Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Saturday. 5th.

Monday. 7th.

Sunday. 6th. CFA Sunday. 6th. CFA
Sunday. 6th.

I arose feeling better and devoted my day to quiet and meditation. As this is in its true nature a religious day, I purpose as well as I can to make it so. I attended divine service and heard Mr. Frothingham preach in the morning from Luke 23. 44–45. “And it was about the sixth hour and there was a darkness over all the earth, until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple rent in twain.” The agitation of nature at the passion of our Saviour. Mr. F. tries to ascribe the phenomena to natural laws, while he urges the cause of it to be the act of the Deity. With me, this appears immaterial. God can alter the laws of the Universe at what time or to what extent he pleases. The veil is rent as typical of the opening of the Christian faith to the Gentiles as to the Jews. The Sermon was beautifully written, but did not please me so much as that of the Afternoon from Acts 8. 20. “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.” Upon simony, and from thence to the general subject of attachment to money, and an undue estimate of it’s value. In this community, this subject needs often press-187ing. The great vice of this New England people is their adoration of Mammon. And rooted as it is in the character, the tree has now attained immense luxuriance and bids fair to overshadow us all.

I read Massillon’s second Sermon upon a nun’s profession. Psalms 83 (84). 1–2. “How amiable are thy tabernacles, O, Lord of Hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord.” He considers a life of seclusion as liable to temptation of time, of disgust, of example, and he sets against them the consolation that the degree of temptation is less, that of comfort greater, more pure and more abundant. Of course I cannot assent to the justice of the foundation which makes life selfish and destroys society.

Quiet evening. Finished Iphigenie which is a beautiful poem. I pass my time quietly at home. I hope I pass it usefully but at any rate I pass it in a way that money could not improve.