Papers of John Adams, volume 1
For so I must call you, tho your late Behaviour, in Point of Ill Nature, and Jealousy, has savoured too much of the Instigations of the Devil. Jonathan, thou art1 become, an Artful Designing fellow.—Cunning, left handed, crooked Wisdom, is the highest Excellence thou canst
aspire justly pretend to.—Had I but known this, three Years agone, I would have seen thee, gizzarded eer I would have honourd thee with my Friendship.
Thou Fool, To praise, as thou dost, one side of the Question, in political Disputes, and to execrate as thou dost the other. Thou art Either an hireling Scribbler, and prostitutest thine Head, thine Heart and thy fingers to blacken every Feature of one Party, however fair some of them may be, and to whiten every feature of the other, how foul or swarthy soever
Such senseless, such pittyful Stuff and Trash, I did not expect from thee friend Jonathan. I do not blame thee at all for satirizing and execrating one side, that side I believe as fully as thou dost, deserves it. But I blame thee, for praising the other. Both Parties deserve Curses.—Both Parties will sacrifice the good of their Country,
in small Th to their own Malice, Envy, Revenge, Avarice Ambition, or Lust. Thou knowest this to be true, and God knoweth it to be true. And yet to talk as thou dost—thou art almost a Devil.
JA's resort to Biblical style, which he maintains throughout the remainder of the letter, underscores the bitter irony he sees in having a faithless friend named Jonathan, the name of Saul's son who remained true to David (1 Samuel: chs., 18–20).