“Began this afternoon on my third quarter. The great and Almighty author of nature, who at first established those rules which regulate the world, can as easily suspend those laws whenever his providence sees sufficient reason for such suspension. This can be no objection, then, to the miracles of Jesus Christ. Although some very thoughtful and contemplative men among the heathen attained a strong persuasion of the great principles of religion, yet the far greater number, having little time for speculation, gradually sunk into the grossest opinions and the grossest practices. These, therefore, could not be made to embrace the true religion till their attention was roused by some astonishing and miraculous appearances. The reasoning of philosophers, having nothing surprising them, could not overcome the force of prejudice, custom, passion, and bigotry. But when wise and virtuous men commissioned from heaven, by miracles awakened men’s attention to their reasonings, the force of truth made its way with ease to their minds.”*
From this diary entry, it is clear that John Adams was no deist. He believed in the God of the Bible who providentially and actively intervenes in human affairs, referring specifically to the miracles of Christ. Adams’ view of God is a lost episode in American history.
Read and Reflect: Read Acts 5:12-16 and reflect on the miracles done by the apostles and the people coming to faith as a result and compare that with John Adams’ entry.
Prayer: Father, we praise you that you are not a “clock-maker,” who created the universe, but who never intervenes. We thank you that you not only set aside the rules of your creation and work miracles, but you are also active and involved in our lives. Give us the courage and wisdom to be winsome witnesses of your greatness, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
*Source Citation: Charles Francis Adams, ed, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: With a Life of the Author Notes and Illustrations, 10 vols., (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1856), 2:7-8.