A fine day and in character with the season which has been a rarity heretofore. I passed my morning, partly in reading German and partly in Hume’s Dissertation upon Morals. Attended Divine Service all day. Mr. Stetson preached. Job 27. 10 “Will he always call upon God.” The character of men as manifested by his habits of devotion. The impossibility of adhering to a custom very long after the sincere desire to carry it on has ceased. The difficulty of the hypocrite. Afternoon, Mark 4. 14, 15. “The sower soweth the word. And these are they by the wayside, where the seed is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.” The meaning of the word Satan in the passage, Sin and sinful ways. The seed is the word, the wayside, habits of inattention. Then a digression upon the habit of sleeping, and neglect of the Sermon, as well as the disposition to criticize in a literary point of view. All of which he discussed calmly and sensibly. Mr. Stetson is rather above the ordinary level of the Clergy.325
Read a Sermon of Atterbury. 1. Timothy. 6. 1. “That the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.” Subject, Wickedness no proof against the truth of Christianity. He maintains first, that wickedness is no proof because it is not evident that there is so much of it, but if there was, it is yet no argument from its abuse 3. inferences. The argument might be summed up in the short question whether Christianity made men wicked by any thing peculiar to itself which might be pointed out.
Mr. Philip Hone from New York with his daughter Miss Hone and Niece Miss Anthon came out and took tea. I have not seen him for many years. He seems to me to have grown old and conceited.1 Evening quiet at home.
On Philip Hone, the diarist, whom CFA had last seen in 1826 in New York, see vol. 2:58–59.