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

By Benjamin Franklin

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habitable and less terrifying.
The ideals of scientific research and disinterestedness were dramatized
picturesquely by the Tradesman Franklin, who aided the colonist in
becoming unafraid.

Although his _Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in
Pensilvania_ (1749) furnished the initial suggestion which created the
Philadelphia Academy, later the college, and ultimately the University
of Pennsylvania, it is easy to overestimate the real significance of
Franklin's influence in these schemes unless we remember that political
quarrels separated him from those who were nurturing the school in the
1750's. In 1759 Franklin wrote from London to his friend, Professor
Kinnersley, concerning the cabal in the Academy against him: "The
Trustees have reap'd the full Advantage of my Head, Hands, Heart and
Purse, in getting through the first Difficulties of the Design, and when
they thought they could do without me, they laid me aside."[i-105]
After Franklin failed to secure Samuel Johnson,[i-106] Rev. William
Smith was made Provost and Professor of Natural Philosophy of the
Academy in 1754. He quoted Franklin as saying that the Academy had
become "a narrow, bigoted institution, put into the hands of the
Proprietary party as an engine of government."[i-107]

With Milton, Locke, Fordyce, Walker, Rollin, Turnbull, and "some
others" as his sources, Franklin adapted the works of these pioneers in
education to provincial uses. (One finds it difficult to discover any
original ideas in the _Proposals_.) Like Locke and Milton, he urged that
education "supply the succeeding Age with Men qualified to serve the
Publick with Honour to themselves, and to their Country."[i-108] Here he
was unlike President Clap, who in 1754 explained that "the Original End
and design of Colleges was to instruct and train up persons for the Work
of the ministry.... The great design of founding this school [Yale] was
to educate ministers in our own way."[i-109] As early as 1722, in
_Dogood Paper_ No. IV, Franklin caricatured sardonically the narrow
theological curriculum of Harvard College.[i-110] Existing for the
citizenry rather than the clergy, offering instruction in English as
well as Latin and Greek, in mechanics, physical culture, natural
history, gardening, mathematics, and arithmetic rather than in sectarian
theology, Franklin's Academy was to be more secular and utilitarian than
any other school in the provinces. Indeed, Rev. George Whitefield
lamented the want of "_aliquid Christi_" in the curriculum, "to make it
as useful as I would desire it might be."

Franklin stressed the need for the acquisition of a clear and concise
literary style. He observed: "Reading should also be taught, and
pronouncing, properly, distinctly, emphatically; not with an even Tone,
which _under-does_, nor a theatrical, which _over-does_ Nature." Hence
he reflected the virtues of neoclassic perspicuity

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

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106 What We Know is Right 107 What is Campbellism? 156 What must I do to be Saved 317 Where is the Army of the Lord 251 Where is the Power 213 Who Crucified the Savior 195 Whom the Lord Receives 294 Why Infidels Oppose the Bible 423 Wielding the Sword of the Spirit 284 Will You also Go Away 35 Women in the Church 194 Young Preachers Must Be Practical .
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But there is another class, that do not worship at the same altar with these, nor are they of the same stripe.
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Let not one word we are saying be construed into an excuse for any Christian who has the ability not sustaining these precious men whom God has raised and put into the field.
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Nor is there one word about or allusion to the everlasting kingdom in that conversation.
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Come directly to the children of God in the name of the Lord and appeal to them for his sake to give, to give freely and of a willing mind; that “it is more blessed to give than to receive,” and appreciate what is given in his name.
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In other words, there are cases that can not be settled.
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We have no particular class of Scriptures, as Calvinists, Universalists, Unitarians, etc.
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” In the times of the ignorance before the gospel, this command to all men every where, to repent, did not exist.
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They obey him.
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He thus describes the happy meeting, and expresses his high regard for a true man of God: One morning when we were in the stand, waiting a few minutes for the audience to assemble and become composed, we saw once more the venerable form of Samuel Rogers, making his way up the aisle.
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“No,” said he, “I never get lonesome.
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But he argues the case further, as follows: “For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?” He here continues the charge, that their following different leaders is an evidence of their carnality.
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He had not lost his identity nor his individuality.
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” If he has repented, they do not command him to repent.
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To see some fellow draw his watch and snap.
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They are completely unsettled, wandering in the dark, and without a resting place.
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” Prov.
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This is an elegantly bound little book.