Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 1 of 2] With His Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 118

will, if possible, avoid
them." He had some reason for loving to dispute, being eloquent, an
acute sophister, and, therefore, generally successful in argumentative
conversation. He had been brought up to it from a boy, his father, as I
have heard, accustoming his children to dispute with one another for his
diversion, while sitting at table after dinner; but I think the practice
was not wise; for, in the course of my observation, those disputing,
contradicting, and confuting people are generally unfortunate in their
affairs. They get victory sometimes, but they never get good-will, which
would be of more use to them. We parted, he going to Philadelphia and I
to Boston. In returning, I met at New-York with the votes of the
Assembly of Pennsylvania, by which it appeared that, notwithstanding his
promise to me, he and the house were already in high contention; and it
was a continual battle between them as long as he retained the
government. I had my share of it; for, as soon as I got back to my seat
in the Assembly, I was put on every committee for answering his speeches
and messages, and by the committees always desired to make the draughts.
Our answers, as well as his messages, were often tart, and sometimes
indecently abusive; and as he knew I wrote for the Assembly, one might
have imagined that, when we met, we could hardly avoid cutting throats.
But he was so good-natured a man, that no personal difference between
him and me was occasioned by the contest, and we often dined together.
One afternoon, in the height of this public quarrel, we met in the
street; "Franklin," said he, "you must go home with me and spend the
evening; I am to have some company that you will like;" and, taking me
by the arm, led me to his house. In gay conversation after supper, he
told us jokingly that he much admired the idea of Sancho Panza, who,
when it was proposed to give him a government, requested it might be a
government of blacks; as then, if he could not agree with his people, he
might sell them. One of his friends, who sat next to me, said,
"Franklin, why do you continue to side with those Quakers? had you not
better sell them? the proprietor would give you a good price." "The
governor," said I, "has not yet _blacked_ them enough." He, indeed, had
laboured hard to blacken the Assembly in all his messages, but they
wiped off his colouring as fast as he laid it on, and placed it

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

Page 9
Giving up Principles 397 Glorying in the Cross of Christ 439 Hardening Pharaoh’s Heart 15 Hear ye Him 123 How a Preacher may Stand Fair 281 How the Cause of Reformation was Advanced 391 How the World Regards Dancers 297 Household Baptisms 433 Imperfect Medium for a Perfect Revelation 482 Individuality after Death 369 Infant Sin—Infant Salvation 108 Influence of the Dance 245 Innovations in the Church of Christ 413 In Season and out of Season 38 Is.
Page 19
1 The Warning 390 The Work of Creation 8 The Work of the Disciples 417 Theory and Practice 479 Things Not Forbidden 290 Thirty Years Ago 376 Too Late for the Cars 269 True Missionaries 18 The New and the Old 464 Universalism 75 Universalism Unbelief .
Page 34
In the old Bible, the old gospel and the old church, we find it.
Page 53
You have, no doubt, seen the preacher wrapped in the finest broadcloth, and a golden chain for a watch-guard, who, after a labored effort for an hour would only prove that he was a human frame, finely clad, but _no preacher_.
Page 55
It is a fearful thing to tamper with the worship.
Page 75
with most wonderful success.
Page 80
We exhort brethren, no matter where they may be scattered, to read the Bible, explain it to your neighbor, and be not poor, helpless creatures waiting for somebody to send you a preacher, but go at it and read the Scriptures,.
Page 100
Some few preachers are being manufactured, but where do they go? and what do they do? How many of them go out into the field and preach the gospel, convert sinners, plant and build up churches? Where is one doing anything of this kind? In many parts of the country, they have made people believe that the old preachers who have planted the churches and made the principal part of all the converts that have been made, are behind the times, and incapable of preaching, discouraged and driven many of them from the field, and the work is not progressing.
Page 101
It is useless for us to be deluded by the vain hope that the men we.
Page 103
It is a most sacred honor to us—a mercy from God—that we are permitted to work for him, in his most glorious cause at all; and the work must be performed cheerfully, freely, and with all the heart, or it will not be acceptable to him, whether we are supported or not.
Page 117
The Holy Spirit, on this occasion, demanded of them to repent, reform, or amend their lives.
Page 135
In the same way, if infidels could successfully deny, disprove and overthrow the foundation of every system of religion in the world, it would lay no foundation for them, but would simply put the rest of us upon a level with them—that is, _without any foundation_.
Page 144
There is no sermonizing, no preaching by the day, but every man carries the cause in his bosom, and labors as for eternity.
Page 156
We have taken the strongest position that can be taken, and if we fall back from that, no matter what we fall back to, we shall find it a weaker position.
Page 193
Page 196
very nature it proposes to sweep them all away.
Page 224
Tremendous progress, that miserable prating, whining, and grumbling that never builds up anything but always pulls down, catches the sheep and scatters them! Mighty _reformers_ they, who never reformed anybody since God made them, who never built up a church or gave any prosperity to the cause, any place, or did anything more than scatter and devastate! Atheism has done this much, and will do it again.
Page 232
All commands must be preceded by faith.
Page 271
finds a “law of conscience,” another “a law of love,” another thinks we are not under law, but under grace, but does not notice that Paul’s law, that we are not under, is the law of Moses, and, that Paul’s grace, that we are under, embraces the “law of Christ;” the “perfect law of liberty,” the “law of the Spirit of life.
Page 310
We realize this more and more every year.