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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 258

while it was snowing, yet, the next day, after it had done snowing,
and the weather was cleared up, while the snow was driven about by
a high wind at W. or N. W. the bells rung for several hours (though
with little intermissions) as briskly as ever I knew them, and I drew
considerable sparks from the wire. This phenomenon I never observed
but twice; viz. on the 31st of January, 1760, and the 3d of March,

I am, Sir, &c.

FROM MR. A. S[79]. TO B. F.

_Flash of Lightning that struck St. Bride's Steeple._

I have just recollected that in one of our great storms of lightning,
I saw an appearance, which I never observed before, nor ever heard
described. I am persuaded that I saw _the_ flash which struck St.
Bride's steeple. Sitting at my window, and looking to the north, I
saw what appeared to me a solid strait rod of fire, moving at a very
sharp angle with the horizon. It appeared to my eye as about two
inches diameter, and had nothing of the zig-zag lightning motion.
I instantly told a person sitting with me, that some place must be
struck at that instant. I was so much surprized at the vivid distinct
appearance of the fire, that I did not hear the clap of thunder,
which stunned every one besides. Considering how low it moved, I
could not have thought it had gone so far, having St. Martin's, the
New Church, and St. Clements's steeples in its way. It struck the
steeple a good way from the top, and the first impression it made in
the side is in the same direction I saw it move in. It was succeeded
by two flashes, almost united, moving in a pointed direction.

There were two distinct houses struck in Essex-street. I should have
thought the rod would have fallen in Covent-Garden, it was so low.
Perhaps the appearance is frequent, though never before seen by


A. S.


[79] Mr. Alexander Small. _Editor._


_Best Method of securing a Powder Magazine from Lightning._

----You may acquaint the gentleman that desired you to enquire
my opinion of the best method of securing a powder magazine from
lightning, that I think they cannot do better than to erect a mast
not far from it, which may reach fifteen or twenty feet above the top
of it, with a thick iron rod in one piece fastened to it, pointed at
the highest end, and reaching down through the earth till it

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

Page 1
Page 32
See the following: “At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; if that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil I thought to them.
Page 44
Nothing in christianity can be compromised except at our peril.
Page 53
We have made a standing arrangement for paper this year, of which the present pamphlet is a sample, and we shall do our utmost to have the whole volume printed in a neat and legible manner.
Page 86
Page 88
The remission of sins received, in turning to God, is for _sinners_; those who, in their own persons have committed sins, and not for infants, who have never sinned—who have no sins of this kind.
Page 136
in a system.
Page 141
What is it that makes a Presbyterian? That which is peculiar to Presbyterians, and not received by Methodists.
Page 154
Learning is profitable, if used wisely, as a help in finding and determining the true position; but the power is not in the learning nor talent.
Page 168
A religion not known till hundreds of years after Christ and his apostles, most unequivocally is not the true religion.
Page 169
Can we determine what it requires us to believe, what it requires us to do, and what it promises us? If we have to say no to all this, we are in a deplorable condition truly.
Page 173
We are thankful to be assured that the great body of those who have come under the law of the.
Page 178
We desire to see every man succeed who is for the “right way of the Lord,” and hope the Lord and his people will hold up the hands of every such man.
Page 180
To be in him is to be in his body, in the kingdom, in the church, to be a Christian, a follower of Christ.
Page 204
What will you do with them? Nothing.
Page 207
As the country improved and railroads were constructed, these lands proved to be in important places, where in many years they grew up in into heavy amounts in value.
Page 224
Mercy and peace upon the Israel of God.
Page 235
They fear not what man can do to them, nor what he can say of them, but they fear him who is able to save and able to destroy, who is able to kill and able to make alive.
Page 304
It is not limited to this world, but shall last co-existent with the years of God.
Page 306
The people are thankful that the sermon was short, and the preacher thankful that “service” is over.