... The Arguments in favour of Independence I liked very well: but one third of the Book was filled with Arguments from the old Testiment, to prove the Unlawfulness of Monarchy, and another Third, in planning a form of Government, for the seperate States in One Assembly, and for the United States, in a Congress. His Arguments from the old Testiment, were ridiculous, but whether they proceeded from honest Ignorance,
andor foolish [Superstition] on one hand, or from willfull Sophistry and knavish Hypocricy on the otherI know not.
I told him further, that his Reasoning from the Old Testament was ridiculous, and I could hardly think him sincere. At this he laughed, and said he had taken his Ideas in that part from Milton: and then expressed a Contempt of the Old Testament and indeed of the Bible at large, which surprized me. ...
Saturday, January 25, 2014
John Adams on Thomas Paine's "Common Sense"
Adams wrote about it in his autobiography, accessible here. [Hat tip to Eric Nelson's new paper.] As Adams noted: