The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

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of sermons of the best preachers, which he took down in
his short-hand, and had with him many volumes of them. He was also
much of a politician; too much, perhaps, for his station. There fell
lately into my hands, in London, a collection he had made of all the
principal pamphlets, relating to public affairs, from 1641 to 1717;
many of the volumes are wanting as appears by the numbering, but there
still remain eight volumes in folio, and twenty-four in quarto and in
octavo. A dealer in old books met with them, and knowing me by my
sometimes buying of him, he brought them to me. It seems my uncle must
have left them here, when he went to America, which was about fifty
years since. There are many of his notes in the margins.

[2] Here follow in the margin the words, in brackets, "here
insert it," but the poetry is not given. Mr. Sparks
informs us (Life of Franklin, p. 6) that these volumes
had been preserved, and were in possession of Mrs. Emmons,
of Boston, great-granddaughter of their author.

This obscure family of ours was early in the Reformation, and continued
Protestants through the reign of Queen Mary, when they were sometimes
in danger of trouble on account of their zeal against popery. They had
got an English Bible, and to conceal and secure it, it was fastened
open with tapes under and within the cover of a joint-stool. When my
great-great-grandfather read it to his family, he turned up the
joint-stool upon his knees, turning over the leaves then under the
tapes. One of the children stood at the door to give notice if he saw
the apparitor coming, who was an officer of the spiritual court. In
that case the stool was turned down again upon its feet, when the Bible
remained concealed under it as before. This anecdote I had from my
uncle Benjamin. The family continued all of the Church of England till
about the end of Charles the Second's reign, when some of the ministers
that had been outed for nonconformity holding conventicles in
Northamptonshire, Benjamin and Josiah adhered to them, and so continued
all their lives: the rest of the family remained with the Episcopal

Josiah, my father, married

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

Page 10
it Possible to Arouse the People 138 Jesus Revealed as the Savior 379 Judgment the Ground of Repentance 202 Keep Politics out of the Church 160 Kind of Preachers and Preaching Needed 211 Knowing and not Doing 435 Laying the Corner Stone of a Catholic Cathedral 271 Lifted Above Sects and Parties 69 Light Within 61 Little Matters 53 Lord’s Day Meetings 270 Lotteries 11 Maintain a Pure Faith and Worship 289 Making the Bible Support Human Systems 71 Man’s Accountability .
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In one case it is a savor of life, in the other of death.
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All their claim to having the Spirit.
Page 89
The first Adam, without our volition or action, involved us in it.
Page 93
They are as stubble before the wind, as chaff that the storm carrieth away.
Page 105
They have established no civil institutions, no system of morals, no code of laws, no system of education, and no institutions of learning that deserve the name.
Page 112
We saw some of the grandest, most stupendous and wonderful achievements of human enlightenment, combined with industry, we had ever seen.
Page 128
the man Moses was there separate from the body; alive, conscious, and held a conversation with the Lord, in regard to his great sufferings to be accomplished at Jerusalem.
Page 148
In this they set aside the grand reason why men should repent.
Page 161
” It is “the building of God,” established “according to his eternal purpose” to “the intent” that “to the principalities and powers in heavenly places may be made known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.
Page 163
If preachers can live out of any church and do the will of God, other people can do the same.
Page 187
They need to be made sensible who they are that want their drinking saloons, and want them open on Sundays, that intend to parade our streets with bands of music and long processions on the Lord’s day, who they are that are trying to undermine our common schools and ruin them, who they are that publish in our faces that our marriages are all null and void—that we are all living in adultery because we were not married by priests! We need a little more of this impudence in our faces to rouse us up and cause us to see the viper we have taken into our bosoms, and see what.
Page 196
He puts them down _against him_.
Page 197
It is a time for general humiliation and supplication—one mighty and united appeal of all the true and holy to heaven to save us from the general avalanche of iniquity that threatens the ruin of the country, and specially of religion.
Page 243
In the New Testament “the church of Christ” is found; but “the church of God” much more frequently.
Page 254
But we must, since the account is opened, administer yet another item or two on this matter.
Page 284
It is admitted, that the Holy Scriptures must not be altered, but must be received precisely as God gave them to the world.
Page 293
If they could, they would lead our fair daughters to ruin, chuckle over the feat achieved, and dance on the graves of heart-broken fathers and mothers.
Page 319
I think we need a change in the church more than in the preacher, or preaching.
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