Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 106

quit the same after spending some years without having made
any great proficiency, and what they have learnt becomes almost
useless, so that their time has been lost, it would not have been
better to have begun with the French, proceeding to the Italian, etc.;
for, tho', after spending the same time, they should quit the study of
languages and never arrive at the Latin, they would, however, have
acquired another tongue or two, that, being in modern use, might be
serviceable to them in common life.[78]

[78] "The authority of Franklin, the most eminently
practical man of his age, in favor of reserving the
study of the dead languages until the mind has reached a
certain maturity, is confirmed by the confession of one
of the most eminent scholars of any age.

"'Our seminaries of learning,' says Gibbon, 'do not
exactly correspond with the precept of a Spartan king,
that the child should be instructed in the arts which
will be useful to the man; since a finished scholar may
emerge from the head of Westminster or Eton, in total
ignorance of the business and conversation of English
gentlemen in the latter end of the eighteenth century.
But these schools may assume the merit of teaching all
that they pretend to teach, the Latin and Greek

After ten years' absence from Boston, and having become easy in my
circumstances, I made a journey thither to visit my relations, which I
could not sooner well afford. In returning, I call'd at Newport to see
my brother, then settled there with his printing-house. Our former
differences were forgotten, and our meeting was very cordial and
affectionate. He was fast declining in his health, and requested of me
that, in case of his death, which he apprehended not far distant, I
would take home his son, then but ten years of age, and bring him up
to the printing business. This I accordingly perform'd, sending him a
few years to school before I took him into the office. His mother
carried on the business till he was grown up, when I assisted him with
an assortment of new types, those of his father being in a manner worn
out. Thus it was that I made my

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Text Comparison with A Book of Gems Choice selections from the writings of Benjamin Franklin

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it Possible to Arouse the People 138 Jesus Revealed as the Savior 379 Judgment the Ground of Repentance 202 Keep Politics out of the Church 160 Kind of Preachers and Preaching Needed 211 Knowing and not Doing 435 Laying the Corner Stone of a Catholic Cathedral 271 Lifted Above Sects and Parties 69 Light Within 61 Little Matters 53 Lord’s Day Meetings 270 Lotteries 11 Maintain a Pure Faith and Worship 289 Making the Bible Support Human Systems 71 Man’s Accountability .
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We, no doubt, could easily have found out, but it was of no importance to us to know, and we have never tried to learn.
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The safe ground, and the only safe ground, is to follow the simple and infallible leadings of the Spirit of God.
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_ It is all in the dark, except an occasional demonstration like that we had here on the first Lord’s day in July.
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No sinner ever did find Christ, seeking thus.
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Beyond all controversy, he who believes and practices the Bible, attains to the highest perfection and happiness of which his being is capable in this life, and stands as good a chance for happiness in the life to come as he who rejects it.
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They have no encouragement, no support, and no promise, and nothing to promise anybody else.
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Naaman did not go home praising the waters of Jordan, nor exulting in his dipping, nor his faith, but he said: “Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel.
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We must go into the field and do the work of the Lord, and the Lord will open the way and take care of us.
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Indeed, they have shown, in many instances, that they will work on, pay or no pay.
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