Patrick Henry (1736-1799)

“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”

“It can not be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ!”

“The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.”

“It is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts… For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth, to know the worst, and to provide for it.”

“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains or slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take but as for me; give me liberty or give me death!”

“I know not what others may choose but, as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

“Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.”

“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.”

“Religion I have disposed of all my property to my family. There is one thing more I wish I could give to them, and that is the Christian religion. If they had that and I had not given them one cent, they would be rich. If they have not that, and I had given them the world, they would be poor.”

“The Bible is worth all the other books which have ever been printed.”

“The great object is that every man be armed.”

“No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles”

“Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense?”

“Give me liberty or give me death.”

“That religion, or the duty we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to th”

“It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace–but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

“Perfect freedom is as necessary to the health and vigor of commerce as it is to the health and vigor of citizenship.”

“We are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of Nature has placed in our power.. the battle, sir, is not to the strong alone it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.”

“If we wish to be free; if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending; if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ours.”

“If this be treason, make the most of it!”

“It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason, peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”

“They tell us sir that we are weak, unable to cope with so formidable an advesary.
But when shall we be stronger?”

“I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.”

“I like dreams of the future better than the history of the past.”

“I know no way of judging the future but by the past.”

“This is all the inheritance I give to my dear family. The religion of Christ will give them one which will make them rich indeed.”

“I have now disposed of all my property to my family. There is one thing more I wish I could give them, and that is the Christian religion.”

“A school for future leaders”

“Prepare Christian men and women who will lead our nation and shape our culture with timeless biblical values and fidelity to the spirit of the American founding.”

“When the American spirit was in its youth, the language of America was different: Liberty, sir, was the primary object.”

“Fear is the passion of slaves.”

 

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