Benjamin Franklin was into virtue, as were many of the founding fathers of the United States. That 18th century was a society in which self-discipline was lauded, almost worshipped.
Franklin was particularly interested in 13 virtues. Number one, temperance: "Eat not to dullness, drink not to elevation."
Two, silence: "Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself, avoid trifling conversation."
Three, order: "Let all your things have their place, let each part of your business have its time."
Four, resolution: "Resolve to perform what you ought, perform without fail what you resolve."
Five, frugality: "Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself, waste nothing."
Six, industry: "Lose no time, be always employed in something useful, cut off all unnecessary actions."
Seven, sincerity: "Use no hurtful deceit, think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly."
Eight, justice: "Wrong none by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty."
Nine, moderation: "Avoid extremes, forebear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve."
Ten, cleanliness: "Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes, or habitation."
Eleven, tranquility: "Be not disturbed at trifles or at accidents common or unavoidable."
Twelve, chastity: "Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation."
Thirteen, humility: "Imitate Jesus and Socrates."
Not only was Franklin interested in virtue, but he kept a careful account of it. Franklin actually had a notebook, a journal, a kind of ledger book where he kept account of each day. For each day in the week, there was space for recording self-assigned demerits. Franklin resolved to count the ...
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