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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 191

farther trials and
observations; yet Mr. Kinnersley returning from the Islands just as I
left home, pursued the experiments during my absence, and informs me
that he always found the clouds in the _negative_ state.

So that, for the most part, in thunder-strokes, _it is the earth that
strikes into the clouds, and not the clouds that strike into the
earth_.

Those who are versed in electric experiments, will easily conceive,
that the effects and appearances must be nearly the same in either
case; the same explosion, and the same flash between one cloud and
another, and between the clouds and mountains, &c. the same rending
of trees, walls, &c. which the electric fluid meets with in its
passage, and the same fatal shock to animal bodies; and that pointed
rods fixed on buildings, or masts of ships, and communicating with
the earth or sea, must be of the same service in restoring the
equilibrium silently between the earth and clouds, or in conducting a
flash or stroke, if one should be, so as to save harmless the house
or vessel: for points have equal power to throw off, as to draw on
the electric fire, and, rods will conduct up as well as down.

But though the light gained from these experiments makes no
alteration in the practice, it makes a considerable one in the
theory. And now we as much need an hypothesis to explain by what
means the clouds become negatively, as before to shew how they
became positively electrified.

I cannot forbear venturing some few conjectures on this occasion:
they are what occur to me at present, and though future discoveries
should prove them not wholly right, yet they may in the mean time be
of some use, by stirring up the curious to make more experiments, and
occasion more exact disquisitions.

I conceive then, that this globe of earth and water, with its plants,
animals, and buildings, have diffused throughout their substance, a
quantity of the electric fluid, just as much as they can contain,
which I call the _natural quantity_.

That this natural quantity is not the same in all kinds of common
matter under the same dimensions, nor in the same kind of common
matter in all circumstances; but a solid foot, for instance, of one
kind of common matter, may contain more of the electric fluid than a
solid foot of some other kind of common matter; and a pound weight of
the same kind of common matter may, when in a rarer state, contain
more of the electric fluid than when in a denser state.

For the electric fluid, being attracted

Last Page Next Page

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

Page 35
to come.
Page 37
We care not if it be so; we care not if it has been demonstrated that the people will give more money for a monkey show than for the kingdom of God; we will not resort to the monkey show; nor do we care if they will give more money for revelling than for the holy cause for which Jesus died; we will not resort to the revelling.
Page 67
They knew nothing of _torpid liver_, _indigestion_, _nervous prostration_, etc.
Page 73
Preaching _faith_ never made a believer, and preaching repentance, never leads to repentance, _of itself_.
Page 77
The body was sown a mortal body, but raised immortal, or raised to die no more.
Page 84
Such a phrase as “beaten with many stripes,” we doubt not, is figurative, and so is “gnashing of teeth.
Page 114
It is, then, a most arrogant and unfounded pretence, for any man who now attempts to set forth the way for sinners to come to God, to claim that he is led by the Holy Spirit, while he evades and refuses to set forth the plain and unequivocal requirements of the Holy Spirit, as set forth in the New Testament, or attempts to improve upon them.
Page 139
The whole question is about him.
Page 144
How perfectly had all worldly considerations dwindled into nothingness when the apostle counted all things but loss, that he might win Christ, and when he estimated the intolerable affliction imposed upon him, _light_, compared with the eternal _weight of glory_ in prospect! Such heavenly mindedness is the direct tendency of persecution, and only calculated to make the glories of christianity shine with greater luster, and, consequently, serves not the designs of those by whom it is inflicted.
Page 150
He should not go to the Bible to show what it should teach, but to learn what it does teach, for to this we shall all come in the end, whether it is congenial with our desires or not.
Page 174
They regard it as holy, just and good, and regard every man who departs from it _untrue_.
Page 182
He can see, as Solomon says, that “one sinner destroyeth much good,” but adheres to another saying of much importance from the same source: “Fret not thyself because of evil-doers.
Page 184
The apostles were divinely called, sent and _qualified_, and should one of them appear in a Methodist revival, where persons are “seeking religion,” crying, “What shall we do?” as they did on Pentecost, and answer as Peter did on that occasion, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,” in the place of the loud response, “Amen,” dismay would run all along the line, and the _divinely-qualified_ ministry would want the divinely-qualified apostle out of the meeting.
Page 197
He has stipulated the terms for us all.
Page 204
The gospel can not be administered to them.
Page 209
When man comes into his death, he comes to his blood that cleanses from all sin.
Page 230
Robert Owen, who professed to have read, and traveled forty years, without being able to find any evidence of the truth of christianity, has lately become a believer in Spiritualism.
Page 265
THE BIBLE AND BIBLE MEN.
Page 293
He can.
Page 317
I can never countenance such a state of things.