"The End and Design of civil Society and Government, from this View of it’s Origin, must be to secure the Rights and Properties of it’s Members, and promote their Welfare; or in the Apostle’s words, that Men may lead quiet and peaceable Lives in Godliness and Honesty, (I Tim. 2.1.) i.e. that they may be secure in the Enjoyment of all their Rights and Properties righteously acquired, and their honest Industry quietly proffess it’s proper Rewards, and they enjoy all the Conveniencies of a social Life, to which Uprightness entitles them; and that Men may peaceably practice Godliness,—may worship & serve the Supreme Being, in the Way they believe most acceptable to him, provided they behave peaceably, and transgress not the Rules of Righteousness in their Behaviour towards others.
In all Governments, Magistrates are God’s Ministers, designed for Good to the People. The End of their Institution, is to be Instruments of Divine Providence, to secure and promote the Happiness of Society; to be Terrors to the doers of Evil,—to prevent and punish Unrighteousness, and remedy the Evils occasioned thereby; and to be a Praise, a Security and Reward to them that do well, (Rom. 13. ch.) The End and Design of Government, is to secure Men from all Injustice, Violence and Rapine, that they may enjoy their Rights and Properties; all the Advantages of Society, and peaceably practice Godliness:—that the Unjust and Rapacious may be restrained, the ill Effects of their Wickedness be prevented, the secular Welfare of all be secured and promoted."
-- Abraham Williams, An Election Sermon, Boston, 1862
"And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for the second; that second for a third; and so on, till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Samuel Kercheval, Monticello, July 12, 1816
"There is no good government but what is republican...[T]he true idea of a republic is 'an empire of laws, and not of men.' That, as a republic is the best of governments, so that particular arrangement of the powers of society, or in other words, that form of government which is best contrived to secure an impartial and exact execution of the law, is the best of republics."
-- John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776
"Men must be ready, they must pride themselves and be happy to sacrifice their private pleasures, passions and interests, nay, their private friendships and dearest connections, when they stand in competition with the rights of society."
-- John Adams, letter to Mercy Warren, 1776