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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 321

before noon, consequently my discovery can be of little use: I
answer, _Nil desperandum_. I believe all who have common sense, as
soon as they have learnt from this paper that it is day-light when
the sun rises, will contrive to rise with him; and, to compel the
rest, I would propose the following regulations:

First. Let a tax be laid of a louis per window, on every window that
is provided with shutters to keep out the light of the sun.

Second. Let the same salutary operation of police be made use of to
prevent our burning candles, that inclined us last winter to be more
economical in burning wood; that is, let guards be placed in the
shops of the wax and tallow chandlers, and no family be permitted to
be supplied with more than one pound of candles per week.

Third. Let guards also be posted to stop all the coaches, &c. that
would pass the streets after sun-set, except those of physicians,
surgeons, and midwives.

Fourth. Every morning, as soon as the run rises, let all the bells
in every church be set ringing; and if that is not sufficient, let
cannon be fired in every street, to wake the sluggards effectually,
and make them open their eyes to see their true interest.

All the difficulty will be in the first two or three days: after
which the reformation will be as natural and easy as the present
irregularity: for, _ce n'est que le premier pas qui coute_. Oblige a
man to rise at four in the morning, and it is more than probable he
shall go willingly to bed at eight in the evening; and, having had
eight hours sleep, he will rise more willingly at four the morning
following. But this sum of ninety-six millions and seventy-five
thousand livres is not the whole of what may be saved by my
economical project. You may observe, that I have calculated upon only
one half of the year, and much may be saved in the other, though the
days are shorter. Besides, the immense stock of wax and tallow left
unconsumed during the summer will probably make candles much cheaper
for the ensuing winter, and continue them cheaper as long as the
proposed reformation shall be supported.

For the great benefit of this discovery, thus freely communicated
and bestowed by me on the public, I demand neither place, pension,
exclusive privilege, nor any other reward whatever. I expect only
to have the honour of it. And yet I know there are little envious
minds who will, as usual, deny me this, and say,

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Page 51
One man is for this plan or that, and goes for it.
Page 59
” George Fox was probably a good man, or a man of good intentions, and, when he talked of the “light within,” and tried to sustain his position by Scripture, he had no idea of the evil that would follow—much less did he design it.
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Still it is done—almost daily done, in the pulpits all over the land; and those who will not do it, who condemn it, who receive the Bible, christianity, the gospel, the religion of Jesus Christ, all that God has revealed to man—all that has the name of God upon it, keep it distinct from every thing else, and will have nothing more, are opposed everywhere, sneered at and branded as _heretics_.
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We must never stop but cry aloud and spare not, till this ignorance is out of the land.
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Among all the variegated multitudes of the feathered tribes, not even a sparrow falls to the ground unobserved by Him; and, by the same Omniscient One, we are assured, by our adorable Redeemer, the hairs of our heads are all numbered.
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” It is not enjoined that we follow peace with a political party, but “peace with _all_ men,” and holiness.
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Such things do not disgrace them, or bring scandal on them.
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Great injury may be done in this way, by arousing human sympathy, moving the soul and causing men to act, who do not love the Lord and have not had the first serious thought of consecrating their lives to his holy service.
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When he does realize this helplessness, then God will meet him and give him the new heart.
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When Saul asked the important question, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” he was by no means told that he could not do anything.
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It is now our duty to make it known among all mankind; or, as Paul expresses it, “to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which, from the beginning of the world, hath.
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In these matters there is no excuse for being misled.
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He sanctified and cleansed it.
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Trust in the Lord, and work on.
Page 331