The general principles, on which the Fathers achieved independence, were the only Principles in which that beautiful Assembly of young Gentlemen could Unite….And what were these general Principles? I answer, the general Principles of Christianity, in which all these Sects were United: . . . Now I will avow, that I then believed, and now believe, that those general Principles of Christianity, are as eternal and immutable, as the Existence and Attributes of God; and that those Principles of Liberty, are as unalterable as human Nature and our terrestrial, mundane System.


Adams, John, Letter to Thomas Jefferson, June 28, 1813. Lester J. Capon, ed., The Adams-Jefferson Letters. (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1959), pp. 339-340.

Additional Resources

Bible Lessons of John Quincy Adams

My Dear Son, I have thought if in addition to the hour which I daily give to the reading of the Bible, I should also from time to time (and especially on the Sabbath) apply another hour occasionally to communicate to you the reflections that arise in my mind upon its perusal, it might not only tend to fix and promote my own attention to the excellent instructions of that sacred Book… JQA

Historian David McCullough has described President John Quincy Adams as one of the most principled and certainly most intelligent men ever to occupy the White House. Born in 1767, Adams entered his countrys service while a mere lad as secretary to the Russian Embassy and remained through life a public servant, filling successively the posts of secretary, ambassador, United States Senator, Secretary of State, President, and finally Representative in Congress. This station he filled from 1831 until the moment of his death, while rising to address Congress on February 23, 1848. However, all of these remarkable achievements are secondary to his role as father. Though a busy man, Adams made it his priority to study the Bible and to train his son to love Gods Holy Word. His example stands out for all men as a shepherd who loved his family flock.

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