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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 317

the things
of the kingdom of God, than many that you never think of pleasing. I
am for a preacher that will try to please the Lord, whether he pleases
your distinguished men or not.

DR. F.—We have had some of the best speakers in the world here, and the
truth is, the people here know what good talent is, and they will not
be satisfied with ordinary men. The people here have been well taught.
No man can attract attention here unless he is a superior man.

DR. P.—That the people here have heard some men of good preaching
talent, is true; but that they are well-read and well taught in
christianity, is far from true. That they understand Jesus or the
apostles well, is far from true. Many perfectly country places and
rural districts contain far more gospel light than may be found in
the bounds of our congregation. We presume that we are wise, while
many plain men from the country are astonished when they converse with
us, that we are so ignorant. To be plain with you, my dear brother,
I know of no place where there is, at this time, more need of plain,
old-fashioned, New Testament preaching than here. It is not worldly
show that we need; we have that now in abundance. We need the simple
teachings of Jesus, solemnly and affectionately impressed upon our
hearts, by some good man who loves us and will try to save us. In the
place of being inflated with the conceit that we are well taught, far
advanced and highly elevated in christian attainments, so that no man
except one of the most exalted accomplishments can teach us, we should
be sensible of what is the true state of the case, viz: That almost
any plain and good man who preaches among us, can teach us many useful
lessons that we do not know.

DR. F.—I can not agree with you. I have had my face burn more than once,
in listening to some ignorant brother, blundering and trying to preach,
who evidently did not understand his mother tongue, and that, too, in
the presence of some distinguished persons. I can never countenance
such a state of things.

DR. P.—Doctor, I had rather hear some good man, who can not speak his
mother tongue correctly, tell the plain story of the cross of Christ,
in the love of Jesus, and in the spirit and power of a holy man of God,
a thousand times, than to listen to one of your _showy men_, who can
preach a beautiful sermon without any Jesus,

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 2 [of 3]

Page 32
you object, if water may be thus carried into the clouds, why have we not salt rains? The objection is strong and reasonable, and I know not whether I can answer it to your satisfaction.
Page 43
They may, indeed, be forced up by a wind from below, but do not rise of themselves, though filled with warm breath.
Page 65
If it is driven off thro' the air, it must warm the air, and a thermometer held over the mixture, without touching it, would discover the heat, by the rising of the mercury, as it must, and always does in warm air.
Page 108
Pennant also mentions an observation of the like nature made by the seal catchers in Scotland.
Page 131
The other struck where the warmth of the sea had wasted the ice next to it, and a part hung over above.
Page 164
| 80 | 77 | | 23 |35 35 |40 52| 7 | 77 | 78| 75 |North|W ¼ S | 100 | | omitted.
Page 168
Chusing a place where the water deepens gradually, walk coolly into it till it is up to your breast, then turn round, your face to the shore, and throw an egg into the water between you and the shore.
Page 171
It is certain that much swimming is the means of stopping a diarrhœa, and even of producing a constipation.
Page 179
At the opening of one of the bottles, at the house of a friend where I then was, three drowned flies fell into the first glass that was filled.
Page 188
_P_ The passage under the false back and part of the hearth for the smoke.
Page 200
If any grease should afterwards come on them, a little wet ashes will get it out.
Page 249
It is said, that hail and rain make a disagreeable drumming noise on copper; but this I suppose is rather fancy; for the plates being fastened on the rafters, must, in a great measure, deaden such sound.
Page 250
I suppose his copper must have been thinner.
Page 253
Frenicle, in which he said the author had discovered great ingenuity and dexterity in the management of numbers; and though several other foreigners had distinguished themselves in the same way, he did not recollect that any one Englishman had done any thing of the kind remarkable.
Page 281
{ Then coming forward to those, formed g k { by the roof of the tongue next to the { windpipe.
Page 287
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Page 375
_ letter to the Busy-body on the want of, iii.
Page 386
difficult sometimes to discover the cause of, 282.