Office

You seem to consider the federal judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions, a very dangerous doctrine, indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have with others the same passions for the party, for power and the privilege of the corps. Their power is the more dangerous, as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves.

You will naturally examine first, the religion of your own country. Read the Bible, then as you would read Livy or Tacitus. The facts which are within the ordinary course of nature, you will believe on the authority of the writer, as you do those of the same kind in Livy and Tacitus. The testimony of the writer weighs in their favor, in one scale, and their not being against the laws of nature, does not weigh against them. But those facts in the Bible which contradict the laws of nature, must be examined with more care, and under a variety of faces. Here you must recur to the pretensions of the writer to inspiration from God. Examine upon what evidence his pretensions are founded, and whether that evidence is so strong, as that its falsehood would be more improbable than a change in the laws of nature, in the case he relates. For example in the book of Joshua we are told the sun stood still several hours. Were we to read that fact in Livy or Tacitus we should class it with their showers of blood, speaking of statues, beasts, etc.But it is said that the writer of that book was inspired. Examine therefore candidly what evidence there is of his having been inspired. The pretension is entitled to your inquiry, because millions believe it. On the other hand you are astronomer enough to know how contrary it is to the law of nature that a body revolving on its axis as the earth does, should have stopped, should not by that sudden stoppage have prostrated animals, trees, buildings, and should after a certain time have resumed its revolution, and that without a second general prostration. Is this arrest of the earth's motion, or the evidence which affirms it, most within the law of probabilities?

Throughout heaven and earth is Mind [hsin], whose changes are unpredictable. It is inexorably manifested in myriad different forms. The mind has no fundamental substance. Fundamental substance is that which is achieved by its efficacious effort. Therefore, to plumb th principle is to prob e the myriad different forms of the Mind, not the myriad different forms of myriad things.

The most fearful phenomenon of these mid-century years is not the atom bomb; atomic energy does have its constructive possibilities... The most fearful event of these times is the colossal expansion of the government of the United States and the constant increase of executive power within the government.

Once more I would adopt the graver style -- a teacher should be sparing of his smile.

A President-elect’s popularity is the shortest lived of any public man. It only lasts till he picks his Cabinet.

Anybody whose pleasure is watching somebody else die is about as little use to humanity as the person being electrocuted.

Government spending? I don't know what it's all about. I don't know any more about this thing than an economist does, and, God knows, he doesn't know much.

I love a dog, he does nothing for political reasons.

Say, did you read what this writer just dug up in George Washington's diary? I was so ashamed I sat up all night reading it.

The higher the education the higher priced drinks they become accustomed to. Prohibition will never catch up with education.

The more that learn to read the less learn how to make a living. That's one thing about a little education. It spoils you for actual work. The more you know the more you think somebody owes you a living.

Wish all the Farmers would move to town one year, that's the only way I know to clear the thing up.

Men are all right for friends, but as soon as you marry them they turn into cranky old fathers, even the wild ones. They begin to tell you what's sensible and what's foolish, and want you to stick at home all the time. I prefer to be foolish when I feel like it, and be accountable to nobody.

All of us must act selfishly to Iearn charity, must lie to learn honor, must betray and be betrayed to learn to value trust and commitment.

Every man meets his Waterloo at last.

The old Hindoo saw, in his dream, the human race led out to its various fortunes. - First, men were in chains that went back to an iron hand - then he saw them led by threads from the brain, which went upward to an unseen hand. The first was despotism, iron, and ruling by force. - The last was civilization, ruling by ideas.

In making the great experiment of governing people by consent rather than by coercion, it is not sufficient that the party in power should have a majority. It is just as necessary that the party in power should never outrage the minority.

It was in the recognition that there is in each man a final essence, that is to say an immortal soul, which only God can judge, that a limit was set upon the dominion of men over men.

In a sense it might even be said that our failure is to form habits: for, after all, habit is relative to a stereotyped world, and meantime it is only the roughness of the eye that makes two persons, things, situations, seem alike.