163
They gave me their thanks in form when I returned.
Page 169
And again, At a great pennyworth pause awhile.