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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 70

sending it to them.

We hope the preachers generally will see what is being done by those
in the work, go out and participate in the heavenly work, that they,
too, when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, may have a crown of glory
that fades not away. How can men with the love of God in them see their
fellow-creatures perishing, and not be inspired with a zeal to go forth
and gather them into the kingdom of God? Look at the tremendous cloud
of darkness over the minds of the people, and then inquire can a man
who has the light be excusable unless he uses the means the Lord has
put in his power for the enlightenment of the world. No, we can not be
excusable; the love of Christ constrains us; the value of the souls of
men urges, and the example of all the ancient worthies impels us to go
into the great harvest and help to reap it down.


The following purports to be taken from one of Moody’s sermons, and is
reported in the _Baptist Union_:

If I thought that baptism was God’s way of saving men, I’d give up
preaching, borrow a pail and go round the streets baptizing every one
I met, and if they wouldn’t let me do it, I’d catch them asleep and
baptize any way. He says, “Ye must be born again.”

It is a wonderful humiliation to be compelled to admit that this
undignified, irreverent and reckless language is from the lips of a man
probably at this time attracting as much attention as any man in the
world, as a preacher, or it may be more. It is mortifying in a high
degree to be convinced that the state of the public mind is such that a
man like this is caressed, lauded and admired by the multitude.

It is no small work to enlighten the people of the world. We have
gained the right of private judgment, private interpretation of the
Scriptures, the liberty of speech and of the press; and we have the
Bible, translated into our own language, in almost every house; and
we have our system of free schools and universal education. But still
there is a premium for ignorance.

Moody with his commonplace talks, and Sankey with his songs, call
out greater crowds and have more admirers than the most profound
Bible instructor in the world. What reverence has he for the Lord,
who ordained baptism and submitted to it himself, “was baptized of
John in Jordan,” after saying, “Thus it becomes us to fulfill all

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Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 1
Quarrels with the Proprietary Governors 246 XVI.
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Carlyle called him the father of all the Yankees.
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A dealer in old books met with them, and knowing me by my sometimes buying of him, he brought them to me.
Page 46
same for me; but, as I was about to take a long voyage, and we were both very young, only a little above eighteen, it was thought most prudent by her mother to prevent our going too far at present, as a marriage, if it was to take place, would be more convenient after my return, when I should be, as I expected, set up in my business.
Page 83
[66] Compare Philippians iv, 8.
Page 85
| F.
Page 92
it from pettiness in this book is the scope of power and of usefulness to be seen in Franklin himself, who set these standards up in all seriousness and candor for his own life.
Page 96
[74] I endeavour'd to make it both entertaining and useful, and it accordingly came to be in such demand, that I reap'd considerable profit from it, vending annually near ten thousand.
Page 102
_ [Transcriber's note: Zodiac signs, aspects and symbols of the planets have been replaced by their names and/or by their standard abbreviations.
Page 119
Their captain prepar'd for defense; but told William Penn, and his company of Quakers, that he did not expect their assistance, and they might retire into the cabin, which they did, except James Logan,[82] who chose to stay upon deck, and was quarter'd to a gun.
Page 121
From time to time He has been pleased to afford us farther light, and our principles have been improving, and our errors diminishing.
Page 134
A previous question was first taken, whether a union should be established, which pass'd in the affirmative unanimously.
Page 136
They get victory sometimes, but they never get good will, which would be of more use to them.
Page 137
The Assemblies for three years held out against this injustice, tho' constrained to bend at last.
Page 147
In one of the last, indeed, which was for granting fifty thousand pounds, his propos'd amendment was.
Page 157
The publication offended the Abbe Nollet, preceptor in Natural Philosophy to the royal family, and an able experimenter, who had form'd and publish'd a theory of electricity, which then had the general vogue.
Page 161
refus'd to pass, in compliance with his instructions.
Page 164
Shirley, tho'.
Page 173
And when the rain has wet the kite and twine, so that it can conduct the electric fire freely, you will find it stream out plentifully from the key on the approach of your knuckle.
Page 176
For to me it seems, that most of the unhappy people we meet with, are become so by neglect of that caution.