The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 76

for his text that verse of the fourth chapter of
Philippians, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, honest,
just, pure, lovely, or of good report, if there be any virtue, or any
praise, think on these things." And I imagin'd, in a sermon on such a
text, we could not miss of having some morality. But he confin'd
himself to five points only, as meant by the apostle, viz.: 1. Keeping
holy the Sabbath day. 2. Being diligent in reading the holy
Scriptures. 3. Attending duly the publick worship. 4. Partaking of
the Sacrament. 5. Paying a due respect to God's ministers. These
might be all good things; but, as they were not the kind of good things
that I expected from that text, I despaired of ever meeting with them
from any other, was disgusted, and attended his preaching no more. I
had some years before compos'd a little Liturgy, or form of prayer, for
my own private use (viz., in 1728), entitled, Articles of Belief and
Acts of Religion. I return'd to the use of this, and went no more to
the public assemblies. My conduct might be blameable, but I leave it,
without attempting further to excuse it; my present purpose being to
relate facts, and not to make apologies for them.

It was about this time I conceiv'd the bold and arduous project of
arriving at moral perfection. I wish'd to live without committing any
fault at any time; I would conquer all that either natural inclination,
custom, or company might lead me into. As I knew, or thought I knew,
what was right and wrong, I did not see why I might not always do the
one and avoid the other. But I soon found I had undertaken a task of
more difficulty than I had imagined. While my care was employ'd in
guarding against one fault, I was often surprised by another; habit
took the advantage of inattention; inclination was sometimes too strong
for reason. I concluded, at length, that the mere speculative
conviction that it was our interest to be completely virtuous, was not
sufficient to prevent our slipping; and that the contrary habits must
be broken, and good ones acquired and established, before we can have
any dependence on a steady, uniform rectitude of conduct. For this
purpose I therefore contrived the following method.

In the various enumerations of the moral virtues I had met with in my
reading, I found the catalogue more or

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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 5
Wycks, bound from Philadelphia to France, in October and November, 1776 200 A journal of a voyage from the Channel between France and England towards America .
Page 20
This bush I take to be formed by a spray, made by the force of these drops, which being uncommonly large, and descending with unusual force by a stream of wind descending from the cloud with them, increases the height of the spray: which wind being repulsed by the surface of the waters rebounds and spreads; by the first raising the spray higher than it otherwise would go; and by the last making the top of the bush appear to bend outwards (_i.
Page 30
Stuart says, "It was observable of all the spouts he saw, but more perceptible of the great one; that; towards the end, it began to appear like a hollow canal, only black in the borders, but white in the middle; and though at first it was altogether black and opaque, yet, now, one could very distinctly perceive the sea-water to fly up along the middle of this canal, as smoak up a chimney.
Page 37
More or less of a cloud, as I am informed, always appears over the place first; then a spattering on the surface of the water below; and when this is advanced to a considerable degree, the spout emerges from the cloud, and descends, and that, if the causes are sufficient, down to the places of spattering, with a roaring in proportion to the quantity of the discharge; then it abates, or stops, sometimes more gradually, sometimes more suddenly.
Page 39
This danger is apparent on my hypothesis, but it seems not so on the other: and my reason for it is, that the whole column of a spout from the sea to the clouds, cannot, in a natural way, even upon the largest supposition, support more than about three feet water, and from truly supposeable causes, not above one foot, as may appear more plainly by and by.
Page 41
And I used to think, that although water be specifically heavier than air, yet such a bubble, filled only with fire and very rarefied air, may be lighter than a quantity of common air, of the same cubical dimensions,.
Page 103
In a few weeks after my arrival, being desirous of showing your magnets to a philosophical friend, I found them so tight in the box, that it was with difficulty I got them out; and constantly during the two years I remained there, viz.
Page 113
This in the ocean can seldom if ever be done.
Page 126
But as the quantity entering is less and less as the surfaces without and within become more nearly equal in height, the pumps that could not keep the water from rising at first, might afterwards be able to prevent its rising higher, and the people might have remained on board in safety, without hazarding themselves in an open boat on the wide ocean.
Page 138
He told me he believed the fact might be true; but the difference was owing to this, that the Rhode-Island captains were acquainted with the gulf-stream, which those of the English packets were not.
Page 222
Every other passage of air into the funnel was well stopped.
Page 233
Those pipes must together be at least four feet high.
Page 238
And observe also to leave a free open communication between the passages at K K, and the bottom of those funnels, and mind to close the chimney above the top of the niche, that no air may pass up that way.
Page 285
"A dictionary, formed on this model, would have been serviceable to him, he said, even as an American;" because, from the want of public examples of pronunciation in his own country, it was often difficult to learn the proper sound.
Page 329
It is hardly necessary to add, that the hospitals of enemies should be unmolested--they ought to be assisted.
Page 346
Must we maintain them as beggars in our streets; or suffer our properties to be the prey of their pillage? for men, accustomed to slavery, will not work for a livelihood, when not compelled.
Page 351
its friction against trees, 270, 323.
Page 353
Page 386
if by smoke drawn down their funnels, 274, 275.
Page 394
The danger' replaced by '9.