28 March 1841
adams-john10 Neal Millikan Religion Anti-Slavery Movements Slavery and Enslaved Persons Amistad
291 Washington Sunday 28. March 1841. Fireless.

28— IV:30. Sunday

Connell John

Germinating weather— Mr Thornton the Minister of the foundery methodist chapel preached this morning, at the second Presbyterian church, for Mr Wood— His text was from 1. John 2.1—[“]If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous. 2. And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” A regular calvinistic discourse of the old presbyterian school— Jesus is here an Advocate with the father; being himself the propitiation for the sins of the whole world— But if he is the advocate how can he be the judge? and if he is the judge how can he be the propitiation? The rigid calvinists consider the atonement by the death of the man Christ Jesus, as the vital part of Christianity, and that whoever disbelieves it is no Christian.— It is an example of what the human mind may be brought to believe as a creed in conflict with common sense— It is too absurd to bear one ray of the Sunbeam concentrated through the burning glass of reason— There is an atonement for sin by the blood of Christ, proclaimed in the New Covenant, and largely set forth in the Epistles of Paul. But it is not the calvinistic creed— Mr Thornton urged with great earnestness that repentance could of itself have any efficacy to obtain the pardon of sin— But what is sin? Lucretia Motte to convince me that nothing less than the immediate abolition of Slavery could satisfy her, said to me—why ’tis a Sin! Now if it be a Sin, has it been atoned for by the blood of Christ? and if it has been atoned for, what need is there either for the abolition of Slavery, or for repentance to take away the Sin? The most incomprehensible thing to me in the calvinistic atonement is how the crucifixion of Jesus more than 1800 years ago, could atone for all the sins of all mankind from that time forth till the end of the world— Mr Thornton said he had promised Mr Wood that he would see to his pulpit’s being supplied during his absence— And as Bishop Waugh would preach for him at the foundery chapel this morning, he had concluded to take Mr Wood’s place himself— After the service, walking home I witnessed a greeting between Mr Thornton, and Mr Penrose of Pennsylvania the new Solicitor of the Treasury.— They had been old acquaintance at Carlisle— After dinner at St. John’s Church, Mr Hawley read the Evening prayer for the 5th. Sunday in Lent, and preached from Job 31.14. “What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him?” Well was it for Mr Hawley that with this verse he did not take the one immediately before and the one immediately after it. Mr John Connell was here this evening, much improved in Spirits; but he says the President is in great perplexity about the appointment of a Collector of the Customs at Philadelphia— The President has been yesterday and this day confined to his bed with a vernal chill— I received this evening a Letter from Mr Lewis Tappan of New-York and another from Messrs. Jocelyn, Leavitt and Tappan the Committee for the Amistad captives, which furnishes matter for much deliberation, and deliberate meditation for me.