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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 1

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Docno: ADMS-01-01-02-0002-0002-0020

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1756-02-20

20 Fryday.

A dull Day. Symptoms of Snow. Writing Tillotson.1
1. That is, copying out extracts from the published sermons of John Tillotson (1630–1694), sometime Archbishop of Canterbury and a celebrated preacher ( DNB ). There survives among JA ’s papers a literary commonplace book (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 187) containing a good many exercises of this kind during his years in Worcester.

Docno: ADMS-01-01-02-0002-0002-0021

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1756-02-21

21 Saturday.

A Snowy day. Snow about ancle deep. I find by repeated experiment and observation, in my School, that human nature is more easily wrought upon and governed, by promises and incouragement and praise than by punishment, and threatning and Blame. But we must be cautious and sparing of our praise, lest it become too familiar, and cheap and so contemptible. Corporal as well as disgraceful punishments, depress the spirits, but commendation enlivens and stimulates them to a noble ardor and emulation.

Docno: ADMS-01-01-02-0002-0002-0022

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1756-02-22

22 Sunday.

Suppos a nation in some distant Region, should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited. Every member would be obliged in Concience to temperance and frugality and industry, to justice and kindness and Charity towards his fellow men, and to Piety and Love, and reverence towards almighty God. In this Commonwealth, no man would impair his health by Gluttony, drunkenness, or Lust—no man would sacrifice his most precious time to cards, or any other trifling and mean amusement—no man would steal or lie or any way defraud his neighbour, but would live in peace and good will with all men—no man would blaspheme his maker or prophane his Worship, but a rational and manly, a sincere and unaffected Piety and devotion, would reign in all hearts. What a Eutopa, what a Paradise would this region be. Heard Thayer all Day. He preach’d well.
Spent the Evening at Coll. Chandlers, with Putnam, Gardiner, Thayer, the Dr. and his Lady,1 in Conversation, upon the present scituation of publick affairs, with a few observations concerning Heroes and great Commanders. Alexander, Charles 12th., Cromwel.
1. Probably Dr. and Mrs. Nahum Willard, who came to Worcester about the same time JA did and with whom JA was now boarding at the cost of the town ( JA , Autobiography; Lincoln, Worcester , p. 254).
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