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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 248

such a person as Franklin
at Philadelphia, which he had doubted, he wrote and published a volume
of Letters, chiefly address'd to me, defending his theory, and denying
the verity of my experiments, and of the positions deduc'd from them.

I once purpos'd answering the abbe, and actually began the answer; but,
on consideration that my writings contain'd a description of experiments
which any one might repeat and verify, and if not to be verifi'd, could
not be defended; or of observations offer'd as conjectures, and not
delivered dogmatically, therefore not laying me under any obligation to
defend them; and reflecting that a dispute between two persons, writing
in different languages, might be lengthened greatly by mistranslations,
and thence misconceptions of one another's meaning, much of one of the
abbe's letters being founded on an error in the translation, I concluded
to let my papers shift for themselves, believing it was better to spend
what time I could spare from public business in making new experiments,
than in disputing about those already made. I therefore never answered
M. Nollet, and the event gave me no cause to repent my silence; for my
friend M. le Roy, of the Royal Academy of Sciences, took up my cause and
refuted him; my book was translated into the Italian, German, and Latin
languages; and the doctrine it contain'd was by degrees universally
adopted by the philosophers of Europe, in preference to that of the
abbe; so that he lived to see himself the last of his sect, except
Monsieur B----, of Paris, his _eleve_ and immediate disciple.

What gave my book the more sudden and general celebrity, was the success
of one of its proposed experiments, made by Messrs. Dalibard and De Lor
at Marly, for drawing lightning from the clouds. This engag'd the public
attention every where. M. de Lor, who had an apparatus for experimental
philosophy, and lectur'd in that branch of science, undertook to repeat
what he called the _Philadelphia Experiments_; and, after they were
performed before the king and court, all the curious of Paris flocked to
see them. I will not swell this narrative with an account of that
capital experiment, nor of the infinite pleasure I receiv'd in the
success of a similar one I made soon after with a kite at Philadelphia,
as both are to be found in the histories of electricity.

Dr. Wright, an English physician, when at Paris, wrote to a friend, who
was of the Royal Society, an account of the high esteem my experiments
were in among the learned abroad, and of their wonder that my writings
had

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Text Comparison with A Book of Gems Choice selections from the writings of Benjamin Franklin

Page 7
259 Controversy 354 Controversy about the Spirit 355 Courtesy in Fellowship 231 Dancing is a Healthful Exercise 363 Dedication of Church Edifices 221 Delay in Turning to the Lord 282 Deluded 95 Design of Miracles 103 Developing the Talents of the Young 475 Dialogue about the Preacher 489 Disturbing Element 191 Eating the Lord’s Flesh and Drinking His Blood 40 Earnestly Contending for the Faith .
Page 20
274 Unprofitable Servants 165 Upward Tendency—Reformation not a Failure —Missionary Work 343 Value of Learning 143 Various Kinds of Scepticism 180 Wandering Pilgrims 219 Wealth of Alexander Campbell 303 We are a Missionary People 88 We are No Sect 286 We have a Perfect Gospel to Preach 366 What a Preacher Must Be 477 What We Are For 97 What is Essential .
Page 62
Lord, among the last words he uttered before he ascended to heaven.
Page 65
on the throne; to the Supreme Majesty of heaven and earth.
Page 69
The preachers in the field doing the work are receiving the main support given, and ought to receive it.
Page 103
A man who does not work any save a little on one or two days in a week, does not receive much reward in any business, unless obtained by fraud.
Page 118
he continues in impenitence.
Page 134
Scepticism has no foundation, no basis, no reality upon which.
Page 135
Nothing can be built without a foundation, materials and builders.
Page 139
What good will the gold mine do him? None whatever.
Page 149
Such a judgment we anticipate, and such judgment, we are assured by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, will take place.
Page 154
They will realize that the strength of the everlasting hills is underneath, and they cannot be moved.
Page 206
Campbell did not _raise himself up_.
Page 217
Just so fine theories on repentance may be delivered in the shape of sermons, and listened to with applause, without inducing any one to think of repenting, while some old-fashioned preacher reasoning upon righteousness and a judgment to come, in the most immethodical manner, will cause sinners to tremble all around.
Page 233
Paul and James are both speaking of the faith that justifies man, but neither of them are speaking of faith _alone_.
Page 261
God has wisely arranged, in both nature and grace, or in the temporal and spiritual kingdoms, so that what we _must know_ may be easily learned, thus showing his benevolence in both, and that both have marks of the same Authorship.
Page 267
_ Cloven, or divided tongues, like as of fire, sat upon those baptized with the Spirit.
Page 273
Whatever he requires do it.
Page 286
Where did he do it? In his appointment.
Page 321
But the wrongs done remain wrong and will so remain for ever.