Episode 399: Political Psychology: Lost Words and Meanings

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I was going to bring you the Political psychology of Samuel Adams in his November 25, 1790 letter to John Adams, but as I looked deeply into the communications betweenLost Words and Meanings Sam and his cousin in context, I had to do a last minute change up what this program should be about.

My marked up content of the letter, which you can find here, had so many words in our present time that are either lost in use or meaning, that it became clear to me that our modern society could not understand what was written. Therefore I have added a glossary of words into the References for this program. We have lost a common language to the Marxists egalitarian Godless evil people of our present. I spoke of the time of Noah last week and with reading a number of this weeks, so called, news articles – I can assure you that we are a completely morally bankrupt nation and world, most notably as a result of those who profess Christ having failed, for at least a century, in fighting for what is now Lost Words and Meanings.

Therefore, the political psychology of Sam Adams is not comprehensible by most moderns. With that in mind, I wanted to spare you my discussion of Sam’s political psychology so that, as some say, I will not talk over anyones heads. Not knowing the common words of the Founding era nor having the understanding of their definitions, does cause the content to seem to have wings which carry what is being said into the clouds of nescience.

I open the program with this quote from Sam’s April 1772 article that is pertinent to our present time.

The Lost Words and Meanings of Liberty

The depth of Sam’s Love of Liberty and Country is fostered by his Reformed Puritan Biblical beliefs. Few if any of the modern writers consider that Sam purposefully used political psychology in that he understood the ‘doctrine of the nature and properties of the soul.’1

About Sam as noted at his funeral:

He became at once the most influential member of the Legislature. He was the soul that animated that respected body to their most important resolutions and to their unequivocal opposition to every unjust claim and innovation made by the corrupt ministers of Great Britain. In cases where other great and good men were perplexed and apprehensive that this ardor for liberty would hasten, not defeat, the design of despotism, this illustrious patriot remained undismayed. Aut Caesar aut nullus, was his maxim. He wished either to see his country completely emancipated from every unjust, unconstitutional claim, or else that it might become the common sepulchre of its inhabitants. For slavery and dependence he abhorred, even in their mildest and most polished form.” – pg xxx Life & Public Service Vol. 1

Regarding the taking of the Castle William (now called Fort Independence) in the Boston Harbor:

The harangues by Samuel Adams were founded in justice; and whether the reports of his inflaming the minds of the people were true or not, it was time that the public should be awake to this fatal stab at their liberties. The seizure of the Castle was the first step in the system of armed coercion. Samuel Adams saw in it another approach towards the goal for which his soul longed ; for, to his imagination, the dawning tints of American Independence were abeady discernible in the political horizon. – pg 398 Life & Public Service Vol. 1

Sam’s presentation of causes or tyranny, an appeal and solution for our present generation. Take this excerpt from Sam’s April 1772 article to heart:

” Is it not high time for the people of this country explicitly to declare whether they will be freemen or slaves? It is an important question, which ought to be decided. It concerns us more than anything in this life. The salvation of our souls is interested in the event; for wherever tyranny is established, immorality of every kind comes in like a torrent. It is the interest of tyrants to reduce the people to ignorance and vice, for they cannot live in any country where virtue and knowledge prevail. The religion and public liberty of the people are intimately connected: their interests are interwoven; they cannot subsist separately, and, therefore, they rise and fall together. For this reason, it is always observable that those who are combined to destroy the people’s liberties practise every art to poison their morals. How greatly then does it concern us, at all events, to put a stop to the progress of tyranny. It has advanced already by far too many strides. We are this moment upon a precipice. The next step may be fatal to us. Let us, then, act like wise men, calmly look around us, and consider what is best to be done. Let us converse together upon this most interesting subject, and open our minds freely to each other. Let it be the topic of conversation in every social club. Let every town assemble. Let associations and combinations be everywhere set up to consult and recover our just rights.

‘The country claims our active aid.

That let us roam; and where we find a spark

Of public virtue, blow it into flame.’ “

Reclaiming Lost Words and Meanings

I want to remind you of the Founders definition and understanding of psychology – from Websters 1828 dictionary:

‘PSYCHOL’OGY, noun [Gr. soul, and discourse.] A discourse or treatise on the human soul; or the doctrine of the nature and properties of the soul.’

Last week I also gave you the Founder’s definition and understanding of ‘soul.’ As I continued to prepare for this wee, I found that the definition of man’s soul as defined by Webster is for the most part the definition that John Calvin give in his Institutes of Religion: 1.15.3-8. As I mentioned, these truths in word meaning have been virtually destroyed by humanism and modern psychology.

I will not have time to take you through my full exegetic perspective of Sam Adams 1790 letter to John Adams. Here is the link to that letter. I will do my best this week to relate that we are already at war within our society and governing bodies. We have elected some champions but the bureaucratic state is so entrenched with evil that we must engage as Sam Adams would have us do, beginning with humbly calling the God of the Bible to give wisdom and bolster confidence to act in that wisdom for the sake of Liberty.

Etymology of Foundational vocabulary

The etymology of our lost words are forgotten or bastardized by moderns. With that, let me now dive into several words that Sam uses in his letter to his cousin, which are significant when we consider Foundational political psychology. I will always use Webster’s 1828 dictionary for foundational word definitions and context clarity.

You already have the definitions of psychology and soul. For this program I’m digging into the first couple of paragraphs of Sam’s letter. We really won’t have time to explore more than that. The remaining paragraphs are the deeper dive into the study of the soul and spirit of human politics that are relevant in our age as well.

To the definitions:


adjective [supra.] Pertaining to policy, or to civil government and its administration. political measures or affairs are measures that respect the government of a nation or state. So we say, political power or authority; political wisdom; a political scheme; political opinions. A good prince is the political father of his people. The founders of a state and wise senators are also called political fathers.

1. Pertaining to a nation or state, or to nations or states, as distinguished from civil or municipal; as in the phrase, political and civil rights, the former comprehending rights that belong to a nation, or perhaps to a citizen as an individual of a nation; and the latter comprehending the local rights of a corporation or any member of it.

2ndSovereign (sovereignty): a partial listing of the definitions –

SOVEREIGN, adjective suv’eran. [We retain this babarous orthography from the Norman sovereign The true spelling would be suveran from the Latin supernes, superus.]

1. Supreme in power; possessing supreme dominion; as a sovereign ruler of the universe.

2. Supreme; superior to all others; chief. God is the sovereign good of all who love and obey him.

3. Supremely efficacious; superior to all others; predominant; effectual; as a sovereign remedy.

SOVEREIGN, noun suv’eran.

1. A supreme lord or ruler; one who possesses the highest authority without control. Some earthly princes, kings and emperors are sovereigns in their dominions.


noun [well and fare, a good faring; G.]

1. Exemption from misfortune, sickness, calamity or evil; the enjoyment of health and the common blessings of life; prosperity; happiness; applied to persons.

2. Exemption from any unusual evil or calamity; the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, or the ordinary blessings of society and civil government; applied to states.

Follow this link for a full list of definitions that are important to understand this letter and how political psychology and Christian theology are expounded in it.

I discuss an additional number of the words in the second Segment of the program.

Sam Adams Wisdom

I am discussing the opening paragraphs of Sam’s letter to cousin John in the third segment. Here is the link again to my marked up version of the letter.

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1. Glossary of Words

2. Remainder of References Embedded in the body of the newsletter.

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1Definition of psychology from Websters 1828 Dictionary.

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