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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0013-0025

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-25


The Rev'd. Mr. True dined here: a person of a peculiar Character I am told, and from what I have seen of him to day I should have judg'd as much. At about 4 in the afternoon, my Uncle came in, and handed me, a noble Packet of Letters; 3 from My Mother 2 from my father, a long one from my Sister, and several others.1 It has made me as happy, (I will not say as a king,) as I can be. One Letter from Mamma, dated, as late as Octr. 5th. I went down in the Evening, and read them to My Cousin and Peggy White. I greatly regret that I have not time to write to my Parents, and my Sister so often as I should wish to. My Studies necessarily take up almost all, and I have not enough left for necessary relaxation, exclusive of all the writing, I should do. In short it appears to me, that was every minute, I have, an hour I should not be at a loss to employ it. And at this very minute the Bell rings for nine of Clock, when I had no Idea, of its being yet 8. { 362 } Snows and storms, highly this Evening: winter is coming forward with hasty stride.
1. These probably included: JA to JQA , 31 Aug., 9 Sept.; AA to JQA , 6, 12 Sept., 5 Oct.; and AA2 to JQA , 26 Aug.–13 Sept. (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0013-0026

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-26


Finished the book of John, in the Testament, and was the Rest of the day, employ'd in answering my Letters. Inclosed the Marquis's letter to Mr. Breck, and wrote to Mr. Chaumont.1 Mr. Thaxter and Eliza dined with us. A fine day.
1. The availability of an abstract and a partial text for this letter is reported in Helen Cripe and Diane Campbell, comps. and eds., American Manuscripts, 1763–1815: An Index to Documents Described in Auction Records and Dealers' Catalogues, Wilmington, Del., 1977, No. 14386.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0013-0027

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-27


The forenoon discourse was upon Revelations, III. 15 and 16. I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot. So then, because thou art luke-warm, and neither cold, nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. A very good Sermon was delivered, to inculcate a proper Zeal for Religion, and to show, the evil Consequences, of a lukewarm disposition. In the afternoon the text was in James IV: 17th. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. There is an Idea, which I cannot imagine to be a just one, in any Case, but which seems to possess every religious sect, more or less. It is not carried so far, in what is called the Protestant religion as in most others, but I cannot but wish, it was wholly erased from all. We are the chosen few, is repeated continually, and I believe equally unreasonably by all. I will freely own, that the divinity, has wisely thought fit to involve himself in an obscurity impenetrable to mortals. But it is in my mind, a settled maxim that every Idea, tending to excite a doubt, of the perfect benevolence, of the supreme being, is a false one, and from this I draw the Conclusion, that any human creature, who seeks the general welfare of the Society he belongs to, does all the good, and as little harm, as is possible, and adheres to what he has been taught from his Infancy to be his duty, can never be exposed to the resentment of a good and wise god, whatever the mode of his worship may be.
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