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Touchstone, Precedent, Providence

Here are three with similar meanings.

Ohhh, i get to use a definition list.

touchstone
n : a basis for comparison; a reference point against which other things can be evaluated; "they set the measure for all subsequent work"
prececent
n 1: an example that is used to justify similar occurrences at a later time
providence
n 1. The act of providing or preparing for future use or application; a making ready; preparation.

"Providence" has strong religious overtones.

source: WordNet(r) 2.0

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