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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 316

my Business. I shall not burn my Press and
melt my Letters.



PREFACE TO POOR RICHARD, 1733

COURTEOUS READER,

I might in this place attempt to gain thy Favour, by declaring that I
write Almanacks with no other View than that of the publick Good; but in
this I should not be sincere; and Men are now adays too wise to be
deceiv'd by Pretences how specious soever. The plain Truth of the Matter
is, I am excessive poor, and my Wife, good Woman, is, I tell her,
excessive proud; she cannot bear, she says, to sit spinning in her Shift
of Tow, while I do nothing but gaze at the Stars; and has threatned more
than once to burn all my Books and Rattling-Traps (as she calls my
Instruments) if I do not make some profitable Use of them for the Good
of my Family. The Printer has offer'd me some considerable share of the
Profits, and I have thus begun to comply with my Dame's Desire.

Indeed this Motive would have had Force enough to have made me publish
an Almanack many Years since, had it not been overpowered by my Regard
for my good Friend and Fellow Student Mr. _Titan Leeds_, whose Interest
I was extreamly unwilling to hurt: But this Obstacle (I am far from
speaking it with Pleasure) is soon to be removed, since inexorable
Death, who was never known to respect Merit, has already prepared the
mortal Dart, the fatal Sister has already extended her destroying
Shears, and that ingenious Man must soon be taken from us. He dies, by
my Calculation made at his Request, on Oct. 17. 1733. 3 h. 29 m. P. M.
at the very instant of the [Conjunction] of [Sun] and [Mercury]: By his
own Calculation he will survive till the 26th of the same Month.[26]
This small Difference between us we have disputed whenever we have met
these 9 Years past; but at length he is inclinable to agree with my
Judgment: Which of us is most exact, a little Time will now determine.
As therefore these Provinces may not longer expect to see any of his
Performances after this Year, I think my self free to take up the Task,
and request a share of the publick Encouragement; which I am the more
apt to hope for on this Account, that the Buyer of my Almanack may
consider himself, not only as purchasing an useful Utensil, but as
performing an Act of Charity, to his poor _Friend and Servant_

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

Page 42
Christ is the soul of the Bible, _the theme_ of the revelation from God to man.
Page 61
Since John, the Apostle, closed the book of Revelation, with the declaration that, if any man shall add to it, the plagues of that book shall be added to him, there is an end of all revelation till time shall be no more.
Page 77
The body was sown a mortal body, but raised immortal, or raised to die no more.
Page 79
Whatever is right we accept, and whatever is not right we aim to set it right.
Page 88
There is one thing certain about it, and that is, that our writing and preaching about infant sin, infant salvation, Christ dying for infants and idiots, never saved an infant, an idiot, or anybody else.
Page 109
There sleeps the nurse of our infancy—the guide of our youth—the counselor of our riper years—our friend, when others deserted us—she, whose heart was a stranger to every other feeling but love, and who could always find excuses for us when we could find none for ourselves.
Page 114
It is, then, a most arrogant and unfounded pretence, for any man who now attempts to set forth the way for sinners to come to God, to claim that he is led by the Holy Spirit, while he evades and refuses to set forth the plain and unequivocal requirements of the Holy Spirit, as set forth in the New Testament, or attempts to improve upon them.
Page 162
We have seen abundant reasons for this, and could adduce them, if the importance of the matter required it, though we have not the works at hand now to refer to, as we think, settling the matter.
Page 204
It is freely and graciously offered to men who believe and obey the gospel.
Page 208
Had he been starting with money in his eye, his keen perception would have seen something of more promise than a square fight with the popular clergy of the world; the creeds, councils, conferences, assemblies, etc.
Page 222
Many of these, if they had the priestly robe, Aaron’s rod, the pot with manna, the shew bread, etc.
Page 224
Mark them who cause divisions and contentions.
Page 226
God and whatever political institution he may chance to fall out with and trying to set the citizens in the kingdom of Christ in battle array with the citizens of the civil government! Such a man has no use for a church only as a kind of battering-ram to beat down some sinful institution that he has just perceived is to ruin the nation.
Page 255
” He does so say, but _for the non-elect there is no remedy_.
Page 257
The Bible was their book.
Page 280
Seeks not her own.
Page 288
Now sum up all these, and then decide how large the number in the dark, and you will find that the sprinklers are a mere drop in the bucket.
Page 303
hear it and be pleased with it.
Page 307
It is nothing strange to preach a dozen or fifteen discourses without success.
Page 320
Another year has fled, and is now numbered with the years before the flood.