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Temperance is the ability to avoid indulging to excess; to control one's appetite and avoid yielding to gluttony, lust or wild abandon. In Christian tradition, it is considered one of the four cardinal virtues. According to Aquinas, excessive love of good things is one of the primary sources of sin, and temperance is the virtue needed to avoid this. God's bountiful creation affords multifarious delights, and as the custodians of that creation it is right that people should enjoy them (see Genesis 1:29). However, this enjoyment must be tempered with prayerful moderation to avoid leading down a sinful way.

During the 19th and 20th Centuries, the Temperance Movement was a campaign specifically aimed at encouraging moderation in alcohol consumption and/or teetotalism. It was particularly associated with the Methodist Church.[1]


  1. Dictionary of Methodism - Temperance Society