Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Saturday. 22d.

Monday. 24th.

Sunday. 23d. CFA Sunday. 23d. CFA
Sunday. 23d.

The day was mild and beautiful. I passed my morning in reading Miss Edgeworth’s Practical Education until the arrival of my father and Mother who came from Quincy for the day. We had fixed this as the time for the public baptism of our Child. Mr. Frothingham had appeared inclined to have me pursue this course and therefore I did. My own aversion to public exhibitions is so great that I should not myself have inclined much to it.

Mrs. Frothingham had hers christened at the same time. After much consideration, I concluded to have mine named from my Mother, Louisa Catherine.1 This was not my first choice. But my Wife seemed so very little pleased with the idea of her own name, that I thought proper to give up. We got through the Ceremony well,2 and I offered up my Prayers solemnly and humbly to the Almighty Power, that he would look with mercy and with favour upon this new Servant of his, that he would teach her the ways of wisdom and virtue, and that he would sustain her Parents in their endeavours to guide themselves and those who depend on them in a strait forward and upright course. I hope I feel the responsibility and the proper gratitude with humility for all kindness, which has been showered upon me. Mr. Frothingham’s manner was impressive. His Sermon afterwards was from Titus. 2. 14. “He gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself, a peculiar people, Zealous of good works.” The subject was an examination of the Christian morality 162and of it’s influence upon the World. He defined its nature, and the difference in its application from any morality before known containing the same general precepts. He then described the two excesses in which sects are apt to follow. The one ascribing too much effect to the operation of the Christian Dispensation and the other too little. And then proceeded to define wherein he thought the truth actually was. This was done with Judgment and discrimination. And on the whole I thought the Sermon more than usually striking.

My father, mother and Miss Roberdeau dined with us and the first went to Meeting again with me in the afternoon. Mr. Greenwood preached from Psalm 42d. 2. “When shall I come and appear before God.” There was little in the Sermon beyond the old subject of a prepared state of mind. I never heard him when I thought him so sleepy. The Afternoon was passed with the family. I read after they returned to Quincy, leaving Miss Roberdeau and Mrs. Nowlan with us, a Sermon of Massillon upon Conversion. Text from 2. Corinthians 6. 2. “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” The substance of it was that no time was to be lost in devoting one’s self to the service of the true God. But I read it with less preciseness than any yet; owing to the derangement of my time.

Evening, Miss Roberdeau went out. Edward Blake came in and passed the larger part of the Evening with us. I was glad to see him and we had a pleasant talk. After he went I took a walk to Mrs. Frothingham’s for Miss Roberdeau but did not find her. Read Miss Edgeworth and the Spectator.

1.

The baptisms of Louisa Catherine Adams [LCA2) and of Ann Brooks Frothingham are entered in the records of the First Church in Boston (Col. Soc. Mass., Pubns. , 40:452).

2.

“The two Sisters held their own Children. Mr. Frothingham took his child into his own arms and Charles held his. The Service began with these baptisms” (JQA, Diary, 23 Oct.).