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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 28

the work of the first
day. What was done on that day was not the same, no matter how we
describe it, as the first act. It was forming, shaping, operating on
material previously brought into existence.

Moses proceeds, “And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of
the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made
the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament
from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And he
called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the
second day.” Here we have the work of the second day, like that of
the first day, forming, fashioning and bringing order out of chaos.
This “firmament,” that God made, and “called Heaven,” is not the same
as mentioned in the first verse, but is included in the words: “The
heavens and the earth.” This is the work of arrangement, ordering, etc.

Then follow the gathering together the waters into one place, and the
bringing to view the dry land, the naming of the dry land, Earth, and
the gathering together of the waters of the seas; the ordering of the
grass, the herb, the fruit-tree upon the earth. This was the work of
the third day. Then comes the ordering the heavenly bodies, the great
lights for day and night, the dividing the light from the darkness,
etc., the work of the fourth day. All this is fashioning, forming,
arranging, ordering, and not creating from nothing. Then follows the
ordering of the waters, to bring forth the fishes, the fowl, and all
the inhabitants of the seas on the fifth day. This is followed by the
ordering the earth to bring forth the cattle, the creeping thing, and
all the lower orders of the inhabitants of the earth, and concludes the
work of the sixth day by the creation of man, or _forming_ him in the
image of God.

We have both the words “made,” and “created,” used and applied to
this work of the six days, where it is manifestly used in the sense
of shaping, forming, fashioning, ordering, arranging, and not in the
sense of the word “created” in the first sentence in the Bible, where
it manifestly means _creating from nothing or bringing into existence_.
This wonderful act of the Infinite One, of bringing into existence the
heaven and the earth—this stupendous universe—may have been performed
an indefinite period of time before the commencement of the work of
the six days described by Moses. In this view there is no

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

Page 0
They were purchased by me from Dodd, Mead & Co.
Page 1
A hollow Globe 12 feet Diameter was formed of what is called in England Oiled Silk, here _Taffetas gomme_, the Silk being impregnated with a Solution of Gum elastic in Lintseed Oil, as is said.
Page 2
No News was heard of it till the next Day, when Information was receiv'd, that it fell a little after 6 aClock, at Gonesse, a Place about 4 Leagues Distance, and that it was rent open, and some say had Ice in it.
Page 3
The great one of M.
Page 4
I waited for it to send it to you, expecting it would be more satisfactory than anything I could write; but it does not appear.
Page 5
Page 6
If those in the Gallery see it likely to descend in an improper Place, they can by throwing on more Straw, & renewing the Flame, make it rise again, and the Wind carries it farther.
Page 7
He informed me that they lit gently without the least Shock, and the Balloon was very little damaged.
Page 8
Beings of a Rank and Nature far superior to ours have not disdained to amuse themselves with making and launching Balloons, otherwise we should never have enjoyed the Light of those glorious objects that rule our Day & Night, nor have had the Pleasure of riding round the Sun ourselves upon the.
Page 9
Being a little indispos'd, & the Air cool, and the Ground damp, I declin'd going into the Garden of the Tuilleries where the Balloon was plac'd, not knowing how long I might be oblig'd to wait there before it was ready to depart; and chose to stay in my Carriage near the Statue of Louis XV.
Page 10
I write this at 7 in the Evening.
Page 11
--I hear farther, that the Travellers had perfect Command of their Carriage, descending as they pleas'd by letting some of the inflammable Air escape, and rising again by discharging some Sand; that they descended over a Field so low as to talk with Labourers in passing and mounted again to pass a Hill.
Page 12
The orthography of the French words in Bigelow and Smyth does not always agree with the copy.
Page 13
" Minor discrepancies between this and the other press-copies and the letters as printed by Bigelow and Smyth also occur.
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