Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Saturday. 19th.

Monday. 21st.

Sunday. 20th. CFA Sunday. 20th. CFA
Sunday. 20th.

Clear and cold. I read the life of Swift. Walter Scott is a pleasant chit-chat biographer gathering carefully from preceding authors but it may much be questioned if he is profound. The character of Swift was so very peculiar, as to require a deep analyst of human passions to lay open all the springs of his eccentric motions.

Attended divine service and heard Mr. Frothingham Luke 5. 5. “Nevertheless at thy word, I will let down the net.” This text he cited to found upon it an exhortation to perseverance under discouragements. How often I require such welcome words to brace me up to exertion of any kind. How little all my exertion has brought about. And even if they produce the utmost I could expect from them of how little service would it be to the Country or to myself. Mr. Walsh walked and dined with me.

Afternoon Mr. Robbins. Ephesians 6. 2. “Honour thy father and mother.” An allusion to the levelling character of the present age and the declining reverence for parents but nothing either forcible or new. That respect for parents is the secret of all government among men was known before today, and has been explained in too profound a manner to make the assertion interesting. Mr. Robbins must think more, he ought not to rest content with writing.

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I afterwards read a Sermon of Dr. Barrow’s from 2. Corinthians 8. 21. “Providing for honest things not only in the sight of the Lord but also in the sight of men.” A difference of text without discontinuing the subject of the last two discourses. He discussed today the principles upon which neglect of the external observances of religion were justified—Modesty, fear in two or three shapes and so forth. A good discourse. Evening, Madame Junot and Swifts Life. T. B. Frothingham passed an hour here.