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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 214

be believed, and secondly, the witnesses by which
God intended to prove them to the world. An august phalanx they are
too! consisting of all the prophets and apostles. “They all bear
witness of him.” Suppose we could see them standing in a long rank,
and among the most distinguished we could see Enoch, Elijah and the
venerable Abraham. We could place our eyes upon the great commander of
the hosts of the Israel of God, and the mighty law-giver, who feared
and trembled, in the midst of thunderings and smoke at Mount Sinai,
viz. Moses.—We look again and behold Samuel, Isaiah, Daniel and
Ezekiel. Passing the lesser prophets, we behold the commanding face and
hear the voice of John the Baptist. Still gazing we behold Peter, James
and Paul and last of all the eye rests upon the venerable John. We then
pause, and reflect upon the tears, the poverty, nakedness, hunger,
thirst, stripes, imprisonments and deaths through which these men
passed and inquire what was all this suffering for? The fact re-echoes
back upon us in the awful and sublime sentence: “For the word of God
and the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Did they thus suffer on this
account? They did. Could they have been anything else but faithful men?
Surely not. They must have been the most sincere and solemn men the
world ever produced: Well could they have been mistaken. Impossible.
The things concerning which they bore witness they SAW and HEARD. “We
were with him in Jerusalem, in the land of the Jews, and _saw him_
after he rose from the dead.” We say then emphatically that they could
not have been insincere nor mistaken, and what they said must have been
infallibly true.


Awakened sinners feel that they must do something, but they see, or
think they see, some “lion in the street”—some difficulty in the path
which they have marked out to Christ, which prevents them from finding
the Savior in the pardon of their sins. The chief reason, perhaps, why
every inquirer does not rejoice in a felt sense of God’s pardoning
love, is, that they seek in their own way. They endeavor to arise and
“go to Jesus,” in their own strength. No sinner ever did find Christ,
seeking thus. He must first arrive at the point where he can feel his
own helplessness, before Christ will help him. When he does realize
this helplessness, then God will meet him and give him the new heart.

Would you know, then, what you must do to be saved? The essence of

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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 1
Stuber of Philadelphia.
Page 3
216 Opinions and conjectures, concerning the properties and effects of the electrical matter, and the means of preserving buildings, ships, &c.
Page 23
The time which I devoted to these exercises, and to reading, was the evening after my day's labour was finished, the morning before it began, and Sundays when I could escape attending divine service.
Page 32
I was surprised at receiving so much: I took them, however, and having no room in my pockets, I walked on with a roll under each arm, eating the third.
Page 56
He had formerly been in business at Bristol, but failing, he compounded with his creditors, and departed for America, where, by assiduous application as a merchant, he acquired in a few years a very considerable fortune.
Page 67
He also became surveyor-general.
Page 103
They murdered all whom they found, and amongst others the chief Shaheas, who had been always distinguished for his friendship to the whites.
Page 111
All the arguments urged in favour of negro slavery, are applied with equal force to justify the plundering and enslaving of Europeans.
Page 146
If the air was not much loaded, it only falls in dews on the mountain tops and sides, forms springs, and descends to the vales in rivulets, which, united, make larger streams and rivers.
Page 186
_ Would not a thin plane of brimstone, cast on a board, serve on occasion as a cushion, while a globe of leather stuffed (properly mounted) might receive the fire from the sulphur, and charge the conductor positively? Such a globe would be in no danger of breaking[64].
Page 195
For the bur round the outside of the hole, is the effect of the explosion every way from the centre of the stream, and not an effect of the direction.
Page 232
[Illustration: (of the experiment below) _Plate II.
Page 244
It was a curious enquiry of yours, Whether the electricity of the air, in clear dry weather, be of the same density at the height of two or three hundred yards, as near the surface of the earth; and I am glad you made the experiment.
Page 265
--If one end is held in the hand, and the other a little elevated above the level, a constant succession of large bubbles proceeds from the end in the hand to the other end, making an appearance that puzzled me much, till I found that the space not filled with water was also free from air, and either filled with a subtle invisible vapour continually rising from the water, and extremely rarefiable by the least heat at one end, and condensable again by the least coolness at the other; or it is the very fluid of fire itself, which parting from the hand pervades the glass, and by its expansive force depresses the water till it can pass between it and the glass, and escape to the other end, where it gets through the glass again into the air.
Page 276
Page 283
9thly, An electric shock passing through a needle in a like position, and dilating it for an instant, renders it, for the same reason, a permanent magnet; that is, not by imparting magnetism to it, but by allowing its proper magnetic fluid to put itself in motion.
Page 292
_ "On voit, par le détail de cette lettre, que le fait est assez bien constaté pour ne laisser aucun doute à ce sujet.
Page 298
This makes me think the Abbé has mistook, when he says, that there is no difference between the shock felt in performing the Leyden experiment, and the pricking felt on drawing simple sparks, except that of greater to less.
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248, 325.