Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Sunday. 28th. CFA Sunday. 28th. CFA
Sunday. 28th.

A very clear day with the wind at the north west and quite cold. Morning Mons. de Tocqueville, whose book ranks close to Montesquieu’s. Attended divine service and heard Mr. Farley of Providence preach from Psalm 55. 19. “Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.” A view of the impassibility of a large class of the human race who from various causes of prosperity or otherwise acting uniformly upon them lose all sense of the superintendence of the divine Agency. Afternoon. John 19. 25. “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother.” A brief examination of the story of Mary as gathered from the record in the Gospel, together with some ingenious applications to the maternal and filial principle. Mr. Farley dined with 251us. His style is good and his manner far better than is customary with us, but I was not very much pleased with the man altogether, and yet without being able to say exactly why? He appeared to me more superficial than clergymen commonly are. And I am far from thinking them in this generation extraordinarily profound as a class.

Read a sermon of Sterne upon evil speaking. James 1. 26. “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, that man’s religion is vain.” It is a little remarkable that the Author in this discourse occasionally draws his own picture, whether with or without knowledge, I do not know. The contrast between his words and his acts, between his view of the moral obligation as well as of the sympathy which should regulate conduct in his writings and the performance as recorded by his contemporaries finds a record in some of his discourses, particularly in the beginning of this. For the rest, there seem some very good distinctions between the love of scandal leading to censorious talking, and the force of an exemplary line of conduct, repressing vice without indulging in malignity. Evening, Mons. de Tocqueville.

Monday. 29th. CFA Monday. 29th. CFA
Monday. 29th.

At last a perfectly bright, clear day, with wind at the North west and some promise of a continuance. The men began to put the shingles on the roof today and this once done, they will be able to go on with their work inside without much interruption from weather. I waited for Mr. Ayer who came at last and gave me an account of his loss as well as mine. Fortunately he is insured upon his tools which breaks the blow upon him, although he says he had stock and work amounting to about as much more than the insurance. My doors were taken out the day before, so that I lose only the shafts of the columns, and the fixtures for the folding doors &ca. Upon this I must congratulate myself.

Went over to the quarries and took a return from Dutton of both quarries worked by them. Then to Mr. Brigham’s where I settled for another canal Note. He says the payment of the Assessment is very slow and he fears some of the Shares must be advertised. Then to the Canal Wharf about materials, in getting which there appears to be no end.

Home late, and wrote for an hour. After dinner, took my Wife to ride, and to pay a visit to Mr. and Mrs. Seaver at their place. Found the house easily and them at home. It is quite a handsome place. But there is something about him I do not greatly admire. And I was glad 252to get home. We rode round by Milton Hill home. A beautiful ride. Evening at home. Tocqueville.