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

By Benjamin Franklin

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under the eyes
of the apostles. Whole churches will turn away and go to nothing, and
the names of some men will stand ingloriously connected with these
ruins. The first churches the Lord established have long since been
buried in ruins, but the men who spread the desolation will not be
overlooked in the eternal judgment. They will there receive their last
notoriety. The Lord has not raised the building now standing on the
rock, in vain, but to stand the pillar and support of the truth. The
main body understand that they have entered into covenant with God, and
that they are bound by all the honor that is in them to maintain every
inch of ground they have gained. There is, we believe, salt enough in
this body to preserve it. It has the power and Spirit of God in it; and
God will hold it up and perpetuate it when men who have it not will
be forgotten. By the grace of God it will stand till the Lord comes.
Let us labor to “present it to him a glorious church, without spot or
wrinkle, or any such thing.”


There are two senses in which things are ascribed to God. 1. When
he _does things_ directly, as in the work of creation. 2. When he
_permits_ things to be done. In this latter sense God _raised up_ and
hardened Pharaoh. It is simply in the sense of _permission_—permitted
him to _rise up_ and _be hardened_. The hardening is also ascribed
to Pharaoh. He _hardened himself_. This was the direct act. He did
it. When the holy writer is looking at the providence of God, in
permitting him to rise up into power, and assigning a reason for it,
the explanation is made, that it was done to make known his power in
all the earth. This is the sense in which God raises up kings and other
rulers, that are bad, and uses them as vessels fitted for destruction.
He permits them to rule and rule badly, do wickedly; oppress the
people, as vessels of dishonor and wrath, making them examples to all
the earth, in their overthrow and utter ruin, to teach other rulers and
the people that they are all in the hands of the Lord.

The judgments of God have two different results on men, either, on the
one hand, to subdue the heart and lead to repentance, or to harden the
heart and lead to greater deeds of cruelty and oppression. When the
holy writer speaks of it, in view of the case where men

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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 1
Franklin tells us in his Life, when he was an assiduous imitator of Addison; and a pamphlet, entitled Plain Truth, with which he is said to have commenced his political career as a writer.
Page 16
At ten years of age, I was called home to assist my father in his occupation, which was that of a soap-boiler and tallow-chandler; a business to which he had served no apprenticeship, but which he embraced on his arrival in New England, because he found his own, that of dyer, in too little request to enable him to maintain his family, I was accordingly employed in cutting the wicks, filling the moulds, taking care of the shop, carrying messages, &c.
Page 91
Not long after, he entered on the study of physic; and the zeal with which he pursued it, and the advances he made, gave his friends reason to form the most flattering prospects of his future eminence and usefulness in the profession.
Page 97
But, on the other hand, it must be admitted, that the restriction laid by Great Britain upon our commerce, obliging us to sell our produce to her citizens only, and to take from them various articles, of which, as our manufactures were discouraged, we stood in need, at a price greater than that for which they could have been obtained from other nations, must inevitably produce dissatisfaction, even though no duties were imposed by the parliament; a circumstance which might still have taken place.
Page 102
Some experiments on the cold produced by evaporation, made by Dr.
Page 147
In the cohesion they shake off and drop their water, which represents rain.
Page 159
On the top of some high tower or steeple, place a kind of centry-box (as in FIG.
Page 169
If you offer a quantity to one end of a long rod of metal, it receives it, and when it enters, every particle that was before in the rod pushes its neighbour quite to the farther end, where the overplus is discharged; and.
Page 191
farther trials and observations; yet Mr.
Page 227
Read at the Royal Society, Dec.
Page 231
The kite had three metalline points fixed to it: one on the top, and one on each side.
Page 235
West further informed me, that a person of undoubted veracity assured him, that, being in the door of an opposite house, on the other side of Water-street (which you know is but narrow) he saw the lightning diffused over the pavement, which was then very wet with rain, to the distance of two or three yards from the foot of the conductor; and that another person of very good credit told him, that he being a few doors off on the other side of the street, saw the lightning above, darting in such direction that it appeared to him to be directly over that pointed rod.
Page 237
_ _London, Feb.
Page 244
The difference was easily discovered by his cork balls, as he passed out of one room into another.
Page 269
To explain this, it is supposed, that one reason of the sudden effect produced by a long naked pointed wire is, that (by the repulsive power of the positive charge in the prime conductor) the natural quantity of electricity contained in the pointed wire is driven down into the earth, and the point of the wire made strongly _negative_; whence it attracts the electricity of the prime conductor more strongly than bodies in their natural state would do; the _small quantity of common matter_ in the point, not being able by its attractive force to retain its _natural quantity of the electric fluid_, against the force of that repulsion.
Page 287
Page 296
The Abbé says, _p.
Page 325
_ reasons for proposing the experiment on, 304.
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_ expands when boiling, _ib.