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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 244

consciousness. See Matt. xvii. 1-4; Mark ix.
2-4; Luke ix. 28-30. The rich man died, and in _hades_ he lifted up
his eyes in torment. See Luke xvi. 23. He did not lose his identity,
individuality or consciousness. Nor is there any account of his
existence being such as he had before he was born. Nor did Lazarus
lose his identity, individuality or consciousness. These men were both
identified, conscious, and retained their individuality. They were not
in the same place or state, though both were in _hades_. There was a
great gulf between them—the one in Abraham’s bosom, and the other in

We are not to assume that, because we find _soul_ and _spirit_ used
interchangeably in some instances, they always mean the same, much less
that they always mean life. When Paul prays that the “whole spirit and
soul and body be preserved blameless,” he does not use the words soul
and spirit in the same sense, any more than he uses the words soul and
the body in the same sense. He does not use the spirit, soul and body,
in the same sense, or as meaning the _same thing_, but each having its
own meaning. The word soul is used with more latitude than the word
spirit. The word _soul_ is frequently used in the sense of _person_, as
“the soul that sinneth shall die;” “eight souls were saved in the ark,”
and other cases. The word soul is used in the sense of _life_, in some
instances. But it is used synonymously with spirit, in the following:
“Are not able to kill the soul.” Matt. x. 28. Man can kill the body and
the natural life, but the soul or spirit, man can not kill. The living
being that dwells in the body, or the “inner man,” does not die when
the body dies. This “inner man” may be “at home in the body, or absent
from the body and present with the Lord.” This “inner man” may be
caught away to paradise, in the body or out of the body. But we cannot
go into the discussion of these matters, now.

We do not receive the idea of men losing their identity, individuality
or consciousness; the transmigration of the soul, or the pre-existence
of the soul; nor the atheistic idea that “death is an eternal sleep.”
We can find better, and certainly more profitable themes than these, on
which to dwell, both in our meditations, preaching and writing. Let us
be careful and not get out where the water is too deep—we might find
it over our heads.


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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 2
_ _April 7, 1806.
Page 6
--Sentiments of Franklin on pointed rods, not fully understood in Europe.
Page 32
I stepped into it to take a draught of the river water; and finding myself satisfied with my first roll, I gave the other two to a woman and her child, who had come down the river with us in the boat, and.
Page 41
Before he could turn himself, we were able, by a few strokes of our oars, to place ourselves out of his reach; and whenever he touched the boat, we asked him if he would row striking his hands at the same time with the oars, to make him let go his hold.
Page 47
Having taken leave of my friends, and interchanged promises of fidelity with Miss Read, I quitted Philadelphia.
Page 57
I had, notwithstanding this, a regard for him, as he possessed many amiable qualities.
Page 95
Considerable sums were subscribed; but they were still short of what was necessary.
Page 120
--Counterfeit Spider.
Page 124
--We fire spirits with the wire of the phial.
Page 150
Besides what arise from the earth, such vapours are sent out by stacks of moist hay, corn, or other vegetables, which heat and reek.
Page 153
If more is added, it lies without upon the surface, and forms what we call an electrical atmosphere; and then the body is said to be electrified.
Page 177
If any portion of electric matter is applied to a piece of conducting matter, it penetrates and flows through it, or spreads equally on its surface; if applied to a piece of non-conducting matter, it will do neither.
Page 181
I can make an electrical spark as big as the flame of a candle, much brighter, and, therefore, visible further; yet this is without fuel; and, I am persuaded, no part of the electric fluid flies off in such case to distant places, but all goes directly, and is to be found in the place to which I destine it.
Page 186
19, 1752.
Page 197
These, as so many stepping-stones, assist in conducting a stroke between the cloud and a building.
Page 210
Subsisting in water or ice.
Page 230
is founded, may be well enough accounted for without it.
Page 303
_ _Alphabet_, a new one proposed, ii.
Page 307
_Campaign_ in America, account of the first, iii.
Page 324
_Landing_ in a surf, supposed practicable, how, ii.