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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 97

him to come declaring that he receives Christ as a
Trinitarian or Unitarian, a Calvinist or an Arminian, but to come with
a contrite spirit, avowing it as the desire of the heart, and his
full determination, to receive Christ with all his heart, as God has
revealed him in the prophecies of the Old Testament and the apostolic
preaching of the New.

The advocate of a human creed says, he wants his creed to “show at a
glance what we hold!” Look over your creed, then, right carefully, and
see _what you hold_, and look over the New Testament with the same
care, and see what an amount it contains that _you do not hold_, or
that is not in your creed, and you will see that your creed is not a
respectable skeleton—that it not only lacks the flesh, blood, muscles,
arteries, veins, etc., of the body, but it lacks many of the bones
and, what is vastly more, it lacks the life, the soul, the spirit.
If it contains _what you hold_, much as precious as any part of the
Christian faith, and as binding as any thing God has revealed, clearly
and as explicitly laid down in the New Testament, is not contained in
what you hold at all. Much of as precious truth as is contained in
the Bible, a vast amount as clear to the children of God as anything
contained in the Christian faith, an immense deal as consoling to the
dying saint as any thing in the word of God, as any man who has ever
looked must admit, is not found in any human creed. We say again, and
can prove at almost any length, that there is not a human creed in the
world that is a respectable skeleton, that is even a perceptible shadow
of the Christian faith. Indeed, no creed appears to have been intended
simply to set forth the _Christian faith_. It does not appear to be
the object of any human creed to set forth the simple faith of Christ
or Christianity. None of the creeds claim to be the _Christian faith_,
_the Christian confession_, _Christian discipline or Christian system_,
but one is “The Philadelphia Confession,” another “The Westminster
Confession,” and a third “The Methodist Discipline.” The object of
these books, and all of the same kind, appears to be more to set forth
the views their authors had of certain points of doctrine, or their
notions of these points, than to set forth the whole Christian faith
itself. Their object is much more to show how the parties adopting

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

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_ _The experiments which our author relates are most of them peculiar to himself; they are conducted with judgment, and the inferences from them plain and conclusive; though sometimes proposed under the terms of suppositions and conjectures.
Page 3
From a bent wire (_a_) sticking in the table, let a small linen thread (_b_) hang down within half an inch of the electrised phial (_c_).
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FRANKLIN, in _Philadelphia_.
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In the dark you may see it make the same appearance as it does in the case beforementioned.
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Hence have arisen some new terms among us: we say, _B_, (and bodies like circumstanced) is electrised _positively_; _A_, _negatively_.
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_--We electrise a person twenty or more times running, with a touch of the finger on the wire, thus: He stands on wax.
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_1748.
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Purposing to analyse the electrified bottle, in order to find wherein its strength lay, we placed it on glass, and drew out the cork and wire which for that purpose had been loosely put in.
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The excuse for mentioning it here, is, that we tried the experiment differently, drew different consequences from it, (for Mr _Watson_ still seems to think the fire _accumulated on the non-electric_ that is in contact with the glass, page 72) and, as far as we hitherto know, have carried it farther.
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25.
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There is one experiment more which surprizes us, and is not hitherto satisfactorily accounted for; it is this.
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24.
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Hence a wet rat cannot be killed by the exploding electrical bottle, when a dry rat may.
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But in common matter there is (generally) as much of the electrical, as it will contain within its substance.
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This affords another occasion of adoring that wisdom which has made all things by weight and measure! 11.
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a right angle, the two next obtuse angles, and the lowest a very acute one; and bring this on your plate under the electrified plate, in such a manner as that the right-angled part may be first raised (which is done by covering the acute part with the hollow of your hand) and you will see this leaf take place much nearer to the upper than to the under plate; because, without being nearer, it cannot receive so fast at its right-angled point, as it can discharge at its acute one.
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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.
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surface than the glass would naturally draw in; this increases the repelling power on that side, and overpowering the attraction on the other, drives out part of the fluid that had been imbibed by that surface, if there be any non-electric ready to receive it: such there is in all cases where glass is electrified to give a shock.
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[12] If the tube be exhausted of air, a non electric lining in contact with the wire is not necessary; for _in vacuo_, the electrical fire will fly freely from the inner surface, without a non-electric conductor: but air resists its motion; for being itself an electric _per se_, it does not attract it, having already its quantity.
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1st, That a non-electric easily suffers a change in the quantity of the electrical fluid it contains.