Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Saturday. 11th.

Monday. 13th.

Sunday. 12th. CFA Sunday. 12th. CFA
Sunday. 12th.

A cloudy day with a few drops of rain and now and then a misty dampness in the air. I occupied an hour or two in work upon books and attended divine Service all day. A gentleman preached whose name I do not know. His first text was from Acts 20. 24 upon fortitude, the other from Luke 17.21 the kingdom of God. They were neither of them remarkable and both quite respectable.

Read a Sermon of Massillon’s for the Anniversary of the Assumption of the Virgin. Text from the Song of Solomon, 1.6. or rather 7 as it stands in our translation. “Tell me, O thou, whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon.” He considered the death of Mary as affording her 1. consolation. 2. glory—Consolation for the indifference expressed towards her by Jesus, for the slights and injuries received by him from the Jewish People, for the length of her stay upon earth, glory as a compensation for her abasement on earth, by her state of privation, of dependence and of disgraceful suspicion. This is one of the Sermons which I do not admire. It gives such mournful ideas of the state of a religious man. It expresses such a conviction of his miserable state of unhappiness in this world, that I wonder how any man can think well of his God who believes it. The Saviour expresses no worldly affections because he had none. Mary was like all other women, a sinful being and the attempt to make her more so arises from the natural infirmity of humanity which lays stress upon the ties of birth. The Saviour in this as in every thing else must be excepted from the general rule. The mystery of the birth of Christ is one of those things I never pretend to rest upon. Inexplicable as it is in every point of view, I prefer to let it remain so, satisfied with the divine nature of the mission 88and its beneficent purpose. Mr. Degrand was here all day. Evening quietly at home.