Wednesday, May 9, 2012

John Quincy Adams

"The duty is ours, the results are God's."

These are the famous words spoken by the 6th president of the United States. They have inspired me and I wanted to share a little about a figure who is little remembered by history.

Did you know that John Quincy Adams was serving his county at the age of 14? Yes, indeed, he is an example of a young man who lived 1 Timothy 4:12 that says:
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
He was the assistant and translator to the colonial representative to Russia during the Revolutionary War. After about a year his mother (who was very controlling and critical of him her whole life) insisted that he come back to civilization-his father was the ambassador to the Dutch-to continue his education. JQA grew a lot in Russia learning to be independent and a self learner (feasting on the small Saint Petersburg library), but it was his greatest regret that he "wasted" so much time that he could have been in Harvard. He felt a duty to follow in his father's footsteps.

John Quincy Adams' presidency was a political disaster. He entered office under a cloud, and he didn't do himself any favors. He down right refused to do anything that looked, smelled, or could possibly be construed to be political. He lost his reelection and left office sad and dejected.

But this is where the story gets good. When his life was at its worst, God stepped in and brought meaning and excitement.

JQA was elected to congress and found a cause. He was no longer in it for himself. He found something bigger than his life that was worth fighting for. He began to fight against slavery (he is rightly called the American Wilberforce) and for the right of the American people to petition their government. The dull man who could not inspire a crowd of fans began to give rousing speeches on the floor of the Congress. He became the most inspired congressman who would bring applause from the audience and shouts of rage from his enemies.

JQA's greatest triumph was when he argued on behalf of slaves in the famous Supreme Court case United States v. The Amistad Africans. He argued before a hostile court packed with his political enemies. But his conviction and arguments that surpassed merely standing on legal doctrine and appealed to natural law and basic morality won the day.

John Quincy Adams is a hero because he is a great example of a man who had all the success that life and station could give and was unable to make much of it, but when he found God's call he became a pillar of American history. God can use anyone who is willing to follow His call. That is a hero.

Post by Jeremiah Lorrig

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