Jonathan Edwards versus Benjamin Franklin

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Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin were both determined, self-sacrificing, and voracious readers throughout the early 18th century. However, Edward and Franklin had opposing viewpoints on some issues; Edward pursued religious purity in order to be a good Christian, while Franklin sought it in order to be a good man. Edward also relied on revelation and trusted God to give. Franklin, on the other hand, was deistic and relied on rationality and the scientific method (Panosian 1). Edward and Franklin clashed on about everything because what Edward supported, Franklin rejected. If I were to pick between the two, I would go with Franklin. Franklin was hardworking and determined; he was born in a family of seventeen in 1706, he was the son of Josiah Franklin and his second wife, Abiah Folger. He attended Boston Latin School until the age of ten. He read books and managed to improve his skills as he worked until he was twelve and joined his brother who introduced him to the printing trade (Franklin 5). However, at seventeen Franklin left his brother to New York to start a new life.
Before moving to New York, Franklin had adopted a pen name of 'Silence Dogood' after he was denied a chance to write under his name. In his quote, "Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom, and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech' (Franklin 9), Franklin shows his desire to express himself he, however, left to seek his freedom. In New York Franklin though challenged managed to set a printing house through partnership, he later in 1929 became the publisher of Pennsylvania Gazette (Franklin 9). In his other quote, he stated that 'without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning' (Franklin 4). This also shows Franklin as a person who is determined to succeed.
Franklin was a self-made man when Franklin realized he could not write using his name; he opted to adopt a pet name instead of killing his ambitions. However, he felt that he needed the freedom to express himself and left to start over in New York. While in New York he faced some challenges but still determined he managed to start a printing house and later became the president of some organizations. His quote 'to succeed jump as quickly to opportunities as you do to conclusions' (Franklin 2) shows his determination to succeed. He further says in another quote that 'failure to plan is planning to fail' the two quotes reflected Franklin's life in new York when he was invited by the governor promising to fund him but later realized that his promise was empty. He had to adopt anther plan as quickly to continue pushing his success ambition.
Franklin deistic and relied on reason, he believed that God created the universe and abandoned it thus it was one's personal efforts to achieve their goals. In his quote 'the working man is usually happy while the idle man is the miserable man,' he brings out the understanding of his believe, and he believed that for a man to be happy and successful, he had to apply his efforts. Franklin believed that truth and unity were the key facts in dealing with man and encouraged on reasoning other than revelation.

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Works Cited
Franklin, Ben. "The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.' Ushistory.Org, 1995,
Panosian, Edward, M. "Jonathan Edwards: America's Theologian-Preacher." In Faith of Our Fathers: Scenes from American Church History, edited by Mark Sidwell, 33-39. Greenville, SC: BJU Press, 1991.

August 18, 2021

Religion History

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God Reading Benjamin Franklin

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