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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 233

with at all.


Some person,—name not known—writing from Ripley, Ohio, inquires
whether persons baptized when very young, under excitement, having but
little understanding of the import of baptism; and, after coming to
mature years, become dissatisfied and desire to be baptized over again,
should he then be baptized again? This question is entirely outside of
the New Testament, and purely a question of opinion. Among the many
thousands baptized by the apostles, there were many, evidently, who
had but an imperfect understanding of the whole matter, not only of
very young persons, but many very illiterate persons. Yet there is
no account of any, on coming to a fuller understanding, who desired
to be baptized in the name of the Lord. It matters not how little
understanding persons have, if they believe in the Lord, repent of
their sins, confess and obey the Savior. Nor is the circumstance that a
person afterward understands the matter more fully, a reason why such
an one should be baptized again; but simply an evidence of a proper
growth in knowledge. There has been much said about the measure of
understanding that must be had before baptism, that would cut off one
half of the apostolic converts. Conversion is simply _turning to God_,
and there are but few who aim not to do this.


The difficulty in this case is not to be solved in dreams about
_different kinds of faith_. Writers may speculate upon different
kinds of faith till doomsday, and neither extricate themselves from
the difficulty, nor their readers. James and Paul were speaking of
precisely the same kind of faith; but Paul’s “deeds of the law” are
not the same as James’ “works;” or no man can avoid a contradiction.
Paul and James are both speaking of the faith that justifies man,
but neither of them are speaking of faith _alone_. Paul and James
were speaking of the faith of Christ, by which the heart is purified,
“without the deeds of the law” of Moses, and both would have agreed any
time, that by the deeds of the law of Moses, no man could be justified
in the sight of God. But the deeds of the law of Moses and the deeds of
the gospel—the “good works which God has ordained that we should walk
in them”—as mentioned by Paul—Eph. ii. 10—and the works of James,
are not the same by any means. Paul was arguing against opposing Jews,
who contended that men could be justified by the works or deeds of the
law of Moses, and

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

Page 7
--Electrical attraction and repulsion.
Page 36
We heard them at the door, and Keimer believing it to be a visit to himself, went immediately down: but the governor enquired for me, came up stairs, and, with a condescension and politeness to which I had not at all been accustomed, paid me many compliments, desired to be acquainted with me, obligingly reproached me for not having made myself known to him on my arrival in the town, and wished me to accompany him to a tavern, where he and colonel French were going to taste some excellent Madeira wine.
Page 61
He frequently found fault, was difficult to please, and seemed always on the point of coming to an open quarrel with me.
Page 85
de Romas made his first attempt on the 14th of May, 1753, but was not successful until the 7th of June; a year after Franklin had completed the discovery, and when it was known to all the philosophers in Europe.
Page 94
Franklin and the other trustees were enabled to prosecute their plan, for perfecting the institution, and opening the college upon the large and liberal foundation on which it now stands; for which purpose they obtained their additional charter, dated May 27th, 1755.
Page 100
Nor was their confidence ill-founded.
Page 102
He was prevented by an untimely end, from bringing his invention to any degree of perfection.
Page 110
Two or three essays read in this society were published.
Page 163
Turn this leaf with the acute part uppermost, and then it takes place nearest the unelectrified plate; because, otherwise, it receives faster at its acute point, than it can discharge at its right-angled one.
Page 165
Page 172
For the globe then draws the electric fire out of the outside surface of the phial and forces it through the prime conductor and wire of the phial into the inside surface.
Page 176
Page 183
Then I electrified the ball, with the wire of a charged phial, and presented to it rubbed glass (the stopper of a decanter) and a china tea-cup, by which it was as strongly repelled as by the wire; but when I presented either of the other rubbed electrics, it would be strongly attracted, and when I electrified it by either of these, till it became repelled, it would be attracted by the wire of the phial, but be repelled by its coating.
Page 213
Page 234
But I have the pleasure to inform you, that your method of preventing such terrible disasters, has, by a fact which had like to have escaped our knowledge, given a very convincing proof of its great utility; and is now in higher repute with us than ever.
Page 242
only their natural quantity of that fluid, are not usually seen to attract each other, or to affect mutually the quantities of electricity each contains.
Page 308
Page 311
prospects of future ability, _ibid.
Page 316
by Mr.
Page 333
enters on the business of, as master, 78.