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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 247

borne by the angels to the
shepherds of Bethlehem, in the last commission, in the same sense
that it was in Christ. But it was not put in due form for mankind to
confess, receive and place themselves under it. The same that was in
the “eternal purpose” of God, in the promise, in the good news of
great joy and in the commission, was in the announcement, “This is my
Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased,” in the confession of
Peter, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” the same that
John testified that we might believe, when he said, “These things are
written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of
God,” or that God uttered in the mountain when he gave him honor and
glory, or the same is contained in any one of these that is contained
in “the gospel.” Any one of these expressions, and many others that
could be maintained, contain christianity in its concentrated, embodied
or constitutional form. These all embrace Christ. All christianity
centers in him, comes from him and is authorized by him. Through the
holy witnesses of Jesus, men are made acquainted with Christ, convinced
that he is a divine person, the Son of God and the Savior of the
world; and, in the confession, receive him as their only Leader. This
is simply receiving christianity in its constitutional form, without
having examined its details or knowing what they are. We do not,
therefore, read christianity through, sitting in judgment, as we do, a
merely human composition, noticing every expression to see whether it
is good or true. When we become acquainted with the Author, find him
sent from God, declared his Son in his resurrection from the dead,
divine and infallible, we place ourselves under him, and receive his
holy instructions implicitly, only wishing to know that they are from

Christianity, therefore, in its embodied, or constitutional form,
embraces christianity in its details. “The faith once delivered to
the saints,” is simply christianity, the complete system as the Lord
gave it. All who have confessed Christ intelligently, have received
christianity, committed themselves to it. This is “the faith,” that
which is to be advocated, maintained and defended. The man who has
received it with the whole heart, practices it, and enjoys it, is a
christian. The requirement of heaven resting upon him is, to earnestly
contend for the faith, advocate, maintain and defend it.


We showed from the pulpit, fully thirty years ago, that the answer
of Peter to the three thousand on Pentecost,

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

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If you would have the whole filletting round the cover appear in fire at once, let the bottle and wire touch the gold in the diagonally opposite corners.
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--If a cork-ball so suspended be repelled by the tube, and a point be presented quick to it, tho' at a considerable distance, 'tis surprizing to see how suddenly it flies back to the tube.
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But the spring.
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We judged then, that it must either be lost in decanting, or.
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remain in the first bottle.
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Every particle of matter electrified is repelled by every other particle equally electrified.
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Common fire joined with air, increases the repulsion, enlarges the triangles, and thereby makes the air specifically lighter.
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The electrified particles of the first cloud close when they lose their fire; the particles of the other cloud close in receiving it: in both, they have thereby an opportunity of coalescing into drops.
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When part of this natural proportion of electrical fluid, is taken out of a piece of common matter, the triangles formed by the remainder, are supposed to widen by the mutual repulsion of the parts, until they occupy the whole piece.
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it, from a large electrified jar or sheet of glass.
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When the upper plate is electrified, the leaf is attracted and raised towards it, and would fly to that plate were it not for its own points.
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The quantities of this fluid in each surface being equal, their repelling action on each other is equal; and therefore those of one surface cannot drive out those of the other: but, if a greater quantity is forced into one.
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The surface that has been thus emptied by having its electrical fluid driven out, resumes again an equal quantity with violence, as soon as the glass has an opportunity to discharge that over-quantity more than it could retain by attraction in its other surface, by the additional repellency of which the vacuum had been occasioned.
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Another chain was fix'd to the prime conductor, and held in the hand of a person to be electrised.
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And indeed, as that smell so readily leaves the electrical matter, and adheres to the knuckle receiving the sparks, and to other things; I suspect that it never was connected with it, but arises instantaneously from something in the air acted upon by it.
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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.