The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1 [of 3]

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 15

preserved its attachment to the Church of England
till towards the close of the reign of Charles II. when certain
ministers, who had been ejected as nonconformists, having held
conventicles in Northamptonshire, they were joined by Benjamin and
Josias, who adhered to them ever after. The rest of the family
continued in the episcopal church.

My father, Josias, married early in life. He went, with his wife and
three children, to New England, about the year 1682. Conventicles
being at that time prohibited by law, and frequently disturbed,
some considerable persons of his acquaintance determined to go
to America, where they hoped to enjoy the free exercise of their
religion, and my father was prevailed on to accompany them.

My father had also by the same wife, four children born in America,
and ten others by a second wife, making in all seventeen. I remember
to have seen thirteen seated together at his table, who all arrived
to years of maturity, and were married. I was the last of the sons,
and the youngest child, excepting two daughters. I was born at
Boston in New England. My mother, the second wife, was Abiah Folger,
daughter of Peter Folger, one of the first colonists of New England,
of whom Cotton Mather makes honourable mention, in his Ecclesiastical
History of that province, as "_a pious and learned Englishman_," if
I rightly recollect his expressions. I have been told of his having
written a variety of little pieces; but there appears to be only one
in print, which I met with many years ago. It was published in the
year 1675, and is in familiar verse, agreeably to the taste of the
times and the country. The author addresses himself to the governors
for the time being, speaks for liberty of conscience, and in favour
of the anabaptists, quakers, and other sectaries, who had suffered
persecution. To this persecution he attributes the war with the
natives, and other calamities which afflicted the country, regarding
them as the judgments of God in punishment of so odious an offence,
and he exhorts the government to the repeal of laws so contrary to
charity. The poem appeared to be written with a manly freedom and a
pleasing simplicity. I recollect the six concluding lines, though
I have forgotten the order of words of the two first; the sense of
which was, that his censures were dictated by benevolence, and that,
of consequence, he wished to be known as the author; because, said
he, I hate from my very soul dissimulation:

From Sherburn,[2] where I dwell,

Last Page Next Page

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

Page 32
The ground of his doing this is their doing good and doing evil.
Page 37
It is not Godliness, nor the love of God, but sensual; it is devilish.
Page 44
The truth must all be believed, the commandments obeyed, and the promises must be hoped for.
Page 47
The Jews, however, understood him to mean his flesh literally, and so does the Romish church, and the Jews inquired, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” The Lord did not explain the matter to them, but added, verse 56, “Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
Page 56
We may not preach any other gospel, or even pervert the gospel of Christ.
Page 66
We look not to sectarian parties to honor God, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Bible, christianity, or the gospel.
Page 89
” But we are not under the guilt of Adam’s sin; only under the consequences.
Page 93
And he swore to her, Whatever you shall ask of me, I will give to you, to the half of my kingdom.
Page 170
It is not the Bible that makes Episcopalians, for the Presbyterians have the Bible and believe it as much as the Episcopalians do, and it does not make them Episcopalians.
Page 172
The command is, and will be till the Lord comes, “Preach the word.
Page 182
” This is keeping good company, and a glorious way to keep from getting lonesome.
Page 216
These are not now raised up and qualified by miracle, but by ordinary means; nor is the work gone that they are severally to do.
Page 222
Those Jews who had such a desire for proselyting, should have been Christians, and the Christians who have no zeal for proselyting should have been Jews.
Page 242
God intends or purposes it for all mankind, as much as he did for us.
Page 245
But we go beyond this, and declare, without hesitation, that if it were possible for it to prove untrue, it is infallibly safe to believe and rely upon it.
Page 248
On the contrary, the preachers then generally understood this better than the preachers do now.
Page 279
” To this the Lord adds the following conclusion: “The Lord knows the way of the righteous,” or _approves_ it, “but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
Page 281
” Not content with this attack on their altar, and the inscription on it, he proceeds to quote and turn their own poets against them: “Certain of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also his offspring.
Page 304
bond that binds us together is not an earthly bond, and it is not limited by time.
Page 322
What have we done as a great religious body? What have we done as individual congregations, or communities? What have we done as families? What have we done as individuals? What have we done as teachers in the Sunday schools? What have we done as preachers of the gospel? What have we done as religious editors? Now is the time to review and see how the account stands before the Lord.