The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 74

be encouraged
to claim it, and then even envy will be disposed to do you justice by
plucking those assumed feathers, and restoring them to their right

This library afforded me the means of improvement by constant study,
for which I set apart an hour or two each day, and thus repair'd in
some degree the loss of the learned education my father once intended
for me. Reading was the only amusement I allow'd myself. I spent no
time in taverns, games, or frolicks of any kind; and my industry in my
business continu'd as indefatigable as it was necessary. I was
indebted for my printing-house; I had a young family coming on to be
educated, and I had to contend with for business two printers, who were
established in the place before me. My circumstances, however, grew
daily easier. My original habits of frugality continuing, and my
father having, among his instructions to me when a boy, frequently
repeated a proverb of Solomon, "Seest thou a man diligent in his
calling, he shall stand before kings, he shall not stand before mean
men," I from thence considered industry as a means of obtaining wealth
and distinction, which encourag'd me, tho' I did not think that I
should ever literally stand before kings, which, however, has since
happened; for I have stood before five, and even had the honor of
sitting down with one, the King of Denmark, to dinner.

We have an English proverb that says, "He that would thrive, must ask
his wife." It was lucky for me that I had one as much dispos'd to
industry and frugality as myself. She assisted me cheerfully in my
business, folding and stitching pamphlets, tending shop, purchasing old
linen rags for the papermakers, etc., etc. We kept no idle servants,
our table was plain and simple, our furniture of the cheapest. For
instance, my breakfast was a long time bread and milk (no tea), and I
ate it out of a twopenny earthen porringer, with a pewter spoon. But
mark how luxury will enter families, and make a progress, in spite of
principle: being call'd one morning to breakfast, I found it in a
China bowl, with a spoon of silver! They had been bought for me
without my knowledge by my wife, and had cost her the enormous sum of
three-and-twenty shillings, for which she had no other excuse or
apology to make, but that she thought her husband deserv'd a silver
spoon and China bowl as well as any of his

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

Page 20
274 Unprofitable Servants 165 Upward Tendency—Reformation not a Failure —Missionary Work 343 Value of Learning 143 Various Kinds of Scepticism 180 Wandering Pilgrims 219 Wealth of Alexander Campbell 303 We are a Missionary People 88 We are No Sect 286 We have a Perfect Gospel to Preach 366 What a Preacher Must Be 477 What We Are For 97 What is Essential .
Page 32
The ground of his doing this is their doing good and doing evil.
Page 62
” They can not come to God without _faith_.
Page 80
They did not believe they would need them, nor did they see the state of things that would result from their course.
Page 103
In all departments, industry, perseverance and energy characterize men who prosper.
Page 112
We saw some of the grandest, most stupendous and wonderful achievements of human enlightenment, combined with industry, we had ever seen.
Page 116
But now for the order of this item.
Page 125
Another passage to which we refer, to show that death is the boundary line of repentance, is the case of the rich man and Lazarus, Luke xvi.
Page 142
No improvement can be made upon that.
Page 148
While the preaching of the true gospel leads men to sorrow that they have sinned, in view of a righteous judgment to come, the preaching of that disgraceful doctrine—which we are sorry to have necessity to mention upon our pages—leads wicked men to laugh and trifle, both in view of their sins, and all that the Bible says of the great judgment day.
Page 158
Only a few short years ago, a young brother of fine talent read of the dedication of the temple, and appropriated it to the occasion of dedicating a new meeting-house.
Page 172
Page 195
This very theory, in the place of being Scriptural, is directly opposed to the very spirit and intention of the Scriptures, and is, we doubt not, chargeable with hindering more souls from turning to the Lord and receiving the salvation of God than all the out-and-out infidelity in the country.
Page 219
He is bound in his covenant with the Lord _to preach_, but the Lord has left him to select his own field of labor.
Page 241
They spent much more time upon their knees, than the professors of religion in our day.
Page 242
But we never saw a good reason and do not believe there is any, against the orderly custom of reading a portion of Scripture and praying in the family, and we believe that those fathers and mothers whose children never heard them pray, will most solemnly lament it when they see the Lord Jesus at his coming.
Page 244
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But the man must be instructed how to put the ground in order, how to plant and cultivate, in showing him _how_ to obtain a crop of corn, _with_ the divine blessing, but certainly not _without it_.
Page 272
We, as a people, are set for the defence of the gospel.
Page 314