of the United States from 1809 to 1817.
We have staked the whole future of
American civilization, not upon the power of
government, far from it. We have staked the future of
all of our political institutions upon the capacity of
mankind of self-government; upon the capacity of each
and all of us to govern ourselves, to control
ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten
Commandments of God.
is government itself but the greatest of all
reflections on human nature? 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.
advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only
guardian of true liberty.
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 usurpation.