American Federalist Journal
Wednesday - July 26, 2017



Selected Quotes



"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...reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."
- George Washington's farewell address, 1796




"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence -- it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and fearful master."
- George Washington



Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1789
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"
- George Washington







"A 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 the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
- Thomas Jefferson's first inaugural address




"God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have removed their only firm basis: a conviction in the minds of men that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever."
- Thomas Jefferson




"Of all systems of morality, ancient or modern, which have come under my observation, none appear to be so pure as that of Jesus."
- Thomas Jefferson, To William Canby, 1813




"I hold the precepts of Jesus as delivered by Himself, to be the most pure, benevolent and sublime which have ever been preached to man..."
- President Thomas Jefferson




"I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious."
- Thomas Jefferson Letter to William Ludlow, 1824




"Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated."
- Thomas Jefferson







"I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachment of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."
- James Madison




"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce. ... The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives and liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State."
- James Madison




"With respect to the words 'general welfare,' I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators."
- James Madison




"Our ancestors established their system of government on morality and religious sentiment. Moral habits, they believed, cannot safely be entrusted on any other foundation than religious principle, not any government secure which is not supported by moral habits... Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens."
- Daniel Webster




"Why is it that, next to the birth day of the Saviour of the World, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day [July 4th]? ... Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birth-day of the Saviour? 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 corner stone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity. . ?"
- John Quincy Adams




"The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scripture ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evil men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible."
- Noah Webster




"Those people who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants."
- William Penn







"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."
- Benjamin Franklin




"A Bible and a newspaper in every house, a good school in every district - all studied and appreciated as they merit - are the principle support of virtue, morality, and civil liberty."
- Benjamin Franklin




"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?"
- Benjamin Franklin




"We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, the labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel."
- Benjamin Franklin







"Providence has given our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as privilege and interest, of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."
- John Jay, first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court




"Statesmen may plan and speculate for liberty, but it 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




"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other."
- John Adams




"I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good from the Savior (Jesus) of the world is communicated to us through this book."
- Abraham Lincoln




"The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next."
- Abraham Lincoln




"Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it."
- Abraham Lincoln




"Without God, there is no virtue, because there's no prompting of the conscience. Without God, we're mired in the material, that flat world that tells us only what the senses perceive. Without God, there is a coarsening of the society. And without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure. If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.

If I could just make a personal statement of my own -- in these 3 1/2 years I have understood and known better than ever before the words of Lincoln, when he said that he would be the greatest fool on this footstool called Earth if he ever thought that for one moment he could perform the duties of that office without help from One who is stronger than all."
- Ronald Reagan




"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. The only way they can inherit the freedom we have known is if we fight for it, protect it, defend it and then hand it to them with the well thought lessons of how they in their lifetime must do the same. And if you and I don't do this, then you and I may well spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it once was like in America when men were free."
- Ronald Reagan







"I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him."
- Booker T. Washington




"The secret of my success? It is simple. It is found in the Bible, 'In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.'"
- George Washington Carver




"[I]n regard to the colored people, there is always more that is benevolent, I perceive, than just, manifested towards us. What I ask for the negro is not benevolence, not pity, not sympathy, but simply justice. The American people have always been anxious to know what they shall do with us ... I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are worm-eaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall!...And if the negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone! ... [Y]our interference is doing him positive injury."
- Frederick Douglass




"If I were called upon to identify the principal trait of the entire 20th century, I would be unable to find anything more precise and pithy than this statement: Men have forgotten God."
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn




"...each individual has certain basic rights that are neither conferred by nor derived from the state. To discover where they came from it is necessary to move back behind the dim mist of eternity, for they are God-given..."
- Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.




I Have a Dream
I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
- Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.




Letter From Birmingham Jail
How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.
- Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.




"Distinctions by race are so evil, so arbitrary and insidious that a state bound to defend the equal protection of the laws must not allow them in any public sphere."
- Thurgood Marshall, Brown v. Board of Education




"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship.

The average age of the world's great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage."
- Alexander Tyler




"I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of 'Admin.' The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid 'dens of crime' that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voice."
- C. S. Lewis




"When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything."
- G.K. Chesterton




"Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions."
- G.K. Chesterton




"The believer in God has to account for the existence of unjust suffering; the atheist has to account for the existence of everything else."
- Milton Steinberg