Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Saturday. 2d. CFA Saturday. 2d. CFA
Saturday. 2d.

Pleasant morning. I went to town accompanied by Mr. Brooks. Received a letter from my father1 stating that my Mother had not yet arrived so that I remained in town. Time taken up at the Office in Ac-354counts. Looked over and summed up my general expense for the fifth year of my marriage and found it exceeded any preceding one in a ratio of nearly one third. This is large but not in proportion to the rate of the other side. Thus far I have been exceedingly fortunate in my private affairs. Conversation with Mr. Walsh. Rather idle.

Returned to Medford. Afternoon, I could do little on account of visitors. Mr. and Mrs. Everett, and T. K. Davis, W. E. Payne and Edward Blake. The influx of people here upon Summer Afternoons is such that my time is rarely at my own disposal. My views of self improvement are perpetually disappointed and I believe I go backward rather than forward. Evening, went to Mrs. Gray’s with my Wife and Mr. Brooks. He sails tomorrow,2 wind and weather permitting.

1.

1 Aug. (Adams Papers).

2.

That is, Francis A. Gray.

Sunday. 3d. CFA Sunday. 3d. CFA
Sunday. 3d.

Morning hazy with a warm day. I amused myself reading German for some time. I find I make progress in the particular book which I read without however being at all able to understand any other I happen by chance to open. Read a few of the Letters of Madame de Maintenon and some of the Life of Hampden.

Attended divine Service all day and heard a discourse running through both parts of it, upon the text 1 Timothy 2. 5. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ.” I thought Mr. Stetson leaned a good deal to the stricter faith in his explanation of the passage. He explained his idea of a mediator as distinct from the notion of atonement, and yet clearly maintained the divine character of the Saviour and his unity of purpose if not of person with God. I am glad to hear opinions which do not all strain to absolute infidelity.

Read an excellent Sermon of Atterbury upon an anxious mind. Matthew 6. 34. “Take no thought for the morrow.” He considers excessive anxiety an evil as well as a folly. The first because it destroys energy, the second because it implies distrust of a divine providence. He yet does not understand the injunction literally for this would not agree with other portions of the Bible. I think so too and quote the parable of the faithful Servant, which he does not. Quiet afternoon and evening. Read a little more of Hampden and Maintenon. Also Mr. Dew’s Pamphlet on Slavery.1

1.

Thomas Roderick Dew’s Review of the Debate [on the abolition of slavery] in the Virginia Legislature of 1831 and 1832, Richmond, 1832, later incorpo-355rated in the volume of essays entitled The Pro-Slavery Argument, 1852, was long regarded as the definitive economic justification of the institution ( DAB ).