Morning snowy and quite cold. I attended divine Service all day. Heard in the morning Mr. Frothingham. Psalms 55. 14. “We took sweet counsel together and walked into the House of God in company.” A review of Parish history for the year—Baptisms, Communicants and Deaths: 13, 2, and 24. Some remarks of a very excellent practical character upon the custom of private Baptism. As this list includes these cases, it is very apparent, that the number of those never baptised at all must be considerable. He added some observations upon the Communion which I took for consideration. My opinions upon that subject are not slightly formed, and the experience of the last year has strengthened them. My passions are too strong yet, to risk the double damnation of violated vows.
Afternoon. Mr. Gilman again. Psalms 57. 7. “My heart is fixed, O, God, my heart is fixed.” Upon steadiness of purpose fixed upon firmness of principle. He is not a very attractive preacher. His manner is effeminate.
Atterbury, at home. 1. Corinthians 15. 19. “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men, most miserable.” This was a discourse preached at the Funeral of Mr. Bennett a rich bookseller in London. It seems to have given rise to some critical hostility at the time and not without reason. He endeavours to justify it in a Preface longer than the Sermon. The points are these—That without the belief of a future state, men are in a worse condition than brutes, and Christians the most miserable of men. Now the first is a doubtful point as it impeaches the economy of the divine government. The second as it gives a gloomy look to Christianity. He justifies himself pretty well from the charge of novelty in his doctrine in the Church but no farther.
Evening, my wife and I went to Mr. Frothingham’s. His choir were practicing there—Miss Woodward his only female singer, but she was not in voice tonight. Some others there, Miss Wallach, a sister of Richard Wallach of Washington, and Mr. J. E. Thayer, a Jacksonian broker. We returned early.