The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 120

cover'd with straw, will retain the mud thrown into them, and permit
the water to drain from it, whereby it will become much lighter, water
making the greatest part of its weight; these bodies of carts to be
plac'd at convenient distances, and the mud brought to them in
wheel-barrows; they remaining where plac'd till the mud is drain'd, and
then horses brought to draw them away."

I have since had doubts of the practicability of the latter part of
this proposal, on account of the narrowness of some streets, and the
difficulty of placing the draining-sleds so as not to encumber too much
the passage; but I am still of opinion that the former, requiring the
dust to be swept up and carry'd away before the shops are open, is very
practicable in the summer, when the days are long; for, in walking
thro' the Strand and Fleet-street one morning at seven o'clock, I
observ'd there was not one shop open, tho' it had been daylight and the
sun up above three hours; the inhabitants of London chusing voluntarily
to live much by candle-light, and sleep by sunshine, and yet often
complain, a little absurdly, of the duty on candles and the high price
of tallow.

Some may think these trifling matters not worth minding or relating;
but when they consider that tho' dust blown into the eyes of a single
person, or into a single shop on a windy day, is but of small
importance, yet the great number of the instances in a populous city,
and its frequent repetitions give it weight and consequence, perhaps
they will not censure very severely those who bestow some attention to
affairs of this seemingly low nature. Human felicity is produc'd not
so much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen, as by
little advantages that occur every day. Thus, if you teach a poor
young man to shave himself, and keep his razor in order, you may
contribute more to the happiness of his life than in giving him a
thousand guineas. The money may be soon spent, the regret only
remaining of having foolishly consumed it; but in the other case, he
escapes the frequent vexation of waiting for barbers, and of their
sometimes dirty fingers, offensive breaths, and dull razors; he shaves
when most convenient to him, and enjoys daily the pleasure of its being
done with a good instrument. With these sentiments I have hazarded the
few preceding pages, hoping they may afford hints which some time or
other may be useful to a city I love,

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

Page 1
Page 5
65 Belief in the Bible is Infallibly Safe 371 Believers only to be Baptized 350 Bible Names 368 Bodies Resurrected, not Spirits 395 Born of Water and the Spirit 21 Boundary Line of Repentance 166 Branches of the Church 292 Cain’s Wife 105 Call no Man Reverend 30 Can not a Man know that he is a Christian 381 Christianity 159 Christian Zeal 196 Christmas .
Page 12
Divine Plan 246 No Preachers on Dancing 12 No Side Structure 59 Not of One Class 295 Not Receiving the Reformation, but Christ 68 Not to Keep Company 419 Observing the Sabbath 333 One Baptism 190 One Idea Ism 56 One Immersion 410 One Religion 235 One Way to God .
Page 72
Is it possible that any man can fail to see that no man can be, in the true sense, a preacher of Jesus and ignore any part of this commission, or any part of the way of salvation, as set forth by the apostles under this commission? THE KIND OF PREACHING REQUIRED.
Page 94
He also made a happy hit on the clause, “such like”—that is, “revellings and _such like_”; that it included the plays of folly, the innocent games for amusement, etc.
Page 102
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 182
But in a country like this, where a man has been among a people all his life; been an upright and true man; conducted himself with consistency and propriety; there must be something very singular in his course, and peculiar indeed, if he can not get a fair hearing and decision from public opinion, or from the church.
Page 191
As a humorous writer said some years ago, after writing a long piece about nothing, as a burlesque on certain persons, “We are all poor _critters_.
Page 212
The gospel is his power for salvation.
Page 217
Page 233
There has been much said about the measure of understanding that must be had before baptism, that would cut off one half of the apostolic converts.
Page 264
It was established in about one week after our Lord ascended into heaven.
Page 276
It follows them with the only impartial history the world ever had, spreading out alike the good and the bad, and showing up the entire history of man.
Page 280
First look at the affirmative side, or what love will do: 1.
Page 285
Now we ask any man in his right mind, how it can be, that it is _safe_ to receive a creed, not containing all that a christian is bound to receive, containing also some things that may be rejected, one that may be altered, one admitted not to be a “perfect law,” and one not given by the wisdom and authority of God; and yet _unsafe_, to receive as our only creed that Book, containing all that a Christian dare receive, no less than he must receive, one that dare not be altered, that is “the perfect law of liberty,” and was given by the wisdom and authority of God? GLORYING IN THE CROSS OF CHRIST.
Page 296
“Yes,” was the reply; and here the conversation ended.
Page 297
Page 318
Hence in all these city churches where some great man is the center of attraction, they rarely ever bring forward any young preachers, or develop any new talent.
Page 320
How often do the professors of religion, in our times, think of the grave of Jesus, his resurrection, his coronation? How often do they commemorate his sufferings, and meditate upon his great love to us? His name is almost set aside, his sufferings almost forgotten, his love, even his dying love, scarcely mentioned! Yet the word of the Lord, when translated into English, thunders in our ears!—“If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, he will be accursed when the Lord comes.