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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 69

their sins_ shall be wholly
and happy in heaven contradicts the clearest utterances of Scripture.
When time shall end and God shall exclaim, “He that is filthy, let him
be filthy still,” there will be no more repentance; yet some will be

Universalism had its day in this country; has run its course and is
going by. There is not one-tenth as much of it in this country as
there was thirty years ago. There is no argument of consequence about
it any more. The only thing wanting to show what it is, will appear
anywhere when they undertake to form churches, keep up Sunday-schools,
keep up prayer-meetings, meet regularly on the first day of the week
and worship. Let them undertake to enforce the clear requirements of
Scripture on their people, and they will soon get a lesson. They will
soon explain that _all will be saved_, and they will find that they
will have no use for baptism, the Lord’s Supper, prayer-meetings, nor
any regular worship.

It will not do to read, “He who believes not _shall be saved_;” “He
who believes not the Son _shall see life_;” “The wrath of God _shall
not abide on him_;” “If you believe not that I am he, you _shall
not die in your sins_;” “Where I am _you shall come_;” “These” (the
wicked) “_shall not_ go away into everlasting punishment;” “The beast
and the false prophets _shall not_ be tormented day and night forever
and ever;” “He who shall sin against the Holy Spirit shall not be in
danger of eternal damnation,” etc., etc. The man who denies his Bible
first, and then starts out to prove that all will be saved from some
other source, is a much more sensible man than the man that undertakes
to prove it from the Bible. Whatever the Bible may mean besides, it
does not mean Universalism. The man who holds and undertakes to prove
Universalism has no use for a Bible, unless it be to show his skill in
getting round the clearest things ever written.


The brethren know that men cannot devote their lives to the work of
evangelizing without support, and they will give the support, and do
it much more freely where they can see the work done, than where they
can _see no work done_. The preachers in the field doing the work are
receiving the main support given, and ought to receive it. The men not
in the field, and that will not go into the field, ought not to receive
the support. The brethren are not in the way of

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 0
His schooling ended at ten, and at twelve he was bound apprentice to his brother James, a printer, who published the "New England Courant.
Page 8
The next morning the workmen were surprised at missing the stones, which were found in our wharff.
Page 14
But I found I wanted a stock of words, or a readiness in recollecting and using them, which I thought I should have acquired before that time if I had gone on making verses; since the continual occasion for words of the same import, but of different length, to suit the measure, or of different sound for the rhyme, would have laid me under a constant necessity of searching for variety, and also have tended to fix that variety in my mind, and make me master of it.
Page 15
I made myself acquainted with Tryon's manner of preparing some of his dishes, such as boiling potatoes or rice, making hasty pudding, and a few others, and then proposed to my brother, that if he would give me, weekly, half the money he paid for my board, I would board myself.
Page 53
We continu'd there near three months; and by that time I could reckon among my acquired friends, Judge Allen, Samuel Bustill, the secretary of the Province, Isaac Pearson, Joseph Cooper, and several of the Smiths, members of Assembly, and Isaac Decow, the surveyor-general.
Page 62
One Whitemash, a compositor I had known in London, an excellent workman, now came to me, and work'd with me constantly and diligently; and I took an apprentice, the son of Aquila Rose.
Page 65
None of the inconveniences happened that we had apprehended, she proved a good and faithful helpmate, assisted me much by attending the shop; we throve together, and have ever mutually endeavored to make each other happy.
Page 85
It may be well my posterity should be informed that to this little artifice, with the blessing of God, their ancestor ow'd the constant felicity of his life, down to his 79th year, in which this is written.
Page 88
HAVING mentioned a great and extensive project which I had conceiv'd, it seems proper that some account should be here given of that project and its object.
Page 90
These proverbs, which contained the wisdom of many ages and nations, I assembled and form'd into a connected discourse prefix'd to the Almanack of 1757, as the harangue of a wise old man to the people attending an auction.
Page 93
I afterwards with a little painstaking, acquir'd as much of the Spanish as to read their books also.
Page 112
When I disengaged myself, as above mentioned, from private business, I flatter'd myself that, by the sufficient tho' moderate fortune I had acquir'd, I had secured leisure during the rest of my life for philosophical studies and amusements.
Page 114
He was zealous and active in endeavouring to procure subscriptions for it, but the proposal being a novelty in America, and at first not well understood, he met with but small success.
Page 121
Secretary Peters as commissioners to act for Pennsylvania.
Page 123
" "My dear friend," says he, pleasantly, "how can you advise my avoiding disputes? You know I love disputing; it is one of my greatest pleasures; however, to show the regard I have for your counsel, I promise you I will, if possible, avoid them.
Page 125
At length Captain Denny, who was Governor Morris's successor, ventured to disobey those instructions; how that was brought about I shall show hereafter.
Page 130
I commiserated their case, and resolved to endeavor procuring them some relief.
Page 148
I acquainted the House with what had.
Page 160
1721 Writes ballads and peddles them, in printed form, in the streets; contributes, anonymously, to the "New England Courant," and temporarily edits that paper; becomes a free-thinker, and a vegetarian.
Page 161
Invents the open, or "Franklin," stove.