Goodreads helps you follow your favorite authors. Be the first to learn about new releases!
Start by following Samuel Adams.

Samuel Adams Samuel Adams > Quotes


Samuel Adams quotes Showing 1-18 of 18

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
Samuel Adams
“If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”
Samuel Adams
“It does not take a majority to prevail ... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”
Samuel Adams
“No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.”
Samuel Adams
“A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.”
Samuel Adams
“The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.”
Samuel Adams
“The liberties of our country, the freedoms of our civil Constitution are worth defending at all hazards; it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors. They purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood. It will bring a mark of everlasting infamy on the present generation – enlightened as it is – if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of designing men.”
Samuel Adams
“All might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they should.”
Samuel Adams
“Nil desperandum, -- Never Despair. That is a motto for you and me. All are not dead; and where there is a spark of patriotic fire, we will rekindle it.”
Samuel Adams
“The right to freedom is the gift of God Almighty....The rights of the Colonists as Christians may be best understood by reading, and carefully studying the institutes of the great Lawgiver and head of the Christian Church: which are to be found clearly written and promuligated in the New Testament.”
Samuel Adams
“[I]t is the greatest absurdity to suppose it in the power of one, or of any number of men, at the entering into society to renounce their essential natural rights, or the means of preserving those rights, when the grand end of civil government, from the very nature of its institution, is for the support, protection, and defence of those very rights; the principal of which, as is before observed, are life, liberty, and property. If men, through fear, fraud, or mistake, should in terms renounce or give up an essential natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right of freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave.”
Samuel Adams
“Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust must be men of unexceptionable characters.”
Samuel Adams
“How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!”
Samuel Adams
“Every one knows that the exercise of military power is forever dangerous to civil rights; and we have had recent instances of violences that have been offer'd to private subjects....”
Samuel Adams, The Writings of Samuel Adams [Volume 1 of 4: 1764-1769]
“The true object of loyalty is a good legal constitution, which, as it condemns every instance of oppression and lawless power, derives a certain remedy to the sufferer by allowing him to remonstrate his grievances, and pointing out methods of relief when the gentle arts of persuasion have lost their efficacy.”
Samuel Adams
“Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man. We must not conclude merely upon a man's haranguing upon liberty, and using the charming sound, that he is fit to be trusted with the liberties of his country. It is not unfrequent to hear men declaim loudly upon liberty, who, if we may judge by the whole tenor of their actions, mean nothing else by it but their own liberty, — to oppress without control or the restraint of laws all who are poorer or weaker than themselves. It is not, I say, unfrequent to see such instances, though at the same time I esteem it a justice due to my country to say that it is not without shining examples of the contrary kind; — examples of men of a distinguished attachment to this same liberty I have been describing; whom no hopes could draw, no terrors could drive, from steadily pursuing, in their sphere, the true interests of their country; whose fidelity has been tried in the nicest and tenderest manner, and has been ever firm and unshaken.
The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy this gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people.”
Samuel Adams
“We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom alone men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and… from the rising to the setting sun, may His kingdom come.”
Samuel Adams
“Jonathan Trumbull, as Governor of Connecticut, in official proclamation: 'The examples of holy men teach us that we should seek Him with fasting and prayer, with penitent confession of our sins, and hope in His mercy through Jesus Christ the Great Redeemer.” Proclamation for a Day of Fasting and Prayer, March 9, 1774'

Samuel Chase, while Chief Justice of Maryland,1799 (Runkel v Winemiller) wrote: 'By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion...'

The Pennsylvania Supreme court held (Updegraph v The Commonwealth), 1824: 'Christianity, general Christianity, is and always has been a part of the common law...not Christianity founded on any particular religious tenets; not Christianity with an established church, but Christianity with liberty of conscience to all men...'

In Massachusetts, the Constitution reads: 'Any every denomination of Christians, demeaning themselves peaceably, and as good subjects of the commonwealth, shall be equally under the protection of the law: and no subordination of any one sect or denomination to another shall ever be established by law.'
Samuel Adams, as Governor of Massachusetts in a Proclamation for a Day of Fasting and Prayer, 1793: 'we may with one heart and voice humbly implore His gracious and free pardon through Jesus Christ, supplicating His Divine aid . . . [and] above all to cause the religion of Jesus Christ, in its true spirit, to spread far and wide till the whole earth shall be filled with His glory.'

Judge Nathaniel Freeman, 1802. Instructed Massachusetts Grand Juries as follows: "The laws of the Christian system, as embraced by the Bible, must be respected as of high authority in all our courts... . [Our government] originating in the voluntary compact of a people who in that very instrument profess the Christian religion, it may be considered, not as republic Rome was, a Pagan, but a Christian republic."

Josiah Bartlett, Governor of New Hampshire, in an official proclamation, urged: 'to confess before God their aggravated transgressions and to implore His pardon and forgiveness through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ . . . [t]hat the knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ may be made known to all nations, pure and undefiled religion universally prevail, and the earth be fill with the glory of the Lord.'

Chief Justice James Kent of New York, held in 1811 (People v Ruggles): '...whatever strikes at the root of Christianity tends manifestly to the dissolution of civil government... We are a Christian people, and the morality of the country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity... Christianity in its enlarged sense, as a religion revealed and taught in the Bible, is part and parcel of the law of the land...”
Samuel Adams


All Quotes | Add A Quote


The Writings of Samuel Adams,   volume IV (1778-1802) The Writings of Samuel Adams, volume IV
9 ratings
Open Preview