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Page 159 - ... it is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness...
Page 160 - The basis of our political Systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, 'till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole People, is sacredly obligatory upon all.
Page 161 - The disorders and miseries which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual ; and sooner or later, the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.
Page 162 - It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those intrusted with its administration to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism.
Page 118 - Happy in the confirmation of our Independence and Sovereignty, and pleased with the opportunity afforded the United States of becoming a respectable nation, I resign with satisfaction the appointment I accepted with diffidence; a diffidence in my abilities to accomplish so arduous a task, which, however, was superseded by a confidence in the rectitude of our cause, the support of the supreme Power of the Union, and the patronage of Heaven.
Page 157 - In looking forward to the moment which is intended to terminate the career of my public life, my feelings do not permit me to suspend the deep acknowledgment of that debt of gratitude which I owe to my beloved country for the many honors it has conferred upon me...
Page 162 - Let it simply be asked where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation DESERT the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ; and let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion.
Page 158 - Here, perhaps, I ought to stop. But a solicitude for your welfare, which cannot end but with my life, and the apprehension of danger, natural to that solicitude, urge me, on an occasion like the present, to offer to your solemn contemplation...
Page 121 - We join you in commending the interests of our dearest country to the protection of Almighty God, beseeching him to dispose the hearts and minds of its citizens, to improve the opportunity afforded them of becoming a happy and respectable nation. And for you, we address to him our earnest prayers that a life so beloved, may be fostered with all his care; that your days may be as happy as they have been illustrious ; and that he will finally give you that reward which this world cannot give.
Page 158 - ... to offer to your solemn contemplation and to recommend to your frequent review, some sentiments, which are the result of much reflection of no inconsiderable observation and which appear to me all-important to the permanency of your felicity as a people.