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 216

any of them all for the celerity of
its growth, unassisted by any human help but the vigour and virtue of
its own excellent constitution.

A father and his family, the latter united by interest and affection,
the former to be revered for the wisdom of his institutions and the
indulgent use of his authority, was the form it was at first presented
in. Those who were only ambitious of repose, found it here; and as none
returned with an evil report of the land, numbers followed, all partook
of the leaven they found; the community still wore the same equal face;
nobody aspired, nobody was oppressed; industry was sure of profit,
knowledge of esteem, and virtue of veneration.

An assuming landlord, strongly disposed to convert free tenants into
abject vassals, and to reap what he did not sow, countenanced and
abetted by a few desperate and designing dependants on the one side, and
on the other, all who have sense enough to know their rights and spirit
enough to defend them, combined as one man against the said landlord and
his encroachments, is the form it has since assumed.

And surely, to a nation born to liberty like this, bound to leave it
unimpaired, as they received it from their fathers, in perpetuity to
their heirs, and interested in the conservation of it in every appendage
of the British empire, the particulars of such a contest cannot be
wholly indifferent.

On the contrary, it is reasonable to think the first workings of power
against liberty, and the natural efforts of unbiased men to secure
themselves against the first approaches of oppression, must have a
captivating power over every man of sensibility and discernment among

Liberty, it seems, thrives best in the woods. America best cultivates
what Germany brought forth. And were it not for certain ugly
comparisons, hard to be suppressed, the pleasure arising from such a
research would be without alloy.

In the feuds of Florence, recorded by Machiavel, we find more to lament
and less to praise. Scarce can we believe the first citizens of the
ancient republics had such pretensions to consideration, though so
highly celebrated in ancient story. And as to ourselves, we need no
longer have recourse to the late glorious stand of the French
parliaments to excite our emulation.

It is a known custom among farmers to change their corn from season to
season for the sake of filling the bushel; and in case the wisdom of the
age should condescend to make the like experiment in another shape, from
hence we may learn whither to repair for the proper species.

It is

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

Page 1
Page 25
We cannot say that there are seven thousand in the field, public preachers, but we are astonished wherever we go to find such numbers of them, and to find their firmness and determination in the faith; and to learn, too, of the sacrifices they are making and the additional sacrifices they are determined and willing to make.
Page 34
We have more confidence in the old ground than ever, and have no idea of departing from the Jerusalem Church, its faith and practice, precepts and example.
Page 43
The name of Luther will live to the end of time, while the time-servers who opposed him are.
Page 60
God will eventually overthrow all who turn away from him, no matter to what they turn.
Page 75
We are now making the record on which.
Page 81
This was no failure.
Page 97
If it contains _what you hold_, much as precious as any part of the Christian faith, and as binding as any thing God has revealed, clearly and as explicitly laid down in the New Testament, is not contained in what you hold at all.
Page 110
At the same time, he should rely upon not learning only, or talent, or power that he possesses, but upon the Lord, upon his.
Page 135
Nor has it any materials or builders.
Page 145
This generation can listen to doctrine entirely adverse to their views, with comparatively little excitement.
Page 164
Any man who is a christian, or is in Christ, can be received into the fellowship of the church.
Page 170
Campbell was not the great man we had thought he was; that he was not the scholar we had thought; that some of his chief ideas were erroneous, and that we should have much trouble in _undoing_ what he had _done wrong_.
Page 234
Justification is by faith, not in the law of Moses, but in Christ; not alone, but, as Paul has it, in the “good works (of the gospel) which God hath ordained that we should walk in them;” or, as James has it, in the case of Abraham, his faith, wrought with his works, and through the divine appointment of both his faith and his works, the Lord justifies those who come to him.
Page 252
Lift up your hearts, all you saints, and behold your King! He is the head of the church.
Page 254
page 166: “Hence appears the perverseness of their disposition to murmur, because they intentionally suppress the cause of condemnation, while they are constrained to acknowledge it themselves, hoping to excuse themselves by charging it upon God.
Page 260
We know this is not so.
Page 284
If they resist all this, turn their ear away from it, and, in the midst of all these entreaties, go down to ruin, what an everlasting source of regret it will be to look back and see what was done for them, but all in vain! “Turn you, turn you,” says the prophet, “and live.
Page 293
He can.
Page 298
In this view, Simon Peter said, “I go a fishing.