These Puritans would not have made an either/or distinction between spiritual and secular motives. For among the useful notions that they bequeathed to America was a Protestant ethic that taught that religious freedom and economic freedom were linked, that enterprise was a virtue, and that financial success need not preclude spiritual salvation.7
History is a tale, Franklin came to believe, not of immutable forces but of human endeavors.
like Voltaire, he was able to poke fun at his own efforts, and
that of humanity in general, to be guided by reason. A recurring theme in his autobiography, as well as in his tales and almanacs, was his amusement at man’s ability to rationalize what was convenient.