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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 232

unite with a congregation of christians where the ordinances
are kept and the authority of Christ is maintained.

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. The Ethiopian officer
became a christian, or entered into the kingdom of God, or the body
of Christ, in obeying the gospel; but this did not make him a member
of any particular local congregation, where he would meet with other
christians and worship. This required an additional step. By faith,
repentance and baptism he entered into Christ, or in the body of
Christ, or became a christian. But if he has thus come into the general
body, or thus become a christian, and then united with the Baptist
church, or any other church, where he can not worship according to the
Scriptures; where they do not commemorate the sufferings and death of
Jesus regularly on the first day of the week, as the first christians
did; where they have an unauthorized name, a human creed and other
things contrary to Scripture; he has a right, and more, he ought to
seek a gospel church where he can worship according to Scripture.


Baptism, the initiatory rite, or the act of entering the church, is a
command. All commands must be preceded by faith. The divine authority,
requiring baptism, must be recognized, before the command can be
obeyed; and the divine authority can only be recognized by faith.
How, then, can a command be obeyed by one without faith, without a
consciousness of divine authority, or even the knowledge that the
command exists? Such a practice subverts the command of God in every
case where it obtains, and if it should become universal, would set
aside and annihilate all obedience to the command to be baptized. In
every case, where an infant is baptized, and prevailed upon, in after
life, to be content with its baptism and infant membership, one person
is effectually prevailed upon never to obey the command to be baptized,
and never, personally, to bow to the authority of Jesus in voluntarily
entering into covenant with him. The person is deceived, and made to
think, when come to the years of accountability, that two things have
been done that never have been done, viz: 1. That the command to be
baptized has been obeyed. 2. That the requirement to enter into the
church has been complied with. Neither the one nor the other has been

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

Page 10
it Possible to Arouse the People 138 Jesus Revealed as the Savior 379 Judgment the Ground of Repentance 202 Keep Politics out of the Church 160 Kind of Preachers and Preaching Needed 211 Knowing and not Doing 435 Laying the Corner Stone of a Catholic Cathedral 271 Lifted Above Sects and Parties 69 Light Within 61 Little Matters 53 Lord’s Day Meetings 270 Lotteries 11 Maintain a Pure Faith and Worship 289 Making the Bible Support Human Systems 71 Man’s Accountability .
Page 15
422 Reason, Providence, and the Spirit of God, Teach us to Obey God 150 Receiving Sinners without Baptism 175 Reckless Twaddle 78 Recognition of, by Sects 301 Reflections for Dancers 112 Reformation a Success 96 Reign of a Thousand Years 263 Religion and Politics 336 Resurrection—Adamic Sin 325 Resurrection of Lazarus 89 Revelation of the Mystery 372 Riches of Faith .
Page 31
He _hardened himself_.
Page 60
The promise of God, with them, is the _mere word_, the _bare word_, the _mere letter_ of Scripture.
Page 61
Every pretense to miracle or revelation from then till now is an empty and idle pretense—an imposition.
Page 77
The resurrection of Lazarus was like the healing of the sick, giving sight to the blind, and other miraculous benefits, only _temporary_.
Page 85
There is an “everlasting punishment,” and no sound learning can make this mean everlasting _non-existence_.
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” Luke xiii.
Page 124
To his name be honor and power everlasting.
Page 132
with a hot iron, tingle; or any face, not past feeling, blush.
Page 139
We take it as Wesley did, that “by one Spirit,” is by.
Page 185
In the operations of Moody and Sankey, as also others that have conceived virtually the same idea, and their surroundings, we have some lessons of much importance.
Page 198
If there is no divine authority for a thing, that is enough.
Page 203
But they must “love not the world, nor the things of the world,” make it a matter of prayer, and study how to live and walk with God; how to have the continual care and gracious providence of God over them.
Page 225
Slavery is an institution of the world, as all other political institutions are, and neither the kingdom of God nor its subjects are responsible for its results.
Page 238
Are we told that such is an ungenerous charge? Well, who can avoid it? The language of the Lord, just quoted, clearly implies that the faith of the world depends on the unity of believers; and we all admit, that the world cannot be converted without faith, for “without faith it is impossible to please God; for they that would come to him must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them who diligently seek him.
Page 254
Let us hear the Confession again: “Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, hath chosen in Christ, unto everlasting glory, out of his mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature as conditions or causes moving him thereto; and all to the praise of his glorious grace.
Page 269
” It is not “one pouring,” “one sprinkling,” or “_three_ immersions,” but “one immersion.
Page 283
There can be no middle ground, no neutral ground.
Page 294
He should be a man of no idle habits, such as lounging upon cushions, loafing on the streets, at the corners, in shops, stores or places of business, or idleness.