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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 310

the gospel, the
ancient gospel, preached in its purity and simplicity, as the only
means of saving man. It will save men. It is the power of God to save
men. We realize this more and more every year. The blessing of the
Lord is attending every man who has faith in Christ, in his word, and
preaches the gospel honestly.

But we know that those brethren who oppose us in this, are wrong, for
the following reasons:

1. The Lord never said that their theories upon any subject, were the
power of God unto salvation to anybody, either Jew or Greek.

2. The apostles never preached in their style.

3. They convert nobody when they do preach.

4. The church dies under their preaching in every instance.

Brethren, have all confidence in the gospel of your salvation; preach
it, advocate it, propagate it; perpetuate and hand it down to the
future generations. We have all confidence in it; expect to lean upon
it while living and when dying. “We commend you to God and to the
word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and give you an
inheritance among all them who are sanctified,” said an old saint, when
leaving a church, and when assuring the disciples that they should see
his face no more. The gospel will live; and, those who have confidence
in it, love it, preach it, and practice it, will live co-existent with
the years of God.


Human language, perfect or imperfect, is the only medium through which
a revelation to man ever was or ever can be made. We do not claim
for the _medium_ that it is perfect, but the _revelation itself_ is
perfect. The imperfection of language and instability form the occasion
for new translations and revisions. Revelation, when first given to
man, was perfect and the language employed to convey it to the mind
of man answered the purpose. In the providence of God, the original
languages through which revelation was made died, and consequently
ceased to change. But, in the very nature of things, a living language
is always changing. The circumstance, however, that language is
an imperfect vehicle through which to convey divine things, is no
objection to the divine things thus conveyed to us. It maybe a reason
why our knowledge of revelation will never be perfect in this life;
but certainly no reason why revelation itself shall be considered
imperfect. It may be alleged that revelation to man is more difficult
on account of the imperfection and instability of language; but the
same difficulty lies in the

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

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On the edge of the wheel is a small leaden bullet communicating by a wire with the gilding of the _upper_ surface of the wheel; and about six inches from it is another bullet communicating in like manner with the _under_ surface.
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Part of the gilding torn off, is also found forcibly driven into the hole made in the paper by the stroke.
Page 20
We are surprized at the account given in Mr _Watson_'s book, of a shock communicated through a great space of dry ground, and suspect there must be some metaline quality in the gravel of that ground; having found that simple dry earth, rammed in a glass tube, open at both ends, and a wire hook inserted in the earth at each end, the earth and wires making part of a circle, would not conduct the least perceptible shock, and indeed when one wire was electrify'd, the other hardly showed any signs of its being in connection with it.
Page 25
Take two round pieces of pasteboard two inches diameter; from the center and circumference of each of them suspend by fine silk threads eighteen inches long, seven small balls of wood, or seven peas equal in bigness; so will the balls appending to each pasteboard, form equal equilateral triangles, one ball being in the center, and six at equal distances from that, and from each other; and thus they represent particles of air.
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As electrified clouds pass over a country, high hills and high trees, lofty towers, spires, masts of ships, chimneys, _&c.
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And a curious observer, who lived 13 years at _Bermudas_, says, there was less thunder there in that whole time than he has sometimes heard in a month at _Carolina_.
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Hence the appearing divergency in a stream of electrified effluvia.
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and it will receive from the wire a quantity of the electrical fluid; but will not imbibe it,.
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From the middle of the stand, let an iron rod rise and pass bending out of the door, and then upright 20 or 30 feet, pointed very sharp at the end.
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But when this is done, there is no more in the glass, nor less than before, just as much having left it on one side as it received on the other.
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more of this electrical fluid than other common matter: That when it is blown, as it cools, and the particles of common fire leave it, its pores become a vacuum: That the component parts of glass are extremely small and fine, I guess from its never showing a rough face when it breaks, but always a polish; and from the smallness of its particles I suppose the pores between them must be exceeding small, which is the reason that Aqua-fortis, nor any other menstruum we have, can enter to separate them and dissolve the substance; nor is any fluid we know of, fine enough to enter, except common fire, and the electrical fluid.
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Let us now see how it will account for several other appearances.
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I likewise put into a phial, instead of water,.
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For if it was fine enough to come with the electrical fluid through the body of one person, why should it stop on the skin of another? But I shall never have done, if I tell you all my conjectures, thoughts, and imaginations, on the nature and operations of this electrical fluid, and relate the variety of little experiments we have try'd.
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Containing Remarks, with practical Observations, on Tumours of the Gall Bladder, on the Thigh, and the Trachea Arteria; on the Use of the Trepan; of Wounds in the Brain, Exfoliation of the Cranium, Cases of pregnant Women, faulty Anus in new born Children, Abscesses in the Fundament, Stones encysted in the Bladder, Obstructions to the Ejaculation of the Semen, an inverted Eyelid, extraneous Bodies retained in the Oesophagus, discharged through Abscesses; of Bronchotomy, Gastrotomy, native Hare-lips; of the Caesarean Operation; a new Method of extracting the Stone from the Bladder, on a Cancer of the Breast, an elastic Truss for Hernias, remarkable Hernias of the Stomach, and through the Foramen Ovale.