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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 96

Nothing can be gained by it; nothing can be
accomplished by it which the Bible itself could not accomplish, so that
it must be utterly useless. In that case there can be no excuse for
having it—not only so, but the person holding on to and contending for
such a creed, is inexcusable on another account. To give up a creed
just like the Bible, and take the Bible itself as a rule of faith and
practice, a man would lose nothing, for he would find all his creed
in the Bible. We insist, therefore, that one of the most inexcusable,
unreasonable and unjustifiable positions a man can occupy, is to hold
on to, contend for and insist that he can not do without a creed which
he insists is just like the Bible, though he can have the Bible itself!
The Bible will certainly accomplish all that any creed just like it can.

_Apology Second._ “It is useless to be contending against our creed. It
contains nothing that is not in the Bible. It is simply an abstract,
epitome or abridgment of Bible doctrine, so arranged as to be convenient
and show at a glance what we hold.” This is quite a specious apology,
and has succeeded in deluding and deceiving many persons, and silencing
their consciences, and is, therefore, more especially deserving of
attention. This apology is dangerous because it acknowledges that the
creed contains and sets forth what the party believes—its faith.
Now, we assert, without hesitation, that any man who believes no more
than is set forth in any human creed on earth, and will do no more
than any human creed requires, has neither faith nor obedience enough
to be acceptable with God. There is not a human creed on earth, that
contains the _whole Christian faith_. Their faith is too narrow. We
have no confidence in epitomes, abstracts, or abridgments of the
faith. Nothing less than the faith, the whole faith of Christ, is
sufficient to meet the divine approbation. No man’s faith not as broad
as the Bible is broad enough for us. His faith must contain Moses
and Jesus, the prophets of the Old Testament and the apostles of the
New. There must be no abstracting, no epitomizing, no abridging. The
man not willing to receive Christ, and the whole Christian faith, as
God has set him and the faith forth, in the Holy Scriptures, is not a
christian, and had better make no pretence to christianity. We do not
wish a man to come describing how he _views every point of doctrine_.
We do not desire

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

Page 2
In this journey I spent the summer, traveled about sixteen hundred miles, and did not get home till the beginning of November.
Page 16
Persons of good sense, I have since observed, seldom fall into it, except lawyers, university men, and men of all sorts that have been bred at Edinburgh.
Page 19
Pope says judiciously: "Men must be taught as if you taught them not, And things unknown propos'd as things forgot;" further recommending to us to "Speak, though sure, with seeming diffidence.
Page 21
I, too, was taken up and examined before the council; but, though I did not give them any satisfaction, they contented themselves with admonishing me, and dismissed me, considering me, perhaps, as an apprentice, who was bound to keep his master's secrets.
Page 38
I disliked both, but agreed to admit them upon condition of his adopting the doctrine of using no animal food.
Page 41
[59] He became, however, a pretty good prose writer.
Page 43
When we came into the Channel the captain kept his word with me, and gave me an opportunity of examining the bag for the governor's letters.
Page 49
She was lame in her knees with the gout, and, therefore, seldom stirred out of her room, so sometimes wanted company; and hers was so highly amusing to me that I was sure to spend an evening with her whenever she desired it.
Page 51
I now took leave of printing, as I thought, forever, and was daily employed in my new business, going about with Mr.
Page 56
I also engraved several things on occasion; I made the ink; I was warehouseman,[88] and everything, and, in short, quite a factotum.
Page 57
His father was in town, and approved of it, the more as he saw I had great influence with his son, had prevailed on him to abstain long from dram drinking, and he hoped might break him of that wretched habit entirely when we came to be so closely connected.
Page 73
He used to visit me sometimes as a friend, and admonish me to attend his administrations, and I was now and then prevailed on to do so, once for five Sundays successively.
Page 78
I made a little book,[112] in which I allotted a page for each of the virtues.
Page 82
8} 9} 10} Work.
Page 86
(James ii.
Page 95
I long regretted bitterly, and still regret, that I had not given it to him by inoculation.
Page 130
Whereas, one hundred and fifty wagons, with four horses to each wagon, and fifteen hundred saddle or pack horses, are wanted for the service of his Majesty's forces now about to rendezvous at Will's Creek, and his Excellency, General Braddock, having been pleased to empower me to contract for the hire of the same, I hereby give notice that I shall attend for that purpose at Lancaster from this day to next Wednesday evening, and at York from next Thursday morning till Friday evening, where I shall be ready to agree for wagons and teams, or single horses, on the following terms, viz.
Page 134
It came to his hands, luckily for me, a few days before the battle, and he returned me immediately an order on.
Page 176
= Find out definitely what system of street cleaning prevails in your home town.
Page 177
* Footnotes moved to the end of the appropriate chapters.