Had the doctrines of Jesus been preached always as pure as they came from his lips, the whole civilized world would now have been Christians.
The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.
The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits.
The time to guard against corruption and tyranny is before they shall have gotten hold of us. It is better to keep the wolf out of the fold, than to trust to drawing his teeth and talons after he shall have entered.
Those who live by mystery and charlatanerie, fearing you would render them useless by simplifying the Christian philosophy -- the most sublime and benevolent, but most perverted system that ever shone on man -- endeavored to crush your well-earned and well-deserved fame.
I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.
I hold it that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms are in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people, which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions, as not to discourage them too much. It is medicine necessary for the sound health of government.
Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived; but as long as the presses can be protected, we may trust to them for light.
If the children are untaught, their ignorance and vices will in future life cost us much dearer in their consequences than it would have done in their correction by a good education.
I tolerate with the utmost latitude the right of others to differ from me in opinion without imputing to them criminality.
Our legislators are not sufficiently apprized of the rightful limits of their power; that their true office is to declare and enforce only our natural rights and duties, and to take none of them from us.
The mobs of the great cities add just so much to the support of pure government as sores do to the strength of the human body. It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution.
Trade liberty for safety or money and you'll end up with neither. Liberty, like a grain of salt, easily dissolves. The power of questioning -- not simply believing -- has no friends. Yet liberty depends on it.
The contest is not between us and them, but between good and evil, and if those who would fight evil adopt the ways of evil, evil wins.
I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.
The purpose of government is to enable the people of a nation to live in safety and happiness. Government exists for the interests of the governed, not for the governors.
The reason that Christianity is the best friend of government is because Christianity is the only religion that changes the heart.
To consider judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions is a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.
No generation has a right to contract debts greater than can be paid off during the course of its own existence.
I have the consolation of having added nothing to my private fortune during my public service, and of retiring with hands clean as they are empty.
Unless the mass retains sufficient control over those entrusted with the powers of their government, these will be perverted to their own oppression, and to the perpetuation of wealth and power in the individuals and their families selected for the trust.
The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.
When the people are afraid of the government, that's tyranny. But when the government is afraid of the people, that's liberty.
Here was buried Thomas Jefferson Author of the Declaration of American Independence Of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom and Father of the University of Virginia.
Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of American Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, and Father of the University of Virginia.
Epitaph, upon his instructions to erect a 'a plain die or cube ... surmounted by an Obelisk' with 'the following inscription, and not a word more…because by these, as testimonials that I have lived, I wish most to be remembered.' It omits that he had been President of the United States, a position of political power and prestige, and celebrates his involvement in the creation of the means of inspiration and instruction by which many human lives have been liberated from oppression and ignorance.
I steer my bark with hope in the head, leaving fear astern. My hopes indeed sometimes fail, but not oftener than the forebodings of the gloomy.
Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
A wise and frugal Government, which shall retrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.
I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.
I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.
Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.
Difference of opinion is advantageous in religion. The several sects perform the office of a Censor -- over each other.
I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it.
The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory.
Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong.
We may consider each generation as a distinct nation, with a right, by the will of its majority, to bind themselves, but none to bind the succeeding generation, more than the inhabitants of another country.
The Creator has not thought proper to mark those in the forehead who are of stuff to make good generals. We are first, therefore, to seek them blindfold, and then let them learn the trade at the expense of great losses.
As our enemies have found we can reason like men, so now let us show them we can fight like men also.
An association of men who will not quarrel with one another is a thing which has never yet existed, from the greatest confederacy of nations down to a town meeting or a vestry.
Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.
To penetrate and dissipate these clouds of darkness, the general mind must be strengthened by education.
If there is one principle more deeply rooted in the mind of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest.
I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.
It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God.
It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are 20 gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.
If we can but prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy.
I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others.
He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.
Taste cannot be controlled by law.
Taste cannot be controlled by law. We must resist at all costs any attempt to regulate our individual freedoms and to legislate our personal moralities.
Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor.
The world is indebted for all triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression.
Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.
I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.
I am mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, the sale of a book can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too.
Books constitute capital. A library book lasts as long as a house, for hundreds of years. It is not, then, an article of mere consumption but fairly of capital, and often in the case of professional men, setting out in life, it is their only capital.
I have no fear that the result of our experiment will be that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master.
No government ought to be without censors; and where the press is free no one ever will.
No government ought to be without censors: and where the press is free, no one ever will. If virtuous, it need not fear the fair operation of attack and defence. Nature has given to man no other means of sifting out the truth either in religion, law, or politics. I think it as honorable to the government neither to know, nor notice, it's sycophants or censors, as it would be undignified and criminal to pamper the former and persecute the latter.
Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.
Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.
It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others: or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own.
I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.
No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.
Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.
When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.
For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security.