“Diligence in thy calling.” It came from Josiah’s favorite piece of Solomonic wisdom (Proverbs 22:29), a passage that he would quote often to his son: “Seest thou a man diligent in his calling, he shall stand before Kings.”
Plutarch’s heroes, like Bunyan’s Christian, are honorable men who believe that their personal strivings are intertwined with the progress of humanity.
“I am…a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country; and the least appearance of an encroachment on those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil exceedingly. I have likewise a natural inclination to observe and reprove the faults of others, at which I have an excellent faculty.”
“Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom,” it declared, “and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech.”39