Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Saturday. 17th.

Monday. 19th.

Sunday. 18th. CFA Sunday. 18th. CFA
Sunday. 18th.

On this day I complete twenty six years of my Life. Another year has been added since I recurred to the self examination which the occasion creates, and that year has been full of mercies to me. I was then under the feeling of awe which the visitation of a new and fearfully pestilential disease created in the Community, and attempting to reason myself into calmness for the event.1 The disease passed over us lightly. I was then feeling much anxiety as to the prospects I had before me in life. My uneasiness has diminished. I have done but little to deserve my prosperity, it is true. I am no further advanced in the estimation of the world than I was, yet my morbid sensitiveness about it has diminished. My worldly prosperity so far as it depends upon pecuniary matters has increased again in a most extraordinary and unlooked for degree, yet I hope I am not unduly elated or excessively rejoiced. The causes of my anxiety upon this subject are now to a considerable extent removed. I feel in hopes that futurity will not be quite so serious as I had thought it, yet such creatures of the dust as we are, I know that the only rational foundation for such hopes is not to be seen in the exertions we may make, but it must be traced in unerring 151faith in the benevolence of a supreme being who builds up as he destroys from motives as inscrutable as they are just. I will do as I have done. I will endeavour in all humility to deserve my blessings. I will try to fulfill the duties for which I was created. While my conscience can seem to my examination tolerably void of offence in serious matters, I shall be little anxious as to the decision of the world. And while I am so bountifully provided with the goods of this world, I will not seek to repine for any thing that may have been denied me. Indeed I know not what more I ought to desire.

The day was fine. I attended divine Service all day and heard Mr. Whitney from whom I derived but little benefit. He has not mind enough to make his discourses interesting. And he has a particular tendency in his doctrines which he does not perceive but which does not make me relish them the more.

Read a Sermon or rather a Eulogy in the French style upon the Arch-Bishop of Vienna, M. Villars. Ecclesiasticus 51. 15 and following. “My foot went the right way, from my youth up sought I after her, earnestly I followed that which is good and my heart was troubled, therefore have I gotten a good possession.” It is not in the style of the Panegyrics. These are exhortations to the living drawn from the examples of the Dead. The Eulogy is strictly in praise and honor of the dead. It appeared to me that in many respects this was a very fine example. He considered him in three lights, as a man of unblemished moral purity, as a good churchman in his responsible capacity, as the beneficent dispenser of his worldly goods. Much especially in the second division was calculated to thunder in the French Pulpit and Ecclesiastical world.

Evening quiet at home. The Ladies went out to make a visit or two. I read the Mirror.

1.

The journal entries of Aug. and Sept. 1832 which refer to the epidemic of cholera in Boston are merely factual, revealing nothing of the agitation here spoken of. See vol. 4:341–361  passim.