Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 45

actor; but Wilkes,[64] to whom he applied,
advised him candidly not to think of that employment, as it was
impossible he should succeed in it. Then he proposed to Roberts, a
publisher in Paternoster Row, to write for him a weekly paper like the
"Spectator," on certain conditions which Roberts did not approve. Then
he endeavored to get employment as a hackney writer,[65] to copy for the
stationers and lawyers about the Temple,[66] but could find no vacancy.

I immediately got into work at Palmer's, then a famous printing house
in Bartholomew Close, and here I continued near a year. I was pretty
diligent, but spent with Ralph a good deal of my earnings in going to
plays and other places of amusement. We had together consumed all my
pistoles, and now just rubbed on from hand to mouth. He seemed quite
to forget his wife and child, and I, by degrees, my engagements with
Miss Read, to whom I never wrote more than one letter, and that was to
let her know I was not likely soon to return. This was another of the
great errata of my life, which I should wish to correct if I were to
live it over again. In fact, by our expenses I was constantly kept
unable to pay my passage.

At Palmer's I was employed in composing[67] for the second edition of
Wollaston's "Religion of Nature." Some of his reasonings not appearing
to me well founded, I wrote a little metaphysical piece, in which I
made remarks on them. It was entitled, "Dissertation on Liberty and
Necessity, Pleasure and Pain." I inscribed it to my friend Ralph; I
printed a small number. It occasioned my being more considered by Mr.
Palmer as a young man of some ingenuity, though he seriously
expostulated with me upon the principles of my pamphlet, which to him
appeared abominable. My printing this pamphlet was another erratum.

While I lodged in Little Britain I made an acquaintance with one Wilcox,
a bookseller, whose shop was at the next door. He had an immense
collection of secondhand books. Circulating libraries were not then in
use; but we agreed that, on certain reasonable terms, which I have now
forgotten, I might take, read, and return any of his books. This I
esteemed a great advantage, and I made as much use of it as I could.

My pamphlet falling into the hands of one Lyons, a surgeon, author of
a book entitled "The Infallibility of Human Judgment," it occasioned
an acquaintance between us. He took great notice of me, called on me
often to converse

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

Page 37
The Lord needs no money made by lotteries, gambling, fairs, festivals, or any such appeals to the lust of the flesh, the human appetite, the love of fine companies, etc.
Page 86
We did not see him, nor witness his miracles, nor hear him utter the prophecies alluded to, but we now have the faithful records of history in which we find accounts of the fulfillment of his wonderful predictions extending down through the ages, for more than eighteen centuries.
Page 108
of the blood of the everlasting covenant, by the glories of heaven, or the terrors of hell, to turn to the Lord and follow him who loved us and gave himself for us? Is the public mind so distracted, and are the people so confused and lost to all that God has said and done, that they can not be induced to love Christ better than all human theories, regard him and feel the force of all his love to our lost and ruined world? Are the people so set upon gnawing the bone of contention, keeping up sectarian feuds; disputing upon the lifeless, soulless and profitless controversies thrust upon them, that they will neither hear the Lord nor be interested in the word of his grace? Must the public mind be wholly occupied with the useless distinctions between the views of men, the useless comparisons of doctrines and commandments of men, the comparative merits of different human systems, and an eternal train of customs unknown to the primitive church, thus bewildering the people and blinding their minds that they may neither see the Lord nor regard his authority? Is it impossible to bring the authority of the Almighty again to bear upon the world, to lift up the Lord before the people, that he may draw all men unto him, convert them to the Lord and place them under him? Is it impossible to rescue the people from the blinding influences of these times—from being merely followers of men, and believing human theories, which have no power to save, in the place of believing the great truth, that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures—that he was buried, and that he rose from the dead? Is it impossible to interest the public mind with the things of God—with the revelation from God to man, with the religion of Christ itself? Is the love of God gone from the world? Has the Holy Spirit of God abandoned the church? Is the human race mad, insane and ruined, so that all pleadings and entreaties to turn to God must fail? Must the holy religion of Christ be set aside for the silly disputes of these times? Shall that holy religion that saved such vast multitudes in the days of the apostles, fired the hearts of the missionaries of the cross and supported the holy martyrs in passing through all the cruel scourgings, tortures and privations for the name of the Lord, be contemned, despised and rejected by the people of our day? O, that God would enable us to _arouse_ the people of this.
Page 112
We saw some of the grandest, most stupendous and wonderful achievements of human enlightenment, combined with industry, we had ever seen.
Page 138
” He would not be drawn aside from the center of attraction in the kingdom of God.
Page 139
God has created him with a heart to believe, given the truth, and furnished the testimony to convey it to the understanding, and holds him responsible for the exercise of his abilities.
Page 145
How perfectly disheartening all this is to.
Page 149
If God, after the death of Jesus, judged in the case of the great leader of all christians, and changed the unrighteous sentence previously passed upon him, and justified him, why may we not expect him to judge all the world after death; and, where the righteous have been condemned, as has frequently been, and as will be, the case in this world, reverse the decision, and justify them; and, on the other hand, where the guilty have been justified, the decision changed, and they condemned.
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They will.
Page 175
” “Go you into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
Page 180
They hope for all he has promised, and fear all he has threatened.
Page 202
But it is because we can not, without setting aside principle that we are as certain is correct as we are that the Bible contains a revelation from God, recognize their airs, pretensions and claims.
Page 229
In the next moment the man is arrested! What is he acting upon? Faith in the telegraphic dispatch he had just received.
Page 235
We have no theory of our own to maintain, no philosophy to defend, nor pride of opinion to guard, but are willing to learn of the most humble disciple in the whole kingdom of God.
Page 251
Doubt, uncertainty and gloom extend over the whole habitable earth.
Page 276
, are superstitions, but they do not trouble us, and we do not think it worth while to war upon them.
Page 292
They subscribe for no religious publications, pay for none, and read none.
Page 317
It is not worldly show that we need; we have that now in abundance.
Page 319
We cannot be mistaken in this, for the Lord says, “From the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
Page 329