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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 318

Holy Spirit, love of God,
or anything else, but _the man himself_ in it. I desire preaching that
will convert men to Jesus—to christianity and not to men. The converts
will then love Jesus, meet and worship him and do those things that are
pleasing in his sight. We do not want a man here to _worship him_, but
to preach Jesus to us and teach us to worship Him.

DR. F.—With your views of the subject, we shall never do any good. We
shall never draw out an audience, nor accomplish anything. I am in
favor of procuring a man at a salary of $2,000 or $2,500, that will
command the respect of our city. Then we shall do some good. I am
willing to give liberally when such an arrangement can be made, but
I do not think our preacher is doing any good, and shall not give
anything for his support.

DR. P.—I am sorry to hear you speak so. Nothing, in my estimation could
be more disastrous to us. This would consume about all we could
possibly raise, so that we could not raise a dollar for missions, for
colleges, the poor or anything only to pay a man to preach _to us_. At
this rate our large congregation would only just be able to support
itself and bear its own weight! Who is to convert the world at this
rate! If we can not do anything more than sustain ourselves who are to
support missions, build colleges and take care of the poor? If you had
such a preacher as you want, he would have to do everything himself,
or you would not be satisfied. Not a brother in the church would ever
pray, exhort, or do anything that would call forth a gift, or develop
any talents that might be among our numbers. Hence in all these city
churches where some great man is the center of attraction, they rarely
ever bring forward any young preachers, or develop any new talent. They
simply monopolize talent brought out and developed some place else. I
am in favor of preachers of ability, not only in our city churches, but
as far as possible, in all the churches. But the way must be opened
among us for the development of talent in the church. Our pride must
not despise incipient efforts—plain and humble men, nor human weakness.
It is in all men more or less, though not always developed in the same

DR. F.—I think if we had such a preacher as I wish, we would draw out
an audience, convert

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 3
, but some vain thing immediately followed.
Page 14
By comparing my work afterwards with the original, I discovered many faults and amended them; but I sometimes had the pleasure of fancying that, in certain particulars of small import, I had been lucky enough to improve the method or the language, and this encouraged me to think I might possibly in time come to be a tolerable English writer, of which I was extremely ambitious.
Page 16
This habit, I believe, has been of great advantage to me when I have had occasion to inculcate my opinions, and persuade men into measures that I have been from time to time engag'd in promoting; and, as the chief ends of conversation are to inform or to be informed, to please or to persuade, I wish well-meaning, sensible men would not lessen their power of doing good by a positive, assuming manner, that seldom fails to disgust, tends to create opposition, and to defeat every one of those purposes for which speech was given to us, to wit, giving or receiving information or pleasure.
Page 19
My brother's discharge was accompany'd with an order of the House (a very odd one), that "James Franklin should no longer print the paper called the New England Courant.
Page 23
He gave me, accordingly, three great puffy rolls.
Page 47
He now told me he was about to return to Philadelphia, and should carry over a great quantity of goods in order to open a store there.
Page 51
to live very agreeably, for they all respected me the more, as they found Keimer incapable of instructing them, and that from me they learned something daily.
Page 64
A friendly correspondence as neighbors and old acquaintances had continued between me and Mrs.
Page 66
Thus far was written with the intention express'd in the beginning and therefore contains several little family anecdotes of no importance to others.
Page 68
And why are weaker men to be deprived of such helps, when we see our race has been blundering on in the dark, almost without a guide in this particular, from the farthest trace of time? Show then, sir, how much is to be done, both to sons and fathers; and invite all wise men to become like yourself, and other men to become wise.
Page 85
It may be well my posterity should be informed that to this little artifice, with the blessing of God, their ancestor ow'd the constant felicity of his life, down to his 79th year, in which this is written.
Page 91
Of these are a Socratic dialogue, tending to prove that, whatever might be his parts and abilities, a vicious man could not properly be called a man of sense; and a discourse on self-denial, showing that virtue was not secure till its practice became a habitude, and was free from the opposition of contrary inclinations.
Page 107
Their captain prepar'd for defense; but told William Penn and his company of Quakers, that he did not expect their assistance, and they might retire into the cabin, which they did, except James Logan, who chose to stay upon deck, and was quarter'd to a gun.
Page 112
The trustees of the academy, after a while, were incorporated by a charter from the governor; their funds were increas'd by contributions in Britain and grants of land from the proprietaries, to which the Assembly has since made considerable addition; and thus was established the present University of Philadelphia.
Page 114
He was zealous and active in endeavouring to procure subscriptions for it, but the proposal being a novelty in America, and at first not well understood, he met with but small success.
Page 119
I then judg'd that, if that feeble woman could sweep such a street in three hours, a strong, active man might have done it in half the time.
Page 121
In 1754, war with France being again apprehended, a congress of commissioners from the different colonies was, by an order of the Lords of Trade, to be assembled at Albany, there to confer with the chiefs of the Six Nations concerning the means of defending both their country and ours.
Page 130
good Muscovado do.
Page 149
His answer was, "I have given out that she is to sail on Saturday next; but I may let you know, entre nous, that if you are there by Monday morning, you will be in time, but do not delay longer.
Page 156
Charles had provided for me, I went to visit Dr.