Summer and Winter, as seen by Henry Adams

From The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams:

“Winter and summer, then, were two hostile lives, and bred two separate natures.  Winter was always the effort to live; summer was tropical license. Whether the children rolled in the grass, or waded in the brook, or swam in the salt ocean, or sailed in the bay, or fished for smelts in the creeks, or netted minnows in the salt-marshes, or took to the pine-woods and the granite quarries, or chased musk-rats and hunted snapping turtles in the swamps, or mushrooms or nuts on the autumn hills, summer and country were always sensual living, while winter was always compulsory learning. Summer was the multiplicity of nature; winter was school.”

I am trying to amend a long over-due need to become acquainted with the writings of Henry Adams, the grandson of President John Quincy Adams and the great-grandson of President John Adams.  Henry Adams was quite remarkable for the range and depth of his own writings.

Morning Breaks

Each day, God blesses us with new evidences of His goodness and mercy.  He has blessed my morning today, in spite of the aches and pains and sleepiness that weighs me down.

First, my friend P. Andrew Sandlin posted this stirring quote from the great Christian philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd:


Scripture says, “Not many wise are called.” Herman Dooyeweerd was one of the wise who was called.

“Consider the cost of taking this radically scriptural Christianity seriously. Ask yourself which side you must join in the tense spiritual battle of our times. Compromise is not an option. A middle-of-the-road stance is not possible. Either the ground motive of the christian religion works radically in our lives or we serve other gods. If the antithesis is too radical for you, ask yourself whether a less radical Christianity is not like salt that has lost its savour. I state the antithesis as radically as I do so that we may again experience the full double-edged sharpness and power of God’s Word. You must experience the antithesis as a spiritual storm that strikes lightning into your life and that clears the sultry air. If you do not experience it as a spiritual power requiring the surrender of your whole heart, then it will bear no fruit in your life. Then you will stand apart from the great battle the antithesis always instigates. You yourself cannot wage this battle. Rather, the spiritual dynamic of the Word of God wages the struggle in us and pulls us along despite our ‘flesh and blood.’”

Second, I was perusing and re-reading from and re-enjoying a great book on the only clergyman who signed the Declaration of Independence, John Witherspoon.  Witherspoon, a Presbyterian and a Scotsman, is one of the greatest and most neglected Founding Fathers of the United States.

The book I was reading from is John Witherspoon and the Founding of the American Republic by Jeffry H. Morrison.  Read it twice several years ago and made underlinings and notes in the book.  It is a great study.