April 25-26, 1756
April 25. 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 fixed stars 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 alternative, “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 beings must be consigned to everlasting perdition?
April 26. The reflection that I penned yesterday appears upon the revision to be weak enough. For first, 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 these 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!
Source: John Adams. John Adams’ Diary April 25-26, 1756.
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They Were Believers is researched, compiled, and edited (with occasional notes and commentary) by The Moral Liberal Founder and Editor In Chief, Steve Farrell. Copyright © 2014 Steve Farrell and The Moral Liberal.
The Moral Liberal recommends George Washington’s Sacred Fire