Diary of John Adams, volume 1
A pleasant Day. I can as easily still the fierce Tempests or Stop the rapid Thunderbolt, as command the motions and operations of my own mind. I am dull, and inactive, and all my Resolution, all the Spirits I can muster, are insufficient to rouse me from this senseless Torpitude. My Brains seem constantly in as great Confusion, and wild disorder, 22as Miltons Chaos. They are numb, dead. I have never any bright, refulgent Ideas. Every Thing appears in my mind, dim and obscure like objects seen thro’ a dirty glass or roiled water. Drank Tea at the Colonels. Spent the Evening at Mr. Putnams.
A cloudy morn. All my Time seems to roll away unnoticed. I long to study sometimes, but have no opportunity. I long to be a master of Greek and Latin. I long to prosecute the mathematical and philosophical Sciences. I long to know a little of Ethicks and moral Philosophy. But I have no Books, no Time, no Friends. I must therefore be contented to live and die an ignorant, obscure fellow. A showery Day.
Astronomers tell us, with good Reason, that not only all the Planets and Satellites in our Solar System, but all the unnumbered Worlds that revolve round the fixt Starrs are inhabited, as well as this Globe of Earth. If this is the Case all Mankind are no more in comparison of the whole rational Creation of God, than a point to the Orbit of Saturn. Perhaps all these different Ranks of Rational Beings have in a greater or less Degree, committed moral Wickedness. If so, I ask a Calvinist, whether he will subscribe to this Alternitive, “either God almighty must assume the respective shapes of all these different Species, and suffer the Penalties of their Crimes, in their Stead, or else all these Being
The Reflection that I penned Yesterday, appears upon the review to be weak enough. For 1st. we know not that the Inhabitants of other Globes have sinned. Nothing can be argued in this manner, till it is proved at least probable that all those Species of rational Beings have revolted from their rightful Sovereign.—When I examine the little Prospect that lies before me, and find an infinite variety of Bodies in one Horizon of perhaps two miles diameter, how many Millions of such Prospects there are upon the Surface of this Earth, how many millions of Globes there are within our View, each of which has as many of these prospects upon its own surface as our Planet—great! and marvellous are thy works! &c.