A President and the Bible
John Quincy Adams (an apologetics hero) was the sixth President of the United States. He was fifty-eight years old when elected President. He served four years and, following his Presidency, was elected to the House of Representatives. He was a Congressman for seventeen years until his death in 1847 at the age of seventy-nine. He was the first ex-President ever to be elected to the House of Representatives.
On February 27, 1844, the American Bible Society held a public meeting in the Hall of the House of Representatives at the U. S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. John Quincy Adams chaired the meeting and delivered “an address full of fire” in which he set forth the value and power of the Holy Scripture and his conviction that the Bible’s circulation should be promoted (Smith 234-41).
. . . [H]aving been taught in childhood the unparalleled blessings of the Christian gospel, in the maturity of manhood I associated with my brethren of that age, for spreading the light of that gospel over the face of the earth, by simple and silent process of placing in the hands of every human being who needed, and could not otherwise procure it, THE BOOK which contains the duties, admonitions, the promises and rewards of the Christian gospel. . . . [T]HE IMPROVEMENT OF SUCCESSIVE GENERATIONS of men, in their condition upon the earth and preparation for eternity, DEPENDS IN NO SMALL DEGREE ON THE DIFFUSION AND INCULCATION OF THIS VOLUME among all the tribes of men throughout the habitable globe.
. . . The Bible carries with it the history of the creation, the fall and redemption of man, and discloses to him, in the infant born in Bethlehem, the Legislator and Saviour of the world. . . . In the mysterious providence of God its influence has been counteracted by the spirit of evil, in all its thousand forms, throughout a long succession of ages. Its advancement has been slow; its victories desperately contested; its triumphs subject to cruel vicissitudes; its war against the world, the flesh, and the serpent, a perpetual, never-ceasing struggle. Yet its march has been uniform in purifying and ennobling the moral intellectual and physical condition and character of man. (239-41, emp. added)
Almighty God, may we be hastened to the day when once again the executive, legislative, judicial, and military leaders of the nations of Earth will stand in awe of Your Book. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Smith, Wilbur M. Chats from a Minister’s Library. Boston: Wilde, 1951.