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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0013-0019

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-19


The whole day at my studies as usual. In the afternoon I read in Watt's Logic,1 as my Saturday afternoon's, are employ'd in reading English. I began this, last week, and am pretty well pleased with the work, though I have not as yet made any great progress in it. There are a number of observations which were quite new to me, and the most of them indisputable: some few I could not well comprehend although they may be equally clear. In the Evening Mr. Thaxter and Eliza Cranch, paid a short visit. Mr. Thomas2 went out with his gun, a very favourite amusement with him. The Post brought me no Letters, last Evening; there came none by the vessel that arrived lately at Boston. Eliza, had a large Packet from her friends in the Town, and was sit quite in a flutter. Nancy was to come home this Evening, but has determined to stay a few days longer.
1. Isaac Watts, Logick: Or, The Right Use of Reason in the Enquiry After Truth . . ., London, 1725. No early editions of this work are in any of the Adams libraries.
2. Presumably TBA.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0013-0020

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-20


We had two sermons to day, upon a text from Proverbs: 19th. Chap: 20:v: Hear counsel and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. The several instances of death, that have lately occurred in this town were not passed unnoticed. Two persons, both promising to be useful in the spheres assigned them, had been cut off in the bloom of youth; the divinity, often took from the world in this manner, those whose Characters were universally loved and esteemed, yet suffered others, that were entirely useless, or perhaps the bane of society, to continue. Those impious fools who pretend to disbelieve an over ruling providence, considered this as an argument in their favour. But what else was this than supposing, the author of Nature had as contracted views, and ideas, as their's. In truth I have often wondered how it happened, that a being whose mind is so exceedingly weak, that it cannot comprehend why a pebble thrown into the air should fall to the ground, can pretend to raise a doubt, whether there was a being, more wise, more exalted more powerful than himself. Any man will think, it impertinent and absurd in another to pronounce judgment, upon the plainest subject, if he does not understand it: and is it not still more ab• { 360 } surd to deny, what Nature cries aloud in all her works: when we must, all acknowledge, ourselves, entirely ignorant, of the secret springs that keep the machine of the world in play.
Mr. Shaw was absent a great part of the Evening; he was called to marry Dr. Woodbury to Miss Hannah Appleton. My Aunt attended the wedding. After meeting I went to Mr. White's and spent half an hour with them.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2017.