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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 32

are hardened
and become worse by it, he says, God hardened them. In the other case,
where they are subdued and led to repentance by it, he says, God makes
them “vessels of mercy,” leads them to repentance and saves them. The
dealings of God are precisely alike in both cases, but the result is
different. In one case it is a savor of life, in the other of death.
The difference is not in the divine treatment, but in the patients.
The one becomes a vessel of wrath, and the other a vessel of mercy.
God is said to save the one and harden the other, because we have the
two results from the same treatment. In that sense it is from God and
ascribed to him, in both the hardening and saving. See the following:

“At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation and concerning a
kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; if that
nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will
repent of the evil I thought to them.” See Jer. xviii. 7, 8. This
assures us, that where a nation or a kingdom repent, the Lord turns
away the threatened calamity. The Lord then states the case for a
nation that shall turn away from the Lord:

“At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a
kingdom, to build and to plant it; if it do evil in my sight, that it
obey not my voice, then will I repent of the good, wherewith I said
I would benefit them.” See Jer. xviii. 9, 10. This sets forth the
foundation of making vessels of honor and of wrath. God can make either
the one, or the other. The ground of his doing this is their doing good
and doing evil.

When God sent a judgment on Pharaoh, to subdue him and lead him to
repentance, he promised to repent and let the children of Israel go;
but then hardened his heart, broke his promise and refused to let them
go. This was repeated ten times on him, and every time he broke his
promise and he became still more hardened, and God permitted him thus
to go on till his overthrow, thus making the power of God known in all
the earth, and making the hardened monarch of Egypt an example to all
the nations to follow. No doubt God hardens men now in the same sense
as he did Pharaoh, subdues and leads others to repentance as he did the
Ninevites, who repented at the

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 28
I was better dress'd than ever while in his service, having a genteel new suit from head to foot, a watch, and my pockets lin'd with near five pounds sterling in silver.
Page 45
The room was clean, but had no other furniture than a.
Page 53
At Burlington I made an acquaintance with many principal people of the province.
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Another thing demonstrated will be the propriety of everyman's waiting for his time for appearing upon the stage of the world.
Page 71
As I have not read any part of the life in question, but know only the character that lived it, I write somewhat at hazard.
Page 72
I will therefore begin here with an account of it, which may be struck out if found to have been already given.
Page 75
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Page 88
"That fewer still, in public affairs, act with a view to the good of mankind.
Page 96
In 1737, Colonel Spotswood, late governor of Virginia, and then postmaster-general, being dissatisfied with the conduct of his deputy at Philadelphia, respecting some negligence in rendering, and inexactitude of his accounts, took from him the commission and offered it to me.
Page 99
I did not disapprove of the design, but, as Georgia was then destitute of materials and workmen, and it was proposed to send them from Philadelphia at a great expense, I thought it would have been better to have built the house here, and brought the children to it.
Page 105
" I heard, however, no more of this; I was chosen again unanimously as usual at the next election.
Page 110
ours; and this we should do freely and generously.
Page 111
It was therefore that one of each sect was appointed, viz.
Page 114
"For," says he, "I am often ask'd by those to whom I propose subscribing, Have you consulted Franklin upon this business? And what does he think of it? And when I tell them that I have not (supposing it rather out of your line), they do not subscribe, but say they will consider of it.
Page 123
Hamilton, who, tir'd with the disputes his proprietary instructions subjected him to, had resign'd.
Page 131
The general, too, was highly satisfied with my conduct in procuring him the waggons, etc.
Page 147
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1727 Founds the Junto, or "Leathern Apron" Club.