Friday, July 22, 2011

A Secular Decalogue: Jefferson's "Ten Rules"

A framed version of what Jefferson called his “decalogue of canons for observation in practical life" hanging in a fellow priest's rectory sparked my interest and thus I share them here with you.

If grace builds on nature, if we must be ordered properly according to our God-given nature in order to be saved by God's grace in Jesus Christ, it is supremely important to order our lives well in practical matters. Jefferson's "Ten Rules" are an excellent basis for meditation upon how we go about such a task.

And they are a source of self-deprecating humor, so healthy for everyone, as well.

God bless you. And thanks for visiting APL.


  1. Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
  2. Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.
  3. Never spend your money before you have it.
  4. Never buy what you do not want, because it is cheap; it will be dear to you.
  5. Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst and cold.
  6. We never repent of having eaten too little.
  7. Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.
  8. How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened.
  9. Take things always by their smooth handle.
  10. When angry, count ten, before you speak; if very angry, an hundred.

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