70+ Best John Quincy Adams Quotes: Exclusive Selection

John Quincy Adams was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, and diarist who served as the sixth president of the United States. Profoundly inspirational John Quincy Adams quotes will challenge the way you think, and help guide you through any life experience.

If you’re searching for greatest quotes by presidents that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of quotes from Lyndon B. Johnson, amazing Calvin Coolidge quotes and top Dwight D. Eisenhower quotes.

Famous John Quincy Adams Quotes

All that I am my mother made me.

The imagination of a eunuch dwells more and longer upon the material of love than that of man or woman … supplying, so far as he can, by speculation, the place of pleasures he can no longer enjoy.

To furnish the means of acquiring knowledge is the greatest benefit that can be conferred upon mankind. It prolongs life itself and enlarges the sphere of existence.

It is no slight testimonial, both to the merit and worth of Christianity, that in all ages since its promulgation the great mass of those who have risen to eminence by their profound wisdom and integrity have recognized and reverenced Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of the living God.

I appear, my fellow-citizens, in your presence and in that of Heaven to bind myself by the solemnities of religious obligation to the faithful performance of the duties allotted to me in the station to which I have been called.

I inhabit a weak, frail, decayed tenement; battered by the winds and broken in on by the storms, and, from all I can learn, the landlord does not intend to repair.

The mere title of lawyer is sufficient to deprive a man of the public confidence. … The most innocent and irreproachable life cannot guard a lawyer against the hatred of his fellow citizens.

The experience of all former ages had shown that of all human governments, democracy was the most unstable, fluctuating and short-lived.

The laws of man may bind him in chains or may put him to death, but they never can make him wise, virtuous, or happy.

Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air. These qualities have ever been displayed in their mightiest perfection, as attendants in the retinue of strong passions.

About one-half of the members of Congress are seekers for office at the nomination of the President. Of the remainder, at least one-half have some appointment or favor to ask for their relatives.

No book in the world deserves to be so unceasingly studied, and so profoundly meditated upon as the Bible.

This hand, to tyrants ever sworn the foe, For Freedom only deals the deadly blow; Then sheathes in calm repose the vengeful blade, For gentle peace in Freedom’s hallowed shade.

America is a friend of freedom everywhere, but a custodian only of our own.

I do conscientiously and sincerely believe that the Order of Freemasonry, if not the greatest, is one of the greatest moral and political evils under which the Union is now laboring … a conspiracy of the few against the equal rights of the many …Masonry ought forever to be abolished. It is wrong – essentially wrong – a seed of evil, which can never produce any good.

It is so obvious to every reasonable being that he did not make himself, and the world in which he inhabits could as little make itself, that the moment we begin to exercise the power of reflection, it seems impossible to escape the conviction that there is a Creator.

The declaration that our People are hostile to a government made by themselves, for themselves, and conducted by themselves, is an insult.

There are three points of doctrine the belief of which forms the foundation of all morality. The first is the existence of God; the second is the immortality of the human soul; and the third is a future state of rewards and punishments. Suppose it possible for a man to disbelieve either of these three articles of faith and that man will have no conscience, he will have no other law than that of the tiger or the shark. The laws of man may bind him in chains or may put him to death, but they never can make him wise, virtuous, or happy.

It is essential..that you should form and adopt certain rules or principles, for the government of your own conduct and temper. Unless you have such rules and principles, there will be numberless occasions on which you will have no guide for your government but your passions..It is in the Bible, you must learn them, and from the Bible how to practice them.

Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will be America’s heart, her benedictions and her prayers.

Where annual elections end where slavery begins.

My stern chase after time is, to borrow a simile from Tom Paine, like the race of a man with a wooden leg after a horse.

Inspirational John Quincy Adams Quotes

Among the sentiments of most powerful operation upon the human heart, and most highly honorable to the human character, are those of veneration for our forefathers and of love for our posterity.

The manners of women are the surest criterion by which to determine whether a republican government is practicable in a nation or not.

I have to study politics and war so that my sons can study mathematics, commerce and agriculture, so their sons can study poetry, painting and music.

I would much rather be found guilty of making a serious mistake in judgment, than to be accused of being even a little bit insincere.

I told him it was law logic-an artificial system of reasoning, exclusively used in courts of justice, but good for nothing anywhere else.

This mode of electioneering suited neither my taste nor my principles. I thought it equally unsuitable to my personal character and to the station in which I am placed.

In what light so ever we regard the Bible, whether with reference to revelation, to history, or to morality, it is an invaluable and inexhaustible mine of knowledge and virtue.

If there have been those who doubted whether a confederated representative democracy were a government competent to the wise and orderly management of the common concerns of a mighty nation, those doubts have been dispelled.

Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.

The law is an artificial human construct, quite arbitrary, and of absolutely no use anywhere else but in a court of law!

The first and almost the only Book deserving of universal attention is the Bible.

And may that Being who is supreme over all, the Patron of order, the Fountain of justice, and the Protector, in all ages of the world, of virtuous liberty, continue His blessing upon this nation and its government, and give it all possible success and duration, consistent with the ends of His providence.

To live without having a Cicero and a Tacitus at hand seems to me as if it was abbreviation of one of my limbs.

Whenever vanity and gaiety, a love of pomp and dress, furniture, equipage, buildings, great company, expensive diversions, and elegant entertainments get the better of the principles and judgments of men and women, there is no knowing where they will stop, nor into what evils, natural, moral, or political, they will lead us.

I am a warrior, so that my son may be a merchant, so that his son may be a poet.

A barbarian who could not write a sentence of grammar and hardly could spell his own name…. One of our tribe of great men who turn disease to commodity…he craves the sympathy for sickness as a portion of his glory.

All the public business in Congress now connects itself with intrigues, and there is great danger that the whole government will degenerate into a struggle of cabals.

So great is my veneration for the Bible that the earlier my children begin to read it the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens of their country and respectable members of society. I have for many years made it a practice to read through the Bible once every year.

Those who take oaths to politically powerful secret societies cannot be depended on for loyalty to a democratic republic.

Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Saviour?

His face is livid, gaunt his whole body, his breath is green with gall; his tongue drips poison.

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

I told him that I thought it was law logic – an artificial system of reasoning, exclusively used in Courts of justice, but good for nothing anywhere else.

I cannot ask of heaven success, even for my country, in a cause where she should be in the wrong.

To a man of liberal education, the study of history is not only useful, and important, but altogether indispensable, and with regard to the history contained in the Bible …it is not so much praiseworthy to be acquainted with as it is shameful to be ignorant of it.

There is nothing so deep and nothing so shallow which political enmity will not turn to account.

Religion, charity, pure benevolence, and morals, mingled up with superstitious rites and ferocious cruelty, form in their combination institutions the most powerful and the most pernicious that have ever afflicted mankind.

Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day (the 4th of July)? Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior?

Amazing John Quincy Adams Quotes

The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.

It has been my custom for many years to read the Bible in its entirety once a year

The great problem of legislation is, so to organize the civil government of a community … that in the operation of human institutions upon social action, self-love and social may be made the same.

The conflict between the principle of liberty and the fact of slavery is coming gradually to an issue. Slavery has now the power and falls into convulsions at the approach of freedom.

Individual liberty is individual power, and as the power of a community is a mass compounded of individual powers, the nation which enjoys the most freedom must necessarily be in proportion to its numbers the most powerful nation.

It is by a thorough knowledge of the whole subject that [people] are enabled to judge correctly of the past and to give a proper direction to the future.

The harmony of the nation is promoted and the whole Union is knit together by the sentiments of mutual respect, the habits of social intercourse, and the ties of personal friendship formed between the representatives of its several parts in the performance of their service at this metropolis.

America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She well knows that by enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standards of freedom.

Let us consider an alternative style of thinking, which we can call ‘creative thinking.’ It is playfully instructive to note that the word ‘reactive’ and the word ‘creative’ are made up of exactly the same letters. The only difference between the two is that you ‘C’ [see] differently.

The American continents, by the free and independent condition that they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers? In the wars of the European powers in matters relating to ourselves, we have never taken any part; nor does it comport with our policy to do so.

Roll, years of promise, rapidly roll round, till not a slave shall on this earth be found.

My custom is to read four or five chapters of the Bible every morning immediately after rising. It seems to me the most suitable manner of beginning the day. It is an invaluable and inexhaustible mine of knowledge and virtue.

Westward the star of empire takes its way.

Our Constitution professedly rests upon the good sense and attachment of the people. This basis, weak as it may appear, has not yet been found to fail.

The will of the people is the source and the happiness of the people the end of all legitimate government upon earth.

The magistrate is the servant not of his own desires, not even of the people, but of his God

America, with the same voice which spoke herself into existence as a nation, proclaimed to mankind the inextinguishable rights of human nature, and the only lawful foundations of government.

The firmest security of peace is the preparation during peace of the defenses of war.

But America is a great, unwieldy Body. Its Progress must be slow… Like a Coach and six – the swiftest Horses must be slackened and the slowest quickened, that all may keep an even Pace.

Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people.

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