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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 98

held certain points of doctrine, and to distinguish their views from
some others, than to set forth the Christian faith. The creeds, then,
are but little more than epitomes of men’s views of certain points of
Christian doctrine, their abridged understanding of these points. Now,
the belief and reception of _men’s views_ of the Christian faith will
not save any man, much less the belief and reception of _their views
of a few points_ of doctrine; but to be saved, a man must believe and
receive the Christian faith—_the whole Christian faith itself_.


“But we want something binding.” Look then, at the command accompanying
this oracle, or confession, or immediately following it, if you desire
something binding, or authoritative. We allude to the authoritative
utterance, “Hear Him.” God, who made the worlds—God, who rules
among the armies of heaven—who hurled angels down to hell for
disobedience—whose voice shook the earth. God, who holds the destinies
of all the nations in his hand, who “weighs the hills in a balance, and
handles the isles as a very little thing,” in connection with the
revelation of his Son, to all the nations of the earth, with all the
majesty of his authority, says, “HEAR HIM;” give him audience;
regard him; bow to him; follow him; be guided by him; honor and obey
him forever. How utterly futile and insignificant the attempt of puny
and erring mortals to add anything to the great oracle, or confession,
in which is concentrated the whole christian institution, and with
which is connected the authoritative words of the ineffable Jehovah,
“HEAR HIM.” If a man receives the revelation God makes of
his Son, or, rather, if he receives his Son, from the revelation he
has made of him, and bows in submission to him, in accordance with
the command to “Hear Him,” confesses with the mouth before men, what
he believes in the heart, that “Jesus Christ is the Son of God,” and
submits to the Divine test of loyalty, in the requirement to be buried
with his Lord in baptism, while that great formula is uttered over him,
“I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
Holy Spirit,” he gives the highest assurance in his power to give, that
he is changed in heart, that he loves God and will serve him, and is
bound by the strongest pledge, the highest and most solemn obligation
that ever did or ever can bind a human being, to love and serve God. To
add a thousand human ceremonies to this, would give no

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 2 [of 3]

Page 31
Mather's whirl was probably filled with dust, the sides were very dark, but the vacuum within rendering the middle more transparent, he calls it a pillar of light.
Page 43
Water is specifically 850 times heavier than air.
Page 63
That whatever quickens the motion of the fluids in an animal quickens the separation, and reproduces more of the fire; as exercise.
Page 80
_ _Sept.
Page 87
But ought it not (if there were a vis inertiæ) to have not only the force 1 _f_, but an additional force equal to the force of vis inertiæ, that _obstinate power by which a body endeavours with_ all its might _to continue in its present state, whether of motion or rest_? I say, ought there not to be an opposing force equal to the sum of these?--The truth however is, that there is no body, how large soever, moving with any velocity, how great soever, but may be stopped by any opposing force, how small soever,.
Page 122
Is there any possible means of diminishing this resistance, while the same quantity of sail is exposed to the action of the wind, and therefore the same force obtained from it? I think there is, and that it may be done by dividing the sail into a number of parts, and placing those parts in a line one behind the other; thus instead of one sail extending from C to D, figure 2, if four sails containing together the same quantity of canvas, were placed as in figure 3, each having one quarter of the dimensions of the great sail, and exposing a quarter of its surface to the wind, would give a quarter of the force; so that the whole force obtained from the wind would be the same, while the resistance from the air would be nearly reduced to the space between the pricked lines _a b_ and _c d_, before the foremost sail.
Page 133
There is no doubt that the force of the descending water would have a considerable effect, greater in proportion to the height from which it descended; but then it is to be considered, that every bucket-full pumped or dipped up into the boat, from its side or through its bottom, must have its _vis inertiæ_ overcome so as to receive the motion of the boat, before it can come to give motion by its descent; and that will be a deduction from the moving power.
Page 166
The same evening the pilot came on board, and we found our ship about five degrees of longitude a-head of the reckoning, which our captain accounted for by supposing our course to have been near the edge of the gulph stream, and thus an eddy-current always in our favour.
Page 172
Franklin's works.
Page 185
Its inconveniencies are, that people have not even so much sight or use of the fire as in the Holland stoves, and are, moreover, obliged to breathe the same unchanged air continually, mixed with the breath and perspiration from one another's bodies, which is very disagreeable to those.
Page 211
If it can enter far from the fire on each side, or far above the fire in a wide or high opening, it receives little heat in passing by the fire, and the contents of the funnel is by that means less different in levity from the surrounding atmosphere, and its force in drawing consequently weaker.
Page 217
This however did not always succeed; for when the wind was at north-east and blew fresh, the smoke was forced down by fits into the room I commonly sat in, so as to oblige me to shift the fire into another.
Page 220
And as to moist air, here I am at this present writing in a ship with above forty persons, who have had no other but moist air to breathe for six weeks past; every thing we touch is damp, and nothing dries, yet we are all as healthy as we should be on the mountains of Switzerland, whose inhabitants are not more so than those of Bermuda or St.
Page 222
I formerly had a more simple construction, in which the same effect was produced, but visible to the eye (Plate, Figure 7).
Page 268
If ever it was the ambition of musicians to make instruments that should imitate the human voice, that ambition seems now reversed, the voice aiming to be like an instrument.
Page 290
But they often read, as parrots speak, knowing little or nothing of the meaning.
Page 301
in every one of which, the force of extent of territory and fertility of soil is multiplied, or their want compensated by industry and frugality.
Page 353
181, 185.
Page 367
Page 376
ever lost but by foreign conquest, 122.