- Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.
- Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor.
- I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature.
- Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.
- Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.
- Bodily decay is gloomy in prospect, but of all human contemplations the most abhorrent is body without mind.
- A coward is much more exposed to quarrels than a man of spirit.
- Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.
- Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.
- He who knows best knows how little he knows.
- I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
- He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.
- I am an Epicurean. I consider the genuine (not the imputed) doctrines of Epicurus as containing everything rational in moral philosophy which Greek and Roman leave to us.
- I believe that every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another.
- Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.
- Every generation needs a new revolution.
- Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing. All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
- All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.
- Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.
- Books constitute capital. A library book lasts as long as a house, for hundreds of years. It is not, then, an article of mere consumption but fairly of capital, and often in the case of professional men, setting out in life, it is their only capital.
- Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government.
NOTICE:JAMES' PERSONAL WRITINGS: SLOVING
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