John Quincy Adams: “Duty is Ours; Results are God’s”


Prof. William Wagner

WFFC Distinguished Chair for Faith & Freedom at SAU

John Quincy Adams served as our nation’s sixth President. A brilliant lawyer and statesman, he knew the importance of permanent principles (i.e., the moral absolutes God reveals in His Word and places on the human heart). He expressed it this way:

The laws of nature and of nature’s God…of course presupposes the existence of a God, the moral ruler of the universe, and a rule of right and wrong, of just and unjust,binding upon man, preceding all institutions of human society and of government.

Through this worldview, Adams understood the Truth that all human life has inherent value. Inherent value because it is made in the image of God. Knowing this truth, he fought to end the institution of slavery throughout his life. Even after serving as president, he ran for Congress – and continued the fight there until his death.

While never attaining the goal, he never gave up. When asked how he persevered in the face of ever-present hostile opposition, he wisely observed: “Duty is ours. Results are God’s.”

Passing the Torch – Adams to Lincoln

The young Representative Abraham Lincoln served with the aging John Quincy Adams for 3 months in the 30th Congress. Together they shared the common goal of ending slavery.

Adams died in the House Chamber on February 23, 1848.  Lincoln served on the Committee of Arrangements for Adam’s funeral … and as an honorary pallbearer. He then picked up the torch carried by Adams, eventually rising to the Presidency in 1861. Two years later, invoking the favor of Almighty God, Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

Our Calling

To those fighting to protect the most vulnerable in our culture: the poor, the hungry the unborn and the elderly…

To those fighting to preserve the freedoms of speech and religious conscience, or the right to defend our families….

Remember, you stand on the shoulders of giants.  Giants like Adams and Lincoln. When you grow weary, see the big picture, like they did.

Never give up. Steadfastly sustain the fight, if necessary leaving it to another generation to stand on your shoulders to finish it.   Duty is ours; results are God’s.

#Salt & Light Global

About the Author

Prof. William Wagner
WFFC Distinguished Chair for Faith & Freedom at SAU
Professor Wagner holds the WFFC Distinguished Chair for Faith & Freedom at Spring Arbor University. He has a special interest in building and preserving environments where Christians may share the Good News of Jesus, free from persecution and oppression.

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