John Quincy Adams was born to John and Abigail Adams in Braintree, Massachusetts on July 11, 1767.
He was in politics almost his entire life, starting when he was 11. At that age, he was sent to join his father who was serving as U.S. Minister to France.
When he was 14, Congress appointed him secretary to U.S. Minister in the Court of Catherine the Great, St. Petersburg, Russia. He returned home to graduate from Harvard in 1788.
He was U.S. Minister to the Netherlands, Russia, and Great Britain. In Great Britain he negotiated the treaty of Ghent which ended the war of 1812. Among other things, he was U.S. Senator, Massachusetts State Senator, Secretary of State, and Professor at Harvard.
John Quincy Adams was a stout Christian. He quoted Scripture profusely, and made it a rule to read the Bible every day.
In a letter to his son in 1811, he mentions:
So great is my veneration for the Bible, and so strong my belief, that when duly read and meditated on, it is of all books in the world, that which contributes most to make men good, wise, and happy …. It is in the Bible, you must learn them, and from the Bible how to practice them. Those duties are to God, to your fellow-creatures, and to yourself. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength, and thy neighbor as thy self.” On these two commandments, Jesus Christ expressly says, “hang all the law and the prophets”; that is to say, the whole purpose of Divine Revelation is to inculcate them efficaciously upon the minds of men ….
Let us, then, search the Scriptures …. The Bible contains the revelation of the will of God. It contains the history of the creation of the world, and of mankind; and afterward the history of one peculiar nation, certainly the most extraordinary nation that has ever appeared upon the earth.
It contains a system of religion, and of morality, which we may examine upon its own merits, independent of the sanction it receives from being the Word of God.”
When John Quincy Adams was eighty years of age a friend said to him: "Well, how is John Quincy Adams?" "Thank you," he said, "John Quincy Adams is quite well. But the house where he lives is becoming dilapidated. It is tottering. Time and the seasons have nearly destroyed it, and it is becoming quite uninhabitable. I shall have to move out soon. But John Quincy Adams is quite well, thank you." At death he said: "This is the last of earth. I am content."
Towards the end of his life, he said that his favorite prayer was “Now I lay me down to sleep.” He said that it most suited him, and expected every night to say it for the last time. He died on February 23, 1848.
Federer, W. J. Great Quotations (St. Louis, MO: AmeriSearch, 2001).
10,000 Sermon Illustrations. electronic ed. (Dallas: Biblical Studies Press, 2000.)
Other sources lost