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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 63

have the pagan nations been trying what they could do
for our race without a revelation from God. In all the experiments yet
made, with no guide but reason and the light of nature, the tendency
has been downward. Deterioration has been the universal result, without
the light of the Bible. We then, cling to the Bible, and the religion
it reveals, as the only hope of the world. If it fails, all must fail,
and all must be lost. But it is folly of the most stupid order to speak
of the Bible failing. Its Author is emphatically _the friend of man_.
Its holy lessons are all for our good. All who have been led by it, are
thankful they ever knew it. It has never deceived one or misled one. No
one has ever lamented being led by it. The more solemn and affecting
the circumstances around us, and the greater the trials in which we are
placed, the more comforting and precious are its holy consolations to
the soul. It encourages all that is good; discourages and condemns all
that is evil. It is our guide and comfort through the journey of life;
nor does it fail when we are sinking in death. No one who believed
it before, in a dying hour denies and repudiates the Bible. But many
determined infidels have recanted and repudiated their infidelity when
sinking into the eternal state. That which they talked in health, that
which dwelt upon their tongues in their mad career through life, they
themselves condemned, in the most awful and solemn moments of life,
and with their dying lips repudiated. How shameful and preposterous,
that a man should live such a life of folly and inconsistency as to
be compelled in his dying moments to condemn all his past life, with
all the sentiments he had cherished and inculcated, and warn all men
against them!


The question is not whether men will receive us, our doctrines, our
views, our church, or “the Reformation,” or “Reformation doctrines”
but whether they will receive him whom the Father hath sent, love him,
follow him, place themselves under him, obey him, and trust in him
forever. He is the center of all union, all love, and all piety. Upon
him, all who love him, have received him and desire to follow him,
being led by his voice, may unite. Having received him, been identified
with him, as a matter of course, we receive all who have been received
by him, are united with and love them, as members of the

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

Page 0
In view of the difficulty of reliably distinguishing 18th-century variant spellings from typographical errors, the text has been reproduced entirely as printed.
Page 3
The shock to the nerves (or convulsion rather) is occasion'd by the sudden passing of the fire through the body in its way from the top to the bottom of the bottle.
Page 8
We had for some time been of opinion, that the electrical fire was not created by friction, but collected, being really an element diffus'd among, and attracted by other matter, particularly by water and metals.
Page 9
We suppose as aforesaid, that electrical fire is a common element, of which every one of the three persons abovementioned has his equal share, before any operation is begun with the Tube.
Page 13
the bottle by one part, and did not enter in again by another; then, if a man standing on wax, and holding the bottle in one hand, takes the spark by touching the wire hook with the other, the bottle being thereby _discharged_, the man would be _charged_; or whatever fire was lost by one, would be found in the other, since there is no way for its escape: But the contrary is true.
Page 17
On the principle, in s 7, that hooks of bottles, differently charged, will attract and repel differently, is made, an electrical wheel, that turns with considerable strength.
Page 21
But on taking out the electrical fire, they close again.
Page 25
The electrified particles of the first cloud close when they lose their fire; the particles of the other cloud close in receiving it: in both, they have thereby an opportunity of coalescing into drops.
Page 28
Thus spirits must be heated before we can fire them by the electrical spark.
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Suspend them by silk lines from the ceiling.
Page 33
And likewise the portion included in K, B, C, L, has B, C, to rest on; and so on the other side of the figure.
Page 34
Page 35
This large metallic surface supports a much greater electrical atmosphere than a rod of iron of 50 times the weight would do.
Page 36
But if a needle be stuck on the end of the punch, its point upwards, the scale, instead of drawing nigh to the punch and snapping, discharges its fire silently through the point, and rises higher from the punch.
Page 40
Were these two points perfectly equal in acuteness, the leaf would take place exactly in the middle space, for its Weight is a trifle, compared to the power acting on it: But it is generally nearest the unelectrified plate, because, when the leaf is offered to the electrified plate at a distance, the sharpest point is commonly first affected and raised towards it; so that point, from its greater acuteness, receiving the fluid faster than its opposite can discharge it at equal distances, it retires from the electrified plate, and draws nearer to the unelectrified plate, till it comes to a distance where the discharge can be exactly equal to the receipt, the latter being lessened, and the former encreased; and there it remains as long as the globe continues to supply fresh electrical matter.
Page 44
But I suppose farther, that in the cooling of the glass, its texture becomes closest in the middle, and forms a kind of partition, in which the pores are so narrow, that the particles of the electrical fluid, which enter both surfaces at the same time, cannot go through, or pass and repass from one surface to the other, and so mix together; yet, though the particles of electrical fluid, imbibed by each surface, cannot themselves pass through to those of the other, their repellency can, and by this means they act on one another.
Page 47
And, 2dly, that the electrical fire freely removes from place to place, in and through the substance of a non-electric, but not so through the substance of glass.
Page 50
Thus the bottle is charged with its own fire, no other being to be had while the glass plate is under the cushion.
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