I have accepted a seat in the House of Representatives, and thereby have consented to my own ruin, to your ruin, and to the ruin of our children. I give you this warning that you may prepare your mind for your fate.
Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society.
As much as I converse with sages and heroes, they have very little of my love and admiration. I long for rural and domestic scene, for the warbling of birds and the prattling of my children.
A desire to be observed, considered, esteemed, praised, beloved, and admired by his fellows is one of the earliest as well as the keenest dispositions discovered in the heart of man.
While all other sciences have advanced, that of government is at a standstill - little better understood, little better practiced now than three or four thousand years ago.
The furnace of affliction produces refinement, in states as well as individuals.
Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.
When people talk of the freedom of writing, speaking or thinking I cannot choose but laugh. No such thing ever existed. No such thing now exists; but I hope it will exist. But it must be hundreds of years after you and I shall write and speak no more.
Liberty, according to my metaphysics is a self-determining power in an intellectual agent. It implies thought and choice and power.
Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
Power always thinks... that it is doing God's service when it is violating all his laws.
All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise, not from defects in their Constitution or Confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from the downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation.
I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in providence, for the illumination of the ignorant and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth.
Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people.
Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
The Hebrews have done more to civilize men than any other nation. If I were an atheist, and believed blind eternal fate, I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations.
Because power corrupts, society's demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases.