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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 172

people, the whole people, and adapted to them.
The kind of greatness we need, is that which manifests itself in
preaching great truth in plain and easy terms, and bringing it to the
comprehension of the people. The command is, and will be till the Lord
comes, “Preach the word.”


A single congregation of the Lord in any community can administer
and execute the work of the Lord in all its parts. This is true
of every congregation. When assembled it is a divinely-authorized
body to act in the matters of the kingdom of God. There is no other
divinely-authorized body on earth to act in the matters of the kingdom
of God. This body is under the old commission from the Lord: “Observe
all things whatever _I have commanded you_.”


We have been trying to classify our missionary men, so that we can
think of them with intelligence. We put them down as follows:

_First._ Men who go ahead and preach, and continue on preaching. These
are missionary men in the true sense.

_Second._ Men that contribute liberally of their substance to support
those who are devoted to preaching, and see that their money goes to
the men that do the work. These are missionary men also in the true

_Third._ Men who _devise plans_, inaugurate missions, and call on other
people to give the money, stand ready where the money comes out, or at
the missionary box, to catch it, and propose, when they get $10,000,
to send _somebody to preach_! These may be great on _devising_,
_planning_ and _inaugurating_; but we can not work ourself into the
belief that they are _missionary men in the true sense_. We want to
see some proposition for _them to go_; and we want to know that they
are _going_. This hanging on to rich churches and fine salaries, and
proposing to receive the _money of the people_, and send somebody to
preach, is not “the Lord’s plan,” nor any other that will stand in the
day of judgment.

The people of God can find plenty of good preachers whom they know to
be worthy, who are devoted to preaching the gospel, and not ruining or
corrupting it, to whom they can apply all they can give, and not have a
dollar consumed by secretary, or any “middle man,” but all will go to
the laborer who is worthy of his hire—to the man that does the work.
The means thus given will do four times as much work as if sent through
so many hands, and all go as

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

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_ _From the similar effects of lightening and electricity our author has been led to make some propable conjectures on the cause of the former; and at the same time, to propose some rational experiments in order to secure ourselves, and those things on which its force is often directed, from its pernicious effects; a circumstance of no small importance to the publick, and therefore worthy of the utmost attention.
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Place an electrised phial on wax; a small cork-ball suspended by a dry silk-thread held in your hand, and brought near to the wire, will first be attracted, and then repelled: when in this state of repellency, sink your hand, that the ball may be brought towards the bottom of the bottle; it will there be instantly and strongly attracted, 'till it has parted with its fire.
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A phial cannot be charged standing on wax or glass, or hanging on the prime conductor, unless a communication be form'd between its coating and the floor.
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--And this restitution cannot be made through the substance of the glass, but must be done by a non-electric communication formed without, from surface to surface.
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I perceive by the ingenious Mr _Watson_'s last book, lately received, that Dr _Bevis_ had used, before we had, panes of glass to give a shock; though, till that book came to hand, I thought to have communicated it to you as a novelty.
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In a circle on the table which supports the wheel, are fixed twelve small pillars of glass, at about four inches distance, with a thimble on the top of each.
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The particles of water rising in vapours, attach themselves to particles of air.
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If the particles of water bring electrical fire when they attach themselves to air, the repulsion between the particles of water electrified, joins with the natural repulsion of the air, to force its particles to a greater distance, whereby the triangles are dilated, and the air rises, carrying up with it the water.
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Take two round pieces of pasteboard two inches diameter; from the center and circumference of each of them suspend by fine silk threads eighteen inches long, seven small balls of wood, or seven peas equal in bigness; so will the balls appending to each pasteboard, form equal equilateral triangles, one ball being in the center, and six at equal distances from that, and from each other; and thus they represent particles of air.
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Without this attraction it would not remain round the body, but dissipate in the air.
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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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Its pores are filled with it as full as the mutual repellency of the particles will admit; and what is already in, refuses, or strongly repels, any additional quantity.
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Thus the particles of electrical fluid belonging to the inside surface go in and out of their pores every stroke given to the tube.
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Translated from the original Italian, composed by the Royal Academy of Sciences at Naples, by Order of the King of the Two Sicilies.