“I devoted myself to endless labour and Anxiety if not to infamy and death, and that for nothing, except, what indeed was and ought to be all in all, a sense of duty.”—John Adams (via foundingfatherfest)
“They say I am vain. Thank God I am so. Vanity is the cordial drop which makes the bitter cup of life go down. I agree with Mrs. Elizabeth Montague, who wrote to her uncle, the Bishop, to inquire whether the text “All is vanity and vexation of spirit” was not badly translated. She thought it ought to be “All is vanity or vexation of spirit.” She implied that what was not vanity was sure to be vexation, and there I am with her.”—
It’s hard to genuinely dislike Adams. He’s so entertaining. I’d want to hang out with him.
“Visited the President [John Adams] this evening, and heard a number of his pleasant stories. He complained of the intolerance of Christians, and thought that the old Roman system of permitting every man to worship how and what he pleased was the true one. He liked the opinion of Justin Martyr that every honest, well-disposed, moral man, even if he were an atheist, should be accounted a Christian. He said that for nearly eighty years most of his leisure moments had been spent in examining the various religions of the world, and that this was the conclusion he had come to. Some one observed that in Kentucky everybody was either a bigot or an atheist. He replied that it was pretty much the same all the world over”—
“yet through all the gloom, i can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. i can see that the end is more than worth all the means. and that posterity will triumph in that day’s transaction, even although we should rue it, which i trust in god we shall not.”
- John Adams