Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Saturday. 15th.

Monday. 17th.

Sunday. 16th. CFA Sunday. 16th. CFA
Sunday. 16th.

Fine day. I read Benjamin Constant. Divine Service all day. Heard Mr. Frothingham from Genesis 2. 17. “The tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” He gave to it a figurative meaning which I did not fully take and which I did not much admire. That experience gives a knowledge of good and evil is true, that man should be forbidden to touch experience seems to be only reasoning in a circle, for experience must come from something and it is necessary to explain what that was—Apple or something equally palpable.

Mr. Gannett in the Afternoon. Matthew 6. 13. “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” This is a text of some difficulty at all times. Mr. G. makes it to mean trial in order that we may avoid evil. The common view is, Suffer us not to be led into temptation, and I think it just and reasonable. “Deliver us from evil” then means exactly what it says. The Lord’s Prayer strikes me as a perfect formula. One which supersedes all Prayer excepting that which may arise from special occasions of distress. Afternoon, Atterbury, Matthew 11.3. “Art thou he that should come? or do we look for another?” The Mes-279sage of John the Baptist and the manner as well as matter of the reply. A very slight composition.

Evening, we went down to pass the Evening with Mr. Brooks, Mrs. Everett. Mr. and Mrs. J. Bradlee came in and passed a part of it. Conversation general and not particularly interesting. We returned home at ten, but I do nothing afterwards, excepting my regular Chapters.