Benjamin Franklin/Jonathan Edwards- A Comparison

Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin are two major figures in history. Edwards was a very religious Puritan minister, and Benjamin Franklin was the opposite; a diplomat, inventor, negotiator, merchant along with many other qualities. Each man had goals in their life. Though the reasons for the goals may be different, they both were very serious about accomplishing them. The goals that each man had in life were far from similar. Edwards was very committed to his religion, and did much more than the average Puritan.

Jonathan Edwards was a Puritan minister and wrote the very famous sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. His words were very powerful, and even though it could be considered negative, people were affected. Edwards wanted to warn people of their fate, though they were supposedly damned anyway. Edwards, I think, wanted to be saved. The way he talked of hell, I could not imagine him expecting to go there. Ben Franklin wanted to accomplish as much as possible in his lifetime. He was a merchant at first, and then moved to become an inventor, a diplomat, and a negotiator.

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Franklin was not religious at all. He was a scientist, and really did not have time in his life for faith. Jonathan Edwards, from his sermon did not give specific reasons for his goal to be saved, but he probably did not want to go through hell. The way he spoke of it, it seemed like the most horrible place one could ever experience. Also, he wanted to warn people of their fate because, he was a minister and that was his job, and also because people were losing sight of their old religion and going into a more modern faith.

Without him, Puritanism would have died out a lot sooner than it did. Ben Franklin wanted to accomplish as much as he could because he grew up poor. Ben was one of seventeen children, and times were tough during his childhood. This disadvantage as a child only made him try harder to become as much as he could. This was mainly the only reason why he tried as hard as he did. Jonathan Edwards accomplished one of his goals by preaching. Edwards warned the people on their fate, and people listened. He was very prestigious in his field.

His other goal was not to go to hell, and no one knows whether or not he escaped it. Though I thought he was very wrong in his sermons, he could have made it to heaven if at the time that was the ‘requirement’ for heaven. Ben Franklin accomplished his goal by hard work. Though he left school early to work, by twenty four he was a successful merchant. He created a newspaper, helped found the Academy Of Pennsylvania and performed many public service projects. He invented electricity and bifocals, became a diplomat and negotiator. He helped draft the Declaration of

Independence. F-ranking tried to make things better. His good-work ethic helped him accomplish his goal. Edwards and Franklin differed in many ways, but had a similar quality: the both worked hard. Edwards preached even when people were drifting away from his ideas, and Franklin worked his way from poverty to prestige. Edwards work was based on religion, unlike Franklin, and Franklin worked until he was in his eighties. Both men are a role model for the working man. They did not stop until they felt what they had to do was done.

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Benjamin Franklin/Jonathan Edwards- A Comparison. (2018, Feb 01). Retrieved from