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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 50

pleasant and interesting to worldly-minded
persons, and not do any thing or say any thing that would remind
any one of the Savior of the world. But to come under the name of a
preacher of Christ, a disciple of Christ, and not be like him, not make
men think of him, love him, and desire to come to him, is a deception
upon the church and the world.


If some of the movements now on foot are to be tolerated, there
is no reason for our existence as a body. If we want organs,
gorgeous temples, Catharine wheels, clerical orders, superior
courts, organizations and numerous societies, aside from the local
congregations of the Lord, the Pope can supply any demand for any or
all of these. If there are “means of grace,” he is rich in means. He
can furnish them an outlet for their overwhelming benevolence in the
innumerable channels he has opened. If the great problem is how to
reach the pockets of the people and build expensive temples, put up
tall spires and chimes of bells, he has solved it. He has swarms of
men, and women, too, doing his bidding and under fine pay, living on
the fat of the land. He has a _system_, a _plan_, an _organization_, a
grand one; the broadest one ever made by man. Here is the opening for
men who long for something of that sort. There is no use in mincing
the matter, nor in half-way measures. Why not at one bound go right
up to the grand culmination of all this kind of progress? There is no
use in trudging along behind the Pope, when a man can go to him and be
received into his embrace at once.

What a farce for men to be talking of _progress, going on to
perfection, keeping up with the age_, etc., etc., when they are giving
up and retrograding from the grandest progress possible to men—the
progress up to the ground consecrated by the feet of the apostles and
first Christians. Talk of progress when going back to the feeble and
exploded schemes of sectarians and patronizing their shallow devices!
Progress, indeed, to turn away from the holy gospel, the power of
God to salvation, and scheme to catch people and draw them in by the
blandishments of fine houses, theatrical, musical shows and clerical
pretentions! No, brethren, all this is empty and powerless for good,
and yielding up to the influences of hardness of heart, and aiding
on that overwhelming avalanche of unbelief now coming upon us. We
must stand by our Lord

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1 [of 3]

Page 17
He was versed also in mechanics, and could, upon occasion, use the tools of a variety of trades.
Page 21
Matthew Adams, an ingenious tradesman, who had a handsome collection of books, and who frequented our printing-house, took notice of me.
Page 30
The next day, however, I continued my journey, and arrived in the evening at an inn, eight or ten miles from Burlington, that was kept by one Dr.
Page 44
Ralph was ingenious and shrewd, genteel in his address, and extremely eloquent.
Page 46
When Osborne was alone with me, he expressed himself still more strongly in favour of what he considered as my performance.
Page 60
At length, having received fifteen guineas to pay his quarter's board, he decamped with the money, from Oxford, hid his gown in a hedge, and travelled to London.
Page 85
Besides these great principles, Franklin's letters on electricity contain a number of facts and hints, which have contributed greatly towards reducing this branch of knowledge to a science.
Page 118
At the end of the second hundred years, I would have the disposition of the four millions and sixty-one thousand pounds divided between the inhabitants of the city of Philadelphia and the government of Pennsylvania, in the same manner as herein directed with respect to that of the inhabitants of Boston and the government of Massachusetts.
Page 128
And on the touch of the wire, (or of the gun-barrel, which is the same thing) the fire does not proceed from the touching finger to the wire, as is supposed, but from the wire to the finger, and passes through the body to the other hand, and so into the bottom of the bottle.
Page 168
Thus the particles of electrical fluid belonging to the inside surface go in and out of their pores every stroke given to the tube.
Page 178
On a silver bullet there will also appear a small spot, as well as on the plate below it.
Page 201
Page 251
It tore up the hearth in several places (_m_), and broke some pieces of china in the beaufet (_n_).
Page 259
It may be applied to the wood with common paste, made with boiling-water thickened with flour; and, so laid on; will lie very close and stick well: but I should prefer a hard sticky varnish for that purpose, made of linseed oil much boiled.
Page 260
_ _Of Lightning, and the Methods (now used in America) of securing Buildings and Persons from its mischievous Effects.
Page 261
An iron rod being placed on the outside of a building, from the highest part continued down into the moist earth, in any direction strait or crooked, following the form of.
Page 301
Page 307
_Canada_, importance of, to England, i.
Page 313
119, note.
Page 319
cannot be electrified negatively, _ibid.