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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 194

a charged phial to the can,
I gave it a spark, which flowed round in an electric atmosphere;
and the lock of cotton was repelled from the side of the can to the
distance of about nine or ten inches. The can would not then receive
another spark from the wire of the phial; but as I gradually drew
up the chain, the atmosphere of the can diminished by flowing over
the rising chain, and the lock of cotton accordingly drew nearer and
nearer to the can; and then, if I again brought the phial wire near
the can, it would receive another spark, and the cotton fly off
again to its first distance; and thus, as the chain was drawn higher,
the can would receive more sparks; because the can and extended chain
were capable of supporting a greater atmosphere than the can with
the chain gathered up into its belly.--And that the atmosphere round
the can was diminished by raising the chain, and increased again by
lowering it, is not only agreeable to reason, since the atmosphere
of the chain, must be drawn from that of the can, when it rose, and
returned to it again when it fell; but was also evident to the eye,
the lock of cotton always approaching the can when the chain was
drawn up, and receding when it was let down again.

Thus we see that increase of surface makes a body capable of
receiving a greater electric atmosphere: but this experiment does
not, I own, fully demonstrate my new hypothesis; for the brass and
silver still continue in their solid state, and are not rarefied into
vapour, as the water is in clouds. Perhaps some future experiments on
vapourized water may set this matter in a clearer light.

One seemingly material objection arises to the new hypothesis, and it
is this: If water, in its rarefied state, as a cloud, requires, and
will absorb more of the electric fluid than when in its dense state
as water, why does it not acquire from the earth all it wants at the
instant of its leaving the surface, while it is yet near, and but
just rising in vapour? To this difficulty I own I cannot at present
give a solution satisfactory to myself: I thought, however, that I
ought to state it in its full force, as I have done, and submit the
whole to examination.

And I would beg leave to recommend it to the curious in this branch
of natural philosophy, to repeat with care and accurate observation
the experiments I have reported in this and

Last Page Next Page

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

Page 22
Page 64
The union of the people of God is from heaven; the denomination is from man.
Page 69
Let them undertake to enforce the clear requirements of Scripture on their people, and they will soon get a lesson.
Page 70
We hope the preachers generally will see what is being done by those in the work, go out and participate in the heavenly work, that they, too, when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, may have a crown of glory that fades not away.
Page 89
Our turning to God, becoming christians and obtaining remission of sins, does not save us from death.
Page 117
The person, therefore, who is a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, can not get over repentance, or do any thing else acceptable to God till he repents.
Page 129
” The Greek _hades_, here translated hell, simply means the invisible, or unseen state.
Page 135
Their work is merely _pulling down_ old buildings.
Page 147
” In the times of the ignorance before the gospel, this command to all men every where, to repent, did not exist.
Page 185
The recognition they received in the great cities of the land, by clergymen of all sects, Bro.
Page 187
No more than to see any other Irishman laying any other stone or brick in any other building, aside from tradition and superstition.
Page 198
Page 201
Page 246
The faith exists in two forms: 1.
Page 262
attempts to talk to us.
Page 271
His gospel consists largely of tuning-forks, note-books, hymn-books, choirs, organs, concerts, festivals, church fairs.
Page 278
By the established laws of nature, the human race have been propagated and perpetuated, but the human race had its commencement in miracle.
Page 310
It maybe a reason why our knowledge of revelation will never be perfect in this life; but certainly no reason why revelation itself shall be considered imperfect.
Page 322
Your orders are respectfully solicited for anything that may be wanted for.
Page 324
It is believed that the times are propitious for the Disciples to make themselves more widely felt by their contributions to the religious .