Benjamin Franklin was an important conservative figure in the American Restoration Movement, especially as the leading antebellum conservative in the northern United States branch of the movement. He is notable as the early and lifelong mentor of Daniel Sommer, whose support of the 1889 Sand Creek Declaration set in motion events which led to the formal division of the Churches of Christ from the Disciples of Christ in 1906.
According to contemporary biographies "His early religious training was according to the Methodist faith, though he never belonged to any church until he united with the Disciples."
In 1856, Franklin began to publish the ultra-conservative American Christian Review, which he published until his death in 1878. Its influence, initially considerable, was said to have waned following the American Civil War. Franklin undertook a rigorous program of publication correspondence, and traveling lectures which took him to "many" U. S. states and Canada.
Franklin's last move was to Anderson, Indiana, where he lived from 1864 until his death.
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A Kingdom Not of this World
"My kingdom is not of this world."--JOHN XVIII. 26.
MANY of our Lord's sayings were dark to those to whom they were directly addressed--purposely dark to them. They were not intended to be understood by those to whom they were immediately addressed, but to be clearly understood at later periods, not only by those to whom they were first addresse ...read
Concessions Favorable To Christ From Those Not Christians
IT has been urged by infidels that the testimony relied on by those who believe on Christ, and believe the Bible, is all on one side--all from Christians. In the nature of the case, the enemies would not be expected to preserve the testimony, or even any testimony, favorable to the Lord, and against themselves. If they had preserved any testimony, ...read
Conversion, or Turning to God
"Repent, therefore, and turn, that your sins may be blotted out, in order that the times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord." --Acts iii:19.
THE introduction of the religion of Christ into the world, is the grandest event connected with the entire history of man. The founding of empires, kingdoms and republics, their revolutio ...read
THE theme of this discourse, though not a very common theme for a religious discourse, is by no means outside of the Bible. It is found in the Bible in several different forms. It is not, therefore, an untaught subject, on which the Bible is silent. It is, then, perfectly legitimate that we should pay our respects to it.
DANCING AS A RELIGIOUS E ...read
IN this discourse I propose inquiring into the question of authority. Every government has a head, and the authority is in the head. The authority of an empire is in the emperor; the authority of a kingdom is in the king; the authority of a State is in the governor; the authority in the kingdom of heaven is in the King. He is the Head of the body-- ...read
Evidences of the Divine Authority of the Bible
"To whom he showed himself alive, after his sufferings, by many infallible proofs." --ACTS i: 4.
THE Evangelist Luke, author of the book styled Acts of Apostles, made the statement just read, and now selected as a text for a discourse on the Divine Authority of the Bible. It is a fundamental statement, when properly considered. It is not simply ...read
How Are Persons Made Believers?
"Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." --Rom. x:17.
THIS text is selected because it expresses the general theme for this discourse, which is, How are persons made believers? The question has been settled as to what persons should believe to become Christians, or disciples of Christ, in the foregoing discourse. The purpose, i ...read
Identity Of The Church
THE Lord says, "On this rock I will build my Church."--Matthew xvi. 18. Paul says, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word."--Ephesians v. 25. The Church spoken of in these Scriptures is not simply a church, among many more ...read
Inauguration of the New Institution
"Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning in Jerusalem." --Luke xxiv:46, 47.
THIS Scripture is selected with the intention of discoursing on the beginning of repentance and remission of ...read
Instrumental Music In Worship
IF any one had told us, forty years ago, that we would live to see the day when those professing to be Christians; who claim the Holy Scriptures as their only rule of faith and practice; those under the command, and who profess to appreciate the meaning of the command, to "observe all things whatever I have commanded you," would bring any instrumen ...read
Matters Of Agreement
MANY sermons have been written, and many more have been preached, on matters of difference. Many more are still being written, and spoken, of the same sort. It may have a good tendency to turn and look at the other side of the picture--the matters of agreement. Differences have been preached and written on so much that some may be led almost to con ...read
Matters Of Disagreement
THE theme selected for the present discourse is by no means a pleasant one. Happy would it have been for us if there had been, and were now, no matters of disagreement on which to discourse. But such is not the state of the case--far otherwise. The world has been full of adverse teaching, and will be, no doubt, for much time to come. We must take t ...read
Mediation Of Christ, And Man's Reconciliation To God
AT the time our Lord made his advent into this world, there were three theories among men in regard to the Deity. The first in the order in which they shall be introduced here is the atheistic theory. It is very short. It is simply the theory that there is no God in the universe. No doubt many have felt that the language of David is harsh, where he ...read
Men Must Do Something to Be Saved
"Not every one who says Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." --MATT. vii: 21.
IN our Lord's introductory address, usually styled "the Sermon on the Mount," he laid down the ground on which he discriminated between wise and foolish men. "Those," he says, "who hear these sayi ...read
New Testament Example Of Conversion
COMMENCING Acts viii:26, a report is found of the conversion of the distinguished officer of state, the treasurer of Queen Candace. The title given to this book, in the common version of the New Testament, is incorrect. It is not the Acts of the apostles, but only some acts, or transactions, of some apostles. Even "Acts of Apostles" imparts but fee ...read
Why was the primitive church persecuted?
Why were the first christians persecuted?
Why is the true church now persecuted?
Why are the christians now persecuted?
THE Head of the Church and the Leader of the first Christians "was despised and rejected by men." His enemies pursued him, pushed their malicious designs, and carried out their malign ...read
Positive Divine Law
WE have what has been designated positive divine law. On the other hand, we have what is called moral law. We have also positive divine institutions, positive appointments and positive commandments. We have also moral institutions, moral appointments and moral commandments. In positive law there are positive institutions, positive requirements or c ...read
THERE is probably no better test of faith than prayer. Men that have no faith do not pray. There can be no reason in praying without faith. To a man utterly without faith there can be no more empty and unmeaning thing practiced by human beings than prayer. To such a man the suppliant appears to be simply speaking into the open air, or to nobody. It ...read
Predestination and the Foreknowledge of God
"According as he has chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love; having predestinated us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he has made us accepted in the Beloved." ...read
Remission Of Sins
THE Lord has determined that all, in all unregenerated state, are under sin, that he might have mercy upon all. He has concluded that all, who have never been brought to Christ, are in unbelief. The prophet of the Lord says: "They have all gone out of the way;" that "there are none that do good: no not one." The whole world, without Christ, lies un ...read