John Adams on ‘An Accomplished Judge’


One of the most diabolical features of our present dumbed-down, secularized, and thoroughly corrupted educational system in the United States is its systematic stripping out of the moral and religious roots of the very Founders of the system of government we live under – and this our public schools do even as they claim to be preparing our sons and daughters to be responsible citizens.

Yet religion and morality were openly discussed, and deep-seated in the hearts of these great men.

So it was with 21 year old John Adams’, as he reflected, nearly daily, on his feelings while attending Harvard College (where he received both his Bachelors and Masters of Arts degrees).

In today’s selection, among so many similar, we find this powerful reflection as to the worthiness of the the Great Judge of all men. He writes in his diary for March 29, 1756:

We find ourselves capable of comprehending many things, of acquiring considerable degrees of knowledge by our slender and contracted faculties. Now may we not suppose our minds strengthened and capacities dilated, so as fully to comprehend this globe of earth with its numerous appendages? May we not suppose them further enlarged to take in the solar system in all its relations? Nay, why may we not go further, and suppose them increased to comprehend the whole created universe, with all its inhabitants, their various relations, dependencies, duties, and necessities? If this is supposable, then a being of such great capacity, endowed with sufficient power, would be an accomplished judge of all rational beings—would be fit to dispense rewards to virtue and punishments to vice.

Or in other words, if men in their limited capacities can sometimes judge well in things of virtue and law, what of the the Creator of the Universe, even the very Being who comprehends All Things? Shall we not look to him as to the standards for virtue and the punishments for vice?

It ought to be useful to know where John Adams was coming from when it came to law. The editor of this work, his Grandson, American diplomat and historian, Charles Francis Adams, says of the general value of reading such diaries:

A Diary is the record in youth of a man’s sentiments, in middle life, of his action, and of his recollections in age. To others, it can be interesting only if it have impressed upon it the stamp of strong individual character. But with this as a substratum, notices of striking scenes, of extraordinary events and noted contemporaries, may be superadded to form a memorial worth transmitting to posterity.

So the editor was interested in transmitting a worthy memorial to posterity (future generations of American citizens – me and you and our children that is), an unveiling of the subsrtatum, or that layer or substance, that very rock beneath the surface that defined this key American Founder, a substratum, he says, that guided the actions of his life. But the historian’s purpose, and the value of having such things known by the student of history was beyond simply identifying the substratum of one John Adams, but was in a larger sense an attempt to aid future generations in that vital task of discovering the foundation stones of the American Revolution itself, and of its Constitution, and of all the good things that followed. Indeed, he notes:

Every thing that can illustrate the state of opinion, of manners, and of habits, prior to the year 1776, is of some value to the right conception of what has happened since.

Common sense, right? And let’s not forget that it’s the honest approach too.

If we are to preserve the liberties our forefathers gave us, one would think that lifting the secularist imposed veil that obscures from the public schoolhouse and the public university the very substratum upon which those liberties were born would be plain and simply, vital.

Source: The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: with a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations, by his Grandson Charles Francis Adams (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1856). 10 volumes. Vol. 2., from his diary dated March 29, 1756, and the editor’s preface.

steve farrellLiberty Letters are researched, compiled, edited (with occasional commentary) by Steve Farrell. Mr. Farrell is the Founder and Editor In Chief of Self-Educated American, one of the original pundits at (1999-2008), and the author of the inspirational novel, Dark Rose.