Let me briefly share with you this fascinating story regarding Independence Day and three of our Founding Fathers: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Rush.
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were close friends during the American Revolution. Both worked together to help form the new American republic and became good friends along the way.
But by the time Adams retired from the presidency, his bond with Jefferson had disintegrated into a bitterly adversative relationship over the French Revolution. The feud weighed heavily on Adams for decades.
The Prophetic Dream of Dr. Rush
Dr. Benjamin Rush, a fellow Founding Father and mutual friend of Adams and Jefferson, was upset by their dispute. In 1809, several months after Jefferson retired from the presidency, Dr. Rush had a dream. He described it in a letter to John Adams on October 17, 1809.
"What book is that in your hands?" said I to my son Richard a few nights ago in a dream. "It is the history of the United States," said he. "Shall I read a page of it to you?" "No, no," said I. "I believe in the truth of no history but in that which is contained in the Old and New Testaments." "But, sir," said my son, "this page relates to your friend Mr. Adams." "Let me see it then," said I. I read it with great pleasure and herewith send you a copy of it.
The dream turned out to be highly prophetic.
The dream described Adams and Jefferson living out their latter years at each of their respective homesteads. This happened. But here's where it gets interesting: It went on to describe how Adams and Jefferson would one day begin corresponding with each other through letters again, and after thirty plus years of silence, rekindle their friendship.Keep in mind that when Dr. Rush shared his dream with Adams and Jefferson, both were still not communicating. But this is exactly what happened. Both Adams and Jefferson listened to Dr. Rush with an open heart and renewed their warm friendship through a series of elegant letters that expressed genuine reconciliation.
This dream by Dr. Rush did contain some amazingly accurate predictions. Not only did Adams and Jefferson become close friends again, they also did write each other for "several years" as the dream predicted. And yes, the "world was favored with a sight of the letters," as large volumes of their correspondences have been published.
The Most Incredible Part of the Dream
Here is how this ties in with Independence Day. In Dr. Rush's own words, his dream ended with this prophecy: These gentlemen [Adams and Jefferson] sunk into the grave nearly at the same time, full of years and rich in the gratitude and praises of their country.
Remarkably, that is what happened. On July 4, 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died within three hours of each other.
A coincidence? I, along with Christian historians like David Barton, don't think so.
Soon, we will once again celebrate Independence Day (also known as the Fourth of July). Most Americans know the basic history behind this holiday—we commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the establishment of the United States of America. Both historical points are worth remembering.
But there is much more providential history attached to this holiday just waiting to be discovered. I encourage you to take a closer look at the dream of Dr. Rush and other fascinating facts behind Independence Day.