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Stance about the Theme of Faith and Doubt

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This posting offers ideas about how the author used style as a means to convey his messages about faith and doubt. It notes patterns in the writing and reacts to the patterns and to the whole work.

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As you explore these themes within Franklin's piece, please allow some of my ideas to lead you:

First, in terms of style, please note Franklin's use of Biblical allusions. First, he cites Paul as he urges readers to exercise faith: "Without faith it is impossible to please God." Franklin's justification by faith is evident in his introduction as he appeals to the emotions and puritanical virtues of his audience. Another trait involves his use of "the ideal of the middle style in English prose" (http://www.georgetown.edu/faculty/bassr/heath/syllabuild/iguide/franklin.html).

Please also note Franklin's brilliant use of alliteration. He states, "It is a matter of profound gratification, that, in the midst of the confusion, misunderstanding, and mysticisms of these times, there are some important points on which all are agreed." The repetition of the "m" sounds offers readers poetic style and also auditory stimulation.

In terms of style and structure, please also note his use of long, intricate sentences. He uses many appositives to show sophistication, formality, and persuasive appeal. Please also recognize his persuasive thesis about faith as he declares, "One thing in which all are agreed is that there can be no justification or spiritual life without faith." Besides this concrete thesis, he also reiterates how "No man ...

Solution Summary

Faith and doubt are examined in terms of Franklin's sermon.

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