It is my opinion that John Adams, our second president, had keen discernment and a bit of the Spirit of Prophecy. He was a man of principle, and had a knack for sensing what others in politics could not. Later, when events worked out the way he predicted, he was lauded as a great visionary patriot.
For example, early on in the American Revolution, when a position against England was unpopular, he was clearly FOR independence. Others in the Continental Congress, including John Dickenson, were not. When a letter from John Adams to his wife describing Mr. Dickenson’s senselessness was intercepted and printed in the newspaper, John Adams was beat down by the jury of popular opinion.
Yet, he was correct.
John Jay, during a session of congress, leaned over in his chair and asked John Adams, “Do you think we will win the War of Independence?” Adams’ answer was quick and poignant, saying, to effect, “Yes, if we trust in God, and repent of our sins.”
He was right again.
After leading the effort to move forward with the Declaration of Independence, Adams, in a letter to his wife, Abigail, wrote:
“I believe that will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be celebrated by pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other…”
Does this not resemble our Fourth of July celebrations?
In 1781, while in Amsterdam, John authored and submitted a bold and unpopular document to the Netherlands government asking for their recognition of American independence, and support in the form of a loan to America.This he did going against the pleadings of everyone around him, who thought he was crazy. Yet sixteen months later, in October 1782, he forwarded to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia the Treaty of Amity that he successfully negotiated.
Furthermore, the final battle in the War of Independence at Yorktown sealed victory for America, largely because of the superior naval fleet of our ally, France. This happened just as John Adams predicted. While in Paris 3 years earlier, he said to anyone who would listen, “Nothing will end the war quicker …”
There were times in his life no one would have ever guessed that John Adams would rise to the level of replacing George Washington as President of the United States. Yet, John’s foresight was his ally, as American citizens finally concluded.
It is with this Spirit of Prophecy in which he made another remark in a letter to his wife, Abigail, which bears significance on society today:
“The science of government it is my duty to study, more than all other sciences; the arts of legislation and administration and negotiation ought to take the place of, indeed exclude, in a manner, all other arts. I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.”
What’s beautiful about this quote is that it suggests a hierarchy of industry which develops as people maintain their freedom.
In a new republic, the most important aspect of the economy is to gather support for the preservation of the proper role of government. Yet through time, as freedom continues to be preserved, a society has the potential to make giant leaps in learning, discovery, and invention.
In Cleon Skousen’s landmark book, “The 5,000 Year Leap,” he formally dedicates his book to this purpose. He said:
Dedicated to: That generation of resolute Americans whom we call the Founding Fathers. They created the first free people to survive as a nation in modern times. They wrote a new kind of Constitution which is now the oldest in existence. They built a new kind of commonwealth designed as a model for the whole human race. They believed it was thoroughly possible to create a new kind of civilization, giving freedom, equality, and justice to all. Their first design for a nation of free people was to encompass all of North America, accommodating, as John Adams said, two to three hundred million freemen. They created a new cultural climate that gave wings to the human spirit. They encouraged exploration to reveal the scientific secrets of the universe. They built a free enterprise culture to encourage industry and prosperity. They gave humanity the needed ingredients for a gigantic 5,000 year leap.
Yet, since this truth is so apparent, is the reverse true as well?
It is no secret that today’s America is not the vision of our Founders. In the last 150 years, we have lost our freedoms and common sense in government at an increasing rate with time.
As I look around and see the beautiful inventions on the horizon, it saddens me to know that sensible American sons and daughters no longer have the freedom to pursue “painting, poetry, and music.” To a large degree, this also includes “geography, natural history, and commerce.”The most important and expedient course of “study” for those who can see the clear picture are the basics, as much as I would like to hope otherwise.
Today, the most important people in America have become the John Adams’ of the world (repeating history) — those who are pursuing the “science of government… the art of (correct) legislation… politics and war…”
As Americans, we largely DON’T want to pursue these things. We want to retire from public service, as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams passionately wanted to do. Yet they knew it was their duty, under God, to perform a service that would enable generations to pursue other interests.
It’s with regret that I write this article, because I wish America was free enough for Americans to explore their own unique talents and interests.
I was on a website the other day that had me in awe of the kinds of mathematical and statistical software tools out there — richly inventive programs that allow us to understand the world around us. I don’t want people to leave that and be involved in politics. However, a reverse of the “5,000 Year Leap” insists that we do.
Editor's note: this article was originally published on IndependentAmericanParty.org on March 13, 2014. The article has been edited from its original version. The opinions expressed are the author's.
Image Credit: jrbenjamin.com