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Samuel Adams Quotes


Quotes of Samuel Adams:

"First of all, I... rely upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins." ~ Samuel Adams' last will and testament.

" He who made all men hath made the truths necessary to human happiness obvious to all... Our forefathers opened the Bible to all." [Samuel Adams "American Independence," August 1, 1776. Speech delivered at the State House in Philadelphia]" Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls, inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity... and leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system." [Samuel Adams October 4, 1790]

"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 in a letter to James Warren dated February 12, 1779.]

"Liberty will not long survive the total extinction of morals." Cousins, Norman.  ~ Samuel Adams, In God We Trust: The Religious Belief of Our Founding Fathers, Harper & Brothers, New York, 1958, p. 351.

"As long as the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.... If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security." ~ Samuel Adams, 1779

"Since private and public Vices, are in reality, though not always apparently, so nearly connected, of how much Importance, how necessary is it, that the utmost pains be taken by the public, to have the Principles of Virtue early inculcated on the minds even of children, and the moral sense kept alive, and that the wise institutions of our ancestors for these great purposes be encouraged by the government. For no people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when Knowledge is diffus'd and Virtue is preserv'd. On the contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauch'd in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders." ~ Samuel Adams, 4 Nov. 1775 Writings 3:235--37, The Writings of Samuel Adams. Edited by Harry Alonzo Cushing. 4 vols. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1904--8.

He who is void of virtuous attachments in private life is, or very soon will be, void of all regard of his country. There is seldom an instance of a man guilty of betraying his country who had not before lost the feeling of moral obligations in his private connections... [P]rivate and public vices are in reality... connected... Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust be men of [exceptional] character. The public cannot be too curious concerning the characters of public men. ~ Samuel Adams, The Writings of Samuel Adams, Harry Alonzo Cushing, ed., (NY: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1907), vol III, pp. 236-37, to James Warren on Nov. 4, 1775.

Quotes about Samuel Adams:

"... if 'unitarian' means 'denial of the Trinity' then in order to label someone a unitarian shouldn't we have evidence that they denied the trinity" ~  Tom Hall in a discussion on whether or not Samuel Adams was a Trinitarian or a Unitarian.  It appears, from some documents, that Samuel Adams may have become a Unitarian late in his life, but there is no hard evidence of this.  There is hard evidence that he was a Calvinist for most of his life.  It should be noted that members of the Unitarian Universalist Church organization are mostly not Unitarians--they are mostly Atheists or New Age, although there was a time when most members of the Unitarian organization were Unitarians (this was before the merger with the Universalist organization.  No knowledgeable person is asserting the Samuel Adams was a Unitarian Universalist as represented by the organization today.  United Pentecostals are Unitarians. There are two other definitions of this word, Unitarian.  One of them is represented by such denominations as Oneness Pentecostalism, United Pentecostal Church International and the True Jesus Church who believe that Jesus was the Father and the Holy Ghost all in one person.  The other definition is found in many cults: it is the notion that Jesus is not God, but the Father only is God.  With so much confusion around the meaning of the word and so little evidence that Samuel Adams ever considered any of the various Unitarian beliefs to be valid, along with the fact that there is a great deal of evidence that Samuel Adams was a Calvinist, it is a wonder that anyone anywhere is claiming that Samuel Adams was a Unitarian.  Are they using equivocation to deceive?  Are they jumping to conclusions because of confirmation bias?  It would be hard to guess the motivations.

Last updated: Jul, 2011
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