Books by John Quincy Adams

Quotes by John Quincy Adams
The conflict between the principle of liberty and the fact of slavery is coming gradually to an issue. Slavery has now the power, and falls into convulsions at the approach of freedom. That the fall of slavery is predetermined in the counsels of Omnipotence I cannot doubt; it is a part of the great moral improvement in the condition of man, attested by all the records of history. But the conflict will be terrible, and the progress of improvement perhaps retrograde before its final progress to consummation.
This house will bear witness to his piety; this town, his birthplace, to his munificence; history to his patriotism; posterity to the depth and compass of his mind.
Why is it that, next to the birth day of the Saviour of the World, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day? … Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birth-day of the Saviour? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? That it laid the corner stone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity, and gave to the world the first irrevocable pledge of the fulfilment of the prophecies, announced directly from Heaven at the birth of the Saviour and predicted by the greatest of the Hebrew prophets six hundred years before?
This is the last of Earth! I am content.
Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.
I want the seals of power and place,
The ensigns of command,
Charged by the peoples unbought grace,
To rule my native land.
Nor crown, nor scepter would I ask
But from my countrys will,
By day, by night, to ply the task
Her cup of bliss to fill.
This hand, to tyrants ever sworn the foe,
For Freedom only deals the deadly blow;
Then sheathes in calm repose the vengeful blade,
For gentle peace in Freedom’s hallowed shade.
In charity to all mankind, bearing no malice or ill will to any human being, and even compassionating those who hold in bondage their fellow men, not knowing what they do.
We know the redemption must come. The time and the manner of its coming we know not: It may come in peace, or it may come in blood; but whether in peace or in blood, LET IT COME.
My wants are many, and, if told,
Would muster many a score;
And were each wish a mint of gold,
I still would want for more.
Individual liberty is individual power, and as the power of a community is a mass compounded of individual powers, the nation which enjoys the most freedom must necessarily be in proportion to its numbers the most powerful nation.
The highest, the transcendent glory of the American Revolution was this — it connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the precepts of Christianity.
All the public business in Congress now connects itself with intrigues, and there is great danger that the whole government will degenerate into a struggle of cabals.
The great problem of legislation is, so to organize the civil government of a community ... that in the operation of human institutions upon social action, self-love and social may be made the same.
Who but shall learn that freedom is the prize
Man still is bound to rescue or maintain;
That natures God commands the slave to rise,
And on the oppressors head to
To furnish the means of acquiring knowledge is ... the greatest benefit that can be conferred upon mankind. It prolongs life itself and enlarges the sphere of existence.
I can never join with my voice in the toast which I see in the papers attributed to one of our gallant naval heroes. I cannot ask of heaven success, even for my country, in a cause where she should be in the wrong. Fiat justitia, pereat coelum. My toast would be, may our country always be successful, but whether successful or otherwise, always right.
La molesse est doce, et sa suite est cruelle.
I told him that I thought it was law logic — an artificial system of reasoning, exclusively used in Courts of justice, but good for nothing anywhere else.
All men profess honesty as long as they can. To believe all men honest would be folly. To believe none so is something worse.
This hand, to tyrants ever sworn the foe,
For Freedom only deals the deadly blow;
Then sheathes in calm repose the vengeful blade,
For gentle peace in Freedom’s hallowed shade.
John Quincy Adams's Biography
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