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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 97

The ablest survey is G. M. Abbot's _A Short History of the Library
Company of Philadelphia_. He lists, however, only the first books
ordered in 1732 through Peter Collinson.

[i-95] Cited in Abbot, _op. cit._, 5.

[i-96] Photostat used as source is in the William Smith Mason
Collection in Evanston, Ill.

[i-97] "The Letters and Papers of Cadwallader Colden, Vol. II,
1730-1742," _Collections of the New York Historical Society_ (New
York, 1919), II, 146-7. See also A. M. Keys, _Cadwallader Colden: A
Representative Eighteenth-Century Official_ (New York, 1906), 6-7.

[i-98] _American Philosophy: The Early Schools_, 330.

[i-99] _An Historical Account of the Origin and Formation of the
American Philosophical Society_ (Philadelphia, 1914); J. G.
Rosengarten, in "The American Philosophical Society," tends to agree
with Du Ponceau.

[i-100] _Writings_, II, 229.

[i-101] _The History of the Royal Society of London ..._ (2d ed.,
London, 1702), 61.

[i-102] _Ibid._, 64.

[i-103] _Writings_, II, 230.

[i-104] In 1750 he wrote: "Nor is it of much importance to us, to know
the manner in which nature executes her laws; 'tis enough if we know
the laws themselves. 'Tis of real use to know that china left in the
air unsupported will fall and break; but _how_ it comes to fall, and
_why_ it breaks, are matters of speculation. 'Tis a pleasure indeed to
know them, but we can preserve our china without it" (_Writings_, II,
434-5). We remember that even Sir Isaac Newton confessed that "the
_cause_ of gravity is what I do not pretend to know" (_Works of
Richard Bentley_, London, 1838, III, 210). He observed that "Gravity
must be caused by an agent acting constantly according to certain
laws; but whether this agent be material or immaterial, I have left to
the consideration of my readers" (_ibid._, 212).

[i-105] _Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography_, XIII, 247-8

[i-106] Franklin was unable to prevail upon Johnson to accept the
provostship of the Academy. In 1752 he printed Johnson's _Elementa
Philosophica_ and suggested in _Idea of the English School_ that it be
used in the Academy. In a letter of 1754 Franklin informs Johnson that
the grammatical and mathematical parts were already being used--the
rest would be when the instructors and pupils were ready for it (E. E.
Beardsley, _Life and Correspondence of S. Johnson, D. D._, 2d ed., New
York, 1874, 180-1). In the _Elementa Philosophica_ Johnson stresses
the use of mathematics in man's study of nature (p. xv). Through
mathematics, an indispensable aid in "considering that wonderful and
amazing Power, that All-comprehending Wisdom, that inimitable Beauty,
that surprizing Harmony, that immutable Order, which abundantly
discover themselves in the Formation and Government of the Universe,
we are led to

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

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If we desire and intend to prosper in the great and good work of uniting saints, building up the church and saving men, we must confine ourselves strictly to the gospel—to the things of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ—determined to know nothing but Christ and him crucified—to glory in nothing but the cross of Christ.
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