The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 2 [of 3]

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 25

described by Mr. Gordon in the _Transactions_, was, for
that reason, thought extraordinary; but he remarks withal, that the
weather, though cold when the spout appeared, was soon after much
colder; as we find it, commonly, less warm after a whirlwind.

You agree, that the wind blows every way towards a whirlwind,
from a large space round. An intelligent whaleman of Nantucket,
informed me that three of their vessels, which were out in search
of whales, happening to be becalmed, lay in sight of each other,
at about a league distance, if I remember right, nearly forming a
triangle: after some time, a water-spout appeared near the middle
of the triangle, when a brisk breeze of wind sprung up, and every
vessel made sail; and then it appeared to them all, by the setting
of the sails, and the course each vessel stood, that the spout was
to the leeward of every one of them; and they all declared it to
have been so, when they happened afterwards in company, and came to
confer about it. So that in this particular likewise, whirlwinds and
water-spouts agree.

But, if that which appears a water-spout at sea, does sometimes,
in its progressive motion, meet with and pass over land, and there
produce all the phenomena and effects of a whirlwind, it should
thence seem still more evident, that a whirlwind and a spout are the
same. I send you, herewith, a letter from an ingenious physician of
my acquaintance, which gives one instance of this, that fell within
his observation.

A fluid, moving from all points horizontally, towards a centre, must,
at that centre, either ascend or descend. Water being in a tub, if a
hole be opened in the middle of the bottom, will flow from all sides
to the centre, and there descend in a whirl. But, air flowing on and
near the surface of land or water, from all sides, towards a centre,
must, at that centre ascend; the land or water hindering its descent.

If these concentring currents of air be in the upper region, they
may, indeed, descend in the spout or whirlwind; but then, when the
united current reached the earth or water, it would spread, and,
probably, blow every way from the centre. There may be whirlwinds
of both kinds, but from the commonly observed effects, I suspect
the rising one to be the most common: when the upper air descends,
it is, perhaps, in a greater body, extending wider, as in our
thunder-gusts, and without much whirling; and, when air descends in a
spout, or whirlwind, I should rather expect it would

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

Page 24
Their idea is to be _masters_.
Page 27
There is no reason why the Lord’s people should follow their example, and not accept the designations found in Scripture, and use them exclusively.
Page 42
None of these are abolished, but are all of as much value to those under Christ, and as legitimate books for study, as they ever were to any people in any age of the world.
Page 46
Never mind explaining _how_ the Lord opened the heart of Lydia, that she attended to the words spoken by Paul, nor _how_ the Lord now is opening the hearts of the people; it is enough for the man of God to find that the hearts of the people _are open_, and that they will attend to the word of the Lord when it is spoken.
Page 48
Such a power as this we hope never to see established in the church of God.
Page 55
Why should we lag in anything in doubt, under suspicion, and repulsive to any portion of the body, when we have a divinely-prescribed worship held in no doubt? It was a little thing for Achan to take a Babylonish garment, some silver, and a wedge of gold, and secrete them in his tent; but when he came to confess, it was not a little matter.
Page 129
” The amount of this is, that I have the keys or power, to open the grave, and raise the bodies both from land and sea, and I have the power to open the invisible state, both _Paradise_ and _Tartareous_, and bring forth the spirits of the dead, both righteous and wicked, re-uniting soul and body, to stand in judgment.
Page 134
With them, all the actions of men, and the very thoughts that lead to them, are of _necessity_, and cannot be anything else! There is no praise of one class, or condemnation of another, for all do just what they do from an eternal necessity! Off, at another angle, another party is found, theorizing upon the whimsical notion of human pre-existence, in which state, they think a consistent origin for sin may be found! Yet another class perceive, that deep down in the Bible, where, till recently, none had ever penetrated, the doctrine is found, that, at judgment, the wicked will be stricken out of existence, thus ridding them of the idea of endless punishment, which had previously given them much distress! Still another class of these, have rid themselves of the same distressing and annoying doctrine, by making the astonishing discovery, that there is no devil, no hell, nor punishment of any kind, beyond the present state, and, therefore, no danger of any endless punishment! Still another class became perplexed with these metaphysical reasonings, subtleties and theorizings, in things that they cannot help feeling conscious can have no possible beneficial effects upon mankind, and rid themselves of the entire concern, by making the discovery that all things come by chance, that there is no God, Savior, angel or spirit, and death is an eternal sleep! But we sicken at the effort of trying to describe the vain and idle speculations of all these “wandering stars,” and shall proceed to something more tangible.
Page 181
He is now in his eighty-sixth year.
Page 191
Let us keep pure ourselves, and keep the church pure; let us make a record of which we shall not be ashamed when the Lord shall come.
Page 201
” They are not of the “one fold and one shepherd.
Page 204
But what of infants? Gospel salvation, or the salvation of the commission, is salvation from sin, or remission of sins.
Page 212
When a full exhibition of Christ—of the gospel, is made to men, in a series of discourses, and their hearts are moved, their souls filled with love and gratitude to him whom they discover to be their only Benefactor, their Lord, their Savior and only Redeemer, then we meet them with his own infallible directions, as they fell from his own lips and the lips of his holy apostles, and we never find it fail to give peace to the soul, and if carried out to give the utmost assurance in after life and death of acceptance with God and an eternal reward.
Page 232
It is one thing to become a member of the body of Christ, or, which is the same, enter into the kingdom of God, and another thing for a person to unite with a local congregation.
Page 234
Neither Paul nor James believed that justification was by faith alone.
Page 237
the indescribable parties which have descended from them.
Page 256
The Jews in like manner would not be warned by our Lord and his apostles, and could not be aroused from their apathy and indifference till their devoted city was invested with armies.
Page 271
We must stop all the loopholes being invented for the introduction of _humanisms_, and _innovations_ of all sorts, put away from among us the corrupt, the enemies of the cause, and the worldly, and inculcate the pure teaching of the New Testament among all, and live nearer to it than ever.
Page 290
” Can a man of sense believe that the end of a man is destruction, and at the same time believe that his salvation? The _end_ of a man will certainly be his last state, and if that is destruction, his end can not be salvation.
Page 316
I am not thinking of the _messenger_, but of the _message_.