Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 16

the tapes. One of the children stood at the door to give notice
if he saw the apparitor coming, who was an officer of the spiritual
court. In that case the stool was turned down again upon its feet,
when the Bible remained concealed under it as before. This anecdote I
had from my uncle Benjamin. The family continued all of the Church of
England till about the end of Charles the Second's reign, when some of
the ministers that had been outed for non-conformity, holding
conventicles[9] in Northamptonshire, Benjamin and Josiah adhered to
them, and so continued all their lives: the rest of the family
remained with the Episcopal Church.

[9] Secret gatherings of dissenters from the established

[Illustration: Birthplace of Franklin. Milk Street, Boston.]

Josiah, my father, married young, and carried his wife with three
children into New England, about 1682. The conventicles having been
forbidden by law, and frequently disturbed, induced some considerable
men of his acquaintance to remove to that country, and he was
prevailed with to accompany them thither, where they expected to enjoy
their mode of religion with freedom. By the same wife he had four
children more born there, and by a second wife ten more, in all
seventeen; of which I remember thirteen sitting at one time at his
table, who all grew up to be men and women, and married; I was the
youngest son, and the youngest child but two, and was born in Boston,
New England.[10] My mother, the second wife, was Abiah Folger,
daughter of Peter Folger, one of the first settlers of New England, of
whom honorable mention is made by Cotton Mather,[11] in his church
history of that country, entitled _Magnalia Christi Americana_, as "_a
godly, learned Englishman_," if I remember the words rightly. I have
heard that he wrote sundry small occasional pieces, but only one of
them was printed, which I saw now many years since. It was written in
1675, in the home-spun verse of that time and people, and addressed to
those then concerned in the government there. It was in favour of
liberty of conscience, and in behalf of the Baptists, Quakers, and
other sectaries that had been under persecution, ascribing the Indian
wars, and other distresses that had befallen the country, to that
persecution, as so many judgments of God to punish so heinous an
offense, and exhorting a repeal of those uncharitable laws. The whole
appeared to me as written with a good deal of decent plainness and
manly freedom. The six concluding lines I remember, though I

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

Page 7
259 Controversy 354 Controversy about the Spirit 355 Courtesy in Fellowship 231 Dancing is a Healthful Exercise 363 Dedication of Church Edifices 221 Delay in Turning to the Lord 282 Deluded 95 Design of Miracles 103 Developing the Talents of the Young 475 Dialogue about the Preacher 489 Disturbing Element 191 Eating the Lord’s Flesh and Drinking His Blood 40 Earnestly Contending for the Faith .
Page 13
73 Poimeen—Shepherd—Evangelist—Overseer 25 Policy in Preaching .
Page 38
11? Why not give us.
Page 77
The word “begotten,” in “the first-begotten from the dead,” should have been _born_, as the same original word is elsewhere.
Page 83
We see no other way to give force to the appeal to others to _go_.
Page 84
” See Matthew xxv.
Page 93
How oft is the candle of the wicked put out! and how oft cometh their destruction upon them! God distributeth sorrows in his anger.
Page 104
This is a work that punishment can not do.
Page 109
Oh, how the thoughts hover around such places, and travel back through unmeasured space to visit them.
Page 114
” No reason, providences, or spiritual influences, therefore, can be of the Spirit of God to lead men to disobey what the Spirit of God taught in the Bible, or required at the beginning.
Page 117
3, and iii.
Page 136
It says nothing about love and hatred, revenge and pity, covetousness and benevolence, vice and virtue, happiness and misery.
Page 208
The reader may think we have occupied too much space with this matter.
Page 209
Nor does baptism save the soul.
Page 220
He gives them a subsistence as they pass along, or money for their expenses, but the main bulk of their wages is laid up in heaven, and can not be estimated by dollars and cents.
Page 267
_ Cloven, or divided tongues, like as of fire, sat upon those baptized with the Spirit.
Page 285
It is admitted, that no creed but the Bible, constitutes a “perfect law of liberty,” hence, those who use other creeds are frequently altering or amending them.
Page 287
If the Lord had said, “He that believeth and prays, and is prayed for, shall be saved,” every one that prays and is prayed for, would be saved.
Page 297
” The business of Popes has ever been to _fleece_ the sheep, and not to _feed_ them.
Page 323