Phylosophy which is the result of Reason, is the first, the original Revelation of The Creator to his Creature, Man. When this Revelation is clear and certain, by Intuition or necessary Induction, no subsequent Revelation supported by Prophecies or Miracles can supercede it. Phylosophy is not only the love of Wisdom, but the Science of the Universe and its Cause.
John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson, December 25, 1813
It’s getting too much. Lately it’s not just the creationists. We also hear from flat-earthers (geocentrists), and probably half the people in the U.S. think the movie Noah was based on a true story. Several of our Founding Fathers knew enough to trust science.
Powerful and ingenious minds, taking, as postulates, that the powers expressly granted to the Government of the Union, are to be contracted by construction into the narrowest possible compass, and that the original powers of the States are retained, if any possible construction will retain them, may, by a course of well-digested, but refined and metaphysical reasoning, founded on these premises, explain away the constitution of our country, and leave it, a magnificent structure, indeed, to look at, but totally unfit for use.
John Marshall, Opinion in Gibbons v. Ogden, March 2, 1824
That I have no Friendship for Franklin I avow. That I am incapable of having any with a Man of his moral Sentiments, I avow. As Far as cruel Fate shall compell me to act with him in publick affairs, I shall treat him with decency and perfect Impartiallity, further than that I can feel for him no other sentiments than Contempt or Abhorrence. In my Soul I believe of him all the Burke says of shelburne. Yet to undertake to lay before the public all the Reasons I have for believing so would do more hurt at present than his Neck and mine too are both worth, and therefore I have Said and shall say as little about it, as is consistent with my Honour.
John Adams, letter to Edmund Jennings, July 20, 1782
The feeling was mutual.
The Christian priesthood, finding the doctrines of Christ levelled to every understanding, and too plain to need explanation, saw, in the mysticisms of Plato, materials with which they might build up an artificial system which might, from its indistinctness, admit everlasting controversy, give employment for their order, and introduce it to profit, power and preeminence. The doctrines which flowed from the lips of Jesus himself are within the comprehension of a child; but thousands of volumes have not yet explained the Platonisms engrafted on them: and for this obvious reason that nonsense can never be explained.
Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, July 5, 1814
Doctor Franklin, a sagacious observer of human nature, drew this portrait of Mr. Adams: - “He is always honest, sometimes great, but often mad.” I subscribe to the justness of this picture, adding as to the first trait of it this qualification - “as far as a man excessively vain and jealous, and ignobly attached to place can be.”
Alexander Hamilton, letter to Charles Carroll of Carrollton, July 1, 1800
What signifies knowing the Names, if you know not the Natures of Things.
Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1750
I know that it is a favourite observation with many, that Husband and Wife are equal and there should be no superiority. This is not true, but a dangerous Error, from whence many disagreeable Consequences flow.
Elias Boudinot, letter to Susan Bradford, December, 1784
I’m not agreeing with it. He’s the one who said it.
A corporation is an artificial being, invisible, intangible, and existing only in contemplation of law. Being the mere creature of law, it possesses only those properties, which the charter of its creation confers upon it, either expressly, or as incidental to its very existence. These are such as are supposed best calculated to effect the object, for which it was created.
John Marshall, Opinion in Dartmouth College v. Woodward, February 2, 1819
Yes, this is regarding Hobby Lobby.
Strongly guarded as is the separation Between Religion & Govt in the Constitution of the United States the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history.
James Madison, Detached Memoranda, 1819
Madison was more concerned about encroachment from ecclesiastical bodies than from governments.
Religion and Government are certainly very different Things, instituted for different Ends; the design of one being to promote our temporal Happiness; the design of the other to procure the Favour of God, and thereby the Salvation of our Souls. While these are kept distinct and apart, the Peace and welfare of Society is preserved, and the Ends of both are answered. By mixing them together, feuds, animosities and persecutions have been raised, which have deluged the World in Blood, and disgraced human Nature.
John Dickinson, May 12, 1768