Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

262 Saturday. 17th. CFA Saturday. 17th. CFA
Saturday. 17th.

Morning dark with violent wind and rain. I went to the Office and was busy in writing up my Diary which the preceding days had thrown behind hand. This with more walking in rain for furniture consumed nearly all my time. I did buy something at Auction today however though I am not sure my bargain was a very good one.1 I also went to see about more fuel as my Coal is exhausted. This has been a most consuming Winter. We have had nothing but cold Weather.

Returned home and passed the Afternoon in reading Spanish. I continue to find it easy. My study this afternoon accomplished ten pages which I thought quite fair for a beginner.

My Evening was passed quietly at home. I read a good deal of Scott’s Life of Napoleon as my Wife was engaged. The French Revolution is as interesting as the best Novel. It presents human nature in a singular aspect. All things magnified and inflamed. A people committing the most atrocious crimes under cover of the fairest names. Worked up to madness by the most fascinating temptation of liberty. On the whole, few things in the world are of a kind deserving more intense reflection. I afterwards finished the life of Bird to my Wife which after all does not amount to much. His pictures are probably of no permanent character. Finished this evening my comparison of the Gospels.


The sale was at the auction rooms of J. M. Allen & Co. on Milk Street (Boston Daily Advertiser & Patriot, 17 March, p. 3, col. 6).

Sunday. 18th. CFA Sunday. 18th. CFA
Sunday. 18th.

The sight of snow again this year was not very agreeable. And the day was cold and blustering. I attended divine service and heard Mr. Frothingham preach all day. Morning. Text from Matthew 3. 9. “For I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” He then explained the passage. John the Baptist had been surprised to find the Pharisees come to him, and he warned them to put no dependence upon their advantages. These they deemed to be of two sorts. One that they being the Descendants of Moses were the chosen of God, and that through their agency alone could any be expected to gain salvation. He said that there were sects now in the Christian Religion who held to similar doctrines and he proceeded to castigate their reasons for them. Afternoon. Text from Matthew 18. 33. “Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow servant, even as I had pity on thee.” It was upon forgiveness of sins. A very good Sermon explaining the nature of the Parable, the character 263of the Christian Religion, its mildness, its inculcating forgiveness and the necessity of the practice of that virtue to a disciple of Christ.

On my return home I read a Sermon of Massillon’s according to custom. It was upon the same subject as that of last Sunday. In extracting the Text then however I did not take quite the whole of the Verse as I ought. He endeavours more clearly to show the application which he made of it. He says that a mere fever was a very unusual thing for Jesus to be called to cure. His cures were generally those of persons dying, or even dead. He therefore infers this to mean a state of moral debility. But why it should be lukewarmness and represented by a fever passes my comprehension. His argument against the danger of indifference in Religion today was again threefold. 1. It prevents the special grace requisite for the full support of piety. 2. It inclines man to sin from confusing his nicer distinction of right and wrong. 3. It renders the usual means useless or dangerous, as prayer, the communion &ca. a relapse from which is fatal. The ideas are not much varied in either. Evening quietly at home. Continued the French Revolution.