If the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted . . . . If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws.

— Noah Webster

The most heartwarming Noah Webster quotes to discover and learn by heart

Education is useless without the Bible.

The Bible was America's basic text book in all fields. God's Word, contained in the Bible, has furnished all necessary rules to direct our conduct.


Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed;

as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States.


All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.


In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide.

Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate-look to his character.


No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.


A pure democracy is generally a very bad government, It is often the most tyrannical government on earth; for a multitude is often rash, and will not hear reason.


Any system of education...which limits instruction to the arts and sciences and rejects the aids of religion in forming the characters of citizens, is essentially defective.


When a citizen gives his suffrage to a man of known immorality he abuses his trust; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor; he betrays the interest of his country.


Tyranny is the exercise of some power over a man, which is not warranted by law, or necessary for the public safety. A people can never be deprived of their liberties, while they retain in their own hands, a power sufficient to any other power in the state.


Discipline our youth in early life in sound maxims of moral, political, and religious duties.


The education of youth, an employment of more consequence than making laws and preaching the gospel, because it lays the foundation on which both law and gospel rest for success.


Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country in Europe.


About Noah Webster

Quotes 71 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Writer
Birthday October 16

A national language is a band of national union.


A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive.


Whenever a man is known to seek promotion by intrigue, by temporizing, or by resorting to the haunts of vulgarity and vice for support, it may be inferred, with moral certainty, that he is not a man of real respectability, nor is he entitled to public confidence.


[T]he Christian religion, in its purity, is the basis, or rather the source of all genuine freedom in government. . . . and I am persuaded that no civil government of a republican form can exist and be durable in which the principles of that religion have not a controlling influence.


The minds of youth are perpetually led to the history of Greece and Rime or to Great Britain; Boys are constantly repeating the declamations of Demosthenes and Cicero, or debates upon some political question in the British Parliament.


But the reasonableness of this command to obey parents, is clear, and easily understood by children, even when quite young.


When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers just men who will rule in the fear of God. The preservation of a republican government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty.


In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed.


The principles of all genuine liberty, and of wise laws and administrations are to be drawn from the Bible and sustained by its authority. The man therefore who weakens or destroys the divine authority of that book may be assessory to all the public disorders which society is doomed to suffer.


In the formation of our constitution the wisdom of all ages is collected-the legislators of antiquity are consulted, as well as the opinions and interests of the millions who are concerned. It short, it is an empire of reason.


The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws . . . The religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and his Apostles . . . This is genuine Christianity and to this we owe our free constitutions of government.


The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scripture ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws.


It is the sincere desire of the writer that our citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the bible, particularly the New Testament or the Christian religion.


Knowledge, learning, talents are not necessarily connected with sound moral and political principles.... And eminent abilities, accompanied with depravity of heart, render the possessor tenfold more dangerous in a community.


To suppose that man without language taught himself to speak, seems to me as absurd as it would be to suppose that without legs he could teach himself to walk. Language, therefore, must have been the immediate gift of God.


As a general rule, it may be affirmed that the man who never intrigues for office may be most safely entrusted with office...Such a man cannot desire promotion unless he received it from the respectable part of the community, for he considers no other promotion to be honorable.


Power is always right, weakness always wrong. Power is always insolent and despotic.


There are two powers only which are sufficient to control men, and secure the rights of individuals and a peaceable administration; these are the combined force of religion and law, and the force or fear of the bayonet.


The Bible is the chief moral cause of all that is good and the best corrector of all that is evil in human society; the best book for regulating the temporal [secular] concerns of men.


The Moral Law is summarily contained in the Decalogue or Ten Commandments;

written by the finger of God on two tablets of stone, and delivered to Moses on Mount Sinai.


Where will you find any code of laws among civilized men in which the commands and prohibitions are not founded on Christian principles? I need not specify the prohibition of murder, robbery, theft, trespass.


Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God.


Unaffected modesty is the sweetest charm of female excellence, the richest gem in the diadem of her honor.


The education of youth should be watched with the most scrupulous attention.

[I]t is much easier to introduce and establish an effectual system ... than to correct by penal statutes the ill effects of a bad system. ... The education of youth ... lays the foundations on which both law and gospel rest for success.


Compassion is a mixed passion, composed of love and sorrow.


Why not include a provision that everybody shall, in good weather, hunt on his own land and catch fish in rivers that are public property and that Congress shall never restrain any inhabitant of America from eating and drinking, at seasonable times, or prevent his lying on his left side, in a long winter's night, or even on his back, when he is fatigued by lying on his right.


The freedom of the press is a valuable privilege, but the abuse of it in this country is a frightful evil. The licentiousness of the press is a deep stain upon the character of the country; and in addition to the evil of calumniating good men and giving a wrong direction to public measures, it corrupts the people by rendering them insensible to the value of truth and of reputation.


An immense effect may be produced by small powers wisely and steadily directed.


The man who has half a million of dollars in property.

.. has a much higher interest in the government, than the man who has little or no property.


The ecclesiastical establishments of Europe, which serve to support tyrannical governments, are not the Christian religion, but abuses and corruptions of it. The religion of Christ and his apostles, in it primitive simplicity and purity, unencumbered with the trappings of power and the pomp of ceremonies, is the surest basis of a republican government.


Ability is active power, or power to perform.


The laws are the sole guardians of right, and when the magistrate dares not act, every person is insecure.


Nothing has a greater tendency to lessen the reverence which mankind ought to have for the Supreme Being, than a careless repetition of his name upon every trifling occasion . . . . To prevent this profanation, such passages are selected from scripture, as contain some important precepts of morality and religion, in which that sacred name is seldom mentioned. Let sacred things be appropriated to sacred purposes.


Language is the expression of ideas, and if the people of one country cannot preserve an identity of ideas they cannot retain an identity of language.


There iz no alternativ. Every possible reezon that could ever be offered for altering the spelling of wurds, stil exists in full force; and if a gradual reform should not be made in our language, it wil proov that we are less under the influence of reezon than our ancestors.


The causes which destroyed the ancient republics were numerous;

but in Rome, one principal cause was the vast inequality of fortunes.


The heart should be cultivated with more assiduity than the head.

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