I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.
When a man assumes a public trust he should consider himself a public property.
I abhor war and view it as the greatest scourge of mankind.
If the present 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 would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.
Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.
Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.
The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.
The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.
A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government.
Leave no authority existing not responsible to the people.
Don't talk about what you have done or what you are going to do.
Delay is preferable to error.
To penetrate and dissipate these clouds of darkness, the general mind must be strengthened by education.
Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong.
My theory has always been, that if we are to dream, the flatteries of hope are as cheap, and pleasanter, than the gloom of despair.
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.
That government is the strongest of which every man feels himself a part.
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.
Difference of opinion is advantageous in religion. The several sects perform the office of a Censor - over each other.
We did not raise armies for glory or for conquest.
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.
Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government.
But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine.