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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 319

many people and greatly extend the cause in one

DR. P.—No, Doctor, that would not be the case. The preacher we have is
just as good as any man we can get. He is a man of unquestionable
talents and piety and if we stand by him, aid him and encourage him,
thus showing to the world that we respect him, those without will also
respect him and he will succeed. If we had the most gifted man on
the continent and the members of the church would treat him as they
have done our present preacher he would do nothing. By our absenting
ourselves, we virtually say, what you have in so many words said, that
_our preacher can do no good here_. When the members of the church thus
speak and act, neither a man nor an angel can do any thing; and, if I
were the preacher, I would not stay a moment with brethren who would
thus treat me. I would go where I could be appreciated. Doctor, come to
meeting and let us make one good effort and see if we can not bring our
church out. Let us produce a change in the church, and then probably
our preacher will do well enough. I think we need a change in the
church more than in the preacher, or preaching.


The preachers who love Christ better than partyism, will preach Christ,
will call the people to Christ, and induce them to love him, and love
all that do love him. They will inquire _his_ will, and do it. They
will exchange the love of party for the love of Christ, and find it
so much higher, holier, purer and happier, that they will ignore all
party feuds, wrangling and strifes, and maintain simply “the faith once
delivered to the saints.” No doctrinal corrections, or corrections in
ordinances, or in organization and government, will ever amount to
anything, or save a people, who have not the _love of Christ_. We may
be told that we may be mistaken, that they do love Christ. We cannot
be mistaken in this, for the Lord says, “From the abundance of the
heart, the mouth speaks. A man full of the love of Christ, will speak
of Christ. The theme of his heart will dwell upon his tongue. Where
Christ has promised to be, they will be with him.” “Where two or three
are met together in my name, there,” says the Lord, “_I will be_.” How
many go to these places where Jesus has promised to be?

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

Page 1
Page 4
_ None that I know of; they will never do it unless compelled by force of arms.
Page 16
There was another bookish lad in the town, John Collins by name, with whom I was intimately acquainted.
Page 23
See Note, p.
Page 36
same house with me and at my expense.
Page 59
compunction, and recollecting Keith's conduct toward me (who was another freethinker), and my own toward Vernon and Miss Read, which at times gave me great trouble, I began to suspect that this doctrine, though it might be true, was not very useful.
Page 63
Bradford still printed the votes and laws and other public business.
Page 65
I am inclined to go with them, and follow my old employment.
Page 81
" Another from Cicero: "O vitae Philosophia dux! O virtutum indagatrix expultrixque vitiorum! Unus dies, bene et ex praeceptis tuis actus, peccanti immortalitati est anteponendus.
Page 93
I became his zealous partisan, and contributed all I could to raise a party in his favor, and we combated for him awhile with some hopes of success.
Page 108
might embroil them with their elders and friends.
Page 111
The use of these fireplaces in very many houses, both of this and the neighboring colonies, has been and is a great saving of wood to the inhabitants.
Page 116
The subscriptions afterward were more free and generous; but, beginning to flag, I saw they would be insufficient without some assistance from the Assembly, and therefore proposed to petition for it, which was done.
Page 122
[148] With these sentiments I have hazarded the few preceding pages, hoping they may afford hints which some time or other may be useful to a city I love, having lived many years in it very happily, and perhaps to some of our towns in America.
Page 128
Page 139
To promote the association necessary to form the militia, I wrote a dialogue,[175] stating and answering all the objections I could think of to such a militia, which was printed, and had, as I thought, great effect.
Page 161
However, it was concluded that I should give them the heads of our complaints in writing, and they promised then to consider them.
Page 169
For in another place he says, Many have been ruined by buying good pennyworths.
Page 171
When you have got your bargain, you may, perhaps, think little of payment; but, as Poor Richard says, Creditors have better memories than debtors; creditors are a superstitious sect, great observers of set days and times.
Page 177
* Text enclosed between equal signs was in bold face in the original (=bold=).