Category Archives: Liberty Quotes

Christmas: State of Mind

christmas-message-1927“To the American People: Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. If we think on these things, there will be born in us a Savior and over us will shine a star sending its gleam of hope to the world.” – Calvin Coolidge Presidential message, December 25, 1927

Christmas 1923 was the first Christmas that the White House displayed a National Community Christmas Tree. President Coolidge was also given a button that turned on the 2,500 green, red and white electric lights.

tree-1923

Reared for Immortality

If these Commentaries shall but inspire in the rising generation a more ardent love of their country, an unquenchable thirst for liberty, and a profound reverence for the Constitution and the Union, then they will have accomplished all that their author ought to desire. Let the American youth never forget that they possess a noble inheritance, bought by the toils and sufferings and blood of their ancestors, and capable, if wisely improved and faithfully guarded, of transmitting to their latest posterity all the substantial blessings of of life, the peaceful enjoyment of liberty, property, religion, and independence. The structure has been erected by architects of consummate skill and fidelity; its foundations are solid; its compartments are as beautiful as well as useful; its arrangements are full of wisdom and order; and its defences are impregnable from without. It has been reared for immortality, if the work of man may justly aspire to such a title. It may, nevertheless, perish in an hour by the folly or corruption or negligence of its only keepers, — THE PEOPLE. Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest; and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people in order to betray them. – Joseph Story, Supreme Court of the United States 1811-1845, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States


Daguerreotype_of_Joseph_Story,_1844“Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest; and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people in order to betray them.”

 


 

ORIGINAL TEXT

 

Out of Small Beginnings

“Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing, and gives being to all things that are; and as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many., yea in some sort to our whole nation; let the glorious name of Jehova have all the praise”
― William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation

bradford1On William Bradford’s tombstone is written:

In Hebrew: “Jehova is our help”

In Latin: “What our fathers with so much difficulty secured, do not basely relinquish”

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The Sacred Fire of Liberty

“…the propitious smiles of Heaven, can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained: And since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the Republican model of Government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.” – George Washington’s First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789

Distinctive Signature of George Washington
Distinctive Signature of George Washington

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The Spirit of Liberty

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the minds of other men and women; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its own without bias; the spirit of liberty remembers that not even a sparrow falls to earth unheeded; the spirit of liberty is the spirit of Him who, near two thousand years ago, taught mankind that lesson it has never learned, but has never quite forgotten; that there may be a kingdom where the least shall be heard and considered side by side with the greatest. – Billings Learned Hand, speech at “I Am an American Day” ceremony, Central Park, New York City, May 21, 1944

Learned HandTEXT

Natural Rights of the Colonists as Men

Samuel AdamsAmong the natural rights of the Colonists are these: First, a right to life; Secondly, to liberty; Thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can. These are evident branches of, rather than deductions from, the duty of self-preservation, commonly called the first law of nature. – Samuel Adams, The Rights of the Colonists, 1772

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Democracy Seeks Equality in Liberty

DeTocqueDemocracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude. – Alexis de Tocqueville, September 12, 1848