John Adams to Abigail Adams
Phila. Nov. 17. 1794
My dearest Friend
Yesterday I attended the Dedication of a Temple. The Presbyterian Congregation in Market Street, have taken down their old Meeting House, and erected a new one, in the Same Place, much larger higher, more light, airy and elegant. They assembled in it for the first time, Yesterday, when Dr Ewing preached in the Morning and Dr Blair in the Afternoon.1
I recollected with Pleasure upon this Occasion the Course of sermons delivered in Rotation by the Ministers of Boston in the new Church in Brattle street,2 and Philadelphia got nothing by the Comparison. Dr Blair however entertained Us with an elegant and Sublime Discourse, in which among other good Things he gave Tom Paine a hearty Reprobation.
I dined at Mr Otis’s: all well.— I hope to receive a Line to day. a Journal, or diurnal Register of farming would be very very refreshing, and entertaining. Oh the tedious solitude that awaits me, for 3 or 4 months, amidst the Noise, Smoke Wealth Luxury, Eloquence, Learning Wit, and Wisdom of this proud City and our venerable Congress.! To me, one Week of Domestic fœlicity & Rural Amusement, would be worth it all.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Novbr. 17th / 1794.”
1. The First Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, whose original edifice on Market (High) Street dated from 1704, rebuilt its church in 1794. Rev. John Ewing (1732–1802), Princeton 1754, the minister of the church since 1759, was also the provost of the University of Pennsylvania (Francis Burke Brandt and Henry Volkmar Gummere, Byways and Boulevards in and about Historic Philadelphia, Phila., 1925, p. 54; DAB description begins Allen Johnson, Dumas Malone, and others, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928–1936; repr. New York, 1955–1980; 10 vols. plus index and supplements. description ends ).
2. On 25 July 1773 the Brattle Street Church in Boston inaugurated its grand new building with a service including sermons by Rev. Samuel Cooper, its minister, and Rev. Charles Chauncy (Massachusetts Spy, 29 July).