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wish it were more productive of good works than I have generally seen it. I mean real good works ; works of kindness, charity, mercy, and public spirit ; not holiday-keeping,sermon-reading and hearing; performing church ceremonies, or making long prayers filled with flatteries and compliments, despised even by wise men, and much less capable of pleasing the Deity. The worship of God is a duty; the hearing and reading of sermons may be useful; but if men rest in hearing and praying, as too many do, it is as if a tree should value itself on being watered and putting forth leaves, though it never produced fruit.
Your great Master thought much less of these outward appearances and professions, than many of his modern disciples. He preferred the doers of the word to the mere hearers; the son that seemingly refused to obey his father, and vet performed his commands, to him that professed his readiness but neglected the work; the heretical but charitable Saman ritan to the uncharitable though orthodox priest, and sanctified Levite ; those who gave food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, raiment to the naked, entertainment to the stranger, and relief to the sick, though they never heard of his name, he declares shall in the last day be accepted; when those who cry, Lord ! Lord ! who value themselves upon their faith, though great enough to perform miracles, but have neglected good works, shall be rejected. He professed that he came not to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance ; which implied his modest opinion that there were some in his time who thought themselves so good, that they need not hear even him for improve'ment; but now-a-days we have scarce a little parson that does not think it the duty of every man within his reach to sit under his petty ministrations, and that whoever omits them offends God. I wish to such more humility, and to you health and happiness ; being
Your friend and servant,
Franklin acted in every thing upon system, as far as his knowledge and opportunities permitted. His partnership business at Charlestown having fully answered his expectations, he carried out the principle on a wider scale, in proportion as he found neighbouring colonies in want of printers. The plan he adopted was, to select one of the most competent and discreet of his own workmen, and enter into explicit articles of partnership with him for six years ; Franklin furnishing all the capital for materials, &c. in the first instance, and his partner devoting himself to procure and conduct the business. He speaks with great satisfaction of the general issue of these engagements; they remunerated him for his money, and established several respectable families in the different colonies ; most of his partners being able to purchase his interest at the end of their term, and the connexion ending in all cases, he assures us, with personal good-will. Men of business will consider this no slight proof both of his discretion and good fortune. In his personal narration, he endeavours to show from these circumstances, the importånce of very specific articles being in all cases drawn up between partners in trade.
His situation in the capital of Pennsylvania gave Franklin full opportunity for the display of his powers as a rising tradesman, politician, and philosopher:-points of his character essentially depending on each other. He was too prudent not to secure first (let all men of business observe) those pecuniary advantages, and that opulent ease, by which alone he could have become the important public man we find him. His newspaper, about the year 1740, was almost the only one in great demand in the central states of America, and became very lucrative; he therefore found the pleasing truth of one of his proverbial sayings, that " after getting the first hundred pounds, it is much easier to get the second, and realize, at least, three-fourths of another. Learning is to the studious, riches to the careful; as well as favour to the bold, and heaven to the virtuous.”
In 1742 Franklin launched his first practical invention in philosophy, by presenting a friend, Mr. Robert Green, of Philadelphia, with the model of an open stove for the better warming of rooms and economy of fire-wood, pit-coal being unknown at this period, as an article of fuel, in that city; and he published, shortly after, a pamphlet to promote its use, entitled " An account of the new invented Pennsylvanian fire-places, wherein their construction and manner of operation is particularly explained; their advantages above every other method of warming rooms demonstrated; and all objections that have been raised against the use of them answered and obviated.”
The provincial governor of the day, Mr Thomas, offered our philosopher a patent for his invention, which he respectfully declined. It rewarded him sufficiently, he states, that his friend Grace, for one, should find it useful to him in the way of trade; and with regard to the public, he argued that our personal advantages from the inventions of others should induce us to communicate to the world, as freely as possible, any discoveries we may be enabled to make. Although, therefore, in England his invention was not only pirated, but a patent granted to an ironmonger for the sale of it, with some slight alteration (which was no improvement) Franklin allowed the trick to succeed, hating disputes, as he says, and determined not to profit by patents. On this same principle, he afterwards suffered several patents to be worked from his invention, without any compensation.
Franklin's efforts to promote public education.- Military schemes for the
defence of the province of Pennsylvania.- Management of the Quakers.Establishment of the university of Philadelphia,Commences bis experiments on electricity Employed in negociations with the Indians, and as a commissioner to settle the joint defence of the colonies.--Albany meeting, and plans of an union between the colonies.
No philosopher of ancient or modern times ever more fully perceived than our author the natural union between knowledge and virtue; we now therefore find him occupied with various projects for enlightening the public mind. His first effort of this kind was for the formation of an academy in 1743; but the only gentleman in Philadelphia whom he considered competent as a principal, declining to act, the undertaking was suspended for a short period. But in 1744 another project of his, the Philosophical Society of Philadelphia, was more fortunate, and soon ranked amongst its members all the leading persons of the province.
In the same year he was the patriotic advocate of the rights and liberties of his country. A Spanish privateer having ascended the bay of Delaware as high as Newcastle, our author thought of the defenceless state of the capital, and published a pamphlet called “Plain Truth, or serious considerations on the present state of the city of Philadelphia, and provinces of Pennsylvania, by a tradesman of Philadelphia,” exposing their dangers, and exhorting his fellow-citizens to prompt and united measures for the public defence. The characteristic soundness of the author's reasoning, and the remarkable effect produced by it, induce us to give an extract.
“The enemy,” says he, “no doubt have been told, that the people of Pennsylvania are Quakers, and are against all defence, from a principle of conscience; this, though true of a part, and that a small part only,
of the inhabitants, is commonly said of the whole ; and what may make it look probable to strangers is, that in fact nothing is done by any part of the people towards their defence. But to refuse defending one's self, or one's country, is so unusual a thing among mankind, that possibly they may not believe it, till by experience they find they can come higher and higher up our river, seize our vessels, land, and plunder our plantations and villages, and retire with their booty unmolested. Will not this confirm the report, and give them the greatest encouragement to strike one bold stroke for the city, and for the whole plunder of the river ?
“ It is said by some, that the expense of a vessel to guard our trade would be very heavy, greater than perhaps all the enemy can be supposed to take from us at sea would amount to; and that it would be cheaper for the government to open an insurance office, and pay all losses. But is this right reasoning ? I think not; for what the enemy takes is clear loss to us, and gain to him ; increasing his riches and strength, as much as it diminishes ours, so making the difference of double; whereas, the money paid our own tradesmen for building and fitting out a vessel of defence remains in the country, and circulates among us ; what is paid to the officer and seamen that navigate her is also spent ashore, and soon gets into other hands; the farmer receives the money for her provisions, and, on the whole, nothing is clearly lost to the country but her wear and tear, or as much as she sells for, at the end of the war, less than her first cost. This loss, and a trifling one it is, is all the inconvenience; but how many and how great are the conveniences and advantages ! And should the enemy, through our supineness, and neglect to provide for the defence both of our trade and country, be encouraged to attempt this city, and after plundering us of our goods, either BURN IT, or put it to ransom, how great would that loss be! besides the confusion, terror, and