Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Saturday. 9th.

Monday. 11th.

Sunday. 10th. CFA Sunday. 10th. CFA
Sunday. 10th.

Mild and cloudy. A thaw seems to be taking place as if to remind us of the passage of the Winter. I passed an hour looking over the engravings of the Galerie de l’Hermitage de St. Petersbourg.1 Some of them are very good. Attended divine Service all day and heard Mr. James Walker of Charlestown preach.2 In the morning from Hebrews 12. 22. 23 and 24th. The Text is too long to extract. The subject was the immortality of the social affections. A pleasing idea, very pleasingly managed. Afternoon. 139 Psalm 23–4. “Search me, O God, and know my heart, try me and know my thoughts.” “And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Upon 27purity of thought. I remember distinct portions of this discourse, but have no idea of it as a whole. Mr. Walker is an agreeable as well as a sensible Preacher. I know few of the Clergy who rank above him. I afterwards read a Sermon by Massillon from Matthew 11. 6. “Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.” It was upon the utility of afflictions. He considered the natural effect of them as injured by three excuses prevailing in the world. 1. That people were too weak to bear them, which arose from the want of resolution in themselves. 2. That the afflictions themselves were excessive which is an injurious charge against the Deity. 3. That the incapacity to bear them excused all purpose of improvement. This Sermon shows conclusively what I have so often said, the bad effect of a perpetual division in heads. The same general idea runs through the whole. Evening quiet at home. Read Ruffhead, and afterwards Wieland.


A copy of Musée Imperiale de l’Hermitage, Notice sur les tableaux, St. Petersburg, 1818, remains at the Athenaeum.


Rev. James Walker, whose wife was a cousin of ABA, was later President of Harvard College; see vol. 3:113.