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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 28

By Newton's help, 'tis evidently seen
Attraction governs all the World's machine.[i-49]

He learned that Scripture is "to teach us Morality, and our Articles of
Faith" but not to serve as an instructor in natural philosophy.[i-50] In
fine, Greenwood became devoted to science, and science as it might serve
to augment avenues to the religious experience. In London he had come to
know Hollis, who in 1727 suggested to Harvard authorities that Greenwood
be elected Hollis Professor of Mathematics and Natural and Experimental
Philosophy.[i-51] Greenwood accepted, and until 1737 was at Harvard a
propagandist of the new science. In 1727 he advertised in the _Boston
News-Letter_[i-52] that he would give scientific lectures, revolving
primarily around "the Discoveries of the incomparable Sir Isaac Newton."
From 1727 through 1734 he was a prominent popularizer of Newtonianism in

It remained for Greenwood's pupil John Winthrop to be the first to teach
Newton at Harvard with adequate mechanical and textual materials.
Elected in 1738 to the Hollis professorship formerly held by Greenwood,
Winthrop adopted 'sGravesande's _Natural Philosophy_, at which time,
Cajori observes, "the teachings of Newton had at last secured a firm
footing there."[i-54] The year after his election he secured a copy of
the _Principia_ (the third edition, 1726, edited by Dr. Henry Pemberton,
friend of Franklin in 1725-1726). According to the astute Ezra Stiles,
Winthrop became a "perfect master of Newton's Principia--which cannot be
said of many Professors of Philosophy in Europe."[i-55] That he did not
allow Newtonianism to draw him to deism may be seen in Stiles's
gratification that Winthrop "was a Firm friend to Revelation in
opposition to Deism." Stiles "wish[es] the evangelical Doctors of Grace
had made a greater figure in his Ideal System of divinity," thus
inferring that Winthrop was a rationalist in theology, however

A cursory view of the eighteenth-century pulpit discloses that if the
clergy did not become deistic they were not blind to a natural religion,
and often employed its arguments to augment scriptural authority. Aware
of the writings of Samuel Clarke, Wollaston, Whiston, Cudworth, Butler,
Hutcheson,[i-57] Voltaire, and Locke, Mayhew revolts against total
depravity[i-58] and the doctrines of election and the Trinity, arraigns
himself against authoritarianism and obscurantism, and though he draws
upon reason for revelation of God's will, he does not seem to have been
latitudinarian in respect to the holy oracles. Although he often wrote
ambiguously concerning the nature of Christ, he asserted: "That I ever
denied, or treated in a bold or ludicrous manner, the divinity of the
Son of God, as revealed in scripture, I absolutely deny."[i-59] He is
antagonistic toward the mystical in

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

Page 3
Page 9
There fell lately into my hands, in London, a collection he had made of all the principal pamphlets relating to public affairs, from 1641 to 1717; many of the volumes are wanting, as appears by the numbering, but there still remain eight volumes in folio and twenty-four in quarto and octavo.
Page 16
I had caught it by reading my father's books of dispute about religion.
Page 24
It stands in the Granary Burying Ground.
Page 45
actor; but Wilkes,[64] to whom he applied, advised him candidly not to think of that employment, as it was impossible he should succeed in it.
Page 49
agreed to take me in at the same rate, three shillings and sixpence per week; cheaper, as she said, from the protection she expected in having a man lodge in the house.
Page 50
I must record one trait of this good man's character.
Page 85
For something, that pretended to be reason, was every now and then suggesting to me that such extreme nicety as I exacted of myself might be a kind of foppery in morals, which, if it were known, would make me ridiculous; that a perfect character might be attended with the inconvenience of being envied and hated; and that a benevolent man should allow a few faults in himself, to keep his friends in countenance.
Page 97
] [Footnote 118: See p.
Page 104
I therefore, in 1743, drew up a proposal for establishing an academy, and at that time thinking the Rev.
Page 109
Page 114
I purchased all Dr.
Page 115
Norris) and myself; and, being commissioned, we went to Carlisle and met the Indians accordingly.
Page 116
He was zealous and active in endeavoring to procure subscriptions for it, but the proposal being a novelty in America, and at first not well understood, he met with but small success.
Page 121
My proposal communicated to the good doctor was as follows: "For the more effectual cleaning and keeping clean the streets of London and Westminster[147] it is proposed that the several watchmen be contracted with to have the dust swept up in dry seasons, and the mud raked up at other times, each in the several streets and lanes of his round; that they be furnished with brooms and other proper instruments for these purposes, to be kept at their respective stands, ready to furnish the poor people they may employ in the service.
Page 132
If you are really, as I believe you are, good and loyal subjects to his Majesty, you may now do a most acceptable service, and make it easy to yourselves; for three or four of such as cannot separately spare from the business of their plantations a wagon and four horses and a driver, may do it together, one furnishing the wagon, another, one or two horses, and another, the driver, .
Page 157
Kennedy thereupon examined rigorously the log line, and, being satisfied with that, he determined to throw the log himself.
Page 172
He that can have patience, can have what he will.
Page 173
He also corresponded widely with various classes of people.
Page 176
Some member of the class who has a camera will secure illustrations for you.