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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 43

The New can not be thoroughly and successfully
studied without the Old, nor the Old without the New.

The popular custom of memorizing and repeating verses in view of prizes
to the most successful, or the study and answer of such questions, as
who was the first man, who was the oldest man, who was the meekest
man, etc., gives us no understanding of the Scriptures. Much of this
is a mere exercise of the memory, and there is nothing in it to make
a pious impression, or give any comprehension of the mind of God. It
appears at times wonderful how many things can be taught, and correctly
enough too, _about_ the Bible, and at the same time keep out of view
entirely the _divine purpose_, the very _import_ and _intention_ of the
wonderful book professedly taught. The eternal purpose of God, running
through the Bible from side to side, as it does through the works of
nature, should be taught and kept in view, not to find any definite
number that will certainly be saved or lost, but to find the Lord’s
Anointed, his gospel and kingdom; a revelation of the mystery, an
unfolding of the secret hid in God from before the beginning of time,
but now made manifest, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according
to the commandment of the everlasting God made known to all nations for
the obedience of faith.


No matter how many go the wrong way, nor how popular they are, nor how
much money they have, the Lord is able to bring them to judgment, and
he will most certainly do it. When the people went away from the temple
and abandoned him, and only a few disciples remained with him, and he
inquired of them: “Will you also go away?” the prospect looked dim, but
the Lord did not change his course. When he expired on the cross the
enemies exulted and triumphed; but their triumph did not last long. “He
was quickened by the Spirit.” God raised him up. “He was justified by
the Spirit.” The armies in heaven were with him. The upper world was in
motion. God vindicated him, as he did all who will listen to him. When
they burned Tyndale at the stake they thought they had put him down;
but, while the names of his persecutors have, with few exceptions, gone
into oblivion, the name of Tyndale is held in esteem by all good men.
The name of Luther will live to the end of time, while the time-servers
who opposed him are

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

Page 4
(This is best done by a vinegar cruet, or some such belly'd bottle).
Page 5
Page 19
Part of the gilding torn off, is also found forcibly driven into the hole made in the paper by the stroke.
Page 20
--Gilding on a new book, though at first it conducts the shock extremely well, yet fails after ten or a dozen experiments, though it appears otherwise in all respects the same, which we cannot account for.
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Page 27
When a wire makes part of the circle, in the explosion of the electrical phial, the fire, though in great quantity, passes in the wire invisibly: but in passing along a chain, it becomes visible as it leaps from link to link.
Page 28
If they are different things, yet they may and do subsist together in the same body.
Page 29
OPINIONS and CONJECTURES, _Concerning the Properties and Effects of the electrical Matter, arising from Experiments and Observations, made in_ Philadelphia, 1749.
Page 30
If more is added, it lies without upon the surface, and forms what we call an electrical atmosphere: and then the body is said to be electrified.
Page 31
Suspend them by silk lines from the ceiling.
Page 37
) big enough to contain a man and an electrical stand.
Page 38
Place one of these strips between two strips of smooth glass that are about the width of your finger.
Page 39
Sometimes the glass breaks to pieces: once the upper glass broke into a thousand pieces, looking like coarse salt.
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But thus it may: after every stroke, before you pass your hand up to make another, let the second person apply his finger to the wire, take the spark, and then withdraw his finger; and so on till he has drawn a number of sparks; thus will the inner surface be exhausted, and the outer surface charged; then wrap a sheet of gilt paper close round the outer surface, and grasping it in your hand you may receive a shock by applying the finger of the other hand to the wire: for now the vacant pores in the inner surface resume their quantity, and the overcharg'd pores in the outer surface discharge that overplus; the equilibrium being restored through your body, which could not be restored through the glass.
Page 49
And indeed, as that smell so readily leaves the electrical matter, and adheres to the knuckle receiving the sparks, and to other things; I suspect that it never was connected with it, but arises instantaneously from something in the air acted upon by it.
Page 50
But if the fire, with which the inside surface is surcharged, be so much precisely as is wanted by the outside surface, it will pass round through the wire fixed to the wax handle, restore the equilibrium in the glass, and make no alteration in the state of the prime conductor.
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The biggest we have killed is a hen.
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[11] Gilt paper, with the gilt face next the glass, does well.