One of some one hundred extant sermons of the Rev. Benjamin Franklin Marable, this opening portion of "Gifts that Cost Nothing" gives some flavor of the style which distinguished him as an orator:


Gifts that Cost Nothing
       . . . .neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God 
      of that which doth cost me nothing . . . (2 Samuel 24:24)
    The gifts of God to the sons of men are very costly. The carrying out of the great plan of redemption involved a  stupendous sacrifice of feeling.  

    When one generous soul loves another, He is eager to promote the happiness of that other, and cheerfully robs himself to do his friend a pleasure.    

    The love of the Father for his Son was infinite, and it must have been with a bitter pang that he consented to send his Son away from his arms, away from the heaven of which he was the glory, to this world of sin and sorrow, to endure long years of exile, to be a stranger to the heavenly joy, and to be numbered with the transgressors. 
    It was no holiday task on which the Second Person in the blessed Trinity entered when he undertook the work of restoring us to God and holiness.  It was like death for him to resign his close and endeared companionship with the Father . . . . 

The Rev. Benjamin Franklin Marable was born in 1831 near Danville in Halifax Co., Virginia, the son of Benjamin and Susan W. (Boswell) Marable.  His father, described as a quiet and somewhat reticent man, was a prosperous farmer and a grandson of George Marable of Westover Parish, Charles City County (grandson of the immigrant of the same name).  His mother, who died when the Reverend was only eight years old, was by all accounts a devout woman of  "more than an ordinary mind, and blessed with a disposition kind and affectionate, she had the respect and  warm affections of her extensive circle of acquaintances; but especially she was endeared to her husband, her children, and the members of the Arbor church." 

Within two years of  his mother's death, his father remarried to Frances Anderson Terry, a niece of the late Rev. Abner Wentworth Clopton who had presided over the Baptist church at Charlotte, North Carolina until his death in 1833. Under his step-mother's tutorship, the young B. F. Marable joined the Baptist Church, felt his call to the ministry and entered Richmond College at Richmond, Virginia.  He continued his studies at Wake Forest College in North Carolina, receiving his A. B. degree there in 1855.  He also obtained an A.M. degree from Wake Forest and a D. D. degree from Davidson College. 

From 1857 to 1863, the Rev. Marable was corresponding secretary of the Baptist State Convention in North Carolina.  While pastor of Beulah church in 1863  he resigned his pastorate and joined the Presbyterian Church, citing "the endless diversity of religious opinion  held by the members and even by the ministry [of the Baptist Church]." 

He was received into the Fayetteville Presbytery on 7 April 1863 and served as pastor in the Presbyterian Church at Warsaw (1864-1866), Oak Plain (1866-1868), Clinton (1868-1875), Goldsboro (1875-1879), and Clinton and Mount Olive (1880-1892).  After his death, a Co-Presyter wrote: 

      "Dr. Marable added to his analytical and logical powers a loftiness of conception that came from a lofty soul, that sent a glow of fire to all that he did.  He was not only a man of great intellect but a man of great heart, and the heart warmed the sermons that  the intellect created."