Benjamin Franklin/Jonathan Edwards- A Comparison

Essay by whoismeHigh School, 11th gradeA+, June 2004

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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. 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...