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American (English-born) political writer and free thinker
(1737 - 1809)
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A bad cause will never be supported by bad means and bad men.
      - [Badness]

A constitution is not a thing in name only, but in fact. It has not an ideal but a real existence, and wherever it cannot be produced in a visible form, there is none. A constitution is a thing antecedent to a government, and a government is only the creature of a constitution. The constitution of a country is not the act of its government, but of a people constituting a government. It is the body of elements to which you refer, and quote article by article, and contains the principles on which the government shall be established--the form in which it shall be organized--the powers it shall have--the mode of elections--the duration of Congress--and, in fine, everything that relates to the complete organization of a civil government, and the principles on which it shall act, and by which it shall be bound. A constitution is to a government, therefore, what the laws made by that government are to a court of judicature. The court of judicature does not make laws, neither can it alter them; it only acts in conformity to the laws made; and the government is in like manner governed by the constitution.
      - [Constitution]

A republic properly understood is a sovereignty of justice, in contradistinction to a sovereignty of will.
      - [Democracy]

A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice.
      - [Moderation]

A world of little cares is continually arising, which busy or affluent life knows nothing of, to open the first door to distress. Hunger is not among the postponable wants; and a day, even a few hours, in such a condition is often the crisis of a life of ruin.
      - [Temptation]

Accustom a people to believe that priests, or any other class of men who can forgive sins, and you will have sins in abundance.
      - [Priests]

Action and care will in time wear down the strongest frame, but guilt and melancholy are poisons of quick dispatch.
      - [Action : Melancholy]

All the religions known in the world are founded, so far as they relate to man or the unity of man, as being all of one degree. Whether in heaven or in hell, or in whatever state man may be supposed to exist hereafter, the good and the bad are the only distinctions.
      - [Equality]

Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true.
      - [Religion]

Calumny is a vice of curious constitution; trying to kill it keeps it alive; leave it to itself and it will die a natural death.
      - [Calumny]

Character is much easier kept than recovered.
      - [Character]

Civilization, or that which is so called, has operated two ways to make one part of society more affluent and the other part more wretched than would have been the lot of either in a natural state.
      - [Civilization]

Commerce is no other than the traffic of two individuals, multiplied on a scale of number; and, by the same rule that Nature intended the intercourse of two, she intended that of all!
      - [Commerce]

Compassion, the fairest associate of the heart.
      - [Compassion]

Death is not the monarch of the dead, but of the dying. The moment he obtains a conquest, he loses a subject.
      - [Death]

Every religion is good that teaches man to be good.
      - [Religion]

Evils, like poisons, have their uses, and there are diseases which no other remedy can reach.
      - [Evil]

Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence.
      - [Government]

How impious is the title of sacred majesty applied to a worm, who, in the midst of his splendor, is crumbling into dust.
      - [Titles]

Human nature is not of itself vicious.
      - [Vice]

I believe that a man may write himself out of reputation when nobody else can do it.
      - [Authorship]

I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflections.
      - [Courage]

If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.
      - [Trouble]

It is from our enemies that we often gain excellent maxims, and are frequently surprised into reason by their mistakes.
      - [Enemies]

It is not a field of a few acres of ground, but a cause, that we are defending, and whether we defeat the enemy in one battle, or by degrees, the consequences will be the same.
      - [War]

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