Compare and Contrast Edwards and Franklin Writings
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Edwards and Franklin both had different writing styles in their works and some similar ones. They both wanted what was best for them and their fellow man. The one difference was that Edward related all of his writings to the Bible and it seemed like you were reading it. He lived his life by the Puritan way of living and had good morals, where Franklin wrote about people who had neither the Puritan way of life and no morals, “Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America.”
In Franklin’s Autobiography (Part two), he states, “I determined to give a Week’s strict Attention to each of the Virtues successively” ( Franklin 286). Usually by virtues it means that he is going to live his life carefully with good morals. Living with good upstanding morals is like living your life by the way of God just like Edwards was trying to tell us. He thought that this would help him in life later on. Franklin also used to use a prayer in his motto book. Prayer is another similarity of the Puritan life that Edwards preached. Edwards stated in his work, A Divine and Supernatural Light, “All may hence be exhorted earnestly to seek this spiritual light” (Edwards 206). He was saying that he was looking for a sign from God to tell him what to do and how to live a good prosperous life just like the Puritan belief. Franklin and Edwards both took spiritual metaphors and used them to express how they wanted to better themselves.
The one difference between Edwards and Franklin was that Edwards, in all of his writings, he always wrote about God and different passages that meant something about living life in a spiritual way. Franklin was the complete opposite; in one of his writings, he was talking about the savages in North America and when you here the word savage, your first instinct is men with no morals and do what ever they feel like doing like killing, stealing, and pillaging. “Savages we call them, because their manners differ from ours, which we think the perfection of civility; they think the same of theirs” (Franklin 227). Now he was saying that their way of life is different from theirs. His peoples’ lives are perfect and they have perfect manners and don’t think so about the savages.
He also says that the savages think the same way, but only about themselves. With Edwards , he doesn’t speak of anything about what Franklin writes about. In A Divine and Supernatural Light, the title speaks for itself. Underneath the title it states, “Immediately imparted to the soul by the spirit of God, shown to be both a spiritual and rational doctrine” (Edwards 194). He means that in the eyes of God, your soul is a part of God and it will make you spiritual. These two writings definitely shows you that these two authors are different in styles and beliefs. It’s not like they were in a completely different time line, they were pretty much in the same time period, but just had different beliefs and wanted to express themselves differently as most writers want to.
In conclusion, both of them definitely wanted what was best for their fellow man. Edwards wanted every bodies life to be free of immoral acts, while Franklin wanted every one to live a prosperous life without anybody telling them what to do and how to live. Edwards was more concerned with the way of the Puritans and not anything else. If you lived by that, you would be free of all sin. Franklin on the other hand believed in fighting for what you wanted. They both got what they wanted and earned everything through their writings and their actions.
I feel that Edwards views of life is how most people in this country and any other country feel. More people are turning to religion as a way of life to get by because most people are afraid of going to Hell. That’s how I feel about how every body else feels, but that’s not how I feel. I feel that if you live your life how you want to live it, good things will happen to you in the after life; if there is one. This is how people should feel, that’s my opinion. This is also how Franklin felt too. He thought that you should do what is best for yourself or what you think was good and go with it. You also had to help others as well, like he did and helped Americans fight, not literally fight, but he helped with gaining our independence, freedom, and liberty. He also helped Americans by invented things that would help our everyday needs. I would have to agree more with Franklin instead of Edwards and this is what the majority of the Americans should feel.