Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

February. 1834. Saturday. 1st.

Monday. 3d.

Sunday. 2d. CFA Sunday. 2d. CFA
Sunday. 2d.

A lovely day as I have ever seen at this season of the year. We attended divine service all day and heard Mr. Frothingham. Matthew 22. 39. “The second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” An examination of this passage which condenses the whole 256of theology into Love of the Creator and the created, which gives little that is new but thoroughly refines and purifies the old.

Luke 12. 16–22. The parable of the rich man accummulating his gains, the question, what his offence? not his wealth, not his industry, but his presumption, in imagining that he was the director and ruler of all his prosperity. Adam Smith has much to say upon the subject of Fortune. Plutarch tells us Sylla relied much upon his Fortune. We know Julius Caesar’s speech to the Boatman. Lord Bacon says it is productive of failure to attribute events too much to one’s own agency. Addison has remarked the frequency with which acts you anticipate as certain will not happen. Why are not all these manifestations of the same presumption which cost the rich man in the parable his life? I believe in my fortune, or in other words in the divine care of a superintending Providence, which has done for me what my own agency never could have brought about.

Read a Sermon of Atterbury. Matthew 25. 40. “Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” He considers first how it is that acts of mercy are decided to rank first at the day of judgment. Secondly, why, when done to the poor they are said to be done to the Saviour himself. A charity Sermon, but it is not filled out at all. Evening, Mr. and Miss Beale called in and passed an hour. She looks quite sick.