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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 146

those who desire to do good,
and carry forward the conquest of a great and glorious cause.

How few there are who can properly press the claims of christianity,
knowing that such an irresponsible and indifferent state of feeling
prevails. It is hard to manifest a becoming zeal in the midst of such a
state of apathy. Yet he who rightly reasons upon the cause of our Lord,
and keeps the subject ever present in his mind, must be moved forward.
He can not be discouraged, cowed down, nor deterred. He is invincible
in his course. The spirit that burns in his breast is unconquerable.
The more he has to contend with, the more grace and ardor of soul he
seems to possess. He looks to Jesus, who for the joy set before him,
endured the contradiction of sinners, even unto the death of the cross,
and yet overcame, and is now set down at the right hand of the throne
of God. He asks the question: Why did our Lord make the good confession
before Pontius Pilate? Why did he yield to the ignominious death of
the cross? Why did the holy apostles suffer as they did? Why did the
first christians wade through floods and flames? Why were they bathed
in tears and blood? Why all their zeal and perseverance under all this?
Because they endured, by faith seeing him who is invisible. They looked
forward to the recompense of reward. They held daily and spiritual
communion with God. Their hearts were in heaven, whence, also, they
looked for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Who that has the grand theme of good tidings and great joy to all
people, first announced by angels at the birth of our Lord and Savior,
dwelling richly in his heart, can fail to have a burning and a constant
zeal to spread the same grand and glorious theme to the ends of the
earth, and thus contribute in causing it to bless the nations?

If the winds of heaven and the waves of the sea, if the diseases of
the sick and the terrors of death, if the graves of the dead and the
gates of hades, were obedient to the mandate of Jesus Christ, and, if
the veil of the temple was rent in twain, the rocks were sundered, the
earth trembled and the sun was veiled in darkness when the Lord of
glory died—should not the human heart always be filled, when his name
is mentioned? If the mighty angels fall prostrate at the feet of Jesus,
and hasten to perform the most

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Text Comparison with Experiments and Observations on Electricity Made at Philadelphia in America

Page 6
Lay the book on a glass or wax; and on the other end of the gold lines, set the bottle electrised: then bend the springing wire, by pressing it with a stick of wax till its ring approaches the ring of the bottle wire; instantly there is a strong spark and stroke, and the whole line of gold, which completes the communication between the top and bottom of the bottle, will appear a vivid flame, like the sharpest lightning.
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the fire appears every where upon the gold like a flash of lightning: not upon the leather, nor, if you touch the leather instead of the gold.
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8, 9, 10, 11.
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The latter we found to be true: for that bottle on trial gave the shock, though filled up as it stood with fresh unelectrified water from a tea-pot.
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If now the wire of a bottle electrified in the common way, be brought near the circumference of this wheel, it will attract the nearest thimble, and so put the wheel in motion; that thimble, in passing by, receives a spark, and thereby being electrified is repelled and so driven forwards; while a second being attracted, approaches the wire, receives a spark, and is driven after the first, and so on till the wheel has gone once round, when the thimbles before electrified approaching the wire, instead of being attracted as they were at first, are repelled, and the motion presently ceases.
Page 18
When it is well charg'd it begins to move; the bullet nearest to a pillar moves towards the thimble on that pillar, and passing by electrifies it and then pushes itself from it; the succeeding bullet, which communicates with the other surface of the glass, more strongly attracts that thimble on account of its being before electrified by the other bullet; and thus the wheel encreases its motion till it comes to such a height as that the resistance of the air regulates it.
Page 20
Place an iron shot on a glass stand, and let a ball of damp cork, suspended by a silk thread, hang in contact with the shot.
Page 21
Water being electrified, the vapours arising from it will be equally electrified; and floating in the air, in the form of clouds, or otherwise, will retain that quantity of electrical fire, till they meet with other clouds or bodies not so much electrified, and then will communicate as beforementioned.
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The particles of air are said to be hard, round, separate and distant from each other; every particle strongly repelling every other particle, whereby they recede from each other, as far as common gravity will permit.
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It has been fatal to many, both men and beasts.
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And likewise the portion included in K, B, C, L, has B, C, to rest on; and so on the other side of the figure.
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And if you hold a plate under it at six or eight inches distance, and cease turning the Globe, when the electrical atmosphere of the conductor grows small, it will descend to the plate and swim back again several times with the same fish-like motion, greatly to the entertainment of spectators.
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[Illustration] 33.
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For if it was fine enough to come with the electrical fluid through the body of one person, why should it stop on the skin of another? But I shall never have done, if I tell you all my conjectures, thoughts, and imaginations, on the nature and operations of this electrical fluid, and relate the variety of little experiments we have try'd.
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Translated from the Original, dedicated to the French King.
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[8] See the first sixteen Sections of my former Paper, called _Farther Experiments_, &c.