Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin
In this paper, I would like to focus on and compare he most Important writings that were created by those two authors. Which are “Personal Narrative” and Part of “Autobiography. ” Benjamin Franklin is a major figure in early American history. He accomplished many great things for his country as a politician, political theorist, writer, and a diplomat.
Ironically, in his “Autobiography he shows himself as more of a scientist than a political thinker. A reader gets a full picture of Franklin who is Interested in learning and fascinated by doing whatever he can to make life a little bit better for American citizens.He truly believed that the only way to please God and be a good person, was by doing good deeds for other people, without wanting anything in return. In the Part of Franklins “Autobiography” he described his struggles with the issue of his own vanity. This was a really major concern for him. He is more than willing to confess that he could never get rid of his pride, even though he pretended to be humble. He was very aware of his problem and there are also parts in his biography where he was obviously confessing his own faults.
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Jonathan Edwards’ Personal Narrative” describes his attempt to a closer relationship with God. Edwards was raised in a very religious family and from his early childhood he was leading a Christian life. He experienced a “rite of passage” which helped him to get closer to God. His main goal in life was to be a better man in the eyes of God and a minister to his community. He mainly aimed his writing to the Christian audience, in contrast to Franklin, who was writing for everybody. Benjamin Franklin considered himself as Deist.He believed that there Is some Being but he argued that people need to find their own reality and reasoning.
Edwards, on the other hand, was leading his life according to the Bible. He attempted to interpret it and he tried to live by its words. This was his main goal in life. Franklin and Edwards had a different spirituality and that is why, their writings reflect their beliefs and experiences. Franklin, as a Deist, believed that the decisions he made played a main role In creating his destiny. His autobiography describes his mistakes and accomplishments.Franklin was his writing to all American citizens in order for them to improve themselves and learn from him.
He set himself as an example to follow. He wanted Americans to become better people. Edwards, however, believed that only “elect” people would go to Heaven. The main purpose of his writing was to show an example for Christians and prepare them to be “elect. ” He attempted to overcome his sins, be closer to God, and show people his experience. They had Just different ideas on how to achieve this. They also wanted to be influential for other people by their own deeds and sacrifices.
There were model figures on how to live a good life. They both spent their lives searching for self- improvement. Edwards was looking for perfection through God while Franklin through his own accomplishments. The author of “Personal Narrative” was god- centered while the second writer was other-man centered. Franklin helped other people by showing his successes and Edwards, on the other hand, helped others to find God. That was the biggest difference in how they view the world, which was also reflected in their writings.