Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO JOHN LATHROP. - The Works of John Adams, vol. 10 (Letters 1811-1825, Indexes)
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TO JOHN LATHROP. - John Adams, The Works of John Adams, vol. 10 (Letters 1811-1825, Indexes) 
The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: with a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations, by his Grandson Charles Francis Adams (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1856). 10 volumes. Vol. 10.
Part of: The Works of John Adams, 10 vols.
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TO JOHN LATHROP.
Quincy, 22 March, 1813.
I thank you for your kind letter of the 19th, and for the valuable present of your discourse, occasioned by the death of Dr. Eliot. I had, indeed, “an acquaintance with the late Dr. Eliot,” and with his father, and “an affection” for both.
I believe them both to have been “candid, pious, learned, sincere, and amiable,” but I never had the felicity to belong to the same denomination in politics with either of them. Although I acknowledge much merit in the younger Dr. Eliot, in the labor and research discovered in his Biographical Dictionary, and its general utility, I must, nevertheless, own my regret for the numerous evidences of political prejudices. To such prejudices, however, I have found through the whole course of my life the very greatest and the very best men more or less liable.
I know nothing of the mediation, nor of the hopes of peace. I carefully avoid all secrets of government. Nothing has been presented to my mind, on which I can ground my hopes of a speedy peace. Your aspirations, my dear Doctor, after peace, are becoming your philosophical, moral, and Christian character. But you and I must remember that “sufferings become powerful means of checking the progress of folly and vice;” that “the miseries we feel or fear are the consequences of manifold abuses of Divine goodness.”
Let me add an observation which your learning and experience must have made, because all ages and nations have attested to its truth;—that mankind, in general, and our beloved country, in particular, bear adversity much better than prosperity.
When I look back upon the period which has passed since you and I settled in Boston, in 1768, upon the lawyers, the physicians, and the merchants, who have departed, though I have made no exact enumeration, I cannot perceive that the number of divines is greater in proportion than in either of those professions. I see no reason, therefore, to surmise that the clergy have been distinguished from the laity in the important article of mortality. The moment cannot be distant, my excellent friend, when you and I must follow the multitude of our acquaintance, who have gone before us to a region where we shall meet the two Dr. Eliots, and other worthies of whatever nation, sect, or party, and smile at the little passions and smaller prejudices, which divide us in this region of wisdom and folly, virtue and vice, light and darkness, ignorance and knowledge, where, however, the good predominates immensely over the evil, whatever in peevish moments we may think or say. I am, dear Sir, with high esteem and sincere respect, your friend.