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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 281

is one supreme, most perfect Being, Author and Father of
the Gods themselves. For I believe that Man is not the most perfect
Being but one, rather that as there are many Degrees of Beings his
Inferiors, so there are many Degrees of Beings superior to him.

Also, when I stretch my Imagination thro' and beyond our System of
Planets, beyond the visible fix'd Stars themselves, into that Space that
is every Way infinite, and conceive it fill'd with Suns like ours, each
with a Chorus of Worlds forever moving round him, then this little Ball
on which we move, seems, even in my narrow Imagination, to be almost
Nothing, and myself less than nothing, and of no sort of Consequence.

When I think thus, I imagine it great Vanity in me to suppose, that the
_Supremely Perfect_ does in the least regard such an inconsiderable
Nothing as Man. More especially, since it is impossible for me to have
any positive clear idea of that which is infinite and incomprehensible,
I cannot conceive otherwise than that he _the Infinite Father_ expects
or requires no Worship or Praise from us, but that he is even infinitely
above it.

But, since there is in all Men something like a natural principle, which
inclines them to DEVOTION, or the Worship of some unseen Power;

And since Men are endued with Reason superior to all other Animals, that
we are in our World acquainted with;

Therefore I think it seems required of me, and my Duty as a Man, to pay
Divine Regards to SOMETHING.

I conceive then, that the INFINITE has created many beings or Gods,
vastly superior to Man, who can better conceive his Perfections than we,
and return him a more rational and glorious Praise.

As, among Men, the Praise of the Ignorant or of Children is not regarded
by the ingenious Painter or Architect, who is rather honour'd and
pleas'd with the approbation of Wise Men & Artists.

It may be that these created Gods are immortal; or it may be that after
many Ages, they are changed, and others Supply their Places.

Howbeit, I conceive that each of these is exceeding wise and good, and
very powerful; and that Each has made for himself one glorious Sun,
attended with a beautiful and admirable System of Planets.

It is that particular Wise and good God, who is the author and owner of
our System, that I propose for the object of my praise and adoration.

For I conceive that he has in himself some of those Passions he has
planted in us, and that, since he has

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

Page 0
Although the American owners of these copies did not allow them to be transcribed, Mr.
Page 1
Charles, Professor of experimental Philosophy at Paris.
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P.
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Please to accept and present my Thanks.
Page 4
It was dismissed about One aClock in the Morning.
Page 5
This Paper was drawn up hastily, and may in some Places appear to you obscure; therefore I shall add a few explanatory Observations.
Page 6
Probably while they were employed in keeping up the Fire, the Machine might turn, and by that means they were _desorientes_ as the French call it.
Page 7
It is a Globe of 26 feet diameter.
Page 8
These Machines must always be subject to be driven by the Winds.
Page 9
30, 1783 Dear Sir, I did myself the honour of writing to you the Beginning of last Week, and I sent you by the Courier, M.
Page 10
Several Bags of Sand were taken on board before the Cord that held it down was cut, and the whole Weight being then too much to be lifted, such a Quantity was discharg'd as to permit its Rising slowly.
Page 11
Since writing the above, I have receiv'd the printed Paper & the Manuscript, containing some Particulars of the Experiment, which I enclose.
Page 12
The orthography of the French words in Bigelow and Smyth does not always agree with the copy.
Page 13
Franklin's terrace at Passy.
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16, "Bart.