A Book of Gems Choice selections from the writings of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 144

is no dull formality, but all is life and interest. Every
one feels what he saying and doing. There is no sermonizing, no
preaching by the day, but every man carries the cause in his bosom,
and labors as for eternity. All this is calculated to defeat the
ostensible intention of all persecution, and in the place of impeding
the progress of the cause must tend to spread it. Not only so, but
persecution has a tendency to diminish worldly-mindedness, and cause
the entire affairs of this life to appear transient and fleeting. Its
constant bearing, like all sufferings in this life, is to direct the
christian mind to another world, where the bondage of corruption shall
be put off, and where he shall enjoy pleasures for evermore. Under such
circumstances, how the mind is filled with piety, and how the spirit
adorns the redeeming love which, through Jesus Christ, has brought the
tidings of deliverance! Finding no abatement of persecutions here, no
mitigation of suffering, the afflicted pilgrim looks to another world
for a home—for a city upon the immovable rock, the maker and builder
of which is God, where he anticipates he will enter the eternal rest.
In all this, the effect is precisely the opposite of what is intended
by persecutors. They intend to cause people to abandon christianity by
persecuting them, whereas it only causes them to esteem it more sacred
and press it more closely to their hearts.

How perfectly had all worldly considerations dwindled into nothingness
when the apostle counted all things but loss, that he might win Christ,
and when he estimated the intolerable affliction imposed upon him,
_light_, compared with the eternal _weight of glory_ in prospect! Such
heavenly mindedness is the direct tendency of persecution, and only
calculated to make the glories of christianity shine with greater
luster, and, consequently, serves not the designs of those by whom
it is inflicted. It, nevertheless, has been tried in thousands of
instances, since the first three centuries, in various parts of the
world, even down to quite a modern date, but has never been able to
extinguish the light emanating from the lofty fountain of all light
and all knowledge. From modern developments, it would seem, that it is
now being ascertained by the great opposer of all good, that methods
more effectual may be employed, to impede the progress of the gospel,
of which we can not now speak in detail. _Indifference_, however, or
a general lack of _conscientiousness_, is now the order of the day.
Anciently, when a doctrine was preached which the people did not
believe, they were

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1 [of 3]

Page 15
The poem appeared to be written with a manly freedom and a pleasing simplicity.
Page 34
I was present, and heard it all.
Page 63
Some volumes.
Page 74
It was to no purpose that I really procured other papers, and distributed my own, by means of the post; the public took for granted my inability in this respect; and I was indeed unable to conquer it in any other mode than by bribing the post-boys, who served me only by stealth, Bradford being so illiberal as to forbid them.
Page 76
Thus I corrected, as well as I could, this great error of my youth.
Page 78
This address contains, perhaps, the best practical system of economy that ever has appeared.
Page 90
They were written by him to a gentleman, who had at that time published the idea of a college, suited to the circumstances of a young country (meaning New-York) a copy of which having been sent to Dr.
Page 92
"I am, very respectfully, &c.
Page 99
But England wished not that the Americans should become acquainted with their own strength.
Page 155
But that is not the case with bodies of any other figure.
Page 164
But, if the electrical fluid so easily pervades glass, how does the phial become _charged_ (as we term it) when we hold it in our hands? Would not the fire, thrown in by the wire, pass through to our hands, and so escape into the floor? Would not the bottle in that case be left just as we found it, uncharged, as we know a metal bottle so attempted to be charged would be? Indeed, if there be the least crack, the minutest solution of continuity in the glass, though it remains so tight that nothing else we know of will pass, yet the extremely subtile electric fluid flies through such a crack with the greatest freedom, and such a bottle we know can never be charged: what then makes the difference between such a bottle and one that is sound, but this, that the fluid can pass through the one, and not through the other[51]? 29.
Page 177
Electric matter passes through conductors as water passes through a porous stone, or spreads on their surfaces as water spreads on a wet stone; but when applied to non-conductors, it is like water dropt on a greasy stone, it neither penetrates, passes through, nor spreads on the surface, but remains in drops where it falls.
Page 218
The spark acts upon this column, and is acted upon by it, more strongly than any other neighbouring portion of air.
Page 241
of his experiments to the world, as he makes many, and with great accuracy.
Page 256
The ball in that state was also repelled by the positively charged wire of a phial, and attracted by the other side of the stone, B.
Page 257
Again: I suspended the small stone by a silk thread.
Page 295
" _P.
Page 299
It receives this electrisation from the inner surface of the phial, which, when the outer surface can receive what it wants from the hand applied to it, will give as much as the bodies in contact with it can receive, or if they be large enough, all that it has of excess.
Page 320
_Gold_ and silver, remarks on exportation of, ii.
Page 337
_Sound_, best mediums for conveying, ii.