Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 73

bowl with a spoon of silver! They had been bought for me without
my knowledge by my wife, and had cost her the enormous sum of
three-and-twenty shillings, for which she had no other excuse or
apology to make but that she thought her husband deserved a silver
spoon and china bowl as well as any of his neighbors. This was the
first appearance of plate and china in our house, which afterward, in
a course of years, as our wealth increased, augmented gradually to
several hundred pounds in value.

I had been religiously educated as a Presbyterian; and, though I early
absented myself from the public assemblies of the sect, Sunday being
my studying day, I never was without some religious principles. I
never doubted, for instance, the existence of the Deity; that he made
the world, and governed it by his providence; that the most acceptable
service of God was the doing good to man; that our souls are immortal;
and that all crime will be punished, and virtue rewarded, either here
or hereafter. These I esteemed the essentials of every religion; and
being to be found in all the religions we had in our country, I
respected them all, though with different degrees of respect as I
found them more or less mixed with other articles which, without any
tendency to inspire, promote, or confirm morality, served principally
to divide us, and make us unfriendly to one another. This respect to
all, with an opinion that the worst had some good effects, induced me
to avoid all discourse that might tend to lessen the good opinion
another might have of his own religion; and as our province increased
in people, and new places of worship were continually wanted, and
generally erected by voluntary contribution, my mite for such
purpose, whatever might be the sect, was never refused.

Though I seldom attended any public worship, I had still an opinion of
its propriety and of its utility when rightly conducted, and I
regularly paid my annual subscription for the support of the only
Presbyterian minister or meeting we had in Philadelphia. He used to
visit me sometimes as a friend, and admonish me to attend his
administrations, and I was now and then prevailed on to do so, once
for five Sundays successively. Had he been in my opinion a good
preacher, perhaps I might have continued, notwithstanding the occasion
I had for the Sunday's leisure in my course of study; but his
discourses were chiefly either polemic arguments or explications of
the peculiar doctrines of our sect, and were all to me very dry,

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 2 [of 3]

Page 26
It seems, by an expression of Pere Boschovich's, as if the wind blew from all sides towards the whirlwind; for, having carefully observed its effects, he concludes of all whirlwinds, "that their motion is circular, and their action attractive.
Page 29
S S S S, the spiral whirl of air, surrounding the vacuum, and continued higher in a close column after the vacuum ends in the point P, till it reaches the cool region of the air.
Page 36
Robert Spring was so near one in the Straits of Malacca, that he could perceive it to be a small very thick rain.
Page 45
Winds generally blow from some large tracts of land, and from mountains.
Page 89
Page 107
I am, &c.
Page 116
I shall only add what I apprehend may have been the reason of our disappointment.
Page 129
The Bermudian sloops still keep with advantage to the old spreading form.
Page 130
In one both ships arrived though much damaged, each reporting their belief that the other must have gone to the bottom.
Page 160
| W.
Page 273
Hence the English new books are printed in so dim a character, as to be read with difficulty by old eyes; unless in a very strong light and with good glasses.
Page 275
| u |The next requires the _lips_ to be | | | | .
Page 284
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You have abundantly proved, that natural fecundity is hardly to be considered, because the _vis generandi_, as far as we know, is unlimited, and because experience shows, that the numbers of nations is altogether governed by collateral causes, and among these none of so much force as quantity of subsistence, whether arising from climate, soil, improvement of tillage, trade, fisheries, secure property, conquest of new countries, or other favourable circumstances.
Page 337
for ever, with other punishment at the will of the magistrate; the practice of making prizes being contrary to good conscience, and the rule of treating Christian brethren as we would wish to be treated; and such goods _are not to be sold by any godly men within this burgh_.
Page 345
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_Dust_, how raised and carried up into the air, ii.
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in other bodies, 185.
Page 390
agitated, does not.