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This same thought finds re-expression when Mrs. Eddy writes:

"To enter into the heart of prayer, the door of the erring senses must be closed. Lips must be mute and materialism silent, that man may have audience with Spirit, the divine Principle, Love, which destroys all

error." (Science and Health, p. 15.) "Let us chuse, therefore" continues Penn, "to commune where there is the warmest sense of Religion, where Devotion exceeds Formality and Practice most corresponds with Profession, and where there is at least as much Charity as zeal. For where this Society is to be found, there shall we find the church of God."

Very beautiful is the spiritual conclusion of Penn in his advancing years. The challenge of the young prisoner in the Tower has matured into the wisdom of the revered Governor of a great State, and it is now his opinion that, “Humble, meek, merciful, just, pious, and devout Souls are everywhere of one Religion, and when Death has taken off the mask, they will know one another, though the divers liveries they wear here make them strangers." Truly Christian is his saying, indeed one may almost call it Penn's proverb-that “Force may subdue, but Love gains. And he that forgives, first wins the laurel."

CHAPTER XXI

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

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ENN'S real heir, strange as this may sound, was not a man of his own kith and kin. He was the son of

a tallow chandler. Penn's lineal descendants, the Proprietors of Pennsylvania, gave the province trouble enough in the years that followed. The man who built up and loved the Quaker city, who followed in Penn's footsteps, who proved wise and temperate in Government, an unselfed citizen at home and a great ambassador abroad, the man who freed the state and helped to create the United States, was Benjamin Franklin.

On a certain Sunday morning in 1723, Miss Maria Read, aged seventeen, standing in her own doorway on Market Street (and it really was her own doorway since her father owned the house), espied a young man with pockets bulging with personal baggage, a roll of bread tucked under each arm, and in his hands a third roll which he munched as he walked along, looking up and down at the houses with the evident air of being a stranger in the town. She little thought as she ran indoors with a merry laugh at this, to her, ridiculously funny sight, that she would one day be proud to marry the stranger who cut so odd a figure as he passed by her threshold, and disappeared out of view down Chestnut Street.

Benjamin Franklin had within an hour landed by boat at the market wharf, with only a Dutch dollar and some coppers in his pocket. He had run away from a bullying elder brother, who was a printer in Boston, and had been told by old Mr. William Bradford, the printer of New

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York, that there might be work in the printing trade for him at Philadelphia. He was seventeen when he first came to the city in the fashion described. At twenty-one years of age he had organized "Te Junto," an important educational society. At twenty-two he had become partner in a printing business, his intelligence and character being considered a sufficient equivalent for other people's capital. At twenty-three he had written a brilliant pamphlet on the difficult question of the currency, a matter of immense public concern, and had also taken over the Pennsylvanian Gazette, being manager, editor and contributor. At twenty-four he had become sole proprietor of the business. At twenty-five he had created the Philadelphia Library. In fifteen years he had retired from business on an independent income, and was entering into those public activities which were to prove his most exacting taskmasters, momentous to the city and momentous to the world; yes, even to the day in the great Revolutionary War, when an old man of seventy-one, with his two young grandsons, boarded a sloop which stole down the Delaware and put out into a wintry sea bound for the court of Versailles, Franklin was needed by his fellow citizens, and responded to their need.

To understand how and why this boy the youngest lad in a family of thirteen children) was dowered with such natural ability and integrity, we must go back to Ecton, a village in Northamptonshire, where the Franklins had lived for some three hundred years. They owned a small freehold of land and carried on the smith's business. They were staunch Protestants, even through the perilous reign of Queen Mary. They possessed an English Bible, and in order to conceal it from the prying eyes of officers of the Ecclesiastical Court, it was fastened open with tapes under the cover of a joint-stool. When Franklin's greatgreat-grandfather read it to his family, he turned up the stool upon his knees, while one of the children kept a sharp look-out at the door, and if the Apparitor was seen approaching, the stool was swiftly returned to its ordinary position, and no one could then discover that a Bible was in the house.

As Northamptonshire borders upon Leicestershire, and is indeed quite close to Lutterworth, we may feel very sure that this Franklin family Bible was one of Wycliffe's precious copies. How deeply must the word of God have sunk into the hearts and minds of those children when it was read in the home at the very peril of their lives. How they must have remembered its teaching, and longed for hours when they could read it for themselves. The words of the third chapter of Proverbs were then, as they are now, mightily true:

“My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:

“For length of days, and long life, and peace shall they add to thee.

"Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

“So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man."

The interesting sequence of Franklin's early religious training is that it developed in him a calm, logical mind, so entirely independent of other people's opinions and beliefs that he soared above all sectarianism, and thought out the Principle of life for himself. “I had been religiously educated as a Presbyterian,” he writes in his autobiography, "and tho' some of the dogmas of that persuasion, such as the eternal decrees of God, election, reprobation, etc.,

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