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And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?
--Thomas Jefferson ("Notes on the State of Virginia," 1782)
The Sacred Rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the Hand of the Divinity itself, and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.
--Alexander Hamilton (An essay, "The Farmer Refuted," 1775)