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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 123

wickedness of governor Denny in passing,
and of the assembly in prevailing with him to pass, those acts.
By the prefacer's account of them, you would think the laws, so
obtained, were _all_ bad; for he speaks of but _seven_, of which,
six, he says, were repealed, and the seventh reported to be
"fundamentally _wrong_ and _unjust_," "and ought to be repealed,
_unless_ six certain amendments were made therein[60]." Whereas
in fact there were _nineteen_ of them, and several of those must
have been good laws, for even the proprietaries did not object to
them. Of the eleven that they opposed, only six were repealed; so
that it seems, these good gentlemen may themselves be sometimes as
wrong in opposing, as the assembly in enacting laws. But the words,
"fundamentally _wrong_ and _unjust_," are the great fund of triumph
to the proprietaries and their partizans. These, their subsequent
governors have unmercifully dinned in the ears of the assembly on all
occasions ever since; for they make a part of near a dozen of their
messages. They have rung the changes on those words, till they worked
them up to say, that the law was fundamentally wrong and unjust in
_six several articles_ (Governor's Message, May 17, 1764) instead
of "ought to be repealed, _unless_ six alterations or amendments
could be made therein." A law, unjust in six several articles, must
be an unjust law indeed. Let us therefore, once for all, _examine_
this unjust law, article by article, in order to see, whether our
assemblies have been such villains as they have been represented.

The _first_ particular in which their lordships proposed the act
should be amended was, "That the real estates to be taxed, be
_defined with precision_; so as not to include the unsurveyed waste
land belonging to the proprietaries." This was at most but an
_obscurity_ to be cleared up. And though the law might well appear
to their lordships uncertain in that particular, with us, who better
know our own customs, and that the proprietaries waste unsurveyed
land was never here considered among estates real, subject to
taxation; there was not the least doubt or supposition, that such
lands were included in the words "all estates, real and personal."
The agents therefore, knowing that the assembly had no intention
to tax those lands, might well suppose they would readily agree to
remove the obscurity. Before we go farther, let it be observed, that
the main design of the proprietaries in opposing this act was, to
_prevent their estates being taxed at all_. But as they knew, that
the doctrine of proprietary exemption, which they had

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

Page 0
Cloth, $2.
Page 4
393 A Suggestion 99 A Working Ministry 130 Activity in the Ministry 453 Adhering to the Bible 207 Affirmative Gospel 428 All Things Common 94 Annihilation—Future Punishment 100 Anointing with Oil 396 Apology for Creeds 120 Authority of a Single Congregation 243 Baptism of the Holy Spirit 407 Be firm in the Right .
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248 Our Authoritative Religion 111 Our Census 17 Our Plea 256 Outward Appearance 51 Over and Through the Mountains 148 Overlooking Humble but Good Men 484 Paul and James on Justification by Faith 352 Paying Preachers a Stipulated Sum 326 Preach “First Principles” 474 Personality of the Devil 276 Pioneers, Support, etc.
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1 The Warning 390 The Work of Creation 8 The Work of the Disciples 417 Theory and Practice 479 Things Not Forbidden 290 Thirty Years Ago 376 Too Late for the Cars 269 True Missionaries 18 The New and the Old 464 Universalism 75 Universalism Unbelief .
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106 What We Know is Right 107 What is Campbellism? 156 What must I do to be Saved 317 Where is the Army of the Lord 251 Where is the Power 213 Who Crucified the Savior 195 Whom the Lord Receives 294 Why Infidels Oppose the Bible 423 Wielding the Sword of the Spirit 284 Will You also Go Away 35 Women in the Church 194 Young Preachers Must Be Practical .
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They have but one idea ingrained and imprinted on their entire being, and that is to hang on with a grasp like death itself to the goods of this world.
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the work of the first day.
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Think of the following: 1.
Page 83
We have, therefore, rather concluded to _go while we can_.
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There is no benevolence in tampering with the divine penalties in any way, either in out-and-out denying the existence of any punishment after death, or modifying it.
Page 135
Anybody can tear down, but it takes a workman to build.
Page 139
What good will the gold mine do him? None whatever.
Page 141
Why, then, can not Methodists and Presbyterians fuse into one mass, or unite? Because the Methodists will not give up Methodism, that which is peculiar to Methodists; and the Presbyterian will not give up the Presbyterianism, or that which is peculiar to Presbyterians.
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There may not be enough spiritual life, moral standing and respect for the law of God, in the church, to enforce the law of Christ.
Page 249
Unto you, this day, in the city of David, a Savior is born, which is Christ the Lord.
Page 254
_ In view of this, where is the difference whether infants or adults? The decree of God—his design—settled the matter before they were born, and made it so definite, that the number can neither be increased nor diminished, and that, too, without any foresight of faith or good works in the creature.
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It was a _promise_.
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It shall live and be fresh and vigorous when all worldly schemes and policies and their advocates, shall be forgotten.
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Brethren, have all confidence in the gospel of your salvation; preach it, advocate it, propagate it; perpetuate and hand it down to the future generations.
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