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

By Benjamin Franklin

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listen to a discourse concerning Jesus
and the resurrection, and preach the unsearchable riches of Christ;
make all men see and turn them to God. Do not wait for a _call_, but
_go_; do not wait for some certain promise of support, but trust to the
promises of God; go in faith; trust in God; sow the good seed of the
kingdom, the word of God, that it may fall into good and honest hearts
and bring forth much fruit. Put in every sermon possible; preach to
every one who will hear; preach because you love God and man, and
desire to save man from ruin, and because you love to preach; because
the Lord commands it, and the God of peace will be with you, care and
provide for you.




UNIVERSALISM.


We heard of a man who had heard Universalists occasionally, and gave
them something when they were making contributions for their preachers.
A preacher, who made one of his finest efforts to prove that all will
be saved, inquired of him how he liked his argument. The man replied,
“I did not like it at all.” The preacher, disappointed, said: “You
believe our doctrine?” The man replied: “I do; but you tried to prove
it by the Bible, and all intelligent people know that the Bible is
against us from one side to the other. The way I prove it is this: _I
deny the Bible, and then prove it by reason_.” This is certainly the
more rational way. We care not who he is, nor where he comes from,
nor what his attainments may be; but the man who attempts to prove
Universalism _by the Bible_ opposes the common sense of mankind and the
clearest language ever written. The man who rejects the Bible out and
out, and is wandering in the darkness of unbelief, in the vagaries
of those who reject the wisdom of God, might, in his philosophical
speculations, try to show that all men would be saved, with at
least some show of plausibility possibly; but there is not only no
plausibility in anything that can be adduced from the Bible to show
that all men will be saved, but clear statements of the Bible can not
be true and all men be saved. It cannot be true that those “who believe
not the Son shall _not see life_,” and that all men shall be saved.
It can not be true, as stated in Scripture, that “these” (the wicked)
“shall go away into everlasting punishment,” and _all men be saved_.

The man who affirms that those _who die in

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 1 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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as would pay off my remaining debt for the printing-house; which I believe was not then above a hundred pounds.
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In the various enumerations of the _moral virtues_ I had met with in my reading, I found the catalogue more or less numerous, as different writers included more or fewer ideas under the same name.
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but I, who was intimately acquainted with him (being employed in printing his sermons, journals, &c.
Page 112
I then wrote and printed a paper, setting forth the advantages to the neighbourhood that might be obtained from this small expense; the greater ease in keeping our houses clean, so much dirt not being brought in by people's feet; the benefit to the shops by more custom, as buyers could more easily get at them; and by not having, in windy weather, the dust blown in upon their goods, &c.
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, and to draw on the treasury of Great Britain for the expense, which was afterward to be refunded by an act.
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Mr.
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A small but very material alteration! However, when the news of the disaster reached England, our friends there, whom we had taken care to furnish will all the Assembly's answers to the governor's messages, raised a clamour against the proprietaries for their meanness and injustice in giving their governor such instructions; some going so far as to say that, by obstructing the defence of their province, they forfeited their right to it.
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We met with no Indians, but we found the places on the neighbouring hills where they had lain to watch our proceedings.
Page 134
He accused me to the ministry as being the great obstacle to the king's service, preventing, by my influence in the house, the proper form of the bills for raising money; and he instanced the parade with my officers as a proof of my having an intention to take the government of the province out of his hands by force.
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This daily expectation of sailing, and all the three packets going down to Sandy Hook to join the fleet there, the passengers thought it best to be on board, lest, by a sudden order, the ships should sail and they be left behind.
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Besides, it scarce ever happens that a ship is formed, fitted for the sea, and sailed by the same person; one man builds the hull, another rigs her, a third loads and sails her.
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R.
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Cullen, had been communicated to Dr.
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These, with an explanation of the phenomenon, he communicated in a letter to his friend, Sir John Pringle, which is among his philosophical pieces.
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_Q.
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_Q.
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There are some (I am ashamed to hear it) who would extenuate the enormous wickedness of these actions, by saying, "The inhabitants of the frontiers are exasperated with the murder of their relations by the enemy Indians in the present war.
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Unhappy people! to have lived in such times and by such neighbours.
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One hundred and forty peaceable Indians yet remain in this government.
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Moderation.