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Welcome to Center for Leadership Quote Library, one of the largest collections of documented American quotes online!

America’s founding fathers provided tremendous insights and wisdom that we can still apply today. 

The Center for Leadership Quote Library provides hundreds of quotes from influential Americans. All quotes have been carefully researched and their original sources are clearly documented in the library below. 

Click the headings to sort or use the search bar to find specific content. Check back often as we continue to expand the Quote Library, and contact us with any quotes you'd like to see documented here. 

Subject Quote Person Year
Patriotism"A patriot without religion in my estimation is as great a paradox as an honest Man without the fear of God. Is it possible that he whom no moral obligations bind, can have any real Good Will towards Men? Can he be a patriot who, by an openly vicious conduct, is undermining the very bonds of Society?...The Scriptures tell us "righteousness exalteth a Nation.'"---Abigail Adams, the wife of President John Adams, in a letter to Mercy Warren on November 5, 1775Abigail Adams1775view
Courage"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we might rise to the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country." ---Abraham Lincoln, Annual Message to Congress, December 1, 1862Abraham Lincoln1862view
Democracy"As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy." ---Abraham Lincoln, August 1, 1858Abraham Lincoln1858view
Government"The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do at all, or cannot so well do, for themselves, in their separate and individual capacities. In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere." ---Abraham Lincoln, "On Government," July 1, 1854Abraham Lincoln1854view
Leadership"I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end, when I come to lay down the reins of power, I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside of me."---Abraham Lincoln, reply to a peace-now committee, 1864 Abraham Lincoln1864view
Liberty"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, and under a just God cannot long retain it."---Abraham Lincoln, letter, April 6, 1859Abraham Lincoln1859view
Patriotism"From these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." ---Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863Abraham Lincoln1863view
Patriotism"I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only to the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours, to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom."---Abraham Lincoln, letter to Mrs. Lydia Bixby upon the death of her five sons in defense of the Union, November 21, 1864Abraham Lincoln1864view
Patriotism"Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether this nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that this nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate - we cannot consecrate - we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or to detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here." ---Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863 Abraham Lincoln1863view
Patriotism"Men who have offered their lives for their country know that patriotism is not the fear of something; it is the love of something."---Adlai Stevenson, address to the American Legion Convention, Madison Square Garden, New York, August 27, 1952 Adlai Stevenson1952view
Justice"I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice."---Albert Camus, "The Value of Dissent," address at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, March 21, 1968 Albert Camus1968view
Christian Heritage "I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion, and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity I would unhesitatingly give my verdict in its favor. I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man."---Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804), "The Ratifier of the Constitution," first Secretary of the Treasury, found in Famous American Statesmen by Sarah K. Bolton Alexander Hamilton1757view
Government"Why has the government been instituted at all? Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint."---Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers, No. 15, 1787-1788 Alexander Hamilton1788view
Voting"A share in the sovereignty of the state, which is exercised by the citizens at large, in voting at elections is one of the most important rights of the subject, and in a republic ought to stand foremost in the estimation of the law."---Alexander Hamilton, from The Papers of Alexander Hamilton Alexander HamiltonUNKNOWNview
Christian Heritage "I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers - and it was not there, in her fertile fields and boundless forests - and it was not there, in her rich mines and vast world commerce - and it was not there, in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution - and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be Good, America will cease to be great."---Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835-1840Alexis de Tocqueville1840view
Christian Heritage"In The United States the sovereign authority is religious,...there is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility and of its conformity to human nature than that its influence is powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth."---Alexis de Tocqueville, French statesmen, historian, and social philosopher. In his Democracy in America, 1835-1840Alexis de Tocqueville1840view
Liberty"Despotism may govern without faith but liberty cannot."---Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835-1840 Alexis de Tocqueville1835view
Liberty"The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of Liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other."---Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835-1840Alexis de Tocqueville1835view
Liberty"Christianity is the companion of liberty in all its conflicts - the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its claims.---Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835-1840"Alexis de Tocqueville1835view
Morality"The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law as well as the surest pledge of freedom." ---Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835-1840Alexis de Tocqueville1840view
Christian Heritage"Religion and politics ought to be wedded like a loving pair. The spirit of our Master, who preached peace, should preside at our diplomatic councils. The love of our neighbor and of our friends - these should be the bases, not only of our Christianity and our patriotism, but of our daily politics."---Alfred Holt Colquitt (1824-1894), U.S. Senator, Governor of Georgia, orator and statesman, from his remarks at the Evangelical Alliance in Washington on December 7, 1887Alfred Holt Colquit1887view
Education"In the conditions of modern life the rule is absolute; the race which does not value trained intelligence is doomed."---Alfred North Whitehead, "The Aims of Education: A Plea for Reform," 1929 Alfred North Whitehead1929view
Education"The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. The source of better ideas is wisdom. The surest path to wisdom is liberal education."---Alfred Whitney Griswold, Essays on Education, 1954 Alfred Whitney Griswold1954view
Leadership"He did not know all the answers. But, more than other politicians of the day, he knew all the questions." ---Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., on Robert F. KennedyArthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.UNKNOWNview
Justice"In the state of nature, indeed, all men are born equal, but they cannot continue in this equality. Society makes them lose it, and they recover it only by the protection of the laws."---Baron de Montesquieu, The Spirit of Laws, 1748 Baron de Montesquieu1748view
Justice"Justice is truth in action."---Benjamin Disraeli, speech, February 11, 1851 Benjamin Disraeli1851view
Christian Heritage"As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals and His religion as He left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see."---Benjamin Franklin, in a letter to Ezra Stiles, March 9, 1790Benjamin Franklin1790view
Christian Heritage"I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that ?except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.' I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing governments by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest...I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service."---Benjamin Franklin, June 28, 1787, to the Federal ConventionBenjamin Franklin1787view
Liberty"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." ---Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759Benjamin Franklin1759view
Morality"[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.---Benjamin Franklin, Signer of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, April 17, 1787, found in The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, edited by Jared Sparks"Benjamin Franklin1787view
Morality"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."---Benjamin Franklin, in a letter on April 17, 1787Benjamin Franklin1787view
The Bible"He is truly happy, whatever may be his temporal condition, who can call God his Father in the full assurance of faith and hope. And amid all his trials, conflicts, doubts, the feeblest Christian is still comparatively happy; because cheered by the hope...that the hour is coming when he shall be delivered from ?this body of sin and death' and in the vision of his Redeemer...and felicity of angels. Not only does the Bible inculcate, with sanctions of the highest import, a system of the purest morality, but in the person and character of our Blessed Saviour it exhibits a tangible illustration of that system. In Him we have set before us - what, till the publication of the Gospel, the world had never seen - a model of feeling and action, adapted to all times, places, and circumstances; and combining so much wisdom, benevolence, and holiness, that none can fathom its sublimity; and yet, presented in a form so simple, that even a child may be made to understand and taught to love it." ---Benjamin Franklin Butler, United States Attorney General, U.S. Secretary of War, in an address at Alexandria, D.C., in 1834Benjamin Franklin Butler1834view
Leadership"He was a Caesar without his ambition, a Frederick without his tyranny, a Napoleon without his selfishness, and a Washington without his reward." ---Benjamin H. Hill, commenting on Robert E. Lee, 1894Benjamin H. Hill1894view
Christian Heritage "[T]he greatest discoveries in science have been made by Christian philosophers and . . . there is the most knowledge in those countries where there is the most Christianity."---Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Surgeon General of the Continental Army, Ratifier of the U.S. Constitution, "Father of American Medicine," Treasurer of the U.S. Mint, "Father of Public Schools under the Constitution," from "Thoughts upon Female Education," 1806Benjamin Rush1806view
Christian Heritage "[C]hristianity is the only true and perfect religion; and... in proportion as mankind adopt its principles and obey its precepts, they will be wise and happy."---Benjamin Rush, "A Defence of the Use of the Bible as a School Book," 1798Benjamin Rush1798view
Education "The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments."--- Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, found in Benjamin Rush, Essays, Literary, Moral and Philosophical, published in 1806Benjamin Rush1806view
Education "[T]he only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government is the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible,"---Benjamin Rush, "A Defence of the Use of the Bible as a School Book," 1798Benjamin Rush1798view
Education"The great enemy of the salvation of man, in my opinion, never invented a more effective means of limiting Christianity from the world than by persuading mankind that it was improper to read the Bible at schools."---Benjamin Rush, in a letter to Jeremy Belknap on July 13, 1789Benjamin Rush1789view
The Bible"The Bible contains more knowledge necessary to man in his present state than any other book in the world."---Benjamin Rush, "A Defence of the Use of the Bible as a School Book," 1798Benjamin Rush1798view
The Bible"By renouncing the Bible, philosophers swing from their moorings upon all moral subjects... It is the only correct map of the human heart that ever has been published."---Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Surgeon General of the Continental Army, Ratifier of the U.S. Constitution, "Father of American Medicine," Treasurer of the U.S. Mint, "Father of Public Schools under the Constitution," in a letter to John Adams, January 23, 1807Benjamin Rush1807view
The Bible"We profess to be republicans, and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government, that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by the means of the Bible. For this Divine Book, above all others, favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws, and those sober and frugal virtues, which constitute the soul of republicanism."--- Benjamin Rush, found in Benjamin Rush, Essays, Literary, Moral and Philosophical, published in 1806.Benjamin Rush1806view
The Bible"By renouncing the Bible, philosophers swing from their moorings upon all moral subjects. . . . It is the only correct map of the human heart that ever has been published. . . . All systems of religion, morals, and government not founded upon it [the Bible] must perish, and how consoling the thought, it will not only survive the wreck of these systems but the world itself. ?The Gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.'" [Matthew 1:18] ---Benjamin Rush, in a letter to John Adams on January 23, 1807Benjamin Rush1807view
The Bible"The Bible, when not read in schools, is seldom read in any subsequent period of life... [T]he Bible... should be read in our schools in preference to all other books because it contains the greatest portion of that kind of knowledge which is calculated to produce private and public happiness."---Benjamin Rush, "A Defence of the Use of the Bible as a School Book," 1798Benjamin Rush1798view
Christian Heritage"Freedom of religion is so fundamental to American history that it must be preserved even at the expense of other rights which have become institutionalized by the Democratic process."---California Supreme Court in the case of Devin Walker v. Orthodox Presbyterian Church, 760-028.9, in 1980California Supreme Court1980view
The Bible"The Bible, the record of Divine Revelation, is the one Book of religion and morals. Of all religious systems the Christian is most in unison with the law of God and the needs of man. The spirit of God inspires all living things. Jesus Christ is the leading inspiration, and is, therefore Divine."---Cassius Marcellus Clay (1810-1903), found in A Cloud of Witnesses by Stephen Abbott NorthropCassius Marcellus ClayUNKNOWNview
Christian Heritage"Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime & pure, [and] which denounces against the wicked eternal misery, and [which] insured to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments."---Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, in a letter to James McHenry of November 4, 1800.Charles Carroll1800view
Christian Heritage"The great, vital, and conservative element in our system is the belief of our people in the pure doctrines and the divine truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ."---Charles Carroll, Journal of the House of the Representatives of the United States of America, 34th Cong., 1st Sess., p. 354, January 23, 1856Charles Carroll1856view
Democracy"In the great enterprise of making democracy workable we are all partners."---Charles Evans Hughes, speech as a Supreme Court justice to a joint session of Congress Charles Evans HughesUNKNOWNview
Voting"The church must take right ground in regards to politics....The time has come for Christians to vote for honest men, and take consistent ground in politics or the Lord will curse them...God cannot sustain this free and blessed country, which we love and pray for, unless the Church will take right ground. Politics are a part of a religion in such a country as this, and Christians must do their duty to their country as a part of their duty to God...God will bless or curse this nation according to the course Christians take in politics."---Charles Finney, great American preacher, educator, author, president of Oberlin College, in his Memoirs, 1876.Charles Finney1876view
Voting"[T]he time has come that Christians must vote for honest men and take consistent ground in politics or the Lord will curse them. . . . Christians have been exceedingly guilty in this matter. But the time has come when they must act differently. . . . Christians seem to act as if they thought God did not see what they do in politics. But I tell you He does see it - and He will bless or curse this nation according to the course they [Christians] take [in politics]."---Charles G. Finney, from Lectures on Revivals of Religion, published in 1868. Charles G. Finney1868view
Family"Never in the history of American politics has there been a constituency so popular but with so little political clout as the American family." ---Christopher J. Dodd, Washington Post, October 9, 1988Christopher J. Dodd1988view
Christian Heritage "[T]he Christian religion - its general principles - must ever be regarded among us as the foundation of civil society."---Daniel Webster, U.S. Senator, Secretary of State, "Defender of the Constitution," from "Mr. Webster's Speech in Defence of the Christian Ministry and in Favor of the Religious Instruction of the Young," Delivered in the Supreme Court of the United States, February 10, 1844, in the Case of Stephen Girard's WillDaniel Webster1844view
Christian Heritage "Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens."---Daniel Webster, A Discourse Delivered at Plymouth, on December 22, 1820Daniel Webster1820view
Christian Heritage "[I]f we and our posterity reject religious instruction and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political constitution which holds us together, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity."---Daniel Webster, Early American Jurist and Senator, from "The Dignity and Importance of History," February 23, 1852Daniel Webster1852view
Democracy"The principle of free governments adheres to the American soil. It is imbedded in it - immovable as its mountains.---Daniel Webster, at the dedication of the Bunker Hill Monument, Charlestown, Massachusetts, June 17, 1825" Daniel Webster1825view
Government"The people's government made for the people, made by the people, and answerable to the people."---Daniel Webster, speech, January 26, 1830 Daniel Webster1830view
Justice"Justice, sir, is the greatest interest of man on earth."---Daniel Webster, Remarks...Occasioned by the Death of Hon. Mr. Justice Story, September 12, 1845 Daniel Webster1845view
Law"The law: It has honored us; we may honor it."---Daniel Webster, speech at the Charleston Bar Dinner, May 10, 1847 Daniel Webster1847view
Liberty"The last hopes of mankind, therefore, rest with us; and if it should be proclaimed that our example had become an argument against the experiment, the knell of popular liberty would be sounded throughout the earth."---Daniel Webster, speaking at the dedication of the Bunker Hill Monument, June 17, 1825 Daniel Webster1825view
The Bible"[T]o the free and universal reading of the Bible... men [are] much indebted for right views of civil liberty."---Daniel Webster, Address Delivered at Bunker Hill, June 17, 1843, on the Completion of the MonumentDaniel Webster1843view
The Bible"The Bible is a book... which teaches man his own individual responsibility, his own dignity, and his equality with his fellow man."---Daniel Webster, Address Delivered at Bunker Hill, June 17, 1843, on the Completion of the MonumentDaniel Webster1843view
Voting"Impress upon children the truth that the exercise of the elective franchise is a social duty of as solemn a nature as man can be called to perform; that a man may not innocently trifle with his vote; that every elector is a trustee as well for others as himself and that every measure he supports has an important bearing on the interests of others as well as on his own."---Daniel Webster, from The Works of Daniel Webster, from remarks made at a public reception by the ladies of Richmond, Virginia, on October 5, 1840Daniel Webster1840view
Christian Heritage "Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian."---David Josiah Brewer, a Justice of the United States Supreme Court, in the court's opinion in the case of Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States in 1892 David Josiah Brewer1892view
Morality"The happiness of a people and the good order and preservation of civil government essentially depend upon piety, religion and morality."---David Josiah Brewer, a Justice of the United States Supreme Court, in the court's opinion in the case of Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States in 1892 David Josiah Brewer1892view
The Bible"I Believe in Jesus Christ as the great Helper, Comforter, and Saviour of humanity, and the Holy Bible as bearing to us the story of his mission, the rules of duty, the revelation of Eternal Life, and also the conditions under which the attainment of that life are possible. No Book contains more truths, or is more worthy of confidence than the Bible; none brings more joy to the sorrowing, more strength to the weak, or more stimulus to the nobly ambitious; none makes life sweeter, or death easier or less sad."--- David Josiah Brewer, a Justice of the United States Supreme Court, in the court's opinion in the case of Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States in 1892 David Josiah Brewer1892view
Patriotism"We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, or Fortunes, and our sacred Honor." ---Declaration of Independence, the last line, July 4, 1776Declaration of Independence1776view
Family"Healthy families are our greatest national resource.---Dolores Curran, Traits of a Healthy Family, 1983" Dolores Curran1983view
Government"Having looked to government for bread, on the very first scarcity they will turn and bite the hand that fed them."---Edmund Burke, Thoughts and Details on Scarcity, 1795 Edmund Burke1795view
Government"A State without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation."---Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790 Edmund Burke1790view
Law"Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny."---Edmund Burke, speech in Bristol, England, 1780Edmund Burke1780view
Courage"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."---Eleanor Roosevelt, You Learn by Living, 1960 Eleanor Roosevelt1960view
Christian Heritage"Let us enter on this important business under the idea that we are Christians on whom the eyes of the world are now turned... [L]et us earnestly call and beseech Him, for Christ's sake, to preside in our councils. . . . We can only depend on the all powerful influence of the Spirit of God, Whose Divine aid and assistance it becomes us as a Christian people most devoutly to implore. Therefore I move that some minister of the Gospel be requested to attend this Congress every morning . . . in order to open the meeting with prayer."---Elias Boudinot, President of Congress, signed the peace treaty to end the American Revolution, first attorney admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court Bar, Framer of the Bill of Rights, Director of the U.S. Mint, in his speech in the First Provincial Congress of New JerseyElias BoudinotUNKNOWNview
The Bible"For nearly half a century have I anxiously and critically studied that invaluable treasure [the Bible]; and I still scarcely ever take it up that I do not find something new - that I do not receive some valuable addition to my stock of knowledge or perceive some instructive fact never observed before. In short, were you to ask me to recommend the most valuable book in the world, I should fix on the Bible as the most instructive both to the wise and ignorant. Were you to ask me for one affording the most rational and pleasing entertainment to the inquiring mind, I should repeat, it is the Bible; and should you renew the inquiry for the best philosophy or the most interesting history, I should still urge you to look into your Bible. I would make it, in short, the Alpha and Omega of knowledge."---Elias Boudinot, President of Congress, signed the Peace Treaty to End the American Revolution, First Attorney Admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court Bar, of the Bill of Rights, Director of the U.S. Mint, his "Dedication: Letter to his daughter Susan Bradford." Elias BoudinotUNKNOWNview
Justice"He who allows oppression shares the crime."---Erasmus Darwin, The Botanic Garden, 1789 Erasmus Darwin1789view
Courage"Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality of those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change." ---Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms, 1929Ernest Hemingway1929view
Democracy"If one man can be allowed to determine for himself what is law, every man can. That means first chaos, then tyranny. Legal process is an essential part of the democratic process." ---Felix Frankfurter, concurring in the Supreme Court decision on United States v. Mine Workers, 330 U.S. 312, 1946Felix Frankfurter1946view
Education"We have a dangerous trend beginning to take place in our education. We're starting to put more and more textbooks into our schools...We've become accustomed of late putting little books into the hands of children containing fables and moral lessons...We are spending less time in the classroom on the Bible, which should be the principle text in our schools...The Bible states these great moral lessons better than any other manmade book."---Fisher Ames, Congressman from Massachusetts who suggested the wording of the First Amendment to the Constitution, in an article published on September 20, 1789 in Palladium magazineFisher Ames1789view
Liberty"Our liberty depends on our education, our laws, and habits . . . it is founded on morals and religion, whose authority reigns in the heart, and on the influence all these produce on public opinion before that opinion governs rulers."---Fisher Ames, Framer of the First Amendment, from An Oration on the Sublime Virtues of General George Washington, 1800.Fisher Ames1800view
Morality"Our liberty depends on our education, our laws, and habits . . . it is founded on morals and religion, whose authority reigns in the heart, and on the influence all these produce on public opinion before that opinion governs rulers."---Fisher Ames, Framer of the First Amendment to the Constitution, from his An Oration on the Sublime Virtues of General George Washington, published in 1800Fisher Ames1800view
The Bible"Should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a schoolbook? Its morals are pure, its examples are captivating and noble...The reverence for the sacred book that is thus early impressed lasts long; and, probably, if not impressed in infancy, never takes firm hold of the mind...In no Book is there so good English, so pure and so elegant, and by teaching all the same they will speak alike, and the Bible will justly remain the standard of language as well as of faith."---Fisher Ames, Congressman from Massachusetts who suggested the wording of the First Amendment of the Constitution, found in The Glory of America by Peter Marshall and David Manuel, published in 1991Fisher Ames1991view
Voting"If the time ever comes when we shall go to pieces, it will . . . be . . . from inward corruption - from the disregard of right principles . . . from losing sight of the fact that "Righteousness exalteth a nation, but that sin is a reproach to any people" [Proverbs 14:34]. . . .[T]he secession of the Southern States in 1860 was a small matter with the secession of the Union itself from the great principles enunciated in the Declaration of Independence, in the Golden Rule, in the Ten Commandments, in the Sermon on the Mount. Unless we hold, and hold firmly to these great fundamental principles of righteousness, . . . our Union . . . will be "only a covenant with death and an agreement with hell."---Reverend Francis J. Grimke, from "Equality of Right for All Citizens, Black and White, Alike," March 7, 1909Francis J. Grimk1909view
Courage"Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."---Franklin Delano Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933 Franklin Roosevelt1933view
Democracy"I respect the aristocracy of learning; I deplore the plutocracy of wealth; but thank God for the democracy of the heart."---Franklin Delano Roosevelt, speech at Roanoke Island, North Carolina, August 18, 1937 Franklin Roosevelt1937view
Leadership"In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves, which is essential to victory." ---Franklin Delano Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933Franklin Roosevelt1933view
Patriotism"Lives of nations are determined, not by the count of years, but by the lifetime of the human spirit. The life of a man is three score years and ten, a little more, a little less. But the life of a nation is the fullness of its will to live."---Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Third Inaugural Address, January 20, 1941Franklin Roosevelt1941view
Leadership"He could receive counsel from a child and give counsel to a sage. The simple approached him with ease, and the learned approached him with deference."---Frederick Douglass, tribute to Abraham Lincoln Frederick DouglassUNKNOWNview
Voting"I have one great political idea. . . . That idea is an old one. It is widely and generally assented to; nevertheless, it is very generally trampled upon and disregarded. The best expression of it, I have found in the Bible. It is in substance, "Righteousness exalteth a nation; sin is a reproach to any people" [Proverbs 14:34]. This constitutes my politics - the negative and positive of my politics, and the whole of my politics. . . . I feel it my duty to do all in my power to infuse this idea into the public mind, that it may speedily be recognized and practiced upon by our people."---Frederick Douglass, from The Frederick Douglass Papers, from a speech delivered at Ithaca, New York, October 14th, 1852Frederick Douglass1852view
Liberty"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it." ---George Bernard Shaw, "Maxims for Revolutionists," Man and Superman, 1903George Bernard Shaw1903view
Christian Heritage"The great faith that led our Nation's Founding Fathers to pursue this bold experience in self-government has sustained us in uncertain and perilous times; it has given us strength and inspiration to this very day. Like them, we do very well to recall our ?firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence,' to give thanks for the freedom and prosperity this Nation enjoys, and to pray for continued help and guidance from our wise and loving Creator."---George Herbert Walker Bush, 41st President of the United States, in a declaration of a National Day of Prayer on May 3, 1990George Herbert Walker Bush1990view
Leadership"Tactically aggressive, strength of character, steadiness of purpose, acceptance of responsibility, energy, and good health and strength."---George S. Patton, notion of the six qualities of a good general, found scribbled in the margin of his copy of Fieberger's Elements of Strategy George S. Patton1852view
Christian Heritage"You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are.--- George Washington, Member of the Continental Congress, Commander-In-Chief of the Continental Army, President of the Constitutional Convention, First President of the United States, "Father of His Country," from his speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs on May 12, 1779"George Washington1779view
Christian Heritage"While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian."---George Washington, General Orders of May 2, 1778George Washington1778view
Christian Heritage"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of man and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice?"---George Washington, in his Farewell Address to the United States in 1796George Washington1796view
Christian Heritage"The blessing and protection of Heaven are at all times necessary but especially so in times of public distress and danger. The General hopes and trusts that every officer and man will endeavor to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier, defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country."---George Washington, July 9, 1776 OrderGeorge Washington1776view
Christian Heritage"I now make it my earnest prayer that God would... most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of the mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion."---George Washington, "The Last Official Address of His Excellency George Washington to the Legislature of the United States," 1783George Washington1783view
Government"While just government protects all in their religious rights, true religion affords to government its surest support."--- George Washington, from his address to the Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church in North America, October 9, 1789George Washington1789view
Justice"The administration of justice is the firmest pillar of government." ---George Washington, letter, 1789George Washington1789view
Leadership"My only ambition is to do my duty in this world as well as I am capable of performing it, and to merit the good opinion of all good men."---George Washington, on the eve of his election as President, 1789George Washington1789view
Morality"[T]he [federal] government . . . can never be in danger of degenerating into a monarchy, and oligarchy, an aristocracy, or any other despotic or oppressive form so long as there shall remain any virtue in the body of the people."---George Washington, in a letter to Marquis De Lafayette, February 7, 1788George Washington1788view
Christian Heritage"There must be religion. When that ligament is torn, society is disjointed and its members perish... [T]he most important of all lessons is the denunciation of ruin to every state that rejects the precepts of religion."---Gouverneur Morris, Revolutionary Officer, Member of the Continental Congress, Signer of the Constitution, "Penman of the Constitution," Diplomat, U.S. Senator, from "An Inaugural Discourse Delivered Before the New York Historical Society by the Honorable Gouverneur Morris, (President,) 4th September, 1816"Gouverneur Morris1816view
America "I anticipate the day when to command respect in the remotest regions it will be sufficient to say, ?I am an American.'"---Gouverneur Morris, address to the U.S. Senate, 1800Governeur Morris1800view
Leadership"The measure of a man is what he does with power."---Greek proverb Greek ProverbUNKNOWNview
Christian Heritage"And let us not trust to human effort alone, but humbly acknowledge the power and goodness of Almighty God who presides over the destiny of nations, and who has at all times been revealed in our country's history, let us invoke His aid and His blessing upon our labors...I know there is a Supreme Being who rules the affairs of men."---Grover Cleveland, 22nd and 24th President of the United States, Governor or New York, in his Inaugural Address on March 4, 1885Grover Cleveland1885view
Law"It is futile to seek safety beyond geographical barriers. Real security will be found only in law and in justice."---Harry S. Truman, addressing the nation upon the death of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt Harry S. TrumanUNKNOWNview
Education"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops."---Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams, 1907 Henry Adams1907view
Patriotism"Let every man honor and love the land of his birth and the race from which he springs and keep their memory green. It is his pious and honorable duty." ---Henry Cabot Lodge, at a dinner for the New England Society, New York, December 21, 1888Henry Cabot1888view
Leadership"I would rather be right than President."---Henry Clay, U.S. Senator and Congressmen, Speaker of the House, said in 1839 before he would announce himself against slavery in response to a friend's warning that he would ruin his chances of becoming President, quoted from the obituary address of Henry Clay, delivered in the House and the Senate on June 30, 1852 by Congressman VenableHenry Clay1839view
Government"The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those in the shadows of life - the sick, the needy, and the handicapped."---Hubert H. Humphrey, remarks made at the dedication of the Hubert H. Humphrey Building, Washington, D.C., November 1, 1977 Hubert H. Humphrey1977view
Education"Teaching is not a lost art, but regard for teaching is a lost tradition."--- Jacques Barzun, Newsweek, 1955Jacques Barzun1955view
Family"The peace and stability of a nation depend upon the proper relationships established in the home."---Jade Snow Wong, Fifth Chinese Daughter, 1950 Jade Snow Wong1950view
Voting"Now more than ever the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature. . . . [I]f the next centennial does not find us a great nation . . . it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces."---James A. Garfield, from The Works of James Abram Garfield, from "A Century of Congress,"? July, 1877James A. Garfield1877view
Christian Heritage"I am a believer; but not with that degree of firmness of faith calculated to exercise a controlling influence on my conduct. I ought constantly to pray, ?Help Thou my unbelief.' I trust that the Almighty Father, through the merits and atonement of His Son, will yet vouchsafe to me a clearer and stronger faith than I possess."---James Buchanan, Minister to Great Britain, U.S Congressman, U.S. Senator, Secretary of State, 15th President of the United States, in a letter to his brother from Washington, February 29, 1844James Buchanan1844view
Christian Heritage"One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the Common Law. There never has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying at its foundations."---Joseph Story, U.S. Congressman, "Father of American Jurisprudence," U.S. Supreme Court Justice appointed by President James Madison, from Life and Letters of Joseph Story, edited by William W. Story, 1851James Madison1851view
Government"If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself." ---James Madison, The Federalist Papers, No. 51, 1787-1788James Madison1788view
Liberty"I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."---James Madison, speech to the Virginia Convention, 1788 James Madison1788view
The Bible"[P]ublic utility pleads most forcibly for the general distribution of the Holy Scriptures. The doctrine they preach, the obligations they impose, the punishment they threaten, the rewards they promise, the stamp and image of divinity they bear, which produces a conviction of their truths, can alone secure to society, order and peace, and to our courts of justice and constitutions of government, purity, stability and usefulness. In vain, without the Bible, we increase penal laws and draw entrenchments around our institutions. Bibles are strong entrenchments. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses, and at the same time enjoy quiet conscience."---James McHenry, Signer of the Constitution, found in One Hundred and Ten Years of Bible Society Work in Maryland, 1810-1920 by Bernard C. Steiner.James McHenryUNKNOWNview
Christian Heritage"Has [government] any solid foundation? Any chief cornerstone?... I think it has an everlasting foundation in the unchangeable will of God... The sum of my argument is that civil government is of God."---James Otis, Leader of The Sons of Liberty, Attorney and Jurist, Mentor of John Hancock and Samuel Adams, from "The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved," 1766James Otis1766view
Law"Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other. The divine law, as discovered by reason and the moral sense, forms an essential part of both."--- James Wilson, Signer of the Constitution, found in The Works of the Honourable James WilsonJames WilsonUNKNOWNview
Liberty"Freedom is a need of the soul, and nothing else. It is in striving toward God that the soul strives continually after a condition of freedom. God alone is the inciter and guarantor of freedom. He is the only guarantor. External freedom is only an aspect of interior freedom. Political freedom, as the Western world has known it, is only a political reading of the Bible. Religion and freedom are indivisible. Without freedom the soul dies. Without the soul there is no justification for freedom." ---(Jay David) Whittaker Chambers (1901-1961), a former Communist agent who recanted and defected to the West, becoming an American journalist, in Witness published in 1952Jay David, Whittaker Chambers1952view
Law"Good laws lead to the making of better ones; bad ones bring about worse."---Jean Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract, 1762 Jean Jacques Rousseau1762view
Christian Heritage"To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. . . . Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all blessings which flow from them, must fall with them."---Jedediah Morse, Patriot and "Father of American Geography," "A Sermon, Exhibiting the Present Dangers and Consequent Duties of the Citizens of the United States of America," 1799Jedediah Morse1799view
America "We will become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams."---Jimmy Carter, speech, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, October 27, 1976Jimmy Carter1976view
Government"The test of a government is not how popular it is with the powerful and privileged few, but how honestly and fairly it deals with the many who must depend upon it."---Jimmy Carter, Inaugural Address as governor of Georgia, 1971 Jimmy Carter1971view
America"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." ---John Adams, Second President of the United States, in his notes for A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law in February of 1765John Adams1765view
Christian Heritage"The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity."---John Adams, diary entry for July 26, 1796John Adams1796view
Christian Heritage"The Christian religion is, above all the Religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of Wisdom, Virtue, Equity, and is Resignation to God, it is Goodness itself to Man."---John Adams, in his diary on July 26, 1796 John Adams1796view
Christian Heritage "The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God." ---John Adams, in a letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson on June 28, 1813.John Adams1813view
Christian Heritage"The Holy Ghost carries on the whole Christian system in this earth. Not a baptism, not a marriage, not a sacrament can be administered but by the Holy Ghost. . . . There is no authority, civil or religious - there can be no legitimate government but what is administered by this Holy Ghost. There can be no salvation without it. All without it is rebellion and perdition, or in more orthodox words damnation." ---John Adams, in a letter to Benjamin Rush, from Quincy, Massachusetts, dated December 21, 1809John Adams1809view
Christian Heritage"[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."---John Adams, October 11, 1798, found in The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, edited by Charles Francis Adams John Adams1798view
Democracy"A government of laws, and not of men." ---John Adams, opening clause of the Massachusetts state constitution, 1779John Adams1779view
Education"The preservation of the means of knowledge among the lowest ranks is of more importance to the public than all the property of all the rich men in the country." ---John Adams, letter written as vice president, 1789John Adams1789view
Law"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."---John Adams, "Argument in Defense of the Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials," December 1770 John Adams1770view
Liberty"The liberties of mankind and the glory of human nature are in our keeping."---John Adams, revolutionary pamphlet, 1765John Adams1765view
Morality"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."---John Adams, in a letter to the officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts, on October 11, 1798John Adams1798view
Morality"[I]t is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue."---John Adams, Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Second President of the United States, in a letter to Zabdiel Adams on June 21, 1776John Adams1776view
Patriotism"If it be the pleasure of Heaven that my country shall require the poor offering of my life, the victim shall be ready, at the appointed hour of sacrifice, come when that hour may. But while I do live, let me have a country, and that a free country!"---John Adams, Second President of the United States, in contemplating the personal effects of separating from England, found in Spirit of Seventy-Six, edited by Steele Commager and Richard B. Morris John AdamsUNKNOWNview
Patriotism"The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever.You will think me transported with enthusiasm, but I am not. I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory I can see that the end is worth more than all the means; that posterity will triumph in that day's transaction, even though we [may regret] it, which I trust in God we shall not."---John Adams, in a letter to his wife, Abigail, on July 3, 1776, reflecting on what he had shared with CongressJohn Adams1776view
The Bible"Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited. . . . What a Eutopia - what a Paradise would this region be!"---John Adams, diary entry for February 22, 1756John Adams1756view
The Bible"I have examined all religions, and the result is that the Bible is the best book in the world."---John Adams, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson on December 25, 1813John Adams1813view
Voting"We electors have an important constitutional power placed in our hands: we have a check upon two branches of the legislature, as each branch has upon the other two; the power I mean of electing at stated periods, one branch, which branch has the power of electing another. It becomes necessary to every subject then, to be in some degree a statesman: and to examine and judge for himself of the tendencies of political principles and measures." ---John Adams, from The Papers of John Adams, "'U' to the Boston Gazette" written on August 29, 1763John Adams1763view
Christian Heritage"Nor is this spiritual and moral disease to be healed by a better education, a few external, transient thoughts. It requires the hand of the great Physician, the Lord Jesus Christ, by His Holy Spirit, and belief of the truth renewing the state of the mind and disposition of the heart as well, thereby leading the soul from a sense of fear of the wrath of God, the penalty of this broken law, and helpless in itself, to flee to the merits of Jesus, that only refuge or foundation which God hath laid in His Church, and who was made sin for us (that is, a sin-offering), that all "believers be made the righteous ness of God by Him.'"---John Armstrong (1758-1843), Congressman, United States Senator, Diplomat, General, found in Centennial Biography: Men of Mark of the Cumberland Valley by Alfred NevinJohn Armstrong1758view
Christian Heritage"[Governments] could not give the rights essential to happiness... We claim them from a higher source: from the King of kings, and Lord of all the earth."---John Dickinson, from The Political Writings of John DickinsonJohn DickinsonUNKNOWNview
Christian Heritage"The world is different now...and yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe - the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God."---John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961John F. Kennedy1961view
Courage"The stories of past courage can define that ingredient - they can teach, they can offer hope, they can provide inspiration. But they cannot supply courage itself. For this each man must look into his own soul."---John F. Kennedy, Profiles in Courage, 1956 John F. Kennedy1956view
Education"A child miseducated is a child lost."---John F. Kennedy, State of the Union Address, January 11, 1962John F. Kennedy1962view
Law"Only a respect for the law makes it possible for free men to dwell in together in peace and progress...Law is the adhesive force in the cement of society, creating order out of chaos and coherence in place of anarchy."---John F. Kennedy, convocation speech, Vanderbilt University, Nashville Tennessee, May 18, 1863 John F. Kennedy1863view
Liberty"Liberty without learning is always in peril and learning without liberty is always in vain."---John F. Kennedy, speech at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, May 18, 1963 John F. Kennedy1963view
Patriotism"Let our patriotism be reflected in the creation of confidence in one another, rather than in crusades of suspicion. Let us prove we think our country great, by striving to make it greater."---John F. Kennedy, speech at the Democratic Party of California dinner, November 18, 1961John F. Kennedy1961view
Patriotism"A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers." ---John F. Kennedy, speech in praise of Robert Frost, Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts, October 27, 1963John F. Kennedy1963view
Patriotism"With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love."---John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961John F. Kennedy1961view
The Bible"By conveying the Bible to people . . . we certainly do them a most interesting act of kindness. We thereby enable them to learn that man was originally created and placed in a state of happiness, but, becoming disobedient, was subjected to the degradation and evils which he and his posterity have since experienced. The Bible will also inform them that our gracious Creator has provided for us a Redeemer in whom all the nations of the earth should be blessed - that this Redeemer has made atonement "for the sins of the whole world," and thereby reconciling the Divine justice with the Divine mercy, has opened a way for our redemption and salvation; and that these inestimable benefits are of the free gift and grace of God, not of our deserving, nor in our power to deserve. The Bible will also [encourage] them with many explicit and consoling assurances of the Divine mercy to our fallen race, and with repeated invitations to accept the offers of pardon and reconciliation. . . . They, therefore, who enlist in His service, have the highest encouragement to fulfill the duties assigned to their respective stations; for most certain it is, that those of His followers who [participate in] His conquests will also participate in the transcendent glories and blessings of His Triumph."---John Jay, from his "Address at the Annual Meeting of the American Bible Society," May 13, 1824John Jay1824view
The Bible"The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts."--- John Jay, in a letter to Peter Augustus Jay on April 8, 1784John Jay1784view
Voting"Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."---John Jay, from The Correspondence and Public Papers of John JayJohn JayUNKNOWNview
Voting"The Americans are the first people whom Heaven has favored with an opportunity of deliberating upon and choosing the forms of government under which they should live."---John Jay, from The Correspondence and Public Papers of John JayJohn JayUNKNOWNview
The Bible"The Bible is one of the greatest blessings bestowed by God on the children of men. - It has God for its author; salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture for its matter. - It is all pure, all sincere; nothing too much; nothing wanting."---John Locke (1632-1704), English philosopher who influenced the Founding Fathers, found in The New Dictionary of Thoughts - A Cyclopedia of Quotations by Tryon EdwardsJohn LockeUNKNOWNview
Government"The power to tax involves the power to destroy."---John Marshall, majority opinion in the Supreme Court decision McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheaton 316, 421, 1819 John Marshall1819view
Courage "I have not yet begun to fight."---John Paul Jones, during a battle with the heavily armed H.M.S. Serapis, September 23, 1871John Paul Jones1871view
America"[America] is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will recommend the general cause, by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example."---John Quincy Adams, An Address...Celebrating the Anniversary of Independence, at the City of Washington on the Fourth of July, 1821John Quincy Adams1821view
Christian Heritage"The only sure and permanent foundation of virtue is religion. Let this important truth be engraven upon your heart...Justice, humanity and benevolence are the duties you owe to society in general. To your country the same duties are incumbent upon you with the additional obligation of ease, pleasure, wealth and life itself for its defense and security."---Abigail Adams, wife of President John Adams, in a letter to her son, John Quincy Adams, on March 20, 1780John Quincy Adams1780view
Christian Heritage "Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Saviour of the World, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day? Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the Progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth?That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity and gave to the world the first irrevocable pledge of the fulfillment of the prophecies announced directly from Heaven at the birth of the Saviour and predicted by the greatest of the Hebrew prophets 600 years before."---John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States, in a speech in the Town of Newburyport, on July 4, 1837, celebrating the 61st Anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of IndependenceJohn Quincy Adams1837view
Morality"There are three points of doctrine the belief of which forms the foundation of all morality. The first is the existence of God; the second is the immortality of the human soul; and the third is a future state of rewards and punishments. Suppose it possible for a man to disbelieve either of these three articles of faith and that man will have no conscience, he will have no other law than that of the tiger or the shark. The laws of man may bind him in chains or may put him to death, but they never can make him wise, virtuous, or happy."---John Quincy Adams, Sixth President of the United States, in a letters to His Son on the Bible and its teachingsJohn Quincy AdamsUNKNOWNview
The Bible"The hope of a Christian is inseparable from his faith. Whoever believes in the Divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures must hope that the religion of Jesus shall prevail throughout the earth. Never since the foundation of the world have the prospects of mankind been more encouraging to that hope than they appear to be at the present time. And may the associated distribution of the Bible proceed and prosper till the Lord shall have made ?bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God' [Isaiah 52:10]."---John Quincy Adams, from Life of John Quincy Adams, published in 1849.John Quincy Adams1849view
The Bible"I speak as a man of the world to men of the world; and I say to you, Search the Scriptures! The Bible is the book of all others, to be read at all ages, and in all conditions of human life; not to be read once or twice or thrice through, and then laid aside, but to be read in small portions of one or two chapters every day and never to be intermitted, unless by some overruling necessity."---John Quincy Adams, found in The New Dictionary of Thoughts - A Cyclopedia of Quotations, edited by Tryon Edwards, published in 1852 John Quincy Adams1982view
Christian Heritage"For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us."---John Winthrop, evoking Matthew 5:14 in "A Modell of Christian Charity," a sermon delivered aboard the Arabella on the way to America, 1630John Winthrop1630view
Voting"Those who wish well to the State ought to choose to places of trust men of inward principle, justified by exemplary conversation. . . .[And t]he people in general ought to have regard to the moral character of those whom they invest with authority either in the legislative, executive, or judicial branches."---John Witherspoon, The Works of John Witherspoon, 1815John Witherspoon1815view
The Bible"Whereas the Bible, the Word of God, has made a unique contribution in shaping the United States as a distinctive and blessed nation of people. Whereas Biblical teachings inspired concepts of civil government that are contained in our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of The United States ... Whereas that renewing our knowledge of, and faith in God through Holy Scriptures can strengthen us as a nation and a people. Now therefore be it resolved ... that the President is authorized and requested to designate 1983 as a national "Year of the Bible" in recognition of both the formative influence the Bible has been for our nation, and our national need to study and apply the teachings of the Holy Scriptures." ---Joint Resolution of Congress, October 4, 1982Joint Resolution of Congress1982view
Christian Heritage"Indeed, the right of a society or government to [participate] in matters of religion will hardly be contested by any persons who believe that piety, religion, and morality are intimately connected with the well being of the state and indispensable to the administrations of civil justice. The promulgation of the great doctrines of religion?the being, and attributes, and providence of one Almighty God; the responsibility to Him for all our actions, founded upon moral accountability; a future state of rewards and punishments; the cultivation of all the personal, social, and benevolent virtues?these never can be a matter of indifference in any well-ordered community. It is, indeed, difficult to conceive how any civilized society can well exist without them."--- Joseph Story, Supreme Court Justice, A Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States, 1847Joseph Story1847view
Christian Heritage "I verily believe that Christianity is necessary to support a civil society and shall ever attend to its institutions and acknowledge its precepts as the pure and natural sources of private and social happiness."---Joseph Story, Life and Letters of Joseph Story, edited by William W. Story, 1851Joseph Story1851view
Liberty"A society in which men recognize no check upon their freedom soon becomes a society where freedom is the possession of only a savage few."---Learned Hand, "Spirit of Liberty," May 1944 Learned Hand1944view
Liberty"The spirit of liberty is the spirit of him who, near two thousand years ago, taught mankind that lesson it has never learned, but has never quite forgotten - that there may be a kingdom where the least shall be heard and considered side by side with the greatest." ---Learned Hand, "Spirit of Liberty," May 1944Learned Hand1944view
Christian Heritage"Independent of its connection with human destiny hereafter, the fate of republican government is indissolubly bound up with the fate of the Christian religion, and a people who reject its holy faith will find themselves the slaves of their own evil passions and of arbitrary power."---Lewis Class, American soldier, lawyer, politician, diplomat, U.S. Senator, Secretary of State, and Presidential candidate in 1848, found in The New Dictionary of Thoughts - A Cyclopedia of Quotations by Tryon Edwards, published in 1852Lewis Class1852view
The Bible"God, in His providence, has given us a Book of His revealed will to be with us at the commencement of our career in this life and at its termination; and to accompany us during all chances and changes of this trying and fitful progress, to control the passions, to enlighten the judgment, to guide the conscience, to teach us what we ought to do here, and what we shall be hereafter."---Lewis Class, American soldier, lawyer, politician, diplomat, U.S. Senator, Secretary of State, and Presidential candidate in 1848, in a letter from Washington in 1846Lewis Class1846view
Leadership"Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely."---Lord Acton, letter Bishop Mandell Creighton discussing the unquestioned authority of the popes, April 3, 1887 Lord Acton1887view
Liberty"That great political idea, sanctifying freedom and consecrating it to God, teaching men to treasure the liberties of others as their own, and to defend them for the love of justice and charity more than as a claim of right, has been the soul of what is great and good in the progress of the last two hundred years."---Lord Acton, a great English historian, in 1877, from In Defense of Liberty by Keith FournierLord Acton1877view
Government"If the government becomes a law-breaker, it breeds contempt for the law, it invites every man to become a law unto himself, it invites anarchy. To declare that in the administration of the criminal law the end justifies the means - to declare that the Government may commit crimes in order to secure the conviction of a private criminal - would bring terrible retribution." ---Louis D. Brandeis, dissenting opinion in the Supreme Court decision Olmstead et al v. United States, 277 U.S. 485, 1928Louis D. Brande1928view
Liberty"Those who won our independence...valued liberty both as an end and as a means. They believed...that the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people; that public discussion is a political duty; and that this should be a fundamental principle of the American Government."---Louis D. Brandeis, in the Supreme Court decision Whitney v. California, 1927Louis D. Brandei1927view
Justice"Justice, being destroyed, will destroy; being preserved, will preserve; it must never therefore be violated."---Manu, The Laws of Manu, written between 200 BC and AD 200 Manu200 BC and AD 200view
Democracy"Men write many fine and plausible arguments in support of monarchy, but the fact remains that where every man in a State has a vote, brutal laws are impossible."---Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, 1889 Mark Twain1889view
Courage"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in the moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." ---Martin Luther King, Jr., The Strength to Love, 1963Martin Luther King, Jr.1963view
Law"One who breaks an unjust law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law."---Martin Luther King, Jr. "Letter from the Birmingham City Jail," 1963 Martin Luther King, Jr.1963view
Morality"The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals." ---Martin Luther King, Jr., "The Purpose of Education," Maroon Tiger, January-February 1947Martin Luther King, Jr.1947view
Voting"Consider well the important trust . . . which God . . . [has] put into your hands. . . . To God and posterity you are accountable for [your rights and your rulers]. . . . Let not your children have reason to curse you for giving up those rights and prostrating those institutions which your fathers delivered to you. . . . [L]ook well to the characters and qualifications of those you elect and raise to office and places of trust. . . . Think not that your interests will be safe in the hands of the weak and ignorant; or faithfully managed by the impious, the dissolute and the immoral. Think not that men who acknowledge not the providence of God nor regard His laws will be uncorrupt in office, firm in defense of the righteous cause against the oppressor, or resolutely oppose the torrent of iniquity. . . . Watch over your liberties and privileges - civil and religious - with a careful eye."---Matthias Burnett, Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Norwalk, "An Election Sermon," Preached at Hartford, on the Day of the Anniversary Election, May 12, 1803Matthias Burnett1803view
Family"Even when poverty and disorientation strike, as over the generations they so often do, it is family strength that most defends individuals against alienation, lassitude, or despair."---Michael Novak, "Family Out of Favor," Harper's, 1976 Michael Novak1976view
Patriotism"I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." ---Nathan Hale, spoken before his execution for espionage during the American Revolution, September 22, 1864Nathan Hale1864view
The Bible"The most perfect maxims and examples for regulating your social conduct and domestic economy, as well as the best rules of morality and religion, are to be found in the Bible. . . . The moral principles and precepts found in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. These principles and precepts have truth, immutable truth, for their foundation. . . . All the evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible. . . . For instruction then in social, religious and civil duties resort to the scriptures for the best precepts."--- Noah Webster, Founding Educator, from "Advice to the Young" in his History of the United States, published in 1832Noah Webster1832view
Voting"In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate - look to his character. . . . When a citizen gives his suffrage to a man of known immorality he abuses his trust; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor, he betrays the interest of his country." ---Noah Webster, Letters to a Young Gentleman Commencing His Education to which is subjoined a Brief History of the United States, 1823Noah Webster1823view
Voting"When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, "just men who will rule in the fear of God." The preservation of government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded. If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws."---Noah Webster, History of the United States, 1832Noah Webster1832view
Morality"[T]he primary objects of government are the peace, order, and prosperity of society. . . . To the promotion of these objects, particularly in a republican government, good morals are essential. Institutions for the promotion of good morals are therefore objects of legislative provision and support: and among these . . . religious institutions are eminently useful and important. . . . [T]he legislature, charged with the great interests of the community, may, and ought to countenance, aid and protect religious institutions?institutions wisely calculated to direct men to the performance of all the duties arising from their connection with each other, and to prevent or repress those evils which flow from unrestrained passion."---Oliver Ellsworth, Chief-Justice of the Supreme Court, June 7, 1802, to the General Assembly of the State of ConnecticutOliver Ellsworth1802view
Law"The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience."---Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. The Common Law, 1881Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. 1881view
America"All America is thrown into one mass. Where are your landmarks - your boundaries of colonies? They are all thrown down. The distinctions between Virginians, Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers, and New Englanders are no more. I am not a Virginian, but an American."---Patrick Henry, speech to the Continental Congress, Philadelphia, September 5, 1774Patrick Henry1774view
Christian Heritage "Righteousness alone can exalt America as a nation. Whoever thou art, remember this; and in thy sphere practice virtue thyself, and encourage it in others."---Patrick Henry, in a letter to Archibald Blair on January 8, 1799Patrick Henry1799view
Christian Heritage"The great pillars of all government and of social life [are] virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone, that renders us invincible."---Patrick Henry, in a letter to Archibald Blair on January 8, 1799Patrick Henry1799view
Christian Heritage"Being a Christian... is a character which I prize far above all this world has or can boast."---Patrick Henry, found in The Life of Patrick Henry of Virginia, published in 1854Patrick Henry1854view
Liberty"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me...give me liberty or give me death!" ---Patrick Henry, speech to the Virginia Convention of Delegates, March 23, 1775Patrick Henry1775view
The Bible"The Bible... is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed."---Patrick Henry, Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry, published in 1818 Patrick Henry1818view
Justice"Those who have not known the joy of standing up for a great cause of justice have not known what makes living worthwhile."---Paul Painlev‚, regarding the Dreyfus Affair, 1894 Paul Painlev‚1894view
Christian Heritage"No free government now exists in the world, unless where Christianity is acknowledged, and is the religion of the country."---Pennsylvania Supreme Court, 1824. Updegraph v. Commonwealth; 11 Serg. & R. 393, 406Pennsylvania Supreme Court1824view
Christian Heritage"We are as a city set upon a hill, in the open view of all the earth...We profess ourselves to be a people in covenant with God, and therefore...the Lord our God...will cry shame upon us if we walk contrary to the covenant which we have promised to walk in. If we open the mouths of men against our profession, by reason of the scandalousness of our lives, we (of all men) shall have the greater sin."---Peter Bulkeley, Puritan leader, Founder of the city of Concord Massachusetts, in 1651, found in The Annals of America, published by the Encyclopedia BritannicaPeter Bulkeley1651view
Democracy" a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder, and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequals alike." ---Plato, The RepublicPlatoUNKNOWNview
Justice"Mourn not the dead that in the cool earth lie - But rather mourn the apathetic throng - The cowed and the meek - Who see the world's great anguish and its wrong And dare not speak."---Ralph Chaplin, "Solidarity Forever," January 9, 1915 Ralph Chaplin1915view
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