My views and feelings (are) in favor of the abolition of war - and I hope it is practicable, by improving the mind and morals of society, to lessen the disposition to war; but of its abolition I despair.
I know of no safe repository for the ultimate powers of 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 increase their discretion by education.
I hold it to be one of the distinguishing excellences of elective over hereditary successions that the talents which nature has provided in sufficient proportion, should be selected by the society for the govenment of their affairs, rather than that this should be be transmitted through the loins of knaves and fools passing from the debauches of the table to those of the bed.
The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.