"To speak impartially, both sayings are very true: that man to man is a kind of God; and that man to man is an arrant wolf. The first is true, if we compare citizens amongst themselves; and the second, if we compare cities."
"They that are discontented under monarchy, call it tyranny; and they that are displeased with aristocracy, call it oligarchy: so also, they which find themselves grieved under a democracy, call it anarchy, which signifies the want of government; and yet I think no man believes, that want of government, is any new kind of government."
"The Imagination that is raised in man (or any other creature imbued with the faculty of imagining) by words, or other voluntary signs, is that we generally call Understanding; and is common to Man and Beasts."
"It is manifest therefore that they who have sovereign power, are immediate rulers of the church under Christ, and all others but subordinate to them. If that were not, but kings should command one thing upon pain of death, and priests another upon pain of damnation, it would be impossible that peace and religion should stand together."
"The people needed to be rehoused, but I feel disgusted and depressed when I see how they have done it. It did not suit the planners to think how they might deal with the community, or the individuals that made up the community. All they could think was, "Sweep it away!" The bureaucrats put their heads together, and if anyone had told them, "A community is people," they would not have known what they were on about."
"Government by average opinion is merely a circuitous method of going to the devil; those who profess to lead but in fact slavishly follow this average opinion are simply the fastest runners and the loudest squeakers of the herd which is rushing blindly down to its destruction."
"The very existence of society depends on the fact that every member of it tacitly admits he is not the exclusive possessor of himself, and that he admits the claim of the polity of which he forms a part, to act, to some extent, as his master."
"[Government's] true strength consists in leaving individuals and states as much as possible to themselves--in making itself felt, not in its power, but in its beneficence, not in its control, but in its protection, not in binding the states more closely to the center, but leaving each to move unobstructed in its proper orbit."
"We are beginning a new era in our government. I cannot too strongly urge the necessity of a rigid economy and an inflexible determination not to enlarge the income beyond the real necessities of the government."
"The ambition which leads me on is an anxious desire and a fixed determination to return to the people unimpaired the sacred trust they have confided to my charge; to heal the wounds of the Constitution and preserve it from further violation; to persuade my countrymen, so far as I may, that it is not in a splendid government supported by powerful monopolies and aristocratical establishments that they will find happiness or their liberties protection, but in a plain system, void of pomp, protecting all and granting favors to none, dispensing its blessings, like the dews of Heaven, unseen and unfelt save in the freshness and beauty they contribute to produce. It is such a government that the genius of the people requires; such an [sic] one only under which our states may remain for ages to come united, prosperous, and free."
"However much we may differ in the choice of the measures which should guide the administration of the government, there can be but little doubt in the minds of those who are really friendly to the republican features of our system that one of its most important securities consists in the separation of the legislative and executive powers at the same time that each is acknowledged to be supreme, in the will of the people constitutionally expressed."
"In the full enjoyment of the gifts of Heaven and the fruits of superior industry, economy, and virtue, every man is entitled to protection by law; but when the laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society--the farmers, mechanics, and laborers--who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their government."
"What more is necessary to make us a happy and prosperous people? Still one thing more ... Ma wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from labor the bread it has earned."