Ben founded the Union Fire Company in Philadelphia. Thanks to the matchless leadership of Benjamin Franklin, other volunteer fire departments were organized and the dire fear of fires expired in Philadelphia which became one of safest city's in the world in terms of fire damage.
Franklin was also unequaled in America as an inventor until Thomas Edison. He invented the Franklin stove, bifocal eyeglasses and the lightning rod. Franklin wasn't greedy about his inventions, preferring to have them used freely for the comfort and convenience of everyone. Thomas Jefferson called Benjamin Franklin "the greatest man and ornament of the age and country in which he lived." He also organized the country's first subscription library.
What did Christians of the time think of Franklin?
"It is much to be lamented that a man of Franklin's general good character and great influence should have been an unbeliever in Christianity, and also have done as much as he did to make others unbelievers" [Priestley's Autobiography, p. 60, on Benjamin Franklin]
The Rev. Thomas Prince, pastor of Old South Church, blamed Franklin's invention of the lightning rod for causing the Massachusetts earthquake of 1755. In Prince's sermon on the topic, he expressed the opinion that the frequency of earthquakes may be due to the erection of "points invented by the sagacious Mr. Franklin." He goes on to argue that "in Boston more are erected than anywhere else in New England, and Boston seems to be more dreadfully shaken. Oh! There is no getting out of the mighty hand of God."
What do biographers say?
"If belief in the miraculous revelation of the Old Testament and the New is required to make a man religious, then Franklin had no religion at all. It would be an insult to say that he believed in the popular theology of his time, or of ours, for. I find not a line from his pen indicating any such belief." [Theodore Parker]
"It is pity that good works, among some sorts of people, are so little valued, and good words admired in their stead. I mean seemingly pious discourses, instead of humane, benevolent actions. These they almost put out of countenance by calling morality, rotten morality; righteousness, ragged righteousness, and even filthy rags, and when you mention virtue, pucker up their noses; at the same time that they eagerly snuff up an empty, canting harangue, as if it were a posy of the choicest flowers" [Benjamin Franklin, 1758, to his sister, Mrs. Jane Mecom, Works, Vol. VII., p. 185]
Christianity says that any good work by an unbeliever is but worthless rags. Any good words by a believer is light and life.