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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 283

then, no infants in these households, and nothing
particularly strange about that. The writer has baptized many
households and never baptized an infant.


“That servant who knew his Lord’s will, and prepared not himself,
neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.”
See Luke xii. 47. From this language there is no escape. If the men of
whom we speak, say, they are not servants, then they will be condemned
for refusing to be his servants. There can be no middle ground, no
neutral ground. “He who is not for us is against us,” says the Lord.
We are not simply to do some benevolent deeds favorable to the Lord,
or to his cause, but we must be on his side, belong to him, be his;
identified with him; one with him, so that his cause is our cause, and
his will is our will. But to the mystery again: How can it be, that a
man can love the Savior, his people and cause, so as to defend them,
give his money to aid them, have confidence in them, and be pleased
with their work; but decide to stand, in relation with their enemies,
in the same state with them, and not in relation with the Lord and with
his people; in the same state with them?

What a fearful thing it is to be _against the Lord_, and to encounter
his terrible sentence: “Shall be beaten with many stripes.” Why should
a man stand in such a condition a single day? We see not how a man
could rest for an hour with such a responsibility on his soul! Why
should any man not be willing? nay, more, why should he not _seek_ to
place himself under the guidance of Him who is so wise that he can not
err, and so good that he will do all things well? What a blessedness
for man, that he can have infallible wisdom to guide him, and almighty
power to save him! How can it be possible for any well disposed man
to stand aloof from the Lord and from his divine arrangement for our
happiness, and trust to his own wisdom and his own strength, when
he could have the wisdom and power of God pledged for his security?
Why not come to the Lord; let his kind hand lead, and his gracious
providence guide in the way of life everlasting.

There were old men, too old to be on the muster roll, and boys too
young, the history informs us, who fought in the

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 of 2] With his Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

Page 7
Hewson 166 To David Hartley 167 To Dr.
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_Inscribed to Miss * * * *, being written at her request_ As a great part of our life is spent in sleep, during which we have sometimes pleasant and some times painful dreams, it becomes of some consequence to obtain the one kind and avoid the other, for, whether real or imaginary, pain is pain and pleasure is pleasure.
Page 73
[7] The day you passed that act you took away from before their eyes the greatest of all inducements to industry, frugality, and sobriety, by giving them a dependance on somewhat else than a careful accumulation during youth and health, for support in age or sickness.
Page 79
Notwithstanding this, I can give you the strongest assurances that the women of America make the most faithful wives and the most attentive mothers in the world; and I am sure you will join me in opinion, that if a married man is made miserable only _one_ week in a whole year, he will have no great cause to complain of the matrimonial bond.
Page 86
About the time I first addressed my present spouse, her father gave out in speeches that, if she married a man he liked, he would give with her two hundred pounds in cash on the day of marriage.
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" * * * * * "_To Mr.
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" * * * * * "_To Francis Hopkinson.
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_ "Philadelphia, May 6, 1786.
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29, 1788.
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_ "Philadelphia, June 3, 1789.
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When other buildings happen to be within the striking distance from such clouds, the fluid passes in the walls, whether of wood, brick, or stone, quitting the walls only when it can find better conductors near them, as metal rods, bolts, and hinges of windows or doors, gilding on wainscot or frames of pictures, the silvering on the backs of looking-glasses, the wires for bells, and the bodies of animals, as containing watery fluids.
Page 200
As soon as any of the thunder-clouds come over the kite, the pointed wire will draw the electric fire from them, and the kite, with all the twine, will be electrified, and the loose filaments of the twine will stand out every way, and be attracted by an approaching finger.
Page 202
But cold condenses and renders visible the vapour: a tankard or decanter filled with cold water will condense the moisture of warm, clear air on its outside, where it becomes visible as dew, coalesces into drops, descends in little streams.
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Hence gusts after heats, and hurricanes in hot climates.
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I ought to have written to you long since, in answer to yours of October 16, concerning the water-spout; but business partly, and partly a desire of procuring farther information by inquiry among my seafaring acquaintance, induced me to postpone writing, from.
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Hence, when salt rises, as it will a little way, into air with water, there is.
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Superficial minds are apt to despise those who make that part of the creation their study as mere triflers; but certainly the world has been much obliged to them.
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"Again, he was self-taught in all he knew.