Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Sunday. 27th. CFA Sunday. 27th. CFA
Sunday. 27th.

Morning delightful. The Snow is now rapidly making it’s disappearance and we hope soon to see again the face of the Earth. My Wife, Miss Adams and I attended Divine Service in the Morning and I went alone in the afternoon. Sermon by Mr. Frothingham. One upon the Season by Mr. Frothingham, part of which was very good, part not to my taste. Another upon substitution1 which did not attract me.

Mr. Angier dined with us and I sat in my study, reading the Correspondence attentively which I have not done before. The whole betrays a tone and spirit in our public men which augurs ill to our Institutions. It is disgraceful to every body that meddles with it. I 431passed a portion of the Evening in writing upon the same subject to my Father, but I do not know that I shall send it. I did not feel perfectly well today and indeed for some days past I have experienced a disagreeable sense of fulness. After this, Greek Grammar and the Tatler.

1.

That is, upon the doctrine of substitutional or vicarious atonement. Protestant theology was divided on the extent to which the man who accepts the Redeemer is released from punishment by the sufferings of Jesus Christ for man. (In OED , the first recorded use of the word in its theological sense is in 1836; see also Webster, 2d edn., under “atonement.”)

Monday. 28th. CFA Monday. 28th. CFA
Monday. 28th.

Morning clear and delightfully mild again. This weather is I hope the advance of an early Spring Season. I went to the Office as usual and passed my time in pretty useful employment for after the transaction of my regular business I sat down to Enfield and read a considerable portion of him. As the sketch comes down to more modern times, it again becomes interesting. Such names as Bacon, Leibnitz and Des Cartes excite curiosity. But after all how much vanity there is in all these studies. How little the human mind is capable of penetrating into the depths of science, and how abortive are all attempts to do so.

Took a walk with Mr. Peabody. After dinner I thought I would review Verres but upon trying, I felt as if it was quite unnecessary. I therefore took up the Oration for Fonteius. A mere fragment. My time was also taken up in conversation with my Wife upon matters relating to Abby S. Adams. This young lady having requested advice upon her affairs, sent my Wife to sound me, and upon the whole I was well satisfied with her arrangements.

Evening. I. H. Adams her brother was here so that I sat upstairs and wrote another letter to my Father.1 Once critical about my letters and I am never satisfied. Greek Grammar and the Tatler. Horatio Brooks returned here from the Theatre to spend the Night.

1.

28 Feb., LbC, Adams Papers.