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

By Benjamin Franklin

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its own Nature, be subject to Error, Irregularity, Excess, and
Disorder. All intelligent, rational Agents find in themselves a Power of
judging what kind of Beings they are; what Actions are proper to
preserve 'em, and what Consequences will generally attend them, what
Pleasures they are form'd for, and to what Degree their Natures are
capable of receiving them. All we have to do then, _Horatio_, is to
consider, when we are surpriz'd with a new Object, and passionately
desire to enjoy it, whether the gratifying that Passion be consistent
with the gratifying other Passions and Appetites, equal if not more
necessary to us. And whether it consists with our Happiness To-morrow,
next Week, or next Year; for, as we all wish to live, we are obliged by
Reason to take as much Care for our future, as our present Happiness,
and not build one upon the Ruins of t'other. But, if thro' the Strength
and Power of a present Passion, and thro' want of attending to
Consequences, we have err'd and exceeded the Bounds which Nature or
Reason have set us; we are then, for our own Sakes, to refrain, or deny
ourselves a present momentary Pleasure for a future, constant and
durable one: So that this Philosophical Self-denial is only refusing to
do an Action which you strongly desire; because 'tis inconsistent with
your Health, Fortunes, or Circumstances in the World; or, in other
Words, because 'twould cost you more than 'twas worth. You would lose by
it, as a Man of Pleasure. Thus you see, _Horatio_! that Self-denial is
not only the most reasonable, but the most pleasant Thing in the World.

_Hor._ We are just coming into Town, so that we can't pursue this
Argument any farther at present; you have said a great deal for Nature,
Providence, and Reason: Happy are they who can follow such divine

_Phil._ _Horatio!_ good Night; I wish you wise in your Pleasures.

_Hor._ I wish, _Philocles_! I could be as wise in my Pleasures as you
are pleasantly Wise; your Wisdom is agreeable, your Virtue is amiable,
and your Philosophy the highest Luxury. Adieu! thou enchanting Reasoner!


[From the _Pennsylvania Gazette_, July 9, 1730.]

_Philocles._ Dear _Horatio_! where hast thou been these three or four
Months? What new Adventures have you fallen upon since I met you in
these delightful, all-inspiring Fields, and wondred how such a
Pleasure-hunter as you could bear being alone?

_Horatio._ O _Philocles_, thou best of Friends, because a Friend to
Reason and Virtue, I am very glad to see you. Don't

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

Page 17
487 Success to Good Men 255 Summary of Arguments on the Action of Baptism 455 Support Workers 77 Tediousness in Public Devotions 323 Tendency of Universalism 142 The Action of Baptism 443 The Bible Will Save the World 66 The Bible Infallibly Safe 145 The Bible and Bible Men 405 The Bible Ground 414 The Bible vs.
Page 43
When the people went away from the temple and abandoned him, and only a few disciples remained with him, and he inquired of them: “Will you also go away?” the prospect looked dim, but the Lord did not change his course.
Page 120
If a man has a favorite political scheme let him declare it, publish a paper advocating it, or maintain it in public addresses; but not under the name of _Christian_; not in the name of the Lord, nor under a pretence of preaching Christ; for this would be a manifest imposition, no matter how good the political doctrine.
Page 138
The cause is now progressing, its prospects brightening, and its way opening beautifully in almost all directions.
Page 152
They can act in this way or that as they think will be popular, or suit the caprice of the people.
Page 191
It matters not from what cause we suffer, whether.
Page 194
On Pentecost the Spirit came, and they spake as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Page 195
This very theory, in the place of being Scriptural, is directly opposed to the very spirit and intention of the Scriptures, and is, we doubt not, chargeable with hindering more souls from turning to the Lord and receiving the salvation of God than all the out-and-out infidelity in the country.
Page 197
Who, in the midst of all this demoralization, will stand for God, for the anointed and for the eternal Spirit; for the only supreme and absolute, the final authority, the revelation from God to man, as set forth in the Bible? We must maintain this or we shall be ruined forever.
Page 202
Their communion is mockery, an insult to the Majesty of heaven and earth.
Page 207
Several large items—items that would have changed the amount _largely_—came to him without the most distant idea of ever making money.
Page 222
The Lord never taught his disciples to keep the seventh or Sabbath day, nor did his apostles ever teach this.
Page 225
How utterly preposterous and absurd it is, to the mind of one who has noticed, that our Lord never made an issue between his kingdom, or his religion, and any civil government or kingdom of the world, to see some misguided creature trying to form a direct issue between the kingdom of.
Page 253
Let us hear the Confession again: “These angels and men thus predestinated and foreordained are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number is so certain and definite that it can not be either increased or diminished.
Page 275
We have, for a long time, utterly refused to go into many of the castles we find around the country.
Page 279
This is not leaving the negative part out, but inserting it first, and pronounces the man happy that does not these things.
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Burnet resides.
Page 304
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but, _he that doeth the will_ of my Father who is in heaven.
Page 316
—I think but little about preachers, have fewer favorites, and more rarely speak in praise or complaint of preachers, than almost any man you can find.
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