The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.— Patrick Henry
The most breathtaking Patrick Henry quotes that are easy to memorize and remember
United we stand, divided we fall. Let us not split into factions which must destroy that union upon which our existence hangs.
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!
The distinctions between Virginians, Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers, and New Englanders are no more. I Am Not A Virginian, But An American!
Power is the great evil with which we are contending.
We have divided power between three branches of government and erected checks and balances to prevent abuse of power. However, where is the check on the power of the judiciary? If we fail to check the power of the judiciary, I predict that we will eventually live under judicial tyranny.
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.
[Our Constitution] is an instrument for the people to restrain the government.
The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.
It is when a people forget God, that tyrants forge their chains.
I know of no way of judging the future but by the past.
Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Beside, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of Nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us.
Adversity toughens manhood, and the characteristic of the good or the great man is not that he has been exempt from the evils of life, but that he has surmounted them.
Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.
Show me that age and country where the rights and liberties of the people were placed on the sole chance of their rulers being good men, without a consequent loss of liberty?
My most cherished possession I wish I could leave you is my faith in Jesus Christ, for with Him and nothing else you can be happy, but without Him and with all else you'll never be happy.
Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell;
and George the Third — ['Treason!' cried the Speaker] — may profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it.
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.
The great pillars of all government and of social life [are] virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone, that renders us invincible.
The first thing I have at heart is American liberty; the second thing is American union.
Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction?
The great object is that every man be armed.
The militia is our ultimate safety. We can have no security without it. The great object is that every man be armed.
You ought to be extremely cautious, watchful, jealous of your liberty;
for instead of securing your rights, you may lose them forever.
I believe a time will come when an opportunity will be offered to abolish this lamentable evil.
My great objection to this government is, that it does not leave us the means of defending our rights, or of waging war against tyrants.
The people have a right to keep and bear arms.
Have we the means of resisting disciplined armies, when our only defence, the militia, is put in the hands of Congress?
The battle is not to the strong alone.
It is to the vigilant, the active, and the brave. A small, disciplined militia can not only hold out against a larger force, but drive it back, because what they're fighting for rightfully belongs to them.
If you have given up your militia, and Congress shall refuse to arm them, you have lost every thing. Your existence will be precarious, because you depend on others, whose interests are not affected by your infelicity.
For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and provide for it.
Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense?
Perfect freedom is as necessary to the health and vigor of commerce as it is to the health and vigor of citizenship.
Were my soul trembling on the wing of eternity, were this hand freezing to death, were my voice choking with the last struggle, I would still, with the last gasp of that voice, implore you to remember the truth: God has given America to be free.
. . . Virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone that renders us invincible. These are the tactics we should study. If we lose these, we are conquered, fallen indeed . . . so long as our manners and principles remain sound, there is no danger.
Bad men cannot make good citizens.
This house protected by an armed citizen. There is absolutely nothing here worth dying for.
There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us.
O sir, we should have fine times, indeed, if, to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people! Your arms, wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone.
My political curiosity, exclusive of my anxious solicitude for the public welfare, leads me to ask who authorized them (the framers of the Constitution) to speak the language of 'We, the People,' instead of 'We, the States'?
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.
The American Revolution was the grand operation, which seemed to be assigned by the Deity to the men of this age in our country, over and above the common duties of life
Suspicion is a virtue as long as its object is the public good, and as long as it stays within proper bounds. Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel.
They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house?
Be of good courage, my son, and remember that the best men always make themselves.
It is natural to man to indulge in the illusion of hope.
We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, till she transforms us into beasts.
Liberty, the greatest of all earthly blessings - give us that precious jewel and you may take everything else!
Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?
Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace! – but there is no peace.
Have we the means of resisting disciplined armies, when our only defense, the militia, is put in the hands of Congress? Of what service would militia be to you when, most probably, you will not have a single musket in the state? For, as arms are to be provided by Congress, they may or may not provide them.
Hospitality invites to prayer before it checks credentials, welcomes to the table before administering the entrance exam.