In the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin we read: "It was about this time I conceiv'd the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection. I wish'd to live without committing any fault at any time; I would conquer all that either natural inclination, custom, or company might lead me into. As I knew, or thought I knew, what was right and wrong, I did not see why I might not always do the one and avoid the other. But I soon found I had undertaken a task of more difficulty than I bad imagined. While my care was employ'd in guarding against one fault, I was often surprised by another; habit took the advantage of inattention; inclination was sometimes too strong for reason. I concluded, at length, that the mere speculative conviction that it was our interest to be completely virtuous, was not sufficient to prevent our slipping; and that the contrary habits must be broken, and good ones acquired and established, before we can have any dependence on a steady, uniform rectitude of conduct. For this purpose I therefore contrived the following method.
"In the various enumerations of the moral virtues I had met with in my reading, I found the catalogue more or less numerous, as different writers included more or fewer ideas under the same name. Temperance, for example, was by some confined to eating and drinking, while by others it was extended to mean the moderating every other pleasure, appetite, inclination, or passion, bodily or mental, even to our avarice and ambition. I propos'd to myself, for the sake of clearness, to use rather more names, with fewer ideas annex'd to each, than a few names with more ideas; and I included under thirteen names of virtues all that at that time occurr'd to me as necessary or desirable, and annexed to each a short precept, which fully express'd the extent I gave to its meaning.
"These names of virtues, with their precepts, were
1. TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
2. SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
3. ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
4. RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
5. FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
6. INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
7. SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
8. JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
9. MODERATION. Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
10. CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.
11. TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
12. CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
13. HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
"My intention being to acquire the habitude of all these virtues, I judg'd it would be well not to distract my attention by attempting the whole at once, but to fix it on one of them at a time; and, when I should be master of that, then to proceed to another, and so on, till I should have gone thro' the thirteen; and, as the previous acquisition of some might facilitate the acquisition of certain others, I arrang'd them with that view, as they stand above. Temperance first, as it tends to procure that coolness and clearness of head, which is so necessary where constant vigilance was to be kept up, and guard maintained against the unremitting attraction of ancient habits, and the force of perpetual temptations. This being acquir'd and establish'd" then he says he could move on to the next virtue. I am also starting out by focusing on disciplining what goes in our mouth with food and drink.
Franklin goes on to say, "I made a little book, in which I allotted a page for each of the virtues. I rul'd each page with red ink, so as to have seven columns, one for each day of the week, marking each column with a letter for the day. I cross'd these columns with thirteen red lines, marking the beginning of each line with the first letter of one of the virtues, on which line, and in its proper column, I might mark, by a little black spot, every fault I found upon examination to have been committed respecting that virtue upon that day."
Franklin said he should have called his book, The Art of Virtue:
"It will be remark'd that, tho' my scheme was not wholly without religion, there was in it no mark of any of the distinguishing tenets of any particular sect. I had purposely avoided them; for, being fully persuaded of the utility and excellency of my method, and that it might be serviceable to people in all religions, and intending some time or other to publish it, I would not have any thing in it that should prejudice any one, of any sect, against it. I purposed writing a little comment on each virtue, in which I would have shown the advantages of possessing it, and the mischiefs attending its opposite vice; and I should have called my book THE ART OF VIRTUE, because it would have shown the means and manner of obtaining virtue, which would have distinguished it from the mere exhortation to be good, that does not instruct and indicate the means, but is like the apostle's man of verbal charity, who only without showing to the naked and hungry how or where they might get clothes or victuals, exhorted them to be fed and clothed. James ii. 15, 16."
PIETY AND VIRTUE
One dictionary defines a saint as one who is pious and virtuous. Piety is defined as "dutifulness in religion : devoutness" and virtue as "moral excellence and right behavior."
The Founding Fathers wrote about how we should be virtuous and religious. John Adams said in his Fourth Annual Address, November 22, 1800: "It would be unbecoming the representatives of this nation to assemble for the first time in this solemn temple without looking up to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe and imploring His blessing.
"May this territory be the residence of virtue and happiness! In this city may that piety and virtue, that wisdom and magnanimity, that constancy and self-government, which adorned the great character whose name it bears be forever held in veneration! Here and throughout our country may simple manners, pure morals, and true religion flourish forever!"
President Abraham Lincoln gave an order in 1862 during the Civil War that said, "the President of the United States, Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, orders that the following extracts from the Farewell Address of George Washington be read to the troops at every military post and at the head of the several regiments and corps of the Army: "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness--these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
"It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule indeed extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric? Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened."
Satan always makes his addictions appear fun and healthy. If anyone wants to be abstinent before marriage you will have to endure Jay Leno making fun of you on a popular TV talk show. The greatest killer in America is heart disease. That is basically caused by women serving bacon and sausage for breakfast to their families. Everyone is happy as they clog their arteries and suffer from everything from cancer to obesity. What is truly loving is often what is disgusting to the majority. Out of ignorance of Satan's crafty brainwashing that kid's birthday parties should be french fries at a fast food restaurant, women destroy their family's health. Satan has superstar actors like Tom Cruise and Goldie Hawn commit fornication on and off the screen and millions follow them like sheep to the slaughter. The media portrays Moon as Hitler. The list of evil ideas is very long. Let's get back to the food example.
Unificationists teach in DP lectures that First Corinthians 3:16 says, "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?" and Matthew 15:11 says, "not what goes into the mouth defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." This is true, but we must not use quotes like this to justify our body controlling our mind in any way. Gluttony is not a great a sin as others, but it is a powerful strategy of evil spirits. Satan wants to kill everyone and high fat food is one of his most popular tactics. People are either starving to death in poor countries or malnourished and fat in wealthier countries. Obesity is an epidemic in America. Unificationists should be the most trim and athletic people in the world. Instead, many sisters do not feed their families correctly. Food is the key drug Satan uses to hurt and kill people. Alcohol, tobacco, heroin and other drugs people get addicted to pale in comparison to the deadly epidemic of diseases such as heart disease, cancers and diabetes that are mainly caused by eating saturated fat, dairy and white flour.