The day was milder than it had been and looked cloudy but it soon after became quite clear. I went to the Office and was engaged most of my time quietly at work upon my Accounts. Nothing of material consequence.
The political world is in a state of commotion about a very small matter—This election of Governor. The prospect for the future is not very clear, and I do not like much to look upon it. So far as I myself may be concerned, my course seems to me to be tolerably clear before me. I have nothing to expect and nothing to wish in a life of so much turmoil. My father has had too much of it not to show me how uncomfortable it is. I shall however persevere and do my duty.
Went to the Athenaeum and from thence home stopping to see a copy of Titian’s Venus lately brought from Europe for Exhibition. The original is in the Dresden Gallery. It is very pretty, but not so voluptuous as I had imagined. There was also a picture of Diana sleeping, an original of Corregio which I did not admire. Afternoon engaged in copying Lincoln’s letter. It is too harsh.
Clear and cold morning. Passed an hour in copying, after which I attended Divine Service at Mr. Frothingham’s and heard him from John 6. 27. “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth to everlasting life.” I was not quite so attentive as usual from the fact of my being drowsy in consequence of broken rest. The subject seemed to me to distinguish the exertion described in the latter portion of the text, and the necessity not to forget the former but to make it secondary.
Mr. Ripley preached in the afternoon from John 17. 17. “Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth.” An endeavour to prove that all sin is falsehood, or in other words that sinners in pursuing vicious indulgences put themselves in a false position both as to this world and the next. Mr. Ripley was a College Scholar. There was hope and promise in his University success. He is a respectable though quite a dull preacher.1 Such are the changes of this life.
I went home and read the second Sermon in the Collection of Atterbury, preached upon the occasion of some meeting of a Charitable Institution in London. 1. Peter 4. 8. “Charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” There is a great deal of admirable sense in it—Strong practi-207cal merit which after all is better than flash. He first discusses the meaning of the words, maintains his own construction, justifies it from objection and draws his inferences from it. He in fact maintains the doctrine of works which was then unpopular in England against the Presbyterian idea of grace. And I confess I agree with him. Evening, conversation and copying the Letter to Govr. Lincoln.
On Rev. George Ripley, later prominent in Transcendentalism, see vol. 3:149.