Johnathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin Essay

This essay has a total of 351 words and 2 pages.

Johnathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin



Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin
Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin both wrote simply, directly and without
aristocratic pretense. They felt writing was not an end in itself, but a work done in the
service of something greater whether it be God or mankind. In his "Personal Narrative,"
Edwards focuses on the ecclesiastical whereas Franklin, in "The Way to Wealth" appeals to
the individual. Edwards wrote to understand what was happening around him and admits, "I
made seeking my salvation the main business of my life,". Franklin, rather, wrote on
self improvement, similarly to an author of a modern day self-help book. He wrote to
inform and would represent himself attractively with numerous aphorisms such as "Lost time
is never found" and "The sleeping fox catches no poultry".

Edwards, in "Personal Narrative," crystallized into language of permanent beauty one of
the great mystical experiences of the race. His conversion at age 17, demonstrates his
awareness of a meaningful world: "I often used to sit and view the Moon, for a long time;
and so in the daytime spent much time in viewing the clouds and sky, to behold glory of
God in these things. . . " Franklin would not sit quietly and view the moon for he
reminds his audience that "there will be sleeping enough in the grave". He encourages
independence saying "God helps them that help themselves". Franklin tried that strategy:
"I used to be continually examining myself, and studying and contriving for likely ways
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