I have shown Mr Temple the most substantial Acts of Friendship in my Power; yet I must own to you I have been somewhat embarassd. A Delegate of the Massachusetts Bay who has been heard to say that “Jealousy is the best Security of publick Liberty,” has been called upon in a publick News Paper “to be cautious of too frequently exchanging Visits with J T Esqr who is suspected to be a Spy” &c. I have no Reason to think it was a friendly Caution; but rather that it was designd to bring an odious Suspicion on the Delegate himself. But though he feels a Contempt of such Kind of Publications, he has learnd that it is Wisdom to receive Instruction even from an Enemy. I have said that Jealousy is the best Security of publick Liberty. I have expressd my Fears that America is too unsuspecting long to preserve Republican Liberty. I do not suspect Mr Temple; but I have been under the Necessity of violating my own Inclination to pay every kind of Respect due to that Gentleman, or risque the consistent Character which a Delegate of that State ought to support in the Opinion of Congress, of the Minister of France and the People of America. I have converst with that Minister on this Occasion; and I have Reason to think we concur in opinion, that however pure the Views & Intentions of any Gentleman may be, yet if a Suspicion generally prevails that he is secretly employd by the British Court his continuing to reside near the Congress may make improper Impressions on the Minds of our Friends abroad. Mr Temple left this City yesterday.
I congratulate you my dear Sir on our Countrys having thus far sustaind the glorious Conflict. Our Independence, I think, is secured. Whether America shall long preserve her Freedom or not, will depend on her Virtue.
I cannot conclude this tedious Epistle without expressing an ardent Wish for the full Recovery of your Health and bespeaking another & another of your Favors.
I am with most respectful Compliments to your Lady & Family,
Your very affectionate Friend
& humble Servt,
[Ms., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]
Philadelphia Decr 25 1778