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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 73

“Turn away their ears from the truth;” but we must have
something different from this, something more tangible, intelligible
and impressive to save men. We must have something more than mere
vaporing.

We must have “first principles,” as they are now styling _the gospel_,
and have them in profusion. We must have them for the instruction of
the vast numbers who have been brought in without understanding them,
and who must understand them before they can be intelligent christians,
and we must have them for the multitudes who have never been brought to
God. Somehow, from some source, we have a few among us who are styling
the gospel “first principles,” and then insist that we must leave the
first principles. Those who are in the world must be converted, brought
to God, and to this end they must have the gospel, no matter if men
and the adversary do call it “first principles.” The right way for
those who have never begun, is to begin, and there is no right way to
begin only to begin _at the beginning_, no matter if sectarian faces do
scowl, or some worldly member of the church grumble. We must walk into
the gospel, not as if we were afraid some one would hit us in the face,
but “in full assurance of faith,” under a sense of the truth of the
gospel, and the conviction that it is good enough for anybody, and that
no excuse need be made for preaching it; the certainty that men must
hear the gospel and learn the way to God before they start at all. We
must show the people that the Bible contains a revelation from God, the
only revelation from God; that it is _complete_, _perfect_ and _final_,
so far as relates to time; that Jesus is divine; that he is all that
he is represented to be in the Bible; that he is sustained by all the
testimony necessary to convince candid people; that no man comes to the
Father but by him; that no man comes by Moses now or any other; that
the Lord Jesus is the way, the truth and the life; that the way set
forth by him is the only way to the Father.

We must not preach _about_ faith, or repentance, or baptism; but preach
_the truth_ concerning the Lord Jesus, the Christ, which, when heard,
and received into good and honest hearts, _produces_ faith that leads
to repentance, and immersion. Preaching _faith_ never made a believer,
and preaching repentance, never leads to repentance, _of itself_. In
the same way, preaching on

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Way to Wealth; or, "Poor Richard Improved"

Page 0
"This little work is intended as an easy Introduction to the Mythology of ancient Greece and Rome, and is particularly adapted to the use of Schools, being divested of the obscene allegories introduced by the ancients in their usual figurative style.
Page 1
with Biographical and Interesting Anecdotes 1 6 Watt's Catechism and Prayers, in 1 vol.
Page 2
'It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one-tenth part of their time to be employed in its service: but idleness taxes many of us much more; sloth, by bringing.
Page 3
Then plow deep, while sluggards sleep, and you shall have corn to sell and to keep.
Page 4
is worth two to-morrows," as Poor Richard says, and farther, "Never leave that till to-morrow, which you can do to-day.
Page 5
Octr.
Page 6
got together to this sale of fineries and nick-nacks.
Page 7
" And, after all, of what use is this pride of appearance, for which so much is risked, so much is suffered? It cannot promote health, nor ease pain; it makes no increase of merit in the person, it creates envy, it hastens misfortune.
Page 8
" However, remember this, "They that will not be counselled cannot be helped;" and farther, that "If you will not hear Reason, she will surely rap your knuckles," as Poor.
Page 9
The opening single quotes end pages later.