Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Saturday. 24th.

Monday. 26th.

Sunday. 25th. CFA Sunday. 25th. CFA
Sunday. 25th.

Cold but clear this morning. I consumed my leisure time in reading Vasari’s life of Corregio in Italian. I find it easier than Ariosto. This language is too easy to get thoroughly. I can never read a page without feeling enervated. The labour of examining thoroughly becomes so annoying when it is required seldom.

Attended divine Service all day. Mr. Greenwood preached in the morning from Revelation, 11. 12. “And they heard a great voice from heaven, saying, Come up hither.” Mr. Greenwood has a flowing style, considerable power of language and some imagination. But he has not a particle of vigour of thought and he consumes himself quicker than any of our Clergy. A few pretty words upon the nature of creation, upon the beauty of holiness derived from the view of God’s works, all of which may be found condensed in a few lines of Milton, and all is told. Yet Mr. Greenwood is a popular preacher, and is ranked before Mr. Frothingham. The sermon of the latter person in the afternoon was better than any thing of Greenwood’s I ever heard. It was taken from 2. Thess. 3. 13. “But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.” It was upon the duty of benevolence, and considering the two favourite objections which are commonly made against it. First, the great multiplicity of its objects which make selection difficult, second, the abuses which frequently take place in the employment of funds derived from 406benevolent people. There was no particular novelty in the ideas nor art in the management of them, but there was penetration into the every day feelings of men and consequent practical excellence. In this world of our’s where there is such a vast deal of humbug, such an immense portion of stuff brought forward merely because each man thinks himself able to give the world a shove, it is refreshing to alight occasionally upon a little plain, natural good sense.

Read a Sermon of Massillon’s. Text. John 7. 6. “My time is not yet come, but your time is alway ready.” This was upon future happiness. Division two fold. 1. He considered the indifference manifested in securing it, as contrasted with the eager pursuit of temporal affairs, 2. the apathy as to the selection of the true and only way to attain it, the mistakes which are constantly occurring in the choice of a path, being occasioned by the easy satisfaction with which people remain as they happen to be placed.

Quiet evening. Read Undine with my Wife. We also again pursue the regular Chapters of the Bible as heretofore when at home. Read also a good deal of Vasari’s life of Corregio with the supplement.