John Winthrop on Liberty and Authority

I’ve been listening to Democracy in America by de Tocqueville on Audible, and he quotes this speech from John Winthrop, given after he had been accused of abusing his powers as governor. As a result of the speech, the people acquitted him, and thereafter he had no difficulty getting elected to further terms as governor.

“Nor would I have you to mistake in the point of your own liberty. There is a liberty of a corrupt nature which is effected both by men and beasts to do what they list, and this liberty is inconsistent with authority, impatient of all restraint; by this liberty ‘sumus omnes deteriores’: 'tis the grand enemy of truth and peace, and all the ordinances of God are bent against it. But there is a civil, a moral, a federal liberty which is the proper end and object of authority; it is a liberty for that only which is just and good: for this liberty you are to stand with the hazard of your very lives and whatsoever crosses it is not authority, but a distemper thereof. This liberty is maintained in a way of subjection to authority; and the authority set over you will, in all administrations for your good, be quietly submitted unto by all but such as have a disposition to shake off the yoke and lose their true liberty, by their murmuring at the honor and power of authority.”

Link here: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/815/815-h/815-h.htm#link2HCH0003
See Chapter II Part II, Volume 1 of Democracy in America

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