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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 288

“Being _then_ made free from sin,
they have their fruit unto holiness and the end everlasting life.”
Where does he pardon them? In his appointments.


Referring to the position of the disciples on the action of baptism, a
correspondent says: “That, in regard to the sacrament of baptism, the
whole christian world have been in the dark, from the earliest history
of the church until within three hundred years, and much the greater
part are still behind!” He adds, “Not deceived, be it remembered, about
some things not essential to the ordinance, but _in regard to the very
nature of it_. And what is yet more singular, denominations possessing
much the greater share of learning are most in the dark!” He proceeds,
“Nay, even the christian fathers, who were, some of them, Greeks, and
men of learning, and who certainly should have known something about
their own language, were in serious error upon this very subject!”

All this is said, by our worthy friend, in reference to our position,
that nothing but immersion is baptism. It contains several items, and
to give them all possible conspicuity we notice them separately.

_First._ His first trouble is about the whole christian world being
in the dark, if our position is true. This expression, “the whole
christian world,” must be simmered down a little. We strike out of
it, then, all the christians of the first two centuries, as not in
the dark, for they held and practiced nothing but immersion for
baptism. This is sufficient, if we could say no more. But we add to
this all Baptists of modern times, who have not been in the dark on
this point. No fact is better authenticated than that for the first
thirteen centuries immersion was invariably practiced by all professed
christians, except, after the third century, in cases of extreme
weakness, where they thought immersion could not be endured, they
decided that affusion would do; but these could never hold office in
the church. Even the Episcopalian church, in the time of Mr. Wesley,
almost invariably immersed. Now sum up all these, and then decide how
large the number in the dark, and you will find that the sprinklers are
a mere drop in the bucket.

_Second._ The above shows that they have not possessed much the greater
share of learning, but much the smaller share of learning.

_Third._ The christian fathers, so called, are not to be entered in
that list. They were on the other side, and practiced immersion and
nothing else. The remark of the Cyprian shows that he is defending
something new and

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

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Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons BY ABBOTT LAWRENCE ROTCH Reprinted from the Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society Volume XVIII WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS THE DAVIS PRESS 1907 BENJAMIN FRANKLIN AND THE FIRST BALLOONS.
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With great Respect, I am, Sir, Your most obedient and most humble Servant B.
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The great one of M.
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It carried under it a large Lanthorn with inscriptions on its sides.
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a tree, and was torn in getting it down; so that it cannot be ascertained whether it burst when above, or not, tho' that is supposed.
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in passing thro' this Flame rose in the Balloon, swell'd out its sides, and fill'd it.
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_ That is their Provision of Straw; of which they carried up a great Quantity.
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These Machines must always be subject to be driven by the Winds.
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Faujas's Book upon the Balloons, which I hope you have receiv'd.
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I hope they descended by Day-light, so as to see & avoid falling among Trees or on Houses, and that the Experiment was completed without any mischievous Accident which the Novelty of it & the want of Experience might well occasion.
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The little Balloon falling at Vincennes, shows that mounting higher it met with a Current of Air in a contrary Direction: An Observation that may be of use to future aerial Voyagers.
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Il avoit perdu son air inflammable par le Robinet qu'on avoit laisse ouvert expres pour empecher l'explosion a trop grande hauteur.
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_Letter of November 30.
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