CHAPTER 15 | Document 31

John Jay to Richard Price

27 Sept. 1785MS Columbia Univ.

The Cause of Liberty like most other good Causes, will have its Difficulties and sometimes its Persecutions to struggle with. It has advanced more rapidly in this than other Countries, but all its objects are not yet attained and I much doubt whether they ever will be in this or any other terrestrial State. That Men should pray and fight for their own Freedom and yet keep others in Slavery is certainly acting a very inconsistant as well as unjust and perhaps impious part, but the History of Mankind is filled with Instances of human Improprieties. The wise and the good never form the Majority of any large Society and it seldom happens that their Measures are uniformly adopted or that they can always prevent being overborne themselves by the strong and almost never ceasing union of the wicked and the weak. These Circumstances tell us to be patient and moderate those Sanguine Expectations, which warm and good Hearts often mislead even wise Heads to entertain on these Subjects. All that the best Men can do is to persevere in doing their Duty to their Country, and leave the Consequences to him who made it their Duty; being neither elated by success however great nor discouraged by Disappointments however frequent or mortifying.

The Founders' Constitution
Volume 1, Chapter 15, Document 31
The University of Chicago Press

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