11 December 1836
adams-john10 Neal Millikan Health and Illness Religion

11. V. Sunday.

Mrs Frye Elizabeth De Wint Smith W. S. Dodge Joshua

A restless night, with feverish symptoms was succeeded by a catarrhal oppression upon the lungs, a qualmish stomach; pain across the temples, and Spirits drooping to despondency— Without altogether indulging them, I took my two grandchildren with me to the Presbyterian Church, and heard Mr. Fowler from John 3.3. [“]Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” A calvanistical discourse upon regeneration— Mr Fowler is a young man, very earnest, and very sincere—but what an immeasurable distance between him and Bishop— He alluded to the figurative language, so commonly used in the Eastern Nations, and so constantly practised by Jesus Christ— The new birth and every thing relating to it in the gospel is figurative and spiritual, but if Christ said to Nicodemus that a Jew or a Gentile of his cotemporaries must become a new Man before he could see the kingdom of God, which he came to discover and make known, what application can that have to Christians born in the present age, brought up and educated as subjects of the kingdom of God?— And what is the kingdom of God? and what is it to see, the kingdom of God?— The whole of this conference between Jesus and Nicodemus is profoundly mysterious; but the result of all is that Nicodemus, from witnessing the miracles performed by Jesus, believed him 8him a teacher sent from God, and came to enquire of him, what it was that he came to teach— The answer of Jesus was not direct and explicit— He told him that he came to change the whole character of Man—and that to believe him he must deny his very nature, and be born over again and so in truth it was— Man, the most selfish of animals; the only unjust the only perfidious animal upon the globe, was to become the most social of animals; and the only benevolent animal— Then he told him that God so loved the world that he had given his only begotten Son, that whosoever believed in him should not perish, but have everlasting life— That is the kingdom of God, was the immortality of the Soul— Of all this Mr Fowler said nothing— Elizabeth De Wint dined and spent the Evening with us— After dinner at St. John’s Church Mr Hawley read the Service for the third Sunday in advent, and preached from Isaiah 5.4. “What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?” This again is figurative language—but the application of it is not so difficult to make as that of the New Testament— Mr Joshua Dodge, Consul of the United States at Bremen, now at home upon leave of absence spent the Evening with us— Mr Smith at the close of the Evening came, and took Elizabeth De Wint home with him— I wrote to my Son Charles, and read a few pages of Albert Barnes’s Notes on the Epistle to the Romans.