Samuel Adams

Samuel
Adams
1722
1803

American Statesman, Political Philosopher, Pamphleteer, Member of the Continental Congress, One of the Founding Fathers of the United States

Author Quotes

Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man. We must not conclude merely upon a man's haranguing upon liberty, and using the charming sound, that he is fit to be trusted with the liberties of his country. It is not unfrequent to hear men declaim loudly upon liberty, who, if we may judge by the whole tenor of their actions, mean nothingelse by it but their own liberty, ? to oppress without control or the restraint of laws all who are poorer orweaker than themselves. It is not, I say, unfrequent to see such instances, though at the same time I esteem it a justice due to my country to say that it is not without shining examples of the contrary kind; ? examples of men of a distinguished attachment to this same liberty I have been describing; whom no hopes could draw, no terrors could drive, from steadily pursuing, in their sphere, the true interests of their country; whose fidelity has been tried in the nicest and tenderest manner, and has been ever firm and unshaken.

It is my most fervent prayer to Almighty God, that he would direct and prosper the Councils of America, inspire her Armies with true Courage, shield them in every Instant of Danger and lead them on to Victory & Tryumph.

It requires but a small portion of the gift of discernment for anyone to foresee, that providence will erect a mighty empire in America.

It was formerly the saying of an English Tyrant Let me have Judges at my Command & make what Laws you please.

Just and true liberty, equal and impartial liberty, in matters spiritual and temporal, is a thing that all men are clearly entitled to by the eternal and immutable laws of God and nature, as well as by the law of nations and all well-grounded municipal laws, which must have their foundation in the former.

Kings and Governors may be guilty of treason and rebellion: And they have in general in all ages and countries been more frequently guilty of it, than their subjects.

Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual - - or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.

Let statesman and patriots unite their endeavors to renovate the age by?educating their little boys and girls? and leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system.

Let us consider, brethren, we are struggling for our best birthrights and inheritance, which being infringed, renders all our blessings precarious in their enjoyments, and, consequently triffling in their value. Let us disappoint the Men who are raising themselves on the ruin of this Country. Let us convince every invader of our freedom, that we will be as free as the constitution our fathers recognized, will justify.

Let... statesmen and patriots unite their endeavors to renovate the age by...educating their little boys and girls...and leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system.

May every citizen in the army and in the country have a proper sense of the Diety upon his mind and an impression of the declaration recorded in the Bible, ?Him that honoreth me I will honor, but he that despiseth me shall be lightly esteemed.?

It is a pitiful constitution indeed, which so far from being fixed and permanent as it should be - sacred and unalterable in the hands of those where the community has placed it, depends entirely upon the breath of a minister [of state], or of any man.

It is agreed to appoint a Day of Prayer, & a Come will bring in a Resolution for that purpose this day.

It is impolitick to make the first attempt to enslave mankind by force: This strikes the imagination, and is alarming: Important changes insensibly happen: It is against silent & slow attacks that a nation ought to be particularly on its guard.

It is in the Interest of Tyrants to reduce the People to Ignorance and Vice. For they cannot live in any Country where Virtue and Knowledge prevail. The Religion and public Liberty of a People are intimately connected; their Interests are interwoven, they cannot subsist separately; and therefore they rise and fall together. For this Reason, it is always observable, that those who are combin'd to destroy the People's liberties, practice every Art to poison their Morals.

In the state of nature men may, as the patriarchs did, employ hired servants for the defence of their lives, liberties, and property; and they should pay them reasonable wages. Government was instituted for the purposes of common defence, and those who hold the reins of government have an equitable, natural right to an honorable support from the same principle that "the laborer is worthy of his hire." But then the same community which they serve ought to be the assessors of their pay. Governors have no right to seek and take what they please; by this, instead of being content with the station assigned them, that of honorable servants of the society, they would soon become absolute masters, despots, and tyrants. Hence, as a private man has a right to say what wages he will give in his private affairs, so has a community to determine what they will give and grant of their substance for the administration of public affairs. And, in both cases, more are ready to offer their service at the proposed and stipulated price than are able and willing to perform their duty.

In the supposed state of nature, all men are equally bound by the laws of nature, or to speak more properly, the laws of the Creator: - They are imprinted by the finger of God on the heart of man. Thou shall do no injury to thy neighbor, is the voice of nature and reason, and it is confirmed by written revelation.

It can never be expected that a people, however NUMEROUS, will form & execute a wise plan to perpetuate their Liberty, when they have lost the Spirit & feeling of it.

It has been observed, that "education has a greater influence on manners, than human laws can have." Human laws excite fears and apprehensions, least crimes committed may be detected and punished: But a virtuous education is calculated to reach and influence the heart, and to prevent crimes. A very judicious writer, has quoted Plato, who in shewing what care for the security of States ought to be taken of the education of youth, speaks of it as almost sufficient to supply the place both of Legislation and Administration. Such an education, which leads the youth beyond mere outside shew, will impress their minds with a profound reverence of the Deity, universal benevolence, and a warm attachment and affection towards their country. It will excite in them a just regard to Divine Revelation, which informs them of the original character and dignity of Man; and it will inspire them with a sense of true honor, which consists in conforming as much as possible, their principles, habits, and manners to that original character. It will enlarge their powers of mind, and prompt them impartially to search for truth in the consideration of every subject that may employ their thoughts; and among other branches of knowledge, it will instruct them in the skill of political architecture and jurisprudence; and qualify them to discover any error, if there should be such, in the forms and administration of Governments, and point out the method of correcting them.

If the youth are carefully educated - If the Principles of Morality are strongly inculcated on the Minds of the People - the End and Design of Government clearly understood and the Love of our Country the ruling Passion, uncorrupted Men will then be chosen for the representatives of the People.

If therefore the preservation of property is the very end of government, we are depriv'd of that for which government itself is instituted.

If they would not pull down kings, let them not support tyrants.

If we continue to be a happy people, that happiness must be assured by the enacting and executing of reasonable and wise laws, expressed in the plainest language, and by establishing such modes of education as tend to inculcate in the minds of youth, the feelings and habits of "piety, religion and morality," and to lead them to the knowledge and love of those truly Republican principles upon which our civil institutions are founded.

If you, or Colonel Dalrymple under you, have the power to remove one regiment you have the power to remove both. It is at your peril if you refuse. The meeting is composed of three thousand people. They have become impatient. A thousand men are already arrived from the neighborhood, and the whole country is in motion. Night is approaching. An immediate answer is expected. Both regiments or none!

In regard to religion, mutual toleration in the different professions thereof is what all good and candid minds in all ages have ever practised, and, both by precept and example, inculcated on mankind. And it is now generally agreed among Christians that this spirit of toleration, in the fullest extent consistent with the being of civil society, is the chief characteristical mark of the Church. Insomuch that Mr. Locke has asserted and proved, beyond the possibility of contradiction on any solid ground, that such toleration ought to be extended to all whose doctrines are not subversive of society. The only sects which he thinks ought to be, and which by all wise laws are excluded from such toleration, are those who teach doctrines subversive of the civil government under which they live. The Roman Catholics or Papists are excluded by reason of such doctrines as these, that princes excommunicated may be deposed, and those that they call heretics may be destroyed without mercy; besides their recognizing the Pope in so absolute a manner, in subversion of government, by introducing, as far as possible into the states under whose protection they enjoy life, liberty, and property, that solecism in politics, imperium in imperio, leading directly to the worst anarchy and confusion, civil discord, war, and bloodshed.

Author Picture
First Name
Samuel
Last Name
Adams
Birth Date
1722
Death Date
1803
Bio

American Statesman, Political Philosopher, Pamphleteer, Member of the Continental Congress, One of the Founding Fathers of the United States