[A] long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.
A nation under a well regulated government, should permit none to remain uninstructed. It is monarchical and aristocratical government only that requires ignorance for its support.
Character is much easier kept than recovered.
Government, in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without a government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.
He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.
He who dares not offend cannot be honest.
He whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.
If there is a country in the world where concord, according to common calculation, would be least expected, it is America.
If there must be trouble let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.
Moderation in temper is always a virtue, but moderation in principle is always a vice.
My language has always been that of liberty and humanity, and I know by experience that nothing so exalts a nation as the union of these two principles, under all circumstances.
Practical religion consists in doing good: and the only way of serving God is that of endeavoring to make His creation happy. All preaching that has not this for its object is nonsense and hypocrisy.
Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.
Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered.