Benjamin Franklin Representative selections, with introduction, bibliograpy, and notes

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 117


[i-401] _Ibid._, III, 79.

[i-402] _Physico-Theology ..._ (5th ed., London, 1720), 25-6. God's
"exquisite Workmanship" is seen in "every Creature" (p. 27).

[i-403] See _A Discourse of Free-Thinking_ (London, 1713).

[i-404] _Priestcraft in Perfection ..._ (London, 1710).

[i-405] _Writings_, I, 243.

[i-406] A. C. Fraser ed. (Oxford, 1894), II, 425-6.

[i-407] _Ibid._, II, 121. For Locke and his place in the age see S. G.
Hefelbower's _The Relation of John Locke to English Deism_. About the
time he read Locke, Franklin notes he studied Arnauld and Nicole's _La
logique ou l'art de penser_. Mr. G. S. Eddy has informed one of the
editors that the Library Company of Philadelphia owns John Ozell's
translation of the work (London, 1718), and that this was the copy
owned by Franklin. (See Lowndes's _Bibliographer's Manual_, IV, 1930,
and _Dictionary of National Biography_, "John Ozell.") In accord with
the English deistic and rationalistic tendency, _La logique_ admits
that Aristotle's authority is not good, that "Men cannot long endure
such constraint" (Thomas S. Bayne's trans., 8th ed., Edinburgh and
London, n.d., 23). Indebted to Pascal and Descartes, it admits with
the latter that geometry and astronomy may help one achieve justness
of mind, but it vigorously asserts that this justness of mind is more
important than speculative science (p. 1). Anti-sensational, it denies
"that all our ideas come through sense" (p. 34), affirming that we
have within us ideas of things (p. 31). It is uncertain of the value
of induction, which "is never a certain means of acquiring perfect
knowledge" (p. 265; see also 304, 307, 308, 350). It accords little
praise to the sciences and reason, and seems wary of metaphysical
speculation, assuring more humbly that "Piety, wisdom, moderation, are
without doubt the most estimable qualities in the world" (p. 291). As
we shall discover, this work on the whole seems to have had (with the
exception of the last very general principle) little formative
influence on the young mind which was fast impregnating itself with
scientific deism. Were it not for the recurring implications
(particularly in the harvest of editions of the _Autobiography_) that
_La logique_ is as significant for our study as, for example, the
works of Locke and Shaftesbury, this note would be pedantic

[i-408] A. C. Fraser, _op. cit._, I, 99. See also 190, 402-3; II, 65,
68, 352.

[i-409] Cited in C. A. Moore, "Shaftesbury and the Ethical Poets in
England, 1700-1760," _Publications of the Modern Language
Association_, XXXI (N. S. XXIV), 276 (June, 1916).

[i-410] _Ibid._, 271.

[i-411] J. M. Robertson, ed., _Characteristics ..._ (New York, 1900),
I, 27.

[i-412] _Ibid._, I, 241-2.

[i-413] Moore, _op. cit._, 267.

[i-414] In _Dogood Paper_ No. XIV

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

Page 77
I think this increase continuing would probably, in a century more, make the number of British subjects on that side the water more numerous than they now are on this; But, [4.
Page 86
In fact, the occasion for English goods in North America, and the inclination to have and use them, is, and must be for ages to come, much greater than the ability of the people to pay for them; they must therefore, as they now do, deny themselves many things they would otherwise chuse to have, or increase their industry to obtain them.
Page 115
The words of the bill, p.
Page 116
And lest that majority should be under any check or restraint, from an apprehension of what the world might think or say of the severity or injustice of their sentence, an oath is to be taken, never to discover the vote or opinion of any particular member! These are some of the chains attempted to be forged for you by the proprietary faction! Who advised the g----r is not difficult to know.
Page 141
" By whom were they quieted? The _two first_, if they can be said to be quieted, were quieted only by the rioters themselves going home quietly (that is, without any interruption) and remaining there till their next insurrection, without any pursuit, or attempt to apprehend any of them.
Page 159
Poutauwautimies 200 Ottawas (some distance) 150 350 THE MIAMIES.
Page 160
Page 175
_ No.
Page 193
Page 227
could not communicate them, because they were never in his possession; and for the same reason they could not be taken from him by Mr.
Page 254
Long did I endeavour, with unfeigned and unwearied zeal, to preserve from breaking that fine and noble porcelaine vase----the British empire; for I knew that being once broken, the separate parts could not retain even their _share_ of the strength and value that existed in the whole; and that a perfect _re-union_ of those parts could scarce ever be hoped for.
Page 280
The Supreme Being had been pleased to nourish up a single family, by continued acts of his attentive providence, till it became a great people: and having rescued them from bondage by many miracles, performed by his servant Moses, he personally delivered to that chosen servant, in presence of the whole nation, a constitution and code of laws for their observance, accompanied and sanctioned with promises of great rewards, and threats of severe punishments, as the consequence of their obedience or disobedience.
Page 282
They accused Moses also of _peculation_, as embezzling part of the golden spoons and the silver chargers, that the princes had offered at the dedication of the altar[166], and the offerings of gold by the common people[167], as well as most of the poll tax[168]; and Aaron they accused of pocketing much of the gold of which he pretended to have made a molten calf.
Page 327
Page 344
"It was," says he, "the opinion of learned philosophers of our race, who lived and flourished long before my time, that this vast world, the Moulin Joly, could not itself subsist more than eighteen hours: and I think there was some foundation for that opinion; since, by the apparent motion of the great luminary, that gives life to all nature, and which in my time has evidently declined considerably towards the ocean at the end of our earth, it must then finish its course, be extinguished in the waters that surround us, and leave the world in cold and darkness, necessarily producing universal death and destruction.
Page 346
The success of this library (greatly owing to his kind countenance and good advice) encouraged the erecting others in different places on the same plan; and it is supposed, there are now upwards of thirty subsisting in the several colonies, which have contributed greatly to the spreading of useful knowledge in that part of the world; the books he recommended being all of that kind, and the catalogue of this first library being much respected and followed by those libraries that succeeded.
Page 370
It is comfortable to have a good opinion of one's self, and of every thing that belongs to us, to think one's own religion, king, and wife, the best of all possible wives, kings, and religions.
Page 383
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_Hudson's_ river, winds there, ii.
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_Read_, maiden name of Franklin's wife, i.