That Peace Which the World Cannot Give Nor Take Away


Samuel Adams



Philadelphia August 17, 1780

My Dear Hannah

Nothing I assure you, but Want of Leisure has prevented my acknowledging the Receipt of your very obliging Letter of the 12th of July. You cannot imagine with how much Pleasure I received it. I have no Reason to doubt your Sincerity when you express the warmest Affection for your Mother and me, because I have had the most convincing Proof of it in the whole Course of your Life. Be equally attentive to every Relation into which all-wise Providence may lead you, and I will venture to predict for my dear Daughter, an unfailing Source of Happiness in the Reflections of her own Mind. If you carefully fulfill the various Duties of Life, from a Principle of Obedience to your heavenly Father, you shall enjoy that Peace which the World cannot give nor take away. In steadily pursuing the Path of Wisdom and Virtue I am sometimes inclined to think you have been influenced with a View of pleasing me. This is indeed endearing, and I owe you the Debt of Gratitude. But the pleasing an Earthly Parent, I am persuaded, has not been your principal Motive to be religious. If this has any Influence on your Mind, you know you cannot gratify me so much, as by seeking most earnestly, the Favor of Him who made and supports you—who will supply you with whatever his infinite Wisdom sees best for you in this World, and above all, who has given us his Son to purchase for us the Reward of Eternal Life—Adieu, and believe that I have . . .

Source: The Writings of Samuel Adams: Volume IV, 1778 – 1802, by Samuel Adams, collected and edited by Harry Alonzo Cushing, G.P. Putnams Sons, 1908.

Spelling in this selection modernized and abbreviations and shorthand altered for easier reading by The Moral Liberal’s Editor, Steve Farrell, 2014.

They Were Believers is researched, compiled, and edited (with occasional commentary and explanatory notes) by Steve Farrell, Founder and Editor In Chief of The Moral Liberal. Copyright © 2012-2014 Steve Farrell.