Category Archives: 4. Letters

I Concluded to Send You a Spinning Wheel

To Jane Franklin DEAR SISTER, Philadelphia, January 6, 1726-7. I am highly pleased with the account captain Freeman gives me of you. I always judged by your behaviour when a child that you would make a good, agreeable woman, and you know you were ever my peculiar favourite. I have been thinking what would be a suitable present for me to make, and for you to receive, as I hear you are grown a celebrated beauty. I had almost determined on a tea table, but when I considered that the character of a good housewife was far preferable to that of being only a pretty gentlewoman, I concluded to send you a spinning wheel, which I hope you will accept … Continue reading

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Too Severe Upon Hobbes

To James Logan Having read the Chapter on Moral Good or Virtue, with all the Attention I am Capable of, amidst the many little Cares that Continually infest me, I shall, as the Author Condescends to desire, give my Opinion of it, and that with all Sincerity and Freedom, neither apprehending the Imputation of Flattery on the one hand, nor that of Ill Manners on the other. I think the Design excellent — and the Management of it in the Main, good; a short Summary of the Chapter plac’d at the Beginning, and little Summaries of each Paragraph in the Margin being only necessary, and what will in my Opinion sufficiently remove any Disgust that the Authors dilate Manner of … Continue reading

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Opinions Should Be Judged of by Their Influences

To Josiah and Abiah Franklin Honour’d Father and Mother April 13. 1738 I have your Favour of the 21st of March in which you both seem concern’d lest I have imbib’d some erroneous Opinions. Doubtless I have my Share, and when the natural Weakness and Imperfection of Human Understanding is considered, with the unavoidable Influences of Education, Custom, Books and Company, upon our Ways of thinking, I imagine a Man must have a good deal of Vanity who believes, and a good deal of Boldness who affirms, that all the Doctrines he holds, are true; and all he rejects, are false. And perhaps the same may be justly said of every Sect, Church and Society of men when they assume … Continue reading

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Reading Jonathan Edwards

To Jane Mecom Dearest Sister Jenny Philada. July 28. 1743 I took your Admonition very kindly, and was far from being offended at you for it. If I say any thing about it to you, ’tis only to rectify some wrong Opinions you seem to have entertain’d of me, and that I do only because they give you some Uneasiness, which I am unwilling to be the Occasion of. 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. I am so far from thinking that God is not to be worshipped, that I have compos’d and wrote a … Continue reading

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More Dependence on Works Than on Faith

To John Franklin Philadelphia, 1745. – Our people are extremely impatient to hear of your success at Cape Breton. My shop is filled with thirty inquiries at the coming in of every post. Some wonder the place is not yet taken. I tell them I shall be glad to hear that news three months hence. Fortified towns are hard nuts to crack; and your teeth have not been accustomed to it. Taking strong places is a particular trade, which you have taken up without serving an apprenticeship to it. Armies and veterans need skilful engineers to direct them in their attack. Have you any? But some seem to think forts are as easy taken as snuff. Father Moody’s prayers look … Continue reading

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