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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 62

Lord, among the last words
he uttered before he ascended to heaven. Men who will not rely on that
promise—on the words _shall be saved_, or _shall be pardoned_—would
not believe though one would rise from the dead. It is not baptism such
need; it is _faith_. They are not fit subjects for baptism. They must
remember the condition, “He that _believeth_.” They can not come to God
without _faith_. “Without faith it is impossible to please him.”


If it is wiser to obey God than man, if an infallible law is better
than a fallible, if a perfect law is better than an imperfect one, if
a divine law is better than a human, if the authority of God is better
than the authority of man, if the word of the Living God is better than
a human creed, if the infallible teachings of inspiration are better
than uninspired human creeds, if the teachings of the Holy Spirit of
God are a safer guide to heaven than the teachings of erring men, if
God should govern in preference to man, we are right, and our opposers
wrong, on this transcendent point, and it is our duty to God and our
fellow-creatures, that we maintain with manly zeal and fortitude that
which is so manifestly and self-evidently the will of God. We never can
falter. We have no ground to doubt or fear; but if we shrink or
hesitate, it must be manifest indifference. While we hope, then, for
the blessing of God upon us, and call upon God for his mercy, let us
remember our fealty to him, and maintain our integrity to the day of
his coming.


The Bible contains the true religion, or there is none. There is light
in the Bible to save the world, or the world is lost. Our only choice
is between the Bible and nothing. Judaism is abolished. Mohammedanism
has no claims in internal merit or external evidence. The fruits of all
Paganism show that it is evil, and only evil, continually. Infidelity
has nothing for the world. While it would take Christianity from us, it
has nothing to propose. It is no system—no doctrine—teaches nothing
and defends nothing. Its only province is to stand and deny. It finds
fault with everything, starts doubts, destroys confidence, fills the
world with fears, and spreads an eternal gloom over the prospects and
hopes of all nations. Reason and the light of nature have been tried
longer and more effectually than any system in the world. At least four
thousand years

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 of 2] With his Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

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114 To the same 115 To the same 116 To Miss Stevenson 119 To Lord Kames 120 To the same 121 To the same 128 To John Alleyne .
Page 46
So that we may hope the luxury of a few merchants on the coast will not be the ruin of America.
Page 58
There are.
Page 81
Our author himself would hardly approve entirely of this Turk's conduct in the government of slaves; and yet he appears to recommend something like it for the government of English subjects, when he applauds the reply of Judge Burnet to the convict horsestealer; who, being asked what he had to say why judgment of death should not pass against him, and answering that it was hard to hang a man for _only_ stealing a horse, was told by the judge, "Man, thou art not to be hanged _only_ for stealing a horse, but that horses may not be stolen.
Page 84
A negro slave in our colonies, being commanded by his master to rob and murder a neighbour, or do any other immoral act, may refuse, and the magistrate will protect him in his refusal.
Page 103
Franklin as early as 1765, when the first advices reached England of the disorders occasioned by the attempts to carry the stamp-act into execution; and he had written a second letter to him on the same subject in the beginning of 1767.
Page 112
At least, you will, by such conduct, stand the best chance for such consequences.
Page 141
Humanizing by degrees, it admitted slavery instead of death.
Page 151
' Agreed.
Page 157
I am to thank you, however, for the pleasure I had, after our parting, in reading the new book[32] you gave me, which I think generally well written and likely to do good: though the reading time of most people is of late so taken up with newspapers and little periodical pamphlets, that few nowadays venture to attempt reading a quarto volume.
Page 171
Page 179
While the iron continues soft and hot, it is only a temporary magnet; if it cools or grows hard in that situation, it becomes a permanent one, the magnetic fluid not easily resuming its equilibrium.
Page 181
_ _Queries and Conjectures relating to Magnetism and the Theory of the Earth.
Page 183
Page 184
Thus it appears that this vein of coal has suffered a prodigious settlement.
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These imbibing pores, however, are very fine; perhaps fine enough, in filtering, to separate salt from water; for though I have soaked (by swimming, when a boy) several hours in the day, for several days successively, in salt water, I never found my blood and juices salted by that means, so as to make me thirsty or feel a salt taste in my mouth; and it is remarkable that the flesh of seafish, though bred in salt water, is not salt.
Page 238
I will, however, take this opportunity of repeating those particulars to you which I mentioned in our last conversation, as, by perusing them at your leisure, you may possibly imprint them so in your memory as, on occasion, to be of some use to you.
Page 246
98 impaartial --> impartial 3.