John Adams Quotes & Wallpapers

John Adams
Total Quotes: 473


Admire and adore the Author of the telescopic universe, love and esteem the work, do all in your power to lessen ill, and increase good, but never assume to comprehend. John Adams

I am determined to control events, not be controlled by them. John Adams

Let the human mind loose. It must be loose. It will be loose. Superstition and dogmatism cannot confine it. John Adams

Popularity, next to virtue and wisdom, ought to be aimed at; for it is the dictate of wisdom, and is necessary to the practice of virtue inmost. John Adams

You are apprehensive of monarchy; I, of aristocracy. I would therefore have given more power to the President and less to the Senate. John Adams

If Aristotle, Livy, and Harrington knew what a republic was, the British constitution is much more like a republic than an empire. They define a republic to be a government of laws, and not of men. If this definition is just, the British constitution is nothing more or less than a republic, in which the king is first magistrate. This office being hereditary, and being possessed of such ample and splendid prerogatives, is no objection to the government's being a republic, as long as it is bound by fixed laws, which the people have a voice in making, and a right to defend. John Adams

Major Greene this evening fell into some conversation with me about the Divinity and satisfaction of Jesus Christ. All the argument he advanced was, "that a mere creature or finite being could not make satisfaction to infinite justice for any crimes," and that "these things are very mysterious." Thus mystery is made a convenient cover for absurdity. John Adams

The Holy Ghost carries on the whole Christian system in this Earth. Not a baptism, not a marriage, not a sacrament can be administered but by the Holy Ghost. ... There is no authority, civil or religious, there can be no legitimate government, but that which is administered by this Holy Ghost. There can be no salvation without it. All without it is rebellion and perdition, or in more orthodox words, damnation. John Adams

Mr. Adams, describing a conversation with Jonathan Sewall in 1774, says: "I answered that the die was now cast; I had passed the Rubicon. Swim or sink, live or die, survive or perish with my country was my unalterable determination." John Adams

The numbers of men in all ages have preferred ease, slumber, and good cheer to liberty, when they have been in competition. John Adams

Property is surely a right of mankind as real as liberty. Perhaps, at first, prejudice, habit, shame or fear, principle or religion, would restrain the poor from attacking the rich, and the idle from usurping on the industrious; but the time would not be long before courage and enterprise would come, and pretexts be invented by degrees, to countenance the majority in dividing all the property among them, or at least, in sharing it equally with its present possessors. John Adams

I do not like the reappearance of the Jesuits... Nevertheless, we are compelled by our system of religious toleration to offer them an asylum. John Adams

I do not like the reappearance of the Jesuits.... Shall we not have regular swarms of them here, in as many disguises as only a king of the gipsies can assume, dressed as printers, publishers, writers and schoolmasters? If ever there was a body of men who merited damnation on earth and in Hell, it is this society of Loyola's. Nevertheless, we are compelled by our system of religious toleration to offer them an asylum. John Adams

Where annual elections end, there slavery begins ... Humility, patience, and moderation, without which every man in power becomes a ravenous beast of prey. John Adams

Among the sentiments of most powerful operation upon the human heart, and most highly honorable to the human character, are those of veneration for our forefathers, and of love for our posterity. John Adams

When legislature is corrupted, the people are undone. John Adams

The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles? John Adams

Indeed, Mr. Jefferson, what could be invented to debase the ancient Christianism which Greeks, Romans, Hebrews and Christian factions, above all the Catholics, have not fraudulently imposed upon the public? Miracles after miracles have rolled down in torrents. John Adams

The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity, and humanity, let the blackguard Paine say what he will; it is resignation to God, it is goodness itself to man. John Adams

The preservation of the means of knowledge among the lowest ranks is of more importance to the public than all the property of all the rich men in the country. John Adams

The date will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more. John Adams

July 4th ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion. John Adams

The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity. John Adams

As the safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially depend on the protection and the blessing of Almighty God, and the national acknowledgment of this truth is not only an indispensable duty which the people owe to Him. John Adams

Nothing is more dreaded than the national government meddling with religion. John Adams

Pray how does your asparagus perform? John Adams

Thomas Jefferson?-Still surv.... John Adams

Liberty can no more exist without virtue and independence than the body can live and move without a soul. John Adams

Indeed, Mr. Jefferson, what could be invented to debase the ancient Christianism, which Greeks, Romans, Hebrews and Christian factions, above all the Catholics, have not fraudulently imposed upon the public? Miracles after miracles have rolled down in torrents, wave succeeding wave in the Catholic church, from the Council of Nicea, and long before, to this day. John Adams

I have long been settled in my own opinion that neither Philosophy, nor Religion, nor Morality, nor Wisdom, nor Interest, will ever govern nations or Parties, against their vanity, their Pride, their Resentment, or Revenge, or their Avarice, or Ambition. Nothing but Force and Power and Strength can restrain them. John Adams

There are only two creatures of value on the face of the earth: those with the commitment, and those who require the commitment of others. John Adams

[A] republic . . . [is] a government, in which the property of the public, or people, and of every one of them was secure and protected by law . . . implies liberty; because property cannot be secured unless the man be at liberty to acquire, use or part with it, at his discretion, and unless he have his personal liberty of life and limb, motion and rest, for that purpose. John Adams

When public virtue is gone, when the national spirit is fled the republic is lost in essence, though it may still exist in form John Adams

What a pity it is that our Congress had not known this discovery, and that Alexander Hamilton's projects of raising an army of fifty thousand Men, ten thousand of them to be Cavalry and his projects of sedition Laws and Alien Laws and of new taxes to support his army, all arose from a superabundance of secretions which he could not find whores enough to draw off! and that the same vapours produced his Lyes and Slanders by which he totally destroyed his party forever and finally lost his Life in the field of Honor. John Adams

The executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them, to the end that it may be a government of laws and not of men. John Adams

An honest, sensible, humane man, . . . laboring to do good rather than be rich, to be useful rather than make a show, living in modest simplicity . . . is really the most respectable man in society, [and] makes himself and all about him most happy. John Adams

I must study war and politics so that my children shall be free to study commerce, agriculture and other practicalities, so that their children can study painting, poetry and other fine things. John Adams

I sometimes, in my sprightly moments, consider myself, in my great chair at school, as some dictator at the head of a commonwealth. In this little state I can discover all the great geniuses, all the surprising actions and revolutions of the great world in miniature. I have several renowned generals but three feet high, and several deep-projecting politicians in petticoats. I have others catching and dissecting flies, accumulating remarkable pebbles, cockleshells, etc., with as ardent curiosity as any virtuoso in the Royal Society... John Adams

The appearance of religion only on Sunday proves that it is only an appearance. John Adams

We hold that each man is the best judge of his own interest. John Adams

The rights of Englishmen are derived from God, not from king or Parliament, and would be secured by the study of history, law, and tradition. John Adams

The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. John Adams

But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever. John Adams

Thanks to God that he gave me stubborness when I know I am right. John Adams

Because power corrupts, society's demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases. John Adams

The happiness of society is the end of government. John Adams

Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war. John Adams

All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise, not from defects in their Constitution or Confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from the downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation. John Adams

The essence of a free government consists in an effectual control of rivalries. John Adams

Here is everything which can lay hold of the eye, ear and imagination - everything which can charm and bewitch the simple and ignorant. I wonder how Luther ever broke the spell. John Adams

As much as I converse with sages and heroes, they have very little of my love and admiration. I long for rural and domestic scene, for the warbling of birds and the prattling of my children. John Adams

It should be your care, therefore, and mine, to elevate the minds of our children and exalt their courage; to accelerate and animate their industry and activity; to excite in them an habitual contempt of meanness, abhorrence of injustice and inhumanity, and an ambition to excel in every capacity, faculty, and virtue. If we suffer their minds to grovel and creep in infancy, they will grovel all their lives. John Adams

But I must submit all my Hopes and Fears, to an overruling Providence, in which, unfashionable as the Faith may be, I firmly believe. John Adams

The only thing most people do better than anyone else is read their own handwriting. John Adams

I must study Politics and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematics and Philosophy. My sons ought to study Mathematics and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Music, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry, and Porcelain. John Adams

Posterity: you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it. John Adams

Make Things rather than Persons the subjects of conversations. John Adams

I am a revolutionary, so my son can be a farmer, so his son can be a poet. John Adams

I shall have liberty to think for myself without molesting others or being molested myself. John Adams

We shall convince France and the world, that we are not a degraded people, humiliated under a colonial spirit of fear and a sense of inferiority, fitted to be the miserable instruments of foreign influence, and regardless of national honor, character, and interest. John Adams

The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature. . . . [In] the formation of the American governments . . . it will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of heaven. . . . These governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses. John Adams

Elections, especially of representatives and counselors, should be annual, there not being in the whole circle of the sciences a maxim more infallible than this, "where annual elections end, there slavery begins." These great men ... should be (chosen) once a year-Like bubbles on the sea of matter bourne, they rise, they break, and to the sea return. This will teach them the great political virtues of humility, patience, and moderation, without which every man in power becomes a ravenous beast of prey. John Adams

Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty. John Adams

Neither my father or mother, grandfather or grandmother, great grandfather or great grandmother, nor any other relation that I know of, or care a farthing for, has been in England these one hundred and fifty years; so that you see I have not one drop of blood in my veins but what is American. John Adams

If "Thou shalt not covet," and "Thou shalt not steal," were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society, before it can be civilized or made free. John Adams

The Church of Rome has made it an article of faith that no man can be saved out of their church, and all other religious sects approach this dreadful opinion in proportion to their ignorance, and the influence of ignorant or wicked priests. John Adams

We may please ourselves with the prospect of free and popular governments. But there is great danger that those governments will not make us happy. God grant they may. But I fear that in every assembly, members will obtain an influence by noise, not sense. By meanness, not greatness. By ignorance, not learning. By contracted hearts, not large souls. John Adams

No man who ever held the office of president would congratulate a friend on obtaining it. John Adams

I agree with you, that in Politicks the Middle Way is none at all. John Adams

Amidst your Ardor for Greek and Latin I hope you will not forget your mother Tongue. Read Somewhat in the English Poets every day.... You will never be alone, with a Poet in your Poket. You will never have an idle Hour. John Adams



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