Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Saturday. 12th.

Monday. 14th.

Sunday. 13th. CFA Sunday. 13th. CFA
Sunday. 13th.

Morning cold but it moderated in the course of the day. I did nothing excepting my regular duties. Attended Divine Service all day and heard Mr. Putnam of Roxbury preach. Morning discourse from Romans 10. 10. “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness.” Upon morality and religion, the difference between them and the connexion, with a discussion of the prevailing tendencies to infidelity. A very good subject, tolerably well treated. Afternoon. Ecclesiastes 3. 1. “To every thing there is a season.” Subject, amusement and occupation, the business of life and it’s pleasures. Mr. Putnam is on the whole a pretty tolerable thinker. He discriminates justly and though I find in him few new or very forcible ideas, he has nevertheless old ones very sensibly presented.1

Read a Sermon of Massillon’s upon false confidence, in other words, upon trusting in faith without works. This is one of the few points in which the Catholics seem to have been right in the great quarrel with the primitive Reformers. The text of this Sermon is from Luke 24. 21. “We trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel.” 10The belief of the Jews, from whence a natural transition to the existing generation. Two points—Such a trust without any labour to second it is extreme folly. It is extreme boldness. The discourse is a sensible one. Evening passed at home. I read Ruffhead, and Gardiner Gorham came in for an hour.2

1.

The powers of Rev. George Putnam are here rated at a somewhat higher value than on earlier occasions; see vol. 3:412–413.

2.

The three children of the late Dr. John Gorham, Julia, John Warren, and Gardner, were not only distant relatives of ABA but intimates of the household (vol. 3:55; 4:395).