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“It is the peculiar quality of the human understanding, that example should correct no man. The blunders of the fathers are lost to their children; and every generation must commit its own.” John Adams, in a letter to / Dr. Price, 1790 MHi : Timothy Pickering Papers.
Accept of my best Thanks for your favour of Feb. 1st. and the excellent Discourse that came with it. I love the Zeal and the Spirit which dictated this Discourse, and admire the general Sentiments of it. From the year 1760 to this hour, the whole Scope of my Life has been to support such Principles and propagate such sentiments. No sacrifices of myself or my family. No dangers, no labours,...
My departure being now fixed to within a week or ten days from this time, I cannot omit first to acknowlege the receipt of your favor of Aug. 3. together with the book and pamphlets by Mr. Stone, which I am sure I shall read with pleasure and improvement.—The outlines of their constitution have been now fixed by the National assembly. They have decided that their legislative assembly shall be...
When I wrote my letter of the 12th. I thought Mr. Morgan was returning to England. As I was mistaken in this, it has been obliged to wait another conveiance. This offers by Ld. Daer. I mentioned in that that temporary checks to the proceedings of the States general would probably happen. In fact, a pretty bold one was then beginning to be executed. Mr. Necker was that very evening dismissed....
The delay of my Congé permits me still the pleasure of continuing to communicate the principal things which pass here. I have already informed you that the proceedings of the states general were tied up by the difficulty which arose as to the manner of voting, whether it should be by persons or orders. The Tiers at length gave an ultimate invitation to the other two orders to come and join...
I last night received your friendly letter of March the fifth: and am happy to find that I have a place in your remembrance. There are few portions of my life that I recollect with more entire satisfaction than the hours I spent at Hackney under your Ministry, and in private society and conversation with you at other places—The approbation you are pleased to express of my speculations on the...
Your favor of the 4th. inst. is duly received. I am in hourly expectation of receiving letters permitting me to go to America for a few months, and shall leave Paris within a very few days after I shall have received them. As this is probably the last letter I can have the honour of writing you before my return, I will do myself the pleasure of putting you into possession of the state of...
I was favoured with your letter of Oct. 26. and far from finding any of it’s subjects uninteresting as you apprehend, they were to me, as every thing which comes from you, pleasing and instructive. I concur with you strictly in your opinion of the comparative merits of atheism and demonism, and really see nothing but the latter in the being worshipped by many who think themselves Christians....
It is rendering mutual service to men of virtue and understanding to make them acquainted with one another. I need no other apology for presenting to your notice the bearer hereof Mr. Barlow. I know you were among the first who read the Visions of Columbus, while yet in Manuscript: and think the sentiments I heard you express of that poem, will induce you to be pleased with the acquaintance of...
I am happy to learn, by your obliging letter of the second of this month, that you have found some amusement, in the volume I left with you, and that I may entertain a hope of its doing any good. It is but an humble tho’ laborious office, to collect together so many opinions and examples; but it may point out to my young countrymen the genuine sources of information, upon a subject more...