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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 195

This was wielding the sword of the Spirit, the word
of God.

This whole theory about the word being a dead letter, whether so
intended or not, is the very thing to neutralize the gospel, and cause
honest people who believe the gospel, to wait for some immediate power
to do something more for them before they come to God. This very
theory, in the place of being Scriptural, is directly opposed to the
very spirit and intention of the Scriptures, and is, we doubt not,
chargeable with hindering more souls from turning to the Lord and
receiving the salvation of God than all the out-and-out infidelity
in the country. They hear the word of God—the gospel of their
salvation—the power of God to salvation to every one that believe
it, and honestly believe it. They hear the preaching of the cross of
Christ, the wisdom of God and the power of God, and believe it with
their whole hearts; but the preacher says you must wait till the Spirit
makes it effectual, and till the Spirit quickens you and prepares you
to receive it, about which there is not one word in the book of God.


We belong to no _sect_ or _heresy_, no “denomination,” and recognize
none in any sense, only as existing in opposition to the will of
God—in a rebellion against the government of God. We know sects
only as antagonistic powers to the law and kingdom of God. They are
heretical and schismatical, in alienation to each other and to the
kingdom of God. We find them in no complete union on anything of
importance, except in opposing the gospel of Christ. In this they are a
unit. Never did loving brethren more completely unite than they one and
all do in this. One voice sounding out the gospel precisely as preached
by the apostles, and propounding the terms of pardon as they came from
the ambassador of Jesus, to whom he gave the keys of the kingdom of
God, will silence all their jars among themselves, their differences
and disputes, and bring them all around side by side, facing the common
foe. It will call out their confusion of tongues, and the cry, “Lo!
here, and lo there,” will be heard on all hands. The cry is raised.
“To your tents, O Israel! to your tents! Danger! danger! dangerous
doctrine! Do not hear him! Keep away! keep away! He will unsettle your

Why are they all opposed to this? There is a very good reason for it.
It is opposed to all of them. In its

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

Page 0
_ _And indeed the scene he opens, strikes us with a pleasing astonishment, whilst he conducts us by a train of facts and judicious.
Page 1
_ _He exhibits to our consideration, an invisible, subtile matter, disseminated through all nature in various proportions, equally unobserved, and, whilst all those bodies to which it peculiarly adheres are alike charged with it, inoffensive.
Page 3
The fire takes the shortest course, as Mr _Watson_ justly observes: But it does not appear, from experiment, that, in order for a person to be shocked, a communication with the floor is necessary; for he that holds the bottle with one hand, and touches the wire with the other, will be shock'd as much, though his shoes be dry, or even standing on wax, as otherwise.
Page 9
We suppose as aforesaid, that electrical fire is a common element, of which every one of the three persons abovementioned has his equal share, before any operation is begun with the Tube.
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Place two phials equally charged on a table at five or six inches distance.
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--Let the two sets then represent two clouds, the one a sea cloud electrified, the other a land cloud.
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And when we can procure greater electrical sparks, we may be able to fire not only unwarm'd spirits, as lightning does, but even wood, by giving sufficient agitation to the common fire contained in it, as friction we know will do.
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So that A will have a redundance of this fluid, which forms an atmosphere round it, and B an exactly equal deficiency.
Page 34
These explanations of the power and operation of points, when they first occurr'd to me, and while they first floated in my mind, appeared perfectly satisfactory; but now I have wrote them, and consider'd them more closely in black and white, I must own I have some doubts about them: yet as I have at present nothing better to offer in their stead, I do not cross them out: for even a bad solution read, and its faults discover'd, has often given rise to a good one in the mind of an ingenious reader.
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The gold was melted and stain'd into the glass as usual.
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It is true there is an experiment that at first sight would be apt to satisfy a slight observer, that the fire thrown into the bottle by the wire, does really pass thro' the glass.
Page 46
So if a tube lined with a [11]non-electric, be rubb'd, little or no fire is obtained from it.
Page 47
You may lessen its whole quantity by drawing out a part, which the whole body will again resume; but of glass you can only lessen the quantity contain'd in one of its surfaces; and not that, but by supplying an equal quantity at the same time to the other surface; so that the whole glass may always have the same quantity in the two surfaces, their two different quantities being added together.