The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1 [of 3]

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 130

Hence a bottle cannot be electrised that is foul
or moist on the outside, if such moisture continue up to the cork or


Place a man on a cake of wax, and present him the wire of the
electrified phial to touch, you standing on the floor, and holding
it in your hand. As often as he touches it, he will be electrified
_plus_; and any one standing on the floor may draw a spark from him.
The fire in this experiment passes out of the wire into him; and at
the same time out of your hand into the bottom of the bottle.


Give him the electrical phial to hold; and do you touch the wire; as
often as you touch it he will be electrified _minus_, and may draw a
spark from any one standing on the floor. The fire now passes from
the wire to you, and from him into the bottom of the bottle.


Lay two books on two glasses, back towards back, two or three inches
distant. Set the electrified phial on one, and then touch the wire;
that book will be electrified _minus_; the electrical fire being
drawn out of it by the bottom of the bottle. Take off the bottle, and
holding it in your hand, touch the other with the wire; that book
will be electrified _plus_; the fire passing into it from the wire,
and the bottle at the same time supplied from your hand. A suspended
small cork-ball will play between these books till the equilibrium is


When a body is electrised _plus_, it will repel a positively
electrified feather or small cork-ball. When _minus_ (or when in the
common state) it will attract them, but stronger when _minus_ than
when in the common state, the difference being greater.


Though, as in _Experiment_ VI, a man standing on wax may be
electrised a number of times by repeatedly touching the wire of an
electrised bottle (held in the hand of one standing on the floor)
he receiving the fire from the wire each time: yet holding it in his
own hand, and touching the wire, though he draws a strong spark, and
is violently shocked, no electricity remains in him; the fire only
passing through him, from the upper to the lower part of the bottle.
Observe, before the shock, to let some one on the floor touch him to
restore the equilibrium in his body; for in taking hold of the bottom
of the bottle, he sometimes becomes a little electrised _minus_,
which will continue after the shock,

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

Page 7
259 Controversy 354 Controversy about the Spirit 355 Courtesy in Fellowship 231 Dancing is a Healthful Exercise 363 Dedication of Church Edifices 221 Delay in Turning to the Lord 282 Deluded 95 Design of Miracles 103 Developing the Talents of the Young 475 Dialogue about the Preacher 489 Disturbing Element 191 Eating the Lord’s Flesh and Drinking His Blood 40 Earnestly Contending for the Faith .
Page 10
it Possible to Arouse the People 138 Jesus Revealed as the Savior 379 Judgment the Ground of Repentance 202 Keep Politics out of the Church 160 Kind of Preachers and Preaching Needed 211 Knowing and not Doing 435 Laying the Corner Stone of a Catholic Cathedral 271 Lifted Above Sects and Parties 69 Light Within 61 Little Matters 53 Lord’s Day Meetings 270 Lotteries 11 Maintain a Pure Faith and Worship 289 Making the Bible Support Human Systems 71 Man’s Accountability .
Page 46
Go on and speak to them the word of the Lord—the words of everlasting life—turn them to God and save them.
Page 47
Nor did our Lord mean any such thing, but _he himself_, who came down from heaven, is that bread of life which if a man shall eat he shall never die.
Page 48
This is the bread that came down from heaven; not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead; he who eats this bread shall live forever.
Page 64
” Here upon the one rock—one foundation, which is Christ—in the one building or temple, in Christ, where all spiritual blessings are found, all the good, the pure and holy, may strike hands, unite, live in holy fellowship, while they continue in this world of sorrow and affliction, and after, be received up into glory, to dwell with their Lord and the holy society of the redeemed forever.
Page 111
If the man who honestly reads the Bible to know his duty or the will of God, and does it to the best of his ability, praying daily for the divine aid, both in understanding and doing, is not safe, infallibly safe and right; no man in this world is safe.
Page 123
Such men are doing no good for their church or country.
Page 134
Another class reason themselves into absolute fatalism.
Page 164
They sing to show how they can sing, amuse and entertain.
Page 181
” So it was to us on this occasion.
Page 184
24, 25.
Page 203
” Suppose he does not.
Page 219
” The penalty sentenced on account of Adam’s sin has fallen, as a _consequence_, on the whole race.
Page 220
Why, then, should men, constantly in the habit of promising _certain amounts_ for everything else, be so cautious about promising the poor preacher of the word of God—the man to whom society is more indebted than any other man, for all that is pure and good, a _certain amount_ to subsist upon while he sojourns in this life? “I thought you said the preacher should trust to the Lord for his support,” says one? Certainly he should, just as you trust to the Lord for his preaching.
Page 227
Many of us have labored long and hard and sacrificed the main energies of our lives in gathering the many thousands to the fold of Christ that now throng places of public worship, and we can not remain silent and see them scattered by the indiscreet and imprudent course of brethren, in thrusting upon them, and seeming to think that their souls’ salvation is suspended upon their rightly understanding the question of American slavery.
Page 273
Such a man should not be in the church at all, to say nothing about communing.
Page 316
—I think but little about preachers, have fewer favorites, and more rarely speak in praise or complaint of preachers, than almost any man you can find.
Page 331
Page 332
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