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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 171

of the great
guns of the infidels, the Universalists, the Roman Catholics, the
Methodists, the Presbyterians, and sectarians in general. He attracted
the attention of the great men of Christendom, distinguished the hills
of Bethany, and gave them a name that will extend down to the end of
the ages. No man on this continent called forth anything like the same
amount of attention he did, for the space of forty years. It was not a
mere fortuity that gave him notoriety, but sound learning, correct and
abundant information, persistent and determined work, with a fixed and
settled purpose, to which he addressed the energies of his life. He was
a mighty man in the highest sense, and to this the impression he made
on the people of this great country, will testify till the Lord shall

We have been amused with two classes of men among us. Those of one
class were adjusting themselves for the mantle of A. Campbell to fall
on them when he would depart. Had that mantle fallen on one of them,
he would have appeared like a boy with his father’s great coat on—it
would have fit nowhere. The other class are finding his errors and
going beyond him. But it is remarkable, that in almost every instance,
these _advanced_ men prove to be wrong themselves. Instead of their
discovering some _new truth_, they resurrect some _old error_. We do
not think it is advancing very far ahead of A. Campbell to resuscitate
the Romish and Restorationist idea of an obscure Scripture. We
frequently think of the man’s invention, that claimed that he could
grow sheep _without wool_—it is more curious than profitable.

It is not _inventive_ genius we need in the Church, nor _explorers_ to
_invent_ something new, or to _make discoveries_; but we need humble
and honest men, who know and love the truth, and will press it on the
world. We know humble men, of but limited talent and information, who
are building up churches, reforming men and women, and bringing them to
God. We know also men of considerable learning and talent, who do not
turn a bare dozen to the Lord in a year, and who build up no churches
nor anything else, but who are starting subtleties, speculations and
questions to no profit, but only tend to subvert the hearer. Why can
men not be content with the plain truth, the precious truth that makes
men wise to salvation, through faith in Christ? It is easily learned,
easily preached and readily believed and obeyed to the salvation of
the soul. It is for the

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

Page 4
(This is best done by a vinegar cruet, or some such belly'd bottle).
Page 5
As often as he touches it, he will be electrified _plus_; and any one standing on the floor may draw a spark from him.
Page 7
A blunt body must be brought within an inch, and draw a spark, to produce the same effect.
Page 9
If they touch while electrising, the equality is never destroy'd, the fire only circulating.
Page 13
Besides the phial will not suffer what is called a _charging_, unless as much fire can go out of it one way, as is thrown in by another.
Page 14
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 21
Page 25
Page 29
And a curious observer, who lived 13 years at _Bermudas_, says, there was less thunder there in that whole time than he has sometimes heard in a month at _Carolina_.
Page 35
As the pasteboard tube hangs loose on silk lines, when you approach it with the punch iron, it likewise will move towards the punch, being attracted while it is charged; but if at the same instant a point be presented as before, it retires again, for the point discharges it.
Page 40
From the before mentioned law of electricity, that points, as they are more or less acute, draw on and throw off the electrical fluid with more or less power, and at greater or less distances, and in larger or smaller quantities in the same time, we may see how to account for the situation of the leaf of gold suspended between two plates, the upper one continually electrified, the under one in a person's hand standing on the floor.
Page 43
Page 45
Let us now see how it will account for several other appearances.
Page 46
Page 48
And besides, when the globe is filled with cinnamon, or other non-electric, no electrical fluid can be obtain'd from its outer surface, for the reason before-mentioned.
Page 49
I shall only add, that as it has been observed here that spirits will fire by the electrical spark in the summer time, without heating them, when _Fahrenheit_'s thermometer is above 70; so, when colder, if the operator puts a small flat bottle of spirits in his bosom, or a close pocket, with the spoon, some little time before he uses them, the heat of his body will communicate warmth more than sufficient for the purpose.
Page 52
The Second Edition.
Page 53
By G.
Page 54
[9] See s 10 of _Farther Experiments_, &c.