"I was brought up a rigid Presbyterian, to which I have always adhered. Our excellent Constitution guarantees to everyone freedom of religion, and charity tells us--and you know charity is the real basis of all true religion--and charity says "judge the tree by its fruit." All who profess Christianity believe in a Savior and that by and through him we must be saved. We ought therefore to consider all good Christians whose walks correspond with their professions, be they Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Baptist, Methodist, or Roman Catholic. Let it be always remembered ... that no established religion can exist under [our] glorious Constitution."
"[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."
"Our government is founded upon the intelligence of the people. I for one do not despair of the republic. I have great confidence in the virtue of the great majority of the people, and I cannot fear the result."
"Tell my son how anxious I am that he may read and learn his Book, that he may become the possessor of those things that a gratefulcountry has bestowed upon his papa--Tell him that his happiness through life depends upon his procuring an education now; and with it, to imbibe proper moral habits that can entitle him to the possession of them."
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