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Thomas Jefferson Quotes


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I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.
 

I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature.
 

I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it.
 

I find that he is happiest of whom the world says least, good or bad.
 

I have always said, I always will say, that the studious perusal of the sacred volume will make better citizens, better fathers, and better husbands.
 

I have ever deemed it more honorable and more profitable, too, to set a good example than to follow a bad one.
 

I have lent myself willingly as the subject of a great experiment, which was to prove that an administration conducting itself with integrity and common understanding cannot be battered down even by the falsehoods of a licentious press. . . . The fact being once established that the press is impotent when it abandons itself to falsehood, I leave it to others to restore it to its strength by recalling it within the pale of truth. Within that it is a noble institution, equally the friend of science and civil liberty.
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I have never been able to conceive how any rational being could propose happiness to himself from the exercise of power over others.
[Power]
 

I have no ambition to govern men; it is a painful and thankless office.
[Politics]
 

I have no fear that the result of our experiment will be that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master.
 

I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology.
 

I have seen enough of one war never to wish to see another.
 

I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.
[Against]
 

I have the consolation of having added nothing to my private fortune during my public service, and of retiring with hands clean as they are empty.
 

I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.
 

I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.
 

I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.
 

I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion.
 

I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.
[Better]
 

I live for books.
 


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