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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 282

half work, or
rather, only half does his work, and will be responsible to the great
Shepherd and Bishop of souls.




HOUSEHOLD BAPTISMS.


It is claimed that whole households were baptized, and that these must
have included infants; as, for instance, the following:

1. Lydia and her house. All that is said of Lydia is found in two
verses, Acts xvi. 14, 15, and the passage contains not one word about
an infant, or a child of any sort. It is stated that “she was baptized
and her household.” But it is not stated that she was a married woman,
that she had any children, much less that she had any infants; and,
therefore, there is nothing here about any infant baptism.

2. The next household mentioned is that of the Jailor, Acts xvi. 33.
“And they—Paul and Silas—spoke unto him the word of the Lord, and
to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the
night, and washed their stripes, and was baptized, he and all his
straightway. And when they had brought them into his house, he set meat
before them, and rejoiced, believing in God, with all his house.” Here
are two things stated of these that can not be said of infants. They
spoke unto him—the Jailor—the word of the Lord, and _to all that
were in his house_. The Jailor rejoiced, believing in God with all
his house. Here it is asserted of the household that they rejoiced,
believing in God. The word of the Lord was spoken to them, they
rejoiced and believed in God. This can not be said of infants.

3. The next case of a household, which we shall mention, is that of
Cornelius, Acts xi. 14. Here, however, is conclusive evidence that
there were no infants, for the angel said, “Send men to Joppa, and call
for Simon, whose surname is Peter; who shall tell thee words whereby
thou and all thy house shall be saved.” Infants are not _told words
whereby they are saved_. Those who practice infant baptism do not tell
them words whereby they may be saved, and do not believe they are saved
in or by baptism.

4. There is but one other household mentioned in the New Testament,
in connection with baptism. That is “the household of Stephanas.” I.
Cor. i. 16. In the same letter we find one thing affirmed of this same
household that can not be affirmed of infants. “They have _addicted
themselves_ to the ministry of the saints.” I. Cor. xvi. 15. This is a
thing infants can not do.

There were,

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

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The five letters which I have the honor to present were written to Sir Joseph Banks, President of the Royal Society of London, in 1783, when Franklin was Minister to the Court of France and, with the collateral documents, they give perhaps the most complete and accurate account of the beginning of aerial navigation, enlivened with the humor and speculation characteristic of the writer.
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Charles, Professor of experimental Philosophy at Paris.
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Since writing the above, I am favour'd with your kind Letter of the 25th.
Page 3
Among the Pleasanteries Conversation produces on this Subject, some suppose Flying to be now invented, and that since Men may be supported in the Air, nothing is wanted but some light handy Instruments to give and direct Motion.
Page 4
The appearance of the light diminished gradually till it appeared no bigger than one of the Stars, and in about twenty minutes I lost sight of it entirely.
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But as more perfect Accounts of the Construction and Management of that Machine have been and will be published before your Transactions, and from which Extracts may be made that will be more particular and therefore more satisfactory, I think it best not to print those Letters.
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_Planant sur l'Horizon.
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The Gores that compose it are red and white Silk, so that it makes a beautiful appearance.
Page 8
It does not seem to me a good reason to decline prosecuting a new Experiment which apparently increases the Power of Man over Matter, till we can see to what Use that Power may be applied.
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Balloon we now inhabit.
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The Wind was very little, so that the Object, tho' moving to the Northward, continued long in View; and it was a great while before the admiring People began to disperse.
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2.
Page 12
_ In the eighth line after the word "Balloon" Smyth inserts "lately.
Page 13
--Transcriber's note-- A caret (^) indicates the following character or characters were printed in superscript.
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"; p.