Monday, August 17, 2009

Who Said, "Government Must Be Administered by the Holy Ghost"?

According to John Adams, government is not legitimate if not administered by the Holy Ghost. In a letter from John Adams to Benjamin Rush, December 21, 1809, we find this paragraph:

But my friend there is something very serious in this business. The Holy Ghost carries on the whole Christian system in this Earth. Not a baptism, not a marriage, not a Sacrament can be administered but by the Holy Ghost, who is transmitted from age to age by laying the hands of the Bishop on the heads of candidates for the Ministry. In the same manner as the Holy Ghost is transmitted from monarch to monarch by the holy oil in the vial at Rheims which was brought down from Heaven by a dove and by that other phial [vial] which I have seen in the Tower of London. There is no authority civil or religious: There can be no legitimate government but what is administered by this Holy Ghost. There can be no salvation without it. All without it is rebellion and perdition, or in more orthodox words damnation. Although this is all artifice and cunning in the secret original in the heart, yet they all believe it so sincerely that they would lie down their lives under the ax or the fiery fagots [wood used for burning individuals at the stake] for it. Alas, the poor weak ignorant dupe human nature. There is so much king craft, priest craft, gentlemen’s craft, people’s craft, doctors craft, lawyers craft, merchants craft, tradesmen’s craft, laborers craft and Devil’s craft in the world that it seems a desperate and impractical project to undeceive it.

Do you suppose we would find such language today in a letter between Congressmen or Senators?

Read the whole letter (and see an image of the actual manuscript) here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

John Adams was actually saying the opposite. He did not think government should be administered by the Holy Ghost.