Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Saturday. 17.

Monday. 19th.

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

The first day in character with the Season and very pleasant it was. I amused myself in sauntering about a little while and afterwards in 314reading Hume’s Essays which are very interesting. His reflection and his style are attractive, though neither of them perfectly sound.

Attended Divine Service, Mr. Stetson. Prayer for Mr. Brooks upon the death of his only brother at Portland,1 after a lingering illness which made life to him hardly desirable, and not at all to his friends. Sermon Luke 20. 36. “Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.” This was incidental to the death of a little girl, the promising daughter of one of the parishioners, Mr. Furness. It was consolatory, in the usual course of reflection and I thought judicious and soothing.

Afternoon. 3 Philippians 13. 14. “Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” The necessity of future improvement, the vanity of turning back to the past unless with some view of operating upon the future. This is the reflection of a young country but it debars one of the most pleasing though melancholy pleasures. Reflection upon the past has its pleasures instead of benefits and why should an innocent pleasure be sacrificed. Not in the spirit of repining should it be exercised, certainly, but in regret unavailing as it plainly is, or in gratification at success equally unfruitful. What is Europe with all its wealth and power, unconnected with the charm of memory. It is the same with the moral qualities of being.

Afternoon. Sermon by Atterbury. Text, the same as last Sunday and the third in the Series upon the difficult passages of Scripture. It related more especially to the last clause which states the punishment of a wrong construction of these passages. This seems hard measure, but he maintains that it applies only to the wilful who wrest the meaning to purposes of their own, inconsistent with the real objects of Christianity. Evening, Charles Brooks and William G., his brother, were here from Boston. These are sons of the Portland gentleman lately deceased.

1.

Cotton Brown Brooks (1765–1834).