When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary.
When the tongue or the pen is let loose in a frenzy of passion, it is the man, and not the subject, that becomes exhausted.
When taxes are proposed, the country is amused by the plausible language of taxing luxuries. One thing is called a luxury at one time, and something else at another; but the real luxury does not consist in the article, but in the means of procuring it, and this is always kept out of sight.
When my country, into which I had just set my foot, was set on fire about my ears, it was time to stir. It was time for every man to stir.
When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.
When it is revealed to me, I will believe it to be revelation; but it is not and cannot be incumbent upon me to believe it to be revelation before; neither is it proper that I should take the word of man as the word of God, and put man in the place of God.
When I contemplate the natural dignity of man, when I feel (for Nature has not been kind enough to me to blunt my feelings) for the honor and happiness of its character, I become irritated at the attempt to govern mankind by force and fraud, as if they were all knaves and fools, and can scarcely avoid disgust at those who are thus imposed upon.
When a man pays a tax, he knows that the public necessity requires it, and therefore feels a pride in discharging his duty; but a fine seems an atonement for neglect of duty, and of consequence is paid with discredit, and frequently levied with severity.
Whatever the form or constitution of government may be, it ought to have no other object than the general happiness. When, instead of this, it operates to create and increase wretchedness in any of the parts of society, it is on a wrong system, and reformation is necessary.
Whatever is my right as a man is also the right of another; and it becomes my duty to guarantee as well as to possess.