Wednesday, March 28, 2012

From Russia with love

From Russia, John Quincy Adams wrote to his son:
"St. Petersburg, Sept, 1811

My dear Son,

In your letter of the 18th January, you mentioned that you read to your aunt a chapter in the Bible...every evening. This information gave me real pleasure...

So great is my veneration for the Bible, and so strong my belief, that when duly read and meditated on, it is of all books in the world, that which contributes most to make men good, wise, and happy-that the earlier my children begin to read it...the more lively and confident will be my hopes that they will prove useful citizens of their country."

"You must soon come to the age when you must govern yourself. You have already come to that age in many respects; you know the difference between right and wrong, and you know some of your duties....It is in the Bible, you must learn them all, and from the Bible you must practice them...

Those duties are to God, to your fellow creatures, and to yourself. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, with all thy soul and with all thy mind and with all thy strength, and thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments, Jesus Christ expressly says, 'hang all the law and the prophets.' ...

The Bible contains the revelation of the will of God...It is an invaluable and inexhaustible mine of knowledge and virtue."
This correspondence was published after his death as Letters of John Quincy Adams to his son on the Bible and its Teachings (Auburn, NY: Derby, Miller & Co, 1848).

As retold at American Minute with Bill Federer for March 27, 2012. The entire book has been scanned and is available through Google.

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