Religious study in the autobiography of benjamin franklin

Inhe asked the nation's senior statesman if he would commit his religious beliefs to paper.

Religious study in the autobiography of benjamin franklin

This letter has often been cited as evidence that Franklin rejected Christianity and maintained his skepticism until his death. As I did so, I was shocked to discover that this iconic figure of the Revolution had documented his own, spiritual revolution in clear detail revealing to all the world his conversion from skeptical deism to a full faith and trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Religious study in the autobiography of benjamin franklin

Here is a brief synopsis of what I found Links to original sources are provided at the end of the article: Benjamin Franklin was raised in a Christian home, but according to his autobiography, he decided to become a deist at the age of fifteen after reading several books on the subject. This transitional phase appears to have continued through when Franklin wrote his outline of "Doctrine to be Preached.

There is, however, a marked difference between this outline and the "Articles of Belief" which Franklin had written three years prior.

The article, however, introduced several additional concepts which are not seen in the remnants of the earlier outline, though they might have been in the portions which have been lost. This article also marks the first record we have of Franklin saying that men should pray to God for "his Favour and Protection.

He denied his previous claim that men would be rewarded by God according to their virtues. In this February 18,article, he wrote that "We do not pretend to merit any thing of God, for he is above our Services; and the Benefits he confers on us, are the Effects of his Goodness and Bounty.

Religious study in the autobiography of benjamin franklin

In the dialogue, S. Does not this imply, that there were good Men, who, without Faith in him, were in a State of Salvation?

Nor is this statement the only reference to the Bible in the dialogue. Throughout the course of the discussion, S.

From the SparkNotes Blog

In addition to publishing the "Dialogue between Two Presbyterians," Franklin also published three pamphlets in defense of Hemphill. In those pamphlets, we find Franklin shedding the last vestiges of his previously held deism and fully adopting biblical Christianity.

The third of these pamphlets was entitled "A Defense of Mr. He finally understood that there is a God, that sin separates men from Him, that no man is virtuous enough to regain fellowship with God, that the penalty for this failure is death, that Christ paid that penalty for all men through His own death on the cross and that it is only by placing faith in His sacrifice and repenting of our own failures that we can be brought back into favor with God.

Here, Franklin speaks not as a mere deist or theist but as a true follower of Jesus Christ. Ironically, however, many of those same individuals have used misconstrued quotes from these very same pamphlets in support of their claims that Franklin rejected Christianity.

Gregg Frazer, for example, wrote the following in his book on the founding fathers: In his defense of Hemphill, Franklin attacked the orthodox image of God as a righteous judge who must be satisfied as, in the words of one scholar, "repugnant both to reason and to God.

Indeed, Franklin tried to defend Hemphill against the charge that he denied "the true and proper satisfaction of Christ" by diminishing its significance and by changing the subject. Here is what he said: My Mother grieves that one of her Sons is an Arian, another an Arminian.

This letter notes that only one of Mrs. Frazer completely ignores this distinction and merely assumes that Benjamin Franklin must be the Arian son. This is a remarkable oversight, for just ten pages earlier in his book, Frazer went to great lengths to prove that Benjamin Franklin was not a Calvinist.

And indeed he was not, for we have already seen that he wrote of the free will of man in his article on the providence of God. Thus, Benjamin Franklin was most likely the son which Mrs. Franklin thought to be an Arminian, and it was his brother who denied the existence of the Trinity.

This was never his practice prior to his defense of Hemphill, and it serves to prove that his conversion to Christianity was genuine. Of course, it could be argued that this letter marks a regression from the bold statement of faith in the Hemphill pamphlets because Franklin here writes that we will be judged based on our actions, but such an objection would be very much mistaken.

Here is what he wrote: You express yourself as if you thought I was against Worshipping of God, and believed Good Works would merit Heaven; which are both Fancies of your own, I think, without Foundation.

And I imagine there are few, if any, in the World, so weake as to imagine, that the little Good we can do here, can merit so vast a Reward hereafter.

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

There are some Things in your New England Doctrines and Worship, which I do not agree with, but I do not therefore condemn them, or desire to shake your Belief or Practice of them.

We may dislike things that are nevertheless right in themselves. I would only have you make me the same Allowances, and have a better Opinion both of Morality and your Brother. Read the Pages of Mr.The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Questions and Answers - Discover the community of teachers, mentors and students just like you .

Benjamin Franklin FRS FRSE (January 17, Franklin printed Moravian religious books in German. Franklin often visited Bethlehem, in his autobiography Franklin wrote, "I hope, therefore, that some of my descendants may .

Franklin's father emigrated from England to Massachusetts for religious freedom. Raised as a Congregationalist in Boston, as an adult, Benjamin Franklin was not a member of any organized church. In his autobiography, Franklin states his conviction of the existence of a deity and his tolerance for.

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by: Benjamin Franklin The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is an autobiography that was first published in FRANKLIN'S VIEWS ABOUT RELIGION.

At age 17, Franklin left Boston because

In this section, Franklin discusses his religion. Although he no longer attends public religious meetings, he believes in God and his creation. In addition, he believes that serving humankind and doing good for a fellow man are the best services offered to God. Ezra Stiles (–), the Calvinist president of Yale College, was curious about Benjamin Franklin (–) and his faith.

In , he asked the nation's senior statesman if he would commit his religious beliefs to paper.

Critical Opinions of The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin