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prosperity of this country will evince, by his conduct, that we live under a government of laws, and that, while we preserve inviolate our national faith, we are desirous to live in amity with all mankind. 1793.
PUBLIC OPINION, TO BE ENLIGHTENED.
Promote, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge.
In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential, that public opinion should be enlightened.
THE VOICE OF THE MULTITUDE.
In a free and republican government, you cannot restrain the voice of the multitude. Every man will speak as he thinks, or, more properly, without thinking, and consequently will judge of effects without attending to their causes.
THE GOVERNMENT; ITS BRANCHES.
The General Government is not invested with more powers, than are indispensably necessary to perform the functions of a good government. These powers are so
distributed among the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches, into which the General Government is arranged, that it can never be in danger of degenerating into a Monarchy, an Oligarchy, an Aristocracy, or any other despotic or oppressive form, so long as there shall remain any virtue in the body of the people.
THE CONSTITUTION, OUR GUIDE.
The Constitution is the guide which I never can abandon.
COMPREHENSIVE NATIONAL VIEWS.
In every act of my administration, I have sought the happiness of my fellow-citizens. My system for the attainment of this object, has uniformly been, to overlook all personal, local, and partial considerations; to contemplate the United States as one great whole; to confide, that sudden impressions, when erroneous, would yield to candid reflection; and to consult only the substantial and permanent interests of the country.
CHARACTER OF THE FIRST CONGRESS.
Did it not savor too much of partiality for my countrymen, I might say, that I cannot help flatter
ing myself, that the new Congress, on account of the self-created respectability and various talents of its members, will not be inferior to any Assembly in the world.
THE SOURCE OF POWER.
The power under the Constitution, will always be in the people.
It is intrusted, for certain defined purposes, and for a certain limited period, to representatives of their own choosing; and, whenever it is exercised contrary to their interest, or not agreeably to their wishes, their servants can and undoubtedly will be recalled.
THE DUTIES OF THE PEOPLE.
It remains with the people themselves, to preserve and promote the great advantages of their political and natural situation. Nor ought a doubt to be entertained, that men, who so well understand the value of social happiness, will ever cease to appreciate the blessings of a free, equal, and efficient government.
THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE.
Whatever my own opinion may be, on any subject interesting to the community at large, it always has
been and will continue to be my earnest desire, to learn, and, as far as it is consistent, to comply with, the public sentiment; but it is on great occasions only, and after time has been given for cool and deliberate reflection, that the real voice of the people can be known.
The tumultuous populace of large cities, are ever to be dreaded. Their indiscriminate violence prostrates, for the time, all public authority; and its consequences are sometimes extensive and terrible.
Such, for wise purposes it is presumed, is the turbulence of human passions in party disputes, when VICTORY, more than truth, is the palm contended for, that "the post of honor is a private station."
THE JUST MEDIUM.
The JUST MEDIUM cannot be expected to be found in a moment. The first vibrations always go to the extremes; and cool reason, which can alone establish a permanent and equal government, is as little to be expected in the tumults of popular commotion, as an
attention to the liberties of the people is to be found in the dark divan of a despotic tyrant.
POWER OF TRUTH.
I am sure, the mass of citizens in these United States mean well; and I firmly believe they will always act well, whenever they can obtain a right understanding of matters. But, in some parts of the Union, where the sentiments of their delegates and leaders are adverse to the government, and great pains are taken to inculcate a belief, that their rights are assailed and their liberties endangered, it is not easy to accomplish this; especially, as is the case invariably, when the inventors and abettors of pernicious measures use infinitely more industry, in disseminating poison, than the well-disposed part of the community, in furnishing the antidote.
To this source all our discontents may be traced; and from it all our embarrassments proceed. Hence serious misfortunes, originating in misrepresentation, frequently flow, and spread, before they can be dissipated by truth.
INFLUENCE OF THE PEOPLE.
From the gallantry and fortitude of her citizens, under the auspices of Heaven, America has derived