A Book of Gems Choice selections from the writings of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 140

the _direction_
of one Spirit, we are all immersed into one body. It is clear that
the baptism alluded to is the initiatory rite, for there is no other
baptism _into one body_. The immersion in the Spirit is not _into one_
body, or _into_ anything. At the house of Cornelius they were immersed
into Christ after they had been immersed in the Holy Spirit. The
immersion in the Spirit was to convince Peter and his Jewish brethren
that God intended to receive the Gentiles as well as the Jews. Hence,
when Peter, in his rehearsal of the matter to his Jewish brethren, when
he came to this, exclaims, “What was I that I should withstand God?”

The “one baptism” of Paul is the initiatory rite—the baptism of the
Commission, connected with the faith and repentance for the remission
of sins, and will remain as long as there is one to believe, repent or
seek remission of sins. The faith, repentance, confession, immersion
and remission of sins stand connected in the gospel of the grace of
God, and we see not how any man can be so perverted as to try to evade
any one of these items.


The Bible is not the disturbing element, or property that prevents
fusion, for all the sects have the Bible, speak well of it and commend
it. They all bold the Bible in common. It is well received among all
denominations. The Bible is not, then, the divisive element, or the
repellent property among them that renders fusion impossible.

The Lord is not the repellent element, or property that prevents
fusion, for they all speak well of him. Indeed, they all claim to have
him with them and to love him.

The Holy Spirit is not the disturbing element, or property, for they
all speak well of him, and claim to love him and to have him dwelling
in them.

What, then, is the repellent property among them that prevents fusion,
or union? It is this very pet, dear and precious creature that they
all press to their hearts, guard so sacredly, and love so dearly, and
hold on to as to life itself—_denominationalism_. This is the element,
the corroding element, the foreign property, that will not fuse. It
is constitutionally a rebel against union. It is antagonistic and
repellent. What is it that makes the denomination? It is that which is
peculiar to it. It is not the Bible that makes a Methodist, nor the
love of the Bible, nor anything in it, for the Presbyterian has the
Bible, loves it, and all that is in it, as

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

Page 1
Page 7
Indeed, I scarce ever heard or saw the introductory words, "Without vanity, I may say," etc.
Page 16
He observed that, though I had the advantage of my antagonist in correct spelling and pointing (which I owed to the printing house), I fell far short in elegance of expression, in method, and in perspicuity, of which he convinced me by several instances.
Page 28
Thus I went up Market Street as far as Fourth Street, passing by the door of Mr.
Page 31
I began now to have some acquaintance among the young people of the town that were lovers of reading, with whom I spent my evenings very pleasantly; and, gaining money by my industry and frugality, I lived very agreeably, forgetting Boston as much as I could, and not desiring that any there should know where I resided, except my friend Collins, who was in my secret and kept it when I wrote to him.
Page 50
Veronica[74] displaying her handkerchief, with the miraculous figure of Christ's bleeding face on it, which she explained to me with great seriousness.
Page 59
compunction, and recollecting Keith's conduct toward me (who was another freethinker), and my own toward Vernon and Miss Read, which at times gave me great trouble, I began to suspect that this doctrine, though it might be true, was not very useful.
Page 61
Our debates were to be under the direction of a president, and to be conducted in the sincere spirit of inquiry after truth, without fondness for dispute or desire of victory; and, to prevent warmth, all expressions of positiveness in opinions, or direct contradiction, were after some time made contraband, and prohibited under small pecuniary penalties.
Page 66
[101] I soon after obtained, through my friend Hamilton, the printing of the Newcastle paper money, another profitable job, as I then thought it, small things appearing great to those in small circumstances; and these, to me, were really great advantages, as they were great encouragements.
Page 74
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Page 95
In 1736 I lost one of my sons, a fine boy of four years old, by the smallpox, taken in the common way.
Page 104
Most of them did well, being enabled at the end of our term, six years, to purchase the types of me and go on working for themselves, by which means several families were raised.
Page 111
The plan of it was discussed by the Junto, from which came six of the nine original members.
Page 119
All the inhabitants of the city were delighted with the cleanliness of the pavement that surrounded the market, it being a convenience to all; and this raised a general desire to have all the streets paved, and made the people more willing to submit to a tax for that purpose.
Page 123
A committee was then appointed, one member from each colony, to consider the several plans and report.
Page 143
I found they worked for a common stock,[182] ate at common tables, and slept in common dormitories, great numbers together.
Page 167
Handle your tools without mittens; remember that The cat in gloves catches no mice, as Poor Richard says.