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    • Adams, John
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    • Johnson, Alexander Bryan
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I admire your checks and bridles which you call maxims. To allude to Bolingbrokes figure, Man is a Noble Animal he is a bucephalus that requires an Alexander to ride him, And I believe he could not, without whip, spurs, and bridle. But of all the whips spurs and bridles, those of the Priests are the most detestable; and those of the Presbyterians are not much better, than those of the...
Of making and reading Books, there is no end, And therefore it is hardly worth while to make a begining except for the necessary purposes of common life; I have never been afraid of a Book.—Brand Hollis, my Friend, said to me, there never was a bad book in the World.—Perhaps a Man of Sense and rectitude might learn something from any one; But there are many bad Books, and I have read...
I have received your favor of May 5th. The King of England has performed one noble action, and I hope he will many more, his Fathers library was a glorious one, when I saw it, it was well chosen, elegantly printed bound and lettered, but not gorgeously, it has been greatly increased since I saw it. If it was in my power I would give as many Books to my Quincy Academy, but this is only a...
I received your letter this morning of March 1st. and congratulate you on the birth of another Son, and condole with you on the illness of your father; we must sing of mercy & judgement together from the cradle to the grave, and we must bend our minds to a perfect resignation; nothing short of this, will procure us the happiness of which our nature is capable in this world. The name you have...
I thank you for the information contained in your letter of the 6th. I congratulate you and Mrs Johnson—your Father, and Mother, your Ladies Mother—and your two Elder Sons—on the Birth of your third Son—Altho it is always a pleasure to be informed of the Multiplication of my Posterity—that pleasure is always attended with a degree of anxiety for their future fortunes—this anxiety however I...
Cares, Sorrows, Misfortunes, and Infirmities have prevented an earlier Acknowledgment of your favour of June 10th. There are no better Maxims for a Student or a man of Business than “ Festine lente ” and “ One thing at a time .” “Six or Seven hours” are quite enough. According to Lord Coke, “ Sex horas Somno, totidem des legibus equis ” Six are enough for Study but not enough for Sleep....
I thank you for your favour of January 23d. And am very glad to learn, you have persevered to the end of your course in the study of the law, and particularly that Abigail was wise enough to encourage you in your pursuit; This I esteem in her a great merit and a proof of prudence deserving imitation by all her sex, in incouraging their Husbands in all manly Studies and business, and there is...
I thank you for your favor of Jan’y 23d. & am very glad to learn you have persevered to the end of your course in the study of the law & particularly that Abigail was wise enough to encourage you in your pursuit. This I esteem in her a great merit & a proof of prudence deserving of imitation by all her sex in encouraging their husbands in all manly studies & business, & there is none more so...
Thanks for your favour of the 15th. and the Pamphlet inclosed. Lord Bollingbrook says and every body knows that nobility in China ascends when a Man is ennobled, he ennobles all his Ancestors but none of his Posterity and his Lordship pronounces this law a wise institution, and I believe it is, and much wiser than to ennoble a long list of puppies, and Butterflies to all future ages. In this...
Your letter of the 30th of November has filled me with grief, The untimely death of my dear Great Grand Son cast over my mind a sorrowful gloom—There has not been one of my Posterity who has excited fonder hopes that he would be a comfort to his Parents and a Blessing to Society—But Providence destroys the hope of Man—I sincerely condole with you and my Grand daughter her Mother, and your...
A paroxism of ill health, which has confined me to my Chamber for several days, has prevented me from sooner acknowledging your favour of the 11th Instant. I sincerely wish it were in my power to comply with your request, by sending you copies of all my writings, which have been printed—They have been so dull that they have fallen abortive from the press and have never made much fortune in the...
I like your philosophy very well, I will pursue an idea suggested in my last; I do sincerely wish that the Mandarins of China, the Bramins of Hindostan the Priests of Japan, and of Persia, could be influenced with the same zeal de propaganda fide as the Roman Catholics and Calvanists of this day are for propagating their Creeds, and ceremonies, I wish they would form into societies, open their...
I have received your favor of the 7th. instant. If I agree with you that human knowledge ceases, where Metaphysics commence I must acknowledge that I am indebted to Metaphysics for the knowledge of this Truth after reading Lock and Malbranche Clark & Leibnitz Berckley & Hume, Condilac & Baxter Stuart & Brown have produced a pretty clear conviction of it—Your propensity to writing perhaps...
I begin my letter, as you end yours of March 13th. with the word Amen . I admire your liberal philosophy and the large scale of your Religion, I cannot conceive however in your preferance in Presbyterianism, the presbytery have too much priestly Authority in matters of faith, like that which is claimed by the Episcopal Church, And the doctrines of both the Churches are too Calvinistical for...
I have received your favor of the 7th. If I agree with you, that human knowledge ceases where Metaphysics commence, I must acknowledge that I am indebted to Metaphysics for the knowledge of this truth, After reading Lock and Malbranch, Clarke and Leibnitz, Berckley and Hume, Condilac and Baxter, Stuart & Brown have produced a pritty clear conviction of it. Your propensity to writing perhaps...
Will you be so good as to inform me what is the plan of Study in the Law, which Mr Counsellor Williams has proscribed to you—has he advised you to read Horns Mirror of Justice’s—to Study Bracton-Britton, Fleta, and Glanvill? has he advised you to read Reeves History of the Common Law? or that of Lord Hales? has he advised you to turn over the Statutes at large and the Gross Volumes of the...
I received with pleasure your favour of October 26th. A Seat in the Convention as it is the Spontanious evidence of the kindness of my fellow Citizens—is indeed a gratifications to my feelings—If I should make my exit in the service it will be EUTHANA—but whether my attendance will be any assistance to the deliberations of that great Assembly who are to revise the Constitution, I know...
Your letter of the 26th. December just now received, has thrown me into a kind of froliksome mixture of gaiety and gravity, which has raised my Spirits. I am glad you are so fond of Swift; I know of no Man who has exhibited stronger proofs of a sound rational mind, and profound information on one hand, or of wanton fun, on the other; even his indecent drollery is instructive, and even moral....
I have yours of the 22d. before me—your Law Grammar is undoubtedly a useful Book—In my time, we had none but Noyes’s rude Sketch, and Lord Hales improvement upon that,—from seventeen hundred and fifty five—to seventeen hundred and fifty Eight—I lived in the family of Coll, James Putnam of Worcester, and Studied Law under his direction, in his Office—He advised me to begin with Hawkins...