Religion, morality, and knowledge are necessary for good government... Therefore schools and the means of educating the people should always be encouraged.
Where everyman is participator in the government of affairs, not merely at an election one day in the year but everyday, he will let the heart be torn out of his body sooner than his power be wrested from him by a Caesar or a Bonaparte.
We believe no more in Bonaparte's fighting merely for the liberties of the seas than in Great Britain's fighting for the liberties of mankind. The object is the same, to draw to themselves the power, the wealth and the resources of other nations.
I join you therefore in branding as cowardly the idea that the human mind is incapable of further advances.
There is not in the British empire a man who more cordially loves a union with Great Britain than I do. But by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the British Parliament propose.
The Central Bank is an institution of the most deadly hostility existing against the principles and form of our Constitution.
And, in general, that branch which is to act ultimately and without appeal on any law is the rightful expositor of the validity of the law, uncontrolled by the opinions of the other coordinate authorities.
The Bible is the cornerstone of liberty ... students perusal of the sacred volume will make us better citizens.
I do verily believe that a single, consolidated government would become the most corrupt government on the earth.
Man is not made for the State but the State for man and it derives its just powers only from the consent of the governed.
War has been avoided from a due sense of the miseries, and the demoralization it produces, and of the superior blessings of a state of peace and friendship with all mankind.
But with respect to future debt; would it not be wise and just for that nation to declare in the constitution they are forming that neither the legislature, nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age, or within the term of 19 years.
We have already given in example one effectual check to the dog of war by transferring the power of letting him loose from the Executive to the Legislative body.
The States should be urged to concede to the General Government, with a saving of chartered rights, the exclusive power of establishing banks of discount for paper.
The Declaration of Independence ... is the declaratory charter of our rights, and the rights of man.
The merchants will manage commerce the better, the more they are left free to manage for themselves.
The foundation on which (our government is) built is the natural equality of man, the denial of every pre-eminence but that annexed to legal office, and particularly the denial of a pre-eminence by birth.
The result of your fifty or sixty years of religious reading in the four words: 'Be just and good,' is that in which all our enquiries must end.
Reason and free inquiry are the only effectual agents against error.
Reason and free inquiry are the only effective agents against error. Give a loose to them, they will support the true religion by bringing every false one to their tribunal, to the test of their investigation. They are the natural enemies of error and error only. Had not the Roman government permitted free inquiry, Christianity could never have been introduced. Had not free inquiry been indulged at the era of the Reformation, the corruption of Christianity could not have been purged away.
For if one link in nature's chain might be lost, another might be lost, until the whole of things will vanish by piecemeal.
Female education ... has occupied my attention so far only as the education of my own daughters ... I thought it essential to give them a solid education which might enable them, when become mothers, to educate their own daughters, and even to direct the course for sons, should their fathers be.
I think by far the most important bill in our whole code is that for the diffusion of knowlege among the people. no other sure foundation can be devised for the preservation of freedom, and happiness.
To preserve the freedom of the human mind then and freedom of the press, every spirit should be ready to devote itself to martyrdom; for as long as we may think as we will, and speak as we think, the condition of man will proceed in improvement.
Considering the great importance to the public liberty of the freedom of the press, and the difficulty of submitting it to very precise rules, the laws have thought it less mischievous to give greater scope to its freedom than to the restraint of it.
Every people may establish what form of government they please, and change it as they please, the will of the nation being the only thing essential.
Every one must act according to the dictates of his own reason, and mine tells me that civil powers alone have been given to the President of the United States, and no authority to direct the religious exercises of his constituents.
All we can do is to make the best of our friends, love and cherish what is good in them, and keep out of the way what is bad.
All we can do is to make the best of our friends: love and cherish what is good in them, and keep out of the way of what is bad: but no more think of rejecting them for it than of throwing away a piece of music for a flat passage or two.
A good cause is often injured more by ill-timed efforts of its friends than by the arguments of its enemies. Persuasion, perseverance and patience are the best advocates on questions depending on the will of others.
I have given up newspapers in exchange for Tacitus and Thucydides, for Newton and Euclid; and I find myself much the happier.
The concentrating of powers in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government. It will be no alleviation that these powers will be exercised by a plurality of hands, and not by a single one.
He, who steadily observes those moral precepts in which all religions concur, will never be questioned at the gates of heaven as to the dogmas in which they all differ.
A determination never to do what is wrong, prudence, and good-humor, will go far toward securing to you the estimation of the world.
The people are the ultimate guardians of their own liberties. In every government on earth is some trace of human weakness, some germ of corruption and degeneracy ... Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone.
The Habeas Corpus secures every man here, alien or citizen, against everything which is not law, whatever shape it may assume.
When habit has strengthened our sense of duties, they leave us no time for other things; but when young we neglect them and this gives us time for anything.
If ever we are constrained to lift the hatchet against any tribe, we will never lay it down till that tribe is exterminated, or driven beyond the Mississippi... in war, they will kill some of us; we shall destroy them all.
Hindsight is an exact science. Hold fast to your dreams, for it dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly. How much pain they have cost us, the evils which have never happened.
Taxes should be continued by annual or biennial reeactments, because a constant hold, by the nation, of the strings of the public purse is a salutary restraint from which an honest government ought not wish, nor a corrupt one to be permitted, to be free.
It is a principle that the right to a thing gives a right to the means without which it could not be used, that is to say, that the means follow their end.
In a government bottomed on the will of all, the... liberty of every individual citizen becomes interesting to all.
To unequal privileges among members of the same society the spirit of our nation is, with one accord, adverse.
Required to be constantly recumbent I write slowly and with difficulty.... Weakened in body by infirmities and in mind by age, now far gone into my 83rd year, reading one newspaper only and forgetting immediately what I read.
It is an axiom in my mind that our liberty can never be safe but in the hands of the people themselves, and that too of the people with a certain degree of instruction. This it is the business of the state to effect, and on a general plan.
A rigid economy of the public contributions and absolute interdiction of all useless expenses will go far towards keeping the government honest and unoppressive.
A prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a people who mean to be free.
The art of life is the art of avoiding pain; and he is the best pilot, who steers clearest of the rocks and shoals with which it is beset.
Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise, in a body to which the people send one hundred and fifty lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, and talk by the hour?
I set out on this ground which I suppose to be self-evident, that the earth belongs in usufruct to the living... We seem not to perceive that, by the law of nature, one generation is to another as one independent nation is to another... The earth belongs always to the living generations.
It is not only vain, but wicked, in a legislator to frame laws in opposition to the laws of nature, and to arm them with the terrors of death. This is truly creating crimes in order to punish them.
I shall rejoin myself to my native country, with new attachments, and with exaggerated esteem for its advantages; for though there is less wealth there, there is more freedom, more ease, and less misery.
Give up money, give up fame, give up science, give the earth itself and all it contains rather than do an immoral act. And never suppose that in any possible situation, or under any circumstances, it is best for you to do a dishonorable thing, however slightly so it may appear to you.
No instance exists of a person's writing two language perfectly. That will always appear to be his native language which was most familiar to him in his youth.
As new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times.
Any woodsman can tell you that in a broken and sundered nest, one can hardly find more than a precious few whole eggs. So it is with the family.
A little rebellion now and then is a good thing. Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God. In order to flourish, the tree of Liberty needs the blood of patriots and tyrants.
The abolition of domestic slavery is the great object of desire in those colonies, where it was unhappily introduced in their infant state.
I agree with you that it is the duty of every good citizen to use all the opportunities, which occur to him, for preserving documents relating to the history of our country.
If our country, when pressed with wrongs at the point of the bayonet, had been governed by its heads instead of its hearts, where should we have been now? Hanging on a gallows as high as Haman's.
Ignorance of the law is no excuse in any country. If it were, the laws would lose their effect, because it can always be pretended.
That the several states who formed that instrument, being sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of its infraction; and that a nullification, by those sovereignties, of all unauthorized acts done under colour of that instrument, is the rightful remedy.
What an augmentation of the field for jobbing, speculating, plundering, office-building and office-hunting would be produced by an assumption of all the state powers into the hands of the general government.
For Heaven's sake discard the monstrous wig which makes the English judges look like rats peeping through bunches of oakum.
My passion strengthens daily to quit political turmoil, and retire into the bosom of my family, the only scene of sincere and purehappiness.
We are overdone with banking institutions, which have banished the precious metals, and substituted a more fluctuating and unsafe medium... These have withdrawn capital from useful improvements and employments to nourish idleness... These are evils more easily to be deplored than remedied.
There is not one redeeming feature in our superstition of Christianity. It has made one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites.
The truth is, that the greatest enemies to the doctrines of Jesus are those, calling themselves the expositors of them, who have perverted them for the structure of a system of fancy absolutely incomprehensible, and without any foundation in His genuine words.
Experience having long taught me the reasonableness of mutual sacrifices of opinion among those who are to act together for any common object, and the expediency of doing what good we can; when we cannot do all we would wish.
The people cannot be all, and always well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive.
A judiciary independent of a king or executive alone, is a good thing; but independence of the will of the nation is a solecism, at least in a republican government.
Music furnishes a delightful recreation for the hours of respite from the cares of the day, and lasts us through life.
We shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves; and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life of the majority.
So, ask the travelled inhabitant of any nation, in what country on earth would you rather live? -- Certainly, in my own, where are all my friends, my relations, and the earliest and sweetest affections and recollections of my life. Which would be your second choice? France.
I have ever deemed it more honorable and more profitable, too, to set a good example than to follow a bad one.
No religious reading, instruction or exercise, shall be prescribed or practiced in the elementary schools inconsistent with the tenets of any religious sect or denomination.
Convinced that the people are the only safe depositories of their own liberty, and that they are not safe unless enlightened to a certain degree, I have looked on our present state of liberty as a short-lived possession unless the mass of the people could be informed to a certain degree.
If virtuous, the government need not fear the fair operation of attack and defense. Nature has given to man no other means of sifting the truth, either in religion, law, or politics.
All persons shall have full and free liberty of religious opinion; nor shall any be compelled to frequent or maintain any religious institution.
The clergy, by getting themselves established by law and in-grafted into the machine of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man.
The several states composing the United States of America are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government.
The press is the best instrument for enlightening the mind of man, and improving him as a rational, moral and social being.
Difficulties indeed sometimes arise; but common sense and honest intentions will generally steer through them.
Our minds were circumscribed within narrow limits by an habitual belief that it was our duty to be subordinate to the mother country.
I hold it certain that to open the doors of truth and to fortify the habit of testing everything by reason are the most effectual manacles we can rivet on the hands of our successors to prevent their manacling the people with their own consent.
Nothing is more incumbent on the old than to know when they should get out of the way and relinquish to younger successors the honors they can no longer earn, and the duties they can no longer perform.
He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
If thinking men would have the courage to think for themselves, and to speak what they think, it would be found they do not differ in religious opinions as much as is supposed.
If the freedom of religion, guaranteed to us by law in theory, can ever rise in practice under the overbearing inquisition of public opinion, then and only then will truthprevail over fanaticism.
The wisdom of our ages and the blood of our heroes has been devoted to the attainment of trial by jury. It should be the creed of our political faith.
The precepts of philosophy and of the Hebrew code, laid hold of actions only. (Jesus) pushed his scrutinies into the heart of man, erected his tribunal in the regions of his thoughts, and purified the waters at the fountain head.
The firmness with which the (American) people have withstood the... abuses of the press, the discernment they have manifested between truth and falsehood, show that they may safely be trusted to hear everything true and false and to form a correct judgment between them.
Though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable.
Those who don't read the newspapers are better off than those who do insofar as those who know nothing are better off than those whose heads are filled with half-truths and lies.
Rogueries, absurdities and untruths were perpetrated upon the teachings of Jesus by a large band of dupes and importers led by Paul, the first great corrupter of the teaching of Jesus.
The minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.
Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction.
If by religion we are to understand sectarian dogmas, in which no two of them agree, then your exclamation on that hypothesis is just, that this would be the best of worlds if there were no religion in it.
I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government; I mean an additional article taking from the Federal Government the power of borrowing.
How sublime to look down on the workhouse of nature, to see her clouds, hail, snow, rain, thunder, all fabricated at our feet!
I have lived temperately....I double the doctor's recommendation of a glass and a half wine each day and even treble it with a friend.
The best hemp and the best tobacco grow on the same kind of soil. The former article is of the first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country. The latter, never useful.
Legislators invent too many devices for subdividing property, only taking care to let their subdivisions go hand in hand with the natural affections of the human mind.
An hereditary aristocracy... will change the form of our governments from the best to the worst in the world.
We discover in the gospels a groundwork of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, of superstition, fanaticism and fabrication .
If the Wise be the happy man... he must be virtuous too; for, without virtue, happiness cannot be. This then is the true scope of all academical emulation.
But every state, says an inquisitor, has established some religion. No two, say I, have established the same. Is this a proof of the infallibility of establishments?
Perfection in wisdom, as well as in integrity, is neither required nor expected in these agents (public servants). It belongs not to man. The wise know too well their weaknesses to assume infallibility; and he who knows most, knows best how little he knows.
I sincerely pray that all the members of the human family may, in the time prescribed by the Father of us all, find themselves securely established in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and happiness.
Of all the cankers of human happiness none corrodes with so silent, yet so baneful an influence, as indolence.
No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another; and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him.
The interests of the States... ought to be made joint in every possible instance in order to cultivate the idea of our being one nation, and to multiply the instances in which the people shall look up to Congress as their head.
Defend our liberties and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindred and tongues.
I have learned to be less confident in the conclusions of human reason, and give more credit to the honesty of contrary opinions.
The Constitution is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please.
I thank heaven that the 4th. of July is over. It is always a day of great fatigue to me, and of some embarrassments from improper intrusions and some from unintended exclusions.
Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free.
Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free. Nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government. Nature, habit, opinion has drawn indelible lines of distinction between them.
I rejoice when I hear of young men of virtue and talents, worthy to receive and likely to preserve the splendid inheritance of self- government, which we have acquired and shaped for them.
I sincerely congratulate you on the arrival of the mockingbird. Learn all the children to venerate it as a superior being in the form of a bird, or as a being which will haunt them if any harm is done to itself or its eggs.
I have examined all of the known superstitions of the world and i do not find our superstitions of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all founded on fables and mythology. Christianity has made one-half of the world fools and the other half Hypocrites.
If we did a good act merely from love of God and a belief that it is pleasing to Him, whence arises the morality of the Atheist? ...Their virtue, then, must have had some other foundation than the love of God.
This is perhaps the most important statement on religion ever made. It clarified the intent of the founders of the constitution irrespective of the attempts of modern day religious revisionists.
How did Jefferson feel about the people of his day who were the equivalent of our modern day penecostals? You know, those revelation reveling tongue speaking idiots.
I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.
Natural rights are the objects for the protection of which society is formed and municipal laws established.
The people are not always well-informed, but is better that they have misconceptions that make them restless than that they be lethargic-for lethargy in the people means death for republics.
I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our fathers, as Israel of old, from their native land and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries of comforts of life.
The metaphysical insanities of Athanasius, of Loyola, and of Calvin, are, to my understanding, mere lapses into polytheism, differing from paganism only by being more unintelligible.
If you are obliged to neglect any thing, let it be your chemistry. It is the least useful and the least amusing to a country gentleman of all the ordinary branches of science.
With nations as with individuals our interests soundly calculated will ever be found inseparable from our moral duties.
At the time we were funding our national debt, we heard much about a public debt being a public blessing; that the stock representing it was a creation of active capital for the aliment of commerce, manufactures and agriculture. This paradox was well adapted to the minds of believers in dreams.
Although our prospect is peace, our policy and purpose are to provide for defense by all those means to which our resources are competent.
It is strangely absurd to suppose that a million of human beings, collected together, are not under the same moral laws which bind each of them separately.