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Ben Franklin

autobiography

page 40

Franklin's Autobiography
Another from Cicero:

O vitae Philosophia dux! O virtutum indagatrix expultrixque vitiorum! Unus dies, bene et ex praeceptis tuis actus, peccanti immortalitati est anteponendus.

Another from the Proverbs of Solomon, speaking of wisdom or virtue:

Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace (iii. 16, 17).

And conceiving God to be the fountain of wisdom, I thought it right and necessary to solicit His assistance for obtaining it; to this end I formed the following little prayer, which was prefixed to my tables of examination, for daily use:

O powerful Goodness! bountiful Father! merciful Guide! increase in me that wisdom which discovers my truest interest.Strengthen my resolutions to perform what that wisdom dictates. Accept my kind offices to Thy other children as the only return in my power for Thy continual favors to me.

I used also sometimes a little prayer which I took from Thomson's "Poems," viz.:

Father of light and life, thou Good Supreme!
O teach me what is good; teach me Thyself!
Save me from folly, vanity, and vice,
From every low pursuit; and fill my soul
With knowledge, conscious peace, and virtue pure;
Sacred, substantial, never-fading bliss!
The precept of Order requiring that every part of my business should have its allotted time, one page in my little book contained the following scheme of employment for the twenty-four hours of a natural day:
The Morning Question, What good Shall I do this Day? 5 Rise, wash, and address Powerful Goodness; Contrive day's good shall I do this Business, and take the resolution of the day; prosecute the present Study: and breakfast?--
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8 Work
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12 Read, or overlook my Accounts, and dine.
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2 Work.
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6 Put Things in their Places, Supper, Musick, or Diversion, or Conversation, Examination of the Day.
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Evening Question, What Good have I done to day? 8
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10 Sleep. --
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