Clear and cold morning. Passed an hour in copying, after which I attended Divine Service at Mr. Frothingham’s and heard him from John 6. 27. “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth to everlasting life.” I was not quite so attentive as usual from the fact of my being drowsy in consequence of broken rest. The subject seemed to me to distinguish the exertion described in the latter portion of the text, and the necessity not to forget the former but to make it secondary.
Mr. Ripley preached in the afternoon from John 17. 17. “Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth.” An endeavour to prove that all sin is falsehood, or in other words that sinners in pursuing vicious indulgences put themselves in a false position both as to this world and the next. Mr. Ripley was a College Scholar. There was hope and promise in his University success. He is a respectable though quite a dull preacher.1 Such are the changes of this life.
I went home and read the second Sermon in the Collection of Atterbury, preached upon the occasion of some meeting of a Charitable Institution in London. 1. Peter 4. 8. “Charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” There is a great deal of admirable sense in it—Strong practi-207cal merit which after all is better than flash. He first discusses the meaning of the words, maintains his own construction, justifies it from objection and draws his inferences from it. He in fact maintains the doctrine of works which was then unpopular in England against the Presbyterian idea of grace. And I confess I agree with him. Evening, conversation and copying the Letter to Govr. Lincoln.
On Rev. George Ripley, later prominent in Transcendentalism, see vol. 3:149.