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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 248

was not the same as the
answer of Ananias, to Saul, of Tarsus, and the answer to Saul was not
the same as the answer of Paul, to the Philippian jailer, and gave the
reason for the difference. But that was not a difference between _then_
and _now_, but difference in view of the difference in the conditions
of persons at the _same time_. The same difference is observed now,
by all intelligent preachers, where they find the difference in the
conditions of persons. If a man is a believer, they do not command him
to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.” If he has repented, they do not
command him to repent. Or, if he has been immersed, they do not command
him to be immersed; but to go on and unite with others who have been
immersed into Christ, and observe all things, whatever the Lord has
commanded. But attention to this is no difference between _then_ and
_now_, nor did the preacher, thirty years ago, fail to observe this
difference, any more than now. On the contrary, the preachers then
generally understood this better than the preachers do now.

We noticed the articles in question, carefully, to see the difference
in the condition of things _now_, demanding the different treatment,
but in vain; we did not see it. The plain state of the case is, that
there is no _general difference_, and we now need the _same gospel_,
presented in the _same manner_, as they needed then. Preaching always
did take better effect, when presented in a pleasant manner, than when
presented in an abrupt and repulsive manner. This we knew thirty years
ago, as well as we know it now. All that can be truthfully said about
this, opens the way for no change—no _new departure_. Whatever was
then true in this respect, is true now. A good and acceptable _manner_
in presenting the gospel was appreciated then as much as it is now, and
was of precisely the same value. It was understood then as well as it is
now, that every improvement in manner had its value, and more attention
was given to the _matter_ then, than now. There was then more sound
preaching and teaching, than there is now, and less that was unsound.

We need solid and sound men now, faithful and true, not to preach
something different, but _the same_, not in a different _manner_ from
what we had thirty years ago, but in the _same manner_; not to _undo_
what has been done by the labors of the holy men of the past fifty

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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 50
Sir Hans Sloane hearing of it, called upon me, and invited me to his house in Bloomsbury-square, where, after showing me every thing that was.
Page 55
I was once permitted to visit her.
Page 74
She brought me for answer, that they had no such sum at their disposal.
Page 107
But this only tended to aggravate.
Page 117
shall be again let out to fresh borrowers.
Page 130
Though, as in _Experiment_ VI, a man standing on wax may be electrised a number of times by repeatedly touching the wire of an electrised bottle (held in the hand of one standing on the floor) he receiving the fire from the wire each time: yet holding it in his own hand, and touching the wire, though he draws a strong spark, and is violently shocked, no electricity remains in him; the fire only passing through him, from the upper to the lower part of the bottle.
Page 132
The _abounding_ of fire in one of the hooks (or rather in the internal surface of one bottle) being exactly equal to the _wanting_ of the other: and therefore, as each bottle has in itself the _abounding_ as well as the _wanting_, the wanting and abounding must be equal in each.
Page 179
--Theorem concerning Light.
Page 196
--However, as the quantity of lightning discharged in one stroke, cannot well.
Page 213
Jealousy and envy deny the merit or the novelty of your invention; but vanity, when the novelty and merit are established, claims it for its own.
Page 219
To try this, let a wire be fixed perpendicularly on the plate of an air pump, having a leaden ball on its upper end; let another wire, passing through the top of a receiver, have on each end a leaden ball; let the leaden balls within the receiver, when put on the air pump, be within two or three inches of each other: the receiver being exhausted, the spark given from a charged phial to the upper wire will pass through rarefied air, nearly approaching to a vacuum, to the lower wire, and I suppose in a right line, or nearly so; the small portion of air remaining in the receiver, which cannot be entirely exhausted, may possibly cause it to deviate a little, but perhaps not sensibly, from a right line.
Page 247
A strip of tinfoil, three inches long, a quarter of an inch wide at one end, and tapering all the way to a sharp point at the other, fixed between two pieces of glass, and having the electricity of a large glass jar sent through it, will not be discomposed in the broadest part; towards the middle will appear melted in spots; where narrower, it will be quite melted; and about half an inch of it next the point will be reduced to smoke.
Page 258
Page 290
C'est dans cette vue que j'ai mis mon tabouret sous la guérite, & que j'avois fait courber ma verge de fer à angles aigus; afin que l'eau qui pourroit couler le long de cette verge, ne pût arriver jusques sur le tabouret.
Page 292
Le porteur m'a assuré de vive voix qu'il avoit tiré pendant près d'un quart-d'heure avant que M.
Page 295
this surface, I say, appeared rather better electrised thereby, and more proper to produce all the effects of an actual electric body.
Page 308
draws electricity from the clouds, 428.
Page 311
common in America, i.
Page 315
language, innovations.
Page 339
_Thunder_ and lightning, how caused, i.