Copyright © 2012 by Michael A. Shea - All Rights Reserved

LIBERTY QUOTES  

"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom [liberty]"

— 2 Corinthians 3:17 RSV


"Law and liberty cannot rationally become the objects of our love, unless they first become the objects of our knowledge."

— James Wilson (1742-1798) Founding Father, assisted in drafting the Constitution, Supreme Court Justice


"Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it."

— Learned Hand (1872–1961) United States District Court Judge


"God grants liberty only to those who love it and are always ready to guard and defend it."

— Daniel Webster (1782-1852) Author, Lawyer and Patriot


"Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?"

— Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) Third President of the United States


“That no free government, nor the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people, but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles; and by the recognition by all citizens that they have duties as well as rights, and that such rights cannot be enjoyed save in a society where law is respected and due process is observed.” (Article I, Section 15, Constitution of Virginia)

— George Mason (1725-1792) Founding Father & Author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights

“The religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and his apostles, which enjoins humility, piety, and benevolence; which acknowledges in every person a brother, or a sister, and a citizen with equal rights. This is the genuine Christianity, and to this we owe our free Constitution of government.”

— Noah Webster (1758-1843)  Father of the Dictionary & American Patriot


“To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them”

— Richard Henry Lee (1732–1794) Founding Father


"Statesmen, my dear Sir, 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; and if this cannot be inspired into our people in a greater measure than they have it now, they may change their rulers and the forms of government, but they will not obtain a lasting liberty. They will only exchange tyrants and tyrannies."

— John Adams (1797-1801) Second President of the United States and Patriot


"Under the law of nature, all men are born free, every one comes into the world with a right to his own person, which includes the liberty of moving and using it at his own will. This is what is called personal liberty, and is given him by the Author of nature, because necessary for his own sustenance."

— Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) Third President of the United States


“Liberty can no more exist without virtue and independence than the body can live and move without a soul.” "Public virtue cannot exist in a nation without private, and public virtue is the only foundation of republics."

— John Adams (1797-1801) Second President of the United States and Patriot


“The first maxim of a man who loves liberty, should be never to grant to rulers an atom of power that is not most clearly and indispensably necessary for the safety and well being of society.”

— Richard Henry Lee (1732–1794) Founding Father


“A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”

— John Adams (1797-1801) Second President of the United States and Patriot


“Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty from evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to Liberty lurk in the insidious encroachments by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.”

— Louis D. Brandeis (1856–1941) Former Supreme Court Justice


“The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in Religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.”

— Benjamin Rush (1745-1813) Founding Father& signer of the Declaration of Independence


"Liberty is not to be enjoyed, indeed it cannot exist, without the habits of just subordination; it consists, not so much in removing all restraint from the orderly, as in imposing it on the violent."

— Fisher Ames (1758-1808) Founding Father and framer of the First Amendment to the Constitution


"When a government is in its prime, the public good engages the attention of the whole; the strictest regard is paid to the qualifications of those who hold the offices of state; virtue prevails; everything is managed with justice, prudence, and frugality; the laws are founded on principles of equity rather than mere policy, and all the people are happy. But vice will increase with the riches and glory of an empire; and this generally tends to corrupt the Constitution and in time bring on its dissolution. This may be considered not only as the natural effect of vice, but a righteous judgment from Heaven, especially upon a nation which has been favored with the blessings of religion and liberty and is guilty of undervaluing them and eagerly going into the gratification of every lust.”

— Samuel Langdon (1723-1797) – Thirteenth President of Harvard University, Delegate to the New Hampshire convention that adopted the Constitution


“Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have …The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.”

— Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) Third President of the United States


"I trust I have long since made my peace with the King of Kings. No personal consideration shall induce me to abandon the righteous cause of my country. Tell Governor Gage it is the advise of Samuel Adams to him no longer to insult the feelings of an exasperated people." (British General Gage trying to buy off Samuel Adams- 1775)

— Samuel Adams (1722–1803) Father of the American Revolution, Patriot and Statesman


"A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defense against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home."

— James Madison (1751-1836) Father of the Constitution, 4th President of the United States


“A large portion of our citizens, who will not believe, even on the evidence of facts, that any public evils exist, or are impending. They deride the apprehensions of those who foresee, that licentiousness will prove, as it ever has proved, fatal to liberty.”

— Fisher Ames (1758-1808) Founding Father and framer of the First Amendment to the Constitution


"The right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, the rights of the Colonists as Christians may best be understood by reading and carefully studying the institutions of The Great Law Giver and the Head of the Christian Church, which are to be found clearly written and promulgated in the New Testament. … his natural right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience. And, by the charter of this Province, it is granted, ordained, and established (that is, declared as an original right that there shall be liberty of conscience allowed in the worship of God to all Christians.”

— Samuel Adams (1722–1803) Father of the American Revolution, Patriot and Statesman


"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt."

— Samuel Adams (1722–1803) Father of the American Revolution, Patriot and Statesman


“If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

— George Orwell [Eric Arthur Blair] (1903-1950) The British Novelist & Essayist, Preface from the book Animal Farm


“Our history and destiny as a nation will be written by the choices we have made."”
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