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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 98

their divine Original, who is the unexhausted Source,
the glorious Fountain of all Perfection ..." (_ibid._, xiii). The
_Elementa_ is a rhapsodic manual extolling the discovery of the Deity
in his Work, through the study of the physical laws of the creation.
Although subordinated to this, there are frequent reactions against
Lockian sensationalism, suggesting an ecstatic mystical union between
man and God. On the whole, the volume is a treatise on the glories of
a natural religion (a religion of course which buttresses rather than
refutes scriptural religion).

[i-107] Quoted in T. H. Montgomery's _A History of the University of
Pennsylvania_, 396. Smith's educational principles may be partially
seen in his "View of the Philosophy Schools" (1754) printed in H. W.
Smith's _Life and Correspondence of the Rev. William Smith_
(Philadelphia, 1879), I, 59 f. Although he conceived Nature as
affording only "those fainter exhibitions of the Deity" (I, 156), he
was a sturdy orthodox rationalist, tending toward, yet not embracing
deism. Emphasizing the principal writings of Barrow, Maclaurin, Watts,
Keill, Locke, Hutcheson, 'sGravesande, Martin, Desaguliers, Rohault
(Clarke's edition), Ray, Derham, and Sir Isaac Newton, Smith suggests
the rationalist who buttresses scriptural revelation with the
evidences of Deity through discovery by reason of the Workman in the
Work. His _Discourses on Public Occasions in America_ (2d ed., London,
1762) are the result "of his office as Head of a seminary of learning
[Philadelphia Academy and College]; in order to advance the interests
of Science, and therewith the interests of true Christianity" (p. vi).
"A General Idea of the College of Mirania" (1762), though written
about 1752 while Smith was in New York, suggests the form of his
"View": he observes that "besides his revealed will, God has given
intimations of his will to us, by appealing to our senses in the
constitution of our nature, and the constitution and harmony of the
material universe" (_Discourses_, 44). The same titles and authors are
listed as in the "View." A Newtonian rationalist, Smith meditated:
"All thy works, with unceasing voice, echo forth thy wondrous praises.
The splendid sun, with the unnumbered orbs of heaven, thro' the
pathless void, repeat their unwearied circuits, that, to the uttermost
bounds of the universe, they may proclaim Thee the source of justest
order and unabating harmony" (_ibid._, 155). Smith arrived at his
principles of rationalism apparently without indebtedness to Franklin:
there seems to be no evidence that as provost he was merely attempting
to fulfill the scientific and rationalistic ideas latent in Franklin's
_Proposals_, that he was a tool in Franklin's hands. Indeed, they were
anything but friendly to one another. Hence, one feels that the credit
for

Last Page Next Page

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

Page 17
Great part of the way may likewise he gone by water.
Page 58
of the tax in question, and upon a presumption that the proprietaries would honourably reimburse them.
Page 73
It is true, the accession of the large territory claimed before the war began (especially if that be secured by the possession of Canada) will tend to the increase of the British subjects faster, than if they had been confined within the mountains: yet the increase within the mountains only would evidently make the comparative population equal to that of Great Britain much sooner than it can be expected, when our people are spread over a country six times as large.
Page 75
of the whole body.
Page 84
Business to be solicited and causes depending create a great intercourse, even where private property is _not_ divided in different countries;--yet this division _will_ always subsist, where different countries are ruled by the same government.
Page 99
B.
Page 121
"In the course of the present year (says he, in his message of July 8, 1763) a great deal of public business hath been transacted by me, and I believe as many useful laws enacted, as by any of my predecessors in the same space of time: yet I have not understood that any allowance hath hitherto been made to me for my support, as hath been customary in this province.
Page 137
who can secure him the affections of the people? The virtue and merit of his ancestors may be very great, but his presumption in depending upon those alone may be much greater.
Page 159
Meynomeneys 110 Pervons 360 Sax 300 Reynard 320 1090 ST.
Page 160
Gorrell, who commands there, that they purpose paying him a visit late this fall or in the spring.
Page 180
_ They could not suppose such a case, as that the assembly would not raise the necessary supplies to support its own government.
Page 183
_ Maryland has been much misrepresented in that matter.
Page 197
[84] "The stamp act says, that the Americans shall have no commerce, make no exchange of property with each other, neither purchase nor grant nor recover debts; they shall neither marry nor make their wills, unless they pay such and such sums" in _specie_ for the stamps which must give validity to the proceedings.
Page 266
Conrad answered all his questions; and when the discourse began to flag, the Indian, to continue it, said, "Conrad, you have lived long among the white people, and know something of their customs; I have been sometimes at Albany, and have observed, that once in seven days they shut up their shops, and assemble all in the great house; tell me what it is for? What do they do there?" "They meet there," says Conrad, "to hear and learn _good things_.
Page 280
FOOTNOTES: [161] From the Gentleman's Magazine, for July, 1794, to which it was communicated by the nobleman to whom it is addressed.
Page 313
present, perhaps, you may think yourselves in thriving circumstances, and that you can bear a little extravagance without injury; but "For age and want save while you may, No morning sun lasts a whole day.
Page 317
This is a trick of mine for doing a good deal with a little money.
Page 333
Even after a move or moves, you must not, by replacing the pieces, show how it might have been placed better: for that displeases, and may occasion disputes and doubts about their true situation.
Page 359
It is true, with very little notice, the rich may shift for themselves.
Page 402
_Landing_ in a surf, supposed practicable, how, ii.