"This natural law, being as old as mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, from this original.”
-- William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Law of England (1765)
"The instruments, by which [government] must act, are either the authority of the Laws or force. If the first be destroyed, the last must be substituted; ... and where this becomes the ordinary instrument of government, there is an end to liberty."
"If we and our posterity...live always in the fear of God and shall respect His Commandments...we may have the highest hopes of the future fortunes of our country...But if we...neglect religious instruction and authority; violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the constitution which holds us together, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity."
-- Daniel Webster, 1852, Address to the New York Historical Society