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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 269

Pentecost, and
at the house of Cornelius. On Pentecost the subjects of it were in
Christ before it occurred, and at the house of Cornelius they were not
in Christ after it occurred till they were immersed in water. In both
instances they spake with tongues and prophesied.

When Paul wrote the letter to the church in Ephesus there remained
but “one immersion,” the one of the last commission, connected with
salvation, the remission of sin, or induction “into the name of the
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” This is Paul’s “one
immersion.” It is not “one pouring,” “one sprinkling,” or “_three_
immersions,” but “one immersion.” _Three_ immersions has not one scrap
of authority in the commission or anywhere else. In the same sentence
where the apostle has “one body, one Spirit, one hope, one faith,” he
has “one immersion,” and it would be in no more direct violation of his
language to talk of _three_ bodies, _three_ Spirits, _three_ hopes,
_three_ faiths, than of “_three_ immersions.” There is no method by
which the language can be so tortured as to get _three_ immersions
out of the words, “immersing them into the name of the Father, and of
the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Such a thing was never thought of
till the dispute about the Trinity sprung up. This dispute originated
it. There is not a trace of trine immersion till more than a hundred
years after the apostles were gone; till the shallow nonsense of infant
sin, infant regeneration, infant immersion and infant damnation were
introduced. Here, and not in the Bible, the friends of trine immersion
go to find it, and here they find it among those who taught that
infants were _guilty_ of original sin and liable to eternal damnation;
that infants must be regenerated; that the stain of Adam’s sin must be
washed away; that this can not be done except in baptism, to prepare
them for heaven. They practiced no infant sprinkling, but infant
immersion, and, in time, trine immersion, or immersed them three times.
We think some of the Greeks do this to the present day.


In reading the history of the church, one is overwhelmed to see how
innovations have crept in and eat the vitals out of the church. At
every period of the church, when there was any vitality in it, any
spirituality or devotion to God, there has been a constant effort on
the part of the enemy, through some well-meaning, but worldly minded
professors of religion, to work things into the church, or

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Text Comparison with Experiments and Observations on Electricity Made at Philadelphia in America

Page 3
Page 4
If a cork suspended by a silk thread (_f_) hang between these two wires, it will play incessantly from one to the other, 'till the bottle is no longer electrised; that is, it fetches and carries fire from the top to the bottom of the bottle, 'till the equilibrium is restored.
Page 8
The impossibility of electrising one's self (tho' standing on wax) by rubbing the tube and drawing the fire from it; and the manner of doing it by passing the tube near a person or thing standing on the floor, &c.
Page 11
We rub our tubes with buckskin, and observe always to keep the same side to the tube, and never to sully the tube by handling; thus they work readily and easily, without the least fatigue; especially if kept in tight pastboard cases, lined with flannel, and fitting closeto the tube.
Page 12
Place two phials equally charged on a table at five or six inches distance.
Page 15
We then took two plates of lead of equal dimensions, but less than the glass by two inches every way, and electrified the glass between them, by electrifying the uppermost lead; then separated the glass from the lead, in doing which, what little fire might be in the lead was taken out and the glass being touched in the electrified parts with a finger, afforded only very small pricking sparks, but a great number of them might be taken from different places.
Page 19
Part of the gilding torn off, is also found forcibly driven into the hole made in the paper by the stroke.
Page 20
allowing (for the reasons before given, s 8, 9, 10,) that there is no more electrical fire in a bottle after charging, than before, how great must be the quantity in this small portion of glass! It seems as if it were of its very substance and essence.
Page 21
Which shews that bodies having less than the common quantity of Electricity, repel each other, as well as those that have more.
Page 22
Page 25
In the collision they shake off and drop their water, which represents rain.
Page 27
When there is great heat on the land, in a particular region (the sun having shone on it perhaps several days, while the surrounding countries have been screen'd by clouds) the lower air is rarified and rises, the cooler denser air above descends; the clouds in that air meet from all sides, and join over the heated place; and if some are electrified, others not, lightning and thunder succeed, and showers fall.
Page 31
Page 33
has the line A, E, for its basis.
Page 37
Lightning has often been known to strike people blind.
Page 39
The gold was melted and stain'd into the glass as usual.
Page 41
It is said in section 8, of this paper, that all kinds of common matter are supposed not to attract the electrical fluid with equal strength; and that those called electrics _per se_, as glass, &c.
Page 48
And besides, when the globe is filled with cinnamon, or other non-electric, no electrical fluid can be obtain'd from its outer surface, for the reason before-mentioned.
Page 49
For if it was fine enough to come with the electrical fluid through the body of one person, why should it stop on the skin of another? But I shall never have done, if I tell you all my conjectures, thoughts, and imaginations, on the nature and operations of this electrical fluid, and relate the variety of little experiments we have try'd.
Page 52
Designed for the Use of the Curious in general, and Students in particular.