Apt Words Then and Now

In the course of my life-coaching with my blonde daughter, I’ve read some of Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography. This section stood out to me as incredibly pertinent to the modern day. It also reminded me of some more ancient words penned in a letter to a young preacher named Timothy some hundreds of years ago.

“In the conduct of my newspaper, I carefully excluded all libelling [sic] and personal abuse, which is of late years become so disgraceful to our country. Whenever I was solicited to insert any thing of that kind, and the writers pleaded, as they generally did, the liberty of the press, and that a newspaper was like a stage-coach, in which any one who would pay had a right to a place, my answer was, that I would print the piece separately if desired, and the author might have as many copies as he pleased to distribute himself, but that I would not take upon me to spread his detraction; and that, having contracted with my subscribers to furnish them with what might be either useful or entertaining, I could not fill their papers with private altercation, in which they had no concern, without doing them manifest injustice. Now many of our printers make no scruple of gratifying the malice of individuals by false accusations of the fairest characters among ourselves, augmenting animosity even to the producing of duels; and are, moreover, so indiscreet as to print scurrilous reflections on the government of neighboring states, and even on the conduct of our best national allies, which may be attended with the most pernicious consequences.These things I mention as a caution to young printers, and that they may be encouraged not to pollute their presses and disgrace their profession by such infamous practices…”  –Benjamin Franklin from his autobiography

Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene…
(2 Timothy 2:14-17a)



7 thoughts on “Apt Words Then and Now

  1. A lot of people think issues we have in our modern world are new, but I really feel these have basically been the same issues since the beginning of time. It’s just with new advancements in technology, those have changed, the under causes… no, not really. This certainly is an interesting comparison. I also appreciate the scripture. We need to stay focused. Not distracted. Not emotional. Run the race in the way we may win.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So very true. I’ve been noticing that more and more the older I get. The good old days are something of a myth, historically speaking. All you have to do is read history – including the Bible! Right from the Fall, man started to go wrong, and it got ugly fast. The horrors Rome perpetrated to maintain “order,” Hitler’s camps, Stalin… there are no shortage of examples. It’s rarer to find examples where peace and unity were maintained for any length of time. And in each season, God preserves a remnant. Yes, run that we may win, and pray for those we love to be in our ranks in the end!

      Liked by 1 person

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