It is our duty still to endeavor to avoid war but if it shall actually take place no matter by whom brought on we must defend ourselves. If our house be on fire without inquiring whether it was fired from within or without we must try to extinguish it.
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.
A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body it gives boldness enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks.
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.
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he then be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.
The Creator has not thought proper to mark those in the forehead who are of stuff to make good generals. We are first therefore to seek them blindfold and then let them learn the trade at the expense of great losses.
A wise and frugal Government which shall restrain men from injuring one another which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government and this is necessary to close the circlue of our felicities.
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.