Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THOMAS JEFFERSON. - The Works of John Adams, vol. 10 (Letters 1811-1825, Indexes)
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TO THOMAS JEFFERSON. - 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 THOMAS JEFFERSON.
Quincy, 30 September, 1816.
The seconds of life that remain to me are so few and so short (and they seem to me shorter and shorter every minute) that I cannot stand upon epistolary etiquette; and though I have written two letters yet unnoticed, I must write a third, because I am not acquainted with any man on this side Monticello who can give me any information upon subjects that I am now analyzing and investigating, if I may now be permitted to use the pompous words now in fashion.
When I read Dr. Priestley’s remarks upon “Dupuis,” I felt a curiosity to know more about him. I wrote to Europe, and engaged another to write. I had no idea of more than one or two volumes in octavo or duodecimo; but lo! I am overwhelmed with eight or ten volumes, and another of planches!
Sixteen years of research the author acknowledges; and as he quotes his authorities, I would not undertake to verify them in sixteen years, if I had all his books, which surely are not to be found in America. If you know any thing of this Monsieur Dupuis, or his Origine de tous les Cultes, candidus imperti.
I have read only the first volume. It is learned and curious. The whole work will afford me business, study, and amusement for the winter.
Dr. Priestley pronounced him an atheist, and his work the “ne plus ultra of infidelity.” Priestley agrees with him, that the history of the fall of Adam and Eve is an “allegory,” a fable, an Arabian tale, and so does Dr. Middleton, to account for the origin of evil, which, however, it does not. Priestley says that the Apocalypse, according to Dupuis, is the most learned work that ever was written.
With these brief flétrissures, Priestley seems to have expected to annihilate the influence of Dupuis’s labor, as Swift destroyed Blackmore with his
And as he disgraced men as good, at least, as himself by his
“Wicked Will Whiston”
“Good Master Ditton.”
But Dupuis is not to be so easily destroyed. The controversy between spiritualism and materialism, between spiritualists and materialists, will not be settled by scurrilous epigrams of Swift, nor by dogmatical censures of Priestley. You and I have as much authority to settle these disputes as Swift, Priestley, Dupuis, or the Pope; and if you will agree with me, we will issue our bull, and enjoin it upon all these gentlemen to be silent till they can tell us what matter is, and what spirit is, and in the mean time to observe the commandments, and the sermon on the mount.