Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Saturday. 9th.

Monday. 11th.

Sunday. 10th. CFA Sunday. 10th. CFA
Sunday. 10th.

Pleasant morning. I went to Meeting all day and during the remainder of it occupied myself with German. Mr. Burnap of Balti-358more preached.1 Matthew 5. 3. “Blessed are the poor in spirit; for their’s is the kingdom of heaven.” And 1. Peter 5. 5 “Be clothed with humility.” The same general subject. He managed it tolerably but gave nothing new or particularly striking. His own manner and his general character are somewhat at variance, in appearance at least with his general character.

Read a Sermon of Atterbury upon that remarkable text Genesis 49. 4 in which the patriarch addressing his eldest son prophecies of him “Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel.” No language can express more distinctly the character of a wavering mind and it’s fatal consequences. The Preacher considers it in two lights as losing all probability of advantage in this life, and forfeiting every pretence to happiness in the next. True indeed, instability of mind is perhaps the greatest punishment which can be inflicted upon man. It ruins his best laid plans, it vitiates his morality, it destroys his reliance upon himself. Perhaps Miss Edgeworth has embodied the effects of it as powerfully as any one in her little story of Vivian. I met with a living instance of it in the character of my poor brother. Quiet evening. Continued August Lafontaine’s German story.

1.

On Rev. George Washington Burnap, see vol. 3:53.