Benjamin Franklin Representative selections, with introduction, bibliograpy, and notes

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 279

Creation! 'Tis insufferable!" But, (to use a Piece of _common_ Sense)
our _Geese_ are but _Geese_ tho' we may think 'em _Swans_, and Truth
will be Truth tho' it sometimes prove mortifying and distasteful.



Previous Question, To Be Answered At Every Meeting

Have you read over these queries this morning, in order to consider what
you might have to offer the Junto touching any one of them? viz.

1. Have you met with any thing in the author you last read, remarkable,
or suitable to be communicated to the Junto? particularly in history,
morality, poetry, physic, travels, mechanic arts, or other parts of

2. What new story have you lately heard agreeable for telling in

3. Hath any citizen in your knowledge failed in his business lately, and
what have you heard of the cause?

4. Have you lately heard of any citizen's thriving well, and by what

5. Have you lately heard how any present rich man, here or elsewhere,
got his estate?

6. Do you know of a fellow citizen, who has lately done a worthy action,
deserving praise and imitation; or who has lately committed an error,
proper for us to be warned against and avoid?

7. What unhappy effects of intemperance have you lately observed or
heard; of imprudence, of passion, or of any other vice or folly?

8. What happy effects of temperance, of prudence, of moderation, or of
any other virtue?

9. Have you or any of your acquaintance been lately sick or wounded? If
so, what remedies were used, and what were their effects?

10. Whom do you know that are shortly going voyages or journeys, if one
should have occasion to send by them?

11. Do you think of any thing at present, in which the Junto may be
serviceable to _mankind_, to their country, to their friends, or to

12. Hath any deserving stranger arrived in town since last meeting, that
you have heard of? And what have you heard or observed of his character
or merits? And whether, think you, it lies in the power of the Junto to
oblige him, or encourage him as he deserves?

13. Do you know of any deserving young beginner lately set up, whom it
lies in the power of the Junto any way to encourage?

14. Have you lately observed any defect in the laws of your _country_,
of which it would be proper to move the legislature for an amendment? Or
do you know of any beneficial law that is wanting?

15. Have you lately observed any encroachment on the just liberties

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

Page 32
See the following: “At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; if that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil I thought to them.
Page 37
We care not if it be so; we care not if it has been demonstrated that the people will give more money for a monkey show than for the kingdom of God; we will not resort to the monkey show; nor do we care if they will give more money for revelling than for the holy cause for which Jesus died; we will not resort to the revelling.
Page 44
This includes the entire faith, obedience and hope of the gospel.
Page 51
You will see that it can not be done.
Page 127
As if they had said, “Now, Master, you agree with the Pharisees, and teach that there will be a resurrection of the dead; but this doctrine involves a difficulty; for a certain woman, in the course of her life, had seven husbands, and we should be pleased to know which one shall have her in the resurrection?” Our Lord soon explains this matter.
Page 133
They spend their time, confuse themselves and shatter their brains, in explaining “degrees in glory,” “degrees in punishment,” “different spheres,” “the possibility of holding converse with departed friends,” “the origin of sin,” “how God will overrule evil for the good of man and his own glory,” “the origin of the devil, if there be any,” or, “who made the devil,” or, “whether he is a real being, or only a personification of evil,” “whether God did not know, when he created man, that he would sin,” “why he created man, knowing that he would sin,” “whether he did not know, when.
Page 158
They have divided churches, set the people of God at variance, and sown the seeds of discord.
Page 165
We care not how well people sing if they praise God, give thanks and pour out their souls to him.
Page 184
See I.
Page 208
We have some now whose business is _making money_, but they do not start out nor travel the road trod by Alex.
Page 237
If it is service to the Lord now, to build them up, it was equally as great service to him to originate them.
Page 249
We want men that will not demoralize the people, specially our young preachers, by opening the way for something _new_ and _different_; but maintain the same things, and be of the same mind, and of the same judgment; not preparing the way for something _new_, but maintaining and defending the _old_, _tried_ and _unquestionable_; not getting ready for _change_—_new departure_—but “preach the word”—“continue in the things they have learned, and been assured of,” and not demoralize our young preachers with the idea of being on the wing; on a flight from one thing to another, in some wonderful career of progress; but exhorting them to be “rooted and grounded in the truth;” yes, more, in the “_love_ of the truth;” not only to maintain “sound speech that can not be condemned”—“sound words,” but the very “_form_ of sound words.
Page 259
It was bodies that came forth after Jesus rose and were seen of many.
Page 275
In many houses the preacher is hoisted high in a pulpit, from twenty to thirty feet from the nearest person to him, and many of his hearers fifty and sixty feet off.
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 295
Is it then more probable that he was sprinkled of John _in_ Jordan, than that he was immersed of John _in_ Jordan? It is a fact that after the Lord was baptized “he went up straightway _out of the water_.
Page 300
Page 310
But, in the very nature of things, a living language is always changing.
Page 314
All merely human teachings, in all the world, and in all ages, have been imperfect, and, it is a miracle in itself, for a perfect being to appear among men, in human form, or a perfect system of teaching to be presented by him to man.
Page 328
and rejoice that it has been published.