Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Sunday. 16th. CFA Sunday. 16th. CFA
Sunday. 16th.

Morning rainy, with a hot South wind. I passed my time in copying for my father. Attended divine service all day. Heard in the morning Mr. Lunt preach from Romans 13. 1. “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” A discourse of quite extraordinary ability upon the late tendency manifested throughout the Country to violence and riot. Mr. Lunt began with explaining the text to mean not the divine right of any particular form of Government but the divine right of government in such form as the people have thought fit to approve. He then went on to show the crime of violation of it in a very powerful manner. Mr. Lunt is certainly a man of no small power. Afternoon Mr. Whitney. Proverbs 14. 32. “The righteous hath hope in his death.” The death of the just, a very indifferent performance made worse by the contrast with the present active preacher.

I afterwards read Dr. Barrow’s discourse from Luke 22. 42. “Nevertheless let not my will, but thine be done.” Submission to the divine will, certainly one of the justest lessons to a Christian. Yet when the world goes hard, it is one of the most difficult of tasks to refrain from murmuring and when it goes very well we are always forgetting our duty. Such is man’s weakness.

In the evening when Louisa C. Smith and Elizabeth C. Adams were about to return home having spent the day, my Wife rode up in the 198Carriage to see Mrs. E. Miller—My father and I walking up to join her. The Beales and Dr. Woodward. Some sacred music from Miss Miller, but tiresome. Home.

Monday. 17th. CFA Monday. 17th. CFA
Monday. 17th.

Morning warm. I remained at home today. Read a little of the original of the sixth satire of Juvenal. But the morning mail brought with it a number of the United States Telegraph which from its criticism upon my Appeal at once took up my attention. I immediately proceeded to make it a resting place upon which to fire a battery of hot shot at Mr. Webster and his supporters. The Atlas and it’s coadjutors must be forced from their position if it is possible to do it, and if not, the vehemence of the attack will have very great effect in destroying his party. I am more and more satisfied that some sort of withdrawal is contemplated at the ensuing Session of the Legislature.

Mrs. W. S. Smith this day wrote a letter to my Mother1 saying that the Appeal is much admired and supposed to come from the President,2 also requesting that the numbers might be sent on. This gave me courage. I do not believe, notwithstanding the ungenerous course of both Whig and Jackson party, that my labour will be lost. My father urged me to proceed directly to publication in a Pamphlet.

Afternoon I was engaged for the most part in writing over into fair copy my new Article. Evening, Mr. and Mrs. Lunt returned our visit after which I finished writing.

1.

The letter to LCA is missing.

2.

Within the family, the title continued to be employed for JQA during his lifetime.

Tuesday. 18th. CFA Tuesday. 18th. CFA
Tuesday. 18th.

I am this day twenty eight years old. The year has passed which I have regarded as the turning point of most men’s lives. It has not however gone without adding to me a little reputation. It surely is no small compliment to me that my style should first have been taken for Alexander H. Everett’s and then for my father’s, the two best political writers in the State if not in the Country. It surely cannot be said that this my life has been wasted when at twenty seven I am even momentarily compared to the most ancient and best established reputations for ability in the Country.

In other respects I have been also blessed far beyond my deserts during the last year. I have another and a fine child, and my property 199has much increased. How many things I have to be thankful for. How many which ought to remind me to preserve a feeling of humility, to be perpetually conscious of my utter dependence upon the Supreme being and my duty to return him the praise. Let me keep in mind my humble state and not be elated by any foolish selfsufficiency.

Rode to town and engaged very much all day. Nothing of any particular consequence. Called at the Advocate Office and left my Paper, at the Athenaeum and house. Returned to dine. Afternoon quietly at home. Read a little and assorted my Grandfather’s Papers. What a discouraging mass. I do not know that I am not doing mischief, by partial and insufficient efforts. Evening quietly at home. Time passes rapidly in my present mode of life but I do not know that I am devoting it in such a manner as would be most for my advantage.