Monday, September 12, 2016

John Adams

I attempted to read David McCullough's John Adams back in 2014 but failed quite miserably. Failure was bound to the 600+ pages and a two-week check out limit by the library. However, 2016 would be different! I wised up and asked my mother-in-law for the book as a birthday gift. I was so sold on the book that somehow I managed to tell her it was called "James Madison", rather than John Adams. I attribute that mistake to the university of the James Madison that I stop at on the way back to the north, but I digress. When the birthday packaged arrived, endless possibilities awaited as well as the four some odd months it took me to read the entire thing. Nonetheless, the day came when I finally finished!

John Adams, a founding father of the nation and eventual President, was also a devout Christian. The story of our nation's history just excites me beyond belief- Hello History nerd! This book not only touched my history-lovin' heart but it encouraged me in faith. Adams was greatly aware of the Sovereign God and His role in all of life. The following are a few quotes Adams's letters as shared in the book:

"But all the provisions that He has [made] for the gratification of our senses... are much inferior to the provision, the wonderful provision that He has made for the gratification of our nobler powers of intelligence and reason. He has given us reason to find out the truth and the real design and true end of our existence." (McCullough, 42)

"It is an idea of the Christian religion, and ever has been of all believers of the immortality of the soul, that the intellectual part of man is capable of progressive improvement for ever. Where then is the sense of calling the perfectibility of man an original idea or modern discovery.... I consider th e
perfectibility of man as used by modern philosophers to be mere words without a meaning, that is mere nonsense." (Ibid, 591).

"The doctrine of human equality is founded entirely in the Christian doctrine that we are all children of the same Father, all accountable to Him for our conduct to one another, all equally bound to respect each other's self love." (Ibid, 619)

"I believe in God and in his wisdom and benevolence [he continued], and I cannot conceive that such a Being could make such a species as the human merely to live and die on this earth. if I did not believe in a future state, I should believe in no God. This universe, this all, this [totality] would appear with all its swelling pomp, a boyish firework." (Ibid, 625).

With that thought I close today's post. This world around us - these people we love - this God who makes Himself known to us - it would all be worthless if Christ had not died. Because Christ has died, we have this great hope. I agree, Mr. Adams.

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