A Letter to Benjamin Franklin

Christians today must be both bold and winsome in our witness for Jesus Christ. Such winsome boldness was displayed in the friendship evangelist George Whitefield cultivated with Benjamin Franklin. Though Franklin had a respect for the Christian faith I am not aware that he ever made a personal profession of faith in Christ. However, this didn’t keep Whitefield from sharing the gospel with him and always keeping communication lines open. Note the courteous yet strong witness of this letter:

                                                                          London, August 17, 1752
Dear Mr. Franklin,
I find that you grow more and more famous in the learned world. As you have made a pretty considerable progress in the mysteries of electricity, I would now humbly recommend to your diligent unprejudiced pursuit and study the mystery of the new birth. It is a most important, interesting study, and when mastered, will richly repay you for all your pains. One, at whose bar we are shortly to appear, hath solemnly declared, that, without it, ‘we cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ You will excuse this freedom. I must have aliquid Christi [something of Christ] in all my letters. I am yet a willing pilgrim for His great name sake, and I trust a blessing attends my poor feeble labours. To the giver of every good gift be all the glory. My respects await your whole self, and all enquiring friends, and hoping to see you yet once more in this land of the dying, I subscribe myself, dear Sir.
Your very affectionate friend, and obliged servant, G. W.
If Whitefield were alive today no doubt there would be “something of Christ” in each of his conversations, posts, e-mails, texts, and tweets!  This weekend may there be something of Christ in all our conversations and communications.